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Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

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Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
2,350 Ratings
Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,350 |  Reviews: 1,201
Photo of MrDanno96
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Typical reddish/amber color. Started with about a finger of creamy off-white head, but quickly dissipated to a thin ring. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Not a whole lot on the nose. Floral hops and some pine mostly. Some very subtle sweet fruit. I expected a little more.

T: Some toasted/burnt malts up front quickly give way to bitter hops. Some subtle citric/tropical sweet fruit can be tasted, but barely. Not quite what I was expected, but it's decent nonetheless. Pretty simple flavors, but a decent balance is struck between them.

M: Light to medium body and just a little sticky. Nice bite from the carbonation.

D: Meh. I wasn't impressed, but it's by no means a bad beer. I would have it again if offered, but probably won't seek it out.

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Photo of javincik
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a nonic pint glass.

A-Color is an orange-red topped with a slightly off white finger thick head which dissipated very quickly.

S-Mostly hops. Lots of floral aromas with some fruit and grassy notes.

T-Sweet up front with some citrus characteristics. Hops kick in through the middle. Hops and malt fight it out briefly before a rather abrupt slightly bitter finish. Hops are crisp and focused, but the finish is quick-rather surprisingly so. Of course the hops come through more and more as it warms. Finish is still tight. Not much lingering.

M-About average for the style. Carbonation lingers a little on the tongue.

D-Easy to put down. Not something that really requires your attention. Nice while watching a movie or sports.

A solid amber, but nothing spectacular. Doesn't have anything that would make me reach for it over the myriad other choices in the style. Will not actively seek it out again, but wouldn't turn it down if someone offered me one.

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Photo of Shadman
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber orange color, chill haze, excellent head and lacing.

Was expecting more in this dept. Nice balance between the sweet bread malt and the floral pine-like aroma, but it is quite mild.

I liked it, but to my palate it tastes a lot like a variation of their IPA, which is excellent btw. More English than Yank in the nice balance between the sweet bread malt and slick, slightly oily pine hop.

Smooth, balanced, easy to drink.

Expensive, but nice ans easy to drink...but for me...tough to peg where it falls in the Ale spectrum...but certainly a good brew if you like a well balanced, hopped up brew.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.14/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-very dark orange color with hues of red pouring almost two fingers of a light khaki colored head that dissipates relatively quickly but leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-not much smell coming through, light pale malts hit first with a hint of cinnamon backed with light citrus taste and a hint of orange

T-very light flavor, pale malts come through on this with just a hint of christmas spice, really just a touch of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla with a touch of citrus and orange at the very back

M-a medium to light body with a relatively smooth mouthfeel, a lot of carbonation burning the throat with a crisp bite at the finish

D-not a lot of flavor, almost like a crappy pale ale with some cinnamon and sweetness

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Photo of cbutova
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a straight up clear amber red with a very robust two finger head that retains very well. The head is light tan and pretty creamy. Lacing is alright left in high quantities before I take a sip. Smell has a pretty large portion of hops, piney ones, and some pale malts can be picked up. Eventually it is just pale malts that dominate the nose. Nothing very special about the smell here. This beer has one of the strangest hop flavors to it. The individual elements of this beer are nice but they don't really blend well. The hops seem unchecked even though this isn't a hop bomb. I think there is too much piney hops and nothing else. Some citrus hops and sweets too. Also pick up some citrus peel and spices. I guess it reminds me of Xmas but the piney hops bitterness are just too much for me here. It is still better than average I would say because of the malt backbone once it shines through. Mouthfeel is way too light and I can tell right away. The carbonation is fine and there isn't any warming but it reminds me of water upon the first sip. Drinkability is not to bad besides the extreme pine hop bitterness factor. This beer was not expensive and the taste is not bad. Not sure if I will try this one again.

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Photo of bamadog
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a beautiful golden honey with slight hints of ruby when held to the light; starts with a huge three finger off-whtie head that fades very slowly and becomes rocky; solid webs of lacing left on the walls of the glass; pour looks thick and viscous and shows strong carbonation; body is slightly cloudy; head fades to a very thick skim on the surface.

Smell: A nice combination of citric/oragne peel hops with very sweet and sugary malts -- scent is almost like a creamy orange caramel candy; slightly spicey aspect in the far back; smell is quite potent.

