Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

3,352 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: 3,352 |  Reviews: 1,163
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a colorful amber with orange edging and a big fluffy white head that retains well and creates very nice lacing.

Aromas are dominated by yeast and flowery citrus, especially orange. Balanced well with clove and peppery spiciness.

Taste follows the aroma, with a breadiness and orange upfront followed by the spices of clove, coriander and pepper. The finish had a slight bite of alcohol and dryness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thinner than expected, considering all the flavor and aroma. Carbonation is strong throughout.

A tasty beer that could work as a session brew or a dinner pairing.

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

Poured from conditioned 750ml into tulip. Deep amber color, a bit hazy and solid off-white head. Not as much lacing as a golden ale or saison.

Aroma is mix of fruits and yeast, with no one smell dominating, just a nice balance.

Great taste, just a wonderful blend of flavors, a little hops, malt, yeast, bready and solid carbonation.

Very drinkable, little hint of alcohol. This one is a winner, looking forward to trying the rest Ommegang has to offer.

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

A - A solid amber color with some haze and particulate. A very bright white head with very little lacing that tends to slide down the glass quickly. Head dissipates pretty quickly to a very sparse covering.

S - Quite a bit of estery, fruity richness. Backed by dark Belgian grains with a decent bit of maltyness. A small amount of boozy undertone.

T - The dark fruity richness is certainly there but more subdued than the smell. A decent malty sweetness, with quite a spicy crispness likely due to the yeast. A very subtle refreshing bitterness follows.

M - Fairly smooth and quite crisp, pretty decently carbonated. Pretty light and doesn't stick very much.

D - Quite refreshing but certainly still feels like a solid Belgian beer. All the flavors blend quite well and make it decently drinkable. Could definitely drink a couple of these but not much more.

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

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours a cloudy golden amber, big fluffy light tan head. A ton of cloves in the aroma, with as much orange rind presence. Very reminiscent of a witbier.. A potpourri of herbal flavors and spices are balanced very well by a smooth, citrusy sweet malt base with more than a bit of heat after the sip. Buttery and bitter on the finish, and sufficiently carbonated all the while. Drinkability is high. Just an excellent, excellent beer.

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Photo of Sam21
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork/cage bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy reddish orange with a fluffy white head with fantastic retention. As it recedes it leaves chunky lace on the glass and rocky chunks on the surface. Eye candy.

Smell - Aroma is filled with spicy clove and complex fruity esters. I'm picking up notes of pear, banana, apple, and orange. Picking up a little fruity tartness and some alcohol sweetness as well.

Taste - Spicy clove up front leads into waves of fruity esters with a moderately spicy and dry finish. A perfectly balanced Belgian-style amber.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with spot-on carbonation that gives the body a great smoothness.

Drinkability - A carefully-crafted beer with a great balance between fruitiness, earthiness, and spice. An all around delicious Ommegang offering. They never disappoint.

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Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured hazy dark orange-amber into a snifter glass with a generous head, which took a long time to settle down into a delicate lacing. There is a moderate to strong level of carbonation.
S: Dark fruits and malty sweetness are apparent in the aroma.
T: The initial flavors resemble the aroma, but are followed by hints of spices and a bit of bitterness in the finish. There is good balance among the different tastes, as one does not overpower the others.
M: The beer is medium bodied and feels a bit earthy on the palate, but the carbonation lends some smoothness.
D: This is a very versatile beer; it could be paired with food or just sipped by itself.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked bottle. About three inches of bubbley head. Strong dark fruits and yeast scents. Dark amber color. Plum, prune fruits upfront. Strong yeast, biscuit like notes. The taste finishes a little dry. Mouthfeel is pretty light for the flavor. Very drinkable I won't have much problem finishing the bottle myself. Going well with some slices of aged provolone.

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Photo of crossovert
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. No best by date printed.

Pours into my Duvel tulip an amberish red with some floaties and a large white head that leaves good lacing.

The smell is light but pleasant. It is spicy with a little bit of tangy yeast and malts. The yeast is definitely the main part of the scent though it doesn't excite the senses a huge amount.

It is a decent well-rounded brew. The taste is slightly sourish but mostly malty with a hint of yeast twang. There are fruits and spices as well.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin but overall not too bad.

