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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

494 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 323
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 63
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
4 Ingredients:
Malts: 100% French Pilsner.
Hops: 100% Sterling.
Yeast & Water: Czech Pils Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

74 IBU
80 AA
16º Lovibond

(Beer added by: aracauna on 08-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arizcards


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%

Picked up a 750 ml designer bottle at Cost Plus back in late May for $12.99.

Beer poured a golden color with a nice white head. Nose is sweet, of pilsner malts and floral hops. Taste is a blast of those pilsner malts balanced nicely by a generous amount of hops. Mouthfeel is full bodied and is decently carbonated which provides a smooth and lively treat on the palate. Drinkability is very good. The alcohol is very well masked in the taste and has a way of sneaking up on one! This is a very nice representation of the style. If you have the cash to splurge this is definitely one to try!

10-08-2007 22:39:08 | More by arizcards
Photo of russpowell


4.08/5  rDev +0.7%

In a moment of weakness, I shelled out $15 for 26oz of this. Here's hoping the ratings are close to my bottle!

Pours an effervescent lightly hazed pinkish straw color with 3 fingers of pearl white head. Hazing never cleared, got worse a t the bottom of the bottle, zero head retention & lacing

S: Big time apple skin & some straw

T: Lemony & grassy hops along with some cereal notes up front. Slight boozeyness, metallic& grassy notes, fruittyness (passion fruit, pineapples, apricots,& apples), prior to grapefruit hops trying to take over. Finishes with more fruityness (pineapple, especially) & grapefruitty hops This style has room for interpretation & it's good to something besides in your face hops, although there's a place in my wheelhouse for that too.

MF: Slick, low carbonation, but bubbles are steadily releasing subtle hoppyness with medium body propping all this up.

Drinks a little slow, due to the complexity of this beast, hides the ABV well. Let this warm up a bit more than usual. At first I hated this, but as the complexity grew on me, I figured out what the buzz is about. Still disappointing visually. I'd love to find this on draft. Not worth what I shelled out, but not bad

09-28-2007 05:43:12 | More by russpowell
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -14.8%

Served at just over fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a muddy orange, glugging into the glass. Sturdy, thick bone white head condenses in a spongy, rugged fashion. An absolutely beautiful, solid beer with balls o' plenty.

Smell- Extremely lemony nose, almost like a hard lemonade. Wildly citric, with a massive malt backbone that shows itself after several minutes. Big ass nose.

Taste- Intricate and impossibly strong, this beer smashes any preconceived notions regarding a pilsner's potential character. The enormous malts concede to an alcohol presence without any resulting burn; after the swallow, there lies a long, pleasing hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- With all of the commotion of malts, hops, and dastardly strength, the texture seems appropriate and unoffensive. It's slick and nicely active, which keeps the intensity in check. Just invite a guest or two to the table for this walloping.

09-27-2007 03:32:40 | More by yelterdow
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours with a pillowy white head that drops neatly to the top of the clear golden Pilsner. Leaves behind a fair amount of lacing.

Smells and tastes like a Pilsner on performance enhancing drugs. Floral and earthy hops hit the nose followed by a biscuity Pilsner malt.

Tastes of a large amount of German hops, earthy and floral. A touch of malt and alcohol come through as it I make my way towards the halfway point of the bottle. Has a very bitter but clean finish. Very refreshing and drinkable for such a complex beer. A great take on a style (Pilsner) that is over looked and underrated (IMO)

09-24-2007 06:11:18 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of tempest


4.45/5  rDev +9.9%

On-tap at the Blue Tusk

This beer rocks, no question about it. I've been hunting good pilsners all summer and finally I find this and I'm blown away. It didn't even taste that big, it just tasted good. The hops standout, but don't dominate or overpower the beer. They're crisp, a little grassy, with citrus and herbs. The malt is pale with a touch of biscuit and that distinct slightly funky pilsner malt taste. It's perfectly balanced and wonderfully drinkable. I can imagine the only improvement being to add a little more malt character. But damn, this is good beer.

09-22-2007 16:40:10 | More by tempest
Photo of kwakwhore

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%

Beautiful hazy golden color with ample white head. Lacing down the glass.
Aromas of peach, orange are in the nose.
Wonderful balance between malt and hops in the flavor, sweet light fruity flavors along with citric hop balance. Surprisingly light and refreshing for a beer of its abv.
Alcohol is amazingly well hidden.
Wonderful light fluffy mouthfeel.
Dangerously easy to drink for such a strong beer. I could easily make an evening out of one 26oz bottle.
This beer was a wonderful surprise to me. A really great beer, one I will look for whenever possible.

