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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,125 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,125
Hads: 3,162
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 176
Gots: 531 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,125 | Hads: 3,162
Photo of champ103
2.93/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber/reddish color. At first a large white head rises to over two fingers. The foam recedes to a ring quickly. Light lace is left.
S: Over ripe, almost spoiled fruits. Some yeast and light funk. An interesting spicy aroma lingers.
T: Again an over ripe fruit flavor. Spice, yeast, and some funk. Lightly tart. Dirty, maybe some diacetyl. Dry and moldy wood. Interesting, but the flavors don't mesh right for me.
M/D: A medium body and crisp carbonation. Very dry. Not hard to sip on, but a one and done for me.

This is interesting, but not for me. Something that is worth a try, but I am not really that into this.

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Photo of jonziefle
2.99/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a cloudy orange-brown amber color. One finger bubbly that reduces to a thin layer pretty quickly. Plenty of visible carbonation. Some lacing, but a little head remains the whole time.

Smell: Not much of a nose at all. Some roasted and caramel malts, and some apple flavors.

Taste: Mild caramel and nutty malt flavors, but without much in the way of hops. Mild yeast esters. It does have some of that typical Belgian spiciness, but it is also very mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a very strong carbonation bite, without being overly filling.

Drinkability: A Belgian dark ale by style, but a Belgian amber ale by name. Definitely on the darker side of amber ales, without much hop flavors/bite to balance it out. Could use some more flavor.

Buy Again? No.

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Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper-Amber and very cloudy. Pours a 2” off white head that recedes slowly and leaves significant lacing.
Aroma: coriander and other spices, caramel malts, some Belgian yeast funk
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky mouthfeel and a wet finish.
Flavor: The coriander and other spice flavors (clove perhaps?) lead the taste. They are followed by a bready caramel malt, citrus rind, and a slight hop presence in the finish.
Overall: A very good beer, but not outstanding,

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Photo of skineg
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearence: Cloudy amber color that looks very inviting. Good looking beer that has a sexy, but not too sexy look. Solid head (1/2 inch) but that fades fast.

Smell: Can smell the alcohol and smells surprisingly like an IPA. Can definalty pick up a perfume and floral fragrance from the hops.

Taste: Reminds me of a weak IPA. I realize that this is a Belgium Amber, but, while balanced, the taste has took much of a pure hop and alcohol taste for me.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, fizzy.

Drinkability: It's the stlye for sure, but it's not that drinkable to me.

Comment: This is my first Belgium Style Amber and maybe it just took me by surprise, but I wasn't impressed. Maybe it's just a style that I need to get more accustomed too.

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Photo of StevieW
3.03/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great looking beer. Copper orange, hazy, with a big head. Notes of orange, spice, and some barn yard smells. Fairly uneventful drink. The orange/citrus and spice hit again, but nothing that is worth talking about. Very drying. Wish I’d picked the Hennepin.

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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 connecticutpoet
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a hazy amber-orange beer with a three finger head. Looked OK, a little darker than I expected.

The aroma was spicy, with caramel and raisin notes, and a little sourness.

The taste was a little sour, followed by malt with a touch of sweetness, then some raisins and spiciness, and a glow of alcohol in the finish. Interesting, but it didn't blow me away.

Mouthfeel wasn't that impressive, only a little better than average... drinkability wasn't that great. Overall, I thought it was OK, but I wouldn't have another one on my own.

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Photo of nixhecks
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bright tangerine-cranberry color with a large white head. Tons of bubbles, this almost looks like some sort of lambic from the color and high carbonation. Aroma is sweet and fruity, including concord grapes, buttery yeast, and a bit of malt. The mouthfeel of this is over carbonated and really thins out the full flavors of the brew. Very fruity tasting, a little bit of spiceness from the yeast and hops, but hardly any malt flavor. I was rather disappointed, this is my least favorite from Ommegang so far. Really left me wanting a bottle of Hennepin.

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Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 750 ml. bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick foamy white head and large chunks of yeast floating around. Citrus sour aroma of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Sweet citrus flavor that contains a lot of yeast and a touch of maltiness.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

A reddish pink color that reminds me of a blushing rosé. Big fizzy head, really nice retention and lacing.

