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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

1,922 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,922
Reviews: 1,140
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 39
Gots: 58 | FT: 1
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: 1,922 | Reviews: 1,140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bradybeer


4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A= Light red
S=As it warms a nice hop aroma comes through
T=Nice hop bitterness
D= A good sessoon beer with medium mouthfeel and body

Picked up a case at COSTCO around xmas and have been working on it since. I was not impressed at first-but as the beer as aged I think it has improved. Could drink more than a few of these at a time

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 19:05:20 | More by bradybeer
Photo of Maestro


4.83/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. I love a really hoppy, red ale. I have only found a few of these. The appearance is very dark red, with a frothy, tan head. The nose is chock full o' hops and biscuity malts. The taste is a classic red ale flavor, but with an awesome amount of Pacific Northwest Hops. Mouthfeel is full and has a nice bit. Drinkability...keep 'em coming.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 21:00:48 | More by Maestro
Photo of Vancer


2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ho da hody ho. A deep amber pour, nice lacey little ivory head. Lots of malt with a pop of floral in the aroma. The taste really had a big push of pine and grass. Some coriander spice helped, but the overall taste was off for me.

Not enough malt to balance out the harsh hops. Dry and bitter in the finish. I had no problem finishing this, but was not generally pleased and will not seek another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 21:21:38 | More by Vancer
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a deep reddish brown body that is a bit dense but glows in the light. There is a thick bubbly light tan head that sticks to the glass forming a meniscus. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles that rise in strands to the surface.

S- This beer has a big sweet toasted malt aroma a nice caramel malt smell and a hint of dark malt in the background. The malt smell is big and rich like that of sweet boiling wort.

T- the sweet big malt flavor is mostly toasted malt both light and dark with a caramel flavor coming through and increasing as the beer warms. There is a faint buttery note in the malt and a hint of dark roasted malt in the background. The big bitter bite of hops has a dry grapefruit quality that finishes the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel and a pretty smooth texture to the finish.

D- This beer has lots of great sweet malt depth with a nice balance of hop bitterness to make it very drinkable. This will be great on winter nights I don't feel like leaving the house.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 18:56:23 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of JudgeRoughneck


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hard pour of this rosewood colored beer produces aromas of tea, ale fruit, dark stone fruit, red cherries, blackberry, baked bread. Amazing eggshell colored frapped rootbeer float style head that totally laces the glass.

Taste is more tea with a chewy amber malt body, metallic red ale twang, and floral to spicy hop bitter in the drying finish. This is definately a refreshing take on X-mas beer and this drinks way too easy.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 07:41:29 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of JasonCoop


4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i've had this kicking around for a while, hope it's not too old

pours a pretty clear deep brownish amber color. it's pretty dark. nice off-white foamy head. looks great.

smells strongly of both nuttyish malts and sharp citrusy hops. smells pretty good.

taste is pretty good. i worry that this sample is a bit past its prime but the beer is still pretty good. it's got a nice sweet malt character. very flavorful, and the hops kick in towards the finish and linger. very generously hopped.

mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp bite from the hop bitterness. i like it a lot, great example of an amber/red style ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2007 04:58:37 | More by JasonCoop
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was poured into a Rogue glass just to keep things equal. It was brown and a bit hazy. The head was average and didn’t have a lot of retention. The smell was refreshingly hoppy, with enough malt to detect. It has a bit of a roasted taste. The malt is noticeable. It also is a bit bitter. It has an odd, but nice balance of flavors. The mouthfeel is very full and suits it nicely. This is a hearty beer that is quite bold with the flavors, and while it is definitely yummy, I don’t think that I could drink several in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 05:07:05 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of peterittenhouse


4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type-bottle

A-Pours dark amber with fluffy amber head with great lacing!

S-Clean,fresh fruity aroma. Very nice

T-Crisp snappy hop backbone that meshes nicely with the malt that smacks your palate upfront! Really solid brew..Juicy!!

M-Full body with crisp,spicy mouthfeel. Nothing missing in this department

D-Overall, a very solid choice.Good session brew for the holidays. Enjoying the holiday leftovers...an excellent choice. Definately worth searching out for Xmas 2007.

