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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,569 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,569
Reviews: 1,073
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 104
Gots: 174 | 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: 2,569 | Reviews: 1,073 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - cellared for roughly a year. Carefully poured from a long-standing, chilled bottle it's a perfectly clear orange amber beneath a big-bubbled head of white foam that holds splendidly and leaves some thin splatters of lace about the glass. The nose is lightly fruity (apricot, lemon rind, orange), a touch cork-like or musty, and subtly spicy. In the mouth it's light-medium bodied and zesty on the tongue due to its effervescent carbonation. The flavor is exactly as the nose suggets it might be with a bit more sweet malt, a touch more fruit, a sprinkling of delicate floral hops, and alot of peppery spice! It's well-balanced, but it relies more on its thin maltiness and peppery yeast to do that than it does hop bitterness. It finishes dry and refreshing with a quick passing of fruitiness followed by some lingering chalky dryness. The yeast pour brings out a little more character and lends the body a touch of girth; and I prefer it that way. Additionally, I don't feel that this beer really gains anything from cellaring other than to drop some of the yeast out of suspension (a rough, fresh bottle can be a bit much). Overall, as a Belgian-style pale ale, this is right on the mark! Love it or leave it!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2005 01:29:42 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. Hazy apricot color with a large white head. The aroma is yeasty. There is also fruit, mainly oranges and strawberries, in the nose. Very spicy smelling. The flavor starts out sweet and fruity. This is clearly a bottled conditioned beer. I find the finish too bitter. It's not bitter like hops, but more like orange peels. While this detracts from the flavor a bit, the flavor is still very nice. A nice beer from Ommegang, but not their best.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 02:21:31 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of mgdeth


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Very hazy, amber colored. Good head. Soem alce.

Smell - Fuity esters. Caramel. A whole bunch of other spices. Seriously, there is a lot going on in the aroma of this beer.

Taste - I can't say I like the taste as well as the smell. Medicinal comes to mind, but it held up with a background of malt. The taste is also tangy, with a good dose of orange/citrus as the beer warms. Hops flavor comes through, particularly mid mouth and a bit in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Good, thick body. Medium high or high carbonation. Belgian style all the way.

Drinkability - This beer is good, but still is not really easy to drink. The complexities of the smell and taste demand a good measure of attention from the drinker. I think this is not a good beer for those new to craft beer. I also imagine that it is possible to find the flavors in this beer disagreeable.

Comments - Let this beer warm up a few minutes, at least, before drinking it. The flavor and smell don't seem to match up for some reason, but the beer is still enjoyable. This beer is pretty complex. I'd say it is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2005 04:21:43 | More by mgdeth
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Third time trying to type this review without my computer crashing. Damn technology.

Pours a rich and shiny amber in color with a thick head and lots of layered lace. Aroma is all lemon, sugars and spices. Mouthfeel is very light and pleasant. Went well with my salmon, lemon, taragon and pepper grilling concoction. Very drinkable, I had to pace myself or I was gonna finish before I was done eating. Flavor is at first sweet malts and sugars, but balanced nicely with smoothj hops and the yeast provides great antecedent flavors to the beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2005 00:43:52 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of longarm


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass with a fluffy, light colored head. Dissipates slowly into a medium tinted amber roiling from the bottom of the glass. The definition of lacing in the dictionary should have a picture of this. The rocky, pock-marked surface that grabs sides of the glass is a fantastic sight.

Hints of spice and a little citrus in the nose. After warming I catch a hint of some other fruit that's quite difficult to identify. Combine this with fresh, bready tones leaves me thinking of something close to banana-bread with figs. A little alcohol is perceptible, but not overwhelming.

Flavor is a combination of orange and other unidentifiable (to me) fruits, but fewer spices than I expected given what I noticed aromatically. It's quite dry with a smooth refined finish, attributes that affect it both positively and negatively. It's remarkably smooth and very easy to drink, but not as complex as I would prefer. Because of this and it how it finely and crisply coats, it has great mouthfeel. Flavor could be a little more complex but hey it certainly tastes very good.

