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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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2,967 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,967
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 143
Gots: 354 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,967 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Matty1918
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm always up for trying new beers at the local pkg store. It was marked 5.99 so I said what the hell.

Pours a deep amber with a thumb size white head.

The first smell is of fruit possibly apples an then a mild spice aroma.

A good tasting ale, you definetly taste the hops and fruit with a mild spice.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a fluffy head that is well maintained throughout the entire beer. Nice lacing but I would like more. Has a hazy orange color.

Smells of yeasty spices, earthy/citric hops, fruits and biscuits.

Tastes of spices, yeasty, dry floral hops and fruity. Good dry finish, very drinkable.

Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang is rapidly becoming one of my favorite American breweries. I tried the Hennepin not long ago and was blown away. The Rare Vos was impressive as well.

This beer has a cloudy, almost orange appearance when poured into a tulip glass. There was maybe a quarter inch of head.

The smell was fruity, as Belgian or Belgian-style beers tend to be. It was a nice, low key bouquet.

The taste was very sneaky. You get a bit of apples and some sugar without it taking over the beer. This was excellent.

The mouthfeel was highly carbonated, giving a pop to the proceedings.

This is a highly drinkable beer. Not too heavy or light. Very tangy and has a lot of personality.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a cloudy nectarine color with a light and loose white head and a thin, clean blanket of lacing.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, fresh apples, sugar candy, and ripe fruits.

The taste is more subtle than I expected. The yeast and the fruit come thru but on the weaker side.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, slightly drying with a real zing of carbonation.

I think I'll have to pick up another bottle and try again. This one hit me on the subtle side and that surprised me.

Photo of illidurit
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy gold-amber color with a sticky white head. Nice Belgian lacing.

Smell is earthy and grassy with yeasty dough, ripe fruit, and spices.

Malty and spicy taste, with hints of apple, candi sugar, and grass.

Quite dry and well-carbonated. Easy to drink.

Photo of Patrick999
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I never tried Rare Vos. I thought it was going to be a watered down version of Ommegang's regular Abbey Ale. How wrong I was.

A - Into a chalice, pours not so much "dark" as a gold-tinged amber. Head and lacing are not incredible, but then again I never get much retention with this glass.

S - Not overly distinct with any one aroma, this still smells very good. Yeasty coconut-orange, I'd say, if I had to boil it down. Smells really fresh and very appealing.

T - Vinous, yeasty and phenolic, with a hint of sweetness and a little hoppy twang in the finish. Dry.

M - This has that light and dry feel I always associate with a Trappist beer. Can't imagine it getting much better.

D - Though it's 6.5% and feels like a cloud, it still stakes out a pretty substantial claim in the gut, not a lightweight beer by any means. More than enough complexity to keep you interested. I'm pairing this with smoked steelhead trout, and am enjoying the hell out of it.

As with all Ommegang beers, this is a beer I'll be buying more of.

Photo of dsa7783
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recently tried Ommegang's Abbey Ale, and really liked it... this one is probably just as good if not better... considered a Belgian Dark Ale, this porus a light-copper, hazy color with a decent head... Copped singly from Total Wine and More in Union, this is an outstanding brew... typical Belgian Ale flavors with yeasty alcohol and sweet, fruity flavors present... taste complements the aroma, with a sharp, sweet, fruity flavor that goes down crisp, clean and smooth... great aftertaste and good mouthfeel with an incredibly easy drinkability... Nice blend of fruit and sugar present in the taste, and although that typical Belgian Ale flavor is present, the fruity-sweet characteristic of the brew is not at all overwhelming... Excellent beer... Definitely recommended...

Photo of kwakwhore
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orange pour from a 12 ounce bottle. Ample white head leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.
Characteristic Belgian yeast in the aroma, some malt.
Flavor is rich and malty(Belgian style Marzen?) with a large amount of biscuit malt, followed by again a good bit of spicy yeast along with some tealike hop flavors.
Crisp and refreshing mouthfeel with a nice amount of carbonation.
One of the most drinkable Belgian style beers I've had. I could make an evening out of this beer. A pleasure to drink.

Photo of bigeyedfish
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml corked/caged bottle poured into a Rare Vos tumbler. No freshness date on the bottle.

A finger and a half to two fingers of white head on top of a pretty nice orange body. Half the head dissipates quickly, leaving a trail of thick, pilowly lace, while the other half just kind of settles into a finger of nice head. A darn good looking beer.

The first aroma is hops; there is some wood on the nose as result, as well as some along with some light pine needle-components. A pretty unassuming nose, quite subtle, but pleasing none the less.

