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Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales

Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,887 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1887
Reviews: 1140
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%

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: 1,887 | Reviews: 1,140 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dheacck11


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle -> pint glass

Nice ruby amber with finger of almond head, rapidly fading. Lots of fine lacing

Malty nose with hints of subtle spice, i.e. clove

Full blast of malt up front. Notes of caramel, pine, maybe a smidge of tangerine. Closes with a gently spiced bite with soft cinnamon and clove. Hint of dry hop on the finish

Medium to light body, bit of sharpness on the mouthfeel.

Overall, very drinkable. Would I choose it over many other common holiday ales though? Probably not. But a good, classic example of the style. Left me wanting more though (of something else...)

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 00:36:30 | More by dheacck11
Photo of ujsplace


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pub glass.

A: Thick, aged white chunky head that is sticky, leaving nice lacing. Amber/copper in color.

S: Herbal hops and spices...

T: Herbal hops, roasted caramel malt, bready yeast and mildly spiced - maybe nutmeg and cinnamon. Definitely picking up on bit of spruce at the end.

M: Medium light and good carbonation...

D: Highly drinkable tasty ale...a good session beer.

Just re-reviewing this.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 01:46:32 | More by ujsplace
Photo of DMXLOX22


3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single of this brew from my local establishment. It's actually been sitting in my fridge for about 4 weeks...whoops. So let's see how this measures up.

Appearance: Pours a bright red, copper, hue that really reminds you of the holiday season. leaves behind light bubbles that rise to a nice, somewhat frothy, white head. Not so bad if you ask me. There is some room for improvement, i.e. maybe a slightly darker tone.

Smell: Delivers a nice, robust scent. Instantly, I get a reaction of malt hops, some spice, and an almost citrus-like scent. Not so bad, actually quite inviting for beer lovers alike.

Taste: The bitterness of malted hops and a light flavor of citrus is not so bad, even to a delicate palate. It has a nice balance of all together of the sweet and bitter. It's rich, robust flavor can be picked up along with a somewhat smoothness.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice, medium mouthfeel with a moderate to light moderate carbonation. Not so bad on the way down, and settles nicely, leaving behind somewhat bitter taste.

Overall: I can recall someone recommending this beer to me. Upon first pour, it did look alluring and it was worth the adventure. This beer brought a nice, warm, somewhat spicy texture. I would recommend this beer to a friend and if it were on tap at a local spot I happened to be at, I would have it again. Good sipping and doesn't offend the taste buds. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 02:42:45 | More by DMXLOX22
Photo of sam_bliss


4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber

The sound upon uncapping the bottle insinuates that the contents are well-carbonated. It pours a coppery, bright beet-red color accented by copious bubbles lining the sides of the glassware and topped off with a magnificent four-finger head. As this dissipates down to a centimeter-thick foamy cap to seal in the brew's aromatic bouquet, beautiful lacing is deposited on the glass walls of the drinking vessel. A slightly sweet, complex concoction of malts anchors the aroma, which is accented by red fruits and fresh floral hops. The taste is less sweet than the nose; it is built upon the roasty, biscuity, caramelly, and slightly nutty blend of malts that includes Carastan, Crystal and two others from Rogue's own barley farm. From this intricate foundation rises some not-quite-ripe fruitiness, a mixture of sweet and sour that both excites and intrigues the taste buds. A sprucy evergreen finish gives way to a citrusy aftertaste and lingering tingling, advocating the next sip or gulp, even if merely to further analyze the multifaceted flavors of this inimitable ale from Santa Clause's private reserve.

This is a truly exceptional piece of brewing. It is distinctively fascinating, an unrivaled amber that is unique for its listed category and matchless in the field of winter beers. I love Christmas ales; this is a special one that they make a bit differently each holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 01:59:55 | More by sam_bliss
Photo of wlevando


1.38/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle into 8 oz chalice

Appearance: Pretty copper-red. Weak head disappears almost immediately leaving a splotchy wake.

Smell: Immediate hop bite, followed by a rank, soft scent. First clue, there must be something off.

Taste: Uggh. Like rotting fir. Something is living in this beer that I don't want in my belly.

Mouthfeel: Get it out! Desiccating, evolutionarily unpleasant bitterness makes me spit out each mouthful I get. I swallowed one, and it was reminiscent of powdered Tylenol. Like I said, we only exist today because we can taste such compounds.

