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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 ViveLaChouffe


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

Pours a hazy cherry red with a touch of brown. Rocky 1/2 inch tan head. Really, really lacy, leaves a trail all the way down the glass. Smells lightly fruity from malt but mostly of hops. Citrusy, bitter, tangerine hops.

Big hoppy bite. Hops dominate from the second the beer hits the tongue and keep a stranglehold on your palette all the way down. Not that it's the hoppiest beer I've ever had, it just overwhelms any malt flavors you may be looking for. Very aggressive hops. citrusy, grapefruit and lightly metallic. Bitingly bitter finish. Some fruity malt as it warms but not enough to balance. Creamy mouth and smooth. Bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable, if really unbalanced. But I like hops, don't I?

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 02:40:12 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/19/04- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured into my 24 oz mug.

Appearance- Nice inch head with average lacing throughout. A darker amber color.

Smell- Lots of hops as expected from a Rogue brew. Maybe some fruity scents as well.

Taste- Yep, lots of hops and lots of malt too. Nice and balanced. Has a tad of a dark taste to it. Not sure if it's a nutty or raosted taste. My buds are failing me.

Mouthfeel- Above average carbonation, but with the hops tempting me, I don't care...

Drinkability- Quite a nice Christams brew. One of the better balanced beers I have had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 02:25:49 | More by GClarkage
Photo of kmpitz2


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a few days ago. The beer poured from a bomber into the proper glass a nice amber color wtih 3 fingers of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was nice and piney layered over a caramel malt. The flavor was very hoppy. Lots of pine and some caramel, but mostly piney hops. Somewhat one dimensional. The feel was thick, right about where I wanted it to be. Overall a nice offering. Not my favorite holiday beer, but it was good.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 04:40:13 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of bigbeerdrinka


3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a deep copper color with slight ruby hues and a firm offwhite head that lingers around for quite some time. Aromas consist mostly of large juicy resinous hops with just the slightest backing of malts. This brew from start to finish is pretty darn hoppy. There is some malts in the mix which give off bits of caramel but they are clearly overwhelmed by the flavor and bitterness of the hops. The finish to this brew is just like the beginning of this beer with some nice bitter resiny notes and some more slight tones of caramel. Overall this beer had a nice body but was just a little to one dimensional for my tastes..

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 02:43:17 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of bashiba


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

After having a Samuel Smith Winter last night and drinking this tonight I can't beleive how close these 2 are in taste. For a second I almost had to check to see that I had the right beer. Still good, but I was shocked at the similiarities.

Poured a very nice carbonated shade of Red/Amber.

Has a nice toasted caramel nose to it. Could be a little stronger.

Taste is a very bready toasted flavor with a mineral like metal taste to it with a nice hoppiness about it.

Mouthfeel is nice with a very carbonated feeling about it and a nice fullness to it.

Drinkability is fine as this is a very good beer, but still not something I would drink often or in large quanitities.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 05:22:04 | More by bashiba
Photo of mntlover


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber with a nice large dense tan head that falls to ring of foam slowly and leaves lots of lace stuck to my glass. A very tasty looking beer. Smells wondeful caramel malt sweet and loaded with lots of juicy sticky hops. Taste is lightly sweet from caramel malt to start then the hops take over nice grapefruity flavors with a good dose of bitterness and some light spiciness to finish. The name says it all, if I was Santa this would be in my beer cellar. Mouthfeel is a solid medium nice hoppy beer but a nice dose of malt. Drinkability is great this is a wonderful amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 01:16:03 | More by mntlover
Photo of Dithyramb


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

Appearance: Your typically sized Rogue bomber is adorned with a rosy cheeked, celebrating Santa. Although a freshness date is not here, there is a very generous description area, with the stats on the beer and ingredients. Poured slightly hazy reddish brown with not much carbonation into my trusty tulip glass. Nice tan head that quickly dispersed to a thin ring.

