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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,950 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,950
Reviews: 1,141
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 42
Gots: 71 | 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.

13º PLATO
65 IBU
73.1 AA
26.75º L

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,950 | Reviews: 1,141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +6.4%

JAHMUR, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, very reddish-copper color with a full, foamy, light tan head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace. The aroma is hoppy! Piney/gently citrusy and lightly fruity. The body is medium with a fine & median carbonation. The flavor starts softly fruity and lightly nutty. A nicely sweet caramel maltiness comes through before becoming engulfed in resiny hop flavor and bitterness. And yet, the bitterness never really builds on the palate. Extremely well balanced for such a boldly hopped beer! It finishes quite dry with just some residual maltiness and a bold lingering bitterness. This beer reminded me of their St. Rogue Red but with more hop character. Very nice. An excellent choice for the hop lovers among us!

NeroFiddled, Nov 16, 2002
Photo of Jason
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A most excellent looking head, the hops are an obvious help in this department. Clear brownish copper color shimmers warm in the light. Nutty bready sweet malt, softly pungent hop oil infiltrates the nose with rind, wild flowers and citrus zest. So smooth, nice crisp bite towards the end. Body is creamy and of a solid medium size. Level carbonation. Citric hop and a nougat flavor up front on the taste buds. Waves of malt sweetness are white capped with a strong grasping hop bitterness. Both the hop bitterness and malt sweetness, even the residuals, don’t want to let go. The hops are more persistent and seem to cover more ground with layers of flavor.

As always in Rogue fashion there is no holding back on the hops, certainly enough malt flavor to go around. This one is a must for me each year.

Jason, Jan 05, 2008
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 RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby/amber with a little bit of head. Nose is, surprise, hoppy!! Who would have thunk. Also that touch of a sweet tone on there too. Taste is interesting. Kind of pine like with a sweet touch on the tip of your tongue, but the dominant presence here is, surprise, the hops! Mouthfeel seems a little too carbonated. And I would put the drinkability higher if it weren't for the mass of hops that are there, just to be there. Just because blue looks good on your car doesn't mean you have to paint the tires the same color too. A decent brew, but I won't be waiting up late at night next year waiting for it to come around.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a caramel amber hue above the body sits a very nice sized mass of tan foam that as I take each swip forms a ring of fine lacing with dispersed specks of lace packed between each clear ring. Aroma: Deep pine cone scented hops full biscuit malt character with some caramel sweetness complementing the west coast hopping. Taste: Roasted malts, caramel malt tones backed by a whopping hop profile brings out piney and mildly citrus tones a great winter amber great brew. Mouthfeel: Medium in body, overall great crisp finish leaves the hop oils on the tongue pretty damn bitter. Drinkability: More hops than I want for a session brew but a very tasty seasonal offering from our friends at Rogue.

WVbeergeek, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Kegatron, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby red with a fluffy light brown head. Head retention good, not great. Lacing clings to the side of the .5L glass I'm drinking this from.

Smell: Hops (piney and some floral notes) and fruitiness, a slight earthiness with slight brown sugar notes.

Taste: Hops kicking ass & taking names from the get go, but still complimenting a malty/fruity body.

MF: Chewy & balanced, but straying towards over hopping, detracting drinkabiity...

Tasty effort, reminds me of buffed up brutal bitter..

russpowell, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark garnet/ rich,ruby color, big, creamy head. Aroma: hoppy, spicy, dazzling array of fruits, grapes, cherries. Sits wonderfully in the mouth. Tangy, sour taste. Bitter finish. It's described by Rogue as having a "hoppy, sprucy finish", and I obviously blinked on the spruce. I like it very well, but, although you can call me a hophead, I wasn't expecting quite so much hops in a brew of this style. Although, to be fair, the "winter beer" style is increasingly a broad one. In sum, I thank Santa for sharing!

feloniousmonk, Dec 22, 2002
Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Slatetank, May 15, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am slowly reviewing all the beers on beeradvocate that have more than 1000 reviews, this is one of them.

Beer served in a Rogue shaker pint glass because I can. Beer is red and mostly clear with a decent off white head of medium bubbles, leaves some lacing on the glass and carbonation is moderate to low.

Beer smells pretty malty, almost dark in the malt bill. Some piny hops rears up in the back and I can smell that horrid pacman yeast they use for everything, I call this aroma the Rogue bite.

