Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

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Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
2,362 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: 2,362 |  Reviews: 1,205
Photo of Kegatron
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear deep amber with 2 fingers of frothy off-white head. This settles down into a thin creamy covering that leaves a massive sticky coating of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a touch piney with additional accents of grapefruit, spice, and bready malts. Quite nice but it seems a little light at times.

The taste is similar but a little more assertive, with some lightly dry lingering resinous hoppiness, a smack of citrus and prominent spice, and some good balancing notes of bread and caramel. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but is coming off as a bit too light bodied. Not quite watery or anything but it seems that it could be a little more supportive of the flavors involved.

Decent stuff. I just wished that there was some more meat to it that would have really pushed it over the top for me. Still, this packed enough flavor and a good enough drinkibility to keep this Santa themed beer off of my naughty list.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into US Pint

A: Dark amber, fine head with small carbonation

S: vanilla, slight caramel malt and strong grapefruit

T: Woody bitterness, spruce, and alcohol

M: Dry and thin mouth feel given the strong body and flavors

D: If you like a serious bitter hit then this may be just the ticket for you. more than a couple of servings will be certain to fry the taste buds

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Photo of MTNboy
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has a malty and fruity aroma with a little bit of hops in the background. It poured damn near picture perfect. It had about two fingers of frothy head. The head had a lot of staying power. The body was a red brown color. It has little bit of a candy gummy taste at first. It main flavors are that of coffee and caramel. The bitterness is mild and comes from chocolate malt and hops. It is a medium bodied beer that has a little bit of fizz burn to the palate. It has a mild liquor aftertaste.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat cloudy amber sporting a thick patch of tan head; ample lacing and good durability start the judging out very well with a visually appealing beer. Plenty of hops but also caramel malt greet the nose.

The taste is bittersweet and complex. There is plenty of citrus in Santa's Private Reserve, especially grapefruit with some lemon. Yet in addition to the ample malt, there is no shortage of spice, especially pepper. It's a very busy beer, confronting the palate with something new and savory every sip; excellent stuff.

Nice effervescence and malty smoothness characterize the mouthfeel, nicely textured. In all, a very tasty and well-made amber, far better than the average macro offering and one I'll surely await every holiday season. Terrific.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Santa's Private Reserve, courtesy of edelweiss - thanks! 22 oz. bottle poured into a Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A hazed reddish auburn bodied beer with plenty of active carbonation, relatively slow and fine-bubbled, that rises slowly around the curvature of the glass to one-finger of sticky, off-white head. The head has average retention and leaves glittery, snow-like banks of lacing, streaky, shiny.

Aroma: Dry, roasted malts, caramelly in places, though largely just musty and dry. Faint herbal and acidic hop notes top things off, and though everything's in balance, it's just not very full or robust.

Taste: Incredibly dry - big attenuation on this one - coupled with tons of piney and herbal hop notes. The hops lend a bit of a citric tartness, as well, which - when taken in conjunction with the complete lack of residual sugars - make this one pretty sharp.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, bright, and relatively light, with plenty of that carbonation that one can see, resulting in a big and fluffy though uneven and quickly fading mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I didn't care for this one too much. It was just a little too dry, and the malts and hop schedule not enough to carry this one on its own. A little complexity would be in order, or else perhaps Santa should think about getting a new private reserve.

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Photo of whynot44
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy coppery red color with a decent frothy off-white head that retained well and left lots of lacing.

The aroma is fresh bread with a good dose of pine needles, grapefruit and a note of caramel.

The taste is similar - emphasis is piney hops, more than usual for an American red ale, almost a red IPA. Very nice winter brew for the hops lover. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit aftertaste.

Medium bodied and easily drinkable.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 22 ounce for Christmas, but I am drinking it before Battlestar Galactica premieres. Great appearance: clear, dark amber with great lacing and a thin head. Aromas are a bit weak with hints of spice and hops mixed with florals. Very unoffensive but lacked in the punch it had the potential for. Taste also was lacking compared to what it could have been: lightly hoppy, watery but with decent spice. Mouthfeel was pretty nice and light, making it pretty drinkable. Overall, it had some potential but rides into mediocrity for me.

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

24oz bottle lets me know that 'Snowflakes Glisten'...

A - Amber/dark copper in color, this brew starts with a tight off white head that fades slowly leaving a solid foam sheet on the pint glass.

S - Floral and piney notes picked up first. The malts are sweet and make me think of cookie dough.

T - Malty and sweet up front and then the hops (def Centennial) punch you in the face. Well balanced and clean, this is a hop monster for the style IMO.

M - Medium to big bodied but very clean finish. Nice.

