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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,146 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,297
Photo of rand
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a nonic pint glass

I love the debate on categories here. The brew most definitely straddles a number of styles. It LOOKS like a classic American amber, with a crisp copper-tan color and moderate opacity. The nose is Belgian Pale, with fruity esters and grassy malted grain, enclosed by suggestions of fresh pastries. Its flavors are a little more broad. Estery, crackery, as a Belgian Pale should taste, but it's got distinct caramelly malts in front of any hop snap.

Suggestions of apple, citrus zest, allspice, cinnamon, and floral, grassy notes can all be parsed. Alcohol is moderate, and the beer closes with a medium, balanced finish.

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Photo of dd43
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It's a Belgian pale. Or an amber. But not exactly either. Has the yeast aroma you expect from Ommegang with a mix of clove and banana on the nose. Highly carbonated in appearance and texture, which is juxtaposed with a creaminess that I found rather appealing. This beers maintains a thin but dense head all the way to the bottom of the glass. Little to no hop punch, this is malt and yeast forward beer to be sure. Not a huge fan of ambers in general but this is one of the better ones I've had, perhaps because of its departure from the style.

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

deep cognac orange color with heavy head. slightly boozy and sweet banana nose (after warmed in a snifter). highly carbonated mouthfeel. taste is dominated by belgian yeast, accents of pepper and coriander, and a general slight fruit sweetness. it was hard to pinpoint any specific sweet flavors in this pour. aftertase is belgian yeast and slight fruit.

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

Thick creamy head hangs around quite awhile on top of a hazy dark honey color.
Not much on the nose , grain, clove some yeast. Great carbonation, creamy feel. Taste is crisp, yeast, pepper, hops are there and alcohol at the end. Like pretty much everything from Brewery Ommegang, Great Brew!

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Photo of bmeehan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ommegang never ceases to amaze. Rare Vos pours a beautiful orange-gold and tastes like every other amber ale should taste. It's not a beer that you'll shed a tear over, but it stands as what should be the beer all other beers model themselves after.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge gushing four finger white head which slowly settles into a thinner foam layer.

Smell: A yeasty, fruity, and fairly sweet Belgian style aroma with hints of spice, dark fruit, and caramel. Belgian yeast with big hints of clove, peppers, funk, cinnamon, and coriander. Toasted malt with hints of sweet caramel, straw, grains, and biscuit. Big mix of fruit esters with hints of banana, apple, pear, orange, and lemon zest. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Hops are pretty faint. A pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nice yeasty, fruity, and sweet Belgian style amber taste with good notes of spice, fruit, and caramel malt. Upfront Belgian yeast with notes of clove, funk, peppers, cinnamon, and coriander. Soft toasted malt with notes of caramel, grains, straw, and biscuit. Fruit notes of apple, banana, orange, pear, and lemon. Sweet taste of candied sugar. Light notes of flora hops. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and prickly. Finishes dry.

Overall: A great take on a Belgian style ale. Good mix of spices and fruit flavors with a nice touch of toasty malt.

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Photo of Matonika
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a goto for me it is mellow easy drinking. Citrus notes very low bitterness. It has a touch more caramel then I would like . Like a Caramel orange which is different but it is really good with food it did a bang up job with Thai spicy noodle.

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Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange with a lot of fine sediment in suspension, billowing off-white head, settles slowly to a thin ring, fair amount of lace trailed down the glass. Smell: mild nectarine, apple cinnamon muffin, notes of orange and pepper. Taste: nectarine, orange and brown sugar themed bread, mild grassiness, slight lemon with nectarine skin and spiciness in the finish. Creamy into fluffy feel. Everything is in moderation here, but quite tasty. Best by 9/2015.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Blood orange pushing light morning red amber. Slightly off white finger long lasting head.

S: Quite sweet and heavy spicing, phenols. Clove, sour cherry, pomegranate, coriander, orange. Grassy must and pollen nectar.

M: Good tangy bite. Moderately carbonated and very effervescenr. Med body, well attenuated.

