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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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2,673 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,673
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 115
Gots: 211 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,673 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KroMagnon


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

The beer is crystal clear after decanting "according to directions" and has a light copper color with a decent white head. The aroma is kind of sparse, it has a little bit of malt and a little bit of fruity ester kind of like passionflower but overall its kind of light. The flavor is good, not really strong or dominating but pretty appropriate for style. Overall this is a good drinkin' beer, not your usual Belgian rocket fuel but good. I confess I'd like a little more distinctive aromas though.

09-11-2006 00:41:43 | More by KroMagnon
Photo of tgbljb


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured a clear amber-orange color with massive puffy white head. Smell is a tantalizing mixture of sweet fruit with some background spiciness. Taste foloows through on the smell with the spiciness becoming more prominent, but not overshadowing the sweet fruitiness. Some yeastiness also to be found. Nice full creamy finish with the sweet spices really showing through. Great drinkability. I paired this with grilled shrimp and scallops for an excellent meal.

09-07-2006 00:18:39 | More by tgbljb
Photo of tonistruth


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

A- between copper and aubrun in color, big fluffy tan head with great rentent that settles to a foam ring through the remainder of the brew,some flaoting yeast, lacing is good

S- crisp, citrus, fruit, spice, overall a potent and inviting scent

T- warming sweet yet tangy spicey kick at the finish, aftertaste is spice as well, earthy flavor throughout, citrus with a soft & sweet orange flavor

M- much carbonation may a bit too much, somewhat coarse, light easy flowing body with a great feeling on the palate, bit sticky

D- IMO not a session beer, well brewed beer though. Only complaint is that at times carbonation kinda blanded out flavor. I will be back to this though.

09-04-2006 18:03:07 | More by tonistruth
Photo of geographie


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

A :: Clear, amber colour, little head.

S :: Smoky and minty, a refreshing blend. Not too much else, although serving was a bit too cold. As this one warms, and oragne aroma shines through.

T :: Wow. Completely unexpected big, rich, sweet malty front. Tast of caramel overrides this and finishes elegantly and without a trace of hops to finish. Balance is remarquable. Slightly alcoholic finish, unexpected for its relatively modest 6.5 %.

M :: Hmm, excellent carbonation. Tactfully fills your mouth and washes down smooth. Quite light feel for its big taste - impressive. Almost cleanses the palate.

D :: An easy drinking, huge-bodied belgian style without a ridicoulous alcohol content? Bring this one on!!

09-02-2006 22:33:52 | More by geographie
Photo of davidshamoon

New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

Beautiful, beautiful honey color with a thick, but not creamy, head. The smell is deliciously sweet with the slightest hint of hard cheese. A nice full, sweet taste, too, highlighted with spicy essences.

Those flavors are well complemented by the carbonation, which is of a medium-grade, bold but not overwhelming. It's the fine bubbles that are most responsible for the Rare Vos's mouthfeel, which I rate a 4.0.

This a beer that may be better without food than with. Enjoy a glass before or after dinner.

08-29-2006 03:39:03 | More by davidshamoon
Photo of Cresant


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured into a Duvel glass from the 750 mL corked and caged bottle. First pour created three fingers of white head. Body was crystal clear golden amber. Some lace remained. Second pour was significantly hazy/cloudy with more lacing.

Smell was spicy, very mild banana. Tart green apples. Very pleasant.

Taste reflected the aroma well. Tartness over a malty frame. Mild and fruity. Yeasty complexity; substantial.

Mouthfeel was teriffic. Tiny champange bubbles, yet not overwhelming.

Very drinkable.

08-26-2006 12:34:52 | More by Cresant
Photo of expatsteve


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Split a bottle of this with Kathleen and Golden2wenty1. What a way to end the evening.

Appearance: Cloudy slightly darker shades of orange amber, similar to Unibroue's Maudite. 1 inch head is impressive, but leaves no suds or lacing. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Raisins, brown sugar, lemon peel, and some bread dough moments. A little molasses, pine and ginger as it warms. Mild but definitely sweet. Very enjoyable.

