muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - FEB 21, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled (gorgeous). Cloudy medium orange, samllish dying head. Lovely strong, fruity nose -- strikes me as closer to an IPA. On the tongue, it's heavily malty, sweet all the way through, with a nice grapefruity bitter hop tang at the finish that lasts and lasts. Absolutely wonderful body. One of Rogue's best, eminently drinkable, alcohol well-hidden and the hops better integrated than in many of their celebrated flavors.
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 18, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Well I have to agree with the last guy that this beer is misleading in the sense that it doesn't fit the mold of what he expected as a pilsner. However, it is a far better crafted beer than 2.9 in my humble opinion. I found it to be full in every way - full of rich orangey colour, full of hoppy citrus piney aroma, full of grapefruit and hops and smooth flavour and full of lingering bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Thanks to radiomgb for bringing this one over - and what a bottle!
PhillyBeer2112 (2709) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2004
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2004 I worry about beers like this. It could be considered as just part of the trend among American brewers of beefing up every style imaginable. Pale ales became IPAs. IPAs became IIPAs. Stouts became imperial stouts, and so on. So now pilsner has become imperial pilsner at 8.8% ABV. The twist however, is that American microbrewers have usually started by making the smaller version before taking it to the next level. It was as if they took IPA to its limits and needed to go to the IIPA to get something new from the basic style of hoppy ale. So that leads to my problem: is this just another example of beefing up a style to get something more out of a style that Rogue has already tackled and pushed to its limit? I don't think so. It seems as if they've skipped the basic pilsner and went straight to the IP - and that's what bothers me. The implication being that pilsner in and of itself is a style not worthy of tackling, and they are starting on the premise that for it to be worthy of their brewing, they have to ratchet it up a few notches. What's wrong with brewing a true session pilsner? So few American breweries do so, and even fewer brew them in adherence to Bohemian traditions, and again even fewer do that successfully enough to produce a pilsner worthy of international admiration. I'm waiting. And just to note, nothing regarding style or expense has biased this rating. It is as the beer is.
In the meantime, this beer has a nice spicy hoppy aroma, with a mild graininess skirting the nose. The malt is full and sweet in the palate, near cloying and grainy. I'd hesitate to pronounce any 3P fruitiness (peach, pear, persimmon) but I'd equally hesitate to declare this as clean. Spicy, almost grassy hop flavors are present in moderation. The finish has a fair bitterness but could stand a bit more IBU to balance the strong malts. Honestly it drinks like the best malt liquor I've ever had rather than any pilsner I've tasted, especially given its strong sweet, nearly grainy malt component and obvious alcoholic kick. The further I get into this big bottle, the more malt liquorish it gets, especially in the sense that the sweetish malts become near overbearing and the alcohol really begins to show up. Appearance is an orange-tinted gold, with a full and thick, near-creamy head that lasts long enough. Lacing is moderate and widely spaced. At final pour, I discovered this is bottle conditioned, yielding a more cloudy yellowish white-gold color. The yeast in the glass smoothed out the flavor quite remarkably. A bottle-conditioned malt liquor! And at $12 for the bottle - the Sam Adams Chocolate Bock is by far the better bargain!
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 16, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy orange/pineapple in colour. Aroma was piny, lots of hops and citrus, also pick up on some sourness. Flavour had some grapefruit, tons of hops and a sugary sweetness. Finish is a long powerful bitterness. Thanks jeffc666.
DCopperfields (146) - New York, USA - FEB 9, 2004
3.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A cloudy, orangish gold liquid. Even though I poured vigorously from this tall, ceramic white bottle, very little head was produced.
Nose is hops, right away, with note of lingering lemon and a solvent like aroma.
Whoa! I thought this was going to be way bitter and alcohol warming, but it is very balanced. Bitterness is there, but malt backbone is there all the way. A little tart on the finish. This is really good, and although 8.8 ABV, you couldn't tell. I wanted another right away.
My first Imperial Pils. Really good. John Maier does it again.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - FEB 7, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a clear golden yellow with a thin white head. Mild dry grainy aroma with some European hoppiness. Starts syrupy sweet and bitter with a piney hop resin flavor and a crisp, clean, dry sweet pilsener/lager type finish. Gets much better and smoother as it warms. Hides its alcohol well and combines an almost imperial IPA-like character to a well balanced lager. A nice and unique brew.
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - FEB 7, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I really expected to be more impressed with this pilsener than I was. Pours a hazy golden color with a big fizzy head. Nicely balanced with a bold malt character and some light hoppy sweetness, but something was missing. Very one dimensional, with a big alchohol bite throughout.
mribm (458) - Ocala, Florida, USA - FEB 6, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
26 oz. bottle. Poured a cloudy yellow color with a nice sized head with large bubbles. This had a very hoppy taste with a lot of malt flavor in the background. The finish was very hoppy, not unlike an IPA. I saw the post by Buck_Dich which says he paid only $5. My bottle cost $20 + 8% sales tax. Either I was overcharged or Buck_Dich got a GREAT deal! It was a good beer, but I won't buy it again for $20 a bottle.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 1, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours gold, slightly cloudy. Foamy head, some lacing. Hmm, hops, both floral and citrus in the nose. Malts coming up strong, yet blending in rather well. Just a tad of alcohol. Heavy malts in the flavors, again accompanied by the hops. Though more bitter in this encounter. Big finish of alcohol on this one. The entirity of the beer is shadowed with a "bready" flavor if you will. Pilsener characteristics come and go throughout Definately makes for an interesting beer though. I like it. Two thumbs up!
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - JAN 27, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy (chewy) straw gold color, whispy even, almost like a wheat. The head is thick and creamy with nice retentiveness and lacing. The aroma hits very strong with a bite of floral and spicy citrus hops and a delicious pils-malt backbone that finishes with a lick of alcohol for good measure, almost like an IPA here. The flavor is intense but so good, lots of hops here to balance the alcohol that wavers in and out. The finish is strong in the alcohol department but the flavors are still the forestage here. Picked this up for $5 at a local store, so I can't complain about this wonderful little/big beer. The more you drink the more adapted you get to the hoppy flavor but the alcohol still hits strong. One of these bottles packs a good punch, I'm definately feeling it after this one.