Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,155 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,155 | Ratings: 3,323
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.

 511 characters

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.

 1,355 characters

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!

 1,227 characters

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.

 464 characters

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

Appearance - Very hazy, amber colored. Good head. Soem alce.

Smell - Fuity esters. Caramel. A whole bunch of other spices. Seriously, there is a lot going on in the aroma of this beer.

Taste - I can't say I like the taste as well as the smell. Medicinal comes to mind, but it held up with a background of malt. The taste is also tangy, with a good dose of orange/citrus as the beer warms. Hops flavor comes through, particularly mid mouth and a bit in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Good, thick body. Medium high or high carbonation. Belgian style all the way.

Drinkability - This beer is good, but still is not really easy to drink. The complexities of the smell and taste demand a good measure of attention from the drinker. I think this is not a good beer for those new to craft beer. I also imagine that it is possible to find the flavors in this beer disagreeable.

Comments - Let this beer warm up a few minutes, at least, before drinking it. The flavor and smell don't seem to match up for some reason, but the beer is still enjoyable. This beer is pretty complex. I'd say it is worth a try.

 1,110 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Third time trying to type this review without my computer crashing. Damn technology.

Pours a rich and shiny amber in color with a thick head and lots of layered lace. Aroma is all lemon, sugars and spices. Mouthfeel is very light and pleasant. Went well with my salmon, lemon, taragon and pepper grilling concoction. Very drinkable, I had to pace myself or I was gonna finish before I was done eating. Flavor is at first sweet malts and sugars, but balanced nicely with smoothj hops and the yeast provides great antecedent flavors to the beer.

 546 characters

Photo of longarm
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass with a fluffy, light colored head. Dissipates slowly into a medium tinted amber roiling from the bottom of the glass. The definition of lacing in the dictionary should have a picture of this. The rocky, pock-marked surface that grabs sides of the glass is a fantastic sight.

Hints of spice and a little citrus in the nose. After warming I catch a hint of some other fruit that's quite difficult to identify. Combine this with fresh, bready tones leaves me thinking of something close to banana-bread with figs. A little alcohol is perceptible, but not overwhelming.

Flavor is a combination of orange and other unidentifiable (to me) fruits, but fewer spices than I expected given what I noticed aromatically. It's quite dry with a smooth refined finish, attributes that affect it both positively and negatively. It's remarkably smooth and very easy to drink, but not as complex as I would prefer. Because of this and it how it finely and crisply coats, it has great mouthfeel. Flavor could be a little more complex but hey it certainly tastes very good.

Very nice and easily quaffed brew. This is a very good beer and hard to identify any major flaws.

 1,207 characters

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

The beer after its release from the 750ml cork and wired brown bottle sets in the glass a luminous copper color with a portly creamy light tan head that after decomposing leaves a thick and clinging sheet of lace upon the glass. Nose is nicely malted with light hints of spice and plums. The start is lightly sweet and the grain profile adequate, the top is moderate in feel. Finishing is punishing in its acidity, the hop delightful in their spicy bite, very dry after taste that lingers long, a good beer, but I sample only rarely.

 533 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with a huge white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of floral malt, sweet hops with some subtle spices and a touch of Belgian-type yeast. Taste is a nice mix between some floral sweet malt and discreet yeast with some spices. Body is just above average but carbonation is a bit low for a Belgian Ale.

 347 characters

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.

SlĂ inte!

 648 characters

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.

 1,269 characters

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.

 403 characters

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.

 548 characters

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.

 1,817 characters

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.

 884 characters

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.

 670 characters

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.

 307 characters

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.

 416 characters

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.

 686 characters

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.

 850 characters

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.

 560 characters

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...

 875 characters

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.

 707 characters

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.

 775 characters

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.

 513 characters

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,323 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.