09-20-2007 22:45:05 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of bosco7


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%

Pours a golden color with frothy cream-like head. Lacing is layed down on the sides of the glass like a carpet.

Crisp and clean aromatics here. Floral/rose, biscuit, caramel malt, and mild coconut aromas.

Starts with huge malt backbone-caramel malt and biscuits. Huge peach, apricot, and plum flavors in the middle. Some naval orange as well. Finishes with floral hop flavors and an intense (but clean) bitter bite. Man this is good.

The mouthfeel is described as hedonistic on the bottle and I concur. So silky smooth and chewy. At the same time your palate is refreshed after each sip. I really enjoy this beer. Highly recommended.

07-31-2007 03:37:39 | More by bosco7
Photo of williamherbert

New York

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Quick notes on this beer:

Cloudy dark gold color....thick head ... Hazy.... not your typical pilsner color.

All malt smell ... nice sweet pilsner/lager smell, just amplified.

Taste has a surprising number of hops, but nice sweet flowery malt is there too. It's still a pils, just better. Has a pretty powerful alcoholic kick.

The feel is thick and creamy. It's a tad bubbly. Very dry. Leaves a malty film which isn't entirely welcome. It's not a bad beer. It's pretty got-damn strong for a pils, that's for sure. One and that's about all I can do.

07-31-2007 00:59:41 | More by williamherbert
Photo of CharlieMopps


4.22/5  rDev +4.2%

A: A voluminous head erupted from a fairly gentle pour, taking up nearly a quarter of the glass. This big, fluffy head sat atop a shiny, transparent blonde-orange brew. The massive bubbles on top dissipated slowly, leaving a cylindrical cloud-like formation as well as lace along the sides.

S: Citrusy hop backing notes with a grainy, classic pilsner scent. Bit of a clean profile as well.

T: Nice pale malt introduction, transitioning into the middle with a ghost-like touch of honey, with an amazing hop presence that asserts itself without being overly bitter or palate-killing. Smooth enough to complement the finish and aftertaste as a gentle coating of hop oil drains away. Well-balanced and definitely worthy of the imperial pilsner moniker.

M: Very creamy, as the carbonation is gigantic and explosive. However, the heavier body suits this pilsner well, as it adds almost a dampering quality of the harsher flavors that might throw this beer off.

D: No noticeable alcohol, stronger body than expected and an excellent flavor profile make for a quite drinkable brew. I had no idea what to expect, as names like "imperial pilsner" and such always seem like marketing to me. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was actually a pretty well-rounded beer that offered enough flavor without being over the top. Well done. Now if only we could get a full line of original Iron Chef beers, as opposed to that uber-lame Iron Chef USA crap.

07-28-2007 22:21:47 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of faernt


2.3/5  rDev -43.2%

Just because it says "Imperial" doesn;t mean it will age. I bought this about four years ago at Rogue Portland and saved it. Doh! It was a mistake. It was a good beer but by the time I got around to drinking it,,,it was way past its time. Fresh is best with this one.

07-14-2007 04:44:24 | More by faernt
Photo of 3Vandoo

Quebec (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%

This beer reminds me of Dieu Du Ciel Imperial Pilsner.

Deep golden beer with a nice foamy head generous who stick to your glass.

Aromas of hops of course, floral, hoppy, and heavy on malt, with a ending of alcohol power.

Taste is yeasty, fruity, and dry, it is sharp, the hops and their floral flavours comes in but are well balanced with the heavy maltyness of this beer.

06-22-2007 06:20:34 | More by 3Vandoo
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +19.3%

Wow, had this on tap at Barleys, and I feel in love with this one. Poured a nice golden yellow with a average white head that faded rather quickly. The aroma was awesome, lots of hints of bright citrus and fresh lemon and grass, really a bright, aroma. The flavors was just outstanding. So light and yet complex at the same time. The bright citrus flavors were huge with alot of lemon and orange coming through. This was really absolutly a suberb beer, I would honestly drink this all day if I could, and hope to find some bottles to bring home shortly!

