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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,679 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,679
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 118
Gots: 213 | 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: 2,679 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

1.45/5  rDev -64.4%

I did not enjoy this beer at all.. couldn't even finish one glass. I was so excited to find it at the local gourmet foods store while vacationing, and I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to try it. I love Belgian stong pale ales, and thought I would enjoy this (non-stong) pale, but I couldn't even stomach it.

I poured a hazy brown, with no head. Immediately I could smell corriander and bananna. The mouthfeel was flat, no carbonation whatsoever. The taste was sour. I think I must have gotten a bad batch of this stuff, as my experience of it is not consistent with other reviews. Either that, or I'm just not a fan of this style.

10-03-2006 00:28:26 | More by alysmith4
Photo of Chsyhkr

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Belgian Pale Ale or Flander Red??

This is one interesting beer. I got it from a local Brew Festival along with some other goodies.

Pours a nice carbonated lacy, long lasting head.

Aroma is dried fruit, yeast, fruit, a hint of clove and a nice sourness.

Flavor is a melange of Munich malt, dark breads and dried fruits. Quite complex with a nice tinge our sourness.

A great beer with food or have just one. Great effort, how do they sour this thing?? Funny the other reviews don't mention sour? Bottle conditioned? Did something get growing in here??

09-29-2006 01:42:06 | More by Chsyhkr
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Clear, tawny amber brew with hues of copper. Nice creamy offwhite head formed on the pour and wanted to stick around. Once the head settled down a bit the thick lacings were there to appreciate in this decently carbonated brew.

Malty scents of toast and caramel greeted the nose. An earthy grassiness, a hint of citrus, and a touch of sourness and clove were also present.

Toasted bread enhanced with a mild caramel sweetness complimented by a very pleasant floral earthiness, with a hint of lemon and an even lesser hint of clove. Intriguing and pleasant undertones of leather and tobacco revealed more of their character as this one warmed during drinking this fine ale.

This was a smooth and almost creamy light-medium bodied ale. A nicely balanced complex brew with depth and substance without an in your face attitude.

This is a very tasty and drinkable complex brew. Would make for a great all night savouring session brew, and while deep and complex is also an approachable beer and as such would make good crossover fare. I will be drinking this one again.

09-25-2006 13:16:30 | More by demcorhip
Photo of jhollick


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured a burnt orange color with amber highlights. A nice fluffy white head appeared initially, but disappeared quickly. The smell is very sweet, with Belgian yeast, spice, and estery smells leading the way. Taste is similar, with the addition of some fruitier flavors such as banana and citric acid. A peppery flavor lingers towards the end of a taste, much like la Maudite. The aftertaste is dry and slick, as the sweetness of the yeast, malts, and fruits are offset rather aggressively (for the style) by hops. There is a lot of nice flavor here, and this is the first corked Belgian style ale I have had that isn't intimidatingly high in alcohol. This bomber will do me just fine. This is an interesting, exciting, and very drinkable take. In my parts, this is going for almost $9/bottle, rather than the $6ish it should be going for, so it is difficult to choose this over comparably priced Chimay. Still though, another stellar effort from Ommegang.

09-22-2006 20:37:21 | More by jhollick
Photo of beerogre

New York

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

This has been on the shopping list for a few weeks now and as I had been anticipating, it turns out to be another winner from Ommegang, one of my favourite breweries.

As the name suggests, it's Amber coloured, but the things I like about this beer are the head, which does decrease in size with time but yet remains throughout, and the luxurious, creamy mouthfeel, both of which remind me of many an English pint I have sank in a former existance.

This is a beer I could imagine going out and drinking several pints of on a Thursday night, even though there's work on Friday. "It's okay, it's almost the weekend: Only Friday to get through."

I bought a four pack yesterday consumed two last night and was planning to just have one tonight and then something else, but bollocks to that idea, I've enjoyed this bottle so much I'm going to sup the last one as well, and then have something else, if I'm still thirsty....which I probably will be...

A "feel good factor" beer, for sure.

09-17-2006 03:21:35 | More by beerogre
Photo of rarevos

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a hazy orange/amber color with fluffy, off-white head (ever so slightly with a hint of orange). One+ finger of head helps fill the goblet to the rim.

S: Holy esters. Banana, citrus, clove, coriander. Bit of sweet malt. Black pepper notes. Just a wonderful, unmistakably yeasty Belgian aroma.

T/M: Banana and spice up front with sweet malt toward the middle to balance it out. Bready and lightly bitter finish. Has a long tail that has a bit of an alcohol flavor, which is my only real criticism of the beer; other Ommegang beers hide their alcohol far better than this one does.

D: This is one of my favorite go-to session beers. It's huge on flavor and at 6.5% abv, it's something I can drink a few of. Terrific beer.

09-11-2006 20:04:32 | More by rarevos
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
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,679 ratings.