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Santa's Private Reserve Ale | Rogue Ales

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Santa's Private Reserve AleSanta's Private Reserve Ale
Very Good
2,345 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: 2,345 |  Reviews: 1,200
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright red-orange-copper, a lovely hue that is in keeping with the festive, holiday theme. The head is stupendous and is made up of buttery, orangish beige foam that is hugely rocky and absolutely full of character. When it finally relents, the glass is chock full of tenacious lace in speckled, broken sheets. Very nice.

While the aroma is unquestionably good, it is a bit of a letdown. When I learned that Chinook and Centennial were in use and that this beer was brewed to be a hoppier version of St. Rogue Red, my expectation meter went instantly to 'drool'. The aroma is sweet and hoppy and spicy and everything else that I had hoped for, it just isn't as forceful as it could be since the hops are blunted to some extent by the malt.

The same applies to the flavor... very good but not outstanding and certainly not a hop bomb. I'd have to have them side by side, but Santa's doesn't seem much hoppier than the St. Rogue Red of my memory. It's still wonderful beer however. There's plenty of malt on hand with a toasted, bready flavor that keeps it firmly within the style guidelines. No one should confuse this beer with an IPA however.

Hops are present and accounted for. I especially notice the Chinook (they tend to dominate other varieties in my experience). One of the things that I love about Rogue is that they use plenty of ingredients; this beer is absolutely bursting with bittersweet flavor. Spicy, tangy, pungent, grapefruity, sprucy hops commingle with sweet malt in an increasingly harmonious manner as the beer warms. My impressions of the flavor are becoming much more favorable as I get deeper into the bottle.

The finish is long and hoppysweet, remaining relatively well-balanced (from a hop lover's perspective) until the deliciously bitter end. The mouthfeel is between medium and full with that characteristic Rogue lushness that I know and love. More often than not, these guys hit their marks in all aspects of the brewer's art.

Santa's Private Reserve (aka St. Nick Red) may not have been the 'Christmas in March' that I was expecting, but I got past that quickly enough. It's a big, hoppy, flavorful-as-hell ale that appeals to me in a big way. Although it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the beer that it was patterned after, it's impossible to go wrong with either one. Highly recommended for Christmas lists everywhere.

 2,380 characters

Photo of Jason
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A most excellent looking head, the hops are an obvious help in this department. Clear brownish copper color shimmers warm in the light. Nutty bready sweet malt, softly pungent hop oil infiltrates the nose with rind, wild flowers and citrus zest. So smooth, nice crisp bite towards the end. Body is creamy and of a solid medium size. Level carbonation. Citric hop and a nougat flavor up front on the taste buds. Waves of malt sweetness are white capped with a strong grasping hop bitterness. Both the hop bitterness and malt sweetness, even the residuals, don’t want to let go. The hops are more persistent and seem to cover more ground with layers of flavor.

As always in Rogue fashion there is no holding back on the hops, certainly enough malt flavor to go around. This one is a must for me each year.

 806 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was very happy to be able to take part in this special cask tasting of this years Santa’s Reserve down at Barleys the other night. Whenever you get to take part in something like this it always makes my day and this was no exception. Arrived early and got to try some goodies downstairs and made my way up around the upstairs and right up in front of the cask for a while. After blowing up to the ceiling, it mellowed down enough to let them pour and what came out was just great. A nice and hazy, thick dark brown poured into the glass leaving a good two inches or so of tan colored head on top. This rested nicely down and laid on top to form a good half inch or so that lasted until the end. Smell was nice and richly spiced with an evident dry hopping to it. Lots of very fresh pine and cinnamon aromas coming off of it. This translated perfectly over to the taste where a nice rich brown ale was welcomed and mixed with a generous amount of hoppiness. A great creamy and smooth feel was nice and full bodied and never let you down on the carbonation. An almost chewy consistency could be detected as well. I wished I could have had more, but this was a one pint per man night so I loved every last sip. Overall this was really fantastic. It was very rich and fresh tasting and just had a tremendously good texture and feel to it. I could have made this one all night, but alas I had to go home. It was great and I am glad I made it. Truly one that I will remember.

 1,472 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of orangesol
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of WoodBrew
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Santa's reserve was decent. It poured a nice clear amber with white head that did not lace. The scent was fairly non-descript. The taste was slightly bitter and came off the pallet clean. Overall it was ok....I wouldn't go searching it out.

