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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.

1,125 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,125
Hads: 3,162
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 176
Gots: 531 | 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: 1,125 | Hads: 3,162
Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an amber/orange color. A head white foamy head. Left lots of lacing.

S - It smelled of corriander and yeast. There was a sweetness to it as well.

T - The taste was fruity with hints of malt and spice. The alcohol is also present.

M - It is cirsp. And light to medium-bodied.

D - Very good. Not nearly as spicy as some Belgian-style ales but still quite good.

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Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep orange with a medium head that sticks around for quite some time,the aroma is orangy and pretty clovey.The taste is a little tart to begin with and a lingering spiciness to it.Nice mouthfeel to it and seems to be pretty drinkable, something a little different.

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

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

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Photo of nickfl
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Two and a half fingers of white head, supported by a clear, bright golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves a moderate coating of lace.

S - Herbal hops, tropical fruit, pepper and coriander.

T - Malty and a bit spicy/ phenolic. Herbal hops appear in the middle and contribute bitterness to the tangy, sour finish.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - I really recall this being a better beer than it is, but I have no reason to think that there is anything with this bottle. Nothing particularly bad about it, but it is just kind of dull and unremarkable, especially the flavor.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love bottle conditioned Belgian, and love that Ommegang and Allagash are really bringing the art to the U.S.

A: Fluffy airy head that disappears quickly. Crystal clear reddish orange brown color, that is until I stir up the yeast and pour that in.

N: Medium malts, crystal malt like, some Belgian yeast and fruity aromas from the yeast, light alcohol, bready almost.

T: Light Belgian like malts and red/amber ale like malt flavors. Light alcohol flavor. Slight Belgian sugar and yeasty fruity flavors.

M: Ridiculous carbonation, pretty light body.

F: Very clean but very lingering light sweetness. A little syrupy. Crisp finish, almost like a good lager or bright amber ale.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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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!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, fruit, some spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with a good Belgian yeast backbone, mildly sweet flavors of caramel & fruit and a mild hops presence. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice Belgian-style beer with a lot of flavor and substance that doesn't try to overpower you.

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

Thanks to Phatz for this 750ml corked and caged brown bottle that I shared w/ octopus87 and friends.

Poured cold into a tumbler.
A - A hazed amber w/ a thin white head. The head produces a moderate amount of lace. The yeast from bottle conditioning was included in the pour.

S - Malty, belgian yeast aroma, bready.

M - A lively fizziness gives the malt some levity. A gentle spice and hop woodiness in the texture adds to the overall feel.

T - A mild flavor of toasted grain mixes w/ spice and yeastiness. A bready and gentle pine tasting hop and phenolic after taste. Very pleasant flavor, yet a bit mild.

D - A pleasant malty belgian. Worth a try for sure. A very tasty ale one I would probably pair w/ poultry.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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

First had: on tap at Johnny Brenda's, Philly, PA

A champion among amber ales. Pours a clear amber with a nice white head that retains well. Nicely toasted malts in the nose, along with a medley of fruit and a bit of spice. Malty taste, with flavors of pear, banana, apricot, and light spice. Very smooth, and quite complex for an amber ale, but not over-complicated. Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry, and is very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a .75l bottle; effervecent white head drops off to an amobea-like surface, no lacing at all

Smell: Slight fruitiness and leather smells

Taste: Slight bitterness of of old hops comes trough, some leather, cherry, sourness and tartness, alcohol in the finish. I suspect more maturation would've helped this bottle across the board.

MF: dry and prickly, great carbonation, probably this beer's selling point

I love belgian beer and some state side copy cats, this effort wasn't really up to my expectations, but close

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a thick creme head. Doughy, inky, yeasty nose. Flavor is smooth. High amounts of dough. Lots of it. Minor spicy. More minor funk. Some citrus fruits are there too. It's smooth and well done. Feel has a biting carbonation and the liquid is good. Very easy to drink. A good Belgian style ale.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 11/13/2012. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy orange amber color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big banana, pear, apple, orange peel, light caramel, clove, pepper, coriander, floral, bread, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast notes with malt and spices. Taste of big banana, pear, apple, orange peel, clove, pepper, light caramel, bread, coriander, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, orange peel, clove, pepper, caramel, bread, coriander, floral, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with malt sweetness and spices; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick, foamy, and crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian pale ale! Great flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to drink, even at high carbonation. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy apricot color with a large effervescent cream colored head, even webbing of lace delicate and beautiful Belgian style ale poured from a 12oz. bottle conditioned vessel. Aroma has fruit sweet nectar picking up some sharp apple tones, and cherries thrown in there to make it a bit sweet and sour. Slightly musty yet peppery yeast effervesence makes this beer one of the most appetising american made belgium styles ales I have come across. Sweet sharp malt tones with fruit phenols dancing along the palate what a great beer, same yeast profile just a tad peppery in the flavor profile and a mild bitter hop profile to go along with it. Just amazing that this beer wasn't brewed in Belgium, in my eyes the high carbonation makes this beer able to cut right through the flavors of a well done prime rib or any other lucious meat. Medium in body a true blessing to any beer lover, and this Brewery Ommegang product may just be the most drinkable other than Hennepin. Just simply a must try wonderful strong ale.

