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 Sachsenfreude
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; hazy yellow-brown. Thick and creamy white head. Great retention, with sparce, yet delicate lacing.

smell; hints of spicy hops and fermented plums. Some yeasty notes that blend nicely with honey coated oats.

taste; upfront, very fresh water and yeast. Some very spicy flavors, almost like rye. Finishes with rich cereal grain sweetness. A hint of rustic sourness in there as well.

mouthfeel; very sticky and slick. Froathy and creamy body. The slightest bit of sourness, leaves a mild tart puckering feel in the mouth.

drinkability; a smooth drink, well balanced and pleasant. Drink and enjoy! (608 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of gmfessen
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice looking bottle, packaged like a champagne bottle. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a hazy yellow-amber color with a frothy foamy head. Smell is mostly of amber malt, a slight hop profile and very slight tinge of alcohol; perhaps some small amount of spice. Taste is initially sweet of the amber malt, a slight metallic taste, followed by a hoppy, sort of dry finish. Mouthfeel is thick with carbonation, but the beer is rather light and goes down very smooth. Overall, this is definitely a drinkable beer and worth trying. (544 characters)

Photo of Lupe
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber with active carbonation. Wonderful off-white head - fluffy, creamy, clingy and lasts. Leaves behind some lace. Very appealing to look at.

Fruity aroma along with some toasted grain, sweet malt, and spice - clove and pepper. Slight mustiness, and a dose of yeast.

Sweet malt, fruit, and biscuit flavors upfront. Green apple and banana mingle with zesty spice and notes of funky yeast. A bit peppery with subtle grassy hops. Finishes slightly dry with lingering yeast flavors.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Smooth and slick on the tongue.

So easy to drink, and excellent paired with food. Very versatile - good with a hot ham sandwich or Thanksgiving dinner. Definitely a beer to always have on hand - drinkable and flavorful. (754 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured into a Belgian glass, had to stop to keep the head from going over. Bubbly stuff! It settles down and leaves a think plug of foam in the center. I'll drink around it... leaves thick ropy lacing on the glass.

Aroma - spicy, peppery, some banana and clove aromas emanating from the yeast, somewhat hefe-like.

Taste - a fine taste experience. Medium malt based, a whole lotta bubbles, a fruity and yeasty flavor takes over, developing into some sourness. A restrained hop element just to wrap things up, though the sourness kind of lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - very active and lively in the mouth. The high carbonation level gives it a very crisp feel and the well-pronounced flavors maintain themselves anyway for a superb balance.

Drinkability - delicious enough to drink everyday and about as affordable. Well done by Ommegang. (871 characters)

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang "Rare Vos". On tap @ The Gramercy Tavern

The body is dark amber, hazy, and streaked with intermittent streams of little bubbles. Presented in a 16 oz. pint glass, filled to the brim. No head as served. It produces a thin film of sparse lacing.

Malty aromas waft over subtle grape and blueberry fruity notes culminating in a spicy tinge of cloves.

Biscuity and grainy malt flavor plunges into the mouth in a full bodied wave speckled with flecks of spicy yeast -- peppery, grassy, and pleasantly dry. Subtle fruity esters surface next, coalescing into a gustatory tapestry of chewy berries and and mildly bitter hops. Very well balanced and complex. The flavor progresses in a cascade of sensations from full bodied, to fruity, to bitter. Quite delightful really.

Full bodied but not thick. Oily but not slippery. Somehow it maintains a pleasantly round and robust body. The moderate carbonation works well to give the beer some backbone.

Very drinkable. No one flavor is that intense, but in conjunction they work a beautiful harmony, tugging and pulling on various aspects of the drinking experience.

Top fermented. This is a sublime Belgian Dark Ale, really quite different from others I've tried. Well balanced and flavorful. (1,304 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Cool label.

Appearance - Burnt orange color. Hazy. A big, foamy, lumpy head with great retention. A handsome brew!

Smell - Sour. Fruity. Spicy. Wow!

