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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.
very good

1,174 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,174
Hads: 2,201
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 18.78%
Wants: 66
Gots: 218 | 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.

65 IBU
73.1 AA
26.75º L
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Santa's Private Reserve Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,174 | Hads: 2,201
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22oz brown bottle.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with a "soapy" head that refused to back down.

Smell: Like standing in a pine forest! Amazing how the pine scent came through. If there's anything else in the aroma, I couldn't detect it.

Taste: This really threw me for a loop. On my first sip, I immediately thought "This tastes like soap!" As concern and fear flashed across my face, I though perhaps I'd failed to rinse my glass from the last cleaning. Thus, the next step was to drink from the bottle. Unfortunately, the same thing happened. I just couldn't get that "saop" flavor out of my mind. I then consulted the other reviews for this beer and upon reading several of them, I saw that the "piney" hops really do dominate this beer. Now the taste made a little more sense. Given the IBU of this beer, I was very surprised at how dominant the hops were. I am a big fan of hoppy beers, but not this one.

Mouthfeel: Definitely smooth and crisp. Not bad.

Drinkability: The soapy flavor really made this score what it is. It was hard to get over and it was really tough to finish the bottle.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color a little hazy. Has slight offwhite head...not too much but enough...
Aroma is definately hoppy...slight floral and pine accents...
Taste is very hoppy, but not citrusy or too fruity...
Texture was good...not spectacular but good...
I could drink this all day...Very good beer

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Photo of Kunsan90
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with a decent foamy head that left an extreme lacy foam as it receded. It smelled like a pine forest with a very slight hint of malty sweetness. The taste was over powered by a pine/bitter tasting flavor, which I did not enjoy at all. It had a good mouth feel, but the bitter pine after taste was over powering, at least for me. It’s drink ability would have been OK except for the excessive piney aftertaste. I feel there is a place and target market for this beer, but I don’t think I fit into either.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark amber in color, with a billowy light-tan head. Good "Rogue lace." Smells of light citric hops and pine-forests. The taste is surprisingly bitter for what I expected to be a Christmas ale. Malt body is slightly sweet but mostly toasty. The toasted malts combine with a powerful American-hop finish to make a very bitter impression on the palate. Medium-body and very well-carbonated to give a very crisp feeling to this beer. Drinking it conjures up images of spending Christmas in the forests of Oregon, with the smells of grass and pine around me and the coldness of the night staved off by a healthy bomber of Rogue. Ahhhh!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown in color with a good creamy, tan head that leaves lace. Aroma dominated by piney hops although some roasted malt does sneak through. Taste also dominated by piney hops. IMO the hops provide plenty of bitterness, but not the kind of hop flavor that I enjoy. Malt character is hard to detect. Good mouthfeel. Drinkability remains good despite the big piney hop bitterness. 44 IBU per the bottle, but my perception was that the beer finished at a bitterness level higher than that. Overall, a good beer, but is doesn't have the type of citrusy hop flavor that I prefer.

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Photo of doho95fu
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tastes like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to me. Copper in color with a thin white head and some lacing. The smell is hoppy and so is the taste. Basically, this REALLY tasted like SNPA, with maybe a bit more hops. Good brew, but not groundbreaking, which is what I have come to expect from Rogue.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice coppery color, some carbonation and medium head for a short while, lace stays. The brewer has three different hops (brewer says double the usual) and five malts but the hops win with an initial balance but a definite and lingering hoppy finish. The ABV is 6%.

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Photo of Lupe
2.66/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark red-brown color with a nice tan head and good lacing, excellent appearance. Floral hop aroma with some malt and spice in the backround. Somewhat thin mouthfeel and runs a bit coarse on the tounge. Hops, hops, and more hops. Too much hops. Overpowering hop character hides the other flavors. I like hops, but this was either too much or I was expecting something else. Finishes very dry with more hop bitterness.

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Photo of mophie
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ho-Ho-Hops! Yes, in typical Rogue fashion, this is a hoppy beer. And a red one at that. Chestnut-red in color. Light tan head that sticks around for a few, then slips away to leave a wispy lace on the surface. Smell is dominated by grapefruity hops, though some of the Munich maltiness comes through. Taste is not unlike biting into a pine tree (wasn't there an old guy on TV about 20 years ago who used to eat pine trees in a commercial?), though it's slightly offset (I wouldn't say balanced, because that would be lying) by a malty sweetness. Finish is, well, bitter. In a hoppy way. I'm sure Santa would not mind finding this by the fireplace instead of milk!