Wow, an amazing taste. The hops that smelled like they would be there are no where to be found. The predominant flavor is white chocolate. It's creamy, sweet, absolutely no hint of hops at all. If you let me smell the beer, and then put this beer, along with 4/5 other IPA's/Amber's in unmarked cups and asked me to pick the beer out, using aroma as the only clue, there's no way I would have guessed that that smell leads to THIS taste. There's some really just amazing white chocolate, along with some real balanced, sweet honey. There are some hops that fade in and out, but the white chocolate and honey are the dominant flavors. The finish is a lingering pine needle, the only trace of the nose in the taste, with some equally lingering Belgian yeast thrown in for good measure. Wow. What a fantastic beer.

The mouthfeel leave some things to be desire. The duration of the finish is minimal, and there is not a lot of grip on the palate. The sipping of the beer leaves an amazingly dense, rich, coating on the palate, but like the finish, it fades quite quickly. Still, the coating is good enough.

This is a beer that at 6.5% is almost sessionable and with the way it tastes, it's a good thing the alcohol is so low. This is a beer that you want to drink. A lot. It's an absolutely out-of-this-world-smooth amber- more american brewers need to make amber's like this. It's the polar opposite of the Hopback Amber/Nugget Nectar-school of amber brewing, and is put together nicely enough that it's merits can be thrown up against Brewery Ommegang's other offerings; not an easy accomplishment when you are going against Three Philosopher's and Ommegang Abbey Ale, but this beer for a lot of people will eclipse the aforementioned beers. This is a beer that, if it were more widely distributed, could be like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, occupying the growing category of gateway beers that bring the drinker from generic American Macro Lagers to Craft Brewed beers. A truly inspired effort by Ommegang and one that is sure to be a staple of my beer fridge for years to come.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the champagne-style bottle, this was a good looking beer-cloudy amber with a nice off-white head and lacing. bouqet was very fruity, with apricots and raspberries coming to mind along with notes of honey, flowers, fresh bread dough and a musty barnyard aroma. taste was a bit of sweet malt with a moderate bitterness. astringent, sourish finish. medium in body with a spritzy mouthfeel.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into my new Duvel tulip glass

Pours a nice cloudy orangey amber with a big fluffy one and a half white head that bubbles down to a cap in a few minutes, there is a solid cookie yeasty funk but really nothing else, the taste is much like the smell with spicy yeast and a bit of fresh red apple with a suprisingly alcoholic finish, the mouth feel is rather loose and watery and rather insubstantial. The drinkablity is smooth and easy but not what I was expecting from this style of beer at all.

Photo of Stimack
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a nice orange color with amber highlights. Filled the goblet perfectly with a nice sized head that went right to the rim of the glass. Surprising this did not translate into a nice amount of lacing? The aromas that come to mind first are fruit, to me it has a strong apple presence. Also there is a classic clove yeast scent that is just so good! Also a nice subdued spiciness. The flavor is very good, spicy on the back of the mouth reminds me of a peppery mix, sweet flavors from the malts almost a candy like flavor. Adequate hop and a nice semi-dry finish. Now I will admit that I am not the best at putting my thoughts down on paper so I know that I am missing a few things here but IMO this is a excellent brew, one that I have had numerous times in the past (being in NY) but not in a number of years. Glad to give this one a try once again, a very solid offering from Ommegang.

Photo of jar2574
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, the closest thing I could find to the suggested glass on the bottle. Extremely thick tan head, amber colored beer.

Spices, berries, and yeasts; a lovely smell.

Unfortunately, the taste disappoints, especially for an Ommegang offering. It's a bit bland for a Belgian inspired beer. Too watery and lacking in flavor.

What flavor there is is OK, it just doesn't blow your socks off. Malts, berries, and then a touch of acidity and baking soda in the aftertaste.

Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/light amber color with a thick, fluffy head that hangs there. Aroma is strong and malty with a hint of spice. Taste is malty and rich upfront with a fruity/spicy element showing through. Tastes a bit funky in a good way. Coriander/nutmeg stand out to me (even if they may not be in this beer) and it's just a very solid ale.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy and orange with a decent head, plenty of lacing. Aroma of floral hops maybe cloves and apples. Taste is dry and malty with a clean coarse carbonated finish. Mouthfeel is decent and the flavor stands up to the spiciest foods. A little expensive to drink a lot of this one but certainly a pleasure I would indulge in again.

Photo of hiikeeba
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours up copper colored, hazy with a creamy white head that falls to a cap on top of the beer

S - Sweet malt, with a hint of apple.

T - There is a caramel like flavor to the malt. The spiced apple aroma is echoed in the beer.