Very nice and easily quaffed brew. This is a very good beer and hard to identify any major flaws.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2005 21:43:07 | More by longarm
Photo of Gusler


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after its release from the 750ml cork and wired brown bottle sets in the glass a luminous copper color with a portly creamy light tan head that after decomposing leaves a thick and clinging sheet of lace upon the glass. Nose is nicely malted with light hints of spice and plums. The start is lightly sweet and the grain profile adequate, the top is moderate in feel. Finishing is punishing in its acidity, the hop delightful in their spicy bite, very dry after taste that lingers long, a good beer, but I sample only rarely.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 20:46:26 | More by Gusler
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with a huge white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of floral malt, sweet hops with some subtle spices and a touch of Belgian-type yeast. Taste is a nice mix between some floral sweet malt and discreet yeast with some spices. Body is just above average but carbonation is a bit low for a Belgian Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 14:14:50 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Gaisgeil


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really what I was expecting, or looking for...

Pours a cloudy amber/brown with a thick and fluffy tan head with excellent retention. Nose is sort of "clean" but thick in alcohol defying it's relatively low ABV. Taste follows the nose and more, alcohol overly present, also a nutty quality with a slight hop bitterness. Very crisp in character however. I was expecting a bit more depth to be honest, this brew is not quite that. Mouthfeel was good, medium bodied with a nice bit of carbonation.

Nothing overly impressive in this one I don't think. Not a bad offering by any means, but not something I'll be looking for again.


Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 07:39:31 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy amber, with an explosive white head that dominates the pour. The foam lingers long, lacing the glass, along with leaving a moustache with every sip.

The aroma seems to struggle to get through the intimidating head. There is a dryness there, perhaps some orange and spice notes, and an allusion perhaps to caramel, but it struggles to coalesce and make identification anything more than tentative.

The flavor, however, is redeeeming, leading with a an earthy malt sweetness of currants and sloe fruit, along with a drier orange and coriander duet. The yeast lends a tangy sourness to companion caramel and peppery notes. The finish is crisp and clean, and quite dry due to the gradual and somewhat surprising appearance of alcohol at the end.

Medium bodied, it feels lively on the palate, and the lingering dryness of the vanished fruit sweetness is a nice memory.

Just another of a long line of solid, very good beers from Brewery Ommegang. While not my favorite, perhaps, the sweet/sour combination makes the beer interesting and drinkable. The earthy notes and spicy character make it refreshing, and while not amazing, the final impression was one of satisfaction and contentment. I don;t know how much more you can ask for than that.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 15:09:49 | More by Foxman
Photo of ggroller


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber with a simple yet eye applealing label. Caged & corked.

Cloudy amber, copper colored beer with a large, fluffy white head. This one looks great in the glass.

Malty, fruity nose with a chewy peach like mouthfeel. This one gets a little more earthy and bready as it warms.

This is a great beer. Deceivingly easy to drink as the alchohol stays disguised in the tastiness of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 23:09:30 | More by ggroller
Photo of connecticutpoet


3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a hazy amber-orange beer with a three finger head. Looked OK, a little darker than I expected.

The aroma was spicy, with caramel and raisin notes, and a little sourness.

The taste was a little sour, followed by malt with a touch of sweetness, then some raisins and spiciness, and a glow of alcohol in the finish. Interesting, but it didn't blow me away.

Mouthfeel wasn't that impressive, only a little better than average... drinkability wasn't that great. Overall, I thought it was OK, but I wouldn't have another one on my own.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 04:05:58 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Andreji


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Done with a respiratory physiology exam. Following my post-exam rituals, I pop open the rare vos 75cl I've kept for 6 months in my closet. previously refrigerated for an hr or so anyway.

The significant majority of the pour goes on the head. Thick and dominantly white, perhaps a it off. much lacing is left behind and the retention is above average, but still goes down rapidly to allow drinking. Bellow, a fizzy (ok, it's a duvel tulip. it fizzes up with freakin water) orange-to-red clearly translucid body.

The smell is stingy at first. due to a large majority concentrated in some citrus-fruityness. some oranges, perhaps a bit more tangy than that. the alcohol is clearly felt within. sweet and malty in a lower amount.

The taste was impressively moderate- in contrast with what I was expecting. rather sweet and fruity at first- just enough for you to wiggle it around for a bit, before gradually going from sweet to sour, from sour to bitter. smooth transition, and not overly-sweet, sour or bitter. rather soft. In the end, a bit wheaty and dry, sort of a nice aftertaste above the bitterness. that reminds me a bit of Club Colombia, a rather decent lager. it's a nice aftertaste, doubtless.