Taste: A little tingle across the front palate, followed by red and green apples, lemons, raisins, brown sugar. Rich and ever-so-slightly boozy finish. Some caramel and orange zest developments. Slight sour notes add to the complexity of this brew.

Mouthfeel: Light and fluffy, with a slightly sour finish. Easy drinking with a malt aftertaste.

Drinkability: Another winner from Ommegang. Of all their beers, this is probably my least favorite, but that's like saying that Shelby's first mustang was the least impressive of his modified race cars. The light sweet flavors and the refreshing finish carry this beer well, masking the booze and upping the general drinkability. Fantastic.

08-21-2006 04:42:18 | More by expatsteve
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

A: Amber-brown with a slight haze; fluffy, slightly off-white head; great retention and lace.

S: Cider, bread, spice (cinnamon?), fruity esters (tropical?), phenolic. Lots of yeastie byproducts!

T: Very bready, complex spicyness (peppery, cloves, corriander?), phenolic, slight acidity, figs, hints of bubblegum esters, with a little dark raisin in the finish. Dry with a light bitter/sweet/tart balance.

M: Moderate body finishes dry. Carbonation is higher than moderate.

D: The yeastie byproducts (spicy phenolics) are a little much for me. I couldn't quite finish the 750 mL in one sitting.

08-11-2006 23:19:48 | More by Derek
Photo of brushpig


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Found a bottle at Sams wines in Chicago, 750ml bottle.

Red amber in hue. Large off-white creamy head that had full longevity. Active carbination that never stopped. What a beer should look like.

The aroma was light , yeast, fruits(plum, grapes) soft but very appealing.

Great flavor with spices like pepper, herbs, light fruit sweetness, very lively in mouth, finishes dry, with long duration.

This is an exceptional beer visually, and in flavor. Buy it!

08-10-2006 20:39:51 | More by brushpig
Photo of Celt44

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a mountainous head if you're not careful. Head is thick and frothy and last throughout.
Hot biscuity malt aroma with hints of citrus/grapefruit and lemon.
Citrus taste agrees with the aroma - lemons come on stronger than a grapefruit. Hops and malt jump out also.
Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced - a perfect amount of carbonation.
Overall a superior Belgian pale ale. I'm not a big fan of the style - but Ommegang nails this one dead on.

07-30-2006 20:35:53 | More by Celt44
Photo of Phatz


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearance: Amber copper orange color.

Smell: Fruity aroma with apple caramel and spices. There is a nice malt attribute below the estery one.

Taste: Zesty apple caramel with coriander spice flavor. The taste is complex and I will revisit this beer but simply put it impressed me. I love the barrel character, and the way it finish just a bit drier than it started.

Mouthfeel: Very crispy yet smooth with and airy body and perfect finish.

Drinkability: This is one Belgian Pale Ale I could certainly session.

Hope this is helpful.

07-26-2006 03:52:48 | More by Phatz
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured into a Duvel tulip with a hazy amber-orange body and a massive rocky and creamy ecru foam cap with super sticky lacing. Yeasty sourdough bread aromas with anise and bergamot and a "warm" and sweet barnyard funk scent -- not like a lambic, just earthy, I guess. Bready anise inflected sweetness is finished off by a round of tannic and earthy bitter hops. Full, creamy mouthfeel, but medium bodied. Some yeasty sourness is apparent in the middle of the sip. Ommegang's second most drinkable/approachable beer. Great stuff as always.

07-22-2006 00:13:10 | More by orfeu
Photo of xzqrut


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

This beer poured from the tap, had a great appearance. It gave a nice amber/copper color, with a beautiful head that stuck to the end, with excellent lacing. It gave a nice spicy and orange smell, same flavors found in the taste. Mouthfeel was full and frothy. Excellent beer!

