Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

2,173 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,173
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 191 | 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.

13º PLATO
65 IBU
73.1 AA
26.75º L
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,173 | Reviews: 1,184
Photo of logicalparadox
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a luscious, sticky foam head when decanted into my 16 oz tulip glass. Deep, amber honey, with a reddish, brown copper or rusty color.

S: Surprisingly hoppy, with some piney and citrus notes. A good bit of resinous quality I would expect from an IPA, not an amber. Smells good!

T: Follows the nose, but with less bitterness than the aromas suggest. Spicy finish. Enough malts to carry the hops, but not too sweet. Could easily confuse this as an IPA, but for the malts, which are a bit grainy.

M: Medium body, slightly sticky.

O: Not sure this screams "holidays", but could easily become a new tradition. Will try this again if I have the chance.

Photo of Flounder57
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a copper amber color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Some fruitiness, citrus, spruce, toasted, and caramel malts.

Taste: Same as above with light bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, some bitterness, light to medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice amber ale. Wouldn't mind trying this one on draft.

Photo of MisterGone
2.94/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour from 22/750 bottle. Reddish amber color, as advertised.

The aroma was virtually non-existent cold, and subtle at temp. Light malt, more dough than biscuit, some hop bitters that seemed a bit piney (which works well for a winter brew), a hint of spice and yeast.

Flavor was only distinct from the aroma in that it was hop forward, more than I had expected for a declared red. Nice piney, grassy hop flavor. The malt stayed in the doughy-rather-than-biscuity range and had a subtle sweetness. Slight spice with a return of the hop in the finish.

A good beer, especially those looking for something more subtle in the red genre. I do think the pine-grass and doughy-spice (cookie? is that what they are after?) flavors do well for a winter seasonal. I personally hoped for a bit more, those same flavors intensified.

Photo of danlib21
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Very much taste just like a red ale.

Photo of Jaysauras
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a beautiful deep amber color which turns to a bring deep red when held up to the light. Thin cream colored head with plenty of carbonation supporting it. Plenty of solid lacing when sipped.

S: Subtle nose. Malt is the most prevalent scene along with a slight hoppy sweetness. Slight bit of butterscotch on the back end as well. Probably the most underwhelming aspect of the beer overall.

T: The taste is simply superb. Perfect balance of sweet up front, spice in the middle, followed by a nice blend of hops and malt in the end. The brief sweetness is akin a very subtle buttery sugar cookie almost. It's not overpowering, but does just enough to tickle the palate. It fades as quick as it arrives and smooths into a blend of heavy hop spice and malts. Finishes subtly with some biscuit and bread flavor. This beer is big on hops, and I mean BIG. If you don't like a hoppy punch in the junk than steer clear. It's a delicate balance that is easy to mess up, but Rogue seems to zero in on this one. Great hop flavor which settles into a fantastic smooth maltiness that blends well but also stands out on it's own in each stage of a drink. Wonderfully done.

F: Good feel sip from start to finish but it packs a punch due to the hops. Not a beer for the faint at heart, and that's what makes it so good. Chewy and tingly, while also being a bit heavy.

O: I don't sample too many Red Ales but I'm really glad I picked this one up. Real solid holiday release from Rogue. Brash and daring in almost every regard outside of a pretty pedestrian nose. Good flavor and balance, and that's to be expected of Pacman Yeast. Little hard to drink on a 22oz. but it's a solid solid beer.

Photo of 1424IpA
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Okay beer, definitely worth a try but not something I'll buy again.

Photo of hophugger
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep caramel color letting just a tiny bit of light through. Small and fast head and moderate lacing. Aroma is slightly malty and you can smell the hops in this one. If there were such a thing as a brown ale IPA, this would be it. Some malt sweetness, first, then a nice hop blend comes through and the finish is very bitter, almost too much. Feels ok and if the end bitterness was a little less, I could rate this beer a little higher. I like some bitter but this is slightly metallic and overbearing. It taste like powdered aspirin. NO VISIBLE DATES, SO DONT KNOW IF FRESH OR NOT, but something is definitely wrong here

Photo of thebigredone
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Mostly bitter and unpleasant, somewhat abrasive. Would not drink again.

Photo of Hunter
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Deep red ale (suitable for the season), good head and lacing. Hops is the dominant theme here, both in the nose and on the tongue. Bracing finish, clean aftertaste. Not much here to distinguish it from other ales with high hop content, but a good brew nonetheless.

Photo of IronLover
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy copper orange in color with a thick, beige foam that left sticky lacings on the glass. Lightly burny caramel malt and fresh pine aromas. Smooth feel on the bottom and tangy feel on top with generally soft carbonation. Caramel malt uo front followed by spruce and emerging, puckering pine hop bigterness. Finished with long lingering pine hop bitterness.

