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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale - Rogue Ales

Morimoto Black Obi Soba AleMorimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

341 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 341
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.48%

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
12 Ingredients:
Malts: Roasted Soba, Harrington, Metcalf, Munich, C-15, C-60 and Carafa Special No. 2
Hops: Horizon, Sterling and Cascade. Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

30 IBU
75 AA
36º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 341 | Reviews: 227 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DaveAnderson


3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up without knowing a single thing about it. I didn't even know it was made by Rogue -- I just figured it was a Japanese beer. But, hey: impulse buy.

I feel like I should have saved this for sharing. I say that only because I have no clue what it is, and I figure it might be challenging.

As soon as I open it, there is an explosion of foam, up to a point. It's not like a gusher, where it goes everywhere, but it went from normal-looking bottle to bottle-with-foam-jutting-out in an instant. But it just froze there. There is about an inch of foam extending straight up out of the neck of the bottle, and standing straight up like well-beaten egg whites. It doesn't even collapse.

I pour carefully into a glass, but end up with about 75% foam, and some dark beer at the bottom.

It smells good, clean and roasty. Taste is all of that. It's as foamy as any beer I have had. I have no idea what style this is. It's lighter than a stout, not hoppy enough to be a CDA...it's just tasty, and way lighter than it looks.

Pretty nice beer. I have been overlooking Rogue entirely too much.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 05:15:05 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black. Tan head.
Smell: Roasted malt. Coffee.
Taste: About the same as the smell, plus nuttiness.
Mouthfeel: Watery like Guinness.

I really liked the smell. I couldn't stop sniffing it. To be honest, this tastes very much like Guinness without the hydrogen. It's a thirst quencher, with maybe a bit more to it. I liked it a lot. I would get it again if I got it for the same, overstocked price.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 03:25:24 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this one up the other day. No idea how old it is.

Well, it's a black ale alright. Black pour, dark brown when held up to the light. Thick, creamy white head. Darn it, that looks good. Soft foam, thick lacing. Guinness like.

Aroma is roasted malt. Again, this is akin to Guinness. A bit brighter with some citrus hops and green pine.

Flavor is Guinness like too. Good gah, what the....
The hops are present, but seem a bit faded. Probably an old bottle, but how can I know? Wouldn't review it if I knew it was old...oh well. Roasted malt, but still is fairly light. Hope flavors are just about gone in the end and the beer seems watery in the finish While this is a nice beer and good flavor, it misses the style.

Good pairing with grilled flesh.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 23:38:14 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber served in a snifter.

A: Pours dark mahogany with a small, light tan head. Leaves a small spots of lacing. More or less clear.

S: Sweet aroma featuring mixed grains with fruity overtones, toffee and a hint of red wine barrel. Improved with warming.

T: A more complex and unusual flavor than expected even given the rather unusual and rather complex aroma. Diverse tasted malt aspects, presumably including buckwheat. [Actually, there is a somewhat clear note of buckwheat in the finish,] Hints of toffee, dark fruits and hops. Low bitterness,

M: very good body with medium carbonation. Fairly clean and semi-dry finish.

O: quite distinct, very interesting and well-crafted, with a good sweet/bitter balance, However, neither the aroma nor the flavor profiles were entirely to my liking. As intended, I guess, excellent with Asian cuisine. From memory, more interesting but not quite as enjoyable as Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale. Not a fruit/vegetable beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 23:41:36 | More by chinchill
Photo of Lawl3ss


3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 22 oz. bomber into a 12 oz. snifter. Not really sure if the use of buckwheat really makes this a fruit/vegetable beer (as per category), but what the heck.

Look- Ruby brown with a two fingers of dense off-white head. Excellent retention, dense lacing.

Smell- Assertively malty; comes across as dark LME with a hint of developed nuttiness and molasses. For some reason, it's making me think of Founder's Dirty Bastard.

Taste- Roastier than expected, significant char leaning well over into stout territory. Buckwheat is distinct and brings to mind gritty (but oh so healthy) pancakes. As it warms, there are lighter notes including vanilla, shortbread, light treacle, and a hint of banana. This clashes a bit with the aroma, which a few degrees warmer becomes overly buckwheat (ahem, soba)-y.

