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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: 3,297
Photo of hophead723
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy deep orange with a sexy billowing off-white head. I accidentally allowed some of the sediment to flow into the pour but it was my fault because of my technique, no problem. There is great lacing and the beer looks very appealing.

Smell: Rich malty aroma with a lot of subtle orange and spice going on in the background. There is also a nice amount of fruity ale yeast coming through.

Taste: A rich full taste of malt, honey, spices, and yeast. It is so complex and delicious.

Feel: Rich and smooth.

Overall: Yet another awesome beer from Ommegang proves these masters really know what they are doing. The quality is like the stark contrast of fine leather compared to vinyl. Enjoy.

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Photo of mbusster88
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A: Pours hazy amber with tan head. Quite a bit of carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S: Dried fruits, dates, plums maybe orange. Smell of coriander. Really deep aroma of earthy notes coming from the yeast.

T/M: Get the dried fruit right away. Follows up with heavy earth characteristics and great notes of deep apricot tastes. Really smooth taste and feel to this. Typical Belgian style characteristics show through, clean and very well done.

D: Love to drink this beer, great medium body makes this a good one to drink by itself. Really love the deep fruit notes, makes this a wonderful beer to admire and enjoy.

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

This is my first Belgian Pale Ale. Dry and hoppy, not unpleasant. I am usually not a fan of Pale Ales, but this is a little different than what I am used to.

Heavily carbonated, amber in color. The bouquet begs to be explored..."drink me!" So I drink...smoothness follows and....another drink.


Thumbs Up!


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

Poured from a bottle out of the beer fridge at 45 degrees into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner (tulip).

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a 3-finger foamy white head. A solid-looking Belgian Ale so far. Spotty strings of lace cling to the glass.

S: Light fruit aromas lead the way, yeasty, I don't detect much maltiness, but there seems to be a "darkness" to the smell, possibly raisin or fig?

T: Spicy, mildly malty, with light fruits up front, drying nicely at the end, leaving a faint metallic, slightly astringent aftertaste. Some faint citrus notes at the finish as well. Decently complex and not offensive, although I could do without the metallic astringency, which in fact seems to come and go.

M: Medium-high carbonation brings the flavors in sequence through the palate. Very nicely balanced.

O: A solid Belgian Dark Ale. Definitely "darker" in body than a BPA, but similar flavors. Enough differences between the two styles to keep them both in your beer fridge.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ommegang has disappointed me in the past with their Hennepin and Witte. I tried this one not on my own accord, but because a friend had brought it for a beer tasting.

I think I might be the only person in the world who has grown tired of that earthy, yeasty, coriander, bread-y taste in so many beers. It overpowers almost everything else. Sure, you can taste the hop and malt background, so you know you're still drinking beer and not tea, but I'm just not a big fan of the flavor - and I think what makes it worse is that SO MANY brews try this formula and they all taste very, very similar.

Overall, Ommegang has disappointed me again. I think I'm going to go a little bit out of my way from now on to avoid Ommegang's brews. I hate to drag down the average of this well-ranked beer, but it's just unoriginal and not at all memorable in a unique way.

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Photo of KHarz
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer overall. As I'm not a huge fan of belgian beers in general, I enjoyed the fact that Rare Vos was extremely well balanced in terms of keeping the sugary Belgian flavors to a pleasant minimum. I didn't feel overwhelmed by these sugars and felt that they were kept in check by a pleasant level of carbonation.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass at fridge temperature.

A: Poured a huge white head, with small compact foam on top with large soap-like bubbles on bottom. Eventually compresses into a one inch dense cap. Heavy lacing. Beautiful dark amber, completely clear, with very active carbonation. This is a very pretty beer.

S: Not a lot going on with the nose. Some Belgian yeast character, very light hoppy note and perhaps a little malt.

T: A distinct taste of apple, bright, clean malt, and some musty earthiness. Also a clear mineral note. Tastes much like a farmhouse ale might. Nice, dry finish. Carbonation is very evident.

M: Medium body, with heavy carbonation.

D: No problem polishing off this bottle. Not exactly a session beer at 6.5%, but real easy to drink.

Overall: This may not be an example of what usually comes to mind when I think of a Belgian style ale, but that is probably because I have come to expect hugely alcoholic brews. This is a really nice beer, which I think will go well with grilled meats or, I would imagine, anything with a cream sauce.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed with zoso1967 and TCHopCraver.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, muted orange color with a two-finger off-white head. Great retention and decent lacing as well. Carbonation is not really visible due to the level of sediment in the glass.

Smell: Good malt body and a decent dose of a Belgian yeasty funk. There is a grainy, grassy element there as well, and a touch of citrus and pear to balance things out. I'm also picking up a slight plastic aroma.

