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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,145 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: 1,145 | Ratings: 3,290
Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful carbonation as I would expect from an Ommegang beer. This one is very similar to a hefeweizen. The smell is spicy yeast with some light fruits and banana. Maybe some.very faint peanut also. The taste follows with a nice tasty finish. yb

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a Lazy dog.
slightly hazy medium golden color with a huge bubbly frothy off white head that takes forever to recede. Clove and spice lay heavy on the nose with some faint bready maltiness. The flavor is sweet bready malt light earthy big clove and peppery spice. Well made beer, but its a bit heavy on the clove and spice for my tastes.

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Photo of brentk56
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: It doesn't take much to raise the head on this beer and I should have expected as much from Ommegang: a full three fingers caps the hazy copper colored liquid; excellent retention and lacing action

Smell: Spice cake, cinnamon, fig and caramel tones

Taste: Caramel, cinnamon and fig forward, with peppery spice and yeast phenols building through the middle; Belgian spicing builds, through the finish creating a hot, gingery sensation

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly overcarbonated

Overall: Pretty decent brew from Ommegang; not sure why they market this as an Amber given all that style descriptor connotes

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmmmm. I love me some Ommegang brews but I'm a bit confused by this beer. I'm a Belgian beer freak, so I've had my fair share of good Belgian brews. It seems like this beer is trying to be more "Americanized" due to the hops. The beer is quite malty, there is no doubt about that but its the hops that throw me off. I'm not a big fan of bitters, and while this beer has a low IBU rating of about 21, the backend of this beer has something that confuses me (the taste of those hops).

The person that poured this beer for me totally F'd it up. There was like a 8 finger head. It felt like all of the carbonation was gone. I think I need to try this again. As of right now I can't say that I'm a huge fan of this beer, but I think the pouring of the brew could have significantly changed it. I think all of the carbonation was gone when I took my first sip. It tasted flat. I think it smells great, looks good, but the taste was a little off to me. I might have to try it again.

EDIT: Definitely drink this beer on the warmer side. I was drinking it very cold but when I let it sit all of the spices come out and the hops aren't as pronounced. I'm glad I let it sit. That's the way this is meant to be drank.

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Photo of mikeinportc
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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 Libeertarian
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 06/21/16:

Semi-clear copper-amber with gelatinous suspended haze. Fluffy tannish white head of good retention. Vegetation, yeast, apple or pear, booze, vinegar, chemicals on the nose. Typical Belgian Pale Ale palate, spicy yeast and herbal and metallic hop character, light fruity, tangy malt. Fruit is mostly apple/pear. Medium-bodied, loads of fine carbonation, ranging from suds to cream and velvet, fairly warm.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD 11/20/16. Clear copper pour when decanted. Massive world class head volume, lacing and retention.

Quite outstanding nose of light airy soft fruit (pear, apple, plum) with a touch of clove underneath over a base of grainy biscuit with a touch of caramel, subtly sweet.

Almost heavy medium body that is quite smooth and slightly slick. Superb carbonation / body balance with a mildly effervescent middle and a slightly prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. As it warms, clove becomes quite pronounced. Otherwise, it is subtly sweet with light fruit notes that shine from the slightly sweet middle on. True bitterness is functionally absent with a spicy mix (clove, nutmeg, pepper) taking its place. Underneath is a subtle grainy base that delivers just enough sweetness to balance but not obscure. The finish is a slow fade of spices that is subtly sweet.

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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 Oliver_Twist
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had Rare Vos in the tasting room at Ommegang. Clearly, of the 4 or 5 other Ommegang beers that were sampled, Rare Vos was the winner by nearly everyone in the tasting session (Three Philosophers was a close second). Deep yellow to amber in color; Belgian yeast, orange and coriander aromas; smooth with alcohol well hidden. Extremely drinkable and very enjoyable!

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Photo of KevCan
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Look: Golden yellow, slightly hazy, with a large frothy off-white head.

Smell: Pleasant smell of Belgian yeast, lots of orange.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, not too sweet. Malty with noticeable happiness.

