Gowanus Brewery


Santa’s Private Reserve Ale – Reviewed by Jeremy
December 27, 2007, 12:00 am
Filed under: beer, red ale, review

Santa’s Private Reserve Ale, one of Rogue’s holiday ales, is not only distributed in an awesome bottle splattered with glow-in-the-dark paint but it also tastes delicious. I really enjoyed this beer, a double-hopped red ale, although it was unlike the few other holiday beers I’ve tried.

I sampled Santa’s beer in a pint glass at fridge temperature. It poured crystal-clear and red- or brownish, copper. Up until the first gulp, it held a tan, one-finger headstand that quickly receded to the corners and left thin sheets on top. The aroma was hearty, smelling of dark malt and citrusy, American hops. Despite being a seasonal beer, it was only moderately malty and toasty. The finish showed the hops again, with some bitterness. There was good carbonation and a medium-bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this brew is a great ale and drinkable to no end, but it didn’t feel like a holiday beer, which I would expect to be richer, thicker, or spicier.

In the description of Santa’s Private Reserve at rogue.com, I gained some insight into what makes this beer seasonal:

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!

That’s right, Rudolph hops! That’s Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, and obviously fitting for this red ale.

Rogue’s tasting notes for this beer are available online and there are hundreds of reviews at BeerAdvocate.

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