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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

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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,292
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really what I was expecting, or looking for...

Pours a cloudy amber/brown with a thick and fluffy tan head with excellent retention. Nose is sort of "clean" but thick in alcohol defying it's relatively low ABV. Taste follows the nose and more, alcohol overly present, also a nutty quality with a slight hop bitterness. Very crisp in character however. I was expecting a bit more depth to be honest, this brew is not quite that. Mouthfeel was good, medium bodied with a nice bit of carbonation.

Nothing overly impressive in this one I don't think. Not a bad offering by any means, but not something I'll be looking for again.


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Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy amber, with an explosive white head that dominates the pour. The foam lingers long, lacing the glass, along with leaving a moustache with every sip.

The aroma seems to struggle to get through the intimidating head. There is a dryness there, perhaps some orange and spice notes, and an allusion perhaps to caramel, but it struggles to coalesce and make identification anything more than tentative.

The flavor, however, is redeeeming, leading with a an earthy malt sweetness of currants and sloe fruit, along with a drier orange and coriander duet. The yeast lends a tangy sourness to companion caramel and peppery notes. The finish is crisp and clean, and quite dry due to the gradual and somewhat surprising appearance of alcohol at the end.

Medium bodied, it feels lively on the palate, and the lingering dryness of the vanished fruit sweetness is a nice memory.

Just another of a long line of solid, very good beers from Brewery Ommegang. While not my favorite, perhaps, the sweet/sour combination makes the beer interesting and drinkable. The earthy notes and spicy character make it refreshing, and while not amazing, the final impression was one of satisfaction and contentment. I don;t know how much more you can ask for than that.

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Photo of ggroller
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bomber with a simple yet eye applealing label. Caged & corked.

Cloudy amber, copper colored beer with a large, fluffy white head. This one looks great in the glass.

Malty, fruity nose with a chewy peach like mouthfeel. This one gets a little more earthy and bready as it warms.

This is a great beer. Deceivingly easy to drink as the alchohol stays disguised in the tastiness of this beer.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a hazy amber-orange beer with a three finger head. Looked OK, a little darker than I expected.

The aroma was spicy, with caramel and raisin notes, and a little sourness.

The taste was a little sour, followed by malt with a touch of sweetness, then some raisins and spiciness, and a glow of alcohol in the finish. Interesting, but it didn't blow me away.

Mouthfeel wasn't that impressive, only a little better than average... drinkability wasn't that great. Overall, I thought it was OK, but I wouldn't have another one on my own.

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

Done with a respiratory physiology exam. Following my post-exam rituals, I pop open the rare vos 75cl I've kept for 6 months in my closet. previously refrigerated for an hr or so anyway.

The significant majority of the pour goes on the head. Thick and dominantly white, perhaps a it off. much lacing is left behind and the retention is above average, but still goes down rapidly to allow drinking. Bellow, a fizzy (ok, it's a duvel tulip. it fizzes up with freakin water) orange-to-red clearly translucid body.

The smell is stingy at first. due to a large majority concentrated in some citrus-fruityness. some oranges, perhaps a bit more tangy than that. the alcohol is clearly felt within. sweet and malty in a lower amount.

The taste was impressively moderate- in contrast with what I was expecting. rather sweet and fruity at first- just enough for you to wiggle it around for a bit, before gradually going from sweet to sour, from sour to bitter. smooth transition, and not overly-sweet, sour or bitter. rather soft. In the end, a bit wheaty and dry, sort of a nice aftertaste above the bitterness. that reminds me a bit of Club Colombia, a rather decent lager. it's a nice aftertaste, doubtless.

The mouthfeel i'd say is soothing. this is no large-contrast beer. the taste range goes across smoothly and from a soft sweet to a soft bitter. Not too carbonated, just right to accompany the transition, smoothen it out even further. the alcohol to the mouth is clearly hidden, as opposed to the nose. It isn't thick, rather medium bodied, but that I'd guessed from the pour itself.

