I really like Rouge Ales and their beers. I visited them when I was in Portland, Oregon and I had a great time. I was also treated to a wonderful variety of quality beers. Santa’s Private Reserve is a beer that I’ve been wanting to try for awhile but I’ve only ever seen it in Lubbock, and I saw it there in July. Something told me not to get it because it was sitting in the fridge for a bit too long.
When I happened upon it at my new favorite beer store, I grabbed it up. This ale is an American amber style beer. Which means that it should be a bit malty and have a nice finish. Because it was brewed by Rouge and Rouge is based in the west coast, hops are going to be stronger than an east coast American amber. Redish, amber is the color that the beer pours, which fits in well with style. It is crystal clear and has a light, slightly off-white head that sits on top of the tasty treat.
The nose has lots of floral hops. I really couldn’t get much else other than hops. That’s not always a bad thing, because these hops smelled very nice. On the first taste I got some lightly roasted malt followed by some piney, spicy hops. The hopss very not harsh at all, but very smooth and balanced. I found this beer to be very enjoyable. The malt flows right into the hops and then the aftertaste. I love it when beers have their components flow right into each other. Rouge did a great job with this beer and I would love to have some more again very soon. (more…)