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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,355 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2355
Reviews: 1057
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,355 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of theBubba
theBubba

New York

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy rust-like color in my snifter. The head came on strong but was gone in short time. The moderate lace hung on and lasted to the end. Distinct aroma of pear and clove (sorry, no leather, tobacco, and other such like comparisons the beer cognescenti refer to. We home brewers and winemakers know about esters). The nice carbonation makes for lots of bite but leaves a smooth foamy mouthfeel after each swallow. Hops are just right. You know they exist, but you're not left with the bitterness of Ommegang's Hennipen. All in all, a very nice ale. One I'll drink many times over (as long as I have a job...otherwise I'll be drinking Busch at 4 bucks a six pack). As young Bobby Zimmerman said, "The times they are a changing".

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 04:52:58 | More by theBubba
Photo of tjd112
tjd112

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Presentation - Poured into Corsendonk tulip

Appearance - Ruby color with not too much head

Smell/Taste - A mixture of dark fruit and malts, with a hint of bananas

Mouthfeel/Drinkability - Medium with carbonation bite, definitely an easy drink for the style

Overall - A good take on a Belgian beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 16:44:12 | More by tjd112
Photo of Leviathan
Leviathan

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos pours a clear, light amber color with a thick white head. The bottle advises you to pour so as not to disturb the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

I popped the cork and was instantly greeted with a yeasty bread dough smell. The aromas shifted to a pleasant balance of spice, malt, and citrus.

This beer tastes incredible. It is complex and refined, yet at the same time simple and easy to drink. It is definitely on the milder side of the ale spectrum, going easier on the malts and hops. This beer finishes similar to a dry white wine or hefeweizen, slightly acidic leaving your mouth watering.

Mouthfeel is light and very well balanced. The flavors ease seamlessly from yeast, through spice, to fruit, finishing slightly bitter.

Rare Vos always been one of my favorite Belgian Style beers. It gives up some of the weight and depth of its counterparts, but renders itself more drinkable and still keeps your palette watering for more. This beer does a great job of filling the gap between Witte and Hennepin...

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 01:38:06 | More by Leviathan
Photo of mattgreger
mattgreger

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the pop of the bottle I could tell this was going to be an excellent brew. I poured this brew in to a small snifter, to ensure I sip and enjoy every last drop. It poured a very nice gold color, with a beautifully thick, tall, eggshelled colored head. It has some retention, but fades. As you drink, small amount of lacing remains on the glass.

The aroma palate on this one is very nice. A power punch of all kinds of flavors floods you, and as you sniff this brew, you can slowly break some of them down, but there could be alot. I know that I can detect some fruits. Banana, apples, maybe some citrus. This is followed by a nice toasted caramel malts. It finishes with grassy hops and burst of spices. Its touches the nose and I already want to down this brew.

When it comes to the flavor of this brew, it doesn't let you down. Just like in the aroma, there is a huge amount of flavor that stimulates every taste bud possible. Its hard to break down all the fruits, but there is definitly some dried, dark fruits, as well as some citris as well. I can pick out a bit of banana as well. Its followed by the grassy hops and a great mixture of spices. Its finallly all rounded out with a bit of a bready/biscuit finish, that has a bit of bittersness, that is nice and dry, that closes it out. Amazing flavor.

The mouthful on this one is pretty good. Its a medium bodied brew, pushing the limits of a full. Its got some great flavors and during the sip is nice and juicy, but then finishes full of flavor, and nice a dry. Very much like a wine...but better. It does have a bit of a high carbonation, but I kind of like it. Its very balanced and gives you a nice refreshed feel after the sip. I enjoyed it very much.

Its has a nice drinkablity as well. I have seen some BA's talk this brew down, but I have enjoyed it very much. Its easy to drink, a lower ABV then many of the other brew in the style. Drinks very creamy and smooth. The flavors also come together so well that allows this brew to pair well with anything. This was a great brew from the Brewery Ommegang. I will be sure to pick up the bigger version of this brew on my next visit to the beer store.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 21:55:01 | More by mattgreger
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy gold with a thick white head.

S: Nice belgian yeast aroma. Malt, alcohol, spice, citrus and a little funk.

T: The initial taste is a strong alcohol and belgian yeast flavor. Then there is a peppery citrus fruitiness that kicks in and rounds out in an alcohol warmth with some bready aftertastes.