Taste - Initially, I tasted sweet (melon) and sour. This is followed by a rich, smooth malt flavor. The finish is spicy (think peppercorns). Awesome!

Mouth - Smooth yet zesty.

Overall - Ommegang OH My God! Watch out Belgium. A wonderfully complex ale. I would elaborate but I have to go back to the store and buy some more. (529 characters)

Photo of mdvatab
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had been wanting to try this one for a long time, but for some reason did not want to take the plunge and buy it in the larger bottle format. I stumbled upon a 12oz bottle at Jungle Jim's in Cincy during a beer run, and was finally able to pull the trigger...

Poured from 12oz bottle (dated 2/4/11) into chalice.

Aroma: Simple, yet wonderful. Clove, banana, and caramel.

Appearance: Clear, light iced tea-like color to the body. Three-finger, fluffy off-white head hangs around for quite a while, and a thick snake of foam clings to the inside of the glass after several drinks.

Flavor: Mirrors the aroma, but the clove, banana, and caramel come into even greater focus. There's also an even floral note, as well as a very soft cereal grain note leading up to a clean finish. Enjoyable sweet, but not cloying in the least.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation gives a slight bite to the palate. Medium body. Absolutely nothing here that misses the mark.

Overall: Fantastic all the way around! The beer is alive from the time it hits the glass. Although I stop the pour well before the head reaches the rim of the glass, it expands and begs to overflow each time. Highly recommended. I certainly won't be shying away from the 750ml version of this next time... (1,256 characters)

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Huge, foamy, off-white head on top of a hazy, amber body filled with torrents of fast-paced carbonation. Head retention is great and lacing is nice, but slips down quickly.

S- Belgian yeast funk and flowers up-front with a hint of caramel and herb.

T- Very complex and yet smooth and clean. The sweet malts come on first with flavors of honey and caramel. Fruity, floral, and funky flavors in the background.

M- Extra light body and effervescent carbonation make for a sparkling effect in the mouth.

D- A really effective brew with the perfect combination of complexity and smooth drinkability. (602 characters)

Photo of bloberglawp
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Demcorhip sent me this for CanBIF 4, thanks friend!!

Alright, a medium amber ale, forthy head dissipates down to a lazy film, some lacing.

Aroma of belgian ale, yeasty, earthy and fuity-candy esters. Flavor very much like aroma, a delicious ale, very drinkable. Some plum, apricot and spice in the flavor.

Exellent! American breweries can be proud of thier belgian style ales! (379 characters)

Photo of putnam
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a smell! Carnival spun sugar, baked granulated sugar coated deepfried pastries coated in caramel and bananas...disciplined, coffee cream-flavored yeast. Sweet, right?
Actually it's pretty dry on the palate. There is a chalky, yeasty slice of powdered coriander and glazed meats. Dehydrated banana peels and dehydrated citrus peel are stitched throughout the voluptuosly large body. A bit Frankenstein-like...a bit engineered, but impressive. (447 characters)

Photo of droomyster
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, deep orange that almost glows like an ember, with a nice tan head with decent retention. Its aromas are interesting. It smells very minerally, almost beachy, with light, fruity ethers reminiscent of apricots, and a pleasant, natural yeastiness. The fact that all of these aromas are present and yet all very subtle makes this beer very intriguing. I've become accustomed to Belgian-style ales practically smacking me in the nose and jarring my tongue with their intensity but this beer does none of those things. Rare Vos has a lot of finesse. Its flavors are complex yet gentle. Its fruity notes range from peaches and apricots to sour strawberries. Its bitterness is best described as unripened fruit rather than "citrusy," "piney," "earthy" or what have you. Finishes dry and leaves you excited for the next sip. This is another extremely good ale by Ommegang. (877 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear caramel color with a solid half-inch head. Aroma is light, sugary and lemony with just a touch of mustiness. A thick layer of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle -- but the beer remains sparkling clear.

