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: 332 | Ratings: 563
Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH signature glass. Beer is dark yellow and very hazy with a head that runs away at the first sign of trouble and leaves behind almost no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Very malty, mildly pilsner-y aroma.

OK, this beer is really oddly super bitter. Its kind of disturbing. Its kind of sweet medium bodied and really really bitter. Its almost fruity in the middle but the bitterness lingers. Its a big bottle and I made it through the whole thing but I doubt i'll drink it again.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in a pint at Ballantine's in Willoughby.

Pours a hazy yellow with very little head.

Smell is subdued, possibly due to the overly smooth pour, or possibly the beer being served too cold.

Taste is sweet, with barley malt, grass, and other "typical" pilsner tastes. Very little bitterness in its aftertaste. Very smooth and refreshing, this is nice tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy.

Highly drinkable, I'd definitley order another.

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Photo of matt20102
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served at refrigerator temperature from the porcelain bottle into a goblet. Pours very slowly with a soap-foam head- large head bubbles (with very fine carbonation bubbles). Color is uncharacteristically cloudy for a pilsner; the appearance suggests a wheat beer.

Aroma is of fruity malt and apple cider although without any ester taste that could be expected from an 8.8% brew. This pilsner is labeled as 74IBU but the hop bitterness is so well integrated that there is no way that this number could be guessed. This is probably due to the obviously large malt presence. These two components are so large in this brew that any change could cause the flavor profile to go awry, but the balance between malt and hops is perfect. This super-big but suspiciously well-balanced beer, plus it's hefty 8.8%ABV, makes this is highly drinkable beer. This is an incredibly expensive beer, so it's not for everyday, but it is one that deserves it's place at special occasions. Recommended.

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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 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 JasonA
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i bought this beer back in 2006 and have been sitting on it since. Not really by choice, but I never really had a desire to drink it. This is the white bottle, with red and yellow drawings.

Pours a transparent golden gold. Solid 2 fingers of frothly, yet light, yet thick. Lots and lots of bubbles moving through. Everything I would expect in a Pilsner, and this is after 4 years of aging. Thick thick lacing sliding all the way down the glass.

Suprisingly malty, yet crisp with alcohol. Maybe clove, maybe bready. Still very surprised at the amount of malt. Im not getting any hops, maybe a tinge of bittering, yet light.

Malty, crisp and light. For an overly malty brew the finish is simple. Almost perfect for a lawnmower beer. Bittering as it gets warm. Might be a tad bitter for a Pilsner. I could probably sip on this 8.8 brew for a lot longer that I should.

Not sure I would buy again only because expensive Pilsner's is not my typical expenditure. If I was forced to buy Pilsners, this would prolly end up at the top of my list.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been seeing this one at my local bottle shop and I've been passing it up due to the price. Its the 4th of July weekend so I said what the heck and splurged on it...

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint...

Bright effervescent golden appearance with a nice creamy white head... Sort of cloudy for a pilsner but I'm guessing that's due to the hops...

Faint aroma of some hops mingle with an earthiness from the malts... Not the strongest aspect of the beer, I must say. Its pleasant enough but there's not really a lot to say about the aroma.. Fairly balanced between the pale malts and earthy hops...

Wow.... The lightly toasted pale malts appear first but are quickly overtaken by a wave of earthy bitter hops and a splash of straight up booze... Quite hoppy and bitter actually, more so than I was expecting actually... The hops are definitely the star of the show here... They're earthy and grassy and bitter as hell and have traces of lemony citrus and pine and grassiness... Quite a shot of booze as well... Definitely an amped up pilsner for sure... Each sip finishes dry and bitter and is loaded with hoppiness.. Very creamy feel... Nice and silky..

Overall a top notch Imperial Pilsner... I liked this a lot and despite the steep price, I will probably grab one of these from time to time.. Very nice...

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Photo of thain709
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A glowing, golden body with a one finger white head...some retention which lead to decent lacing

S - The aroma was a bit muted...but I was able to pick up an earhty aroma of pale malts, grain, and earthy hops

T - The taste was better than what the aroma suggested...a quick blast of pale malts hit you first...they round out to a grainy finish...but the hops show up and save the flavor...the hops are a bit citrusy and pick up some orange and lemon along with the German hops

M - Medium bodied...crisp and refreshing with a nice finish

D - This was a decent imperial could have used a better nose but I did like the balance of malt and hops

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a growler.