Beer is thick and heavy on my palate...oh how I wish this was a 12 ounce bottle. It is not bad, it is a malty red but at this point in the night I'm not feeling such a heavy beer. The hop presence is fine in the back, moderately bitter, some pine on the palate. Overall it's a pretty OK red. I'd have it again but not 22 ounces in one sitting as my fifth beer of the night.

drabmuh, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a great great christmas beer. pours a sensational hazed bronze color with a tan head and lace at every sip clinging to the glass. smells a bit hoppy, west coast. also smells malty and strong, possibly cask conditioned in the nose to, rich earthy overtones. taste is balanced and the mouthfeel is so so smooth. not holiday in the traditional sense, but very much appropriate for the season. complex yet drinkable. warming from the inside out. fantastic brew

StonedTrippin, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +33%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark red color with a nice tan head that lasts. The aroma is tremendous. There are elements of pale, crystal, and munich malts here. Also, the aroma hops stand out. The taste is good. It is quite hoppy. This is a red/amber ale with a heavy load of hops in all respects. The mouthfeel is good. This is a medium bodied ale that is well carbonated. This is a great drinking beer. You gotta love seasonal gems such as this.

WesWes, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in the big globe with a sensational head. Lacing lingers around, and it's altogether a nice sudsy experience. I swear it smells faintly of camomile and not much else.

I didn't expect the smoke. It's fairly understated so it took me a while to place the flavor and scent. Definitely enhances what is otherwise a rather thin and sharp beer. The hops come along to claim the stage. Not excessively bitter, but more than I'd like in a winter seasonal.

If this is really an Amber Ale, it's one of the better ones. And I guess with no spice additives, that's what it is. Just a touch of malty sweetness, but some kind of candy in the nose. It's an odd one, and worth a try, especially if you would rather have more hops than less.

mactrail, May 09, 2012
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-copper with a thin foamy off-white head.

Rogue's signature Pac-man yeast is in the forefront of the smell, backed up by toasty caramel, citrus and earthy notes.

The taste is of the Pac-man yeast, caramel/toffee and bitter citrus with a touch of spruce. Toffeeish malt gives way to a bitter finish. Medium-bodied (not quite as full as many other winter offerings, but a nice body for an amber/red ale.

With the ingedients, I expected to like it even more. Bottom line though - I liked it and certainly found it to be highly drinkable and a good "hop-fix" for a change from the large line-up of malty/spicy winter brews (along with a few other hoppy winter brews that come to mind).

jwc215, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

DrunkinYogi, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish, light brown. Slight coudiness. Nice lace as the beer is consumed. The head is light beige, about one-finger thick. It dies within five minutes to a single layer of fine bubbles.

A touch of chocolate malt in the aroma. Nice dry hop presence for balance--flowery.

Most notable is the dryness of this brew. It is also surprisingly thin in body with a relatively high carbonation. Bountiful amount of hops, but not overwhelming. Very brief aftertaste.

This is similar to a darkish high-hopped pale ale.

smcolw, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A highly carbonated beer that pours with a thick brown head. This beer is a dark brown color that is a clear deep amber color when held up to the light. It has a some what hoppy nose, though it is not too strong.

Definitely a hoppy beer in the taste department as well. It is fairly dry, but does have a caramel malt twang to it. There are interesting pine & citrus notes in this beer. It is fairly bitter in the finish, which is only accentuated by the light body of this brew. Perhaps a hint of buttery richness in the finish as well. As I dig deeper I find roasted malt notes in this beer, just as promised, though at first I missed them because of the hops. The hop notes primarily bring to mind pine & spruce.

Gueuzedude, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber, with the man himself on the cover,

A: Pours a dark red, with a thick, full, frothy white head, great retention, leaving medium lacing.

S: Has a sweet smell of caramel malt and some hops.

T: Kind of a letdown in this department. The hop flavour is nice, but it is kind of 1-dimensional, straight pine, backed with a red caramel malt flavour that is not my favourite in the world. Not a bad flavour overall, but I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I thought I would.

M: Kind of thin, watery, holds up fairly well, but needs more heft, didn't feel it carried the flavour as well as it could have.

D: This is a beer I remember liking last year, but this year it wasn't exactly my cup of tea, tastes change I guess. I still think it tastes good overall, it just didn't excite me that much. I'll drink again, but I don't know if this one will be in my regular winter beer rotation.

Halcyondays, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber / copper in color with a nice 2" bubbly tan head. Aroma is malty, piney bitterness, with hints of citrus and spice. The flavor follows what is picked up by the nose, with plenty of maltiness and bitterness, followed by some grapefruit, caramel, and a touch of pepper.

Mouthfeel starts smooth with a touch of crispness, but ends crisply and lightly dry. The maltiness and pine lingers. Medium in body. Minimal carbonation bubbles noticed. As with most Rogue products, very drinkable and quite tasty.

Gavage, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/19/04- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured into my 24 oz mug.

Appearance- Nice inch head with average lacing throughout. A darker amber color.

Smell- Lots of hops as expected from a Rogue brew. Maybe some fruity scents as well.

Taste- Yep, lots of hops and lots of malt too. Nice and balanced. Has a tad of a dark taste to it. Not sure if it's a nutty or raosted taste. My buds are failing me.

Mouthfeel- Above average carbonation, but with the hops tempting me, I don't care...

Drinkability- Quite a nice Christams brew. One of the better balanced beers I have had in a while.

GClarkage, Dec 20, 2004
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,950 ratings.