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

2,173 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,173
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 191 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,173 | Reviews: 1,184
Photo of clvand0
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 22oz. bottle at the local pub. This one pours a dark red color - very attractive - with a thick off-white head and a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy with sweet malts and a nutty hint as well. The flavor is pretty bitter. There is a sweetness from the malts and quite a bit of spiciness as well. Not so sure about this one. Love the appearance, but the flavor is a little too bitter for my tastes.

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hoppy. The citrus, resinous smell explodes out of the glass and in your mouth as well. The malt side of the flavor equation I found to be slightly lacking, this may be simply because of the very strong hop character of the beer though. After another couple tastings (~2/04) I have to come in here and change my ranking of this beer. Found it very lacking. I suppose living in NC will do that to you. When you can't get anything over 6%, Santa's special reserve seems great, but now that I'm drinking Celebration Ale and Alpha king, this beer has taken a hit.

Photo of BierReise
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep red color which reminded me of red velvet cake and a dark vanilla colored frothy head. An intense hoppy aroma followed by a sweet German malt presence and a little of something I can't seem to put my finger on. Flavor is hoppy bitterness and a slight spiciness. This is one bitter beer from start to finish.

Photo of UnionMade
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Eli Cannons (Middletown, CT) during the Rogue tasting. It was listed as "Santa's Dry Hopped Red Ale". I'm assuming this is the same stuff. Deep red in color, with an almond tan head. Aroma is very hoppy and manly, almost surly. Almost a surly sea bass. Not much in the way of malt, as far as I can tell in the smoky pub. Flavor is hoppy, with a nice roasty malt balance. Semi sweet, with a grassy herbal hoppiness. Body is medium to full, with moderate carbonation. I wasn't disappointed.

Photo of StevieW
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. Pours a deep glowing burgundy color. Nice creamy, rich head, off-white to beige in color. Rich hop filled aromas matched with a bit of seasonal nutmeg, cinnamon spices ? Toasted malty flavors peak through. Taste is well balanced and smooth, full of flavors. Initial hop kick, striking. Subtle spiciness, very subdued and good. Malt and hops are well balnced with a lingering sweetness. Amazing combination of flavors and hop kick that you expect from Rogue. Medium to full bodied, carbonation held up fine after having this one in May, bought in March, and who knows how long it was on the shelf before that. This is one I will look for again this Christmas Season. (Christmas in July, from my notes when I was computer-less.)

Photo of RBorsato
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish-copper with a full light brown head, good carbonation, and nice lace sheeting. Nice citrusy hop aroma. Nice hoppy citrus flavor which is more powerful than the malt base but decently balanced. Medium bodied with a hoppy bitter finish.

Very nice fresh and after 6 months. Didn't care for it in the past after aging a year or so. One to buy each year with S.N. Celebration Ale.

Per Bottle: 13 P, 44 IBU, 73.1 AA, 26.75 L & "Chinook and Centennial Hops"

Per website: 60 IBU (bottle is most likely wrong...)

2002 version
Tasted: 07/02/03

($3.59 / 22 oz.)

Photo of Quaffer
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bottle

Appearance: I popped the top of the bomber and set it down beside my computer. About ten seconds later, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. What the . . . ? I looked over to find the bottle erupting like friggin' Vesuvius. I quickly got it over a trash can and waited for it to stop. But of course, it didn't. It kept coming and coming. Finally, I just poured the thing. Needless to say the head was out of control. But it looked great. It was a nice tan color and settled down slowly and chunky. It left a great amount of lace on the glass. The beer itself was a deep brownish-red.

Smell: This brew had a very straightforward ale smell. The were sweet and caramel malt aromas, mixed with a clean hops smell. The hops faded the longer the beer sat.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and pretty smooth. It left a nice tingle on the tongue.

Taste: Upfront, there were some short lived sweet (though the sweetness was very subdued) and caramel malt flavors. These were quickly overcome by a rising hops bitterness that seemed to surpass the 44 IBUs stated on the bottle. The hops had a floral quality that lingered well into the aftertaste.

This was a good beer, but not one to write home about. The malt flavors needed to be deeper, in my opinion.

Photo of ElGuapo
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is a very fluffy tannish foam on top of a red amber color after pouring this fine Rogue. It has very good retention, and I just have to comment on the unique shapes the head forms as it dies a little. I don't like to say a lot about the head of a beer, but this one does not go away, EVER! I have sheets of lace and chunks of foam all over my glass, and I have been done with it for 15 minutes. This may not happen to everyone, but mine had pits and peaks of foam. It looked like a mountain range on top of my beer. The aroma is wonderfully filled with hops and a piney smell, like a Christmas tree but covered in hops.

It is fairly crisp, but most of that is from the spiciness of the hops. There is not a whole lot of carbonation. There is a subtle presence of roasty malts, but this beer is all about the combination of hops. The spices are blended so well with a piney sort of flavor. The aftertaste has lingering spices, but you are also able to pick up some grains. This is yet another good one from Rogue. It is a very good drinker, and I want another one.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper-red body topped by a healthy, just-off-white, whip cream head. Head then settles into a solid table-top. Aroma? I was smelling hops as soon as I popped the top, without it anywhere near my nose. Enormous citrus aroma just floods the nose. Taste opens with a solid malt base, but is quickly engulfed by rush of hops. The hops are much more piney in the taste as contrasted with the aroma. Could use more malt balance, make this a fairer fight. Mouthfeel is full, but too hoppy to be considered smooth. In fact, at times it seems you almost have to come up for air from the hops. A fine hopheads delight, which is a good thing. Just not what I was expecting from a red/amber ale.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of stegmakk
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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

Photo of Kunsan90
2.96/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of mzwolinski
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of doho95fu
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.21/5  rDev -14.4%
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%.

Photo of Lupe
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of mophie
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of proc
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of mickstepp
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
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).

Photo of cretemixer
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of marc77
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of JISurfer
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of Thrasher
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,173 ratings.