Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

3,072 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
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 sabrills70
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy medium coper color with a great 2 finger head and equally nice lace. Smells of sweet dried fruit (cherries, raisins, plums) with a bit of spicyness mixed in. Taste is similar to smells but with an almost immediate hop spicyness, not overpowering but just enough. Finishes with a definate alcohol taste. Also noted some caramel and even a slight roastiness. A nice Belgiun Pale and a deal at $5.

Photo of beertastegood
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heard some good things about this beer, so I figured I would pick up a 750. Pours out of the bottle a slightly hazy amber color with a big white fluffy head. Smells of raisins, plums, bananas and caramel. Very spicy aroma in there as well. Tastes like dark plums, raisins, with pepper-like overtones. Very malty sweet and tasty, like a good Belgian should be. Finishes very clean and slightly sweet; like you have just eaten some very ripe dark fruit. Medium bodied, slightly above average carbonation - good mouthfeel. Drinkability is about medium.

I am surprised by the fact that this brewery is American. I could have sworn this beer came straight from Belgium. An excellent brew.

Photo of ypsifly
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz with no dates, but lots of information about the brew, brewery, and stuff to do in Cooperstown.

Light brown amber with a BIG white rocky head that lasted for a long time before falling to a 1cm layer foam that never left. Nice lacing as this one goes down.

Has that characteristic belgian yeast smell, fruity but not the dark alcohol soaked fruits. There's some malt in the background and the aroma of dry hops.

The tasting starts out good with the fruity yeasts making up most of it, but there is this odd metallic something that is out of place here. Doesn't ruin it overall, but it does upset the balance. Other than that this is a damn tasty brew.

Nice full, but not too full mouthfeel. There's lots of carb but it doesn't numb the tongue. Despite one flaw, this is a most drinkable beer. The 6.5abv helps that too.

Photo of oxmasterscream
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-orange and hazy. Almost glowing. Creamy thin head.
Smelled majorly of honey and cloves. Some fresh apples as well.
First taste provided a spicy, tongue-stinging that led to a mildly bitter finish. Taste is chock full o' Belgian funkiness. If you gulp enough air with a swig, it tastes like an attic or basement. Is that good? Not so sure. Some metal in there as well. Sometimes sour, sometimes tangy. No pronounced flavors though. Very subtle in its approach. Mouth is thick with blankets of miniscule bubbles. Definitely an easy drink. Tasty as well.

Photo of horndecker
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally tasted at the brewery, and mightily appreciated. This review however is from the little 12 oz'er.

It's a deep orangey brown hue, looks a bit like Minwax cherry wood stain, if Minwax had a nice big off-white frothy head that faded into clingy lace when you poured it into a Hoegaarden Speciale snifter.
The nose is citrus and vanilla, lots of vanilla, then oranges and yeasty, earthy, malts, then a hint of caramel, but that may be vanilla redux.
There's the faintest shade of bitterness at first, followed by round, biscuity malt. A mild hop thing appears and it finishes with a tang, slightly sweetish, but tangy.
There's a nice creamy mouthfeel, makes it very easy to drink, a pleasure.
What a nice touch of Belgium here in the states, and only $2 a bottle. If you're ever in Cooperstown, take the tour of the brewery. It's fascinating and refereshing...

Photo of travolta
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Apple cide in color, very hazy. Head retention is minimal, so is formation and lacing. I will not judge against this, as i am using the wrong glass and i am sure it is my fault.

Nose: A little citrus and raisin in the beginning. A little yeasty, a bit of a Belgian nose to it. a tiny bit of vanilla and sweet crackers.

Taste: Nice and fruity at first. Not tropical, but everyday fruits, like banana and strawberry. The Belgian-style water taste is evident. A little bitter, but only slightly and in the back of the taste. Some raisin and crackers, yeasty, a little crisp at the end.

Notes: I am very impressed. This is the most non-American, American brewery I have found. Nice to drink.

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

My 12 oz bottle opens with a pop so loud it made the dog jump! It pours a amber/copper color topped by a magnificent, but brief head of bone white fluff. Amoebas of lace are left as a reminder. A veil remains throughtout.

Classic Belgian aromas of grass, spicy yeast, pear, melon, and light, bready, citrus pull me in. Cherries, fruitcake, and banana are along for the ride.

This ale first reveals itself as slightly sour with a bitter tinge. It soon fades into a plethora of grassy and herbal tones shadowed by some pear, melon, and grapey mustiness. The finish is cedary dry and quite thirst quenching.

Rather light bodied, with ample, cascading carbonation. Smooth and almost creamy on the palate. Overall, a tasty example of the style, brewed here in the states.

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured light amber with a large off white rocky head. Cascading bubbles come up from the bottom.

Earthy at first in the nose, then esters reminding me of green apple. Spiciness and clove, alcohol and hay.

Big and dry taste, nice malts paired with citric hops. Vinous at times, a creamy vanilla taste was coming out at the end. Dry finish made the drinkability factor high.

