1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

2,150 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,150
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 176 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Santa's Private Reserve Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,150 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical Rogue bomber, no freshness/vintage info. Offered. Pours clear, slightly reddish amber. Head is initially huge and luxurious , slowly recedes , leaves gobs of scattered and sheeted lacing. The nose I get is multifaceted, ginger bread, leafy hops, bready malts. Tasty, complex and clearly high quality offering. More mild winter spice, a modicum or resiny hops and then a smooth multi grain malt finish. More resins on the tongue long after the last sip. Nice creation from Rogue, fine winter/holiday sipper

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale is a dark brown, like chocolate, opaque and with a fairly thick tan head. Aroma is hoppy and spicy. Flavor is very hoppy but not overly bitter, with malty undertones and hints of spices. Aftertaste is hoppy and bitter. It fairly dances on the tongue with its tingliness.

Photo of dsigmon
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous amber color with a nice tall head which dissapears quite fast. A nice amount of lacing can be seen after each mouth puckering sip.

Hops Hops Hops. I smell hops taste hops and will soon be sweating hops. Very typical Rogue brew when regarding the hops...ill say it again for good measure, hops.

Mouthfeel is somewhat watery with a medium amount of carbonation. I seem to find that this beer isn't quite as balanced as maybe I would have liked but then again that could just be the bittery hops throwing me off. Great beer overall and Merry Christmas.

Photo of Brad007
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy head and minimum lacing. Aroma is strong and hoppy, malty too. Taste is very hoppy/malty with a very nice bitterness in the middle. Towards the back, it takes on more of a fruity/spice essence and is somewhat chewy and dry. A second sip notices the hops more. Very smooth and drinkable for an amber ale. Can you imagine yourself sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, sipping on a glass of this beer?

I wouldn't doubt that Santa himself would do so.

Photo of stephens101
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little something to get this Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Pours a dark amber into my Sam Adams specialty glass. Head is tan, fluffy, two-fingers thick and stays around quite a while with a consistent and stubborn lacing. Smells robust with citrusy hops, orange peel and pine. Medium bodied and a bit watery at first which is subsequently overcome by a good balance of hops. There's a bit of bitterness toward the end that in no way affects the drinkability. I'm going to session on a few of these as the wind blows furious and the snow whips, and I have a feeling I'm going to have a good time.

Photo of Slynger
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber

Pours an orangish copper color with an off-white head that dies quickly but leaves nice lacing on the glass.
The smell is good but a little weak. Definitely some chinook and cascade hops with some roasted and very lightly sweet malts in the background.
The taste picks it up a bit. There is a very small amount of sweetness and a good amount of roasted malt. I can pick up the Munich malt too. There is a definite piney overtone to this one and it closes with a piney bitter hop finish.
This beer has a nice medium body and chewy mouthfeel. It is pretty well balanced, absolutely worth drinking, but to be a great beer they need to up the hops a bit.

Photo of pinballwhizard
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice reddish brown color. Can definitely smell the hops. Its 'mouthfeel' is somewhere in the middle of the pack for hoppy ales, but it is quite dry.

Taste - sour, hoppy first taste with a dry, bitter and slightly yeast-y finish.

Drinkability - this is an enjoyable ale, but I would probably not be able to drink more than one at a time..

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves a two finger tan head that has excellent retention, and it leaves webs and webs of sticky excellent lacing. Body is a hazy garnet with ruby highlights.

Smell - aromas of pine resiny hops and some toasty malt biscuits, and there is a faint hint of caramel.

Taste - flooding the tongue there is pine resin, over sourdough toasty maltbiscuits, and finishing with more bitter, and very dry, pine resin.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and very dry.

Drinkability - this is a decent ale, but I'd want something different after two 12 oz. servings or so of these.

Photo of kosmoraios
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewing for the style here (Rogue says this is an "Double-Hopped" American Red) as this ale is almost an IPA.

Pours a golden-orange color into a pint glass, with a 1.5 finger white head that lingers and laces the glass quite well.

Aroma is of hops. Very piney and citrussy - a hint of juniper berry, sweet orange, grapefruit. I'm a hophead, so I love the taste. Amazing for a Red - very hoppy, but excellently balanced with the malts. The tiniest bit of toffee sweetness balances the bitterness of the hops. The "Rudolph" strain of hops is supposedly proprietary to John Meier according to Rogue.

