Morimoto Imperial Pilsner | Rogue Ales

333 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Morimoto Imperial PilsnerMorimoto Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

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

Added by aracauna on 08-24-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 333 | Ratings: 564
Photo of SteveO1231
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy golden yellow, lots of carbonation and a thick, gigantor white foam head. Awesome lacing.

Very nice sour fruity smelling beer, (a saison comes to mind) light sweet malts, fruitiness of apples, cranberries, currants and light floral hops.

Freakin' delicious beer, light and crisp on the palate, smooth balance of malt/fruitiness and delicious hop bitterness. The finish is a dry spicy hop finish with sour hints of yeast that remind me of a belgian wit or saison. Very nice brew!

Awesome brew, went down way too fast and the ABV got me a little buzzed. Very expensive though. $11.50 per bottle.


 630 characters

Photo of hoplover82
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is exceptional.

It poured a beautiful hazy golden glass of hoppy goodness.

There are huge wofts of citrus hops. The medium white head lasts long. Until the fat lady sings.

And the beer is sooo smooth. Like my baby girl's behind.

The flavor is of citrus hops mixed with a little sweet maltiness in the back. But the hops shine in this.

Since it's a pilsner, you can't tell the alcohol presence at all. Very drinkable.

 436 characters

Photo of fdrich29
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 10 Fl. OZ ceramic swingtop bottle. Purchased at Marty's in Newton, Massachusetts.

Bright oriental writing and art adorn the bottle. "No Chemicals. Preservatives or Additives. 4 Ingredients: 100% French Pilsner Malt; 100% Sterling Hops, Free Range Coastal Water and Czech Pilsner Yeast. 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."

So this is my first taste of the Morimoto line being put out by Rogue. Fans of the Food Network will recognize the name from the Iron Chef series.

Huge creamy head atop a cloudy amber body. Sweet hop smell entices the senses. Silky smooth in the mouth, sweet, hoppy taste with bit of alcohol at the end. Fantastic brew, and my first double pilsner. Highly recommended if you can find it.

 841 characters

Photo of scooter231
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rusty golden/ruby color with lots of extremely bubbly slightly off white head. Seriously, tons of HUGE bubbles in the head. Smell is hoppy, sweetly so. Floral and somewhat herby. Rosemary? Honey... very complex nose.

Taste is almost remniscent of a DIPA. Hoppy, and hints of caramel and honey. Lightly bitter with roasted flavors towards the end. There's a tartness in here that's really refreshing.

Mouthfeel is maybe stout-ish, smooth, very creamy. Not too thick. Very sneaky for 8.8%. A very tasty brew that's easy to drink- not sure if it's worth the price... wish it was cheaper... but I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered.

 639 characters

Photo of techdiver
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous slightly cloudy golden color with an awesome solid head that hangs on modestly through the glass. Hops and citrus greets the nose. Taste is oh so grand with the bite of the hops and an impression of grapefruit on the finish. I find it very drinkable and quite concealing of the alcohol content. Hope to never pay this much for a case again, but for now; it's all mine.

 385 characters

Photo of Dmann
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really dug this beer! It was like a pils yet it was not your average pils by any sense of the word. The color was beautiful with a medium goldish color with hints of copper, this was a great looking beer. The smell was very fresh and grassy with a nice crisp hop scent in the nose as well. The taste was outstanding with a nice crispy hop zing with a nice spice and full bodied malt flavor. I just wish it was not so damn expensive or this would be the session beer for me.

 475 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My 1st Imperial Pilsner and I think I may have found a new favorite style to replace the Czech Pilsner

A- Like a cloudy, golden pilsner with a massive creamy eggshell-white head. The ceramic 26oz bottle is also beautiful and pours out aggressively. Leaves a sticky circular lacing pattern that is almost artistic

S- Smells like a fruity, yeasty pilsner with that grainy pilsner malt smell and fresh crisp hop smell. Wonderful, but the fruitiness is a bit strong

T- Taste is magnificent and covers the alcohol to the point that I couldn't taste it at 45°F. Tastes just like a heavy pilsner should with a plethora of simplistic flavors.

M- I can understand that to achieve 8.8%ABV you would need a high gravity, but I prefer my pilsners with a lighter mouthfeel.

D- For 8.8%ABV this is dangerously drinkable

 811 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! What a nice bottle, a white ceramic swingtop job with nice graphics. Pours into my Duvel tulip glass with a large soapy aggressive white head over a hazy yeast-infused golden liquid. The nose is quite pilsner like, all light n' delicate smelling with some light fruitiness, them BAM...your tastebuds get slammed by mouthpuckeringly intense hop bitterness undercut by sweet and juicy malt, slightly grassy, slightly bready and a hint of alcohol. Finishes up potent in both bitterness of hop and of alcohol...just delicious as all hell, makes any other pils look positively wimpy by comparison, I don't care what you stack it up against! Unparalleled in taste...unreal!

