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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

1,957 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,957
Reviews: 1,142
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 44
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
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: 1,957 | Reviews: 1,142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dakid618
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfect to start off my Christmas drinking with an ale with Santa on the bottle. Poured into a pint glass out of a 650 mL bottle. Pours a deep, slightly cloudy mahogany with a finger and a half of frothy light tan head. Smells floral with citrus undertones and some hop bitterness hidden underneath. Taste is very hoppy. Leaves your mouth a little dry after each drink. Did I mention the hops? Definitely lots of cascade hops in this. Good ale but not what I expected from a winter ale. Expected something smoother and more boozy but still good. I don't think I could drink more than a few bottles considering the bitterness but overall another quality Rogue brew.

dakid618, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of Fatduck
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy amber color, with a fluffy stiff head, the bottle foamed up a bit upon opening, which was not because of me, it was chilled and opened gently. Smells and tastes crisp and piny, lots of hops. I love the hazy hoppy look and taste too it, truly another great beer from Rogue.

Fatduck, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of BitteBier
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slighty hazy amber color that falls between copper and crimson. Shows some lasting carbonation and is topped off with foamy tan head that reduces to a persistent cling. Nose boldens noticeably as the beer warms--the malts are decidedly secondary to the evergreen and hoppy notes. Malts are similarly smooth but muted in comparison to the hops, which are somewhat citrusy at first and then more evergreeny during the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit too astringent and oily for my taste given what seems like an underlying malty smoothness to this beer. Still a fine Rogue offering--always something of an adventure.

BitteBier, May 01, 2005
Photo of treehugger02010
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this 22 ounze bottle from the Foodery in Center City Philadelphia, Pa. I poured it into a 24ish ounze bottle.
Appearance: It poured a brown color, what I thought was interesting was that there was no other adjectives to describe the brown, it was just that, brown. The head was huge and thick, very thick with a nice egg shell color. The head retention was above good, but great. The lacing was very thick and sticky
Smell: There was the obvious hop overtones, but what I thought was cool, was that it was so well blended. There were nice sweet malty undertones.
Taste: The majority of my palate was stimulated by nothingness. Again, another unique aspect was that the rear corners of my mouth were stimulated with the hops.
Mouthfeel: This had an oddly smooth taste. I was rather pleasently suprised at how easy this went down for such a hoppy ale.
Drinkability: This has a very high drinkability.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky reddish copper with a thick bubbly head. little lacing with a thin layer of bubbles remaining til the bottom of the glass

S: Spicy, with brown sugar, and oarnge with a dash of cocoa

T: follows with the nose and has piney, grapefruit finish

M: smooth, refreshing, medium body with a tingly, resiny, dry finish

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I can see how it is a great winter beverage but it's also wonderful for the summer. It's really refreshing and has solid drinkability

OlRasputin989, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of kinger
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice holiday spice from Rogue, and the spice is a wonderful blend of hops. Light grapefruity aroma and a bit of spruce, not too powerful. Rich dark amber pour with a towering head and mild lacing. Easy and smooth on the palate, even go as far as to say lightly crisp. Taste is a wonderful fusion of sweet malt and hops. Again a well blended brew resembling something of an APA.

kinger, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of Thrasher
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sludgy brown with fuzzy head. Aroma of big caramel and chocolate malts with intense bitter hop. This is a big malty beer upfront, with a strong chocolate element and roasty malts reminiscent of a chewy doppelbock. That however is blown away by huge hops, with grapefruit and pine flavors. There's nothing especially Christmasy about this beer except for a tree-like element in the hops and the general extreme-ness which fits in with many winter brews. It's out there. The hops turned me off at first but the beer grew on me as it warmed. A nice, once-a-year treat. Now with this out of the way I can move on to my much anticipated bottle of Samichlaus. Ho ho ho.

Thrasher, Dec 24, 2002
Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle - 2009 batch. Sampled on December 24, 2009. The pour is a mahogany brown tone with nice clarity and little head. Floral hops and pine are the main aromas along with some caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is around medium. The taste is overwhelmed with bitter hops and less in the way of caramel sweetness. It reminds me more of an IPA. AT least the pine aroma drops a hint of Christmas into the mix.

puboflyons, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of theghost3
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a thin white head. Some lacing. Smells of roasted malts & wheat. The taste is strong on the toasted malts at first with some bitter hops on the follow-up, there are also hints of sweet caramel & spices. There's a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth, moderately thick. This is a drinkable brew--rich, yet not too filling.

theghost3, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of IronDjinn
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep transparent russet amber in appearance, massive chunky spongy light beige head with decent retention.

