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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Reviews: 1,153 | Ratings: 3,313
Photo of dodge408
4/5  rDev -1%

This will gain your taste buds attention. With a mildly tart fruit beginning to a distanct light hop finish. It's a brew I get in the mood for time to time.

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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 carlos_fleico
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark honey amber color. Forms about 3 fingers of a firm thick head with great retention. (4.75)

S: Caramel malts, bready. Citric hints, orange zest. Floral hops, syrupy, and peppery hints. (4.75)

T: A bit spicy, sweet. Citrusy, follows the nose on the orange and light hints of lemon. Nutty, moderately bitter. Dry and yeasty in the end. (4.5)

M: Medium-bodied, very rich and refreshing. Perfect carbonation, somewhat creamy. (4.5)

O: I would drink this over Three Philosophers or Tripel Perfection any day, absolutely love this brew. Very rich and refreshing. (4.75)

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Photo of PRLRetailDrone
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man this is a pretty brew! A gentle pour yielded a massive foamy head sitting on a copper body. My mouth is already watering. The nose is mostly malts with a little of the belgian yeast. The taste is lots of malt and belgian yeast with a little hop buttering. Awesome. Great carbonation. Tiny bubbles streaming from the center like champagne. I love Ommegang brews and this doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of sevreng
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into Ommegang chalice glass

A - Medium bright, honey dark gold in hue. Two finger head on pour that subsides very slowly.

S - Floral notes with a little basil or kalamata olive coming through. Very interesting aroma.

T - Lemony, floral, and crisp, a unique amber that is complex yet light and refreshing.

M - Silky and full with a very crisp and refreshing finish.

O - Unique and refreshing amber, effervescent and crisp, solid summer choice.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light honey with a ridiculously big head. Took several minutes to go down enough to enjoy it.

S - Very light aroma. Lots of caramel and a slight floralness to it

T - Mild flavor. Hints of caramel, lemon, and rose. Seems to alternate between bitter and sweet and has a strong yeastiness on the finish

M - Medium body. Quite smooth while bubbly in the mooth.

O - A nice amber that is somewhat unique. The floral aromas and flavor set it apart from the rest.

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

A- Pale amber body with some hints of orange. Mostly hazy with some light coming through, but no visibility. Foamy light tan head that lingers around for some time.

S- Bready malts, some sweet bread, a hint of earthy grains, just a touch of sweet syrup.

T- Somewhat sweet with lots of malt. Some caramel, some earthiness, lots of grainy bread flavors. A dash of nuttiness to it as well.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy and bready.

O- A nice amber with hints of Belgian yeast coming through. A great change of pace from the over-hopped amber trend.

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Photo of OldeSchool
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Coppery bronze color with a very foamy head.

S - Very fruity, mainly orange...maybe a bit of caramel and peach. Some spices there, but I can't identify them.

T - Fruit (orange), malt and spice, but not overpowering in either case; dry finish balances everything out nicely. Very drinkable; goes down easy.

M - Very balanced; not overly heavy, creamy nor watery.

O - I really enjoyed my first taste of Rare Vos; this is a brew I'll be going back to when I'm in the mood for an amber ale with a Belgian twist. I could see this one pairing very well with a wide variety of food.

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Photo of vegassommelier
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden straw, slightly cloudy with a copper glow featuring a nice thick firm head.
The nose is so pronounced! Baked apple, pecan pie, peach cobbler, caramel sauce, brioche and oak chips.
The palate is much softer having more fresh fruit such as golden delicious apple, pear, quince, hazelnut and salt water taffy.
The finish is moderate in length and the mouthfeel is very good, not great.
I sometimes feel like I am underwhelmed by some Ommegang beers because the quality is so high and expectations are beyond great for every offering. I was a touch thrown by the heightened aromatic profile versus the moderate palate complexity. This beer is quality, and so much better than some of the pretenders that seem to pop up every week that occupy these price points.
I am going to buy this offering again and cook up some wagyu burgers with coleslaw and vinegar potato salad, and see what this offering is really all about.
All in all, another solid beer in the Ommegang lineup.

