Archive for Amber/Red Ale

69 – Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve 2008/09


2008 on the left, 2009 on the right.

I do stupid adventurous things even when people tell me not to and this is one of those moments. Actually this was an “I really don’t know what will happen… spoon will do it!”. The 2008 bottle above is left over from the case I bought after Christmas 08 and reviewed. While cleaning my basement I noticed that behind a 6pack of beers I was aging, a few bottles of  2008 Santa’s Private Reserve were hanging out. In the name of science I rushed out to buy the 2009 bottle and see how it would hold up. I was fair and cleansed my palate after each beer. Do not try this at home. You’ll hate yourself. Trust me.

Santa’s Private Reserve
brewery: Rogue Brewing – rogue.com
beer website: Santa’s Private Reserve
style: Red Ale
abv: 6%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint glass
price: $41/case in 2008, $3.75 bottle in 2009

Overview
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!

What I think
You can probably figure out what happened here. Epic FAIL. I knew that the ABV wasn’t strong enough for it to last and that the style wasn’t right for sitting a year but wtf ever. I drink it so you don’t have to. If you wanna be stupid you gotta be tough.

2008: The nose was a huge bouquet of hops. Hop Heaven I’d even call it. Quickly turned and shot to hop Hell when I drank. Flavor was gone. It was stale. Couldn’t cleanse my palate fast enough. Stomach started to churn and I had more gas than a zeppelin.

2009: Shockingly the nose was almost non existent. I even had Lushie give it a shot and nothing. first taste I had slight hops but that would quickly die. The whole profile I had in review 29 was gone. It was dull with a bitter finish. My once favorite Christmas beer was turned to coal.

Spoon’s rating –  2008: D 2009: – C

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29 – Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

It’s 8 days before Christmas so you deserve something to kick it up over the holiday. We all have whack jobs in our families and craft beer is what you need to drown them out. I wanted to do more Christmas themed beers this year but most I have had before and quite frankly are foul. The picture above is from a night at 3 Sons since the batteries in my camera died at the time of review. Eh, it happens.

Santa’s Private Reserve
brewery:
Rogue Brewing – rogue.com
beer website: Santa’s Private Reserve
style: Red Ale
abv:
6%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pint glass
price: $41/case, $3.75 bottle

Overview
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!

What I think
The issue I have with a lot of winter offerings, as I see in pumpkin beers also, is a spice bomb and for me that is a huge turnoff. I’m more for balance in when it comes to a spice, bitter or sweetness. If this is your concern also, you’ve come to the right beer.

Pours a medium copper/amber with an astonishing head. Yeah, beer porn once again. The taste on this is hoppy like an IPA but with a sweetness of a red which, as I said above, gives balance. Oh sweet Jesus did it balance well and follows with a tad of fruit and spice. If you’re worried about the hops on the finish you can get that thought out of your mind. It has a mild body on it which doesn’t stick around long. This is my go to beer now in the winter season. Rogue you have saved me from a winter of misery when I want a beverage under 10% ABV to chill with.

Spoon’s rating: A

Comments (1)

12 – Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale

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Ever since I started into craft beers I’ve heard nothing but good hype about Bear Republic and as of a few weeks ago PA finally made it to the distribution list. I did some research and found this listed as a strong ale, red ale and a Scottish ale soooooooo we’re gonna see what I think.

It has a hint of tea that’s close to a red and but is super hopped up. Your mouth is left with a nice pucker and hoppy aftertaste while sits a tad heavy on the tongue. It pours as a dark amber and leaves a new pillow fluffy tan head. The aroma is pretty tight as it’s packed with hops and a faint hint of citrus. If you’re a lacing nut you’re gonna LOVE the beer porn lace this leaves behind.

Overall it’s a delicious red ale but I’m not sold that it’s the cream of the crop as you’d read on Rate Beer or Beer Advocate. It ranks in my top 10 but not numero uno. If you’d like to pick one of these up I was able to purchase this for $6.50 at 3 Sons in a bomber bottle.

Bear Republic website

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07 – Troegs Nugget Nectar

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Tröegs is one of my favorite breweries. Their Troegenator Doublebock is in my top 5 of best beers ever.  It came no surprise to me when I poured this Nugget Nectar that a shift in my standings was due.

The Nugget Nectar is listed as a red ale so don’t let the intense hops aroma fool you. Before that may scare you away the aroma isn’t overpowering. It poured a good head that was slightly fluffy. Unfortunately it was gone very fast. Nectar has a medium amber color to it instead of a darker red (the picture doesn’t do the hue justice). The body? Ohhhhhhh sweet jesus was it sinful. I’m going as far as to say that I would take this over my beloved Dogfish Head 90 minute.  The finish was smooth and didn’t hang around for awhile.

Buy it now.  Seriously. Stop what you’re doing and buy a 6pack.

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