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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,874 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,874
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 125
Gots: 281 | 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: 2,874 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joekfsu
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours an dense orange/amber with a mega off-white head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of bread and fruit. Initial taste of fruit and spice. Flavor dries out at the backend and is kinda yeasty. Light to medium body, light carbonation, limited lacing, and light on alcohol. Overall, on par with Ommegang offerings, not particularly special.

Photo of BigJTrucker
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this into a wine glass. Pours a clear amber color, with a thin white head that settles very slowly. Lots of carbonation bubbles. Smell has a faintly fruity aroma, maybe a bit of molasses or brown sugar. Taste has a slight sweet flavor, with some spices, clove, very faint anise. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin with a slight bit of effervesence. Flavor is nice and abv is moderate, making this a easily drinkable brew.

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This was the first Ommegang Brewery beer I have tried (but I have a few more in storage - Three Philosophers, Ommegaddon)

I poured my 750 mL Rare Vos into a Brassiere Des Roches trappist ale glass. The first thing I notice is the carbonation reminescent of a fruit beer. I was very impressed by the aroma. The aroma confirms my first thoughts and I am thinking fruit all the way. I can smell peach, apple, and light citrus.

I take my first taste and it is a little too carbonated. I think this makes it feel a little light in the mouth, but at 6.5% ABV that is to be expected. I guess I wanted more mouthfeel from such a great smelling beer. Mouthfeel aside the flavor is crisp clean and more attenuated than I had expected. I also don't taste the fruit flavor light I thought I might. Awe, a yeast induced trick!

The finish is a little short and a light bitter hop spiciness can be detected. I think this beer would be a perfect, I just mowed the lawn and would like a quality beer to cool off, beer. I would not walk into this one expected huge flavor or even memorable characteristics. I am expecting more from the other Ommegang beers, but overall Rare Vos is not too bad.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml "Bottled at the Brewery in Cooperstown" bottle into a stemless wine glass.

A--Medium, maybe finger and a half cream-colored and creamily consisted head with a good looking dark caramel/coppery body. No lacing and the head didn't hold much but skim after a couple minutes, but overall an inviting pour.

S--Mostly brown bread and some sharp spiciness (coriander and clove), with an elusive sweetness that's almost like strawberry syrup--like the strawberry topping they put on ice cream sundaes, believe it or not.

T--This is a tricky beer, and lives up to its moniker. Starts malty and fooled me into thinking it was an Octoberfest, either because of the time of year I'm drinking it or because I've been sampling more than one of the style or because I'm a dope, only to smack me around almost immediately into a wash of Belgian spices, as if to say, Wake up, dummy, this ain't Munich. Nice clove and coriander persists in the middle alongside the yeast and finishes fairly clean with hints of celery seed and a touch of floral hops. But again, there's that dance of a strand of sweetness with the entire spectrum that ties the whole thing together as it weaves in and out of each phase, that's a combination between a candied strawberry flavor and a more musty, overripe bruised pear. Works really well to intrigue and keep me sipping.

M--More carbonation than I'd like (cork pretty much flew out of the bottle once I uncaged it) that doesn't serve the beer well as it warms, but other than that I have no complaints.

D--At 6.5 this is a great in-between beer, in the sense that it's full-flavored without knocking you flat on your ass like a George Foreman haymaker (cf. Brooklyn Local 1, which I reviewed yesterday and felt woozy after finishing a bottle of). Much like the middle bowl of porridge--a beer for a medium-sized bear, unless you feel like being Goldilocks. Hey, man, whatever yer into--it's none of my business.

Not my favorite Ommegang, though I haven't tried them all, but that ain't saying much, because I consistently prefer their output head and shoulders over almost any other American brewery.

Photo of flexabull
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle popped open more explosively than any bottle I have ever opened. Even more so than a bottle of champagne. As soon as the cage was loose enough, POP! The cork and cage flew across my kitchen.

Nobody was injured.

Anyways, pours a nice bright and cloudy amber color with a sizable cream colored head.

Aromas are of apples, a bit cider like, dusty, a touch of vinegar, yeasty, and with some various spices. All in all, the smell is pretty light.

Taste is dry, kind of fruity, a bit creamy, with some sourness and spices. Mostly this tastes of soured apples. The flavors are complex, but subtle and kind of hard to pick out to me. They are there, but they aren't big and brash. Finish is a bit mineral like, a bit bitter, and crisp from the high carbonation.

Mouthfeel is nice. Beer fells full and well rounded, with a nice carbonation level.

Drinkability is good. This is a solid Belgian Ale. Not a real powerhouse of flavors. But that fits well here. This is a nice, subtle and tasty easy drinking beer. I wouldn't rush out to buy this again, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down.

Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour is pale amber; the liquid a bit hazy. The large head is airy, firm and off-white.

The smell is yeasty and spicy with some bitterness, sweet notes of bread and dried apples. It is quite light.

The taste is sweet with lots of brown sugar. I noticed notes of nuts and spices (cloves?) with some tart hints. Some perfumed notes of fruits and candy. The aftertaste is short with sweetness and quite a lot of malt. The finish is mildly sour.

