Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

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Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
2,364 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: 2,364 |  Reviews: 1,205
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby/amber with a little bit of head. Nose is, surprise, hoppy!! Who would have thunk. Also that touch of a sweet tone on there too. Taste is interesting. Kind of pine like with a sweet touch on the tip of your tongue, but the dominant presence here is, surprise, the hops! Mouthfeel seems a little too carbonated. And I would put the drinkability higher if it weren't for the mass of hops that are there, just to be there. Just because blue looks good on your car doesn't mean you have to paint the tires the same color too. A decent brew, but I won't be waiting up late at night next year waiting for it to come around.

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Photo of meechum
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a nice coppery amber with a nice whitish tan head that falls slowly leaving a good lace

S - Has a big piney/spruce hop smell along with a bit of the malt in the brew

T/M - The taste has a nice citrus start to it then flowers into a malty taste of biscuit and grain..then finishes with a bitter piney hop bite leaving a lingering bitter after taste on the palate

D - It's a nice winter warmer but overall the bitter after taste makes it where I can only have one or two at a time

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

I like the Winter seasonals, and what better way to enjoy a Christmas beer than with Santa's private reserve? The color was a deepr red (much like Santa's suit and hat). The nose promised a hoppy and floral essence. Upon tasting, I was not disappointed. There is a great hops taste that hinted of grapefruit and walnut. Very pleasant to the taste buds but with a little more bitterness than I expected (perhaps the roguish side of old Kris Kringle). The aftertaste offered a spruce-like recognition that was risky for Rogue, but successful in my opinion. Very drinkable in a winter seasonal kind of way. You probably do not want to sit down for a session of these, however, it was good enough for me to recommend to several friends and buy a couple more bottles for future personal enjoyment (despite the somewhat higher per bottle price). A great stocking stuffer or conversation beer at the company party. Merry Christmas Santa, cheers.

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Photo of roblowther
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reddish brown with a rocky tan head. Looks exactly like a santa beer should. Whatever that means. The smell is all pale ale, caramel undertones and hops up front tickling your nose like the big guy's whiskers. The taste is dry and spicy. There's cinnamon in there somewhere, oak notes, and pine needles. The hops aren't really all that present until the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and tingly, which is good in your beer and your women. The drinkability is good, although the hoppy finish is a bit limiting for me. Bear in mind I'm a hop weenie, though, so for most of you it should be just fine.
Not a bad beer. Not a Christmas beer, as the name might make you think but a dandy pale ale, I'd say.

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

I figured I better at least review this before New Years.

I poured the whole 22 oz. into a huge mug I have. It sits a very dark auburn with brighter red edges when held to the light. The head shrinks but never goes away, and laces well.

Some roasty bready hints on the nose, agitate it a little and it releases some grapefruit and pine.

When tasting its sweetness and bread to start, piney, grassy hops start in the middle and finish with citrus and a nice lingering bitterness.

No complaints really, it goes down like a nice bitter strong ale. I wouldn't shy away from it. In fact I'm failing to really see the "Christmas" in this, it's something I could have most of the rest of the year.

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Photo of baggio
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An american christmasbeer....yiha!

A: Brown/red with a 1cm creamy lace on top.

S: Plenty of hops and some spices. Wee bit of cinammon perhaps ?

T: Grapefruit, pine, roasted bitter malt, orange?

M: Smooth but not very filling. Medium carbonation.

This is not a bad little beer but i'd say it is an classic AIPA rather than a
christmasbeer. It lacks the spices to be very winterish. Qualitybrew from Roque with a misleading name :)

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

A- Deep gold in appearance with a nice thick white head.

S- Not much there, a bit of spicy hops, but not overly floral.

T- Nice and balanced, the bitterness is there with the malt, but nothing special to remember.

M- Thin to medium in body, well carbonated, nice and smooth.

D- This is a decent beer, but nothing special, Rogue puts out great beer, but this isn't a memorable one.

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Photo of mattster
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy carmel brown brew with a rather large head. Good bubbles, strong lasting head.

Smell is slight citrus, some malts and maybe a bit of copper. Taste is also a little copper like... Also bits of hops, good spice and nice finnish.

Not something I'd drink more of in a sitting, but a good holiday beer and a nice choice. Sure, I'm a day late, but no one left this in my stocking.

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Photo of xare
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was excellent - reddish color with excellent head size and constant carbonation, even after 20 minutes, bubbles were still rising.

