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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

2,355 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2355
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: 2,355 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled on 27 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. Thanks to slushy for this one. This is a hazy burnt orange w/ some champagne bubbles & tightly bubbled head. Slight flavors of peaches and pears. This was a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2003 18:33:56 | More by jcalabre
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 WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dark golden/ amber color with a large off-white head that remained throughout my tasting. It was a bit hazy and overcarbonated due to bottle conditioning, but it's not a real big issue. The aroma smells of sweet Belgian malts and corriander. It's a bit fruity. The taste is good. A bit plain for me. Their other beers offer a little more spiciness, but this one is a good choice. The taste has the same fruity taste, but not as strong as the aroma suggests. I detect very little hopping in this one. The mouthfeel is quite smooth. This beer is very drinkable and a delight. Ommegang offers plenty in the line quality Belgian ales. This one however, is my least favorite of theirs'.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2003 09:02:34 | More by WesWes
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep rust in color, hazy from the yeast. Gigantic, pillowy white head. Explosive carbonation. Head settles a bit to show sticky lace on the glass.
Nose is a bit fruity.
Mildly sweet, with biscuit and raw grain flavors. Oranges, slightly spicy, and transitions into a dry piney finish. Full bodied a somewhat rustic (in a good way). Creamy, smooth, & balanced. This beer is complex, sublte, & highly quaffable. Drinking this is as easy as breathing air.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 10:00:30 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of MaineBeerMan
MaineBeerMan

Maine

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light brown beer with subtle orange highlights and a big head of off white foam. The foam dissipates somewhat, but never really goes away as it leaves rings and bits of lace on its way down the glass.
Aroma is full of banana with hints of clove and perhaps some orange. I could smell this beer the instant the cork left the bottle, and pouring only intensified the aroma.
Not as full bodied as I expected, but still plenty rich and tasty, fairly dry on the palate all the way through.
Flavor is a somewhat fruity and sweet which sounds a bit contradictory for a beer with such a dry mouthfeel. Vinous might be an apt description. Bits of herbal and grassy notes are slight, but detectable.
Overall, a tasty beer that I would try again, but not up to par with Ommegang or Hennepin.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2003 19:19:04 | More by MaineBeerMan
Photo of hotstuff
hotstuff

Indiana

4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew poured a large, creamy head, but it left little to no lacing on the sides of my mug. It had a fruity aroma to it. It had a very smooth taste which was much to my liking. There was no bitterness to this brew in my opinion. I was very, very impressed with this brew and I hope to have the opportunity to enjoy this brew again.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2003 15:02:43 | More by hotstuff
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange body, topped by a hefty big-bubbled white head. Head settles down to a half-inch topper shortly. A large snout of a nose, dominated by apples, lemons and oranges (not the grapefruit of cascade hops). Also a strong spicy character, peppery (not spicy like the dry spice of an overdone Christmas ale). All the characters of the nose are also in the taste: the spicy, peppery hops, a very apple/citrus fruity taste. Finishes surprisingly dry and clean. Could make a really fine "relaxing on the deck in summer" beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2003 20:27:20 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of WaltTrombone
WaltTrombone

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper body, topped with a light beige head w ith good staying power.

The aromas were tea, orange, and mild hops.

Tastes abounded, fleeting in and out! Orange, tea, caramel, mild hops bitterness, a wee citrus tang, prunes, apple, coriander,nutmeg, cinnamon, clove. How'd they get all that in there???

A creamy mouthfeel, and a smooth, mellow finish that reminded me of a spicy tea.

What a bier!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2003 18:27:57 | More by WaltTrombone
Photo of Admiraldinty
Admiraldinty

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly clear orange-coppery color with a big, white, frothy head. Estery, spicy, and fairly earthy aroma. Kind of a dry malt taste, with some noticeable hop bitterness. Medium-bodied and crisp. Dry finish and has a honey-like aftertaste. Pretty darned good stuff, and only about $5.00 for a 750 ml. bottle. You can't beat that.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2003 18:17:50 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of shirfan
shirfan

New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a fairly elegant beer at a low price. Slightly less enjoyable than the Unibroue line, but still very good.

Pours light and dusty orange with a good sized, retentive head.
Smell is of malt, nutmeg, and a slight kelp-like, organic note. Honestly I don't know what corriander smells like, so I can't compare it to that, but I didn't find it offensive.

Taste was notably dry for the style, with a frothy mouthfeel. A bit of a bitter but sharp finish takes over from an odd middle. Sort of spicy, peppery, with hints of yeast and that mysterious vegetable note. Faint cloves, nutmeg, and even a bit of a brine note. Malt lurks in the background.