Pitcher and catchers report in two weeks,baby! Lets go, Fightin Phils!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 04:24:11 | More by peterittenhouse
Photo of rrg1gb


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S - It poured a dark ruby red hue with a thin laced head but retained very well. Highly carbonated - looks a lot like cream soda.

A - It has a slightly fruity aroma, almost like figs, but there was also a deep malty aroma to give it a faint biscuit smell too.

T - For maybe the first moment it was sweet to the tongue, but instantly followed with deep roasted malt flavor. Then, BANG! with the Northwest hop flavor. It almost tasted like an IPA for a second.

M - It has a high level of carbonation but still full of complex tastes. It's not at all watered down. Also, the hops give it a nice citrusy aftertaste, which is a delightful contrast to the roasted malts.

D - This is a good drink as the malty flavor hits all the tastebuds, but I just think that the malt/hop combo is a bit off. It's definitely hoppier than I expected, but I do have to consider where the brewer is located and what kind of hops is available. Sooo, the flavors are off the beaten path but the Private Resreve is good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 16:35:34 | More by rrg1gb
Photo of beerphan


4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> goblet

Pours dark rust in color with wonderful amber/orange highlights in the light. A creamy off white bordering on tan head leaves cliffs of crusty lacing. A fine looking brew.

Nose: Sweet caramel malts and a tad of hoppy pineness.

Taste: The sweet malts are overwhelmed by a piney lingering hop bitterness. Letting the brew warm, or should i say letting it breath cause this one is being consumed at room temp, seems to led some kick to the malt.

Mouth: Thick and luxorious.

This is one drinkable brew. Next year a case of this is sure to make it under my tree during the holidaze.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 20:14:49 | More by beerphan
Photo of BadRockBeer


2.55/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Copper in color, opaque. Little 1 finger head faded quickly to a nice lace.

Smell: Chinook’s are rather apartment, slightly earthy.

Taste: Big hoppy punch up front with a malty sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Lacked a little in body, very thin, bit dry.

Drinkability: So-so, A good extra hoppy winter warmer defiantly had better. But if Santa digs it, that’s all that matters!

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 00:07:57 | More by BadRockBeer
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 50 degrees.

A - Pours a reddish copper with a small off-white head that quickly dissipated; decent amount of carbonation. A good red ale color.

S - Hoppy malt up front, but a metallic scent lingered. Tough to pick out any other aroma.

T - First tastes to come through are that of earthy hops, followed by smooth caramel malt. I wish I could be more descriptive than that with this beer, but the flavors never really develop to their full potential.

M - Unfortunately, a little on the thin side, with a dry finish. Bubbly body with a little alcohol in the aftertaste.

D - Not as good as I expected, but it still hit the spot. The flavors just weren't as pronounced as others from this style that I've had lately. I wouldn't rush out to get it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 00:01:47 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of Estarrio


3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While it may seem blasphemous to some, I'm not the biggest fan of Rogue beers. I do like the fact that they list the ingredients on the bottle and I grabbed this one based on the use of Centennial and Chinook hops. Unfortunately, I was a bit under whelmed by amount of hops present in the beer.

Poured light mahogany with orange tones and a small white head. Not much head retention in this one but the sticky lacings lined the glass walls throughout.

Big, sweet malt character in the nose with subtle hints of pine and hops.

This brew definitely tastes better as it warms. Lightly sweet malt up front with a bitter, citrus, orange rind finish. While the flavor is smooth and balanced, it lacks in complexity. There is very little in the way the pine hop goodness that I would expect from a beer brewed with Centennials and Chinooks. That said the crisp, clean taste and moderate bitterness might be quite enjoyable depending on what you are looking for in a winter seasonal.

Medium/full bodied with ample carbonation, the drinkability gets a lift from the smooth taste and 6% ABV.

This isn't one of my favorite winter seasonals but it is a solid, average offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 05:02:48 | More by Estarrio
Photo of tattooedtolley


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber, almost red in color, nice two finger head left a bunch of lacing.

