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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

1,942 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,942
Reviews: 1,140
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 42
Gots: 71 | 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: 1,942 | Reviews: 1,140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sinstaineddemon


3.73/5  rDev -0.8%

A - this Rogue offering pours very red, with a thin brown head and plenty of carbonation

S - bitter hoppy aroma, grapefruitty like an IPA, surprised it isn't, with a subtle sweetness

T - traditional IPA-esque flavors, grapefruit, pine, and big hops, subtle but noticeable spices of the season, coriande/ginger/nutmeg types

M&D - bitter and semi-sweet, not too bitter, not too sweet, but not terribly smooth, but a nice brew

12-30-2006 04:02:49 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of montageman


4.18/5  rDev +11.2%

Poured into an pint glass - very rich amber/red color with a creamy tan head that lasts a good while. Some lacing along the sides of the glass is evident as well. Smells like roasted malts with a little pine and some spice - very festive. Tastes malty up front with a hoppy bitterness in the finish. I can't place the spice, but it has a sweet character. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but not bad at all. Overall, this is quite drinkable and a very well made amber ale. Recommended.

12-30-2006 03:09:50 | More by montageman
Photo of rayjay


4.35/5  rDev +15.7%

An awesome Christmas present from my awesome girlfriend! This beer is one of my Christmas traditions from years back. Very hoppy ale. Deep red color, with a fluffy cask style head and thick lacing (almost Bear Republic lacing). The head is stained reddish brown from the beer. Medium thickness with light carbonation. Notable hop presence with a great bitter fallout. I'm not a big fan of Pacman yeast, but this is one great example of it (as is Shakespeare/Chocolate Stout and Yellow Snow/Juniper Pale). The body is very drinkable and reminds me of New York style Jewish rye bread (the dark rich kind). Santa knows what to stash. Cheers!

12-29-2006 06:38:09 | More by rayjay
Photo of TheBierBand


4.47/5  rDev +18.9%

OK... so my wife bought me a sixer of Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve. I couldn't have been more psyched!... What a woman! I cracked open the first bottle high with anticipation.

I poured it into a pint glass and it produced a perfect 1" head, much to my satisfaction. The head dissipated slightly as I drank, but I never saw the surface of the beer even as I drained the last swallow. It produced thin lacing all the way down the glass. The color was a deep dark black and only a hint of red shown through when held up to the light.

I took a good sniff after I poured it and I immediately knew that this was gonna be a hoppy one. The hops came through more than anything else.

Then the initial taste. YES!.. The hops were right there... front and center. If you like a hoppy beer... this one's for you. I liked the bitterness of the hops. But it was not overpowering... it was well balanced. The feeling in my mouth was excellent! Just the right amount of carbonation to support the hoppy taste.

I would say that the over-all drinkability is well above average... although, I would say that I wouldn't want any more than three in one sitting

12-28-2006 01:31:31 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of frazbri


4.15/5  rDev +10.4%

Santa's Private Reserve from Rogue poured a rich deep red topped by a tall, cream colored head. Head retention and lacing was impressive. Initial smell of pine cones and flowers followed by malt syrup. Flavor begins with carmel sweetness with a hint of cocoa and nuts, but is overtaken by grapefruit. Body was medium-light with medium carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

This was aggressive, drinkable, clean and bitter. In a way, the bitterness makes me think of a light barley wine. It's not your run of the mill amber.

12-28-2006 01:09:20 | More by frazbri
Photo of bgraney


3.93/5  rDev +4.5%

Amber/honey color with reddish hues. Sparkling carbonation; rich, foamy white/tan head. Very nice to look at.
The roasted malts offer the strongest aroma backed up by a grapefruit follow through.
Surpsisingly the hops offered the most flavor with the malt in the background, very smooth.
Thin mouthfeel with a long, lingering grapefruit flavor on the tongue.
A little too citrusy for me to think about multiple glasses.
This is perfect for pouring in a flute for holiday guests. Beautiful appearence with a smooth mellow flavor. Most people won't be wowed by this but I can't imagine too many people being turned off.

12-27-2006 15:45:54 | More by bgraney
Photo of Cresant


3.48/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured this 22 oz. 2006 edition into a tumbler on Christmas day. Frothy head of tan foam sat on a clear body of brown/amber. Lace clings to the glass.

