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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,157 | Ratings: 3,329
Photo of Chessmaster
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Large, white, creamy head which very slowly dissipates to a white crown about half an inch in thickness. Some lacing, slightly cloudy amber/brown color

S: Not much aroma

T: Watered down Belgian dubbel-like taste. Underwhelming, primarily caramel malt taste with some hints of Belgian yeast flavor profile

M: A bit on watery side. Bottle says they were going for a session ale, so that could be why

O: A drinkable and pleasant beer, but forgettable

 454 characters

Photo of Oliver_Twist
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had Rare Vos in the tasting room at Ommegang. Clearly, of the 4 or 5 other Ommegang beers that were sampled, Rare Vos was the winner by nearly everyone in the tasting session (Three Philosophers was a close second). Deep yellow to amber in color; Belgian yeast, orange and coriander aromas; smooth with alcohol well hidden. Extremely drinkable and very enjoyable!

 363 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Golden yellow, slightly hazy, with a large frothy off-white head.

Smell: Pleasant smell of Belgian yeast, lots of orange.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, not too sweet. Malty with noticeable happiness.

Feel: Medium body and highly carbonated.

Overall: Very good beer! Eminently drinkable.

 344 characters

Photo of gautch726
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a large, light, frothy head. Almost whipped it's so fine. This is a fruity, flavorful beer without a lot of hops or malts getting in the way of the different flavors. Spiced oranges with a good amount of carbonation. A beer for a goodhearted celebration in warm weather. Entertaining.

 315 characters

Photo of jeffdr123
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

At World of Beer with Wayne, talking businesses. Like all Ommegang beers, it's layered and spicy. Light without being boring. Even better as it warms.

 150 characters

Photo of ricke49
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Such a pleasant Belgian style ale. And pleased to find in 12 oz bottle with tasteful graphics. Spiced just right, so as to not be distracting; Alcohol level perfect; appearance is classic with deep Amber color and mature head. Good as a sipper - or as a quencher. Great domestic rendition of traditional Belgian style.

 322 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Of the five beers that I've had most frequently from Ommegang, this seems is the second most that I like with the main meal (Hennepin is a close first.)
Excuse the digression from taste talk...
But I want to say that Duvel made a good purchase of what still may be the best American craft brewer focussed on Belgian styles, but I note that Ommegang's labels changed after the purchase and not for the better. A bit too much hyperbole. I prefer a simple label (like Duvel's) that allows the beer to speak for itself.

 515 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ginger Man. Unassuming appearance, toffee nose, leads into gooey caramel and toffee taste with hints of Belgian yeast. Finishes fast, but this ones all about the flavor. Sly, indeed.

 196 characters

Photo of GStone899
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clean n refreshing smell with citrus and coriander. Definitely a sweet smell but not overpowering. Beautiful golden look with an absolutely great taste. Clean n refreshing amber ale. Could drink this all day.

 208 characters

Photo of indytim
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I like this beer a lot. Creamy head, just the right body, strong enough that you know you've had some but not overdone like Three Philosophers. Just a tad on the sweet side, compared to true Belgians, but that's a quibble. This is one of my favorite beers, and it's almost always available locally in my small city.

 318 characters

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.

 521 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper-red with a soft medium head that dies down to a persistent film. Lots of lace.

Raisin, caramel, toffee, and Belgian yeast combine to nice effect in both taste and smell.

Finish is a touch spicy.

 203 characters

Photo of Tank880
3.34/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I submit I am not a Belgian beer fan. However, I appreciate good balanced and tasteful beers. This brewery makes many wonderful beers and this beer is no exception. Bouquet is wonderful, and the taste from start to finish is very nice. If you ever get the chance to visit brewery, I highly recommend it- it is such a beautiful place. Cheers

 346 characters

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L-A towering 2 inch head appears on the initial pour which I have to rescue from overflowing the glass. A lovely caramel coloring with spotty lacing.
S- soft bready malts dominate. Upon secondary examination I am able to separate the phenols of the Belgian yeast.
T- The malt is the foremost flavor with a hint of fruity yeast in the finish.
F- High level of carb lends to the light, prickly, and dry mouthfeel of the brew. I am really digging this right now.
O- Lighter, dryer, and cleaner than a lot of other ambers. I'm sufficiently impressed to want this as a fridge staple.

 580 characters

Photo of stompilator
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. glass, into a tulip.

A - Pours a golden orange, pillowy, off-white head.

S - Yeast spice, seeds, a bit of lemongrass, and a touch of noble hops.