Smell was that of hops and some spruce which lent it a Christmasy aura but I wouldn't recommend it as a year-round smell.

Tasted like hops, spruce, and some malts... Overall, it was a nice flavor, especially for a seasonal beer but it's quite different from other seasonals I've tried. One high point - this isn't spiced quite as heavily... I would say that the spruce was the only "spice".

The only downfall in my opinion is that both the mouthfeel and drinkability weren't great. It gives you a bit of a kick but not in a good way when you have it swirling around in your mouth. It also isn't an easy beer for me to drink quite smoothly.

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

650ml. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice reddish brown color with little head.

S - Hops and some citrus.

T - Sweet hops with a very citrusy malt flavor.

M - Medium body with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. Not the best seasonal i've had but good.

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

Appearance: poured a hazed reddish copper color with a massive solid light tan head which lasted a long time.

Smell: A very pleasant mix of malt and hops, the malt is butterscotchy, nutty and a bit chocolatey and the hops have a lightly resinous and green quality as well as some citrus.

Taste: The mix of malt and hops in this brew is fantastic, with the hops showing just a bit more, some citric hops flash first then a caramel like maltiness moves in for a moment of winter warmer quality- it never really leaves but the hops return with a resinous , green, almost piney strength that wins out over the malt to finish out the sip.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied.

Drinkability: This is a great christmas time/ holiday beer. I'll definitely be making sure to visit this one each year. Reminds me a bit of SN celabration-but with bit more malt-or less hops?. ;) Very nice!

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

Well, it's Christmas so what the hell...very fitting.

Out poured Santa's Private Elixir into my pint glass a dark amber color with a beauteous, rocky, beige head. The great head retains lovely and the brew leaves behind plenty of rings around the glass with each sip taken.
Aroma is of citrusy hops, candied malts, biscuity malts, perhaps a tad grapefruit. Taste is very well balanced between the hops and malts. More hoppy than I expected which I kind of figured after the aroma. The citrusy hops and sweet, bready malts are evenly matched up throughout the entire experience, from front to back, with the hops lingering around on the palate. A little on the thin side but very enjoyable nonetheless. Good carbonation, slightly dry hop finish. Very drinkable.

Merry XMAS.

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

Bottle poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

A- There was a 2 finger tan head, that left some nice sticky rings, atop a deep copper color beer with light carbonation.

S- Pretty balanced. There was a sweet malt backbone with lots of floral, oily hops.

T- More on the hoppy side of the spectrum. It had earthy flavors and a grapefruit finish. It seemed quite "IPA."

M- It had medium carbonation, lots of bite from the hops, a fluffy head, and a dry finish.

D- Very much an easy drinker. I didn't have any problem finishing off the bomber.

Overall- It was tough scoring this one because it really didn't seem to fit the description of a traditional Amber. It seemed much more like an IPA. It may have been lacking in balance, but it was too good at what it was to score poorly.

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Photo of Risser09
4.48/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pourd into my new etched crystal pilsners - Served at fridge temp

Appearance: Pours a transparent copper colored beer, nice golden orange highlights. The head is 2 inches high and is ivory. Cakiness is enormous on this head, and plenty of lace rests on the glass.

Smell: Hops and spice fill the nose. Pine and grapefruit make this one truly smell like an American amber. Cinnamon rounds everything out.

Taste: Hops dominate the flavor. Pine and grapefruit are the main flavors. Malt balance is well done and key. Bitter orange peel, a touch of cinnamon. Bitter lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick and bitter. This one goes down easy and leaves a bitter, dry finish. It's hard not to keep drinking to quench the bittering dryness. Alcohol is present.

Drinkability: Great. This one was different than what I expected from a Christmas beer. Lots of hops and a ncie malt balance. A great beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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

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

This ale is a dark brown, like chocolate, opaque and with a fairly thick tan head. Aroma is hoppy and spicy. Flavor is very hoppy but not overly bitter, with malty undertones and hints of spices. Aftertaste is hoppy and bitter. It fairly dances on the tongue with its tingliness.

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Photo of dsigmon
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous amber color with a nice tall head which dissapears quite fast. A nice amount of lacing can be seen after each mouth puckering sip.

Hops Hops Hops. I smell hops taste hops and will soon be sweating hops. Very typical Rogue brew when regarding the hops...ill say it again for good measure, hops.

