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 TappaKeggaBrew
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber with a touch of redness, hazy to cloudy, with a thick, dense head the color of vanilla cream; lacing was scant in comparison to the head.

S: A mix of grain and fruity esters, then orange oil, then a mix of citrus & evergreen notes from the hops, and finally some spices (white pepper & coriander).

T: Flavors evolve quickly in the mouth, so it took a few sips to really take it all in. There's a moment of bready flavors that quickly drowns under a wave of tart, fruity flavors. Malt sweetness is there for a moment, then gone as tart fruit takes over again. The finish has two waves of bitterness: a short, spicy wave where I definitely appreciate the flavoring a they threw into the kettle to boil; and a second, lingering wave of tangy-bitter hops.

M: Crisp and well-carbonated. Thin, and more dry than moist, although not quite astringent.

O: A superb Belgian ale with spices. Mine paired nicely with Asian crackers and spicy ahi poke. Probably better suited to warmer weather, but good anytime. (1,012 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a great look and feel but is lacking in taste in my mind. Needs more citrus or more maltiness to keep it from tasting flat. I love Ommegang and I think they do Belgians right, but this is a bit lacking for me. Wish I liked it more. I'll try it in bottle to see if its the keg but maybe I'm just not a fan. (319 characters)

Photo of Edward19
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have had this beer multiple times and that should speak to how good this beer is but I will review my first encounter with it.

Beer was purchashed on tap at the Eagle Tavern in Liverpool, NY (they no longer have it on tap). Outstanding beer. I would recommend this to all of the beer lovers. (295 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber hue with a thick white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and solid persistent lace.

S: Sweet bread and Belgian yeast aroma with hints of Belgian candy.

T: Sweet Belgian brew with a slightly fruity tart middle that finishes dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid beer – great flavors and aromas. (404 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75


Take this review with a grain of salt. I'm not a big Belgian guru, so I'll just head into this from a standard beer junkie point of view. You've been warned.


this pours a very nice hazy amber, leaving a nice off-white head, but it is a little pop-like.


This smells - Any guesses? RIGHT! CLOVES! Spicy. Like, food spices, not beer spices. I guess beers like this are supposed to be this way. Some day I'll understand. In the mean time I'm getting cloves, flowers, sugar...


Taste has a lot of.... Any guesses? Cloves! Cloves, and pepper, some nutmeg, some cinnamon... more... Fennel? no. But something with an edge. But there is a lot going on, and it is very interesting.


Mouthfeel is very clean. It is nice and fizzy, and as you drink it (mine didn't sit very long), it just carbonates all over. Yummy!

Overall, this is pretty good, but brace yourself for an overwhelming spice thing. (934 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a foamy two fingers of head on a cloudy medium straw colored body. Great retention.
The aroma has lots of bright fruit: apricot, banana and orange.
The taste is full of flavor but still easy drinking. Mild sweet fruit notes with some lemon bitterness.
The texture is a fun fizzy with moderate carbonation.
Outstanding. (326 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass at Cure New Orleans. No freshness date.

A- Pours a light amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

S- Heavy bubble gum aroma with some herbal quality.

T- The bubble gum continues along with some wheat and spice. Big Belgian yeast presence with possibly some candi sugar.

M- Slightly sharp from the medium-high carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Love this beer for its somewhat intense bubble gum flavor that has a generous dose of malt and yeastiness (is that a word?). (711 characters)

Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.66/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with one finger head that lasts throughout the drinking process. Solid lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer. A bit yeasty to the nose with a hint of fruit. Tastes great. I mean outstanding. The balance is almost perfect. It goes down smooth and ends with a fruity, hoppy finish. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired but the initial flavor is exceptional. Overall, this is an awesome beer. I would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat. (469 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. Best by 1/23/14.

Beautiful looking beer, golden slightly hazy body with 2 finger creamy head, eventually dissipating to 1/2 finger. Good lacing. Nice carbonation, a slow steady stream of bubbles.

A sort of sweetness on the nose, with a little fruit.

Nice tasting beer. Nice and lively due to the carbonation. I confess to not having much undrstanding of the nuances of tastes in Belgians, but this is very enjoyable.

As mentioned, tingling on the mouth.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Can see having this again on occasion. (570 characters)

Photo of CSFerrier
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75


A beautiful hazy amber that's darker at the top.

Smells like many of the other Ommegang beers, which is a wonderful thing.

Tastes amazing.

It lingers in the mouth and tingles in the throat and nose. Stays in your mouth for quite a while after the drink.

Overall, it's goddamned amazing. (308 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: amber with gold highlights, fluffy cream colored head, some cloudiness

Aroma: fruity and spicy, showcasing belgian yeast character and fruity Maris otter like malt character

Taste: smooth and easy drinking with belgian spicy yeast character and earthy notes mellowing the fruitiness of the malt. Great balance of flavor

Mouthfeel: crisp, tingling and highly carbonated. Very palate cleansing, medium body

Overall: A great belgian style amber that showcases fruity malt character tempered by belgian yeast spicy and earthiness. (543 characters)

Photo of watermelon
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (1,220 characters)

Photo of usechopstix4soup
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first time trying this beer and like many, I am a big fan of Brewery Ommegang so I had high expectations and I must say, I was not met with disappointment.