Mouthfeel- Light- Medium body, crisp, clean feel. Exceptionally clean finish. Easy drinking, even for 4.5-5%. I could have finished the bomber myself, no problem.

Overall- Well, I haven't had the other Rogue Soba ales, but this is making me think I should have. Pricey, but worth trying, particularly if one is interested by beers that are whole or in part brewed with gluten-free grains.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 21:38:32 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought rogue was through making these, so I was super excited to see this on the shelf. the pour is jet black, inky and thicker, with a hard to control rising off white head that has a mind of its own. it smells like burnt toast and a really weird malt profile. had to google it to learn soba is Japanese buckwheat, which definitely provides some interesting smells and tastes here. its sort of like rye in terms of smell, bold and fully rich, but the flavor is much more mild, without the spice and with a starchy sort of feel. with the other black roasty malts and bittering hops, I think it works great in this beer. there is also a new yeast going on that's foreign to my palate, or maybe its just the buckwheat again, hard to tell, but its pasty in texture and bitterly bland in a good way of that's possible. a complex brew with an exceptional mouthfeel. huge body and plenty of carbonation, it really shocks the palate as something different and well done. I like this better than the imperial pils, and fully support anything involving chef morimoto, his work in the kitchen is unrivaled.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 18:13:20 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of SmashPants


3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: tall brown 650mL bottle, transluscent craft beer label. Nice!

Appearance: mid dark brown with plenty of red highlights. A decent beige head, approximately 2-cemtimetres, thick and somewhat creamy-looking.

Aroma: a fairly demure aroma but pleasant enough, with molasses, pitted fruits and something vegetal or herbal.

Taste: some smokiness comes across, with plenty of wood, roasted malts and something I still can't put my finger on that makes the whole process a little less desirable.

Aftertaste: I think I picked up the culprit in the aftertaste - it's an astringent alcohol and currant fug that sits across the entire profile. Not awful but not all that pleasant either.

Mouth feel: medium in body with a moderate carbonation - pretty standard feel.

Overall: an interestingly different but ultimately disappointing beer, especially considering it came at a cost of AU$15 a bottle (2013). I simply can't justify the cost for a beer that is alright.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 04:21:25 | More by SmashPants
Photo of NilocRellim


3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer poured out from the bottle a dense, reddish brown colour. Slightly cloudy with a ruby tint when held to the light. Ale had a clean, sweet molasses aroma to it. Tasted roasty and malty, yet had a light body and a clean finish to it.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 20:08:03 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Hoyt for sharing this bomber with me.

A - brown with ruby edges; soft, white head that has good retention

S - nutty, caramel; similar to a brown ale

T - nutty, caramel, faint roastiness, earthy, mildly bitter

M - crisp, overcarbonated, medium bodied

This beer was a bit off for me. It had a nice flavor, similar to a brown ale, but it wasn't full flavored enough for me. I wish it had been a bit more assertive. It may be worth a try, but I won't be trying it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 01:41:04 | More by tdm168
Photo of Serge

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale version. Poured a dark brown with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of light roast, nuts, and caramel. Tastes of nuts, some dark fruits, and caramel. Nutty. Malty sweet with a very light bitter finish. Tastes and aromas were both on the subtle side. Body on the thinner side. Some lacing left on the glass.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 09:38:10 | More by Serge
Photo of dvmin98

North Carolina

1.93/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into standard pint glass (all we had at the beach).

The smell was of malts and pepper?

This beer seemed to literally have no body to it. It was like watered down soda. The taste was not good at all. I think I had my hopes up since this was a Rogue product.

To be honest, I poured it out half-way through. Hopefully, we had an old bottle or something, because it was just not enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 13:44:11 | More by dvmin98
Photo of RickS95


2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It says fruit/vegetable beer, but I've never seen that type look like this. It looks like a porter or stout. It's extremely dark, almost black, with a thin white head that recedes relatively quickly leaving a creamy top.

Again, I'm not sure this is actually a fruit/vegetable beer. There's nothing resembling any fruit or veggie I know, though it's very malty and the nose fills with scents of caramel and toffee.

It's a strange taste, not something I'm familiar with. I can't even describe what it tastes like. The closest thing it watered down cola.

Has a loose, watery, creamy feel. It's medium-bodied. Has no sweet or even bitter feel, and no alcohol.

