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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

1,959 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,959
Reviews: 1,142
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 44
Gots: 72 | 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: 1,959 | Reviews: 1,142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark garnet/ rich,ruby color, big, creamy head. Aroma: hoppy, spicy, dazzling array of fruits, grapes, cherries. Sits wonderfully in the mouth. Tangy, sour taste. Bitter finish. It's described by Rogue as having a "hoppy, sprucy finish", and I obviously blinked on the spruce. I like it very well, but, although you can call me a hophead, I wasn't expecting quite so much hops in a brew of this style. Although, to be fair, the "winter beer" style is increasingly a broad one. In sum, I thank Santa for sharing!

feloniousmonk, Dec 22, 2002
Photo of BeerBob
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Santa’s Private Reserve Ale from Rogue, pours a dark red from a 22oz dark brown glass bottle. The light tan head forms with no effort at all and will lift its self well above the glass rim. Massive layers of foam are still clinging to the sides of my glass as I write the rest of this review.

Nose is like a walk through a pine forest laced with garlands of hops plants hanging from the boughs. Palate is having your mouth dragged through a pine forest laced with garlands of hops plants hanging from the boughs, stopping at each and every tree for a bite.

This is by far and away, the most hoppy brew I have ever had the pleasure to consume. There is no need to repeat the list of ingredients that are listed on the side of the bottle, it is enough to say that this Rogue ale is the whole nine yards, the entire enchilada of malted hoppy ales.

Aftertaste? there is no aftertaste, its all the first taste and has yet to diminish, let alone fade to an aftertaste

BeerBob, Dec 21, 2002
Photo of bditty187
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber, almost cherry-brown, with a strong, long lasting off-white head, plenty of lace. It’s damn impressive sitting in my mug. The nose really doesn’t develop much intensity, acidic citrus, some fruit, and some faint malt. I love the taste, plenty of hops to tantalize the tastebuds with just enough malt to add depth. It leaves you wanting more! If this is a “red ale” then I am Santa Claus…

Recommended! A must have for the Holidays!

bditty187, Dec 19, 2002
Photo of maxpower
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 02 bottle, cloudy bright amber color, floral hoppy aroma, huge creamy off white head that clings to my glass. Starts sweet and malty caremel flavor, then finishes with a spicy dryness, the hops really stand out. Medium body, full soft mouthfeel, very tasty and drinkable, a great winter brew.

maxpower, Dec 19, 2002
Photo of purplehops
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Rogue's 2002 x-mas offering pours a wonderful chestnut orange with a tan head. The aroma is a complex blend of malt and spice followed by notes of apricot and hops. Poured into a tulip glass I could sniff this all night long. The taste starts with a nice crisp carmel malt warmth and a stinging hop bite. The finish is very very very dry with a slight hop bitterness that lingers for a moment. The after taste is a very faint note of hop spiciness. The mouthfeel starts very bold and drops like a rock into complete nothingness. I feel very disapointed by this ale. Its aroma and appearance are so wonderful. The taste starts wonderful also but then it just disappears into a watery hop flavored aftertaste. Everything about this product screams wonderful except the lasting pleasure of an aftertaste. This ale makes me thirsty instead of quenching my thirst. IMHO

purplehops, Dec 12, 2002
Photo of hyuga
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 release. A deep, thick, syrupy amber brew, with a very large off-white head that stays quite well. A good amount of lace is left behind as it is consumed. Thick, rich malty aroma with many types of hops mixed in. Citrus and pine are the most noticeable products of the hops, with leafy and earthy tones directly beneath. A bit fruity as well. Wonderfully complex hop character in the flavor profile! Leafy and earthy hops are noticeable at first, rushing in with the big malt character, which is sweet, a bit roasted, and slightly bready, combining well with those hops. Rind-like bitterness follows closely behind. Pine and citrus are also present, but subtlely. Crisp and sweet at the same time. More crisp in the finish, though. This hop and malt combination makes for a great and pleasing mouthfeel. Spicy hop character is abound, and stays in the aftertaste. Well, I should have expected a lot more from this beer, I'm quite impressed! I love it! Extremely tasty in that earthy way. Not your typical winter beer, but it does warm you, and the hops provide spiciness where spices would be in other winter beers. I'd really love to have this beer available to me year-round. I might just stock up so I can keep it around for a while. Another winter must-try!

hyuga, Dec 10, 2002
Photo of Amdahl
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is from a most impressive bottle, the 650 ml has no paper label, it is painted on. This beer pour a dark red with about 2 fingers of fluffy head. The aroma is very malty with a hint of fruitiness. The dominate taste is grapefruit. It finishes dry. This is a very different beer for a winter. I enjoyed the taste of this one more than the dead guy ale. A very taste beer.

