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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

2,159 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,159
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 182 | FT: 4
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: 2,159 | Reviews: 1,184
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.

Photo of isaac
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown, almost red or burgundy colored with a small beige head that sunk into an ugly sort of combination of lacing and bubbles.

S - Mellow, some sweet notes of dried fruits.

T - Sweet, buttery taste. Starts off a toasted vanilla that fades into hop bitterness with a long, grassy finish.

M - Nice, smooth medium body with a crispness from the carbonation.

D - A nice beer for the winter time and a really inventive take on the old St. Rogue Red.

Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if this is a limited edition number or a new addition to the Rogue lineup. Pretty bottle has a red illustration of a chinook salmon, which goes nicely with the chinook hops inside the bottle. This may or may not go to benefit Ecotrust, the environmental organization that coined the term "Salmon Nation".
Pours a deep reddish amber with a small white head that struggles to build up to a half-inch before quickly receding to a thin halo. Light aroma of sweet roasted caramel malt, light hops, and a touch of biscuit. Palate begins with mellow caramel malt, with the ample hop presence emerging right before the swallow. Early notes of biscuit and light fruit yield way to a subtle spruce character on the finish. Body is smooth and creamy, but a little thin. Very drinkable, and I don't usually enjoy ambers very much. Another quality offering from Rogue.

Photo of nicefix
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It took a hard pour to get a nice head but it looked very appealing. Chunky, various sized bubbles and creamy tan. Lace runs all the way down the glass. The color is cloudy, unfiltered, and reminiscent of apple cider.

I can smell caramel. Big maltiness. Some sweetness. Not much in the hops department but this is from last year and from what I understand, after some time, the hops tend to mellow.

The taste is malty with apples and clove. Then creamy to a bitter finish. Very creamy and I also get a toasted flavor in the finish as well. I detect hops, but not much. Knowing Rogue, I assume when fresh, this brew is much hoppier.

Damn smooth with a medium body. I would give it a better rating if the sample was fresher. If Rogue releases another this year then I'll rate it again.

Photo of joe1510
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber

Santa's Private Reserve poured a dark, very hazy amber. When held to the light it looks like an unfiltered apple cider. Has great looking rocky off white had that fades to a half finger of creaminess. Very chunky sticky lacing throughout the drink.

The smell is really good as well. I can smell caramel. A nice sweetness and floral hops. This is all followed up with citrus. Sweetened grapefruit.

This beer goes from malty to bitter to malty to bitter. Really a good balance. I find it hard to describe. I pich up roasted malt followed by a more floral, piney bitterness. The next wave is of caramel followed by the grapefruit I picked up in the smell. Ends with a nice lingering bitterness that makes me want to take another drink.

This ale has a fuller medium body that goes down super smooth. The carbonation keeps it feeling good throughout.

The drinkability is way up there. I could without a doubt drink this all night long.

Overall Santa's private Reserve is a great beer. I'm surprised at how good this stuff is. It's so easy drinking and packed with flavor. I'll be picking some more up tomorrow.


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

Beautiful bottle of a salmon in profile on a red field.

Fantastic deep candy red, very clear, tight dirty white head.

Aroma and flavor were both very clean. IBUs listed at 69 on the bottle, but not much hop flavor present. Snappy, dark caramel maltiness, not too heavy as offset by high bitterness, which was well in balance.

A bomber went down easily. Very solid and well-crafted, but not a dazzler.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 06. "13° Plato", so 6%abv. alright. No freshness info. available on the label, but I suppose the BSF bar manager wouldn't risk public health, so here it goes~~ served lightly chilled in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: pours a translucent, dark reddish brown hue, very elegant; a nice foamy beige head with some retention, settling to a thin cap sustaining throughout the drink; very low in carbonation.
S: very sweet caramel malts mixed with incredibly dense and oily hoppyness—flower scent, longan-flower honey, ripe lychees and raisins, with roast tea-leaves in a remote corner... Overall it's a touch too sweet for me, as if a spoonful of brown sugar was tossed into the glass right after pouring. But apart from that sugary edge, the complexity is really good and quite “typically-American” in that hoppy composition... the sweet edge does soften to show a better balance after the beer breathes a little while.
T: softly fizzy in texture, very soothing… bitter-sweet fruity+caramely malts with a touch of toffee upfront gives way fast to an overwhelming hoppyness... tannic, bold, dried-flaky hops all over the place, with a faint tinge of sour/bitter grapefruit-zest at the fringe... yet the herbal and roasty-dryish bitterness takes over in no time, towards an almost "Chinese herbal-medicine soup"-like bitter aftertaste, creeping down underneath the tongue. So bitter and dry is the finish that it’s incredibly quaffable for a "Bitter drinker" like me!
M&D: great balance on the palate, the sweet maltiness is softened greatly by the formidible presence of hop-bitterness with a healthy kick of sourness; the carbonation is ideal, too, full of micro-scopic fizz to render a semi-creamy mouthfeel. All in all, this is a remarkably bitter malty ale, reminiscent of English ESB/Premium Bitter style, with an extra touch of hops on the nose and palate. Extremely quaffable indeed. But then again, it could've been even better if the nose shows a delicate balance.

