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Santa's Private Reserve Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,157
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 59
Gots: 182 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,157 | Reviews: 1,183
Photo of orangesol
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.21/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of LXIXME
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice big light brown head with decent staying power on a clear reddish-golden colored ale.

Distant light citrus and fruity aroma.

Light citrus and some fruitiness in a warming and slightly bitter tasting beer.

Dryish aftertaste with some light bitterness remaining with this medium bodied beer.

This Santa is welcome at my house anytime of year.

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of yourefragile
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle (2010) served in .5 liter glass mug

A - Red mahogany with good amount of tan head. Head has good retention. Slight haze.

Medium strength aroma that is primarily hoppy gives way to a flavor with more malt balance than anticipated. Malt is clearly in aroma too, but the balance changes.
Slightly too earthy: otherwise, flavor = 4.5. Nice dynamic and lasting finish.

M - nice smooth feel, medium body with good level of carbonation.

O - Think, Imperial Red Ale. Good enough to go out and buy a couple more bottles to stow away for next Xmas.

Follow-up: we'll, it is now Xmas 2011, and the 2010 vintage is excellent ... Perhaps even better than a year ago. Particularly excellent balance!

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of tdm168
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber wtih a huge, brownish, off white head that is dense and foamy with great retention

S - sweet caramel, bread, light piny aromas

T - faint bread, caramel, piny hop resin

M - medium bodied, perfectly carbonated

This has the makings of a very solid beer. All of the right flavors are there. this just isn't as full flavored as I would have liked, and it's also a bit simplistic. It has decent malt character and a good hop presence, but it's all underwhelming. All of the flavors need to be more forward. This was nice to try once, but I don't think I'll seek it out again.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Christmas leftovers continues!

A very light caramel head in color, large fist full of foamy goodness off the pour with some nice clumping retention. Body color is a gorgeous amber red and hues of orange, copper, and all in between. This slight opaque character gives the beer a not quite frozen but a subtle orb glowing character, lots of lacing while finishing. Great looking beer.

Nose is clean malts, faint brown sugar, a little brown clove spice in there. Very nice.

Taste brings a nice play in the mouth. Soft bodied mouthfeel and just this tiny TINY lingering hop presence on the swallow. A mild sweetness comes through with a chewy density. Hints of orange in the palate, clementime zest bitter. Mouthfeel could be just a hint better, but doesn't get too wet or syrupy. Just a faint hop hint here which lingers and mixes with the malt body real nicely.

MMmmm I am enjoying this one. Great amber!

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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...

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
85 out of 100 based on 2,157 ratings.