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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

2,158 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,158
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 182 | FT: 4
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: 2,158 | Reviews: 1,183
Photo of rrg1gb
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S - It poured a dark ruby red hue with a thin laced head but retained very well. Highly carbonated - looks a lot like cream soda.

A - It has a slightly fruity aroma, almost like figs, but there was also a deep malty aroma to give it a faint biscuit smell too.

T - For maybe the first moment it was sweet to the tongue, but instantly followed with deep roasted malt flavor. Then, BANG! with the Northwest hop flavor. It almost tasted like an IPA for a second.

M - It has a high level of carbonation but still full of complex tastes. It's not at all watered down. Also, the hops give it a nice citrusy aftertaste, which is a delightful contrast to the roasted malts.

D - This is a good drink as the malty flavor hits all the tastebuds, but I just think that the malt/hop combo is a bit off. It's definitely hoppier than I expected, but I do have to consider where the brewer is located and what kind of hops is available. Sooo, the flavors are off the beaten path but the Private Resreve is good nonetheless.

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

Purchased at Capital City Package in Atlanta.
22oz bottle.

A- Pours a clear amber color with a small white head. What head there is leaves little to no lacing, but this is still a good looking beer.
S- Not much in terms of aroma. I get a little bit of hops/citrus and not a whole lot else.
T- Decent mixture of malt and hops. The malt is very faint and is dominated by a beautiful citrus/hop profile. As the beer warms the malts start to pick up, but this is still a hop forward beer.
M- Medium bodied, a little bit dry, and slightly bitter from the hops.
D- A drinkable beer, and my bottle was finished rather easily. The high hop profile would prevent me from drinking too much though...

Overall, a great American Amber, and a good start to my Christmas evening. I'll look forward to having more next year around the holidays.

Photo of KTCamm
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rogue 22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a reddish crimson copper with 1/2 inch of white foam that settles. Cinammon malty nose - very minor. Toasty hearty deep malt taste backed by a medium bitter. Nicely balanced. Real firm body - full in the mouth. Very flavorful with a nice blend. Merry Christmas.

Photo of scaliasux
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Medium amber-brown. Slightly cloudy. Thin and non-persistent off-white head.

Smell - Light caramel malt. Citrusy hops.

Taste - Mild roasted malt flavor. Quickly overwhelmed by heavy dose of piney hops. Hint of lemon in the finish. Hopping is a little more aggressive than my personal preference, but the flavors marry well.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Well carbonated.

Drinkability - Nice to see Santa enjoys a beer every now and again. Somehow, though, I thought he be more of a malt guy.

Photo of JPowell712
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of stephens101
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little something to get this Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Pours a dark amber into my Sam Adams specialty glass. Head is tan, fluffy, two-fingers thick and stays around quite a while with a consistent and stubborn lacing. Smells robust with citrusy hops, orange peel and pine. Medium bodied and a bit watery at first which is subsequently overcome by a good balance of hops. There's a bit of bitterness toward the end that in no way affects the drinkability. I'm going to session on a few of these as the wind blows furious and the snow whips, and I have a feeling I'm going to have a good time.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle, this was a red/brown color with a medium head. It had a sweet, breadlike aroma, and I thought I could detect a piney aroma also. Yes, when I tasted the beer, there were the piney hops. A tiny bit on the astringent side, and I don't think I could drink a lot of these at one sitting, but a very good beer nevertheless.

Photo of badbeer
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice dark red, with small fluffy white head leaving a nice lacing behind. Nose is mostly made up of piney, resiny hops, with a hint of a maltiness to it. Taste does have some caramel malt taste to it, but the hops are prevalent in the taste, not used to such hoppiness in this style but it's not bad. Medium bodied with less than average carbonation, not my favorite at this point, but will look forward to it next year.

Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if this is a limited edition number or a new addition to the Rogue lineup. Pretty bottle has a red illustration of a chinook salmon, which goes nicely with the chinook hops inside the bottle. This may or may not go to benefit Ecotrust, the environmental organization that coined the term "Salmon Nation".
Pours a deep reddish amber with a small white head that struggles to build up to a half-inch before quickly receding to a thin halo. Light aroma of sweet roasted caramel malt, light hops, and a touch of biscuit. Palate begins with mellow caramel malt, with the ample hop presence emerging right before the swallow. Early notes of biscuit and light fruit yield way to a subtle spruce character on the finish. Body is smooth and creamy, but a little thin. Very drinkable, and I don't usually enjoy ambers very much. Another quality offering from Rogue.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at an event for their local distributor. Gotta love free beer and short notes.

Pours a golden honey color with a nice head and lacing.

Smells a bit like Dead Guy, nice malts and a little bitterness.

The taste is nice and sweet with a great hoppiness.

In the mouth it is smooth and very well-balanced.

This is a great holiday beer. I can't wait for my local store to get their first shipment in.

Photo of mmink27
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Dodo2step
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A- a somewhat clear yet foggy burnt orange color. A decent head but it dissipates quickly. Quite carbonated though.

S- very sweet smell with light malts. A nice citrus and spruce hop smell rounds out the nose.

T- a roasted citrus type of flavoring. Somewhat dry yet very crisp and smooth. Rounds out with some moist sweet spruce taste.

M- wet and dry at the same time. Refreshing and smooth. A nice hop left on the palate as well. A nice wintry and cold feel.

D- A nice hop to put down. Not bad in flavor but could be a little more dry. Leaves a touch of bitter in the back of the mouth that im not too fond of. Overall a good beer.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are aromas of moderate aromas of butter and caramel in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of malty sweetness. There are some hints of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn't that difficult to drink, although there's no way that I could have more than one of these at a time.

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

A: Deep red/copper color with 1 finger eggshell colored head, receded kind of quick leaving lots of lacing and a frothy 1mm or so head.

S: Very sweet toffee, molasses, diacetyl, with hints of very bitter hop.

T: Creamy smooth and sweet buttery malt hit with a grapefruit hop bitterness, and a sprucey finish. This beer is like hoppy cookie dough with pine needles added in, just to make sure you know it's a Christmas ale.

M: Light-medium body, smooth, easy to drink, has bitter hops but never really dries out.

O: A very unique flavor for the style, captures the seasonal variation well. Would definitely buy again.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-cloudy burnt orange hue. Has a creamy, frothy beige head that has very nice lacing and retention.

I get a bit of malted milk smell from nearly all Rogue beers, and this one is no exception. It must be the pacman yeast they like so well. Other than that, I get some dried hop flower aroma and some toasty, sweet maltiness.

Taste has a distinctive leafy, dried hop flavor...toastiness and malted milk-esque notes only contribute more to the strange, but pleasant leaf-like taste of this brew. In some respects this beer makes me think of a cross between an O-fest and a winter warmer.

Overall, a solid beer that shies away from being too Christmas-y and has a unique flavor profile. I would buy this one again, no problem.

Photo of gunnerman
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass pours a reddish tan color with minimal head and zero lace on the glass. Smell is sweet malt with a bit of earth. Taste is very smooth and sweet with nice hints of toasted oats and walnuts with just a slight hint of hop bitterness towards the finish. Overall a pretty tasty and sweet beer with a clean and smooth finish.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad at all: it’s fairly rich but also surprisingly (and pleasantly) dry. The distinctly American hop profile is quite crisp and very tasty. While the bite is certainly sharp it’s really the leafy, assertive flavor that stands out, particularly in the (somewhat overly) bitter, lingering finish. A nice smokiness complements the rest of the flavors quite nicely. A slight touch of grainy caramel malt is detectable in the background. Recommended.

Photo of jdg204
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While enjoying a good night out with friend's at Porter's Pub in Easton, Pa, I came across this brew. Ever since visiting the Rogue bar in Portland, I've been trying more and more of there brews and was excited for the chance at another.