An odd, but not unpleasant beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2003 18:01:56 | More by shirfan
Photo of StevieW
StevieW

Florida

3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big 750 ml brown bottle with cork and cage. A loud "pop" indicates a full amount of carbonation. Medium copper in color, shiny. Poured into a wide mouth belgian goblet as the bottle instructs. Off-white to beige head. Subtle smells of mulled spices. Cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg too. Taste was a bit oddly sweet, syrupy and full of spices. Hints of black pepper and sweet carmel malt, but nutmeg and cinnamon seem to dominate the flavors, but they don't balance and malt or traditional yeasty belgian flavors. Chewy full belgian feel fades as is the glass sits, and it turns into a muddled, spice filled, watery concoction. All beer and belgian flavors seem to fade into a wierd mess. There are present to start, but they fade fast. Seemingly artificial alcohol heat to finish. Watery, thin, and slippery feel linger. An all out search for positive flavors left on the tongue, comes up empty. Not one to savor, and honestly hard to finish the entire bottle. Maybe my taste buds aren't refined enough. This one was a dissapointment to me. My apologies to those that are a big fan of this one. I liked the other two from this brewery. I don't think it was past it's prime, I just didn't enjoy it like I hoped I would.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 17:24:24 | More by StevieW
Photo of Scooter77
Scooter77

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew from the folks at Ommegang. Pours an orange/copper in color with a thick creamy off-white, persistent head. After the froth dies down, a sticky web-like lace is left on the glass. Aromas are quite yeasty with moderately fruity undertones. Initial taste is somewhat malty, mixed with yeast and citrus fruit. A nice crisp zing of spiciness, possibly coriander, is left on the tongue. This is one exceptionally complex, yet balanced brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2003 07:03:15 | More by Scooter77
Photo of TXHops
TXHops

Texas

2.28/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Coriander. Slippery, Bain de Soleil-in glass-like coriander. This beer smells, tastes and feels exactly like coriander-infused sun tan lotion in a bottle. Disclaimer for any who might not know—I don’t like spiced beer and I especially don’t like coriander in my beer. It tastes too much like vegetables for me. In this case, Ommegang has taken that flavor profile to a whole new level. I think I can maintain some degree of objectivity, but we’ll see…

The beer pours an orangey-gold color with a pretty good sized head by American standards and a sub-par offering on the Belgian scale. The frothy, meringue-like character was non-existent, though a layer of white film lasted forever.

The aroma was coriander. Nothing but straight, in-my-face coriander. I smelled 5 or 6 times for something else, but I could only smell coriander. That being said, coriander in beer, to me smells like the aroma conjured up when I see the image of the nicely-bronzed little girl having her bum exposed by the overly-frisky family dog. Either sun tan lotion or celery. Is there a celery-scented Hawaiian Tropic product?

The flavor is the same, but with some depth. First, the greasy, celery-ish coriander smacked me on the tongue. Then I was granted a temporary reprieve by the green apple maltiness, flowed by some more Braeburn-like sweetness, before Banana Boat and cilantro fruit regained their strangle-hold on the flavors.

I hated, HATED this beer. But, I could appreciate how so many might like it. I was also impressed by the fact that the flavor didn’t follow in lock step with the aroma, offering up some nice appley tartness that was non-existent in the aroma. I will take off points for the possible addition of Coppertone and cabbage to the kettle, but I’ll be fair enough to recognize this beer strengths too…

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2003 20:17:36 | More by TXHops
Photo of longpondbeerman
longpondbeerman

Maine

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a well-balanced, though not overly complex, brew. It pours a cloudy, medium-dark amber with a light tan head which settles into a weblike lace. There is hoppy smell, but not much by way of spice. The mouthfeel is exquisite--cottony soft and a lightly fine carbonation. There's an initially tart taste--the hops--which fades deliberately into a slighly fruity finish. Very drinkable. I like everything about this brew and the brewery that makes it; they are clearly doing something right.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2003 16:21:31 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

I picked up some bottles after my trip to the brewery and I am extremely impressed. Out of the four beers they brew this is in the middle of the pack, but for this brewery that still means exceptional. Vos poured a sweet orange color with a fair bit of cloudiness and sediment. The head was white and ginormous as a good Belgian should be. The smell was spicy with just a subtle hint of hops. The taste was full bodied with a sweet malted characteristic and some hops and pepper in the back. Seeing how carefully they attend to the brews only made me appreciate this even more. I can't wait for my 750 of the abby.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2003 09:18:31 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of Darkale
Darkale

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the first Belgian-style beers that I have really enjoyed. Rare Vos erupts into a fast, loud, fizzy and cream-colored head of good retention and lacing, and is a cloudy red-orange in color.

The aroma is a wonderful and sweet sort of caramel and fruit mixture. The taste is full of syrup and fruit, with a bit of spice and hoppiness to balance the sweetness. As it warms, it just gets better. This is a fun beer to swirl around and play with for a while.

