Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,157 Reviews
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,157 | Ratings: 3,329
Photo of kdawg105
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at Taco Mac on tap. Wow an excellent brew. It had a perfect amber color with a smell of fresh hops and a slight sweet smell of malts. The taste was great man I was like this beer is actually worth $7 especially with the chalice. Thanks again Taco Mac. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp and the same time which made for a wonderful drinkability. Man I would highly recommend trying this beer. I loved it though I have not yet searched for it in the store.

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Photo of mweso2000
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rare Vos pours a cloudy amber color with a huge 3 finger head. It took two pours to fit in the pint glass despite a mild pour. Wow the aroma! Often I have to put my nose close to smell the beer, but I could smell the aroma of spice, hops, fruit and yeast as I poured. I paired Rare Vos with Thanksgiving dinner (Thank you Beer Advocate). This was THE PERFECT beer to go with the heavy starches, poultry and gravy. The fruit, spice, hops and yeast balanced out the heavy meal. Every sip was pure heaven. It has a medium body with medium carbonation. This beer is highly drinkable with a low abv. My only regret is that I had only 1 bottle to go with dinner.

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Photo of generallee
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one "Sly Fox". It has a beautiful red/ orange amber color with a hazy body. Tiny bubbles form a thick foamy head that has a light tan color. An inviting aroma of sweet floral orange and spices mingle with doughy yeast and malts. On the tongue there is a complex sweet, fruity and spicy character with caramel malts and doughy yeast mixing with dark cherries, spices and orange peel. Hops add some light bitterness and dryness to the finish. The palate is full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. It is smooth and very drinkable. Outstanding!

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Photo of fitzy84
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured with an excellent, burnt brown-colored head. Dark amber color with patchy lacing on the sides. Aromas are wicked, wicked rich in citrus, grains, hints of toffee maybe even caramel. I liked the slight sense of burnt sweetness to the drink too. Taste has a great, great sweetness to it that mixes oranges, lemons, biscuity grains, honey and even syrup. Carbonation is so well balanced that it makes the drink very refreshing but smooth at the same time. Complemented with the flavor and the aromas, this is one gosh darn awesome drink. Cheers!

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

time to get a pseudo-belgian fix once again

A- pours a hazy color of red ripe papaya flesh up to incandescent light as it is night time and that's all i have. sunlight would be the same except a bit duller, a deep variety orange and reddish orange and persimmon. spectacular ecru head, active and puffy with waves and curley-cues of lace everywhere, great retention, and an all around good look. not as dark as i expected, but a very nice saturated color.

S- tropical fruity yeast and toasty caramel malt. banana, mango, papaya, clementine, pineapple, cherry, apple, pear, you name it and i bet it's in here. a bit of lemony noble hop grassiness comes through but for me it's all about the yeast (again). great depth to these microbes, the have a spicy level as well with clove, allspice, and white pepper with a hint of nutmeg backed up by a pleasant sour cheese aroma that adds another level to this already complex nose.

T- taste is no disappointment either, very fruity at first before an abrupt change to very dry, then to a nice flavorful noble hop bitterness, as the toasty bready malt blends with the sharp grassiness. it's hard to decipher the fruit flavors, as the website states, they are elusive and only stick around for a mere 1/2 second before morphing into other flavors. the catch 22 of the thing is that i have to keep drinking to work out the tastes and i only have one bottle. hrm, shoula bought a 750ml. here goes: banana, orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, apple skin, plum skin, dried strawberry, dried fig, date, white raisin, dry white wine, but not exactly a chardonnay, maybe chablis? i don't know, fuck wine. sorry wine, i didn't mean that. funky yeast spiciness moves in zingy peppery fashion with a paradise grains zip and a clove zap. extraordinary toasty golden brown biscuit finish with just enough bitterness to really make it stand out.

MF- nearly full and totally juicy, all the fruity flavors impart a real natural fructose feeling but before any sugary feeling has a chance to take hold, they are squeegied away by a near perfect balance of dryness, toastiness, and acidity. carbonation is a little on the high end for me but that does little to effect the supreme feeling of this brew. liquid fruit cocktail with a splash of dry wine.