It is an easy quaffer, very much like an unfiltered PALM. It is a good brew.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A slightly hazy orange liquid with a creamy white head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing. The color of this is fantastic.

S- Very aromatic with some lighter fruit notes, orange rind, white bread, and a bit floral. Everything comes together nicely.

T- Sweet and slightly sour. The fruit and bread components compliment each other nicely.

M- Smooth and creamy with a bit of a clean, dry finish.

D- A very well made beer. Drinks nicely, but is a bit of a sipper for the ABV. Definitely worth having.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang "Rare Vos". On tap @ The Gramercy Tavern

The body is dark amber, hazy, and streaked with intermittent streams of little bubbles. Presented in a 16 oz. pint glass, filled to the brim. No head as served. It produces a thin film of sparse lacing.

Malty aromas waft over subtle grape and blueberry fruity notes culminating in a spicy tinge of cloves.

Biscuity and grainy malt flavor plunges into the mouth in a full bodied wave speckled with flecks of spicy yeast -- peppery, grassy, and pleasantly dry. Subtle fruity esters surface next, coalescing into a gustatory tapestry of chewy berries and and mildly bitter hops. Very well balanced and complex. The flavor progresses in a cascade of sensations from full bodied, to fruity, to bitter. Quite delightful really.

Full bodied but not thick. Oily but not slippery. Somehow it maintains a pleasantly round and robust body. The moderate carbonation works well to give the beer some backbone.

Very drinkable. No one flavor is that intense, but in conjunction they work a beautiful harmony, tugging and pulling on various aspects of the drinking experience.

Top fermented. This is a sublime Belgian Dark Ale, really quite different from others I've tried. Well balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.

A: Light honey with golden hues. Poured with a thick head that quickly died to a medium, off-white film and lace.
S: A rustic and earthy bouquet of toasted bread, banana, and cranberry. Definitely Belgian.
T: Almost exactly what it smells like. However, there is a strong bitter/tart finish that lingers with the toasted bread.
M: Thin, but frothy and actually a bit refreshing.
D: Excellent, even compared to Belgians in general.

This is a very rustic Belgian ale, almost like a saison, and a well-balanced beer.

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Photo of waskie
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass. very nice amber color, slightly hazy, nice head, a lot of effervescence.

S - Yeasty, ripe fruit aroma.

T - A delicate balance of fruit, especially pear in the finish along with a peppery/spicy background.

M - Medium body with a lot of carbonation.

D - I really enjoyed this one, wish I had more than one.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy, rich amber-orange color with two fingers of light tan head. Lots of effervescence. Looks good!

Smell: subtle but deep fruity aroma. Character is mostly of plums and some cherry. Nice, but I'd really like to have more of it.

Taste: very nice. Light but complex, there are plenty of nice malt flavors here; plums and cherries, of course, but also raisins and even a hint of peach. Subtle, but delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with mega creaminess from a good level of carbonation. Yum.

Drinkability: quite drinkable indeed. I would call the flavor very good, though not outstanding, but as a complete package it is a tasty treat.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and cage bottle into a stem tulip results in the expected frothy white head that subsides after a while to leave plenty of residue on the inside of the glass. Strong Belgian yeast aroma with more than a hint of barley sugar and a touch of hops. Taste is slightly tangy, sweet, very nice. Strong mouthfeel. I'll be buying this one again for sure. Wouldn't mind ageing one for a year for comparison.

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Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Long neck. Consumed 1/15/10

A) Pours with a big, white, foamy head. Active upward carbonation. Slight haze. Copper in color. Lacing is thin and sticky.
S) Malty and dark fruit. Caramel. Pear. Apple. Light notes of alcohol.
T) Malts are noticeable but not entirely robust. Just a touch of sour in the mix. Some spicy tones. Black pepper. Tree fruit - apple, banana.
M) Fizzy, a little more than anticipated. Dry. Crisp. Medium body.
D) A nice Belgian amber. I'd have another.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a medium sized off white / tannish head of small soapy bubbles that leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady and made up of medium bubbles that rise quickly through the beer.

