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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,845 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,845
Reviews: 1,084
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 124
Gots: 273 | 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: 2,845 | Reviews: 1,084 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FSUmac
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet....

Appearance: Pours a nice deep reddish brown with a 1.5 finger head. Nice retention.

Smell: Yeasty, malty. I get a hint of fruit (plum, cherries).

Taste: Not what I was expecting based on the smell. Very bready and spicy at first. I can taste the sweetness of the malt all over the tongue. Very dry finish with a sour, but pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Not a bad beer at all and definitely unique in my beer experience. Not something I would drink 6 of, but I do think one after dinner would be quite nice. The alcohol is very well hidden. Very good Ommegang!

FSUmac, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a slightly hazy bronze with lots of tan head. It smelled like citrus and wild floral hops with wild Belgian yeast, and no noticeable malt. It tasted very potent, more sweet than bitter, like earthy wheat mixed with wild floral hops, light honey malt, and some mulled spices. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a smooth bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very clean and well constructed beer, that wasn't overpowering in its Belgian flavoring. I definitely enjoyed this.

Pencible, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of CHADMC3
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with lively carbonation bubbles and an abundant white head giving way to a dense lacing.

Sweet citrus aroma with yeasty bread quality. Further inspection brings out orange zest and other lighter fruits. Spice is mild in the aroma and tough to specifically identify.

Excellent spiced yeast flavor and again sweet citrus flavors with hints of apple. Spices likely include coriander and other peppery qualities. Perhaps a very mild hop presence at the finish.

The spice provides the perfect bite to offset the sweet characteristics of this beer to the extent it is apparent on the palate. Generous carbonation, but lighter bodied.

Rare Vos is a treat to the palate and a beer I could enjoy for a while with a few friends. There are numerous flavors and qualities that leave you seeking another sip to find more to enjoy.

CHADMC3, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of phantomwyse
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nectarine orange color, lathery head, trails of carbonation weaving up like smoke from the bottom.

S: Sweet, fruit preserves. Dark grapes, dry hay-like, yeast.

T: Dried fruits, apricot and plum, old grass, fermented grapes, flat bread.

M: Medium/light. Tight carbonation, somewhat oily and then fades to dry and tart.

D: The big bottle will do me.

phantomwyse, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of PBBC
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer Pours a nice orange-brown... head begins high but settles low with a little bit of lace.

Aroma is of biscuit and sour apples... but also of peaches, nice fresh peaches.

Taste is surprisingly smooth... strong wheat presence... crisp crackers... light honey, peach, and cherries,

Excellent beer... I paired it with a spicy pasta dish: Clams in a roasted tomato and cayenne pepper sauce. The beer lifted the heat off the center off the palate and pushed it to the sides of the palate... preparing the tongue for the next bite and sip.

Great drinkability. Would buy again as a dinner beer.

PBBC, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of gfreed
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful beer form Ommegang! The aroma that erupts both from the bottle and from the puffy, long-lasting head is full of bread, bananas, peaches, cloves and leaves. The color is a beautiful amber-mahogany, with a bit white head that settles down to about an inch and stays there. There's plenty of fruit in the taste, but the most striking thing to me was how smooth it was, and how rich it tasted down to the last drop. After the bottle was empty, I found myself breathing out of the top of bottle just so I wouldn't lose the smell of the beer. You won't go wrong with this, at any time of year.

gfreed, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rare Vos
750mL brown bottle (Caged and Corked)

A: snifter. nice amber color, tons of reddish hues. light off-white head with good lacing and head retention.

S: solid fruit aroma, mostly apples. nice crystal malts, with a good amount of spices from the Belgian yeast.

T: nice apple and cinnamon flavors. almost an applesauce flavor. the crystal malts really shine through in the beer, and the Belgian yeast just brings out the spices so well.

M: smooth and creamy, with a medium body. wonderful finish.

D: really nice beer for a Belgian amber, but probably my least favorite from Ommegang. Just not a huge fan of ambers.

paulthebeerguru, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of Troy518
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Perhaps it was the Ommegang Hennepin that I drank before hand, or perhaps the fact that I am brewing a porter while writing this but this beer seems to lack the same punch that other Ommegang's offerings deliver. For a belgian dark ale, this beer tastes very thin and almost watery. The flavor is ok, however, there are other belgian dark ales that I would prefer over this one. I don't pick up as much spiciness as I thought I would or even as I remember from drinking this in the past. The fruitiness is very subtle in my opinion.

($2.70, 12oz, Oliver's Bev., Albany, NY)

Troy518, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of gonzo46and2
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Bottle Pour: Pours amber. Big bannana and corriander yeast aroma. The yeast smells and tastes much more like the strains used in Hefeweizens rather than most belgian beers I've had. Still very good. Lively carbonation. Fruit, malt, wheat-yeast.... goes down very smooth.

gonzo46and2, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice - reviewed waaay back on March 16th, but I'm just now gettin' it up.

Appearance: Honey amber, lively carbonation, a thick, rocky head with good retention. Thick lacing, but somewhat runny. Haze present in one glass from yeast. Gorgeous.

