Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 3,361 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,361 |  Reviews: 1,165
Photo of emsroth
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into duvel tulip

App: Dark gold, almost amber, with hues of orange. Frothy off-white head.

Smell: Wonderfully fruity apple and lemon with an herbal hop finish. Noticeable yeasty funk

Taste: Starts strongly fruity with some lemon, fades into the yeasty funk I love about this beer. As it warms, flavors of almond and maraschino cherries develop. Strong herbal hop presence in the end. Finishes a bit husky with a hint of raw, yeasty dough. Yum!

Medium to full body from the substantial carbonation.

A wonderful treat that is surprisingly even better on tap.

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Photo of KajII
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy dark amber with a large (2-3 finger) off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing.

The aroma was of straw malts, citrus hops and an earthy Belgian yeast with notes of banana, caramel, coriander and dark fruit (raisons and prunes).

The taste was lightly bitter with a hint of fruit and spices in the beginning with the finish being a tad bitter with a slight sweet malty flavor and a touch of caramel, maybe honey and very light citrus peel bitterness at the end. Flavor lasted an average time with a lightly sweet fruitiness pretty much left to lying on the taste buds after all else faded away.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was exquisitely tasty and quite well balanced, but everything this brewer puts out seems to be that way...


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Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one as a bonus in a recent trade with jlindros. thanks jared!

330ml bottle. sampled feb 27/2011.

pours deep orange with a bit of haze. a cap of fine white head forms, dropping quickly and leaving a bit of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is good. caramel and a bit of butterscotch toffee. light belgian yeasty spice. bit of light citrus. light alcohol. bit of floral character. white bread and a bit of cracker.

taste is nice. herbal and earthy and a touch floral. bit of buttery toffee. belgian yeasty spice. hint of citrus. white bread and cracker. low bitterness level. bit of alcohol. faint dark fruit - date and a bit of raisin.

mouthfeel is good. fairly light body with a dry finish. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. pretty well balanced. seems to lay somewhere between a BPA and a BDA, borrowing traits from each.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the second beer I had from tis brewery. Yesterday I reviewed their "three philosophers" brew. Great stuff!
" rare VOS" pours a rich deeper gold and creates a nice tall white head.
The smell is very fruity and hints a freshness you would like in a beer in a hot summer. Very inviting.
The taste up front is a grainy fruity mix, maybe some apple, hint of orange, being checked by mild hops in the middle and a very interesting earthy finish.
Very nice mouthfeel and the lightness of body in this beer invites for more, very drinkable.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked brown bottle
6.5% abv

Rare Vos was amber in color and hazy. It had a nice off-white head with good retention and lacing. The smell was fruity yeast and malt aromas. The taste was fruity and well with some mild pepper and spices. The finish was dry and fruity. The mouthfeel was just above average with a thin body and medium-high carbonation. Drinkability was also above average. This is a fairly good beer, but needs more body in my opinion.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.69/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a tawny amber hue with wispy white head that deposits a surprising volume of chiffon lace sheeting.

S - This smells suspicious at best, horrendous at worst; the nose seems to offer an impression of cheap jasmine fragrance atomized in an attempt to thwart rancid foot and body odor. No thanks.

T - Atop of the foul descriptors that construct the quantification of this brew's nose, just add hints of Raid bug spray and there you'll have it.

M - The feel is bad, but only because the experience of drinking this beer just feels so bad. Insert sad frog and snarky text line, that will suffice to define this brew.

D - I think this is so bad that it takes on comic (or tragic) proportions. Is this for real?

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Photo of TheSarge
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AP: Big frothy white head! Golden copper color with mild haziness.

AR: Has a bready and earthy aroma, along with a hint of apple and maybe some Belgian candied sugar.

T: Some lightly toasted bread in the flavor, along with some cooked veggies and a touch of a honey sweetness.

MF/DNK: Very prickly with lots of carbonation, a little chewy in the middle along with a refreshing wetting finish.

It's been a while since I've had a Belgian Amber, and this was a treat for sure.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a dark amber with as off-white head.

S: Smells of citrus, caramel sweetness and funk.

T: The taste is farmhouse mustiness, dark fruits and that Belgian yeast breadiness.

D: Easy enough to drink, but the mothfeel is a bit thin and the flavours aren't as complex as I would like.

Overall: A decent beer, no doubt, but not one of Ommegang's best. Still, worth a try.

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Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-4.5 dark, cloudy orange, caramel-like color. Poured into a tulip, perfect 1" white foamy head. Nice lacing on glass.

S-4 dried fruit, fresh bread.

T-4 malt, caramel, hint of fruit and spices (clove, nutmeg). Very slight metallic after-taste is really only unappealing thing about this beer for me.

M-4.5 great feel. Medium body with pretty high carbonation. Creamy feel if sipped slowly.

D-4 good, balanced beer that isn't too heavy, though it is rich in flavor and I'd probably only want 1-2 at a time. Overall a tasty brew that I'd recommend and buy again.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden copper color w/ a big off white head. The head of this beer sticks around for a long time. Nice carbonation. Great lacing. This beer smells of clove, spice, and has a earthy smell to it. The taste is nice, not too heavy, not too light. Has a outdoorsy, citrusy, spicy taste to it. This would be a great summer beer. I actually would like a little more alcohol in the taste, as I don't get any. For the style, this is a good beer. Maybe not world class, but on a hot summer day I'd pick it up in a second. Glad I finally got to try this one.

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Photo of smibroncos
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured a clear apricot copper color with a. Short white fizzy diminishing head. Good lacing on the glass.