07-21-2006 03:46:05 | More by xzqrut
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Someone I know bought a big bottle of this for me when they were in upstate New York recently. I like Ommegang's offerings, not so much because it's my style of beer, but because they do a great job at what they do and it's a change for me to learn and appreciate belgian-style brews. The only belgian style I have often is the witbier, but after sampling this, I'm certainly glad I gave it a shot and am still working to pinpoint it down...

Quite an odd pour - I didn't see a lot of carbonation, but wow, look at the head! Even going slow down the side of the glass, it nearly overflowed several times and the head lingered for quite a while. The lacing isn't bad either, and the deep apricot hue to this beer is beautiful in a minimally simplistic way. The taste was hard for me to get down, if only because I don't drink this style of beer often. Lots of spices here, and almost no hop bitterness to be found. A bit like an Octoberfest, with that warming quality to it, but with a bit of citrus, black pepper and lemon-like zing to it as well. The aftertaste leaves a wonderful coating and has a soda-like carbonation feel to it, even though there is very little carbonation in the beer itself.

It's hard to believe this beer is 6.50% ABV, since I can really taste the alcohol in this during each sip and after each swallow. The spices never overpower here and this is exceptionally balanced both in taste and mouthfeel. The aroma is very subdued and a bit lacking here, but all other aspects of this beer are enjoyable. Ommegang does a great job of bringing belgian styles and tastes to the states, and this offering is great proof of that!

07-16-2006 08:12:58 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured into an oversize wine goblet.

Pours a reddish, rusty amber color. 1" thick frothy white head, thins out some, but stuck around until the end.

Scents of spices, fruity/citrus lemmon and wheat.

Taste of tangy citrus, earthy greens(hops), wheat and a good amount of spices.

Mouthfeel is chewy and substantial, starts of tangy and a bit sour finishes sweet and malty.

Had to check myself after two. Very enjoyable brew.

07-14-2006 18:06:24 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of Gregorious


4.03/5  rDev -1%

750cl into chalice...

A - Deep red amber with 2 fingers of a copper laced head.

S - Not too aromatic...mostly smell alcohol and a little bit of peach or plum.

T - Bitter hops followed by a crisp alcohol leading taste of cloves, black pepper, and citrus.

M - Action packed carbonation...not overwhelming

D - Goes down smooth and satisfying....someone should refill my chalice.

07-10-2006 23:28:03 | More by Gregorious
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Left over a two finger beige colored head that quickly dissappeared, no lacing. Body was a hazy orange amber.

Smell - Esters and phenols, medicine, black pepper, and plums.

Taste - like the smell. Plums and cherries, dates and prunes, dark bread, sweet rolls. Black pepper, medicine, hint of banana.

Mouthfeel - full, low carbonation, drying, slightly astringent.

Drinkability - this is good, but drying effect hinders sessionability, at least on a regular basis.

07-03-2006 17:25:44 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of Brian700


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

This one pours a nice amber/orangish color with a big off-white head that left some pretty good lacing.

The aroma is of sweet malt with some clove-like notes and some spicy hop presence.

The flavor was really nice, sweet maltiness with some belgian influence. There was some mile clove and esters with a little bit of plum.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

This is a really drinkable beer. Ommegang brews are high quality, low cost beers so pick some up.

06-22-2006 04:53:40 | More by Brian700
Photo of vtfan77


4.03/5  rDev -1%

Saw a couple Ommegang beers at Kroger of all places and, at 4.99 for a 750, felt it was my duty to purchase and review them.

A- Nice orange-gold color with a huge rocky head. Big time lacing, similar to what one might expect of a DIPA. Very attractive beer.

S- Yeasty and malty aromas abound. Biscuity malts meet a Belgian yeast strain. It's almost as if someone took an American amber ale and brewed it with Belgian yeast... hmm....

T- Much yeastiness up front with clove being the dominant flavor. A big biscuit flavor comes through next with a little earthy hop spiciness. Finishes very dry and a little bitter. Very little (if any) sweetness at all in this beer.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Smooth with no hint of alcohol.

D- Pretty drinkable, the dryness makes you want to take another sip and I had no trouble downing the bottle.

