Morimoto Imperial Pilsner
Rogue Ales

Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner
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Pilsner - Imperial
Ranked #2
Ranked #6,289
4.04 | pDev: 11.14%
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner
Notes: 4 Ingredients:
Malts: 100% French Pilsner.
Hops: 100% Sterling.
Yeast & Water: Czech Pils Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

74 IBU
80 AA
16º Lovibond
Reviews: 337 | Ratings: 580 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KooVee
KooVee from Finland

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, bb 02/19.

Light golden colour -- light because nothing but pilsner and acidulated malts (latter one would guess due to the 'coastal water' profile). No carabohemian here. Nice regular Pilsner foam.

Aroma adds to the standard Bohemian profile a suprising strong orange note. It is not actually that specific but it is floral and citric and to me it is closest to orange. A bit of smokiness too but that seems to transform into herbal notes after the first minute or so. Naturally, as the beer warms, alcohol (8.8% after all and besides hops little to hide behind) starts to push through.

Taste is smooth for strength. The said floral citric notes, together with initially formidable bitterness one starts to get used to quite quickly. Apparently this is the Sterling hop, one I am not otherwise familiar with. A version of Saaz, bred for mildew resistance. Looking at the family tree, the citric notes that Saaz does not possess might come from Cascade, herbal character might be just the amount -- when you brew Saaz to this amount (74 IBU), it takes on herbal notes in my experience.. the 'spicyness' is not really spice, it is strong herbs in moderation. Otherwise good drinkability especially for strength.

Could just as well be called a Double IPL with the hopping rate. I am thinking of running this against DIPAs in blind tasting. A very nice example of a lazily coined style 'Imperial Pilsner'. The hopping is too strong for that really and what is wrong with the classic Czech categorization which extends close to this range ... build from there instead.

Dec 31, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A grassy and floral pilsner, especially on the smell, where the taste is has some wheaty yeast and malts to balance with, not overly bitter. Nice full body while not becoming overly heady or bready. Hint of corn sweetness on the finish, but not in a bad way. Pairs well with seafood

Sep 29, 2018
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NastyNorseman from New York

4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yellow-gold in appearance. Foamy white head with layered lacing. Nice peppery grassy flaver with complementary malt. Czech yeast shines this. This imperial pilsner gets better as you drink it.

Jul 25, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. This was poured into a pilsener. The appearance was a decent looking hazy orange to light brown color with a nice transparency running about it. It was definitely light enough to see the carbonation rising at a moderate pace. There was a two finger white foamy head that dissipated about a minute and left a nice spider web lacing sticking finely to the sides of the glass. The smell had a nice typical light spiciness (from an Imperial Pilsener) with a decent bitter to sweet hoppy to malty complexity. The taste followed the aroma almost exactly and it had a nice spicy to sweet to bitter aftertaste and a dry finish. On the palate, it sat about a light to medium. Still, it shows just enough sessionability and has a nice carbonation running about it. Overall, in my opinion, this was a mighty fine Imperial Pilsner well worthy of having again and well worthy of having with its respected food.

Jun 25, 2017
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Guppy314 from District of Columbia

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours as a slightly cloudy yellow with a frothy one-finger pure white head. Aroma of floral hops and a bit of booziness. Taste is a sharp bitter hops-forward with a sweet malty body. A bit of grassiness and yeast adds some complexity.

Apr 26, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a hearty yellow color, deft in its thickness for a pilsner/double. Good 2/3" soft white head. Aroma of floral noble hops, grains.

Taste is a bitter, floral, thick pilsner malt and euro hop mouthfeel. This is substantially more bitter than any pilsner I may have ever had. Hides the alcohol decently, but there is a persistent bitter sting throughout this beer. Relatively high price tag prevents me from saying would bang again. Neat bottle for homebrew reuse though.

Nov 16, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly hazy yellow. Bubbly. Big white airy head that lasts awhile. Aroma: fruity esters, fresh rain. Slightly woody, but light. Taste: crisp, grapefruit, lemon, some earthy pine-like flavors, touch of mineral. A little tart with a bite at the end, Feel: Very crisp and lively. Excellent with dinner (pulled pork). Excellent beer. Bottle is also awesome. Wing top stopper allows me to save some for a glass tomorrow. Hail Rogue and the Iron Chef for another job well done.

Nov 16, 2016
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Alaska1 from Minnesota

4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look- Golden , slight haze.
Smell- Smells just like a pilsner, Golden toasted grains.
Taste- Light sweetness, not over done. Smooth with a little bight in the back of your mouth, but still pleasing.
Feel- Smooth, a little sticky, good carbonation, very small bubbles
Overall- Nice beer. Is kind of pricey but one of the best Imperial Pilsners out there.

