A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #513 – Rogue – Santa’s Private Reserve Ale

Worked it’s way to the front of the fridge, a Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale –

A double hopped Red Ale, reddish in color with a roasty, malty flavor and a well balanced spruce finish

This one is brewed by Rogue Ales in the style that is of an Amber Ale although I’ve also seen it descried as American Amber / Red Ale, indeed Rogue themselves call it a Red Ale, and they are in NewportOregon  USA

22Oz bottle, so that would be 650ml in where I am, Also listed as 40 or 65 IBU things, go with 65 it’s safer. It is 6% ABV, and around 180 calories a serve, and 3.1 standard drink units.

Man who needs a haircut holds a beer

Man who needs a haircut holds a beer

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  [..] . free range coastal water and proprietary top-fermenting Pacman yeast – Our Snowflakes Glisten in the dark!

I’m still mixed about ‘Red Ales’ I don’t know if this is going to be different.  Buy hey, what could go wrong?

Heavy in the malt aroma on opening, and the pour is a lot darker than I was expecting, but then I didn’t really think this through.it’s family red, and had a little yellowish head that faded to a film.

Santas Private ReserveAroma still that wet malt thing, Initial taste of this is that it’s bitter, and bitterer than I was expecting, this is full of unexpected things. Taste is somewhat of citrus, perhaps grapefruits.

It is pleasant drinking for all that and there isn’t a reason not to like it.

Summary then, slightly bitter, medium body, some floral and citrus, for me grapefruits. Nice pour great colour, some lacing but not enough of a head. Not overly keen on the aroma that just doesn’t do it for me.

The hops, blame the hops for that. One day I’ll be an expert or have an expert take me though this and then I can claim expert. I can only tell you what I think it is. I even had a page to hops. it didn’t help me 🙂 Of course it could be the “Free Range” water.

You would think though that for a seasonal or festive beer that it would be something more twisted or spiced or fruity in some way, I guess if I want a christmas pudding I need a Porter or Stout?

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing. The bitterness is nice, the finish towards dry, there is some nice softness and caramel in this.  I don’t know so much about the aroma which I should be more familiar with and be able to identify much more readily and easily.  Did I love it? not really, but I didn’t not like it, in some way I’m glad it is a seasonal which means that look forward to forgetting about it in the next 12 months and then I’ll be up to go again….

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I am, because it’s nice drinking, quenching and not too edgy.
  2. Would I have another? I don’t know, I’m not sure I enjoy the aroma.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I might just, because it comes not needing a christmas wrapping or anything, and for a couple of months you can claim ‘gift’ if it falls flat. bit of a win win.

I’m listing to some occasionally very good music from Jim Yamouridis – This is the track “Body of Proof” in an  Acoustic Session. I’m sure some of this would be better if I spoke the French.


A style without definition, amber ales range from bland, vaguely caramelly beers to products with a fairly healthy malt and hop balance. Often the differentiation between a quality amber and an American Pale is that the amber might have more dark malt character, or a less assertive hop rate.


4 comments on “Beer – #513 – Rogue – Santa’s Private Reserve Ale

  1. kingmidget
    January 16, 2015

    Red Ales are in that category of beer that I consider to be incredibly non-descript. Kind of like most of the Samuel Adams beers … they just take like beer, but with nothing distinctive to set them apart.


    • Philip Walter
      January 16, 2015

      I don’t get them, Although there is one beer “Beamish Red” that I think is the ducks nuts. Black IPA is another one that I don’t get either. Lucky there are a few other styles 🙂


      • kingmidget
        January 17, 2015

        Yes. Black IPA too. Just seems to be a mish-mash of other styles into a beer that has nothing distinctive. It’s cold, carbonated, it’s beer, but nothing to write home about.


  2. Pingback: Beer – #801 – Rogue – Santa’s Private Reserve Ale | A life just as ordinary

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