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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

329 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 329
Hads: 549
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 70
Gots: 42 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aracauna on 08-24-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 329 | Hads: 549
Photo of Jables
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Weefisheads for sending me this on trade.

Pours a hazy light orange colour. .

Aroma is sweet, dried apricots, and some light alcohol notes.

Flavor is sweet, golden raisins, candi sugar, spicy bitter saaz notes, and a wee bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Very tasty, probably up there with the most full pilsners I've had, the only other one I can compare is New Holland Full Circle, but that one uses an ale yeast, the Morimoto has a lager yeast.

Whatever super tasty brew, both of 'em.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was interesting and not bad. I didn't find it great, but was surprised to find that it wasn't the bad monster pilsner I thought it could be. I had tried only a very small sample at the CS at the last BA beer fest. I wasn't sure what to think. So this past weekend ordered a bottle at Anam Cara. The bottle is very nice, a lovely ceramic with swing top and graphics, I took it home. The pour was a cloudy light golden. I found the aroma to be reminiscent of a thick jellied candy aroma...it was not thin and treacily, but really just what I wrote: thick and like jellied candy. I found the mouthfeel to be full-bodied: thick and chewy. The alcohol tried to hide, but I could tell. In spite of that, it was a well-rounded beer that was smooth but strong. I think this beer is it's own category, and I just couldn't find the pilsner qualities that are contained in it's name. Not a bad beer, but not outstanding.

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Photo of Bachus
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Signature Pilsner from Rogue comes in a wonderful ceramic bottle with a swing top. It is decorated with Iron Chef Morimoto's signature, and really cool Japanese art. I acquired this bottle from my favorite BEER GURU, Joe, at Julio's Liquors in Westboro, MA--Bless his heart.


It also notes that it is made with 4 Ingredients: 100% French Pilsner Malt; 100% Sterling Hops, Free Range Costal Water and Czeck Pilsner Yeast.

It is described as:

Golden in color with a dry hop floral aroma and intense hop
bitterness supported by a big malty backbone which
culminates into a hedonistic mouthful. Yee haw!

It is 8.8% alcohol by volume, best if consumed by 1 January 2005, and recommended with poultry and fish.

In appearance this nectar is is a lovely golden honey colour, with a beautiful, white, two fingered head that shows good retention and lovely, sticky lacing that spreads out like fireworks on the 4th of July.

The aroma reveals a beautiful balance of hops and malt--lovely, complex hops melded with sweet malt.

The taste is YUMM, Delicious--beyound your average beer! It is lovely, relaxing, but not so--a mouthful of nice sharp hops, but with an oh so sweet and buttery malt balance.


The mouthfeel is beyond awesome--smooth, creamy, buttery, sweet without being cloying, medium body, with a bitter dry finish that leaves me aching for more.

I am not usually a big fan of pilsners, but OH, if they were all this good--I would be. This is one drinkable bottle of ambrosia from the Rogue Angels.

I feel myself just melting into this brew. It would be heavenly with sushi.

I need more--help me...WOW!

This is like love in a bottle :)

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pt 10 oz ceramic bottle.

Found this at a local liquor store and thought I should try it. I was expecting it to be good (as almost every other brew I've tried from Rogue has been), but had no idea.

This is a very clean beer.
Pours a transparent golden with a 2 finger head exactly, I was trying to at some point in drinking this to create a larger head but was unable to. Very nice.
Smell left something to be desired, it smells like a very strong pilsner, crisp, hoppy and smooth.
Taste. Wow, this is one high quality brew. Very smooth for the abv, it is amost impossible to taste the alcohol in this one. I would say that the hops dominate the beer, but the maltiness is obviously a major player in masking the 8.8% abv.
This beer just feels good, very crisp, refreshing and hoppy, just as a pilsner should be. It is not quite as spicy as some others (ie. Urquell), but it is very nice nonetheless.
As far as drinkability goes, the only thing holding this one back is the price. If Rogue decided to put this out in glass, I'm sure it would sell like mad. 13.00 for the ceramic bottle (while cool) is not the kind of thing that can be spent all of time.

Overall, this is a great beer. I would definitely come back to it (if the price drops)

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's on Broadway. With a slight cloudiness that didn't bother me in the slightest, it left some measurable lace. The color was yellowish and the head puffy and fine. An Imperial Pilsner has plenty of malt backbone and a detectable bit of alchohol. Enjoyable all the way down, with a Saazzy aroma and a lingering bite. I'd rate it more drinkable if it were a bit less powerful. But I'd definitely have another anytime.