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-amber in color with a good size off white head that lasts. Nice floral smell with some great hop notes coming through. Very smooth, clean and malty in the beginning. The ending is hops and bitterness all the way. Nothing is too strong with this ale, it is very well balanced and a great winter brew. This beer reminds me a lot of SN Celebration Ale maybe with a bit more bittering hops. Another great brew from Rogue.

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Photo of proc
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As I sat in my recliner on Christmas Eve, reflecting on the holiday at hand and looking out the window watching it snow, I drank this holiday offering from Rogue. It pours out to a brownish-amber in the glass. The aroma of hops and grapefruit are present. This is a rather bitter ale, but in a good way. Hops dominate, but you most certainly know there is malt in there. A nice diversion on a mellow, snowy Christmas Eve night. One bomber was fine for the evening.

12/31/03: Update. I had a bomber of this on Christmas Eve, per usual and can report this beer was hopped like crazy this year. The word is that Santa ordered 3x the hops as opposed to the usual 2x hopping this beer usually gets. It was a hop monster for '03. Wow.

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Photo of mickstepp
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've yet to meet a Rogue I didn't like and Santa's Private Reserve is no exception. Very deep amber color. Nice off-white head. Aggressively hopped (that's a compliment not a complaint). If you didn't know this was a Rogue Ale you might be able to guess anyway. Faint hop aroma but little else in the nose . Breautiful cascading lace action. Not Rogue's best offering but pretty good nonetheless. My biggest complaint is that it lacks the spicey complexity of other winter/Christmas ales I've had (or the spiciness is buried by the hops).

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Photo of cretemixer
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red oak in color, looks great. Strong firm frothy head that Santa could land his sleigh on. Strong piney smell to go along with the malts. It didn't do it for me in the taste department though. The piney/peppery taste just wasn't for me. Not bad, just not to my liking. Nice aftertaste though.

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Photo of marc77
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light ruby hue. Off white dense creamy head leaves fluffy lace. Pungently piney hops dominate, w/ citrus and dark caramel malt secondary. Toasty Munich surfaces as the beer warms. Quinine like, spruce laced Chinook bitterness hits the palate at first and remains relatively unhindered other than the contrast provided by pronounced caramel and pseudosweet dextrin malt. Hop flavor is more citrusy than piney in nature. Light to medium bodied with a typically smooth, dextrinous mouthfeel aided copious use of speciality malts. Finishes cleanly bitter, w/ a slight caramel sweetness lingering on the palate. Yet another trademark rogue brew. Aggressively hopped, quite drinkable and very tasty. Superior to the non hop backed, less aromatic and generally milder St. Rogue Red version.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I may be crazy, or maybe I just got a bad bottle, but I didn't fancy this too much. The taste was stale and of a burnt malty area. It had an awesome look to it, smell to it, and feel to it, but the taste was lacking in my book. I would be willing to try it again, because Rogue puts out quality products and it's unusual for a beer to be nasty made by them. Sorry.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sludgy brown with fuzzy head. Aroma of big caramel and chocolate malts with intense bitter hop. This is a big malty beer upfront, with a strong chocolate element and roasty malts reminiscent of a chewy doppelbock. That however is blown away by huge hops, with grapefruit and pine flavors. There's nothing especially Christmasy about this beer except for a tree-like element in the hops and the general extreme-ness which fits in with many winter brews. It's out there. The hops turned me off at first but the beer grew on me as it warmed. A nice, once-a-year treat. Now with this out of the way I can move on to my much anticipated bottle of Samichlaus. Ho ho ho.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark garnet/ rich,ruby color, big, creamy head. Aroma: hoppy, spicy, dazzling array of fruits, grapes, cherries. Sits wonderfully in the mouth. Tangy, sour taste. Bitter finish. It's described by Rogue as having a "hoppy, sprucy finish", and I obviously blinked on the spruce. I like it very well, but, although you can call me a hophead, I wasn't expecting quite so much hops in a brew of this style. Although, to be fair, the "winter beer" style is increasingly a broad one. In sum, I thank Santa for sharing!

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Photo of BeerBob
4.51/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Santa’s Private Reserve Ale from Rogue, pours a dark red from a 22oz dark brown glass bottle. The light tan head forms with no effort at all and will lift its self well above the glass rim. Massive layers of foam are still clinging to the sides of my glass as I write the rest of this review.