D- a few non-connoisseurs that i've talked to (not that i am one...YET) have expressed a sincere dislike for this beer and i couldn't agree less. as far as american belgians go, i put it at the top of the list, or very close to it, and i really feel as if i'm drinking something imported. it has that taste you only get from the real deal AND the boldness and audacity that you rarely find outside of america. a perfect pairing of old world tradition and new world ingenuity and a definite 'members only' spot in my fridge.

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Photo of John
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The folks at Ommegang certainly did their homework. Rare Vos is a fine example. You can't go wrong with any of Ommegang's beers. I had the pleasure of visiting the brewery this past summer. Following the tour and tasting, I bought a sampler case!

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Photo of hotstuff
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew poured a large, creamy head, but it left little to no lacing on the sides of my mug. It had a fruity aroma to it. It had a very smooth taste which was much to my liking. There was no bitterness to this brew in my opinion. I was very, very impressed with this brew and I hope to have the opportunity to enjoy this brew again.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured myself a .5L mug full from a corked 750ml bottle tonight, and it reminded me why I love this beer.

Exceptional head (too much if not poured right) with a superb amount of lacing as it settles. The head is ecru, and the beer has a cloudy (but not opaque) maple-syrup-y amber color.

This beer fills your mouth with crisp, sharp notes of spice and fruit and finishes soft and muted with a lingering sweet apple-pie taste on your tongue.

From the first sniff to the last swallow, this is a top-to-bottom classic! Like a Cuban cigar amidst the swirling of autumn leaves.

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Photo of MVotter
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Ommegang Rare Vos pours into a tall pils glass a beautiful clear gold color, easily a three finger head, which which settles back to 1+ fingers after a couple of sips, and leaves a little lacing as you drink it down.

The smell is terrific! Reminiscent of the aroma you get with an Ommegang Abbey Ale; a buttery, malty aroma.

The taste is simply fantastic. It starts with delicious sweet malt and butter flavor, and finishes with spices. What a terrific combination of flavors in this brew.

The mouthfeel is also impressive ... plenty of effervescence. If you want this one give you the ultimate dry experience, do the entire pour down the side of your glass, wow!

So, if you have ever wondered to yourself, "I wonder what it would taste like if I could directly mix the flavors of Omm. Abbey Ale with Omm. Hennepin," here it is ... the buttery malt splendor of the Abbey, with the clovey spices of the Hennepin.


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Photo of theozag
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this weekend i am in canandaigua, new york, visiting relatives. their beer selection is not only tragically poor but also far (far FAR!) out of date. so in the interest of the public good, i decided to dispose of nearly all their beer. as a consolation i went down to the local wegman's and took a shot-in-the-dark on a replacement for the wasted suds.

i hit a grand slam; this is one of the very best beers i have ever tasted. to wit...

Follow the directions on the bottle and pour out very slowly. You will be pleasantly surprised at the thick, everlasting white head that forms on the top of the brew. Once you've sampled the rich, crisp, hoppy smell however you may kick yourself if you pour too quick. The head won't go anywhere on this slightly ruddy, amber brew. So pour with care and you can enjoy it right away. Start is malty smooth with a slightly sweet note. Settles full-bodied with a variety of flavors. Caramel, wheat, and a near-hidden fruitiness are the most distinct flavors i can detect. Finishes with a hop bitter edge and a long-lasting but not altogether unpleasant aftertaste. In fact, I dare say for those who like amber beers this is an ideal bottle. Especially when it's as fresh as the ones I picked up today. It has superlative character, flavor, and blend. Rare Vos is without a doubt the "sly fox" of full-bodied ales. In fact, I think I may have found a new favorite beer. Well, that's a tough call, but I am certain it is my favorite when it comes to non-vintage micro- or macrobrews. I only wish I could get a four-pack of this stuff in Texas instead of making the trek into the far north! Give it a try and I know you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of dennarb
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It pours a lovely amber with a creamy half inch head.
The aroma is a marvelous combination of french bread just out of the oven, and spices like cloves and nutmeg.
The taste is full and complex like a fine Belgian ale, that combination of a tad of sweetness opening up to an earthy stew of spice and hops.
It is amazing1