A- a very nice cloudy gold color with a GORGEOUS one and a have finger white head that leaves some great lacing. Perfect example of what a pilsner should look like

S- nice strong hop aroma. Can't really place what kind of hops though...maybe a little piney. Nice scent nonetheless

T- fruity hops with a nice bite of pine in the aftertaste. Gets a little bitter at the end. Alcohol slightly seeps through a little bit. Very nice

M- good feel. Pretty much the perfect body for a pilsner, maybe a little heavy...but I can't complain

D- drinkable, but not more than a standard German pils. If you just keep pounding away like you would on one of them, the alcohol could really sneak up on you. Good beer

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Photo of juju7
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never had an Imperial Pils, wasn't sure really what to expect...having said that it was kind of like what I expected. It's kind of like an IPA or DIPA brewed with pilsner ingredients, isn't it? Anyhoo, firstly one of the crappiest heads I've seen in a while - some big ass bubbles in that fella. Some upfront fruity, piney, nutty even hop action on the nose. I tell ya, try this blind with some IPAs and I'd be impressed if many people could pick this as being an Imp Pils as opposed to an IPA. The piney hop flavours on the palate just reinforce this. Pretty low carbonation too for something of the pilsner family. Still, an enjoyable beer but like most Rogue and other USA beers here, barely worth the price.

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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 jzeilinger
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an color with a nice, frothy white head and not much carbonation.

For a pils, it was really aromatic. Lots of bready malts, earthy pines, and that usual strong pungent-like pilsner smell.

Taste is really good. Has a spicy malt backing with some pine presence - nicely hopped. The aftertaste leaves a pepper-spice/caramel coating in the mouth. Reminds me of a well brewed pils, only on steroids.

Mouthfeel is medium body (on the heavier side), definitely heavier than the normal pilsner. Finishes very dry.

Drinkability is very much so. Overall, it's a very well brewed beer. Fabulous, actually.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Imp. Pint glass. Straw yellow a lil less than golden color with a frothy head. Strong scents of cut grass and lemon. Flavor profile has hints of orange hops and forward straw malts. Slick almost oil feel in the mouth. Very drinkable, alcohol is well hidden.

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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!

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Photo of MenamenaDooDoo
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me just say, this is one of the coolest looking bottles I have ever seen. The price tag must justify me keeping this bottle around for keeping olive oil, flowers, candles, or just as decoration.

Pours a bright golden, but hazy. 1 inch of bright white head. Great lacing.

Smells of sweet bread and a little citrus and hops. Not overly citrusy which is refreshing for an american Imperial.

Great flavors of bread and a little citrus with a slight bitterness on the back end. Also, wonderful slightly creamy and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Very cool mouthfeel, complex to say the least.

Nice beer, probably awesome with sushi and spicy food. I'm thinking mexican or thai.

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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 Brad007
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've wanted to try this for a while and I just ignored the price and bought it. I collect Rogue bottles anyway.

Pours a golden color with a yellow hue on the edges and a thin head into my pint glass.

Aroma is full of sweet, buttery, bread malt with only a smattering of hops in the aroma.

Taste is full of buttery, sweet malt with a slight hint of grassy hops. Seems subdued since it's not quite fresh. Still, quite taste and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering buttery, sweet malt. Not much else. It's like a big 'ol pilsner with a lot of desirable flavors.

Should have gotten it when it was still fresh. Regardless, it's mellowed and is still quite drinkable at this stage. Alcohol has faded away a bit as well.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in pils glass for a sparkling ghost with great carbonation and a good head that sticks around on top of a strong pils malt smell with a touch of sweetness and breadiness as well as some citric hop. Crisp, easy to drink, pils malt very strong, no weak veggie taste in this beer as it has a bready/woodiness to it and also some sugary sweetness and fruit sweetness like grape and some citric hops and finishes slightly dry. A happening and easy to drink pils that goes down great.

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Photo of THORN
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pt. 10 Fl. Oz bottle poured into Pilsner glass. Served 45-50 F.
A: Pours a hazy golden brown. Many fine CO2 trails form on the bottom of the glass. Pours half inch head and retains a little over a quarter inch. Head is frothy and a very clean white. Thin sticky lace is left around majority of glass.
S: Bright citrus, sweet malts, and pineapple. Floral aroma is slightly noticeable.
T: Pilsner malts are very bold. Nice floral hops sweep in creating a bitterness that matches the boldness of the malts. Pineapple and bananas linger into nothing.
M: Medium to medium light on tongue.
D: A little more hoppy than I would expect for a Pilsner, being that it is imperial...why not? Subtleties of a typical Pilsner are appreciable but big bold malt body is intact.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML ceramic bottle with swing top poured into a tulip glass

A-- Poured a clear straw yellow with a big billowy white head. Left sticky lacing all over the glass. Once settled down a solid one finger head.

S-- Floral, sweet, and biscuit like. Great smell and well balanced with the hops and the malt.

