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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.

2,358 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2358
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
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Ratings: 2,358 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.63/5  rDev +14%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 14:08:46 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a short head.

Smell: yeast, pears, and apples are most notable.

Taste: caramel, big yeast flavors, ripe plums, pears, and golden apples. Bitterness is moderate but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this beer. This is a beer you can drink all day long.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 18:10:07 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.45/5  rDev -15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 22:12:54 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours an opaque amber, possibly got some yeast there in the pour, medium white head, solid retention.

S: Bread, Belgian yeast, spice, pretty much what I expected.

T: Tasty dark bread mixing with dark fruit esters starts out the drink. Strong clovey spice bluntly intervenes, with a light acidity in the end.

M: Too much carbonation at first, but dies down with a gentle swirl, as the beer warms up the acidity comes out more, overall light/medium body.

D: This is a tasty dark Belgian-style beer and certainly one of the cheapest 750s you're going to see in the store, that alone demands a repurchase at some point. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 04:08:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my absolute favorite beers, especially on tap. pours a slightly cloudy carrot colored orange with a lacey white head 2 inches thick. smells just a hint sour, with belgian yeast backing it up. a nice caramel malt sweetness meandering through as well. taste is crisp, and not like a classic amber, no residual sweetness to speak of, and a fairly sharp quick refreshing finish. this is a very well made glass of beer, and one that i wish was never empty. the nice finish, medium abv, and medium to light body make this a really drinkable beer. i find new ways to appreciate it every time i have one. just fantastic!

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 19:54:09 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy peachy amber color with active carbonation and a thick, persistent head.

S: Nose has crisp yeast scents complemented with fruity notes and a bit of peppery spice.

T: Light Belgian yeasy, some spice, clove and light booze sting

M: Alcohol warmth shows up more and more as the beer warms up. Nice feel, some bubblegum flavors

D: Very good

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2010 03:04:07 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle with seafood enchiladas at The Mission Restaurant in Syracuse, a great pairing. Rare Vos reminds me a bit of an amber Duvel, though not quite as the complex. The malts are sweet and mild with an apple, cherry, and berry taste. Very drinkable and tasty, but it might be overpriced if you're a budget beer shopper or think Rogue is too expensive.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 00:59:00 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 22:52:40 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking a 750 mL corked and caged bottle, poured into a Rare Vos stange (see the 'Glassware for Beer' section if you are wondering what a stange is).

Appearance: The beer pours cleanly, no hazy or sediment upfront (although there is a layer of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, so haze is in the near future). The beer is highly carbonated and gave me an immediate head of approximately 4 fingers. The head quickly dissapated to a constant 1 finger, leaving a very nice ring of lace around the stange.

Smell: The beer has a very natural smell, fresh with a note of muted hops.

Taste The muted hops make themselves known here. They are not overpowering, they just make themselves known. I also taste some fruity apple in the ale.

Mouthfeel: This ale sits nicely in the mouth. The malt and hops are nicely balanced, preventing either one from overpowering the taste buds.

Drinkability: Thiis one ale that could easily be consumed all day (and night long). The relatively low ABV (6.5%) means that it will not knock you out while giving you hours of drinking enjoyment.

Another great selection from Ommegang, the 2005 akorsak Brewery of the Year.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 00:58:28 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 19:10:10 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 11:45:18 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a hazy glowing golden-amber body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. On top is a thick mousy head that last and last leaving rings of lace after each sip.

S- This beer has a light sweet perfumed malt smell with notes of pears.

T- The soft sweet note of spun sugar is followed by a soft spice note with a faint hint of bubble gum. The finish has a light fresh dry spice note with hints of carbonic acid and soft green leaves. As this beer warms the notes of faint bubblegum and light brown sugar and notes of dried apples come through.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a nice crisp but slightly sweet finish.

D- This beer is light in sweetness but has a nice subtle complex flavor. The soft bitterness and the nice sweet flavor have some good depth.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 03:26:21 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in California and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a hazed, slightly amber orange colour, with a full and frothy head, initially. This settles to a half-centimetre of fine off-white foam, leaving minimal lacing. Body is quite light. Not a bad look.

Nose is fragrant with organic Belgian notes, but also rather sharp, with a zesty carbonation whack livening up the palate. Hint of caramel grains and a touch of earthiness. All up, it's nice, but it's a little too sharp, and a little less powerful than I like.

Taste is clean and light, with vigorous carbonation that makes the palate smart. Pleasant mild Belgian phenols giving a cleansing sharpness, with a suggestion of acidity on the back. Quite light on flavour, and where it is, it's not the round sweetness I expect, but it's pleasant and drinkable.

It's a good beer, but in my opinion not a great beer. It's pleasant, light, drinkable and quite sessionable for its 6.5%. The characters are pleasant enough, but it doesn't really do anything exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 01:18:42 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-finger thick white head that takes forever to fade leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Wheat/yeast nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is fruity & yeasty, almost a clean finish. 750ml bottle $5.99 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2008 23:39:16 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


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 Zorro


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper colored brew.

