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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,146 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,297
Photo of Shiloh
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice looking brew with a crown consisting of tightly knit bubbles of every size..The mountainous cling only adds to its desire.
Lively carbonation with a full body completes the picture.
Oddly, I found the aroma to be lacking of any substance with the exception of a slight graininess.
The taste was very nice but sweeter than anticapated. An abundance of fruits in a mish mash of flavour with a strong aftertaste.
The high ABV is also obvious in both the taste and nose.
To sweet for this hophead.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Near fluorescent orange color, head is large, but fades fast.

Smell: Sweet, malty, orange peel, spices, belgian yeast funk, bread.

Taste: Taste is many layered, starting with big, sweet malt, going into a very powerful sitruc flavor, the a nice hops and alcohol finish. A light fruitiness and pleasent spiciness are also big parts of the flavor, very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Great, full and smooth, prickly carbonation, and slightly warm alcohol.

Drinkability: Very delicious and refined, I wish more brewers perfected their craft the way Ommegang has.

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Photo of LucaBrasi
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is dull orange and reddish. The head is large, tan and laces the glass well which will sink back in to the beer rapidly.
Smell is of citrus and light spice.
Taste is clean like light fruit, cherries spices and cream.
Mouthfeel is remarkably smooth with a tiny carbonation tingle.
Drinkability is excellent this is one of the smoothest beers I can remember, taste is great and the alcohol isn’t on the high end of the spectrum. All these things make this a highly drinkable beer; it’s too bad its retired. I’m heading to the beer store to stock up on whatever they still have on the shelves.

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Photo of jaluria
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears rather cloudy with a yellowish-brown color and mighty head. I smell roasted malts with hints of various spices; very intriguing. I first taste the fruit bitterness that are usually associated with Pale Ales, but it soon follows with a distinct sweetness. As the brew warms, the sweet character develops and begins to dominate the beer. As a result, I found each sip to be unique and enjoyable. The alcohol content was also very subtle, never overpowering or dominating. Very complex. An excellent beer, but I don't think I can have several of these at one time because the texture is a bit more rough with the spices.

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Photo of klewis
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle

A: Pours a cloudy deep golden color with a fluffy three-finger head and lots of lacing.

S: A big, complex smell is coming from this one, with the prodominent aroma in my nose being red wine followed by cloves and spices and a hint of alcohol.

T: This one is throwing my tastebuds for a loop. Sweet, sour, and bitter all at the same time with the sourness being the victor in the end. The overall flavor is reminescent of vermouth, and I'm not quite sure I'm sold on it yet, but it's not bad.

M: A very aggressive carbonation batters the mouth, somewhat subduing my ability to get a lot of flavor. The body is medium-light with a slight slickness.

D: For the price, the value and drinkability of all of Ommegang's beers is very high. However, the rough carbonation and unique flavor makes me not want to have this one regularly.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 at Woodman's East here in Madison for about $4.39. The only Ommegang offering I had yet to try.

Pours a light amber with an overactive white head (probably a result of bumpy transport and inadequate settling time). Smell is a little skunky at first, a little surprising, with some clove/hop spicey-ness. Taste is not skunky as the nose implied, thankfully, rather heavy on the belgian pale-style clove and subtle hops. Mouthfeel is medium and a leaves a little oily coating in the mouth. This is an easily drinkable brew here, nothing spectacular (as amber ales in my opinion rarely are), but nothing wrong with it either. A good deal at under $4.50 for a 750 as all of Ommegang's offerings save for Three Philosophers are. Worth a try.

Edit: on second tasting, fruitier notes of peach and apricot are descernable along with herbal hops and none of the skunk. Understated and pleasant.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I poured my 12 oz bottle of Rare Vos into the glass the foam shot straight up to the rim. The thick creamy off white head slowly dissolved back to the beer leaving a lot of lace along the side of the glass.

A somewhat spicy aroma of orange peel and clove greets you before each sip. The flavor of this medium bodied beer is somewhat fruity. I can detect orange and lemon. There's just enough notes of spice (clove) and sweet malt mixed in to balance out the fruity taste. It finishes mildly sour leaving a hint of orange behind.

This easy drinking beer is very tasty and well balanced. The soft carbonation brings out all the flavor. It also hides it's 6.5% alcohol very well.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great looking beer. Copper orange, hazy, with a big head. Notes of orange, spice, and some barn yard smells. Fairly uneventful drink. The orange/citrus and spice hit again, but nothing that is worth talking about. Very drying. Wish I’d picked the Hennepin.

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

This one pours a brownish orange with a huge frothy white head.

Its aroma is malty with hints of clove.

The flavor is a mix of malt flavor with yeast and earthy tones.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and is a bit sticky with a generous amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is high and I recommend trying this one.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Amazing. This poured a beautiful hazy orange caramelly color with a nice white head and a good amount of carbonation. Good lacing. The smell is malty and sweet. Clove is noticeable in the smell and fairly dominant in the taste also. A really complexy sweet fruity taste here. To me this brew tastes mor liek a combination of their witbier and a really interesting amber beer. The spices they use probably lead to that. The mouthfeel is pleasant, moderate and stickey. This brew is insanely drinkable, you can't get enough of it.