M: High carbonation and lighter body. Suits this beer.

O: Very good beer. Looks great, aroma coming of the beer is very nice, very good flavors....definitley a high quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 01:31:28 | More by Kromes
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML Bottle
Bright Orange/Copper color, with a lasting head... and I mean lasting. Sweet spicey smell. Taste of esters, fruity, with a bite of spice. Great lace left in glass (Chimay goblet). The taste improves on your last glass.. swirl and pour the yeast it is good for you and improves the flavor. This is the most drinkable of Ommegang's products.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 21:11:27 | More by frank4sail
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber American-Belgian beauty! Well carbonated and spicy, this beer says it all. High in the tart and fruity ester, but strong enough to keep it real. Mellow hoppiness. Top notch!

Cheers to frank4sail for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2002 23:14:45 | More by inebrius
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big frothy off white head subside to a clinging cream coloured lace. Mild haze from the yeast, looks nearly clear with a pale copper hue. Fruity, estery and spicy aroma with hints of ripe plum and an earthy blend of anise, clove, nutmeg and citric zest. Dry malt palate that taste like a toasted multigrain cracker, big crisp mouth feel and a moderate body. Bitterness from the hops is noticeable. Estery with a slight peppery phenolic character that goes towards coarse and medicinal in the finish. The finish is dry and grain with residual phenols. Paired very well with whole grain crackers and aged hunters cheddar.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2002 19:24:43 | More by Jason
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well after all this time, it’s finally happened, I have a bottle of Ommegang Rare Vos. It is from that very Belgium of sources, Cost Plus World Market in CA & at $4.49 it seems exceptionally under priced for a 750ml.
I love Belgium beers so I have always wondered what the offerings from Ommegang were like. Even more so, because the very first time I came across Ommegang was last Easter whilst in Belgium, strangely enough it was actually at the Rare Vos Café in Schepdaal (a rare lambic Café – see BeerFly).
The gold colored wire cage & steel cap were removed, exposing just the cork. A hard grip was need to remove it – a deep bass “thrupp” accompanied by a light blue cigarette smoke exhaust announced the exposure of this beer to the world since it was bottled.
Pours with a slightly milky but luminescent fiery glowing golden orange color, fast rising CO2 streamers are evident. The head is reasonable at first, but it settles to a low 1/4” collar for the duration of the drink. The beer is transparent at first, but subsequent top-ups from the bottle add some deep haze – hell, who cares.
I lean over the glass & breathe in, Holy Shit!!! - A mighty, deeply biscuit malty, musty smell punches me square in the face. Wow, my nose is more bruised than Michael Jackson’s. But thankfully mine is still its original color & firmly attached.
Tastes are awesome, from the initial Belgium dubbel yeastiness that is exhibited early on through to the highly complex & professional middle that reveals a complex apricot fruitiness, malts, hops & a classic dry fruity finish. Mouthfeel is smooth & dominant. Bloody Hell this beer is good. This is a serious class act. We are talking the best Belgium Style Ale that I have ever had brewed outside of Belgium. In fact, to be honest, this beer would easily “kick the arse” of several Belgium brewed beers.

Brewery (Brouwerij?) Ommegang is 3,624 miles from Brussels it says on the Bottle. Well in that case, I am even further away then, but as long as I can get keep getting this stuff in CA, I will be placated between my annual Easter Trips to Belgium. So, Cost Plus World Market it is tomorrow then to buy the rest of the Ommegang beers on their shelves. F*** Me!! $4.49 for a 750ml Bottle – that can’t be right can it???

An Awesome, High Quality Belgium ‘style’ beer brewed in the USA, now back under the direct control of a Belgium brewer. Is it idiosyncratic, or politically incorrect, to say that I hope the Belgium’s don’t mess about with this beer?????