The carbonation is medium strong; lots of fresh large bubbles. The liquid is smooth.

Not a bad beer, but it gets a bit monotonous in the long run.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours an opaque amber, possibly got some yeast there in the pour, medium white head, solid retention.

S: Bread, Belgian yeast, spice, pretty much what I expected.

T: Tasty dark bread mixing with dark fruit esters starts out the drink. Strong clovey spice bluntly intervenes, with a light acidity in the end.

M: Too much carbonation at first, but dies down with a gentle swirl, as the beer warms up the acidity comes out more, overall light/medium body.

D: This is a tasty dark Belgian-style beer and certainly one of the cheapest 750s you're going to see in the store, that alone demands a repurchase at some point. Good beer.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark amber/burnt copper hue with a modest, slightly off-orange colored froth that descends to a collar. No lacing.

S - Roasted nuts, hint of molasses and some cinamon.

T/M - Very nice. Tea, leather, touch of mild sweetness with more carbonation than I expected but does a nice job supporting the airy creaminess; long finish.

D - Very refreshing and the ABV is in check so this gets high marks in my book. This is a food friendly, tasty brown ale.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up a while back. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice

A: Gorgeous amber with a beautiful off-white head. Great retention, gorgeous carbonation.

S: Fruity sweetness with a hint of peaches and plums.Doughy and yeasty. Hint of sugary sweetness. Mild spice with white pepper. Delicious

T: Starts off with a complex spice bouquet with cinnamon, white pepper, and a strong clove note before a hint of sweetness comes through with some mild fruit. Finishes dry and mildly spicy

M: Light without being watery, enough carbonation to feel soft and not fizzy, drying and spicy on the finish in a very nuanced way - perfect

D: Can't believe I've waited so long to try this beer. I'm definitely grabbing more and soon

Photo of jisom123
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Sly fox is worth the money. Deep Amber color. Not the Best Ommegang offering, but still very good. Good head that dissipates after 2 minutes. Goes down smooth. Slightly more carbonated than I expected.
Cork in the top, like all Ommegang beers.
Clean and fresh enough to drink more than one in a sitting if you are up for it.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a thick creme head. Doughy, inky, yeasty nose. Flavor is smooth. High amounts of dough. Lots of it. Minor spicy. More minor funk. Some citrus fruits are there too. It's smooth and well done. Feel has a biting carbonation and the liquid is good. Very easy to drink. A good Belgian style ale.

Photo of diamondc
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the first time a cork popped out of my grip. Usually I'm really careful about that.

The pour was fantastic .. the head was unusually alive with peaks and valleys of foam. I'm really impressed. Looked like the inside of sourdough bread.

The smell was very hefeweizen-like. Banana, cloves, a big orange aroma. Some oatmeal cookies and vanilla scents come out when warmed up.

The taste was very much like a fruity English ESB ale. Very big on banana & cloves mixed with some mangos. The spicey coriander comes out at the end with a mild bitterness to round things off. Unibroue's Maudite comes to mind.

The 'mouthfeel' is about the only thing that's lacking in this beer. I felt the flavors did not linger that long on my tongue. The bitterness was maybe too drying.

This beer went great with some cold pizza. Nothing extradonary, but a very quaffable & affordable Belgian style brew.

Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a orangish, ruby tinted body with minimal head but left it there because of good carbonation. A simplistic but good, strong swwet malt base smell with some citric notes, mostly orange peel, and some spices (clove). Smooth and medium-bodied, this beer has a crisp fruit taste that is spicy, yet also contains a good amount of sweetness to it and was slighty chewey/doughey. A nutty, dry backbite complements the beer as it goes down and this is a nice Belgian that I could relax with all day while watching college football (which I am doing now).

Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a nice big foamy white head. Head falls to small head that stays throughout glass with nice but minimal lacing.

Definite fruit in the nose with a spicy sweetness to it.

Sweet fruit taste. Subtle alcohol and nice maltiness to it.

Light to medium in the mouth.

East drinking beer, much enjoyed.

Photo of ectomorph
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1PT9.4FL OZ bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Clear deep amber in color, typical huge Belgian head that slowly clumps.

S - Mellow fruit (figs/raisins) and spice with a hint of alcohol warmth.

T - Dry fruit and spice is balanced with the dry finish. Alcohol while not overly high is completely masked.

M - Not quite the full body I was hoping for but otherwise nice.

D - Fairly high. A nice one to bring to dinner with friends and family.

Photo of changeup45
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very easy drinking beer. Pours a light amber color with a generous off-white head and a bit of lacing. It really does have a great look to it. Aroma was faint but pleasant, subtle hops, malts with a sweet spiciness to it. There's not a ton of flavor but it's good for the summer. Somewhat spicy, with floral notes, sugar, a mild bitter hop bite and some yeast. Very smooth and a pretty good mix of flavors.

