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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Rogue Ales
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Oregon
  • Style: American Amber / Red Ale
  • Malts: Carastan 30-37 & 13-17, Crystal 70-80 & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare & Risk
  • Hops: Chinook & Rogue Farm Revolution & Freedom
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • IBUs: 65
  • Tasting Notes: Piney, resinous, caramel, toffee, pungent, smokey
  • Preferred Glass: Nonic Pint
  • Food Pairing: Pork, Beef, Spicy dishes
  • PHM Grade: B+

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale

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For all of you hopheads our there I think you’ll love this Santa’s Private Reserve by Rogue Brewing. Known for making amazing beer John “more hops” Maier, head brewmaster, out does himself yet again with his lively rendition of an Amber (Red) ale. SPR is an extension or variation of their (Dry Hopped) St. Rogue Red in that it is double hopped. The recipes are the same with the exception of this extra hopping. This is a very hoppy beer satisfying those who love their hops, while offering a warm, complex malt character that can be embraces by those who are venturing out in to the world of hopped up beers.

One thing that I appreciated about this beer is that John uses Chinook and Centennial hops for bittering, finishing, and dry hopping. These two varieties work together to bring you a very rich introduction into the different kinds of hops.

It has a deep red to slightly ruby color and a wonderful hop aroma due to the dry hopping. It might feel like a punch in the face at first, but after a couple wafts you smell a citrus bouquet of grapefruit, pineapple, and a sharp floral spiciness. It is bitter all the way through, but leaved a very clean and crisp finish for an ale. A good representation of a Red ale, this beer has personally with caramel, toffee, and roasted grain notes. The aftertaste is sweet and malty and it is here where the piney, earthy hops lend their support. Similar to a dry finishing lager, this beer demands sip after sip to quench lingering complexity it offers.

I enjoyed SPR very much and I know there are a handful of fellow reviewers that enjoy it as well.

Merry Christmas!

Rogue Santa's Private Reserve Ale, 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
  1. From my experience I have notice that some hops are more fruity and carry citrus notes like orange, lemon, grapefruit, pear, and pineapple (Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Columbus, Warrior, and Simcoe to name a few). Other types have a more floral/herbal component to them which imparts a piney, woody, earthy, or spicy aroma and flavor (Northern Brewer, Chinook, Fuggles, Perle, and Willamette). Both sides of this spectrum are present in this beer.

    Tom — December 12th, 2009, 5:00 PM
  2. Sampling this beer again in 2011 I had some new finds. It looks like the malt and hops used changed a little as John went with Rogue’s own supply of from their farm. Centennial was replaced with Freedom & Revolution. On the malt side he used Rogue’s Risk & Dare respectively.
    The aroma is still lively with hops as expected, but I took away a much deeper malt body than years past. Smokey. While the woody, piney notes were still represented there seemed to be a faint smoked meat character.
    This beer really comes alive in the taste. Great depth on the palate for both hops and malt. Spicy and full flavored, rich, creamy, and bold.

    Tom — November 1st, 2011, 8:55 PM
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