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Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Rare Vos poured from a chilled bomber bottle was hazy amber in the glass, with a creamy, durable off-white head. The nose is fruity, more so than the lightly fruity flavor. The flavor also has some peppery spice and nutty yeast. Some delicate hops in the mildly bitter finish and aftertaste.

M: good body, appropriate to style, and finishes dry.

O: more than credible US version of this Belgian style.

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Photo of smcolw
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy amber color. The head starts off well but recedes to a single layer. Leaves impressive lace on the glass.

There's an element of American pale ale smell to this beer. There is a distinct aroma of hops.

The Belgian yeast is the key taste here. Relatively thin with a very high level of carbonation. The hop flavor only shows up at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves no lacing and lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian style yeast, fruity malts, and very light bananas. Pretty nice, with a lot of dark fruit.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, bananas, fruity malts, yeast, cloves, light citrus, light floral and earthy notes. Again, lots of dark fruits, and more bananas than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice amber ale with a Belgian style kick to it. Lots of dark fruits mixing with some bananas and bready malts. Very easy to drink, would give another shot.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

McCall said, in his review, that regular, as well as Cave-Aged, Rare Vos goes well with spicy foods, and it's a good thing, for I'm sampling as I dine on Ethiopian food, and you couldn't want spicier! (although tonight's meal is on the mild side)
There comes off the cage, now for the cork...POP!..and we pour...pale orangeish color, good-sized creamy head..aroma is fresh, yeasty, fruity, uplifting, and more character shines through, more sweet, candyish, even...distinctly sugary, and the perfect profile for a Belgian-style ale bent on delivering deliciusness!
Oh, yum...oh, delicious...thick, fruity, ...heavenly, chock full o' sweetness...malt, hops in perfect alignment to produce a divinely candyish, magnificent dessert beer...or dinner beer...or Happy-to-Be-Alive-Beer (and who doesn't need a copious amount of these?)
In all honesty, the work done in the cave was fairly minimal, for I've just now consumed a 750 of non-cave-cellared Rare Vos, though certainly ensconced in an uncaring store's aisle for many, many months, for what that's worth...and the difference is not too remarkable ...a bit mellower, perhaps...wonderful mouthfeel, dazzling hops...my appreciation continues to grow...bright fruit flavors continue, peach, apricot...not as transcendent as I'd hoped, not like my experience with the Cave-Aged Ommegang.
Still, despite that, a really nice beer...really, really nice...mmmmn, did I say nice? I meant niiiiiiice!
Big thanks to purplehops for providing this bottle!

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy orangish/brownish with a creamy head this is very well-retained. It leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of fruitcake with sugary spices. A touch of alcohol. Wonderfullly rich smell.

The taste is of sweet fruity malt with spiced earthy breadiness. Warming alcohol notes emerge but never overwhelm. It has a creamy body with a spicy tang. A tartness balances out the sweetness. Just a touch of hops emerge as it warms and nears the finish. It's very well-balanced, with the sweet spiciness coming out ahead. It has a long, crisp, dry finish.

It has a nice texture with a lingering fruity spiciness.

This is a very nice "sipping" brew. A very nice interpretation of a Belgian. Serves well as an apperitif or as a complement to a creamy Belgian or French cheese plate.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2007.

A: Pours a very lightly hazy amber in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head the reduces to very thin patches and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed. There is quite a bit of visible yeast that pours into the glass at the end of the bottle.

S: There are aromas of a fruity yeast, some hints of spice/pepper, along with some sweet malts and hints of caramel/toffee.

T: Bready malts followed by a little bit of caramel/toffee malts, then the fruity yeast shows through, and finally some very light spice/pepper. There is a slight bit of oak to this beer as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: A very drinkable beer and one that I have had many times, I think that it actually improves some with aging though my guess is that aging it much more than 5 years and it could be on the down slope. I really like this beer and it could easily be a session beer for me.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a medium sized off white / tannish head of small soapy bubbles that leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady and made up of medium bubbles that rise quickly through the beer.

Slight caramel aroma, not much else.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, sweet but muted. Beer is medium in body, carbaontion makes the body seem bigger. There is a roasty / sugary / caramel flavor in there. No aftertaste or real bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken last month (8/21)

Pours a clowdy amber with thick 2 finger head. Big bubbles fade quickly to a lacey half finger of off white head. Fruity aroma with yeast present. Taste is filled with yeast, nearly bread like but has a fruit character akin to apples. Smells also of apples and spice as well. Light mouthfeel and mildly warming sweet finish.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,125 ratings.