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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

502 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 323
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 63
Gots: 21 | 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:
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: 502 | Reviews: 323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

BattleRoadBrewer, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of steelcutoats
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My folks bought me back a bottle of the Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from a recent trip they took. I'm not much of a "Pils-man", but I found this beer to be very enjoyable and drinkable. I love the packaging that Rogue chose for its XS line. I didn't have my regulation tasting snifter on hand over at my folk's place, so I used a standard straight sided water glass. The beer poured a deep golden color and was crystal clear. The head was very thick and remains until the beer was entirely consumed. The smell was musky, but had a relatively strong hop aroma. The beer had a good amount of hoppy bitterness, but also smooth malty tones in the background. I can't say that this beer will switch me of to pilsners from ales, but I am definitely going to recommend this beer to all my buddies.

steelcutoats, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of cooncat
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample was on tap at the 2008 Brew Kettle Ogre Fest (Strongsville, OH.).

Appearance is of a golden hue, with decent head, some of which sticks around to the end. A swirl of the glass produces nice lacing.

Aroma was mainly from the Sterling hops, which are floral and citrusy. Taste follows the nose pretty closely, with some biscuity malt flavors to back up the large hop presence. This is indeed a hoppy brew, but not 'over the top'. and easily quaffed. Finish is dry, but not astringent. Comparing this to Sam Adams Imperial Hallertau Pilsner, I'd have to say it's not quite as hoppy. The 8.8% alcohol is well hidden in this Rogue offering.

A fine offering by Rogue Ales, and a beer to seek out and enjoy.


cooncat, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy gold, light orange with a nice frothy head that sticks to the side of the glass. Some very nice floral and herb hints in the aroma, almost nothing in the hop department. Taste is smooth and clean like a pilsner, tad bit of fruitiness, but mostly the clean cut grass taste from a great German pilsner. Pronounced hop character comes through towards the end with a nice bitterness, slightly bigger than a normal pilsner, but not too overwhelming.

This is the first Imperial Pilsner I have had that comes close to resembling a pilsner, even better than DF's Golden Era. Most have too much hoppiness, so that you can barely tell what it is. This one did it right.

saintwarrick, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a pilsner glass.

Pours a clear golden color. Has a nice pillowy head and sticky lace.

Smell is slightly flowery. Pilsner malts and a hint of hops.

Taste is crisp yet fruity. Starts off with some citrusy notes. Gets more bready throughout. Finishes slightly dry.

Overall, this is a crisp and clean yet flavorful beer. Easy to drink this and not notice the high abv. until the bottle has been emptied. One of my favorite Rogue brews.

bluegrassbrew, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of MerkinMan
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice gold color with a nice, but thin head. The smell of both hops and malt were very noticeable even before drinking. This beer is strong, but very well balanced. The chewy malt character is balanced well with a big dose of hop goodness. For such a strong beer, the alcohol flavor is balanced out well too. I could drink a few of these, but the price may prevent me from doing so.

MerkinMan, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of SMark
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 1 pt. 10 fl. oz. ceramic flip top bottle into a wine glass. I had been unable to get a temperature in the bottle and noticed the level in the bottle appeared to be low. I subsequently poured the glass into a one quart measuring cup with the rest from the bottle. The measurement stunned me with a reading of 20 ounces. Is this some sort of ‘different’ pint? To say I was disappointed would be an understatement since I paid $15.07 with tax for this bottle. An objective review may be difficult. Anyway, a puffy, white, cloud like head of 3 fingers resulted from the initial pour with nice lacing during the 5 plus minutes the head took to dissipate. The coloring was light orange and amber with a moderate amount of carbonation. No date information was located.

The aroma was yeasty with hops dominating the malt. The bouquet was clean and pleasant.

Hops carried through on the taste with no detectable heat or warmth from the alcohol. A nice sweetness came about later.

This beer had a good mouth feel without any tastes or flavors overstaying their welcome. A step above ordinary pilsners in flavor, this beer could enjoy dual roles as a thirst quencher and one to mull over. I would hate to pay the price though for just being used as a thirst quencher.

Overall a good beer and I hope the problem of not being full is a one time deal. I do not think it was ullage as the beer still tasted good but then what do I know. I’m po’d!

SMark, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thick white head on a really cloudy orange golden body.
S- Lots of grass hops in the nose. Hints of malt with a bit of the yeast coming through in the nose.
T- The only other Imperial Pilsner I have had is the Sam Adams one so needless to say I was expecting a lot more hops in this. Grass hops come through with a caramel body to balance them out. Yeast comes through it all a bit staying around for the aftertaste too. Seems a little bland in flavor especially for 8.8%ABV. Smaller bitterness is left behind in the aftertaste with some of the caramel from the malts too.
M- Medium to full body with really low smooth carbonation.
D- It is easy to drink but just pretty bland tasting besides the bitterness from hops afterward. I would think this would be a great beer if it was sold in 6-packs for $6-8. I will probably not buy this again but I wouldn't mind a bottle for free at all.

BlindPig, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of arizcards
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

arizcards, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

russpowell, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of yelterdow
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

yelterdow, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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)

irishkyle21, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of tempest
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

tempest, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of kwakwhore
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

kwakwhore, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of bosco7
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

bosco7, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of williamherbert
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

williamherbert, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

CharlieMopps, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of faernt
2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 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.

faernt, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of 3Vandoo
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

3Vandoo, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

mikesgroove, May 27, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

BretSikkink, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of CWiggins
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

CWiggins, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of Cwrw
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Cwrw, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

TheSarge, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of tcfishler
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

tcfishler, Feb 21, 2007
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.