D - Pretty high drinkability, and that's good on a winter night like this one.

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Photo of RodBurg
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish amber color with a small white head that slowly fizzes into a ring. Minimal lacing.

Lots of hops in the nose. Pine needles, grapefruit, orange zest. Lighter notes of caramel and breadcrust as well.

Great balance of sweet toffee, malt and caramel with piney hops. Nice bitter finish with a fresh baked bread note in the aftertaste.

I dug this one. More hops than expected for the style.

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Photo of selecter70
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely Santa cried out from this 1pt.6oz Rogue.
A rich, red-dark honey pour with full light beige head and decent lace throughout. The cellar temperature aroma was a sweet & sour hoppy ale with mild cinnamon. The body was smooth & the flavor a bit hoppy with minor malt & caramel. The overwhelming lemon-hop flavor detracted from the theme, in my opinion, although still a tasty one.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-cloudy burnt orange hue. Has a creamy, frothy beige head that has very nice lacing and retention.

I get a bit of malted milk smell from nearly all Rogue beers, and this one is no exception. It must be the pacman yeast they like so well. Other than that, I get some dried hop flower aroma and some toasty, sweet maltiness.

Taste has a distinctive leafy, dried hop flavor...toastiness and malted milk-esque notes only contribute more to the strange, but pleasant leaf-like taste of this brew. In some respects this beer makes me think of a cross between an O-fest and a winter warmer.

Overall, a solid beer that shies away from being too Christmas-y and has a unique flavor profile. I would buy this one again, no problem.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well Santa was awesome enough to bring be a bomber of this as a Christmas present a few weeks back. Split a bomber with my good friend Passow. Poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear, amber red color with a nice frothy looking head that is a good inch when poured. Eventually sets to a nice surface coating and a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lacing. Has nice caramel malty aroma with some hops and cinnamon present too. It also has a nice bready, caramel malt flavor upfront along with a bit of cinnamon and clove, followed by a nice hop kick, certainly the hoppiest Christmas beer I have ever had. Has a crisp, and smooth medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Very good beer here!


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Photo of strangemusic
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gorgeous dark amber-red,with a foamy head that lasts and leaves lots of lacing. This beer is a real looker, especially in a taller glass! Good-looking bottle too, like lots of Rogue beers.

Aroma is grassy hops, citrus and fresh strawberry, very pleasant.
The taste is bready with malt and subtle cloves, backed up by a woody, citrus tang from hoppiness in the finish and a subtle caramel character. Not sweet, but buttery giving way to that hopped finish.Citrus lingers in the mouth after sipping.
The mouthfeel is neither thick nor thin, minimal carbonation but a bite from the hops leading into a smooth feel. It goes down nice and smooth as well, but perhaps there's a little too much bite between sips: I didn't expect such a hoppy character from a winter brew. I'd personally pick something a bit mellower to sip on a cold winter's evenining. Despite that, it's still a fine beer and one I'd want to drink again.

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Photo of Strix
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish-amber with big fluffy head and lacing.

Citrus dominant in the smell, pine and orange.

Tastes of malt, wood, tea, and pine, in that order. Aftertaste of tea and pine. Balanced and interesting.

Mouthfeel clean and a bit resinous.

This was enjoyable, though I'm partial to Rogue.

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4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Pint glass. Deep copper in color with a small light tan head. Sticky lacing.
Smell is a very nice citrusy hop character, with a sweet malt background.
Drinks smooth with a caramel and bread-like body with a decent amount of citrusy/piney hops bite (chinook).
A spicy bitter aftertaste.
Great winter brew.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This reserve pours out of a 12 oz bottle into my glass. I just read that the bombers have glow in the dark snowflakes on them. (Damn it! I knew we should have sprung for the bombers.) This reserve also pours a hazy copper color, glazed with an orangey tint. It's definitely opaque, and there's definitely some good carbonation as near the edges of the glass I can bubbles race to the top. The head is slightly off white, one finger thick, but it decreases quickly to something slightly thicker then a film on the top of the beer. So far, I like what I see.

The nose was very citrus. There are some wood notes as well.

The flavor is full of ruby red grapefruit hoppy goodness. There is a hint of peppery alcohol in the finish, that grows stronger as it warms. It becomes almost spicy. There is a great battle for balance. I get a caramel sweetness that battles the hop smack. Good vs. Evil. Jokes aside, they do match up pretty well, which is interesting because the brew is very bitter. It gets more and more bitter in the finish as the session comes to an end; which leaves an aftertaste only a hophead could love.

Mouthfeel comes with a great hop smack, the lick your lips kind of smack. There's decent carbonation, and without the pepper/spice making your mouth water, it finishes on the dry side.