Nose is like a walk through a pine forest laced with garlands of hops plants hanging from the boughs. Palate is having your mouth dragged through a pine forest laced with garlands of hops plants hanging from the boughs, stopping at each and every tree for a bite.

This is by far and away, the most hoppy brew I have ever had the pleasure to consume. There is no need to repeat the list of ingredients that are listed on the side of the bottle, it is enough to say that this Rogue ale is the whole nine yards, the entire enchilada of malted hoppy ales.

Aftertaste? there is no aftertaste, its all the first taste and has yet to diminish, let alone fade to an aftertaste

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Photo of bditty187
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber, almost cherry-brown, with a strong, long lasting off-white head, plenty of lace. It’s damn impressive sitting in my mug. The nose really doesn’t develop much intensity, acidic citrus, some fruit, and some faint malt. I love the taste, plenty of hops to tantalize the tastebuds with just enough malt to add depth. It leaves you wanting more! If this is a “red ale” then I am Santa Claus…

Recommended! A must have for the Holidays!

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Photo of maxpower
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 02 bottle, cloudy bright amber color, floral hoppy aroma, huge creamy off white head that clings to my glass. Starts sweet and malty caremel flavor, then finishes with a spicy dryness, the hops really stand out. Medium body, full soft mouthfeel, very tasty and drinkable, a great winter brew.

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Photo of purplehops
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Rogue's 2002 x-mas offering pours a wonderful chestnut orange with a tan head. The aroma is a complex blend of malt and spice followed by notes of apricot and hops. Poured into a tulip glass I could sniff this all night long. The taste starts with a nice crisp carmel malt warmth and a stinging hop bite. The finish is very very very dry with a slight hop bitterness that lingers for a moment. The after taste is a very faint note of hop spiciness. The mouthfeel starts very bold and drops like a rock into complete nothingness. I feel very disapointed by this ale. Its aroma and appearance are so wonderful. The taste starts wonderful also but then it just disappears into a watery hop flavored aftertaste. Everything about this product screams wonderful except the lasting pleasure of an aftertaste. This ale makes me thirsty instead of quenching my thirst. IMHO

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Photo of hyuga
4.63/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 release. A deep, thick, syrupy amber brew, with a very large off-white head that stays quite well. A good amount of lace is left behind as it is consumed. Thick, rich malty aroma with many types of hops mixed in. Citrus and pine are the most noticeable products of the hops, with leafy and earthy tones directly beneath. A bit fruity as well. Wonderfully complex hop character in the flavor profile! Leafy and earthy hops are noticeable at first, rushing in with the big malt character, which is sweet, a bit roasted, and slightly bready, combining well with those hops. Rind-like bitterness follows closely behind. Pine and citrus are also present, but subtlely. Crisp and sweet at the same time. More crisp in the finish, though. This hop and malt combination makes for a great and pleasing mouthfeel. Spicy hop character is abound, and stays in the aftertaste. Well, I should have expected a lot more from this beer, I'm quite impressed! I love it! Extremely tasty in that earthy way. Not your typical winter beer, but it does warm you, and the hops provide spiciness where spices would be in other winter beers. I'd really love to have this beer available to me year-round. I might just stock up so I can keep it around for a while. Another winter must-try!

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Photo of Amdahl
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is from a most impressive bottle, the 650 ml has no paper label, it is painted on. This beer pour a dark red with about 2 fingers of fluffy head. The aroma is very malty with a hint of fruitiness. The dominate taste is grapefruit. It finishes dry. This is a very different beer for a winter. I enjoyed the taste of this one more than the dead guy ale. A very taste beer.

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Photo of Winter
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, deep, dark garnet color with a light tan head. Aroma consists of hops, caramel and a touch of maple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Initial mild hop front to it. Smooth, yet, bitter hop & fruit dry finish. There's also a bit of pine or spruce that lingers toward the end. Flavor seems more like an IPA than a traditional red ale due to the intense amount of hops in this one. A tasty winter seasonal offering for those who like intensely hop-flavored beers. I wouldn't mind stocking up on a few of these.

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Photo of pbrian
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

American Red/Amber Ale my ass. This beer can go head-to-head with most barleywines. The strong high-alpha hop profile is matched with a chewy, grainy, bready malt character. An extremely worthy wintertime warmer.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.