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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

1,950 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,950
Reviews: 1,141
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: 1,950 | Reviews: 1,141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Naes
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%

This ale is dark amber in color with reddish hues around the edges. It has a two finger light tan head that has moderate retention and lace.
The aroma is faint but is malty sweet.
The flavor is a bit toasty and sweet up front, then becomes mildly bitter near the finish and aftertaste.
The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Naes, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of BrewMaster
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance: 22 oz bottle with no freshness dating. Poured into a Duvel chalice the beer shows a clear reddish color with a fluffy tan head on top. The head is moderately creamy with thin lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, floral hops, and slightly vinous. Burnt brown sugar and crackers round out the nose.

Taste: Earthy bitterness is the dominant flavor through the entire beer. The bitterness sits on the center of my tongue and develops an even stronger presence in the middle of the beer. It's an oily and reticent until the other flavors slide off the tongue and allow for a bolder expression of hops. Sweet malt flavor is layered over the hoppiness, but only slightly. Caramel and fruit flavors dress the malt. The maltiness hits its peak with the hop bitterness in the middle of the beer combining for an earthy sweetness with a soft berry flavor. Strawberries and cloudberry jam flavors give a delicate sweetness. The finish on this beer is nice and moderately toasty, moreso than the rest of the beer for sure. The aftertaste is biscuit with slight lingerings of hop bitterness, molasses, and maple.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a rich texture. Well carbonated and slightly sandy. The grity texture gives it more body and makes the flavors more noticable on the palate. Not a hint of wateriness at all.

Drinkability: Tasty and complex, well balanced with a nice fruitiness. Well done. I look forward to next year's release. It's nice that this beer does not go nuts with winter spices, but instead develops a nice fruit/hop/malt balance. Well done Rogue!

BrewMaster, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours into my nonic glass a dark, dark amber color with a tan head a finger thick that recedes to a hearty ring and a lazy tan scum. A little above average looking beer; it achieved pretty sweet sheets of lace on the second glass.

Huh! Didn't expect that scent; It's pure honey. For the life of me I can't pick out anything else. Smells like a malty whiff of Barenjager liquor.

From the bottle, this beer did have some spicy Christmas-y notes, but as it warmed the sweet honey flavor became more pronounced and the tastes of pine faded into the far background, making a lazy appearance only on swallowing.

Pretty slick mouthfeel, a little syrupy with thin carbonation, I'd say it suits this brew pretty well.

Overall quite drinkable. I was surprised to find this beer so honey-tasting. It's slick and sweet, but pleasantly balanced. I can (and will) have another, thanks!

Tupperwolf, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of sockeye101
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%

Santa's the man....Rogue is treating him well!!!

Very nice deep reddish amber color, very light on the carbonation. Aroma is sweet and floral with a hint of citris. Taste is a typical IPA at first, very nice hops with a hint of fruitiness. The hops on the back end are distictive and have a nice bitterness that lingers a good long while. Overall a great Christmas brew!

sockeye101, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Higravity
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%

Looked good, felt good, and went down good. The color was a nice red lots of head and lace, with head lasting a good while. The smell was bitter hops and a touch of metalic sweetness with some overtones of yeast bready but not in the good way, I can't quite explain but not inviting to me at least. The taste is pretty much what I expected from a ROgue Red ale, nice big C hop bittering this bad boy with other hops give a mild spicy taste but a little thin on the malt. Overall a good beer but nothing too great. Go Santa Go.

Higravity, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.38/5  rDev -36.7%

This has to be one of the most inferior beers from Rogue I have had. Not much to this one. Nice in appearance with a cloudy, red/purple color with a nice developiing head that stays around and leaves generous lacing around the glass. From here it goes downhill fast.

Smell is basically nonexistent. I smell some fruity hops. Not much maltiness, nothing special.

Taste is like sucking on a soap bar. Extremely astringent and bitter. Although it is only 44IBU, it tastes like 99.

Bitter mouthfeel, no body. Not good. Tempted to dump it down the drain but the USC Texas game is upcoming so I will painfully finish this one.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of Beertracker
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%

Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve Ale is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50F). SPRA pours up with a nice creamy white collar a top a deep amber-russet body into a Rogue house/logo pint. The appearance is very clear with a great depth to the color. The aroma is full of sweet caramel & toasted cracker notes along with a solid fruitiness and dominated by a resiny, pine cone hoppiness that typifies classic Rogue beers. The flavor starts off fairly bold & complex with a solid bittersweet caramel base that's backed-up with loads of Northwest bittering hops (Chinook) that kick-starts the flavor towards a slightly roasty, somewhat acrid-slightly astringent finish. Not my favorite selection, but this medium full bodied American Amber is 100% Rogue and brewed to make any Santa jolly. Pair generously with a slice of holiday cheer. Here's to a Rogue Santa.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from bottle(room temp) a cloudy deep red with a huge head that lingers quite nicely. Halfway through, there are "islands" of foam with sporadic lacing.

The smell has a very sweet caramelly air to it suggesting that the flavour will also be very sweet. We'll see.

