Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,154 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: 1,154 | Ratings: 3,314
Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang is rapidly becoming one of my favorite American breweries. I tried the Hennepin not long ago and was blown away. The Rare Vos was impressive as well.

This beer has a cloudy, almost orange appearance when poured into a tulip glass. There was maybe a quarter inch of head.

The smell was fruity, as Belgian or Belgian-style beers tend to be. It was a nice, low key bouquet.

The taste was very sneaky. You get a bit of apples and some sugar without it taking over the beer. This was excellent.

The mouthfeel was highly carbonated, giving a pop to the proceedings.

This is a highly drinkable beer. Not too heavy or light. Very tangy and has a lot of personality.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up a while back. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice

A: Gorgeous amber with a beautiful off-white head. Great retention, gorgeous carbonation.

S: Fruity sweetness with a hint of peaches and plums.Doughy and yeasty. Hint of sugary sweetness. Mild spice with white pepper. Delicious

T: Starts off with a complex spice bouquet with cinnamon, white pepper, and a strong clove note before a hint of sweetness comes through with some mild fruit. Finishes dry and mildly spicy

M: Light without being watery, enough carbonation to feel soft and not fizzy, drying and spicy on the finish in a very nuanced way - perfect

D: Can't believe I've waited so long to try this beer. I'm definitely grabbing more and soon

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appear: Beautiful amber color with a thick golden head. Good head retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Caramel notes with pleantiful spices (all spice).

Taste: A lot of upfront spices. I detected cloves and all spice. I really enjoyed the balance of sweetness and spices. Although the spices are upfront, they are not overbearing.

Mouth: Very carbonated, but not over carbonated for this style of beer. Definately enough to get your tongue tingly. Good amount for a spicy beer.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in appearance, nice carbonation. Has very fruity taste and a dry finish. Tried some with cheddar cheese and enjoyed it very much. Very comparable to Belgian made ales. I did have one bottle, perhaps served a bit warm, which did taste a little solventlike. However this seems to have been an exception.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep rust in color, hazy from the yeast. Gigantic, pillowy white head. Explosive carbonation. Head settles a bit to show sticky lace on the glass.
Nose is a bit fruity.
Mildly sweet, with biscuit and raw grain flavors. Oranges, slightly spicy, and transitions into a dry piney finish. Full bodied a somewhat rustic (in a good way). Creamy, smooth, & balanced. This beer is complex, sublte, & highly quaffable. Drinking this is as easy as breathing air.

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Photo of beerogre
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been on the shopping list for a few weeks now and as I had been anticipating, it turns out to be another winner from Ommegang, one of my favourite breweries.

As the name suggests, it's Amber coloured, but the things I like about this beer are the head, which does decrease in size with time but yet remains throughout, and the luxurious, creamy mouthfeel, both of which remind me of many an English pint I have sank in a former existance.

This is a beer I could imagine going out and drinking several pints of on a Thursday night, even though there's work on Friday. "It's okay, it's almost the weekend: Only Friday to get through."

I bought a four pack yesterday consumed two last night and was planning to just have one tonight and then something else, but bollocks to that idea, I've enjoyed this bottle so much I'm going to sup the last one as well, and then have something else, if I'm still thirsty....which I probably will be...

A "feel good factor" beer, for sure.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. From a 750ml bottle.

A - Absolute perfect pour on my part. Hehe. The beer is a lacy dark amber color with some nice golden hues and some nice haze that blocks out the light. A solid 1 inch head is present, very dense and tight, receding and leaving a bit of lace. Some yeast sediment cam through, there is plenty of it.

S - Mild clove and some nice peppery spices. Some sweet pear juice as well. Honey and other fruits are in there as well along with the grains. Alcoholic esters pop up as it warms and as I swirl it in the glass.

T - Some sweet and grainy malt pops up first, followed by some sweet clove and then some spices that start curbing the sweet. Flavors are well put together and work well. Very balanced and complex. Some yeast flavor as well with slight phenolic hints in there. Dry finish from the hops.

M - full bodied, nice complexity and very nice balance of flavors with good CO2

D - Refreshing and delicious

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Photo of Scooter77
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew from the folks at Ommegang. Pours an orange/copper in color with a thick creamy off-white, persistent head. After the froth dies down, a sticky web-like lace is left on the glass. Aromas are quite yeasty with moderately fruity undertones. Initial taste is somewhat malty, mixed with yeast and citrus fruit. A nice crisp zing of spiciness, possibly coriander, is left on the tongue. This is one exceptionally complex, yet balanced brew.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice - reviewed waaay back on March 16th, but I'm just now gettin' it up.

Appearance: Honey amber, lively carbonation, a thick, rocky head with good retention. Thick lacing, but somewhat runny. Haze present in one glass from yeast. Gorgeous.

Smell: Fruits - plum and grapes - earthy must, and a sweet, grassy grain dominate. Peppery cloves and other mild, earthy spices from the hops are present in the background.

