Rare Vos Amber Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Rare Vos Amber AleRare Vos Amber Ale
3,403 Ratings
Rare Vos Amber AleRare 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:
Rare Vos Amber Ale is styled after the smooth, drinkable beers popular in Belgian cafés. It pours a light copper hue, contrasting beautifully with a big, creamy white head. The nose offers orange blossoms and slight spice.

On the palate, the caramel maltiness shines strongly but with little sweetness. The profile leans toward dry fruity (yeast-affiliated), slightly fruity/hoppy with a beguiling spiciness. This complex, medium-bodied beer has a smooth mid-palate and moderate dry finish.

Well-balanced in all elements, it's a mild, mellow brew.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,403 |  Reviews: 1,176
Photo of CaptainIPA
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap @ Cafe Hollander Tosa and presented in appropriate glassware. Enjoyed over lunch while watching the French Open semi-finals in HD. (Hard to see the ball otherwise.)

Pours a dark butterscotch color with garnet amber highlights and a thick, rocky head with impressive retention and moderate lacing.

Aromatics include banana, clove, sweet malts and floral spice.

Crisp and creamy with a medium-bodied mouthfeel. Opens sweet and malty with suggestions of banana, cloves and gingerbread spice. Peppery yeast surfaces, followed by a touch of metal. Finishes dry with a puckering note of sour cherries.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean, clear amber, with large head of quickly-dissipating tan bubbles.

Nose is subtle, with spice and floral accents. Nice.

Taste is strong -- I get some sour fruit, a little funk, some toasty bread graininess in there, too. And more tart fruit at the finish, with a hint of alcohol.

Complex, and quite an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in tall ale glass

A: dark orange, decent carbonation, light head
S: clearly a Belgian, otherwise nondescript in the nose
T: drier version of a saison; dry, modest hopping; lightly spiced (orange, cinnamon)
M: decent

Previous Ommegangs have blown me away; this one didn't and my ratings reflect the disappointment; but it is definitely worth a visit

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

A: Nice warm golden amber. Slightly hazy and cloudy, and clearly well carbonated with lots of rising bubbles rising to join the just barely off-white head that starts out huge but settles fast to a skim. Not much for lacing.

S: Fruity sweetness – Some soft citrus, faint banana, light raisin as it warms – in a rather cidery way. Slight spiciness and earthy yeast with cloves coming out as it warms. Doughy / bready malts in the background. No hops detected, Inviting and reasonably complex, but a tad light in strength for a Belgian.

T: Belgian character in plenty, but in a soft and smooth way. Opens sweet – both bready and sweet malts, and fruit esters. Sweetness fades as malts become more doughy and yeasty. Fruitiness gains a tart ‘n tangy edge with bananas, citrus and a hint of grape skin. Light cloves comes out in the middle and then fades as peppery spice and earthy yeast push through and are then joined by a mild but fery rustic hop bitterness that grows grassy and then a touch medicinal. These last flavors really linger.

M: Just under medium body with noticeably over average carbonation. Bubbly, but in a soft and expansive way. Despite the sweet start the finish is crisp and drying with just an edge of pucker.

D: A bit light to be categorized as a BDA, but the brewery bills it as an amber and that seems right. Lots of Belgian character, but in a balanced and rounded way. It is very approachable and drinkable. This would go great with a broad range of dishes.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

See, there is a beer with "Rare" in the name that doesn't get blasted by many BAs. It pours a cloudy red-orange topped by a finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, orange peel, black pepper, light nutmeg, wheat, and a plenty o' bread, which seems to smother everything else after a few sniffs. The taste tones down the bread in favor of the spicier notes, and the orange really shines through a bit more here. I think I get a touch of cinnamon in the background. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate (though kinda prickly) carbonation and a finish that borders on the refreshing. Overall, a pretty nice Belgian-style brew, but I think it's one of the lower points in Ommegang's repertoire.

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

A- Pours an amber color with slightly red hues, pretty clear when held to light, produces a big fluffy, sticky off-white head.

S- This is one of those beers that you can smell from arms length or when it's sitting across the table from you. Bready, slightly grainy malts, some light fruit and alcohol, spices.

T- More bready, slightly sweet malts. A decent amount of leafy hop bitterness, it has a definite lingering effect, Todd says tea-like and that's really the perfect way to describe it. Sharp spiciness on the end. Alcohol and fruit aren't as detectable as in the nose even as the beer warms.

M- Full bodied, slightly prickly carbonation. Finishes very dry with a sort of grassy, grainy feel.

O- A really delicious beer, very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of djsmith1174
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice orange with a pretty abundant but quickly dissipating white head.

S: Light fruit, spices, yeast.

T: Slightly sweet malt and spices with a dry finish.

