Morimoto Imperial Pilsner | Rogue Ales

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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

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Reviews: 333 | Ratings: 564
Photo of champ103
1.81/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color. A one finger white head forms, but recedes in a minute. Little lace is left behind.
S: Musky, dank, like old wet clothes. There is nothing else here that I can find that is appealing.
T: Similar to the nose. Just dank, musky wet clothes. A nasty funkiness. I did not enjoy this at all.
M/D: A light body that is thin and lifeless. I finished this as fast as I could. Nothing I ever care to drink again.

I am not impressed to say the least. Take away the fact that an Imperial Pilsner is an oxymoron, this is just bad in any regard. Sorry, but a big miss, and something that I will avoid if I ever see it again.

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Photo of faernt
2.36/5  rDev -41.7%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
2.65/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On draft at Rogue Public House in Portland, in their XS goblet, the Imperial Pilsner looks just like a macro pils, clear pale gold, but with no real head and only slight white lace. The aroma was very slight, straw and citrus. The taste is mainly pilsner malts, with a bit of citrus/floral hops. No noble hop spiceness that I look for. The finish was moderately bitter, but there was this weird aftertaste that I just really didn't care for, nor could I place it, kind of a grain/hay/earth thing. Pretty mild taste overall though, other then that aftertaste, ugh. Did they use some type of unusual adjunct? The alcohol, however, was inperceptable, which was this beer's biggest accomplishment. The mouthfeel was also really quite nice, a moderate body that is not at all cloying like the Imperials can often be. I would have like to seen more carbonation, as on draft at least, there basically was none. The drinkablity was low due to that aftertaste that I couldn't get used to, I was being generous with a 2.5, because I certainly didn't want another one. But the smoothness of the ABV helped.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.68/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. ceramic bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a pale goldenrod color that produced some transparent white bubbles.

(S)- Some straw amidst a wet floral lemon citrus.

(T)- Very dry & very bitter with a thin lemon, orange, & mango citrus.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very dry & very bitter with a very thin citrus flavor; it almost feels watered down.

(D)- I am not sure how old this is, but I am glad I did not pay the full price for this one. It just does not work for me. There is some citrus & hop bitterness, but it just feel & tastes thin. I am not a fan, but it does somewhat resemble the style here & there.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - This was part of a fleet at The brew kettles Ogre fest. So it came in a little glass, and was not bad looking. It was a deep golden yellow. It had strong lacing, and some visual carbination.

S - The strong aroma of floral hops. But its only storng in the sense of what a pislner should smell like. It wasn't overly hoppy like an IPA but its hoppy for a pilsner.

T - Its a dry floral flavor, and the dry grains of a regular pilsner. Nicely balanced...if it wasnt for the aftertaste of bubble gum. Waht a weird flavor.

M - It hurts. There is strong sharpness on the front pallete. Not very easy to drink.

D - Its not something that could be a session beer. I wondering if it would be better if it was colder. I'll have to review it again sometime.

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Photo of illidurit
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

RBSG09 on tap at the Rogue Publick House in SF. Lightly hazy straw color with a frothy white head. Noble hop aroma, very spicy, pils malt. Lots of pils malt flavor, dough, fresh bread, noble hops reduced to an afterthought. Dry finish with a light astringency.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Morimoto Imperial Pilsner has a slightly hazy, golden-yellow body. The head is bright white and very thin. Retention and lacing are both minimal.

The aroma is packed with pale malts, a little bit of fruit and just a general, sticky-sweet character.

Morimoto is packed with pale malts, tons of them. The sweetness is huge, a little heavy, and just a bit cloying. The hops provide a light herbal note before being drowned out by a generic fruity flavor. The finish has a bunch of warmth that comes with a bite alcohol. Also moderate bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is heavy and full.

Double Pilsners? The more of them I drink the less I like them. I think it's a style that is very difficult to do well. Part of the beauty of a pilsner for me is that a beer can be light and refreshing but still complex and flavorful. This beer is heavy and cloying, and doesn't resemble light or refreshing in any way. The malt is sticky sweet and drowns out any hope of balance. The alcohol flavor is pretty unwelcome.

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Photo of tommarino
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of DogFood11
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ceramic big boy with flip top. Pours a very light and hazed bodied beer with a pale body and tints of orange. Carbonation sticks to the side of the glass and slowly make their way up to support a very loose white head that falls to bubbles.

There is alot of flavor in this compared to the smell. First sniff and I was thinking boring lager. First drink and the complexity came out in full force. A drying hop is the savior to a beer that has a strong fruity presence considering the style. Mouthfeel is a factor because its an odd oily texture that tends to grease the palate. Sweet malts contribute to the depth. Brown sugar and spices finish up the day.

