Monday, June 30, 2014

Ommegang Rare Vos

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1119) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 30, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip glass. It was bottled on 3/18/14 and cost $3.99 ($0.33 per ounce).

Appearance: Without the yeast it pours to a beautiful amber/copper hue with plenty of spastic carbonation visible. With the yeast it becomes murky and brown. Pours to a large, ivory, soapy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Distinct Ommegang house yeast esters plus light spice and floral notes.

Taste: Rare Vos might actually be the beer Ommegang is best known for, yet after six years of beer reviews I’ve never given it a formal review before. My opinion on this beer has changed over the years. A long time ago I wasn’t too crazy about this beer, but then a few years later I fell in love with it. Today, my opinion is somewhere in between, though I definitely appreciate and enjoy this beer quite a bit. It’s got everything it should have: a solid Belgian-inspired palette, interesting spices to give it distinctiveness, and versatility that makes it well suited to most situations.

Right off the bat, this beer tastes quite familiar. Amber malts create for some light sweetness, though the Belgian yeast is equally prominent so as to make this quite different than your average amber ale. Some dry bitterness at the apex with a hint of soap or perfume followed by a tingling sensation of orange peel and coriander on the finish. This is a taste often found in Christmas-y beers, but balanced enough to make it palatable year-round.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel is on the thinner side, but highly carbonated so as to be self-cleaning. It doesn’t feel like a big beer on the system, though. The 6.5% ABV on the label might lead you to believe Ommegang Rare Vos is a strong, hefty beer. However, once you start drinking it you realize it’s actually more of a glorified table beer as it can easily be paired with a wide variety of food, though it’s enjoyable enough to stand on its own. It’s tempting to session, but I probably wouldn’t. 
Grade: 8/10

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