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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner - Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner

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526 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 526
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 69
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 325
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ML ceramic swing-top bottle...really fancy! shared by three of us at the Blue Trout Grill in Keene New Hampshire. Rogue has finally come to New Hampshire!

This puppy pours out a classic looking, clear honey golden, bubbly liquid, with a well retained all-white and rather thick head. It sticks around well and remains lively throughout.

The aroma is really nice, herbalized caramel comes to mind, the malt scent is sweet and the hops add a massive fruity edge, tropical fruits for sure. The Pilsner yeast is peppery, herbal earthiness all over my face. If I'm to review this as simply a big Pilsner in style I would say the fruity hops have too much power. But, it's a very enjoyable nose on it's own merit.

Ooooh, it's a very clean and sweet caramel flavored malt right off that is quickly balanced out with a VERY bold hop profile that's very fruity...like as in, Ruination fruity! with strawberries and pineapples and a perfect bitter, leafy hop bite at the very end. The hops are honestly a bit too much for this style, but it's yummy anyway. The yeast adds even more charm, but in the correct dose! Earthy, spicey yeast is in full effect the whole time, even though the hops are trying to steal the show.

Crazy drinkable for 8.8%, if I didn't already know what the ABV was I never would've guessed 8%. We polished the bottle off pretty fast. Thanks Ryan!!

Photo of tonistruth
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap @ Stone's Bistro in Escondido, CA

A- golden straw with a slight chill haze, little white head with decent retent turns into a soapy crown

S- floral, grain malts, apple/pear

T- earthy and grassy hops with hints of pepper, bready and buttery malts hang in background with subtle alcoholic flavors, pear

M- coarse with very subtle hints of spice and/or heat

D- drinkable and well brewed for style, not something i'll miss but if you like the style its worth it

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml ceramic swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mainly of floral hops along with some citrus and some caramel & spice.

T: The taste is likewise very hoppy and bitter up front. There are background flavors of citrus and caramel but it's not overly sweet. The malt character is on the thin side for the style but it works well for this beer. The after-taste is hoppy and bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good stronger beer that's worth drinking for a long time until the ABV catches up to you.

Photo of sanhedrin
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent brew, but I have to put it in context of the price. Brilliantly hoppy, refreshing bitterness just dances around the mouth. But for $16... there's a bit more on the market just as good for significantly less. Maybe if Rogue released this in one of their regular glass bottles rather than the fancy ceramic one I'd consider it. I found it difficult to finish in one sitting, though, so perhaps the resealable bottle wasn't such a bad thing. That said, I was trying it on its own, without food. With a good meal in front of me I'm sure the whole thing would have disappeared. Funny thing is, having eaten Morimoto's food a number of times, I don't see it pairing with his cuisine. This is not a subtle beer. Would probably go great with sweeter, more forcefully flavored Asian fare - Vietnamese or Chinese.

Photo of chuckd123
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered a bomber of this and was very impressed overall. Generally prefer more flavor than a pilsner, but this is an excellent example of the style. Appearance is just a tad lighter than a typical pale ale, and definitely darker than a regular pilsner. About what I expected. Head doesn't show lacing like a heavier beer, but impressive again given the style. Smell is excellent -- alcohol is noticeable but not overbearing. Tastes very good and is very drinkable, especially given 9% abv. I could pretty easily drink 2 of the bombers or probably 3 pours if on draft. Deceptively high abv. Overall a very good beer, and for someone who can't get enough hops, a nice change of pace.

Photo of neenerzig
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap by me a few weeks ago. Reviewed from notes. This beer is a somewhat cloudy golden brownish color. The head was about 1.2 inch thick when poured, eventually settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of my glass. Decent lace. has a nice malty and citrus hop aroma and not much else that these nostrils picked up. Has a sweet and malty taste upfront along with hints of cinnamon or brown sugar perhaps, rounded out by some nice citrus hops. The hops do fade a bit as the beer starts to warm up. Has a crisp, creamy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. A very good beer and the most unique beer I have had of this particular style yet. Well done Rogue!


Photo of pinotboy007
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a heavy, sort of ceramic-looking flip top bottle. Impressive, but expensive ($14.00!).

A - Fantastic golden/copper with some cloudiness and a beautiful, rocky head and tons of sticky lace.

S - Pine, citrus, malt, leather, but not necessarily in that order. :)

T/M - Quite exceptional. Beautifully integrated malt-hop balance with some nice citrus, pine, fresh cut grass, leather and perfect carbonation that keeps it lively. It has a modest creamy factor that's in perfect alignment to its pilsner pedigree.

