Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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1,111 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,111
Hads: 3,093
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 169
Gots: 467 | 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: 1,111 | Hads: 3,093
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - cellared for roughly a year. Carefully poured from a long-standing, chilled bottle it's a perfectly clear orange amber beneath a big-bubbled head of white foam that holds splendidly and leaves some thin splatters of lace about the glass. The nose is lightly fruity (apricot, lemon rind, orange), a touch cork-like or musty, and subtly spicy. In the mouth it's light-medium bodied and zesty on the tongue due to its effervescent carbonation. The flavor is exactly as the nose suggets it might be with a bit more sweet malt, a touch more fruit, a sprinkling of delicate floral hops, and alot of peppery spice! It's well-balanced, but it relies more on its thin maltiness and peppery yeast to do that than it does hop bitterness. It finishes dry and refreshing with a quick passing of fruitiness followed by some lingering chalky dryness. The yeast pour brings out a little more character and lends the body a touch of girth; and I prefer it that way. Additionally, I don't feel that this beer really gains anything from cellaring other than to drop some of the yeast out of suspension (a rough, fresh bottle can be a bit much). Overall, as a Belgian-style pale ale, this is right on the mark! Love it or leave it! (1,227 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark orange in color, thick white head on the top and it lasts forever then a nice lacing takes over.

Aroma is of orange peel, noticeable but not overpowering. A hint of yeast and spice finish the aroma.

The taste is smooth. A fruity citrus flavor with spice. Orange peel comes across then spicy notes to a dry finish.

This beer is enjoyable and easy to drink. (382 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the tall bottle on June 1, 2010. The pour is a murky amber color with about two inches of off-white fluffy head that lingers for quite a while before settling down. The aroma is an inviting spiced malt and yeast with the bottle-fermented exuberance you come to expect from a Belgian style abbey ale. The smooth and creamy mouthfeel leads to a mellow but slightly bitter flavor with a soft note of spiced hoppiness at the end. Ommegang does an excellen job emulating the style and this is just as good as if not better than an import. (546 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber copper orange color.

Smell: Fruity aroma with apple caramel and spices. There is a nice malt attribute below the estery one.

Taste: Zesty apple caramel with coriander spice flavor. The taste is complex and I will revisit this beer but simply put it impressed me. I love the barrel character, and the way it finish just a bit drier than it started.

Mouthfeel: Very crispy yet smooth with and airy body and perfect finish.

Drinkability: This is one Belgian Pale Ale I could certainly session.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (555 characters)

Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times- first review.

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass- I usually use a chalice, but pint glass was right there to use. Nice amber color- more clear than most Belgians, nice head- not too much carbonation

Some fruit,some spice,very balanced

Again very balanced,fruit,spice,malt,yeast- I love it

Nice feel- right amount of carbonation

Very drinkable- good even as session beer. Great with food. I plan to drink many more in the future (466 characters)

Photo of gabedivision
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ozbottle to an Ommegang Tulip glass.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a classic belgian style 3 finger head that settles to a bold thick and frothy lace that slimes its way up and down the glass. Banana bread meets orange peels, meets sweet fruity spices, with a touch of hop for balance all fill the nose. Creamy orangesicle wrapped in a banana peel on the tongue. Orange and spice and vanilla and a yeasty banana tone with a lemony tart finish. Medium bodied, high carbonated, creamy smooth easy to get lost in beer. Great beer by Ommegang, Rare Vos is an absolute favorite of mine, just a truly fine BPA. (624 characters)

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Moinette goblet from a 750 ml bottle as a lively orange color with golden accents. Big, rocky head of a cream color. Fantastic retention and much lacing in the inner rim of the goblet. Nose is lively with citrus, spices, white grapes, and fruit salad! Taste profile is pleasingly light, yet very complex and exciting. Citrus offers a lively play on the tongue, encouraged in its performance by a worthy hop presence. Best described as a refreshing taste, leaning toward hops and citrus fruity lightness, with some expression of yeast to add complexity. Alcohol is not assertive. Light-bodies and lively, this is a great beer. Immenently drinkable and "user-friendly." Recommended! (694 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Once more, Bridgewaters Pub in 30th Street Station continued to impress me with their selection. This was on-tap on my way back to LNC from PHL on 20 January 2006, following the Rich Wagner lecture at Yards.

Danny brought this to me witha thick, tawny head with decent retention. The color was a slightly hazy medium-amber. The nose had a distinctive yeast-driven mustiness. The mouthfeel was thick, full, and very effervescent. The taste was fruity (like Juicyfruit gum), musty, and with a tang of spiciness. The finish was very dry with the mustiness leaving a dusty feeling on the back of my throat. Yow! (610 characters)

Photo of beeragent
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A - Pours a medium slightly hazy amber, forming a creamy 1 inch head, that fades rather quickly. Light spots of lacing dot the glass.

S - Strong fruity aroma created from the yeast, along with a noticeable hint of alcohol.

