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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,135 Reviews
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Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,135 | Ratings: 3,236
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opens with a Pow! Watch where you point that thing! and the cork goes flying off to parts unknown. The cats will find it, I'm sure.

Glowing russet with steadily rising bubbles. Copious creamy head that subsides into pillows and clumps on the glass. Strong yeast smell that gives way to a piercing sweet and sour wineyness.

Slight hazelnut in the first taste. Surprising amount of alcohol bite. Apricot fruitiness mellows it out. Huge prickle in the mouth, powerful carbonation that begs to be paired with rich food. Suggestion of white pepper in the finish.

Pleasing and straightforward. I think this is my favorite Ommegang offering.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Hopshop in Boston for not only this bottle but the proper glass to serve it in. A very nice treat!

Pours a dark golden-amber with lots of carbonation, a 3/4 inch thick head quickly drops off to a nice cover. Belgian yeast smell, with slight hops, light sweetness and citrus in the aroma. Very nice to sit and smell. Taste is a nicely balanced malt and hops mix, sharp and tangy, but offset by the mellowness of the grain. Slight citrus, not as sweet as the aroma lets on.

I could drink this all day. Even my beer-hating girlfriend liked this one!

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one and was impressed to say the least at the foggy orange color with a nice solid white head.
Smell is of citrus, spice with a sweet and bread like scent in there as well.
The taste was oh so smooth. The creamy head and the orange peel like flavor burst into my mouth. It was then followed by a sweet malty flavor and rounded of with a spiciness that seemed smoothed in the aftertaste with a bread like yeast like flavor.
Amazing mouthfeel. Full of flavor and aroma.

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Photo of Bones54
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 750 ml bottle. My first from the Ommegang Brewery out of Cooperstown, New York.
Appearance: Typical Belgian ale appearance, not as much cloudy in appearance, but definately a dark amber hue. Not a large head, but lasting until the last sip.
Smell: mixture of grain and fruit.
Taste: not as powerfull as many Belgian brews, however very pleasant and drinkable. The alcohol taste prevelant in many Belgian beers is not as distinct in Rare Vos.
Overall the beer is very enjoyable and drinkable, one of my favorites. Makes me feel like I'm enjoying it on a summer's night in Brugge, instead of a cold, dreary night in Akron, OH. And for $4.99 that's not bad at all!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of a disappointment. I love Ommegang beers, but this one did not impress me. Not that it's bad, but it doesn't hold up to the many, many fine examples of the style. Kind of sour, almost flat. A little darker in color than the usual Belgian pale. The La Fin I followed this with absolutely blew it away (I know, different style, but still....)

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

Greatbrew ! 750ml bottle. Poured a cloudy orange/copper color with a solid white three finger head. The smell is fruity, sweet malts and yeasty. The taste is wonderful. Slight citrous flavor with a bready malt goodness and hint of spice that is hard to beat. Nicely balanced with a hop bite that just noticable enough to be almost perfect. The carbonation and mouthfeel were right on. The drinkability is very good.

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Photo of trancefishy
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy murky brown orange, hardly any head at all.

Aroma is very sweet, smells like candy. There is an essence of some kind of spirit, like whisky or rum. A bit of spiciness, some fermented apple.

The taste has like a muddled winey flavour. An earthy characteristic is present, with more of those apples, but, more like the brown pulp after pressing. A bit tart, spicy, sweet, and a little bit of clove. Funny aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, and drinkability is OK, but, I don’t think I would want a second one.

This is the second trial for this beer. The first I thought was bad somehow, but this one confirms that I just don’t find this beer particulary nice. It’s not bad, really, but it’s off flavours don’t do well to inspire you to obtain more.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a nice looking 750 ML bottle into a tulip glass. As the label states, Rare Vos is Flemish for "Sly Fox" and the name of one of Brussels' great cafes.

Appearance is a hazy burnt orange color. Fluffy, frothy head on top that stays around for a while. Sticky and substantial sticky lacings are clinging on the sides of the glass.

Aroma of dried fruit and spices.

Very tasteful medium-bodied mouthful that highlights a blend of spices, sugars, cloves and a hint of lemon tartness. Super clean on the palate with a refreshing dryness on the finish.

I would imagine that this would be a very diverse beer to pair with different foods. Great drinkability level. Another winner from Ommegang.

