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Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,169 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,169
Hads: 2,181
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 60
Gots: 197 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001

10 Ingredients:
Carastan 30-37 & 13-17, Crystal 70-80 & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ & Risk™ Malts; Chinook & Rogue Farm Revolution & Freedom Hops; Free Range Coastal Water and Pacman Yeast.

13º PLATO
65 IBU
73.1 AA
26.75º L
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,169 | Hads: 2,181
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hopped up beer, an amber. Not bad, with some complexity like a 1.5X IPA. As they say it, its the Rogue with twice the hops. On the bitter side and a melange of hops that are difficult to distinguish. Bitter despite all the malts, and still a carmel taste, the bitterness from the C hops with a citrus finish and aftertaste. (325 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange-red with a foamy beige head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some herbal and grassy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes. (444 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are aromas of moderate aromas of butter and caramel in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of malty sweetness. There are some hints of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn't that difficult to drink, although there's no way that I could have more than one of these at a time. (616 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a several finger head and a decent amount of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some nice citrus and pine notes, and this is balanced out by some amber malt and bready characteristics. Moderate body and carbonation bring forward some bitterness, although there is a bit of sweetness coming over the edge. (373 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a great great christmas beer. pours a sensational hazed bronze color with a tan head and lace at every sip clinging to the glass. smells a bit hoppy, west coast. also smells malty and strong, possibly cask conditioned in the nose to, rich earthy overtones. taste is balanced and the mouthfeel is so so smooth. not holiday in the traditional sense, but very much appropriate for the season. complex yet drinkable. warming from the inside out. fantastic brew (456 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice beige head that persists well and splashes the glass with lace

Smell: Rich biscuit and caramel undertones with a piney hop element wafting above

Taste: Starts out with a caramel and biscuit flavor that is joined, mid-palate by the piney hops; citrus elements build after the swallow and the long finish is dominated by the hops with just a hint of toffee underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very enjoyable amber that is just a bit unbalanced in the hop direction; the early presence of the amber malt elements wind up getting overwhelmed, in the final analysis (653 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with pretty nice looking red color, the head was fizzy and creamy colored. The lacing wasn't really all there. The smell was of some sweet malts and had a bit of spiciness on the nose. The taste has more of the spice than anything else. The finish was bitter and dry. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and has a decent feel to it for a winter brew. Overall I'd never buy a whole case of it. It's not a bad brew but I wouldn't need to have it on hand. (469 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed durring the Christmas season and then again yesterday. Christmas in August for me. The beer had matured nicely; much more nutty and toasty than I remembered. The mahogany, amber colors, carbonation, and head criteria are consistent. To the nose, the hops still jump out with spruce-like, floral aromas. Flavors are high in the amber malts, spices (allspice, nutmeg, cinnemon), nuts (almonds and walnuts), and hops (citrus, pine-ey, ginger-ey). Still a full, round mouthfeel; leaving mild drying and alcohol sweetness behind as the beer disipates. I beleive that the hops had subsided a bit leaving the beer more nutty, malty, and smoother. I'm happpy with my choice in cellering. (687 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with average retention. Aroma of spices is quite dominant with a nice touch of sweet malt. Taste of spruce(?) and pine is quite dominant with some liquorice. Hops seems to be a bit subdued and body is a bit thinner then expected. Interesting beer but not necessarily something that I would seek out often. (381 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark reddish-amber with great transparency. Pours with a couple inches of head that slowly works its way down to a quarter-inch, leaving sticky lace all over the glass. An awesome looking beer.

Smell: Malty and caramelly with that distinct chinook hop aroma of grapefruit and spices.

Taste: Spicy and floral with notes of grapefruit. A solid caramel backbone holds up the big hop character of this beer. The finish is a balance of sweet malts and bitter hops, with bitterness eventually taking precedence.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and slightly oily on the tongue; soft, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning.

Notes: This is a great red ale - possibly one of the best coming from the US right now. (719 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. I shared one of these during the hubbub of New Years' Eve, and recall having quite enjoyed it - well, I guess I only recall that it tasted like Rogue...so, another bottle now, on a much quieter evening. The label, with its stein-hoisting Ol' Saint Nick and white snowflakes, glows in the dark, just as the 'Snowflakes Glisten' proclamation indicates. Cool.

This beer pours a slightly hazy dark copper colour, with a few fingers of thick, foamy off-white head, that leaves a fair bit of sticky lacing as it slowly recedes.

It smells of bitter citrus hops - orange and grapefruit, mostly - a little pine resin, and a subdued caramel malt - very nice. The taste starts with rather tart, dry piney hops, some tangy citrus cream, and quickly moves through to a slightly roasted caramel/toffee malt body, some juicy fruitiness, all followed closely by some more bitter grassy hops.