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

Sampled 8.6.05

A massive two fingers of head crowned the glorious golden bronze brew. Foam like a latte. A patient one can watch it sneak away.

One smell is funky malts, super sweet and spicy. Belgium unleashed in my living room. I sense a light fragrance of licorice. A delicious aroma all around.

First sip is tangy and spicy, a rush of both feeling and taste. Light fruits linger in the body, sweetness coats the cheeks and tongue. A bitter finish with a tinge of alcohol keeps you aware of what you're drinking. Very light and fluffy in the mouth, but still with plenty of carbonation. Like the smell, this has a great flavor all around as well.

This is easily to drink. Good to toast with, bubbly and bright. A recent favorite and absolute pleasure to review!

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Photo of HopHeadKen
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Conditioned; Pours cloudy carmel brown with creamy ivory head of small, medium and large bubbles. Good carbonation.

Smell is malty, no hop aroma is perceptible.

First taste is sweet fruity malt; the sweetness contains hints of carmel & plums.
Smooth without any harshness or hop bitterness right through to the end.

I like it, and will probably have another in the future.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours out a coppery orange colour with a righteous head that leaves my glass looking like a photo prop. The head continuously caps the liquid leaving not a moment of bare apex.
Brisk carbonation streams discharge and rise. Shark fin lacing cuts across my rim.

The nose is light and musty. Fruit character floats across my face. Malt and yeasty sourness spill over.

The taste is greatly refreshing. I could fancy this thing at any time of the day. Light and crisp. Great sour fruity finish with a nice spice complement. So juicy and wet to the palate. This brew is light and complex at the same time. Drinkable as all get out. You get a nice bubbly mouth with some light fruit flavors and a spicy finish that basks in sourness. These are some pleasant bottles of beer. Quite bedazzling on a hot summer night. I am in dig of this.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 750ml corked bottle with wire cork crown. black, red, gold and white label. cooperstown, ny is printed all over the bottle. on the back label are instructions on pouring. "guaranteed cellared at the brewery" is printed. "rare vos is flemish for sly fox." 6.5% abv is displayed.

appearance: pours lightly hazy golden amber orange with bright yellow-orange highlights in a tulip glass. perfect 4" fluffy white waffle batter topped head that drops to about a half inch all the way down. extremely sticky lacey head. beautiful belgian ale. every time i poured i got a perfect head.

smell: spicy grainy wheat and malt. fruity aroma after swirling.

taste: low bitterness and sweet. i notice some citrus and grassy wheat flavors. lightly yeasty and dry finish.

mouthfeel: lightly crisp while super smooth. excellent mouthfeel. silky smooth swallow. just a tad low in carbonation.

drinkability: wow. the magnum bottle wasn't enough. super drinkable. hardly noticible alcohol.

overall: an excellent belgian style ale. every category is near perfect. i'm surprised this is averaging a mere 4 in ratings. a must try.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange color with a small head. Definitely a fruity yeast aroma with some cinnamon and spice mixed in. A touch of sweetness can be detected upon tasting but the real killer for me here was the carbonation. Way too carbonated to make this something you can drink all night long. It tickled the inside of my mouth and hurt the drinkability. Not a bad beer overall, but something that could benefit from being less caronated and more well-rounded and balanced.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

solid beer.

Fruity with lots of carbonation....makes me think they had to force the carb....lacing was nice and mouthfeel was massaging.

tangerine flavor and color. you can even feel the carbonatinon on your lips and in your throat on the way down...tooo much but ok.

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

Artisinal to the core, this 'Sly Fox' of a beer steals the flavors of suble dried fruits and bread crust from dubbel ales, yet still with the dryness and drinkability of Belgian pale ales. What a bold leap with this flagship ale.

Pouring a true medium amber color, the beer's early carbonation settles and the resulting head is creamy, fluid, and sturdy. The barley stained head laces fairly well, with sparse pockets of foam left behind. A diffused glow emmits from the moderate haze. A very handsome appearance that's maybe understated.

A bready, lightly biscuity and crusty aroma provides the pillow for fruit and spice. Dates, figs, and other dried fruits (cherries, apples, appricots...) give a suble glimpse into the medium sweet and estery nose. Lightly spiced with corriander and white pepper, the yeast is very much at work with the aromas of this beer.

The bready/biscuity/crusty flavors continue where the nose leaves off. Medium malty flavors of caramel and bread crust give ample support for a blend of stone fruits, dried fruits that stop shy of the intensity of raisons or prunes. Not yet fruit cake in nature, the appricots, cherries, apples, nuts and figs give a rich yet moderate tone to taste and without becomming rich or sweet. These fruit and malt flavors are the ideal balance for the spices of dried orange peel, corriander, cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice, white pepper, and alcohol. With such variety in flavor, the strength of each simply remain moderate and in superb balance as not to overwhelm the palate with any dominant flavor- truly a new flavor with each sip.

