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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

2,133 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,133
Reviews: 1,176
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 57
Gots: 167 | 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.

65 IBU
73.1 AA
26.75º L
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,133 | Reviews: 1,176 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Served on-tap at the Sawmill Tap Room in Raleigh. Reviewed from notes.

Poured a deep bronze color with a thick head that dissolved fairly quickly. Nose was not complicated and was simply malts and hops.

Flavor had a nice pepperiness to it. Some nice spicey and sprucey hops as well. Malts were a tad lighter than I expected and overall the beer was a bit underbalanced. Medium body with a strange--but pleasant--hop tingliness.

Photo of Yanks8000
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a tall head that dissipated quickly.

Strong hop aroma, that fades to malty.

Flavor is mostly caramel, reminds me of a SNAP without the citrus. Nice hop character, finishes with happy bitterness.

Overall a delicious beer. I don't taste the spruce though.

Photo of groovy24
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle from Woodman's in Madison WI poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark red amber color with a little haze. Not much of a head here but a nice sticky lace as it goes down.

Smell: The aroma is very balanced a little sweet malt profile along with some hops.

Taste: A carmel malt in the front with a piney/grapefruit/citrus hop towards the end which leaves a nice oily hop profile behind.

Mouthfeel: A very smooth beer with nice carbonation and a prickly finish with piney hops.

Drinkability: For an amber/red ale this brew has a decent amount of hops which is not surprising from Rouge. A nice little spin which I enjoyed and will purchase again.

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

Yes I set thisone out for santa, and in the morning, it was gone. Imagine that!

It poured a dark amber/red with a slight cloudy haze. An off-white, small head had to be worked at while at the pour.

The aroma was of caramelized malts, slight hop on the nose. The taste, while complex, goes down easy.

The taste starts out malty, hints of caramel and vanilla. Then hops take over to finish the job

Hop oil leaves the mouth a slight dry. I did'nt get that alcohol hit as do with other winter warmers

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear amber with an off-white fluffy head that leaves behind thin lacing

Big pine/spruce hop aromas upon pour but mellow out to toasty maltiness with faint caramel sweetness.

Taste has complex malt flavoring that evolves from a light, sweet beginning to a full bready middle and ends with a pilsner-like maltiness. Lots of hops happening also, spruce to citrus to bitter. Nothing overbearing, nicely balanced for all the complexity.

Well carbonated with a light mouthfeel, almost on the watery side. ABV % is not noticeable. Lighter body than I was expecting.

An easy-drinking winter ale that has enough complexities to keep your attention.

Photo of Kegatron
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear deep amber with 2 fingers of frothy off-white head. This settles down into a thin creamy covering that leaves a massive sticky coating of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a touch piney with additional accents of grapefruit, spice, and bready malts. Quite nice but it seems a little light at times.

The taste is similar but a little more assertive, with some lightly dry lingering resinous hoppiness, a smack of citrus and prominent spice, and some good balancing notes of bread and caramel. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but is coming off as a bit too light bodied. Not quite watery or anything but it seems that it could be a little more supportive of the flavors involved.

Decent stuff. I just wished that there was some more meat to it that would have really pushed it over the top for me. Still, this packed enough flavor and a good enough drinkibility to keep this Santa themed beer off of my naughty list.

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

Pours ruby with a large persistent head leaving loads of lacing. Beautiful.
Nose shows lots of hops as expected, with resinous pine and citrus notes. Malt plays a big part as well, with loads of caramel and some toasty notes.
Very similar flavours, with the toasty caramelised malt definitely taking centre stage. Still, there's a fair bit of hops, with grapefruit and piney resin.
Very creamy and slick, lovely.

Photo of goblue3509
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery reddish color with an every so slight haze. There is a half finger off white head which recedes to skim and leaves fingers of lace on the glass. The aroma is of buscuits and citrus with a piney hop smell at the end. The taste is of biscuits and caramel in the backbone. There is also a slight citrusy taste up front. The backend is rounded out by a nice spruce taste. It isn't over the top spruce but a nice rounded spruce. The mouthfeel is mildly carbonated. Overall it is a solid amber. The spruce gives it a little something that most in the glass don't have.

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

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 Westsidethreat
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It looks "amber". Seriously. Clean with tiny, microscopic bubbles meandering to the surface. Head is a pillowy oatmeal with divets all over. All beers should be carbonated this well.

S: Apricot fruit roll ups, over ripe strawberries, bit of caramel, bit of molasses, cedar and a shade of grapefruit.

T: Begins malty on the fruity opposed to molasses side. Focus shifts towards a burnt caramel impression loaded with stewed red fruit. Hops are present but not swayed towards pine or citrus....some buttery pineapple notes. Finishes with the signature Rogue taste which has defined northwest beers to me.

M: Medium body but a bit hard on the tongue.

D: Another solid offering from Rogue. A good seasonal to look forward to.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- The color is a dark, deep copper color. The head is one finger after an agressive pour. It is semi transparent too.

S- The aromas are as follows: Hops first, then a gingery spice smell. I also pick up a buttery nut smell on the end of the nose.

T- Taste is bitter of hops, but also caramel and butterscotch. The taste ends bitter and dry.

M- Oily and mid thin on the tongue. The carb sting is high on the surface of the tongue all over.

D- Surprisingly drinkable. I was not expecting that from a "santa" or winter beer. This one is different than most in a lot of ways though.

Definitely a different spin on the winter releases. This one is more bitter than sweet which is contradictory to most releases. The ABV is also a little bit lower, which makes this a little easier to drink. The dry finish makes you want to take another drink. Very nice brew!

Photo of whiskyecho
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of guinness310
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served into a pint glass...

A: a light reddish almost dark-orange body sits atop of an off-white bubly head that dessipates fairly quickly.

S: a citrusy sweet and malty scent is warm and ivinting on the nose. pine is also present.

T: medium bodided, malty and alcohol are extremely evident in the brew. patchy lacing. Pine and caramel flavours are up front while the bitterness hop aftertaste is great on the palate on the way down.

M&D: mild carbonation makes this a dinkable beer while the combobation of the malt and the hops give it a distinct flavour... A good beer.

Photo of Yancey82
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,133 ratings.