The carbonation is about average - a bit too noticeable at first, but it dissipates quickly enough, the body maintaining a decently weighty medium bearing, with a tentative smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the malt and bitter hops still doing a pleasant tango.

A damned fine Yankee amber ale, hopped up, quite near to the groin. Not much in the way of any actual holiday affectations, beyond the label, of course, but the malt is decently hefty, worthy of those who want something different with their Christmas baking. (1,413 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright red-orange-copper, a lovely hue that is in keeping with the festive, holiday theme. The head is stupendous and is made up of buttery, orangish beige foam that is hugely rocky and absolutely full of character. When it finally relents, the glass is chock full of tenacious lace in speckled, broken sheets. Very nice.

While the aroma is unquestionably good, it is a bit of a letdown. When I learned that Chinook and Centennial were in use and that this beer was brewed to be a hoppier version of St. Rogue Red, my expectation meter went instantly to 'drool'. The aroma is sweet and hoppy and spicy and everything else that I had hoped for, it just isn't as forceful as it could be since the hops are blunted to some extent by the malt.

The same applies to the flavor... very good but not outstanding and certainly not a hop bomb. I'd have to have them side by side, but Santa's doesn't seem much hoppier than the St. Rogue Red of my memory. It's still wonderful beer however. There's plenty of malt on hand with a toasted, bready flavor that keeps it firmly within the style guidelines. No one should confuse this beer with an IPA however.

Hops are present and accounted for. I especially notice the Chinook (they tend to dominate other varieties in my experience). One of the things that I love about Rogue is that they use plenty of ingredients; this beer is absolutely bursting with bittersweet flavor. Spicy, tangy, pungent, grapefruity, sprucy hops commingle with sweet malt in an increasingly harmonious manner as the beer warms. My impressions of the flavor are becoming much more favorable as I get deeper into the bottle.

The finish is long and hoppysweet, remaining relatively well-balanced (from a hop lover's perspective) until the deliciously bitter end. The mouthfeel is between medium and full with that characteristic Rogue lushness that I know and love. More often than not, these guys hit their marks in all aspects of the brewer's art.

Santa's Private Reserve (aka St. Nick Red) may not have been the 'Christmas in March' that I was expecting, but I got past that quickly enough. It's a big, hoppy, flavorful-as-hell ale that appeals to me in a big way. Although it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the beer that it was patterned after, it's impossible to go wrong with either one. Highly recommended for Christmas lists everywhere. (2,380 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a reddish/brown color with a small foamy head.

S - It smelled of malt and citrus. Also, a hint of grass or pine.

T - It tasted malty and a little spicy from the hops.

M - It was crisp and sharp on the tongue. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good amber with nice hops. It is another good brew from Rogue. (330 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was very happy to be able to take part in this special cask tasting of this years Santa’s Reserve down at Barleys the other night. Whenever you get to take part in something like this it always makes my day and this was no exception. Arrived early and got to try some goodies downstairs and made my way up around the upstairs and right up in front of the cask for a while. After blowing up to the ceiling, it mellowed down enough to let them pour and what came out was just great. A nice and hazy, thick dark brown poured into the glass leaving a good two inches or so of tan colored head on top. This rested nicely down and laid on top to form a good half inch or so that lasted until the end. Smell was nice and richly spiced with an evident dry hopping to it. Lots of very fresh pine and cinnamon aromas coming off of it. This translated perfectly over to the taste where a nice rich brown ale was welcomed and mixed with a generous amount of hoppiness. A great creamy and smooth feel was nice and full bodied and never let you down on the carbonation. An almost chewy consistency could be detected as well. I wished I could have had more, but this was a one pint per man night so I loved every last sip. Overall this was really fantastic. It was very rich and fresh tasting and just had a tremendously good texture and feel to it. I could have made this one all night, but alas I had to go home. It was great and I am glad I made it. Truly one that I will remember. (1,472 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one annual I look forward to every year I honestly didnt know it changed every year and maybe it doesnt but I did notice some changes this year.Poured a deep rich amber with reddish tinted well formed 1/2 finger head,the big dose of sprucey,piney hop is there along with some caramel and roasted grain as usual.The big diference I noticed in this years batch is really how thin and for that matter prickly the mouthfeel was it just didnt equate with the flavors,the hop profile is there and a decent sweetish malt base but the body really downgraded it this year.Hmm am I just dreaming or has it changed? (612 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single for $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, dark amber body with a fairly tall, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Hoppy nose with full, fragrant notes of citrus fruits, pine needles, and spruce tips. Some toasty, roasty malty hint in back.

