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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

2,157 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,157
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 182 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,157 | Reviews: 1,183
Photo of cameraman
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep amber color with a light beige colored head, two inches thick, that slowly dissolves away, tremendous retention. At first scent there is strong citrus and grass fragrances. Then it blends itself to a mild malty aroma. A toasted bread flavor hits the palate at first, but soon after grapefruit, grass, and pine flavors take over and dominate the flavor till the end. The feel is watery at first, it soon becomes heavier to become more medium bodied. At first I felt this was an okay beer, but as I drink more, the flavor and aroma begin to grow on me. I was expecting some more flavor from the malt, that would balance the flavor more. This is still a solid to very good beer.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer pours a rich reddish amber with a slightly tan head that rises about half an inch. Crisp hop aromas steam from this amber ale that can be described as both piney and citrusy with a hint of sweetness. The first sip almost reminded me of one of my favorite breakfast dishes, half a grapefruit with honey drizzled over it. Wonderful hops in this matched with that sweet malty background with a trace of spices make this delightful. That grapefruit flavor lingers on the palate for a while. I love winter beers and John Maier definitely didn't disappoint.

Photo of jdoncbus
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kenny Rd. Market selling sixers for $5.99 (thanks guys).

Pours a fluffy, massive, tan head. Plenty of lacing. Attractive copper-amber color with medium carbonation.

Toasty, caramel hop on the nose with a metallic, floral hop finish. A somewhat doughy aroma with a mild potpourri, hop character.

Smooth is a good adjective to describe the taste and mouthfeel. The malt presence is bold and the hops finish out the taste with a lingering dryness. Can make out the sweet malts with a flowery, berry hopiness.

Overall this is a great seasonal and with the ABV - very sessionable. I am enjoying this at around 55' and it really brings out the aroma and flavor. Definitely worth a ride.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vibrant coppery red. A vigorous pour yields a nice big fluffy head with pretty good retention, leaving plenty of lacing. The hops are clearly behind all of this. Plenty of earthy hops with a decent doughy malt backbone. Oxidation burns the nose a bit but really bites the tongue. It still manages to keep a creamy mouthfeel under the bite of oxidation. I can tell it was a pretty damn good beer under the oxidation and I want to try it again and re-review. Hopefully it will be a better experience. I will cut it a little slack in this review.

Photo of dsa7783
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one seasonal beer that almost got away from me this Winter... Waltzing into a small, non-descript Morris County liquor store, I stumbled across two bottles left in the cooler, and was absolutely shocked after searching high and low for this one and continually coming up disappointed... Although this brew is considered a winter selection, it is nothing like a typical winter-warmer at all, and very much indeed an American Amber / Red Ale... no sweetness detected here, but instead, strong hops followed by a crisp, clear, slightly astringent taste with subtle bitterness... as the style name suggests, pours an amber-red color with minimal head... smell is full of grains and hops, with a bitterness noticeable in the aroma... good, clean mouthfeel and decent drinkability for this 6% ABV... good stuff from Rogue... Recommended...

Photo of Ricochet
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Orange amber pour, darker brown than most with small head but a good lace. The amber was stronger under light and the red became apparent. Smelled of light grapefruit hops with a twinge of malt. Smelled older though, I'm really starting to notice the fresh/or older hop smells. There was a coffee note to this too? Mouth didn't sit right. It had a thin finish, and a hoppy overtone to the aftertaste, but the initial kick was not right to me. A sandy like mouth, that ruined the experience. Flavors? Well, the sweetness of malt and the bitterness of hops were not mixing well, like they were suspended in a burnt malt center and outer bitter, like a hole?

This struck me. A beer so unpleasant, yet, I kept drinking despite it all, so not worthy of a pour, not worthy of much else either.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-copper with a thin foamy off-white head.

Rogue's signature Pac-man yeast is in the forefront of the smell, backed up by toasty caramel, citrus and earthy notes.

The taste is of the Pac-man yeast, caramel/toffee and bitter citrus with a touch of spruce. Toffeeish malt gives way to a bitter finish. Medium-bodied (not quite as full as many other winter offerings, but a nice body for an amber/red ale.

With the ingedients, I expected to like it even more. Bottom line though - I liked it and certainly found it to be highly drinkable and a good "hop-fix" for a change from the large line-up of malty/spicy winter brews (along with a few other hoppy winter brews that come to mind).

Photo of CamuMahubah
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well on the side of the bottle it says this ale pours a reddish-copper and that is about the best way of describing the color. Since she is a red ale she went into a chalice where a nice tan foamy head was realized.

Good gosh I thought there was a hop shortage! Maybe not in Oregon. The aroma from the hops was neato! Almost like a walk in the forest during a heavy snow! I can also smell the yeast which makes me akin to one of Pavlov's hounds!

