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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,135 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: 1,135 | Ratings: 3,235
Photo of elmocoso
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color of a red cloud. A biege head came and went quickly, leaving almost nothing. Slightly hazy. Yellow in the thin parts. Nose is very spicy alcohol. Very estery- very tart on the tongue, very dry finish with a lingering tartness. Drinkiability OK, but i would like to try again.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Too dry!

I know this yeast strain. It's an authentic strain that originates from a Trappist Brewery in Belgium. It attenuates very well, and takes a long time to flocculate completely. As a result, it ferments beer really dry, and gives sort of a yeast bite in the aftertaste.

To coordinate a Belgian Pale Ale with this yeast strain, some crystal malts, higher mash temperatures, or carapils malt is usually needed. Belgian Candi Sugar usually won't do the trick... its too fermentable.

I find this beer to be too dry. There's not enough body to offset the dryness from the attenuation. As a result, the aftertaste is dry as a bone... with some hops to accentuate the problem.

Overall, it's a moderately drinkable beer. It is free of off-flavors and unpleasantness.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Hazy burnt orange/amber in color, with a big, creamy white head. Soft and a touch yeasty in the nose, faintly sweet with hints of fruit and spice.

Beautifully round in the mouth, with a balance of soft, malty sweetness, fruits (apricots, and citrus flavor without the astringency), and peppered here and there with spices. The finish is dry and grainy, bringing a saison to mind without actually tasting like it.

An excellent offering from Ommegang that I'll run back to the next time I have a chance to buy it...

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Photo of necoadam
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle shared with 2 other people.

Appearance: Pours out an orange/golden color with a big head that took a while to settle down. Had a chill haze look to it as well.

Smell: Fruity notes mostly along with some yeast and some sweet aromas as well.

Taste: Citrus notes along with some hops hit the palate first and some malts come in as well. Some slight caramel can be detected as well in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and finished a tad on the dry side, but nothing out of control here.

Drinkability: Average. There's better Belgain Pale Ale's out there, but as a domestic brewery that made this, it's quite decent. Worth a try.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always passed this beer up, getting the Hennepin or the Three Philosophers. Finally, I purchased it. Cloudy amber, semi-sweet, good hops and malt...boy was I an idiot. For the price, $3.99 for the bottle, this was a steal. The taste was so smooth and drinkable, almost conversationable. If there is such a thing as a "table beer" along the lines of a "table wine", this would be it. .

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Photo of claytri
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a rich opaque gold with a lightly tanned head. The smell is a mixture of malt, hops, floarals, and fruit. The taste is of malt sweetness with a cherry finish. There is also a boquet of alcohol that is quite plesant. It's clear and light to the feel with a wet finish. I am really quite impressed with this one. The best Ommegang product I have had. This is an excellent beer I will have again

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Photo of nogoodreason
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I lack the wide-mouthed stem glass the bottle insisted upon. Instead, I poured this into a pint-sized glass with a narrow bottom and middle with a tulip-esque bulb near the mouth. Served with a pan-seared steak and some very buttery parmesan asparagus.

Appearance: Pours an abso-fucking-lutely beautiful hazy red orange. Initially a behemoth head forms and threatens to overrun the glass. The head didn't stick around for long, but the beer still had a nice, consistent lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Not a particuarly stong smelling brew, a nice malty smell with touches of citrus. Perhaps the smell of the food was interfering with my ability to capture the scent, but this really doesn't have a particuarly pungent nose.

Taste: Malty, with orange peel(?), a faint but unquestionable banana taste. Well balanced, not too sweet, not too strong on the fruity flavors and just enough hops to give it a bit of bite. This is not a big beer, on the contrary, it is very mild and subtle. Not especially complex (for a belgian-style ale), but still quite good tasting.

Mouthfeel: Thick and fairly viscous with good carbonation bite. I like the way this one feels in my mouth.