Smell is all spices, Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mint.

Taste is mildly sweet with a big spicy flavor. Coriander, cloves, allspice and celery dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

A spicy drinkable brew, almost tastes like a Hefe-Weissen.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2004 04:27:14 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into a chalice a nice light orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, minimal lacing though. The nose is malty, with some slight yeast, tangy (citrus/grapefruit/grapes), with some slight spice and caramel. The taste is malty/yeasty, I really enjoy the tangyness (grapey) tones this brew has, slight spice/caramel. Medium body, a well-rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, another very tasty brew from Ommegang, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 01:40:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 750 ml. bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick foamy white head and large chunks of yeast floating around. Citrus sour aroma of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Sweet citrus flavor that contains a lot of yeast and a touch of maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:21:10 | More by corby112
Photo of woodychandler


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2007 15:15:33 | More by woodychandler
Photo of stakem


4.05/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 17:30:48 | More by stakem
Photo of DoubleJ


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with a damaged cork. On to the beer:

Amber orange colored with a billowy head that shows some retention and leaves some lacing. Tempting is the aroma, soft aromas of spice, coriander, orange peel (what is this, an amber witbier, lol), some yeast action which provides some fruit skins.

There's fruit running around the palate. Cinnamon apples come to mind at first. Secondary flavors of pear than become dominant with a light baking spice. You could mix this with flour to make some killer pie crust. The carbonation is soft and easy in the mouth, and equally easy to drink.

Despite a damaged cork, Ommegang impresses with the Sly Fox. I forget how much I like these guys until I drink their beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 03:27:27 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bounteous volume of creamy suds raised to the very edge of the glass, denying the bottom quarter inch of the bottle and its accompanying yeast sludge any room to fit. As result, this Rare Vos would stay vibrantly clear. The head remains fluffed high with stiff peaks and the body shines incandescently with unsullied tones of bright orange and amber.

I gave a perfect score on appearance - just looking at it makes my mouth water - and I'm tempted to do the same for aroma. This is a smell my nostrils will never tire of. It pairs whole classes of spices with entire schools of fruits and insists they hold hands. Cinnamon with apple, aniseed with orange, lemon and allspice, pepper with pear - the combinations seem endless. It's amazing the array of scents that can be derived from yeast!

The taste isn't quite as dynamic but it showcases much of the same spice/fruit pairings. In particular, I note sweet oranges and cooked red apples with traces of allspice. More bready flavours and hints of toffee emerge. The beer is certainly flavourful but leaves plenty of room on the palate if you wanted to pair this with a meal.

And I can imagine it being well suited to a wide collection of meals. It is elegant, suggestive and diverse in its flavours. It is uncharacteristically light bodied for a beer this flavourful (and one of slightly higher than average alcohol percentage.) It's probably spicy enough to stack up against grilled, fatty meats but is also elegant enough to pair alongside soups and light appetizers (I'm thinking tapas.)

Ommegang rightfully advertises their beers' ability to pair amazingly with foods. Indeed they do, I haven't had a Thanksgiving or Easter in years without one of their products at the table. But those big 750ml bottles also make nice treats unto themselves. I'll tell you from experience they suit a good book, a breezy spring night by candles, or the company of good friends just as well as any dish you can think of.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 01:12:18 | More by biegaman
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange, medium thick white head forms, lots of lace. Smell is malty, some citrus/floral hoppage, yeast, some orange and a little bit of spice. Taste is more of the same, malty, with some chocolate, orange, spice and a little citrus. Mouthfeel is very smooth, its been aging for a while, with medium body and medium carbonation. The taste was not so complex, maybe because its been cellaring since february, not sure if it would help or hinder this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 16:34:08 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a blazing orange and has thick, meringue-like topping that is well retained. Some fruity and yeasty tones are evident on the nose. Almost a bit of a musty smell as well. Light to medium body. Carbonation seems just right. Very mellow and drinkable beer. Some light notes of wood and smoke. Also get fruits (Grapes?) and bready yeastiness. Some hebal qualities seem to surface as well. No hint of alcohol on my buds. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 20:07:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy, burnt coppery-orange with a humongous sandy colored foamy head that displayed very good retention clinging to the sides of the glass while it pitted in the middle. A thick, clumpy lacing was left behind. Visible carbonation was light and sporadic.

S: The nose yielded sour fruit (pineapple) a funky yeastiness, musky grains, with a light candi-sugar sweetness.

T: The initial flavor started out with a big funky yeasty sourness with sour fruit (pineapple, pears), tart lemons, and light coriander. Some sour green apples, sour caramel, off set by some candi-sugar notes as well spicy alcohol fusels. There was a light wet grain muskiness also detected. The finish finds some sharp, tart lemons and acidity that lingers on with a gentle fade. The yeast truly shines and highlights the flavor of this beer especially on the finish.

M: a fizzy carbonation, was very light, tart, and yeasty.

D: Very good drinkability, yeasty, sour and a very good example all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 02:41:57 | More by beerthulhu
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,358 ratings.