05-27-2007 17:18:21 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BretSikkink


3.65/5  rDev -9.9%

Slightly darker than your usual pils, slightly orange highlights and a fairly cloudy yellow. Head leaps up 2-3 inches in a vertical glass, doesn't show any signs of giving up the ghost although little pockets are being carved out here and about. (There was foamy buildup in my glass post-consumption..I would say "great head retention".)

Quite hoppy nose, also some thick caramel sweetness, almost like a doppelbock. I don't know what I thought Imperial Pilsner meant otherwise, but I'm surprised by the malt presence which is usually fairly understated and pale, both in color and flavor. These are full-power flavors of sweet pils malt, an IPA-worthy 74 IBU of floral hopping, and a full yeast note that carves the bitterness of the palate leaving a good deal of the floral character. Quite sweet and thick in the mouth, not a far cry from a French strong pale ale. The thickness requires good refrigeration, but this is a consumable ale. For the price I don't know that I'll go back, although I might choose this one on a tap one night.

If the word "sacrosanct" pops into your head at any point during which you're thinking of the word "pilsner", don't bother here. If you like pushing envelopes, then check this one out. With all pilsner malt, exclusively Sterling hops (sharing similar earthy-sweet flavors as the popular pilsner varietal Saaz), and "Czech Pilsner Yeast", Rogue has bottled something completely different from others using the same ingredients - in prodigious quantities. Lots of fun, very interesting, and complex in the way that it embodies so many characteristics of other styles without deviating from pilsner ingredients.

04-24-2007 07:00:29 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of CWiggins

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%

I purchased this beer at EarthFare, Raleigh for $11.09. This seems to be at least $1.90 less than anywhere else I've seen it. I've been meaning to try it for ages, but the prohibitive cost has deterred me numerous times. With this price, I think I can justify giving it a whirl.

Just like most pilsner-style beers, this pours a translucent deep yellow with orange highlights. The clowdiness of it reminded me of hefeweizen. The off-white head was something to behold: it was at least three fingers from its inception, and it stuck around–albeit, in less amount–until the entire 1pt, 10oz was consumed.

I was struck by how great the aroma was not unlike Belgian pale ales. There is a slight sweety fruitness, followed by some yeastiness, citrusy bitterness, and a bit of hops. So far, so good!

The flavor begins with a grapefruit-like bitterness, followed by light malts and a nice, refreshing hop bitterness. You'd never know this was 8.8%ABV. It has a heck of a lot more hoppy finish than any pilsner-style beer I've ever had, and the French Pilsner malts give this monster a body like no other.

Highly recommended, even if just once is all you can ever get around to.

04-01-2007 01:01:40 | More by CWiggins
Photo of Cwrw

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%

From Rogue ales, selected by the chef Masaharu Morimoto, this Imperial Pils comes in the distinctive white ceramic flip-top bottle, with a nice Asian designing flare. At nearly $20 a bottle here in Alberta, this is not something I can drink regularly, but I'm glad it's available.

The cap pops off and out comes a murky peach-coloured beer with a nice frothing head of dark cream. I really didn't expect this much of an unfiltered look, but damn it looks tasty, almost like a good hefeweizen. The lacing was full of fine bubbles leaving screens along the glass. All in all, a bit of a chameleon as far as the look goes--it could appear to be any number of styles.

The aroma hits the nose ripe with spicy yeast, plenty of grapefruity hops, and a sugary fruitiness not unlike some Belgian ales. The hops add a lovely dimension of lemon, orange-peel and some pomegranate seed. The hops are intensely flowery and perfume-filled. Plenty of citrus to be had. Yet behind the hops is a decent Pils-style maltiness. Nice. Alcohol is not detectable in the aroma. An absolute pleasure to smell, again with plenty of dry, dusty, sugary fruits like some strong Belgian pale ales.

The taste is a little disappointing at first at least as far as mouthfeel is concerned...the aroma tends to make me conclude the beer should have a tad more carbonation--a little more spritziness. Instead, it falls a little flat, not quite fulfilling the expectation of the nose. Still, there's plenty of goodness here: solid Pils maltiness, along with tons of mouth-puckering hoppiness filled to the brim with grapefruit and lemon, perfumey honey, and a great finish of citrus. Indeed, the taste seems a little one-sided on the grapefruit citrus from the hops...there is little to distinguish it otherwise. It's tasty, jut a little too citrus for me, because it starts to come off like a glass of lemon-juice. The low carbonation doesn't help.