T - Sweet fruity taste coats the palate, followed by a nice sweet malt thickness. Spices seem to come out a bit more in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Very nice full flavor and smooth finishing beer. Definitely a sessionable ale. The not so high alcohol content allows for a few of these in one night. (606 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light amber colored ale with a thick head and excellent retention. Some lacing.

Bright fruity and yeasty aromas with some hops mingled in.

Lots of fruit flavors, apple, banana, pineapple and lemon come to mind. Citric hops, semi-assertive. Fresh yeast flavor. Very well balanced.

Medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

Good stuff. Hard to believe this is not made in Belgium. Complex, refreshing and delicious. (416 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. bottle. The color was amber, with excellent head retention. The smell was very malty. The taste was somewhat hoppy, but not overly so, with some hints of sweetness. Mouthfeel was properly carbonated. As for drinkability, as good a session beer as a Belgian could possibly be.

Thanks to aaronh for supplying this sample. Ommegang makes such quality beers, and this is no exception. For a fraction of the prices of "real" Belgians, Rare Vos stands with the best of them. (491 characters)

Photo of Foxtrot
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on some Rare Vos. I'm huge fan of Ommegang's offerings wanted to try something new.

Pours a cloudy light amber/peach with an abundant foam cap. Retention lasted for a few minutes then dwindled down to a light white foam along the edges. Interesting color, haven't seen anything like it before.

Aroma is all over the place. Bready malts, cool hops, coriander, spicy yeast, cloves, ripe green apple, and an underlying nuttiness. This is a true feast for the olfactory bulb!

This was a hard beer to review to perfectly honest. Luckily, I enjoyed the challenge, and it made me like the beer even more. The flavors pop up very quickly then crash and wither away. Took a while to sort it all out. The coriander and spicy yeasty linger for a bit, mid palate sweet malt beigns to take hold then moves to floral notes and pepper. All in all, a very good tasty Belgian that is the pinnacle of the style, even if it was slightly difficult to grasp.

Mouthfeel was medium, but leaning toward the thin side.

The drinkability on the beer is scary! I found myself about halfway through a 750 in about 20 minutes, and I'm generally of the sipping over a long period type of drinker. (1,194 characters)

Photo of goblet
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served it in a pint glass from a 1 pt 9.2 oz bottle it's got some information about the brew on the label .

it looks amber reddish orange ,cloudy with yeast residue loads of tiny bubbly carbonation,a creamy white foam head thats got great retention, leaves some lace.

the soft aroma got a lot to say; it's got fruits like apples and pears and cherrys ,hints of berries maybe raspberrys .along with a mild malt sweetness,lite on the hops .

the taste is of a well crafted beer ,meduim body with a good dose of spices and yeast ,it's got some citrus hop flavor and soft complex fruit blends.

the feeling on the palette is very smooth easy to swallow with a dry spicy after taste .

a highly drinkable brew its fresh tasting,smooth balanced full of spice, mild fruit flavors and complex aromas .well done . cheers (814 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have seen this one on the shelves of my local beer store since the beginning of time... I hope it’s not the same bottle. Well my BA homeboy Sudsdog.... I'm gangster check the Avatar reviewed it recently and inspired me to finally pick it up.

A: I poured into a Maudite Tulip and the head was very lively. It died down to a nice ring though. There was lacing left behind and the color is a beautiful hue of orange / red.

S: Lots of spice in the nose here. Clove, Nutmeg and All Spice are all noted. There is a very nice malty sweet aroma as well. This is a great smelling brew.

T: Love the taste of this brew. It has a very complex character about it. It starts of kind of sweet and spicy. Kind of reminds me of my grandmother’s baked apples. It has fruitiness about it with the power of those spices coming thru.... defiantly cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also a mildly hoppy quality about this one. I love when Belgian Beers add hops and they did a great job introducing them here, they are way in the background but they are here.

M: Medium bodied yet light. Goes down rather smoothly.

D: I drank the entire bottle and could easily drink more. This would be a great beer to enjoy slowly one after another over the course of an evening. It’s to be enjoyed not pounded.

Overall: Ommegang makes very solid brews from right here in the good Ol USA. It has a wonderfully complex flavor that keeps you yearning for the next sip. The spicy character of this beer is unmatched by most. No doubt about it Ommegang has gone to great lengths to make another fine brew. I took Sudsdog's advice and drank it on the cool side and it was spectacular.

Suds Thanks for turning me onto this one. When we finally get together I promise to buy the first of many rounds to follow. If it happens to be Rare Vos we must be careful though because this "Sly Fox" will sneak up on you.

Yeaaah Boooy.... Sorry that's the gangster in me coming out... once again refer to the avatar... Its proof I'm gangster... <insert laughing from the masses> (2,053 characters)

Photo of squilky
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a snifter.

I drank the large 750ml bottle over the course of about 2 hours.

A- The bottle warns to pour the beer gently, but aggresively enough to generate a nice head. It poured a nice amber color with a two finger head that hung around for a good while. I loved opening beers with corks. This one didn't disappoint. It produced a nice loud POP!