Feel: Medium body and highly carbonated.

Overall: Very good beer! Eminently drinkable.

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Photo of gautch726
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a large, light, frothy head. Almost whipped it's so fine. This is a fruity, flavorful beer without a lot of hops or malts getting in the way of the different flavors. Spiced oranges with a good amount of carbonation. A beer for a goodhearted celebration in warm weather. Entertaining.

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Photo of jeffdr123
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

At World of Beer with Wayne, talking businesses. Like all Ommegang beers, it's layered and spicy. Light without being boring. Even better as it warms.

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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 Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Of the five beers that I've had most frequently from Ommegang, this seems is the second most that I like with the main meal (Hennepin is a close first.)
Excuse the digression from taste talk...
But I want to say that Duvel made a good purchase of what still may be the best American craft brewer focussed on Belgian styles, but I note that Ommegang's labels changed after the purchase and not for the better. A bit too much hyperbole. I prefer a simple label (like Duvel's) that allows the beer to speak for itself.

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Photo of stevoj
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ginger Man. Unassuming appearance, toffee nose, leads into gooey caramel and toffee taste with hints of Belgian yeast. Finishes fast, but this ones all about the flavor. Sly, indeed.

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Photo of GStone899
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clean n refreshing smell with citrus and coriander. Definitely a sweet smell but not overpowering. Beautiful golden look with an absolutely great taste. Clean n refreshing amber ale. Could drink this all day.

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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 PatrickCT
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into...what else?...a Rare Vos cafe pint glass.

a: Copper amber body with a slight juice-like haze. 2 finger cream colored merange head.

s: Sweet malts and honey in the nose, golden raisins, plums, soft cooked spices.

t: Roasted, bready malts with a sweetness like cooked honey, a grassy, grainy dryness, spicy esters and just enough bitterness from the hops.

mf: One the fuller side of medium bodied. Nice carbonation has a tingling effect with the alcohol.

o: The best amber ale there is.

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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 Tank880
3.34/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I submit I am not a Belgian beer fan. However, I appreciate good balanced and tasteful beers. This brewery makes many wonderful beers and this beer is no exception. Bouquet is wonderful, and the taste from start to finish is very nice. If you ever get the chance to visit brewery, I highly recommend it- it is such a beautiful place. Cheers

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L-A towering 2 inch head appears on the initial pour which I have to rescue from overflowing the glass. A lovely caramel coloring with spotty lacing.
S- soft bready malts dominate. Upon secondary examination I am able to separate the phenols of the Belgian yeast.
T- The malt is the foremost flavor with a hint of fruity yeast in the finish.
F- High level of carb lends to the light, prickly, and dry mouthfeel of the brew. I am really digging this right now.
O- Lighter, dryer, and cleaner than a lot of other ambers. I'm sufficiently impressed to want this as a fridge staple.

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Photo of stompilator
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. glass, into a tulip.

A - Pours a golden orange, pillowy, off-white head.

S - Yeast spice, seeds, a bit of lemongrass, and a touch of noble hops.

T - The estery, spicy, slightly soapy yeast character evolve out of the front palate, dominating the flavor. The added spices and a bit of caramel malt become more apparent as the palate progresses, as the yeast takes a subtle phenolic turn. The delicate malts hang on the tongue, but the finish is mostly of phenols and spice.

M - Medium-light body, active carbonation but definitely appropriate.

O - Comes off as an amber saison to me. Very nice and delicate.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper in color with a huge foamy head atop the beer.

A fruity, white grape aroma dominates the smell.

Flavor: Cloves, pepper, yeast, something herbal, overripe apricots.

Heavily carbonated. Refreshing and crisp. Some alcohol is noticed as well, at least more than I usually expect from 6.5%.

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Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice beer, but tasted more like a Belgian than an amber. Heavy on the Belgian yeasts, but very expertly crafted. If looking for a nice Belgian, this would fit the bill pretty well.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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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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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,290 ratings.
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