Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,155 Reviews
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
ommegang.com

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:
1,155
Ratings:
3,324
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
10.89%
 
 
Wants:
200
Gots:
671
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,155 | Ratings: 3,324
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

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

Thanks to Phatz for this 750ml corked and caged brown bottle that I shared w/ octopus87 and friends.

Poured cold into a tumbler.
A - A hazed amber w/ a thin white head. The head produces a moderate amount of lace. The yeast from bottle conditioning was included in the pour.

S - Malty, belgian yeast aroma, bready.

M - A lively fizziness gives the malt some levity. A gentle spice and hop woodiness in the texture adds to the overall feel.

T - A mild flavor of toasted grain mixes w/ spice and yeastiness. A bready and gentle pine tasting hop and phenolic after taste. Very pleasant flavor, yet a bit mild.

D - A pleasant malty belgian. Worth a try for sure. A very tasty ale one I would probably pair w/ poultry.

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Photo of smcolw
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy amber color. The head starts off well but recedes to a single layer. Leaves impressive lace on the glass.

There's an element of American pale ale smell to this beer. There is a distinct aroma of hops.

The Belgian yeast is the key taste here. Relatively thin with a very high level of carbonation. The hop flavor only shows up at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

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

Big frothy off white head subside to a clinging cream coloured lace. Mild haze from the yeast, looks nearly clear with a pale copper hue. Fruity, estery and spicy aroma with hints of ripe plum and an earthy blend of anise, clove, nutmeg and citric zest. Dry malt palate that taste like a toasted multigrain cracker, big crisp mouth feel and a moderate body. Bitterness from the hops is noticeable. Estery with a slight peppery phenolic character that goes towards coarse and medicinal in the finish. The finish is dry and grain with residual phenols. Paired very well with whole grain crackers and aged hunters cheddar.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves no lacing and lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian style yeast, fruity malts, and very light bananas. Pretty nice, with a lot of dark fruit.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, bananas, fruity malts, yeast, cloves, light citrus, light floral and earthy notes. Again, lots of dark fruits, and more bananas than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice amber ale with a Belgian style kick to it. Lots of dark fruits mixing with some bananas and bready malts. Very easy to drink, would give another shot.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

See, there is a beer with "Rare" in the name that doesn't get blasted by many BAs. It pours a cloudy red-orange topped by a finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, orange peel, black pepper, light nutmeg, wheat, and a plenty o' bread, which seems to smother everything else after a few sniffs. The taste tones down the bread in favor of the spicier notes, and the orange really shines through a bit more here. I think I get a touch of cinnamon in the background. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate (though kinda prickly) carbonation and a finish that borders on the refreshing. Overall, a pretty nice Belgian-style brew, but I think it's one of the lower points in Ommegang's repertoire.

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

Once more, Bridgewaters Pub in 30th Street Station continued to impress me with their selection. This was on-tap on my way back to LNC from PHL on 20 January 2006, following the Rich Wagner lecture at Yards.

Danny brought this to me witha thick, tawny head with decent retention. The color was a slightly hazy medium-amber. The nose had a distinctive yeast-driven mustiness. The mouthfeel was thick, full, and very effervescent. The taste was fruity (like Juicyfruit gum), musty, and with a tang of spiciness. The finish was very dry with the mustiness leaving a dusty feeling on the back of my throat. Yow!

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

The beer appears a hazy golden hue with a gargantuan head that leaves ample lacing on the tulip glass.

Aromas include yeast, fruit, sugared candies, malt (Belgian), apples, and alcohol.

The taste is a balanced offering of everything I detected in the scent. Spiced fruit with some bread and yeast, followed by a zesty subtle bitterness, like lemon and/or orange zest. The sweetness, which tastes like fruity yeast or yeasty fruit, whichever you like, is minimal enough that I couldn't see it becoming cloying.

The feel is medium to full bodied with long lasting flavor and an above average level of carbonation.

This is a very good beer and worth buying.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Specialty Beer Cellar. Served in a Rare Vos straight sided glass.

Appearance - Hazy deep golden. Big white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Fruity. Kinda phenolic. Sweet fruity maltiness.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Immediately fruity. Belgian yeast flavors quickly dominate. Bitterness builds up too, particularly in the back end from high carbonation.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. High carbonation, though it retains a bit of fruitiness.

Overall - I drank a glass of this very quickly. Second glass, not so much. Lacked a bit of excitement.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy apricot color with a large effervescent cream colored head, even webbing of lace delicate and beautiful Belgian style ale poured from a 12oz. bottle conditioned vessel. Aroma has fruit sweet nectar picking up some sharp apple tones, and cherries thrown in there to make it a bit sweet and sour. Slightly musty yet peppery yeast effervesence makes this beer one of the most appetising american made belgium styles ales I have come across. Sweet sharp malt tones with fruit phenols dancing along the palate what a great beer, same yeast profile just a tad peppery in the flavor profile and a mild bitter hop profile to go along with it. Just amazing that this beer wasn't brewed in Belgium, in my eyes the high carbonation makes this beer able to cut right through the flavors of a well done prime rib or any other lucious meat. Medium in body a true blessing to any beer lover, and this Brewery Ommegang product may just be the most drinkable other than Hennepin. Just simply a must try wonderful strong ale.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken last month (8/21)

Pours a clowdy amber with thick 2 finger head. Big bubbles fade quickly to a lacey half finger of off white head. Fruity aroma with yeast present. Taste is filled with yeast, nearly bread like but has a fruit character akin to apples. Smells also of apples and spice as well. Light mouthfeel and mildly warming sweet finish.

