Santa's Private Reserve Ale
Rogue Ales

Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #127
Ranked #31,463
3.78 | pDev: 13.49%
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 1,209 | Ratings: 2,376 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Deep rust color; barely see-through.

Bright white head; nice lacing.

Citrus hop nose with malt undertones. Smells good.

Medium mouthfeel. Hop forward with a nice citrus bite; slight roasted notes underneath. Tastes like a red IPA.

Unique & quite quaffable, but this is for hop lovers only.

Sep 08, 2019
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a brownish color with a modest light tan head that lasts a bit. Lacing as you enjoy it. In the nose, Scent is light, but the taste is dark fruits and malt predominantly.

Feb 06, 2019
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dcotom from Iowa

4.51/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Here I go off the reservation yet again, but I can't help it. If you like bitter - and I do - this one's for you. Clear, dark amber colored pour, with a dense off-white head that lasts forever leaving tons of pretty lacing. Very well balanced with lots of complexity. Notes of dark bread, caramel, and dark fruit, with a little tart cherry and lots of resiny bitterness that lingers from start to finish. Malty, bitter, and delicious. What more could you ask for?

Dec 18, 2018
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From notes 6/17/12: Pours a murky brown producing 2 finger of frothy, short-lived, tan head that leaves only a little thin lacing. Aroma is dark bread, toast, honey, caramel, floral and resinous pine hops. Taste is hop heavy pine/spruce bitterness throughout the sip but especially in the finish and aftertaste. The malt is plentiful with dark bread, fig, prune, molasses,some smoke, alcohol with a vague hint of wood. This review is from old notes and my example was the 2012 version. I understand they change the recipe every so often (not sure it it changes ever year or not). You could be fooled into thinking the 2012 version was a Winter Warmer based on the name and label, its far too hoppy for that (and too hoppy for an American Amber/Red Ale also).

Dec 01, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From Saveur Biere. In Teku glass. Playing Life is Strange Ep 4. 3 months after bbf date and still a pretty good american amber with strong bitterness. However, I dont find any christmasty character in it

Jan 15, 2018
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jjamadorphd from Florida

3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another Christmas-themed ale that I have enjoyed this 2017 holiday season...

A very unique copperish, caramel-colored liquid that provides weak foam and no lacing, but still - very unique. The smell has all the characteristics of a winter warmer - the spice, the malt, and hints of cardamon and even some cinnamon. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, though more carbonated than I preferred. The least favorite part of this brew was it's taste - a metallic tang that did not get better as it warmed, in fact, it became more pronounced, not as tasty as I imagined it would be. Overall, it's a good brew and certainly one I will keep an eye out for in the future.

Dec 29, 2017
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - Dark reddish brown with a small tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly but leaves behind some lacing.
S - Sweet bready malt along with the cherries and raspberries as well as raisins and some caramel.
T - Follows the nose with sweet bready malt up front finished by the tart/sour cherries and raspberries. Intermixed are notes of raisins and caramel. Definitely on the sweeter side.
F - medium to somewhat fuller bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation - smooth yet leaves a somewhat watery mouthfeel. The watery mouthfeel is on the back end and is something I've found somewhat common with all Rogue ales.
O - This is a pretty good holiday ale with notes of cherries and raspberries as promised. Personally, it might be a little "too" sweet and "too" tart for my tastes, but overall it's definitely worth a try.

Dec 25, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Teku glass.

Look is a reddish almost purplish blueberry juice color. Head is off white and dissipates quickly.

Aroma is fruity with a strong molasses malt.

Taste is astringently sweet malt with a little berry at the end.

Dec 19, 2017
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craftbeersweden from Sweden

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Brown-red, hazy beer with a one finger, beige, head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Hops, caramel, ripe fruit, raisin, prune and toffee. A lot of sweetness in the nose.
Taste: Pine resin, caramel malt, plum, nuts and grapefruit. The taste is a lot less sweet than the nose.
Mouth: Medium body. Light carbonation. A lot of bitterness at the end.

Nov 29, 2017
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Impetuous from Montana

3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown with amber edges. Little head and no lacing.

Flavors are hops and cherries and dark chocolate. The pine hops and chocolate / sweet malts and sourness doesn’t gel until it gets warmer.

Nov 15, 2017
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with medium head and decent lacing. Nose is malty, cherry, and some citrus. Taste follows the nose, very nice malty cherry flavors with a slight citrus mixed in, some barley/grain. This is a clean feeling beer, very easy to drink, just a very solid holiday beer, excellent.

Nov 08, 2017
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Zippy_TMS from California

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For years, Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve Ale has been one of my absolute favorite beers. The double-hopped red ale is my perfect balance of bright hops and carmelized malty deliciousness. Well, Rogue went and ruined it.

I found my first bottle of the season and I was so excited! My excitement faded quickly when I saw the the logo had changed, and the words described something about a strong Belgian ale with cherry and raspberry. My favorite beer, a highlight of my year, was no longer and has been replaced. This new recipe is a fine beer. It's delicious and nicely balanced without slapping you in the palate with fruit or that Belgian hop flavor, but it's not the classic beer that I've loved for so many years. I'm not a fan of the Belgian taste, so I'll move on.

