Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

3,344 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,344 |  Reviews: 1,160
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on 1/15/11. Thanks to BuckyFresh for bringing the bottle.

Rare Vos pours cloudy and amber-orange with a huge 3-finger head that is blindingly white. I can see through the beer right at the top of the body. Streaks and dots of lacing on the glass are very splashy.

A deep inhale reveals a very fruity smelling brew, with strong notes of pear and apple. Funky Belgian yeast is very prominent in my nose with softer floral notes also apparent. When agitated in my snifter the smell is very funky and spicy.

The taste is a very interesting combination of hearty malt malt and that spicy, funky yeast. That peppery spice really hits hard on the sides of mouth and the top of my tongue. Fruity notes of pear and crisp apple blend with a very floral taste.

The moutfeel is very medium bodied and smooth on my tongue while also being very nippy at the sides of my mouth. It is a spicy feel with just a little tartness to it.

This is a very easy drinker, but I really did not find it all that unique or interesting. Also, for me, the spiciness was just a bit overpowering and could have been balanced a little more by the fruitiness and a little bigger malt presence. Still, it is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.85/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-dark golden orange with a decent white head. seems that this should possibly be darker but it does look nice.

S-smells like honey and spicy blegian yeasts almost like a belgian witbier. its a pretty good strength

T-comes in with sweet belgian yeasts but mostly its just very malty. goes out with the belgian malts as well. the after-taste is of fruity belgian malts but mostly has this odd plastic-like taste to it that i find upsetting.

M-medium carbonation that is good, however there is a finish that makes you question if the beer is poisoned

D-its really not a fun beer to drink, i was excited for it to be done with soon after opening it. the plastic-like taste towards the finish seems to grow throughout the glass. this is definitely not something i'll ever be getting again.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Served in tulip glass.

A - It is an amber colored beer with orange highlights. The off white head on this one was very generous.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, orange peels, and tea.

T - The taste is more mild than the aroma. The yeast is there with muted spiciness.

M - Moderate with adequate carbonation.

D - This is an impressive beer, much like everything from Ommegang. I am regretting passing this beer up so many times. It goes down way to easy. I wish I would have gotten more than a single.

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Photo of Gunslinger711
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a goblet.

Less than a finger of head that disappates quickly. Light amber in color. Warm caramel scent. Mouth feel is a little bitey, good amount of carbonation present. Warmth and and caramel carry over into the taste, along with the some cinnamon hints.

Like a lot of other belgians this beer tastes like a friend invites you over to their farm and let's you taste beer they've brewed right there on the farm. A warm and cozy beer that tastes good on a cold night like tonight.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a champagne bottle into my Duvel glass.

Pours reddish amber with 1/2 layer white foam. Cloudy active bubbles. Malty smell, some orange hints. Light citrus taste, very mellow. Candied sugar. Belgian yeast notes but in background. Little bubbles of carbonation create a buzz if you look for it. Good flavor, easy to drink, another solid ommegang offering.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckyFresh for sharing this bottle with TCHopCraver and I.

Rare Vos pours a slightly brownish amber color with a light tan head that is frothy and has good retention. The lacing is just okay and the beer itself is a little bit cloudy.

The aroma is lead by spicy Belgian yeast with notes of clove, cinnamon and white pepper. Along with the spice is a nice sweetness that has soft pear notes and some dark sugar. There is also just a rumor of sour, but it is not nearly as evident as in many other Belgian style ales.

The taste has a bit more toasted character in it and less of the fruitiness. It has a smooth bready sweetness, a touch of toffee and some raisin. The spice is even more evident in the flavor with the clove and white pepper making themselves noticed. There is still a bit of that nice orchard fruit character from the nose, but it is pretty well buried in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is great with a light/medium body. The beer has a nice subdued carbonation and a finish that is not too dry or too sweet. I really dig the softness of this beer's texture.

This is a pretty drinkable Belgian ale, but it is just not quite there for me. I love the mouthfeel and the aroma, but the taste is a bit too spicy and lacks that nice fresh orchard fruit character. It is definitely a well crafted ale, but I think there are a lot of better examples out there.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into snifter. Thanks StormKing47 for this one.

