Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,157 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

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Reviews: 1,157 | Ratings: 3,329
Photo of OlRasputin989
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The bottle depicts the beer being served in a tumbler. I had one glass with the tumbler then I had the next one with the Duvel tulip. The latter being much more enjoyable.

A: amber colored beer with a slightly off white puffy head. It poured a very nice 1 inch head. The glass etching in the bottom of the tulip kept the bubbles coming. not much lacing.

S: cloves, yeasts, fruity esters,and biscuity malt

T: good n' sweet. honey, white grapes, yeasty. hint of the malts in the aftertaste then a little bitterness.

M: This beer reminds me so much of Duvel when it comes to mouhfeel. It's velvety-soft from the champagne like carbonation.

Overall, I have to be honest. I almost didn't want to buy this because of the alcohol content of only 6.5%, but since it was cheap (5.00) i couldn't pass it up. I'm glad I did because this will not be the last time I buy this beer.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Frothy, long lasting head tops a deep amber, slightly yeasty appearance. The aromas was full of soft esters; cloves, citrus, and sweet malts was quite inviting. This ale is a smooth, complex, well balanced assortment of cloves, ginger, and lemons which compliment a soft maltiness. A nice peppery earthiness was detected through out. For such a complex brew, the finish is surprisingly dry and spritzy, with just some phenols lingering in the aftertaste. This has got to be one of the finest ales I've drank. Tonight is St Nicholas Eve. A very nice ale to compliment my wife's spicey German christmas cookies. A real steal for 3.99 for a 25 oz bottle.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from 750mL bottle to tulip glass

A - Deep golden amber with lots of bubbles. Has a really nice rich color. Nice sized bubbly head with good lacing.

S - Fruity smell with a hint of apple, almost champagne like. Sniffing this beer wets my mouth.

T - So good it quenches my thirst. Like a fruit and spice medley. Feels like there is a lot going on in there, but each flavor is perfectly matched.

M - Feels great in my mouth. Think cider or champagne, but in beer format. Very subtle bittery aftertaste.

D - Fantastic and easy to drink. The flavor is full and even. Not too strong that you can't enjoy a few.

I've had most of the offerings from Ommegang and their beer has lead me to really dig in and begin my quest in beer appreciation so I can't really say enough good things about their family of beers and this beer is no exception.

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Photo of drawbackwards
4.76/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is "Wow"...I have heard all the hype about this beer and the stellar reviews it gets so I had to try it. I have had Abbey Ale from Ommegang and love it, so I had to try this one. First thing I notice is the pour...It gives an amazing head. You must be careful or a huge head will takeover your glass. The words "slow but vigorous" appear on the bottle. I would aim more for slow and less for vigorous.

The smell is fantastic, mouthfeel is great. Super smooth. This beer is so ridiculously smooth and flavorful that it really is a glorious representation of the style. If you like Hopback (Troegs), you will love this. It doesn't have the hoppiness of the Troegs, but has so much character anyway. You need this...seriously.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours copper tinted amber under a persistent very moussey and clingy 3” white foam collar.
S: Big fruit aromas close to banana and apricot with some spice and earthy notes.
T: Slightly sweet, but it is balanced with a host of fruit and some hop on the finish over light biscuit.
F: Creamy above average carbonation gives it slightly more body than appears on the surface, medium full.
O: Complex and full flavored.

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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 washburnkid
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Cost Plus. My first, but not my last of this beer! Enjoyed in a tulip.

A: About 3 fingers frothy light beige head over a dark amber (red in the light) body. Good retention and nice webbed lacing.
S: Big fruits at the pour. Very ripe and sweet. Pleasant on the nose. A bit of earth I would expect in an Ommegang brew, and the clove spice and wheat I expect in a Belgian ale. Spices are wonderful, and the aroma is almost perfumey.
T: Emphasis on the clove and other dark spices. Wheat-like and earthy, all of which I expected from the aroma. Grassy. Delicious.
M: Medium body with high, crisp carbonation.
D: I am a big fan of this brew. To me, it seems like a less horse blanket version of Hennepin. Refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of Wilshade
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Amber Ale
ABV: 6.5%
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: opaque orange gold with a fluffy off white head. A beautiful beer.

Smell: very fruity with spicy notes

Taste: Well balanced with a slight tilt toward the sweet side. Strong orange notes.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with almost no after taste. Light and tingly on the tongue.

Overall: A beautiful, almost stunning, beer with a taste to match. Pairs very well with grilled steaks. Another instant favorite of mine from Brewery Ommegang.

