Last night, after getting the kids to bed, Kim and I got to work wrapping presents. What better beer to enjoy whilst wrapping than a Rogue Santa's Private Reserve? One of my favorite winter seasonals, for certain.
Rogue Santa's Private Reserve
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 two-row Harrington, Klages and Munich malts, along with Hugh Baird 30-37, Carastan 13-17, and Crystal 70-80 malts, plus free range coastal water and John’s proprietary top-fermenting Pacman yeast. Available in both 22-ounce bottles, 12oz Loose packs for Winter 2005, and 12oz six packs for 2006.
My bottle was a 22oz bomber. Last year I had both a bomber as well as picking up a case after-season when it was on sale.
This beer pours a great looking clear red, topped with a nice soft, fluffy cap of foam. The head lingers nicely throughout the drinking process and leaves a bit of lace behind as well.
Smell is full caramel and wonderful hops.
The taste follows suit in the same manner. Nice and malty up front, sweet caramel and biscuit flavors, washed away by that delicious piney, sprucey hoppiness. The body on this is sooo creamy, delicious.
One thing to note about this beer is that while its a fairly balanced beer, if you want the most flavor out of those hops, get this beer ASAP. The first bottle I had of this last year (and this year, obviously) was super fresh and the hops were incredible. As time went on, they fade pretty quickly. There's still a nice hoppiness but not the great aroma/taste that it has when its young.
Bottom line: if you see this one, pick it up, and soon. Its a great holiday seasonal , if I can find more while its still at its finest, I'll definitely do so.