Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
Liked This Beer
3.74 w/ 2,339 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,339 |  Reviews: 1,197
Photo of jeremyd365
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale, reddish-copper with little to no head. Smells fruity, malty, and alcoholy. It is medium-thin in the mouth with seemingly low carbonation. The flavor is decent yet mediocre for Rogue standards. It's a slightly-spicy, slightly-hoppy amber. The bottle promised a "sprucey finish". WHERE IS MY SPRUCE?! This was a pretty solid holiday ale, but I guess I expected over the top from Rogue. Am I being too harsh? Maybe. Fine, I gave the "taste" category a 4.0. Even without sufficient Spruce.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transparent but hazy red-orange. Finger of pillowy eggshell white head. Nice thick ring of lace. Looks like a real nice IPA.

The smell is bitter but sugary amber malts. A mild woody, flowery hop. Bittersweet and more malty than anything. Lots of brown sugar in the nose.

The taste is beautiful woody, citrus-y hops. Lots of sugary malts. Amber malts with pale ale hops. A pretty good hybrid.

The feel is thickish and creamy. Somewhat bubbly. A decent pale-amber beer. Pretty good, but not the best of Rogue.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes: 12/12/08

Appearance=Aggressive pour into New Belgium snifter leaves a fat 3 finger head, which slowly dissipates into 2 fingers. Plenty of carbonation. Dark Opaque brown/red beer.

Smell= good. nothing steps out though.

Taste= Hops, pine. Finish = good toasty malts

Mouthfeel= very nice.

Drinkability= high. I love you Santa!


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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. no date. probably the winter 08-09 batch.

deep red amber and copper. clear. lots of off-white head that slowly fades to thin wispy layer. very nice lacing, almost curtain-like in the second half of the glass.

aroma has pine and citrus zest, but on the mild side. metallic and "flinty" notes. underlying caramel with hint of esters.

flavor has a little more pine, but resinous in a plastic-like, solvent character. caramel flashes in for a moment, but then more solvent and aggressive, resinous bitterness. weird yeasty fermentation note in the finish and aftertaste.

smooth, medium body, with less resins in the finish than expected, given their presence on the palate. moderate, lively carbonation.

hops are too resinous and chemical. a disappointment.

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

From notes: 12/2008

Picked up a 22oz single from Northridge in Laramie, WY. Around $4.

A: Poured a dark red/light brown with a rocky, dense tan colored head about half an inch thick, mostly clear, great retention.

S: Whole grain bread, slight hint of alcohol, honey, a faint hint of caramel, definite roastiness, odd for a rogue beer, as I can't detect any hops in the nose. Not a whole lot going on, especially to make me think of Christmas.

T: a lot of the same flavors from the nose, huge bready malt backbone, nice hop bitterness that wasn't in the nose, hops are citrusy and bitter, honey in there. Definite roasted malt presence. Munich malts really stand out as they would in a Munich lager, which is interesting and nice. I must be missing something here, I figured with it being Christmas-y that there would be some spices, I can't find any. Tastes like a hopped up and maltier amber. Good beer though, it is tasty.

M: I would put this in the realm of over carbonated. Very prickly and bites the tongue really hard, not as thick as the flavor would suggest, big time lingering bitterness.

D: I wouldn't session with this, there are much better ambers out there. A good beer, pretty tasty, but nothing too terribly exciting. That and its overly carbonated, big time. Ok beer, I'd share it with people if they wanted to drink it with me.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark murky pekoe tea, initial off white head reduces to ring quickly. Cascading sheets of bubbles at edge of glass.

S - Solid malty nose, baked goods.

T - Malt and citrus neck and neck, with cookies thrown into the mix. A bite, minerally, at the end, that I don't think I really like.

M - Medium, more than enough carb, aggressively gets to all points of the mouth.

D - I am good for one. Nice beer.

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Photo of joshsbeerblog
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i'll be honest up front: i am not a huge rogue guy. solid brewer, but they kind of pale in comparison to the alternatives out in portland, or...

fresh hops on nose. sweet, nutty caramel malt flavor is balanced out with piney hops -- tasty. very flavorful and easy drinking. probably my favorite rogue beer yet!

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Photo of fostwal
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is dark and clear. Think of Sam Adams just a little darker. Not a strong scent. Just a little malty. The taste is nice. It has the bitter hop flavor and a hint of pine. Just like the lable says. Definitely a bitter hop aftertaste. The feel is ok. Nothing very notable. Overall, this is a nice beer. The flavors are well balanced. A little on the hoppy side. Though, that's to be expected with Rogue's line. Wouldn't hesitate to have another one.

