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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

2,150 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
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Ratings: 2,150 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlindPig
3.6/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of nriech
2.71/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

Photo of jackorain
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of strangefate
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of bigdeuce
2.71/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

Photo of Wildman
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of AlesRTasty
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

Photo of asabreed
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of dherling
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
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!

Photo of TrickKnee
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Rudgers73
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of umfskibum
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of riversider76
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

Photo of orfeu
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Photo of quasimoto
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of Alkey
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
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

Photo of budsboy
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, deep amber with a thick, sticky, creamy looking head.

Smell is hoppy right off, then hints of allspice and carmel malts. A little coffee-toffee scent there too. Slightly metallic.

Deep carmel malt and some breadiness, but this one is mostly pinecone hops. Leaves bitterly with a pinch of orange, metal and warming alcohol.

Somewhat thinner than you might expect, but still satisfying.

A fairly typical amber/red with a touch of the holiday flavor you might expect. I found myself wishing for more of that spice, but all-in-all, I got my money's worth.

Photo of rowew
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - no freshness info on the bottle, short beer description.

Appearance: Almost clear amber color with a very slight haze, lots of small bubbles. Nice solid head, good retention and lacing.

Smell: Very hoppy, a bit of pine, with some solid malt sweetness in the background.

Taste: Again, very hoppy - but just balanced enough to keep it from being over-powering.

Overall impression: Another nice offering from Rogue .. definitely hop dominated, but enough malt backbone to keep it drinkable. Definitely explains how St. Nick stays jolly through the holiday season.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It looks "amber". Seriously. Clean with tiny, microscopic bubbles meandering to the surface. Head is a pillowy oatmeal with divets all over. All beers should be carbonated this well.

S: Apricot fruit roll ups, over ripe strawberries, bit of caramel, bit of molasses, cedar and a shade of grapefruit.

T: Begins malty on the fruity opposed to molasses side. Focus shifts towards a burnt caramel impression loaded with stewed red fruit. Hops are present but not swayed towards pine or citrus....some buttery pineapple notes. Finishes with the signature Rogue taste which has defined northwest beers to me.

M: Medium body but a bit hard on the tongue.

D: Another solid offering from Rogue. A good seasonal to look forward to.

Photo of johnbonham1980
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most well balanced beers I've had in awhile. As has been noted, this is a more hopped up version of their Red, which I also enjoy to great degree. The additional hops in this one really balance out the awesome malts. Highly recommended. The only thing I'd change is to possibly add a bit more unique seasonal character to the beer, but they're not really trying to do a winter warmer here anyway...

Great head that lasts quite awhile, pillowy and light tan in color. Beer is a reddish copper color as the bottle describes it. Very pleasant to look at.

Aroma's a bit hard to pinpoint, hop-dominated.

The malts they're using in this beer are amazing. It's a very pleasant, soothing drink with a lot of sweet bread character. The hops are mostly coniferous in nature with a little bit of citrus. There's a really interesting apricot note to this beer as well.

Mouthfeel's a bit thin for my tastes but this adds to its drinkability. I could drink a bunch of these.

Overall, a very highly recommended beer and one that's going to lead me back to Rogue on my next beer buying trip. Rogue was my original obsession in the craft beer world and this is one of their better creations.

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

Bomber into mug

Deep rich red hue, almost like cranberry juice. Thick light tan head that lasts a long time.

Candy likes aromas mixed with bits of dried fruit.

Sweet crystal malts in the front, with bittering hops finishing off the mix. Light fruity flavors are blended in. Hints of grainy malts manage to sneak their way in. Light-medium bodied with lower carbonation. The hops emerge toward the end which gives it its dry finish.

This is a good brew, which is actually a hoppier version of another one of their beers. Pick this one up when the air gets cold.

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