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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

1,991 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,991
Reviews: 1,146
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 50
Gots: 87 | FT: 2
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: 1,991 | Reviews: 1,146 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rezzin
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy reddish amber color with not much head.

S - Roasted maltiness with hints of cherries and spices.

T - Somwhat sweet with definite roasty flavors along with plenty of bitterness from the hops. A little spicy.

M - Medium carbonation and much less mouthfeel than I expected it to have.

D - Not a bad offering from Rogue. Would buy again.

Rezzin, May 06, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep, clear, rusty/bloody copper-brown. Lacy, egg nog-yellow head with huge bubbles and good retention.

Smell: Sweet caramel and hard candy malts, with very fresh-smelling grassy hops. Reminds me of sweet, crisp vegetables, like carrots and romaine lettuce. Also has a fresh bready character.

Taste: Mostly woody hops, which are actually on the aggressive side but not harsh, and end with a bitter citrus rind flavor. Very smooth, and balanced out with nutty malts.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly smooth and even creamy, a nice, relaxing mouthfeel to help take the edge off the hops.

Drinkability: This is not really a sit-back-and-relax beer, which is what I wanted on this Christmas Eve, but it is delicious nonetheless.

soulgrowl, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of 100floods
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two finger off white, bone head. Burnt orange, amber hue when put against the brightness of my computer screen. Pretty decent head retention, it looks like it wants to hold on for dear life. Smells... hoppy. deep pine and earth notes are stepping up on this one, all over my nose. Also notes of zesty orange rind, the best I've ever smelt this particular aroma without it coming off as a spice. The orange flavors come through as well. There's a lot of citrus hop flavor going on. I want to say burnt grapefruit and pine. My focus is drawn mostly to this hop flavor. It's pretty present, but not super strong. The medium-light text almost leaves a syrup like after taste I almost wish was there from the start. Caramel, pound cake flavors from the malt, like the cookie part of a Black and White. There's a cake batter smoothness to the texture as well. The hops seem to do most of the talking, which is nice for this beer. It's a little hard to get past the hops, which give the taste of winter spot on. You have to do a little more searching for the malt, but it's there. This achieves similar things to some of the Scandinavian spiced/winter brews, which I like.

100floods, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of AlexJ
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep garnet tinged mahogany in color with a beautifully long lasting head of beige foam that absolutely coats my glass with lace.

Aromas of dark fruity malts, oatmeal cookies, and fabulously fresh Pac NW hops that are both floral and piney.

Flavor is a chewy mix of roasty malts, balanced by fkloral and pine drenched hops. Very balanced and quite a bit hoppier than Rogue Red, good session beer here.

Body is just above light and definately needs some beefing up. Not watery, but not big and chewy like the flavors are.

AlexJ, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of nickss
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber hue with a generous rocky cream head. Lots of lacing.

Big smells of cinnamon and malt... very rich and sweet smelling.

Quite a bit hoppier than I expected. Strong tastes of tea leaves, spice, cinnamon, brown sugar... very organic tasting. Not near as much malt in the flavour as I would have thought, although it becomes a bit more prominent as the brew warms.

The mouthfeel is a bit wattery for my taste.... was hoping for a bit thicker out of a winter seasonal.

Highly drinkable... moderately low abv makes this one a great session beer.

nickss, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of timtim
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber/copper with a reddish hue. nice, big, tan head that holds well and leaves a beautiful lace. smell is not as strong as I was hoping for, but pretty good anyways. spicy hops and lightly roasted malt. taste is pretty much what the nose suggested. the rogue signature yeast doesn't produce a very complex taste if you ask me, but it also doesn't make a bad beer. lighltly roasty with a nice bitter finish that i associate with the hops used more in english style stuff, but there's also a little of that grapefruity american taste. on the fuller side of medium body, smooth and soft accompanied by the bitter rogue, this makes for a very drinkable beer.

timtim, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of Jimmys
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into chalice. no bottled on date in sight.

A: very rich amber hued brew. clear. head is slightly off white and big. retention and lacing are great.

S: hoppy and herbal. definitely pine. perhaps a little spruce as well. some dry sweet maltiness as well.

T: the use of caramel malt is up-front, but not too sweet. a dry, almost rye-like, bitterness lingers in the finish. something else is there too....maybe some metallic or mineral flavor? maybe not.

M: moderate carb, medium body.

