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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:
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,297
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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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 DoubleJ
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with a damaged cork. On to the beer:

Amber orange colored with a billowy head that shows some retention and leaves some lacing. Tempting is the aroma, soft aromas of spice, coriander, orange peel (what is this, an amber witbier, lol), some yeast action which provides some fruit skins.

There's fruit running around the palate. Cinnamon apples come to mind at first. Secondary flavors of pear than become dominant with a light baking spice. You could mix this with flour to make some killer pie crust. The carbonation is soft and easy in the mouth, and equally easy to drink.

Despite a damaged cork, Ommegang impresses with the Sly Fox. I forget how much I like these guys until I drink their beers.

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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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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into a chalice a nice light orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, minimal lacing though. The nose is malty, with some slight yeast, tangy (citrus/grapefruit/grapes), with some slight spice and caramel. The taste is malty/yeasty, I really enjoy the tangyness (grapey) tones this brew has, slight spice/caramel. Medium body, a well-rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, another very tasty brew from Ommegang, highly recommended.

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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Has a mild yeasty aroma. Taste of spices and yeast, good flavored. Feels creamy in the mouth. Goes down very easily, I could enjoy these all evening. Overall this beer makes a fine choice.

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


A- A nice bright golden, slight bronze look to it out of a Ommegang glass. A nice frothy white head sat on top looking rather thick. Once the foam faded into nothing a few swirls would bring it back. Tight lacing.

S- Deep caramel from toasted malts and some bittering hops giving off a rather earthy aroma. Some biscuits and bread with faint fruit like apple. Rather straight forward but gets better as it opens up.

T- Not a whole lot going on but I get a nice blend of malts and apples, with a nice bitter hop taste to make it a nice quaff. Sweet caramel is up front and makes a dent while lasting on the tounge for a bit. nice floral and earthy notes from this.

M- I did not care for this cold but as it warmed the flavor came out on the mouth more. Medium bodied with not over the top carbonation. Goes down easy and big gulps can be taking without being over whelmed.

D- Extremely drinkable with low alcohol, making it even easier to drink a lot. Vos tasted kind of bland to me fresh off the tap but 10 or so minutes in the flavor just came together making me smile. A good Belgian Pale Ale of which there are alot.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-amber color, it is topped by a thick frothy light beige head. It is fairly well carbonated, with a streaming line of bubbles cascading up from the bottom of my glass. The aroma is spicy with notes of coriander, ginger, a dustiness and there is a nice fruitiness that reminds me of oranges, apricot, perhaps some notes of cherry cough syrup, and tropical fruit. The aroma is quite complex and intriguing, especially for a beer of this strength.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, but then becomes dry in the middle, the lingering finish moves back to sweetness, but one that is dominated by caramel. This beer is nicely fruity, with notes of cherry, a hint of apple, banana and raisin. This beer is lightly spicy, with notes of clove, ginger, and mace. The nice soft fruitiness of this beer definitely is the dominant characteristic. There is a nice maltiness here as well, it accentuates the fruitiness. The maltiness has notes of caramel, and lightly toasted malt.

This beer is quite tasty, and quite well balanced. The interplay between the smooth fruitiness and the sharp spiciness is quite complimenting. This beer is definitely a work of craftsmanship, it is quite well balanced, yet quite flavorful for a beer of this strength. Actually this might be the best beer that Ommegang makes.

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Photo of biegaman
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bounteous volume of creamy suds raised to the very edge of the glass, denying the bottom quarter inch of the bottle and its accompanying yeast sludge any room to fit. As result, this Rare Vos would stay vibrantly clear. The head remains fluffed high with stiff peaks and the body shines incandescently with unsullied tones of bright orange and amber.

I gave a perfect score on appearance - just looking at it makes my mouth water - and I'm tempted to do the same for aroma. This is a smell my nostrils will never tire of. It pairs whole classes of spices with entire schools of fruits and insists they hold hands. Cinnamon with apple, aniseed with orange, lemon and allspice, pepper with pear - the combinations seem endless. It's amazing the array of scents that can be derived from yeast!

The taste isn't quite as dynamic but it showcases much of the same spice/fruit pairings. In particular, I note sweet oranges and cooked red apples with traces of allspice. More bready flavours and hints of toffee emerge. The beer is certainly flavourful but leaves plenty of room on the palate if you wanted to pair this with a meal.