Overall: Beer was skunked. Rogue has always been decent, as I remember, so I was excited for this beer. I bought it as a single in a mix-your-own-six, and it must have been on the GTFO list.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 02:49:08 | More by wlevando
Photo of chefhatt


3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I poured it into a ping glass, it has a reddish color body with 2' white head. The smell has a malty aroma that has a sweet aroma to it.
The taste has a sweet malty flavor,a little hop flavor on the back of the tonuge, it is faint but there.
the mouth feel is good and overall a ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 04:42:04 | More by chefhatt
Photo of tweeder263


3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a hazy amber beer with 2 finger thick head. scent of grapefruit hops, with a slightly sweet background hint. Taste is slightly bitter, hoppy, dry. Mouthfeel is ok. Typically i love rogue beers, this one is mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 02:23:44 | More by tweeder263
Photo of vette2006c5r


4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Santa's Private Reserve pours a hazy brownish color, with a small lacing head. There is a strong malty aroma, with some sweet sugar cookie like spices. The taste is the same, malty backbone, with lots of sweetness, candy like flavors coming through. Good full flavor, and enjoyable as well. Overall a very nice red ale with lots of flavors and spices.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 00:23:53 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of thlayli87

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Ruby brown color with three fingers of cream colored head. Very good lacing.

S - Faint herbal hop aroma. Tomato? Not much else. Not terribly fragrant.

T - This beer has a rather unique flavor and it's difficult to pick out individual elements. I get lots of herbal hop flavor, saucy tomato, pine, lingering bitterness.

M - Medium to full bodied; rich vegetal flavors that linger on the palate.

O - Very interesting brew. It's not really what I'd expect for a Christmas beer. Quite hoppy with none of the usual spices to be found. Not really crazy about it but interesting nonetheless. I think this would pair well with marinara sauce-based pasta dishes or chicken cacciatore.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 21:57:15 | More by thlayli87
Photo of mjpolzin


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit that I had this beer right after having a fairly sweet mixed drink so I don't think my pallet was ready for a beer. I got a lot of bitter, hoppy flavors because I think some of the more subtle flavors were invisible to me because of what I had drank before hand. That said, this seemed like a solid representation of a red ale so I think my scores reflect that.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:11:58 | More by mjpolzin
Photo of curasowa

New York

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, dark copper color with three fingers of fluffy head that fade with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Toasted, caramel malt with piney hops notes and a hint of honey.

Taste: Medium bodied with a lot of malt presence up front becoming a bit nutty and thinning out in the middle. The back end is dominated by earthy bitterness with some bready notes underneath. Finsih is fairly fast and clean with just some lingering bitterness.

The Rest: Not too bad; there's a bit of a harsh edge to the bitterness but otherwise a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 00:26:19 | More by curasowa
Photo of kristiekatk


3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany/amber. Aroma is full of hop oils, pine, citrus zest, caramel, and sweet malts. Citrus hops front the flavor, followed by the malty sweetness, all leading to a sprucy and bitter finish that doesn't want to end. Crisp and dry with a medium/medium-full body. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 18:17:50 | More by kristiekatk
Photo of 1Nrwyscotch


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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A. A deep amber color with a solid three fingers of off white head which stays for a while and leaves some lacing.

S. Lots of pine but i"m not getting much else.

T. The taste is dominated by the piney hop bitterness, I'm not picking up any spices but very clean flavor.

M. A medium body with a dry finish.

O. I guess I expected more of the holiday spice profile but if your looking for a nicely hopped red ale you cant go wrong.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 01:30:54 | More by 1Nrwyscotch
Photo of brewskifan55


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Reddish amber with a white half finger h ead that morphed into big bubbles. Frothy lacing.

S: Piney hops. Resiny

T: A sleighful of hops rush in. Grapefruit. Some cinnamon and nutmeg. A dry finish. Nothing overwhelming

M: Medium with bubbly carbonation.

O: Just OK. For a holiday-themed ale, Rogue should've brought more to the table.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 21:04:14 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of fatmusic14


3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours nice and dark - amber, rich and inviting.

Smells of cinnamon, spice, hops. Earthy, delightful, but not overpowering.

Tastes of pine and soot. Earthy smell translates through to the taste facet of this beer.

M - good carbonation, decent head, sparse lacing.

O - Good, not great. If a non-bomber size exists, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 18:08:51 | More by fatmusic14
Photo of seydou

South Africa

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a winter glass. Had to really work to get some head on top, but once I did, it stuck around in a thin layer for a while. Beautiful barely-opaque reddish-brown color.

Tough to get any real smell from this one for me, or maybe it's my head cold??

The taste is strong, pleasantly bitter, and lingering for a while on my whole tongue with a similar red ale bitterness. Tough to pick out any flavor notes, but the whole thing just works.

