RateBeer
overall
91
98
style
Brewed by Rogue Ales
Style: Amber Ale
Newport, Oregon USA

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1579   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.48   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 44   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Rogue’s annual holiday offering, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a variation of the classic Saint Rogue Red, but with double the hops--including Chinook, and Centennial, and a mystery hop called Rudolph by head brewer John "more hops" Maier! This holiday elixir is brewed with two-row Harrington, Klages and Munich malts, along with Hugh Baird 30-37, Carastan 13-17, and Crystal 70-80 malts, plus free range coastal water and proprietary top-fermenting Pacman yeast.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bb (6784) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 30, 2003
Bottle. A dark brown and reddish beer with a medium beige head on top. The aroma is of good pine mixed with some sweet malts. The flavor has strong hop bitterness with a bit of a roasty malt base. Definately more in the grapefruit and pine taste than a balanced beer, but there's enough of a complex malt backbone so that it doesn't seem out of place in this dark beer - well, maybe you need to be a hophead to think that. As you keep drinking there is some spicey flavor to it, but very subtle and can easily get lost with the hops. The hop flavor just stays forever.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
VAYankee (327) - Virginia, USA - NOV 29, 2003
Dark reddish brown brew with an offwhite head. Strong pine scented hoppiness. Initially flavor has a very mild maltiness that quickly disappears. This is followed by a sharp spicyness. Aftertaste is a bitter and piney.

3.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
haddon90 (1439) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 29, 2003
Cloudy copper/amber/ruby pour with a thick tan head. Aroma full of hops, spice, and fruit. Bitter taste. Not the greatest, but it was decent. Could work on the balance a little bit. Too watery as well.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
carboloader (673) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 25, 2003
Pours a transparent dark amber with thick foamy yellow head. Excellent lacing. Aroma of cascade hops with spruce and some pine. Some malt tones as well. Flavor is same -- some initial malt and then serious quick hops followed by quick bitter finish. Seems very well balanced to me, for a hop-infused strong ale. Not too sweet, unlike some Christmas brews. I'm thinking this would be a great regular IPA (or even a double IPA). Am wondering what makes it a Christmas brew. No spice or added sweetness. One of my new favorites.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
drinkbeer (281) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 25, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2006 2003 reserve. Awesome dark clear ruby-red color, sparkly tan head. citrus hop aroma. a hop-heavy beer without much spice. bitterness lingers on sides of tongue.slight roasted malt flavor. Reminds me of a less piney arrogant bastard. However, I would prefer more spice and alcohol in this christmas brew. 2006 bottle. Same as before, but let it warm some. Got it? Ok, now check out the subtle peach notes. I kid you not. They are in there.

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Yankovitch333 (612) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 25, 2003
Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin tan head. Not much aroma, but perhaps my allergies are acting up. Very hoppy and bitter, but perhaps a bit bland for a seasonal brew. It's not exactly what I was expecting.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
guzzler67 (1491) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - NOV 23, 2003
Reddish brown appearance with a small head. Aroma is mostly hops with some citrus. Hops dominate the taste, too, along with a lot of carbonation. Bitter finish. Reminds me of some IIPA's.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Ruby burgandy color with an average tan head. Slightly sweet barley wine like nose. Sharp tangy dry stout like bitter taste overpowers the malt. There is a hint of grapefruit and a long dry lightly bitter aftertaste.Kinda weak palate. O.K but not great.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TChrome (1415) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Nice spicy, hoppy aroma. Beer pours attractive ruby red color with off white head that is dimishing. There is some lacing. Flavor is very hoppy and that strikes me just right. Akin to SN Celebration ale. Thank you Rogue!!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LordHedgehog (144) - Westminster, Maryland, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Does a good job of balancing hops and malts, something not common in seasonal brews for some reason. I had trouble finding any reason to complain about this beer, but it just didn't reach out to me, either. Nice set of quality hops, and a good malty mouthfeel. Not the spicyness I was expecting from Santa, but Santa never did give me what I wanted anyway. Santa, if you're reading this, I still want that Radio Flyer.


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