The taste does have a sweet malty note up front but there's some hop bitterness in the background that is making for a nicely balanced brew and then, the bitterness takes over in the aftertaste and adds to the overall enjoyment of this amber. It's a good drop worth buying again.

Bitterbill, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of snilsen13
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%

This is pretty decent beer. It has a nice heady aroma. Compared with Dead Guy Ale (also Rogue) this is a better beer worth revisiting. There's plenty of bitter and it's balanced against a strong, but not overpowering flavor. Goes down pretty well, easy enough to drink the large bottle and not worry about how you'll feel in the morning. Doesn't do much in the mouth, kinda flat and a little too much viscocity to say it was smooth.

I'm partial to these special holiday brews when they've got something extram this one's not a bad choice. It didn't blow me away, but I was happy.

snilsen13, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of kmcnair
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%

22oz bomber bottle, 2005

Pours a clean reddish brown hue, makes a bone white head, some light lacing on my glass as it empties. There's a rich caramel malt aroma that is nicely balanced by the piney centennial hops. Flavor begins with a moderate amount of distinct chinook bitterness followed by a nice clean caramel and barley malt profile, piney and floral hop flavors mingle with a subtle sweetness and a hint of alcohol in the finish. The caramel malt really dominates the flavor overall. Medium bodied, soft creamy carbonation, leaves a bit of sweet coating on the throat. Nice seasonal here from Rogue, it offers up good balance which makes this one really easy to drink. I'll definitely give it another go next winter.

kmcnair, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of barknee
4.4/5  rDev +17%

2005-2006 S.P.R.A. pours a gorgeous reddish-copper color with a tight foamy manila colored head with outstanding retention. Santa's nose is a complex blend of malty hops, slightly roasted with a great nutty finish. Hints of warm pine and spruce are evident as well. This is a delicious ale; beautifully balanced with moderate bitterness and a trace of honey on the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly oily and creamy, just right for the various taste elements interwoven within this impressive offering. Although somewhat full bodied, the medium weight of this brew and the generally lean composition make for spirited and effortless consumption, with fresh hops never tiring the palate. The choice of hops used within should be applauded for never allowing this brew to go extreme in any way; very well planed and executed! This is a truly fantastic ale; may this winter season begin!!

barknee, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of matchz
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%

A dark ruby red ale with scents of citrus and caramel with faint traces of pine. The hops come through strong on the first taste with the caramel malt and spices lingering for a crisp almost bitter finish.
A rather nice offering from Rogue but not as outstanding as some of their other brews.

matchz, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%

This beer pours a light red, slightly brown color with a thin off white head. The ehad fades quickly leaving minimal laces.

This beer has a rich malty aroma. It smells caramel like. It has a slight dark fruit aroma. It has a slight hop aroma.

This beer has a pleasent malty caramel like flavor. I can detect some hop flavor, but the malt flavors are dominate.

This beer is carbonated well. It goes down smooth leaving a caramel like malty aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol, so putting a few down would not be a problem. Also, the flavor is not overly aggressive. I would probably recomend this beer.

OStrungT, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of ReebShorts
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%

duece duece, poured into a Orval chalice. Amber color, off-white, oily, sparkly looking head fades rather quickly to a thin layer.

Aroma of malts, dark fruit, licorice, nuts, and breadiness.

Ahh, very nice. a Christmas ale with some hops! Starts with a malty, nutty flavor, then hops close out the finish. Pretty tasty, a nice change, although not quite as adventerous as the other seasonals I've been trying.

ReebShorts, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of phishgator
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%

This winter ale has a dark brown appearance and foamy head. The aroma is a pleseant toasted nut. The taste has a big nut flavor upfront that becomes slightly hoppy. The flavor moves into a spice on the back end. The body is medium for a winter brew. The thirst for another is not too great. Overall I like to have one of these every season for a nice switch.

phishgator, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of Freshie
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%

Quite a difference in this ale than in the other Holiday brews.

It poors a nice dark amber color with good sized head. The aroma is very earthy with (I swear to god) a hint of pine or evergreen.
The taste is very earthy as well, with nice malted hops and a delicate blend of holiday spice. There is an aftertaste but it is pleasant to have. It was very drinkable, and one of the most enjoyable of my gifts.

Freshie, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

Sampled in front of the Christmas tree…pours a deep, burnt copper color, topped with a dense white head. The head leaves thick tufts of intricate lace on the sides of the glass. Flowery and piney hop smells are at the center of this brew. There’s a lot of competing hop smells in this one, backed with a grain and toasted malt. It’s not quite a hop monster, but with a little more intensity it would subscribe to that description. The taste is balanced and semi-sweet. Malt and grain come out a little more in the mouth, with a earthy character. Hops still dominate, though, with a moderately long finish. Medium body, with moderate carbonation. This was drinkable and quite tasty!

Suds, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev +9%

Appearance- Poured a light amber two-finger head that dissolved into a thick film throughout beer drinking. Contained a very deep amber almost liquid red color.

Smell- A great hop presence with only a hint of malt.

Taste- A good strong hop start and finish with a nice watery, light malt hint in the middle. But a good amount of hops to keep you awake.