Smells sweet... Like holy candied sugar batman! The malts and brewer's sugar have put in a full day's work here-- this is what flowers remind eachother to stop and smell when the see a downtrodden companion.

Caramel-covered citrus fruit and even a strange hint of sugar coated banana make their way into the flavor profile... A little booze bite on the finish, and at only 6.5% ABV?! For shame allagash, for shame!
(I'm eying the bottle with the kind of look a vegetarian might have when discovers a caterpillar in his salad).
Lots of carbonation. Halfway through glass #1 and I'm feeling the need to expell a loud gaseous rumbling from my, as they say in Belgium, 'pie-hole."

Feels light and airy due to the massive carbonation. I reckon this beer could be called "medium" if it weren't so bubbly.

Overall-- not anything impressive here, except perhaps my review itself.
Move along. This is not the BPA you're looking for.

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Photo of mpyle
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big, long lasting, whitish head. Fairly good clarity, rich copper color.

Malty nose, a bit citrusty. No hop and not much (if any) spice. A small amount of alcohol, but otherwise clean and subdued.

Malty up front balanced by a big hit of hop bitterness. Finishes a bit malty and not overly dry.

Medium body, with some snappy carbonation. Despite the carbonation is generally creamy with a bit of alcohol warming.

Overall a bit too big and strong of a Belgian Pale for regular drinking, but a nice beer.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.19/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rare Vos, Sampled a 75cl bottle. Poured a pale caramel color with a nice persistent head. Had a slight musky,earthy smell to it.Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The taste wasn't very strong for this "Belgian Style" Ale; it has a malty/grainy/bitter taste and a dry, slight alcohol finish which didn't mesh very well.Maybe they should call this their english brown ale.Not Ommegangs best beer thankfully.

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Photo of clickpush
3.19/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. This beer looks absolutely mouth watering, like cloudy, fizzy apricot juice. Weakest part was the quickly disappearing head, but even that left okay lacings.

Nose: I was surprised when this beer had a weak aroma because it wasn't consistent with the beauty of the pour. Most dectable scents were citrus and honey.

Mouth: Another disappointment. This beer is too sour and tasted of some variety of winter squash - which I found unfavorable. Mouthfeel is okay though, good carbonation.

Overall: More eye candy than anything else.

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Photo of jar2574
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, the closest thing I could find to the suggested glass on the bottle. Extremely thick tan head, amber colored beer.

Spices, berries, and yeasts; a lovely smell.

Unfortunately, the taste disappoints, especially for an Ommegang offering. It's a bit bland for a Belgian inspired beer. Too watery and lacking in flavor.

What flavor there is is OK, it just doesn't blow your socks off. Malts, berries, and then a touch of acidity and baking soda in the aftertaste.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle via Stop & Shop. It was cheaper then usual. I'm suspicious. No print in the "best by" date area.

750 poured into my Rare Vos tumbler. Left most of the yeast cake on the bottom. Yay for me.

Body is an ever so slightly stirred, amber/orange color, with an inch of slightly yellowed, wispy head.

Smells sort of like unripened pears, Kaiser rolls, a bit of pine, & sticky beer residue.

Honey bread crust, a little green grape sweetness, & pepper stand out most. Cereal grains, salt, mild yeast, muted orange rind bitterness, & a touch of alcohol burn. Mild bittersweet grain finish.

Yeasty sediment makes it feel somewhat creamy, though the carbonation is a touch strong. 6.5% ABV feels about right.

Probably tied for my least favorite Ommagang Beer(along with the Witte). I don't think it deserves the big bottle treatment or the pricetag, as it's just an everyday so-so amber in a flooded market. Though even then, it seems it gets a decent score from me.

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Photo of Vancer
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alrighty, let's see what this Sly Fox has - and the pour starts off on the right foot. Semi-hazy orange amber with a very nice ivory head gently floating on top. Sticky lace coats my Corsendonk tulip.

Sweet fruits surface in the aroma, mixed amongst the Belgium yeast. A rather dry Belgium style brew, the fruits don't make much a statement in the taste. A bit of peppery spice help add some pizzazz, but all things considered - this won't be one I go for again.