D - Would be dynamite for year 'round drinking before or after dinner, or on its own for a celebration, or for no reason whatsoever.

Rogue deserves serious credit for this one. It would be nice to see this in cans or 12 oz bottles.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy light brown colour with a good inch head. The head holds really well.

It smells malty with a sweetness from fruits. There is a hint of alcohol on the nose as well. The taste is really sweet and malty. The hops are there but not really in your face. The warming alcohol feeling is there a bit as well. The sweet flavour isn't over whelming and it's incredibly balanced. I would like to try a fresh version, but this is quite nice. Creamy mouthfeel and easy as hell to drink.

2006 edition

I had a more fresh one on tap, and the flavouring was about the same, just more bitterness at the end.

Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This lager was part of a Birthday gift from my Mom. I enjoyed this from a white ceramic flip top served in a Pils glass.

A - A gently hazed pale gold w/ a proud 2 fingers of white eggshell. The lacing is thick and has very good stickage in rings around the glass

S - Intense earthy and herbal notes which are spicy and sweet smelling w/ a bready honey-like aroma which is gently scented of alcohol

M - A satiny smooth malt is escorted to the side by a crisp spiced noble hop w/ grassy and floral which is both soft and sharp at times. The moderate carbonation gives a creamy edge to the dry finishing spiced hop + dry malty grainy mix

T -Crisp, subtle green tea, grass clippings w/ citrus tinges and herbal sweet hop notes that are supported by the subtle toasted and bready malt flavor. A very mild malt which spotlights the green and bitter leafy flavors from the hops. The moderate carbonation and the sterling hops are showcase the sweet grain flavor of the pilsner malt, so the focus seems to shift back and forth in a pleasant balancing. A crisp yet light herbal smell of hops returns under a mild booze taste and more malt comes out as the lager warms. the Sterling hops and pilsner malt simplicity is refreshing and overall a nice spiced note is the primary taste with the generous hopping making the only two ingredient besides the czech yeast very impressively cohesive.

D - One of the best Imperial pilsners I have had the pleasure of tasting. Big thanks to my Mom for this gift for my 35th. I remember having a bottle of this 5 years ago and the quality of this Imperial Pils has not diminished for me. To enjoy the 750ml bottle at Morimoto's Philadelphia location was so enjoyable and the way the beer complimented the Omakase was nice considering the contrast of the citrus and soy flavors w/ cilantro in the yellowtail sashimia and baby snapper dishes. I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.8% lager and the booziness was not apparent at all until we walked out into the near 90 degree street temperature and felt the moisture leave my body.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz ceramic bottle received from largadeer. Thanks for picking out a fresh bottle for me! Poured into my Trumer Pils stange.

A: Hazy orange with a massive, frothy white head and lots of carbonation. Pretty! The head slowly recedes, leaving nice lace. Excellent retention. This is a little hazy but gorgeous otherwise

S: Crisp hop aroma with a lovely grassy note with a faint biscuit note to round out the hops

T: Lots of hops to start things off with a combination of lime and fresh cut grass and some mango and honey sweetness. The biscuit comes through fleetingly as this one finishes bitter and long

M: Crisp, resiny and spritzy with a long and bitter finish

D: Hilariously drinkable, this one's going down very easy!

Photo of allengarvin
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a half-liter mug. Very slightly cloudy gold color, bright, with a big creamy head. Nose is pleasant, though I expected more from an 'imperial'. There's a nice scent of hops backed by sweet light malt. Flavor is excellent. This is the first Imperial Pilsner that really hits the proper pils taste. Sweet, slightly bready malt flavor is prominent, together with plenty of bitterness and very floral hop flavor. Medium bodied, though light for the strength, with a crisp yet soft feel.

Very nice beer. Not a great value, though. At 15 bucks, I doubt I'll buy another one. They should make this one of their permanent bomber lineups, though. I'd happily pay 5 for it.

Photo of wvdrummer
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation of this beer is exceptional. Ceramic, Swing-top bottle a unique touch that made me feel like I was buying something special.

Initial pour into pilsner glass with substantial head and brilliant white lacing. Strong hop aroma.

First taste was truly unique. Good amount of bitterness, not alot of malty flavor, but that was ok. A little boozy, but that was expected and appropriate.

The head withered, but lacing maintained its integrity down to the last drop, which I was sorry to see. Would strongly reccomend. Haven't repuchased yet, a little pricy.

