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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,292
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 dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2007.

A: Pours a very lightly hazy amber in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head the reduces to very thin patches and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed. There is quite a bit of visible yeast that pours into the glass at the end of the bottle.

S: There are aromas of a fruity yeast, some hints of spice/pepper, along with some sweet malts and hints of caramel/toffee.

T: Bready malts followed by a little bit of caramel/toffee malts, then the fruity yeast shows through, and finally some very light spice/pepper. There is a slight bit of oak to this beer as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: A very drinkable beer and one that I have had many times, I think that it actually improves some with aging though my guess is that aging it much more than 5 years and it could be on the down slope. I really like this beer and it could easily be a session beer for me.

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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 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 billab914
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Russian River tulip. It poured a murky, light caramel color with a foamy white head filling the top inch of the glass. Decent head retention to it.

The spicy, earthy, Belgian yeast flavors are immediately noticeable in the aroma. I get some sweeter malty flavors with some crisp fruits as well as a little caramel coming through. The crisp, light fruits seemed to dominate a little as it warmed though.

The crisp, lighter fruits are there throughout the taste. I get some notes of apple mixing with the spicy yeast profile. There is some malty, caramel sweetness, but it feels a little hidden and overshadowed by the fruit and spice flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being towards the higher side. Overall it's a pretty good beer, but not one of my favorites from Ommegang. The crisp, sweet fruits and yeast spice dominate a little too much making it felt a little overly sweet and almost apple juice like at times. Pretty decent tasting and easy drinking overall, but I like their BPA a lot more.

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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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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

Had a bottle with seafood enchiladas at The Mission Restaurant in Syracuse, a great pairing. Rare Vos reminds me a bit of an amber Duvel, though not quite as the complex. The malts are sweet and mild with an apple, cherry, and berry taste. Very drinkable and tasty, but it might be overpriced if you're a budget beer shopper or think Rogue is too expensive.

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

The beer poured a dark golden/ amber color with a large off-white head that remained throughout my tasting. It was a bit hazy and overcarbonated due to bottle conditioning, but it's not a real big issue. The aroma smells of sweet Belgian malts and corriander. It's a bit fruity. The taste is good. A bit plain for me. Their other beers offer a little more spiciness, but this one is a good choice. The taste has the same fruity taste, but not as strong as the aroma suggests. I detect very little hopping in this one. The mouthfeel is quite smooth. This beer is very drinkable and a delight. Ommegang offers plenty in the line quality Belgian ales. This one however, is my least favorite of theirs'.

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

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a short head.

Smell: yeast, pears, and apples are most notable.

Taste: caramel, big yeast flavors, ripe plums, pears, and golden apples. Bitterness is moderate but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this beer. This is a beer you can drink all day long.

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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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