A: Pours a hazy apricot amber with a thin, dense, off-white head that lasted forever and receded into a fuzzy film. Great retention but hardly any lace.
S: Smells a lot like a dubbel, very sweet and fruity. I get notes of apple juice, lemon, orange, and peppery yeast. Notes of clove and allspice as well.
T: Follows the nose with a lot of light fruit flavors, manly apple cider. Spices are there as well with a touch of hops and hay. Overall very malty. Maybe a hint of fig and pear. Slight funk.
M: Medium body, crisp mouthfeel with frothy carbonation. Finish is slightly dry but sweet.
D: Sweet, fruity, malty and spicy: just what you'd expect out of the style, and a great example of it. Not my favorite beer, but a great one none the less.

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Photo of heavy216
2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, light lacing, brownish gold in color

S: malt and yeast smell, with a small amount fruitiness

T/M: strong carbonation. tasted slightly fruity

D: didn't care for this one as much as some others

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Photo of kjyost
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at brewery BB 06/2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Looks nice, amber with a nice white head. Light lacing and above average retention. Aromas are very enjoyable, although light. A bit of sweetness, with standard belgian aromas of light barnyard (that became more pronounced over time), a bit of citrus and sourness. The beer really falls flat at this point for me. It is thin with very subdued flavours. A bit of belgian nature comes through but no real malt, although the beer does not finish dry... Decent beer, but of all their offerings, ,this is the one I would least look to redrink.

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Photo of e11iott
2.36/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, light lacing, rustic orange color when poured.

S: heavy strong fruit aroma, noticabl malt and yeast smell.

T/M: served cold had medium body. tasted fruity, but not in a women mindset. strong carbonation.

D: Not a big fan of this one, alcohol was well hidden, taste didn't improve with warmth.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottles aged in my cellar

Pours murky and orange with lots of foamy head. Smells yeasty with lots of floral hints. Tastes very yeasty and belgiany. A solid but not necessarily outstanding beer. A bit of hoppiness but nothing too crazy. A thck mouthfeel That's a bit rough from the bitterness. Overall fairly drinkable

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Photo of JunkYardJake
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle to chalice.
Pours a hazy amber color with a full 2 finger head. Mild lacing with adequate retention. The nose on this brew is a little sweet with dark fruits and a little must. Palate is complex and tasty. A nice bready malt backbone with some spice and funk from the yeast and some sweet candied flavors. An extremely drinkable and enjoyable offering. Worth seeking out, enjoying, then seeking out again.

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Photo of juankzas
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bomber into my Duvel glass. Lots of sediments left in the bottle.

A: Orangey cooper with a beautiful beige head that lasts forever, excellent lacing. Plenty of bubbles coming from the bottom.

S: Some raisins, lightly spiced, fresh bread, belgian yeast.

T: Some malty sweetness, lightly earthy, hops very slightly noticed. A dry finish.

M: Great mouthfeel with the perfect level of carbonation. Tha alcohol is not noticed.

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

For a belgian dark ale it is very light, I would say a medium orange, light amber. You can make as big a head as you want. Abundantly carbonated.

Sweet caramel and bananas with some pepper spice and a dark, candy/fruit aroma.

Sweet and caramel-like, some yeast by-product of clove and a well-balanced Saaz-like hopiness give it a very smooth taste. No hints of alcohol at all. The finish is as clean as .

Smooth yet with a satisfying bite from the carbonation. Barely any dryness.

Very well balanced and while this brews flavor is pretty good, it is the lack of off flavors, tricky to control with certain Belgian strains, that makes this one a well brewed ale.

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Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times- first review.

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass- I usually use a chalice, but pint glass was right there to use. Nice amber color- more clear than most Belgians, nice head- not too much carbonation

Some fruit,some spice,very balanced

Again very balanced,fruit,spice,malt,yeast- I love it

Nice feel- right amount of carbonation

Very drinkable- good even as session beer. Great with food. I plan to drink many more in the future

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan to amber and almost clear. Great lasting head that never seemed to completely disappear and thick, chunky lacing. Plenty of rising bubbles.

