Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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1,110 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,110
Hads: 3,089
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 169
Gots: 464 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,110 | Hads: 3,089
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review taken many times over the last few years.

12 oz brown bottle with excellent label design. The sly fox pouring a drink for its prey. Or maybe its dearest of friends? Label is quite beautiful with a luxurious royal purple paired with red, gold, cream, and white. Ommegang produce some of my favorite labels and always deliver something that hits right at home. I poured this into a Ommegang pint glass.

A - pours an deep golden russet to light amber color. A milky haze throughout every inch of this clouded body. True Belgian style funk about this Sly Fox. Creamy shade of off white head pours quite large and looks like a fluffy pillow of creamy clumps atop its large head. Settles nicely leaving a thick ring of fluffy lacing that provides some very nice stick.

S - fruit and dry Belgian spices. Coriander and those hyped grains of paradise. Both lighter and dark fruits blend well together. Bready and toasted malt balance the spices allowing a very enjoyable aroma. Hints of chocolate as it warms.

T - fruity up front with citrus and some darker fruits though the lighter goodies dominate for the most part. Belgian spice with excellent yeast notes. Coriander, orange peel, and grains of paradise are all noticed as mentioned in this bottles description. Toasted bread malts balance the dry spiciness leaving you wanting that next sip.

M - medium bodied and bursting with delicious Belgian inspired flavor. Thickness and texture are spot on considering this is a fairly sessionable ale. It's almost surprising how much Ommegang pronounce the abundance of character and flavor notes in a somewhat normal abv range in the craft beer world we live in today. Creamy texture and smooth thickness allow me never to get bored or tired of this ale.

O - quite possibly the most underrated of all of Ommegang's great brews. I know they miss the mark on occasions with some releases, but their core group as well as some of their special releases are all top notch and for me this is the one that's overlooked at times. But I tell you, this may be Ommegang's best overall beer. It goes well when paired with about anything imaginable and is very drinkable. In fact, its one that could be enjoyed all day long in any season of the year. Here is my tribute to Rare Vos, the remarkable sly fox from New York's Belgian brewery. (2,333 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, fluffy flat-white sticky head. Brew is a clear, bubbly amber, just about transparent. Head retention is nice, leaving soft, sticky lacing on the glass. Beautiful beer, requiring several careful pours to fit it all in one glass.

Huge aroma of Belgian yeast, with a slightly sharp citrus following. Wheat and straw; saison-like aroma. A little musty, with a tiny bit of dry spice.

Much drier taste than I would have anticipated. There's a nice sweetness, with banana and lemon hints, but a big dose of dry, chewy malt and wheat, peppered with dry spice, coriander, and yeast.

Medium feel, very smooth and drinkable, no sting, fairly lively, no alcohol. Something about it just feels a little flat, though - a little syrupy, maybe.

For a "cafe" beer, the ABV on this seems a little high. I'd like to think they could make this beer taste the same at more of a Wit-level of alcohol. Still, this is a tasty, far from oversweet BPA with nice notes of spice. Certainly a good day-drinking beer. (1,005 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(poured into a tall Ommegang fluted goblet)

A: amber color, hazy bordering cloudy - much sediment made it through despite a careful pour... compact, spongy foam with beautiful staying power... doesn't cling to the glass as much as one would think

S: spiced graham cracker, potent toasty notes, mellow rose-petal floral

T: toasted graham malts... hit in the middle of peach and honey... strange presence of 'beery', macro lager like hopping character... saisony spices well up in the finish

M: light-bodied roundness... mellow, fizzy wash... nice soft, dry finish... usually a lot more crisp on tap

O: the uniqueness in this beer has always been its bold toastiness, nutty malt character, and distinct fruity flavor... excellent brew, especially on tap (756 characters)

Photo of sloambbr
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy copper with an off white head. The smell is quite nice, mostly caramel with apple crispness. Nice light, crisp mouthfeel. To me, this beer is quite straightforward, but does a very good job of it. I got brown sugar and apples right off the bat, followed quickly by the belgian yeast, very clove like. Leaves a nice clove spice on your palette. Easy to drink, I could definitely have more than one. One of the better belgian-style beers I have had in awhile, I would definitely recommend it. (505 characters)

Photo of lochef81
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This belgian style pale ale pours a hazy amber hue with a fluffy lasting white head that leaves beautiful foamy lacing. The nose is dominated by caramel malts, orange, coriander, pepper, and Belgian-y yeasty funkiness. The mouthfeel is creamy, effervescent, and quite rich. The flavor follows the nose but with even more complexity, balance, and depth. This is a very good beer and an excellent introduction to belgian ales for those strictly used to American offerings. (470 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper-Amber and very cloudy. Pours a 2” off white head that recedes slowly and leaves significant lacing.
Aroma: coriander and other spices, caramel malts, some Belgian yeast funk
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky mouthfeel and a wet finish.
Flavor: The coriander and other spice flavors (clove perhaps?) lead the taste. They are followed by a bready caramel malt, citrus rind, and a slight hop presence in the finish.
Overall: A very good beer, but not outstanding, (499 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a standard pint glass.