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 21:42:48 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent treat care of "Stan-The-Man" a.k.a., Purplehops. This cave-aged version of Rare Vos is very similar to the regular version. It still pours out a nice dark red/copperish colour with a lovely, white head on top. The aromas were of dark fruits, sugar, malt, and some hops. This reminded me of a cross between Original Ommegang and Hennepin, which is a good thing. This beer has a very balanced and rounded taste and it also had a super deluxe and CREAMY mouthfeel as well.
I could drink this stuff 'all night long'
A definate keeper.
Cheers!
-F

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 07:51:35 | More by francisweizen
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a smell! Carnival spun sugar, baked granulated sugar coated deepfried pastries coated in caramel and bananas...disciplined, coffee cream-flavored yeast. Sweet, right?
Actually it's pretty dry on the palate. There is a chalky, yeasty slice of powdered coriander and glazed meats. Dehydrated banana peels and dehydrated citrus peel are stitched throughout the voluptuosly large body. A bit Frankenstein-like...a bit engineered, but impressive.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2003 23:34:43 | More by putnam
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber with a simple yet eye applealing label. Caged & corked.

Cloudy amber, copper colored beer with a large, fluffy white head. This one looks great in the glass.

Malty, fruity nose with a chewy peach like mouthfeel. This one gets a little more earthy and bready as it warms.

This is a great beer. Deceivingly easy to drink as the alchohol stays disguised in the tastiness of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 23:09:30 | More by ggroller
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recently tried Ommegang's Abbey Ale, and really liked it... this one is probably just as good if not better... considered a Belgian Dark Ale, this porus a light-copper, hazy color with a decent head... Copped singly from Total Wine and More in Union, this is an outstanding brew... typical Belgian Ale flavors with yeasty alcohol and sweet, fruity flavors present... taste complements the aroma, with a sharp, sweet, fruity flavor that goes down crisp, clean and smooth... great aftertaste and good mouthfeel with an incredibly easy drinkability... Nice blend of fruit and sugar present in the taste, and although that typical Belgian Ale flavor is present, the fruity-sweet characteristic of the brew is not at all overwhelming... Excellent beer... Definitely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 01:03:57 | More by dsa7783
Photo of treehugger02010
treehugger02010

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this 1 pint 9 ounce bottle at Gristedes in Scarsdale, New York and poured it into an oversized water glass.
Appearance: A deep cloudy orange body that was thick in the middle, but opaque on the sides. It was toped with a good sized white head, fine retention and ok lacing that dripped down the walls of the glass.
Smell: Fruity, not citrusy, perhaps light grapes, maybe plum.
Taste: Similar, but a lot more forward.
Mouthfeel: Dry.
Drinkability: Excellent.
Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 23:07:00 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft orange-brown body with a thick, three-finger head that forms like sponge--and lacing is a beautiful web that coats the OFFICIAL Rare Vos glass... yeasts are fruity and spicy--malts are interwoven with balance... without prior knowledge, this beer could smell like any number of styles--versatile! Palate is medium-bodied and a bit astringent--a finish with warmth befitting a 6.5% ABV... smooth and slick with lingering effects... citrus hops and strong malts collide in a seesaw that keeps the tongue in a suspended bliss... like a Belgian monk and a German beer wench brought forth a beautiful love child... rule one: Ommegang doesn't brew a bad beer; rule two: each is a study in itself, demanding a session of focus and appreciation, followed by another sessio to compare and rethink... Rare Vos is a complex beer that chllenges and rewards--excellent.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2008 01:56:31 | More by dacrza1
Photo of tlinner
tlinner

New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Stunning clear amber with a towering fluffy off-white head that lasts a while.

Smell - Spicy Belgian yeast, light fruit: pear and table grapes.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very similar to nose. But the fruit character is darker, like cherries or even plum. Subtle hops, with the yeast leading the way.

Drinkability - Fantastic beer form one of the best breweries in the world, IMHO. A great beer for novices and veterans alike.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 23:23:58 | More by tlinner
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BeerLovinGrl for a great trade.

The color is a cloudy, coppery amber. A big, soapy, thick white head eventually dissipates and leaves some moderate lacing in patches. Carbonation is lively and some yeast sediment settles on the bottom of the bottle. This is a pretty brew.
Malt, grains and a light yeast are strong on the nose with a great complexity. No weaker are aromas of cloves and other spices with some light fruit and citrus notes.
The taste is even more complex. Hops bitterness is not dominant by any means but perfectly complimentary and always lingering behind a malt sweetness backing. Further complimenting the balance and complexity are a variety of gentle spices and a nice, light peppery bite, along with yeast, earthy grains, and citrus undertones. A nicely lingering finish is fairly dry with underlying grains and even sweetness.
This one is medium-bodied with a much creamier mouthfeel than I expected that somehow remains crisp at the same time.
This is simply a fantastic brew and one I'm thrilled to have been able to try since I can't get much Ommegang here.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 12:34:12 | More by Brenden
Photo of omnigrits
omnigrits

