Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,143 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: 1,143 | Ratings: 3,281
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly murky butterscotch. The massive head is ecru in color with a yellowish tint and looks to have the consistency of an excellent lace maker. Fooled again; an underwhelming number of smallish chunks end up on the glass while a stiff mesa of foam sits defiantly in the center of the glass, refusing to fall lower than a few fingers.

Clove is the first aroma that I notice, but there are others present as well, including fermented apples and pears with an underlying mustiness, hay and a hint of white pepper. The beer has a pleasant flavor with a mild sourness and a clove-like yeastiness that marks it as a Belgian. Or in this case, a Belgian-style ale.

The spicy fruitiness lasts the longest, but isn't as supported as it could be due to the light body. For that reason, Rare Vos is more subtle than many of its style brethren. It fades from modestly sweet early to modestly dry late and leaves the palate clean. The light, airy, well-carbonated mouthfeel makes drinking easy and burping frequent.

I like Rare Vos marginally more than I liked 'Ommegang squared', but it isn't great beer in my mind. It isn't overly complex and the flavor profile doesn't push my buttons all that hard. I'm still glad that I gave it a try.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label Lore: Flemish for "sly fox" and proper pour instructions. 6.5% ABV 750 mL. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brabant Ale.

Perfect pour into a Hennepin tulip with golden orange slightly hazy hues and about a foot of antique white head that sticks to the glass like it was glued there. Head cap was Jupiter sized and went nowhere for about half an hour. Champagne bubbles rise up endlessly.

As with all OMMEGANG offerings, yeasty scents and sweet malts, but this one is a twinge narrower than other OMMs. It's good tho' dont get me wrong.

First swigs: Foamy vanilla cake. Candied fruits of plums, cherries, and peaches with a citrous blend of lemons and spiciness of cloves and coriander. Yeatiness abounds. Aftertaste is of dry malty finish.

Foamy carbonation "embiggens" the medium body. The second pour is begging to be spent. Well drinkable and lasting.

Last swigs: Liquid vanilla cake like Grandma makes followed by citrousy aftertaste. Almost a Witbeer. That cork was stuck in this puppy, requiring a wine cork opener! The airiness is what qualifies this to be a Belgian Ale. Like drinking air. No awl-kee-hawl detection. First Belg Pale Ale reviewed.

Beer is good. Happy Belgian style American beering.

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Photo of jvajda
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep brown red earthy color and large frothy head. Very appealing.
Smell: A little bit of a chapstick sort of smell. That's the best way for me to describe it. A little alcohol in there as well.
Taste: The flavor of this beer is slow to develop but very rewarding if you're patient. It has a subtle start that blossoms into wine-like acidity and grape undertones. It's finish slowly fades to dryness. A very dynamic beer for sure, but also a little too simple.
Mouthfeel: Good feel and carbonation, just like a Belgian should have.
Drinkability: It's good, but after one, I'm ready to move on.

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Photo of ken3c
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper with a big poofy head that stays around awhile. The server at Zingerman's Roadhouse apologized for pouring it wrong but I instructed her that a proper pouring requires patience for this style. Sheets of lace are left on the glass.

There are aromas of citrus and malt. Very enjoyable.

Sweet, spicy, fruity/melon, banana tastes with a clean but fruity finish.

Foamy. Medium body.

I'll have this again. My wife liked it too so I should stock it.

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Photo of TongoRad
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a quickly dissipating head and large bubbles. Hazy.

Good aroma of fruit (banana) caramel and spices. Promises more than the beer delivers.

Restrained maltiness with sufficient hop bitterness and a dry caramel finish. It is not overpowering and built for enjoying a few at a time.

This is a nicely complex and refined beer, just needs a bit more 'oomph' to push it to the next level.

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Photo of KoG
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the bottle a hazy, burnt orange creating a HUGE amount of head that became chunky and cavernous below with a creamy top that very slowly disappeared.

The smell was actually rather disappointing to me, not as much as I had expected. Fruity and doughy with a distinct yeast backbone.

The taste was rather pleasant until the botom where it became slightly atringent. Somewhat of a marshmallow flavor with a hint of citrus that fades into a slightly bitter bite and ends with the taste of sourdough.

Mouthfeel was great. Nice and creamy with carbonation that tickles the tongue and a little bit of the roof of the mouth.

As far as drinkability goes, I'm not too sure if I could drink the whole 750mL bottle, gets a little sour after a bit but overall not too bad for $3.99.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy brownish gold colour topped with a medium sized head set this beer up for a first sip. This is a refined beer that doesn't scream Belgian but rather whispers it in the ear. very drinkable and at 6.5% abv, almost sessionable. This is the one true drinking beer from Ommegang where the rest of their lineup is strictly sipping.

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Photo of rousee
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 4's here could be 4.5's in any of the categories. I would rather be tough than easy. I went to the brewery over Labor day weekend and it was the only place I visited in Cooperstown that was too busy. It mattered not as the tour/ the people and place were excellent. Their beers are all fairly complex like most Belgian beers but these guys are Belgian style beer not Belgian beer. I was a little disappointed that they had been bought out by Duvel but the tour guide did make it seem like they were now able to afford to do things that they couldn't have in the past.

