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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

1,950 Ratings

(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.

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 oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rogue in a 12 oz bottle? I don't believe it! Haha, my usual store now carries this and Dead Guy in the non-bomber variety.

This beer pours a beautiful copper red color with a nice fluffy head. The lacing is incredible... the entire glass was coated all the way down. Taste wise it was good, but not great. It was a little thin on the body and I felt for the style it's better suited to be a tad thicker. Taste was hoppy and good though which it made it pretty drinkable. A pretty solid beer, but expected more for the price tag ($2.29/12 oz bottle)

oriolesfan4, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

imperialking, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of woodychandler
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Xmas in July at The Grey Lodge! Whoo hoo. Thanks, Scoats, for another brilliant gathering.

This arrived with a really fluffy tan head that slowly reduced but never completely disappeared. It had a lovely malt nose which didn't seem spicy at all. The color was a deep amber, or better, caramel color, like cola. The mouthfeel was rather light. I noted a light combination of sweetness and spiciness in the mouth. Amazingly, the finish was more hoppy than malty. I found this highly enjoyable and I would have had another had it not been for all of the different beers brought out for the occasion.

woodychandler, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Clear brownish amber/copper with a very nice looking head. Off white/pale tan, very fluffy lots of little bubbles with great retention and lacing.
S: Malty with faint hop smell, I'm having trouble picking up anything more specific from this beer.
T: Mild malt taste throughout, not as strong as smell would suggest. Slightly piney and a little citrus as hops are very strong and take over in the finish.
M: Medium body, very creamy, but a little too much carbonation for me.
D: I feel pretty indifferent toward this beer. A slightly overhopped amber for my taste, biggest complaint was not getting enough of the malt sweetness to balance the hops.

yourefragile, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of orangesol
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

orangesol, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hops, I smell greapefuit hops, and whatever that house aroma is. Maybe from the Pacman yeast. Looks a gorgeous red with head and lacing that won't stop. Tastes of some caramel malt with lemon and grapefuit hops and spruce. Unfortunately, this beer suffers from a lack of distinct flavors. It just rushes in at once and leaves bitterness. This packs a punch for an amber/red. Definately a beer for the IPA crowd, not the Killian's folks.

tempest, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish red/amberish color with a frothy off white head. Nose is hoppy with malty notes. Taste starts hoppy and finishes like a red ale, with some bitter notes. The bitter lingers in the aftertaste along with some malty tones. I did not finish as I was disappointed in this brew.

barleywinefiend, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 06. "13° Plato", so 6%abv. alright. No freshness info. available on the label, but I suppose the BSF bar manager wouldn't risk public health, so here it goes~~ served lightly chilled in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: pours a translucent, dark reddish brown hue, very elegant; a nice foamy beige head with some retention, settling to a thin cap sustaining throughout the drink; very low in carbonation.
S: very sweet caramel malts mixed with incredibly dense and oily hoppyness—flower scent, longan-flower honey, ripe lychees and raisins, with roast tea-leaves in a remote corner... Overall it's a touch too sweet for me, as if a spoonful of brown sugar was tossed into the glass right after pouring. But apart from that sugary edge, the complexity is really good and quite “typically-American” in that hoppy composition... the sweet edge does soften to show a better balance after the beer breathes a little while.
T: softly fizzy in texture, very soothing… bitter-sweet fruity+caramely malts with a touch of toffee upfront gives way fast to an overwhelming hoppyness... tannic, bold, dried-flaky hops all over the place, with a faint tinge of sour/bitter grapefruit-zest at the fringe... yet the herbal and roasty-dryish bitterness takes over in no time, towards an almost "Chinese herbal-medicine soup"-like bitter aftertaste, creeping down underneath the tongue. So bitter and dry is the finish that it’s incredibly quaffable for a "Bitter drinker" like me!
M&D: great balance on the palate, the sweet maltiness is softened greatly by the formidible presence of hop-bitterness with a healthy kick of sourness; the carbonation is ideal, too, full of micro-scopic fizz to render a semi-creamy mouthfeel. All in all, this is a remarkably bitter malty ale, reminiscent of English ESB/Premium Bitter style, with an extra touch of hops on the nose and palate. Extremely quaffable indeed. But then again, it could've been even better if the nose shows a delicate balance.

P.S. a little challenge here: I wonder why this beer couldn't be categorised as ESB/Premium Bitter but as a poorly-defined "American Amber Ale". Does there just have to be new names/categories for every single traditional style "made in USA"? I don't get it--the whole "categorisation exercise", like some kind of endless quest for self-identities...

wl0307, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical Rogue bomber, no freshness/vintage info. Offered. Pours clear, slightly reddish amber. Head is initially huge and luxurious , slowly recedes , leaves gobs of scattered and sheeted lacing. The nose I get is multifaceted, ginger bread, leafy hops, bready malts. Tasty, complex and clearly high quality offering. More mild winter spice, a modicum or resiny hops and then a smooth multi grain malt finish. More resins on the tongue long after the last sip. Nice creation from Rogue, fine winter/holiday sipper

Billolick, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a short head, little head retention,or lacing. Smells of faint hops, cinnamon, and stone fruit. Taste is very hoppy, but a little out of balance. Very thin and soapy in the middle. Just decent- there are many better winter brews.