D: not bad, just not great either. not getting any specifically holiday-like components that would make me think of santa, but neither is SN celebration, so no need to be overly picky about that. neutral.

Jimmys, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of tkeHijacker
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep coppery red color w/ orange and tan head. Leaves a light lace around the top dissipating rather quickly. Little drops of foam left on the top floating all the way down.

S: Hops come out in the aroma here, thick earthy, piny smelling hops. Slight sweetness comes through as well.

T: Roasty sweetness that hits the back of my mouth and leaves a sweet dark fruit (slight). Smooth bitterness that has a nice bite. Not quite piny not quite earthy hop bite.

M: Light Card helps keep this crisp. Good body. Dry finish (may be due to the hops present).

D:Could drink all day long. Great.

tkeHijacker, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of artruism
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep Reddish Orange with strong head and lacing.

Nose is strong, sweet and coppery...like sugar coated pennies!

Peppery bite upfront followed by the coppery flavor and a citrus finish.

Medium Body with a light mouthfeel.

decent drink...fun bottle!

artruism, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a red-brown amber w/fluffy light-beige head, exhibiting nice retention, and leaving some sticky lacing.
S-Rich roasted malt, hint of nuts, bread, white raisin, citrusy American hops.
T&M-Upfront is slightly sweet toasted bready malt, midpalate is rich blend of malt and hops that mingles well with carbonation, although carbonation is quite active. Finish is ruled by hops' floral, resin, and citrus notes that linger into the aftertaste, leaving a dry, clean sensation mixed with grapefruit.
D-Quite good, but not one of my preferred varieties from Rogue. It's got the tasty malt edge of an English ale w/a little too much American hops.

BoitSansSoif, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark red/brown with brighter red highlights and a thin but sticky light tan head. Spicy fruit fruit notes, rich malts, bready aroma, and rich malts make up the nose. Bitter hop characters are at play from the beginning which aren’t quite so prevalent in the nose. Malt and barley characters are nutty and slightly sweet. Chalky smokey notes, coffee and ripe fruits are lingering in the background. Vanilla notes here and there. Nice spicy, floral hop characters make this a good Christmas beer and are found well into the finish. Good crisp mouthfeel and a consistent carbonation.

cabsandking, Dec 04, 2006
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was really good. I picked it up the other night at the little store I used to buy Jolt at with my friends when I was a kid in Clayton.

Appearance- reddish brown color, good head, left a nice lacing

Smell- malt

Taste- very interesting flavor, malt, bit of spices in the background

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- really good, I liked it a lot. One of the better winter beers

jeffjeff1, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of buschbeer
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to a small, quickly disappearing head. It is tea colored. I get caramel malt and floral hops. The taste mirrors the smell. It is nicely balanced. I didn't care for this beer the first time I tried it but it has grown on me. I guess the name threw me. I was expecting a winter warmer. It is actually a nice sessionable beer.


buschbeer, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of stumac
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, I have to point out that the Santa on the bottle got his ass kicked. As you can tell from the blood swelling under his right eye. Its OK Santa. Drink it off....

Vintage 2007 aged for 6 months....

pours a cloudy dark amber color with a huge, frothy beige head with great retentive lacing. the nose is spicy hops up front, then floral hops. the taste is very bitter hops, grapefruit, very subtle sweet malts in the finish. medium to light bodied, low spritzy carbo, dry hoppy finish.

stumac, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of marc77
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light ruby hue. Off white dense creamy head leaves fluffy lace. Pungently piney hops dominate, w/ citrus and dark caramel malt secondary. Toasty Munich surfaces as the beer warms. Quinine like, spruce laced Chinook bitterness hits the palate at first and remains relatively unhindered other than the contrast provided by pronounced caramel and pseudosweet dextrin malt. Hop flavor is more citrusy than piney in nature. Light to medium bodied with a typically smooth, dextrinous mouthfeel aided copious use of speciality malts. Finishes cleanly bitter, w/ a slight caramel sweetness lingering on the palate. Yet another trademark rogue brew. Aggressively hopped, quite drinkable and very tasty. Superior to the non hop backed, less aromatic and generally milder St. Rogue Red version.

marc77, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of daliandragon
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a Rogue selection I have seen many times and bypassed but I guess today was the day. I like the toasted amber color with a nice cream colored head and supporting lace. The body is translucent and the nose is vanilla and dark malts and a touch of citrus and nutmeg. Different.