The drinkability- considering the easygoing flavours and mouthfeel, I rank quite high. the only limitation is that the alcohol goes unnoticed while drinking it but not in the body. that's why I don't give it a 5 there.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was pretty excited about trying this one out: a first for me by this brewery, and a first forray into the style after trying trippels, dubbels, wits and saisons.

When I cracked the 12 oz. bottle, there was a foam over, so I grabbed the gobblet quickly and poured as regular. The head was pretty thin, less than a finger and faded quickly. Thick dark amber color.

The smell was so dry it was almost nonexistent. Not until there was only about 4 oz. left in the glass did I get a sense of some dry fruitiness (grapes).

The taste was metalic and a little winey, like a malted cab sauv. Tasted alcoholic, even at relatively low ABV. Not really a whole lot going on besides.

Fairly astringent and dry mouthfeel.

At the end of the glass, I didn't want another one and am hoping that I won't be quite so disappointed with the bottle of Ommegang that I've had hanging around.

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

I fell victim to improper temperature and improper glassware. The beauty of a bottle of beer that you get more than one "beer" out of is that it gives you time to adjust.

Poured deep amber almost orange. Head was relentless, even more so with the initial inadequacies of proper consumption on my part. Smell of alcohol, malt and vegetables. As the beer warmed these characteristics increased.

Again, as the beer warmed the flavors exploded. I mentioned vegetables; I couldn't get carrots out of my head. Maybe it's just the earthiness of the tones that is making me think that.

Proper temperature and proper glassware are vital for this beer. A very good beer.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy copper, big frothy head, that left puffs of lacing all the way down, smell was of raisins and fruit, taste was light fruity and tangy, mouthfeel is light and slightly tart, and highly carbonated, drinkability is fantastic, just another fine product from Ommegang. I will revisit this one.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy medium coper color with a great 2 finger head and equally nice lace. Smells of sweet dried fruit (cherries, raisins, plums) with a bit of spicyness mixed in. Taste is similar to smells but with an almost immediate hop spicyness, not overpowering but just enough. Finishes with a definate alcohol taste. Also noted some caramel and even a slight roastiness. A nice Belgiun Pale and a deal at $5.

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

Heard some good things about this beer, so I figured I would pick up a 750. Pours out of the bottle a slightly hazy amber color with a big white fluffy head. Smells of raisins, plums, bananas and caramel. Very spicy aroma in there as well. Tastes like dark plums, raisins, with pepper-like overtones. Very malty sweet and tasty, like a good Belgian should be. Finishes very clean and slightly sweet; like you have just eaten some very ripe dark fruit. Medium bodied, slightly above average carbonation - good mouthfeel. Drinkability is about medium.

I am surprised by the fact that this brewery is American. I could have sworn this beer came straight from Belgium. An excellent brew.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz with no dates, but lots of information about the brew, brewery, and stuff to do in Cooperstown.

Light brown amber with a BIG white rocky head that lasted for a long time before falling to a 1cm layer foam that never left. Nice lacing as this one goes down.

Has that characteristic belgian yeast smell, fruity but not the dark alcohol soaked fruits. There's some malt in the background and the aroma of dry hops.

The tasting starts out good with the fruity yeasts making up most of it, but there is this odd metallic something that is out of place here. Doesn't ruin it overall, but it does upset the balance. Other than that this is a damn tasty brew.

Nice full, but not too full mouthfeel. There's lots of carb but it doesn't numb the tongue. Despite one flaw, this is a most drinkable beer. The 6.5abv helps that too.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-orange and hazy. Almost glowing. Creamy thin head.
Smelled majorly of honey and cloves. Some fresh apples as well.
First taste provided a spicy, tongue-stinging that led to a mildly bitter finish. Taste is chock full o' Belgian funkiness. If you gulp enough air with a swig, it tastes like an attic or basement. Is that good? Not so sure. Some metal in there as well. Sometimes sour, sometimes tangy. No pronounced flavors though. Very subtle in its approach. Mouth is thick with blankets of miniscule bubbles. Definitely an easy drink. Tasty as well.

