Rare Vos (Amber Ale) | Brewery Ommegang

1,155 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

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Reviews: 1,155 | Ratings: 3,322
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 jeffdr123
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

At World of Beer with Wayne, talking businesses. Like all Ommegang beers, it's layered and spicy. Light without being boring. Even better as it warms.

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Photo of theBubba
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy rust-like color in my snifter. The head came on strong but was gone in short time. The moderate lace hung on and lasted to the end. Distinct aroma of pear and clove (sorry, no leather, tobacco, and other such like comparisons the beer cognescenti refer to. We home brewers and winemakers know about esters). The nice carbonation makes for lots of bite but leaves a smooth foamy mouthfeel after each swallow. Hops are just right. You know they exist, but you're not left with the bitterness of Ommegang's Hennipen. All in all, a very nice ale. One I'll drink many times over (as long as I have a job...otherwise I'll be drinking Busch at 4 bucks a six pack). As young Bobby Zimmerman said, "The times they are a changing".

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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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Photo of kdawg105
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at Taco Mac on tap. Wow an excellent brew. It had a perfect amber color with a smell of fresh hops and a slight sweet smell of malts. The taste was great man I was like this beer is actually worth $7 especially with the chalice. Thanks again Taco Mac. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp and the same time which made for a wonderful drinkability. Man I would highly recommend trying this beer. I loved it though I have not yet searched for it in the store.

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Photo of chessiejackson
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think this is the first ommegang I'm doing a review on. Reason being, ambers are not my first choice, but as always, ommegang comes through. This was really good. A+ guys

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

Brown bomber with a simple yet eye applealing label. Caged & corked.

Cloudy amber, copper colored beer with a large, fluffy white head. This one looks great in the glass.

Malty, fruity nose with a chewy peach like mouthfeel. This one gets a little more earthy and bready as it warms.

This is a great beer. Deceivingly easy to drink as the alchohol stays disguised in the tastiness of this beer.

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Photo of Pecorasc
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 poured into large tulip.

A- Cloudy deep gold with a big fluffy head. Dissipates to a thin layer of uneven bubbles. Some lacing. I expected a bit more head retention out of this. Lots of sediment even on a smooth pour.

S- Estery, sweet oranges, spicy with minimal hop character. Smells of wheat. Reminds me of warm anise pizzelles.

T- Very juicy. Multiple fruits: oranges, mangos, cherries. Less spice than expected in the aroma.

M- Medium bodied, but foams up in mouth. The high carbonation and foaming gives the impression of a lighter body.

D- At 6.5%, this belgian, like they are intended to be, is very drinkable. The carbonation helps, but the esters may be too much after a few.

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

A: Hard to tell it is kind dark in here, but certainly darker than pale, nice foamy head.

S: Fig, apricot, all spice, yeast.

T: Sweet malt and dried fruit, turns a bit sour then has a dry finish.

M: smooth and creamy.

O: I certainly prefer this beer on tap. Gave some to a co-worker "Wow, we serve this here. It's like a beer smoothie." Have had half dozen bottles over the years, must say the tap adds something extra.

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Photo of KarlosT
2.66/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I love amber ales. Perhaps its ignorance on my part, as to what constitututes a Belgium ale ... but I just do not like it when someone adds spice to a beer.

Not sure if it was clove, or allspice, or nutmeg. Could not finish this beer.

If you like the spiced beer offerings from Sam Adams (which I do not) perhaps you will like this beer.

Just wished I had read the label in more detail. Selected it based upon the high BA scores at the liquor store.

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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 jockstrappy
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber color with a fluffy white head, and actually looks kinda like apple cider. Aroma is slight fruit, with a little yeast....not noticing much else. Flavor starts off with that trademark belgian spice, with notes of pear, toasty malt, yeast, and a slight alcohol warmth. Very smooth on the palate, and finishes clean. This is very good beer, but don't get carried away with it, I made the mistake of having 6 of these at a happy hour one night...there was no work the following day.

Great beer by Ommegang!

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Photo of Victor
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Presentation= Poured in a tall 20oz glass with a nice head and good looking honey color.
Aroma= Fresh, clean and slightly sweet.
Flavor= A satisfying flavor with hints of caramel, lemon and something else I can’t explain but enjoyed.
Overall Ommegang did an excellent job with this Belgian Pale Ale. Refreshing, bubbly, crisp and satisfying!

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with one finger head that lasts throughout the drinking process. Solid lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer. A bit yeasty to the nose with a hint of fruit. Tastes great. I mean outstanding. The balance is almost perfect. It goes down smooth and ends with a fruity, hoppy finish. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired but the initial flavor is exceptional. Overall, this is an awesome beer. I would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat.

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Photo of rmolledo
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Darker Amber with a small head. Hazy. Nice Lacing

S: Lemony Citrus, Spices, fruity, Toasted Malts

T: Biscuity. Refreshing twang to it. Toasty After taste. Real Bready and Yeasty.

MF: Low/moderate carbonation. not too thin at all, nice feel. Slight English/noble hop flavor.

D: A nice mellow belgian amber ale. not too spicy or intense. A nice session type belgian that won't knock you out half way through.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
4.04 out of 5 based on 3,322 ratings.
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