 244 characters

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Well, my drinking must've helped, 'cause the Bears pulled off another victory, this time against the Chargers. Boom! Anyway, this stuff pours a lightly hazy amber-crimson topped by a finger of dusty off-white foam. The nose comprises pine, caramel, sharp ruby red grapefruit zest, and a touch of mandarin orange flesh. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine and grapefruit (this time the rind) really taking center stage, forcing all else to the background. It's not bad, just a bit one-dimensional. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a one-note song, nothing close to exceptional. It's good, but I can't really drink all that much of it at length. Kinda confused as to what this has to do with X-Mas (I mean, it is called Santa's Private Reserve, after all)...

 868 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a caramel amber hue above the body sits a very nice sized mass of tan foam that as I take each swip forms a ring of fine lacing with dispersed specks of lace packed between each clear ring. Aroma: Deep pine cone scented hops full biscuit malt character with some caramel sweetness complementing the west coast hopping. Taste: Roasted malts, caramel malt tones backed by a whopping hop profile brings out piney and mildly citrus tones a great winter amber great brew. Mouthfeel: Medium in body, overall great crisp finish leaves the hop oils on the tongue pretty damn bitter. Drinkability: More hops than I want for a session brew but a very tasty seasonal offering from our friends at Rogue.

 714 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber wtih a huge, brownish, off white head that is dense and foamy with great retention

S - sweet caramel, bread, light piny aromas

T - faint bread, caramel, piny hop resin

M - medium bodied, perfectly carbonated

This has the makings of a very solid beer. All of the right flavors are there. this just isn't as full flavored as I would have liked, and it's also a bit simplistic. It has decent malt character and a good hop presence, but it's all underwhelming. All of the flavors need to be more forward. This was nice to try once, but I don't think I'll seek it out again.

 588 characters

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of imbibehour
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Christmas leftovers continues!

A very light caramel head in color, large fist full of foamy goodness off the pour with some nice clumping retention. Body color is a gorgeous amber red and hues of orange, copper, and all in between. This slight opaque character gives the beer a not quite frozen but a subtle orb glowing character, lots of lacing while finishing. Great looking beer.

Nose is clean malts, faint brown sugar, a little brown clove spice in there. Very nice.

Taste brings a nice play in the mouth. Soft bodied mouthfeel and just this tiny TINY lingering hop presence on the swallow. A mild sweetness comes through with a chewy density. Hints of orange in the palate, clementime zest bitter. Mouthfeel could be just a hint better, but doesn't get too wet or syrupy. Just a faint hop hint here which lingers and mixes with the malt body real nicely.

MMmmm I am enjoying this one. Great amber!

 954 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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

 513 characters

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, orange-brown coloring with a thin, frothy, foamy yellow-biege head that clings all over the glass. Good toffee and sweet aromas, with a slight hopping in the background. Flavors are more hop-forward, with a good caramel malt backbone and some roasty characteristics. Slight spicing throughout the beer gives a more festive flavor profile. The aftertaste is a slight resiny hops presence, with a caramel blend once again. The finish is slightly clingy and cloying, but the subtle spicing actually wins out in the end, and cleans out the palate quite nicely. Good, solid, sessionable Amber.

 667 characters

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-copper with a thin foamy off-white head.

Rogue's signature Pac-man yeast is in the forefront of the smell, backed up by toasty caramel, citrus and earthy notes.

The taste is of the Pac-man yeast, caramel/toffee and bitter citrus with a touch of spruce. Toffeeish malt gives way to a bitter finish. Medium-bodied (not quite as full as many other winter offerings, but a nice body for an amber/red ale.

With the ingedients, I expected to like it even more. Bottom line though - I liked it and certainly found it to be highly drinkable and a good "hop-fix" for a change from the large line-up of malty/spicy winter brews (along with a few other hoppy winter brews that come to mind).

 697 characters

Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy rich amber color. Good 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, sweetness, and some slight earthy malts. So far, it fits the rather broad style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Smooth and crisp mouth feel with a low carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front with a strong secondary malt flavor. Neither is dominate, but instead a good blend of flavors. The aftertaste is mostly the bitterness of hops. A strong combination of malt and hops with an ease in the drinkability. A good beer worth a try, but maybe just a tad too sweet overall.

 597 characters

Santa's Private Reserve Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 2,345 ratings
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