Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,124 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,124
Hads: 3,158
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 176
Gots: 528 | 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: 1,124 | Hads: 3,158
Photo of ChugginOil
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos

Pours a golden amber that has a hazy glow about it. A fingers worth of white head sits for a few moments and drags spotty lacing down as the glass is swirled.

The nose offers some bready malts with cider and banana qualities. Very enticing as it begs to be consumed.

The taste is almost spot on with the nose but amplifies the Belgian goodness within. The apple/banana blend is boldly announced followed by some funky spices that make this one delicious.

The mouthfeel is crispy on the palate. Ample carbonation nails my palate and spreads the Belguim inspired characteristics throughout.

Overall, why did i wait so long to try this? Awesome American made Belgo amber. Brings the whole package to the party.

 721 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I never seem to be in the mood for a Belgian, but I always love them when I have them. I haven't quite figured that out yet. This is another great brew from Ommegang. This and the Hennepin are my two favorite from them. Beautiful light amber body and a white head that stays the entire glass. Nice spicy and fruity aroma, and a spicy hop taste make this very refreshing. There seems to be a hint of lime as well that really hits the spot. Finishes slightly dry, with a bit of solventy alcohol, but it all works.

 511 characters

Photo of NeedBeerHere
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark amber/orange in color with a NICE three finger head with good retention. Smell is of nice Belgian yeast -- bananas and cloves. A little fruity in the nose but the yeast takes the forefront here. Taste is more of the nice Belgian yeast and what was in the nose. There is a little fruity hops with a great aftertaste that includes a slight bitterness but not overwhelming. I really love the Belgian yeast so this is all win for me. Mouthfeel is really quite thick for the style which is hard to do and keep all these variables together in such a nice beer. Really a nice beer that I haven't had for years and really glad I tried it again.

 653 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegman's in mechanicsburg

My 500th review

A- light amber color with a 3 finger head that is foamy and leaves a frothy laving on my cru. A nice mountainous head as well. great look and inviting.

S- fruity esters but almost floral like. there but not there a perfect combination almost. Citrus and yeasty maltiness.

F- the fruity esters follow a bready yeast. Very smooth transition. this is nice. not much else to say. damn good

M- light bodied yet creamy but smooth. goes down with ease. The grain warms my throat but it isn't strong.

O- a great beer for my 500th. I would love a case of it. This goes in to my top 10!!!

 629 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Best before 09/2013, bottled on 28/09/12.

Appearance: Slow pour yielded a translucent orange amber beer. Thick light-orange foam on top, with lots and lots of lacing abounding on the glass. Looking at the bottom of the bottle after the pour some yeast sediment came along for the ride, but not a lot.

Smell: Yeast, fruity esters, apple & grape, maybe a barest hint of orange citrus.

Taste: Very complex. Malt, spice (coriander?), orange zest, grain, and all of it blended together such that the flavors run past the tongue in rapid succession. Not a muddled mess, but rather a quick lineup of wonderful flavors that work well with one another. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Airy carbonation, nicely coats the whole mouth though and leaves a nicely wet and cool coating. Thickness underneath just right. A pleasure to drink.

Overall / Drinkability: A very nice beer - I can see why people rave about it so much. Indeed very drinkable / sessionable as indicated on the bottle. I could polish one of these off easily over lunch with little problem, and would not mind having another one if I decided to not have a "session". Definitely one to get again.

 1,191 characters

Photo of brushpig
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle at Sams wines in Chicago, 750ml bottle.

Red amber in hue. Large off-white creamy head that had full longevity. Active carbination that never stopped. What a beer should look like.

The aroma was light , yeast, fruits(plum, grapes) soft but very appealing.

Great flavor with spices like pepper, herbs, light fruit sweetness, very lively in mouth, finishes dry, with long duration.

This is an exceptional beer visually, and in flavor. Buy it!

 466 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice color- does apricot convey it well? orange-y-amber, for the head is loose with larger bubbles and dissipates quickly into a nothing.
smell is a little fruit-like, typical of a belgian, but in an attempt to hone it down i came up with 'cotton candy'. yeah, i'll stick with that...
taste is green apple up front(?) with some other crisp fruity flavors. i think this is the first wanna-be duplicate brew which actually has some great(er) characteristics than the original. the taste is right up front and clearly defined. right off the vine, fruit taste. almost a bit candy-like, with a greasy superficial flavor not unlike a flavored pack of Twizzlers (which, for licorice, i abhor- Red Vines are the best).
i wrote this as i continued tasting it and my feelings for it continued to evolve. i understand the description seems a bit strange but i stand by it and as i am left with an almost-empty glass i feel confident in what i just tasted. the taste is most definitely like a 'sour apple' Jolly Rancher, but if it had billed itself as such we'd all be trying to derive that and probably be disappointed. this is absolutely my description of it in a nutshell. or a shot glass. i think i need to look at their website to see what/how they describe it... 2nd thought-forget it. after checking in i remember what a struggle it is to get around their website.
there is a funky taste to it, but it's not over-powering and i dont hold it against the review. it's still a great brew and one i will recommend....

 1,516 characters

Photo of chiccabeer
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a milky amber appearance that has the perfect amount of head when poured into a glass. It smells sweet, fruity, and malty. The taste is very smooth with a lot of flavor. I taste apple and a light sweetness which is not overpowering. The after taste is very is light with a a hint of fruit making you want more. This beer would be good for any occasion, but tastes more like a summer beer. Cheers.

 410 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark orangy color with a sizable head that dissolves to a fine bubbly sheen...citrus seems to dominate in early glass, as it warms it reveals a nice balance of malt/hops. Spice in the finish..pepper, hint of cloves....grapefruit....this beer is excellent with spicy food, thai, mexican etc...the brewer at Ommegang told me (at Half time's recent 3 phillophs event) that this is the staff's favorite at the Brewery

 426 characters

Photo of Shovelbum
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Robust off-white head deep ruby copper body. Decent head retention and lace. Aromas of toasted and sweet malt, vinous fruit, a hint of hops and some wet horse blanket. Tastes are similar with a nice toasted biscuit malt profile, mild caramel sweetness and a bit of barnyard character. Medium body. Moderate carbonation makes it quite crisp upfront in the mouth, but it settles down for a smooth finish. Slightly drying.

My favorite of the excellent offerings from the Ommegang crew. If only there were more Belgian-style ales of this caliber produced domestically. . .

 571 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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.

 555 characters

Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.4%
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

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,124 ratings.