Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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3,072 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,072
Reviews: 1,124
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 164
Gots: 450 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,072 | Reviews: 1,124
Photo of daliandragon
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm always glad when a beer takes the time to explain its odd name or tell a story on the label. Rare Vos fits the bill and teaches a little Flemish as well.
Bright reddish color with neverending inch of creamy head and dusky transluscent body. Nose is fruity and spicy with hints of clove and alcohol.
For a pale Belgian there is a lot of alcohol and malt flavor but its not excessive or unpleasant. Not much spice or fruit either. A bit of a deeper taste than expected. Bubbly mouthfeel that is more delicate then you'd think for an ale carrying so much malt. Dry finish.
Unfortunately, whle not a bad beer, this is a little disappointing. For a Ommegang this is a boring beer.

Photo of BBM
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a burnt orange color, cloudy, with a thin sudsy white head atop it. The aroma was fruity (apples) with a hint of cloves and other spices.

I wasn't overly impressed by this one, but it's not a bad brew. The apples and subtle spices hit up front, along with a nice amout of toasty malt. Bitterness is kept to a low, as expected. There's a slight warming alcohol in the finish. I'm a huge fan of Ommegang, but this beer was not up to par with their other efforts, in my opinion. Still, it's better than many other American takes on Belgian ales I've had.

Photo of clvand0
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a moderate head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very fruity with some spices - smells promising. The flavor is much the same with the orange and the spices, but there is another fruit flavor in there that I don't think mixes well with the others. Just doesn't hit the palate well. The mouthfeel is on the low end of moderate and the drinkability is ok. I just don't care much for the flavor of this one.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this belgian pours initially with a five inch, but after sitting for a minute and a second pour, it calms down to an iced tea brown color witha a full finger of cream white head sitting atop it, plenty of busy carbonation keeps it afloat

S - a tart wheatiness with slight roasted characteristics and a definite alcohol aroma with some cloying fruity esthers, maybe apple. an up front bouquet, but not overpowering

T - nice bold flavor, wheaty and thick, like the aroma, quite tart slightly nutty, with faint appley hints, not afraid to show some flavor this beer, but not to the point of poignancy

M&D - thick and slightly chewy, but not syrupy, wheaty and yeasty, smooth, but quite tart yet still easy down

Ommegang brews a damn good Ameri-Belgian!

Photo of KajII
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy dark amber with a large (2-3 finger) off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing.

The aroma was of straw malts, citrus hops and an earthy Belgian yeast with notes of banana, caramel, coriander and dark fruit (raisons and prunes).

The taste was lightly bitter with a hint of fruit and spices in the beginning with the finish being a tad bitter with a slight sweet malty flavor and a touch of caramel, maybe honey and very light citrus peel bitterness at the end. Flavor lasted an average time with a lightly sweet fruitiness pretty much left to lying on the taste buds after all else faded away.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was exquisitely tasty and quite well balanced, but everything this brewer puts out seems to be that way...


Photo of GreenWBush
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't believe I haven't tried this yet alone reviewed it as Ommegang and Hennepin are beer-fridge staples.

Evacuates the large and attractively printed bottle crackling and noisy. Shaded pumpkin in color, Rare Vos produces a productive head that blossoms beautifully over my tulip glass. Lace appears before the first sip and sticks with a vengence all the way through.

The main thing to consider about this beer is the footprint of the typically overzealous Ommegang house yeast. To me, it tastes equal parts rotten oak and dried flowers with metallic and coppery aromas. Saddle leather. Biscuity. Eartiness and spice I usually enjoy in BPA's seem hidden underneath rotten apples and wicker baskets. Mild hop-prescence akin to squeezed grapes.

The taste is markedly cider-esque and bitey. Astringent over-steeped pekoe tea. Dry as all hell, and like drinking a blanket: cotton. Rotting apple flavor continues until the addition of the yeast which somehow really opens up the sweet malt flavors, which are luscious when you can find them.

Again, overcarbonatingly bitey with orange rings and cracked pepper. Almost puckering dryness aids drinkability.

Not particularly drinkable, I found it hard to consume this 750mL bottle which is strange considering the amazing Hennepin and Ommegang. Interestingly, my wife liked it much more than either of those two options.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange-ish color with a white head. Aromas of candied sugar and a Belgian yeast. In the taste, Belgiany sweet malt and a hint of corriander. A small bitter mouthfeeland a dry Belgian yeast aftertaste. Smooth and mellow, with a nice hop presence.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulips.

A = Clear copper tinged amber liquid with a yellow off white head consisting of small and medium sized bubbles, decent retention and light lacing.

S = Light scents of white pepper and lemongrass with light hints of sour yeast.