Taste: Quite peppery and the yeasty Belgian funk shines through as well. Dark fruits are present, but to a lesser degree. Fairly light in texture - almost a bit watery in my opinion. It is easy to drink and finishes clean.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth. An easy drinker with a clean finish. Just enough carbonation.

Overall: Good overall, but a little on the spicy side. I would have enjoyed a little more fruit influence and a bit more body as well.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No enjoy be date on the label.
Slowly poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Poured to a huge, light, and foamy head that disapated to about one finger of tan foam that was robust and long lasting.

S: The aroma was very mild and consisted of bready yeast and some caramel sweetness.

T: The flavors were Belgian yeast funk (but not too much), a little bit of bready yeast that combined with a sweet caramel malt; and, there were some hints of dried fruits such as prunes and raisins.

M: The body was medium to heavy and very smooth; and it had a very clean finish.

O: A very good beer. This is a different take on Amber Ale. The Belgian yeast funk is at just the right amount to compliment the breadiness and the sweet caramel malt. The dried fruit flavors were also a pleasant suprise. This beer has a complex flavor profile, but all of the flavors work together to create a very pleasant beer drinking experience.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper body, topped with a light beige head w ith good staying power.

The aromas were tea, orange, and mild hops.

Tastes abounded, fleeting in and out! Orange, tea, caramel, mild hops bitterness, a wee citrus tang, prunes, apple, coriander,nutmeg, cinnamon, clove. How'd they get all that in there???

A creamy mouthfeel, and a smooth, mellow finish that reminded me of a spicy tea.

What a bier!!!

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

I picked up a 750ml bottle in Whole Foods. Pours a lighter shade of amber into my Ommegang glass. Has a real thick head that hangs around for a while before settling into a thinner ring. Leaves a small amount of lacing. Smells of fruit (orange?), spice and light malt. I can also smell a bit of the alcohol. It's got a nice spicy taste to it, with a hint of sweet malt. Not a whole lot of bitternes to this one. It's crisp and dry. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Rather fizzy, but easy to drink. I will most certainly buy another bottle.

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Photo of Tank880
3.34/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I submit I am not a Belgian beer fan. However, I appreciate good balanced and tasteful beers. This brewery makes many wonderful beers and this beer is no exception. Bouquet is wonderful, and the taste from start to finish is very nice. If you ever get the chance to visit brewery, I highly recommend it- it is such a beautiful place. Cheers

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Photo of davidt
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber red with a nice foamy head that lingers for a long time. It has a very light bready and spice aroma. The beer had just enough spice in the taste to make it interesting, with a slightly sweet, caramel malt body and a light hop bite at the end. At 6.5% ABV it's quite drinkable. Overall a very easy drinking beer.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mahogany orange in color. Head is thin and concentrated with teeny tiny bubbles. Somewhat cloudy. I only let it settle for 30mins or so. it was stored on it's side in the fridge.

S - Spicy, peppery, clove. Very strong phenolic fermentation characteristics. Apricot.

T - Very spicey. Some sourness from the phenols which are front and center. Fruits turned from smelling light to tasting like dark fruits. Very yeasty and musty.

M - Thin and dry. Very very carbonated.

O - A nice and aggressive amber belgian ale.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos is a solid Belgian style ale. It carries a great deal of the taste and subtleties of a true Belgian WITHOUT all the alcohol. For a 6.50% ABV this rates close but not quite superior to a St. Bernardus 8. Ommegang has managed to manipulate the ingredients to become the vehicle for this ale's taste rather than the alcohol engine. Kudos to them.

Deep amber color, good foam head with staying power. Good aroma, some fruity hints, some malt, nothing overpowering but a good bouquet. Superior taste. Excellent body. Not too heavy(another drawback of a Belgian), hence my 4.5 drinkability. It is on the pricey side, but still less expensive than a true Belgian.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Rare Vos pours a gorgeous amber color. It has a thick white head that thins up a bit, but holds for the duration.

Initial aroma of fruit, primarily citrus. It's followed by notes of malt and yeast. Very balanced, but a bit light.

The taste is pretty similar to what I expected based on the aroma. A strong taste of yeast and malt, with a solid flavor of citrus. There are also notes of spice, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

There's a strong fizziness and a light body. It was almost too carbonated, and as a consequence, felt rather dry; I wasn't a big fan.

It's reasonably smooth and very drinkable. It's not necessarily something I would sit and drink by itself, but I think it would pair well with food.

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

Pours deep amber, nice amount of white head.

