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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,772 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,772
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 121
Gots: 245 | 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: 2,772 | Reviews: 1,080 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first sample of what Brewery Ommegang can do, thanks to northyorksammy. Lots of info packed onto the front and back labels, they seem geared to educate the masses with lots of little sound bites. Plus I even learned about the language differences in north and southern Belgium, which I was previously unaware of. Thank you Brewery Ommegang.

This is an impressive looking Belgian, from a 355 ml bottle it pours a deep hazy apricot colour with a great deal of carbonation action, and a massive creamy head that gets chunky on the pour, rises above the rim of my chalice glass and holds its form. Solid lacing down the side of the glass. The nose is more faint than I was expecting, I'm picking up spices and traces of a juicy red fruit, like grapes or plums, also a bit of earthiness in there as well. The flavour also contains that red plum-like characteristic, as well as some grass, and on the finish I begin to start noticing some sweet malt blended with spices, mostly clove and pepper. Mouthfeel is light and velvety, a pleasure to roll over the tongue. A decent Belgian, although I'd prefer a Unibroue over it if given the choice. That's if Sleeman doesn't go and screw things up.

IronDjinn, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
2.73/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours out of a 750ml bottle, clear orange with a nicely lasting film. Very belgian aroma with a wall of doughy and bready yeast. Fruity and flowery malt (peaches, apricot, honey). It begs for a sip... which I later regret. Watery and bland palate with empty almost uniquely yeasty flavors, bready. Mouthfeel is creamy and way too airy and carbonated which almost distracts the flavors out of your mouth before it hits your tongue.

Rastacouere, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellarable. Nice hoppy carbonation from bottle conditioning after about 3 months. Light with Abundant head that settles into lace sealing of malt and Light spices in yeast including cinammon. Creamy mouth feel and must be sipped. Popular. Fruity aroma. I think the ladies like this too.

Sammy, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of shapudding
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a nice dark copper color with a great amount of head, little bubble bath of froth from this lovely belgian. Very high carbination and a ton of lacing. Scents of fruits, banana, and alcohol. Hard to get away from the idiot at the bar with the stogie... definate impact on the senses... Tastes of dark fruits and vanilla ice-cream. Im terribly impressed with how long this ale held it's carbination. All in all it is just very nice, like it!

shapudding, May 28, 2004
Photo of mschofield
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy strawberry-brown, topped with a one finger off-white crackling head, leaves partial sheets of lacing.
Fruity, sweet aroma, berries, bitter orange (curaco), fruit brandy.
Tastes of wheat, vanilla, curaco.
Medium bodied, feels higher in ABV than it is, not something I'd quaff down, or even buy that often, but it is interesting.

mschofield, May 26, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky orange-ish light brown with a decent light tan head and good carbonation but doesn't leave much lace. Fruity, figs, raisins, and spicy aroma .. almost a dusty maltiness to it. Fig and raisin flavors dominate a la a Dubbel. Medium bodied and goes down easy ... "good for session drinking".

I think of this more as a Belgian Dark Ale than a Belgian Pale Ale.

Per Ommegang website: Cara-pils malts and Styrian Goldings hops

(12 oz bottle aged 2-3 years)

RBorsato, May 21, 2004
Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Vos pours out clear initially from its bottle, but the end of the bottle contributes a bit of hazy yeast, making the overall appearance slightly foggy. The color is a dark earthy amber, and the bubbles pour up from the bottom. The head is large, overflowing the glass at first, but it recedes slowly, leaving a ton of foamy lace behind. The smell is very... what is it? It's not light, theres plenty to smell. Its very straightforward in its subtleties. This could probably use a good aging, but I'm drinking it straight from the store. From the smell of this beer, I instantly remember touring the Ommegang brewery and seeing the sample of spices they use, because theyre in the smell, thas for sure. I cant put my finger on them specifically, but what I do smell is a figgy cherry fruitiness along wiht a spiced wheaty aroma, all of which smelled quite sweet. The taste is sour fruity spice, with an alcoholic malty flavor and the definately hint of the yeasts. There is a hint of the hops too, but not overpronounced. The mouthfeel is a bit too dry feeling for me, with the combination of the light body, the good amount of small bubbles and an overall dry taste. Besides that though, its a good beer definatley.

FranklinPCombs, May 10, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper colored brew.

Smell is all spices, Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mint.

Taste is mildly sweet with a big spicy flavor. Coriander, cloves, allspice and celery dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

A spicy drinkable brew, almost tastes like a Hefe-Weissen.