T = Fresh baked lightbrown wheat bread on tip of tongue with lemon at midpalate. Light winter spices show up and blend into a long sweet-sour finish.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating, good level of carbonation with slight sting followed by creamier foam.

D = This is a pleasant, good drinking beer but just a little simpler than I expected.

Photo of granger10
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me of a wine. It's most dominanat flavors are fruity flavors that I would usually find in wines. But this does have more complexity than that. There's some citrus hops that fit well and I definitely taste the yeast in this. The yeast is also apparent in the finish causing for a very dry ending in this one. The body is light in my opinoin and needs to be a little more bold for this beer to go to the next level and join its compadres Ommegang and Hennepin.

Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A luscious amber, somehat cloudy brew. A modest but healthy fuzzy head that fades pretty quickly with nice lacing. The smell is mildly malt and wheat, a bit like a hefe but a mellower quality. Then the first taste says more hefe to me. I didn't expect that. I don't get the hops so much, more like a mild brown bread but decidedly like a hefe with delicate wheat and lots of citrus going on. Strong tingling carbonation at the front but it maintains a subtle blended flavor and feel, medium drinkability but more to be savored for those who admire the style. Not my favorite style though.

Photo of sdsurfer217
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: Light amber colored, slightly hazy, finger and half of cream colored head. Lots of carbonation off the bottom

Aroma: Spicy aroma, little bit of banana and orange.

Taste: Bready characteristic, with banana flavors. Little bit of pepper on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation interrupts most of the flavors making the beer feel rather thin.

Overall: Decent beer, but the carbonation kind of ruins it. Aromas are good as well as the lingering flavors, but when it's on my tongue it just doesn't hold up. I would like to try this on tap or 750ml to see if it's as "gas-y" as in the 12oz

Photo of AgentMunky
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Impressive head fills about a third of the glass. Light translucent orange in the light. Fantastic lacing.

S: Buttery malts, vague yeasts, some hops. Sweet and niceish.

T: Fruity-sweet (apricot?). Drying aftertaste. Malty-sweet and vaguely tart.

M: A bit watery/flat. Smooth, I guess. Not *bad*.

O: Good beer, but not as great on tap. Still recommended. Drinkable. I *might* be convinced to try another on-tap.

Photo of JAXSON
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber pour with a moderate creamy head. Really yeasty flavor, banana, bread, kind of bitter. Faint tropical fruit sweetness. Kind of too burdensome and sweet to be a session beer, but a bit simple to be considered anything special. Not bad, fine.

Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A medium-sized, dark, cream-colored head leaves swoopy lacing. The beer is a full, reddish-amber and clear. Dry, spicy, flowery nose. Dry and spicy again in the front. Pepper. There's some fruit in the middle, but it's not sweet. Foamy, creamy with temperature. The finish is bitter and dry, peppery, almost sour. Alcohol is evident. I remember really liking this, but this was a bit of a let-down.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance –The beer is served an reddish amber color with a two finger white head. The head has a decent level of retention, with it eventually fading to leave a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of yeast, fruit and spice. A light funky yeast aroma is mix with smells of banana, apple and orange. These are all complemented by some spice aromas of a peppery and spicy.

Taste – The taste begins with a light sour apple flavor upfront. This is mixed with some other fruit flavors of pear and orange as well as some bready tastes. A yeasty taste brings with it a bit more of the sour funk flavor. Grassy and citrus hop flavors enter the taste profile at this time helping to subdue some of the tart flavors. At the end very light peppery taste mixed with some notes of a wheat bread taste come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter and thinner side with a carbonation level that is high. The thinner body and the higher carbonation are great for the taste flavors of the brew and allow it to still be very drinkable and favorable without being “tart” overwhelming.

Overall – Ah it was an alight brew and worth a try, but nothing to really go to on great occasion.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves no lacing and lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian style yeast, fruity malts, and very light bananas. Pretty nice, with a lot of dark fruit.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, bananas, fruity malts, yeast, cloves, light citrus, light floral and earthy notes. Again, lots of dark fruits, and more bananas than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice amber ale with a Belgian style kick to it. Lots of dark fruits mixing with some bananas and bready malts. Very easy to drink, would give another shot.

Photo of SerialTicker
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Really nice brown color with a very noticeable haze to it. The head on it is really full and creamy.

Smell: It just smells Belgian. I get the Belgian yeast, maybe some prunes/raisins, and what really reminds me of olive brine in the background. It should be off-putting, but it isn't.

Taste: Just like the smell. I'm not used to the style, so it's very different for me, but it's oddly enjoyable. The yeast gives it that sourness you'd expect, and there's also, like I said, a briney taste to it.

Mouthfeel: Really the best part of it all. The creaminess/smoothness is very nice.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer at all ... it IS however very interesting for a newbie like myself. Quality stuff.