T - The estery, spicy, slightly soapy yeast character evolve out of the front palate, dominating the flavor. The added spices and a bit of caramel malt become more apparent as the palate progresses, as the yeast takes a subtle phenolic turn. The delicate malts hang on the tongue, but the finish is mostly of phenols and spice.

M - Medium-light body, active carbonation but definitely appropriate.

O - Comes off as an amber saison to me. Very nice and delicate.

 632 characters

Photo of jp32
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper in color with a huge foamy head atop the beer.

A fruity, white grape aroma dominates the smell.

Flavor: Cloves, pepper, yeast, something herbal, overripe apricots.

Heavily carbonated. Refreshing and crisp. Some alcohol is noticed as well, at least more than I usually expect from 6.5%.

 304 characters

Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice beer, but tasted more like a Belgian than an amber. Heavy on the Belgian yeasts, but very expertly crafted. If looking for a nice Belgian, this would fit the bill pretty well.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

 240 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My first and only Ommegang ale, needed to drink this before my flight tomorrow. Wish I could have waited but that's how these things go.

Look : Pours a colossal rocky stark white head of 4+ fingers, and a light amber glow bordering on blonde for the body. 80% transparency. Fluffy globs of head left behind once the head recedes.

Smell : Wow. Tons of fresh oranges. Spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Banana and bubblegum. This is a wonderful aroma.

Taste : Lots of belgian spiciness, with pale malts, a balanced hop character, and oranges. Ends with a nice breadiness.

Feel : Creamy, large, filling. Moderate carbonation. Ends semi dry and tart.

Overall : Easily the best Belgian Pale/Amber I've had. Very impressive. Glad I could have this one.

 767 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a bright orange with a large off white head. Thea aroma is full of fruit and yeast and is very nice. The taste is an excellent blend of orange, floral hops and some yeast. Overall, this is an outstanding beer.

 277 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: hazy; burnt orange in color - maybe a touch darker; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; very nice lacing;

S: coriander, bread, orange, lemon;

T: a nice balance between the citrus and coriander; almost no bitterness until the aftertaste - then it ramps up to a moderate level;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: nice flavor;

 374 characters

Photo of Tom_Banjo
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a 4-pack, chilled to approximately 50 degrees, and poured into a Spiegelau tulip. A nice beer, but without anything compelling about it. I think the brewery's Fleur de Houblon, also a Belgian Pale Ale, is more interesting, though that one is more of a summer seasonal and so not available now.

 330 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours gorgeous amber color, with 2 fingers of fluffy head. Really great looking beer.

Aroma is a delicate balance between spicy yeast and a syrupy, toasted malt. Maybe some toasted grain and caramel, but the sweet malt and yeast dominate the aroma.

Taste is extremely complex. Definitely not a classic American amber ale. Super smooth beer. It reminds me of a Hennepin with more malt. Carbonation and malt sweetness start the sip, with the malt remaining gently present throughout the sip. The yeast comes through more toward the middle-end of the sip; it tastes like the classic, spicy ommegang yeast. The end is where I get the added flavors. In particular, I primarily get the orange peel, but the grains of paradise may have melded with the spicy yeast and the general citrusy finish.

Overall, another fantastic offering from ommegang. For those who love Hennepin, this reminds me of a malt forward version. Still, this beer is extremely light and refreshing with copious amounts of spice, carbonation, and complexity. I see this pairing well with a five-spice seared duck breast with Bok Choy, or another dish utilizing rather warm, earthy spices. It gets a 91.5/100.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the second amazing beer I have tried from this brewer. The label described it as mellow, fruity and spicy and I simply couldn't put it any better than that. I'm surprised this brewing company hasn't received more attention then they have. From what I can tell they are world class

 288 characters

Photo of Nyg
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Syracuse fair in a plastic cup. Very nice taste with a nice feel. I'd like to have this in a nice glass and not plastic but still very good tasting.

 159 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, best by 3-22-16. Nonic pint.

A: wicked head! 4 fingers, endless effervescence! Hazy reddish amber. Outstanding Lacing, pretty good retention.

S: at first, cumin/coriander - sweat. Then then sweetness, maltiness, familiar Belgian spiciness; honey; caramel; clove.

T: Tart, spicy arrival. Sweet, clove, hoppy mid palate. Lingering ginger, clove and hop bitterness. Not overly sweet, just sweet enough.

M: started out quite over carbonated, turned soft. Midweight. Would not describe this as clean, but it's not slick in the least.

O: when I want a Belgian beer, and don't feel like getting wrecked (looking at you Fin Du Monde) this is really perfect. Complex, malty, hoppy, excellent. Everything I love about good American ambers, plus Belgian yeast.

 763 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.