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 Shiloh
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice looking brew with a crown consisting of tightly knit bubbles of every size..The mountainous cling only adds to its desire.
Lively carbonation with a full body completes the picture.
Oddly, I found the aroma to be lacking of any substance with the exception of a slight graininess.
The taste was very nice but sweeter than anticapated. An abundance of fruits in a mish mash of flavour with a strong aftertaste.
The high ABV is also obvious in both the taste and nose.
To sweet for this hophead.

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Photo of Realale
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep hazy brass in color. Huge extremely fine and fluffy head settles slowly to a nice, fine, complete cap.

Nose is slightly rummy, with a lot of volatile fruit, especially pear, and just a hint of banana.

Palate is surprisingly simple and a bit watery. There is some malt, with a subtle clove/phenol note. The fruit is there again, with pear leading the parade, and banana making a fleeting appearance. Decent length, and easy to quaff, but there's just not a lot there. A disappointing performance for a beer from this fine brewery. I'll have to pick up another bottle to see if mine was representative.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into my new Duvel tulip glass

Pours a nice cloudy orangey amber with a big fluffy one and a half white head that bubbles down to a cap in a few minutes, there is a solid cookie yeasty funk but really nothing else, the taste is much like the smell with spicy yeast and a bit of fresh red apple with a suprisingly alcoholic finish, the mouth feel is rather loose and watery and rather insubstantial. The drinkablity is smooth and easy but not what I was expecting from this style of beer at all.

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Photo of njmoons
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another quality beer for Brewery Ommegang.

Pours a golden brow with a big resliant head.

Smell and Taste are a quality belgian ale with all the subtle flavors of quality Belgian Ales.

I would be happy to have a Rare Vos at anytime, but on the other hand there is not much to distinguish this from other quality Belgian ales.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with good clarity and about 1 finger of white head. Big big banana flavor a little watery but kind of full in body at the same time. Slightly flat. Some deeper malts, underlying notes of caramel. Works well with the banana and clove. Pretty unique, kind of like a Belgian amber ale. Flavors are well blended, simple yet just complex enough to stay interesting. Finishes clean, lingering subtle banana after taste. This beer could use some body work though, the flavors could definitely hold up to a touch more carbonation.

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Photo of djsmith1174
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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 HopHeadKen
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Conditioned; Pours cloudy carmel brown with creamy ivory head of small, medium and large bubbles. Good carbonation.

Smell is malty, no hop aroma is perceptible.

First taste is sweet fruity malt; the sweetness contains hints of carmel & plums.
Smooth without any harshness or hop bitterness right through to the end.

I like it, and will probably have another in the future.

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Photo of Winter
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rare Vos pours copper in color with shades of peach. Soapy, off-white head. Aroma has hints of malt, Belgian yeast, some spiciness, candied sugar and an ale fruitiness to it. The mouthfeel is medium in body with sharp carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Very complex taste for an amber. Subdued maltiness with a spicy middle. Yeast give the middle a uniqueness that's hard to describe. Ale fruitiness emerges toward the back and leads into a mineral/seltzer-like finish.

I enjoyed this, but it wasn't quite as malty as I was expecting. Still it was a good beer, and a nice Belgian take on the amber style. I have a feeling Rare Vos would pair even better with food than by itself.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear amber with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked brown bottle
6.5% abv

Rare Vos was amber in color and hazy. It had a nice off-white head with good retention and lacing. The smell was fruity yeast and malt aromas. The taste was fruity and well with some mild pepper and spices. The finish was dry and fruity. The mouthfeel was just above average with a thin body and medium-high carbonation. Drinkability was also above average. This is a fairly good beer, but needs more body in my opinion.

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Photo of rangerred
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy medium amber with a thick rocky two finger head. You can definitely tell it was bottle conditioned.

Aroma has loads of Belgian spicyness from bubblegum, to banana, to clove. Has a certain yeast character as well.

The flavor continues the spicy, yeasty character with clove and bubblegum. Decent malt backbone and a slightly sticky finish.

Overall, a decent but not spectacular beer. I would like to revisit it sometime, though.

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Photo of DIM
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a bright, shiny golden copper color. It poured with a mediym sized, firm, fizzy cap that left thick sheets of lace in its wake. Lots of suspended particulate as well.

s: Mellow, musty pot-pourri spiced, stewed dark fruits. Mild banana and some clove.

t: Mineral-y biscuits, strongly spiced dried fruit. All very nice so far. The finish is kind of heavy though; lots of clove, nutmeg, and allspice.

m: All of the spice character makes the same kind of heavy.

o: Good, but among my couple of least favorites from Ommegang.

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Photo of sstackho
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a nice cloudy dark copper with decent head, but only some lacing. Aroma is spicy and yeasty - kind of like a hefeweizen. First taste is tangy and spicy. Further tastes continue with the spice dominating. It's a nice flavour, though perhaps not overly complex.

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Photo of TenSpoons
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Amber (not so shocking), clear, huge head, nice lace

Smell - Belgian yeast, coriander

Taste - Carmel malts, malty, slight alcohol, moderately bitter

Mouthfeel - High carbonation but still a little creamy

Drinkability – I would have another, but wouldn't seek this beer out.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottles poured into a wine glass.

Pours a ruby color with no head. Has a nice hoppy and sweet aroma.