 672 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

 553 characters

Photo of cburnsc1
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a hop head at heart and that is why I could not believe the extent with which I would love this beer.

The colour was obviously golden being that it is a pilsener; this is where any similarity to the style would stop however. But wait, the colour isn't like that of a pilsener at all, it's more of a deep golden similar to a belgiam golden ale, beautiful and haunting.

The taste is malty and sweet up front followed by a crisp bitter finish. Like many of the Rouge brews in my opinion there is an almost earthy feel that is left to linger.

Overall this beer is amazing, but if your like me you think that 16.99 is too much for a 750ml. Rouge if you care at all take them out of those ceramic's and let the people enjoy them.


 740 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the Stone 7th Anniversary drunkfest. This might have been my favorite of the fest (perhaps tied with Speedway Stout). I really liked this beer. I can't wait until they bottle this! Poured a brilliant golden with a big white head. Smell is mostly Saaz hops but sweet malts detectable. Taste is sweeter than your Prima pils up front--good malt presence--but a perfect dose of Saaz hops smoothly takes over along with an almost fruity element as well. Very interesting and unbelievably drinkable for an 8.8% abv beer. Awesome.

 535 characters

Photo of meeekyh
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would like to start by saying that I have been pleased to drink this beer on more than a few occasions and I find it to be one of the best of the best. I was required to order a case to secure any for consumption. I suppose the upside is that not only did I get six bottles, I got a discount.

I opted this time for my Fin Du Monde tulip glass and poured an appropriate amount from the striking 750 ML ceramic, swing-top bottle with a crimp-cap, into it.

The beer itself is a deep golden-straw color with notable turbidity and a fluffy, meringue-like, white head. The head displays good retention and thick lacing. It is beautiful beer, much as I remembered.

Smells are strong malt (Rogue labels their beers with more information that anyone else I have seen, and they note on this one that they use '100% French Pilsner Malt') and delicate hops (this year they added Rogue farms Willamette hops[to the sterling] which were not in last year's batch(es) as far as I could tell). The nose has a simplicity and a richness that are the attraction of this beer and get carried through into the taste.

Tastes... ahh tastes. Malt takes the front spot but shares the stage with a bitter bite of hops. The initial impression fades into somewhat less depth than I remember. I will admit to having vastly expanded my beer horizons in the past year but my palate has improved (I quit smoking) and I am discerning less complexity where I would expect more. Anyway, I get a lot of basic beer flavors, rich doubling of essential ingredients, but not the complexity of a Belgian tripel, which is more what I thought I was in for. Awesome nonetheless is the verdict.

The feel of this beer is crispy and dry with great carbonation, those tiny little bubbles that effervesce at length, and a full, slightly creamy overall feel, though not as creamy as say Brutal Bitter.

Drinkability is just plain scary. Any beer at almost nine percent ABV that is as round as this is frightening. Add to that the fact that it is, in its soul, a pilsner and this is a drinkability champ. I will overlook the price tag. Last year I paid almost $20 a bottle and it was only through the goodness of my favorite purveyor that I got it this year for just under $15.

I will conclude by saying that the only reason this beer doesn't get a 5 for 5 is Mikkeller's Draft Bear which is a somewhat better version of this great beer.

Slainte! No, for real Slainte!

 2,426 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

 591 characters

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at Anam Cara.

Pours a light pale golden color with a faint head that leaves no lace. Aromas consisted of warming pilsner malts mixed with citrusy floral hops. Initial flavors to this brew were crisps and full with a heavy dosage of pilsner malts and a nice sweetness. The finish was absolutely majestic with a firm hop presence that was spicy and citrusy with a lemon zest finish. There was just a final tone of alcohol just in the end but the hops really helped to hide this out. As for drinkability this one creeps up on ya because it tastes so damn good, yet you wonder where's the alcohol since the flavors are just balanced so amazingly. Overall a beer that must be sought out, especially on draft.

 715 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 2/7/11.

A - Slightly hazy golden body with lots of tiny slow-risning bubbles and some larger bubbles that raced to the top of the glass. Very effervescent! Sitting on top is two fingers worth of bright white foam that settled into a quarter inch of retention and produced some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Fruity aroma with doughy malt sweetness, although the nose is very citrus-forward. There is also a hint of grassy hops, toasted grains and sweet herbs in the mix, as well as a touch of white grape character akin to a sweet wine.

T - The initial flavor is very citrusy with an almost lemon-lime character that is sweet with a hint of mild tartness. This gives way to an assertive hoppy finish that is quite citrusy with grassy and sweet herbal notes. The hop character is backed by toasted grains and a sweet biscuity malt.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and lively carbonation. Dry, crisp and bitter with with some sweetness on the palate. Finishes with a crisp, lingering hop bite.

D - Morimoto is an amazing Imperial Pils. Loved it! This is a huge Pils hop bomb that still retains its crispness and drinkability, which is what I really love about the pilsner style. This one just adds a ton of hops, which makes it all the more tasty. Plus this wasn't as alcoholic as some other Imperial Pils I've had in the past. No alcohol sting, but plenty of hop sting!

