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 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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Photo of NiceTaps
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a standard pint glass.

A- Maybe it was the lighting; an amber ale with true amber color, full creamy white head and lots of sticky foam lacing. A touch of haze in the body from the yeast, perhaps.

S- Orange and spice, some light malt and yeast.

T- Slightly sweet malt combined with yeast dryness and fruits, spices.

M- Easy drinking with some hope bitterness and yeast and spice pungency. Dry finish.

O- Friendly drinker with lots of flavor, 6.5% abv is manageable; right level of hop bitterness, too.

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

Appearance: hazy light gold. Fat off white head. Thick lacing.
Smell: subtle pepper and yeast. Slightly sweet fruit, mostly dry nose.
Taste: most of the flavors in the nose though combined. Quite dry.
Overall: well done. Tasty and subtle. Classy comes to mind.

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Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep amber hue with creamy white head that clings to the glass.

Smell: Distinct orange scent with hints of toasted malts and coriander.

Taste: Orange taste evident immediately, giving way to malts and ending with spice from the coriander.

Feel: Thin but not watery, very smooth.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

*12 oz. bottle*
Look: Nice orange shade of amber body, 2 1/2 finger white frothy head.

Smell: Toasted malts, mild citrus, spices, faint caramel sweetness, mild herbal qualities.

Taste: toasted oats, caramel, coriander, touch of a ripe banana, spicy yeast, mildly nutty, honey flavor not the sugary sweetness, dry finish.

Feel: Light body, tight carbonation.

Overall: This ale is very light on the palate for being 6.5% I like how all the flavors in what reminds me of a hearty bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, with a side order of bananas served with orange juice. There is a nice hop bite that sets up the right amount of bitterness to make this beer crisp. This is recommended

#Original Review on 10-30-13#

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rare Vos – Belgian Pale Ale (6.5%) - Brewery Ommegang (New York)

App: Pours a brilliant and hazy copper-red with a high, loose head that becomes creamier and more defined as the beer sits. Very active carbonation and sheet like lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast dominates aroma with notes of banana and persimmon. Some mild pepper aromas. Malt is present and sweet, but not particularly defined. Subtle lemony twinge, with hints of light caramel in the background.

Taste: Taste follows nose with hints of banana and clove. Very light herb spiciness. Light citrus notes commingle with ample malt sweetness and belgian funk. Hops bitterness does well against sweet malts and yeasty esters without being assertive. Little bit of phenols peeking through. Pleasantly sour aftertaste.

Mouth: Medium boded with significant effervescence that scrubs the palate in between sips and makes for a very refreshing beer. A tiny bit overcarbed for my tastes, but not against style.

Home tasting, 750ml into Tulip. 2/20/14.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great be for a great brewery that show everything the label says, it is fruity and spicy yet mellow.

It pours a beautiful slightly dark slightly cloudy page color with fine but thin head. The aroma is a mild fruity thing. The taste follows suit with a mild but tasty refreshing beverage going on. The aftertaste is a simple refreshing feeling.

Overall, this is a great brew that I think I had one before in a large bottle. It may benefit from being on tap or corked as this one was a12 oz bottle.

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Photo of tmm313
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a hazy light amber color with a soapy 2 finger head. Nice streaming carbonation.

S- Belgian yeast, banana, apple, pear, bready malts, and a little caramel.

T- There was the typical Belgian yeast, banana, apple/pear, and pepper there, but what impressed me most was the strong malt presence and rich caramel/clove/earthy hop finish. Flavors had a lot of substance, nice balance and complexity.

M- Thicker side of medium body. Nice crisp carbonation and slightly lingering fruit, spice, and hop.

O- I was pretty impressed with this beer. The more you drank, the more you knew how beautifully crafted it was. The caramel malt presence in the flavor added a rich dimension to this Belgian Pale I can't remember experiencing elsewhere. Very nice.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, purchased as a 3-pack at Costco (with Hennepin and Three Philosophers)
L - hazy amber with a huge ivory head that holds excellent retention and sticks to the glass on its way down
S - fruity, spicy, caramel, orange, yeast
T - orange, Juicy Fruit, yeast, spicy coriander, caramel, bread
F - medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish with ample bitterness
O - second time around with this one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd buy this again if the price was right.

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Photo of KHarz
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer overall. As I'm not a huge fan of belgian beers in general, I enjoyed the fact that Rare Vos was extremely well balanced in terms of keeping the sugary Belgian flavors to a pleasant minimum. I didn't feel overwhelmed by these sugars and felt that they were kept in check by a pleasant level of carbonation.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Dinosaur BBQ (with a bbq brisket melt).

A - Copper in color with a rather small head. Lacing was average.

S - malt, caramel, bread, bananas and a touch of clove.

T - The Belgian yeast strain is quite good in this. More bananas and clove from the nose with a healthy dose of spiciness and bread.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, but a touch chewy. Also the initial blast of carbonation was soda like but it quickly calmed down.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- copper/burnt orange. hazy, big white head with lots of lacing

Aroma- Belgian yeast, spicey, pepper, banana, fruity, apple and pear esters, funk, bready malts, very nice

Flavor- A little more spicy/funk here and less fruity than the aroma, well balanced, with a dry lingering finish

Mouthfeel- Medium, good carbonation

Overall- Very tasty, and one I've returned to many times. recommend trying.

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Photo of AwYeh
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Foggy golden-amber color with two fingers of very frothy head and decent lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is at the forefront, with lots of banana, clove, bubblegum, and some tropical fruit. While it sounds pretty standard for a Belgian brew, it's well done here.

T: Some bread and citrus flavors come out to complement those in the aroma (yeast, banana, and clove).

M: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, very smooth and creamy with a nice dry finish.

O: Solid offering from Ommegang; it evaded me for a long time, but I'm glad I finally picked a bottle up. For the price tag, this is definitely something I'll be buying again.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a caramel mixed with amber in color. Light frothy head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Excellent lacing - 4.5

Smell - Malt with notes of lemon and bubble gum with light caramel notes underneath. Leading into a nice spice note that ommegang is so amazing at. Cloves and ginger among many other spices are faint and almost undetectable in the back ground. - 5

Taste - Excellent malt forward flavor with clove and spices backing it that leave a long finish and a crisp and refreshing flavor. - 4.75

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light crisp bubbles. This beer is excellent on the palate . 4.75

I would recommend trying this beer with some braised pork belly. It pulls fat off the palate excellently.

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