Very nice beer overall. An intriguing mix of flavors, and a great idea by Ommegang to brew a Belgian amber ale. A good starting point for those who want to get into Belgian-style beers. Recommended.

06-20-2006 21:03:44 | More by vtfan77
Photo of mmmbeer


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Big cork-n-cage bottle with no freshness date. Very loud "POP!" when opening, and the pour reveals a hazed copper body with a frothy, two finger tan head that becomes creamier as the many beads of carbonation replace the larger bubbles with very small ones, and leave a nice trail of lacing as I drink. The aroma is very phenolic right off the bat, with spicy yeast and a lemony zest combined with nutty malts, green/leafy/spicy hops, and notes of pear, apple, and melon. The taste is the same but adds cloves, medicine, banana, and a phenolic bitterness that eventually gives way to a hoppy bitterness, all on top of a body that starts prickly, but evens out to reveal a medium body that is quite smooth. A great deal at $5 a bottle.

06-06-2006 21:11:48 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of DuqTroops


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance - bright orange in color. creamy white head atop the body.

Smell - fruity / citrusy for an amber ale. great aromas!

Taste - great hops to the flavor of the beer. more hops than malts! not much of an aftertaste to this beer.

Drinkability - great beer! could easily have a lot in an evening and enjoy it.

06-03-2006 14:32:57 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of copasetic


3.38/5  rDev -17%

Poured a very hazy deep orange from the 750ml champagne-style bottle. For once, I didn't lose the cork after it exploded off the bottle. A light coarse head was formed in the process, but this dissapated to thin lacing shortly thereafter. The smell is not as punchy as other Belgian pales I've had, and is composed mostly of caramel malts and slight peppery/fruity overtones. Mild as it may be, I can still tell I'm drinking a Belgian, as its taste is dominated by fruity and peppery esters. The hops component is somewhat prominent in the back-end bitterness, but no noteworthy flavor or aroma components are apparent. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy with a gentle alcohol hit on the swallow.

Overall, not bad, but not terribly memorable. With some of the more challenging and wonderful offerings from Ommegang, I'll probably pass this one by in the future.

05-26-2006 20:37:58 | More by copasetic
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%

god bless acme. what other grocery store carries ommegang?

not sure what "amber" really means in the belgian tradition, other than color description, but it is amber in color with an aggressive head that waned to a sudsy veneer. very good lacing. smells of spice and earthy hops over a sweet backdrop. spicy flavor, too, with a tangible tang at the back of my jaw (there's even some alcohol heat. at 6.5%?)

the flavoring up front is much more enjoyable than what follows: cinnamon, allspice. in back, it's watery and bland (not that it's not complex, as that's not a requisite for a good beer, it just lacks character). decent hop presence as the beer warms

the weakest offfering from this brewery in my opinion

05-26-2006 02:21:59 | More by bruachan
Photo of neonbrown82


4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

This is probably the best Ommegang product I've tried. Such a great price too. I wish it was available in Iowa. Pours to a nice amber color, fairly clear with a great head that lasts forever and leaves a beautiful lacing. Carbonation is moderate.

The smell is good. Has some sweet malt tones along with some spicy herbal hops and coriander. Tastes even better. Good balance between malty sweetness, spiciness, and bitterness from the hops. Reminds me alot of La Binchoise Amber. I like it alot.

The body is decent. Very refreshing. I would drink alot of this if it were available in Iowa. Can't beat the price for a great 750mL. I'm looking forward to the Witte.

05-13-2006 08:02:23 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of BadBadger

New York

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

This belgian pale ale pours a nice cloudy golden color, with a good white foamy head. The smell was not pleasant, a first I thought of regurgitate, then skunked came to mind (if subsequent samplings prove this smell an anomaly, I will come back and re-review). The taste is nice, with a fruity flavoring. The mouthfell is plesant. I good beer which I look forward to enjoying again. And hopefully the smell will be better next time.

05-11-2006 23:47:00 | More by BadBadger
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,673 ratings.