Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,141 Reviews
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States | website

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: 1,141 | Ratings: 3,270
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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Photo of mschofield
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy strawberry-brown, topped with a one finger off-white crackling head, leaves partial sheets of lacing.
Fruity, sweet aroma, berries, bitter orange (curaco), fruit brandy.
Tastes of wheat, vanilla, curaco.
Medium bodied, feels higher in ABV than it is, not something I'd quaff down, or even buy that often, but it is interesting.

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

A - Mahogany orange in color. Head is thin and concentrated with teeny tiny bubbles. Somewhat cloudy. I only let it settle for 30mins or so. it was stored on it's side in the fridge.

S - Spicy, peppery, clove. Very strong phenolic fermentation characteristics. Apricot.

T - Very spicey. Some sourness from the phenols which are front and center. Fruits turned from smelling light to tasting like dark fruits. Very yeasty and musty.

M - Thin and dry. Very very carbonated.

O - A nice and aggressive amber belgian ale.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm always glad when a beer takes the time to explain its odd name or tell a story on the label. Rare Vos fits the bill and teaches a little Flemish as well.
Bright reddish color with neverending inch of creamy head and dusky transluscent body. Nose is fruity and spicy with hints of clove and alcohol.
For a pale Belgian there is a lot of alcohol and malt flavor but its not excessive or unpleasant. Not much spice or fruit either. A bit of a deeper taste than expected. Bubbly mouthfeel that is more delicate then you'd think for an ale carrying so much malt. Dry finish.
Unfortunately, whle not a bad beer, this is a little disappointing. For a Ommegang this is a boring beer.

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Photo of BBM
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a burnt orange color, cloudy, with a thin sudsy white head atop it. The aroma was fruity (apples) with a hint of cloves and other spices.

I wasn't overly impressed by this one, but it's not a bad brew. The apples and subtle spices hit up front, along with a nice amout of toasty malt. Bitterness is kept to a low, as expected. There's a slight warming alcohol in the finish. I'm a huge fan of Ommegang, but this beer was not up to par with their other efforts, in my opinion. Still, it's better than many other American takes on Belgian ales I've had.

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Photo of clvand0
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a moderate head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very fruity with some spices - smells promising. The flavor is much the same with the orange and the spices, but there is another fruit flavor in there that I don't think mixes well with the others. Just doesn't hit the palate well. The mouthfeel is on the low end of moderate and the drinkability is ok. I just don't care much for the flavor of this one.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this belgian pours initially with a five inch, but after sitting for a minute and a second pour, it calms down to an iced tea brown color witha a full finger of cream white head sitting atop it, plenty of busy carbonation keeps it afloat

S - a tart wheatiness with slight roasted characteristics and a definite alcohol aroma with some cloying fruity esthers, maybe apple. an up front bouquet, but not overpowering

T - nice bold flavor, wheaty and thick, like the aroma, quite tart slightly nutty, with faint appley hints, not afraid to show some flavor this beer, but not to the point of poignancy

M&D - thick and slightly chewy, but not syrupy, wheaty and yeasty, smooth, but quite tart yet still easy down

Ommegang brews a damn good Ameri-Belgian!

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Photo of KajII
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy dark amber with a large (2-3 finger) off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing.

The aroma was of straw malts, citrus hops and an earthy Belgian yeast with notes of banana, caramel, coriander and dark fruit (raisons and prunes).

The taste was lightly bitter with a hint of fruit and spices in the beginning with the finish being a tad bitter with a slight sweet malty flavor and a touch of caramel, maybe honey and very light citrus peel bitterness at the end. Flavor lasted an average time with a lightly sweet fruitiness pretty much left to lying on the taste buds after all else faded away.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was exquisitely tasty and quite well balanced, but everything this brewer puts out seems to be that way...


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Photo of GreenWBush
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't believe I haven't tried this yet alone reviewed it as Ommegang and Hennepin are beer-fridge staples.

Evacuates the large and attractively printed bottle crackling and noisy. Shaded pumpkin in color, Rare Vos produces a productive head that blossoms beautifully over my tulip glass. Lace appears before the first sip and sticks with a vengence all the way through.

The main thing to consider about this beer is the footprint of the typically overzealous Ommegang house yeast. To me, it tastes equal parts rotten oak and dried flowers with metallic and coppery aromas. Saddle leather. Biscuity. Eartiness and spice I usually enjoy in BPA's seem hidden underneath rotten apples and wicker baskets. Mild hop-prescence akin to squeezed grapes.

The taste is markedly cider-esque and bitey. Astringent over-steeped pekoe tea. Dry as all hell, and like drinking a blanket: cotton. Rotting apple flavor continues until the addition of the yeast which somehow really opens up the sweet malt flavors, which are luscious when you can find them.

Again, overcarbonatingly bitey with orange rings and cracked pepper. Almost puckering dryness aids drinkability.

Not particularly drinkable, I found it hard to consume this 750mL bottle which is strange considering the amazing Hennepin and Ommegang. Interestingly, my wife liked it much more than either of those two options.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange-ish color with a white head. Aromas of candied sugar and a Belgian yeast. In the taste, Belgiany sweet malt and a hint of corriander. A small bitter mouthfeeland a dry Belgian yeast aftertaste. Smooth and mellow, with a nice hop presence.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,141 ratings.
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