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Photo of marburg
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had no clue that Rogue was now in the business of bottling ambrosia, but clearly that must be the case since this beer is nothing short of expectation-destroying, happiness-inducing, taste-bud-lifting greatness.

Despite the lightning white head that won't die, the slightest haze lends a bit of a question mark to this brew's authenticity.

However, the first wafting of sweet malts and the interior of a florist shop pushes all doubt aside and prepares the way for the first sip. A full pallet of pilsner malts explodes, leaving only bliss after the first sip. This is totally for real. Bitterness is potent and slightly citric, but the sheer old-school, sharp pilsner bitter flavors are dominant enough to quell any worries this might be a bizarre west coast fling with stylistic "interpretation." No, this is a bit extreme, but it's more extremely good than anything else. Extremely satisfying blend of traditional flavors with an Emeril-like bump.

And oh yeah -- the bottle is neat too.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. Drank to honor of the life of Debris; shared with alexgash and sus. Anyway, this nectar is found within a magnificent ceramic bottle that weights about 10 pounds. Pours a striking golden color with a lofty inviting creamy head. Smell if of Saaz hops, some other aromatic hops, and sweet malts. Full bodied and smooth as a zambonied ice rink. Full malt flavors backed by a mango-like subtle sweetness and a very flavorful dose of those hops. Goes down very smooth and easy. I could drink this all the time.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pilsener glass. It pours a cloudy gold color with two fingers of head. There is lots of sticky lace left on the glass. The smell is fairly hoppy, the sterling hops are interesting. Good malty aromas as well. The taste starts malty and grassy, and ends with a floral hop punch. Very well balanced. Just a hint of alcohol on the finish. The mouthfeel is thicker than any other pilsener could possibly get. The drinkability is fairly good for a 8.8% brew. An awesome pils!

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Photo of beergeek279
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 750 mL ceramic bottle, into a goblet. The color is golden, with a excellent white head. The smell is a nice hoppiness. The taste is a bit of sweet golden malt with an excellent grassy hop profile, and very little if any alcohol noticable. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, I could have quite a few of these.

Simply fantastic. A 9% beer that drinks like it's 5.5%. If this was a regular beer (are you listening Rogue?), this would certainly be something I'd drink regularly. Hopefully this will enter the regular Rogue rotation and I'll be able to have it again.

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Photo of ark57
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has a bright golden color and big hoppy aroma that is spicy, floral, and slight cirtus. It is medium bodied with a crisp, dry, very bitter, herbal finish. Big on hops and alcohol, which is hidden very well. The lager equivalent of the Imperial IPA. I think it was a little syruppy. I know it needed to be to stand up to the bitterness. This is not a beer that I can drink a lot of even though I enjoyed it.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thin white head that eventually fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt and hop scent; very appealling. The taste is good also. This beer has an elevated abv, but it goes down smooth with a slight warmer at the finish. It has a nice balance of pale malts and hops which make it quite enjoyable. This is a pilsner I can get used to. The mouthfeel is just right. This is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I love this beer. Rogue is probably my favorite brewery. They just push the envelope every time. Only they can take a simple, boring, beer style and turn it into something great. It drinks very well.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Definitely some unique packaging for this beer. It came in a 26 oz., eggshell-colored ceramic bottle. It was crown capped, but for some reason, they decided that a swing top needed to be added as well. Even stranger still is the fact that the swing top was installed incorrectly. I had to remove it and reinstall it to get it to work right, even though sealing it after opening it wouldn't do much good. The graphics on the bottle were very colorful and had a cool, hand-painted look to them. Overall, it looks nice, but I can't get past that pointless swing top . . .

Appearance: This beer was slightly hazy with an orange, copper glow to it as it sat in the glass. The poor design of the bottle neck caused the beer to "glug" out of the bottle until almost 3/4 of a pint is poured. Therefore, my pour was rather rough and I was rewarded by a stark white, two-finger head. It was dense and a little fluffy, but it didn't stick around very long for me to admire it. Very little lace was left on the side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma was very pilsner-like in some respects, but there were certain components that were rather non-characteristic for the style. (That shouldn't be taken as a bad comment. Everything worked very well together.) There were the smells of sweet grasses and raw grains. These were complimented well by a decent amount of floral and herbal hops, which came through the strongest right after the pour. Also present was a solid backbone of roasted malt and notes of buttery vanilla. This was all good and well for awhile, but as the beer sat in the glass, the smell of alcohol rose up and overpowered pretty much everything that I previously mentioned.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and velvety in the mouth on the tongue. It had an odd presence in the back of the throat that was kind of rough, but not quite. Very hard to explain, so I'll just stop trying.