Smell: Flowery and citrus toned hops predominate

Taste: Very tasty hop mix flavor with some vanilla and sweet malts in there to even them out on the end. Just delicious

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a little carbonation, it is very medium bodied.

This is very drinkable and worth a few. It was my first Rogue since college, many years prior to joining BA, and my first West Coast brew in quite some time. Is the beer hoppy and tasty as one would expect from a west coast brew? Absolutely, it made me get the hop belches from the first drink. A nice beer, definitely more complex and easier to drink than some other, overly spiced, winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 16:33:37 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of santoslhalper


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

Appearence: Pours a hazy copper color with a monstrous light-tan head. Head sticks forever and leaves nice sheets of lacing.

Smell: Smells at first hoppy with a mellow pine and citrus smell. A nice cinnamon malty undertone creates a unique backbone.

Taste and Mouthfeel: At first it's massive spicy and pine hops. Hardly any malts when cooler, but when it warmed up a bit it balanced out quite nicely. The mouthfeel is creamy ad carbonated.

Drinkability and Overall: A solid Amber that does nothing too special. This is my first Rogue brew, and I like it. I hope the next are a little better. This beer was a little too spicy hops without being balanced enough. That is why I couldn't have too many. Overall - a solid, tasty beer with a little kick.

Thanks to Bashiba for the wonderful XMas brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 03:57:46 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle. Pours out a clear amber. The brownish white head is massive and firm and sticks around forever. The smell is hoppy with a hint of cinnamon. The taste starts out sweet, but not as much malt flavor as I expected. This leaves this beer unbalanced in favor of the hops. This is not all bad because the hops are very flavorful and tasty. Medium mouthfeel. A great drinkability makes it quite easy for one person to finish a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 00:21:31 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beautiful, clear, deep, amber-brown topped with a small, light tan head. This stuff smelled really nice - super toasty and nutty malts, lightly fruity. Very inviting aromas. Taste was disappointing. Uncomfortably out of balance. Toasted, nutty malt up front but very, very subtle; so subtle, it's crushed by a monstrous bitterness that dries the mouth. Almost tasteless until the bitter finish. Mouth is medium-bodied with light carbonation; nothing special. As for drinkability, I wouldn't have another. My least favorite Rogue brew to date.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 01:53:16 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fine disorder of bubble islands and haze cover up an apricot orange red color body. Nose is sweet and freshly hopped, but much more sugar sweet than bitter or grassy. Not too strong, mellow, with something low and addicting in the background like caramel and strawberry preserves.

Tastes sweet and mild in the mouth, with touches of bitter hops and alot of strawberry sweetness -- but light and mild.
After a clean reduction in flavor, the after strikes late with carbon bitter hops that end up chewy. A very mild red ale rendition in overall flavor by Rogue. Soft, almost watery, carbonation helps yet more to reduce the impact of this brew.

I had expectations of a more spiced "winter warmer" style beer from the title of this beer. I think I'd want to drink it other times..

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 06:35:52 | More by donnebaby
Photo of rajendra82


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

The beer came is a standard Rogue 22 oz. bomber with a painted label. The beer poured out deep clear amber red with a ½ inch thick foamy head. The lacing was decent to look at too. The aroma was very piney Rogue signature hops from the US Pacific Northwest and a roasty and caramel malt presence. The taste possessed a creamy honey like sweetness and a peppery resinous hoppyness. Neither overpowered the other but stood in a near perfect harmony. The mouthfeel was rich and full, and aftertaste was on the dry side. Very sessionable Christmas beer that is a nice departure from the dark and spicy beers that come out this time of the year.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 03:26:43 | More by rajendra82
Photo of RootedFool


4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours light mahogany with glowing cherry edges when held to the light. The head has a rocky consistency, a solid inch tall, and leaves some bubble-wrap-like patches of lace on the glass.


Quick nudge of crispy hop freshness, bright and refreshing, followed by a sweet malt base, like cotton candy cut with a waft of cinnamon toast.


