Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,141 Reviews
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,141
Ratings:
3,270
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
18.56%
 
 
Wants:
187
Gots:
640
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,141 | Ratings: 3,270
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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Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
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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Photo of BeerFink
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 750mL and split with a friend...

Appears cloudy and golden amber, with extreme effervescence. Head is frothy and rocky, white in hue with a foamy surface. Pale malts lend a little breadiness to the aroma, which is well complimented by ripe bananas, a little citrous, and some grassiness and spice. Malts are thick and extreme in their breadiness. Citrous is cleanly bittering with lemons and bitter orange peel. A little graininess is there, and also some grass. Coriander, as well as other spices are present (a little clove?). Subtle fruit sweetness, considerably less than the nose would suggest. Mouthfeel is very full, but broken up by tons of carbonation. We damn near broke a light popping the cork out of this bad boy! Alcohol is barely noticeable, just slightly warming. Finish is dry and clean. I am really enjoying this offering from Ommegang.

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I never seem to be in the mood for a Belgian, but I always love them when I have them. I haven't quite figured that out yet. This is another great brew from Ommegang. This and the Hennepin are my two favorite from them. Beautiful light amber body and a white head that stays the entire glass. Nice spicy and fruity aroma, and a spicy hop taste make this very refreshing. There seems to be a hint of lime as well that really hits the spot. Finishes slightly dry, with a bit of solventy alcohol, but it all works.

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Photo of woemad
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Daanen's Delicatessen in Hayden, ID, for $2.75.

Poured a cloudy apricot color, with a medium sized, fluffy white head. The head dropped fairly quickly yet never died away completely, with a large, foamy collar remaining intact. Lots of lace dripping down the sides of my Chimay goblet.

The smell was a little bit underwhelming, though perhaps I was expecting a lot after really being impressed with Hennepin. There's a modest, citrusy scent, that is paired with an equally modest spiciness. Both are secondary to the malty sweetness that dominates in a benevolent dictator kind of way.

The taste was more interesting (and better balanced) than the smell. There is a mild citrusy flavor that is balanced with a mild spiciness. There is also a mild sweetness that is much better balanced than in the nose. In addition, there is an interesting earthy wheatiness that is way in the background. Not a bad tasting beer at all.

This has just the right carbonation for a Belgian style ale, and is pleasingly medium bodied.

This is a nice beer to quaff, but it doesn't impress me the way Hennepin did. If it were a little bit cheaper, I'd go for it more often, but at the only place I know of them being sold (35 miles away), they are the same price, so I will probably go for more bottles of Hennepin next time I'm there.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - cellared for roughly a year. Carefully poured from a long-standing, chilled bottle it's a perfectly clear orange amber beneath a big-bubbled head of white foam that holds splendidly and leaves some thin splatters of lace about the glass. The nose is lightly fruity (apricot, lemon rind, orange), a touch cork-like or musty, and subtly spicy. In the mouth it's light-medium bodied and zesty on the tongue due to its effervescent carbonation. The flavor is exactly as the nose suggets it might be with a bit more sweet malt, a touch more fruit, a sprinkling of delicate floral hops, and alot of peppery spice! It's well-balanced, but it relies more on its thin maltiness and peppery yeast to do that than it does hop bitterness. It finishes dry and refreshing with a quick passing of fruitiness followed by some lingering chalky dryness. The yeast pour brings out a little more character and lends the body a touch of girth; and I prefer it that way. Additionally, I don't feel that this beer really gains anything from cellaring other than to drop some of the yeast out of suspension (a rough, fresh bottle can be a bit much). Overall, as a Belgian-style pale ale, this is right on the mark! Love it or leave it!

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

750 ml corked bottle. Hazy apricot color with a large white head. The aroma is yeasty. There is also fruit, mainly oranges and strawberries, in the nose. Very spicy smelling. The flavor starts out sweet and fruity. This is clearly a bottled conditioned beer. I find the finish too bitter. It's not bitter like hops, but more like orange peels. While this detracts from the flavor a bit, the flavor is still very nice. A nice beer from Ommegang, but not their best.

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