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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,157 | Ratings: 3,329
Photo of Jesterr44
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, this score might be a little lower than the beer deserves based on the fact that I'm not a fan of Belgian beer. Putting that aside, here are my thoughts on this one. I don't like the mouthfeel. It's too carbonated; despite a hard pour & letting the carbonation die down some, each sip seemed to explode into frothiness not allowing the liquid to flow across my tongue. I fixed that by roughly swirling the remaining 2/3rds up a bit so that I could sense the tastes better. It did the trick. This is where the rest of the problems with the beer are likely just my style preference. There are no bad tastes, no funk, no sign of adjunct. There is a complex mix of floral, spice, fruit (orange and ... banana?), sugary caramel, but it's that classic Belgian yeast flavour which just doesn't agree with me. One of the better Belgian's I've had, but again, it's just not my type.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with off-white head. Aroma is mostly yeast forward with some brown sugar and earthy hops. Taste follows. Yeasty and sugary, not sweet though, a bit of earthy hop bitterness on the finish. Light body, dry and well carbonated. Overall it's a good belgian ale but it doesn't stand out with anything.

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Photo of MAXEL
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick unfiltered orange
Aroma: butterscotch orange
Taste: front sweet with carb biting in them drops down quick and gives way to what the aroma suggested. Orange butterscotch.
Overall: love it. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: An orange hued beer with a big three finger eggshell colored head. Some yeast sediment can be seen floating around in the glass.

Aroma: Banana bread, vanilla, caramel, clove, bubblegum and notes of orange and lemon zest.

Taste: A very crisp, refreshing beer with a beautifully long finish. Upfront a gentle twinge of tangy lemon pith and spicy banana bread. Midpalate, notes of savory toffee and caramel with vanilla cream, cilantro, orange candy and bubblegum. Finishes on more notes of fresh baked banana, decadent notes of treacle, rosemary and rich orange custard.

Feel: Mid-weight and somewhat full bodied, but with lively carbonation. The fizz helps lift the palate and provides a certain degree of crispness to the ale.

Overall: Incredibly good. Refreshing with a rich, complex finish and overall flavor.

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Photo of flaskman
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at my favorite Elmwood Ave Buffalo hole-in-the-wall. 14 ounce pour into an IPA glass. It was a cloudy lighter orange color with a 3/8 inch creamy head. Smelled like an Ommegang offering. The taste was light and crisp. Tasted like a Belgium to me. Spicy and fruity but not over done. A very well balanced beer. The carbonation was perfect and the head lasted throughout most of the glass. The lacing was beautiful leaving rings that stayed after every sip. It was a delight to drink and another fine offering from Ommegang. I enjoyed it so much I had another.

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Photo of spursfaninla
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite amber ales now. Very flavorful, very strong. I have to find a place that sells it again. This was the first beer from this brewery that I have had, and I thought it was excellent. Would definitely get again.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pink-tan with lumpy white. 4
Funk and cherry skin. 3.75
Table water crackers, maraschino, bubble gum, and mint leaf. 3.75
Light+, crisp, slight cling. 3.75

Light and bright - essentially a watered down dubbel more than "amber" on the label. Sweet and tasty but ultimately insubstantial. From a Belgian-owned brewery, disappointing. 3.75

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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 Catracho5
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into tulip

A: Pours an amber orange with an off-white full, creamy head, lots of carbonation, lots of particles floating in the beer and the beer is hazy.

A: Lots of spice and malt, caramel sweetness, not getting any hops, could be an old bottle, there's no date.

T: A hit of spice up front, coriander, pepper, touch of citrus peel, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finish has subtle yeast notes like banana and bread, slight citrus and spice linger in the after taste.

M: Light bodied with lots of carbonation, smooth and drinkable.

O: Spice and malt so I'm thinking this is an old bottle but overall it's a very drinkable Belgian style pale ale with that classic carbonated Belgian mouthfeel.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark copper pour with an airy white one-finger head. Malty aroma with a hint of spice. Taste has a good bit of spice upfront with flavors of rye and clove standing out. Can also taste a bit of caramel and bread along with a hint of floral hop bitterness. Light bodied and highly carbonated.