A- Maybe it was the lighting; an amber ale with true amber color, full creamy white head and lots of sticky foam lacing. A touch of haze in the body from the yeast, perhaps.

S- Orange and spice, some light malt and yeast.

T- Slightly sweet malt combined with yeast dryness and fruits, spices.

M- Easy drinking with some hope bitterness and yeast and spice pungency. Dry finish.

O- Friendly drinker with lots of flavor, 6.5% abv is manageable; right level of hop bitterness, too. (517 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: hazy light gold. Fat off white head. Thick lacing.
Smell: subtle pepper and yeast. Slightly sweet fruit, mostly dry nose.
Taste: most of the flavors in the nose though combined. Quite dry.
Overall: well done. Tasty and subtle. Classy comes to mind. (260 characters)

Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep amber hue with creamy white head that clings to the glass.

Smell: Distinct orange scent with hints of toasted malts and coriander.

Taste: Orange taste evident immediately, giving way to malts and ending with spice from the coriander.

Feel: Thin but not watery, very smooth. (294 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

*12 oz. bottle*
Look: Nice orange shade of amber body, 2 1/2 finger white frothy head.

Smell: Toasted malts, mild citrus, spices, faint caramel sweetness, mild herbal qualities.

Taste: toasted oats, caramel, coriander, touch of a ripe banana, spicy yeast, mildly nutty, honey flavor not the sugary sweetness, dry finish.

Feel: Light body, tight carbonation.

Overall: This ale is very light on the palate for being 6.5% I like how all the flavors in what reminds me of a hearty bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, with a side order of bananas served with orange juice. There is a nice hop bite that sets up the right amount of bitterness to make this beer crisp. This is recommended

#Original Review on 10-30-13# (713 characters)

Photo of ZoomanCru
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rare Vos – Belgian Pale Ale (6.5%) - Brewery Ommegang (New York)

App: Pours a brilliant and hazy copper-red with a high, loose head that becomes creamier and more defined as the beer sits. Very active carbonation and sheet like lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast dominates aroma with notes of banana and persimmon. Some mild pepper aromas. Malt is present and sweet, but not particularly defined. Subtle lemony twinge, with hints of light caramel in the background.

Taste: Taste follows nose with hints of banana and clove. Very light herb spiciness. Light citrus notes commingle with ample malt sweetness and belgian funk. Hops bitterness does well against sweet malts and yeasty esters without being assertive. Little bit of phenols peeking through. Pleasantly sour aftertaste.

Mouth: Medium boded with significant effervescence that scrubs the palate in between sips and makes for a very refreshing beer. A tiny bit overcarbed for my tastes, but not against style.

Home tasting, 750ml into Tulip. 2/20/14. (1,026 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great be for a great brewery that show everything the label says, it is fruity and spicy yet mellow.

It pours a beautiful slightly dark slightly cloudy page color with fine but thin head. The aroma is a mild fruity thing. The taste follows suit with a mild but tasty refreshing beverage going on. The aftertaste is a simple refreshing feeling.

Overall, this is a great brew that I think I had one before in a large bottle. It may benefit from being on tap or corked as this one was a12 oz bottle. (509 characters)

Photo of tmm313
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a hazy light amber color with a soapy 2 finger head. Nice streaming carbonation.

S- Belgian yeast, banana, apple, pear, bready malts, and a little caramel.

T- There was the typical Belgian yeast, banana, apple/pear, and pepper there, but what impressed me most was the strong malt presence and rich caramel/clove/earthy hop finish. Flavors had a lot of substance, nice balance and complexity.

M- Thicker side of medium body. Nice crisp carbonation and slightly lingering fruit, spice, and hop.

O- I was pretty impressed with this beer. The more you drank, the more you knew how beautifully crafted it was. The caramel malt presence in the flavor added a rich dimension to this Belgian Pale I can't remember experiencing elsewhere. Very nice. (758 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, purchased as a 3-pack at Costco (with Hennepin and Three Philosophers)
L - hazy amber with a huge ivory head that holds excellent retention and sticks to the glass on its way down
S - fruity, spicy, caramel, orange, yeast
T - orange, Juicy Fruit, yeast, spicy coriander, caramel, bread
F - medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish with ample bitterness
O - second time around with this one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd buy this again if the price was right. (486 characters)

Photo of KHarz
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer overall. As I'm not a huge fan of belgian beers in general, I enjoyed the fact that Rare Vos was extremely well balanced in terms of keeping the sugary Belgian flavors to a pleasant minimum. I didn't feel overwhelmed by these sugars and felt that they were kept in check by a pleasant level of carbonation. (333 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Dinosaur BBQ (with a bbq brisket melt).

A - Copper in color with a rather small head. Lacing was average.

S - malt, caramel, bread, bananas and a touch of clove.