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Photo of joekfsu
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours an dense orange/amber with a mega off-white head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of bread and fruit. Initial taste of fruit and spice. Flavor dries out at the backend and is kinda yeasty. Light to medium body, light carbonation, limited lacing, and light on alcohol. Overall, on par with Ommegang offerings, not particularly special.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Fuel and Fuddle, Pittsburgh, PA (Oakland).

Poured a copper color with an off-white head. Served to me in a normal pint glass and not a tulip or other preferred glassware, which might account for almost no head or aroma. I was tempted to rate lower on both counts, but did not due to the pint glass. Keep that in mind when considering my review.

Up Front I taste a big malty, caramel/molasses sweetness followed by some fruitiness that reminds me of cherry. Next comes just a little peppery yeastiness. It finishes with some alcohol warming, which surprised me for the ABV of the beer.

Pretty good mouthfeel.

This brew is a little sweet for me to drink a ton of.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.26/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice looking amber pour with a very generous, foamy white head. The nose to be quite subtle, almost dull. Light grassy notes with hints of lemon zest. The taste also seems more mild than i excpected. Bland up front followed by a very light caramel-fudge sweetness in the middle. The finish leans towards the sweeter side with mild spice, lemon and even a touch of woodiness. The mouthfeel is very smooth, almost flat...to light bodied for my liking. An easy drinker but not something i can see myself enjoying bottle after bottle.

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Photo of aracauna
3.27/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, rich amber body has a nice glow. The head starts off big-bubbled and a bit fizzy, but settles into a nice cream-colored melted icecream layer that doesn't seem to get any thinner. Plentiful streaming carbonation gives the beer a sense of being alive. Very estery aroma, a bit herbal and some vague fruit. The flavor is surprisingly dry, when starts me off calling it thin, but is perhaps better labeled as subtle. The fruit and herbs of the end are quite pleasant, but there's a slight metallic bitterness detracts a bit.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.27/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a very nice golden copper color with a slight ruby tint. Three-fingers of loose foamy off-white colored head. Retention is okay. Lacing is very good.

Sweet malts dance with belgian yeast notes. A nice scent of grassiness. Nice notes of caramel breads. Good presence of apples and pears. Nice touch of allspice and a hint of corriander.

The allspice and apple/pear flavors come out first, reminding me, slightly, of cider. A nice malty sweetness then gets attacked by tangy yeast notes and a touch of funk. It's not bad by any means, just slightly out-of-balance.
The flavor didn't live up to the promise of the nose. It's not a total mess, it's just slightly askew.

Nice level of creaminess, but the carbonation is a touch too sharp. A smoother body would benefit this one, greatly.

It's drinkable, sure. Would I go out of my way for it, though? No.
This upsets me, because I love Ommegang. I'll track down another bottle and try this one again, when I can. I'll update this review, if necessary.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with a huge white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of floral malt, sweet hops with some subtle spices and a touch of Belgian-type yeast. Taste is a nice mix between some floral sweet malt and discreet yeast with some spices. Body is just above average but carbonation is a bit low for a Belgian Ale.

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Photo of Spikester
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a huge white head (first pour) and fair lacings. Aroma is dominated by yeast. Taste is Belgian yeast strain, sweet malts, hint of bitter hops. Has a bit of boiled ham in the aftertaste. Overall an interesting beer that I probably won't try again.

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Photo of CASK1
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale orange, with plenty of haze. Thick white head with excellent retention. Nice lacing to the bottom of the glass.

S: Fruity, especially citrus and tropical. Low spicy hop aroma, and virtually no malt aroma.

T: Low caramel malt, with a nice, drying hop bitterness. Belgian yeast phenolics (peppery) and lots of esters - reminiscent of red berries. Low spicy hop flavor. Not terribly well-balanced. Slightly tart. Needs more malt to support the other flavor features. Alcohol flavors are evident - could be better hidden in a beer of moderate strength.

MF: Somewhat astringent finish. Prickly carbonation. Light body.

D: Not bad, but doesn't make me crave another as I had hoped.

I'm a big fan of Ommegang, but this beer left me somewhat disappointed.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,125 ratings.