Very easy to drink, and little sign of the alcohol content throughout the whole bottle. Still, this is not something I would drink regularly, even if I COULD afford it. Decent. Worth $20 for a bottle? Definitely not.

03-19-2007 08:20:48 | More by Cwrw
Photo of TheSarge


4.63/5  rDev +14.3%

Has very floral hops aroma right off the bat, and there is a hint of a grassy, hay fragrance too. There are some citrusy characters here that are not all that common in a pilsner, but this is my first imperial pilsner.

The body is almost purely clear. There is plenty of carbonation which promotes a brilliant white head that’s about two fingers thick.

This is a pretty tasty brew. Lots of hops were used in the making of this beer. There is a slight alcoholic taste detectable. Basically this tastes like a normal pilsner, but on steroids.

Even with almost double the normal amount of alcohol typical of a pils, this is still refreshing. There is a slight warm bite to this brew, but not overbearing.

02-23-2007 09:54:06 | More by TheSarge
Photo of tcfishler


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%

Light orange, slight chill haze. Good offhwite head, indeed outstanding for the ABV.

Warm, attractive but relatively simple aromas of apricot/citrus and malt.

Flavors begin bright, then become sweet, and finally hoppy but not terribly bitter. Very little sensation of alcohol.

Very impressive for its ability to hide its high alcohol, but lacking in complexity, particularly for a >$10 beer.

02-21-2007 16:21:21 | More by tcfishler
Photo of shadow1961


3.53/5  rDev -12.8%

I took another chance on one of Rogue's signature Imperial series-
their Morimoto Imperial Pilsner pours out a white, rocky head over
a cloudy deep yellow brew. The nose is a bright, clean mix of Czech
yeast, malt, and grain. The head collapses into a sticky lace.
The flavor is rich, malty and hoppy, with a bit of a citrus tang. The finish
is hoppy. There's a definite bite due to the 8.8% alcohol by volume.
This was a lot better experience than I had with their Old Crustacean
Barleywine- and like it, the large amount of alcohol in it allows extended
cellaring. Unlike their Barleywine, I think it would be worth the investment.

02-20-2007 06:59:09 | More by shadow1961
Photo of ChillMike


4.13/5  rDev +2%

First off the presentation is very nice, a nice porcelin bottle with some cool looking Japanese artwork on it as well as the Iron Chef's signature.

A: Pours a nice burnt gold color with a decent sized white bubbly head that recedes pretty quickly and doesn't leave much in a way of evidence it's ever been around.

S: A nice mellow smelling hop flavor, along with some floral scents a bit of caramel malts just to smooth things out and just a ever so slight bit of citrus.

T: Very clever tasting, very clearly has that sharp bitterness of a Czech pilsner, but a nice IPA type hop flavor as well to mix things up. A nice bit of smooth malt flavor to teeter the bitterness. Pretty nifty tasting. I'm a fan of Czech pilsners basically for their simplicity in flavor. Rogue mixed things up adding some Sterling Hops quite tasty! Also I almost missed (and this is props to Rogue) the fact that it hides the alcohol quite well.

MF: Just a bit watery overall but nice none the less, pretty typical of a pilsner.

D: A very tasty and drinkable beer, a bit high on the ABV but nothing overbearing, the place where this beer suffers the most is the hefty pricetag you'll pay to pick one of these up, it's not too bad for a first tasting but a continual pick up? I don't know, we'll see.

02-17-2007 06:51:04 | More by ChillMike
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -11.1%

Pours a deep gold, almost brassy colour. The head is thick, about two inches of white foam to top it off. Visible carbonation keeps the head going, and lacing sticks where it is receding. Very nice looking.

The nose first picks up the alcohol that is very reminiscent of a Belgian strong pale ale. Floral hops then take over, and meld with the alcohol aroma. Different from what I had expected, but pleasant for the nose.

The taste is fairly balanced, I don't find as much of a crisp hop bite as I would like. Malt flavours are a bit earthy, almost a heavy bread taste, and the hops are a mix of citrus and floral. Alcohol notable in the finish, possibly creating the lack of crispness. Interesting.

There is somewhat of a light barley wine feel to this one. A sort of syrupy feel to the body and the carbonation doesn't really cut through it. Not bad, but a little on the heavy side for this beers flavour.

Not a bad beer, but not something I see myself buying again. I don't see a good value on the dollar for this one. My first of the style, it may be that I'm just not a fan of this type.