Taste: Not as nice as the smell, but still pretty decent. There is a firm balance of the sweet and slightly bready malts with the citric hops, however, the hop presence is more bitter in the mouth and there's a definite bitter and metallic/coppery flavor that tends to linger throughout; slightly spicey finish; overall, it grows on me as it warms a bit and as I drink it down, but the metallic aspect really kind of turns me off a little.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thick, so that's good as it matches up with what it looked like on the pour; solid coating throughout the mouth; carbonation keeps a thicker beer pretty lively. Very nice.

Drinkability: I love how it looks and smells, and the taste isn't bad, but that metallic aspect just kind of makes me wince a little bit; ABV is pretty do-able as well. Overall, I'd probably drink it again, and wouldn't mind coming across this one on tap sometime to see how different it would.

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Photo of Stigs
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a DFH signature glass

A - pour yields a bit over two fingers of huge soapy & pillowy light tan foam, lacing like mad as it slowly falls to a big mound floating in the center of the glass. the beer is a musty deep amber color, very festive.

S - had to let this warm up a bit as it didnt smell like anything at first. faint malty sweetness and some lightly roasted grains right off the bat, thats about it.

T - bitter citrusy (grapefruit) hops, sweet toffee malt and some holiday spiciness. unfortunately, none of these flavors are very pronounced. kind of dull.

M - nice big carbonation and sticky yet oily feel. one of the better parts of this beer.

D - this is one of those good ideas just not quite executed well. a real treat to look at, but im just searching and searching for both some body and character in the nose and mouth. like a SN Celebration Light.

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Photo of BrewIndy
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this after hearing about it on the World Class twitter feed.

A: Poured with a nice thick head that went down a bit but retained nicely. Amber and close to the color of rum. Very nice looking actually.

S: Sweet and hoppy smelling. Makes me want to skip this section and drink it already! I bet this is what Santa smells like :)

T: Much different than what it smells like. A nice ale flavor at the front and actually at the end it reminds me of potato chips. I have no idea why and it's not a bad thing. It's actually like a cross between a red ale and a amber ale. Is there a difference? Sure there is.

M: Very nice, this is what I like my ales to feel like.

D: Whenever you want another of the same beer when you're finished you know the drinkability rates high. No problem with a bomber an dyou should probably get 2 or 3 to share with your friends.

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Photo of billyshears
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Tall, foamy head. Dark amber body.
S - Piney, cirtus hops
T - Hops take center stage here; quite bitter and lingers. Subtle malts in the background, though its just not as much there as it should be. A bit unabalanced.
M- decent mouthfeel, tingles tongue.

When I think Christmas/winter brews, I expect to see some yummy malts and a bit of spice; any bit of that here was hidden under the hops. I think an increase in malts could've made this a really great Christmas brew, but as it stands, I can't recommend it when there's better winter red ales out there (Yulesmith).

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, slightly hazy copper-orange color. The tall, creamy head has a burnt orange tint and a dense, almost milkshake consistency. Retention is very good, and lacing is impressive. This is a good looking holiday beer for sure.

S: Freshly hoppy notes of pine and sweet citrus fruit. Some pleasant spiciness is also present. Behind the hop aromas, a moderate caramel/tofee malt presence is available.

T: Up front, sweetness is low, with mildly bready and faintly tofeeish malt flavor, along with some light roasted notes. A firm, spicy hop presence with primarily pine and citrus flavors. Perhaps some faint buttery notes as well.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is soft and fairly creamy. A dry, somewhat bitter finish.

D: A pleasant, hop-forward winter seasonal from Rogue. If anything, this could use a bit more malty sweetness, but this is still a well-brewed beer that hits the spot on this snowy afternoon.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, last of my yearly six pack.

Appearance: Clear, dark red. Two inches of fluffy head. Sheets of sticky lace.

Smell: Spicy grassy and citrusy hops. Good ole Rogue Pacman yeast is pretty much unmistakable.

Taste: Good earthy hops bitterness. Toasty malts. Bitter and clean finish.

Mouthfeel: I think the carbonation is appropriate and the mouthfeel is probably about right for the style, but there's nothing especially interesting or lively about the mouthfeel-- nothing wrong with it either.

Drinkability: Well, I get this every year, and am always excited about it. I like Rogue's stuff, and this is reasonably priced, at least in 6 packs. I went to their website to compare this to their St. Rogues Red and found out that their ingredients and specs are identical. I guess they're the same beer. This is a nice, full flavored, hoppy red ale for people who like Rogue.