Notes: Really an oddball brew but it works, kinda. Hops and the fruits were a nice combo but the mouthfeel was long lasting and meal'ish along with the mundane sweet malts it was just ok for me. Price per quality factor is not favoring a quick re-purchase anytime soon.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 ounce pint - $7.25 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Clearish, golden body with a thin, white head on top.

Smell: Sweetish waft of pils maltiness rounded out by some earthy, spicy hops scents and unripened fruit notes.

Taste: Ponderous amount of pilsner malts downed with a spoonful of confectioner's sugar. Interesting fruity blend of passion fruit, white grape, and tart pears. Small pinch of Goody's Headache Powder precedes a rustic, earthy, caustically pithy hop character with a pronounced medium-high amount of bitterness. However, the staunch bitterness really embodies the last half of the beer. Finishes dry, a tad warming, and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. There's a very light stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The heavy nature of these Imperialized, Double-fied pilsners totally negate the simple, refreshing qualities of a good pils. Starts engaging, but, for me, it soon grew tiresome and turned into the beer-equivalent of helping someone move.

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Photo of rattech
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tall pint glass

Appearance: Hazy orange brew, appears fairly carbonated with a largeish head.

Smell: Fresh and crisp, slightly sweet with a good hops aroma

Taste: Light crisp flavor, medium bitterness (not overwhelming at all), definite yeasty taste. Relatively strong alcoholic taste for this kind of beer (but nice). Nothing horribly impressive however.

Mouthfeel: A little thicker then I would like, carbonation isn’t bad.

Drinkability: In a bar, I would probably not order another. The price really makes this beer prohibitive, while the bottle is quite cool I would probably not pay 14.99 again for it.

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Photo of Dantes
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Package: 750ml white ceramic crowned (added swingtop for re-sealing. We don’t need no stinkin’ swingtops!) sake-influenced bottle, with Kanji characters against a brightly painted background. Amongst all the tiny text on the back is the recommendation, “best if consumed by Jan. 1, 2005.” The major ingredients are also noted along with the ABV of 8.8%.

Cost: $10.99 at Ramsey Liquors.

Presentation: Imperial pint at ~50º

Appearance: Being forewarned that there were a lot of bad bottles of this in NJ, I was dismayed that the crown came off easily, with the lightest “phhht.” I needn’t have worried, as this poured a lovely pale-marigold yellow that was quite cloudy, recalling some of the draught ciders I’ve seen. The very fluffy head was super-fine, with a creamy texture and lots of “stick.” However, it only lasted about half-way through the glass.

Smell: As promised, this delivers a very floral, hoppy aroma that dominates what I expect will be a strong malt presence. Little alcohol on the nose despite the relatively high ABV. Some lemony notes as well.

Taste: A bit disappointing. The hoppy note was there (listed as Sterling), but it wasn’t very complex. I’m not really familiar with Sterling hops, but it is a variety meant to be related to Saaz. Unfortunately, that didn’t really come through to me. There was also a sticky, cloying sweetness from the malts that didn’t quite work here for me. All in all, despite the French Pilsner malt, Czech Pilsner yeast, and Sterling hops, I still didn’t quite experience this as a pilsner.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full and warming from the alcohol. The cloying stickiness which dominates much of the flavor does help give this a very full, smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation, as evidenced in its lovely appearance, is very fine and glassy.

Drinkability: A really tough category to score. I could detect the alcohol, but it wasn’t disruptive, the taste was somewhat overly sweet, but I did finish the bottle. The cost (how much of it is for the bottle?) is also way out of line in my opinion.

Backwash: Another beer I’ve wanted for a long time (just ask Yen157). I actually bought one somewhere else, but the bottle had obviously leaked, so I returned it. I felt comfortable with this one, partially because the price was more reasonable and the crown looked perfect. Anyway, it was a disappointment. I didn’t get any pilsner-like qualities from this, instead it tasted a bit like a clumsily done bière de garde. I wouldn’t buy this again unless I had the chance to try it on draught for the sake of comparison. Beautiful to look at, in and out of the bottle though!

NB: There is a slight possibility that my bottle was subjected to freezing as much of the recent NJ allotment of this was. However the condition of the crown, etc., lead me to believe this was a decent sample.

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Photo of Pencible
3.32/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml white ceramic bottle, with a Japanese character watercolor label. It's Independence Day now, and my dual citizenship calls for a big, bad example of something only Americans would do to beer.