Mar 27, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One strange brew, this pours a cloudy, headless murky pale gold. Aroma is nice and malty with a sweetness and some floral hop. Flavor is initial malt and some honey up front (nice), but quickly hits with a bitter/astringent bite mid-sip that lasts through the finish and leaves the throat dry.

Jan 03, 2016
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Falcon91Wolvrn03 from California

4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged in a beer fridge for at least one year.

Appearance – A light gold color, with a good head and that sticks around a while. Also has a nice lacing.

Smell – Smells of not bitter citrus hops and sweeet malt (I aged this for at least a year, so that may explain the lack of bitterness). It’s very nice for a pilsner.

Taste – Similar to the smell; just an all around good pilner.

Mouthfeel – Nicely carbonated, crisp, and smooth.

Drinkability – A very drinkable pilsner. I am very surprised this is 8.8%abv; it tastes like only about 6%.

Sep 06, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A hazy orange amber pour crowned by a clingy 2” sudsy white foam collar.
S: Alcohol and malt dominate the aroma with traces of floral, herbal, citrus and spice.
T: Rich and malty balanced by big hops and alcohol, a light malt sweetness provides balance with a lingering bitter hop and alcohol aftertaste.
F: Clean, crisp and smooth, medium full body, medium carbonation.
O: A big bold pilsner that provides a very satisfying drink.

Jul 23, 2015
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jancona from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color - a bit hazy for a Pilsner. Light foam and lacing. Smells of peppery cracker, a little bit of pear and honey. Taste follows with a nice hop finish, with honey and a bit of booze. Feel is a little slick and sticky. Overall a nice brew!

Apr 17, 2015
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GFM from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I traveled with this from NJ to Dom Rep because there's only so much Presidente one can take. My brother-in-law and I split a bottle in pilsner glasses. Drinkable and refreshing but has noticeable substance and body--I suppose therein lies its "imperial" quality. Crisp pilsner flavor with no sense of the higher alcohol content. (9.0)

Jan 10, 2015
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jellikit from Washington

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: yellow. Clear. Thick head. Nice lacing throughout drink.
S: bubblegum. Sweet.
T: malty sweetness. Crackers. Slight alcohol. Mango and citrus and tar for hops. Bitter at finish.
M: medium carbonation. Medium-thick body.
O: strong pilsner just like the name implies. Bitter. Great spin on a pilsner. Strong.

May 07, 2014
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Crystal clear peach/gold with a big ass white head. Lacing stays on the glass forever it seems. Quite a looker.
smell: Rich floral scents dominate. Some sweet malt in the distant background.
taste: Much like the nose with a more integration of flavors and a nice creamy something. A nice finish, both sweet and bitter.
overall: Not a big Rogue fan but this is nice, well crafted brew.

Mar 22, 2014
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darktower from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I got to try this at the HiBREWnation beer tasting event in York, PA. It was poured at the Rogue stand and I only got to try a few ounces. I can honestly say those that those few ounces amazed me. I would definitely have to rank it as one of the best beers I tasted that day (and I tasted well into the double digits).

I found a place that still has a few bottles of it for sale so I'll need to pick a few up and re-review it but I'm excited to have more of it.

Mar 04, 2014
Photo of BigGold
BigGold from Mississippi

4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have had on draft and from 25.4-oz. ceramic flip-top bottle into Pilsner glass. Due to emotional attachment, I probably over-rate this beer, as it was one of the first higher gravity beers arriving in Mississippi after the legal ABV increase on 07/01/2012. But I had it again today (Nov. 1, 2015) from a bottle, and will keep reaching for Morimoto I.P. whenever I can afford it.

Feb 26, 2014
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Hoptometrist from Ohio

3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a Morimoto pilsner glass.

A- Poured a very clear and bright golden pilsner, some light visible carbonation, bright white fluffy head that left minimal lace.

S- Mostly big grape and pilsner malt notes.

T- Big grape, pilsner malt, lemon, grassy, peppery, and cornhusks. This is an intensely bitter pilsner all the way through with a prominent herbal and earthy bitterness on the finish.

M- Very dry, crisp, medium body, smooth, and prickly carbonation.

O- This is definitely the most bitter lager I have ever had and right up there with the most bitter beers I have ever had. Really nice crisp pilsner mouthfeel with a little more body and good flavor.