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Photo of horndecker
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally tasted at the brewery, and mightily appreciated. This review however is from the little 12 oz'er.

It's a deep orangey brown hue, looks a bit like Minwax cherry wood stain, if Minwax had a nice big off-white frothy head that faded into clingy lace when you poured it into a Hoegaarden Speciale snifter.
The nose is citrus and vanilla, lots of vanilla, then oranges and yeasty, earthy, malts, then a hint of caramel, but that may be vanilla redux.
There's the faintest shade of bitterness at first, followed by round, biscuity malt. A mild hop thing appears and it finishes with a tang, slightly sweetish, but tangy.
There's a nice creamy mouthfeel, makes it very easy to drink, a pleasure.
What a nice touch of Belgium here in the states, and only $2 a bottle. If you're ever in Cooperstown, take the tour of the brewery. It's fascinating and refereshing...

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Photo of travolta
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Apple cide in color, very hazy. Head retention is minimal, so is formation and lacing. I will not judge against this, as i am using the wrong glass and i am sure it is my fault.

Nose: A little citrus and raisin in the beginning. A little yeasty, a bit of a Belgian nose to it. a tiny bit of vanilla and sweet crackers.

Taste: Nice and fruity at first. Not tropical, but everyday fruits, like banana and strawberry. The Belgian-style water taste is evident. A little bitter, but only slightly and in the back of the taste. Some raisin and crackers, yeasty, a little crisp at the end.

Notes: I am very impressed. This is the most non-American, American brewery I have found. Nice to drink.

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

My 12 oz bottle opens with a pop so loud it made the dog jump! It pours a amber/copper color topped by a magnificent, but brief head of bone white fluff. Amoebas of lace are left as a reminder. A veil remains throughtout.

Classic Belgian aromas of grass, spicy yeast, pear, melon, and light, bready, citrus pull me in. Cherries, fruitcake, and banana are along for the ride.

This ale first reveals itself as slightly sour with a bitter tinge. It soon fades into a plethora of grassy and herbal tones shadowed by some pear, melon, and grapey mustiness. The finish is cedary dry and quite thirst quenching.

Rather light bodied, with ample, cascading carbonation. Smooth and almost creamy on the palate. Overall, a tasty example of the style, brewed here in the states.

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

Poured light amber with a large off white rocky head. Cascading bubbles come up from the bottom.

Earthy at first in the nose, then esters reminding me of green apple. Spiciness and clove, alcohol and hay.

Big and dry taste, nice malts paired with citric hops. Vinous at times, a creamy vanilla taste was coming out at the end. Dry finish made the drinkability factor high.

Another great beer from Ommegang, the true budget beer afficianado's choice at only $3.99 a bottle where I bought it. That's value.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dusty orange with big but short lived head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is fruit (melon) and purfume A little grassy.
Flavor is fruity, pear, and a little spice. Finish is short, crisp and dry. Nice refreshing beer.
Paired well with my new favorite cheese, Rembrant aged gouda.

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Photo of Truh
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Discovered I was one of a kind with this one on 10/15/2004. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

¾-inch initial cream head, very thick with sticking lace. Light gold hue with a peach skin tint and some active haze. Tart grapefruit nose, with a wet straw yeastiness following up. Lemony tartness, coriander, almost an odd rubbery flavor and a trailing hop bite that cleanses the palate. Tasty, medium to light body that doesn’t force itself on you, but rather gently makes its presence known.

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

12-oz bottle, poured into a New Belgium chalice glass.

Appearance: Somewhat hazy walnut color, with a cake of foam about a quarter inch thick atop it.

Aroma: Sharply phenolic & spicy, and somewhat woody.