T-- Hop forward with malt in the background. Still has a floral citrus taste. Nicely done.

M-- Lots of grapefruit taste and feel. Hops are very forward but the malt really balances it well and finishes quite clean. Spot on carbonation and creamy mouthfeel.

D-- Big on flavor and alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms up. 8.8% Really?? Not a big pilsner fan but this beer could change that in a big way. Only negative is you will feel very full after a 750.
Worth looking for and trying.

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Photo of adamette
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Poured from tap at Ballantines in Willoughby during "craft beer night" 1 27 10 into a 10 oz. snifter at a cost of $3.

A Translucent straw yellow body with visible bubbles rising up under a nice, creamy head. 3.5

S Perfumy barley malt and hops which are very fragrant in a welcomed way. I really like the pungeant pilsner smell. It is a nice contrast from those weak pilseners. 4.5

T Love the strong pilsener taste that I have craved from Pilseners in the past. I understand that it is an "Imperial Pilsner" but I always wanted more from the basic pilsners. Great barley taste, with plenty of alcohol in the background to bring the strength to this beer. There is that perfumy, almost sweet taste as well that is hard for me to define. I like the taste of this beer. 4.0

M Nice and big, as I hoped that it would be with hops and barley malt increasing the size of this beer. The barley bigness and alcohol increase the feel. 4.5

D Good for the level of ABV and the style. 4.0

Notes: Very pleased with this Rogue beer that I was able to enjoy on tap at Ballantines, a nice BA place.

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Photo of Lunch
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Fricso Grille in Columbia, MD (12/01/09) into a goblet at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a thick glowing golden yellow with a 1 finger creamy white head that sticks around for a while leaving some nice lacing (probably more if it were served in a pilsner glass).

S: A nice fragrance of grain and bready malt, along with a hint of citrus and bitter hops.

T: Rather intense and filled with a nice rich grain supported by a healthy backbone of bready malt. A clean hop bitterness lingers in the mouth combined with a hint of alcohol blanketed in citrus (orange and pineapple?).

M: Very creamy and fuller-bodied with moderate carbonation and a touch of oiliness.

D: The 8.8% abv. is certainly present, but never seems to truly hinder the drinkabilty, but this is by no means a sessionable beverage along with most Imperial Pilsners.

Overall this beer was quite refreshing and seemed to a relative Imperial Pilsner novice to represent the style quite well. Recommended.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This tasting took place while I was perched like a happy gargoyle on a barstool at the venerable Max's Taphouse in Baltimore.

It is amber colored with a shimmering head. Within, one sees a few carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom. The glass remains consistently coated with a thin lacing. It looks like your average Imperial Pilsner. The nose gets a strong whiff of vanilla and almond that reminds me a little of bourbon. (Bourbon Beer! What a wild concept this could be!) The palate gets a rather malty greeting with a strange aftertaste that comes off as grassy. The biscuity mouthfeel overwhelms.

As are most beers of this type, the Rogue Morimoto is not a sessional quaff, but a big bodied brew that demands respect, patience and, as always, the proper glassware. Rogue does have its detractors; however, I am not one.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass, revealing thick head and a champagne-bubbling light golden body. Head has excellent staying power (is it the glass?) and leaves beautiful lacing. I can't imagine it looking any better. Smells like white grape juice with a little stewed tomato. Fairly sweet and estery, with little yeast funk as you get down past the head that reminds me of agar plates in a bacteria lab.

Tastes a little yeasty and a little malty. Besides yeasty, there is a clean bitter hop presence with kumquat character, higher citrus flavors and more white grape juice. It's fairly sweet, decently smooth though also dry with a pointed but gentle carbonation that adds body to the near medium mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty up front. Drinkability is ok, but to me lessens as it warms and the flavors become more harsh. There's also a delicious lychee aftertaste that comes if you sip and savor.

Imperial for sure. Pilsner, ok. Worth the experience: you bet.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. The beer is a pale, orange, wheat color with a big sticky white head on top. Lots of suds and thick lacing.

The aroma is grainy with some citrus notes. Zesty. The lightly roasted malt comes through with an almost beef jerky like smell to it.

Light, smooth malts make up the majority of the flavor. Bittersweet orange peel gently glides over the surface the strong malt base. Grainy, earthy, almost meaty at times. Some hop bittering as well. Mostly the sticky, pine like hops. Really liking that addition to the beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth, sweet and chewy. Good body on this pilsner. Some warming alcohol at times. I don't drink too many pilsners, but I find this one quite drinkable and will definitely enjoy finishing the bottle.

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Morimoto Imperial Pilsner from Rogue Ales
4.05 out of 5 based on 563 ratings.
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