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Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,058
Reviews: 1,155
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 53
Gots: 126 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,058 | Reviews: 1,155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LacquerHead
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this into a slender rocks glass

It had a pleasant caramel aroma that seemed to go well with the holiday. The sweetness was accompanied by hoppy background.

The taste was similar to the aroma. This had a spiced caramel sweetness. There was a good level of hops that added a dryness that help counter the malts, in a good way. It had a blend of sweet malts and pale hoppieness.

Overall: So far this has been my favorite Christmas/Winter brew.

Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Depending on how aggressive of a pour, you get a nice 3 finger head with a lace that clings to the glass. Opaque amber copper color. Smells of malt with a hint of hops and spices. Initial malty taste with a slight amount of spice, I have definitely had beers where the Christmas spices are more prevalent. Finishes with a welcomed hoppy bite. The mouth feel is very smooth with a slight creaminess. This is a very easy drinking beer.

Photo of Dangerous
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like other reviewers, I am a fan of Rogue beers. This one leaves me a bit disappointed. I won't go nuts here with all then characteristics of aroma, smelll, taste etc.... I think the other reviewers have nailed those elements right on the head. I'll just say that it is a decent, drinkable brew. The mouth feel was too watery for my liking. However, if you love that lingering hop finish on your tongue, this one is for you. OK...I just saw that my ratings gave this a C+....I will aadjust my ratings because i believe this to be a true B (above average brew).

Photo of righthereisay
2.48/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought this for the label and because I've enjoyed beers from Rogue.

The smell? Maybe hoppy. Fruity, maybe some spices. But from the smell you kind of know what you are getting into.

The 1st taste was a little too bitter for my liking. Bitter, some sourness, maybe some fruitiness.

Not much body at all, I would say light to medium. Carbonation was average. Not too much.

Will never buy again. Basically another brewery selling out for the winter holiday beer crowd. I'll stick to their other beers.

Photo of scottyshades
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-transparent orange/amber color with a small eggshell color head. Retention is good enough

S: Mellow malts, caramel, residual sugar (almost like priming sugar?), juniper berry!, and one or two other Christmas spices. Hops are earthy, spicy, and faintly citric (lemon). Pretty complex I guess, but a little too subtle for a better score

T: Interesting flavor, very malt forward. Hops add some nice bitterness, a little citrus juice, and blend well with the spices. Juniper is definitely identifiable.

MF/D: Light in body, slightly prickly carbonation, bitter/juniper finish. Drinkability is high, especially with the alcohol well hidden.

Notes: Interesting beer, pairs well with food I have found. Rogue is usually really hit or miss with me, this one is a hit

Photo of scottfrie
2.83/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Delirium Tremens snifter. Thanks to mjyoung for buying this for me.

A: Pour a dark ruby-amber with a thick light tan head that faded into a thin scum and collar around the glass. Pretty solid sheet of lacing left.
S: Faint notes of fruits and spices. I get notes of orange cream popsicles too. Not a lot of odor on this one.
T: I get some bitter notes of hops right off the bat which they taste like dried orange peel. After that it tastes like a mixture of sweet malt and spicy rye, which isn't too bad on its own, but the way all the flavors come together don't really agree with me. Finish just barely sweet before the bitter roasted aftertaste kicks in. Tastes kinda skanky and sour. I don't think this beer has gone bad, I think it's just kinda nasty.
M: Medium body, with soft, even carbonation. Not really much to complain about here.
D: I didn't really love this beer. I guess I'd give it another try, maybe it's better on tap, but there are so many better amber ales out there that I would rather spend my money on.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish-amber color. This but solid tan head that has no plans to leave anytime soon. Lacing is fair.

Malty sweet aroma, caramel and mild hope spice. Taste is also on the sweeter side, though hops do come through in the form a complimentary spice flavor. Somewhat of a mild fruitcake effect which is nice. Finishes harsh with bitter hops.

Nice body, smooth and drinkable. A good beer from Rogue.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/15/2010:

#2 - 12 beers of Christmas. 12 oz. bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a slighly cloudy and rustic red color with a thick, half-inch of creaminess that does not last.

S: The nose shows aromas of sweet caramel, apricot, coriander, and a moderate spiciness.

T: The taste is of sweet medium fruits (apricot, peach, and even grapefruit), strong caramel malt flavors, and a touch of roastiness.

M: The body is medium with some creaminess and fizziness.

D: This is decent but does not showcase any seasonal spices as I'd hoped.

Photo of YouSkeete
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red with an amber hue. Slightly opaque. One-finger white head with moderate lacing.

S: Caramel malts and heavy hop flavor are the first aromas that make it to the nose. Dark fruits like raisins, plums and figs balance the bite of the hops and malty sweetness. Pine and cedar notes can be deciphered.