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and cage bottle into a stem tulip results in the expected frothy white head that subsides after a while to leave plenty of residue on the inside of the glass. Strong Belgian yeast aroma with more than a hint of barley sugar and a touch of hops. Taste is slightly tangy, sweet, very nice. Strong mouthfeel. I'll be buying this one again for sure. Wouldn't mind ageing one for a year for comparison.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 02:20:56 | More by omnigrits
Photo of mtnbikerpa
mtnbikerpa

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked bottle. About three inches of bubbley head. Strong dark fruits and yeast scents. Dark amber color. Plum, prune fruits upfront. Strong yeast, biscuit like notes. The taste finishes a little dry. Mouthfeel is pretty light for the flavor. Very drinkable I won't have much problem finishing the bottle myself. Going well with some slices of aged provolone.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:05:40 | More by mtnbikerpa
Photo of Sam21
Sam21

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork/cage bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy reddish orange with a fluffy white head with fantastic retention. As it recedes it leaves chunky lace on the glass and rocky chunks on the surface. Eye candy.

Smell - Aroma is filled with spicy clove and complex fruity esters. I'm picking up notes of pear, banana, apple, and orange. Picking up a little fruity tartness and some alcohol sweetness as well.

Taste - Spicy clove up front leads into waves of fruity esters with a moderately spicy and dry finish. A perfectly balanced Belgian-style amber.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with spot-on carbonation that gives the body a great smoothness.

Drinkability - A carefully-crafted beer with a great balance between fruitiness, earthiness, and spice. An all around delicious Ommegang offering. They never disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 04:04:55 | More by Sam21
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a gem. this poured nice with a strong head at first. decent carbontion with good lacing down the glass. smells of malt and caramel raisins. quite tasty! it is lighter than the color would make you think. good finish. overall yum!

suckem up and movem out

giblet

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 11:22:49 | More by giblet
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy coppery-amber into my Duvel tulip. The initial pour gave a 4 1/2 finger off-white head that settled at a moderate pace leaving some light lacing.

Initially, I got some light citrus from the aroma, but soon a sweet, very floral aroma developed. Well-blended spice. I can make out a bit of clove and nutmeg.

Some sweet malt upfront, but then I get more tart, peppery citrus for the duration. Some light bitterness indicating a faint hop presence.

Medium-bodied with peppery carbonation and light alcohol burn in the throat.

A very good brew. I think it gets even better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 05:12:40 | More by obywan59
Photo of XicanoBeerRun
XicanoBeerRun

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle

Snifter

Orangish amber

Smells earthy

Fizz and foam fill the mouth

Spices up front, which fades to a pleasant malty aftertaste

Sweet Belgian yeast lingers in the mouth

This beer makes me happy that I drink craft beer.

I’ll have another.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 19:16:33 | More by XicanoBeerRun
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear caramel color with a solid half-inch head. Aroma is light, sugary and lemony with just a touch of mustiness. A thick layer of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle -- but the beer remains sparkling clear.

Taste is sweet pale malt followed by some light candy sugar. The sugary bits are not overpowering and are tempered with white pepper flavors and a nice yeasty element. Hints of lemon, white grapes, maple syrup and just a touch of pine. With all this sweetness, it still manages to finish dry and with just a memory of hops.

Mouthfeel is very light, very clean. Well done for a Yankee micro, would stand up well to any native Belgian pale. I could definitely session a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 02:16:41 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, deep orange that almost glows like an ember, with a nice tan head with decent retention. Its aromas are interesting. It smells very minerally, almost beachy, with light, fruity ethers reminiscent of apricots, and a pleasant, natural yeastiness. The fact that all of these aromas are present and yet all very subtle makes this beer very intriguing. I've become accustomed to Belgian-style ales practically smacking me in the nose and jarring my tongue with their intensity but this beer does none of those things. Rare Vos has a lot of finesse. Its flavors are complex yet gentle. Its fruity notes range from peaches and apricots to sour strawberries. Its bitterness is best described as unripened fruit rather than "citrusy," "piney," "earthy" or what have you. Finishes dry and leaves you excited for the next sip. This is another extremely good ale by Ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 05:06:56 | More by droomyster
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,355 ratings.