Crisp toasted and caramel malt on the nose, good dose of green leafy hops, seems well balanced so far.

Sharp metallic notes up front, very clean flavour, with herbal grassy hops tending to take the reigns in the middle and riding to glory into the sunset of the finish. The flavour isn't very complex, but can't be accused of being one-dimensional either. Crisp and clean flavour throughout.

Mouthfeel is also clean and slick, a foamy fullness in the middle, light on the finish.

A very approachable amber ale, one of the cleanest tasting beers I've sampled in a while.

IronDjinn, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of byrd
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great clear deep red-amber in color with a huge light tan frothy head that reaches way above the rim of the glass. The head becomes rocky and recedes quite slowly. The lace stays very thick and frothy for ages with rings of foam around the sides of the glass. Good rich malty start with some graininess and breadiness and a touch of caramel malt. The middle is somewhat roasty, and there’s a good hoppy finish. Nice hoppy and roasty aftertaste that lingers for quite some time. …a well balanced brew with a medium mouthfeel and nice carbonation. Not an overly complex brew, but pretty good and very drinkable. I’ll have this one again, but there are other winter seasonals that I’ll be anticipating much more.

byrd, Jan 14, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with flavors of caramel & citrus sweetness and a good floral hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence eventually takes dominance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, this is a good beer with some substance and is worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of Loki
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the famous, or infamous, Rogue 22oz bottle with lots of information about beer except dates.

Appearance: Dark amber color with a very small, wispy head. Very little lacing.

Smell: Malt then big grassy, floral hops. So this is Chinook, ah I have made a new friend, and my wife has a new enemy. Wonderful bouquet of wild flowers, citrus, and grass, with hints of pine.

Taste: Hops from the first taste, then a nice transition to roasted malt, then a sucker punch back to the wild flower hops and grass. Wonderful flavor, but not all that balanced. Very enjoyable brew for me, for my wife who is not the biggest hops fan, not so much.

Loki, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of billybob
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a bright amber, copper color with a large light tan head that holds well and a fair amount of lace. strong hop citrus nose. bready malt taste up front then strong citrus almost to to point of being bitter then the hops kick right in. not much different than a good ipa to my taste buds. mouthfeel is light to medium, slightly oily on the tongue with a crisp carbonation. comes on a little to strong for my liking but still ok.

billybob, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of WilliamD
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this bomb into my pint glass. Hold it to the light- it's a perfect amber hue, whatever that is.
Smells okay- mild spices, beer.
Tastes ever-so-biscuity, with very mild spice flavor.
Mouthfeel- I'm fairly new at this. Feels like beer in my mouth.
Very drinkable, but almost anything other than that watered-down macro-brew garbage is drinkable to me.

Good, steady winter beer. Not exceptional though.

WilliamD, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of SerialHiker
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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)

SerialHiker, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of CoolJosh
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pours a three finger buttermilk head, very low carbonated, amber in color good lacing

S grains, hops, nothing over powering here, some roasted malts, a slight bit of sweetness here

T A little grainy, with a very roasted malt taste that really sits well, from the smell i thought this was going to be a lot drier then the taste proves. some creaminess which really sets a nice flow throughout each sip. Some pretty nice hops come through on the tail, leaving a nice finish on the palate.

All in all, I thought this would classify more as a christmas ale which comes as a slight let down. I would say this is was definitly one of the most interesting seasonal' for this time of year, and would highly recommend if you happen to come across a bottle.

CoolJosh, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of evansrdbrew
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 3/21/10
65 IBU 13 deg. Plato
22 oz. In pint glass

A- nice thick 1" creamy head leaving levels of lace. Great clear dark rusty amber ale.

S- nice notes of carmel, chocolate malts w/ bright whifs of fruity hops. Notes of warm sweetness.

T- mild sweetness amongst great roast malt flavors of chocolate. Hop notes of pine don't quite balance out the malt.

MF- good heavier weight with a nice fitting bitterness and some dryness. Very short lived coating in the mouth.

