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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

1,930 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,930
Reviews: 1,140
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 41
Gots: 61 | 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: 1,930 | Reviews: 1,140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerRun13


3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pinkish orange. Thin eggshell head quickly fades to a ring and leaves a touch of lace.
Malty sweet aroma. caramel and maybe a little spice.
Same in the flavor. Some decent hoppiness and bitterness.
Heavier side of medium bodied. Okay carbonation and some lingering bitterness.
Pretty good beer overall. I'll trty this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 01:23:13 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one annual I look forward to every year I honestly didnt know it changed every year and maybe it doesnt but I did notice some changes this year.Poured a deep rich amber with reddish tinted well formed 1/2 finger head,the big dose of sprucey,piney hop is there along with some caramel and roasted grain as usual.The big diference I noticed in this years batch is really how thin and for that matter prickly the mouthfeel was it just didnt equate with the flavors,the hop profile is there and a decent sweetish malt base but the body really downgraded it this year.Hmm am I just dreaming or has it changed?

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 23:09:32 | More by oberon
Photo of TheLiterati


2.58/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

“2006 – Snowflakes Glisten”

Pours a nicely colored amber with a tan head.

Smells of Christmas spices – nutmeg, allspice, etc. – with a HUGE piney nose that translated to the taste – but not necessarily in a good way. More in the way of, “Who left pine needles soaking in my beer?”

Still, intrepid advocate that I am, I kept sipping and hoping that this beer would achieve a balance in flavors.

Alas, while the mouthfeel was pleasant enough, this ale just never quite delivered on taste. I found it to be much too bitter with nary a hint of sweet to tone down those darned pine needles.

Not what I would call drinkable, especially with so many other well-done seasonals to look forward to.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 01:49:47 | More by TheLiterati
Photo of Pooba001


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, clear medium amber color with light, fluffy head that dissipates very slowly leaving a nice lacing. Piney hops hit the nose first, with notes of citrus, sweet malt and fruit among those following.

Taste is better for a beer that doesn't have a high IBU count. Citrusy and spicy hop notes balance with caramel, tea, toast, and pine. A very good seasonal red ale.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, slightly astringent, but somehow also smooth. Drinkability is good, as expected for even a hoppy red ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 20:36:56 | More by Pooba001
Photo of ryanismean


3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saw this for the first time this week and, as a huge fan of Rogue beers, had to grab a sixer.

I won't call it a mistake, but this is not as good as I had hoped.

The beer pours as I expected for a Christmas beer, an almost brown reddish copper with a decent tan-colored head that didn't immediately fade away. The first aromas are pleasant, spices and malt with a sprucey, almost juniper hop character that barely hints of grass. So far, pretty good. Then I taste it.

The flavor isn't bad, but it certainly isn't what I've come to expect from Rogue. The malt profile is all but buried underneath the hops, which are dominating. Their piney, bitter character does not seem to balance well. It almost tastes like it could pass for an IPA; it is certainly more brutally bitter than their Brutal Bitter. Not exactly unpleasant, but I'm looking for more sweet, soothing malt in a Christmas beer.

The mouthfeel is vaguely unpleasant to me, thin and watery with too much carbonation. Certainly the worst aspect of this brew, in my opinion. It is far from undrinkable, but it's not something I'd be likely to session. The bitter hops linger on the palate, giving me second thoughts about having another.

All in all a pretty good brew, if you're looking for a hop monster. Not really what I was looking for in a Christmas beer / winter warmer. If the intense hop bitterness was balanced by a sweeter, thicker malt this would be fabulous. As it is, it's still above average but not up to the lofty standards set by Rogue's other brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 09:43:16 | More by ryanismean
Photo of BlindPig


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

A- 1/2" tan head on a pretty clear (a bit cloudy) deep amber body.
S- Big malt presence. Some grassy hops or something. A bit of spices too.
T- A bit watery but with some big flavors too. Malt is pretty present along with a nice balance from hops. Spices also come out. I think the malts are a blend of a few. I taste the caramel malts but also with some other flavors I can't pinpoint. A bitterness comes through also. Think it's a mixture of grassy and piney hops with a touch of citrus ones also. Some pretty big spice is there too.
M- Thin body with medium carbonation.
D- It's alright just a bit thin and watery. A bit weird flavor too.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2006 02:52:12 | More by BlindPig
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served into nonic glass from a 12oz. long neck brown bottle crimp-on cap.

Brilliant ruby red color 2" thick,rocky head,chunks of lace sticking to the sides of the glass.
The aroma was very piney,citrusy and spicy,a very hoppy nose. Very roasty and hints of carmell. A very inviting aroma.
The taste was very piney,then citrusy with a honey sweet carmellness that's very well balanced.Finished very hoppy,sharp,tart,and puckery.
A medium mouthfell,a bit sticky,cloying and very creamy.
The acidy taste of the hops brings the drinkability down a couple notches. Overall,a good winter beer. Would drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 03:31:45 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of nriech


2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium dark brown, good head and medium carbonation.