Zorro, May 06, 2004
Photo of Quaffer
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lightly hazy, golden orange. A really nice color with the light behind it. Light tan head rose up easily and thinned out to a light layer of sticky bubbles that remained on the top of the brew. Decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of apricot and grapefruit right after the pour. Sweet and lightly roasted malt grew from that, along with some spice and a light smokiness. The combination of sweet and fruit gave the impression of fruitcake at times.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied overall, but the amount of flavor gave it a perceived presence. Smooth upfront and velvety on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Sweet breads, crackers, and light caramel kicked in at first. Peach and apricot arose strong on the sides of the tongue. These flavors continued to the finish, where they were joined by a light bitterness and hints of alcohol and spice.

Very nice brew. Thanks WesWes!

Quaffer, Apr 20, 2004
Photo of Stubbie1
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark orange in color, thick white head on the top and it lasts forever then a nice lacing takes over.

Aroma is of orange peel, noticeable but not overpowering. A hint of yeast and spice finish the aroma.

The taste is smooth. A fruity citrus flavor with spice. Orange peel comes across then spicy notes to a dry finish.

This beer is enjoyable and easy to drink.

Stubbie1, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a dark orange. The head is creamy and dense and laces well.

The nose is fruity (mostly oranges) and also has some flower shop smells.

I really like this stuff. I am having it with five grain crackers and cream havarti cheese. I love cream havarti cheese. This tastes mighty fine. First is a sharp, spicy and peppery yeastness. Next comes the fruit, and lots of it, mainly green melon and orange. Nice flavor with this beer but for being 6.5% the alcohol is way to prominent. High carbonation. But, the best thing about this beer is that it is very very creamy. It makes it wonderful.

Crosling, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of Hobbz
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-red presentation in the (Belgian) serving glass. Bubbly effervescence stirred its cloudy (bottle-conditioned) liquid, forming a hefty, foamy head.

Dried-orange and yeasty nose also was filled with a spicy aroma. I gathered its smell, and with each tasting, I liked it.

This beer's "thinnish" mouthfeel I think actually helps this one (I actually underlined this in my beer notes; then reading some of the other reviews, I can see how this is a very personal matter; one grasps -- or grapples with -- its "light-bodiedness" immediately).

Rare Vos is light and airy and conveys its flavors it bits and pieces as well: This pretty drinkable Belgian-style ale has hints of dried orange peel with a smidgen of sourness and background-hop-bitterness mixed in. (Almost slight green-apple tartness, but I wouldn't think it directly attributed to acetaldehyde?)

A great all-around lighter styled Belgian ale, and one I'd love to sample at the "sly fox" proper.

Hobbz, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of LuckySevens82
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Pours a copper orange with a thick, small (one finger) head. Nice lacing, and very active carbonation.
Smells of sweet cloves and mild alcohol. Perhaps some hops, and maybe ripe fruits.
Taste is very fruity with some graininess. This brew is very dry with a slight hops bitterness and some sweetness as it warms. There is some alcohol pepperiness at the finish. Also includes some yeastiness.
This is another solid offering from Brewery Ommegang. The price makes this a great buy in and of itself, but the brews that BO makes are just fantastic. I will definitely come back to this one again and again.

LuckySevens82, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice looking amber pour with a very generous, foamy white head. The nose to be quite subtle, almost dull. Light grassy notes with hints of lemon zest. The taste also seems more mild than i excpected. Bland up front followed by a very light caramel-fudge sweetness in the middle. The finish leans towards the sweeter side with mild spice, lemon and even a touch of woodiness. The mouthfeel is very smooth, almost flat...to light bodied for my liking. An easy drinker but not something i can see myself enjoying bottle after bottle.

Popsinc, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of JamesBerry
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This fox was so eager to be imbibed that it literally blew its own cork to get out. Once it settled down, it slipped down with a rich mahogany color and a smooth full head. As soon as it began to lace the rim, I noticed a fruity banana aroma coming out of the glass. The first sip revealed a smooth body that left a slight tingle on the tongue. Its light and relaxed malty flavor, laced with spicy undertones is not as rich or filling as Ommegang's other brews, but (with its relatively low ABV) would make this a great session brew.

JamesBerry, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very impressive beer, which had a nice malty flavor. It was mellow, maybe from age. But it had a lot of fruity flavors and smells. The color was a beautiful amber, or something similar. Cloudy, due to the yeast. Quite good. Not an everyday beer, but definitely one to come back to.

GeoffFromSJ, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice burnt orange color with a wonderful sweet malty aroma. The initial taste is peppery with a bread like texture. The alcohol is very well hidden and I would recommend this one to anyone who wants to start trying belgian styles. Not as good as Hennepin, but still solid!