Feb 23, 2014
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CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Found this brew, a relatively rare style in these parts, on tap at National Beer Hall in Calgary on 10th Ave. Missed out on the funky bottle but oh well. Arrived in a pint glass (?), a cloudy gold amber color that is of course is on the light end of the Lovabond scale but still manages to look thick and imposing. Smells of concentrated sweet grains, a pungent fruity note like grape juice, another sweet note almost like brown sugar, and aggressive grassy green hops. All of these elements are reflected in the taste ... Nothing tastes quite like an imperial pils. This one is at once rich and sweet, chalky and woody, almost carbolic, and features a heady mix of green and spicy hop flavors along with some equally spicy aromatic alcohol. The thick and chewy body and buttery mouthfeel make things even more satiating. I get heavy sweet dough, dried fruits (currants, sultana raisins), candy apple, and an oaky dryness that does work to cut the sweet grains to some extent. The hops provide some additional woody tannic bitterness and funky gooseberry notes and pine in the finish. A big beer with considerable decoction malt and hop power. A pint is a lot to get through.

Jan 28, 2014
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

25oz ceramic swingtop resealable bottle poured into a stang. The brew appears a clear golden yellow color with nearly 2 fingers of yellowish stained froth. The cap fades back slowly leaving patchy lace on the glass.

The aroma is quite floral with hops. Some citrus zest and a little grassy overtop a footy grain base that has a fresh footy to almost wheat-like cereal sweetness that brings out a bit of fruity aspects caught between hops and alcohol-like notes.

The flavor and bitter with a grassy to herbal character of hops. The bitterness is slightly oily and piney blending to a bit of sweetness that reinforces some fruity to floral aspect. It is somewhat solvent and boozy with a feel thats at times a little perfumey with hints of sulfur.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The imperialized pilsner concept is a little strange especially in this example. The bitterness doesnt seem imperialized but the alcohol and sweetness sure is. That sweetness distracts a little and ruins the overall snap, crispness and ease of drinkability I look for in a good pils. Worth trying but I probably would not revisit this again.

Dec 16, 2013
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CrazyDavros from Australia

3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold with a small head.
Nose shows light malt, biscuity notes, spicy and herbal hops.
More aggressive flavours, big spicy and grassy hops along with bready and biscuity malt and an assertive bitterness. No sign of the booze.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

Jul 18, 2013
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml ceramic bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly hazy pale golden amber color with a nice 2 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a ton of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big apple, pear, bread, cracker, honey, floral, grass, pepper, pine, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of malt, yeast ester, and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of pear, apple, bread, cracker, pepper, floral, grass, pine, honey, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, bread, floral, grass, pepper, pine, honey, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of hop, malt, and yeast flavors; with a moderate malt backbone and no cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very crisp, smooth, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial Pilsner style. All around nice balance of malt, hop, and yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Jun 10, 2013
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hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken while enjoying a pint last night on-tap at the Kick-Off in Waterloo, ON.

Pours a vibrant golden colour with a limited white head that dissipates quickly. "Czech" forward aroma, that must have been the yeast, as the recipe doesn't include the Saaz hops I'd expected to read. The rich graininess in the aroma carries through into the taste. This is complemented by powerful yeast and hop flavours, ending with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Sweet body of malted grains that leads to an impressive bitterness, that lingers for a long time.

Didn’t expect to enjoy this nearly as much as I did; very impressive flavour profile.

Apr 07, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I thought they were done with the morimoto brews, so when I saw this I had to pick it up, ignoring the 20 dollar price tag, because morimoto is just a boss. the boss of bosses. anyways, this pilsner pours bright honey colored yellow, with a colossal white head that doesn't relax much at all. the nose is a little sweet, a little floral, and hopped with some noble variety that really gives a nod to tradition in the genre pushing bomb. the flavor is well balanced and surprisingly interesting for a pils, which I usually find so uneventful. floral hop profile, grassy malt bill, and some excellent yeast that is light, but ties the whole thing together and tames the alcohol, which is expertly hidden. would never know this was almost 9% abv. feel is nice too, fuller bodied for the style, and well carbonated. sort of a richness to this that cool. it trumps out the refreshing qualities usually found in a pilsner, but it also adds an element of class and satisfaction I don't usually come away with from a pils. overall an excellent brew, expensive, but damn good.

Feb 02, 2013
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As big of a pilsner I have ever laid my hands on, and up to this point I have not been impressed with the 'Imperial' versions of this beer style. Morimoto however, really changed my mind as to what this beer style can be. The flavor consists of pilsner malt, big herbal and floral hops, and some sweetness and booziness on the back. The bitterness up front cuts right through all the sweetness though.

Overall, a big tasty pils, I am not sure I love this one all to much, it has a lot of flavor but nothing compared to ales of similar strength. I would recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about it, and I am sure I will try it again.

Jan 05, 2013
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 580 ratings