02-15-2007 02:54:02 | More by elricorico
Photo of ccrida


2.65/5  rDev -34.6%

On draft at Rogue Public House in Portland, in their XS goblet, the Imperial Pilsner looks just like a macro pils, clear pale gold, but with no real head and only slight white lace. The aroma was very slight, straw and citrus. The taste is mainly pilsner malts, with a bit of citrus/floral hops. No noble hop spiceness that I look for. The finish was moderately bitter, but there was this weird aftertaste that I just really didn't care for, nor could I place it, kind of a grain/hay/earth thing. Pretty mild taste overall though, other then that aftertaste, ugh. Did they use some type of unusual adjunct? The alcohol, however, was inperceptable, which was this beer's biggest accomplishment. The mouthfeel was also really quite nice, a moderate body that is not at all cloying like the Imperials can often be. I would have like to seen more carbonation, as on draft at least, there basically was none. The drinkablity was low due to that aftertaste that I couldn't get used to, I was being generous with a 2.5, because I certainly didn't want another one. But the smoothness of the ABV helped.

02-10-2007 19:09:30 | More by ccrida
Photo of rattech


3.28/5  rDev -19%

Poured into a tall pint glass

Appearance: Hazy orange brew, appears fairly carbonated with a largeish head.

Smell: Fresh and crisp, slightly sweet with a good hops aroma

Taste: Light crisp flavor, medium bitterness (not overwhelming at all), definite yeasty taste. Relatively strong alcoholic taste for this kind of beer (but nice). Nothing horribly impressive however.

Mouthfeel: A little thicker then I would like, carbonation isn’t bad.

Drinkability: In a bar, I would probably not order another. The price really makes this beer prohibitive, while the bottle is quite cool I would probably not pay 14.99 again for it.

02-05-2007 00:08:48 | More by rattech
Photo of Sycodrummer


4.03/5  rDev -0.5%

Presented from the tap in a tulip glass the beer was a cloudy orange/tangerine color with lots of floating sediment. A very tight pure white head sat atop the beer and retained throughout the sample leaving considerable lacing.

Slight hop aroma mixed with some bright citrus: lemon and some lime. Some straw and grassy aromas as well.

The taste is supisingly balanced and not overly hoppy. Some lemony flavors with a high degree of carbonation and a hop character that comes through near the end of each sip. A little grassy in the finish but not bland.

Light-medium body with ample carbonation.

It's hard to get a handle on the beer because there are few examples with which to compare it. It is considerable less hoppy than SA Imp. Pils but also considerably more balanced and perhaps drinkable than SAIP. This doesn't pack what some might consider to be an "imperial" punch but it is a crisp, refreshing, and hoppy take on the pilsner.

01-28-2007 23:18:01 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -14.1%

Mixed feelings on this one, although I do like the bottle.

Certainly a disappointmen in looks. It has the right golden pilsener colour, but it is very cloudy. Pilseners are supposed to be crisp and clear.

Smells quite odd. Sweet, pungent and malty. Not much of a hop bite. Certainly nothing like any other pilsener I've had. On the plus side, it does lack skunkiness.

Taste is far better. Distinguished hop zest, sweet malt flavour that has pleasant syrupy notes. Citrus and rich earthy tones on the tongue. Not quite the traditional pilsener, but it certainly has a strong malt backbone.

Very nice in flavour and fairly drinkable if not for the large bottle size. Look and scent just don't match it.

01-24-2007 04:51:15 | More by BDTyre
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +13.6%

Appearance is a golden/copper slightly clouded with a large foamy white head, and it leaves even thick bands of chunky lacing with each sip. Aroma has deep rich alcohol and pilsner malts bursts of grassy herbal hops and mild floral citrus fruits with a mineral character overall a bit perfumey kicks ass with biscuit malts kinda doughy as well. Flavor really great the bottle I initially sampled lacked the freshness that this draft version expressed the assertive hops bring a great mix of bitterness and hop bite...mineral tones with grassy citrus hops are killer second best Imperial Pils I have tasted defitnitely doesn't dethrone Sam Adams version but close. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied especially compard to the standard pils but really has some smooth even moderate natural carbonation. Drinkability is heavenly great dose of hops and really gives this style some credibility I'm a fan...I could have downed a few more effortlessly especially during happy hora at Mad Mex Robinson.

12-30-2006 20:58:41 | More by WVbeergeek
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.