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Photo of huricrane47
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber in color with a tan head
S- Hoppy flower smell
T- Slight malt flavor is overtaken with a bitter hop flavor intensified by a dry citrus/flower flavor. Bitterness lingers along with a malty creaminess delivered from the head. very acidic.
M- medium water activity- just right for the style and flavor.
D- Drank it easily. Get if you like dry/hop flavor.

It is good if you want to try a variations of an IPA that has a dry more flower than citrus flavor and a fair amount of bitterness that lingers!! The Chinook (10-14AA) and Centennial hops (7-11AA) used to brew this beer probably adds to lingering bitter flavor experienced afterwards. One thing that I noticed about the beer that it interesting is that; the malt is slightly apparent at first, it is overwhelmed by hops/spruce, and then comes back slightly as you breath out. However, the malt flavor is very subtle and is overtaken by the acidic flavor. Good Beer Overall.

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Photo of bob3701
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I guess I should have expected a brew like this from Rogue. This is an excellently made brew. Nice foamy head with a great red/amber clear color and excellent lacing. Maybe I allowed myself to be mislead by the lable but was expecting something Christmasy. This is just a well made high hopped ale. I'm not much of a hop head so it was not good to me but my son loved it. We had picked up the 6-pack of 12 oz. bottles of this.

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.46/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Rogue.. how I love your beers. I'm really not an amber drinker, and I found this one to be supremely pleasant. I had no idea what it was when I picked it up..

Pours a chestnut brown amber with matching tan-leather head.

Just easy grain and malt aromas, not too complex.

Beautiful taste profile. Rogue always has some sort of character to their beers that I cannot put my finger on, and this one surely has the trademark. A great malty sweetness drives you through the spices, seeming seamless. No radical flavors, just delicious and warming, with no burn at all.

Rich bodied, yet balanced and not overly done. I could put back quite a few of these.

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Photo of katan
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into a pint

A - Very red in color - meets the style for sure. Very clear, filtered. Zero hazing or pacman yeast. Head formation is light white in color, forms strongly, and is well retained. Carbonation overall does appear light.

S - A strong american hop nose, cascade or amarillo I would guess. Just a hair of malt note behind it.

T - Starts off with a light caramel roasted malty note, which then immediately turns to an overt hop flavor. Bitterness takes over. Finishes with the strong hop note that I detected on the nose. Aftertaste brings back some bready malts combined with a bitter resin.

M - Moderate to high beer body - has a strong backbone of malty sugars and hop oils. Carbonation does come through with a light bite. Leaves behind an oily texture.

D - Moderate drinkability. ABV is manageable. Carbonation is a bit filling - a downside. Hop attack does lead towards some palette fatigue.

I was hoping for a winter ale, but got a beer that is stylistically well done and correct to an amber/red ale.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into pint glass.

Poured a nice ruby amber with a very large off white head. Nice and colourful, looks good.

Smell is ok,little bit of hops gives way to a bit of a malty back bone and some alcohol/almost vomit like.

Thankfully no vomit in the taste. More malty, wiht a good hop finish, that warms away into some more maltiness. however, this is very similar to an IPA for a seasonal, there really isn't anything that screams "seasonal" to me.

Mouthfeel is good, and drinks really well.

Decent beer, but I'm already burnt with overly hoppy "seasonals"

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Photo of PaleAlien2
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful cloudy amber with TONS of lacing sliding down the sides of the glass. Looks outstanding.

Smells even better. Nice caramel malt with notes of pine needles.

Not really much of any spice in this one, but a lot of hops.

Great mouthfeel. Absolutely perfect.

Probably my favorite winter seasonal.

Thank you Rogue.

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Photo of mdwalsh
1.89/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Very large head, maybe too large. Nice, off white color though and good dexterity. Lots of texture. Sparse but consistent lacing. Brownish amber coloring, very clear. No active carbonation though.

S: Sort of old hops, mostly. Ok, I hate to say this, but I get an almost sawdust-and-vomit smell when I really dig my nose in. Nothing really appealing here, and not very strong.

T: Yep, really stale tasting still, and I still get vomit. It's pretty gross. I don't know if it's old or what, but no thank you. I'd love to review more, but no. This, sadly, is a drain pour.

