Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale

Reviewed by on December 2, 2013 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Rogue Ales

  • Origin: Newport, OR, USA

  • Rated On: November 28, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: American Amber Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

A prototypical 22oz bottle, the label replete with a hefty stein-hoisting Ol’ Saint Nick, striking the pose of all of Rogue’s marketing images, that of a raised-fist, ‘power to the people’ thing. With its additional white snowflakes, the whole thing glows in the dark, just as the ‘Snowflakes Glisten’ proclamation indicates. Rather kitschy, and cool by the same measure.

The beer pours a slightly hazy dark copper colour, with a few fingers of thick, foamy off-white head, that leaves a fair bit of sticky lacing as it slowly recedes. An aroma of bitter citrus hops – orange and grapefruit, mostly – a little pine resin, and a subdued caramel malt – hits you all at once and is very nice. The taste starts with rather tart, dry piney hops, some tangy citrus cream, and quickly moves through to a slightly roasted caramel/toffee malt body, some juicy fruitiness, all followed closely by some more bitter grassy hops.

The carbonation is about average – a bit too noticeable at first, but it dissipates quickly enough, the body maintaining a decently weighty medium bearing, with a tentative smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the malt and bitter hops still doing a pleasant tango.

A more than fine Yankee amber ale, quite heavily hopped up in the West Coast style. There’s not much in the way of any actual holiday affectations, beyond the label, of course, but the malt is decently hefty, worthy of those who want something more pungent, and yet balanced, with their Christmas victuals.

Brady White

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