ALESwhatCURESya, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of Stopper
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a hefty, slightly off-white, fluffy head on a burgundy-orange translucent body. The body is robustly fruity and slightly acidic with hints of red licorice and very ripe tomatoes. The first sip reveals a body medium in mouthfeel with a very complex spiciness mixed over a hint of tomatoes again. A malt base is discernable beneath this spicy blanket, but it?s difficult to pull out any distinguishing characters of the malt. Through to the finish, very little changes, though it becomes slightly drier and a very slight and mild hop character shows itself.

This is a very nice domestic ale with really interesting and unique characters hearkening to its Belgian muses.

Stopper, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Appearance: Cloudy orange-brown. Nice head continually supported by a substantial amount of active yeast.

Smell: Fruity in a banana/apple sort of way.

Taste: Nothing jumps out as spectacular but nothing at all is bad about it. The flavor seems to hold back. A sweetness in the finish is the most noticeable aspect. There is also a little bit of alcohol in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Tingles happily on the tongue.

Drinkability: Excellent. The only points off for this are because I suspect it might get a little too sweet after a while.

Beef Notes: Another good one from Ommegang. I think it would make a great gateway beer to introduce people to Belgian styles, as it is very unoffensive. I would love to have it again, but if I was purchasing, I would probably buy one Ommegang's other fine beers instead.

BeefyMee, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a smoewhat hazy light amber, obivously very carbonated by all the "fizz." Big head layers down slowly leaving chunks of lace on teh chalice.
Aroma has real grain and bread note with some pale malt in the background. As it warms to drinking temp. a citrus fruit note begins to develop, with maybe even some grape or raisin thrown in.
Flavor is sweet malt with a spicy, yeasty tongue hit. Fruit falvors really begin to merge as the beer warms even more. Minor hop in the background but bitterness is minimal and hop seems to add a grassy, earthy touch of flavor.
Mouthfeel is good, very nice balance between sweet and spice. Drinakability is very high to excellent.

CRJMellor, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden brown with a thin light tan head. Not much lace, head dissipates quickly. Smell is sweet malt and alcohol. Spicy and fruity too.

Taste is sweet malt and spicy up front. Definitely taste some cloves in there. Some fruitiness, like spiced apples way back there in the flavor profile. After that it finishes with quite the strong alcohol finish. Mouth is kind of sticky with a bit of alcohol burn. Nice sipping beer. Probably could've left this one on the cellar for a few more months to let the flavors mellow a bit but stil pretty damn good.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of nixhecks
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bright tangerine-cranberry color with a large white head. Tons of bubbles, this almost looks like some sort of lambic from the color and high carbonation. Aroma is sweet and fruity, including concord grapes, buttery yeast, and a bit of malt. The mouthfeel of this is over carbonated and really thins out the full flavors of the brew. Very fruity tasting, a little bit of spiceness from the yeast and hops, but hardly any malt flavor. I was rather disappointed, this is my least favorite from Ommegang so far. Really left me wanting a bottle of Hennepin.

nixhecks, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of rdrummer
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was slightly disappointed in this "Belgian-style" Ale. It was drinkable enough, but I had really set myself up to expect a true Belgian taste. It's not there. At least not in the bottle I tried. It poured a clear amber with a white head that was short lasting with little lacing. The aroma was of malt, yeast, and a little hops. The taste just didn't have the unique, Belgian kick to it that I was expecting. It was a little thin, actually quite thin in the mouth, but that may be due to the low alcohol content. Come to think of it, that may be what is missing in this beer. At 6.5%, it was just thin, compared to Belgians at 8, 9, or 10 percent. In its favor, it was half the price so I could drink a few of these, but not as a Belgian substitute.

rdrummer, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy copper with huge off white head. Crisp carbonation keep the fine grained head till the end, lacing in sheets the whole way. Hops are present, but not overpowering. Green apples and pepper. Very dry finish. I think of this as a lighter, milder version of a hoppy Belgian strong pale such as Piraat. Less alcohol, mouthfeel, and hop bite. A very drinkable beer.

Sixpack595, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of dannyvee
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured an orangish copper with a generous pillowy white head- beautiful. tiny bubbles cascaded up from the goblet's bottom. aroma was floral and citrusy with that sweet belgian malty essence. mouthfeel was crisp and medium to light. flavors of green apple, a little nutty, caramel and a dash of pepper in the finish. this is a highly quaffable session beer and my favorite from the cooperstown brewery. glad i bought a whole case!

dannyvee, Jan 22, 2004
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,772 ratings.