D- decent drinkability, would probably have been awesome at christmas or outside enjoying the snow. Great maltiness with good complimentary bitterness brings you back sip after sip.

evansrdbrew, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of backfat
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

taken from notes.
pours a great ruby haze. one finger off white. Granny smith apples and gram crackers. This is what i want amber ales to taste like. all the hyped up one's are incredibly watered down. fresh, apparent grapefruit hops. cornflake cereal. step back to stare at my glass again. amber and beautiful. brown cookies. Lovely malt. way to go rogue. haven't had a christmas related beer this year i haven't liked. it's gonna be a good one. cheers

backfat, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of beermanbrian
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber/red color with a bubbly tan head. Tons of carbonation bubbles. Sticky lacing. A nice looking brew. Smell of mild citrus hops followed by some piney west coast hops. Taste is more on the piney resinous side. My only knock on this beer is the bitterness in the aftertaste. It's not the good bitterness but more of a cloying pucker your cheeks in a bad way bitterness. Overall a nice brew, but there are a lot of better choices out there for the price. Certainly one I would sample again just not my first choice for a Christmas seasonal.

beermanbrian, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of PrivateEquity
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Darker amber color. Solid lacing and head. Very nice appearance.

S - Nice caramel smell, spicy piney aroma.

T - Nice malty flavor. Caramel follows the nose. Bitterness is definitely there with piney citrus flavor.

M - Just a normal mouthfeel doesn't subtract or add.

O - Very nice seasonal beer. Hops to a solid winter warmer type amber.

PrivateEquity, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 10oz bottle into a Ruination glass. The appearance was real nice, especially the thick foam cake. It looked just like the yeast cake on top of fermenting ale. mmmm....

By all measures other than appearance I felt this beer to be slightly above average but not stellar. It seemed to be made form the house yeast, giving a similar aroma / flavor as many other Rogues. The flavor was a little toasty and a little caramel, body was nominal viscosity.

Easy call for a recent convert from mass-produced lagers, maybe not a gateway beer but more of a second stop after the gateway.

TurdFurgison, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of rapidsequence
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, last of my yearly six pack.

Appearance: Clear, dark red. Two inches of fluffy head. Sheets of sticky lace.

Smell: Spicy grassy and citrusy hops. Good ole Rogue Pacman yeast is pretty much unmistakable.

Taste: Good earthy hops bitterness. Toasty malts. Bitter and clean finish.

Mouthfeel: I think the carbonation is appropriate and the mouthfeel is probably about right for the style, but there's nothing especially interesting or lively about the mouthfeel-- nothing wrong with it either.

Drinkability: Well, I get this every year, and am always excited about it. I like Rogue's stuff, and this is reasonably priced, at least in 6 packs. I went to their website to compare this to their St. Rogues Red and found out that their ingredients and specs are identical. I guess they're the same beer. This is a nice, full flavored, hoppy red ale for people who like Rogue.

rapidsequence, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of BierReise
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep red color which reminded me of red velvet cake and a dark vanilla colored frothy head. An intense hoppy aroma followed by a sweet German malt presence and a little of something I can't seem to put my finger on. Flavor is hoppy bitterness and a slight spiciness. This is one bitter beer from start to finish.

BierReise, Jul 22, 2003
Photo of thecheapies
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa's Private Reserve poured into a pint glass. A Newcastle pint glass, to be exact.

Accidentally got three fingers of head on the pour. I must have been a little rough with this one. That collection of bubbles isn't falling fast enough to allow secondary pouring just yet. Rusty red/amber beer, in the color, with a few streams of rising bubbles visible.

Oily hops, pine, peppermint, topsoil, dry caramel, toastiness, and floral aromas accented in the nose. Balanced, meaning I wouldn't particularly describe it as hoppy.

Pine-forward amber ale with bread crusty malts and toast. Finally, finding some grapefruit pith and mint flavors from American hops. Floral finish with a long-lasting bitterness and alkaline tingle. Quite generously roasted with loads of appropriate hoppy essentials to back it off a bit.

Very easy to drink and inviting. Great sudsy carbonation combined with focused quality in flavor (and aids from a hovering nose above the beer) deserves a proper nod. Medium-bodied with no stick. Oily, but not sticky. Dry feel.

A beer to kick back with in the middle of a night-session during the cold months. One could easily follow this beer up with another of the same, and quite enjoyably.

thecheapies, Dec 05, 2012
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,957 ratings.