T: Banana and cloves but with funk. Grape must, stone cling peaches and good citrus component--orange. Lots of perfumey coriander, perhaps too much for my liking. Really really good ovreall tho.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yeasty. This is a sweet amber colored ale with caramel notes on the eye. In tucking into this, the yeast and fruit notes come right to the forefront. Slight banana and clove feel whilst the yeast really takes over.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Specialty Beer Cellar. Served in a Rare Vos straight sided glass.

Appearance - Hazy deep golden. Big white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Fruity. Kinda phenolic. Sweet fruity maltiness.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Immediately fruity. Belgian yeast flavors quickly dominate. Bitterness builds up too, particularly in the back end from high carbonation.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. High carbonation, though it retains a bit of fruitiness.

Overall - I drank a glass of this very quickly. Second glass, not so much. Lacked a bit of excitement.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a tall Belgian glass. Bottle was dated 12/2014.

Appearance: bright orange with a full head that rode the glass to the end. Turbid from the bottle conditioning.

Nose: spicy, phenolic, classic Belgian yeast smell, pears, slightly herbal

Taste: very smooth, no alcohol notes, spicy, a bit thin and I'd expect a more round mouthfeel from the classic Belgian house yeast Ommegang uses. Slightly fruity and the hops notes are very low to non-existant.

Overall: This one needs some improvement in the mouthfeel as far as a more enjoyable beer. However, in terms of drinkability, it is top of the list. I find this beer very quaffable. Overall, great showing from one of the best craft breweries in the States and a damn good Belgian one at that.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a beer like this is simply not an exceptional beer, at least not for me, that being said in the realm of amber ales this is about as good of an amber ale as you are likely to have, it retains the ease of consumption of the style while taking that proprietary house yeast in the belgian style and bringing something new to an amber ale, it removes what to me is an often unpleasant though not overwhelming hoppiness, this is at any rate an great beer for any occasion, though not an altogether special beer, use this instead of your boring amber ales for a party and enjoy

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

Best by 6/20/13 bottle at 45 degrees into tulip
Aroma of slightly sour fruit
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor begins slightly sweet, fruity esters and some yeast phenolics; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of fscottkey
2.52/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.5] A slightly hazy orange color. Sports pretty big dense white head. No apparent dating on the bottle Beer is listed at 6.5% ABV.

S: [2.00] Wreaks of Beligian yeast. It is like being punched in the face with it. Very pungent. I get nothing else.

T: [2.50] Fortunately it doesn't exactly follow the nose. There is not such an overpowering whollop of Belgian yeast. It is still all I get in this beer - but it is less than the nose.

M: [3.25] The carbonation is decent the body is a bit thin.

O: [2.50] I really dislike Belgian yeast. It doesn't agree with me and this is a one note beer with just that single note. Unfortunately that means I didn't finish it.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -1%

Pours with a nice, clingy, yellow-white head, Golden-hued and slightly cloudy. Aroma is of coriander, allspice, orange peel and a hint of apricot. Sweet start with some sour notes in the back of the palate. Dry on tongue, well-carbonate with a long finish. A very enjoyable beer before dinner!

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4/5  rDev -1%

A- Body of the beer is a hazy but bright looking copper color. Very orangy as well, It started off with a pretty ridiculously big and frothy head. Over the course of drinking the beer, it died to a pinky size rim. Nice legs, even at 6.5%. They clung to the sides of my tulip glass and looked pretty as they fell. Not a lot of vibrant carbonation, but some is present.

S- Spicy from the grains of paradise. Coriander as well. There is almost a pepper spice in there as well (that might be the grains of paradise). Big orange peel. Lemony in the background. Caramel malts are detected. Sweet like most Belgian beers that have some kind of added sugar to them. Earthy and yeasty with the typical Belgian funk. Has a noble hop kind of biscuity note. Not hoppy overall.

T- Spices and orange. Carmel malt is lighter than in the smell, but I'd say this beer has a wonderful malt backbone. There is some kind of pepperiness in there. This beer isn't hoppy, but it's got a very nice earthy, grassy, funky, SLIGHTLY sour bitterness going on. It's a fairly dry beer in the finish. It finishes yeasty, funky and sour with black pepper before it dries. Very excellent beer.