The mouthfeel i'd say is soothing. this is no large-contrast beer. the taste range goes across smoothly and from a soft sweet to a soft bitter. Not too carbonated, just right to accompany the transition, smoothen it out even further. the alcohol to the mouth is clearly hidden, as opposed to the nose. It isn't thick, rather medium bodied, but that I'd guessed from the pour itself.

The drinkability- considering the easygoing flavours and mouthfeel, I rank quite high. the only limitation is that the alcohol goes unnoticed while drinking it but not in the body. that's why I don't give it a 5 there.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2005 16:54:32 | More by Andreji
Photo of unklesyd


3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was pretty excited about trying this one out: a first for me by this brewery, and a first forray into the style after trying trippels, dubbels, wits and saisons.

When I cracked the 12 oz. bottle, there was a foam over, so I grabbed the gobblet quickly and poured as regular. The head was pretty thin, less than a finger and faded quickly. Thick dark amber color.

The smell was so dry it was almost nonexistent. Not until there was only about 4 oz. left in the glass did I get a sense of some dry fruitiness (grapes).

The taste was metalic and a little winey, like a malted cab sauv. Tasted alcoholic, even at relatively low ABV. Not really a whole lot going on besides.

Fairly astringent and dry mouthfeel.

At the end of the glass, I didn't want another one and am hoping that I won't be quite so disappointed with the bottle of Ommegang that I've had hanging around.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2005 02:54:20 | More by unklesyd
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I fell victim to improper temperature and improper glassware. The beauty of a bottle of beer that you get more than one "beer" out of is that it gives you time to adjust.

Poured deep amber almost orange. Head was relentless, even more so with the initial inadequacies of proper consumption on my part. Smell of alcohol, malt and vegetables. As the beer warmed these characteristics increased.

Again, as the beer warmed the flavors exploded. I mentioned vegetables; I couldn't get carrots out of my head. Maybe it's just the earthiness of the tones that is making me think that.

Proper temperature and proper glassware are vital for this beer. A very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 00:56:07 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of steinlifter


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy copper, big frothy head, that left puffs of lacing all the way down, smell was of raisins and fruit, taste was light fruity and tangy, mouthfeel is light and slightly tart, and highly carbonated, drinkability is fantastic, just another fine product from Ommegang. I will revisit this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 00:37:42 | More by steinlifter
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy medium coper color with a great 2 finger head and equally nice lace. Smells of sweet dried fruit (cherries, raisins, plums) with a bit of spicyness mixed in. Taste is similar to smells but with an almost immediate hop spicyness, not overpowering but just enough. Finishes with a definate alcohol taste. Also noted some caramel and even a slight roastiness. A nice Belgiun Pale and a deal at $5.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2005 01:19:41 | More by sabrills70
Photo of beertastegood


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heard some good things about this beer, so I figured I would pick up a 750. Pours out of the bottle a slightly hazy amber color with a big white fluffy head. Smells of raisins, plums, bananas and caramel. Very spicy aroma in there as well. Tastes like dark plums, raisins, with pepper-like overtones. Very malty sweet and tasty, like a good Belgian should be. Finishes very clean and slightly sweet; like you have just eaten some very ripe dark fruit. Medium bodied, slightly above average carbonation - good mouthfeel. Drinkability is about medium.

I am surprised by the fact that this brewery is American. I could have sworn this beer came straight from Belgium. An excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 03:13:11 | More by beertastegood
Photo of ypsifly


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz with no dates, but lots of information about the brew, brewery, and stuff to do in Cooperstown.

Light brown amber with a BIG white rocky head that lasted for a long time before falling to a 1cm layer foam that never left. Nice lacing as this one goes down.

Has that characteristic belgian yeast smell, fruity but not the dark alcohol soaked fruits. There's some malt in the background and the aroma of dry hops.

The tasting starts out good with the fruity yeasts making up most of it, but there is this odd metallic something that is out of place here. Doesn't ruin it overall, but it does upset the balance. Other than that this is a damn tasty brew.