Taste is sweet pale malt followed by some light candy sugar. The sugary bits are not overpowering and are tempered with white pepper flavors and a nice yeasty element. Hints of lemon, white grapes, maple syrup and just a touch of pine. With all this sweetness, it still manages to finish dry and with just a memory of hops.

Mouthfeel is very light, very clean. Well done for a Yankee micro, would stand up well to any native Belgian pale. I could definitely session a few of these. (710 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big frothy off white head subside to a clinging cream coloured lace. Mild haze from the yeast, looks nearly clear with a pale copper hue. Fruity, estery and spicy aroma with hints of ripe plum and an earthy blend of anise, clove, nutmeg and citric zest. Dry malt palate that taste like a toasted multigrain cracker, big crisp mouth feel and a moderate body. Bitterness from the hops is noticeable. Estery with a slight peppery phenolic character that goes towards coarse and medicinal in the finish. The finish is dry and grain with residual phenols. Paired very well with whole grain crackers and aged hunters cheddar. (619 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BeerLovinGrl for a great trade.

The color is a cloudy, coppery amber. A big, soapy, thick white head eventually dissipates and leaves some moderate lacing in patches. Carbonation is lively and some yeast sediment settles on the bottom of the bottle. This is a pretty brew.
Malt, grains and a light yeast are strong on the nose with a great complexity. No weaker are aromas of cloves and other spices with some light fruit and citrus notes.
The taste is even more complex. Hops bitterness is not dominant by any means but perfectly complimentary and always lingering behind a malt sweetness backing. Further complimenting the balance and complexity are a variety of gentle spices and a nice, light peppery bite, along with yeast, earthy grains, and citrus undertones. A nicely lingering finish is fairly dry with underlying grains and even sweetness.
This one is medium-bodied with a much creamier mouthfeel than I expected that somehow remains crisp at the same time.
This is simply a fantastic brew and one I'm thrilled to have been able to try since I can't get much Ommegang here. (1,100 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft orange-brown body with a thick, three-finger head that forms like sponge--and lacing is a beautiful web that coats the OFFICIAL Rare Vos glass... yeasts are fruity and spicy--malts are interwoven with balance... without prior knowledge, this beer could smell like any number of styles--versatile! Palate is medium-bodied and a bit astringent--a finish with warmth befitting a 6.5% ABV... smooth and slick with lingering effects... citrus hops and strong malts collide in a seesaw that keeps the tongue in a suspended bliss... like a Belgian monk and a German beer wench brought forth a beautiful love child... rule one: Ommegang doesn't brew a bad beer; rule two: each is a study in itself, demanding a session of focus and appreciation, followed by another sessio to compare and rethink... Rare Vos is a complex beer that chllenges and rewards--excellent. (869 characters)

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle


Orangish amber

Smells earthy

Fizz and foam fill the mouth

Spices up front, which fades to a pleasant malty aftertaste

Sweet Belgian yeast lingers in the mouth

This beer makes me happy that I drink craft beer.

I’ll have another. (259 characters)

Photo of obywan59
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy coppery-amber into my Duvel tulip. The initial pour gave a 4 1/2 finger off-white head that settled at a moderate pace leaving some light lacing.

Initially, I got some light citrus from the aroma, but soon a sweet, very floral aroma developed. Well-blended spice. I can make out a bit of clove and nutmeg.

Some sweet malt upfront, but then I get more tart, peppery citrus for the duration. Some light bitterness indicating a faint hop presence.

Medium-bodied with peppery carbonation and light alcohol burn in the throat.

A very good brew. I think it gets even better as it warms. (597 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML Bottle
Bright Orange/Copper color, with a lasting head... and I mean lasting. Sweet spicey smell. Taste of esters, fruity, with a bite of spice. Great lace left in glass (Chimay goblet). The taste improves on your last glass.. swirl and pour the yeast it is good for you and improves the flavor. This is the most drinkable of Ommegang's products. (358 characters)

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked bottle. About three inches of bubbley head. Strong dark fruits and yeast scents. Dark amber color. Plum, prune fruits upfront. Strong yeast, biscuit like notes. The taste finishes a little dry. Mouthfeel is pretty light for the flavor. Very drinkable I won't have much problem finishing the bottle myself. Going well with some slices of aged provolone. (390 characters)

Photo of Sam21
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork/cage bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy reddish orange with a fluffy white head with fantastic retention. As it recedes it leaves chunky lace on the glass and rocky chunks on the surface. Eye candy.