The beer was poured into a libbey craft pub glass and the first thing I noticed was the amazingly vibrant color. I've had many amber ales in the past but this one was one of the brightest oranges I have ever seen. The head was very thick and lacing was abundant. I could not wait to experience it.

The smell of the beer reminded me of citrus rinds, definitely strong hints of orange and maybe grapefruit. The aroma was very sweet and welcoming. I regret that I did not try this beer during the summer as it would have been the perfect summer drink.

The beer is sweet, but not too sweet, and finishes off with a nice taste of fruit.

The body is perfect, it is not too thick or thin. The drinkability proves very high, I could definitely have one or two more of these.

Overall this beer perfects what it sets out to do. It is one of the best, if not the best, amber ales I have ever tried. Ommegang continues their legacy. (1,093 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's Rare Vos last month for $3.15 at Boyne Country Provisions. I'm still working my way through the Ommegang beers that I picked up while I was up north and today seems like a good day to give this beer a try, so lets see how it goes. Best by 11/20/13. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks looks good, I like the fox and bird having a beer together and the purple background makes it stick out a little. It poured a fairly hazy orange/amber color that took on a darker orange hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer, but I wish the head retention was a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a pretty big fruit aroma, there's some nice dark fruit aromas coming through, but there's also some cherry, pear, and slight apple like aromas. Up next comes some sweet and caramel malt aromas followed by a little bit of Belgian yeast with cloves seeming to stick out the most. I thought the aroma was pretty nice, but it could have been a little more balanced.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness followed by all those fruits that I picked up in the aroma, but it's the cherrys and pears that seems to stick out with a little bit of apple in the background. Up next comes the malts that impart a sweet and caramel malt like flavor followed by a medium amount of Belgian yeast with cloves still sticking out the most. On the finish there's pretty much no bitterness with a slight bit or tartness taking it's place with a fruity and Belgian yeast like aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, but just like the aroma I thought it could be balanced better.

M- Pretty smooth, very crisp, prickly, clean, on the slightly thicker side of being medium bodied with a very high amount of fizzy carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but the carbonation was a little out of control.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of the style since it's pretty much a straight forward Belgian Pale Ale, but the caramel malts add a little something extra to it and I thought it worked well with this beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth and the flavors did a good job at holding my attention, but I don't think I could drink more than one or two of these since I think the carbonation would really start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer was the fruit profile in the aroma and taste, it was a nice mixture of fruits that worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, I know this style is suppose to have a higher carbonation, but I thought it was a little out of control. I think I would buy this beer again, but not very often and I think it might go well with food and it's not too over priced. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Belgian Pale Ales, even through it's not the truest to style it still has most of the key attributes that define this style. All in all I enjoyed this beer, it wasn't my favorite of the style, but I thought it was pretty nice and a little unique. Good job guys this is a solid easy drinking beer that's pretty close to a Belgian Pale Ale, i'm happy I gave this beer a try. (3,476 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aged bottle, filled 5/17/11. Best By 5/12. Might have affected the review below.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Translucent amber formed a tall white head which receded to a surface foam film with a little lacing.

s: Vaguely fruity.

t: A very pleasant slight fruit-tinged malt. Carbonation adds more zing. Dark fruit becomes more prominent as it is consumed and warms. Slight ripe fruit aftertaste on an otherwise clean finish.

m: Medium, good body.

o: A highly drinkable Belgian style amber ale. Liked this better than Hennepin, though it would be interesting to try them side by side. Three Philosophers is still my favorite Ommegang of the four I have tasted so far because of its relative dark maltiness, but Rare Vos would probably be second to that, and the superior warm weather drink. (833 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a fizzy cream head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Slightly tart cherries, pear, and sweet caramel malt form the initial aroma, with Belgian yeast character adding complexity.

Sweet caramel lies at the base of this beer, more candy-like than malty. Buttery toffee segues into lightly sour cherry notes, which dry somewhat quickly in the finish. Somewhat of a vinous character comes to mind. Medicinal phenols emerge.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Very different brew. The phenols are somewhat offputting, and the buttery toffee caramel base dominates. The high carbonation robs the mouth of the flavor too early. (693 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Murky light amber with a frothy light tan head of about 2 fingers. Maybe not the most beautiful looking beer, but it does have fantastic lacing.

S- Fundy musk of Belgium yeast. Dirt with some clove. Some dark fruits with earthy hop character.

T- Funk from the nose with a nice, peppery spice undertone that was a terrific surprise that the nose failed to indicate. Pepper, phenols, coriander, and orange zest. Sweetness complements the damp musk, along with some herbal hops that generates a welcoming balance. A hint of some dark fruits- plums and grapes. Almost a bit medicinal

M- Light, refreshing, crisp as can be. High carbonation helps with the drinkability. Mid body bordering on full. Impressive feel to this one.