Nice full, but not too full mouthfeel. There's lots of carb but it doesn't numb the tongue. Despite one flaw, this is a most drinkable beer. The 6.5abv helps that too.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 18:24:15 | More by ypsifly
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-orange and hazy. Almost glowing. Creamy thin head.
Smelled majorly of honey and cloves. Some fresh apples as well.
First taste provided a spicy, tongue-stinging that led to a mildly bitter finish. Taste is chock full o' Belgian funkiness. If you gulp enough air with a swig, it tastes like an attic or basement. Is that good? Not so sure. Some metal in there as well. Sometimes sour, sometimes tangy. No pronounced flavors though. Very subtle in its approach. Mouth is thick with blankets of miniscule bubbles. Definitely an easy drink. Tasty as well.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2005 01:35:34 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally tasted at the brewery, and mightily appreciated. This review however is from the little 12 oz'er.

It's a deep orangey brown hue, looks a bit like Minwax cherry wood stain, if Minwax had a nice big off-white frothy head that faded into clingy lace when you poured it into a Hoegaarden Speciale snifter.
The nose is citrus and vanilla, lots of vanilla, then oranges and yeasty, earthy, malts, then a hint of caramel, but that may be vanilla redux.
There's the faintest shade of bitterness at first, followed by round, biscuity malt. A mild hop thing appears and it finishes with a tang, slightly sweetish, but tangy.
There's a nice creamy mouthfeel, makes it very easy to drink, a pleasure.
What a nice touch of Belgium here in the states, and only $2 a bottle. If you're ever in Cooperstown, take the tour of the brewery. It's fascinating and refereshing...

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2005 02:06:24 | More by horndecker
Photo of travolta


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Apple cide in color, very hazy. Head retention is minimal, so is formation and lacing. I will not judge against this, as i am using the wrong glass and i am sure it is my fault.

Nose: A little citrus and raisin in the beginning. A little yeasty, a bit of a Belgian nose to it. a tiny bit of vanilla and sweet crackers.

Taste: Nice and fruity at first. Not tropical, but everyday fruits, like banana and strawberry. The Belgian-style water taste is evident. A little bitter, but only slightly and in the back of the taste. Some raisin and crackers, yeasty, a little crisp at the end.

Notes: I am very impressed. This is the most non-American, American brewery I have found. Nice to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2005 01:53:12 | More by travolta
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 12 oz bottle opens with a pop so loud it made the dog jump! It pours a amber/copper color topped by a magnificent, but brief head of bone white fluff. Amoebas of lace are left as a reminder. A veil remains throughtout.

Classic Belgian aromas of grass, spicy yeast, pear, melon, and light, bready, citrus pull me in. Cherries, fruitcake, and banana are along for the ride.

This ale first reveals itself as slightly sour with a bitter tinge. It soon fades into a plethora of grassy and herbal tones shadowed by some pear, melon, and grapey mustiness. The finish is cedary dry and quite thirst quenching.

Rather light bodied, with ample, cascading carbonation. Smooth and almost creamy on the palate. Overall, a tasty example of the style, brewed here in the states.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 00:00:09 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Shultzerdugen


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured light amber with a large off white rocky head. Cascading bubbles come up from the bottom.

Earthy at first in the nose, then esters reminding me of green apple. Spiciness and clove, alcohol and hay.

Big and dry taste, nice malts paired with citric hops. Vinous at times, a creamy vanilla taste was coming out at the end. Dry finish made the drinkability factor high.

Another great beer from Ommegang, the true budget beer afficianado's choice at only $3.99 a bottle where I bought it. That's value.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 17:11:57 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of Padron4KM


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dusty orange with big but short lived head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is fruit (melon) and purfume A little grassy.
Flavor is fruity, pear, and a little spice. Finish is short, crisp and dry. Nice refreshing beer.
Paired well with my new favorite cheese, Rembrant aged gouda.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 06:02:19 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Discovered I was one of a kind with this one on 10/15/2004. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

¾-inch initial cream head, very thick with sticking lace. Light gold hue with a peach skin tint and some active haze. Tart grapefruit nose, with a wet straw yeastiness following up. Lemony tartness, coriander, almost an odd rubbery flavor and a trailing hop bite that cleanses the palate. Tasty, medium to light body that doesn’t force itself on you, but rather gently makes its presence known.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 22:02:31 | More by Truh
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,569 ratings.