And I can imagine it being well suited to a wide collection of meals. It is elegant, suggestive and diverse in its flavours. It is uncharacteristically light bodied for a beer this flavourful (and one of slightly higher than average alcohol percentage.) It's probably spicy enough to stack up against grilled, fatty meats but is also elegant enough to pair alongside soups and light appetizers (I'm thinking tapas.)

Ommegang rightfully advertises their beers' ability to pair amazingly with foods. Indeed they do, I haven't had a Thanksgiving or Easter in years without one of their products at the table. But those big 750ml bottles also make nice treats unto themselves. I'll tell you from experience they suit a good book, a breezy spring night by candles, or the company of good friends just as well as any dish you can think of.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours an opaque amber, possibly got some yeast there in the pour, medium white head, solid retention.

S: Bread, Belgian yeast, spice, pretty much what I expected.

T: Tasty dark bread mixing with dark fruit esters starts out the drink. Strong clovey spice bluntly intervenes, with a light acidity in the end.

M: Too much carbonation at first, but dies down with a gentle swirl, as the beer warms up the acidity comes out more, overall light/medium body.

D: This is a tasty dark Belgian-style beer and certainly one of the cheapest 750s you're going to see in the store, that alone demands a repurchase at some point. Good beer.

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

Pours a cloudy copper colored brew.

Smell is all spices, Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mint.

Taste is mildly sweet with a big spicy flavor. Coriander, cloves, allspice and celery dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

A spicy drinkable brew, almost tastes like a Hefe-Weissen.

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy, rich amber-orange color with two fingers of light tan head. Lots of effervescence. Looks good!

Smell: subtle but deep fruity aroma. Character is mostly of plums and some cherry. Nice, but I'd really like to have more of it.

Taste: very nice. Light but complex, there are plenty of nice malt flavors here; plums and cherries, of course, but also raisins and even a hint of peach. Subtle, but delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with mega creaminess from a good level of carbonation. Yum.

Drinkability: quite drinkable indeed. I would call the flavor very good, though not outstanding, but as a complete package it is a tasty treat.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pint in Alfie's on 9th Ave, New York on 18 Jan 2013: chalk board called it a 'Belgian style Amber' with 'Rare Vos' as an afterthought in brackets.

Belgian style Amber it is though, very drinkable in deed.

Slight cloud within the pour: light amber to dull gold in colour with a thinning white head on top.

The aroma was a mixed bag of smells, yeast, corriander and malts in that order.

The taste followed the smells too: add some grain feel into the blend, this was an easy drinking semi-sweet brew that I took too greatly: couldn't have another though, too many others to try!

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Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap this beer pours a fairly clear dark amber color, with a smallish head, decent retention and good lacing. Aroma is fruity and yeasty, typical Belgian-style complexity; faintly sweet, spicy, lots of apple cider notes.

Delicious flavor is led by that distinct apple cider flavor, light sourness, moderate sweetness, restrained hops. Nice yeasty spiciness. Finishes dry.

Medium body and lively carbonation; feels alive and very smooth in the mouth. Short aftertaste with just a hint of booze along with diminishing sweet and tart apple flavor.

This beer is really nice on tap; it’s been a long while since I’ve had the bottle but I’ll buy one soon and see if I like as much as I enjoyed the draft version.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a beautiful glow to it and a relatively thin white head. Slightly tart nose, but fruity with pear, a touch of lemon, a light dusting of clove, and a bit of breadiness. Pleasant. The taste is even better. Beautifully balanced with nice spicebox and fruit notes balanced by some yeasty breadiness and a touch of caramel. More pear and clove, but everything is rather restrained rather than in your face. Subtlety can be a good think. The finish is harmonious union of the pear, caramel, and clove- without being very sweet. Slightly on the carbonated side, but with a creamy, soft fizz to it. Very nice with a cheese plate, and quite drinkable. Lovely.

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

Sampled from the tall bottle on June 1, 2010. The pour is a murky amber color with about two inches of off-white fluffy head that lingers for quite a while before settling down. The aroma is an inviting spiced malt and yeast with the bottle-fermented exuberance you come to expect from a Belgian style abbey ale. The smooth and creamy mouthfeel leads to a mellow but slightly bitter flavor with a soft note of spiced hoppiness at the end. Ommegang does an excellen job emulating the style and this is just as good as if not better than an import.

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Photo of Derek
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-brown with a slight haze; fluffy, slightly off-white head; great retention and lace.

S: Cider, bread, spice (cinnamon?), fruity esters (tropical?), phenolic. Lots of yeastie byproducts!