Smell was floral, yet mild. Malt sweetness blooms late as it warmed further.

Taste was very hoppy, even more that I expected from Rogue in an amber ale. Nice bitterness. Caramel sweetness arrived very late.Clean yet spicy. Interesting, especially if you are a fan of hops.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and medium in carbonation. I may look for this again.

12-26-2006 15:22:49 | More by Cresant
Photo of therica


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%

Very nice and intriguing.

A= pours a light-amber with a nice white head that laces nicely on the sides of the glass as it settles.

S= I've just finished my glass while searching to describe the sort of candy-apple scent that's evading my more exacting identification. Very nice and inviting.

T= strong hops-bitters up front that didn't put me off because the complex and unusual taste was inviting me onward. Again, candy apple or maybe a touch of watermelon-esque taste, smoky burnt caramel, slight sweetness in the aftertaste.

M= a nice balance of bitter and sweet without either becoming overwhelming.

D= I doubt that I would buy this in large quantity for a party but if it was the beer being served, I'd surely do fine drinking it alone, unless the hops-bitters eventually caught up with me.

12-26-2006 06:41:47 | More by therica
Photo of gmcfarre


3.55/5  rDev -5.6%

22 oz bomber poured into pint glass on this fine Christmas day.

A - Semi-opaque ruby brown with a lovely 2 inch latte colored head that lasts reasonably well. Lacing is chunky.

S - Smell is somewhat faint but hints at the balanced combo of hop and malt in this brew. Hops with a slight floral bitterness hit you first, then scent of candy malt follows.

T - Crisp sweetness with an equally crisp hop effect. The two marry well, each taking turns dancing with your taste buds (obviously malt first, then hop bitterness). Slight pine spice is evident.

M - Smooth and coating with a drying hop aftertaste. Nothing outstanding, but nothing disappointing either.

D - As a winter ale, I'm not sure it succeeds due to its relative lightness and low ABV. However, its still a fairly easy drinking beer that can be enjoyed at any time. Worth a try, but I won't seek it out again. In fact, the entire bomber can be a bit tedious if finishing it yourself.

12-25-2006 22:42:36 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of mcallister


3.13/5  rDev -16.8%

Nearly opaque bronzen brick colored, small off white head fades quickly yet has great lace retention.

Floral hops stand out but not much to back it up. HInts of bread and other grain, and a slight toffee malt.

Good beer but the hops are slightly overpowering and gritty on the finish. More malt to balance could have been used in this case. Very floral with some pine hops. The grain shows through again.

If not for the harsh hop finish this beer would have scored higher in mouthfeel and drinkability.

12-25-2006 21:19:04 | More by mcallister
Photo of jordanmills


2.65/5  rDev -29.5%

Poured into a pint glass. Looks dark amber with a thick rocky head. Looks great. Smells not so hot - pretty hoppy. I was hoping this wasn't another over-hopped winter warmer. I was disappointed. Not that malty, it's as hoppy as a weak IPA. There some slight taste complexity, but it's drowned out by the hops. Other than the bitterness, goes down smooth. The aftertaste is a little bitter, with all the hops. I don't think I'd drink more than one.

12-24-2006 21:33:20 | More by jordanmills
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%

Whoa! This one was lively. Not sure what was going on inside the bottle, but upon cracking open the top a massive gush of foam went all over me, the floor and the kitchen counter. This made me wonder if the beer could possibly be infected and thus spoiled. After the foam settled down, the brew had a dark red appearance and a wonderful aroma of citrusy hops, pine and candyish malts. Taste was just as good and my fears of infection vanished. Grapefruity hops along with flavors of caramelly malts, juicy apricots and evergreen. Mouthfeel light to medium and quite smooth and silky in the palate. This is an unusual winter offering, being lower in alcohol and an amber ale, but it is quite tasty and sessionable. Another winner from Rogue.