Amdahl, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of Winter
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, deep, dark garnet color with a light tan head. Aroma consists of hops, caramel and a touch of maple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Initial mild hop front to it. Smooth, yet, bitter hop & fruit dry finish. There's also a bit of pine or spruce that lingers toward the end. Flavor seems more like an IPA than a traditional red ale due to the intense amount of hops in this one. A tasty winter seasonal offering for those who like intensely hop-flavored beers. I wouldn't mind stocking up on a few of these.

Winter, Dec 07, 2002
Photo of pbrian
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

American Red/Amber Ale my ass. This beer can go head-to-head with most barleywines. The strong high-alpha hop profile is matched with a chewy, grainy, bready malt character. An extremely worthy wintertime warmer.

pbrian, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of inebrius
4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002: After the initial shock of having a Spruce tree jammed down your throat, Rogue's Santa seems to mellow into a kind of grapefruit juice/amber ale half-and-half. Perhaps my taste buds have evolved, or simply been stripped away, but I found this beer much more enjoyable this go round. Don't mistake this brew for your typical malt heavy Winter Warmer, 'cause it's all about hops. If you can't find Santa's Private reserve where you live just get a bomber of St. Rouge Red and lick your xmas tree.

2001: In my dream it felt like someone was pounding my head with a giant hop flower. Wait, this is no dream, it's Santa's Private Reserve. I expected an attempt at a malt balance to this serious hophead beer, but found none. My bottle may have been a little long in the tooth. I will try to find this fresh at the end of the year.

inebrius, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of Mark
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red with nice off white head that left great lacing. This ale is the IPA of holiday beers, at least to me. Very hoppy and bitter finish, still was pretty smooth. ABV is on the high side so this is one to savour and sip slowly. Went well with ham, potatoes, green salad, the fireplace and Suzanne. P.S. She was having Fosters.

Mark, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of MJR
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep red, fairly cloudy body with a creamy tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. It just looks delicious...

Smell: Sweet malt covered in hops. Slight spruce scent, from the Chinook hops. Great hop aroma!

Taste: A great combination of sweet fruit and malt, and hops. Lots of hops. I'm picking up on a touch of spruce as well. Finishes dry and bitter. Lots of flavor here...

Mouthfeel: Crisp and dry with medium-sized body. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Fairly high considering it's a winter warmer and not meant to be guzzled. Give me a cold January night, a blazing fireplace, a good book, and a pint of this and I'm a happy man!

This is my first time trying this beer and I think it's going to quickly find it's way onto my 'favorites' list. Too bad it's only a seasonal...time to go back to the store to stock up!

MJR, Nov 29, 2002
Photo of zerk
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a thin, but lacy head. Aroma is a beautiful combination of spice, grapefruit, and pine... with a touch of breadlike malt. Flavor is straight on with the nose... some sweetness balances the hop bitterness, but there is an ample amount of bitterness... also some pine and citrus. Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. This is quite unique, and since it's brewed as a winter warmer, I can't really dock it for not being like other Amber Ales. Very good stuff!

zerk, Nov 28, 2002
Photo of weissbierhead
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first Rogue brew that I have tried. Santa's Private Reserve is a very red ale, and extremly hoppy (not that that is a bad thing!). If your into hops, this is a good choice for a winter beer. If your idea of a winter beer icludles a lot of spicy flavor, try something else.

weissbierhead, Nov 27, 2002
Photo of Jon
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably the most aggressive "red ale" I've tried, Santa's Private Reserve is a typical Rogue brew. Big on hops in both the nose and taste with a variety of malts backing them up along the way. The finish is dry and quite bitter, making for a nice change-up on the traditional amber/red ale style. Looks great in the glass with a well-retaining head, too. A delightful wintertime brew if you're into hops. If not I'd suggest you leave this one on the shelf. Personally, I'll imbibe again.

Jon, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of DarthMalt
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Oooh! Spank me, Santa! If you are a naughty beer drinker, then this is a nice beer. [HA! HA! Crack myself up.]

Good winter beer I suppose. A little too much of the "more hops" Rogue credo, so it definitely lacks subtlety. But man, it sure does make you feel all warm and Christmas-y inside.

Not much else to peg on this one, except to say I'm glad I didn't have to classify this beer. I would have been trying to get all fancy with it, but sure enough, it's just a wacked-out-with-hops red ale.

DarthMalt, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of Gusler
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep burnished copper color, the head is gargantuan in size, frothy in texture, the lace in thick sticky sheets to smother the glass and both a light tan color. Nose is citrus, hop floral, malt under tones and quite a “Sniffer”. Front is sweet malt, the top slender, the finish is strikingly hop spicy, pleasantly acidic, droughty aftertaste. Good drinkable beer for the “Hop Heads” in the audience, and well worth a sample. Ranks #361 on my current 1000 beer master list.