Smell: Fruits - plum and grapes - earthy must, and a sweet, grassy grain dominate. Peppery cloves and other mild, earthy spices from the hops are present in the background.

Taste: Cloves again, with other peppery spices are very noticeable, a strong grainy, layered maltiness and fruit notes - pear, plum, and a very strong banana ester in the aftertaste - round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Foamy, the sweetness isn't cloying, but it's crisp and full. Great.

Drinkability: Outstanding, low in alcohol (6.5% abv), great subtle flavor interactions, and ridiculously inexpensive for its quality.

I live for this kinda stuff - domestic interpretations of great Belgian styles. It's very complex, very well-balanced, and very drinkable. Sly fox indeed.

CrellMoset, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of Hoagie1973
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden amber color with a big foamy head that reduces to a froth that holds on. Moderate lacing.

Smells very yeasty and spicy, with clove and citrus.

Everything in the nose comes through in the taste and then some. Very spicy and sweet up front with a crisp finish that leaves the mouth slightly dry. Lots of clove and fruit in the flavor. Good level of maltiness and perfectly hopped.

Mouthfeel is a tad harsh and prickly. High carbonation levels even after a good pour. Nice warming alcohol effect usually only felt with a higher ABV.

Haven't had a beer from this brewery yet that wasn't delicious.

Hoagie1973, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of hustlesworth
4.93/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

time to get a pseudo-belgian fix once again

A- pours a hazy color of red ripe papaya flesh up to incandescent light as it is night time and that's all i have. sunlight would be the same except a bit duller, a deep variety orange and reddish orange and persimmon. spectacular ecru head, active and puffy with waves and curley-cues of lace everywhere, great retention, and an all around good look. not as dark as i expected, but a very nice saturated color.

S- tropical fruity yeast and toasty caramel malt. banana, mango, papaya, clementine, pineapple, cherry, apple, pear, you name it and i bet it's in here. a bit of lemony noble hop grassiness comes through but for me it's all about the yeast (again). great depth to these microbes, the have a spicy level as well with clove, allspice, and white pepper with a hint of nutmeg backed up by a pleasant sour cheese aroma that adds another level to this already complex nose.

T- taste is no disappointment either, very fruity at first before an abrupt change to very dry, then to a nice flavorful noble hop bitterness, as the toasty bready malt blends with the sharp grassiness. it's hard to decipher the fruit flavors, as the website states, they are elusive and only stick around for a mere 1/2 second before morphing into other flavors. the catch 22 of the thing is that i have to keep drinking to work out the tastes and i only have one bottle. hrm, shoula bought a 750ml. here goes: banana, orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, apple skin, plum skin, dried strawberry, dried fig, date, white raisin, dry white wine, but not exactly a chardonnay, maybe chablis? i don't know, fuck wine. sorry wine, i didn't mean that. funky yeast spiciness moves in zingy peppery fashion with a paradise grains zip and a clove zap. extraordinary toasty golden brown biscuit finish with just enough bitterness to really make it stand out.

MF- nearly full and totally juicy, all the fruity flavors impart a real natural fructose feeling but before any sugary feeling has a chance to take hold, they are squeegied away by a near perfect balance of dryness, toastiness, and acidity. carbonation is a little on the high end for me but that does little to effect the supreme feeling of this brew. liquid fruit cocktail with a splash of dry wine.

D- a few non-connoisseurs that i've talked to (not that i am one...YET) have expressed a sincere dislike for this beer and i couldn't agree less. as far as american belgians go, i put it at the top of the list, or very close to it, and i really feel as if i'm drinking something imported. it has that taste you only get from the real deal AND the boldness and audacity that you rarely find outside of america. a perfect pairing of old world tradition and new world ingenuity and a definite 'members only' spot in my fridge.

hustlesworth, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a chalice.

It looks great with an amber color, slight haze and small beige head. The aroma is candy sugar with some spice and a hint of lemon. The taste is crisp and clean with a mild sweetness and almost a tartness at the end. I thought it was very balanced and complex for an American brewed Belgian. It really coats your mouth and delivers a lingering and changing series of flavors.

This beer is smooth and easy to drink. And the relatively low alcohol (6.5%) for a Belgian means you can get in one or two more. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

GJ40, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of thepassingofdays
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a- dark amber, reddish tint. Poured a 750ml into a glass, not much head

s- spicy smell, complex and intriguing.

t- very complex taste, very enjoyable. Unlike the majority of beers I've had.

m- tingly, I like that about some beers, especially when they have high carbonation.

d- very good beer, I had it last night with BBQ and it was an excellent compliment.

Another winner from Ommegang!

thepassingofdays, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle in to a goblet. Hazy orange with off white head. Smells bready with some fruit in the background. Snappy sweet taste that is rather tart with some fruit in it. Carbonated mouthfeel that would do very well with food. Not a life changer, but a very nice beer.

aubuc1, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of bloberglawp
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Demcorhip sent me this for CanBIF 4, thanks friend!!

Alright, a medium amber ale, forthy head dissipates down to a lazy film, some lacing.