M: Fairly light body with decent carbonation.

O: A good amber. Not overly complex but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Johnny Brenda's, Philly, PA

A champion among amber ales. Pours a clear amber with a nice white head that retains well. Nicely toasted malts in the nose, along with a medley of fruit and a bit of spice. Malty taste, with flavors of pear, banana, apricot, and light spice. Very smooth, and quite complex for an amber ale, but not over-complicated. Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry, and is very drinkable.

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Photo of codfeast
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hard to tell it is kind dark in here, but certainly darker than pale, nice foamy head.

S: Fig, apricot, all spice, yeast.

T: Sweet malt and dried fruit, turns a bit sour then has a dry finish.

M: smooth and creamy.

O: I certainly prefer this beer on tap. Gave some to a co-worker "Wow, we serve this here. It's like a beer smoothie." Have had half dozen bottles over the years, must say the tap adds something extra.

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

Poured from a bottle out of the beer fridge at 45 degrees into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner (tulip).

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a 3-finger foamy white head. A solid-looking Belgian Ale so far. Spotty strings of lace cling to the glass.

S: Light fruit aromas lead the way, yeasty, I don't detect much maltiness, but there seems to be a "darkness" to the smell, possibly raisin or fig?

T: Spicy, mildly malty, with light fruits up front, drying nicely at the end, leaving a faint metallic, slightly astringent aftertaste. Some faint citrus notes at the finish as well. Decently complex and not offensive, although I could do without the metallic astringency, which in fact seems to come and go.

M: Medium-high carbonation brings the flavors in sequence through the palate. Very nicely balanced.

O: A solid Belgian Dark Ale. Definitely "darker" in body than a BPA, but similar flavors. Enough differences between the two styles to keep them both in your beer fridge.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
2.69/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*On tap at The Mews, infamous for dirty tap lines.*

A: Maroon-brown with purple-like hues. Very interesting looking, paired with a peach-white head, nice lacing.

S: Incredibly amount of mustiness matched with sweet malts. Dark fruit crammed in fresh sweaty socks drying in the sunlight. Yikes.

T: Belgian yeast, funky tasting malts, sweat. An incredibly musty malt taste with fruit. Not absurdly gross, but just not pleasant.

M: It's smooth and creamy, but the taste is is overwhelmingly odd and takes away from this feature.

O/D: Looks great, feels good, smells and tastes like something's wrong. Had at The Mews, so dirty lines could have played a major role. Might have to take a shot with this beer in a bottle, can't get much worse.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, deep honey color with orange highlights. HUGE fluffy white head that nearly billowed up over the top of my snifter glass.

S - mellow, biscuity aroma evident at first with some subtle fruity esters and the slightest hint of citrus.

T - Malty biscuit flavor is again the most evident. Also a little tangy, banana-like flavor in the background. Overall, very mellow with some smooth butterscotch at the end.

M - It seemed thin at first but after each sip i notice some residual stickiness that compliments the smooth character of this belgian dark ale.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos

Pours a golden amber that has a hazy glow about it. A fingers worth of white head sits for a few moments and drags spotty lacing down as the glass is swirled.

The nose offers some bready malts with cider and banana qualities. Very enticing as it begs to be consumed.

The taste is almost spot on with the nose but amplifies the Belgian goodness within. The apple/banana blend is boldly announced followed by some funky spices that make this one delicious.

The mouthfeel is crispy on the palate. Ample carbonation nails my palate and spreads the Belguim inspired characteristics throughout.

Overall, why did i wait so long to try this? Awesome American made Belgo amber. Brings the whole package to the party.

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Photo of Swedes21
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a gorgeous clear deep copper/light auburn colour. very nice off-white head with a lot of volume and good lasting effect. there is some nice lacing occurring along with some good carbonations.

Smell - banana, malts, sweetness, citrus and some fine hops, very dynamic yet good smelling beer.

Taste - very clean and fresh tasting beer. this beer offers the malts upfront with some banana and citrus taste. the hops finish the beer off with some slight bitterness but nothing lasting.

Mouthfeel - add volume brings a little more bitterness out, but for the most part the beer remains the same.

Overall - such a fine tasting beer upset I only have one to taste. would love to sit back and have a few good sessions with this beer.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang Rare Vos is a delicious Belgian ale, though not especially dark.

A: Slightly cloudy amber color with a big 3 cm head that lasts. 4.5

S: Smells very Belgian and yeasty. 4

T: Lovely sweet opening with some cloves. The finish is typically Belgian: yeasty and spicy. 4.5

M: Super carbonated and sharp in mouth. Maybe too bubbly. 4.

