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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

2,063 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,063
Reviews: 1,157
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 54
Gots: 128 | FT: 2
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: 2,063 | Reviews: 1,157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jacobob10
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of carln26
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of wailingwench
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Photo of randal
4.78/5  rDev +27.1%
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.

Photo of Tballz420
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy, ruby/brown colored brew, big tan head cascades from the brew. Lace trail. Pine scent, citrus tones, tempting. Sweet malt front, hardly noticed when the hop/pine tree backbone hits. Fairly thin mouth, creamy. overall this ones a winner. Classic rogue taste with a winter twist.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy dull red, very large head light tan in color. Leaves clumps of lacing on the glass along with some chunky pockets of foam on the surface.

Aroma - malts have faded a bit but some good orangey hops are still easily picked up, soft but fragrant.

Taste - smoothed out malts show a little biscuity flavor before the hops take over. A good transition into some mildly bitter, moderately citrus hops, a solid play of flavors. Ends dry, like grapefruit rind but low-powered.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, agreeable carbonation level, slightly heavy, right on for the style.

Drinkability - a great holiday treat, bring a few to a Christmas party and share some spirit(s)!

Photo of numbeercruncher
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spotted this Rogue offering in the beer case at my favorite local store. Not what I was expecting. It was served at 55 F in an imperial pint glass. Burnt amber in color, with off-white head, approx. three fingers high. Look and feel as pouring was light in body with good carbonation. Head stuck around for a couple of minutes, before lacing.

Aroma of this was a nice crisp hoppy scent with very light pine notes.

Nice clean dry hop taste on the front end with a good bitter backend. Bitter finish stays in the mouth for a few minutes. A hint of pine in the taste, I could not find any maltiness. Nice easy feel in the mouth, no “carbonation burn.” I would probably prefer to drink this more in fall or spring than winter, but would be okay year round as it is easy to drink.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

the color of this beer is inviting and appealing.

the scent is very sweet with notes of a whiskey barrel and caramel.

the head is pencil-thin, and the carbonation is hard to gauge due to a thick cloudiness in the glass.

the taste is almost perfect, with a dry bitter hoppiness stuck to the inside of your cheeks while the sweeter aspects can be felt on the tongue. too powerful a flavor for some, but becomes easier to enjoy after the third sip.

a highly-recommended winter brew.. one of rogue's finer offerings.

Photo of oggg
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a modest head. It is deep red brown in color, perhaps a shade lighter than the St. Rogue Red.

The aroma has a very dense breadiness alongside a soft floral hop aroma.

The flavor begins with a stiff hop bitterness. Listed at only 44ibus, this definitely tastes more bitter than that. It's that Chinook, somewhat harsh, bitterness. Without stopping, it leads to that yeasty breadiness that continues super dry to the finish. Modest hop floral character. I do not detect spices. Full at first, but thins a bit in the middle.

Interesting beer with a unique yeasty breadiness. Too dry. Probably won't come back to this soon.

Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A taste of Christmas in November.

Pours out orange brown and sits a dark reddish-brown in the glass with a small off-white head, fading to the sides.

Smells malty, toasty and packed with caramel. Bran like aroma, with bits of golden raisin floating about. Hops are in the background, but provide a mild citrusy aroma of oranges.

Tastes malty up front. Bran-like flavors rush in and fill the tastebuds with a toasty goodness. Some fruity esters present, but faint. Hops provide a good helping of bitterness with pine-like sharpness. Finish is bitter with lingering toastiness.

Smooth and clean in the mouth with light, fluffy carbonation in a medium-full body. Easy to drink, and quite enjoyable. Puts you in the holiday spirit. A bomber is drained quickly and pretty much invites the next one to follow in it's footsteps.

Photo of alexgash
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stole this from the Santa at the mall. Sucker.
Dark amber body with cinnamon-brown flourishes. Puffy, light-tan head.
Smells like gingerbread cookie malt, with a hefty, spicy hop aroma. Nice
Rich caramelized malt flavors up front, with notes of sugary toast. Hops come in strong. Piney, bitter, and bracing. Finish is bitter with a touch of lingering cake batter malt. Big-bodied amber ale, with an almost creamy mouthfeel. Must steal more…

Photo of mynie
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Did you know that Santa is a raging alcoholic? It's true. You know that whole bit your parents told you about him not existing? That's bull. Santa does exist, he has for a few hundred years, only he's been too crocked for the past eighty years to do any sort of job when it comes to delivering presents. I hear he started drinking when he caught his old lady banging an elf, but I cannot verify such a tale and there's really no need to since it's beside the point.

It gets lonely on the North Pole, especially when there's no work to do. Santa really just has all day to himself to drink, and drink he does. The sonofabitch is immortal, too, and he was born fat, so it's not like there's any health risks coming into play here. The old bastard has a dream life: chilling at the North Pole and drinking all day, every day.

As you can imagine, Old Saint Nick is quite the expert when it comes to booze. That why, when I was rummaging through the 'Half Off' box at the local liquor store, I gasped with excitment when I came across a bottle bearing the image of S. Dawg (which is what they call Santa in the hood). Surely, a beer worthy enough of Santa's official approval would be worthy of mine.