T: Sweet caramel malts, a boat-load of fresh yeast and moderate hop flavor. Dark fruits are more subtle throughout the beer, which is not what i was expecting. Yeast and malt are the front runners in the taste. Sweetness balanced by hop bite, and bitterness balanced by the softness of pureed dark fruits. Amazing.

M: Moderate carbonation, moderate body. An exceptionally well-balanced product.

D: Fantastic. One of my favorite out of the many Rogues i have sampled.

Photo of felipe2toes
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish orange in appearance with thin white head. Head slowly recedes into thin crust.

Smells mostly of dark fruit and malt--raisins and caramel.

I was expecting more of a malt flavor, but the hops and bitterness are upfront on the palate, nice though. Pine and resin and grapefruit are dominant, with some bready malt.

Good mouthfeel, nice and crisp with a bitter finish. Easy drinking too.

Photo of csiewert
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is similar to the dead guy ale but has more of a sweet malty taste/smell to it. Pours a dark amber color with very little off white head... Which is somewhat disappointing. Hop aroma is present and so is the taste which is fairly generic. Mouthfeel is good but the taste is a little harsher than I would like.

Photo of Rumplemintz
1.2/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer may be the best looking most inviting beer I have poured lately; while being the worst tasting beer of the season.
I poured it cold from the bottle 40-45. C into a pint glass.
It poured an amber golden color with an unfiltered look, similar to a Heffeweissen.
The head was tall and creamy and hung around until it was finished.
Smell was musty, flowery, and almost stale like.
Taste, was bitter and stale, very hoppy. The after taste had an awful bite, making every sip a chore. I stayed with this beer for I wanted it to get better, but after it warmed up a bit there was no change.
There is a possiblity that the beer was bad, but I cant try another.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a small off-white foam head. There is good retention.

S: A nice malty mix, bread, caramel, raisins, dates and prunes. There is a faint hop scent.

T: The hop flavor comes through first, but the dark fruit malt flavors come through and balances out the hops.

M: Leaves a slightly bitter taste on the palate.

D: An easy amber to drink, a dcent amount of hop bitterness that is countered by some dark fruit malt.

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into snifter.
A: A white head settles into a thin layer. The body has a bright red hue to it and in the light looks a deep amber. Nice draping lacing.
S: Good hop forward aroma, a bit of light malt roasted and many amber notes.
T/M: The balance of hops and malt is a bit on the hop side of things. The hops have a wet, floral taste, a nice use of hops in a winter brew. A bold amber note and overall a hoppy rendition on the style. Nice medium mouthfeel and ends with a hop bitterness.
D: Great brew, has me coming back to the glass. This is one I would buy in a 22oz or a six pack.

Photo of tharper
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into pint glass - cold 38 F waited until about 42 F for review. 2010 brew.

A - very copper- slightly ruddy - not brilliant at all but clearish. off-white, slightly tan head 1" down to 1/4 after 5 minutes. retained head continuously after that.

S - plum, malt, slight fresh raisin

T- Malty with good hop finish - sweet and tart but sweetness is very slight

M- Mouthfeel is clear with zero slickness and low esters. Slight hop bitterness is enticing and lends to next sip.

D- could drink this all day and/or night.

Overall I find this a nice flavor and profile for an American red ale with medium bitterness and great malt profile. Yeast notes are minimal.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy copper amber with a tall tan head, retained great with very sticky lacing all over
S - earthy spicy hops with sweet molasses and smokiness
T - very earthy with some citrus hops, sweet molasses and musty or smoky malt with a nutty hint
M - lower carbonation chewy, hoppy bitterness and bready finish
D - flavours reminded me more of the ESB style due to the hop prominence, very tasty and easy drinking, Santa definitely checked this twice!

Photo of Mancer
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a hazy copper color with a one finger high light-brown head. The initial smell of the beer was that of citrus fruits, and malts. The initial taste of the beer was that of bready yeast, light pine, some fruits, and roasted/burnt barley. The finish was the lingering roasted barley. The brew had a bitter bite to it, as well as a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall, this was a good beer, but it wasn't my style whatsoever. I can't say that I was particularly fond of the barley finish. However, this beer seems spot on for its beer style.

Photo of pants678
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent copper with a frothy light beige head that retains.

A thick must of malts and bread, a tinge of pine.

Very much opposite the nose, a peppery beer that's made up of dry earth tones. It reveals a middling caramel but I'm not picking up the citrus. The "reserve" is like a toasted yet docile IPA that has the sterile bitterness of better pilsners. No alcohol present but I say it's missing a characterizing sweetness.

It is not quite sharp but kind of creamy and crisp and certainly clean. Low carbonation. Oddly Santa's would fit as a lawn chair beer on a sunny summer afternoon.

Photo of craigreed
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured in to my DFH snifter glass

Appearance - pours a beautiful deep amber color with one finger of stiff off white head. Leaves a nice lacing behind as the head goes down. Great.

Smell - Citrus and pine immediately. Hop aroma is perfect for me and is combined with a caramel sweet smell. Good combination of pine and sweet.

