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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,115 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,115
Hads: 3,118
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 166
Gots: 492 | 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: 1,115 | Hads: 3,118
Photo of berpwillie
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly hazy copper orange color. large white fluffy head and good lacing. lively fizzy carbonation. smell is a bit fruity taste is the same with some spices thrown in there as well. medium body. sweet slightly chalky finish. short flavor duration. completely average brew. (282 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: As the name suggests, pours a cloudy amber color with rust tones when held to a lamp. A generous 2" off-white frothy head develops immediately and recedes very slowly, continuously resupplied by active bubbling up the glass. The head never dips below an inch as I drink, and it leaves nice sticky lacing down the glass.

S: Bread and caramel malt are strong on the nose, but are nearly matched by fruity esters that lean toward apple and pears. Some floral notes, along with tart and sour yeast aromas, a very typical Ommegang smell. Some spice is noted -- allspice, I think.

T: Surprisingly muted. Dominated by toasted malt. I also got bread and caramel, and if I searched for it I could pick up some apple notes, but generally this didn't have any of the complexity of the nose. I am certain I didn't have it too cold, so I don't think it's a palate numbness issue. It just didn't deliver. The finish was dry.

M: Medium-bodied with high carbonation that interferes with the taste a bit. Couldn't detect any alcohol. A nice dry finish, which would be interesting if there were a stronger flavor profile to precede it.

D: I'm pretty disappointed by this. I don't think I'll pick up another. (1,231 characters)

Photo of grannaniwa
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, golden-to-amber appearance. Great lumpy head has some staying power. Very nice nose, smells very ‘Belgian.’ Fruity nose, maybe some apple or pear? The smell itself has a bit of bite to it, gives anticipation of sour/tart flavors.

Drinks much lighter than expected at first. Insane carbonation dominates the first experience. Entry doesn’t have much of a presence, tartness kicks in mid-palate, finish comes from the yeast, with some familiar banana notes. Finishes very dry. High alcohol doesn’t come through at all.

Overall: B (545 characters)

Photo of barondebourgogne
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium orange color with an active, coarse head.

Funky, fun Belgian yeastiness dominates the aroma. Hints of piney hops, white grapes, dried apricots and green apples. Very complex!

Metallic tastes initiate the palate. Softens to fruity complexities. Dried orange peel and light caramely malts. Not as complex on the palate as it was on the nose.

Highly carbonated mouthfeel. Almost champagne- like. Finishes dry.

A respectable Belgian Amber. I think I will stick with the Ommegang Abbey Ale if given the choice. (525 characters)

Photo of becktone
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes 1-28-09

Eye: Into the Ommegang glass: This one has a very nice color. The main color is copper/amber. However, it is much more complex than that. The beer is clear, yet not brilliantly so, sort of hazy. Light coming through it allows one to easily pick out layers of color, light reddish brown on the very top supporting the head, under that orange hues, and at the very bottom yellow. Head formation is quite nice, yet retention could use work, its now just a somewhat thick foamy blanket. The body looks lively as carbonation rises to support the head.

Nose: Strong aroma of malt sweetness, unfermented wort almost. Some fruitiness-apple was my first impression-and some tartness, very small amounts of tartness/sourness hidden behind everything else. The "mellow fruitiness" described by the label is easy to get. The "elusive spiciness" not so much so. I think that I can almost get it, somewhere around the apple, hard to describe as anything but an elusive spiciness...very faint, very subdued. It is something I'd not be looking for, or would have ever picked up less the label had said something. The beer is just as the label describes it. I'd like it to be a bit more potent overall though.

Tongue: Not really much going on here. No caramel tones, not really a whole lot of malt sweetness, none of that apple fruitiness I found in the aroma, not really any sign of that tartness. The dry finish adds to the almost oaky flavor I get in the finish. The best way to describe this one is toasty, and toasted. Thats really it. Hop bitterness comes into play with the dry finish as well as some hop flavor. Touches of sweetness on the front of the tongue. Yeast character is definitely Ommegang, their house yeast strain is easy to pick out here.

Feel and Drinkability: The most notable thing about this beer is that it is extremely dry. It reminds me of a merlot or something. Very dry and not quenching at all. Carbonation is spritzy and coarse. In my opinion the carbonation gets in the way of the beer's flavor....there's little enough of that as it is. To me it seems as if I'm drinking tonic water, the body is thin and the beer is close enough to flavorless that it bears a striking resembelence. This is one that I'll not be buying again. Not a big fan at all. This one does nothing for me. Dekonink has a real toned down amber as well, but that one is crafted much better than this one, the feel is right and its got a nicer flavor. Sure its not big and in your face but at least its there. I feel that this one is just too weak, its really stretching for it if you ask me. (2,604 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The cork explodes from my 750ml bottle with a triumphant pop, and I quickly pour the Rave Vos into my St. Feuillien chalice - nothing sly about this fox so far! The brew is a hazy, light brownish amber with a creamy, 1 finger light khaki head that leaves thick foamy lace.

