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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,136 Reviews
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Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,136 | Ratings: 3,251
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Specialty Beer Cellar. Served in a Rare Vos straight sided glass.

Appearance - Hazy deep golden. Big white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Fruity. Kinda phenolic. Sweet fruity maltiness.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Immediately fruity. Belgian yeast flavors quickly dominate. Bitterness builds up too, particularly in the back end from high carbonation.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. High carbonation, though it retains a bit of fruitiness.

Overall - I drank a glass of this very quickly. Second glass, not so much. Lacked a bit of excitement.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a tall Belgian glass. Bottle was dated 12/2014.

Appearance: bright orange with a full head that rode the glass to the end. Turbid from the bottle conditioning.

Nose: spicy, phenolic, classic Belgian yeast smell, pears, slightly herbal

Taste: very smooth, no alcohol notes, spicy, a bit thin and I'd expect a more round mouthfeel from the classic Belgian house yeast Ommegang uses. Slightly fruity and the hops notes are very low to non-existant.

Overall: This one needs some improvement in the mouthfeel as far as a more enjoyable beer. However, in terms of drinkability, it is top of the list. I find this beer very quaffable. Overall, great showing from one of the best craft breweries in the States and a damn good Belgian one at that.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a beer like this is simply not an exceptional beer, at least not for me, that being said in the realm of amber ales this is about as good of an amber ale as you are likely to have, it retains the ease of consumption of the style while taking that proprietary house yeast in the belgian style and bringing something new to an amber ale, it removes what to me is an often unpleasant though not overwhelming hoppiness, this is at any rate an great beer for any occasion, though not an altogether special beer, use this instead of your boring amber ales for a party and enjoy

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by 6/20/13 bottle at 45 degrees into tulip
Aroma of slightly sour fruit
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor begins slightly sweet, fruity esters and some yeast phenolics; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of fscottkey
2.52/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.5] A slightly hazy orange color. Sports pretty big dense white head. No apparent dating on the bottle Beer is listed at 6.5% ABV.

S: [2.00] Wreaks of Beligian yeast. It is like being punched in the face with it. Very pungent. I get nothing else.

T: [2.50] Fortunately it doesn't exactly follow the nose. There is not such an overpowering whollop of Belgian yeast. It is still all I get in this beer - but it is less than the nose.

M: [3.25] The carbonation is decent the body is a bit thin.

O: [2.50] I really dislike Belgian yeast. It doesn't agree with me and this is a one note beer with just that single note. Unfortunately that means I didn't finish it.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -1%

Pours with a nice, clingy, yellow-white head, Golden-hued and slightly cloudy. Aroma is of coriander, allspice, orange peel and a hint of apricot. Sweet start with some sour notes in the back of the palate. Dry on tongue, well-carbonate with a long finish. A very enjoyable beer before dinner!

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4/5  rDev -1%

A- Body of the beer is a hazy but bright looking copper color. Very orangy as well, It started off with a pretty ridiculously big and frothy head. Over the course of drinking the beer, it died to a pinky size rim. Nice legs, even at 6.5%. They clung to the sides of my tulip glass and looked pretty as they fell. Not a lot of vibrant carbonation, but some is present.

S- Spicy from the grains of paradise. Coriander as well. There is almost a pepper spice in there as well (that might be the grains of paradise). Big orange peel. Lemony in the background. Caramel malts are detected. Sweet like most Belgian beers that have some kind of added sugar to them. Earthy and yeasty with the typical Belgian funk. Has a noble hop kind of biscuity note. Not hoppy overall.

T- Spices and orange. Carmel malt is lighter than in the smell, but I'd say this beer has a wonderful malt backbone. There is some kind of pepperiness in there. This beer isn't hoppy, but it's got a very nice earthy, grassy, funky, SLIGHTLY sour bitterness going on. It's a fairly dry beer in the finish. It finishes yeasty, funky and sour with black pepper before it dries. Very excellent beer.

M- The Rare Vos in medium in feel. It is a very refreshing beer. I can why this style is considered sessionable in Belgian cafes. There is a minimal amount of sticky sweetness. I have no problems with it's drinkability. This stuff is extremely easy to put down.

I usually find I don't like Belgian Pale Ales for some reason, but the Rare Vos is an awesome brew! It would be good with a lot of different types of meats and cheeses. The heartier the food, the better with this one. Go get yourself some Rare Vos and experience a massively flavorful and easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale!

