Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,153 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,153 | Ratings: 3,313
Photo of KHarz
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer overall. As I'm not a huge fan of belgian beers in general, I enjoyed the fact that Rare Vos was extremely well balanced in terms of keeping the sugary Belgian flavors to a pleasant minimum. I didn't feel overwhelmed by these sugars and felt that they were kept in check by a pleasant level of carbonation.

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Photo of theklep
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great Americanized version of the Belgian. I like that its an amber and has great mouthfeel. It is a full beer without the fullness in the stomach feel. This is by far one of the best American recreations of the Belgian.

The carbonation is just right, many Belgians are over carbonated, and tend to taste sharper than they should. The alcohol is masked so well that 6.5% is mind blowing for how light and refreshing the beer truly is. I must say this is was a great pickup on my part and I will buy again.

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Photo of indytim
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I like this beer a lot. Creamy head, just the right body, strong enough that you know you've had some but not overdone like Three Philosophers. Just a tad on the sweet side, compared to true Belgians, but that's a quibble. This is one of my favorite beers, and it's almost always available locally in my small city.

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Photo of thepassingofdays
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a- dark amber, reddish tint. Poured a 750ml into a glass, not much head

s- spicy smell, complex and intriguing.

t- very complex taste, very enjoyable. Unlike the majority of beers I've had.

m- tingly, I like that about some beers, especially when they have high carbonation.

d- very good beer, I had it last night with BBQ and it was an excellent compliment.

Another winner from Ommegang!

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Photo of joezak5
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; cloudy dark orange copper, almost fog-like bubbles up the middle. Little retention, good sipping lacing.

Smell: I ignored instructions and shook out every drop of yeast. My nose was rewarded with a beautifully nutty and peppery yeast bouquet. Some hoppy citrus is the background, but mainly a floral yeast aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very light and bubbly in the mouth, fruity and sweet.

Taste: Beautiful spicy yeast flavors with some chewy orange and lemon on the swallow. Very well balanced with alcohol well hidden. Spicy cloves on the finishing exhale.

Drinkability: Light, crisp and balanced. This one always leaves you wanting another. I bought as a single but well definitely pick up a 4 pack next time I'm out. This is exactly what I've wanted as something light; I'm stunned how good this is for the prices of $7 for a 4 pack.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; hazy yellow-brown. Thick and creamy white head. Great retention, with sparce, yet delicate lacing.

smell; hints of spicy hops and fermented plums. Some yeasty notes that blend nicely with honey coated oats.

taste; upfront, very fresh water and yeast. Some very spicy flavors, almost like rye. Finishes with rich cereal grain sweetness. A hint of rustic sourness in there as well.

mouthfeel; very sticky and slick. Froathy and creamy body. The slightest bit of sourness, leaves a mild tart puckering feel in the mouth.

drinkability; a smooth drink, well balanced and pleasant. Drink and enjoy!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Third time trying to type this review without my computer crashing. Damn technology.

Pours a rich and shiny amber in color with a thick head and lots of layered lace. Aroma is all lemon, sugars and spices. Mouthfeel is very light and pleasant. Went well with my salmon, lemon, taragon and pepper grilling concoction. Very drinkable, I had to pace myself or I was gonna finish before I was done eating. Flavor is at first sweet malts and sugars, but balanced nicely with smoothj hops and the yeast provides great antecedent flavors to the beer.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice looking bottle, packaged like a champagne bottle. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a hazy yellow-amber color with a frothy foamy head. Smell is mostly of amber malt, a slight hop profile and very slight tinge of alcohol; perhaps some small amount of spice. Taste is initially sweet of the amber malt, a slight metallic taste, followed by a hoppy, sort of dry finish. Mouthfeel is thick with carbonation, but the beer is rather light and goes down very smooth. Overall, this is definitely a drinkable beer and worth trying.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours gorgeous amber color, with 2 fingers of fluffy head. Really great looking beer.

Aroma is a delicate balance between spicy yeast and a syrupy, toasted malt. Maybe some toasted grain and caramel, but the sweet malt and yeast dominate the aroma.

Taste is extremely complex. Definitely not a classic American amber ale. Super smooth beer. It reminds me of a Hennepin with more malt. Carbonation and malt sweetness start the sip, with the malt remaining gently present throughout the sip. The yeast comes through more toward the middle-end of the sip; it tastes like the classic, spicy ommegang yeast. The end is where I get the added flavors. In particular, I primarily get the orange peel, but the grains of paradise may have melded with the spicy yeast and the general citrusy finish.