The spices mostly disappear in the taste with heavy malt tones but a balancing hop attack lasts through to the finish. This is a tasty, drinkable beer, but hard to categorize. Within the style I'm not a big fan. It's really more of an American strong methinks, but not a winter warmer and certainly not a ho hum amber. Blah blah blah.

daliandragon, Mar 29, 2009
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 MetalHopHead6
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Santa's Private Reserve Ale poured deep orange copper with a miniscule tan head. It did, however, leave a good amount of sticky lace.

The smell and taste were earthy, with notes of pine and wet grass. There was a hint of citrus rind, but primarily this has funk. The feel was bready and thick and maybe because I like funk, it was a pleasure to drink.

The only thing "holiday" about Santa's Private Reserve Ale is the beautiful orange . Otherwise, it's like many other year-round earthy ales. It's flavorful, aggressive, and anything but bland.

MetalHopHead6, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of justintcoons
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Hazy Brownish amber with 2 fingers of tan head. Excellent retention and moderate carbonation.

Caramel, pine and navel orange. A touch of tropical fruit and toffee.

Good doses of caramel and nougat. Balanced notes of pine and navel orange. A kiss of tangerine and pineapple. Lingering notes of grapefruit zest and florals.

Medium bodied, crisp, clean and refreshing.

This is a very balanced and refined hoppy Red Ale.

justintcoons, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured into a pint glass. Mahogany body with a off white head.

S. Smells fruity and sweet. Caramel malt and some roasted nuts.

T. Well balanced brew featuring a roasted malt body and an earthy hop bitter. None of the sweetness in the nose pulls through much here.

M. Medium bodied and creamy. Good overall mouthfeel with a semi-dry finish.

D. A fairly drinkable, sessionable red ale. Spot on for the style and good for what it is. 6% is a bit high for extended sessions. As it warms it becomes not as great.

Stinkypuss, Nov 23, 2008
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 Suds
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled in front of the Christmas tree…pours a deep, burnt copper color, topped with a dense white head. The head leaves thick tufts of intricate lace on the sides of the glass. Flowery and piney hop smells are at the center of this brew. There’s a lot of competing hop smells in this one, backed with a grain and toasted malt. It’s not quite a hop monster, but with a little more intensity it would subscribe to that description. The taste is balanced and semi-sweet. Malt and grain come out a little more in the mouth, with a earthy character. Hops still dominate, though, with a moderately long finish. Medium body, with moderate carbonation. This was drinkable and quite tasty!

Suds, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally able to purchase this in a 12 oz. bottle. So I go get a 6-pack right away. I guess that tells of what to market for me as I've eyed this beer for years. Which leads me to how impressive it is that over time the BA scores seems to settle into a pretty good reflection of where a beer should really lie, as compared to the other. Ya' I know "in who's opinion", but this beer is a good example of that the total score seems to really reflect what it is...
Nice solid aroma of northwest hops, including some citrus of grapefruit, grass and pine. Good base of toasty malt.
Clear. Amber of red-brown-orange with heaviness on the brown, unless held in the light. Full tan head with a somewhat erratic, rocky breakdown. Maybe my glass was wet, but the "lacing" is unusual in the largeness of the bubbles and the stamina.
Bitterness and hop flavors are most present. Bitterness pushes harshness, but the hop flavors are more appealing and are similar to the aroma. I like the malt character, as subtle as it is. The toast, when it shows is nice and the occasional caramel is pleasing too.
Rather full carbonation leaves me feeling full quickly. The bubbles are big, bold and sometime biting. This all detracts from a sense of smoothness. Otherwise body seems about right.
I was hoping for more on this. Having said that, it's an enjoyable enough beer. The flavors blend more nicely as it warms. Somehow, not that Christmas-like, unlike SNCA (go figure). As appealing as that beer is, this one just doesn't have it.
Why does the bottle say "Oregon Brewing Co"?

garymuchow, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of Duhast500
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 1pt bottle.

Color is dark red with a shade of amber and gold. Brownish white head.

Smell is a malty, with a nice hint of hops, caramel and honey

Taste is well balanced. Bitter but does have a nice hoppiness to it as well. Mild, a bit spicy, with hints of hopps, caramel and honey.

This beer is real easy to drink. It is in short supply, only being available during the holiday months. Goes well with a big meal during the winter months.

Duhast500, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of ChrisMaestro
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

ChrisMaestro, Oct 26, 2014
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,991 ratings.