Photo of ballewblake
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the reclosable ceramic bottle into your standard pint glass. Can't really pour fast with the bottle, the speed is pretty regulated. Slightly opaque golden beer with an initial one and a half finger white head. The head dropped to a tight ring in the time it took me to go to the restroom and back. Not getting a whole lot from the nose, and what I am getting is making me wonder if the glass is dirty. I'll pour the rest into another glass before verifying this. Taste is an overwhelming kick of hops right in your face. Lots of bittering hops from my first impression. Wow, I'm getting a urine smell from the beer though, just a note, really having a hard time not smelling it before I drink because of this. Lots of carbonation on the palette and drink ability seems pretty good so far. Just too bad these Rogue signature brews cost so much. Urine smell is gone half way down the glass, getting some malty notes now, some earthy floral notes, maybe some sweet yeast like smells too. Lacing seems minimal on the glass and tends to want to drag down with the beer. Through drinking there is a constant ring around the head. Not a bad brew, pretty tasty but a little too bitter overall.

Second pour into a pilsner glass proved much more enjoyable. Bad smell was replaced by a sweeter, almost ale like yeast aroma, sweeter fruits, pale ale malts, crisp and clean. Convinced the first glass wasn't clean.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 white crock picked up at the Coop a couple weeks ago for about $14.. I wanted to drink this side by side with MS Envy.. but that had the kibosh put on it by some Pabst.

Nice pour into my Kasteel tulip.. 1" head atop a slightly hazy golden honey brew.

Aroma is spicy and herbal with a little bit of metal... pale malts with some toastiness .. but for the most part we're talking the hops.

Flavor is very much like what I would expect a big-boned pils to be.. bracing bitterness followed by pils malts with more than enough hop flavor.. very smooth earthy hops .. with some yeasty fruitiness.. I would not guess this is fermented with a lager yeast.. a little peachiness and apricot. Body is fairly light for a beer of this ABV (I'm not complaining).. carbonation is just enough to really keep me interested.

Don't know what else to say.. I like it more than Envy.. and definitely more than SA Impy Pilsner.. I probably won't buy it again because of the price unless I am trying to do a "really" big pilsner.

Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Tarnished gold with a slight hop haze. The head and lace on this brew is outstanding, fluffy and light with never ending retention.

Smell: Clean pilsener malt and mild spicy hops. Faint grass and earth.

Taste & mouthfeel: Biscuity pale malt at the forefront with hop flavors of grapefruit, lemon peel and grass coming up right behind. Bright and crisp, surprisingly so for a nearly 9% brew. Body is on the lighter side of medium. The hops have a definite bite in the finish but clean up surprisingly fast, leaving a very mild bitterness on the tongue. It's hard to believe this stuff is so strong; it drinks more like a 6 or 7 percent ABV pilsener. The sheer simplicity of the recipe should also be noted: 1 malt, 1 hop, 1 strain of yeast. Goes to show that you can still make a world-class beer using a bare-bones recipe, and I commend Rogue for that.

Notes: Excellent stuff, and unlike many beers labeled as an imperial pilsener, this actually tastes like a pils (I'm talking to you, Sam Adams).

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a slightly hazy lemon yellow with a rich and creamy white head.

Aroma of grass, grapefruit, biscuit, vanila, and honey.

The taste is bright, rich, and creamy. The floral and citrus hops tickle the palate. The balance of the malt is perfect. Aftertaste is sweet, like vanilla and honey. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel, rich and creamy, and lightly carbonated.

This is an incredible Imperial Pilsner from Rogue. I could drink these all night.

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been aging this beer for a couple of years and have never had it before.

I was wondering how it would hold up being an imperial pilsner at 8.8%. I broke it open to celebrate my friend learning Japanese.

Poured hazy with a nice white foam head. The smell was faint, kind of expected that, but there was little hop smell.

I really enjoyed this beer. I am not much of a pilsner fan but enjoyed the qualities of this pilsner with a bitter after taste and hop finish. Real smooth and drinkable not over the top.
Well done and am glad to have waited.

Photo of BabaJohn
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's interesting to see so many fusion styles on the shelves these days; I bought this beer mainly to see whether it could live up to the title of "imperial pilsner." All in all, I'm certainly impressed and feel like the style designation is apt. That said, the aroma was a bit too fruity and hoppy. As for bitterness and character, I do look for a certain spicy hop character in a pilsner, but the aftertaste borders on excessive. Other than that, the body and mouthfeel are quite pilsneresque, for an 8.8% brew. The appeareance is clear, but do I detect a slight hint of chillhaze? There is a bit of a sweet malt quality somewhere in the middle of a taste, but much less than I expected from something this strong. It must have taken quite a bit of care in the fermentation of such a beverage. Do take note: it's easy to think your drinking a light lager here... take your time.