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Photo of PatrickCT
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into...what else?...a Rare Vos cafe pint glass.

a: Copper amber body with a slight juice-like haze. 2 finger cream colored merange head.

s: Sweet malts and honey in the nose, golden raisins, plums, soft cooked spices.

t: Roasted, bready malts with a sweetness like cooked honey, a grassy, grainy dryness, spicy esters and just enough bitterness from the hops.

mf: One the fuller side of medium bodied. Nice carbonation has a tingling effect with the alcohol.

o: The best amber ale there is.

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Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

today 12/20/2012. I opened a bottle that was bottled 12/2011. I had this beer earlier this year but now its aged to protection: as the bottle says best by 12/12.

A: amber with a light head
S: lost of fruity notes tangerines, oranges, citrus, with some sweet spices
T: has great citrus flavor that is sweet and not so tangy.
M: perfectly carbonated and
O: originally I gave this beer a 3.5 but now its in the high 4s. Beer has refined itself and also my pallet has probably changed as well.

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Photo of Im4jojo
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into an American Pint glass from bottle. Glorious, foamy-white head that left strong lacing down the glass.Clear amber color. Aroma of spice: cinnamon and nutmeg. Those same spices were exhibited in the taste, however, the coriander made more of an appearance. A bit thick on the perimeter of the tongue, with moderate carbonation. Overall, a "slow sipper," warming the core beautifully for the winter months. A nice twist on the traditional Amber.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a caramel mixed with amber in color. Light frothy head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Excellent lacing - 4.5

Smell - Malt with notes of lemon and bubble gum with light caramel notes underneath. Leading into a nice spice note that ommegang is so amazing at. Cloves and ginger among many other spices are faint and almost undetectable in the back ground. - 5

Taste - Excellent malt forward flavor with clove and spices backing it that leave a long finish and a crisp and refreshing flavor. - 4.75

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light crisp bubbles. This beer is excellent on the palate . 4.75

I would recommend trying this beer with some braised pork belly. It pulls fat off the palate excellently.

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Photo of CZs
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Poured into 12 oz tall Belgian chalice. Brilliant, bright amber. Medium-high carbonation. Luxurious, 3 finger whipped egg-white like head.

Smell: Bubble gum, clementine, honey

Taste: Complex soft citrus notes, bubble gum, orange, yellow and clear gummi bears, grains of paradise mixed in with a late, high AA hop edition

Mouthfeel: Low to medium body, a little sweet - not ultra crisp, not ultra silky - just "in the middle" - light spritz feeling without being as carbed as a Saison

Overall: My favorite Ommegang brew. I followed their pairing directions and have had it with pub food - pizza, wings, side of fries or onion rings - it really is a easy drinking, medium alcohol beer that is great at home or out at your favorite bar or restaurant. A nice introductory Belgian for newcomers to the various Belgian styles. The women in my family love this as well - a beer for everyone really and ranks in my top 10 favorite, ever.

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Photo of BrotherDarryl
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers to be had. I found this as a three dollar beer pint night at the flying saucer. What a difficult name to remember though. Normally $5/pint. Good enough to make me want to sign up and make my first comment. The smell and the taste remind me of armangnac or calvados or perhaps an armenian brandy.

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Photo of EvilGnome6
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel glass.

A: Pours a blood orange amber with a generous, fluffy off white head.

S: A sweet maltiness with a saison-like citrus note.

T: Sweet and fruity. Tangy orange peel with a touch of hop earthiness. Perfectly balanced.

M: Light on the palate with a nice, slowly fading aftertaste. Incredibly refreshing.

D: Just perfect. It's equally drinkable in small sips and generous gulps. You could easily drink this all evening.