Aroma of belgian ale, yeasty, earthy and fuity-candy esters. Flavor very much like aroma, a delicious ale, very drinkable. Some plum, apricot and spice in the flavor.

Exellent! American breweries can be proud of thier belgian style ales!

bloberglawp, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is cloudy amber with a quickly fading bubbly white head.

Smell is light and fruity, honey and some oranges with just a hint of raisins.

Taste is mild, sugars and a bit of dark fruit balance it out nicely. Malts and yeast in the finish.

Mouthfeel is biting and sour, drying out quickly.

Good drinkability, nothing that can be sharked back, but not a sipper.

A very enjoyable Belgian, but I'm not sure if I will purchase again. Don't get me wrong, I would still recommend it.

paco1029384756, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy red/orange with solid, sticky, creamy head.

S - Some interesting fruit in this as well as the typical Belgian touch. Lychees, pineapples, apple, pear and orange come to mind. Also a sharp funky undertone.

T - Surprisingly dry, with a Belgian yeast and spiciness. A little tart up front, and a little bit of wheaty twang as well. Not especially fruity tasting though, which is also a surprise.

M - Finish is dry, as noted with a fairly light body and sharp carbonation.

D - A good beer. Nothing off, and the nose is really nice, but overall it fails to deliver.

allergictomacros, May 28, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$5.25 for a 16oz. serving at the Crabapple Taco Mac location. Served, oddly enough, with a gigantic orange slice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium copper body

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with unripened bananas, candied dried fruits, and coriander.

Taste: Toasty, bready maltiness with a restrained sweetness. Fruity and a bit flowery. Coriander and maybe even a cinnamon stick tossed in. Tempering hop bitterness. Pervasive, sour yeastiness throughout. Dry, yeasty finish.Banana lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, easy-drinking brew from Ommegang. Certainly worth a try. Oh, and the orange slice? It was delicious.

ChainGangGuy, May 27, 2008
Photo of oss68
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Frothy white head with nice lacing ,nice amber color ,slightly hazy ,good carbonation, good balance of fruit and spice. Very drinkable ; overall this is just about an exceptional ale. I love the overall balance of all the ingredients. Yet another quality brew from ommegang

oss68, May 26, 2008
Photo of nickfl
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Two and a half fingers of white head, supported by a clear, bright golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves a moderate coating of lace.

S - Herbal hops, tropical fruit, pepper and coriander.

T - Malty and a bit spicy/ phenolic. Herbal hops appear in the middle and contribute bitterness to the tangy, sour finish.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - I really recall this being a better beer than it is, but I have no reason to think that there is anything with this bottle. Nothing particularly bad about it, but it is just kind of dull and unremarkable, especially the flavor.

nickfl, May 25, 2008
Photo of joezak5
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; cloudy dark orange copper, almost fog-like bubbles up the middle. Little retention, good sipping lacing.

Smell: I ignored instructions and shook out every drop of yeast. My nose was rewarded with a beautifully nutty and peppery yeast bouquet. Some hoppy citrus is the background, but mainly a floral yeast aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very light and bubbly in the mouth, fruity and sweet.

Taste: Beautiful spicy yeast flavors with some chewy orange and lemon on the swallow. Very well balanced with alcohol well hidden. Spicy cloves on the finishing exhale.

Drinkability: Light, crisp and balanced. This one always leaves you wanting another. I bought as a single but well definitely pick up a 4 pack next time I'm out. This is exactly what I've wanted as something light; I'm stunned how good this is for the prices of $7 for a 4 pack.

joezak5, May 25, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-finger thick white head that takes forever to fade leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Wheat/yeast nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is fruity & yeasty, almost a clean finish. 750ml bottle $5.99 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

jdhilt, May 25, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a golden cloudy amber orange with a huge head in my tulip chalice that stayed and laced nicely

S - fruits such as apricots, peaches, cherries, and dark blueberries with a bready, yeasty, and slightly malty overtone

T - excellently tangy with a bitter and dry finish. Honey and malts crossed with apricot trail mix

M - medium/light body that sat well on the tongue and finished cleanly. Moderate carbonation

D - very drinkable, the slight touch of alcohol is covered by the rich aroma and taste

Overall - quite a decent Belgian style dubbel from Ommegang, although I've had better from them. Definitely worth a try

DmanGTR, May 19, 2008
Photo of mwilbur
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into Rare Vos glass. This one has been cellared 3-4 yrs.
A: Pours a cloudy burnt orange with high carbonation producing a thick foamy white head that seems to last forever. Leaves behind nice lacing on the glass.
S: Definitely Belgian in aroma. Nice malt, bready yeast, dried fruit, candy sugar, and spice.
T: Nicely follows the smell, but not quite as good. Complex spice, malt, bready yeast, and fried fruit notes.
M: Smooth and creamy. Taste lingers nicely on the tongue.
D: Very, very drinkable. Not quite a top echelon beer, but very close. Definitely one I come back to time and again and one I would recommend anyone try. Shows off what a tremendous brewery Ommegang is.

mwilbur, May 18, 2008
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,845 ratings.