Another great beer from Ommegang, the true budget beer afficianado's choice at only $3.99 a bottle where I bought it. That's value.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dusty orange with big but short lived head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is fruit (melon) and purfume A little grassy.
Flavor is fruity, pear, and a little spice. Finish is short, crisp and dry. Nice refreshing beer.
Paired well with my new favorite cheese, Rembrant aged gouda.

Photo of Truh
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Discovered I was one of a kind with this one on 10/15/2004. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

¾-inch initial cream head, very thick with sticking lace. Light gold hue with a peach skin tint and some active haze. Tart grapefruit nose, with a wet straw yeastiness following up. Lemony tartness, coriander, almost an odd rubbery flavor and a trailing hop bite that cleanses the palate. Tasty, medium to light body that doesn’t force itself on you, but rather gently makes its presence known.

Photo of allengarvin
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle, poured into a New Belgium chalice glass.

Appearance: Somewhat hazy walnut color, with a cake of foam about a quarter inch thick atop it.

Aroma: Sharply phenolic & spicy, and somewhat woody.

Taste: Dry, biscuity malt flavor, moderately bitter with an earthy hop taste, kind of mushroom-like. Lots of spicy phenols wait at the end, leaving for a lingering, peppery finish.

Body: Lots of carbonation give it a big, spritzy mouthfeel.

My favorite of the Ommegang line, especially as an accompaniment to food, like home-made very-thin-crust pizza, or maybe asparagus and spicy sausage.

Photo of tavernjef
3.29/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dull auburn with a slender copper highlighting the edges. Gorgeous one inch crown of dusty yellowed fluffy meringue roots itself to the top for an eternity. A thick muddled skim remains once it does fade through from consumption and the lacing collapses into thin webbed butterfly wings. Lavishly beautiful for the winkers!

Quite a dry yeastified nose with a touch of fruits.It's a dry yeast forest of dried mushrooms, dust, chalk, and alumnium foil with a trickling under current of fruits adding some soft banana, pear, and starfruit.

Flavors are extremely mellow and calm; it has an onslaught of yeasty dry stuff carrying over from the nose with a chalky, alkaline, celery thing taking up a good portion of it. Wheat cracker backing; smidges of fruits kinda surface around the corners; pear mostly, and I think thats mostly because of the feel which is much like a pear, it has that odd texture that kinda dulls the tongue off with a drying sense. The pushy chalk and tin sits far to long though and never wants to leave the palate or lets the fruits get by.

Feel is just shy of a medium body with a dump truck of dryness and the formly mentioned chalkyness and tin. Its not a total puckering though, its a mellow easy dryness, but by a fair amount over what I like.

This was to dry for my taste, the mellowness is too mellow and the complexity it seemingly has just doesn't seem to really peak any where and the dryness flat out takes too much out of it for me. A dry yeast beast masqueraded as a scrumptiously lush looking brew...hmm...Viking brew anyone?

Photo of Dogbrick
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a luminous orange/amber color with a medium off-white head. Thin and sticky lacing. The aroma is lightly spiced and fruity, along with some yeast. Medium-bodied with peach, yeast, wheat and spice flavors. The finish is dry and fruity, with sweet malt peeking through. Pretty solid through and through.

Photo of HogHill
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden honey haze with a frothy white head on top which helps hold in a light yeast, and somewhat banana and citrus influenced aromas.
Esters and the yeast are apparent in this medium bodied ale, the hops barely register, leaves a clean finish. Represents the Belgian pale/golden ale style well.
Rare Vos aka the Sly Fox feels, fairly light and is carbonated which gives it a crisp, dry finish.
At 6.5% this Belgian by way of Cooperstown isn't quite a session brew but could be enjoyed on a special day, like say superbowl sunday.
Notes: Paid $3.99 for this 750, very affordable offering from Ommegang.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy peachy amber color with a fluffy light tan head. Aromas of musty mild yeast, amber and crystal malts, light fruitiness and spicing. Starts off amberishly sweet (nuances of clover honey), then dries a little from the clovey phenols. Moderately fruity with a faint nuttiness, with a very slight woody tartness in the aftertaste. A little bit on the weak side, yet flavorful. One of the better U.S. brewed Belgian-style beers.

Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured slightly hazy orange golden with a huge frothy off-white head head that was large and fell very slowly to coat the glass with stick albeit sparse lace.

The aroma was black earth-loam and humus with some yeast fruit and spice.

The flavor was slightly malty but more earthy that anything else. The earth flavors and slight fruitiness along with a slight caramel impression make for an interesting flavor. The finish is dry with an vinous flavor that evolves into a dry hoppy finish.

The body was medium with some active effervescence.

This one paired nicely with spicy turkey chili.

