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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,146 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,297
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 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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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a darker amber color, with a large lacing head. Smelt of spices typical of a good beligin beer. The taste was a bit heavy, lots of spices were present, a bit malty also. A very full flavor, but nothing that made it very difficult to drink: everyone could enjoy it. Overall I found this beer VERY enjoyable.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Cost Plus. My first, but not my last of this beer! Enjoyed in a tulip.

A: About 3 fingers frothy light beige head over a dark amber (red in the light) body. Good retention and nice webbed lacing.
S: Big fruits at the pour. Very ripe and sweet. Pleasant on the nose. A bit of earth I would expect in an Ommegang brew, and the clove spice and wheat I expect in a Belgian ale. Spices are wonderful, and the aroma is almost perfumey.
T: Emphasis on the clove and other dark spices. Wheat-like and earthy, all of which I expected from the aroma. Grassy. Delicious.
M: Medium body with high, crisp carbonation.
D: I am a big fan of this brew. To me, it seems like a less horse blanket version of Hennepin. Refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of Wilshade
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Amber Ale
ABV: 6.5%
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: opaque orange gold with a fluffy off white head. A beautiful beer.

Smell: very fruity with spicy notes

Taste: Well balanced with a slight tilt toward the sweet side. Strong orange notes.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with almost no after taste. Light and tingly on the tongue.

Overall: A beautiful, almost stunning, beer with a taste to match. Pairs very well with grilled steaks. Another instant favorite of mine from Brewery Ommegang.

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Photo of Ozone34
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I visited this brewery in Cooperstown while attending the induction ceremony for Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn. The brewery sits on a gorgeous New York moountain country side.

I paired this beer with a roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with aromatics such as thyme, garlic, basil, lemon wedges and rosemary with simplly steamed fresh brussel sprouts and rice pilaf.

Appearance is fantastic, golden amber, and slighty opaque. Nice head retention and tons of carbonation bubbles.

Smell is that of cloves and some rustic hay/grass. Catch a little alcohol on a deep sniff.

Taste, up front is a bit on the carbonated side but in no way overpowers the pleasant alcohol that soon drips down your throat. Lots of grassy and fruits in the middle. This washes the tenderloin down nicely.

Beer opens as it warms and I notice some more intense dark fruit notes as well. Spicy hops and pepper penetrate your palate.

Drinkability is high as I had two glasses in my serving for dinner and finished the big magnum bottle by myself.

As always Ommegang brings a fantastic Belgian style beer to the table at half the price. :)

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Photo of IrishAndSurly
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a few times on tap served too cold in the Rare Vos glass at McKenzies in Minneapolis, but decided to buy a bottle of this to review it so I could do it at a proper temperature. The first time I had this beer I thought is was great; and I still do. One of my current favorites.

Poured from a bomber into a Surly pint glass (ok, kill me now) at about 50F, produced a thick white head of about three inches. Amber / orange in color with slight fogginess and a lot of tiny bubbles. The head hangs around for a long while with medium lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, sour black cherry and ripe melon with a bit of alcohol presence and herbal hoppy back notes.

Slightly malty to start off with, but also dries the tongue rather fast, hops are present but do not dominate the somewhat dryer malts and fruit / slight spice flavor. Very well balanced herbal / dry fruit flavor.

Very smooth to drink, perfect balance between thick and thin, feels great on the tongue, good level of carbonation. The carbonation does not get in the way of enjoying this beer what so ever.

I can drink this beer all night, and have a few times. Very well crafted and easy to drink.

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Photo of gloriousglo2
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

....just had my first one. Freakin' awesome. Don't know how to put it any other way. Great amber color, nice body, pours with a great head, no aftertaste. Perfect amount of sweetness and balance. Got a 4 pack for about $9, not too bad, considering the overall quality of this beer.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Amazing. This poured a beautiful hazy orange caramelly color with a nice white head and a good amount of carbonation. Good lacing. The smell is malty and sweet. Clove is noticeable in the smell and fairly dominant in the taste also. A really complexy sweet fruity taste here. To me this brew tastes mor liek a combination of their witbier and a really interesting amber beer. The spices they use probably lead to that. The mouthfeel is pleasant, moderate and stickey. This brew is insanely drinkable, you can't get enough of it.

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Photo of brewsclues
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Sly Fox" - big, bold, and beautiful amber.

A - Gorgeous amber color that pours very hazy with plenty of yeast collecting at the bottom. One of the best lacings I have seen - eggshell white, perfect.

S - Sweet malts, grains, spicy notes, with plenty of ripe fruits (orange peel and maybe some grapes).

T - Damn. Spicy, peppery notes on the tongue at first, some flavorful yeasts in the back of the mouth next, and plenty of delicious malts in the middle. Finishes with a nice, crisp citrus zest (clementines) and just a bit of hop-bitterness to balance it out. This is one outstanding beer.

M - Plenty of carbonation, finishes clean. Very sessionable.

Ommegang proves again that their "Belgian-style" isn't a joke. This is one of the best, if not the best, Belgian-style you can get without actually getting a plane ticket to Bruxelles. This is incredibly flavorful but subtle, sweet but finishes cleans, and plenty of Belgian yeasts to keep every sip interesting. Love this beer.

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Photo of mikeinportc
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smells of the typical Ommegang brew, with an estery banana-clove-circus peanut(candy )smell. Pours a coppery orange. Almost glows. Orangey-off-white generous head. Typical amber ale malty flavor, + spice,citrus, and just enough hop bitterness to give a little pleasant bite on the finish. Moderately heavy mouthfeel. You know something is there. Some days this seems damn near perfect, though even on the off days , it's better than 95% of anything I've ever had. A great beer, & an all-time favorite. :)

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Photo of GilGarp
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled into a chalice glass.

It has a beautiful redish golden amber color with amazing towering head that sticks around forever. Very good clarity and all around great looking beer.

Aroma is sweet and funky like a good Belgian should be. There is some fruity banana and yeast character too - all very pleasant.

Flavor is mild but full of flavor and complexities that are really enjoyable. There is certainly lots of fruit, some spice, and a nice sour twang at the end.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated but like on body. It feels thin but for something at 6.5% it's not bad at all. Starts sweet but ends very dry. Very drinkable.

This is quite easily one of the most complex and interesting beers under 7% I've ever had. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a hazy coppery amber coloration. There is a thick fluffy white head almost two inches thick. The head resolves itself into a one finger head. There is solid concrete like webs of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells very nice. The beer has a nice bready spicy yeasty smell. The malty sweetness plays well with a understated fruityness.

Taste: The beer has a nice intial peppery taste. The taste then breaks into a pleasing malty breadyness. Very well balanced and very tasty.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is meduim plus bodied. Very well balanced sweetness to spicyness. Just another dam fine beer from Ommegang.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,297 ratings.
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