Photo of bbyinvt
3.75/5  rDev 0%

A really good red ho, ho, hoppy ale. Not a spicy or tricked up ale just a sold red, full bodied ale for the end of a cold winter sleigh ride!

Photo of SmashPants
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: tall brown 650mL bottle, transluscent craft beer label.

Appearance: pours out a deep golden amber-brown with very little visible carbonation. A fantastic off-white head pops up to two fingers before dropping to a rocky half-finger. Stacks of lacing on the glass before settling to a thin cap.

Aroma: a pleasant aroma of caramel, citrus, earth and resin. A rather heavy and full aroma, which is quite nice.

Taste: more of the bitter earth and resin, with some of the caramel poking its head in. Not as nice as the aroma - definitely a bit more demure. Still, a nice red ale.

Aftertaste: lingers for quite a time, with the bitterness lasting well after the sweetness of the caramel has faded.

Mouth feel: the mouth feel is a bit of a let-down. The body is quite full which is nice, but the carbonation is too low in my humble opinion. Makes for a slightly flat feel.

Overall: quite a nice American red ale - good combination of flavours and a nice one to have throughout the evening. Pretty expensive per the Rogue Ale norm, but in this case it is actually a decent beer.

Photo of jellikit
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Bottle.
Appearance: Amber. Clear. Thick, foamy, light tan head.
Smell: caramel. Sugar.
Taste: biscuity malts. Orange peel. pine hop bitterness lingers.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Medium-big body. Sweet.
Overall: pretty decent hoppy red ale. Would rate higher if it was their everyday red ale. Unfortunately Wishing for more from Santa if this is his private reserve. Nothing special for a Christmas beer. Like getting a nice pair of socks Christmas morning.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve Ale a couple weeks ago for $2.39 at The Lager Mill. I've been meaning to try this beer for a little while now and when I saw it i thought I should take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice and it goes well with the name, I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a cloudy orange amber color that took on more of a ruby amber color when held to the light with two fingers worth of creamy and bubbly tan head that died down down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty and patching rings of lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart some citrus rind and floral hops aromas with some earthy and grassy hops showing up in the aroma. Up next comes some of that pacman yeast that kind of has a distinctive aroma and it's followed by the malts which impart a slightly grainy, bready, light sweet malt and doughy aromas. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, it had good balance between the malts and the hops.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops showing up first and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time there's no single aspect that sticks out the most. Up next comes the pacman yeast that leads right into the malts which impart the same malty aspects that I got in the aroma with the doughy malts seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness that lingers just a little into the aftertaste along with some doughy malt and earthy hop flavors. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, it was very true to style and the balance was nice.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and I thought it was a good example of the style it had pretty much everything that I look for in the style along with the nice balance that I expect from a good Red Ale. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, not too filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I could see myself drinking a couple of these and I think it makes for a nice change from the typical Winter Warmers. What I like the most about this beer was the how true to style it was and the balance, to me those were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that more of those citrus rind hop aspects that I got in the aroma showed up in the taste. I would buy this beer again and I'm pretty sure I'll get a couple bottles when it's released next year. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Red Ales, it does a good job at representing the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, there was nothing fancy about it, it was just a good and straightforward Red Ale and I enjoyed drinking it. It's up there as one of the better Rouge beers I've had and I think it's above average for the style. Good job guys this was a tasty Red Ale, keep up the solid work.

Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, its got a 2 finger thick off-white head with secular lacing, and a clear rather dark amber body.

I can smell slight "spruciness" mentioned on the label, along with west coast style of hops(grapefruit-like), and caramelized malts. Interesting...

The taste here is pretty much a mirror image of the scent, albeit more hop than spruce. But JUST enough to my palate before it would need to enter pale ale territory. The caramelized malts are a great backbone to everything else going on with this beer. Very well done job!

Mouthfeel I've got going on is smooth with just a passing minute sprinkle of hop taste, not really even bitterness. I like that as well, 4.5 .

Overall, a very solid 4.5 for Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales. The mention of spruce had thrown me kind of for a loop, but I am now rejoicing at its subtleties. This is a very satisfying brew that I will probably purchase again.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 oz. bottle drank as part if a Better Beer Authority shoot, unknown brewing/packaging date but 2014 vintage, poured into a BBA large bottom snifter, drank over 30 minutes

Photo of Samp01
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a medium beige head, moderate lacing. Aroma is sweet dark caramel malt, toffee, yeast and earthy pine and herbal hops. Taste is sweet caramel malt, yeast, toffee with some spicy earthy herbal hops bitterness on the end for balance. Palate is a medium body, smooth with good carbonation. Finishes with a combination of dark caramel malts, yeast and earthy hops bitterness, has a nice nutty like lingering flavor, Overall nicely balanced and tasty brew.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

$ 8.95/bomber at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Undated bomber at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of spice (Allspice?)
Head small (2 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing good – complete rings and stalactites of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, cloudy (chill haze – starts to clear up as the beer warms)
Flavor begins bitter and malty, ends bitter. No distinct hop or malt flavors; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.6875. Final weighted score: 3.725
It’s an excessively hopped amber/red ale which meets the guidelines well. Meh.