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

From the older bottle, it pours a clear coppery amber with a modest head that lasts awhile. Lacing as you enjoy it. Some yeast and fruit in the nose. The mouth gets some melon and yeast. yum! It lasts a while, so don't be afraid of it! I think I had this in the basement for a year.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: slightly hazy amber color with some burnt caramel notes. Poured on draft so no head

S: caramel malt, lemongrass, a slightly herbal aroma, and a nice Belgian yeast not too spicy

T: caramel, sweet berries, slight pepper and coriander - typical for a Belgian. There is a faint faint faint ginger presence as well. A touch of banana and pear as well. Finishes clean and sweet

M: medium mouthfeel carbonation is low/medium. Very fitting

O : this is an extremely enjoyable beer. I have nothing negative to say. It's easy to drink and has the right mix of flavors. Try this

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Photo of q33jeff
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

AROMA: Melon, wheat, light yeast
LOOK: light orange color.
TASTE: Melon, wheat, light yeast
FEEL: Medium carbonation

Refreshing beer with good flavor.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful carbonation as I would expect from an Ommegang beer. This one is very similar to a hefeweizen. The smell is spicy yeast with some light fruits and banana. Maybe some.very faint peanut also. The taste follows with a nice tasty finish. yb

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a Lazy dog.
slightly hazy medium golden color with a huge bubbly frothy off white head that takes forever to recede. Clove and spice lay heavy on the nose with some faint bready maltiness. The flavor is sweet bready malt light earthy big clove and peppery spice. Well made beer, but its a bit heavy on the clove and spice for my tastes.

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Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: It doesn't take much to raise the head on this beer and I should have expected as much from Ommegang: a full three fingers caps the hazy copper colored liquid; excellent retention and lacing action

Smell: Spice cake, cinnamon, fig and caramel tones

Taste: Caramel, cinnamon and fig forward, with peppery spice and yeast phenols building through the middle; Belgian spicing builds, through the finish creating a hot, gingery sensation

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly overcarbonated

Overall: Pretty decent brew from Ommegang; not sure why they market this as an Amber given all that style descriptor connotes

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmmmm. I love me some Ommegang brews but I'm a bit confused by this beer. I'm a Belgian beer freak, so I've had my fair share of good Belgian brews. It seems like this beer is trying to be more "Americanized" due to the hops. The beer is quite malty, there is no doubt about that but its the hops that throw me off. I'm not a big fan of bitters, and while this beer has a low IBU rating of about 21, the backend of this beer has something that confuses me (the taste of those hops).

The person that poured this beer for me totally F'd it up. There was like a 8 finger head. It felt like all of the carbonation was gone. I think I need to try this again. As of right now I can't say that I'm a huge fan of this beer, but I think the pouring of the brew could have significantly changed it. I think all of the carbonation was gone when I took my first sip. It tasted flat. I think it smells great, looks good, but the taste was a little off to me. I might have to try it again.

EDIT: Definitely drink this beer on the warmer side. I was drinking it very cold but when I let it sit all of the spices come out and the hops aren't as pronounced. I'm glad I let it sit. That's the way this is meant to be drank.

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Photo of mikeinportc
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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 Libeertarian
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 06/21/16:

Semi-clear copper-amber with gelatinous suspended haze. Fluffy tannish white head of good retention. Vegetation, yeast, apple or pear, booze, vinegar, chemicals on the nose. Typical Belgian Pale Ale palate, spicy yeast and herbal and metallic hop character, light fruity, tangy malt. Fruit is mostly apple/pear. Medium-bodied, loads of fine carbonation, ranging from suds to cream and velvet, fairly warm.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD 11/20/16. Clear copper pour when decanted. Massive world class head volume, lacing and retention.

Quite outstanding nose of light airy soft fruit (pear, apple, plum) with a touch of clove underneath over a base of grainy biscuit with a touch of caramel, subtly sweet.

Almost heavy medium body that is quite smooth and slightly slick. Superb carbonation / body balance with a mildly effervescent middle and a slightly prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. As it warms, clove becomes quite pronounced. Otherwise, it is subtly sweet with light fruit notes that shine from the slightly sweet middle on. True bitterness is functionally absent with a spicy mix (clove, nutmeg, pepper) taking its place. Underneath is a subtle grainy base that delivers just enough sweetness to balance but not obscure. The finish is a slow fade of spices that is subtly sweet.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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