Slight caramel aroma, not much else.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, sweet but muted. Beer is medium in body, carbaontion makes the body seem bigger. There is a roasty / sugary / caramel flavor in there. No aftertaste or real bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

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

Pours a hazy golden amber with a medium tan head. Smell is of Belgian yeast strain. Taste is dry and crisp sweetness up front, with a slightly tart and tangy middle, and a estery yeasty finish. Surprising amount of bitterness for a Belgian Ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly high carbonation from bottle conditioning. Very good beer, just short of an A-, I would get this again though.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, orangish-golden color with a huge head, fluffy and off-white.
Smell is malt, spices, orange and wheat.
Taste is same as the smell, always a good thing, with an apple tartness and slight alcohol note.
Medium bodied and slightly warming with a lingering aftertaste of wheat and malt. A solid offering but not as good overall as the other Ommegang products I've enjoyed in the past.

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

A - poured into a pint glass. Medium amber color, slightly hazy, small foamy head.

S - caramel malts, apple cider, clove. yeasty brett is present but not too funky. balances out nicely, all in all.

T - everything from the smell, bathed in a slightly sweet background. (think honey ale; not anything based on cane sugar or corn) additional fruits appear on top of the predominant apple flavor.

M - starts crisp, medium body, finishes dry. None of these feelings is super strong. expected more carbonation but kinda like it as is.

D - pleasant, moderately complex, but not too strong. Very drinkable.

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Photo of fropones
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice light caramel amber color with a big airy ecru head.

S - Clove, coriander, a nice fruity smell from the yeast.

T - Clove covered apples and pears dotted with white pepper. Tastes kind of like a cross between a wit and a hefe. Some bubble gum mixed in here as well.

M - Nice medium body with good carbonation.

D - As I get further down the glass something in the flavor seems to be making it a bit tougher to drink. Not quite sure what it is. Still pretty refreshing, but I think maybe a bit to sweet once the glass starts going down.

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

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a short head.

Smell: yeast, pears, and apples are most notable.

Taste: caramel, big yeast flavors, ripe plums, pears, and golden apples. Bitterness is moderate but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this beer. This is a beer you can drink all day long.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Trappe chalice and paired with a cheese tasting board. Overall a good beer, but not as great as I expected

a: Honey/pare-like appearance, hazy with very little head, but excellent lacing.

S: strong yeast and mild honey.

T: very strong yeasty flavor, with hints of fruit, but very subtle. This is where this beer lacked to me, but it earned another try.

M/D: dry with light carbonation. Needs a little more sweet/smooth for me, but this beer goes down easy.

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

Finally got my hands on some Rare Vos. I'm huge fan of Ommegang's offerings wanted to try something new.

Pours a cloudy light amber/peach with an abundant foam cap. Retention lasted for a few minutes then dwindled down to a light white foam along the edges. Interesting color, haven't seen anything like it before.

Aroma is all over the place. Bready malts, cool hops, coriander, spicy yeast, cloves, ripe green apple, and an underlying nuttiness. This is a true feast for the olfactory bulb!

This was a hard beer to review to perfectly honest. Luckily, I enjoyed the challenge, and it made me like the beer even more. The flavors pop up very quickly then crash and wither away. Took a while to sort it all out. The coriander and spicy yeasty linger for a bit, mid palate sweet malt beigns to take hold then moves to floral notes and pepper. All in all, a very good tasty Belgian that is the pinnacle of the style, even if it was slightly difficult to grasp.

Mouthfeel was medium, but leaning toward the thin side.

The drinkability on the beer is scary! I found myself about halfway through a 750 in about 20 minutes, and I'm generally of the sipping over a long period type of drinker.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange amber color with a rich off-white head that hangs around for a good while before settling down and leaving some nice lacing.

Fruity aroma of apples and plums are prevalent upfront with light spices in the background.

Taste again showcases some nice fruity notes of apple and pear, maybe lighter notes of cherry and honey as well. Finish is slightly yeasty and spicy.

Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. A great combination of fruits and spices that makes for a nice light Belgian style ale. Nothing overwhelming, making this one a very easy drinker.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jul 12, 2009

12oz bottle. Pours light amber/orange with a big off-white head that retains well. Lots of lacing. Good-lookin' beer.

Aroma is fruity and yeasty.

Flavor is the same, but more subdued unfortunately.

Finish is very dry, almost watery and a bit soapy.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,352 ratings.
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