This beer pours a hazy, yet bright medium golden straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, frothy, and somewhat soapy dirty white head, which leaves some decent skewed webbed lacing around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of biscuity pale malt, cereal porridge, floral, grassy hops, and a significant alcohol twinge. The taste is more pale and raw cereal grains, a bit of warm citrus juice, a subtle dry yeastiness, earthy hops, and burgeoning floral, perfumed metallic booze undertones.

The body is fairly heavy, surprisingly smooth, and even kind of creamy, the carbonation moderately peppy. It finishes dry and warm, the heat from the alcohol still quite strong, like I just did a watered down vodka shot.

A so-so amped up version of a Czech PIls, the alcohol obviously not too well integrated, but drinkable, I suppose, once one's palate succumbs, like when you're sipping whiskey or the like. Morimoto Imperial Pilsner is the second highly-rated big Rogue product to come off like a booze bomb to me. While it was somewhat easy to procure another bomber of their Yellow Snow IPA for another try, I don't know that I want to drop another 22 bucks for another go around at this one.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

26oz bottle into tall cylinder at about 40 degrees.

Pours with a massive, 1/2 glass full of foamy white head, over top of a pretty hazy golden body that masks the ever so tiny bubbles. Lacing is solid.

At first, the aroma is tough to pick up. Starts as dull, wet dough, and then progresses into some citrusy hoppiness with a dash of black pepper.

Relatively thick on the palate, leading you into flavors such as over ripened naval oranges and sourdough bread, finishing with angostura bitters in the after-glow. This one hangs out in the mouth a little too long, even for an imperial pilsner.

Good flavor overall, and a unique presence, but not worth the pricetag. Wondering if I just had a bottle that was on the shelf too long.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mixed feelings on this one, although I do like the bottle.

Certainly a disappointmen in looks. It has the right golden pilsener colour, but it is very cloudy. Pilseners are supposed to be crisp and clear.

Smells quite odd. Sweet, pungent and malty. Not much of a hop bite. Certainly nothing like any other pilsener I've had. On the plus side, it does lack skunkiness.

Taste is far better. Distinguished hop zest, sweet malt flavour that has pleasant syrupy notes. Citrus and rich earthy tones on the tongue. Not quite the traditional pilsener, but it certainly has a strong malt backbone.

Very nice in flavour and fairly drinkable if not for the large bottle size. Look and scent just don't match it.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Fresh wild herbs with some dirt/roots still attached. Bread. Toasted straw. A touch of misty morning dew. Light caramel.

Taste: Thick mouthfeel but light malts - overtones of straw and caramel. Slightly bitter orange oil as well which sweetens up in the middle which has notes of tree bark (in a pleasant way), light white rice, caramel, and more straw. White grape skin come in toward the finish. Finish is yeasty, a little boozy and herbal. Lingers fairly long and has a touch of dry, bitter herbs.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
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

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

large ceramic bottle poured into a glass

a-hazy yellow/orange color..frothy head and nice bubbles to been seen through the haze

s-malty...slight hops in the nose..some bready notes from the yeast...

t-malt..and hops...bread...finishes a bit tanic and bitter from the hops..

m-creamy and smooth...good level of carb present...not to oily but just right...a tad resiny

d-will have no problem putting away this bottle probably wouldnt do another tonight due to the abv and the cost

overall a great brew from rogue...they are hit or miss with me...their cost are outrageous....i dont mind paying for the beer but im not into paying for the container it comes in....glad this was a gift

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Photo of Bruiser81
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color was sharp gold , perfectly clear. Small white head that bubbled away quickly leaving nothing but a ring around the edge.
The aroma was not real strong. Some pale malt, with a sort of grassy thing happening. A little bit of alcohol spices as well.
Didn't seem to be much in the hops category.
I didn't like the taste as much as I was hoping I would. Starts out a bit sweet with a pleasant malty taste followed by a piney hop flavor. This is all overpowered by a strong alcohol flavor that lingers long into the aftertaste. It isn't bad at first but half way through it just starts to take over. This isn't a bad beer there just isn't much for the alcohol to hide behind.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of yelterdow
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy pale amber color. Hoppy/floral nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts sweet but hops take over in finish. Label description is actually close: "intense hop bitterness supported by a big malty backbone." Slight bitter aftertaste. Better than Sam Adams imperial pilsner. $13.99 for a 26oz (or 750ml??) bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance seems to be more of an unfiltered wheat than pilsner. A nice pour from the ceramic bottle that was pretty pricey. A nice thick head that dropped down to about 1/4".

Some hop and cereal like aroma. Hop bitterness on the tongue, reminds me more of an IPA. Some sweetness as well. Body is kind of thick and chewy.

This offering seems to defy the classic characteristics of a pilsner. A very complex beer. Nice to try every now and then, but probably wouldn't make it a must-have after this one.

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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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