Unlike most of the belgian-style ales I normally enjoy Rare Voss is not a burly behemoth of flavor. It is a mild, easy drinking brew. At 6.5 ABV, it was easy for me to drink a 750 ml. bottle and not feel more than a pleasant warmness. I went ridiculously well with the steak and aparagus, neither being overpowered by the food nor overpowering. This may be the the best session beer of this type I've had, and it is a great substitute for a table wine when consuming red meat.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rocky off-white head, hazy caramel/amber color in the glass. Fruity nose with light Belgian yeast character. The taste is brash hoppy bitterness tempered with a good dash of malty sweetness, somewhat dough-like in taste. Spicy yeast notes too. Finishes fruity and bitter with an after smack of malt. A good drinking ale.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a bottle conditioned, corked bottle. Pours a pleasant, deep amber with good head retention, lacy white head. Taste is as a good Belgian beer should be. Heavy on the hops, big malt profile, and spices unknown create a powerful, sharp and bitter beer. Good smoothness and drinkability. An excellent beer, as expected from Brewery Ommegang.

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Photo of kelticblood
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional appearance! Fluffy thick white head with tons of lacing.The color is a hazy brownish-red.Tastes stronger than the 6.5% ABV the bottle says. Maybe because it has alot of body.Sweet malt nose but not much more than that.Very drinkable with crisp bite.No real hop taste or smell,but there is some bitterness on the finish. Would like to see more hops.Has a bready,dry,grain taste.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy burnt orange with gold undertones. Slightly off-white, rocky half finger of head with excellent retention. Very controlled carbonation.

Smell: Citrus right off the bat, although more orange sweet than lime sharp. Herbal, sweet spice cake comes through with some coaxing. Slightly musty. Very mild overall, though.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel hits you first, sharp carbonation with a thin, crisp mouthfeel. The taste, IMHO, is frustratingly mild. It's unmistakably Belgian (via NY) with a slightly spicy sweetness followed by a yeasty citrus sourness. There's a touch of alcohol as it warms, but nothing really stands out.

Drinkability: Very light and crisp, good flavor; it's quite drinkable. That said, it's not necessarily what I look for in this style of beer.

I really wanted to love this beer, as Ommegang has brought more good into the beer world than any one brewer should be expected to. And don't get me wrong, this is a very tasty, refreshing, well-made beer. Still, I'd like it to have a bit more balls. A nice girl, but no prom queen.

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Photo of Boto
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: This pours a slightly orangish color. Big off-white head that lingers a bit. Aroma has lemon, yeastiness, some bread, a hint of caramel and some spices. Lemony taste up front. A hint tart. Somewhat malty, spicy, a llittle on the lighter side. Definitely a complex taste. Very Nice.

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Photo of Skidz
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours our light brown and sits orange-amber in the glass with a small off-white head.

Smells of sweet wheat malt and citrus (orange, lemon). Nice yeasty character with light traces of alcohol hiding beneath.

Sweet malts again in the mouth with tangy citrus. Medium bitterness in the finish with dry yeastiness and a slight touch of alcohol.

Light and crisp with bold carbonation. A bit much for my delicate tounge. Easy going down, but lacks anything of desire.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.44/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first sample of what Brewery Ommegang can do, thanks to northyorksammy. Lots of info packed onto the front and back labels, they seem geared to educate the masses with lots of little sound bites. Plus I even learned about the language differences in north and southern Belgium, which I was previously unaware of. Thank you Brewery Ommegang.

This is an impressive looking Belgian, from a 355 ml bottle it pours a deep hazy apricot colour with a great deal of carbonation action, and a massive creamy head that gets chunky on the pour, rises above the rim of my chalice glass and holds its form. Solid lacing down the side of the glass. The nose is more faint than I was expecting, I'm picking up spices and traces of a juicy red fruit, like grapes or plums, also a bit of earthiness in there as well. The flavour also contains that red plum-like characteristic, as well as some grass, and on the finish I begin to start noticing some sweet malt blended with spices, mostly clove and pepper. Mouthfeel is light and velvety, a pleasure to roll over the tongue. A decent Belgian, although I'd prefer a Unibroue over it if given the choice. That's if Sleeman doesn't go and screw things up.

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours out of a 750ml bottle, clear orange with a nicely lasting film. Very belgian aroma with a wall of doughy and bready yeast. Fruity and flowery malt (peaches, apricot, honey). It begs for a sip... which I later regret. Watery and bland palate with empty almost uniquely yeasty flavors, bready. Mouthfeel is creamy and way too airy and carbonated which almost distracts the flavors out of your mouth before it hits your tongue.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellarable. Nice hoppy carbonation from bottle conditioning after about 3 months. Light with Abundant head that settles into lace sealing of malt and Light spices in yeast including cinammon. Creamy mouth feel and must be sipped. Popular. Fruity aroma. I think the ladies like this too.

