Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

very good
1,197 Reviews
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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,197 | Ratings: 2,338
Photo of brotherloco
2.51/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber. 2011 Edition. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a mostly clear deep copper with a generous finger of beige foam. Nice amount of delicate lacing sticks to the glass.

Aroma is mostly of caramel malt. Light citrus and pine hops sit in background. Overall a mild aroma.

Flavor doesn't have the malt profile I was expecting. It's rather thin and has a real metallic twinge. Very dry and weak finish. Overall empty and unpleasantly bitter.

Medium body with medium, but sharp carbonation. A little too much like soda water.

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Photo of Philly82785
2.55/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber brown color with decent creamy tan head. The nose is mostly loads of hops and caramel.This one came across the palate very nice, smooth and easygoing caramel and hops; that has a light hop finish that tapers off. I felt this one was rather weak compared to the other Rouges.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - brown/amber, little head no retention or lacing
S - malty, sweet, smells like a barleywine, very enticing
T - twangy, dirty socks, something old and musty, like santa's privates. Nothing like the smell. A little disappointing
M - light bodied, low cabonation
D - I believe this is last years batch so it could just be old but i still doubt i will get this again.

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Photo of BadRockBeer
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Copper in color, opaque. Little 1 finger head faded quickly to a nice lace.

Smell: Chinook’s are rather apartment, slightly earthy.

Taste: Big hoppy punch up front with a malty sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Lacked a little in body, very thin, bit dry.

Drinkability: So-so, A good extra hoppy winter warmer defiantly had better. But if Santa digs it, that’s all that matters!

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Photo of Trombone69
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

It's a beautiful amber color. Nasty bitter flavor. Tough to get through, especially for only 6 percent ABV. A buddy left this at my house in January. Maybe it's a year old? Maybe it went bad. I expected better from Rogue. And from Santa.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

“2006 – Snowflakes Glisten”

Pours a nicely colored amber with a tan head.

Smells of Christmas spices – nutmeg, allspice, etc. – with a HUGE piney nose that translated to the taste – but not necessarily in a good way. More in the way of, “Who left pine needles soaking in my beer?”

Still, intrepid advocate that I am, I kept sipping and hoping that this beer would achieve a balance in flavors.

Alas, while the mouthfeel was pleasant enough, this ale just never quite delivered on taste. I found it to be much too bitter with nary a hint of sweet to tone down those darned pine needles.

Not what I would call drinkable, especially with so many other well-done seasonals to look forward to.

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Photo of DouggiePhresh
2.6/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the bomber a dark red-copper with a frothy beige head into my pint glass.

It smells spicy, slightly hoppy. Notes of nutmeg.

Tastes somewhat "watered-down", flat. If it were not for the spiciness in the beer, I dont think this beer would have anything going for it.

The mouth feel is watery, tight carbonation

Its drinkable (but to me, what isnt) I dont think I will be buying this beer again after finishing the bomber.

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Photo of KoG
2.61/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2 words: Hop Bomb.

Beautiful dark red color with a very light tan head that lasts forever and leaves mountains of lace on the glass.

Smell is overtly hoppy. Slight citric behind the predominately estery nose. Small amount of malt somewhere in there.

Taste is bitter as bitter can be. Super estery with slight citrus and really no malt at all. Very bitter aftertaste, but double the hops of any brew and you'll get hop juice so I got what was coming to me.

Not my cup of tea at all. If I want uber hoppy, I'll find me some Hop Wallop.

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Photo of JayS2629
2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber with a huge head, almost overcarbonated with a fast fade and little lacing.

The aroma was of clean malts, bready notes with spruce, pine and a touch of citrus.

Taste is one dimensional. I get the spruce and some other citrus hop notes on a simple, bready backbone. Balance ok.

A little thin feeling, watery

Weird, one dimensional, and unbalanced. I didn't enjoy.

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Photo of gillagorilla
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bomber poured into a Burley Oak snifter ($8 at JP's in Ellicott City, no bottle date)

A: Nice amber dark copper color. Poured with a 1 finger head and ok lacing.

S: Almost all malt on the nose with just a bit of pine and almost no citrus.

T: Tasty like a watery and malty mess of a hoppy amber ale. It is a mess of flavors and not good ones at all.

M: Quite prickly with lots of carbonation.

O: Not good, but at least I get a glow in the dark bottle out of it. This is my second Rogue and the other one was even before I was into craft and it was for the growler of Dead Guy ale since I was born on All Souls Day and it was a present for my dad. I didn't even know it glowed in the dark, but I didn't like; however, I was still a cider guy at that time.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange color with a sticky off white head. Some bread fruit and caramel on the nose with a big hop scent on the back end. Well balanced, thin body and well carbonated. Subtle malt floors of caramel and breadfruit with a citric and piney hop finish.

Balance is decent leaning more towards the happy side. Decent beer for a clean american amber ale but as a winter seasonal im not going out of my way to find it. Can't see santa drinking it himself either.

On the plus side there is a spiced taste somehow without the addition of spices so kudos to that. Nothing all too special though.

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Photo of ordybill
2.66/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a pretty nice aroma of pine, malt and some citrus or floral hints.
Appearance- This is a nice looking dark amber with orange highlights, has a fairly thick tannish head.
Taste- the other shoe just dropped, I did not care for the flavor. I didn't care for the mix of hops and citrus.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- I just did not enjoy this beer, I will try it again next Christmas time to see if I was off that day.