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Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty nice stab at the Belgian style ale from the people at Ommegang. This corked 750ml bottle pours a nice orange bronze color with a touch of haze, but fairly translucent. A nice rocky head rests on top of the beer. Smell is a nice big boquet of mellow fruit scencts, floral hops, and mellow ripe malts. A bit biscuity and buttery as well. Taste is much the same, a nice mellow a sweet taste, with hints of hops and fruits and malts all coming at different times, and a tad yeasty. Very smooth mouthfeel and this is definately and easy beer to put down.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Compares favorably to a Duvel or Flemish style ale. Pours white, puffy head that thins quickly, leaving nice rings of lace, even in my plastic cup. Color is like a pilsner with a touch more haze. I taste a fine, toasted caramel sweetness, with pleasant nose of coriander, grains of paradise(?), a bit of Curacao orange. Comes in with a slight banana note at the finish. I wish I could've keep this to cellar, but I went a little crazy at the store where I bought this, near our motel. Ended up buying 13 bottles of various micros, and had to trim down to fit in my luggage.

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Photo of Troyone
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in a bottle, the beer pours with a three inch head that sticks to the sides. The color is like a weak iced tea with a slight haze that may be part of the color.
The smell is not significant with the possibility of a undetermined sweet accent.
The taste is a maltly caramel with crisp carbonation that is evident when drinking.
The mouthfeel is OK seems a little uneven.
The drinkability is OK and the after taste is limited with some sweetness.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rare Vos is an excellent Belgian. The balance of this beer makes it so easy to drink. One 750 can disappear very quickly by one person. I'll break down the review.

The appearance is a peach/orange color with a medium ring of head. The bubble size is small enough that it has a foam appearance. Right after you pour it you are hit with a nice combination of flowery smells. The taste too is very flowery, but is complimented well with a rich malt flavor, a mild alcohol component and a yeasty (pretzel) flavor kicks in close to the end of the taste.

The body is buttery and slick. Very full, but not thick.

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Photo of arizcards
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at AJ's back in August.

This is an amber colored brew that poured a nice head that maintains throughout. Smell is of fruits and belgian yeast. Taste is of caramel malts that finishes with a nice dry hop. Mouthfeel is light but lively. Overall drinkability is near perfect.

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Photo of sutcliff
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great bottle for a great beer. Needless to say, I pointed the top away from my face, windows, or my wife upon opening. The head was very full and tight. The lacing was consistent throughout the drink. The nose was rich with plum, citrus, and some alcohol. The beer danced on my tongue as the malt blended well with the clove and citrus flavor. The color was a medium amber. However, the head was more impressive than the color in regards to appearance. The finish was clean. This was one good Belgian!

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Photo of edchicma
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wyllder for the sample. Appearance was a bit murky...medium yellow with a decent head. Smell was a pleasant blend of grassy hops and yeast. Taste is very different, but very nice. It was light on the palate early on but burst in a delayed fruity finish. I got a distinct impression of pears. Mouthfeel is very, very smooth. Extremely easy to drink. A brew I would definitely have again.

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Photo of targheehucker
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Corked 750mL bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

Appearance: What a head! Tightly packed small bubbles, slightly off white to light caramel in color. Beer is somewhat hazy with a rich caramel to orange hue.

Smell: Malty Sweetness followed by orangy spice with big plum or grape backing.

Taste: Mild Body with fruity plums spiced slightly with clove or dried orange rind. Slight alchohol maltiness warms to a great finish when flavor dries out on the tongue, leaving feel of tiny bubbles carrying dry crispness off the palate.

Notes: This beer is a great value for 4.99 While the flavors aren't overwhelming in a medium bodied ale, they are certainly unique and the finish definitely will be recognized by your taste buds. However, when the finish hits it is almost like 'what that was it'? Not as complex and hard hitting as I would have hoped...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly murky butterscotch. The massive head is ecru in color with a yellowish tint and looks to have the consistency of an excellent lace maker. Fooled again; an underwhelming number of smallish chunks end up on the glass while a stiff mesa of foam sits defiantly in the center of the glass, refusing to fall lower than a few fingers.

Clove is the first aroma that I notice, but there are others present as well, including fermented apples and pears with an underlying mustiness, hay and a hint of white pepper. The beer has a pleasant flavor with a mild sourness and a clove-like yeastiness that marks it as a Belgian. Or in this case, a Belgian-style ale.

The spicy fruitiness lasts the longest, but isn't as supported as it could be due to the light body. For that reason, Rare Vos is more subtle than many of its style brethren. It fades from modestly sweet early to modestly dry late and leaves the palate clean. The light, airy, well-carbonated mouthfeel makes drinking easy and burping frequent.

I like Rare Vos marginally more than I liked 'Ommegang squared', but it isn't great beer in my mind. It isn't overly complex and the flavor profile doesn't push my buttons all that hard. I'm still glad that I gave it a try.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label Lore: Flemish for "sly fox" and proper pour instructions. 6.5% ABV 750 mL. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brabant Ale.