I got one bottle of this in a swap, and this session makes me want to immediately go back and get more. Not something that I would drink while opening my presents on Christmas morning, but definitely something I want in stock for the afternoon.

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Photo of Needsbeer
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle Pour into my 16oz unmarked pint class.

Appearance: Pours copper brown, with vigorous carbonation and tremendous head retention. Head is on the creamy side with persistent lacing

Smell: Lots of caramel, malt, with grassy resiny hops persistent, but light.

Taste: Caramel, with light malt sweetness followed by dulling wash of resiny hops that sits very mildly on the palate. Mild alcohol warmth.

Notes: A good mild winter warmer, nothing spectacular. Widely available, with a good informative label that lists 44 IBU and 13* Plato however lack of visible ABV is annoying.

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Photo of kush6875
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured from bottle into pint glass.

pours a nice deep amber color.

smells of balanced hops and malt.

very smooth drinking hoppy but balanced amber ale with a nice touch of spruce in the finish.

this a great holiday brew and my favorite brew by rogue.


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Photo of nd5282
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark and bitter beast with hints of coffee. The malts are very apparent on the nose and has somewhat of a refreshing carbonated aftertaste. Overall, this is especially bitter and relatively typical of Rogue. For a christmas beer Santa's Reserve delineates from normal seasonals in the respect that it doesn't follow the sweet and dark pattern typical of most christmas brews. For the most part I didn't enjoy this beer whole-heartedly but was relatively surprised by the drinkability.

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Photo of BeerMark
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue is copper red in color with a slightly off white head. It smells of malt and hops. The taste is outstanding with a perfect balance of malt sweetness and a hoppy finish. I'm a fan of well balanced beer and this one delivers the goods. I now have an American Amber Red Ale to judge others by. I think that this beer is world class and would like to see it year round.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 1pt bottle.

Color is dark red with a shade of amber and gold. Brownish white head.

Smell is a malty, with a nice hint of hops, caramel and honey

Taste is well balanced. Bitter but does have a nice hoppiness to it as well. Mild, a bit spicy, with hints of hopps, caramel and honey.

This beer is real easy to drink. It is in short supply, only being available during the holiday months. Goes well with a big meal during the winter months.

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Photo of gdfan47
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a malty brown, with a good amount of white head and pretty good lacing
S- smells like malt, a little bit of hops, not much else no evidince of pine like the bottle indicated
T- pretty good, it was like a slighty maltier Sierran nevada pale, the malt outshined the hops in this case, didnt really taste anything "christmasy" about it
M- nice, good carbonation, pretty easy to sip
D- pretty good, I got the impression that this was there answer to Christmas beers along ths same lines as what S/N does... but there is not nearly enough hops

not bad, was just expecting something more Christmasy or Hoppy ... they talk about how they use Chinook hops on the label

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Photo of gordavidson
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice deep orange with some red highlights. The head is massive and off white with amazing retention that leaves great lacing as it works its way down the side of the glass.

S- Grassy hops and a nice caramel malt backing. Smells like a west coast pale ale, but a little more subtle.

T- There isn't a huge amount going on here. some grassy flavors, a bit of orange rind bitterness and a decent malt backing. Pretty subtle and not exactly what I expected with a Santa on the label.

M- Not nearly as carbonated as the size of the head would lead you to believe. A bitterness really sticks around at the tail end.

D- Not very interesting, but it is good. Just on the plain side.

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Photo of philbe311
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden amber color... Much lighter than I initially expected... Moderate paced carbonation throughout... Elegant finger and a half of head that fades, but still leaves a small layer... Translucent, but ever so slightly hazy... Coats glass well...

S - Malty goodness... Mellow hops... Honey... Bread... Understated and mellow, but pleasant...

T - Well balanced... Slightly complex... Wonderful interplay between the malt and hops...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Mellow... Relaxing... Quite enjoyable... Slightly creamy texture...

D - There's a lot of good things going on with this brew, but nothing that strikes me as especially outstanding... The balance and mouthfeel are the best qualities of this enjoyable and unique holiday brew...

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

12oz bottle to standard pint, pours a reddish copper shade, off white head fades to lacing

smells of hoppy pine/citrus, yeastly malts hideout

tastes of bitterness from the start to finish, hop blend is nice, grapefruit peel, grassy, dry, pine, earthy, bordering on astringent, crisp, good carbonation, malt is plain and hides behind the massive hopping, reminds me a little of sierra nevada celebration but not as sweet.

mouthfeel is of bitter lingering hops, pacman yeast brings out a nice body, good weight and carbonation, not bad indeed :D

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 2,362 ratings
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