Morimoto Imperial PilsnerNovember 1, 2003 Newport, OR
In a swing-top, 26 oz. silk-screened ceramic bottle, this imperial pilsner—the beginning of a new style—is brewed with French two-row pilsner malt, Sterling hops (a new hop, a Mt. Hood-Saaz cross), and fermented with Czech pils yeast.
Alcohol by weight: 7
Gravity: 18 Plato
A turbid honey color contrasts with a pure white head. The nose is subtle but the taste is fresh and inviting on the palate where fresh malt makes the biggest impact. Up front, it is fruity, almost sweet, but the heavenly herb provides a balance for the surprisingly big flavor. We sampled it with chilled borscht, penne pasta with peppers, eggplant, and parmigiano reggiano, followed by locally grown yellow watermelon.
- Charles Finkel
Rogue brewers are always pushing the limits, while succeeding only in extending them. It swirls like a big beer. Malty aroma with a hop accent. Some fruity ale character. Full bodied. Pale in color. Full of hop flavor but well balanced with malt sweetness. Bitterness is a secondary virtue. My priority is not always virtue. Oh, yes, the aftertaste is alcoholic and warming. I would expect no less from a rogue. A humdinger.
- Charlie Papazian
This is quite a mouthful even before you drink it. Don’t know what the Czechs would make of an Imperial Japanese Pilsner, but this is one of the most stunning and intriguing beers I’ve tasted for some time. It’s an unfiltered, hazy gold lager with an aroma of spicy hops and tart fruit that almost overwhelms the senses. It’s wonderfully quenching, with slightly toasted malt joining the hops and fruit in the mouth, while the finish starts with a malt flourish but gives way to intense hop bitterness. Stupendous.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.