 1,423 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rogue and Morimoto do it again!
This turned out to be worth the money (seen it for $20, I paid about $13 for a bottle at New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street).
Looks pretty durned spiffy.The bottle is pretty durned spiffy. Not a big head but a persistent one. Clear bronze color. Smells quite hoppy with an herbal sweetness.
Overall flavor profile reminds me of a malty double IPA. Ample herbal profile. Good malty sweetness. Cider-like in character.
The mouthfeel is pretty special here. Reminds me of a good stout in the finish. Roasted and smokey textures.
Sneaky, sneaky alcohol content... I wouldnt have guessed it's almost a 9% by volume brew from the taste. Pretty damned easy to drink.
I'd love this at a kinder price tag... even if it means the absence of the spiffy ceramic bottle.

 801 characters

Photo of Bachus
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
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 :)

 1,769 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

 561 characters

Photo of CWiggins
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

 1,183 characters

Photo of kwakwhore
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

 559 characters

Photo of dnrobert24
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It has been a while since I had this, but because I paid $16 for it and because it was so good, it stuck in my mind. Also, since I am including foods that went well with the beer, I thought I'd review this, seeing as I paired it with a gourmet meal.

Morimoto Imperial Pilsner is excellent beer and was my first Imperial Pilsner. Poured into extra-large crystal pilsner glasses, the tapered glass allowed the beer to show off its color--golden yellow at the thinnest point fading to orangy-bronze at the thickest point. Not entirely clear, but not opaque, the beer calls to be consumed. It has a citrusy-floral hop bouquet. The hops in the first few sips overwhelmed me--very hoppy, almost too much so. I could not believe this beer was single-hopped with Sterling. After a few bites of ahi tuna and a few more sips of beer, the Sterling grew on me--figuratively speaking, of course. I could not drink it fast enough, but had to purposefully slow down to enjoy it with my tuna.

I used this recipe for Ahi Tuna,,,FOOD_9936_22352,00.html
and made the sesame noodles that Rachel Ray recommends to go with the tuna. The five spice powder, anise and all, went very well with the beer. I chose this dish because the bros. recommend pan-asian cuisine be paired with this style.

 1,328 characters

Photo of mitchfor3
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Rogue Public House in San Francisco.

Transparant golden color, thin white head with good lacing.

Smells very fresh. Floral hops, alcohol definitely present.

Huge taste. Aggressive hops, great mouthfeel - incredibly rich for a pilsner.

As far as I'm concerned, a benchmark Imperial Pils. Best one I've ever had. Seek it out on tap, because it is pricey at $13/750ml in the bottle.

 408 characters

Photo of unklesyd
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Eugene Rogue location. Tried to order a full pint, but no go, only a 10 oz. serving for the XS taps. Damn! However, this was still a terrific choice. After having the Morimoto Soba and being fairly unimpressed, I was hoping the IP was more worthy of the moniker and was fulfilled.

Although I appreciate a pilsner occasionally, I like it more in theory than in practice, if you get me: the simplicity of the beer is appealing in its potential for alchemal surprise, but that potential seems to be rarely realized. Until now!

This brew bears very little resemblance to Rogue's Uber Pils.
A nice appearance, though nothing special in particular. Not a watery looker, nor a fizz-fest either.

Terrific noble aroma. Mellow yet spicy, and not of raw hops but rather muddled by the pils malt, giving the spice room to move and breathe.

This was far and away the best tasting pils I've ever had. Though not aggressive in presentation on the palate, the profile of malt and hops were discrete and identifiable while not being distracting from the enjoyment of just drinking a beer.

For such an alcoholic brew, this was refreshing and one that, if cost were not prohibitive, I could stick with all night.

 1,234 characters

Photo of chaduvel
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 533 characters

Photo of GiantMidget
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Rogue in my collection.
Bought at a Wegmans in Collegeville a few weeks ago, pricey at 16.99 so I had very high expectations.
This beer delivered.

I drank this on New Year's Eve to ring in 2013.
What a terrific bottle it is in, never seen anything like it in my journeys.

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, minimal off white head that didn't linger long.
The golden hazy thickness throughout the pour lingered in the glass and it is a beautiful golden color.

The citrus scent mixed with an earthiness along with the Czech malt are evident.

I sipped this and let it last awhile. Wonderful job they did with this Imperial pilsner, the ABV definitely present and enjoyable. This is everything I'd look for in a great pilsner and the hops are terrific. Very good floral presence, maybe a bit of lemongrass.
Enough dryness to balance the slight sweetness of a pilsner. I would drink this again periodically only due to the pricepoint. Otherwise this would be a regular.

The ONLY thing I could say could be improved even a bit, which is minimal (still gave a 4 in the category) is the very slightly thin mouthfeel but it's balanced enough that I would never complain of it.

If you enjoy a good imperial pilsner, or other Rogues, or are feeling like treating yourself, I recommend this one.

 1,296 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.