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a good off-white head that stuck and left decent lacing.

S: Nice grapefruit, citrus, and caramel aromatic blend.

T: Starts off with a nice citrus, caramel blend which is the well balanced by a good hoppy undertone. Solid amber ale profile.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

D: Solid amber ale which was very enjoyable, another winner from Rogue! No AMAZING attributes to this this brew, but how can you not love a bottle with Santa on the label! A solid selection that I'm glad I tried, you should try it too if you have the chance to cross it's path.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this as a Christmas present,oddly enough,from my buddy Brian in Charlotte,NC.

A-Pours out a hazy,rich,coppery red like good sun tea with a nice,firm,two-finger white head that had a slight tinge of pink.Medium carbonation was visible.

S-Caramel malt,sorghum and brown bread on the nose.There was a barely noticeable appearance of sweet,citrusy hops in the background.Malt took the reins here but this beer was not unbalanced.

T-Brown sugar,some nutmeg,toasted almonds and salted caramel.Still a subtle hop presence but only as support for the malt bill.

M-Medium to full bodied with a clean,nutty toastiness and slightly dry finish that was helped along by just the right amount of carbonation.

D-I found this beer extremely drinkable and i believe it could be enjoyed throughout the year.

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 RodBurg
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish amber color with a small white head that slowly fizzes into a ring. Minimal lacing.

Lots of hops in the nose. Pine needles, grapefruit, orange zest. Lighter notes of caramel and breadcrust as well.

Great balance of sweet toffee, malt and caramel with piney hops. Nice bitter finish with a fresh baked bread note in the aftertaste.

I dug this one. More hops than expected for the style.

Photo of dedrinker
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber/ red. Aromas of lightly toasted grain and caramel with a little whiff of dry-hopping. The flavor is moderately malty-crystal malt, some caramel, and a pleasant Pacific Northwest hoppiness. This is an easy drinking red-ale with dry-hopped character. Medium bodied. This is an ideal November beer - forget Christmas. If this is truly Santa's private reserve, then he probably drinks it throughout November and early December while he is going over his list. After he checks it twice, he most-likely switches over to a Nor-Cal DIPA.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MMAJYK- thanks for the trade!

into a standard pint glass, amber to red color- after all this beer isnt too much of a winter ale- really leans more toward red or amber ale style. Next to no head, even after a decent pour.

The aroma is hoppy and sweet, and the taste is quite similar. A lot of IPA-style aromas, including grapefruit, pine, and after reading some other reviews, this caramel/toffee scent is becoming more evident.

I felt like it couldve used a bit more carbonation- but that didnt ruin it for me. Pretty drinkable, and the low-ish ABV wont sneak up on you after a few of these.

I enjoyed this, and would definitely look to buy it if it was available around me-and i liked it better than the dead guy.

Photo of schoolboy
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not a big fan of this style, but even so, I don't think this brew distinguishes itself. There are a lot of flavors in it, but I don't think they work all that well.

It is bitter, and that's the best part. It kind of grows on you as you go too. The complexity is all there but maybe I expect a maltier complexity too.

I probably wouldn't but it again but you should not refuse one, if offered.

Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice and intriguing.

A= pours a light-amber with a nice white head that laces nicely on the sides of the glass as it settles.

S= I've just finished my glass while searching to describe the sort of candy-apple scent that's evading my more exacting identification. Very nice and inviting.

T= strong hops-bitters up front that didn't put me off because the complex and unusual taste was inviting me onward. Again, candy apple or maybe a touch of watermelon-esque taste, smoky burnt caramel, slight sweetness in the aftertaste.

M= a nice balance of bitter and sweet without either becoming overwhelming.

D= I doubt that I would buy this in large quantity for a party but if it was the beer being served, I'd surely do fine drinking it alone, unless the hops-bitters eventually caught up with me.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,158 ratings.