Taste: Cloves again, with other peppery spices are very noticeable, a strong grainy, layered maltiness and fruit notes - pear, plum, and a very strong banana ester in the aftertaste - round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Foamy, the sweetness isn't cloying, but it's crisp and full. Great.

Drinkability: Outstanding, low in alcohol (6.5% abv), great subtle flavor interactions, and ridiculously inexpensive for its quality.

I live for this kinda stuff - domestic interpretations of great Belgian styles. It's very complex, very well-balanced, and very drinkable. Sly fox indeed.

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Photo of hyuga
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dried apricot color with a large foam that settles quickly. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of head retention, since Belgians usually have no problem with this. Complex aroma of grape (making it a bit wine-like), plum, a bit of citrus, a touch of malt, and a hint of Belgian spicy yeast. Flavor profile differs a good deal from the aroma, but is also very complex, and definitely tasty. Bread-like malt, smoothed fruity bitterness, and yeast character up front, with an underlying yet rich spiciness. Dark fruits appear at the back, the aforementioned plum mostly. Grape-like acidity is present throughout. Finishes with a more apparent hop bitterness and a touch more yeast. Medium to full-bodied. With another pour from the 750 ml bottle and an immediate taste before the head settles, the mouthfeel is much better and the spiciness created by that wonderful yeast is more apparent. This would definitely benefit from better head retention. However, this is quite a tasty, complex, unique, and extremely drinkable ale. Definitely worth a try. I'd love to pair it with some food next time.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this bottle after a quick visit to a grocery store. Been hearing a lot of great things about this one. Let's see how it is.

Appearance: Pours a golden, amber hum with a look of butterscotch. Provides and shows off a beautiful frothy, white, foamy head. So professionally done, it could've been a postcard inviting you to just dive in and enjoy the pure Belgian style. The lacing left behind is something that I've been looking for and this beer nailed it.

Smell: Can definitely notice a aroma of strong peach-like, fruity scent. Clove is also noticeable and what else pulls through is an undertone of Belgian yeast.

Taste: Has a great flavor of sweet malt and some nice touches of earth-based fruits and citrus zest. Also quite noticeable is a hint of peppery malt which actually helps support a bitterness of yeast that really actually ties this together and creates a well-balance of flavors. An underestimated hint of floral hops also comes into play. Enjoyed this beyond my early expectations. Its a combo of creamy and rich flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Sort of soft on the palate and semi dry on the finish.

Overall: Upon coming into this beer, I was told great things by beer lovers alike. I did come into this with an open mind and tried to stay as unbiased as possible. It far exceeded my expectations. The overall balance of sweet and bitter came together just right and provided me with a texture of just pure, Belgian style beer. I will be getting this beer again as a great session brew and would totally recommend this to anyone looking to expand into the Belgian beer market. Cheers!

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

750 ml into duvel tulip

App: Dark gold, almost amber, with hues of orange. Frothy off-white head.

Smell: Wonderfully fruity apple and lemon with an herbal hop finish. Noticeable yeasty funk

Taste: Starts strongly fruity with some lemon, fades into the yeasty funk I love about this beer. As it warms, flavors of almond and maraschino cherries develop. Strong herbal hop presence in the end. Finishes a bit husky with a hint of raw, yeasty dough. Yum!

Medium to full body from the substantial carbonation.

A wonderful treat that is surprisingly even better on tap.

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy orangish/brownish with a creamy head this is very well-retained. It leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of fruitcake with sugary spices. A touch of alcohol. Wonderfullly rich smell.

The taste is of sweet fruity malt with spiced earthy breadiness. Warming alcohol notes emerge but never overwhelm. It has a creamy body with a spicy tang. A tartness balances out the sweetness. Just a touch of hops emerge as it warms and nears the finish. It's very well-balanced, with the sweet spiciness coming out ahead. It has a long, crisp, dry finish.

It has a nice texture with a lingering fruity spiciness.

This is a very nice "sipping" brew. A very nice interpretation of a Belgian. Serves well as an apperitif or as a complement to a creamy Belgian or French cheese plate.

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

Pours a hazy orange with a huge head and active carbonation, banana undertones and a crisp fruity prescence punctuated with controlled alcohol scents and some grain pulls through as well. Full taste, carbonation sits in as you drink it all the way down, fully flavored but not too heavy. A fantastic beer, stunning in quality for the price.

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

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

Rare Vos pours a cloudy, muted peach color; basically a mixture of nice red, yellow, and oranges that shows some really interesting highlights when held up to the light. Puts up two fingers of thick, foamy, cream-colored head that hangs around a long time and leaves some thick and sticky lacing on the glass.

Has a nice, rich aroma of fruits (particularly apples, bananas, and plums) and some sweet spices. Very aromatic, you can smell the beer as soon as you pour it.

The taste mirrors the nose: fruitiness up front, followed by a nice malty sweetness and a little bit of hoppy spiciness that brings about a sweet, lingering flavor as the beer finishes.

Nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel, but not overly heavy. A nice mouthfeel for a Belgian style dark, the slight amounts of carbonation work together with the alcohol to leave a nice tingle in the mouth as you drink.

Overall a very nicely done Belgian Dark from Brewery Ommegang. Pretty damn drinkable, too, especially if you like sweet Belgian beers. I wouldn't have more than two in a night just because of the sweetness, but this is good stuff. I'll get it again.

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

Greatbrew ! 750ml bottle. Poured a cloudy orange/copper color with a solid white three finger head. The smell is fruity, sweet malts and yeasty. The taste is wonderful. Slight citrous flavor with a bready malt goodness and hint of spice that is hard to beat. Nicely balanced with a hop bite that just noticable enough to be almost perfect. The carbonation and mouthfeel were right on. The drinkability is very good.

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

A- A slightly hazy orange liquid with a creamy white head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing. The color of this is fantastic.

S- Very aromatic with some lighter fruit notes, orange rind, white bread, and a bit floral. Everything comes together nicely.

T- Sweet and slightly sour. The fruit and bread components compliment each other nicely.

M- Smooth and creamy with a bit of a clean, dry finish.

D- A very well made beer. Drinks nicely, but is a bit of a sipper for the ABV. Definitely worth having.

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Photo of Eeroomnhoj
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came home from the local wine store and had three bottles of beer. This was recommended as being a great beer and I am enjoying it. Seems a bit fizzy (or is it yeasty?). Enjoyable nonetheless. With that being said I am not sure I would want to drink several of these, might be wrong though. This is definitely a beer worth having again.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a tall Belgian glass. Bottle was dated 12/2014.

Appearance: bright orange with a full head that rode the glass to the end. Turbid from the bottle conditioning.

Nose: spicy, phenolic, classic Belgian yeast smell, pears, slightly herbal

Taste: very smooth, no alcohol notes, spicy, a bit thin and I'd expect a more round mouthfeel from the classic Belgian house yeast Ommegang uses. Slightly fruity and the hops notes are very low to non-existant.

Overall: This one needs some improvement in the mouthfeel as far as a more enjoyable beer. However, in terms of drinkability, it is top of the list. I find this beer very quaffable. Overall, great showing from one of the best craft breweries in the States and a damn good Belgian one at that.

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

Poured into a 16 oz tuliped goblet from a 22oz bottle.

appearance - 4/5 - Pours with a big slightly off-white head. Semi-cloudy orange color.

smell - 4/5 - Yeasty and fruity. Maybe apple or pear.

taste - 4.5/5 - Semi-sharp almost sour bite followed by pear. It's also got an odd spice flavor that I can't describe.

mouthfeel - 5/5 - A fairly high amount of carbonation. Moderately dry

overall - 4.5/5 - An interesting Belgian. It seems both complex and simple. I would like to try it again to see how I feel about it under different circumstances.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

what the hell is a belgian amber? well, ok, this is from ommegang so ill give it a try. amber color and a bit cloudy. smells like any other belgium. sour tinges, nice and smooth. clove, malt flavors. very tasty beer. not too hard hitting like some other big bad belgians. quite impressed.

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

The beer pours a light amber with a whitish head composed of small bubbles. The foam dies down a bit quickly and leaves a little lacing on the glass.

The smell is dominated by smokey cloves, a little bit of citrus rind in the background. This carries over into the taste quite well, with a nice bitter/sourness that is carried accross the tongue by an assault of carbonation. One of the best mouthfeels I have ever been lucky enough to experience. It tickles and tingles the whole way down and leaves an exquisite clovey lingering flavor.

I could drink this all the time, very impressive. I have come to expect nothing less from this wonderful brewery.

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

Rare Vos

Pours a golden amber that has a hazy glow about it. A fingers worth of white head sits for a few moments and drags spotty lacing down as the glass is swirled.

The nose offers some bready malts with cider and banana qualities. Very enticing as it begs to be consumed.

The taste is almost spot on with the nose but amplifies the Belgian goodness within. The apple/banana blend is boldly announced followed by some funky spices that make this one delicious.

The mouthfeel is crispy on the palate. Ample carbonation nails my palate and spreads the Belguim inspired characteristics throughout.

Overall, why did i wait so long to try this? Awesome American made Belgo amber. Brings the whole package to the party.

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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 NeedBeerHere
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark amber/orange in color with a NICE three finger head with good retention. Smell is of nice Belgian yeast -- bananas and cloves. A little fruity in the nose but the yeast takes the forefront here. Taste is more of the nice Belgian yeast and what was in the nose. There is a little fruity hops with a great aftertaste that includes a slight bitterness but not overwhelming. I really love the Belgian yeast so this is all win for me. Mouthfeel is really quite thick for the style which is hard to do and keep all these variables together in such a nice beer. Really a nice beer that I haven't had for years and really glad I tried it again.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,314 ratings.
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