Taste: Dry, biscuity malt flavor, moderately bitter with an earthy hop taste, kind of mushroom-like. Lots of spicy phenols wait at the end, leaving for a lingering, peppery finish.

Body: Lots of carbonation give it a big, spritzy mouthfeel.

My favorite of the Ommegang line, especially as an accompaniment to food, like home-made very-thin-crust pizza, or maybe asparagus and spicy sausage.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.29/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dull auburn with a slender copper highlighting the edges. Gorgeous one inch crown of dusty yellowed fluffy meringue roots itself to the top for an eternity. A thick muddled skim remains once it does fade through from consumption and the lacing collapses into thin webbed butterfly wings. Lavishly beautiful for the winkers!

Quite a dry yeastified nose with a touch of fruits.It's a dry yeast forest of dried mushrooms, dust, chalk, and alumnium foil with a trickling under current of fruits adding some soft banana, pear, and starfruit.

Flavors are extremely mellow and calm; it has an onslaught of yeasty dry stuff carrying over from the nose with a chalky, alkaline, celery thing taking up a good portion of it. Wheat cracker backing; smidges of fruits kinda surface around the corners; pear mostly, and I think thats mostly because of the feel which is much like a pear, it has that odd texture that kinda dulls the tongue off with a drying sense. The pushy chalk and tin sits far to long though and never wants to leave the palate or lets the fruits get by.

Feel is just shy of a medium body with a dump truck of dryness and the formly mentioned chalkyness and tin. Its not a total puckering though, its a mellow easy dryness, but by a fair amount over what I like.

This was to dry for my taste, the mellowness is too mellow and the complexity it seemingly has just doesn't seem to really peak any where and the dryness flat out takes too much out of it for me. A dry yeast beast masqueraded as a scrumptiously lush looking brew...hmm...Viking brew anyone?

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

This brew is a luminous orange/amber color with a medium off-white head. Thin and sticky lacing. The aroma is lightly spiced and fruity, along with some yeast. Medium-bodied with peach, yeast, wheat and spice flavors. The finish is dry and fruity, with sweet malt peeking through. Pretty solid through and through.

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

Poured a golden honey haze with a frothy white head on top which helps hold in a light yeast, and somewhat banana and citrus influenced aromas.
Esters and the yeast are apparent in this medium bodied ale, the hops barely register, leaves a clean finish. Represents the Belgian pale/golden ale style well.
Rare Vos aka the Sly Fox feels, fairly light and is carbonated which gives it a crisp, dry finish.
At 6.5% this Belgian by way of Cooperstown isn't quite a session brew but could be enjoyed on a special day, like say superbowl sunday.
Notes: Paid $3.99 for this 750, very affordable offering from Ommegang.

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

Pours a hazy peachy amber color with a fluffy light tan head. Aromas of musty mild yeast, amber and crystal malts, light fruitiness and spicing. Starts off amberishly sweet (nuances of clover honey), then dries a little from the clovey phenols. Moderately fruity with a faint nuttiness, with a very slight woody tartness in the aftertaste. A little bit on the weak side, yet flavorful. One of the better U.S. brewed Belgian-style beers.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured slightly hazy orange golden with a huge frothy off-white head head that was large and fell very slowly to coat the glass with stick albeit sparse lace.

The aroma was black earth-loam and humus with some yeast fruit and spice.

The flavor was slightly malty but more earthy that anything else. The earth flavors and slight fruitiness along with a slight caramel impression make for an interesting flavor. The finish is dry with an vinous flavor that evolves into a dry hoppy finish.

The body was medium with some active effervescence.

This one paired nicely with spicy turkey chili.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.74/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Of the 4 new brews I had tonight, this was probably the most dissapointing. This beers flavor was just about the most average tasting "belgian" style beer I've had in a long time. The flavors that were there were weak and not interesting. This left a bad aftertaste as well. Maybe I just had a bad bottle, but this was pretty damn rough.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,292 ratings.
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