After much drooling the ale was finally sampled and I was in love immediately! The fact that so many American breweries are putting out such finely crafted ales is just super to say the least. This gal has all I have ever expected from an ale. Fruity raisins and plums with that American hoppyiness one has come to love! This eerily reminiscent of another ale I sampled earlier but with more a hop bite. Nice one!

The hop chemicals lighten the mood of this beer sticking to back of my tongue like an I.P.A. just burped and am quite sure it was green and flammable not because this beer is too strong but because the hops are so alive in this one!

Tonite is so nice as I have found two wonderful seasonal ales that I will be sure to pick up again next year!

Photo of Tolann
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review copied from previous notes

A - Red in color. Clear. Lots of head but not thick or heavy. Lingers a while. Leaves some lace.

S - Some spice and malt. Little hops sweetness

T - Heavier spice. Some bitterness that lingers. Tastes warm on the tongue. Hops sweetness.

M - Light/medium body. Warm on the tongue. Not overly carbonated feel, but lively.

D - Easy to drink and something different.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with cherry highlights, an inch of medium bubbled foam that dissipates to a nicely retained layer. Subastantial ring and nice lacing. Aroma of sweet bready malt with fruity hops. Taste is dry, not as sweet as the aroma would suggest. Kind of caramel but not too sweet. Crystal and pale malt with a pleasant dry finish. Good carbonation support a medium mouthfeel. I would drink this again.

Photo of number1bum
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #11.

Pours a decidedly reddish clear copper color, with two fingers of off-white head that recedes pretty slowly. Leaves a decent wispy lace and quite a bit of stick.

Very fragrant, fresh hops on the nose, with lots of citrus especially. Also some caramely sweet malt.

Taste, too, is full of fresh hop oils and citrus flavor. Good solid malt body with more flavor than the nose suggested, with bready and sweet caramel malt. Hops have lots of flavor but also give off substantial bitterness. Bitterness lingers into the finish but so, too, does a bready almost toasty malt flavor. Delicious. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice slick creaminess to it.

This one was a surprise for me. Awesome brew from Rogue, and I knew nothing about this beer so I wasn't expecting such a hoppy, IPA-like brew. Damn good, this gives SN Celebration a run for its money in the hoppy holiday brew category.

Photo of Jason
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A most excellent looking head, the hops are an obvious help in this department. Clear brownish copper color shimmers warm in the light. Nutty bready sweet malt, softly pungent hop oil infiltrates the nose with rind, wild flowers and citrus zest. So smooth, nice crisp bite towards the end. Body is creamy and of a solid medium size. Level carbonation. Citric hop and a nougat flavor up front on the taste buds. Waves of malt sweetness are white capped with a strong grasping hop bitterness. Both the hop bitterness and malt sweetness, even the residuals, don’t want to let go. The hops are more persistent and seem to cover more ground with layers of flavor.

As always in Rogue fashion there is no holding back on the hops, certainly enough malt flavor to go around. This one is a must for me each year.

Photo of alysmith4
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sure this is a good beer, but I did not care for it at all. I must not be a fan of the American Amber/ Red Ale, so I'm trying to review the beer aside from my personal preference. The color was (obviously) amber with red undertones, and it poured with minimal head. Carbonation level was low as well. The smell was musky, syrupy, and spicy. It tasted exactly like it smelled, and I could only get a third of it down. It was way too sticky/syrupy for me. I know Rogue puts out some excellent brews, and I'm sure this one is up to par. Probably worth a try if you like this style.

Photo of bjoyce12
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One word: disappointing. It seems like Rogue just bottled some leftover Dead Guy Ale and labeled it for Christmas. I was hoping for some serious spice notes in the vein of a Christmas Bock or Winter Warmer, but nothing there. Slightly bitter. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but my expectations are always set on high with anything from Rogue. There are much better options out there from them, their Chocolate Stout for one...

Photo of Hollenbeck2
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good quality offering from rogue, nothing new, bought this beer in a 20 ounce bottle , not sure there is any other way unless you are on site at a lucky spot that has this on tap.

I was expecting a very strong bitter winter ale, but this beer is very smooth for the high alc content, very good.

Photo of genog
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Pours a hazy red/brown color with a light brown colored foamy and sudsy head. Dies down slowy as I sip on this one. Smell is a light hoppy aroma with a few earthy tones. Taste is of a bittering hops finish with a sweetness at first. Mouthfeeling is nicely carbonated.

Photo of jaxon53
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a deep amber red color that had great clarity. Beer was topped with a thick, creamy, dirty white head that had great retention. Tons of thick gobs of lace clung to the sides of the glass. A great nose on this one. Hops! I love hopped up reds. Earthy hops, huge malt aromas, lots of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel, with a bit of pine in the background. Almost perfect. Now lets taste this bad boy. Tons of juicy hops with tons of citrus along side them, lots of sweet balancing malts, and a bit more pine that was noted in the nose. Very fruity. Finishes smooth, with just a little carbonation, and not a drop of noticeable alcohol. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel on this one. Very crisp, clean, and drinkable.

