Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale: A traditional beer that manages to repeatedly appear in my stocking on Christmas Day, this 5.1% abv and 74 IBU Christmas Ale is brewed in Newport, Oregon. I love the festive logo, the fact that it isn’t another gingerbread ale (which I enjoy, just not all the time), and since I have been to this brewery quite a few times over the years because we visit the Oregon coast a lot, this beer has a bit of meaning for me.
Aroma and Appearance: This festive beer pours a clear Christmas red and copper colour with one jingle bell of foam and some slow rising bubbles of joy. It’s aroma is very cheerful, with notes of plum, gooseberry, marmalade, bready malt and grapefruit.
Flavour: Up front is bready malt and orange peel with gooseberries and fresh grass in the middle, finishing with a grapefruit, spruce and pine bitterness that is reminiscent of a Christmas tree.
Overall Impression: Liquid Christmas tree, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a perfect holiday beer as it’s fun, festive and tasty.
Rating: Oh, by golly it’s Excellent at 8/10, this year.
Food Pairing: Turkey with cranberry sauce or a nice roast would pair well with this.
Here’s an old video to give you some flavour for the brewery, which you walk through if you go the brewpub portion of it for samples or food. I love the philosophy of letting the brewers do what they want and the fact that they were one of the first craft brewers to really use the 22 oz bottle is quite interesting. They also more recently started growing a lot of their own hops and barley at Rogue Farms.