Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

very good
2,338 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,338 |  Reviews: 1,197
Photo of RumHam
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of remy28
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of crhensel
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gasp100
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a deep copper with cherry red hue and a thick cream head the left lacing down the sides of the glass. The smell was of flowery Hops, Alcohol and some darker fruits. The taste was dry and raw hops with a nice bitterness and sharp in your face kick. The alcohol was somewhat noticeable but blended well with a malt sweetness and some caramel notes. I hint of hop oils on the tail end but mellowed out very nicely. The mouthfeel was sharp at first, but left a sparkling feeling throughout and this brew had a medium drinkability ---- one bomber was good for me.

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Photo of eklie
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Admbmb92
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of GregBlatz
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Tan head kind of rocky. Good carbonation. Copper red in color. Unfiltered and murky.

S - Spicey Pine hop aroma. Caramel malt sweetness.

T - Bitter hops right up front. Pine and resinous hop flavors. Bitter bitter finish on the tongue. Not as malty as I thought it would be. The hops dominate this one clearly. Some bread like malt.

M - Full bodied. Somewhat slick. Carbonation is medium.

D - If your in the mood for a hoppy beer that fits between a pale ale and an IPA with the color of an American Amber you could knock a few of these back.

Overall - I love this beer. I remember loving it last year, but I thought I might have been exaggerating how much I like it before. Not so, this one is fantastic.

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Photo of Ellis1701
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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 MattDbach
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of jazzer
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of hoffman
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn nice holiday brew. Poured from bomber into 24oz mug. Head rises quickly to nearly 3 fingers befor settling to a sustained two finger height. Look is brownish/hazel very deep hue, translucent...not much light gets through this one. Nice mocha tan head is full of small bubbles. The smell is sweet, fully malt, with a robust sugary fruit undertone, some nice hop patterns as well. The tast knocked my socks off. Maybe cause it's been about a month since I have had a "good" beer but this one is real nice.sweet, smooth and musky up front with a hint of some spiced organics. The middle is full and inviting but gives a hint to the nice hop punch at the finish well rounded and very nice. The mouthfeel is full if not a bit watery. A nice drinkable beer, Rogues comes through again.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One word: disappointing. It seems like Rogue just bottled some leftover Dead Guy Ale and labeled it for Christmas. I was hoping for some serious spice notes in the vein of a Christmas Bock or Winter Warmer, but nothing there. Slightly bitter. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but my expectations are always set on high with anything from Rogue. There are much better options out there from them, their Chocolate Stout for one...

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
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 cjoc83
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, beautiful reddish-copper color with an initials fingers worth of slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Nice looking beer.

Surprising amount of resinous and tropical fruit hops in the nose, but the malty sweetness is definitely in there, intermingling with some caramel.

Initial taste is some malt sweetness and just a hint of caramel before segueing into some spicy, resinous hops that stick around for a while after the glass hits the table. The flavors are kind of all over the place, with the hops the dominant note. This doesn't really smack of a holiday ale to me.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied, carbonation is present but slight. A bit watery for a holiday beer.

This is kind of a mixed bag for me, but this beer failed to wow me where it counts; in the taste. While there are some spicy notes and a nice dollop of malty/caramel sweetness, the beer seems over-hopped and just doesn't come through on the mouthfeel. As I said before, this doesn't really taste like a holiday ale. It tastes more like a weirded-out IPA. Although I will give it a few bonus points for being made with locally sourced ingredients and having "no chemicals, additives, or preservatives" (per the bottle).

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Photo of BeerMark
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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 brighteyes868
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad. Not a favorite.

24 characters

Photo of Brewfan
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a '04 bottle consumed a year later. Didn't like this beer at all fresh. Didn't review it, but was way too hot/spicy/hoppy/etc. Didn't know what to expect a year later.
Poured a burnished hazy copper. Nice 1.5 finger beige head which petered out after a little while. Minimal lace clung to the edges throughout.
Smelled of baked nut fruitcake, biscuits, hops and chocolate malt. Very nice nose, inviting and comforting.
The spices have since taken a back seat to malt and chocolate. Man, this beer got really nice after a year. Chocolate and malt, malt and chocolate. What a beautiful combination. I really wasn't expecting this. Pleasant surprise. I'm really glad I have 2 more bottles downstairs. Hops and spices come through, but are nicely subdued.
Medium body to this beer with minimal carbonation. I think fresh, it was more carbonated.
Finishes sweet and biscuity with some more spices coming through. Very nice winter warmer....a year later.

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Photo of zymurgy4all
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is quite a nice beer from Rogue. I was expecting it to have weird spices and be brown, and I was wrong--this is a nice Red ale.
It pours a nearly clear deep reddish brown with a nice off-white long lasting head. The lacing stays well on the glass.
Nice large hop aroma--more like a fresh pale ale smell.

This packs a lot of hops and good malt bill balanced well as Rouge always does. It has flavors of refreshing grapefruit from the hops, and has a nice smooth mouthfeel--not biting from the hops, which sometimes happens.
It goes down well and leaves a nice aftertaste that begs you for more.
Great Beer!

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Photo of hellomcfly
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a small off white head. It is an attractive hazy amber to orange color.

Nice malty aroma of caramel, toffee, and a slightly toasty smell as well. Hop aroma is spicy and citus.

Flavor has a nice bready malt backbone with a sharp, spicy hop bite that that gives way to a nice caramel and orange sweetness.

Medium bodied with an almost sticky finish.

Pretty drinkable in my book. Wish I had another.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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 jahbless
1.71/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Sour and bitter with no spice at all. This is a poor effort at a Christmas beer. I don't understand the high ratings, this is flat out horrible.

145 characters

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 sam_bliss
4.59/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber

The sound upon uncapping the bottle insinuates that the contents are well-carbonated. It pours a coppery, bright beet-red color accented by copious bubbles lining the sides of the glassware and topped off with a magnificent four-finger head. As this dissipates down to a centimeter-thick foamy cap to seal in the brew's aromatic bouquet, beautiful lacing is deposited on the glass walls of the drinking vessel. A slightly sweet, complex concoction of malts anchors the aroma, which is accented by red fruits and fresh floral hops. The taste is less sweet than the nose; it is built upon the roasty, biscuity, caramelly, and slightly nutty blend of malts that includes Carastan, Crystal and two others from Rogue's own barley farm. From this intricate foundation rises some not-quite-ripe fruitiness, a mixture of sweet and sour that both excites and intrigues the taste buds. A sprucy evergreen finish gives way to a citrusy aftertaste and lingering tingling, advocating the next sip or gulp, even if merely to further analyze the multifaceted flavors of this inimitable ale from Santa Clause's private reserve.

This is a truly exceptional piece of brewing. It is distinctively fascinating, an unrivaled amber that is unique for its listed category and matchless in the field of winter beers. I love Christmas ales; this is a special one that they make a bit differently each holiday season.

 1,406 characters

Photo of bgraney
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber/honey color with reddish hues. Sparkling carbonation; rich, foamy white/tan head. Very nice to look at.
The roasted malts offer the strongest aroma backed up by a grapefruit follow through.
Surpsisingly the hops offered the most flavor with the malt in the background, very smooth.
Thin mouthfeel with a long, lingering grapefruit flavor on the tongue.
A little too citrusy for me to think about multiple glasses.
This is perfect for pouring in a flute for holiday guests. Beautiful appearence with a smooth mellow flavor. Most people won't be wowed by this but I can't imagine too many people being turned off.

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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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