Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

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1,141 Reviews
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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

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Reviews: 1,141 | Ratings: 3,270
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 david131
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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Photo of Dodo2step
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegman's in mechanicsburg

My 500th review

A- light amber color with a 3 finger head that is foamy and leaves a frothy laving on my cru. A nice mountainous head as well. great look and inviting.

S- fruity esters but almost floral like. there but not there a perfect combination almost. Citrus and yeasty maltiness.

F- the fruity esters follow a bready yeast. Very smooth transition. this is nice. not much else to say. damn good

M- light bodied yet creamy but smooth. goes down with ease. The grain warms my throat but it isn't strong.

O- a great beer for my 500th. I would love a case of it. This goes in to my top 10!!!

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Best before 09/2013, bottled on 28/09/12.

Appearance: Slow pour yielded a translucent orange amber beer. Thick light-orange foam on top, with lots and lots of lacing abounding on the glass. Looking at the bottom of the bottle after the pour some yeast sediment came along for the ride, but not a lot.

Smell: Yeast, fruity esters, apple & grape, maybe a barest hint of orange citrus.

Taste: Very complex. Malt, spice (coriander?), orange zest, grain, and all of it blended together such that the flavors run past the tongue in rapid succession. Not a muddled mess, but rather a quick lineup of wonderful flavors that work well with one another. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Airy carbonation, nicely coats the whole mouth though and leaves a nicely wet and cool coating. Thickness underneath just right. A pleasure to drink.

Overall / Drinkability: A very nice beer - I can see why people rave about it so much. Indeed very drinkable / sessionable as indicated on the bottle. I could polish one of these off easily over lunch with little problem, and would not mind having another one if I decided to not have a "session". Definitely one to get again.

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Photo of brushpig
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle at Sams wines in Chicago, 750ml bottle.

Red amber in hue. Large off-white creamy head that had full longevity. Active carbination that never stopped. What a beer should look like.

The aroma was light , yeast, fruits(plum, grapes) soft but very appealing.

Great flavor with spices like pepper, herbs, light fruit sweetness, very lively in mouth, finishes dry, with long duration.

This is an exceptional beer visually, and in flavor. Buy it!

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Photo of pkalix
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice color- does apricot convey it well? orange-y-amber, for the head is loose with larger bubbles and dissipates quickly into a nothing.
smell is a little fruit-like, typical of a belgian, but in an attempt to hone it down i came up with 'cotton candy'. yeah, i'll stick with that...
taste is green apple up front(?) with some other crisp fruity flavors. i think this is the first wanna-be duplicate brew which actually has some great(er) characteristics than the original. the taste is right up front and clearly defined. right off the vine, fruit taste. almost a bit candy-like, with a greasy superficial flavor not unlike a flavored pack of Twizzlers (which, for licorice, i abhor- Red Vines are the best).
i wrote this as i continued tasting it and my feelings for it continued to evolve. i understand the description seems a bit strange but i stand by it and as i am left with an almost-empty glass i feel confident in what i just tasted. the taste is most definitely like a 'sour apple' Jolly Rancher, but if it had billed itself as such we'd all be trying to derive that and probably be disappointed. this is absolutely my description of it in a nutshell. or a shot glass. i think i need to look at their website to see what/how they describe it... 2nd thought-forget it. after checking in i remember what a struggle it is to get around their website.
there is a funky taste to it, but it's not over-powering and i dont hold it against the review. it's still a great brew and one i will recommend....

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Photo of chiccabeer
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a milky amber appearance that has the perfect amount of head when poured into a glass. It smells sweet, fruity, and malty. The taste is very smooth with a lot of flavor. I taste apple and a light sweetness which is not overpowering. The after taste is very is light with a a hint of fruit making you want more. This beer would be good for any occasion, but tastes more like a summer beer. Cheers.

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

Pours a nice dark orangy color with a sizable head that dissolves to a fine bubbly sheen...citrus seems to dominate in early glass, as it warms it reveals a nice balance of malt/hops. Spice in the finish..pepper, hint of cloves....grapefruit....this beer is excellent with spicy food, thai, mexican etc...the brewer at Ommegang told me (at Half time's recent 3 phillophs event) that this is the staff's favorite at the Brewery

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

Robust off-white head deep ruby copper body. Decent head retention and lace. Aromas of toasted and sweet malt, vinous fruit, a hint of hops and some wet horse blanket. Tastes are similar with a nice toasted biscuit malt profile, mild caramel sweetness and a bit of barnyard character. Medium body. Moderate carbonation makes it quite crisp upfront in the mouth, but it settles down for a smooth finish. Slightly drying.

My favorite of the excellent offerings from the Ommegang crew. If only there were more Belgian-style ales of this caliber produced domestically. . .

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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 Stubbie1
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark orange in color, thick white head on the top and it lasts forever then a nice lacing takes over.

Aroma is of orange peel, noticeable but not overpowering. A hint of yeast and spice finish the aroma.

The taste is smooth. A fruity citrus flavor with spice. Orange peel comes across then spicy notes to a dry finish.

This beer is enjoyable and easy to drink.

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