Photo of ordybill
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a pretty nice aroma of pine, malt and some citrus or floral hints.
Appearance- This is a nice looking dark amber with orange highlights, has a fairly thick tannish head.
Taste- the other shoe just dropped, I did not care for the flavor. I didn't care for the mix of hops and citrus.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- I just did not enjoy this beer, I will try it again next Christmas time to see if I was off that day.

Photo of ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
4.94/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really wasn't prepared for how great of a beer this was going to be. It's rich and bitter, and is the hoppiest red ale that I've had the pleasure of imbibing.

I suppose that it's called "Santa's Reserve" because of the hops' pine notes, which are incredibly strong. It is not your typical "Christmas Beer" though, and I'd be happy drinking this all year round.

It's a home run from Rogue, and has me tracking down more of their other offerings.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber decanted into an American pint glass. A rich cloudy bronze color with a copious quantity of light tan head, and a snappy, tangy, yet sweet aroma of caramel, pine, grapefruit rind, peppery spice, and faint pineapple. Tastes rather roasted and bitter, with an amazing green and spicy hop bouquet a la many of Rogue's offerings. Evokes orange spice black tea, young sweetish pine needles, red berry, nicotine, and an emergent butter tart sweetness. Fairly chewy and with a rather smooth mouthfeel despite the aggressive resinous hops. Reminds me of Captain Sig's albeit a touch thicker, roastier, and spicier, certainly less sweet. The Rogue farm hopyard varieties convey this peppery, grassy, juicy resin vibe that is borderline addictive. I will go ahead and say it, Rogue makes my favorite red ales to date. The combination of sweet malts and piney hops is tricky, and these sometimes nutty beek geek hippies out there on the farm have cracked the code and figured out how to do the style to near-perfection. Its probably best to pretend Voodoo Donut doesn't exist and not deprive yourself of these gems. YMMV of course.

Photo of PolarBear3
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a amber, reddish colour with terrific off white frothy head that retains well

S - Caramel, sweet candy, some light citrus and a hint of vanilla

T - Sweet toffee almost candy apple like with burnt caramel and light bitter and slightly dry finish with a little spice

M - Light to medium carbonation and medium body

O - Don't mind it. Although a little initially it does balance out quite nicely. Worth a try but reckon I couldn't down too many in one session

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is amber, transparent, head is tan, presents 1 inch thick, then lowers and lingers very well, creating some lacing on the glass.

Smell is very pleasant, biscuit and bread with a subtle caramel, hops are bitter, more neutral with grass and earthy aromas.

Taste is more bitter and hop oriented than the aroma, hops are earthy, grassy, floral; malt comes through similar to the aroma, though the caramel is more forward, with the biscuit/bready flavors backing up; pacman yeast flavor is noticeable, adding a neutral fruitiness, not to sweet.

Mouthfeel is more bitter than anticipated, lingering sharpness on the tongue, it is not unpleasant; bitterness dries as the last bit of ale is leaves the mouth.

Overall, an enticing brew that presents and smells great, flavor is good and finishes very dry.

Photo of tmm313
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Semi hazy, rusty copper color. Thick creamy head with good lacing.

S- Big caramel. Beyond that, (and here's where it gets weird...) I swear it reminds me of a buttery yeast roll. Throw in a little citrus, some raisin, and a touch of pine, and there you go.

T- Caramel, dark fruits, pine, bread, and grapefruit.

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation. Relatively drying with a slightly bitter grapefruit/pine aftertaste.

O- Strange, but good. When I think of a Christmas beer, I think of sweet spices and fruity flavors... not the yeast rolls that grandma sits out for Christmas dinner. But that will be the feature I remember most of this beer! I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass! I'll definitely have again, but mainly for the aroma.

Photo of TheSSG
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dense, foamy head that has good persistence and laces like mad. A sweet hop aroma; grapefruit/citrus notes. Burnt umber color. A big note of grapefruit hops comes in the front with a slightly sweet, caramel-biscuit from the malt. Moves into a nice medium bitterness with a little orange rind flavor coming out. Finish is lingering orange rind bitterness with the malt somewhere in the backgroud.

On the hoppier end of the amber scale, but I love all ambers. This one is quite solid. I don't mind the hoppiness, but I'd prefer less lingering bitterness.

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,173 ratings.