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Photo of dodge408
4/5  rDev -1%

This will gain your taste buds attention. With a mildly tart fruit beginning to a distanct light hop finish. It's a brew I get in the mood for time to time.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a lovely copper and honey like color. Thick head that dissipates in a thin white lace that retains throughout.
Smell: Hints of malty sweetness. Honey and syrupy.
Taste: Malty. Sweet. Hints of dry fruits like fig. Sweetness balanced by a touch of hoppy bitterness. Taste reminds me of a honey wheat or whole grain bread.
Feel: Clean, refreshing and moderate carbonation that splashes around in the mouth. Bottom of glass feels creamy.
Overall: Fantastic example of an amber ale made by Ommegang, one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of carlos_fleico
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark honey amber color. Forms about 3 fingers of a firm thick head with great retention. (4.75)

S: Caramel malts, bready. Citric hints, orange zest. Floral hops, syrupy, and peppery hints. (4.75)

T: A bit spicy, sweet. Citrusy, follows the nose on the orange and light hints of lemon. Nutty, moderately bitter. Dry and yeasty in the end. (4.5)

M: Medium-bodied, very rich and refreshing. Perfect carbonation, somewhat creamy. (4.5)

O: I would drink this over Three Philosophers or Tripel Perfection any day, absolutely love this brew. Very rich and refreshing. (4.75)

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Photo of PRLRetailDrone
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man this is a pretty brew! A gentle pour yielded a massive foamy head sitting on a copper body. My mouth is already watering. The nose is mostly malts with a little of the belgian yeast. The taste is lots of malt and belgian yeast with a little hop buttering. Awesome. Great carbonation. Tiny bubbles streaming from the center like champagne. I love Ommegang brews and this doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of sevreng
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into Ommegang chalice glass

A - Medium bright, honey dark gold in hue. Two finger head on pour that subsides very slowly.

S - Floral notes with a little basil or kalamata olive coming through. Very interesting aroma.

T - Lemony, floral, and crisp, a unique amber that is complex yet light and refreshing.

M - Silky and full with a very crisp and refreshing finish.

O - Unique and refreshing amber, effervescent and crisp, solid summer choice.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light honey with a ridiculously big head. Took several minutes to go down enough to enjoy it.

S - Very light aroma. Lots of caramel and a slight floralness to it

T - Mild flavor. Hints of caramel, lemon, and rose. Seems to alternate between bitter and sweet and has a strong yeastiness on the finish

M - Medium body. Quite smooth while bubbly in the mooth.

O - A nice amber that is somewhat unique. The floral aromas and flavor set it apart from the rest.

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

A- Pale amber body with some hints of orange. Mostly hazy with some light coming through, but no visibility. Foamy light tan head that lingers around for some time.

S- Bready malts, some sweet bread, a hint of earthy grains, just a touch of sweet syrup.

T- Somewhat sweet with lots of malt. Some caramel, some earthiness, lots of grainy bread flavors. A dash of nuttiness to it as well.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy and bready.

O- A nice amber with hints of Belgian yeast coming through. A great change of pace from the over-hopped amber trend.

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Photo of OldeSchool
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Coppery bronze color with a very foamy head.

S - Very fruity, mainly orange...maybe a bit of caramel and peach. Some spices there, but I can't identify them.

T - Fruit (orange), malt and spice, but not overpowering in either case; dry finish balances everything out nicely. Very drinkable; goes down easy.

M - Very balanced; not overly heavy, creamy nor watery.

O - I really enjoyed my first taste of Rare Vos; this is a brew I'll be going back to when I'm in the mood for an amber ale with a Belgian twist. I could see this one pairing very well with a wide variety of food.

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Photo of vegassommelier
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden straw, slightly cloudy with a copper glow featuring a nice thick firm head.
The nose is so pronounced! Baked apple, pecan pie, peach cobbler, caramel sauce, brioche and oak chips.
The palate is much softer having more fresh fruit such as golden delicious apple, pear, quince, hazelnut and salt water taffy.
The finish is moderate in length and the mouthfeel is very good, not great.
I sometimes feel like I am underwhelmed by some Ommegang beers because the quality is so high and expectations are beyond great for every offering. I was a touch thrown by the heightened aromatic profile versus the moderate palate complexity. This beer is quality, and so much better than some of the pretenders that seem to pop up every week that occupy these price points.
I am going to buy this offering again and cook up some wagyu burgers with coleslaw and vinegar potato salad, and see what this offering is really all about.
All in all, another solid beer in the Ommegang lineup.

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Photo of jsausley
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What a beer!!

Served in a "fancy glass" (which is what the bartender called it) at Vinetopia in Overland Park, KS. It was actually just a large tulip glass.

A: Rich, thick amber. Equal parts red, gold and brown. Beautifully rich colors and a thick, long-lasting head (my favorite kind, ahem).

S: Similarly rich, tons of malt and a very distinctive peaty earthiness that resembles a whiskey. Lots of caramel, rich roasted malts and maybe a sweet honey note as well.

T: Spicy, roasted malts laced with cinnamon, anise, pepper, honey and that wonderful peaty smoky whiskey like an Islay scotch. Thick and rich with tons of flavor. It's literally an assault. Probably one of the beers I've had packed with the most abundance of different flavors. Each sip has a different hint as it's warming to room temperature. Wonderful, wonderful thing.