Smell: A bit hoppy, citrusy maybe. Not a whole lot else though.

Taste: Even less in the taste. Wow this was a big disappointment. Kind of like a watery hop soup. with pine needles. Thats about all I tasted as well as the other guys tasting with me. After trying to pawn this off on everyone else we ended up pouring it out.

Drinkability: Low. Easy to get down the gullet on one hand but not good enough to enjoy it. Way too thin.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 16:38:58 | More by nriech
Photo of jackorain


3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Brown, very slight haze. Big tall bubbly head, light tan, excellent retention, good lace at first.

S-Bready malt, green, citris hop, aroma not that stong though

T-Big hop bitterness (Herbal and citrus) right up front, middle has bready malt, a little carmel too. The finish is big bitter. The malts are not enough to balance out the very strong hop.

M-A little watery at times with a light body, as it warmed up it improved taking on creamy quality.

D-Bitterness overpowers for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 22:27:51 | More by jackorain
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

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

Rogue- Santa's Private Reserve

Appearance- dark murky brown with a slight reddish hue. Big frothy head.
Smell- Musky hops and caramel malt.
Taste- Big caramel malt with a musky/ earthy hop flavor.
Mouthfeel- Slighty bitter up front, finishing of dry and twangy.

Overall- A decent Amber, more musk than I would want, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 18:06:14 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of strangefate


3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz from '06 batch just released.

Pours a deep amber-brown with a nice head that dissipates a little quicker than I would hope as it doesn't maintain throughout, though it leaves a nice lacing that is all over the glass. It smells very hoppy and very fruity, the fruit aspect being kind of contrary to the taste. It's a little hoppier than I expected, which is a good thing and it sits right underneath the roasted malt, bready taste. The hops leave a slight touch of pine. I could see myself drinking a 6pack of this with no problem.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 04:27:50 | More by strangefate
Photo of bigdeuce


2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't impressed with this one and it is surprising coming from Rogue. I love Rogue brews. Smelled like metal, tasted like it too. Pours a nice looking dark to red color. Had a little hop kickback to it but nothing special. Just not one I'll seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 22:14:05 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of Wildman


3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy dark amber color that formed a foamy light tan head that vanished leaving circular lace. A small amount of carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, and some herbs/spices. The flavor was of malt, an herb I as yet can't place and some citrus. The finish was a bit twany and sprite, with a bit of a bite. As a whole not a bad beer for they style, considering I am not a big fan of Christmas ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 05:07:11 | More by Wildman
Photo of AlesRTasty


2.48/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - brown/amber, little head no retention or lacing
S - malty, sweet, smells like a barleywine, very enticing
T - twangy, dirty socks, something old and musty, like santa's privates. Nothing like the smell. A little disappointing
M - light bodied, low cabonation
D - I believe this is last years batch so it could just be old but i still doubt i will get this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 03:26:23 | More by AlesRTasty
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice amber color with hints of orange, with a bit of, at first, spotty lacing, then slightly clumpy rings as the body starts to dissipate, though it still hangs on pretty well, with the outer rings thick and higher than the middle, which is weird but looks very cool.

Smell: Some herbal and grassy qualities and a nice citrus hop aroma, but aside from that I'm not getting much. It seems like somewhere along the lines it's getting a bit muddled. Maybe there's not enough of a malt backbone? As I said, it's solid for what it is, but I was hoping for much more complexity, especially since Christmas is a pretty complex holiday in many ways, not to get philosophical...

Taste: Again, lots of grassy and citrus and complex hop flavors going on, with plenty of bitterness in its bite, to get the hop heads going. And there's quite the long finish that's plenty tasty. On that note I suppose I have to give it this rating. Maybe I can't get out of my head that Christmas seems to be the season for darker brews, variations of porters and stouts and the like. But yes, a solid red, hoppy as hell without so much to kill the taste buds, and a lot of flavor to boot, but if some malt flavors could make their way in this could be a force.

Mouthfeel: Fairly medium body with a nice oily slickness that I like with the body of the brew. Carbonation's medium, could be a bit creamier, but it's good overall.

Drinkability: Especially since this is a winter release, I know some folks would really dig this. But be warned, there's not, as I've said way too much, a lot of malt backbone to this brew, and though it's tasty, it's fairly high on the citrus hop level. Still, a solid brew that I have another bottle of and hope to soon share with some friends. And at around $5 (and the usual, yet amped up with a slightly at least imagined drunk santa, Rogue label) this is worth a shot if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 02:42:11 | More by asabreed
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

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

Poured out a murky muddy brown, the off white head issapeared fairly quickly. Smell is bit floral, malty, with alcohol. Taaste hits you first with alcohol, then a little sour cherry, fig, a bit of sherry. Has a slightly crisp mouthfeel, decent carbonation, finish is long and bitter.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 05:25:04 | More by dherling
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22 oz Rogue bottle, picked up from the Newport Public House.