Overall, another fantastic offering from ommegang. For those who love Hennepin, this reminds me of a malt forward version. Still, this beer is extremely light and refreshing with copious amounts of spice, carbonation, and complexity. I see this pairing well with a five-spice seared duck breast with Bok Choy, or another dish utilizing rather warm, earthy spices. It gets a 91.5/100.

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

Pours a hazy amber with active carbonation. Wonderful off-white head - fluffy, creamy, clingy and lasts. Leaves behind some lace. Very appealing to look at.

Fruity aroma along with some toasted grain, sweet malt, and spice - clove and pepper. Slight mustiness, and a dose of yeast.

Sweet malt, fruit, and biscuit flavors upfront. Green apple and banana mingle with zesty spice and notes of funky yeast. A bit peppery with subtle grassy hops. Finishes slightly dry with lingering yeast flavors.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Smooth and slick on the tongue.

So easy to drink, and excellent paired with food. Very versatile - good with a hot ham sandwich or Thanksgiving dinner. Definitely a beer to always have on hand - drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured into a Belgian glass, had to stop to keep the head from going over. Bubbly stuff! It settles down and leaves a think plug of foam in the center. I'll drink around it... leaves thick ropy lacing on the glass.

Aroma - spicy, peppery, some banana and clove aromas emanating from the yeast, somewhat hefe-like.

Taste - a fine taste experience. Medium malt based, a whole lotta bubbles, a fruity and yeasty flavor takes over, developing into some sourness. A restrained hop element just to wrap things up, though the sourness kind of lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - very active and lively in the mouth. The high carbonation level gives it a very crisp feel and the well-pronounced flavors maintain themselves anyway for a superb balance.

Drinkability - delicious enough to drink everyday and about as affordable. Well done by Ommegang.

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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 T100Mark
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Cool label.

Appearance - Burnt orange color. Hazy. A big, foamy, lumpy head with great retention. A handsome brew!

Smell - Sour. Fruity. Spicy. Wow!

Taste - Initially, I tasted sweet (melon) and sour. This is followed by a rich, smooth malt flavor. The finish is spicy (think peppercorns). Awesome!

Mouth - Smooth yet zesty.

Overall - Ommegang OH My God! Watch out Belgium. A wonderfully complex ale. I would elaborate but I have to go back to the store and buy some more.

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Photo of mikeinportc
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Smells of the typical Ommegang brew, with an estery banana-clove-circus peanut(candy )smell. Pours a coppery orange. Almost glows. Orangey-off-white generous head. Typical amber ale malty flavor, + spice,citrus, and just enough hop bitterness to give a little pleasant bite on the finish. Moderately heavy mouthfeel. You know something is there. Some days this seems damn near perfect, though even on the off days , it's better than 95% of anything I've ever had. A great beer, & an all-time favorite. :)

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Photo of mdvatab
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had been wanting to try this one for a long time, but for some reason did not want to take the plunge and buy it in the larger bottle format. I stumbled upon a 12oz bottle at Jungle Jim's in Cincy during a beer run, and was finally able to pull the trigger...

Poured from 12oz bottle (dated 2/4/11) into chalice.

Aroma: Simple, yet wonderful. Clove, banana, and caramel.

Appearance: Clear, light iced tea-like color to the body. Three-finger, fluffy off-white head hangs around for quite a while, and a thick snake of foam clings to the inside of the glass after several drinks.

Flavor: Mirrors the aroma, but the clove, banana, and caramel come into even greater focus. There's also an even floral note, as well as a very soft cereal grain note leading up to a clean finish. Enjoyable sweet, but not cloying in the least.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation gives a slight bite to the palate. Medium body. Absolutely nothing here that misses the mark.

Overall: Fantastic all the way around! The beer is alive from the time it hits the glass. Although I stop the pour well before the head reaches the rim of the glass, it expands and begs to overflow each time. Highly recommended. I certainly won't be shying away from the 750ml version of this next time...

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Huge, foamy, off-white head on top of a hazy, amber body filled with torrents of fast-paced carbonation. Head retention is great and lacing is nice, but slips down quickly.

S- Belgian yeast funk and flowers up-front with a hint of caramel and herb.

T- Very complex and yet smooth and clean. The sweet malts come on first with flavors of honey and caramel. Fruity, floral, and funky flavors in the background.

M- Extra light body and effervescent carbonation make for a sparkling effect in the mouth.

D- A really effective brew with the perfect combination of complexity and smooth drinkability.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Demcorhip sent me this for CanBIF 4, thanks friend!!

Alright, a medium amber ale, forthy head dissipates down to a lazy film, some lacing.