Photo of baos
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz into my favorite Trappist glass.

A: I opened the bottle and started to walk into my computer lounge when dollop dollop big fluff of foam were coming out of the top of the bottle and landing on the tops of my bare feet.. I t wasn't shaken a bit. When the poured the translucent reddish brown brew into the glass surprisingly there wasn't but a one finger head that nearly disappears. It does lace nicely though.

S: Good. Spiced nuts, citrus hops, and deep malts. Christmas tree!

T: Come off kinda like a ESB, I reckon thats because of the heavy hops. Dry and piny finish. Not too bad. A bit warming and the after taste is a nice bitterness.

M: Give this a swish and feel the medium to full body. I wasn't expecting it to be this nice. Good job you fucking Rouges! And Buttslappy new year!!!

D: Even though its bitter and a bit potent. Its a very drinkable beer. The bitterness is perfect and the potency well its just right.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby/amber with a little bit of head. Nose is, surprise, hoppy!! Who would have thunk. Also that touch of a sweet tone on there too. Taste is interesting. Kind of pine like with a sweet touch on the tip of your tongue, but the dominant presence here is, surprise, the hops! Mouthfeel seems a little too carbonated. And I would put the drinkability higher if it weren't for the mass of hops that are there, just to be there. Just because blue looks good on your car doesn't mean you have to paint the tires the same color too. A decent brew, but I won't be waiting up late at night next year waiting for it to come around.

Photo of meechum
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a nice coppery amber with a nice whitish tan head that falls slowly leaving a good lace

S - Has a big piney/spruce hop smell along with a bit of the malt in the brew

T/M - The taste has a nice citrus start to it then flowers into a malty taste of biscuit and grain..then finishes with a bitter piney hop bite leaving a lingering bitter after taste on the palate

D - It's a nice winter warmer but overall the bitter after taste makes it where I can only have one or two at a time

Photo of BlaiseDemon
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the Winter seasonals, and what better way to enjoy a Christmas beer than with Santa's private reserve? The color was a deepr red (much like Santa's suit and hat). The nose promised a hoppy and floral essence. Upon tasting, I was not disappointed. There is a great hops taste that hinted of grapefruit and walnut. Very pleasant to the taste buds but with a little more bitterness than I expected (perhaps the roguish side of old Kris Kringle). The aftertaste offered a spruce-like recognition that was risky for Rogue, but successful in my opinion. Very drinkable in a winter seasonal kind of way. You probably do not want to sit down for a session of these, however, it was good enough for me to recommend to several friends and buy a couple more bottles for future personal enjoyment (despite the somewhat higher per bottle price). A great stocking stuffer or conversation beer at the company party. Merry Christmas Santa, cheers.

Photo of roblowther
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown with a rocky tan head. Looks exactly like a santa beer should. Whatever that means. The smell is all pale ale, caramel undertones and hops up front tickling your nose like the big guy's whiskers. The taste is dry and spicy. There's cinnamon in there somewhere, oak notes, and pine needles. The hops aren't really all that present until the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and tingly, which is good in your beer and your women. The drinkability is good, although the hoppy finish is a bit limiting for me. Bear in mind I'm a hop weenie, though, so for most of you it should be just fine.
Not a bad beer. Not a Christmas beer, as the name might make you think but a dandy pale ale, I'd say.

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

I figured I better at least review this before New Years.

I poured the whole 22 oz. into a huge mug I have. It sits a very dark auburn with brighter red edges when held to the light. The head shrinks but never goes away, and laces well.

Some roasty bready hints on the nose, agitate it a little and it releases some grapefruit and pine.

When tasting its sweetness and bread to start, piney, grassy hops start in the middle and finish with citrus and a nice lingering bitterness.

No complaints really, it goes down like a nice bitter strong ale. I wouldn't shy away from it. In fact I'm failing to really see the "Christmas" in this, it's something I could have most of the rest of the year.

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

An american christmasbeer....yiha!

A: Brown/red with a 1cm creamy lace on top.

S: Plenty of hops and some spices. Wee bit of cinammon perhaps ?

T: Grapefruit, pine, roasted bitter malt, orange?

M: Smooth but not very filling. Medium carbonation.

This is not a bad little beer but i'd say it is an classic AIPA rather than a
christmasbeer. It lacks the spices to be very winterish. Qualitybrew from Roque with a misleading name :)

Photo of cichief
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep gold in appearance with a nice thick white head.

S- Not much there, a bit of spicy hops, but not overly floral.

T- Nice and balanced, the bitterness is there with the malt, but nothing special to remember.

M- Thin to medium in body, well carbonated, nice and smooth.

D- This is a decent beer, but nothing special, Rogue puts out great beer, but this isn't a memorable one.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,157 ratings.