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Photo of jsausley
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What a beer!!

Served in a "fancy glass" (which is what the bartender called it) at Vinetopia in Overland Park, KS. It was actually just a large tulip glass.

A: Rich, thick amber. Equal parts red, gold and brown. Beautifully rich colors and a thick, long-lasting head (my favorite kind, ahem).

S: Similarly rich, tons of malt and a very distinctive peaty earthiness that resembles a whiskey. Lots of caramel, rich roasted malts and maybe a sweet honey note as well.

T: Spicy, roasted malts laced with cinnamon, anise, pepper, honey and that wonderful peaty smoky whiskey like an Islay scotch. Thick and rich with tons of flavor. It's literally an assault. Probably one of the beers I've had packed with the most abundance of different flavors. Each sip has a different hint as it's warming to room temperature. Wonderful, wonderful thing.

M: Silky smooth with a dry finish that is very grainy and malty. A pleasant aftertaste. Hops are present but not overpowering. Some carbonation, but the thickness of the beer makes you welcome it dearly.

O: I loved this one. Will definitely order it again if I ever see it on another menu. Another draft that I really wish was local.

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Photo of avwrite
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Great amber color. Very froth. Nice medium color, like caramel. Also, bottle presentation was very impressive. Felt like I was drinking champagne.

S - Nice light smell. Was expecting something smoky, but turned out to be a nice surprisingly sweet smell.

T - Not exactly super hoppy as I was expecting out of a stronger beer. Still, crisp, smooth taste.

M - Great taste going down.

O - Surprisingly crisp and light. Not what I was expecting, nonetheless, still great.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Even a careful pour easily gives 3 fingers of lovely rocky golden head, body is a brilliand hazy amber with a slight pink/red hue,

Smell - Big nose of belgian yeast, mild citrus especially orange and tangerine, very light banana, a whiff of pear and ripe plum, and a lovely fresh breadiness behind it all.

Taste - This is delicious. What a great balance of: belgian yeast, with hints of spices like coriander and a hint of nutmeg, soft citrus and banana, crisp under-ripe pear, and a touch of peach pits. The quaff is a perfect balance of all of the above, while the finish finds the fruitiness taking a back seat to the yeast and spices, and finishes on the dry side, where the hint of peach pit bitters, and the fruitskins and yeast provide a slight pucker.

Mouthfeel - Just below a medium mouthfeel here, the carb is a major component here, and is almost an explosion of tiny edged champagne bubbles that add a wonderful bright crispiness to each quaff, and lasts long into the finish.

Overall - Delicious, balanced, complex, effervescent, bright, dry.. just awesome, and a wonderful belgian pale ale that I will not hesitate to purchase again.

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Photo of Victor
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Presentation= Poured in a tall 20oz glass with a nice head and good looking honey color.
Aroma= Fresh, clean and slightly sweet.
Flavor= A satisfying flavor with hints of caramel, lemon and something else I can’t explain but enjoyed.
Overall Ommegang did an excellent job with this Belgian Pale Ale. Refreshing, bubbly, crisp and satisfying!

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt. 9.4oz [750ml] corked and caged brown bottle
Bottled on 8/5/2013 - best by 8/2014

Ommegang Rare VOS Amber Ale change the color of my clear glass snifter to a light hazy bright copper hue producing a 2+ finger creamy off-white head. The sturdy head had good staying power finally dissipating to form thick chunks of foamy lacing.

The nose is of light fruit, orange seems to dominate with a very light clove spice in the background. The taste matches the nose with some light caramel maltiness noted that added some sweetness followed by a pleasant touch of warming alcohol. The mouth feel is smooth/creamy, medium-bodied, and a light crisp dry finish.

Rare VOS is quite tasty, well balanced and very drinkable - my favorite Belgian Pale Ale to date. Nice job Ommegang!