Gusler, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of sinistersteve
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark rich amber color. Very smooth tasting beer (for an holiday ale). Full flavored, yet doesn't knock you on your arse like most of the holiday ales tend to do. Sweet aroma on thge nose. This would be best described as a "lite" beer in the holiday ale genre. A good one to start with, but I need something a bit stronger for a holiday ale.

sinistersteve, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great looking beer....Mahagony in color with a creamy lace on top...Not as much on the nose as I anticipated with this hopped up red ale...definitely some grapefruit notes on the nose but not real heavy....hops overwhelm the taste....the chinooks really shine through...This could be an incredible beer with a better malt load and roastiness...it's just too unbalanced for me to rate it as a spectacular beer....the hops are wonderfull...now where's the rest...I'll definitely drink one of these each Holiday season, but it's not one I'll seek out for more..

ZAP, Nov 21, 2002
Photo of cokes
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby-chestnut bodied with a puffy, everlasting, beige head.
Sediment-like deposits of lace down the side of the glass.
Piney hops and toasted caramel on the nose. Nothing hugely special, but it works decently.
Quite similar tastewise. Toasted caramel malt body finished with a sizeable piney hop sting. Otherwise, there really is not a whole lot here. Maybe some traces of cinnamon, but that may be stretching things. Grainy underbelly with woody twig notes.
Just shy of medium body. Stays somewhat airy and fluffy throughout. Very draught-tasting from the bomber. I could go for just a bit more malt heft to counteract the hops. And to battle the cold (since it is a winter seasonal).
A good, hoppy red ale. But not all that special for a holiday brew....especially coming from Rogue.

cokes, Nov 17, 2002
Photo of JahNoth
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive, deep rudolph red color, with a frothy head. A sweet and hoppy bouquet greets you as you settledown with this beauty. The flavor has the dryness of a red ale with nice caramel flavor and pleasant hop finish. This is my favorite winter, english strong ale and will look forward to having many more.

JahNoth, Nov 17, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, very reddish-copper color with a full, foamy, light tan head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace. The aroma is hoppy! Piney/gently citrusy and lightly fruity. The body is medium with a fine & median carbonation. The flavor starts softly fruity and lightly nutty. A nicely sweet caramel maltiness comes through before becoming engulfed in resiny hop flavor and bitterness. And yet, the bitterness never really builds on the palate. Extremely well balanced for such a boldly hopped beer! It finishes quite dry with just some residual maltiness and a bold lingering bitterness. This beer reminded me of their St. Rogue Red but with more hop character. Very nice. An excellent choice for the hop lovers among us!

NeroFiddled, Nov 16, 2002
Photo of ADR
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear cinnamon brown/red with a nice rocky ochre-colored head. Spicy aroma, some cardamon and some sharp clove blends in with malt sweetness. Interesting, a solid but diminished malt, tinged with maple (but backed by good body) runs hand-in-hand with a decided hop backbone...like a fight between small but aggressive (hops) and big and lazy (malt). Both are there throughout the sip. I liked the approach to balance and throw another thumbs up to Rogue and their good to excellent products.

ADR, Nov 14, 2002
Photo of Zraly
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Season's Greetings, Hop Heads!

This is one hoppy fixture, albeit a finer one.
This ale pours a beautiful, *reindeer* copper-red. Immediately the nose is assaulted with a NW spruce scent with a bit of a grapefruit rind undertone. The head was a fluffy beige blanket resting upon a hop lover's delight. Mmmm.

I'm usually not crazy about brews that are overly hoppy and bitter without a significant counterbalance of maltiness...but this one works. The malt is slight and subtle and the Chinook and Centennial hops are the main attraction. The malt that is absorbed by the senses is warm, toasty, and flavorful...the perfect canvas for the brilliant hues of the citrusy yet woodsy (with a slight floral hint) presence of the bitterness. If the hops were not pronounced in this brew, it just would not be the same.

I think the folks at Rogue really articulate how important it is for them to use quality ingredients and to make consistently enjoyable brews.

Zraly, Nov 12, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of this Santa is not quite as red as his suit, but a rich, chestnut color. After a semi-hard pour I found a creamy, tan head, thinning down to about 1/4" and lasting there....with so-so lacing. It had a potent nose, with a bit of malty sweetness but predominantly hops, and more hops. Cool mouthfeel; nothing great, nothing bad. Flavor was again hops,and lots of them. Very much on the citrusy side of things, with a little bit of a bitter finish. Not a bad bier; this won't be sent back on Christmas morn'.

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Bierman9, Nov 09, 2002
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,959 ratings.