Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rogue Santa's Private Reserve - Gus #29

Today's brew is a Christmas seasonal from Rogue Ales out of Oregon.  Monday I reviewed their winter seasonal brew Yellow Snow IPA.  Today, since it's getting closer to Christmas, I figured I'd do a review on their Santa's Private Reserve.  This is a hoppy red ale and I really enjoy this style.  Will this brew bring anything special to the table?  We shall see.  Most of the brews I have had from Rogue have been above average and some really good.  I definitely enjoyed Yellow Snow!  (How weird is it to say that??)

How it rates with others:

YouTube review:
Peter - TheMasterOfHoppets beer review on YouTube

ratebeer review:

Information from the brewery's website:

About the Beer:
Style:  Red Ale
Alcohol by Volume:  6.0%
IBUs:  65
Serving:  Draft, 12oz Bottle, 22oz Bottle, Six Pack

Tasting Notes:
A double-hopped Red, reddish in color, with a roasty, malty flavor and a hoppy spruce finish.

9 Ingredients:
Carastan 30-37 &13-17, Crystal 70-80 & Great Western 2-Row Malts; Amarillo & Perle Hops; Free Range Coastal Water and Pacman Yeast.

Our Snowflakes Glisten in the dark!

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 brew John "more hops" Maier!

I poured this brew into a tulip glass.

Appearance:  The brew poured a deep red almost amber color.  A huge off white head of almost four fingers.  Really sticky lacing and no signs of alcohol legs.  The brew is pretty clear.  I can see through it but it's not perfectly clear.  Carbonation streaming up from the sides of the glass.  Nothing really spectacular on the appearance.  It's pretty much your standard red/amber ale.  That's what I expected though.

Aroma:  Right at the beginning you pick up citrus and little bit of fruitiness.  Then the pine and earthy hints come in.  It's not like the aroma of fresh pine or green pine cones, but more of the aroma from dead pine needles or something like that.  Little hints of the spruce they describe.  Some earthy spiciness that gives way to the sweet malt backbone.  Some caramel and maybe a caramel popcorn aroma at times.  Smells like a nice hoppy red ale with a pretty good malt backing.

Taste:  The brew is hop forward with hints of citrus right up front.  It has hints of orange and lemon zest mixed in with grapefruit.  Big pine notes in this one just like the aroma.  Green pine and hints of that spruce that they describe on the website.  Not really that resiny but still very piney.  Mouthfeel is medium to medium light.  No hint of the alcohol at all, which you wouldn't really expect.  The pour was really carbonated but it isn't too much in the mouth.  It's definitely a tasty brew.  Nothing out of the ordinary but good.

Verdict:  Overall a very nice red or amber ale.  It was pretty hopped up but that is something you expect from Rogue on their hoppy beers.  I really enjoyed this one and it was very easy to drink.  One of those you could have a couple of really easy.  However, nothing in this brew really screamed holiday brew to me.  It doesn't have any holiday spice or anything that would make me think of the holidays when I drank it.  It is slightly piney which places off that spruce factor that they call it.  But, it's just not really a Christmas brew for me.  I'm going to give it a B-.  Definitely above average for a beer but it would score higher if it were just a regular release and not deemed as a Christmas beer.  I'm a fan of a ton of other things Rogue does.  I will definitely be looking forward more to the Yellow Snow than this one.  

Let me know what you think if you have had this brew.  Comment, follow and subscribe.  We have been getting a ton of viewers and I really appreciate it!  Need some more folks to comment and let us know what they think of the reviews and how we are doing.  I hope to get into video reviews soon.  I'll keep the text reviews going when I do get video reviews up so I want to get people interacting.  Thanks again!