T: Very bready, complex spicyness (peppery, cloves, corriander?), phenolic, slight acidity, figs, hints of bubblegum esters, with a little dark raisin in the finish. Dry with a light bitter/sweet/tart balance.

M: Moderate body finishes dry. Carbonation is higher than moderate.

D: The yeastie byproducts (spicy phenolics) are a little much for me. I couldn't quite finish the 750 mL in one sitting.

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Photo of dar482
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a copper amber color with tons of carbonation.

The aroma has banana, lots of spiciness, Belgian yeast and breadiness. A good amount of dark fruit from raisin to plum.

The flavor has a good balance between fruits. There's some citrus, lemon, and floral notes. Then there's lots of spice with pepper and clove. There's also apricot and also some very ripe banana.

The mouthfeel is quite light and makes it drinkable, but I found that there was a bit too much carbonation.

A well made brew and packs a good amount of flavor for its ABV.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-finger thick white head that takes forever to fade leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Wheat/yeast nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is fruity & yeasty, almost a clean finish. 750ml bottle $5.99 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of rudzud
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally picked up this offering from Julio's. the 12 ounce bottle was poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep clear amber hue with tiny suspended particles adrift with a nice dense one finger white head atop the brew that never truely faded, just became a nice snowy blanket.

S - Sweet malts with pretty much no hop aroma at all. Some nice belgian yeast and funk though.

T - Similar to the nose just with more belgian yeast/spices and funk. Nice malt sweetness too.

M - Really nice mouthfeel. Just enough carbonation to keep this from falling flat.

O - This is a nice belgian dark ale. Really dig this offering from Ommegang. Smell didnt really blow me away but alot of the other stuff did.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in California and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a hazed, slightly amber orange colour, with a full and frothy head, initially. This settles to a half-centimetre of fine off-white foam, leaving minimal lacing. Body is quite light. Not a bad look.

Nose is fragrant with organic Belgian notes, but also rather sharp, with a zesty carbonation whack livening up the palate. Hint of caramel grains and a touch of earthiness. All up, it's nice, but it's a little too sharp, and a little less powerful than I like.

Taste is clean and light, with vigorous carbonation that makes the palate smart. Pleasant mild Belgian phenols giving a cleansing sharpness, with a suggestion of acidity on the back. Quite light on flavour, and where it is, it's not the round sweetness I expect, but it's pleasant and drinkable.

It's a good beer, but in my opinion not a great beer. It's pleasant, light, drinkable and quite sessionable for its 6.5%. The characters are pleasant enough, but it doesn't really do anything exceptional.

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Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 750 ml. bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick foamy white head and large chunks of yeast floating around. Citrus sour aroma of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Sweet citrus flavor that contains a lot of yeast and a touch of maltiness.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a orangish, ruby tinted body with minimal head but left it there because of good carbonation. A simplistic but good, strong swwet malt base smell with some citric notes, mostly orange peel, and some spices (clove). Smooth and medium-bodied, this beer has a crisp fruit taste that is spicy, yet also contains a good amount of sweetness to it and was slighty chewey/doughey. A nutty, dry backbite complements the beer as it goes down and this is a nice Belgian that I could relax with all day while watching college football (which I am doing now).

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy, burnt coppery-orange with a humongous sandy colored foamy head that displayed very good retention clinging to the sides of the glass while it pitted in the middle. A thick, clumpy lacing was left behind. Visible carbonation was light and sporadic.

S: The nose yielded sour fruit (pineapple) a funky yeastiness, musky grains, with a light candi-sugar sweetness.

T: The initial flavor started out with a big funky yeasty sourness with sour fruit (pineapple, pears), tart lemons, and light coriander. Some sour green apples, sour caramel, off set by some candi-sugar notes as well spicy alcohol fusels. There was a light wet grain muskiness also detected. The finish finds some sharp, tart lemons and acidity that lingers on with a gentle fade. The yeast truly shines and highlights the flavor of this beer especially on the finish.

M: a fizzy carbonation, was very light, tart, and yeasty.

D: Very good drinkability, yeasty, sour and a very good example all around.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy peachy amber color with active carbonation and a thick, persistent head.

S: Nose has crisp yeast scents complemented with fruity notes and a bit of peppery spice.

T: Light Belgian yeasy, some spice, clove and light booze sting

M: Alcohol warmth shows up more and more as the beer warms up. Nice feel, some bubblegum flavors

D: Very good

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,297 ratings.
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