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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

1,983 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,983
Reviews: 1,144
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 49
Gots: 82 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Santa's Private Reserve Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,983 | Reviews: 1,144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of KoG
2.53/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2 words: Hop Bomb.

Beautiful dark red color with a very light tan head that lasts forever and leaves mountains of lace on the glass.

Smell is overtly hoppy. Slight citric behind the predominately estery nose. Small amount of malt somewhere in there.

Taste is bitter as bitter can be. Super estery with slight citrus and really no malt at all. Very bitter aftertaste, but double the hops of any brew and you'll get hop juice so I got what was coming to me.

Not my cup of tea at all. If I want uber hoppy, I'll find me some Hop Wallop.

KoG, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of Lupe
2.55/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark red-brown color with a nice tan head and good lacing, excellent appearance. Floral hop aroma with some malt and spice in the backround. Somewhat thin mouthfeel and runs a bit coarse on the tounge. Hops, hops, and more hops. Too much hops. Overpowering hop character hides the other flavors. I like hops, but this was either too much or I was expecting something else. Finishes very dry with more hop bitterness.

Lupe, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of BadRockBeer
2.55/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Copper in color, opaque. Little 1 finger head faded quickly to a nice lace.

Smell: Chinook’s are rather apartment, slightly earthy.

Taste: Big hoppy punch up front with a malty sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Lacked a little in body, very thin, bit dry.

Drinkability: So-so, A good extra hoppy winter warmer defiantly had better. But if Santa digs it, that’s all that matters!

BadRockBeer, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of Philly82785
2.55/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber brown color with decent creamy tan head. The nose is mostly loads of hops and caramel.This one came across the palate very nice, smooth and easygoing caramel and hops; that has a light hop finish that tapers off. I felt this one was rather weak compared to the other Rouges.

Philly82785, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of DouggiePhresh
2.55/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the bomber a dark red-copper with a frothy beige head into my pint glass.

It smells spicy, slightly hoppy. Notes of nutmeg.

Tastes somewhat "watered-down", flat. If it were not for the spiciness in the beer, I dont think this beer would have anything going for it.

The mouth feel is watery, tight carbonation

Its drinkable (but to me, what isnt) I dont think I will be buying this beer again after finishing the bomber.

DouggiePhresh, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of JayS2629
2.58/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber with a huge head, almost overcarbonated with a fast fade and little lacing.

The aroma was of clean malts, bready notes with spruce, pine and a touch of citrus.

Taste is one dimensional. I get the spruce and some other citrus hop notes on a simple, bready backbone. Balance ok.

A little thin feeling, watery

Weird, one dimensional, and unbalanced. I didn't enjoy.

JayS2629, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of TheLiterati
2.58/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

“2006 – Snowflakes Glisten”

Pours a nicely colored amber with a tan head.

Smells of Christmas spices – nutmeg, allspice, etc. – with a HUGE piney nose that translated to the taste – but not necessarily in a good way. More in the way of, “Who left pine needles soaking in my beer?”

Still, intrepid advocate that I am, I kept sipping and hoping that this beer would achieve a balance in flavors.

Alas, while the mouthfeel was pleasant enough, this ale just never quite delivered on taste. I found it to be much too bitter with nary a hint of sweet to tone down those darned pine needles.

Not what I would call drinkable, especially with so many other well-done seasonals to look forward to.

TheLiterati, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of BeerImmediately
2.58/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Leffe wine-style glass.

Pours with a short tan head over a fairly clear, but deep amber-to-ruby body with a decent amount of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas are nice - plenty of NW hops dominate, followed by some holiday spices and a light sweetness... touch of sawdust, too.

Pure hop bitterness ... sort of wet-hop like. Spruce character is bitingly bitter. Tastes like I'm drinking a fresh-squeezed flower. Some grassy quality as well. For an American Amber, this one lacks any sweetness, and has no balance.

Very dry. Thin/watery - mouthfeel seems like it should be in the 4% range.

Drinkability scores low for me, as it's just way too one-dimentional.

BeerImmediately, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of gillagorilla
2.63/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bomber poured into a Burley Oak snifter ($8 at JP's in Ellicott City, no bottle date)

A: Nice amber dark copper color. Poured with a 1 finger head and ok lacing.

S: Almost all malt on the nose with just a bit of pine and almost no citrus.

T: Tasty like a watery and malty mess of a hoppy amber ale. It is a mess of flavors and not good ones at all.

M: Quite prickly with lots of carbonation.