The aroma is very spicy, nicely phenolic, and a little sour cherry/dark fruit.
The taste is heavy on the phenols and spice, with less of the fruit, although as it warms, it gets a little bit sweeter, with more phenols as well. There is a heavy mineral water like dryness to it that I appreciate, particularly on the finish, which leaves lots of phenols on the tongue, with a nice astringency to this one, some bitterness on the finish that is almost corky. There's also a slight hint of alcohol. Overall it's good, a pretty average belgian amber. I'm not sure off-hand if that's a category on BA, but thats what this is, a la De Koninck (which I see they list as a BSPA!).

The mouthfeel is light and exceptionally creamy.

This is moderately drinkable. It's light, but lots of carbonation, and while the taste is inoffensive and pretty good, it's not so great you can't get enough. (1,166 characters)

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

A-Relatively clear amber brew. Big, fluffy lighter-tan head retained decently, eventually down to a consistent, thin layer.

S-Spicy over a yeasty breadiness. Somthing peppery-soury over the top of it.

T-Fruity character mixes with breadiness and spice with a black pepper character on top of it all. Bitterness is not apparent. Finishes with an almost sour fruitiness, and relatively dry.

M-High carbonation, medium body. Probalby appropriate, but it just didn't quite feel right to me.

D-An easy-drinking amber ale with a nice touch of Belgian influence and flavor. This is easy and smooth enough that it could be a good gateway beer into Belgian-style flavors. (703 characters)

Photo of FleeVT
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle with pouring instructions poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: A slight amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottom, as advertised on the label. Extremely cloudy pale amber brew with a thin white cap of tiny bubbles.

S: Nothing overpowering on the nose. Yeast is the most noticeable. Extremely mild on spices with a faint fruity hint of banana.

T: Big taste as compared to the nose. Yeast and malts come through strong with a rye backdrop. Slightly bitter for the style but not from any noticeable hops.

M: Moderate to heavy with a high level of carbonation that gives it a punch on the tongue.

D: A good brew. This is a bit of a wide open style so I didn't have any preconceived expectations. That said, I thought it was a bit too bitter and noseless. (771 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 6/16/2007 (750mL bottle):

Pours a cloudy brown colored body, with a small whitish head, fizzy but diminishing very quickly. Very floral light sweet aroma. Sweet fizzy taste, clean aftertaste. Floral taste, some acid. Warming up....a little more even taste, not acidic. (278 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
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. (892 characters)

Photo of alkemy
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly dark amber with a fluffy foamy light tan head out of a 750ml bottle. I've greatly enjoyed and been very impressed with all the other Ommegang beers I've tried, but found this one to be a disapointment. Smell was of faint clove, apple, and banana. Taste was similiar minus the apple. After everything I've had from Ommegang, I'd probably attribute my displeasure in the style of beer rather than their take on it. I've just not had an amber ale I've much cared for. (482 characters)

Photo of copasetic
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very hazy deep orange from the 750ml champagne-style bottle. For once, I didn't lose the cork after it exploded off the bottle. A light coarse head was formed in the process, but this dissapated to thin lacing shortly thereafter. The smell is not as punchy as other Belgian pales I've had, and is composed mostly of caramel malts and slight peppery/fruity overtones. Mild as it may be, I can still tell I'm drinking a Belgian, as its taste is dominated by fruity and peppery esters. The hops component is somewhat prominent in the back-end bitterness, but no noteworthy flavor or aroma components are apparent. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy with a gentle alcohol hit on the swallow.

Overall, not bad, but not terribly memorable. With some of the more challenging and wonderful offerings from Ommegang, I'll probably pass this one by in the future. (857 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours out a lighter cloudy amber. The creamy white head has great retention and leaves nice lacing

S- the aroma is almost non-existent having only a very slight citrus

T- the taste is also pretty subtle, with hints of citrus and caramel and spice bouncing around

M- full but not heavy

O- It's a well made beer which makes me wish it was more flavorful than it was. It is a dialed back version of a Belgian Dubbel and seemed muted. (437 characters)

Photo of zerofear13
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ommegang has disappointed me in the past with their Hennepin and Witte. I tried this one not on my own accord, but because a friend had brought it for a beer tasting.

I think I might be the only person in the world who has grown tired of that earthy, yeasty, coriander, bread-y taste in so many beers. It overpowers almost everything else. Sure, you can taste the hop and malt background, so you know you're still drinking beer and not tea, but I'm just not a big fan of the flavor - and I think what makes it worse is that SO MANY brews try this formula and they all taste very, very similar.

