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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,351 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2351
Reviews: 1057
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%


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: 2,351 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of theklep
theklep

California

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great Americanized version of the Belgian. I like that its an amber and has great mouthfeel. It is a full beer without the fullness in the stomach feel. This is by far one of the best American recreations of the Belgian.

The carbonation is just right, many Belgians are over carbonated, and tend to taste sharper than they should. The alcohol is masked so well that 6.5% is mind blowing for how light and refreshing the beer truly is. I must say this is was a great pickup on my part and I will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 06:03:13 | More by theklep
Photo of HabiMendes
HabiMendes

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'll start saying that this beer is a winner. It pours as a beautiful amber beer, with a white, well-retained neck. The orange peel and spices are absolutely clear. It is so great. The palate has a caramelized malt, not at all sweet, showing wonderfully expressed pepper-like tones. The high carbonation, and the hops, well balanced with malt and spices, is what we expect from the style. The aftertaste brings us hops and... pepper! What a wonderful beer. Perfect for a more intellectual conversation (I'm sure the 6.5 ABV would help...).

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 03:37:09 | More by HabiMendes
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 19:37:43 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Lupe
Lupe

New York

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 00:23:04 | More by Lupe
Photo of bloberglawp
bloberglawp

Quebec (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2008 02:02:15 | More by bloberglawp
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
EnojysAnyBeer

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 02:59:28 | More by EnojysAnyBeer
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 02:16:41 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 05:06:56 | More by droomyster
Photo of mdvatab
mdvatab

Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 04:36:56 | More by mdvatab
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 21:11:27 | More by frank4sail
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber American-Belgian beauty! Well carbonated and spicy, this beer says it all. High in the tart and fruity ester, but strong enough to keep it real. Mellow hoppiness. Top notch!

Cheers to frank4sail for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2002 23:14:45 | More by inebrius
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2002 19:24:43 | More by Jason
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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?????

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 21:42:48 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent treat care of "Stan-The-Man" a.k.a., Purplehops. This cave-aged version of Rare Vos is very similar to the regular version. It still pours out a nice dark red/copperish colour with a lovely, white head on top. The aromas were of dark fruits, sugar, malt, and some hops. This reminded me of a cross between Original Ommegang and Hennepin, which is a good thing. This beer has a very balanced and rounded taste and it also had a super deluxe and CREAMY mouthfeel as well.
I could drink this stuff 'all night long'
A definate keeper.
Cheers!
-F

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 07:51:35 | More by francisweizen
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2003 23:34:43 | More by putnam
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber with a simple yet eye applealing label. Caged & corked.

Cloudy amber, copper colored beer with a large, fluffy white head. This one looks great in the glass.

Malty, fruity nose with a chewy peach like mouthfeel. This one gets a little more earthy and bready as it warms.

This is a great beer. Deceivingly easy to drink as the alchohol stays disguised in the tastiness of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 23:09:30 | More by ggroller
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 01:03:57 | More by dsa7783
Photo of treehugger02010
treehugger02010

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this 1 pint 9 ounce bottle at Gristedes in Scarsdale, New York and poured it into an oversized water glass.
Appearance: A deep cloudy orange body that was thick in the middle, but opaque on the sides. It was toped with a good sized white head, fine retention and ok lacing that dripped down the walls of the glass.
Smell: Fruity, not citrusy, perhaps light grapes, maybe plum.
Taste: Similar, but a lot more forward.
Mouthfeel: Dry.
Drinkability: Excellent.
Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 23:07:00 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2008 01:56:31 | More by dacrza1
Photo of tlinner
tlinner

New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Stunning clear amber with a towering fluffy off-white head that lasts a while.

Smell - Spicy Belgian yeast, light fruit: pear and table grapes.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very similar to nose. But the fruit character is darker, like cherries or even plum. Subtle hops, with the yeast leading the way.

Drinkability - Fantastic beer form one of the best breweries in the world, IMHO. A great beer for novices and veterans alike.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 23:23:58 | More by tlinner
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 12:34:12 | More by Brenden
Photo of omnigrits
omnigrits

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and cage bottle into a stem tulip results in the expected frothy white head that subsides after a while to leave plenty of residue on the inside of the glass. Strong Belgian yeast aroma with more than a hint of barley sugar and a touch of hops. Taste is slightly tangy, sweet, very nice. Strong mouthfeel. I'll be buying this one again for sure. Wouldn't mind ageing one for a year for comparison.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 02:20:56 | More by omnigrits
Photo of mtnbikerpa
mtnbikerpa

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:05:40 | More by mtnbikerpa
Photo of Sam21
Sam21

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 04:04:55 | More by Sam21
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 11:22:49 | More by giblet
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,351 ratings.