Smell - Aroma is filled with spicy clove and complex fruity esters. I'm picking up notes of pear, banana, apple, and orange. Picking up a little fruity tartness and some alcohol sweetness as well.

Taste - Spicy clove up front leads into waves of fruity esters with a moderately spicy and dry finish. A perfectly balanced Belgian-style amber.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with spot-on carbonation that gives the body a great smoothness.

Drinkability - A carefully-crafted beer with a great balance between fruitiness, earthiness, and spice. An all around delicious Ommegang offering. They never disappoint. (836 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well after all this time, it’s finally happened, I have a bottle of Ommegang Rare Vos. It is from that very Belgium of sources, Cost Plus World Market in CA & at $4.49 it seems exceptionally under priced for a 750ml.
I love Belgium beers so I have always wondered what the offerings from Ommegang were like. Even more so, because the very first time I came across Ommegang was last Easter whilst in Belgium, strangely enough it was actually at the Rare Vos Café in Schepdaal (a rare lambic Café – see BeerFly).
The gold colored wire cage & steel cap were removed, exposing just the cork. A hard grip was need to remove it – a deep bass “thrupp” accompanied by a light blue cigarette smoke exhaust announced the exposure of this beer to the world since it was bottled.
Pours with a slightly milky but luminescent fiery glowing golden orange color, fast rising CO2 streamers are evident. The head is reasonable at first, but it settles to a low 1/4” collar for the duration of the drink. The beer is transparent at first, but subsequent top-ups from the bottle add some deep haze – hell, who cares.
I lean over the glass & breathe in, Holy Shit!!! - A mighty, deeply biscuit malty, musty smell punches me square in the face. Wow, my nose is more bruised than Michael Jackson’s. But thankfully mine is still its original color & firmly attached.
Tastes are awesome, from the initial Belgium dubbel yeastiness that is exhibited early on through to the highly complex & professional middle that reveals a complex apricot fruitiness, malts, hops & a classic dry fruity finish. Mouthfeel is smooth & dominant. Bloody Hell this beer is good. This is a serious class act. We are talking the best Belgium Style Ale that I have ever had brewed outside of Belgium. In fact, to be honest, this beer would easily “kick the arse” of several Belgium brewed beers.

Brewery (Brouwerij?) Ommegang is 3,624 miles from Brussels it says on the Bottle. Well in that case, I am even further away then, but as long as I can get keep getting this stuff in CA, I will be placated between my annual Easter Trips to Belgium. So, Cost Plus World Market it is tomorrow then to buy the rest of the Ommegang beers on their shelves. F*** Me!! $4.49 for a 750ml Bottle – that can’t be right can it???

An Awesome, High Quality Belgium ‘style’ beer brewed in the USA, now back under the direct control of a Belgium brewer. Is it idiosyncratic, or politically incorrect, to say that I hope the Belgium’s don’t mess about with this beer????? (2,535 characters)

Photo of giblet
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a gem. this poured nice with a strong head at first. decent carbontion with good lacing down the glass. smells of malt and caramel raisins. quite tasty! it is lighter than the color would make you think. good finish. overall yum!

suckem up and movem out

giblet (262 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One finger off-white dense froth, great retention. Not much lacing. Copper, orange and a bit hazy. Lots of Belgian yeast on nose, with a bright orange background. Very aromatic, and has pleasant notes of cloves and spices.Tastes exactly like it smells. A good bit of spice (grain of paradise maybe) on finish with some coriander up front. Very long aftertaste with a mild tartness. Higher carbonation, slickness and some heat. Medium body, drinks very clean. Very nice. Great complexity, will try again sometime. (512 characters)

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