Sharp twist of bitterness on the tip of my palate. A deeper bitterness follows -- actually, the malts come through and provide a great contrast to the bitterness, giving it greater depth. The sweetness is like biting into a mildly spiced slice of holiday bread and finding a few small chunks of dried, candied fruit. Not overwhelming. The aftertaste is a receding sizzle of hop hoppiness.

Crisply carbonated, slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Ho ho ho, yall.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 04:21:40 | More by RootedFool


4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The white haze in the bottle stem after popping the cap smells delicious. A mild hop ting with an earthiness to it. Having just done the xmas shopping, this beer seems fitting.

This has the classic look of an English mild, with a frothy lacing head that retains beautifully. Held up to light, the brown color turns to nearly fire-engine red. Beautiful.

Enters the mouth with an *almost* floral pine charachter, but backs off just in time. What comes next I can only describe as a malty yet herbal funk. I mean this in a good way. A malty mixture taste of chamomile, thyme, oats, cola, and ganja. The pine hoppy flavor sensed initially shows up en masse in the finish, ushering malts, figs, funk, reindeer scat and stocking stuffers down the chimney and into the gut. This hop character lingers and sticks, which is nice.
What do you say about the mouthfeel of a rogue ale that hasn't been said already? It is Rogue. And it is good.
This is one of the most drinkable brews I've had recently. Perhaps even THE.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2004 17:26:17 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$3.49 22oz bomber

This is a gift from old man Klaus! Pours out a beautiful deep copper color with a beige head that was sticky and pretty long lasting without a vigorous pour. Very similar looking to SNCA. Not a ton happening with the aroma. You can pick up the obvious hops, but not a lot more. The taste and mouthfeel are very satisfying. There is the ever-so-loved Rogue taste with a nice shot of bittering hops. There is a drying spice taste in the background, but I cannot exactly pinpoint it. This seems like a kicked up St. Red to me and that is a good thing. Merry Christmas to the Rogue Nation!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 01:01:55 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of koolk


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

US trip Aug-Dec 04

On tap at Toronados in San Fran. Poured a cloudy brown going on red colour with a good tan head.

Strong fruity aromas with some spice and some rather nice and not overpowering hop aromas. Some caramel aromas flew in and out occasionally, but overall remained nice and fruity. Interesting and enjoyable.

Has a fair whack of bitterness on the palate, mixed in with some heavy roasted/toasted flavours. The spiciness of the nose also carried across to the palate, but it was the hops that were the number one attraction. Could of been a little more malty for my liking, but enjoyable none-the-less.

Interesting little seasonal from Rogues, and well worth a crack.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2004 00:40:49 | More by koolk
Photo of xforce


4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

great beer, as always from rogue. fast pour created a nice bone/offwhite head that lasted all the way to the bottom, although it did thin out a bit. good lacing around the glass. nice ruby/brown color. fresh hop aroma (obviously of the northwest variety) made me want to slug this whole beer right down. first sip - nice and malty, sweet flavors, like caramel or sweet brown sugar. slightly grainy, with a nice clean hop finish. second sip - less sweet, with a smooth slightly roasted taste with chocolate in the background. still good hops in the end. the chocolaty-ish flavors are really good in this beer, and the hops carry all the way through. slightly oily mouthfeel. give me another

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2004 20:23:34 | More by xforce
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

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

On-tap @ Anam Cara in Brookline, MA.

Recommended to me by the waiter. Pours a deep reddish brown with a small head but good retention. Leaves decent lacing on the glass. The hops stand out in the aroma but a sweet maltyness can be noticed upon tasting. A very drinkable and tasty offering from the first Rogue beer I have tried.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2004 01:59:03 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of Redrover


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

I had this on tap at Jaks Tavern in Chicago. They offer a nice selection of 40 taps including about 6 seasonal oferings.

The beer was brown with lighter brown highlights. Tan head and very good lacing.

The nose is of Fruit (plum, apple) and malts. Some subtle hop/floral scent as well.