S. Orange, hay, straw, rubber

T. Citrus, fruity. Sweet up front some spiciness, coriander, and grapefruit. Bitter and dry finish.

M. Medium bodied, fizzy carbonation.

D. Great brew, good balance. I could keep this brew and usually do, in my cellar. I am glad I live so close to the brewery that I never run out.

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Photo of Duff27
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a booming three-fingered white head atop a dark amber beer into a tulip. Effervescence aplenty! Great head retention and thick lacing.

S- Belgian yeast and slight bread quality.

T- Caramel malts with the Belgian yeast spice. Hint of dark fruit.

M- Medium to light mouthfeel. Can feel the effervescence on my tongue.

D/O- I'm not so sure I'd want to have more than one, maybe two, of these. Can't remember the last time I gave a "5" for appearance. Reminded me a lot of Hennepin...guessing that's the yeast.

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Photo of kwjd
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a restaurant in San Francisco. Pours an amber colour with a finger of slightly off-white head. Some nice lacing around the glass. Smells quite spicy with dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Very dry flavour, the spices come through even more in the aftertaste. Nice carbonation level. Another good beer from Ommegang.

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Photo of MattyV
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, BB date 08/2011.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a two-finger white head that leaves a ton of lacing as it slowly shrinks down into a thin cap.

Refreshing aroma, full of fruity/phenolic characteristics, a touch of spice and caramel.

Tastes sweet and a bit toasty, with noticeable spice and fruit imparted by the yeast. The finish is dry and crisp with a nice citrusy tartness.

Medium to light-bodied, effervescent carbonation.

Highly drinkable, this may be my favourite Ommegang beer that I've tried to date. A pleasant surprise, I wished I picked up a few more of these.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my La Fin du Monde tulip.

Pours a golden apricot hue that's hazy and translucent. Many lines of little effervescent bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass to the top, collecting in an inch thick whiteish head that dissipates quite slowly. Leaves strings of loose, bubbly lacing coating the inside of the glass. Nose is pretty fruity, with essences of banana esters, pears and just a little bit of citrus and sourness at the end. Caramel malts are also detectable, along with a bit of spice, wheat and yeast.

Sweet malts greet the palate on the initial sip, followed quickly by the spicy notes of Belgian yeast. Mild bit of banana in the middle, then the yeast continues to assert itself in the form of a substantial breadiness that you can almost chew. Back end has some pronounced bittering from the hop profile, something I wasn't expecting out of a Belgian ale. Ends on a decidedly funky note. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a creamy feel. The carbonation is a touch bit more tickle-y than I prefer, but isn't obtrusive by any means.

Drinkability is quite good. Could easily have downed another one of these. If you're hankering for a good Belgian brew that's easy on the wallet, look no further than Ommegang. Their stuff isn't quite that Trappist quality, but it's as close as you're going to get on this side of the pond.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the pop of the bottle I could tell this was going to be an excellent brew. I poured this brew in to a small snifter, to ensure I sip and enjoy every last drop. It poured a very nice gold color, with a beautifully thick, tall, eggshelled colored head. It has some retention, but fades. As you drink, small amount of lacing remains on the glass.

The aroma palate on this one is very nice. A power punch of all kinds of flavors floods you, and as you sniff this brew, you can slowly break some of them down, but there could be alot. I know that I can detect some fruits. Banana, apples, maybe some citrus. This is followed by a nice toasted caramel malts. It finishes with grassy hops and burst of spices. Its touches the nose and I already want to down this brew.

When it comes to the flavor of this brew, it doesn't let you down. Just like in the aroma, there is a huge amount of flavor that stimulates every taste bud possible. Its hard to break down all the fruits, but there is definitly some dried, dark fruits, as well as some citris as well. I can pick out a bit of banana as well. Its followed by the grassy hops and a great mixture of spices. Its finallly all rounded out with a bit of a bready/biscuit finish, that has a bit of bittersness, that is nice and dry, that closes it out. Amazing flavor.

The mouthful on this one is pretty good. Its a medium bodied brew, pushing the limits of a full. Its got some great flavors and during the sip is nice and juicy, but then finishes full of flavor, and nice a dry. Very much like a wine...but better. It does have a bit of a high carbonation, but I kind of like it. Its very balanced and gives you a nice refreshed feel after the sip. I enjoyed it very much.

Its has a nice drinkablity as well. I have seen some BA's talk this brew down, but I have enjoyed it very much. Its easy to drink, a lower ABV then many of the other brew in the style. Drinks very creamy and smooth. The flavors also come together so well that allows this brew to pair well with anything. This was a great brew from the Brewery Ommegang. I will be sure to pick up the bigger version of this brew on my next visit to the beer store.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy deep amber to glowing red with a creamy white head. The aroma is heavily fruity and light to medium spicy with tones of sweet yellow apples, apricots, peaches, pineapples, overripe pears, mild white pepper, coriander and light hints of fresh herbs. Malt and hops bring tones of crispy crackers, light caramel, white sugar and a touch of flowers and grass. The flavour is fruity up front with tones of citrus but there is also some notes of apples and apricots. Undertones of grassy bitter hops and toasted/cracker-like malt. The mouthfeel is soft carbonated and round. Light sweet and near medium hoppy. Bit dry. The aftertaste is earthy and grassy bitter. Medium bodied.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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 -30%
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 +3.7%
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 +6.4%
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 -3.9%
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 -7.9%
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 -6.1%
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 -36.1%
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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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 85.2% out of 100 with 3,361 ratings
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