12-23-2006 22:26:01 | More by rodrot
Photo of garymuchow


3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

Finally able to purchase this in a 12 oz. bottle. So I go get a 6-pack right away. I guess that tells of what to market for me as I've eyed this beer for years. Which leads me to how impressive it is that over time the BA scores seems to settle into a pretty good reflection of where a beer should really lie, as compared to the other. Ya' I know "in who's opinion", but this beer is a good example of that the total score seems to really reflect what it is...
Nice solid aroma of northwest hops, including some citrus of grapefruit, grass and pine. Good base of toasty malt.
Clear. Amber of red-brown-orange with heaviness on the brown, unless held in the light. Full tan head with a somewhat erratic, rocky breakdown. Maybe my glass was wet, but the "lacing" is unusual in the largeness of the bubbles and the stamina.
Bitterness and hop flavors are most present. Bitterness pushes harshness, but the hop flavors are more appealing and are similar to the aroma. I like the malt character, as subtle as it is. The toast, when it shows is nice and the occasional caramel is pleasing too.
Rather full carbonation leaves me feeling full quickly. The bubbles are big, bold and sometime biting. This all detracts from a sense of smoothness. Otherwise body seems about right.
I was hoping for more on this. Having said that, it's an enjoyable enough beer. The flavors blend more nicely as it warms. Somehow, not that Christmas-like, unlike SNCA (go figure). As appealing as that beer is, this one just doesn't have it.
Why does the bottle say "Oregon Brewing Co"?

12-23-2006 02:21:20 | More by garymuchow
Photo of nortmand


4.93/5  rDev +31.1%

Pours with amber brown hue with a huge ass lace producing foam.

Ruby red grapefruit and pomegranate hop aromas dominate the nose. Very hoppy. Nice.

Caramel notes up front are balanced by a very citrusy hop flavor. Aftertaste is a resiny/ white grapefruit bitterness.

Very hoppy for an amber/red but I wouldn't expect anything less from Rogue. A very nice beer.

12-22-2006 22:30:28 | More by nortmand
Photo of

4/5  rDev +6.4%

22oz. bottle

Faintly hazy, deep burnt orange color. Large, light tan head. Quite rocky.

Aroma seems mostly about fruit - raisins and plums - almost port-like. A bit of honey as well. This smells like it should be really sweet.

Nope - taste and scent part ways. Roasted malt and nicely bitter. Biscuity and caramel - really comes on strong as temperature increases. Good bittering at finish - grassy? - pretty mild.

Medium in body and carbonation. Mildly drying.

Overall, I like it. Without knowing what it was, I guessed an ESB (wrong answer), but it seems pretty close to me. Very well balanced and very sessionable

12-22-2006 21:27:20 | More by
Photo of Osiris9588


3.63/5  rDev -3.5%

12oz bottle, no date. Pours a rusty red color with a two-finger tan head, quickly receding to a one-finger cap, leaving behind much sticky, small-bubbled lacing.

The aroma is dominated by sweet malt, accompanied by warm spice, pine, and a touch of grapefruit. The flavor follows the aroma, finished off by a pretty strong belt of hops on the finish.

The mouth is on the lighter side and shows decent complexity, beginning with a gentle canied malt, evolving into a hoppy, citrus/pine-accented finale. It's very drinkable, but seems to lack some of the character that often makes Rogue brews so exceptional.

12-22-2006 05:24:27 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of stephendr


3.28/5  rDev -12.8%

12 oz. bottle – light mahogany hue –nice off white head, small bubbles lingering – nose hopps , malt , cloves , nutty , mint sprig , anis , jasmine , and menthol – taste of tar , hopps , earthy , and bitter veggie - raw palate - aftertaste bitter , hops , sour and earthy

12-21-2006 07:47:52 | More by stephendr
Photo of Phatz


3.85/5  rDev +2.4%

Appearance: Pours a deep amber color with a tan head and substantial lacing.

Smell: Not as big an aroma as I would like to see but a very pleast teaded carame\l malt and bread dough with a solid but not hard punch of hops.

Taste: The flavor is right on. Bigger in the mouth than the nose would imply. Very nice array of hops. Pine and spruce flavored hops are both prevalent in the taste and are accompanied by a Very solid leading malt character. The roasty caramely malt and doughy sweet attribute let go part way in and then the grapefruit flavors and spicy hops take over and carry the ball the rest of the way. The aftertaste is long and drawn out. Nice.

Mouthfeel: It start off smooth but full with increasing bitterness and prickly hops nibbling at the palate on the back end. Finish is dry and leaves a slightly astringent aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is a very nice easy cold weather (hop bomb - for this time of year). Next to all the WW I have been dinking this comes as a nice hoppy warming change of pace.

