The 12 Beers of Christmas is a little tradition I started last year in which I treated myself to 12 different beers, one each day. It celebrates the incredible taste and variety that can be found in beers around the world and just a few klicks from my doorstep.
The Seventh Beer of Christmas, is the Rare Vos, by Brewery Ommegang, in Cooperstown, NY. This Belgian style Amber Ale is one Sly Fox (the Flemish meaning of Rare Vos). It pours a beautiful and clear amber color, with a white head made up of fine, tight bubbles. The head settled relatively quickly and there was not much in the way of lacing on the glass.
The nose on this beer is subtle, but hints at a certain spiciness to come. When cold, the Rare Vos exhibits its spiciness like a small bite, but not at all unpleasant. The ale really benefits from some warming however; as it approaches room temperature the ale mellows dramatically and allows the fruity undertone to balance out the heady spices and moderate hops.
In what must be a trick of the tongue, the body appears to deepen slightly and its character becomes warming. A sly fox indeed. It clocks in at only 6.5% ABV. I recommend serving at cellar temperature to enjoy the Rare Vos to its fullest.