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

Bottle dated 9.23.2013

Appearance - copper bronze color with white head

Smell - caramel, peach, orange

Taste - orange, caramel, peach, coriander

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, full carbonation, slight sweetness and citrus upfront, tiniest bit of sourness on the back end, smooth and easy drinking

Overall - good take on a Belgian Amber ale. This would be a good 'gateway' beer

Price Point - $6.99/25.4 oz bottle

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Photo of VALIS666
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great rusty gold-orange color, full of life on a swirl. Smell is a little faint, but I get mild caramel, apricot, brown sugar. Taste is a nice balance between sweetness and malt, a bit of a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Very nice Belgian style, thankfully stopping short of being too sweet.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Kinda hard to believe that it took me this long to get to such a standard and classic for style beer. Best by 8/14.
Such a nice rich malt aroma with all the sweet, spicy, herbal, faint alcohol scents one would expect, except they do it so well. Closer to amber as the bottle states with a tannish full head, leaves a light dripping lacing. Quite clear from the top of the bottle pour.
Nicely complex for a "smaller beer". Tingly and prickly carbonation. Clearly a stronger malt backing that many for this style but it blends very nicely with the yeast flavor, which are not quite as fresh and impressive as in the aroma, but still nice.
Nice full feel from a lighter ale. The grainy malt is enjoyable and unique. I really enjoy the light spiciness and the changing of the yeast flavors through the drink. Also takes on some fruit flavors as well.
As it warms the hops become more evident and the dryness of the finish shows. Really well done.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rare Vos will always be significant to me as its the beer I had with my soon to be wife on our first date. They call it an amber, BA calls it a belgian pale which is probably more of what it comes off as. Deep orange in color, I'd say its a shade below a true amber. Very clean malt aroma and taste with perfect amount of yeast character. Finishes very bready with a banana flavor that lingers a bit.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a clearish amber color - well, clearish by Belgian (style) standards. The head is two fingers high, with a fluffy two finger head that's off-white in shade. Retention isn't amazing for the style. There is, however, a bit of sticky lacing left on the glass.

S: There are some nice caramel notes, which blend very well with the bready, slightly fruity yeast. At first, it's more fruity (cherries, white grapes, and pears), becoming breadier as it opens up. I'm even getting some spicy touches of coriander. Aromatically, it really works - it blends good complexity with notes that are delicate and well balanced.

T: The flavor profile seems a bit different than the nose indicated. The dominating note (relatively speaking - it's generally a well balanced brew) is spicy yeast, augmented with a nice coriander flavor. Letting it warm up will inject some nice fruit notes (not just cherries, but also a mild citrusy bend) along with a bit of Irish cream near the finish. This is a nicely complex beer that isn't over-the-top in any manner.

M: I really like how airy this feels on the tongue. The strong carbonation is really doing its job doing well without being too intense. It's also very dry, which I like even more. Yes, it's very drinkable, but it's also very nice to savor.

O: Amber ales - even Belgian-style ones - aren't really my cup of tea. This, though, is very well done. Nuanced and subtle yet easy to drink, this would pair fantastically with food. I'll have to pick this up again, that's for damn sure.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review taken many times over the last few years.

12 oz brown bottle with excellent label design. The sly fox pouring a drink for its prey. Or maybe its dearest of friends? Label is quite beautiful with a luxurious royal purple paired with red, gold, cream, and white. Ommegang produce some of my favorite labels and always deliver something that hits right at home. I poured this into a Ommegang pint glass.

A - pours an deep golden russet to light amber color. A milky haze throughout every inch of this clouded body. True Belgian style funk about this Sly Fox. Creamy shade of off white head pours quite large and looks like a fluffy pillow of creamy clumps atop its large head. Settles nicely leaving a thick ring of fluffy lacing that provides some very nice stick.

S - fruit and dry Belgian spices. Coriander and those hyped grains of paradise. Both lighter and dark fruits blend well together. Bready and toasted malt balance the spices allowing a very enjoyable aroma. Hints of chocolate as it warms.