Mouthfeel is somewhat watery with a medium amount of carbonation. I seem to find that this beer isn't quite as balanced as maybe I would have liked but then again that could just be the bittery hops throwing me off. Great beer overall and Merry Christmas.

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Photo of Brad007
4.85/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy head and minimum lacing. Aroma is strong and hoppy, malty too. Taste is very hoppy/malty with a very nice bitterness in the middle. Towards the back, it takes on more of a fruity/spice essence and is somewhat chewy and dry. A second sip notices the hops more. Very smooth and drinkable for an amber ale. Can you imagine yourself sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, sipping on a glass of this beer?

I wouldn't doubt that Santa himself would do so.

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Photo of stephens101
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little something to get this Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Pours a dark amber into my Sam Adams specialty glass. Head is tan, fluffy, two-fingers thick and stays around quite a while with a consistent and stubborn lacing. Smells robust with citrusy hops, orange peel and pine. Medium bodied and a bit watery at first which is subsequently overcome by a good balance of hops. There's a bit of bitterness toward the end that in no way affects the drinkability. I'm going to session on a few of these as the wind blows furious and the snow whips, and I have a feeling I'm going to have a good time.

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Photo of Slynger
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber

Pours an orangish copper color with an off-white head that dies quickly but leaves nice lacing on the glass.
The smell is good but a little weak. Definitely some chinook and cascade hops with some roasted and very lightly sweet malts in the background.
The taste picks it up a bit. There is a very small amount of sweetness and a good amount of roasted malt. I can pick up the Munich malt too. There is a definite piney overtone to this one and it closes with a piney bitter hop finish.
This beer has a nice medium body and chewy mouthfeel. It is pretty well balanced, absolutely worth drinking, but to be a great beer they need to up the hops a bit.

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Photo of pinballwhizard
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice reddish brown color. Can definitely smell the hops. Its 'mouthfeel' is somewhere in the middle of the pack for hoppy ales, but it is quite dry.

Taste - sour, hoppy first taste with a dry, bitter and slightly yeast-y finish.

Drinkability - this is an enjoyable ale, but I would probably not be able to drink more than one at a time..

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves a two finger tan head that has excellent retention, and it leaves webs and webs of sticky excellent lacing. Body is a hazy garnet with ruby highlights.

Smell - aromas of pine resiny hops and some toasty malt biscuits, and there is a faint hint of caramel.

Taste - flooding the tongue there is pine resin, over sourdough toasty maltbiscuits, and finishing with more bitter, and very dry, pine resin.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and very dry.

Drinkability - this is a decent ale, but I'd want something different after two 12 oz. servings or so of these.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewing for the style here (Rogue says this is an "Double-Hopped" American Red) as this ale is almost an IPA.

Pours a golden-orange color into a pint glass, with a 1.5 finger white head that lingers and laces the glass quite well.

Aroma is of hops. Very piney and citrussy - a hint of juniper berry, sweet orange, grapefruit. I'm a hophead, so I love the taste. Amazing for a Red - very hoppy, but excellently balanced with the malts. The tiniest bit of toffee sweetness balances the bitterness of the hops. The "Rudolph" strain of hops is supposedly proprietary to John Meier according to Rogue.

Mouthfeel was smooth and well-carbonated. An amazingly drinkable ale, great session ale, and a good one for the uninitiated to gateway into the hoppier side of life.

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Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Crazy Bruce's Liquors, West Hartford, CT

Dark copper in appearance with a small, light tan head that quickly faded to a thin film.

The aroma was hoppy and fragrant. Sweet, spicy and citrusy hops with a sturdy malty backbone.

The taste was rich and hoppy as well. A touch of malty sweetness appeared up front before the citrusy, piney hops took over. Grapefruit was most prevalent. A hint of ripe fruits appeared mid-palate along with some toasty malt notes. The finish was hoppy, sprucey and slightly dry. Metallic notes were quite noticeable at first but they quickly subsided as the beer warmed.

Body was medium with a lively carbonation and smooth, lusciously creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, this was a very hoppy and tasty red ale. I found it to be a welcomed break from the typical dark, spicy winter seasonals.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark red color with a nice off-white head with great lacing and retention. The aroma is a nice and pleasant mixture of malt and hops. The taste is malty up front with a kick from the citrusy/piney hops in the finish. Overall, this is a really nice amber that is one of my favorite winter seasonal. Recommended.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 2,364 ratings