otakuden (otakudensdram) wrote,

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Ommegang Rare Vos

Those crazy beer enthusiasts at Ommegang are back again, and this time with their interpretation of a traditional amber ale. As a beer style, the amber ale is unique in that it really isn't a particular beer style, and yet it is. Confusing, I know. Technical semantics aside, an amber ale is in its simplest terms a pale ale with crystal or other colored malts used in the brewing process. This imparts a coppery amber hue to the ale along with adding more sweet and nutty malt profile to the ale. In turn, the hops take more of a subdued role. Because of its vagueness, a brewer is allotted quite a bit of freedom in how he or she wants to create and balance their amber ale. In the case of Ommegang, they took their expertise and brought the Belgian to the amber. Or is it the other way around?

My Rare Vos poured a rich deep amber and burnt orange into my glass. Her thick and slightly amber in hue head fades slowly into a thick layer while brussels lace again crackle along the sides of my glass. In true Belgian fashion, bottle fermentation has leant a soft head, effervescent body, and sticky brussels. As I raise my goblet for a quaff, I first embrace her delicate nose. I am received with hints of tangerines, caramel, toasted biscuits, and sweet yet tangy pink grapefruit. My first quaff is light, bubbly, and soft in my mouth and on my tongue. A tingling sensation along my tongue bursts with pink grapefruit and lemon flavors. Following right behind is a soothing song of sweet tangerines, caramel, and gentle biscuits and bread. I enjoy how my Rare Vos grabs your attention right away with her crisp tart hop presence up front, but then steps aside to allow her more mellow and dominant side to embrace and tempt me. During this entire flavor explosion, her body remains full and soft. The finish is clean, sweet, and with a hint of grapefruit.

As I mentioned above, amber ales are a vague beer style, but there is little to no doubt that Ommegang's Rare Vos is one of the reigning examples of the amber ale. A great session brew, I will gladly enjoy her company any day of the week or month of the year. Sometimes, just maybe, simple really is best.

amber is the color of love for i am smitten with thee
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