O- A different but welcomed change of pace from most Belgium and most ambers I have had. A mellow beer with a satisfying level of complexity. Didn't make me jump out of my seat, but good value that's worth a try

Bottled 3/6/13
Consumed 8/2/13
$6.99 for 750 ml (991 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Pours a hazy, burnt orange with a thick, foamy white head.

Spicy, peppery, coriander, light orange peel fruitiness, bready malts.

Foamy, slightly creamy medium+ body.

A very well done Belgian pale ale. Prominent coriander and spices, but without being overwhelming thanks to a solid base beer. (310 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ommegang Rare Vos Amber Ale has a thin, cream-colored head (not unlike root beer), and brilliant, glowing orange appearance, with very tight bubble streams and some slight lacing left behind. The aroma is rather faint, but with deep inhalations, one can pick up the sweetness, orange peel, and subtle spices, along with bread. Taste is of spiced bread, orange, coriander, and pepper. Mouthfeel is rather lager like and watery, and Ommegang Rare Vos finishes crisp, refreshing, zingy, and enjoyable. One does wonder how it would hold up without all of the added enhancements, though. Overall, I score it excellent.

RJT (619 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a copper amber color with tons of carbonation.

The aroma has banana, lots of spiciness, Belgian yeast and breadiness. A good amount of dark fruit from raisin to plum.

The flavor has a good balance between fruits. There's some citrus, lemon, and floral notes. Then there's lots of spice with pepper and clove. There's also apricot and also some very ripe banana.

The mouthfeel is quite light and makes it drinkable, but I found that there was a bit too much carbonation.

A well made brew and packs a good amount of flavor for its ABV. (556 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Packaged in April 2013. Poured into tulip glass for review. Pours clear amber with frothy white head. Very little lacing. Smells spicy with black pepper & clove, notes of sweet citrus (orange peel), coriander. Spicy phenols persist after other aromas fade from the nose. Tastes sweet, yet finishes dry. Lemon & orange flavors with ample hop bitterness. Bitterness lingers and stings the tip of the tongue. Feels about medium full. Alcohol kept well in check. A delicious beer. Very well brewed and solid all around. Love the complexity and aptly priced for a Belgian made in America. (583 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I absolutely love the deep rich amber hue of this ale. A touch cloudy, almost unfiltered in a way, it's somewhat iridescent. The head was thin, highly carbonated and fleeting.

The scent holds sweet apricot, raisin, plum, prune, date and fermented dried fruit. Very hearty in the nose it is strong and appealing.

The taste holds true to form with rich raisin at the front, sweet date, apricot and prune towards the middle; ending in a grape must/wine like quality at the end. The feel is full and substantial yet smooth.

Ommegang continues to impress me every time I try one of their ales and this is yet another fabulous addition. (633 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the Avenue in Allston.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Spicy, banana, clove, malty, yeasty esters, and bready.

Taste: Same as above with a little bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Silky, creamy, smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, and a little tingly bitterness in the end.

Overall: Pretty solid BPA. Thought I had it before, but I guess not. Definitely will have more now. (598 characters)

Photo of BethanyB
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing to style, as well as subjective taste.

Appearance: Dark yellow to pale gold, lighter than what is typical for the Belgian pale ale style. Also rather hazy for a Belgian pale ale, which should be very clear. In terms of appearance, I'd say it's more of a Biere de Garde. Its head was slightly more true to style in that it was persistent, yet med-low and airy, and was a bright off-white color. Left lacing from top to bottom.

Smell: Spicy hops, toasty/biscuity malt, citrus fruits, and apricot made for a sweet, strong, and rich bouquet. A touch of vanilla complemented the light-as-a-marshmellow head. Enjoyable, impressive, and representative of the Belgian pale ale style.

Taste: For the most part, the taste matched the flavorful aroma. Citrus fruits were more prominent than I expected, but were fairly well-balanced by low-medium spicy hops. The notes of apricot, vanilla, and biscuity malt were unmistakably present. A touch of alcohol warmth felt unexpected, yet certainly welcome. On a subjective level, the flavor was a bit too fruit-focused for my taste. It reminded me of a much more complex, yet sadly, less refreshing version of a Blue Moon. The refreshing cons have more to do with the mouthfeel, as I describe below:

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body was not well-matched by the medium-low carbonation. More carbonation would have made this beer more bright and refreshing, which is what I imagine it was striving for.

Overall Impression: An enjoyable, complex, and interesting take on a Belgian pale ale that is certainly worth the taste! However, being neither altogether crisp and refreshing, nor very satisfying and filling, it left a bit of an emptiness in my belly. Could have done with less of the citrus fruit. There's already so much going on, that cutting back on the oranges a notch may actually bring out more of that complexity. (1,870 characters)

Photo of JRed
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy dark golden color with giant marshmallow floating over top. Aroma Belgian fruitiness: cinnamon apples, oranges in vodka, rinds, honey, and sharp spices. Taste of cinnamon apples, oranges and rind, honey, clove, and I aggressive but still noticeable booze. Big bodied but oddly, not that chewy, more fluffy. Easy drinkin' and flavorful. Nice for summer evenings. (368 characters)

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