Mouthfeel- A good meaty hop palate. A little dry though

Drinkability- A litle to strong to be a session beer. But definetly worth downing a couple of bombers one long X-mas Eve or Day.

scruffwhor, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Being Christmas Eve, I thought this would be appropriate. I'm actually in BC for the holidays, and it's currently 15 C... so it's refreshing flavour is even more appropriate!

A: Copper-amber in colour, pours with a nice off-white head, not much retention, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Zesty citrous peel, a little piney, hint of bread.

T: Balanced to the bitter side, overwhelming Northwest Hop flavour (predominately grapefruit, with a little pine).

M: Moderate body and carbonation. Seems to have a little acidity associated with the citrous, but perhaps the taste buds are just playing tricks on my mind.

D: It's good, but not for the newbie!

Derek, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance: Deep, clear, rusty/bloody copper-brown. Lacy, egg nog-yellow head with huge bubbles and good retention.

Smell: Sweet caramel and hard candy malts, with very fresh-smelling grassy hops. Reminds me of sweet, crisp vegetables, like carrots and romaine lettuce. Also has a fresh bready character.

Taste: Mostly woody hops, which are actually on the aggressive side but not harsh, and end with a bitter citrus rind flavor. Very smooth, and balanced out with nutty malts.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly smooth and even creamy, a nice, relaxing mouthfeel to help take the edge off the hops.

Drinkability: This is not really a sit-back-and-relax beer, which is what I wanted on this Christmas Eve, but it is delicious nonetheless.

soulgrowl, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +17%

Pours ruby red with a fluffy light brown head. Head retention good, not great. Lacing clings to the side of the .5L glass I'm drinking this from.

Smell: Hops (piney and some floral notes) and fruitiness, a slight earthiness with slight brown sugar notes.

Taste: Hops kicking ass & taking names from the get go, but still complimenting a malty/fruity body.

MF: Chewy & balanced, but straying towards over hopping, detracting drinkabiity...

Tasty effort, reminds me of buffed up brutal bitter..

russpowell, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%

Calling this beer an American Amber does it a disservice to both the beer and the style - it deserves another category such as "Super Amber" because this far exceeds the style (in a good way)

The pour is a mahogany brown with a thick, off-white head. The head eventually settles down but leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

The nose is rather aggressive - there's no doubt you're going to get hopped up with this beer. Some carmelized grains remiiscent of tanned toast with lots of piny, spicy herbal notes.

Flavor is quite impressive. Not much fruitiness that you'd find in a traditional amber though there is some notes of apple or pear. Lots of malt both in a bready, toasted note as well as a caramelized sugar flavor. Lots of hops to balance out the brew with pine and spice (black pepper) being the primary notes. Some herbal hints and some grassy green flavors as well.

Excellent mouthfeel - a medium bodied brew with good carbonation. No oily aftertaste and plenty of hop bitterness to dry the end of each sip.

All in all quite drinkable - I'd compare this to Stone's Bastard (though a bit lighter) or Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye (but without the rye) It's quite close to one of my favorite seasonals, Lagunitas Imperial Red. All of these are excellent, excellen brews and Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve is of similar quality.

RedwoodGeorge, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%

22oz. bomber

Pours a deep amber brown with some reddish tints. Has a small head that fades with mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma of citrusy hops with a nice caramel maltiness.

Taste is a letdown after the fine aroma. Has a hop bite upfront, but the citrusy flavor seems lost. It's followed by a mild malt backbone, but no caramel flavors as the smell indicates. Finishes quite dry with a nondescript hop bitterness that lingers.

Body seems on the thin side for a winter ale.

I'll finish this bomber, but I won't be looking for this one again. I am normally a fan of Rogue, but this beer was a big disappointment.

MaltyGoodness, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev +6.4%

This beer was tasted in a Pint Glass from a 650mL Bottle

The beer pours an amber color that is almost brown. There is a sizeable head that laces and holds well. It smells nicely of some hop bitterness and roasted malts. It also tastes in this way with the exception that there is a definite presence of some spices. It feels thick in your mouth and there is good carbonation. Overall it is a great drink to pair with a Holiday Meal.

MSchae1017, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of Muddybuddy
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%

This is reportedly dry hopped St. Rogue's Red
Appearance: Pours a dark amber that is thick looking, but not opaque. It has a good two finger head that is light cream and leaves lacework in the bottle.

Smell: This has a very citrusy aroma and you can tell it is all from the hops. There is a lemony scent that is all to apparent in this one.

Taste: Hot damn! That is one hoppy beer! The bottle only claims 44 IBU's but that really doesn't begin to make a dent in the beer I tasted. Very hoppy and bitter, but a good bitter that makes you want more and more. There is a hint of toasted grains that leaves your mouth watering. For a Rogue beer, this has very little yeast flavor in my opinon. Usually there is a much more distinguishable flavor from the yeast for them, but not this time. Overall a very good flavor.

Mouthfeel: Meduim carbonation is shown in a bit of thickness in the mouth that dissipates quickly and leaves the mouth watering.

Drinkability: Gimme' some more! That's some mighty fine beer!

Muddybuddy, Dec 20, 2005
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,950 ratings.