Perfect pour into a Hennepin tulip with golden orange slightly hazy hues and about a foot of antique white head that sticks to the glass like it was glued there. Head cap was Jupiter sized and went nowhere for about half an hour. Champagne bubbles rise up endlessly.

As with all OMMEGANG offerings, yeasty scents and sweet malts, but this one is a twinge narrower than other OMMs. It's good tho' dont get me wrong.

First swigs: Foamy vanilla cake. Candied fruits of plums, cherries, and peaches with a citrous blend of lemons and spiciness of cloves and coriander. Yeatiness abounds. Aftertaste is of dry malty finish.

Foamy carbonation "embiggens" the medium body. The second pour is begging to be spent. Well drinkable and lasting.

Last swigs: Liquid vanilla cake like Grandma makes followed by citrousy aftertaste. Almost a Witbeer. That cork was stuck in this puppy, requiring a wine cork opener! The airiness is what qualifies this to be a Belgian Ale. Like drinking air. No awl-kee-hawl detection. First Belg Pale Ale reviewed.

Beer is good. Happy Belgian style American beering.

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Photo of jvajda
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep brown red earthy color and large frothy head. Very appealing.
Smell: A little bit of a chapstick sort of smell. That's the best way for me to describe it. A little alcohol in there as well.
Taste: The flavor of this beer is slow to develop but very rewarding if you're patient. It has a subtle start that blossoms into wine-like acidity and grape undertones. It's finish slowly fades to dryness. A very dynamic beer for sure, but also a little too simple.
Mouthfeel: Good feel and carbonation, just like a Belgian should have.
Drinkability: It's good, but after one, I'm ready to move on.

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Photo of ken3c
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper with a big poofy head that stays around awhile. The server at Zingerman's Roadhouse apologized for pouring it wrong but I instructed her that a proper pouring requires patience for this style. Sheets of lace are left on the glass.

There are aromas of citrus and malt. Very enjoyable.

Sweet, spicy, fruity/melon, banana tastes with a clean but fruity finish.

Foamy. Medium body.

I'll have this again. My wife liked it too so I should stock it.

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Photo of TongoRad
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a quickly dissipating head and large bubbles. Hazy.

Good aroma of fruit (banana) caramel and spices. Promises more than the beer delivers.

Restrained maltiness with sufficient hop bitterness and a dry caramel finish. It is not overpowering and built for enjoying a few at a time.

This is a nicely complex and refined beer, just needs a bit more 'oomph' to push it to the next level.

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Photo of KoG
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the bottle a hazy, burnt orange creating a HUGE amount of head that became chunky and cavernous below with a creamy top that very slowly disappeared.

The smell was actually rather disappointing to me, not as much as I had expected. Fruity and doughy with a distinct yeast backbone.

The taste was rather pleasant until the botom where it became slightly atringent. Somewhat of a marshmallow flavor with a hint of citrus that fades into a slightly bitter bite and ends with the taste of sourdough.

Mouthfeel was great. Nice and creamy with carbonation that tickles the tongue and a little bit of the roof of the mouth.

As far as drinkability goes, I'm not too sure if I could drink the whole 750mL bottle, gets a little sour after a bit but overall not too bad for $3.99.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy brownish gold colour topped with a medium sized head set this beer up for a first sip. This is a refined beer that doesn't scream Belgian but rather whispers it in the ear. very drinkable and at 6.5% abv, almost sessionable. This is the one true drinking beer from Ommegang where the rest of their lineup is strictly sipping.

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Photo of rousee
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 4's here could be 4.5's in any of the categories. I would rather be tough than easy. I went to the brewery over Labor day weekend and it was the only place I visited in Cooperstown that was too busy. It mattered not as the tour/ the people and place were excellent. Their beers are all fairly complex like most Belgian beers but these guys are Belgian style beer not Belgian beer. I was a little disappointed that they had been bought out by Duvel but the tour guide did make it seem like they were now able to afford to do things that they couldn't have in the past.

The rare vos pours a very nice amber honey gold and forms a beautiful floral scented -wine-champagne- like head of 2-3 fingers. Takes a while to settle too which I think is a testament to this bottling method and this bottling method helping freshness after being popped and it also helps the beer improve as it ages. Freshness is extremely important to me but I can sense this could be better after sitting for a while in storage.
The nose is fruity grapes and currants but very mild of these. I am revising my score cuz the nose here is so pleasant. Has a little bit of honey and molasses to the nose also but it breaks fairly clean with one negative -- a little too bubbly.
The taste is malty fruit honey--nice grapes and currants with some berries. Dry and slight smokey finish. Doesn't have much middle.
The mouthfeel is excellent too. This is not really my favorite style but I think the rare vos may be one of Ommegang's best. Oh yeah another dangerous one on the drinkabilty- too easy to have more than a couple.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.