Beer of the Weekend #293: Santa's Private Reserve

My last holiday sampling is Santa’s Private Reserve Ale, brewed by the Rogue Brewery of Newport, Oregon.

Serving type: One 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is, as the label says, a reddish-copper. Two fingers of dense, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly to leave a rocky cap, trails of foam on the glass, and a bubbly lacing.

Smell: Lots of centennial citrus up front; lots of grapefruit and orange citrus. There is also a little pine to spice it up. Underneath are the malts and sweets: lightly toasted grain, caramel, toffee, and cocoa.

Taste: Lots of metallic and citrus hops, though the grapefruit is not as prominent as it is in the smell. It tastes a little more like tangerine and it is spiced with pine. Underneath are the grain, caramel, toffee, and cocoa. As the beer warms, there are hints of honey or hazelnut to balance the hops. The aftertaste: it is like I sucked on a metal sign-post for about a minute.

Drinkability: Though the hops are not aggressive, it is a bitter pill to swallow. I really hope Santa has better stuff in his private reserve. Santa does not necessarily seem like a hophead. I will applaud the effort, though.

Fun facts about SPR:

-Style: Rogue calls it red ale, and BA concurs, classifying it as “American Amber/Red Ale.”

-Price: $2.49/bottle at John’s Grocery in Iowa City.

-Serving temperature: 45-50ºF.

-Alcohol content: 6 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: Rogue suggests pairing it with “Pork, Beef.”

-IBU: 65.

-Gravity: 13º Plato.

-Color: 26.75º Lovibond.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.


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