Taste - Taste of pine resin is what hits me first followed by a citrus/grapefruit taste. Taste starts out sweet with hints of caramel, but surprisingly finishes dry with a rather bitter finish. Definite lingering of pine on your pallete.

Mouthfeel - A bit on the lighter side with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability - Overall I really enjoyed this beer. Basically this is a hopped red ale that I really do enjoy. I am a bit of a hop head, so this is a perfect beer for me this time of the season. Easy to drink, and overall a good beer.

Photo of cdbooth219
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a reddish-amber color, with half a finger of off white head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing present

S: Citrus and pine, along with bready notes and a caramel sweetness. The citrus and pine from the hops is present, but slightly overpowered by the sweetness

T: Starts off with breadiness and a slight caramel sweetness, followed by pine, grapefruit and lemon. Finishes dry with a lingering pine bitterness, and a slight sweetness

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Works perfectly for the style

D: The light body and relatively low abv makes this very drinkable. It is not too complex, but its enjoyable on a cool winters night. I could definitely drink a few of these

Overall, an enjoyable beer. Its not an amazing hoppy red, but its definitely something good to drink during the winter. As with the few other rogue beers ive had, not overwhelming, but definitely enjoyable.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a light ruddy amber with one finger of stiff beige head.

Smell -- Citrusy pith, pine resin, toasted/red malt, and a dab of caramel sweetness. Hop aroma is pretty nice, though it could stand to be more aromatic. Some diacetyl is also present.

Taste -- Up front is pine resin and grapefruit rind. While this starts off with caramel sweetness, the finish is quite dry leaving for a robust bitter finish. Lingering pine bitterness and toasted malt.

Mouthfeel -- Lighter in body with ample carbonation. Not too shabby.

Drinkability -- All in all, an okay beer. As far as hopped-up reds go, this is slightly better than average.

Photo of dubinsky
1.88/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 20oz bottle into my FSW American Pint Glass.
A - Nice amber color with a white two finger foamy head. The beer leaves some nice lacing behind as the head goes down. Pretty standard.

S - Not much smell to speak of really. Some hop aroma which i suppose is spruce rather than pine and a slight hint of malt sweetness, but overall a very underwhelming aroma.

T - Santa must really not like good beer, or his "private reserve" is full of mediocre beers. I'm really disappointed with this one. I cant believe this is a Rogue product. Bitter hops and really not much else. I taste some biscuit on the back of the tongue, but even the hops they use here taste bad to me.

M - This beer is pretty thin, flat and dry. Not much mouthfeel to speak of.

D - Normally this would be a drain pour for me, but i spent almost $7 on this beer and i'm forcing it down my throat so that i can piss gold later on. Rogue has never been my favorite brewery, and this one may prevent me from trying another one of their products for a while. Too bad.

Photo of shand
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

Pours with about two fingers of dense, white head. The beer is a fairly hazy red-amber color. A good looking brew, all together. The smell is surprisingly hoppy, not quite what I expected based on the label. There is heavier malt here separating it from the pale ales and IPAs of the world, but there's a serious hop presence here for sure.

This is a good tasting beer. It's almost what would happen if you crossed a high-quality pilsner with winter warmer. I smell and taste the hops right out, but some malts come in, rushing in and balancing it. And it feels warm. Warmer than the ABV would say. There's a piney citrus feel here that's reminiscent of an IPA as well. Hell, I don't know where I'm going with this. It's a bit of a shape-shifter, that works its way through all sorts of flavors. It's very bitter though. You've gotta love the bitter to love this one.

The mouthfeel is perfectly crisp, with a medium body. It's also quite easy to drink. It's just a solid beer all the way around, no faults here. A great one from Rogue.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear amber with an off-white fluffy head that leaves behind thin lacing

Big pine/spruce hop aromas upon pour but mellow out to toasty maltiness with faint caramel sweetness.

Taste has complex malt flavoring that evolves from a light, sweet beginning to a full bready middle and ends with a pilsner-like maltiness. Lots of hops happening also, spruce to citrus to bitter. Nothing overbearing, nicely balanced for all the complexity.

Well carbonated with a light mouthfeel, almost on the watery side. ABV % is not noticeable. Lighter body than I was expecting.

An easy-drinking winter ale that has enough complexities to keep your attention.

Photo of Zodijackyl
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with an ultra-fine white head. Aroma of casade and magnum hops with a bit of roasted malt. Taste is a medium-dark toasted barley mixed with smokey and bitter hops. There is a lot of hop action in this brew, including some roasted bitter hops with the bitterness increased by the roasting. The aroma doesn't reflect the darker and more bitter taste of the hops, but the herbal note of them works with the winter beer approach. Strong, bitter mouthfeel, which makes it a bit less drinkable than it would be otherwise. Overall a good beer, but slightly overpowered by the roasted/burnt hop flavor.

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,058 ratings.