Overall, Ommegang has disappointed me again. I think I'm going to go a little bit out of my way from now on to avoid Ommegang's brews. I hate to drag down the average of this well-ranked beer, but it's just unoriginal and not at all memorable in a unique way. (856 characters)

Photo of tweeder263
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy orange amber with huge head and massive carbonation.Smells very estery,my sense of smell sucks but the esters show through.Taste is a very neutral beer slight esters,but very light in malt and hops.Mouthfeel is normal,,drinkablility is actually very well,,go down really smooth. (297 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-finger thick white head that takes forever to fade leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Wheat/yeast nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is fruity & yeasty, almost a clean finish. 750ml bottle $5.99 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH. (263 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 finger frothy head with excellent lacing on a cloudy orange with amber and brown hues body. Dark fruit, yeast, some citrus, caramel malts. this one is really bland actually. Flavor is the mosty unidimensional with some herbal and bland barley up front moving to orange peel citrus otherwise nothing else. Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. I was expecting a lot from this one and it was very disappointing. (428 characters)

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Burnt orange/amber pour with an explosive amount of dense head and immaculate retention.

S: Yeasty and sweet Belgian flare with a hint of mellow malt. Interesting amber style fragrance.

T: For the complexity of the smell, the taste left something to be desired. While being a crisp and refreshing introduction, the finish is kind of lackluster. The middle spicy notes are a good addition, but there is something to be desired with the flavor.

M: Somewhat watery, not as full-bodied as expected. The carbonation almost curls the tongue, and seems a bit much for this one.

D: Overall, nothing to keep you really coming back. It's possible to have a few of these in a row, but you'd likely still be searching for flavor. (732 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rather clear amber color with a one inch off white head. Retention is average with small bits of lacing.

The aroma is decent. A bit of fruity esters with banana accompanied some yeast and bready malt. Not too bad.

The taste is ok. Some muddled flavors to me. A bit of yeast, some fruity tones that are somewhat indistinct, and a bit of light malting. Bready, some banana, and a little bit of spice and alcohol. Consider me disappointed.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with tons of fine carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. I'm disappointed with this beer. The body isn't working for me and the flavor profile is weak. Decent, but subpar IMO. (660 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$5.25 for a 16oz. serving at the Crabapple Taco Mac location. Served, oddly enough, with a gigantic orange slice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium copper body

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with unripened bananas, candied dried fruits, and coriander.

Taste: Toasty, bready maltiness with a restrained sweetness. Fruity and a bit flowery. Coriander and maybe even a cinnamon stick tossed in. Tempering hop bitterness. Pervasive, sour yeastiness throughout. Dry, yeasty finish.Banana lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, easy-drinking brew from Ommegang. Certainly worth a try. Oh, and the orange slice? It was delicious. (686 characters)

Photo of joeskirkie
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my oversized wine glass with a strong bubbly head and a nice brown/copper body.

A cherry cough drop aroma to it, some malts and grains there too, not bad.

Flavor: first a sourness like lime, a berry note thoughout, theres grains and a slite bite in the end. Carbonation is apparent. It's very well drinkable. (326 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

See, there is a beer with "Rare" in the name that doesn't get blasted by many BAs. It pours a cloudy red-orange topped by a finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, orange peel, black pepper, light nutmeg, wheat, and a plenty o' bread, which seems to smother everything else after a few sniffs. The taste tones down the bread in favor of the spicier notes, and the orange really shines through a bit more here. I think I get a touch of cinnamon in the background. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate (though kinda prickly) carbonation and a finish that borders on the refreshing. Overall, a pretty nice Belgian-style brew, but I think it's one of the lower points in Ommegang's repertoire. (762 characters)

Photo of BMan1113VR
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best thing about this ale is its appearence. It is a beautifull cloudy orange/amber color with a very quickly fading head. The overall aroma was very light with a strong dose of yeast and some citrus. The taste was nice, slightly sweet throughout, not really bitter at all. The finish was quite short. Medium to light body with somewhat over the top lively carbonation. (373 characters)

Photo of TPSReports
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 11.2 oz bottled is served at 48 degrees from my cellar. There is no date on the bottle.

Pours and nice translucent medium amber color into my tulip with a very large white head. The head sticks areound for a while and is composed of 1/4 bb sized bubbles.

The nose is of grapes and cotton-candy, but not sticky syrupy sweet.

The flavor is somewhat non-descript. Prehaps it is overpowered by the Unibroue La Fin Du Monde I just finished. It's hard to imagine that this brew can be compromised by a pale ale, but maybe that is the case. Maybe not. I'm not sure that this brew has a strong taste, period. I was expecting more.

To date, this is my least favorite beer from Ommegang. 2 out of 3 ain't bad! (716 characters)

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,115 ratings.