Smell - nice sweet malty aroma coupled with a delicate aroma of hops.

Taste - Very balanced between the hops and the malts. Neither were over powering. The malts had a subtle sweetness to them, a hint of caramel and fruitiness. The hops brought the bitterness well and balanced the brew out very nicely. Probably the best tasting red/amber ale I have had to date.

Mouthfeel - medium in body, very smooth.

Drinkability - I'm stoked to see these now in my area in 6 packs, this is certainly sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 17:49:47 | More by tattooedtolley
Photo of WetCoaster


4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown copper with a great head; coffee ice cream, dense, great retention, leaves lacing and a fat foam berg that... yep, still there. Good stuff.

Smell: Really rich nose of tangy caramel malt, buttery toffee, vanilla, bit apple/fruity. Foam berg still there.

Taste: Definitely one of the better winter brews out there. Wonderfully balanced roasted malt, chewy toffee, countered against a solid base of bittering hops and tart fruit. Berg still hanging in there.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic, one of my all-time faves. Wonderfully smooth, dense, chewy, perfect amount of carbonation -- love it.

Drinkability: Really top-tier. I am not a huge fan of winter warmers (hey, instead of a bland hoppy beer, let's make a bland malty beer!) but this is uniquely, thoroughly terrific. Berg still floating.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 06:11:20 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of BaronVonHawkeye


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Good, rich amber color, although not as dark as most Christmas ales. The thick cream-colored head was a nice touch, almost an egg-nog color, leaving lace rings as you drank down.

Smell: Good nose, although not spectacular. Definitely did not have a metallic smell.

Taste: Good taste coming from the hops and additional spices.

Mouthfeel: A little of the head cut down on a crisp mouthfeel. While not as smooth as a few other winter ales, it was not significantly off.

Drinkability: A great sipping beer to enjoy a fresh snow fall to reflect on the day.

I certainly recommend this ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 23:31:55 | More by BaronVonHawkeye
Photo of pweis909


2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amber-red - appropriate holiday fare, with big foamy cap.

Two odors apparent as I poured this brew: the piney odors of Chinook hops but also something metallic and off.

Micely layered malts, more to the sweet side than the roasted malt suggested by the label. Stong, puckering hop bitterness. Chinook hops are easily overdone, and this is an example, in my opinion. Bigger is not always better.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 22:06:22 | More by pweis909
Photo of Jwaks


3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving 22oz bottle

Appearance : Rich, dark copper to medium amber hues shine through a near translucent brew. This beer's three fingers worth of off white head are composed of medium to fine bubbles which fade fairly slowly leaving a heavy set of sticky, beige rings on the inside of the glass. A few pillars of fine bubbles make their way to the top of the beer.

Nose : Strong aromas of smokey, dry malts dominate the nose while hop bitters, dry vanilla, a bit of oak and a hint of brown sugar hide in this beer's wonderful bouquet.

Taste : Austere flavors of dry hops and roasted malts assult the tongue leading into a medium bodied strangely malty, semi-dry mid palate. This finishes clean and dry with a bit of malts, bitter, leafy greens and vanilla. A slightly sweet oak and dry nutty flavor permates the entire beer. The finish just lasts and lasts, this brew's grip is amazing.

Mouthfeel and drinkability : This medium bodied beer is a bit too dry and austere to go down easy. Not the most pleasant beer but still enjoyable nonetheless.

An odd brew and difficult to classify, I'm not sure what to think of this curiosity except Santa has some strange taste buds. An interesting offering from Rogue.


Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 23:50:48 | More by Jwaks
Photo of tonistruth


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- copper w/ beautiful red hues, two finger fluffy (snow like) off white head, retent is good, lace rings around glass

S- caramel, citrus, good scents

T- caramel with citric and pine hop flavors, somewhat spicy, unsweet cookie finish, toasted malt aftertatse.