Mouthfeel was smooth and well-carbonated. An amazingly drinkable ale, great session ale, and a good one for the uninitiated to gateway into the hoppier side of life.

Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Crazy Bruce's Liquors, West Hartford, CT

Dark copper in appearance with a small, light tan head that quickly faded to a thin film.

The aroma was hoppy and fragrant. Sweet, spicy and citrusy hops with a sturdy malty backbone.

The taste was rich and hoppy as well. A touch of malty sweetness appeared up front before the citrusy, piney hops took over. Grapefruit was most prevalent. A hint of ripe fruits appeared mid-palate along with some toasty malt notes. The finish was hoppy, sprucey and slightly dry. Metallic notes were quite noticeable at first but they quickly subsided as the beer warmed.

Body was medium with a lively carbonation and smooth, lusciously creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, this was a very hoppy and tasty red ale. I found it to be a welcomed break from the typical dark, spicy winter seasonals.

Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark red color with a nice off-white head with great lacing and retention. The aroma is a nice and pleasant mixture of malt and hops. The taste is malty up front with a kick from the citrusy/piney hops in the finish. Overall, this is a really nice amber that is one of my favorite winter seasonal. Recommended.

Photo of wingman14
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rogue says this is a variation of their St. Rogue Red with double the hops.

Pours a brownish red with a frothy off white head. The smell is hoppy with malty notes. The taste starts hoppy and finishes like a red ale, with some bitter notes. The bitter lingers in the aftertaste along with some malty tones. The mouthfeel is good, the emphasis is on the hops, but still has a good balance in flavor. A different take on an amber ale which is refreshing. This is a easy drinker, definitely worth checking out.

Photo of irishevans
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby/ amberish in colour, thin head but sticks to the glass nicely, smells like a mildly hoped I.P.A, decent bite like a hoppy red ale, not what i usualy think of when i think winter/holiday brew, and as a red ale a little more hoppy and crisp than normal but not turned into an IPA either, worth a try.

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

Pours with a nice clear dark red. Good head , some lacing.

Hops on the nose.

Very aggressive hopping , with mainly citrus/grapefruit. Decent malty backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium with some residual sweetness.

Overall a great hoppy seasonal , I'll enjoy drinking a sixer.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- The color is a dark, deep copper color. The head is one finger after an agressive pour. It is semi transparent too.

S- The aromas are as follows: Hops first, then a gingery spice smell. I also pick up a buttery nut smell on the end of the nose.

T- Taste is bitter of hops, but also caramel and butterscotch. The taste ends bitter and dry.

M- Oily and mid thin on the tongue. The carb sting is high on the surface of the tongue all over.

D- Surprisingly drinkable. I was not expecting that from a "santa" or winter beer. This one is different than most in a lot of ways though.

Definitely a different spin on the winter releases. This one is more bitter than sweet which is contradictory to most releases. The ABV is also a little bit lower, which makes this a little easier to drink. The dry finish makes you want to take another drink. Very nice brew!

Photo of edskirk3
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I find Santa hilarious in the Rogue label template.

Pours into a pint glass amber/red with a cream-colored head. It has staying power and there is some lacing.

Nice toasty bread smell with a pine accent to it.

Quite malty on the palate, nice and toasted. Husky. Dry, hoppy finish reminiscent of spruce. Not too warming but that's not to say it isn't comforting either.

I like what Rogue did here. A "Christmas beer" doesn't necessarily have to be spiced like a fruitcake. This ale is simple and tasty.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 12-ounce bottle from G.W. Tavern in Washington Depot, Conn.

A: Poured a reddish amber with a very nice and sturdy one-finger head of tannish foam. The carbonation is there and the lacing is fairly good also.

S: Smells piny and hoppy; the pine scent is good because I was expecting a winter brew, what with Santa on the label and all. However, I didn't note any other spices that would be in a winter warmer.

T: Clearly not a winter warmer, and it;s good it;s not advertised as such. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised bu the full, caramel malt taste and big-time oily pine hop bite. Tasted like a great winter IPA, almost on par with Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale.

M: Mouthfeel is thin but slightly oily from the hops. A great balance in the middle, but hops wash it all away.

D: I could drink quite a few of these, as it was a great flavor, nice and warming, and a great hoppy surprise.

It's not the most complex brew you'll come across this winter season, and it might not even be a red ale, but it's a hoppy winter delight.