Creamy and moderately rich, the beer has an even keel fade from initial semi-fullness into a soft simmer at mid palate where the carbonation waivers and the alcohol dryness sets in. Drying late into a malty-dry finish, the alcohol has a menthol cooling feel and a fleeting malt texture. Never reaching peak dryness, the beer has a unique shaddow that keeps the memory of flavor alive into the next sip, but without any lingering sweetness, maltiness, bitterness, or spice.

While Rare Vos never recognizes any of the styles that are generally given to Belgian Ales, it simply does its artistry with benevolence, grace, and artistry- just as true Belgian brewers would have it!

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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue glass. Pours a dark copper with some floaties and two fingers of cream-colored head. Good retention and lacing as well. Smell is a strong green apple and citrus fruitiness with a nice clove spiciness and some yeastiness. Taste starts out with a sugary sweet maltiness but then hits you with plesantly sour cherry/green apple flavor. Finish is just a little spicy and very crisp. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is a little on the low side. This is a really well-balanced easy drinking Belgian ale--unlike a lot of others with more complexityI could see myself drinking this as a session beer.

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

07/07/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked, but undated. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Very hefty large bubbled head. A lighter brown-copper colored pour. Perfectly adequate lacing as well.

Smell- Spices all around. Maybe a touch of dark fruit in the nose. Lots of pepper.

Taste- Dark cherry flavor hits you right off the bat. Not really sweet dark cherry. Kind of a dark cherry mixed with some real dark chocolate. Pepper, anise, clove and other spices all surround the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Lower than expected carbonation. Not too heavy.

Drinkability- Wasn't expecting the flavor I got. Still tasting it in my mouth. Interesting and enjoyable. May not be for everyone though.

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

Pours a nice peachy copper with a light tan head that is huge and frothy. Holds well in a tulip glass.

Lots of apple peel in the aroma, green apples. Yeast and bread makes a showing as well.

Prickly carbonation carries the bready malt across the palate, just the slightest bitterness kicks in. No hop character at all. Finishes sweet with lots of green apples to round it out. Very fruity and a bit warming at the exhale.

Medium bodied, and the carbonation, though high, is not bothersome.

I would have this again, a very solid Belgian even though made in America.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last couple times I have had this make me think that the first time I tried and reviewed this brew I got a relatively lousy bottle of it.
Or my tastebuds have changed.
I dunno.
Regardless I like this stuff and would like to have a cellar full of it... along with its Ommegang siblings.
There is a delicious spicy character to this brew in the nose and flavor... clove comes to mind most easily.
A very pleasant, mild, desireable sourness lives in the flavor and mouthfeel.
An excellent, excellent session brew as there is nothing overpowering in here with a moderate enough alcohol content.
I still prefer Ommegang Abbey and Hennepin but next time I see this on a shelf in a store I won't hesitate in picking one up.

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

Corked and caged .750 bottle with no date that I could find. Ommegang is not distributed here anymore so when I saw 3 bottles of this in a store I snatched them up. Man, am I glad I did!!

The beer poured out a hazy orange with some amber highlights into a tulip glass. The 1" white head had great retention and left some nice lacing.

The nose was a spicy yeast aroma with some citrus apparent (maybe pear?).

The flavor starts out sweet and then a sour flash opens up in the mouth. nice and malty with some yeast coming through in the finish. The second glass I poured out came with all of the yeast and this brought a richer and more spicy character to the beer.

The Rare Vos has good carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

It is light and easily drinkable with some great Belgian characteristics. I am glad I have two more in the closet! This is the first Ommegang beer I have had and I am very impressed by it.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light copper color with a little-moderate head. The smell is pleasant and floral (although pretty weak). Taste is great and well rounded: the first taste is of refreshing wheat, the next has a green apple taste to it, and it concludes with a sour malt taste. Overall it is a very agreeable beer, very easy to drink, so be sure to buy a couple bottles!

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Photo of scooter231
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bright red color that's kind of clear- like cherry juice or the like. Nose is citrusy, mostly lemon. Also bananay... and definitely some spices in here. Coriander? And maybe some very subtle hints of cinnamon.

Taste is sweeter and fruitier than the nose would suggest. Cherry, plum, grape... still some spice and sourness, but mostly sweet. Still, the sweet/sour balances out very nicely, being both crisp and refreshing and sweet all at once.

Mouthfeel is bubbly, and smooth. Very drinkable- as are all Ommegang brews. This is the first time I've had this one, and I really enjoyed it. Tasty, refreshing, lovely.

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Photo of TPSReports
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 11.2 oz bottled is served at 48 degrees from my cellar. There is no date on the bottle.

Pours and nice translucent medium amber color into my tulip with a very large white head. The head sticks areound for a while and is composed of 1/4 bb sized bubbles.

The nose is of grapes and cotton-candy, but not sticky syrupy sweet.

The flavor is somewhat non-descript. Prehaps it is overpowered by the Unibroue La Fin Du Monde I just finished. It's hard to imagine that this brew can be compromised by a pale ale, but maybe that is the case. Maybe not. I'm not sure that this brew has a strong taste, period. I was expecting more.

To date, this is my least favorite beer from Ommegang. 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,297 ratings.
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