erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - FEB 22, 2004
Pours a deep golden with a quickly dissipating head. Really big bubbles with a pungent if not stale noble hop aroma. Sweet on the tip of the tongue with a bitterness at the back of the throat. Warms as it reaches the stomach. A ligering sweetness prevails making the beer taste less like a pils and more like a helles bock. Very one-dimensional as well. Should have added some light munich and had a lower mash temperature to achieve better attenuation with less residual sweetness. Not bad but I would have expected more from Rogue and from a beer that costs $11 a bottle. JEEZ MAN! Suttree (6392) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 22, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2004 Er, its in my notes, so I must have tried it. I apparently liked it quite a bit, too. Shame I can't remember. Sampled (very late in the evening) at the Great Atlanta Pub Crawl, 2004. Re-Rate, May 2004. Tried again, this time sober. Old Gold, decent head. Full, oily palate lets you know right off the bat that this is no ordinary pilsner. Spicy aroma, herbal and floral flavors. Big hop flavors in the finish. Very intriguing brew. biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 22, 2004
On tap at Summits Wayside tavern in Cumming, Ga. This one was a big hit at the Pub Crawl. Poured up a hazy yellow color with a nice white head. Flavor had a good malty presence but the hopos put me in mind of IPA. Very tingly mouthfeel. Excellent rogue muzzlehatch (4959) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 21, 2004
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
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 (2850) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2004
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
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
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
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
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.