M- The Rare Vos in medium in feel. It is a very refreshing beer. I can why this style is considered sessionable in Belgian cafes. There is a minimal amount of sticky sweetness. I have no problems with it's drinkability. This stuff is extremely easy to put down.

I usually find I don't like Belgian Pale Ales for some reason, but the Rare Vos is an awesome brew! It would be good with a lot of different types of meats and cheeses. The heartier the food, the better with this one. Go get yourself some Rare Vos and experience a massively flavorful and easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale!

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Photo of dodge408
4/5  rDev -1%

This will gain your taste buds attention. With a mildly tart fruit beginning to a distanct light hop finish. It's a brew I get in the mood for time to time.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a lovely copper and honey like color. Thick head that dissipates in a thin white lace that retains throughout.
Smell: Hints of malty sweetness. Honey and syrupy.
Taste: Malty. Sweet. Hints of dry fruits like fig. Sweetness balanced by a touch of hoppy bitterness. Taste reminds me of a honey wheat or whole grain bread.
Feel: Clean, refreshing and moderate carbonation that splashes around in the mouth. Bottom of glass feels creamy.
Overall: Fantastic example of an amber ale made by Ommegang, one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of carlos_fleico
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark honey amber color. Forms about 3 fingers of a firm thick head with great retention. (4.75)

S: Caramel malts, bready. Citric hints, orange zest. Floral hops, syrupy, and peppery hints. (4.75)

T: A bit spicy, sweet. Citrusy, follows the nose on the orange and light hints of lemon. Nutty, moderately bitter. Dry and yeasty in the end. (4.5)

M: Medium-bodied, very rich and refreshing. Perfect carbonation, somewhat creamy. (4.5)

O: I would drink this over Three Philosophers or Tripel Perfection any day, absolutely love this brew. Very rich and refreshing. (4.75)

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Photo of PRLRetailDrone
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man this is a pretty brew! A gentle pour yielded a massive foamy head sitting on a copper body. My mouth is already watering. The nose is mostly malts with a little of the belgian yeast. The taste is lots of malt and belgian yeast with a little hop buttering. Awesome. Great carbonation. Tiny bubbles streaming from the center like champagne. I love Ommegang brews and this doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of sevreng
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into Ommegang chalice glass

A - Medium bright, honey dark gold in hue. Two finger head on pour that subsides very slowly.

S - Floral notes with a little basil or kalamata olive coming through. Very interesting aroma.

T - Lemony, floral, and crisp, a unique amber that is complex yet light and refreshing.

M - Silky and full with a very crisp and refreshing finish.

O - Unique and refreshing amber, effervescent and crisp, solid summer choice.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light honey with a ridiculously big head. Took several minutes to go down enough to enjoy it.

S - Very light aroma. Lots of caramel and a slight floralness to it

T - Mild flavor. Hints of caramel, lemon, and rose. Seems to alternate between bitter and sweet and has a strong yeastiness on the finish

M - Medium body. Quite smooth while bubbly in the mooth.

O - A nice amber that is somewhat unique. The floral aromas and flavor set it apart from the rest.

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

A- Pale amber body with some hints of orange. Mostly hazy with some light coming through, but no visibility. Foamy light tan head that lingers around for some time.

S- Bready malts, some sweet bread, a hint of earthy grains, just a touch of sweet syrup.

T- Somewhat sweet with lots of malt. Some caramel, some earthiness, lots of grainy bread flavors. A dash of nuttiness to it as well.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy and bready.

O- A nice amber with hints of Belgian yeast coming through. A great change of pace from the over-hopped amber trend.

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Photo of OldeSchool
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Coppery bronze color with a very foamy head.

S - Very fruity, mainly orange...maybe a bit of caramel and peach. Some spices there, but I can't identify them.

T - Fruit (orange), malt and spice, but not overpowering in either case; dry finish balances everything out nicely. Very drinkable; goes down easy.

M - Very balanced; not overly heavy, creamy nor watery.

O - I really enjoyed my first taste of Rare Vos; this is a brew I'll be going back to when I'm in the mood for an amber ale with a Belgian twist. I could see this one pairing very well with a wide variety of food.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,297 ratings.
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