Smells and tastes of mostly malts. Seeing Belgian on the label I was expecting an overly sweet brew, nice but a bit heavy. This brew was anything but. Nice malty flavors obviously shine through but this beer is not out of balance at all. Refreshing and drinkable are what I would describe it as.

This is a full flavored beer which I enjoyed very much, I would recommend it to all.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice...surprise...amber color with a nice huge off-white head.

Smell is pretty floral with some spices. A bit of of citrus fruit as well. The taste is more of the same with a bit of bittersweetness.

Mouthfeel is champaign like, only a bit fuller in body.

I could polish off this 750 bottle with little difficulty. A very nice brew overall. The best Belgian style Amber I have had to date.

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Photo of njmoons
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another quality beer for Brewery Ommegang.

Pours a golden brow with a big resliant head.

Smell and Taste are a quality belgian ale with all the subtle flavors of quality Belgian Ales.

I would be happy to have a Rare Vos at anytime, but on the other hand there is not much to distinguish this from other quality Belgian ales.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Conditioned; Pours cloudy carmel brown with creamy ivory head of small, medium and large bubbles. Good carbonation.

Smell is malty, no hop aroma is perceptible.

First taste is sweet fruity malt; the sweetness contains hints of carmel & plums.
Smooth without any harshness or hop bitterness right through to the end.

I like it, and will probably have another in the future.

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

Poured a golden honey haze with a frothy white head on top which helps hold in a light yeast, and somewhat banana and citrus influenced aromas.
Esters and the yeast are apparent in this medium bodied ale, the hops barely register, leaves a clean finish. Represents the Belgian pale/golden ale style well.
Rare Vos aka the Sly Fox feels, fairly light and is carbonated which gives it a crisp, dry finish.
At 6.5% this Belgian by way of Cooperstown isn't quite a session brew but could be enjoyed on a special day, like say superbowl sunday.
Notes: Paid $3.99 for this 750, very affordable offering from Ommegang.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rare Vos – Belgian Pale Ale (6.5%) - Brewery Ommegang (New York)

App: Pours a brilliant and hazy copper-red with a high, loose head that becomes creamier and more defined as the beer sits. Very active carbonation and sheet like lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast dominates aroma with notes of banana and persimmon. Some mild pepper aromas. Malt is present and sweet, but not particularly defined. Subtle lemony twinge, with hints of light caramel in the background.

Taste: Taste follows nose with hints of banana and clove. Very light herb spiciness. Light citrus notes commingle with ample malt sweetness and belgian funk. Hops bitterness does well against sweet malts and yeasty esters without being assertive. Little bit of phenols peeking through. Pleasantly sour aftertaste.

Mouth: Medium boded with significant effervescence that scrubs the palate in between sips and makes for a very refreshing beer. A tiny bit overcarbed for my tastes, but not against style.

Home tasting, 750ml into Tulip. 2/20/14.

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

served it in a pint glass from a 1 pt 9.2 oz bottle it's got some information about the brew on the label .

it looks amber reddish orange ,cloudy with yeast residue loads of tiny bubbly carbonation,a creamy white foam head thats got great retention, leaves some lace.

the soft aroma got a lot to say; it's got fruits like apples and pears and cherrys ,hints of berries maybe raspberrys .along with a mild malt sweetness,lite on the hops .

the taste is of a well crafted beer ,meduim body with a good dose of spices and yeast ,it's got some citrus hop flavor and soft complex fruit blends.

the feeling on the palette is very smooth easy to swallow with a dry spicy after taste .

a highly drinkable brew its fresh tasting,smooth balanced full of spice, mild fruit flavors and complex aromas .well done . cheers

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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 jhoban19
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip (not all at once, of course).

A: slightly hazy copper color that turns more orange when held to the light. Solid white head rises beautifully above the liquid and holds up well. Strong lacing dances around all sides of the glass and hold their place through the end.

S: aromas of clove jump out of the glass immediately following the pour. That aroma disappears quickly as subtle hints of orange, apricot and pepper. As it warms I start to get a little bit of lemon zest.

T: Flavors are even more subtle than the aromas- a bit of clove spice, a bit of lemon, and sweet malt. None of the flavors overwhelm the others and I'm finding this to be incredibly enjoyable.

M: smooth and zippy at the outset due to the abundance of carbonation. Medium bodied with a malt sweetness that arrives just long enough to provide balance before a long, spicy, dry finish lingers on the back of the tongue.

D: I would normally open a 750ml bottle only if I were sharing with a friend or two. This time, however, I'm glad I opened this bottle of Rare Vos for myself. I've enjoyed everything I've tried from Brewery Ommegang and Rare Vos has proved to be no different in that regard. I'll share the next bottle....

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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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