Photo of bobsy
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber body with a rapidly diminishing off-white head. A small cap is replenished by a steady stream of bubbles. Grainy, sweet fruity aroma. Fruity, spicy yeast is clearly present in the flavour, along with some bready malts. Seemed quite aggressively carbonated, and along with the yeast profile, it reminded me somewhat of Unibroue.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clingy tan head with delicate bubbles. Great retention and good lacing. Orange or amber color like a Midwest sunset. Aroma of sweets fruits and rich soil. Great flavors displaying much depth like an aged wine. Tropical fruits and exotic spices. Cloves, mango, white pepper, fermented grapes. Light carbonation, dry finish with a crisp nip. Velvety smooth and the sweet character does not cloy the intriguing flavors. Clearly a quality brew.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap in Cooperstown, NY moments before visiting Brewery Ommegang.

The beer came in the specific Rare Vos glass that Brewery Ommegang sells. It came with a thin but substantial head. Color was bright and deep amber with loads or red highlights. Slight Haze with some visible carbonation. Very Nice looking beer. Little lacing remained behind.

There was a light malt aroma along with some sweet fruitiness.
Aroma bit grainy as well

Taste was much lighter than I had thought.

Very interesting flavor.
I can taste the caramel malt of amber, but its all behind the Belgian yeast flavor. Slight white pepper, slight coriander. Hop bitterness is subtle at the end and lingers slightly. I do get a bread like sensation which plays nicely with the hop linger. Some real fruitiness here, but not really sweet at all.

Mouth feel was light to medium and I found this to be extremely drinkable.

I really enjoyed this beer.

(Did have another later with dinner.)

Photo of boralyl
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours one finger of frothy head that dissipates quickly with no noticeable lacing. It has a clear amber appearance with lots of carbonation bubbles throughout.

S - A fruity smell, can make out apricots, banana and some toasted malts.

M - A lighter bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. Has a smoother feeling to it.

T - The taste opens up with a mix of fruits including banana and lemon. It closes with a clove spiciness similar to a hefeweizen that balances the fruit flavors.

A good attempt by an American brewery at a Belgian style. They succeed very well in re-creating the style, I'd reccomend it.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tyler's in Durham:

Draft arrives in its own snazzy gold-rimmed tumbler, sporting a clear amber body with fine-bubbled rivulets of active carbonation. A solid cap of ivory foam retains at a creamy sheet, leaving a bit of coarse, webby lacing (briefly) on the glass.

Smell is sweet and malty with a fruity note.

Taste is sweet and pale-malty with plenty of yeast and spiciness. A tangy, juicy note rises as the drink warms a bit, along with a silky touch of banana.

Medium in body and slick with fine, subtle carbonation that works very well to lighten and freshen Rare Vos. Superb drinkability.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with reddish hues. An impressive two inch head forms on the pour and manages to stick around for awhile. Smell is yeasty, bready and a bit musty. Taste is more of they yeasty and bready experience, but there's a slight metallic flavor as well. Not sure where that is coming from. Very highly carbonated. I'll let this one sit for awhile and warm up, hopefully the carbonation will die down a bit. Decent beer, but not overly complex by any means.

Photo of kinger
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came across as a nice example of a Belgium Amber, even though I'm relatively new to the style this is a solid beer. Pour was an intense copper with abundant head and lacing, both of which lasted for the entire experience. Constant carbonation is visible. The aroma came across similar to other Belgian styles that I have had, in fact it smelled similar to a saison. I believe it is the yeast that produces this unique aroma and flavor. Somewhat spicy and hoppy, there was a definite presence of sweet malts, perhaps a touch of caramel. The flavor is good although a bit weak in my opinion when compared to the aroma. Malty with nice overtones of spices and fruits, there is a well deserved hop finish in the flavor that is especially nice. Tasty and complex a truly enjoyable beer.

Photo of Slynger
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rare Vos pours a hazy deep sunny-orange color with an ecru colored, big, bursting lid of Belgianesque fluffy fineness.

Nose is sweetly and tartly fruity with red apples and apricots, solidly yeasty with clove spiciness.

Medium bodied and super soft with lots of pillowy Belgian style carb. Tastes like it smells, little bit sweet and pleasantly tart fruits of above with lots of yeast, some light clove spiciness, and light earthy bitterness.

This is a damn good beer that I am downing with supreme please. Quite tasty, though not super complex, but the carbonation/feel rivals Belgian productions.

Photo of Stonebreaker
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a weizen like head. Sticks around.

Smell: That familiar Belgian aroma, only a little faint.

Taste: My first beer of the style but a definite let down, I don't think I like the Ommegang abbey ale or this one as much as other Belgians because they just aren't sweet enough for my taste. The flavor is malts and Belgian yeast produced esters, lightly sweet, more bitter than I would expect. Less flavorful than the Belgian Strong Dark ale, to be expected I suppose.

Mouthfeel: OK

Drinkability: Had the dunkelweizen at Piece brewpub again last night. That was far superior to this one, on the drinkability scale. Good, but I'd take the Hennepin over this one any day.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,874 ratings.