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Photo of shapudding
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a nice dark copper color with a great amount of head, little bubble bath of froth from this lovely belgian. Very high carbination and a ton of lacing. Scents of fruits, banana, and alcohol. Hard to get away from the idiot at the bar with the stogie... definate impact on the senses... Tastes of dark fruits and vanilla ice-cream. Im terribly impressed with how long this ale held it's carbination. All in all it is just very nice, like it!

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Photo of mschofield
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy strawberry-brown, topped with a one finger off-white crackling head, leaves partial sheets of lacing.
Fruity, sweet aroma, berries, bitter orange (curaco), fruit brandy.
Tastes of wheat, vanilla, curaco.
Medium bodied, feels higher in ABV than it is, not something I'd quaff down, or even buy that often, but it is interesting.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky orange-ish light brown with a decent light tan head and good carbonation but doesn't leave much lace. Fruity, figs, raisins, and spicy aroma .. almost a dusty maltiness to it. Fig and raisin flavors dominate a la a Dubbel. Medium bodied and goes down easy ... "good for session drinking".

I think of this more as a Belgian Dark Ale than a Belgian Pale Ale.

Per Ommegang website: Cara-pils malts and Styrian Goldings hops

(12 oz bottle aged 2-3 years)

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Vos pours out clear initially from its bottle, but the end of the bottle contributes a bit of hazy yeast, making the overall appearance slightly foggy. The color is a dark earthy amber, and the bubbles pour up from the bottom. The head is large, overflowing the glass at first, but it recedes slowly, leaving a ton of foamy lace behind. The smell is very... what is it? It's not light, theres plenty to smell. Its very straightforward in its subtleties. This could probably use a good aging, but I'm drinking it straight from the store. From the smell of this beer, I instantly remember touring the Ommegang brewery and seeing the sample of spices they use, because theyre in the smell, thas for sure. I cant put my finger on them specifically, but what I do smell is a figgy cherry fruitiness along wiht a spiced wheaty aroma, all of which smelled quite sweet. The taste is sour fruity spice, with an alcoholic malty flavor and the definately hint of the yeasts. There is a hint of the hops too, but not overpronounced. The mouthfeel is a bit too dry feeling for me, with the combination of the light body, the good amount of small bubbles and an overall dry taste. Besides that though, its a good beer definatley.

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Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper colored brew.

Smell is all spices, Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mint.

Taste is mildly sweet with a big spicy flavor. Coriander, cloves, allspice and celery dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

A spicy drinkable brew, almost tastes like a Hefe-Weissen.

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

Appearance: Lightly hazy, golden orange. A really nice color with the light behind it. Light tan head rose up easily and thinned out to a light layer of sticky bubbles that remained on the top of the brew. Decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of apricot and grapefruit right after the pour. Sweet and lightly roasted malt grew from that, along with some spice and a light smokiness. The combination of sweet and fruit gave the impression of fruitcake at times.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied overall, but the amount of flavor gave it a perceived presence. Smooth upfront and velvety on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Sweet breads, crackers, and light caramel kicked in at first. Peach and apricot arose strong on the sides of the tongue. These flavors continued to the finish, where they were joined by a light bitterness and hints of alcohol and spice.

Very nice brew. Thanks WesWes!

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark orange in color, thick white head on the top and it lasts forever then a nice lacing takes over.

Aroma is of orange peel, noticeable but not overpowering. A hint of yeast and spice finish the aroma.

The taste is smooth. A fruity citrus flavor with spice. Orange peel comes across then spicy notes to a dry finish.

This beer is enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a dark orange. The head is creamy and dense and laces well.

The nose is fruity (mostly oranges) and also has some flower shop smells.

I really like this stuff. I am having it with five grain crackers and cream havarti cheese. I love cream havarti cheese. This tastes mighty fine. First is a sharp, spicy and peppery yeastness. Next comes the fruit, and lots of it, mainly green melon and orange. Nice flavor with this beer but for being 6.5% the alcohol is way to prominent. High carbonation. But, the best thing about this beer is that it is very very creamy. It makes it wonderful.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.