I guess I expected more from this beer. Given the nice appearance & smell (let alone the Rouge reputation), I was prepared to be wowed. Instead, I found this is a pleasant if slightly mundane winter beer. Some roasted malts and a bit of fruit make up most of the flavor profile. It seems to be very lightly spiced and hopped, but I did get a nice dry finish.

Respectable mouthfeel as the beer is a bit creamy. Easy enough beer to drink, but there are many other winter beers I would prefer over this one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2004 21:06:40 | More by Redrover
Photo of NEhophead


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

750 ml brown bottle.

Foamy, lightly tan 1" head with great retention. The head turns creamier yet still is extremely hesitant to fade. Layered and spotted lacing with great strength. Slightly hazy deep copper with an orange/light red tint.

Light citrus hop aroma along with a bit of a caramel malt sweetness. A sweetened iced tea aroma almost.

Citrus hops with a slightly unbalanced roasted malt flavor at first. This turns to a bready and biscuit-like maltiness. The finish is dry and abrasively bitter for the style. A lot going on in terms of flavor just unbalanced in terms of: citrus hops, spicy bitterness, and a mellow roasted maltiness.

Medium bodied; a two toned effect on the palate: light, smooth, and citrusy yet spicy, grainy, and bitter.

'Interesting' flavor, awesome appearance; a very unique ale. I'm glad I tried it, but I probably won't be going back to this one for more.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2004 01:01:20 | More by NEhophead
Photo of sulldaddy


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

I am drinking a slightly chilled sample from a 22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a clear mahogany color with some orange highlights. A soft fluffy beige head easily foams up and the hop aroma is immediately present. I get pine and grassy scented hops with a bit of chocolate penetrating. The first sip reveals an average body and average carbonation.
Flavor is mostly hop dominant with pine and grapefruity hops allowing some sweet caramel and chocolate malt to come through on the finish, which pushes for a return to the bitterness to achieve balance in my mouth. The beer is smooth and easy to drink, but is overly hop dominated I think and doesnt have any spiciness that I would expect in a christmas seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2004 23:57:38 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of carln26


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

This came from a 22 oz bomber into a chalice with a deep brown/garnet color. It poured with a slight tan head and left a mild lace residue on the glass. Fruity malty aroma from the glass with hints of holiday spice. They fruity aroma has both malt and hop characteristics. A mild roasted malt flavor up front with spice following quickly. A mild hop finish lingers along with the spice used in the beer. Medium/light mouth feel and a decent drinkability. Not my favorite spiced holiday seasonal, but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2004 14:43:01 | More by carln26
Photo of BeerBuilder


3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby-brown appearance with a tan head, leaves a bit of lacing down the glass. The aroma is malty and spicy, with hints of chocolate. Somewhat toasty as well. It has the typical Rogue yeast characteristics too. The flavor is malty, spicy and a bit citric with a tad bit of chocolate. It finishes dry and bitter. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2004 01:49:17 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am hesitant to rate this...maybe I missed something after comparing the other reviews.

Eye Candy: Dark amber, brown edges, Thick, pillowy tan head. Superb hop clumping. Nice lacing.

The Nose Knows: Rich nutty malts with a crisp hop finish.

Tongueland: Deep rich malts with a touch of roasted nuts, slight caramel-like finish.

Bender Factor: I know this is brewed with Chinook and Centennial Hops, they are undetectable. I will purchase another bomber and re-review.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 07:33:41 | More by wailingwench
Photo of randal


4.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer reminds me a lot of their American Amber which is a favorite of mine. The beer is a brilliant red color, with a fine white head. The aroma contains the telltale citric Chinook blast, although there is a little malt in there asswell.

The taste is a changing river of malts and grapefruity tastes. I just love this combination. The bottle doesn't list it but i sure tastes like there is a little chocolate malt in there somewhere. The flavors sort of fight each other as you drink it. Truly a beer that will keep you interested.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2004 16:42:34 | More by randal
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,930 ratings.