Taste: The first couple of drinks were very complex, with tons of different flavors rising and falling away through the tasting process. There was sweet malt, a good dose of vanilla, citrus fruit, green grass, and very herbal, very floral, somewhat piney hops. The hops continued on through the finish and well into the aftertaste. Also on the finish was a fairly strong alcohol presence. My biggest complaint is that after only a few drinks, the alcohol flavor crescendoed and forced itself up into the main flavor, overshadowing all of the very enjoyable aforementioned flavors.

This was a nice beer, but the overpowering alcohol flavor and aroma detracted from my overall enjoyment. The first few minutes that it was in my glass was very nice, and I took that into consideration in my numbers. But very quickly, this beer turned into an alcoholfest. In my opinion, it was worth the $14.00 one time to try it, but I doubt that I will pick up any more.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been sitting in the cooler calling my name everytime I go into the beer store so I finally got it $19.00 bucks!Besides the kickass bottle it pours a great rich golden color with a real nice head that leaves some terrific lacing,aroma has that light steely tinge with some malty fruity aromas I dont pick up that much hop presence.But the hop presence comes thru in the taste with a big resiny taste but with a great crisp malt atack to balance it out,man what a great beer worth $19.00 uhm not sure but a great beer that Iam really enjoying.

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Photo of mschofield
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy dark gold, strong floral aroma comes out as quick as the beer does. Stark white small bubbled head.
That aroma is like walking through a garden full of flowers and herbs. There is a light malt base under all those hops in the aroma.
Light grainy malt taste, good classic pilsner taste with extra hops.
Light and crisp, a bit of a bite. The ABV is nowhere to be seen while drinking - even my high ABV averse girlfriend was a fan.

The only improvement I can think of - ditch the fancy expensive bottle and put this in some normal glass bombers.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Incredibly deep and hazy orange in color with a beautiful, pure white head that showed good retention and left some nice lacing.

Smell – Equal balance of malt and hops. The malt base provides the classic Pils aroma and the strong, complex hops tell us who brewed this ale.

Taste – This is a mouthful. I can pick up the classic Pils flavors, but then comes the huge Rogue hops and equally large malt balance. What a mix! The malts sweeten up in the middle and even turn a little buttery.

Mouthfeel – This was awesome. This is on the heavy side of medium-bodied and is exceptionally smooth and creamy. The finish is dry with a touch of bitterness.

Drinkability – I sucked this down like a wino on his last bottle of MD 20/20.

Comments – This came in a really cool 26 ounce painted ceramic bottle.

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Photo of ADR
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a bottle, Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Thickish pour with a marmalade color. Head is scant and thinnish but leaves a lot of dotty laces. Very nice malt, lightly bready with a shortbread feel and honey sweetness. Some sense of an orangey quality that transitions into a sparkling and very well-done hopiness. Light nutmeg sensations. Very close to perfectly balanced. While straying away from a Pilsner in many ways, lagering seems to make this "Imperial" brew plenty easy to quaff, despite respectable alcohol. Rogue does another fine beer with this one.

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Photo of BierReise
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great painted ceramic bottle that was capped yet has a swing top attached as well. Poured a slightly hazy bright gold with a huge head that settled down to a not so huge head. Aroma reminds me of a Wit style with wheat malt and yeast in the nose. Maybe it's my imagination though. Also detect quite a bit of hops in the aroma and sweetness from the malt as well. This aroma is a big and bold one to be sure. I wasn't sure what an Imperial Pilsner would be like, but now it makes sense to me with the latest trend in super charged styles. Just double up on malt and hops and you've got an Imperial-fill in the blank brew. Body is really full and smooth. Flavor is also a strong one with sweet malt leading the way along with some hops blending in. This is a big beer and if you like big bold beers such as the Imperial class, you will like this one for sure. It's not a to style pils and doesn't claim to be one either. Enjoy it for what it is.