Not really a winter ale for my tastes, but a good one. I'd have this with some turkey.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 04:38:05 | More by seydou
Photo of SerialHiker


3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light reddish copper…pretty transparent, there are a few bubles bubblin’ on the inside…ultra light tan head formed and about a finger remains…(3.5/5)

Smell: Toasted (and maybe roasted) barley and tons of it, there’s definitely a distinct smell…hints of yeast as well…there’s like a muddy/wild mushroom/burnt wood smell that is very unique & intriguing…very much an earthiness here…(4/5)

Taste: Hmm…definitely a malt and barley front…it’s toasted barley flavor I’m getting all over my tongue and gives a burnt wood taste…it’s strong and dominant and as it fades and blends with malt and hops, but still always apparent…earthy, mildly piney hops and a malt balance become more apparent in the middle…a malty, dryness in the finish…late citrus/earthy hops bitterness in the finish…there’s a strong lingering malt and barley flavor…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium…tons of carbonation…wet and smooth with a dry finish…(3.75/5)

Overall: This is a good, solid brew that is very drinkable while being full flavored…the barley variety brings a unique flavor that does very well with the earthy malt and hops chosen to accompany it…there’s little I could knock about this beer, it’s a solid choice during this holiday season…enjoy! (3.75/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 21:48:44 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a rich dark cedar red color. A milky-espresso head stays around for a long while. Thick lacing coats the glass.

The beer smells of caramel malts, pine trees, and cedar.

The taste is exceptional. Woody pine gives way to a cinnamon spice note, with an earthy, burnt wood and bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, sticky.

Overall, it tastes like Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 07:01:45 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of Eeroomnhoj


3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the bottle and had a rich amber color. The beer had a real strong hoppy smell. I am hardly an expert and I usually don't drink or enjoy hoppy beers but I did enjoy it, not sure if I would drink more than one, but it is a good winter beer. I would definitely drink it again!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 02:51:55 | More by Eeroomnhoj
Photo of Serge

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. 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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 06:33:39 | More by Serge
Photo of beerme626


4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass at Pazzo's in Lexington.
A: Beautiful bright red with decent head that lingers a little longer than average.
S: Complicated, enticing nose with hops and winter smells, along with a noticeable hint of pine/spruce
T: Complex mix of hops and winter seasonings such as ginger and spruce
M: Nothing too special here. Feels fine, but not as tingly and refreshing as other brews.
O: A good winter beer. I enjoyed it well.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 03:44:26 | More by beerme626
Photo of inlimbo77


3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012 batch
Unmarked tulip

A: Pours a light reddish amber color. Good two finger off white head, hints of tan in there. Good lacing. Nicely carbonated.

S: Getting some piney hops. Biscuit malts. Caramel notes. Some nuttiness. Not a bad nose. Actually smells fresh, which is a lot to say for a Rogue brew on the East Coast.

T: Actually get a nice piney hop bitterness up front, which I was happy about from what I smelled. That hop character continues to the mid palate where it's met by a nice malt bill true to red ale style. You get that slight biscuit quality, that nutty character, that earthy note. It's actually a good balance. Finish is dry and crisp with hops.

M: Medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 15:10:52 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of KKB


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – It has like a musty caramel orange look to it that looks rather pleasant, somewhat opaque rather large off-white head.

S – The aroma is sweet and a little bit hoppy and citrus and spicy with a juicy and fruit element to it as well. It smells very nice really. Not overwhelming but it smells very nice.

T – I would say the taste is just ok. Really it tastes exactly like the nose but I would call this kind of bland and nondescript. I don’t know if this is because I waited so long to drink it or what, but this beer really isn’t overwhelming me right now… I really think that I waited way too long to drink this beer, I bought it over three months ago and I’m sure it gave the hops plent of time to cool down a little bit. Upon further exploration the taste really isn’t too bad, it’s just not great. I might have to revisit this later, but at the moment this isn’t tasting that wonderful.

M – Light to medium body with rather low carbonation. The mouthfeel is just kind of flat, and uninspiring of much critique.

O – Overall I would say that this beer is just a notch above average, it really isn’t that great at this moment in time. Whether or not I waited too long, I’m not sure, but I might need to sample this again. For the moment though it is going to receive a rather low score.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 03:15:37 | More by KKB
Photo of FungusBrewer


3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa's Special Reserve pours a light chestnut color with a nice foamy head. Tasting it, my initial impression is of bitterness and light floral hops. Not the grapefruit/flowery hops I'm used to in American IPA's, but more of a reserved, sharp bite. This isn't bad, as it gives the sensation of warmth. This isn't a beer you need a spoon to eat like I've experienced with other winter ales. Just make sure to thank Santa for allowed us to tap his stash.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 05:10:18 | More by FungusBrewer
Photo of BenjaminBlondbeard

New York

4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich old copper color with a big slightly off white head of thick foam that stands up for a little while. The carbonation rises steadily through the clean vibrant hues of the ale. As I drink there is sparse, but really sticky, lacing around the glass.

The smell is toasty malts with spruce / piney hops. Warm bread in an evergreen forest.

There is are a plethora of earthy malt and hop flavors that come about with the taste. There is lively carbonation, and soon rises a piney, peppery, lightly citrus hop sensation that overshadows the malts. The ale is medium bodied, with a crisp, clean finish, that leaves the resiny pine bitters to linger on the pallet long after the the glass done.

This is one of my favorite winter ales. I enjoy the piney hop flavors, as well as the grand bitters of this seasonal brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 02:31:47 | More by BenjaminBlondbeard
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.