Appearance: Smaller head than most Rogue Ales. Deep reddish copper.

Nose: Mild, some malt aroma. Nothing jumps out.

Taste: Rather dry, short taste. Grainy...bready (like raw dough). Definitly a well-made craft beer, though nothing special.

Mouthfeel: More carbonation than I expected. Balance is on the toasted malty end. Hard to notice the 'hoppy sprucy finish' they mention on the bottle.

Drinkability: Not as drinkable as many other Rogue Ales, but its unique enough to give a try.

Overall: Even when i wasnt living in oregon, i relished to acquire 22oz bottles of Rogue. Glad to get ahold of this one. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 02:09:06 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of TrickKnee


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

This is an unbeleivable amber ale, and it will become a staple of every winter season from now on. Nice and hoppy with grat malt taste. i wouldnt consider it a christmas beer more of a hoppy amber but still really tasty. YOU better watch out, you better think twice, cause Santa is coming to kick your ass with a tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 00:07:14 | More by TrickKnee
Photo of tempest


3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hops, I smell greapefuit hops, and whatever that house aroma is. Maybe from the Pacman yeast. Looks a gorgeous red with head and lacing that won't stop. Tastes of some caramel malt with lemon and grapefuit hops and spruce. Unfortunately, this beer suffers from a lack of distinct flavors. It just rushes in at once and leaves bitterness. This packs a punch for an amber/red. Definately a beer for the IPA crowd, not the Killian's folks.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 06:23:05 | More by tempest
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Deep red hue. Frothy, white head. Nice lacing.

S- Hoppy and dry. Slight spice.

T- Sweet floral hops that finish quite dry. A little piny.

M- Dry, crisp. Zesty carbonation.

D- Not bad. A little hoppy for me. I guess that is the trend with winter beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 00:35:23 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of umfskibum


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. "Reddish-copper color with a roasty, malt flavor and a hoppy, sprucy finish."

Appearance: Really a gorgeous beer. Dark, deep, rich amber color. Slightly hazy, small head but superb lacing.

Nose: Dominated with multiple hop scents, along with a nice spruce scent. Very slight malt scent I would call caramel if anything.

Taste: Hop-tacular, but not unbalanced. The boys and girls at Rogue know how to brew, and the hops, while powerful, don't throw the brew off balance. Slight malts and a bitter finish that is typical of Rogue.

Mouthfeel: Full and thick, dry on the bitter finish. Goes down well.

Drinkability: A nice super-hoppy amber beer. Delicious, although a bit strong if you are looking to drink more than one. If you like amber, bitter OR hoppy beers, this is strongly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 00:24:42 | More by umfskibum
Photo of riversider76

New York

4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a redish hue. Frothy head, with excellent retention, and lacing. Smell is on the light side, floral hops with some malty undertones. Body is medium, with some carbionation. Taste is very evenly balanced. Hops through out, but not overly bitter. They did a good job with this beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 22:14:28 | More by riversider76
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

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

12-ounce bottle. Bronzed amber with a substantial and rocky khaki-cream head. Super sticky rings of lacing after every sip. Mineral infused citric and pine hop aromas ride atop an underlying sweetish caramel malt scent. Taste: Wow! Extra rugged bitterness from some massively sprucey hops. Some mineral twang mixes with grapefruit hop flavors as well, eventually giving way to a dark bready malt component. Acrid (but delicious) bitterness lingers for a long time in the sharp, dry aftertaste. Crisp and sharp mouthfeel overall; certainly much more brash than I'd expected. I just picked up a single tonight to give it a whirl, and I know I'll be picking up a six-pack or more before the year is through. This may be one of my new favorite winter seasonals. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 02:58:39 | More by orfeu
Photo of quasimoto


3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep mohogany color with nice off white head, good lacing.

S - Strong hoppy aromas dominate, but are followed by some bready paper aromatics.

T - Strong hops come out initially, then are followed by the unmistakable flavor of pretzels. Some bready sweet malt comes out in the back ground as well.

M - Light and very refreshing. Not your typical amberale, and a little less dry on the end.

D - Very drinkable. I'd say this would this would make a nice winter ale, if it was a little more spiced.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 01:25:36 | More by quasimoto
Photo of Alkey


4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a nice dark amber color with a small layer of brownish head and some slow rising bubbles. Smells of grapefruit with a hint of pine. Taste of sour fruit at first with a bit of pine finish. A jolly hoppy beer I'll enjoy in the coming winter months

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2006 00:17:21 | More by Alkey
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,930 ratings.