T - fruity up front with citrus and some darker fruits though the lighter goodies dominate for the most part. Belgian spice with excellent yeast notes. Coriander, orange peel, and grains of paradise are all noticed as mentioned in this bottles description. Toasted bread malts balance the dry spiciness leaving you wanting that next sip.

M - medium bodied and bursting with delicious Belgian inspired flavor. Thickness and texture are spot on considering this is a fairly sessionable ale. It's almost surprising how much Ommegang pronounce the abundance of character and flavor notes in a somewhat normal abv range in the craft beer world we live in today. Creamy texture and smooth thickness allow me never to get bored or tired of this ale.

O - quite possibly the most underrated of all of Ommegang's great brews. I know they miss the mark on occasions with some releases, but their core group as well as some of their special releases are all top notch and for me this is the one that's overlooked at times. But I tell you, this may be Ommegang's best overall beer. It goes well when paired with about anything imaginable and is very drinkable. In fact, its one that could be enjoyed all day long in any season of the year. Here is my tribute to Rare Vos, the remarkable sly fox from New York's Belgian brewery.

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Photo of Roguer
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, fluffy flat-white sticky head. Brew is a clear, bubbly amber, just about transparent. Head retention is nice, leaving soft, sticky lacing on the glass. Beautiful beer, requiring several careful pours to fit it all in one glass.

Huge aroma of Belgian yeast, with a slightly sharp citrus following. Wheat and straw; saison-like aroma. A little musty, with a tiny bit of dry spice.

Much drier taste than I would have anticipated. There's a nice sweetness, with banana and lemon hints, but a big dose of dry, chewy malt and wheat, peppered with dry spice, coriander, and yeast.

Medium feel, very smooth and drinkable, no sting, fairly lively, no alcohol. Something about it just feels a little flat, though - a little syrupy, maybe.

For a "cafe" beer, the ABV on this seems a little high. I'd like to think they could make this beer taste the same at more of a Wit-level of alcohol. Still, this is a tasty, far from oversweet BPA with nice notes of spice. Certainly a good day-drinking beer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(poured into a tall Ommegang fluted goblet)

A: amber color, hazy bordering cloudy - much sediment made it through despite a careful pour... compact, spongy foam with beautiful staying power... doesn't cling to the glass as much as one would think

S: spiced graham cracker, potent toasty notes, mellow rose-petal floral

T: toasted graham malts... hit in the middle of peach and honey... strange presence of 'beery', macro lager like hopping character... saisony spices well up in the finish

M: light-bodied roundness... mellow, fizzy wash... nice soft, dry finish... usually a lot more crisp on tap

O: the uniqueness in this beer has always been its bold toastiness, nutty malt character, and distinct fruity flavor... excellent brew, especially on tap

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Photo of sloambbr
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy copper with an off white head. The smell is quite nice, mostly caramel with apple crispness. Nice light, crisp mouthfeel. To me, this beer is quite straightforward, but does a very good job of it. I got brown sugar and apples right off the bat, followed quickly by the belgian yeast, very clove like. Leaves a nice clove spice on your palette. Easy to drink, I could definitely have more than one. One of the better belgian-style beers I have had in awhile, I would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of lochef81
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This belgian style pale ale pours a hazy amber hue with a fluffy lasting white head that leaves beautiful foamy lacing. The nose is dominated by caramel malts, orange, coriander, pepper, and Belgian-y yeasty funkiness. The mouthfeel is creamy, effervescent, and quite rich. The flavor follows the nose but with even more complexity, balance, and depth. This is a very good beer and an excellent introduction to belgian ales for those strictly used to American offerings.

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Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper-Amber and very cloudy. Pours a 2” off white head that recedes slowly and leaves significant lacing.
Aroma: coriander and other spices, caramel malts, some Belgian yeast funk
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky mouthfeel and a wet finish.
Flavor: The coriander and other spice flavors (clove perhaps?) lead the taste. They are followed by a bready caramel malt, citrus rind, and a slight hop presence in the finish.
Overall: A very good beer, but not outstanding,

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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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