This is a spectacular beer. It's simple and drinkable on the surface with oodles of complexity below the surface.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first tried this outstanding beer last winter on New Year's Eve, purchasing it as part of a Holiday pack that included other excellent Ommegang products Three Philosophers and Hennepin. As an additional perk, these came with a 12 oz. Ommegang glass. Deep and cloudy red in color, Rare Vos poured a rich frothy head into my large mug. It has an interesting melange of flavors, on the whole sweet but with a peppery tinge to it that complements the fruitiness quite well.

Like so many Ommegang products, Rare Vos is a treat, great to enjoy on a cold Winter evening, great to share (especially since it comes in 750ml bottles), and it goes great with cheeses. Smooth and tasty, it is one of my absolute favorites. Try it and enjoy.

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Photo of CSFerrier
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75


A beautiful hazy amber that's darker at the top.

Smells like many of the other Ommegang beers, which is a wonderful thing.

Tastes amazing.

It lingers in the mouth and tingles in the throat and nose. Stays in your mouth for quite a while after the drink.

Overall, it's goddamned amazing.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The bottle depicts the beer being served in a tumbler. I had one glass with the tumbler then I had the next one with the Duvel tulip. The latter being much more enjoyable.

A: amber colored beer with a slightly off white puffy head. It poured a very nice 1 inch head. The glass etching in the bottom of the tulip kept the bubbles coming. not much lacing.

S: cloves, yeasts, fruity esters,and biscuity malt

T: good n' sweet. honey, white grapes, yeasty. hint of the malts in the aftertaste then a little bitterness.

M: This beer reminds me so much of Duvel when it comes to mouhfeel. It's velvety-soft from the champagne like carbonation.

Overall, I have to be honest. I almost didn't want to buy this because of the alcohol content of only 6.5%, but since it was cheap (5.00) i couldn't pass it up. I'm glad I did because this will not be the last time I buy this beer.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Frothy, long lasting head tops a deep amber, slightly yeasty appearance. The aromas was full of soft esters; cloves, citrus, and sweet malts was quite inviting. This ale is a smooth, complex, well balanced assortment of cloves, ginger, and lemons which compliment a soft maltiness. A nice peppery earthiness was detected through out. For such a complex brew, the finish is surprisingly dry and spritzy, with just some phenols lingering in the aftertaste. This has got to be one of the finest ales I've drank. Tonight is St Nicholas Eve. A very nice ale to compliment my wife's spicey German christmas cookies. A real steal for 3.99 for a 25 oz bottle.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from 750mL bottle to tulip glass

A - Deep golden amber with lots of bubbles. Has a really nice rich color. Nice sized bubbly head with good lacing.

S - Fruity smell with a hint of apple, almost champagne like. Sniffing this beer wets my mouth.

T - So good it quenches my thirst. Like a fruit and spice medley. Feels like there is a lot going on in there, but each flavor is perfectly matched.

M - Feels great in my mouth. Think cider or champagne, but in beer format. Very subtle bittery aftertaste.

D - Fantastic and easy to drink. The flavor is full and even. Not too strong that you can't enjoy a few.

I've had most of the offerings from Ommegang and their beer has lead me to really dig in and begin my quest in beer appreciation so I can't really say enough good things about their family of beers and this beer is no exception.

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Photo of drawbackwards
4.76/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is "Wow"...I have heard all the hype about this beer and the stellar reviews it gets so I had to try it. I have had Abbey Ale from Ommegang and love it, so I had to try this one. First thing I notice is the pour...It gives an amazing head. You must be careful or a huge head will takeover your glass. The words "slow but vigorous" appear on the bottle. I would aim more for slow and less for vigorous.

The smell is fantastic, mouthfeel is great. Super smooth. This beer is so ridiculously smooth and flavorful that it really is a glorious representation of the style. If you like Hopback (Troegs), you will love this. It doesn't have the hoppiness of the Troegs, but has so much character anyway. You need this...seriously.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours copper tinted amber under a persistent very moussey and clingy 3” white foam collar.
S: Big fruit aromas close to banana and apricot with some spice and earthy notes.
T: Slightly sweet, but it is balanced with a host of fruit and some hop on the finish over light biscuit.
F: Creamy above average carbonation gives it slightly more body than appears on the surface, medium full.
O: Complex and full flavored.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,329 ratings.
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