Aroma of belgian ale, yeasty, earthy and fuity-candy esters. Flavor very much like aroma, a delicious ale, very drinkable. Some plum, apricot and spice in the flavor.

Exellent! American breweries can be proud of thier belgian style ales!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My first and only Ommegang ale, needed to drink this before my flight tomorrow. Wish I could have waited but that's how these things go.

Look : Pours a colossal rocky stark white head of 4+ fingers, and a light amber glow bordering on blonde for the body. 80% transparency. Fluffy globs of head left behind once the head recedes.

Smell : Wow. Tons of fresh oranges. Spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Banana and bubblegum. This is a wonderful aroma.

Taste : Lots of belgian spiciness, with pale malts, a balanced hop character, and oranges. Ends with a nice breadiness.

Feel : Creamy, large, filling. Moderate carbonation. Ends semi dry and tart.

Overall : Easily the best Belgian Pale/Amber I've had. Very impressive. Glad I could have this one.

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Photo of putnam
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a smell! Carnival spun sugar, baked granulated sugar coated deepfried pastries coated in caramel and bananas...disciplined, coffee cream-flavored yeast. Sweet, right?
Actually it's pretty dry on the palate. There is a chalky, yeasty slice of powdered coriander and glazed meats. Dehydrated banana peels and dehydrated citrus peel are stitched throughout the voluptuosly large body. A bit Frankenstein-like...a bit engineered, but impressive.

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Photo of droomyster
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, deep orange that almost glows like an ember, with a nice tan head with decent retention. Its aromas are interesting. It smells very minerally, almost beachy, with light, fruity ethers reminiscent of apricots, and a pleasant, natural yeastiness. The fact that all of these aromas are present and yet all very subtle makes this beer very intriguing. I've become accustomed to Belgian-style ales practically smacking me in the nose and jarring my tongue with their intensity but this beer does none of those things. Rare Vos has a lot of finesse. Its flavors are complex yet gentle. Its fruity notes range from peaches and apricots to sour strawberries. Its bitterness is best described as unripened fruit rather than "citrusy," "piney," "earthy" or what have you. Finishes dry and leaves you excited for the next sip. This is another extremely good ale by Ommegang.

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Photo of ricke49
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Such a pleasant Belgian style ale. And pleased to find in 12 oz bottle with tasteful graphics. Spiced just right, so as to not be distracting; Alcohol level perfect; appearance is classic with deep Amber color and mature head. Good as a sipper - or as a quencher. Great domestic rendition of traditional Belgian style.

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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 assurbanipaul
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear caramel color with a solid half-inch head. Aroma is light, sugary and lemony with just a touch of mustiness. A thick layer of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle -- but the beer remains sparkling clear.

Taste is sweet pale malt followed by some light candy sugar. The sugary bits are not overpowering and are tempered with white pepper flavors and a nice yeasty element. Hints of lemon, white grapes, maple syrup and just a touch of pine. With all this sweetness, it still manages to finish dry and with just a memory of hops.

Mouthfeel is very light, very clean. Well done for a Yankee micro, would stand up well to any native Belgian pale. I could definitely session a few of these.

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

Big frothy off white head subside to a clinging cream coloured lace. Mild haze from the yeast, looks nearly clear with a pale copper hue. Fruity, estery and spicy aroma with hints of ripe plum and an earthy blend of anise, clove, nutmeg and citric zest. Dry malt palate that taste like a toasted multigrain cracker, big crisp mouth feel and a moderate body. Bitterness from the hops is noticeable. Estery with a slight peppery phenolic character that goes towards coarse and medicinal in the finish. The finish is dry and grain with residual phenols. Paired very well with whole grain crackers and aged hunters cheddar.

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

Many thanks to BeerLovinGrl for a great trade.

The color is a cloudy, coppery amber. A big, soapy, thick white head eventually dissipates and leaves some moderate lacing in patches. Carbonation is lively and some yeast sediment settles on the bottom of the bottle. This is a pretty brew.
Malt, grains and a light yeast are strong on the nose with a great complexity. No weaker are aromas of cloves and other spices with some light fruit and citrus notes.
The taste is even more complex. Hops bitterness is not dominant by any means but perfectly complimentary and always lingering behind a malt sweetness backing. Further complimenting the balance and complexity are a variety of gentle spices and a nice, light peppery bite, along with yeast, earthy grains, and citrus undertones. A nicely lingering finish is fairly dry with underlying grains and even sweetness.
This one is medium-bodied with a much creamier mouthfeel than I expected that somehow remains crisp at the same time.
This is simply a fantastic brew and one I'm thrilled to have been able to try since I can't get much Ommegang here.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,313 ratings.
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