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Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 2/3/09 out of SN Tulip glass.

Appearance was deep copper with a slight reddish color. 2 finger, tan head.

Smell had a strong amount of citrus aroma w/ a nice mellow malt backing

Taste was piney and citrus up front. Mellow malt backbone. Hints of spruce along with caramel malts. Nice bittering finish with hints of spice. As the beer warmed up, roasted malts started to come through as well.

Mouthfeel had a slightly dry finish. Fairly light body w/ good carbonation.

Drinkability was very good Nice and light followed with a crisp finish.

Very good brew. Nice and bitter w/o being to much so for an amber.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice dark amber color with a gorgeous two finger off white head that leaves the glass covered in lacing. I like the look of this beer.

S: Almost smells of an IPA, nice hop smell with some citrus and just a hint of a sugary malt.

T: Tastes nothing like it smells, has a wintery flavor, bit of a dry hop taste, fairly bitter and not as full of taste as I've come to expect from reds.

MF: Mouthfeel is spot on to me, just the right amount of carbonation to let this medium bodied beer dance all over you tongue.

D: Eh, I suppose for the discounted price and the fact it's not terribly high in alcohol make it a fairly drinkable beer but I'm just not digging the taste of this one.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass..a nice deep amber color with a bit of reddish highlights. A thin to medium off white head.

Aroma: I was surprised by the strong floral hop aroma; not exactly what I was expecting in a Christmas beer. Some slight spice undertones too: clove and nutmeg.

Taste: very hoppy; again not really what I was expecting. Some spice, although very remote. Feels a little resiny in the mouth. More like an IPA than a Christmas beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This delightful ale pours a deep walnut brown with reddish hues just like the old man's suit, with a vigorously developing tan head full of tightly wrapped carbonation bubbles.

The hop and malt aromas waft from the glass and can be smelled from two feet away. Fresh biscuit, roasted malt, and spruce hops are all abundant.

Great flavor balance, woody or piney hops, roasted & nutty malt, and even a bread aspect all frolic together in divinity.

Medium body, medium carbonation, a little chewy, but very smooth.

Excellent brew all around, a seasonal favorite that anyone can enjoy.

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

I was under the impression that the snowflakes on the bottle glow in the dark. I was under the wrong impression.

Transparent dark amber colored with an off-white head. Great retention and snowfall lacing.

Smells of toasty caramel malt, oatmeal raisin cookie spice, and piney hops.

Roasty, spicy malt with piney hops and some leafy hop bitter at the end. Typical Rogue yeast cleanliness. Malty fall fruit becomes more prevelant as it warms. Robust and simple, Santa's is one of my favorite winter seasonals.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pour is transparent red with a light white dusting of head on top. Nose is heavy on the pine hops. Flavour is fairly standard Amber style, a soft malt underbody pairs with the hops from the nose, definite off-bite to the flavour which others have compared to mineral water, and which I am also getting. It is not a standard off-bite from the hops, it as a distinct which I don't particularly care's borderline soap sudsy.

Mouth is average for the style, in terms of overall drinkability, I don't see myself picking this up again over other Ambers or hoppy PA beers that are available. It has a distinct bite, but that bite doesn't particularly appeal to me.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with festive, yet traditional Rogue label

Appearance: Nice ever-so-slightly hazed dark burnt orange beer, topped by a dark ivory head with great retention...awesome lacing

Smell: Earthy, herbal hops predominate, backed with nice medium-dry caramel/bread notes with a touch of minerality as well.

Taste: This is really nicely balanced; there's a sharp little kick of herbal hops up front, but it's balanced by a dry, malty/bready backing...simple, but nice and really quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Pretty substantial; medium-bodied, rich and smooth

Drinkability: Not sessionable, but 2-3 of these perhaps with a dinner of ribs, spicy chicken wings, or onion rings (you know, typical pub grub) would be quite nice.

Conclusion: Nothing really stands out about this beer; but it's simple, straightforward, and perfectly balanced. The bitterness isn't overwhelming, and the hop flavors are well-defined. I'll look this one up again next Christmas for sure!

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/22/2007 (22oz bottle):

Pours a light reddish/brownish color, white head, smallish, lasting. Good lacing. Very hoppy aroma, just bitter hops, not much else comes through. Hoppy fizzy taste, aftertaste of syrupy pine/spruce-y like taste. A little acidic aftertaste. Sweet taste of hops, tempered well with the malts. Letting it warm up a bit to hopefully improve the bitter acidic flavor. A little more tempered, but still a bitter taste. The aftertaste is improved, though. Too malty for my taste.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy reddish-orange color with two fingers of tan head.

