1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
85
very good

2,159 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,159
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 182 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,159 | Reviews: 1,184
Photo of kojevergas
2.89/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I'm walking into this with below average expectations on account of the brewery.

BOTTLE is 12 fl oz and brown glass, with fun label art and a sleek label layout. Pry-off cap is branded, and the label tells me nothing about the style of the beer. Rogue's website calls it a red ale, so I'll review it (live) as such...

Served cold into a pilsner glass in Austin, TX (low altitude).

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Healthy, with an off-white colour head of fair frothiness and cream. Decent thickness and fullness, coming in at ~3-3.5 inches wide. As it recedes, it leaves a ring of thick coating lacing about the sides of the glass, and it retains rather well at that - ~6-8 minutes.

BODY: Deep dark auburn. The "reddish-copper" suggested by the label's description is fair. Has no bothersome yeast or hop sediment visible. Translucent; nontransparent.

Appears well-carbonated. Attractive, certainly, and apt-looking for a red ale, but not mind-blowing or unique.

AROMA: The description on the label uses words like "roasty" and "sprucey"...huh? Spruce, maybe, but there's zero roast here. I wouldn't even call it malty; the amber and pale malt presence is minimal at best. The hop profile - if anything - dominates, with notes of muted floral character and some resins coming through. As it warms, I get a glimmer of caramalt.

All in all, this is a muted, minimal aroma that suggests a fairly insipid red ale. Aromatic intensity is light at best.

I find no off-notes, booze, or yeast.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Hops dominate here, with a sprucey (yes, touche Rogue) and somewhat fruity hop profile bolstered by subsidiary notes of hop resins, fruity ale yeast esters, and general floral hoppy bitterness. The malt backbone comes on a bit too strong with its sweetness, offering amber malts, pale malts, Munich malts, and caramalts, but with insufficient roastiness and/or toastiness for the style. It comes off as a bit imbalanced, with the bitterness from the hops coating the palate and detracting from what should be the emphasis (the nonexistent toasty amber malts).

Depth of flavour is pretty shallow, but to give credit where it's due, this is shockingly cohesive for what it is - though it never quite comes off tasting gestalt. The smooth, wet, coating mouthfeel isn't a great companion to the taste, but the overcarbonation is only mild and the medium body is appropriate. Has adequate weight and heft on the palate, though it's a shame this texture services hops instead of malts.

It's a simple stab at a red ale and misses many key fundamentals. Even some winter warmer-esque spices would be welcome, if only to contribute needed complexity. I don't dislike it, but it needs some serious fleshing out.

Not oily, boozy, gushed, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Oddly hop-emphatic for an ostensible winter ale, with no real nods to the traditional red ale (English, Irish, or American) whatsoever. It's absolutely a drinkable brew, but its shallowness and simplicity leave much to be desired. I doubt I'll revisit this voluntarily, but it's by no means a bad beer - merely a mediocre one. The discerning drinker will be unfazed, and can safely skip this. Certainly average.

C (2.89)

Photo of doom_deluise
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of j0hnc2468
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AlexAfonin
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigleague
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Trombone69
2.57/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

It's a beautiful amber color. Nasty bitter flavor. Tough to get through, especially for only 6 percent ABV. A buddy left this at my house in January. Maybe it's a year old? Maybe it went bad. I expected better from Rogue. And from Santa.

Photo of Grand-Raggedy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tivlavrie
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 31Sam13
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the bomber in a Liefmans snifter. This holiday ale pours a bright ruby red with a tenacious off white head that lingers long till dissipating to a thin layer and thick ring of foam with moderate lacing. Nose of spicy hops, sweet raisins and caramel, and an underlying earthy tone. Flavors follow the nose with a rich caramel and juicy hop notes that vies for dominance. Sweet raisins are noted in the background but are overtaken by the bittering hops. Light carbonation to moderate carbonation and a smooth mouth feel finishes wet and bitter. Remember past years being a bit sweeter, but then again only have this once a year. Reminiscent of a red Mogul ale which is an awesome brew. Improves a lot with warmth. Nice.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GinDC
4.67/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Delicious, hoppy and malty and drinkable.

Photo of Nunya
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of pstam87
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of OCSA_1978
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of user785335
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jbierling
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hoppy, very much an IPA. No pineyness.

Photo of StevenH
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Winston3737
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Burgz
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Single 12 oz bottle picked up at my local co op. Poured into a Pilsner glass. Pours a wonderful copper color with 2 finger long lasting off white head. Scent of pine bark and hops. Very hoppy taste and a slight hint of cinnamon. reminds me more of an IPA than an amber. Overall a beer I would recommend for the hopheads out there.

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of anthony-martinez
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sd123
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Harvest06
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AlaskanYoung
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Was ok. Give it a try

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,159 ratings.