The rare vos pours a very nice amber honey gold and forms a beautiful floral scented -wine-champagne- like head of 2-3 fingers. Takes a while to settle too which I think is a testament to this bottling method and this bottling method helping freshness after being popped and it also helps the beer improve as it ages. Freshness is extremely important to me but I can sense this could be better after sitting for a while in storage.
The nose is fruity grapes and currants but very mild of these. I am revising my score cuz the nose here is so pleasant. Has a little bit of honey and molasses to the nose also but it breaks fairly clean with one negative -- a little too bubbly.
The taste is malty fruit honey--nice grapes and currants with some berries. Dry and slight smokey finish. Doesn't have much middle.
The mouthfeel is excellent too. This is not really my favorite style but I think the rare vos may be one of Ommegang's best. Oh yeah another dangerous one on the drinkabilty- too easy to have more than a couple.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color of a red cloud. A biege head came and went quickly, leaving almost nothing. Slightly hazy. Yellow in the thin parts. Nose is very spicy alcohol. Very estery- very tart on the tongue, very dry finish with a lingering tartness. Drinkiability OK, but i would like to try again.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Too dry!

I know this yeast strain. It's an authentic strain that originates from a Trappist Brewery in Belgium. It attenuates very well, and takes a long time to flocculate completely. As a result, it ferments beer really dry, and gives sort of a yeast bite in the aftertaste.

To coordinate a Belgian Pale Ale with this yeast strain, some crystal malts, higher mash temperatures, or carapils malt is usually needed. Belgian Candi Sugar usually won't do the trick... its too fermentable.

I find this beer to be too dry. There's not enough body to offset the dryness from the attenuation. As a result, the aftertaste is dry as a bone... with some hops to accentuate the problem.

Overall, it's a moderately drinkable beer. It is free of off-flavors and unpleasantness.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Hazy burnt orange/amber in color, with a big, creamy white head. Soft and a touch yeasty in the nose, faintly sweet with hints of fruit and spice.

Beautifully round in the mouth, with a balance of soft, malty sweetness, fruits (apricots, and citrus flavor without the astringency), and peppered here and there with spices. The finish is dry and grainy, bringing a saison to mind without actually tasting like it.

An excellent offering from Ommegang that I'll run back to the next time I have a chance to buy it...

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Photo of necoadam
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle shared with 2 other people.

Appearance: Pours out an orange/golden color with a big head that took a while to settle down. Had a chill haze look to it as well.

Smell: Fruity notes mostly along with some yeast and some sweet aromas as well.

Taste: Citrus notes along with some hops hit the palate first and some malts come in as well. Some slight caramel can be detected as well in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and finished a tad on the dry side, but nothing out of control here.

Drinkability: Average. There's better Belgain Pale Ale's out there, but as a domestic brewery that made this, it's quite decent. Worth a try.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always passed this beer up, getting the Hennepin or the Three Philosophers. Finally, I purchased it. Cloudy amber, semi-sweet, good hops and malt...boy was I an idiot. For the price, $3.99 for the bottle, this was a steal. The taste was so smooth and drinkable, almost conversationable. If there is such a thing as a "table beer" along the lines of a "table wine", this would be it. .

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Photo of claytri
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a rich opaque gold with a lightly tanned head. The smell is a mixture of malt, hops, floarals, and fruit. The taste is of malt sweetness with a cherry finish. There is also a boquet of alcohol that is quite plesant. It's clear and light to the feel with a wet finish. I am really quite impressed with this one. The best Ommegang product I have had. This is an excellent beer I will have again

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Photo of nogoodreason
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I lack the wide-mouthed stem glass the bottle insisted upon. Instead, I poured this into a pint-sized glass with a narrow bottom and middle with a tulip-esque bulb near the mouth. Served with a pan-seared steak and some very buttery parmesan asparagus.

Appearance: Pours an abso-fucking-lutely beautiful hazy red orange. Initially a behemoth head forms and threatens to overrun the glass. The head didn't stick around for long, but the beer still had a nice, consistent lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Not a particuarly stong smelling brew, a nice malty smell with touches of citrus. Perhaps the smell of the food was interfering with my ability to capture the scent, but this really doesn't have a particuarly pungent nose.

Taste: Malty, with orange peel(?), a faint but unquestionable banana taste. Well balanced, not too sweet, not too strong on the fruity flavors and just enough hops to give it a bit of bite. This is not a big beer, on the contrary, it is very mild and subtle. Not especially complex (for a belgian-style ale), but still quite good tasting.

Mouthfeel: Thick and fairly viscous with good carbonation bite. I like the way this one feels in my mouth.