M: Silky smooth with a dry finish that is very grainy and malty. A pleasant aftertaste. Hops are present but not overpowering. Some carbonation, but the thickness of the beer makes you welcome it dearly.

O: I loved this one. Will definitely order it again if I ever see it on another menu. Another draft that I really wish was local.

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

A - Great amber color. Very froth. Nice medium color, like caramel. Also, bottle presentation was very impressive. Felt like I was drinking champagne.

S - Nice light smell. Was expecting something smoky, but turned out to be a nice surprisingly sweet smell.

T - Not exactly super hoppy as I was expecting out of a stronger beer. Still, crisp, smooth taste.

M - Great taste going down.

O - Surprisingly crisp and light. Not what I was expecting, nonetheless, still great.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Even a careful pour easily gives 3 fingers of lovely rocky golden head, body is a brilliand hazy amber with a slight pink/red hue,

Smell - Big nose of belgian yeast, mild citrus especially orange and tangerine, very light banana, a whiff of pear and ripe plum, and a lovely fresh breadiness behind it all.

Taste - This is delicious. What a great balance of: belgian yeast, with hints of spices like coriander and a hint of nutmeg, soft citrus and banana, crisp under-ripe pear, and a touch of peach pits. The quaff is a perfect balance of all of the above, while the finish finds the fruitiness taking a back seat to the yeast and spices, and finishes on the dry side, where the hint of peach pit bitters, and the fruitskins and yeast provide a slight pucker.

Mouthfeel - Just below a medium mouthfeel here, the carb is a major component here, and is almost an explosion of tiny edged champagne bubbles that add a wonderful bright crispiness to each quaff, and lasts long into the finish.

Overall - Delicious, balanced, complex, effervescent, bright, dry.. just awesome, and a wonderful belgian pale ale that I will not hesitate to purchase again.

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Photo of Victor
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Presentation= Poured in a tall 20oz glass with a nice head and good looking honey color.
Aroma= Fresh, clean and slightly sweet.
Flavor= A satisfying flavor with hints of caramel, lemon and something else I can’t explain but enjoyed.
Overall Ommegang did an excellent job with this Belgian Pale Ale. Refreshing, bubbly, crisp and satisfying!

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt. 9.4oz [750ml] corked and caged brown bottle
Bottled on 8/5/2013 - best by 8/2014

Ommegang Rare VOS Amber Ale change the color of my clear glass snifter to a light hazy bright copper hue producing a 2+ finger creamy off-white head. The sturdy head had good staying power finally dissipating to form thick chunks of foamy lacing.

The nose is of light fruit, orange seems to dominate with a very light clove spice in the background. The taste matches the nose with some light caramel maltiness noted that added some sweetness followed by a pleasant touch of warming alcohol. The mouth feel is smooth/creamy, medium-bodied, and a light crisp dry finish.

Rare VOS is quite tasty, well balanced and very drinkable - my favorite Belgian Pale Ale to date. Nice job Ommegang!

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Photo of keithmurray
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 9.23.2013

Appearance - copper bronze color with white head

Smell - caramel, peach, orange

Taste - orange, caramel, peach, coriander

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, full carbonation, slight sweetness and citrus upfront, tiniest bit of sourness on the back end, smooth and easy drinking

Overall - good take on a Belgian Amber ale. This would be a good 'gateway' beer

Price Point - $6.99/25.4 oz bottle

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Photo of VALIS666
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great rusty gold-orange color, full of life on a swirl. Smell is a little faint, but I get mild caramel, apricot, brown sugar. Taste is a nice balance between sweetness and malt, a bit of a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Very nice Belgian style, thankfully stopping short of being too sweet.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Kinda hard to believe that it took me this long to get to such a standard and classic for style beer. Best by 8/14.
Such a nice rich malt aroma with all the sweet, spicy, herbal, faint alcohol scents one would expect, except they do it so well. Closer to amber as the bottle states with a tannish full head, leaves a light dripping lacing. Quite clear from the top of the bottle pour.
Nicely complex for a "smaller beer". Tingly and prickly carbonation. Clearly a stronger malt backing that many for this style but it blends very nicely with the yeast flavor, which are not quite as fresh and impressive as in the aroma, but still nice.
Nice full feel from a lighter ale. The grainy malt is enjoyable and unique. I really enjoy the light spiciness and the changing of the yeast flavors through the drink. Also takes on some fruit flavors as well.
As it warms the hops become more evident and the dryness of the finish shows. Really well done.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rare Vos will always be significant to me as its the beer I had with my soon to be wife on our first date. They call it an amber, BA calls it a belgian pale which is probably more of what it comes off as. Deep orange in color, I'd say its a shade below a true amber. Very clean malt aroma and taste with perfect amount of yeast character. Finishes very bready with a banana flavor that lingers a bit.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,136 ratings.