Aroma of caramel malts, bitter hops, and some definite earthy notes.

Bitter grapefruit hops lead the way followed by caramel malts. Bitterness remains in finish.

Light-to-medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

An easy drinking amber from Rogue.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a translucent copper...really nice red and orange in this one. Really nice big foamy beige head.

Hops in the nose...citrus and pine, with sweetness from the malt.

Flavor is excellent. It's more than an amber, but less than an IPA. The hops are there, but it's no hop bomb. The roasted bready maltiness gives great balance. Lots of bittersweetness. Nice dry finish. Floral hoppiness sticks to the tongue long after the swallow.

Medium body, medium carbonation. Once again, Rogue doesn't disappoint. I can easily see this becoming one of my favorite holiday brews.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the awesome glow-in-the-dark bottle this beer looked like a root beer with a towering three-finger head of khaki colored foam. The retention of the cap was excellent and the lacing in chunks. The aroma was semi-sweet, toasted and caramel malt, chocolate malt and a light hops. The flavors were very malty with excellent depth, all the aforementioned malts with some roasted notes and nuttiness. Touches of coffee showed up as I got further in along with some balancing bitterness from the hops. Rich but not too sweet. The mouthfeel was very smooth, the carbonation light and the body medium/full. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack because it was three dollars off. I figured it had been sitting in a cooler case so it should still be reasonably fresh.

Pours into a pint glass with a hazy copper color with nice thick white head that sticks around well and leaves lacing down the glass.

Aroma is a nice mix between sweet malts and fresh citrusy hops.

Flavor is really excellent for the style. Often, I find American amber and red ale to be mostly malt but this one has a nice hop-forward aroma and taste. Pine and grapefruit seem to be the dominant characters but it's all pretty much in check by the malts.

Mouthfeel is smooth, well carbonated and medium plus body. Drinkability is good too but it's on the high side for what I would consider a session worth brew.

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

Poured from a cellar temperature 1 Pint 6 oz glass bottle.
No Freshness date

As good a seasonal American Ale as I have had yet. Rogue has yet to disappoint - they don't skimp on the good stuff such as hops and malt, and because of that - this is a winner

Pour: Nice even pour, clear copper color, that build up a frothy head - 3 fingers. The foam take a while to settle, and leaves a nice lacey coating on the glass. In the glass, the color is an inviting amber/copper color with some carbonated activity from the bottom.

Smell: At first open, Chinook Hops blast out of this bottle like a christmas elf that has a special gift. After the pour, the hops are stil prevelent, but a pine, spice, & citrus mix steps in to make this a true winter ale. The scent is not over the top, it hits the nose just right.

Taste: There is no doubt there is a hop flavor. The hops step out right away, but this isn't a blast your face of hop experience. After the hops settle, this beer helps you celebrate with a mouthful of taste - a sort of bready/malted sweet flavor with spicey undertones of citrus.

Drinkability: The only problem with this ale is it only comes once a year. So, for drinkability, the fear of running out is a problem.

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Photo of WilliamD
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this bomb into my pint glass. Hold it to the light- it's a perfect amber hue, whatever that is.
Smells okay- mild spices, beer.
Tastes ever-so-biscuity, with very mild spice flavor.
Mouthfeel- I'm fairly new at this. Feels like beer in my mouth.
Very drinkable, but almost anything other than that watered-down macro-brew garbage is drinkable to me.

Good, steady winter beer. Not exceptional though.

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

A: Lovely copper with red tones. Big thick head, obviously a sticky beer.
S: Fresh piney hops. Strong bitterness
T: Hop profile much more subdued than the smell let on. More focused on the malt character. Seems a little watered down but it would make an excellent holiday session beer.
D: Medium body with slightly lower carbonation. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of theghost3
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a thin white head. Some lacing. Smells of roasted malts & wheat. The taste is strong on the toasted malts at first with some bitter hops on the follow-up, there are also hints of sweet caramel & spices. There's a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth, moderately thick. This is a drinkable brew--rich, yet not too filling.

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Photo of zdk9
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a ruby red brown. A half finger of head leaves a wall of lacing on the glass.

S- A little boozy, combined w/ some tropical fruit flavors- pineapple comes to mind.

T- A lot of sweet malt and a lot of bitter hops. The hops lend a fermented tropical fruit, combined with a touch of grapefruit pith.

M- Sticky and sticking bitterness. Good.

O- Delicious. Hoppy. Definitely recommended.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 59.7% out of 100 with 2,339 ratings
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