Photo of santoslhalper
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Of the 4 new brews I had tonight, this was probably the most dissapointing. This beers flavor was just about the most average tasting "belgian" style beer I've had in a long time. The flavors that were there were weak and not interesting. This left a bad aftertaste as well. Maybe I just had a bad bottle, but this was pretty damn rough.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-amber color, it is topped by a thick frothy light beige head. It is fairly well carbonated, with a streaming line of bubbles cascading up from the bottom of my glass. The aroma is spicy with notes of coriander, ginger, a dustiness and there is a nice fruitiness that reminds me of oranges, apricot, perhaps some notes of cherry cough syrup, and tropical fruit. The aroma is quite complex and intriguing, especially for a beer of this strength.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, but then becomes dry in the middle, the lingering finish moves back to sweetness, but one that is dominated by caramel. This beer is nicely fruity, with notes of cherry, a hint of apple, banana and raisin. This beer is lightly spicy, with notes of clove, ginger, and mace. The nice soft fruitiness of this beer definitely is the dominant characteristic. There is a nice maltiness here as well, it accentuates the fruitiness. The maltiness has notes of caramel, and lightly toasted malt.

This beer is quite tasty, and quite well balanced. The interplay between the smooth fruitiness and the sharp spiciness is quite complimenting. This beer is definitely a work of craftsmanship, it is quite well balanced, yet quite flavorful for a beer of this strength. Actually this might be the best beer that Ommegang makes.

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opens with a Pow! Watch where you point that thing! and the cork goes flying off to parts unknown. The cats will find it, I'm sure.

Glowing russet with steadily rising bubbles. Copious creamy head that subsides into pillows and clumps on the glass. Strong yeast smell that gives way to a piercing sweet and sour wineyness.

Slight hazelnut in the first taste. Surprising amount of alcohol bite. Apricot fruitiness mellows it out. Huge prickle in the mouth, powerful carbonation that begs to be paired with rich food. Suggestion of white pepper in the finish.

Pleasing and straightforward. I think this is my favorite Ommegang offering.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Hopshop in Boston for not only this bottle but the proper glass to serve it in. A very nice treat!

Pours a dark golden-amber with lots of carbonation, a 3/4 inch thick head quickly drops off to a nice cover. Belgian yeast smell, with slight hops, light sweetness and citrus in the aroma. Very nice to sit and smell. Taste is a nicely balanced malt and hops mix, sharp and tangy, but offset by the mellowness of the grain. Slight citrus, not as sweet as the aroma lets on.

I could drink this all day. Even my beer-hating girlfriend liked this one!

Photo of HochFliegen
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one and was impressed to say the least at the foggy orange color with a nice solid white head.
Smell is of citrus, spice with a sweet and bread like scent in there as well.
The taste was oh so smooth. The creamy head and the orange peel like flavor burst into my mouth. It was then followed by a sweet malty flavor and rounded of with a spiciness that seemed smoothed in the aftertaste with a bread like yeast like flavor.
Amazing mouthfeel. Full of flavor and aroma.

Photo of Bones54
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 750 ml bottle. My first from the Ommegang Brewery out of Cooperstown, New York.
Appearance: Typical Belgian ale appearance, not as much cloudy in appearance, but definately a dark amber hue. Not a large head, but lasting until the last sip.
Smell: mixture of grain and fruit.
Taste: not as powerfull as many Belgian brews, however very pleasant and drinkable. The alcohol taste prevelant in many Belgian beers is not as distinct in Rare Vos.
Overall the beer is very enjoyable and drinkable, one of my favorites. Makes me feel like I'm enjoying it on a summer's night in Brugge, instead of a cold, dreary night in Akron, OH. And for $4.99 that's not bad at all!

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured slightly hazy orange golden with a huge frothy off-white head head that was large and fell very slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was earthy with Belgian yeast spiciness most prominent. Also present with the earthy aromas were substantial fruity esters.

The flavor was slightly bitter and malty but more earthy that anything else. The earthy (hops?) flavors and slight fruitiness along with a slight caramel impression make for a fairly bitter yet unimpressive flavor. The Begian yeast spiciness was restrained yet carried through.

The finish was dry with an earthy vinous flavor that lasts.The body was medium. Also present was an alcohol warming that last long after consumption.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. The inexpensive price was the best thing about this beer. There are plenty of other BPAs I'd drive across town to get and this is not one of them.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of a disappointment. I love Ommegang beers, but this one did not impress me. Not that it's bad, but it doesn't hold up to the many, many fine examples of the style. Kind of sour, almost flat. A little darker in color than the usual Belgian pale. The La Fin I followed this with absolutely blew it away (I know, different style, but still....)

Photo of heidelbeerg
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Greatbrew ! 750ml bottle. Poured a cloudy orange/copper color with a solid white three finger head. The smell is fruity, sweet malts and yeasty. The taste is wonderful. Slight citrous flavor with a bready malt goodness and hint of spice that is hard to beat. Nicely balanced with a hop bite that just noticable enough to be almost perfect. The carbonation and mouthfeel were right on. The drinkability is very good.

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