Smells spicy and yeasty with a fruit and grain backbone that's slightly sweet and very nice indeed.

Tastes fabulous, a semi-sweet fruit is the first thing I notice. The yeast is present but not overpowering. A lightly dry malt complements a moderate hop bitterness. Spiced just the right amount, noticeable light pepper.

Feels medium bodied and very tangy from the high carbonation. Bitterness lingers a bit more than you'd expect. Moderate dryness.

Given the moderate ABV this one is extremely tasty, very easy to drink, and very desirable to buy again.

The price wasn't bad at all for such a high quality brew. Great stuff.

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Photo of dizknee24
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - amber of course. rusty color, nice soft head dissipates after a min or so. opaque.

S - spicy like a typical belgian

t - heavy but light with a mild spice very mild.

m - perfect

d - i could do a bottle of this my self, would have no problem buying again

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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 mempath
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep apricot 'amber' with gothic lacing and a lively, meringue-ish head that settles slowly into a nice veneer...

nose is (again) a bright dried fruit (apricot!), sweet but with a bit of alcohol punch. a bit of wheatiness, but definitely more 'body' and depth. wow.

the taste is all that the nose is, but in a more understated way. actually nice not to be overwhelmed. a dry finish that gives a flash of more-sweet-than-sourness (in a very balanced way) and a mouthfeel that is luscious but not thick.

this is quite balanced and crafted. very drinkable. quite a bargain. so very recommended.

i MUST race their next year's cyclocross race...

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Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a massive head of fluffy suds and nice lacing.

Very floral with some light fruitiness and a buttercream presence.

Mirrors the nose quite well. Does have a good dose of white pepper spiciness. Clean and light tasting.

Fluffy soft from all of the carbonation. Smooth medium body.

Easy drinking and enjoyable. An easy to drink style overall.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2010-12-08 at Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, VA and again on 2015-08-30 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge.

A - Hazy orange amber with a pillowy white head.

S - Mild grain, belgian yeast, oranges.

T - Sour bitterness up front, then the big Belgian yeast flavor, grass, oranges, sourdough. Finishes pretty dry and mildly bitter. A nice flavor.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly creamy and effervescent.

O - Definitely a Belgian (not American) Amber. Well crafted.

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Photo of Blanco
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the color is amber as the name implies with a tan head. heavily carbonated and bubbly. mostly transparent although slightly cloudy. the smell is of light belgian yeast and some fruity sweetness. taste is of the yeast and is sweet. like a lighter tripel. the beer is light and refreshing and is a nice change of pace for a Belgian. Very good.

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Photo of aranheaney
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH snifter, continuing to work my way through Ommegang's wonderful line-up...

A-ridonkulous head that takes a long time to reduce to a point that the rest can be poured into the glass

S-Excellent, yeast, malt, some caramel, maybe a bit of apricot

T-Equally excellent, good up-front with maybe a bit too much carbonation but a good finish

M-Very good, little aftertaste

D-good, these are sold in both 4 packs and bombers and you can enjoy it in either capacity

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Photo of chickenflea
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured a caramel color with a large frothy head. Aroma was coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, with honey-like malts and caramel. Taste was very sturdy. This brew will not be overwhelmed by typical bar foods. Sweetness was moderate with a pleasant balanced spiciness. Grainy. Mouthfeel was thick at first, but mellows quickly and dissipates on the palate. Overall an excellent beer. Substantial.

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Photo of david18
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I recently reviewed this on draft and this is what I said:

I had a couple of glasses of this the other day at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. I'm not sure why it's called a dark ale as it is light in color and does not have the dark fruit aromatics that one usually thinks of with a belgian dark. In any case, a very good and refreshing beer. Lightish in color, great belgian flavor and aroma, good carbonation. A very good beer for a summer afternoon.


Same goes with the bottle. Perhaps not as enjoyable as it was on draft but a good beer.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,344 ratings.
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