Complicated but not overbearing, spicy but not combative, Rare Vos is peppy and intriguing. Certainly a beer that I will purchase again, and I will probably put one or two in storage for a while, if I can keep my hands off them.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2003 20:05:29 | More by Darkale
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy light cherry colored brew with a serious white foamy head that pillows on top. Lace is left all over the glass. Sweet cherries hit the nose followed by a little bit of roastiness and toasted grains.

It has a crisp start and it then smoothes out. There is a lot of cherry flavor, like a blend of black cherry soda and black cherries. Grains and yeast blend this one nicely. The flavoring is fairly complex with the fruits, grains, and yeasts all balancing out to make a delicious brew. I did not get any hint of alcohol, but then again, it is not that high in abv.

The body is medium, and it is full of flavors. The complexity is not too much as to scare people away. I would think that this would be a great beer to turn someone on to the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2003 06:42:35 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of AudioGilz
AudioGilz

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue can't go wrong. This beer pours with an enormous fluffy head. The aroma is dark fruits, malts, sweetness, and a touch of hops. This has such a beautifully smooth mouthfeel with a perfect amount of carbonation zing. It's sweet, a little spicy, some cloves and fruitiness as well. Not much to say other than buy this 750mL for the very far from objectionable price. Also buy this if you're looking for something more mellow than the higher ABV monsters that Unibroue makes.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2003 23:02:27 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer in the 750ml corked bottle. This beer poured a nice thick white head that took a few minutes die down. The color was a hazy opaque brownish/amber. The nose was amazing. hints of fruit, plums, raisons, apples, yeast, with a few earthy woody notes. The initial taste on the other hand was rather disapointing compared to the nose. Rather bland, a mellow woody apple almost cider quality that was overshadowed by it's bitterness. The more I tasted this beer, it just kept coming up the same. A very complex light flavor that was just slightly overshadowed by it's bitterness. It seems this beer might be improved by 6 months or so of aging to mellow it out a little. The finish was short. A few spice notes and the subtle bitterness were all that lingered.
Compared to the other beers by ommengang I was a little let down by this beer. If you gave me a blind taste test of this beer next to a real belgian I havn't had yet I'd be hard pressed to tell which one was the American beer. It's an excellent belgian attempt. Ommengang stands alone in US belgian style beers, but this beer just fell a little short in my opinion. I might get another bottle and let it age for a while before trying it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2003 22:55:59 | More by taez555
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangish-copper in color with an off-white head. Lieave a good amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet from candi sugar, with hints of raisins, dates, and toffee. The flavor is sweet, bread-like with raisin notes that flow into a dry alcoholic finish. This is a very good medium-bodied Belgian-style ale. I will definitely sample this one again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2003 06:12:12 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of scottum
scottum

Vermont

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woah. Thems some brew. Pours a hazed red amber with a flowing white head. Fruity, spicy, grainish... what is it? Well for yeast sake, it's quite the belgiumish brew. Quite good indeed! Not the best Ommegang, but for a Belgium brew from the US this is up there for sure!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2003 17:35:31 | More by scottum
Photo of BitteBier
BitteBier

Indiana

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy peachy amber color with active carbonation and a thick, persistent head. Crisp yeast scents complemented with fruity (apricot) notes and a bit of peppery spice. Yeasty but not bready--a creamy, smooth mix of light malts and hops topped off with the spiciness that shows up in the nose. Alcohol warmth shows up more and more as the beer warms up. Nothing dominates the flavor of this incredibly drinkable, but a bit watery, beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 19:12:55 | More by BitteBier
Photo of kunzbrew
kunzbrew

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750 ml bottle with RARE VOS as the main type in the label.

Appearance: Hazy dark straw color with a nice white head that last for a while leaving a nice sexy lace behind.

Smell: Fruity pineapple smell pours out the top of the glass, along with grassy hop aroma.

Taste: A strong fruity flavor along with a mild metal taste that I am not quite sure of. The hops are light to non-existent, along with a malty taste.

Mouthfeel: This is light to medium body that is very nice, and welcomed.

Drinkability: I think I could have 4 or 5 of the bad boys and not realize that I was druling out the side of my mouth as I lay on the floor peeing my pants.

Overall: This is another great beer from Ommegang, it is sad to hear about the sale of the brewery, I am sure going to be pissed if these brews are changed at all.

Cheers

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2003 17:40:39 | More by kunzbrew
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 Realale
Realale

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep hazy brass in color. Huge extremely fine and fluffy head settles slowly to a nice, fine, complete cap.

Nose is slightly rummy, with a lot of volatile fruit, especially pear, and just a hint of banana.

Palate is surprisingly simple and a bit watery. There is some malt, with a subtle clove/phenol note. The fruit is there again, with pear leading the parade, and banana making a fleeting appearance. Decent length, and easy to quaff, but there's just not a lot there. A disappointing performance for a beer from this fine brewery. I'll have to pick up another bottle to see if mine was representative.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 09:24:27 | More by Realale
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,355 ratings.