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Photo of stegmakk
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a slightly hazy pale stra gold color...head was big and white and left quickly. Some lacing but not great.
Aroma was actually soft. Floral/citru mixed in with bready smell...not bad...not great.
Taste was the best part of this beer. sweet malt more of the bready taste bitter finish...
Mouthfeel was slick. Nothing amazing but good
Drinkability...well it was a good tasting beer. However for the price, I'll stick with other brews. Not worth the cash. I wonder if it was in a regular glass bottle instead of a ceramic swingtop if it would be cheaper. Then I might consider it. Maybe.

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Photo of leeenglewood
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy golden color with a white head that laces the glass. Earthy smell of hops with a twinge of grain round out the nose. Tastes malty sweet with a strong earthy-spicy hop / grainy malt mixture coming out to tantalize the pallet. Upon second tasting is a much more complex beer then my initial first taste. No alcoholic flavors permeate and thus is extremely drinkable while you can still stand. The cool bottle is just a bonus and I wish this beer was available in standard packaging and also be available to other markets.

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Photo of aracauna
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep golden body with some cascading bubbles. The head average size, bright white and lasted a reasonable amount of time. Good lacing. Sweet, slightly grassy aroma, a bit of pine, but mostly noble hop aromas. Sandy malt flavor, but not dry. Easy drinking given the size of the beer. A little fruit (almost like apricots or peaches.) Tasty, but there's something missing almost.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

White ceramic bomber, capped, but supplied with a swing top. A pale gold body, topped by a hefty, bubbly white head which starts out at about four fingers, and very slowly drops, leaving excellent lacing. Nose has some grass, a dash of lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. Taste starts off with a solid, sweet malty base, which gradually dissolves, as the hops slowly rise, zombie like, as the beer moves on, and envelope the month with a cleansing sand-blast that is both tingly and earthy. Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy, as the beer rolls over your tongue like a rising ocean tide. Drinkablity is simply too good. This beautiful bottle is emptying far too soon.

At $12.99 for 26 oz., it is not a beer I could make a habit of, but I heartily recommend everyone picking up at least one. And assuming the price is at least partially effected by the bottle, I would gladly welcome more conventional packaging in exchange for a lower price. Great bottle yes, but great beer is it's own reward.

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Photo of tommarino
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

cool bottle, bought a case (6 bottles) for $54 at a PA distributor. Was stamped Oct 15th on the box (brew date??). This was a very good beer but it's more like a bitter then a pilsner. It has a nice malt flavor and the yeast of a good pilsner but way overhopped for this style. I was surprised just how bitter (and good) it was. if you don't like hoppy beers I wouldn't recommend this. I like it.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came in a way-cool re-sealable, ceramic 750ml bottle with japanese writing and iron chef Morimoto's signature on it. It poured out a dark golden colour with a very bleach white head. The aroma was very hoppy, citric, and yet still quite malty. This really smelled like a hopped up, high octance version of a classic czech pilsener such as budvar or pilsner urquell. The taste was definately unique, but still very "pilsner-ish". This beer tasted heavily of fresh, citric hops and heavy background malts. It was very well balanced. The mouthfeel was not too thick or cloying and the drinkability was quite excellent...

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Photo of avylover
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pilsner. Not something i'm into normally but this is different. "Imperial" means alot here. I was apprehensive about picking this up at $12 a 22oz (in the cool resealable growler). But the wife's approval and a tip from TinusTime I picked this up. So here we go....

Pours out a hazy straw color with golden highlights. The white head started out big & thick, and now leaves a good lacing on my glass. Aroma is nice & fruity, with a yeasty breadiness not unlike a tripel. Taste starts off sweet, with some citousy hops coming in there along with an alcohol kick. Good light malty base to keep this full & thick. Very welcome bitter finish after the malt & citrous front end, nice & dry. Like most rogue products, quite drinkable, but the taste of alcohol tends to put one off a bit.

Very impressive, and NOW I HAVE GROWLER!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It comes in a cool white stopper-style bottle with Iron Chef, Morimoto's signature and Japanese writing and artwork on the side. It pours a hazy brassy gold with a creamy white head. A biscuity cracker-like malt houses a lemony bitterness. Orange peel and a lightly astringent taste linger in the background. A slightly tart quinine-like effervescence makes for an unusual mouthfeel. This brew only sweetens a little as it warms. Warming alcohol can be noticed throughout. Thanks to Genaro for bringing this back from Newport, OR.

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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
91 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.