Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,930 | Reviews: 1,140 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by wl0307:
United Kingdom (England)
4.15/5 rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 06. "13° Plato", so 6%abv. alright. No freshness info. available on the label, but I suppose the BSF bar manager wouldn't risk public health, so here it goes~~ served lightly chilled in a straight imperial-pint glass.
A: pours a translucent, dark reddish brown hue, very elegant; a nice foamy beige head with some retention, settling to a thin cap sustaining throughout the drink; very low in carbonation.
S: very sweet caramel malts mixed with incredibly dense and oily hoppynessflower scent, longan-flower honey, ripe lychees and raisins, with roast tea-leaves in a remote corner... Overall it's a touch too sweet for me, as if a spoonful of brown sugar was tossed into the glass right after pouring. But apart from that sugary edge, the complexity is really good and quite typically-American in that hoppy composition... the sweet edge does soften to show a better balance after the beer breathes a little while.
T: softly fizzy in texture, very soothing bitter-sweet fruity+caramely malts with a touch of toffee upfront gives way fast to an overwhelming hoppyness... tannic, bold, dried-flaky hops all over the place, with a faint tinge of sour/bitter grapefruit-zest at the fringe... yet the herbal and roasty-dryish bitterness takes over in no time, towards an almost "Chinese herbal-medicine soup"-like bitter aftertaste, creeping down underneath the tongue. So bitter and dry is the finish that its incredibly quaffable for a "Bitter drinker" like me!
M&D: great balance on the palate, the sweet maltiness is softened greatly by the formidible presence of hop-bitterness with a healthy kick of sourness; the carbonation is ideal, too, full of micro-scopic fizz to render a semi-creamy mouthfeel. All in all, this is a remarkably bitter malty ale, reminiscent of English ESB/Premium Bitter style, with an extra touch of hops on the nose and palate. Extremely quaffable indeed. But then again, it could've been even better if the nose shows a delicate balance.
P.S. a little challenge here: I wonder why this beer couldn't be categorised as ESB/Premium Bitter but as a poorly-defined "American Amber Ale". Does there just have to be new names/categories for every single traditional style "made in USA"? I don't get it--the whole "categorisation exercise", like some kind of endless quest for self-identities...
Serving type: bottle
08-31-2006 07:54:52 | More by wl0307
More User Reviews:
4.95/5 rDev +31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I really wasn't prepared for how great of a beer this was going to be. It's rich and bitter, and is the hoppiest red ale that I've had the pleasure of imbibing.
I suppose that it's called "Santa's Reserve" because of the hops' pine notes, which are incredibly strong. It is not your typical "Christmas Beer" though, and I'd be happy drinking this all year round.
It's a home run from Rogue, and has me tracking down more of their other offerings.
Serving type: bottle
06-18-2014 02:38:37 | More by ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,930 ratings.