Unlike most of the belgian-style ales I normally enjoy Rare Voss is not a burly behemoth of flavor. It is a mild, easy drinking brew. At 6.5 ABV, it was easy for me to drink a 750 ml. bottle and not feel more than a pleasant warmness. I went ridiculously well with the steak and aparagus, neither being overpowered by the food nor overpowering. This may be the the best session beer of this type I've had, and it is a great substitute for a table wine when consuming red meat.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A medium-sized, dark, cream-colored head leaves swoopy lacing. The beer is a full, reddish-amber and clear. Dry, spicy, flowery nose. Dry and spicy again in the front. Pepper. There's some fruit in the middle, but it's not sweet. Foamy, creamy with temperature. The finish is bitter and dry, peppery, almost sour. Alcohol is evident. I remember really liking this, but this was a bit of a let-down.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rocky off-white head, hazy caramel/amber color in the glass. Fruity nose with light Belgian yeast character. The taste is brash hoppy bitterness tempered with a good dash of malty sweetness, somewhat dough-like in taste. Spicy yeast notes too. Finishes fruity and bitter with an after smack of malt. A good drinking ale.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a bottle conditioned, corked bottle. Pours a pleasant, deep amber with good head retention, lacy white head. Taste is as a good Belgian beer should be. Heavy on the hops, big malt profile, and spices unknown create a powerful, sharp and bitter beer. Good smoothness and drinkability. An excellent beer, as expected from Brewery Ommegang.

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Photo of kelticblood
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional appearance! Fluffy thick white head with tons of lacing.The color is a hazy brownish-red.Tastes stronger than the 6.5% ABV the bottle says. Maybe because it has alot of body.Sweet malt nose but not much more than that.Very drinkable with crisp bite.No real hop taste or smell,but there is some bitterness on the finish. Would like to see more hops.Has a bready,dry,grain taste.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy burnt orange with gold undertones. Slightly off-white, rocky half finger of head with excellent retention. Very controlled carbonation.

Smell: Citrus right off the bat, although more orange sweet than lime sharp. Herbal, sweet spice cake comes through with some coaxing. Slightly musty. Very mild overall, though.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel hits you first, sharp carbonation with a thin, crisp mouthfeel. The taste, IMHO, is frustratingly mild. It's unmistakably Belgian (via NY) with a slightly spicy sweetness followed by a yeasty citrus sourness. There's a touch of alcohol as it warms, but nothing really stands out.

Drinkability: Very light and crisp, good flavor; it's quite drinkable. That said, it's not necessarily what I look for in this style of beer.

I really wanted to love this beer, as Ommegang has brought more good into the beer world than any one brewer should be expected to. And don't get me wrong, this is a very tasty, refreshing, well-made beer. Still, I'd like it to have a bit more balls. A nice girl, but no prom queen.

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Photo of Boto
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: This pours a slightly orangish color. Big off-white head that lingers a bit. Aroma has lemon, yeastiness, some bread, a hint of caramel and some spices. Lemony taste up front. A hint tart. Somewhat malty, spicy, a llittle on the lighter side. Definitely a complex taste. Very Nice.

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Photo of Skidz
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours our light brown and sits orange-amber in the glass with a small off-white head.

Smells of sweet wheat malt and citrus (orange, lemon). Nice yeasty character with light traces of alcohol hiding beneath.

Sweet malts again in the mouth with tangy citrus. Medium bitterness in the finish with dry yeastiness and a slight touch of alcohol.

Light and crisp with bold carbonation. A bit much for my delicate tounge. Easy going down, but lacks anything of desire.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.44/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first sample of what Brewery Ommegang can do, thanks to northyorksammy. Lots of info packed onto the front and back labels, they seem geared to educate the masses with lots of little sound bites. Plus I even learned about the language differences in north and southern Belgium, which I was previously unaware of. Thank you Brewery Ommegang.

This is an impressive looking Belgian, from a 355 ml bottle it pours a deep hazy apricot colour with a great deal of carbonation action, and a massive creamy head that gets chunky on the pour, rises above the rim of my chalice glass and holds its form. Solid lacing down the side of the glass. The nose is more faint than I was expecting, I'm picking up spices and traces of a juicy red fruit, like grapes or plums, also a bit of earthiness in there as well. The flavour also contains that red plum-like characteristic, as well as some grass, and on the finish I begin to start noticing some sweet malt blended with spices, mostly clove and pepper. Mouthfeel is light and velvety, a pleasure to roll over the tongue. A decent Belgian, although I'd prefer a Unibroue over it if given the choice. That's if Sleeman doesn't go and screw things up.

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours out of a 750ml bottle, clear orange with a nicely lasting film. Very belgian aroma with a wall of doughy and bready yeast. Fruity and flowery malt (peaches, apricot, honey). It begs for a sip... which I later regret. Watery and bland palate with empty almost uniquely yeasty flavors, bready. Mouthfeel is creamy and way too airy and carbonated which almost distracts the flavors out of your mouth before it hits your tongue.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellarable. Nice hoppy carbonation from bottle conditioning after about 3 months. Light with Abundant head that settles into lace sealing of malt and Light spices in yeast including cinammon. Creamy mouth feel and must be sipped. Popular. Fruity aroma. I think the ladies like this too.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,281 ratings.
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