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

It's Christmas time, so I'll review a holiday beer for review no. 1

Appearance -- Classic red/amber in color. The initial pour results in a nice, pillowy head with quite a bit of lacing. Nice looking brew.

Smell -- Smells like an APA to me...floral, slightly piney hops predominate.

Taste -- wow...hoppier than I expected. Sort of Celebration Ale-like, with biting hops that linger for quite a while. Definitely enjoyable.

Mouthfeel -- definitely the weakness of this one -- light, and slightly watery. I'm not sure if I've ever had a beer this hoppy which tasted so thin. It isn't bad, but I'd like it to be a little thicker.
Well carbonated.

Drinkability -- sessionable, certainly. A single bomber is probably ideal.

Overall, a fine offering from Rogue. I prefer Celebration Ale to this one, but it is still well worth trying.

Photo of diddly
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bomber.

Tasty beverage. Good amount of flavor, malt, & hops. I didn't pick out any specific flavors, just a great mix.

Not overly strong in any direction, but definitely a good beer. I've always been impressed with Rogue's offerings, but this is definitely one of the best.

Photo of NitroGen
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt. 6 oz. Bomber

A: Reddish amber pours brilliantly translucent, intense off-white two fingers head that very slowly lowers to ½ finger cover and huge lacing.

S: Herbal nose that is floral, roasted grains and a bit of caramel sweetness.

T: Sweet honey and roasted malt that is then overtaken with the slightly bitter hoppy citrus pith.

M: Find this really well balanced with the ying and yang of sweetness at the start and then a myriad of tastes and then an earthy pine and bitter hops ending on the palette.

D: This one is brilliant, one of the best seasonals I have had this year. Will be getting more for the holidays.

Photo of bark
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is medium brown/amber; the liquid is clear. The low head is pale beige; it leaves some very fine lacing.

The smell is very hoppy with sweet notes of lemon peels, toffee, oranges, dried apricots and some bitter flavours.

The taste is very hoppy and medium bitter with dry notes of lime, bitter oranges, some fresh herbs and spices, roasted nuts. The very long lasting aftertaste is sour-bitter; I found notes of limes, basilica, oregano, citric acid and a lightly roasted malty taste.

The carbonation is on the stronger side for an ale; the large bubbles are fresh. The liquid is a bit watery, but it suites the flavours quite OK.

A nice and surprisingly hoppy ale, not bad at all!

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

Pours a clear red amber color with a 1 finger off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells malty - slightly biscuity - with some piny hops.

I'm enjoying this one more than I thought. Pretty good biscuity maltiness with a respectable level of piny hops here. Finishes with a slight bitterness. A good red, all in all.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated, but not over-carbonated.

Drinkability is very good.

Overall, recommended.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams Special Lager glass
A- Pours a deep dark amber red, head is off-white layer of craggy foam that mostly dissipates, thick and sticky lacing from top to bottom
S- Aroma is caramel and toast malts, pine and citrus hops (Chinook & Centennial from the label), touch of butterscotch
T- Initial taste is surprisingly hops-forward for an amber, caramel malts fill out the backbone, touch of molasses, finishes with dry hops
M- Medium/full-bodied ale, oily texture, lively carbonation
D- Rogue definitely has the market cornered on hoppy red ales, this is a delicious amber that is easy to drink and within the session range, I could drink this all night long if only I had several more. . .

Photo of elmore
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: poured a deep amber color from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thick fluffy head with decent retention and a good amount of lace down the glass.

S: strong citrusy, piney scent.

T: Strong hop flavor up front with a bitter dry aftertaste with very minimal malt sweetness. No detectable alcohol.

M: Somewhat watery with medium carbonation.

D: Low alcohol and light crisp body make this a very drinkable beer.

Overall a decent beer and very drinkable. Not typical for a winter warmer beer - no real spice flavor, which is not a bad thing, but not what I expected. I like a little bit of a alcohol burn to warm me up in the winter, which this didn't have.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - red/amber color with a big fluffy beige head that hung on for most of the glass, leaving globs of sticky lace.

S - sweet citrus and pine hop aromas.

T - good hoppy flavor bites at first balanced off by mellow malt flavor finishing dry and bitter.

M - light bodied, seemed watery on first sip, but this seemed to improve through the session. carbonation was light as well.

D - this beer grew on me as I drank it and I will have it again this holiday season.

Final Note: I believe in Santa Claus!

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,150 ratings.