Georgiabeer, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

duceswild, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a deep reddish brown body that is a bit dense but glows in the light. There is a thick bubbly light tan head that sticks to the glass forming a meniscus. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles that rise in strands to the surface.

S- This beer has a big sweet toasted malt aroma a nice caramel malt smell and a hint of dark malt in the background. The malt smell is big and rich like that of sweet boiling wort.

T- the sweet big malt flavor is mostly toasted malt both light and dark with a caramel flavor coming through and increasing as the beer warms. There is a faint buttery note in the malt and a hint of dark roasted malt in the background. The big bitter bite of hops has a dry grapefruit quality that finishes the beer nicely.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel and a pretty smooth texture to the finish.

D- This beer has lots of great sweet malt depth with a nice balance of hop bitterness to make it very drinkable. This will be great on winter nights I don't feel like leaving the house.

rhoadsrage, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from BevMo, and poured into an Oktoberfest mug, on to the beer:

An excepionally sized head sits on top of the red-amberish colored beer. The aroma is big on the hops and the tropical juicy flavors it brings along. It looks like it's going to be a monster of a beer to get down, but isn't. Lots of hoppiness to be found in the taste, which is tea-like. Burnt sugar, wood, and a light fruitiness are found in the crowd. Faint doughiness in the aftertaste. Not a very carbonated brew, but a good one to quaff on.

DoubleJ, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very brown brew with red color when held up to a strong light.

Smells of hops and malt, smells mildly sweet and of perfume.

Taste is very malty and surprisingly bitter. There is lots of caramel and nuts flavor to this too. A good strong ale.

Mouthfeel is astringent and full.

Fairly bitey beer, might be too much for some.

Zorro, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice coppery color, some carbonation and medium head for a short while, lace stays. The brewer has three different hops (brewer says double the usual) and five malts but the hops win with an initial balance but a definite and lingering hoppy finish. The ABV is 6%.

jdhilt, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +6.4%

ejimhof, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours about a finger of creamy beige head. Really nice retention leaving lots of thick lace walls. Color is a dark, but clear, copper hued ruby. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma: Smells very hoppy with a decent amount of malts. Pine hop flavor with caramel and toffee. There also seems to be some spices and cookie flavors. Not to bad.

Taste: It reminds me of a hopped up red ale that wasn't drank fresh. The malts show a lot here, but there is a decent amount of hops. A big amount of pine and citrus flavors with caramel. It also has a metallic flavor in the aftertaste. Nothing I am overly fond of.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, and bubbly. Lots of carbonation here with a medium bodied. Ends very malty and sticky.

Overall, It started out good, but it just didn't taste that amazing. I am a little bummed out that I still have a lot to finish from this bomber. It is drinkable, just nothing I want to drink a lot of.

mothman, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +6.4%

afsdan, May 21, 2014
Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into signature pint glass; no bottle dating, but is a 2013 release. Pours fairly hazy ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon zest, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, floral, grass, herbal, pine, light nuttiness, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt and hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon zest, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, nuttiness, floral, grass, pine, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Good amount of earthy pine resin bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, floral, pine, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; with a good bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice amber ale style. Good balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

superspak, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark red/amber color, nice carbonation, small foamy head, nice islands of lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, hops, and some spices.

T - The taste is kinda sweet, and ends with a slight bitter dry finish.

M - Medium body, nice well rounded brew.

D - Drinkable. Another awesome brew in my book from Rogue. Quiet different than other Amber's I've had, but very tasty non the less.

Wasatch, May 04, 2006
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 ppoitras
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22ozer from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over a somewhat murky red brew. Frothy head leaves chunky lace all over the place, nice. Aroma is malty, yet carries plenty of hops presence as well. Flavor is dominated by the hops, whoa is this hoppy, but does have a good grain backbone which attempts to supprt all the hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, with the hops bitterness kind of knocking things a bit down in my mind. Malt presence does become stronger as warming continues.

ppoitras, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color with a nice one finger head. Good retention and nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Nice citrus/pine aroma upfront. Followed up by a nice caramel smell.

T: Starts piney and is followed up by some citrus and more floral hop notes. The caramel malts hit in the middle and has a slightly bitter finish.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, very enjoyable. Love that this "winter" beer is a hoppy red ale.

Edit: 10/27/11
Had a very fresh bottle (Thanks Cory!). Bumped up the taste to a 4. Quite nice flavor profile, better than I remember.

mdaschaf, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +6.4%

BillRoth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +6.4%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 1,950 ratings.