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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

2,132 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,132
Reviews: 1,176
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 57
Gots: 166 | FT: 2
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: 2,132 | Reviews: 1,176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy reddish amber color with a busy half-inch of tan foam on top. There are only a few bubbles rising through the liquid, but the head stays around for quite some time anyway...must be pretty chewy.

Aroma: Some sweet malt coexisting with a noticeable piney and citrusy component. The malt has a bit of a toasty character to it, but there is a nuttiness that you don't often get in a beer here.

Taste: Very interesting "green" flavor that you can't pick up in the nose (though my nose isn't in the best shape tonight). The malt is a large contributor to the flavor, but the hops give it a slightly astringent edge for the finish. Even though there is some astringency, the finish still has a noticeable malt presence that gives you a bit of sweetness to contemplate as the hops fade.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, but the hops are a bit too aggressive for my taste. I am starting to think that it is the water at Rogue that I don't care for...their dark ales are awesome, but I don't think that I really care for their lighter beers much...unless they are really big. This one is destined to be bitter though with 44IBU's @ only 13 Plato. This is an OK beer, but not one that I will be seeking out like I do their Chocolate and Imperial Stouts.

Photo of dawg
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Head looked nice at first but dissipated fast to a skim layer.

Smelled like lightly toasted malts and hops. Couldn't get much more from the aroma. I was hoping for more.

Tasted OK but again I was looking for more spices. This tasted more like a standard Rogue ale. Lacked the spices, complexity, and warmth I wanted when I popped the cap off.

Felt relatively good. Took some time with this one, but overall I'd say it was pretty drinkable all things considered. I was a bit mislead by the name and bottle.

Photo of BigRedN
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the 22 oz bomber into my pint glass a dark red/amber. A 3/4 inch thick off-white fluffy head sits atop the liquid. The head has some staying power, lingering until it falls to a tight cap and ring around the glass. Good layered lacing as the beer is consumed.

Smell: Strong aroma of hops, perhaps the most I have smelled for the style. Aroma is primarily piney (tree) with a mix of floral and a touch of citrus as well. There is some mellow malty aroma as well. Very nicely done.

Taste: This beer really shines here. Very well balance with a nice roasted caramel malt backing, but this has hops at the start, middle, and dominating the end. The hoppiest Amber Ale I can remember having. Big taste, very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, a little prickly. A bitter finish that lingers in the throat. Plus, I am getting some hop burps as I finish off the bomber. Alcohol is a little noticeable.

Drinkability: Unfortunately this is a very drinkable, very enjoyable beer. This is bad because it packs a little more punch than a "standard" beer, making it a little much to session with, but that is perfectly ok. Purchased at the Still for $3.49. I may try to pick up another before they are gone. Definitely a beer that I will look forward to getting again next year.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a regular head that falls away into a weak lacing with a little foam. Looks red to light brown in color and it's fairly clear. The first scent is of sharp piney hops with a little fruity sweetness for an undertone. Bitter piney hops hits my mouth and throat attacking it, almost making me choke. Once I got used to it and let it warm up it gets better and in the end leaves a slight sweet, fruity taste on the palate.

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

from the bottle. poured reddish brown with a light tan head. aroma hops, hops, hops, do I need to say it again, spicey, malts, citrus,. flavor hops, gotta love that free range coastal water yeast. this sure took care of my hops craving I was having at the time

Photo of ahking
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown color, quite dark and rich appearance. Hops are the next thing you notice here. Perceived bitterness is high here because of the high alpha hops used. Floral aroma is striking and very spicy. Flavor is hops dominated, not well balanced. More of an IPA than a amber ale. I can't see drinking this beer any other time than the week proceeding Christmas. Mouthfeel is slick and full.

Photo of kzczp0
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale has nice copper color, half inch head, with medium lacing between sips. The predominant taste is hoppiness with over-powering bitterness during the taste. I noted slight honey smell/taste overtone that fell short from hop predominance. Some malt that again is over powered by bitterness. Expected more yule flavors of spice and so this one falls short of holiday fare for the time of year. Hop heads will love it.

Photo of Naes
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

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

Photo of sockeye101
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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!

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

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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.38/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of Beertracker
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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.

Photo of snilsen13
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 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.

Photo of kmcnair
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of barknee
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!!

Photo of matchz
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of phishgator
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Freshie
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,132 ratings.