Maybe Rogue will hear some feedback and some day my beloved Santa's Private Reserve will come back in all its glory, but in the meantime I'll be looking for a new favorite beer.

Nov 08, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly cloudy dark amber color with beige head. Aroma is malt forward but you also get some earthy, resiny hops with dried orange notes. Taste starts slightly sweet and malty, even a bit nutty. Finish is more bitter and earthy with a bit of pine resin. Medium to light body, medium carbonation. Really well balanced overall, starting malty and sweet but the hops are present on the finish with a drying bitterness.

Feb 09, 2017
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mintzmeet from Washington

2.75/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the PDX spot. This one is interesting. Not as flavorful as I expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Roasted, malty flavor. Definite spruce overtones on the tongue (and in the aroma). Nice reddish copper color. Just realized I have no idea how much I am paying for these beers. :X

Jan 26, 2017
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vinicole from England

3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Slight haze. Red/amber colour. Thin light tan head.
Malt, fruit and light spice aroma.
Mild bread and toffee malt with pine hop flavour. Initial sweetness changes to a bitter completion.
Rather thin for a winter brew.

Jan 20, 2017
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy red color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is good. Lacing is decent. Has a malty sweet aroma. Maybe some dark fruits and a good amount of hoppiness. Floral hoppy flavor at the front with a bigger, sweeter, malty taste at the end. Very bready. Maybe some mild caramel. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not a bad beer. More of an astringent aftertaste.

Jan 15, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; reddish amber in color; 1 finger finely pored khaki head that receded to a thin collar; OK lacing;

S: more hoppy than malty; floral is predominant; caramel is evident as well;

T: balanced between floral and caramel; a hint of spruce that becomes more noticeable toward the finish; very little bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: interesting;

Jan 08, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber with a short and short lived off white head. Light lacing

Smells piney and citrus with more Caramel malts as it warms

Tastes light bready sweet caramel malts quickly followed by light citrus bitter finishes dry with lingering light pine flavor. Medium body with higher carbonation with finer bubbles.

Jan 03, 2017
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DovGibor from New York

3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Half inch of light cream colored, foamy head that lingers a minute or so. Color is dark amber to light brick red. Aroma is rich and powerful. Piney and grassy hops. Smells like a bitter forest, with good malt notes too.

Tastes rich, but bitterness seems somewhat one dimensional and unbalanced. The aroma made it clear there would be strong hop bitterness, but I'm still a bit surprised by how bracing it is. And I don't detect the same malt balance I got in the aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth, but a bit thin.

Overall, it has a great aroma and it's not a bad beer, but the bitterness lacks balance for me. I doubt I'll be picking it up again.

Nov 18, 2016
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delta490 from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's a beautiful, slightly cloudy, with a nice cap of lightly foamy tan head. It's great retention leaves small sheets of small sticky lacing. The aroma is...crisp. It's mostly malty with just a slight earthy hops note. The taste is much the same. The body has just a little more carbonation for me but it has a nice medium weight body.

Nov 08, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive red and amber colors here, aroma of hops, Chinook.

Taste is an uncomplicated hoppy beer. Wow, they exist in the Rogue portfolio. Bitter, toasted pale malts and Chinook hops with some of that usual caramel like malt going on.

It works. Its expensive for what it is, but it is drinkable.

Sep 06, 2016
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 04/13/16:

Dark copper, almost brown. Mostly clear. Fluffy, even, tan head of moderate retention. Smells piney, brothy, rindy, and vegetal. Dank palate, and yet, somehow, seems watered down. Resin, pine, spiciness, soapiness from the hops. Tart throughout, a little orange-like, some caramel. Vegetal, piney, leathery finish. Medium-bodied, sloshy, medium-carbonation, gulpable, fairly astringent.

Apr 17, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

French Toast, Cinnamon. Cloudy Brown pour, small head, but sturdy.Hops, Hops, Hops.
Very Hoppy for a seasonal.Thin beer, decent carbonation, but tough to drink with food b/c of the bitterness.Nice Flavor, but not my favorite holiday beer by a long shot. A bit disappointed since I Love Rogue.

Mar 25, 2016
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gandres from Philippines

4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle from the brewery in Issaquah
Appearance: deep amber, clear, cloudy medium head, lacing
Aroma: malty, hay/cereal-strong smell of grains
Taste: very good, bitterness and minimal follow through
Palate: Medium-full body, very nice, sticky creamy, fizzy, strong bitter finish follow through
Overall: very good beer, good to repeat
Drank: March 17, 2016
Happy St Patrick's Day

Mar 18, 2016
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mnj21655 from Massachusetts

3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red mahogany in color with a finger of khaki head, decent retention. Faint bready aroma. Taste is very malty, lots of caramel, very sweet. Medium-light body and moderate carbonation. Overall not a bad beer but it is much too sweet for my tastes.

Jan 10, 2016
Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 2376 ratings