O: Overall. Yum. 4.5

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

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Photo of RashyGrillCook
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A "true belgian style amber ale" from Cooperstown, NY. Apparently, rare vos is Flemish for sly fox. Sports a distinct, foggy orange honey color that looks as refreshing as it sounds and retains a "rocky" head quite well. Smell is typical of quality amber ales with sweet, but mellow, notes of cloves, bread and citrus. Taste is similar to smell, accentuated by a sharp (almost overbearing) shot of carbonation. There is a lingering bitterness as well as some buried caramel accents. This does get a little sweeter as it gets warmer and overall a very decent brew.

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Photo of Mao
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great bear to share with your friends in summer time. The taste is so refreshing. The beautiful color and aroma of this bear are extraordinary delectable with any kind of food. The Rare vos flavor is exceptional, you can feel many sensation in one time.

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Photo of rudzud
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally picked up this offering from Julio's. the 12 ounce bottle was poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep clear amber hue with tiny suspended particles adrift with a nice dense one finger white head atop the brew that never truely faded, just became a nice snowy blanket.

S - Sweet malts with pretty much no hop aroma at all. Some nice belgian yeast and funk though.

T - Similar to the nose just with more belgian yeast/spices and funk. Nice malt sweetness too.

M - Really nice mouthfeel. Just enough carbonation to keep this from falling flat.

O - This is a nice belgian dark ale. Really dig this offering from Ommegang. Smell didnt really blow me away but alot of the other stuff did.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

428th review on BA
Bottle to NB Globe
750 ML C/C

App- Hazy dark orange with a puffy two finger head. A lot of scattered cling.

Smell- A little bit of a mixture, yeasty, ripe citrus, some hops, some malts and a tad bit of an earthy note.

Taste- The yeast shines through with citrus notes and tastes that follow. A very crisp and refreshing taste. Not heavy and well balanced.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a high carbonation level. Light, crisp, clean and refreshing.

Drink- A very good beer. I've become a big fan of Ommegang lately. Well crafted and tasty. I just got back from a run and would like to have this after all my runs.

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Photo of Kromes
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy gold with a thick white head.

S: Nice belgian yeast aroma. Malt, alcohol, spice, citrus and a little funk.

T: The initial taste is a strong alcohol and belgian yeast flavor. Then there is a peppery citrus fruitiness that kicks in and rounds out in an alcohol warmth with some bready aftertastes.

M: High carbonation and lighter body. Suits this beer.

O: Very good beer. Looks great, aroma coming of the beer is very nice, very good flavors....definitley a high quality beer.

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Photo of wampahoofus
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - What a beautiful pour! Lots of frothy white head that lasts several minutes. Plenty of lacing. Nice hazy yellow color which I would consider too light to be "Amber".

Smell - Lots of sweet esters. Bannana, lemon.

Taste - There is a lot of bitterness here. Not a hoppy bitterness, more like lemon zest. A bit of sweetness and pepper in the background.

Mouthfeel - Flavor lingers on the palette.

Overall - This is a beautiful beer. Full of flavor. The bitterness was not unpleasant but not expected. I prefer the other Ommegang brews tot this one.

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

Poured into 2 wine glasses. bottled 11/2010.

A- Pours a nice Amber hue with a big off-white foamy head. The head lingers for a white. Lots of nice bubbles from carb.

S- Nice bready yeast, coves, spice, some candy sugar sweetness, figs. Really nice smelling, a med-strong aroma.

T- Upfront there is spice, citrus zest & yeast. Similar to smell but lighter then it would indicate. good.

M- Slightly watery for the flavors. Sits nice on palate, medium bodied. Perhaps on the lighter side for this style but quite nice. Lingers well however gently.

O- Very drinkable. I wish I had the whole bottle to self. Refreshing and enjoyable. Great for ~$9.

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Photo of sdsurfer217
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: Light amber colored, slightly hazy, finger and half of cream colored head. Lots of carbonation off the bottom

Aroma: Spicy aroma, little bit of banana and orange.

Taste: Bready characteristic, with banana flavors. Little bit of pepper on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation interrupts most of the flavors making the beer feel rather thin.

Overall: Decent beer, but the carbonation kind of ruins it. Aromas are good as well as the lingering flavors, but when it's on my tongue it just doesn't hold up. I would like to try this on tap or 750ml to see if it's as "gas-y" as in the 12oz

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Photo of muletrane
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber with lots of bubbles. 2 fingers of off white bubbly head. Dissapates quickly with no lace.

S: Mostly spicy, bready and yeasty with a touch of malt.

T: Lots of spiciness up front. Slightly sweet with some bready notes. Dry, crisp, slightly tart finish.

M: Soft, creamy, bubbly mouthfeel. High carbonation. Medium body.

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Rare Vos Amber Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,403 ratings