M: Dry and flat

D: Drainpour.

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Photo of dondeez21
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz Bottle into a tulip glass.
A: Ruby Red with a finger thick creamy off white head with mild carbonation. Heavy lacing on the glass.
S: Smell of sweet malt and mild piney hops.
T: This beer is extremely balanced. There is plenty of sweet candy like malt and a slight taste of piney/citrus hops. Neither flavor overpowers the other instead they meet in the middle for a perfectly balanced flavor.
M: this beer had a medium body that wasnt to sticky or overfilling.
D: This beer had excellent drinkability. Not to much in any area but enough to keep you happy.

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Photo of noslenwerd
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Brownish amber red, nice lacing down the glass

S: Smells a bit hoppy

T: Tastes a bit more hoppy than I expected. Usually I can drink hoppy/IPA's as the hops fade a bit but they stuck around. That might be a good thing for some but, this is not my style at all. Nothing about this beer said "Christmas" to me as I did not taste any pine/butterscotch or anything you normally associate with a winter warmer

Summary: Will not be drinking this one again, hops are too strong for a seasonal for me..

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Macado's Halloween-branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent amber color with a thick foamy white head. The head dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of sweet malts with hints of spices and a little hoppiness.

Taste: Hits you up front with some hoppy bitterness. Finishes sweet and a little piney. Also has some interesting spices in it.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and full-bodied.

Drinkability: A great amber ale and a good winter seasonal. One of my perennial favorites and one I certainly turn to for years to come.

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Photo of kshankar
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/red/ruby with a well sized off white head that recedes to a layer of foam. Lacing throughout.

Aroma is of sweetish malts and hops.

Taste is hoppy with a good malt backing. Bready. Not much else, but what is there is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is fine..carbonation level is good. Drinkability is fine. Tastes good, and overall is pleasing to drink. I could have a couple more, probably.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, Santa's pours a light and clear copper amber with a bit of haze. A thin slightly off white head offers moderate retention, surrendering and keeping a surface ring.

Nice light malt nose, lightly roasted, and with a clean caramel sense. Earthy hops join in with a bit of agitation. Bits of cinnamon and allspice, along with spruce after some air, yet fleeting.

Roasted malts and a firm carbonation hit the tongue. Orange citrus comes in the middle, clean and clear though brief. Finishes with toasted grain and malt, somewhat coarse, and with a final citrus flash. Offers a dense and coarse feel accompanied with a finish that is somewhat drying for the style. A decent beer from a brewery that doesn't typically impress me.

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Photo of auroracrisis
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Oberon pint glass.

The pour was a bit too aggressive. I couldn't fit the entire 12oz in the glass without it overflowing. Oh well, just a bit left in the bottle. No biggie.

Anyway, the pour resulted in a nice copper, orangeish red with a nice three finger head that dissipated into 1 finger with spotty lacing from where the previous monster head was. Little bubbles dance up to the surface of the beer and escape into the head but it doesn't look overly carbonated. Ah, now I can pour the rest of my beer.

Smells like sweet sticky malts with a bit of piney hops. The sweetness dominates for sure. Nothing spectacular here.

Taste is malts and a light sour dough bread with some hops there to round it out. Not the best tasting beer I have ever had but certainly not the worst. Hm, maybe there is some taste left over in my mouth from that peanut butter I just ate. Upon further sips I begin to taste a bit of spicing but it's subtle. Could just be the hops acting up a bit.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Not too much carbonation, smooth body with a tongue tickling bite.

Drinkability is average. Not the worst beer I have ever had but I certainly could not see myself pounding a pitcher of this with a grin on my face.

Overall, typical Rogue. Nothing that impressive but nothing bad.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-maroon color with a finger of slightly off-white head that leaves really nice lacing as it drains. Pretty good looking beer. Aromas and flavors are of the mild Christmas/Winter spice variety. Aromas lean on the toffee malt with some nicer fruitiness in there as well. Spices come through stronger in the taste. Again the smooth, fairly subtle malt. That clear, clean Oregon water actually shows up fairly obviously as well. Body is medium to slightly thin with fairly mild carbonation. Overall, this one is solid but great. Just not enough going on to keep me that interested. That said, it's tasty and drinkable, and I'd have no objection drinking it all night.

Cairo Wine/$6/22 oz

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 2,350 ratings
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