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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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,297
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 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 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 KevCan
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Golden yellow, slightly hazy, with a large frothy off-white head.

Smell: Pleasant smell of Belgian yeast, lots of orange.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, not too sweet. Malty with noticeable happiness.

Feel: Medium body and highly carbonated.

Overall: Very good beer! Eminently drinkable.

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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 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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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 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 trancefishy
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy murky brown orange, hardly any head at all.

Aroma is very sweet, smells like candy. There is an essence of some kind of spirit, like whisky or rum. A bit of spiciness, some fermented apple.

The taste has like a muddled winey flavour. An earthy characteristic is present, with more of those apples, but, more like the brown pulp after pressing. A bit tart, spicy, sweet, and a little bit of clove. Funny aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, and drinkability is OK, but, I don’t think I would want a second one.

This is the second trial for this beer. The first I thought was bad somehow, but this one confirms that I just don’t find this beer particulary nice. It’s not bad, really, but it’s off flavours don’t do well to inspire you to obtain more.

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Photo of ryantaussig
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks good and smells good. Lots of spice comes through in the nose, especially coriander. That same spice is huge in the flavor and really gives this one it's characteristic identity. I really like this beer. The feel is alright, a bit aggressive on the carbonation, I'd like it to be smoother. Overall, a good choice on a night out.

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

Brewery Ommegang is one of the top 3 American brewers of Belgain style ales and Rare Vos certainly helps maintain this opinion.

Pours a copper/amber color with a sizeable head. Sweet, fruity, and floral nose. Malt, fruit, and some spice in the taste. Well balanced and finishes surprisingly dry. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Stonebreaker
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a weizen like head. Sticks around.

Smell: That familiar Belgian aroma, only a little faint.

Taste: My first beer of the style but a definite let down, I don't think I like the Ommegang abbey ale or this one as much as other Belgians because they just aren't sweet enough for my taste. The flavor is malts and Belgian yeast produced esters, lightly sweet, more bitter than I would expect. Less flavorful than the Belgian Strong Dark ale, to be expected I suppose.

Mouthfeel: OK

Drinkability: Had the dunkelweizen at Piece brewpub again last night. That was far superior to this one, on the drinkability scale. Good, but I'd take the Hennepin over this one any day.

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Photo of jlb307
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the tap into a Chimay chalice.

A: Murky copper in color and nicely bubbly. Nice off-white head which retained for a few minutes, but it seemed to thin a little too soon. Some spots of lace on the glass.

S: Slightly sweet and pleasingly spicy aroma. Hints of citrus and ripe red fruits.

T: Spicy, sweet, and mildly nutty. Great balance with just enough of a light alcohol flavor.

M: Full body, but light feel. Clean finish and smooth.

D: Very good beer and great to drink.

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Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-4.5 dark, cloudy orange, caramel-like color. Poured into a tulip, perfect 1" white foamy head. Nice lacing on glass.

S-4 dried fruit, fresh bread.

T-4 malt, caramel, hint of fruit and spices (clove, nutmeg). Very slight metallic after-taste is really only unappealing thing about this beer for me.

M-4.5 great feel. Medium body with pretty high carbonation. Creamy feel if sipped slowly.

D-4 good, balanced beer that isn't too heavy, though it is rich in flavor and I'd probably only want 1-2 at a time. Overall a tasty brew that I'd recommend and buy again.

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Photo of cooter
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wrote notes while heavily intoxicated. This is the result. Somewhat 19th-century-prose, IMHO--reminds me of Walden.

Head is a delicious, luscious, quivering, throbbing sea of white magma that arches its back, solidifying into a lattice of foam bubbles, once energetic and now firm, bubbles of all shapes and sizes, appearing for all the world like whipped cream or ice cream floating on root beer.

Smells sweet.

Powerful carbonation; it is vibrant, like a million seahorses biting on my tongue. [ed note: why seahorses? why not?]

Full, delicious, spicy, in increasing order of power. Sweet, sugars and hops both. Strong, with a commanding presence, like Captain Picard or Sean Connery. Like a substantial, less saccharine champagne.

It's really a lot like an ice cream float.

[see other review for more cohesion]

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Photo of CASK1
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale orange, with plenty of haze. Thick white head with excellent retention. Nice lacing to the bottom of the glass.

S: Fruity, especially citrus and tropical. Low spicy hop aroma, and virtually no malt aroma.

T: Low caramel malt, with a nice, drying hop bitterness. Belgian yeast phenolics (peppery) and lots of esters - reminiscent of red berries. Low spicy hop flavor. Not terribly well-balanced. Slightly tart. Needs more malt to support the other flavor features. Alcohol flavors are evident - could be better hidden in a beer of moderate strength.

MF: Somewhat astringent finish. Prickly carbonation. Light body.

D: Not bad, but doesn't make me crave another as I had hoped.

I'm a big fan of Ommegang, but this beer left me somewhat disappointed.

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

Pours a colorful amber with orange edging and a big fluffy white head that retains well and creates very nice lacing.

Aromas are dominated by yeast and flowery citrus, especially orange. Balanced well with clove and peppery spiciness.

Taste follows the aroma, with a breadiness and orange upfront followed by the spices of clove, coriander and pepper. The finish had a slight bite of alcohol and dryness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thinner than expected, considering all the flavor and aroma. Carbonation is strong throughout.

A tasty beer that could work as a session brew or a dinner pairing.

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

Color is dull orange and reddish. The head is large, tan and laces the glass well which will sink back in to the beer rapidly.
Smell is of citrus and light spice.
Taste is clean like light fruit, cherries spices and cream.
Mouthfeel is remarkably smooth with a tiny carbonation tingle.
Drinkability is excellent this is one of the smoothest beers I can remember, taste is great and the alcohol isn’t on the high end of the spectrum. All these things make this a highly drinkable beer; it’s too bad its retired. I’m heading to the beer store to stock up on whatever they still have on the shelves.

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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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