M- light to medium body, smooth

D- a holiday treat, sessionable, good looking brew, good flavor, enjoyable holiday brew, but would not be desirable as year round (as it would take away from the holiday treat)

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 05:50:49 | More by tonistruth
Photo of theopholis


3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Slightly cloudy/opaque, amber/orange color. Little head that quickly settles down down to a nice cap. Decent lace.

Aroma- Lots of malt sweetness with a hint of floral hops. Lots of a light caramel to. As it warms, you get more and more bisuit aroma. Nice.

Taste- Nice mixture of hops, malty sweetness and sweet caramel.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with appropriate level of carbonation. Clings to mouth nicely, giving you a wonderful hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty good. Not sessionable, but then, it ain't supposed to be. Very good on a cold evening after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 02:21:24 | More by theopholis
Photo of warriorsoul


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged one of these at Liquor World in Porter Square...
Amber in color with less than an inch of eggshell colored head...a thick lacing remains as the majority of head recedes.
Ok in the nose...not much jumping out of this one. Some caramel malt, a small dose of spice.
Taste is better...but not by much. At least it is clean, but was expecting more. The spruce flavor is there, but very muted...pleasantly bitter and extremely clean in the finish.
Mouthfeel is average...carbonation is a little high to make this one extremely drinkable for me. Certainly not a struggle to finish...just not wishing I had another bomber nearby.
I believe this brew would do real well as a introductory to amber or red ale fans.
Have to chuckle when I see how the bros. give this high marks and then crush a beer like Killer Penguin, but that is why we each have our say, right?

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 19:53:29 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of theWrkncacnter

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from 2006

The only thing bad I can say about this beer is that the mouthfeel is a little acidic. Otherise this is a heavenly winter brew. The hops are definitely there in Rogue fasion, but nothing close to being overwhelming. The beer pours a dark amber with a good two finger head that remains in some form down to the last bit. The taste is lots of hops, but there's something sweet and rich going on behind that, something very nice. I've tried a lot of specialty winter brews, and this is, by far, the best. It's a bit pricey, but worth it.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 00:21:40 | More by theWrkncacnter
Photo of chilidog


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yes I set thisone out for santa, and in the morning, it was gone. Imagine that!

It poured a dark amber/red with a slight cloudy haze. An off-white, small head had to be worked at while at the pour.

The aroma was of caramelized malts, slight hop on the nose. The taste, while complex, goes down easy.

The taste starts out malty, hints of caramel and vanilla. Then hops take over to finish the job

Hop oil leaves the mouth a slight dry. I did'nt get that alcohol hit as do with other winter warmers

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 03:30:52 | More by chilidog
Photo of beerphilosopher


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

Pours a reddish/copper color with a tall, tan-colored head that lasts. Loads of lacing in the glass. The nose is of roasted malts, citrus, and floral hops. Smells nice. Palate is slightly sweet at the beginning with a dominant roasted malt flavor, with strong floral hop flavors balancing the beer. A prototypical example of an amberred ale for sure. Mouthfeel is light and the finish dry with hops. Light carbonation. A decent example of the style for sure, with a more aggressive hop profile than most. Pleasant, but nothing at all exceptional in my book ... though I'm a tad hard on amber beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 05:57:58 | More by beerphilosopher
Photo of Luchman


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very cloudy, dark, amber/brown color with some orange tinge at the bottom. Half inch, off white head that clumps on the side when its finished.

S: Smell is very subtle, which is a shame, as it seems it could be one hell of a scent. Diving deep, I smell Biscuity-malts, citrus hops (lemons and grapefruit) and even some burnt, roast ness… Or I could just be making this all up… it is faint sniffin.

T: Sweet caramel, biscuit malts come in at first. Citrus hops (mainly grapefruit) are strong, without getting out of control, in this one. Adds a spicy note to the taste and adds bitterness. Few more sips into it, I start to pick up a smooth cocoa flavor that really adds to this beer. The balance of those caramel malts, hops and cocoa is right on. Semi dry finish.

M: Medium body with a low level of carbonation that makes this beer go down easy and smooth.

D: Not too bad at all.Better than my expectations... I'll be picking this one up in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 05:08:26 | More by Luchman
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,922 ratings.