Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rogue Ales - Santa's Private Reserve 2017

It's beginning to taste a lot
like Christmas...
Is it just me or does anybody else feel like Christmas snuck up on you and kicked you square in the butt? What the heck! Christmas is only 11 days away and I don't have a tree, decorations or presents bought yet! I'm doomed! I didn't even put together my annual Beer Guy PDX Gift Guide! I'm about to climb up on the roof of the ol' Shotgun Shack and shout HUMBUG at the top of my lungs. 

HUMBUG!

I also have a fridge full of Christmas beers and Winter Warmers to drink. Some of these beers are regular seasonals that I look forward to quaffing every December. What's the matter with me?

Gratefully, Oregon's own Rogue Ales sent me a little surprise package that shook off some of the doldrums. The mailman, who typically only brings me bills and bad news, showed up with a box marked "FRAGILE" yesterday. (That's pronounced  "FRA-GEE-LAY" for any of you not familiar with A Christmas Story. FRA-GEE-LAY. It's Italian.) Inside, I found a bomber of Rogue's 2017 Santa's Private Reserve AND a nifty glass. Yay! Christmas!

Santa's Private Reserve 2017 is a Belgian Strong Ale brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar, Cherries and Raspberries. ABU at 7.8% and 23 IBU. 

The beer poured into my glass an opaque, dark brown/amber color with a creamy, thick, tan head. The head rose up to more than two inches tall because I over-poured it (see above photo of my lame pouring skills) but it dissipated slowly and left copious clumps of lacing behind throughout the drink.

Aroma was sweet malt, chocolate and fruit. Cherries and berries as advertised.

Taste followed the nose. Sweet but not cloying. A nice balance of sweet and sour. Cherries and raspberry flavors with a hint of chocolate. No off-putting flavors or weird phenols like I'm often afraid I'll find in big beers brewed with fruit. Everything tastes fresh and natural in this beer. I like!

Medium to slightly full mouthfeel. Smooth, creamy finish. Pleasant malt and fruit flavors left mingling on the palate at the end. Quite a pleasant sipper with little or no alcohol detected. Nice!

Overall, this is a great Christmas/Holiday Season beer. Quite a delicious beer to casually sip on while the holidays flash by. I'm giving Santa's Private Reserve 2017 a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.


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