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Photo of Ozone34
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I visited this brewery in Cooperstown while attending the induction ceremony for Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn. The brewery sits on a gorgeous New York moountain country side.

I paired this beer with a roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with aromatics such as thyme, garlic, basil, lemon wedges and rosemary with simplly steamed fresh brussel sprouts and rice pilaf.

Appearance is fantastic, golden amber, and slighty opaque. Nice head retention and tons of carbonation bubbles.

Smell is that of cloves and some rustic hay/grass. Catch a little alcohol on a deep sniff.

Taste, up front is a bit on the carbonated side but in no way overpowers the pleasant alcohol that soon drips down your throat. Lots of grassy and fruits in the middle. This washes the tenderloin down nicely.

Beer opens as it warms and I notice some more intense dark fruit notes as well. Spicy hops and pepper penetrate your palate.

Drinkability is high as I had two glasses in my serving for dinner and finished the big magnum bottle by myself.

As always Ommegang brings a fantastic Belgian style beer to the table at half the price. :)

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Photo of IrishAndSurly
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a few times on tap served too cold in the Rare Vos glass at McKenzies in Minneapolis, but decided to buy a bottle of this to review it so I could do it at a proper temperature. The first time I had this beer I thought is was great; and I still do. One of my current favorites.

Poured from a bomber into a Surly pint glass (ok, kill me now) at about 50F, produced a thick white head of about three inches. Amber / orange in color with slight fogginess and a lot of tiny bubbles. The head hangs around for a long while with medium lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, sour black cherry and ripe melon with a bit of alcohol presence and herbal hoppy back notes.

Slightly malty to start off with, but also dries the tongue rather fast, hops are present but do not dominate the somewhat dryer malts and fruit / slight spice flavor. Very well balanced herbal / dry fruit flavor.

Very smooth to drink, perfect balance between thick and thin, feels great on the tongue, good level of carbonation. The carbonation does not get in the way of enjoying this beer what so ever.

I can drink this beer all night, and have a few times. Very well crafted and easy to drink.

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Photo of gloriousglo2
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

....just had my first one. Freakin' awesome. Don't know how to put it any other way. Great amber color, nice body, pours with a great head, no aftertaste. Perfect amount of sweetness and balance. Got a 4 pack for about $9, not too bad, considering the overall quality of this beer.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Amazing. This poured a beautiful hazy orange caramelly color with a nice white head and a good amount of carbonation. Good lacing. The smell is malty and sweet. Clove is noticeable in the smell and fairly dominant in the taste also. A really complexy sweet fruity taste here. To me this brew tastes mor liek a combination of their witbier and a really interesting amber beer. The spices they use probably lead to that. The mouthfeel is pleasant, moderate and stickey. This brew is insanely drinkable, you can't get enough of it.

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Photo of brewsclues
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Sly Fox" - big, bold, and beautiful amber.

A - Gorgeous amber color that pours very hazy with plenty of yeast collecting at the bottom. One of the best lacings I have seen - eggshell white, perfect.

S - Sweet malts, grains, spicy notes, with plenty of ripe fruits (orange peel and maybe some grapes).

T - Damn. Spicy, peppery notes on the tongue at first, some flavorful yeasts in the back of the mouth next, and plenty of delicious malts in the middle. Finishes with a nice, crisp citrus zest (clementines) and just a bit of hop-bitterness to balance it out. This is one outstanding beer.

M - Plenty of carbonation, finishes clean. Very sessionable.

Ommegang proves again that their "Belgian-style" isn't a joke. This is one of the best, if not the best, Belgian-style you can get without actually getting a plane ticket to Bruxelles. This is incredibly flavorful but subtle, sweet but finishes cleans, and plenty of Belgian yeasts to keep every sip interesting. Love this beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled into a chalice glass.

It has a beautiful redish golden amber color with amazing towering head that sticks around forever. Very good clarity and all around great looking beer.

Aroma is sweet and funky like a good Belgian should be. There is some fruity banana and yeast character too - all very pleasant.

Flavor is mild but full of flavor and complexities that are really enjoyable. There is certainly lots of fruit, some spice, and a nice sour twang at the end.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated but like on body. It feels thin but for something at 6.5% it's not bad at all. Starts sweet but ends very dry. Very drinkable.

This is quite easily one of the most complex and interesting beers under 7% I've ever had. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a hazy coppery amber coloration. There is a thick fluffy white head almost two inches thick. The head resolves itself into a one finger head. There is solid concrete like webs of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells very nice. The beer has a nice bready spicy yeasty smell. The malty sweetness plays well with a understated fruityness.