Pours great! I need to really stress that. This beer is very pretty, and it has one of the biggest, longest lasting heads of any American Ale that I've ever drank. It's a very dark orange that almost borders on red, as we all know how much Santa likes the color of dried blood.

And it smells heavenly! I love hoppy smells, and this is one of the most complex, fruity, and welcoming hop odors that I have ever come across. A complicated odor is, more often than not, just a strong odor, but this is not the case. This odor achieve complexity without being overwhelming.

Alas it doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. Lots of bitter hops, but without any of the sweet complexity evident in the nose. There's a light aftertaste of caramel malt.

This beer is full bodied and goes down nice.

It's too damn bad that this was the last bottle the liquor store had. I can only hope that Rogue comes out with this again this Christmas and that it's just as tasty.

Photo of ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22ozer from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over a somewhat murky red brew. Frothy head leaves chunky lace all over the place, nice. Aroma is malty, yet carries plenty of hops presence as well. Flavor is dominated by the hops, whoa is this hoppy, but does have a good grain backbone which attempts to supprt all the hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, with the hops bitterness kind of knocking things a bit down in my mind. Malt presence does become stronger as warming continues.

Photo of andyo
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice offering from Rogue. Nice bottle.

This beer poured a copper/red color. Lots of carbonation, and a very nice pillowy two finger head. The smell of this beer is very strong! One can definately smell the hops in this beer. Upon tasting this beer, I am hit with a slight malty flavor, but then a very strong (repeat: strong!) hops prescence comes through. Some piney, nutty flavors are present as well, with a nice bitter finish. This beer is big, and the hops were unexpected for me. However, I love big hoppy beers, so this one no problem for me! Nice sticky mouthfeel. Again, this beer was huge, and probably would only render an occasional visit from me. Not a bad beer at all, however.

Photo of dauss
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours slightly hazy orange-copper. Small pale yellow head, extreme lacing. Good strong malt taste for about a 1/4 second, then this extremely tense hoppiness kicks in. Gradually getting stronger and stronger even after you swallow. The bitterness stays with you for a few moments after. Call me a wuss, but this one was too bitter for me. I've liked the other rogue brews I've tried a lot, but I don't really enjoy this brew too much. They sure used a lot of hops.

Photo of Morris729
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark rusty copper color with a very frothy tan head that leaves spider webs of lace across the glass as it ever so slowly dissipates. Nose is citrusy hops with notes of fresh spruce and cedar with a bit of toasted malt in the background. Moderate in body with a fairly smooth texture throughout with a crisp finish. Taste begins with a toasted nutty malt sweetness followed by just a hint of smoked wood before bitter hop resins with notes of grapefruit rind and pine oil take over to dominate the tasting. Definitely much more of a hop profile than I was expecting from this style of beer (which is just fine with me!). Very enjoyable and a beer I will be drinking more of in the near future.

Photo of watermelonman
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a deep red with a small head, but it left a nice looking speckled lace.

The smell is potent; it's really hoppy for a red. It's similar to the St. Rogue Red but much more well-balanced. This goes well as a winter ale. It's pretty heavy in most respects.

Photo of malty
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22 oz. bomber.

Beautiful bronzed amber color with a beige head that settles down quite quickly. Stellar lacework that sticks all the way down the glass.

Scent of caramel, vanilla and buttered bisquits dominate the faint floral hop notes.

Taste is very hoppy with a solid foundation complex malts. Caramel settles into the background while an earthy flavor of faint spruce, bready malt and sweetend oatmeal appear. Dry, hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is quite oily with faint fine carbonation. Medium bodied which is clean and rounded.

Nice change of pace, but wouldn't want more than one. Makes me want to grab a 'London Pride' next.

Overall a good ale from a brewery that's not affraid to push the boundaries. This is my first Santa's Reserve and I'll be sure to grab next year's vintage.

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very brown brew with red color when held up to a strong light.

Smells of hops and malt, smells mildly sweet and of perfume.

Taste is very malty and surprisingly bitter. There is lots of caramel and nuts flavor to this too. A good strong ale.

Mouthfeel is astringent and full.

Fairly bitey beer, might be too much for some.

Photo of BeefyMee
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber

Appearance: It has a very unique dark red color.

Smell: There is an unfriendly hoppiness that immediately turned me off. I thought this beer was taking a turn for the worse here.

Taste: Redemption. The hoppiness that was present in the smell has not diminished but seems to have transformed. It is now more agreeable and is accompanied by a delightful malt body.

Drinkability: The more I drank, the more I wanted to drink. When the bottle was empty, it was a sad moment indeed.

Beef Notes: This one was a roller coaster ride of sorts. I was excited by the color, disappointed by the smell, and pleasantly surprised by the taste. There's a good chance I'll pick up another before winter is gone for good, and I'll definitely be getting a couple next season.

Photo of Crosling
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty purple with a creamy white head that laces well throughout the bomber.

Nose is piney and citrusy with tons of floral hops. Quite hoppy and quite the smeller.

This is quite the tasty treat right about now. Slightly fruity and tart up front. Piney and grassy hop flavor. Slight grapefruit and grape flavor with a hint of caramel as well. The hops are quite juicy and quite pleasant.

This was quite the treat.

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.