O: Not good, but at least I get a glow in the dark bottle out of it. This is my second Rogue and the other one was even before I was into craft and it was for the growler of Dead Guy ale since I was born on All Souls Day and it was a present for my dad. I didn't even know it glowed in the dark, but I didn't like; however, I was still a cider guy at that time.

gillagorilla, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange color with a sticky off white head. Some bread fruit and caramel on the nose with a big hop scent on the back end. Well balanced, thin body and well carbonated. Subtle malt floors of caramel and breadfruit with a citric and piney hop finish.

Balance is decent leaning more towards the happy side. Decent beer for a clean american amber ale but as a winter seasonal im not going out of my way to find it. Can't see santa drinking it himself either.

On the plus side there is a spiced taste somehow without the addition of spices so kudos to that. Nothing all too special though.

jtierney89, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of jordanmills
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Looks dark amber with a thick rocky head. Looks great. Smells not so hot - pretty hoppy. I was hoping this wasn't another over-hopped winter warmer. I was disappointed. Not that malty, it's as hoppy as a weak IPA. There some slight taste complexity, but it's drowned out by the hops. Other than the bitterness, goes down smooth. The aftertaste is a little bitter, with all the hops. I don't think I'd drink more than one.

jordanmills, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of MoreThanWine
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a huge off-white head which took a while to dissipate to 1/8". Clear and pretty dark auburn brown color with lots of slow microbubbles. Smell is medium IPA. Taste again is toward IPA but had an unpleasant bitterness to it in my opinion, and it's not that I don't like the bitter styles, I like lot's of very intense DIPAs and such. Maybe this had a different hop I wasn't used to. Not undrinkable but I likely wouldn't buy it again.

MoreThanWine, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of wailingwench
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am hesitant to rate this...maybe I missed something after comparing the other reviews.

Eye Candy: Dark amber, brown edges, Thick, pillowy tan head. Superb hop clumping. Nice lacing.

The Nose Knows: Rich nutty malts with a crisp hop finish.

Tongueland: Deep rich malts with a touch of roasted nuts, slight caramel-like finish.

Bender Factor: I know this is brewed with Chinook and Centennial Hops, they are undetectable. I will purchase another bomber and re-review.

wailingwench, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of pweis909
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amber-red - appropriate holiday fare, with big foamy cap.

Two odors apparent as I poured this brew: the piney odors of Chinook hops but also something metallic and off.

Micely layered malts, more to the sweet side than the roasted malt suggested by the label. Stong, puckering hop bitterness. Chinook hops are easily overdone, and this is an example, in my opinion. Bigger is not always better.

pweis909, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of whendeathsleeps
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep amber, tan flufffy two finger head that lasts a good while, lots of lacing.

S- Weird soapy smell, caramel, sweet raisin, citrus hops.

T- Hop forward, a little sweet malt, lingering bitterness. Nothing else much stands out.

M- Dry, low carbonation.

O- Nothing really special. Not sure why this would be Santa's Private Stock, not what I expected from a Holiday beer. Very average.

whendeathsleeps, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of bigdeuce
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't impressed with this one and it is surprising coming from Rogue. I love Rogue brews. Smelled like metal, tasted like it too. Pours a nice looking dark to red color. Had a little hop kickback to it but nothing special. Just not one I'll seek out again.

bigdeuce, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of Andragos
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Andragos, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of MacDonaldT84
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

MacDonaldT84, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of bigmoose125
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

bigmoose125, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of crowbar540
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

crowbar540, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of BigGingDrinker
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

BigGingDrinker, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of CraftBeerGuild
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

CraftBeerGuild, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of Vancer
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ho da hody ho. A deep amber pour, nice lacey little ivory head. Lots of malt with a pop of floral in the aroma. The taste really had a big push of pine and grass. Some coriander spice helped, but the overall taste was off for me.

Not enough malt to balance out the harsh hops. Dry and bitter in the finish. I had no problem finishing this, but was not generally pleased and will not seek another bottle.

Vancer, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of nriech
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium dark brown, good head and medium carbonation.

Smell: A bit hoppy, citrusy maybe. Not a whole lot else though.

Taste: Even less in the taste. Wow this was a big disappointment. Kind of like a watery hop soup. with pine needles. Thats about all I tasted as well as the other guys tasting with me. After trying to pawn this off on everyone else we ended up pouring it out.

Drinkability: Low. Easy to get down the gullet on one hand but not good enough to enjoy it. Way too thin.

nriech, Nov 13, 2006
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,983 ratings.