Taste: The beer has a nice intial peppery taste. The taste then breaks into a pleasing malty breadyness. Very well balanced and very tasty.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is meduim plus bodied. Very well balanced sweetness to spicyness. Just another dam fine beer from Ommegang.

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Photo of Morris729
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep reddish golden straw color with a beautiful frothy white head with excellent clinginess. The aroma is a light fruitiness of banana and citrus mixed with a malty sweetness. A lovely taste of green apples, honey, citrus, malt, and hops with a somewhat dry finish. It has a very crisp and refreshing feel in the mouth. This was an outstanding beer! And, it’s a great buy at $3.99 for a 750ml!

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Photo of Mao
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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 Ryan_Graham
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with one finger head that lasts throughout the drinking process. Solid lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer. A bit yeasty to the nose with a hint of fruit. Tastes great. I mean outstanding. The balance is almost perfect. It goes down smooth and ends with a fruity, hoppy finish. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired but the initial flavor is exceptional. Overall, this is an awesome beer. I would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

McCall said, in his review, that regular, as well as Cave-Aged, Rare Vos goes well with spicy foods, and it's a good thing, for I'm sampling as I dine on Ethiopian food, and you couldn't want spicier! (although tonight's meal is on the mild side)
There comes off the cage, now for the cork...POP!..and we pour...pale orangeish color, good-sized creamy head..aroma is fresh, yeasty, fruity, uplifting, and more character shines through, more sweet, candyish, even...distinctly sugary, and the perfect profile for a Belgian-style ale bent on delivering deliciusness!
Oh, yum...oh, delicious...thick, fruity, ...heavenly, chock full o' sweetness...malt, hops in perfect alignment to produce a divinely candyish, magnificent dessert beer...or dinner beer...or Happy-to-Be-Alive-Beer (and who doesn't need a copious amount of these?)
In all honesty, the work done in the cave was fairly minimal, for I've just now consumed a 750 of non-cave-cellared Rare Vos, though certainly ensconced in an uncaring store's aisle for many, many months, for what that's worth...and the difference is not too remarkable ...a bit mellower, perhaps...wonderful mouthfeel, dazzling hops...my appreciation continues to grow...bright fruit flavors continue, peach, apricot...not as transcendent as I'd hoped, not like my experience with the Cave-Aged Ommegang.
Still, despite that, a really nice beer...really, really nice...mmmmn, did I say nice? I meant niiiiiiice!
Big thanks to purplehops for providing this bottle!

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Photo of ordybill
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a bright orange with a large off white head. Thea aroma is full of fruit and yeast and is very nice. The taste is an excellent blend of orange, floral hops and some yeast. Overall, this is an outstanding beer.

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Photo of oss68
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Frothy white head with nice lacing ,nice amber color ,slightly hazy ,good carbonation, good balance of fruit and spice. Very drinkable ; overall this is just about an exceptional ale. I love the overall balance of all the ingredients. Yet another quality brew from ommegang

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Near fluorescent orange color, head is large, but fades fast.

Smell: Sweet, malty, orange peel, spices, belgian yeast funk, bread.

Taste: Taste is many layered, starting with big, sweet malt, going into a very powerful sitruc flavor, the a nice hops and alcohol finish. A light fruitiness and pleasent spiciness are also big parts of the flavor, very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Great, full and smooth, prickly carbonation, and slightly warm alcohol.

Drinkability: Very delicious and refined, I wish more brewers perfected their craft the way Ommegang has.

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Photo of tchenery
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer looks a dark orange color, but is very clear and sports a very nice frothy head. It smells sweet with slight malt scents.

The taste is of a nice amber beer. It is highly carbonated and the bubbles cut through a lot of the taste. It tastes slightly roasted, but very well balanced and definitely has a peppery spicy flavor to it on the back end. It is a very ineresting and very inviting brew.

The mouthfeel is exceptional. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this beer. It's up there with Hennepin in my opinion. This will probably be found in my fridge more frequently.

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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 gfreed
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful beer form Ommegang! The aroma that erupts both from the bottle and from the puffy, long-lasting head is full of bread, bananas, peaches, cloves and leaves. The color is a beautiful amber-mahogany, with a bit white head that settles down to about an inch and stays there. There's plenty of fruit in the taste, but the most striking thing to me was how smooth it was, and how rich it tasted down to the last drop. After the bottle was empty, I found myself breathing out of the top of bottle just so I wouldn't lose the smell of the beer. You won't go wrong with this, at any time of year.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,329 ratings.
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