P.S. a little challenge here: I wonder why this beer couldn't be categorised as ESB/Premium Bitter but as a poorly-defined "American Amber Ale". Does there just have to be new names/categories for every single traditional style "made in USA"? I don't get it--the whole "categorisation exercise", like some kind of endless quest for self-identities...

Photo of HoustonTX
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a 32oz. mug.
You know what I was thinking.
It's going down.

Poured a beautiful dark amber. A barrage of carbonation streams emits towards the top of the glass. Large frothy off white head lasts and lasts. Smells of sweet malt, cherries, and bitter hops. Taste is quite nice. Upfront has a nice semi-sweet maltyness about it. A tad roasty, and a bit nutty. Hops sweep in with a floral bitterness. Strong florals leave a nice warming palate sensation along with a long lingering aftertaste. This mouthfeel is really great, tingly on the palate, and the tingling doesn't stop. This is excellent, it really is. The mouthfeel alone is worth the price of the beer. Carbonation is perfect and the tingle continues.
Man, these are highly drinkable. Could easily have another.

All in all, this is an incredibly solid, well crafted beer. Don't pass this one up - definitely recommended.

Photo of wcudwight
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Enola for the sample.
Brass, caramel, red in color with a massive head that stays longer than my wife stays in outlet stores.
Smell is a powerful blend of sweet malts and piney hops.
Taste is wow! Hops dominate with some spice thrown in. Think cinnamon grapefruit.
The head adds a nice creamy feeling to the mouthfeel.
Very drinkable.
Why do I not drink more Rogue Ales?

Photo of ybnorml
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clean dark amber almost brown beer. Ha a big foamy tan head and good lace. There is a solid piney hop character in the aroma with a sweet malt background. Sharp piney hop notes at the start of the taste. Some light caramel malt notes in the middle. The finish is somewhat dry and bitter with the bitterness sliding to a tea like character

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

A - Pours a slightly hazy reddish amber color with not much head.

S - Roasted maltiness with hints of cherries and spices.

T - Somwhat sweet with definite roasty flavors along with plenty of bitterness from the hops. A little spicy.

M - Medium carbonation and much less mouthfeel than I expected it to have.

D - Not a bad offering from Rogue. Would buy again.

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

A - Pours a nice dark red/amber color, nice carbonation, small foamy head, nice islands of lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, hops, and some spices.

T - The taste is kinda sweet, and ends with a slight bitter dry finish.

M - Medium body, nice well rounded brew.

D - Drinkable. Another awesome brew in my book from Rogue. Quiet different than other Amber's I've had, but very tasty non the less.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005
Poured beautiful amber red with a single finger head that melted to nice around-the-rim lacing.
Aroma was sweet malt and vanilla.
Taste initially a buttery vanilla and citrus mix that finishes to a grapefruit rind (the white part...not too bitter) drying and bitterness.
Aftertaste of citrus rind drying.
Alcohol becomes noticable, but not in the taste, if you know what I mean.
Nice, pleasant red but not what I would consider a premium American red. For my money there are better ones out there. This one is a little too drying for style, in my mind.
Just enjoyed a 2006 Vintage in Dec, 2006 so I know it is fresh.
The malts are much toastier than I remember...both in aroma and flavor.
Actually this is a wonderful seasonal red fresh.
Now after enjoying the 2007 vintage in Nov. 2007 (now available in 6 packs...YEAH), I have to say this is one of my very favorite Winter Beers being exceedingly drinkable..nice bright NW hops and a wintery mixture of sweet amber malts makes it delightful for a winter's evening

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

Pours a hazy orange with some brown, small off white head forms, some lacing on the glass, and good retention. Smell is all caramel, some spruce/pine, spices, like a forest. Taste is sweet and toffeeish, some nice pine and spruce, little bit of spice, very weak finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very weak finish, watery, but clean bitterness.

Photo of aforbes10
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

very red. dark. small fleeting head. some nice lacing. malty, plum-like odor. sweet piney taste, kind what drinking Pine-sol might be like without the death. hops on finish. ok, flavor, but strange and a bit harch. not my favorite from rogue. eacy to drink though...santa's probably doing ok.

Photo of acrawf6
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep rich dark red amber with a nice tan head. Good lacing.

Smells. Hoppy like aroma similar to many westcoast esb's. Caramel with the hops give it a bit of sweetness to it. Slightly floral.

Taste. Quite bitter. I really get a strong roasted flavor in the taste and aftertaste. Hops are earthy, and a bit dry. No sweetness to this, except a little in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. Nice and smooth and creamy. Gives it a very nice mouthfeel. Great balance. Lots of malts in this and great hops to compliment it.

Overall. This is a very nice beer. Seems very rounded and balanced flavor; one of the most balanced beers i've had in a while-- just more potent than the others.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with average retention. Aroma of spices is quite dominant with a nice touch of sweet malt. Taste of spruce(?) and pine is quite dominant with some liquorice. Hops seems to be a bit subdued and body is a bit thinner then expected. Interesting beer but not necessarily something that I would seek out often.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,159 ratings.