Taste is somewhat sweet and a bit malty. Nice and sharp with a bit of hoppiness and some good thick flavors, overall pretty decent but not one of my favorites from Ommegang.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper-red with a soft medium head that dies down to a persistent film. Lots of lace.

Raisin, caramel, toffee, and Belgian yeast combine to nice effect in both taste and smell.

Finish is a touch spicy.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bell's tulip on 10/14/12

Pkg on 01/20/12
Best by 01/2013

The color is a robust golden amber with a good deal of haziness. The head is massive, taking up several inches of the glass. The foam collapses slow, becoming uneven. Large patches of lace.

The aroma strikes me as odd, like a uncomfortable blend of light fruits, soap and perfume. Apple butter and a mix of fruit jams. Spicy citrus rind. Hints of grass. Smells floral as it warms.

Rare Vos lead off with a kick - near tart fruit and a healthy dose of hops. Notes of ripe oranges and apples. Faint spritzes of spice mingle with the zesty hops and prairie grass tones. Toasted grains and soft breads are supportive without coming to prominence. Yeasty at times.

The feel matches the liveliness of the hops and such. Medium-light body with ample carbonation. The finish is rather clean; just a few residuals linger.

I was a little concerned about how the aroma started off, but Rare Vos has come together nicely. Yet another Ommegang beer I've waited too long to try.

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Photo of Chessmaster
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Large, white, creamy head which very slowly dissipates to a white crown about half an inch in thickness. Some lacing, slightly cloudy amber/brown color

S: Not much aroma

T: Watered down Belgian dubbel-like taste. Underwhelming, primarily caramel malt taste with some hints of Belgian yeast flavor profile

M: A bit on watery side. Bottle says they were going for a session ale, so that could be why

O: A drinkable and pleasant beer, but forgettable

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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Has a mild yeasty aroma. Taste of spices and yeast, good flavored. Feels creamy in the mouth. Goes down very easily, I could enjoy these all evening. Overall this beer makes a fine choice.

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

Just enough flavor to not disappoint me, but I was hoping for something much more unique. This is a great brewery and I've never been disappointed by their beer, but this one didn't meet my expectations. It's medium bodied verging on light and has some fruit flavors almost like an apple, a dry apple. Not very sweet at all. Good amount of carbonation. It is really smooth and drinkable and could be a great session beer. I like this beer, I was just hoping it would be even better.

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

Purchased in California and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a hazed, slightly amber orange colour, with a full and frothy head, initially. This settles to a half-centimetre of fine off-white foam, leaving minimal lacing. Body is quite light. Not a bad look.

Nose is fragrant with organic Belgian notes, but also rather sharp, with a zesty carbonation whack livening up the palate. Hint of caramel grains and a touch of earthiness. All up, it's nice, but it's a little too sharp, and a little less powerful than I like.

Taste is clean and light, with vigorous carbonation that makes the palate smart. Pleasant mild Belgian phenols giving a cleansing sharpness, with a suggestion of acidity on the back. Quite light on flavour, and where it is, it's not the round sweetness I expect, but it's pleasant and drinkable.

It's a good beer, but in my opinion not a great beer. It's pleasant, light, drinkable and quite sessionable for its 6.5%. The characters are pleasant enough, but it doesn't really do anything exceptional.

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

Having tried some of Ommegang's other brews, I am hopeful this one live up to the high standards of the other brews. This brew pours a murky orange (not quite amber), very carbonated with champagne-like bubble streams rising to the top. Aroma is light grapes, a tad citrusy and some other fruits; not overwhelming like some other Belgian ales, reminds me of Chimay red. Taste is light and fruity, but a bit thin for my taste and this style; nothing really stands out on the palate. Drinkable and light, but again, thin.

I was a little disappointed in this brew as compared with some of Ommegang's other offerings. Not a bad brew, but I would rate 3 Philosophers and Hennepin well above this brew.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with active carbonation, minimal head and little lacing. Scent is of sweet carmel malts, hints of nuts, apple and banana whiffs with a touch of spice. Taste is mostly the sweet carmel malts with touches of toffee, some fruit flavors present include the apple, banana, touch of cherry, a touch of white bread and only a kiss of peppery spice. Slightly muddled tasting. Lighter side of medium bodied, slight lingering sweetness. A slightly complex beer that comes across as muddled instead of flavroful.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is tart and powdery with lemongrass splashes and grainy goodness.

Pours a caramel color with yellow highlights, moderately hazy, mild head. Nice yeast cake on bottom (of which some got into my 2nd poor, hazing it completely up).

Highly malty, moderately sweet, nicely citric (lemongrass), and floral, herbal, and grassy notes. Roasted malt and sugar take center stage. Strait-up unfettered malt with its grainy sweetness is prominent, followed by caramel. Lots of lemongrass with hints of orange peel. Sweet and creamy, soft and approachable. Mild floral/fruity hop notes. Tart yeastiness, peppery spicy, slightly bitter. Medium-thin body, mildly stinging carbonation.

This beer leaves me fairly neutral, but reading through other's reviews it is clear that many hold Rare Vos in much higher regards than I can understand. To my palate this never materialized as a life-altering scrumptious beer. On one hand it's just another Belgian-influenced ale lacking the oomph, the complexity, the tight balance that makes a good beer great, and yet on the other it is a good solid ale. Nothing special.

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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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