S- Piney malts and some citrus notes. I detected some spices, but couldn't identify them individually.

T- This has a very unique flavor. It's rather malty, but there are some unique hops characteristics as well. Not strong IPA hops presence, but a nice amount.

M- Quite fizzy, kind of like champagne.

D- Very drinkable. This stuff is waaay smooth. I really liked this one. It doesn't have a real strong alcohol presence, so it goes down really easy. Reminds me of a mild sherry/brandy. (874 characters)

Photo of smanders
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - cloudy amber and a beautiful head. Lots of effervescence.

Smell - typical aroma of Belgian Ales; Heaven. Fruit, cloves, and grain.

Taste - lots of yeast with earthy grains and a bit of spice. The bubbles are really active in my mouth.

Mouthfeel - medium, leaving a nice coating on the tongue.

Drinkability - Another great example of a Belgian Ale from Ommegang. Many earthy flavors and tons of complex tastes. Not sure it should be labeled a dark, though. (472 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I never tried Rare Vos. I thought it was going to be a watered down version of Ommegang's regular Abbey Ale. How wrong I was.

A - Into a chalice, pours not so much "dark" as a gold-tinged amber. Head and lacing are not incredible, but then again I never get much retention with this glass.

S - Not overly distinct with any one aroma, this still smells very good. Yeasty coconut-orange, I'd say, if I had to boil it down. Smells really fresh and very appealing.

T - Vinous, yeasty and phenolic, with a hint of sweetness and a little hoppy twang in the finish. Dry.

M - This has that light and dry feel I always associate with a Trappist beer. Can't imagine it getting much better.

D - Though it's 6.5% and feels like a cloud, it still stakes out a pretty substantial claim in the gut, not a lightweight beer by any means. More than enough complexity to keep you interested. I'm pairing this with smoked steelhead trout, and am enjoying the hell out of it.

As with all Ommegang beers, this is a beer I'll be buying more of. (1,030 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of BitteBier
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at BXL East on 51st and 2nd, midtown Manhattan. BXL Cuvee is BXL Belgian Cafe's house beer, brewed exclusively for the cafe by Brewery Ommegang.

Poured into a Duvel Green tulip.

Appearance: 1 inch white head, dissipates quickly. Rings of lacing. Beer is a semi-translucent light amber.

Smell: Spicy and malty, with a strong note of orange peel and some licorice.

Taste: Mild licorice, orange peel, coriander, some pepperminty phenols, with a big bready finish. The taste delivers exactly what the (very inviting) smell promises, plus a bit more. The finish approaches yellow cake or pound cake. The beer is very spicy, with moderate carbonation and a well-balanced hop bite up front. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Good, relaxed carbonation, spiciness, and a warm, clean finish.

Drinkabilty: Excellent. Supremely refreshing, decent complexity of flavor, and a well masked ABV.

I was very impressed by this beer. I had just stopped into the cafe to try Duvel Green, but ended up liking the house beer more. Great beer for relaxing at a bar. (1,059 characters)

Photo of neobassman
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have not been disappointed by any offering from this brewery, and the Rare VOS keeps their record intact. Amber, somewhat cloudy pour, generous head that falls to a ring around the glass. Rich, spicy, complex aroma with honey, clove, and yeast. Taste is a little bit dubbel, a little bit saison, a good balance of yeast and malt with just a enough lingering tang to keep one thinking. Honey, citrus, and spice overtones. Hops bitterness is present but in the background. A very nice addition to the Ommegang spectrum, and one that I will certainly purchase again. (565 characters)

Photo of SethB2
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Pours darker than typical Belgian Pales. Medium brown with a nice head and exceptional lacing. Looks very nice. Smells of clove and banana with a little bit of melon mixed in there as well. Taste is very good. I'm getting the typical Beligian fruits, but there is also a tart apple that is very nice. The clove and melons flavors also come through. Mouthfeel is great. It finishes so dry that it leaves you reaching for another glass. Drinkablility is also very good.

This is my first beer from Ommegang, and I am impressed. Looking forward to trying some other offerings. (628 characters)

Photo of IMincedTheKing
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber with a frothy head that peeks over the rim of the glass. Blocky lacing, and the head sticks around all the way to the bottom.

It smells very bready with a yeast twang. Hints of citrus and berries.

Grains, berries, spice, and a bit of sweetness. The mildest hint of pear and a drying finish. The hops in the brew are present but subtle. I also pick up a taste that reminds me of buttered corn, fresh off the cob. The mouthfeel is very smooth, though just a bit thin.

Overall, I think this is well-balanced, easy-to-drink, and delicious. (557 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 TommyW
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Hazy amber with a nice off-white head.

S- Malty with a nice note of spices.

T- Nice malty flavors upfront with some complex sugar tones followed by a great tasted of different spices. Hops are there and balanced well.

M- Full body with a smooth carbonation.

D- Really nice take on this style. (299 characters)

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.