Hope this is helpful.

12-20-2006 06:32:59 | More by Phatz
Photo of beeragent


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a 22oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep amber, forming a 1 inch head, that left nice lacing along the glass. Strong nose, mostly of citrus. Taste is of light spice, alot of hops, and a little malt. Mouthfeel is medium. An interesting brew, unlike the other holiday ales available. This one has a unique flavor, worth sampling during the holiday season. Not something that I could see drinking more of one during a session, but nonetheless, a beer worth drinking at least once a year.

12-19-2006 10:07:24 | More by beeragent
Photo of mwagner1018


2.98/5  rDev -20.7%

A- Nice pour into a standard pint glass, about 3 fingers of nice creamy/airy/cloudy head, great release. Deep rasberryish/velvety red rusty color. Nice consistent lacing throughout.

T- Real nice deep hop bitterness, full bodied, smooth to the pallet, and refreshing. Strong bitter hops, distinct, with some slight malted undertones.

S- Dissapointed by lack of clarity, mostly hops, some spices and malt. Very quickly diminishing, never returns.

M- Nice blend of the carbonation and full body of the hops and malt, good balance on the tounge. Great depth as the beer warms, good at room temp.

D- Decent drinkability, with the full flavor of hops on this one, it tends to overwhelm the taste buds. Definitely a great ale, would place with similar styled IPA's. Always a fan of Rogue...and this one is no exception...Santa delivered a good one.

12-19-2006 05:08:51 | More by mwagner1018
Photo of kimcgolf


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

Santa did well on this one. Poured from the bottle to a highly carbonated bright amber red, with thick tan head that lingered for most of the glass, and left good lacing. Aroma was hoppy grapefruit citrus, with a hint of malty sweetness. Flavor was more of the smooth mix of citrus and malt, subtly balanced by the alcohol. Mouthfeel was pleasant, and it actually left a smooth warming finish. As always, Rogue did not disappoint with this one.

12-19-2006 03:39:24 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of athensbeermaster


4.4/5  rDev +17%

Thanks Santa we here in Georgia have not seen this in the market
for about five years! This year it even came in a six pack! The color was such a deep red almost no light would shine thru. The nose had citrus and plum notes with a hint of raisins. The taste was packed full of hops. The malt backbone was firm enough to support all the hops jumping out at you. The mouthfeel was silky and thank goodness for no weird spices! The alcohol content is low for a winter beer which makes this a perfect beer to take to a party.

12-18-2006 18:12:33 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of zeff80


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

A - Pours out a reddish/brown color with a small foamy head.

S - It smelled of malt and citrus. Also, a hint of grass or pine.

T - It tasted malty and a little spicy from the hops.

M - It was crisp and sharp on the tongue. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good amber with nice hops. It is another good brew from Rogue.

12-17-2006 23:44:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.03/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured from a 22oz bottle with Rogue's famous painted label. The color is a dark reddish copper topped by a tan creamy head. The lacing is very sticky and heavy from top to bottom of glass.

The aroma jumps out as very hoppy and pine scented. The taste is abundantly hoppy as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very tangy with a flavorful spiciness. This is a good tasting ale that has been heavily infused with hops.

12-17-2006 23:39:12 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of mattcrill


4.1/5  rDev +9%

Thanks to cmaruschak for the sample.

Aroma: A fruity nose with hints of citrus and pine. A nice blend of rich malts and West Coast hops.

Appearance: A deep ruby red pour with a tan head that quickly dissapates and rings the glass.

Flavor: A spicy blend of American hops up front, some orange rind and grapefruit, and just a touch of maltiness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and firmly carbonated.

Overall impression: I keep thinking this is what you'd get if you took half a Celebration (Sierra Nevada) and half a Bigfoot (same brewery). It's not chewy enough to be BF but it's not light enough to be SNCA. But it's got a lot of similarities in terms of hop utilization and flavor profile. Regardless, those are two beers I enjoy immensely. This is one of the better seasonal beers out there. Much better than the typical overspiced American winter warmers. I'll reach for this or a Celebration any day. Strongly recommended.

12-17-2006 20:10:57 | More by mattcrill
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.