 367 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a Lazy dog.
slightly hazy medium golden color with a huge bubbly frothy off white head that takes forever to recede. Clove and spice lay heavy on the nose with some faint bready maltiness. The flavor is sweet bready malt light earthy big clove and peppery spice. Well made beer, but its a bit heavy on the clove and spice for my tastes.

 348 characters

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

Pours a clear amber with a thick creme head. Doughy, inky, yeasty nose. Flavor is smooth. High amounts of dough. Lots of it. Minor spicy. More minor funk. Some citrus fruits are there too. It's smooth and well done. Feel has a biting carbonation and the liquid is good. Very easy to drink. A good Belgian style ale.

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Photo of tdm168
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - orangish amber with a big mountain of dense, bubbly, white head that has decent retention

S - caramel, baked apples, faint yeast

T - caramel, dough, apples, faint yeast in the finish

M - medium bodied, crisp, a little heavily carbonated

This is a nice offering from Ommegang. It doesn't have that overpowering Belgian funk that often accompanies this style. It has a nice flavor and is easily drinkable. It's worth a try.

 429 characters

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

Poured from the 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass. A real good solid pop off the cork. Packaged February 25th 2011, best by February 2012.

A real nice golden hue glowing orb amber and orange off the body, with a big light off white foamy head. Forms nicely off the side glass edge pour, real nice looking beer.

Nose is a great mix of Belgian malt and some toasted malt character. Some mild brown spices, clove, nutmeg, but a little faint very nice.

Toasty wine like sensation. Front palate is prickly carbonated with light banana. Brown roasting finish with a good chewy malt backbone. Good sense of crispness and semi dry.

Overall the beer seems to vary all over but never messy or out of kilter. Quite enjoyable.

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

Not sure why this is classified as a dark ale because it pours a light amber color. Has the trademark Belgian yeast taste and is a very good beer. If you are new to Belgians this is a good starting point. Very well made and easy to drink more than one.

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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.

 788 characters

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 feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

McCall said, in his review, that regular, as well as Cave-Aged, Rare Vos goes well with spicy foods, and it's a good thing, for I'm sampling as I dine on Ethiopian food, and you couldn't want spicier! (although tonight's meal is on the mild side)
There comes off the cage, now for the cork...POP!..and we pour...pale orangeish color, good-sized creamy head..aroma is fresh, yeasty, fruity, uplifting, and more character shines through, more sweet, candyish, even...distinctly sugary, and the perfect profile for a Belgian-style ale bent on delivering deliciusness!
Oh, yum...oh, delicious...thick, fruity, ...heavenly, chock full o' sweetness...malt, hops in perfect alignment to produce a divinely candyish, magnificent dessert beer...or dinner beer...or Happy-to-Be-Alive-Beer (and who doesn't need a copious amount of these?)
In all honesty, the work done in the cave was fairly minimal, for I've just now consumed a 750 of non-cave-cellared Rare Vos, though certainly ensconced in an uncaring store's aisle for many, many months, for what that's worth...and the difference is not too remarkable ...a bit mellower, perhaps...wonderful mouthfeel, dazzling hops...my appreciation continues to grow...bright fruit flavors continue, peach, apricot...not as transcendent as I'd hoped, not like my experience with the Cave-Aged Ommegang.
Still, despite that, a really nice beer...really, really nice...mmmmn, did I say nice? I meant niiiiiiice!
Big thanks to purplehops for providing this bottle!

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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 Duff27
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a booming three-fingered white head atop a dark amber beer into a tulip. Effervescence aplenty! Great head retention and thick lacing.

S- Belgian yeast and slight bread quality.

T- Caramel malts with the Belgian yeast spice. Hint of dark fruit.

M- Medium to light mouthfeel. Can feel the effervescence on my tongue.

D/O- I'm not so sure I'd want to have more than one, maybe two, of these. Can't remember the last time I gave a "5" for appearance. Reminded me a lot of Hennepin...guessing that's the yeast.

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

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/2 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet earthy malts. There's a lot of hops noticeable. Fits the style, since it has a wide array of possible flavors. Smooth, crisp mouth feel with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt and lots of hops. The bitterness level is strong, but not too overpowering. Overall, another really yummy beer from Ommegang - definitely worth a try!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a medium sized off white / tannish head of small soapy bubbles that leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady and made up of medium bubbles that rise quickly through the beer.

Slight caramel aroma, not much else.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, sweet but muted. Beer is medium in body, carbaontion makes the body seem bigger. There is a roasty / sugary / caramel flavor in there. No aftertaste or real bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

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Photo of stevoj
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ginger Man. Unassuming appearance, toffee nose, leads into gooey caramel and toffee taste with hints of Belgian yeast. Finishes fast, but this ones all about the flavor. Sly, indeed.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute glass. Pours a coppery golden amber with a three finger white head with good retention and lacing. Pleasant aroma of clove, peach, pear and citrus fruit, light banana, enticing. Flavor is relatively muted compared to the aroma, with biscuit malt, caramel , finishing somewhat dry with a lingering dry caramel aftertaste with hints of hops. Medium bodied with hints of creaminess. An unusual flavor combination that is well integrated so that individual caramel, light fruit and yeast flavors reveal themselves and fade away during the taste. I greatly enjoyed this ale, as I have all of Ommegang's offerings.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,324 ratings.
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