T - The Belgian yeast strain is quite good in this. More bananas and clove from the nose with a healthy dose of spiciness and bread.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, but a touch chewy. Also the initial blast of carbonation was soda like but it quickly calmed down. (461 characters)

Photo of LI_PO12
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- copper/burnt orange. hazy, big white head with lots of lacing

Aroma- Belgian yeast, spicey, pepper, banana, fruity, apple and pear esters, funk, bready malts, very nice

Flavor- A little more spicy/funk here and less fruity than the aroma, well balanced, with a dry lingering finish

Mouthfeel- Medium, good carbonation

Overall- Very tasty, and one I've returned to many times. recommend trying. (428 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Foggy golden-amber color with two fingers of very frothy head and decent lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is at the forefront, with lots of banana, clove, bubblegum, and some tropical fruit. While it sounds pretty standard for a Belgian brew, it's well done here.

T: Some bread and citrus flavors come out to complement those in the aroma (yeast, banana, and clove).

M: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, very smooth and creamy with a nice dry finish.

O: Solid offering from Ommegang; it evaded me for a long time, but I'm glad I finally picked a bottle up. For the price tag, this is definitely something I'll be buying again. (630 characters)

Photo of CochonKing
4.81/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a caramel mixed with amber in color. Light frothy head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Excellent lacing - 4.5

Smell - Malt with notes of lemon and bubble gum with light caramel notes underneath. Leading into a nice spice note that ommegang is so amazing at. Cloves and ginger among many other spices are faint and almost undetectable in the back ground. - 5

Taste - Excellent malt forward flavor with clove and spices backing it that leave a long finish and a crisp and refreshing flavor. - 4.75

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light crisp bubbles. This beer is excellent on the palate . 4.75

I would recommend trying this beer with some braised pork belly. It pulls fat off the palate excellently. (724 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark amber/orange in color with a NICE three finger head with good retention. Smell is of nice Belgian yeast -- bananas and cloves. A little fruity in the nose but the yeast takes the forefront here. Taste is more of the nice Belgian yeast and what was in the nose. There is a little fruity hops with a great aftertaste that includes a slight bitterness but not overwhelming. I really love the Belgian yeast so this is all win for me. Mouthfeel is really quite thick for the style which is hard to do and keep all these variables together in such a nice beer. Really a nice beer that I haven't had for years and really glad I tried it again. (653 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a few of the Ommegang christmas packs so am regular with Rare Vos. Good looking beer that smells very good. Very tasty, one of the better Ambers. Like the beer but would not buy on its own but would certainly buy as a value along with some of the other Ommegang beers. Excellent beer but not a great buy alone. (317 characters)

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- amber, with thin off white foam and mild effervescence

S- floral and fruit esters, very nice without being perfumey

F- sweet up front with transition to hoppy bitter balance with clean finish

M- good mouthfeel, good carbonation and astringent enough to cleanse the palate

O- overall very good beer, excellent belgian style beer at a reasonable price! Would definitely purchase again and share with friends (412 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich, murky amber color with a bountiful cap of eggshell foam; the presentation is pretty much exactly what you expect from a Belgian ale. The aroma is fresh and vibrant, smelling of coriander, orange, shades of wheat, and some Saaz.

The taste is similar to the aroma, featuring each of the elements described above. There is also an accent of something resembling tropical fruit--not sure if that's the grains of paradise or something else. Just enough bitterness lingers long enough to finally peak through on the back end. The yeast lends a perky, chalky character that complements the other flavors nicely. The balance really is excellent, as no single facet ever overpowers another, and this remains true to the finish. The carbonation is predictably lively as well. The body, however, is noticeably thin and possessed of an unusual slickness for the style. It's not heinous, though it did strike me immediately upon tasting. A heavier body just would have supported the bountiful flavors more ably.

Overall, this is yet another zesty, vibrant, drinkable Belgian-style ale from Ommegang. This would be dynamite in the summer or spring. (1,150 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegman's in mechanicsburg

My 500th review

A- light amber color with a 3 finger head that is foamy and leaves a frothy laving on my cru. A nice mountainous head as well. great look and inviting.

S- fruity esters but almost floral like. there but not there a perfect combination almost. Citrus and yeasty maltiness.

F- the fruity esters follow a bready yeast. Very smooth transition. this is nice. not much else to say. damn good

M- light bodied yet creamy but smooth. goes down with ease. The grain warms my throat but it isn't strong.

O- a great beer for my 500th. I would love a case of it. This goes in to my top 10!!! (629 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours out a lighter cloudy amber. The creamy white head has great retention and leaves nice lacing

S- the aroma is almost non-existent having only a very slight citrus

T- the taste is also pretty subtle, with hints of citrus and caramel and spice bouncing around

M- full but not heavy

O- It's a well made beer which makes me wish it was more flavorful than it was. It is a dialed back version of a Belgian Dubbel and seemed muted. (437 characters)

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.