Photo of BierReise
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking deep amber ale with a creamy dense head and light retention. Gives a fruity spicy aroma with an earthy quality that is quite pleasant. Great full bodied with a creamy yet effervescent mouthfeel. Flavor is malty, fruity with notes of caramel. Everything was excellent about this ale untill the last mouthfull which seemed weak and slightly watery. Also this ale would benefit with a higher abv. It's just missing something.

Photo of frankiepop
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked pop with a bit of smoke. Big bubbly tanish head arises as you poor with plenty of lacing.

Nice fresh beer scent. Quite a reddish copper hue.

The beer is highly carbonated, and that's got nice clean crisp taste. Your ass is kicked by the amount of flavor. This 'pale' ale is nearly like a quasi-porter or dark ale in intensity. It has an almost sour quality. I am more into a darker sweeter ale myself. But one thing this is damn refreshing. IPA lovers would orgasm on this stuff.

As for mouth feel its pretty good albeit the super high bubbly carbonation.

I will buy other Ommegang, Gnomegang for example, instead of this again. Quality is there though. A good sipper for a summer day though.

This beer goes down good with a jazzy little effort like Grover Washington's Winelight or Mr. Magic.

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
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

Photo of breadnerd
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750ml into a large tulip glass, pours a light amber with great clarity and a pillow of head. Aromas are sweet, floral, yeasty. Notes of spice at first, mellowing to carmel and honey on the finish. Backround flavors are somewhat lost or at least difficult to distinguish through the carbonation. Very crisp, almost sharp. May be quite refreshing on a hot summer day.

Photo of cokes
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glass resembling iced-tea...sort of orange-brown with some haze. Creamy off white head defines retention.
Smells of spice (clove), bread and earthy hops.
Taste gets better as the bottle empties. Spiciness up front. Some grassy flavors. Slight Toffee/caramel maltiness. Yeast is present and plenty doughy, though lasks the general spiciness I desire (it's still present just bland). Grape like sweetness with perks of cherry and citrus. Faint traces of butter and nuttiness perhaps. Finishes up with a sharp blast of raw, earthy hops. Nice, if a little jarring for the style. Seemingly thin, but builds body as it sits. Don't bother sharing the bottle. In fact, get two for yourself.

All this for $3.99 / 750ml? I almost feel guilty.

Update: Not what I once believed it was (i.e. score 4.5). I've had both fresh and aged bottles since my initial review and all have seemed muted. This is certainly Americanized (Which is neither a good or bad thing). Yeast complexity is minor , bordering on nonexistant. Hops are too forward and throw the balance off.
Still a good budget Belgian-styled brew. But certainly not the classic I once thought.

Photo of Liverpool08
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark amber. Nice foamy head that quickly dies down to a small thin line. Aroma of malt and cloves. Taste is of cloves and spice but very tame. I was expecting a lot more from Ommegang. It just didn't jump out at me with any significant taste or flavors. Also it seems a bit watery. Its certainly very drinkible, but not the best I've had.

Photo of hunteraw
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Stubbie in Gainesville from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Much lighter in color than I expected, this doesn't seem to be a "dark ale" at all. Perhaps a bit darker than your typical Belgian Pale Ale, but not by much. Now I don't know what to expect... Amber in color, good head. Some lacing.

Smell: Again, much lighter than I'd expect. I though I might be mistaken, so I had a friend smell as well. Very light in the aroma department, with some mild belgian yeast character and perhaps a hint of spice.

Taste: I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad or mislabeled bottle, somehow. Again, the flavor profile is much ligher than I'd expect from a Belgian Dark Ale. Reminds me much more of a Belgian Pale, not the dark fruit and candi sugar of a Dark...

Mouthfeel: Nice and crisp, good. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Odd, drinkability is good but the beer is not what I was expecting, at all.

Photo of watermelon
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft at Galileos in Boone.

A: Golden-orange with a white head that stayed for the duration of the beer. There was a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Orange is the dominant aroma with a fair amount of pepper and coriander, possibly a few other spices as well as other less prominent citrus notes.

T: Again orange taste along with the spices mentioned above. There was a slight medicinal taste also, although not unpleasant.The alcohol is hidden very well.

F: This beer was very easy to drink. It had the perfect amount of carbonation which complimented both the citrus and the spice notes in the taste and smell. There was a nice zing on the tongue after drinking

O: I really enjoyed this beer It was only a dollar to upgrade from a budlight and worth every penny($4 a pint $14 a pitcher on non special days). This is a perfect end of summer beginning of fall brew, fruity enough to be enjoyed on a hot day but enough spice to remind one that the leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler. I wouldn't hesitate to order this again and highly recommend it to others. Plus at 6.5 abv theres enough to give a solid buzz but not so much that it would be unsafe to drive after ordering another.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 3,072 ratings.