M - Full bodied with a tickle of carbonation on the tongue

D - Very drinkable. I could easily drink a couple of these. An excellent beer

Photo of auxiliary
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Has a copper color to it with a nice large head, with some nice lace.

smell - Dark fruit and spices here.

taste - Has a cherry taste to it but not sweet, and has some spices along with the alchohol present.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Not bad, worth a try. Anything is good from Ommegang. I drank this almost a year later.

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

Appearance: Deep copper color with an off-white head. Good carbonation flow.

Smell: Spice, citrus.

Taste: This brew is slightly acidic throughout the taste. Yeast, orange peel and a mild malt backbone dominate.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Lighter than expected.

Drinkability: A good brew. Easy to consume.

Photo of bosco7
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange color with a uber creamy thick head. Head retention is good and the lacing is thick and plentiful. Quite a looker.

Biscuits, red apple skin, cranberry, pepper, soap, and candy aromas. The nose on this one is great!

Biscuit, grain husk, and some light caramel upfront. Apple skin and pear flavors show up towards the middle of the sip. Finish is bone dry with some spicy pepper and some pleasant medicinal flavors.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly dry with the perfect amount of carbonation. I plan on getting my hands on a case of this for the summer. Extremely refreshing and nice entry point into the world of craft beer for non-beer-geek friends.

Photo of Tilley4
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not the biggest Belgian fan but I am trying to broaden my horizons a bit so I'm trying as many as I can.

This is a very impressive color with one of the most persistent heads ever.

Smells yeasty and a bit funky with a sweetness to it.

Very vinous and yeasty tastes with a nice smoothness to the finish. Actually a very nice beer.

Not quite what the Chimay blue is as far as the Belgian style goes, but this is still a very good beer.

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

Cloudy dark golden with a thin white head, sticky looking though. Sour wheat and yeast characters with some soft lemon lime, rocky candy, and floral hop notes for a nose. Yeasty twang is very smoothed out, nutty and caramel malts, toasted wheat cracker, cereal grains, herbal and floral hop characters are slightly perfumy, citrus is lemony with a touch of grapefruit pith. Some caramel into the finish with coriander like spiciness and unripe green banana. Medium to full body has a nice smooth mouthfeel, slightly cloying, and a crisp carbonation that eeks out some creaminess.

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

Pours out a deep burnt orange with a thick white head that retains a bit. Soapy lacing and some suspended yeast. Smell is caramel brown sugar and toasty almost burnt grains. Hops, light fruit and biscuity malt in the finish.

Nicely carbonated mouth with just the right touch of thickness (medium to light bodied) set the pace for this one. Mellow caramel and brown sugar (or something just as powdery and sweet) amidst a spicy yeast strain and toasty grain in the middle. Finishes strong with bright earthy hops and a dryer finish that's balanced with a slight light apple with a touch of cinnamon.

Hoppier than expected. Good stuff.

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer fell cleanly into my glass with a good thick head of white suds that remained until I was finished. Active bubbles are visible through the clear cedar colored body. Smells of sweets and spices give way to a more subtle flavor of toasted grains and bready yeast. A lingering raisin flavor stays int eh mouth after the swallow. The scratchy, almost velcro mouthfeel perfectly accompanies this brew. Definitely worth the buy.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Ale pours a dark amber orange. Full fluffy pumpkin pie crust colored head supported by plenty of tiny bubbles of carbonation racing to the top. Impressive looking brew in my Grottenbier glass.

The nose is full of oranges and citrus fruit mixed with some Belgian spice. Some bits of cinnamon and yeast peek out through the caramel malts. The brew begs to be sipped.

This amazingly smooth brew tastes of caramel malts and spice. The fruity yeast seems to have departed that was amazing in the nose, which is a let down. Comes off as being a little too spicy. Finishes semi-dry with a light sourness.

Mouthfeel as noted above is smooth, but not what I would describe as creamy. The tight bubbles of carbonation seem to bring the spices to the forefront, which came off a little overbearing in my opinion. Looks great and smells great, but doesn't come off as such overall. Nonetheless worth a go.

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL shared with a friend after some late night pizza. Poured a fairly clear and beautiful amber color with nice size head that recedes to a thin cap and leaves no lacing. I was a little disappointed in that department. I was hoping for some orval-esque head and it simply didn't measure up.

Smell is fruity yeast esters (clove, banana) as well as biscuity malt. Nothing to complain about in the smell. Not overpowering and no off smells.

Taste is very good. Standard fruity belgian yest flavors with balanced malt and some hop bitterness. As it warms it seems to get a little funky. Maybe that is jsut wishful thinking, it is hard to tell. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium light, much better than expected as this is characterized here as a belgian dark which tend to get too thick and sweet for me. Very enjoyable and very drinkable. An absolute delight.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,967 ratings.