Photo of GJ40
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle hand carried back from the Rogue Ale House in PDX.

Beautiful clear light golden color with a thick white foamy head. A clean pilsner aroma with a nice hop presence. The flavor is crisp with a strong alcohol bite balanced with just enough hops.

This is a great Imperial Pilsner. Rogue and Morimoto really know their stuff. I'm just sorry I don't have some sushi, teriyaki or udon to go with it.

Photo of Pencible
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a strange pour, the first half of the bottle was much brighter than the second half and had more head. The second half poured a hazy gold with no head (but both halves tasted basically the same). It smelled of lemony yeast and some malt. It tasted very strongly of citrus hops with a dominate grapefruit flavor. It was slightly thick with minimal carbonation, and had a long bitter aftertaste. Overall it was a decent but unbalanced beer.

Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml ceramic swing-top bottle:

Pours hazed amber with a thick white head that slowly descends to a lasting thin cover. Foamy lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is grainy/grassy with an assertive floral hop presence.

The taste is initially very sharp and bitter in a floral way. Sterling hops certainly aggressiveGrainy/grassy background. As it progresses, the pils malt, that was overwhelmed by the sharp hops, comes through more. Alcohol is well-covered for the most part, but adds more dryness to the finish.

Near- full-bodied. Initial harshness eases at it progresses, but it still is a slow sipper. Interesting, but there are examples of style I would prefer...Too pricey to have as any kond of regular or rotating - don't know if it was worth the price, though the bottle is cool!

Photo of BeerZack
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Rogue Public House Portland

Pale orange-straw color, slight bit cloudy with small head that does some lacing.

Sweet light Pils malt, floral bouquet with a bit of grassy hops and some graininess.

Initial grainy Pils malt flavor builds to a bit of sweetness before the bitter floral hop bite comes to clean the palate.

Moderate/medium mouthfeel, soft yet substantial. Pretty good for a Double Pils, but still not that drinkable.

Photo of MrMonkey
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, deep golden-amber, almost orange, with a half-inch pillowy off-white head, which fades slowly leaving a thin cap. There's a steady stream of carbonation. Left beautiful lacing down the glass.

Pleasant nose of floral hops dominates, but there are some faint citrus notes as well. There is some yeast in the back, along with some biscuity malt notes lingering in there.

Taste is bready malts up front, followed by a carbonated tingle on the tongue which leads into some nice piney, floral hops which lend themselves to a moderate bitterness and a fairly dry finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a slight creamy feel to it.

Excellent drinkability; this one went down nice and smooth, and I could have easily polished off a second bottle.

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint, 10 fl oz white, ceramic, swing-top bottle purchased for $13.99 from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... For the hefty price I shelled out for this American brew, I was expecting big things from this one...
Luckily, I wasn't dissapointed...
Pours a bright-orange, light copper color with an enormous head that exhibited impressive staying power - very nice image for an Imperial Pilsner...
Smell was unique, bursting with lemon, citrus, and floral aromas...
Very unique, powerful, rich, and thick flavor -apparent citrus, lemons, fresh florals, cream, bitter-sweet vanilla, and a touch of caramel... - by far, one of the best Pilsners that I have ever sampled... I really enjoyed Rogue's Uber-Pilsner, and this one was a step above their originial depiction of the style...
Excellent rich mouthfeel, very thick for a Pilsner...
Drinkability was also top-notch, and the hefty 8.8% ABV was very well-masked behind a rich combination of fresh flavors...
Definitely recommended...

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a very ornate glazed ceramic flip top 22 oz bottle, into a Boston Lager glass.

Appearance is decidedly Pilsner, straw colored but not thin, notable white head which dissapates slowly, but leaving little lacing and by the end, vaporizing completely.

Aroma is very pilsner like but double-pilsner, it could not be more to style. Slightly soapy, slightly malty, with notable floral hops, like Saaz, but I read that they are Sterling (a Saaz derivative). As the glass warmed up, sweet aroma was more evident.

Flavor is again exactly to style, it tastes like a double pilsner, but perhaps with slightly excess sweetness at the finish. Plenty of hops evident.

Mouthfeel is perfect, smooth and heavy on the tongue with very notable bitterness.

Drinkability is very good. This is a style which is difficult to get right, and this beer is spot on. Let's be honest here, this is a real Imperial Pilsner. Sam Adam Hallertau, in contrast, is an imperial IPA made with H. Mittelfrueh hops. So, if the scoring was BCJP certified, Morimoto would win hands down. But because I'm a hophead IIPA addict, I score Hallertau higher at the end of the day. I highly recommend Morimoto Imperial Pils.

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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.