Taste: Pale malts with a bit of toast and a bit of roast to it along with a restrained caramel sweetness. Citrusy hop character, maybe a faint, far off touch of spicy spruce, with a medium bitterness. A mild residual sweetness tries it's best to remain, but the beer still finishes dry with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A beer with a bold hoppiness, as is the way with Rogue. So, if you like a punchy, bitter amber, you should also dig this. (787 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Well, my drinking must've helped, 'cause the Bears pulled off another victory, this time against the Chargers. Boom! Anyway, this stuff pours a lightly hazy amber-crimson topped by a finger of dusty off-white foam. The nose comprises pine, caramel, sharp ruby red grapefruit zest, and a touch of mandarin orange flesh. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine and grapefruit (this time the rind) really taking center stage, forcing all else to the background. It's not bad, just a bit one-dimensional. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a one-note song, nothing close to exceptional. It's good, but I can't really drink all that much of it at length. Kinda confused as to what this has to do with X-Mas (I mean, it is called Santa's Private Reserve, after all)... (868 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear deep amber with 2 fingers of frothy off-white head. This settles down into a thin creamy covering that leaves a massive sticky coating of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a touch piney with additional accents of grapefruit, spice, and bready malts. Quite nice but it seems a little light at times.

The taste is similar but a little more assertive, with some lightly dry lingering resinous hoppiness, a smack of citrus and prominent spice, and some good balancing notes of bread and caramel. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but is coming off as a bit too light bodied. Not quite watery or anything but it seems that it could be a little more supportive of the flavors involved.

Decent stuff. I just wished that there was some more meat to it that would have really pushed it over the top for me. Still, this packed enough flavor and a good enough drinkibility to keep this Santa themed beer off of my naughty list. (990 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, very reddish-copper color with a full, foamy, light tan head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace. The aroma is hoppy! Piney/gently citrusy and lightly fruity. The body is medium with a fine & median carbonation. The flavor starts softly fruity and lightly nutty. A nicely sweet caramel maltiness comes through before becoming engulfed in resiny hop flavor and bitterness. And yet, the bitterness never really builds on the palate. Extremely well balanced for such a boldly hopped beer! It finishes quite dry with just some residual maltiness and a bold lingering bitterness. This beer reminded me of their St. Rogue Red but with more hop character. Very nice. An excellent choice for the hop lovers among us! (740 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with flavors of caramel & citrus sweetness and a good floral hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence eventually takes dominance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, this is a good beer with some substance and is worth drinking for a long time. (716 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in the big globe with a sensational head. Lacing lingers around, and it's altogether a nice sudsy experience. I swear it smells faintly of camomile and not much else.

I didn't expect the smoke. It's fairly understated so it took me a while to place the flavor and scent. Definitely enhances what is otherwise a rather thin and sharp beer. The hops come along to claim the stage. Not excessively bitter, but more than I'd like in a winter seasonal.

If this is really an Amber Ale, it's one of the better ones. And I guess with no spice additives, that's what it is. Just a touch of malty sweetness, but some kind of candy in the nose. It's an odd one, and worth a try, especially if you would rather have more hops than less. (738 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice big light brown head with decent staying power on a clear reddish-golden colored ale.

Distant light citrus and fruity aroma.

Light citrus and some fruitiness in a warming and slightly bitter tasting beer.

Dryish aftertaste with some light bitterness remaining with this medium bodied beer.

This Santa is welcome at my house anytime of year. (349 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rogue in a 12 oz bottle? I don't believe it! Haha, my usual store now carries this and Dead Guy in the non-bomber variety.

This beer pours a beautiful copper red color with a nice fluffy head. The lacing is incredible... the entire glass was coated all the way down. Taste wise it was good, but not great. It was a little thin on the body and I felt for the style it's better suited to be a tad thicker. Taste was hoppy and good though which it made it pretty drinkable. A pretty solid beer, but expected more for the price tag ($2.29/12 oz bottle) (549 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A most excellent looking head, the hops are an obvious help in this department. Clear brownish copper color shimmers warm in the light. Nutty bready sweet malt, softly pungent hop oil infiltrates the nose with rind, wild flowers and citrus zest. So smooth, nice crisp bite towards the end. Body is creamy and of a solid medium size. Level carbonation. Citric hop and a nougat flavor up front on the taste buds. Waves of malt sweetness are white capped with a strong grasping hop bitterness. Both the hop bitterness and malt sweetness, even the residuals, don’t want to let go. The hops are more persistent and seem to cover more ground with layers of flavor.

As always in Rogue fashion there is no holding back on the hops, certainly enough malt flavor to go around. This one is a must for me each year. (806 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby/amber with a little bit of head. Nose is, surprise, hoppy!! Who would have thunk. Also that touch of a sweet tone on there too. Taste is interesting. Kind of pine like with a sweet touch on the tip of your tongue, but the dominant presence here is, surprise, the hops! Mouthfeel seems a little too carbonated. And I would put the drinkability higher if it weren't for the mass of hops that are there, just to be there. Just because blue looks good on your car doesn't mean you have to paint the tires the same color too. A decent brew, but I won't be waiting up late at night next year waiting for it to come around. (635 characters)

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 1,169 ratings.