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Photo of Lupe
2.66/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark red-brown color with a nice tan head and good lacing, excellent appearance. Floral hop aroma with some malt and spice in the backround. Somewhat thin mouthfeel and runs a bit coarse on the tounge. Hops, hops, and more hops. Too much hops. Overpowering hop character hides the other flavors. I like hops, but this was either too much or I was expecting something else. Finishes very dry with more hop bitterness.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
2.67/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Leffe wine-style glass.

Pours with a short tan head over a fairly clear, but deep amber-to-ruby body with a decent amount of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas are nice - plenty of NW hops dominate, followed by some holiday spices and a light sweetness... touch of sawdust, too.

Pure hop bitterness ... sort of wet-hop like. Spruce character is bitingly bitter. Tastes like I'm drinking a fresh-squeezed flower. Some grassy quality as well. For an American Amber, this one lacks any sweetness, and has no balance.

Very dry. Thin/watery - mouthfeel seems like it should be in the 4% range.

Drinkability scores low for me, as it's just way too one-dimentional.

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Photo of wailingwench
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am hesitant to rate this...maybe I missed something after comparing the other reviews.

Eye Candy: Dark amber, brown edges, Thick, pillowy tan head. Superb hop clumping. Nice lacing.

The Nose Knows: Rich nutty malts with a crisp hop finish.

Tongueland: Deep rich malts with a touch of roasted nuts, slight caramel-like finish.

Bender Factor: I know this is brewed with Chinook and Centennial Hops, they are undetectable. I will purchase another bomber and re-review.

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Photo of jordanmills
2.69/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Looks dark amber with a thick rocky head. Looks great. Smells not so hot - pretty hoppy. I was hoping this wasn't another over-hopped winter warmer. I was disappointed. Not that malty, it's as hoppy as a weak IPA. There some slight taste complexity, but it's drowned out by the hops. Other than the bitterness, goes down smooth. The aftertaste is a little bitter, with all the hops. I don't think I'd drink more than one.

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Photo of pweis909
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amber-red - appropriate holiday fare, with big foamy cap.

Two odors apparent as I poured this brew: the piney odors of Chinook hops but also something metallic and off.

Micely layered malts, more to the sweet side than the roasted malt suggested by the label. Stong, puckering hop bitterness. Chinook hops are easily overdone, and this is an example, in my opinion. Bigger is not always better.

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Photo of whendeathsleeps
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep amber, tan flufffy two finger head that lasts a good while, lots of lacing.

S- Weird soapy smell, caramel, sweet raisin, citrus hops.

T- Hop forward, a little sweet malt, lingering bitterness. Nothing else much stands out.

M- Dry, low carbonation.

O- Nothing really special. Not sure why this would be Santa's Private Stock, not what I expected from a Holiday beer. Very average.

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Photo of bigdeuce
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't impressed with this one and it is surprising coming from Rogue. I love Rogue brews. Smelled like metal, tasted like it too. Pours a nice looking dark to red color. Had a little hop kickback to it but nothing special. Just not one I'll seek out again.

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Photo of nriech
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium dark brown, good head and medium carbonation.

Smell: A bit hoppy, citrusy maybe. Not a whole lot else though.

Taste: Even less in the taste. Wow this was a big disappointment. Kind of like a watery hop soup. with pine needles. Thats about all I tasted as well as the other guys tasting with me. After trying to pawn this off on everyone else we ended up pouring it out.

Drinkability: Low. Easy to get down the gullet on one hand but not good enough to enjoy it. Way too thin.

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Photo of silentjay
2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

an odd mahogany/brown/copper color with a decent eggshell colored head that rises to almost two-fingers, quickly settles to one and laces okay.

the amber/red ale character is apparent in the aroma with some caramel, light toffee, a touch of piney hops, plenty of buttery diacetyl and a terrible metallic character that follows and overpowers.

butter and caramel attack the tongue first with plenty of herbal hops coming next. some fruits work their way into the mix, barely. pretty average amber here, but maybe a bit hoppier than the norm. mehhh.

can't really knock the body as its medium with good carbonation levels. a bit syrupy on the swallow with a "just chewed on tinfoil" character.

drinks average. at best. diacetyl and tinfoil qualities detract from what could be a decent beer. no real alcohol harshness detectable. will pass this one by next winter. not recommended.

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Photo of mintzmeet
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

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Photo of MoreThanWine
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a huge off-white head which took a while to dissipate to 1/8". Clear and pretty dark auburn brown color with lots of slow microbubbles. Smell is medium IPA. Taste again is toward IPA but had an unpleasant bitterness to it in my opinion, and it's not that I don't like the bitter styles, I like lot's of very intense DIPAs and such. Maybe this had a different hop I wasn't used to. Not undrinkable but I likely wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of Vancer
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ho da hody ho. A deep amber pour, nice lacey little ivory head. Lots of malt with a pop of floral in the aroma. The taste really had a big push of pine and grass. Some coriander spice helped, but the overall taste was off for me.

Not enough malt to balance out the harsh hops. Dry and bitter in the finish. I had no problem finishing this, but was not generally pleased and will not seek another bottle.

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Photo of TrevorGW
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber with Santa on it. Pours amber with a huge white head that dies off slowly.

Smell is fairly sweet. Hop resins also coming through.

Taste is real bitter. Hops dominate, but not in the way that they usually do. Very earthy, grassy hops with mild graininess from the malt. Finish is not pleasing. Very stiff and bitter due to the lack of citrus hop character. Not sure what types of hops were used, but they were not doing it for me.

Mouthfeel is prickly, but pleasing.

The best part about this beer is the bottle, so that is not a good sign.

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Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,338 ratings.
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