This tastes like no beer I've had, and if I was blindfolded, I'd be hardpressed to call it a beer. Doesn't really taste like me, provides no hint of alcohol. It's not bad, it's just not close to good. More or less a waste of $8.99.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:48:13 | More by RickS95
Photo of mrfrancis


3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a jet black with ruddy amber highlights and a lingering tan head.

S: Aromas of molasses, cream, black pepper, and toffee are very present on the nose. There is not nearly as much of a buckwheat aroma as I was expecting.

T: A creamy, sweet entry gives way to notes of toffee, molasses, cream, vanilla, milk chocolate, roasted grain, roasted nuts, and coffee. The finish is grainy and mildly pungent with cream, coffee, and chocolate notes accompanied by a mild buckwheat flavor.

M: Medium bodied with firm carbonation. The beer gets a bit stickier toward the finish.

O: This is a pretty solid little ale, but one complaint that I have is that it really lacks any sort of recognizable buckwheat flavor until the finish. Even then, this flavor only comes across very briefly. To me, it makes no sense to make a buckwheat beer that neither smells nor tastes all that much like buckwheat. Still, this one doesn't taste bad and is solidly constructed, so I can't fault it too much.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 12:52:19 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of JackieTH


3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rob for sharing.

Poured a thin mahogany brown with a tannin colored head.

Smell was toasty and bittersweet chocolate.

Taste is also roasty, semi sweet chocolate, molasses and slightly sweet.

mouthfeel is lighter side of medium with firm carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 23:52:09 | More by JackieTH
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, caramelized malts, some spices and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong caramel & dark fruit sweetness, followed by some spicy and herbal flavors. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s ok for something different but there are other similar beer I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 01:19:03 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of ncketchum


3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this sitting around for awhile, figured it's time to give it a try....

A = pours a dark brown, large amount of cream head with good retention and lacing.

S = smells malty, sour, smoky, can't quite place it.

T = bitter, coffee, smoky, then more bitterness that lingers

M = thin compared to what I expected given the pour. Moderate carbonation, hints of alcohol in the end

D = This was ok. It is listed as a fruit/vegetable beer, but I can't place anything outside of a black ale, although I don't run across soba very often. I don't think I would seek this one out again specifically, but I wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to me.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 02:59:35 | More by ncketchum
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, first tried this a couple years back at a local Rogue tasting event, but this is the first time since
A - clear deep brown, tall fluffy tan head retained well
S - mix of nutty and fruity aromas, light all spice and herbs
T - strong nutty and saltiness, dark molasses, hops of citrus and spice, and a mild blood like flavour on the late finish, definitely interesting
M - full smooth start, thins out gradually and finishes with a medium bitter
O - not sure what soba is, but this beer definitely has a unique flavour profile, complex yet easy to drink

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 01:50:04 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of hoffman


2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first review in a very long time.

I've been aging several beers for the last 5 years or so. This one is part of that lot. I realize it isn't a high ABV selection, but I'm experimenting with everything.

Obviously this one is past it's prime. But it still resembles, very closely, the Black Obi Soba that I remember when it was brand new. Good pour, thin and opaque black. Weak nose, even in a snifter, tobacco, chocolate. Tastes toasted chocolate/coffee, raisins and alchohol in the finish. The time has taken the edge off the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is watery and weak.

Overall I think this beer was below average fresh, the age obviously doesn't help it, especially after this amount of time.

For what it's worth.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 01:46:27 | More by hoffman
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy mahogany colour, finger of brown head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Chocolate, leafy green, peppery spice and a hint of vanilla root beer.

T - Chocolate cocoa malts with an odd bitterness that comes through alongside nutty almonds and caramel.

M - A tad overly carbonated for my liking. Could certainly tone down the carbonation on this one, which is odd.

O - A tasty dark ale that's easily drinkable and offers some unique flavours. That being said, it's not something that would make an lasting impression.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 17:40:12 | More by andrenaline
Photo of IllNate

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A hazy brown with ruby red highlights and a ton of off-white head.

S- A bit fruity with caramel notes.

T- Smooth, and very well balanced. Nutty flavors with some dark malt tones, but nothing overpowering. Nice bitterness there without a lot of hop flavor, just a general hop background. Really good.

M- A great drinker, nice and smooth with a perfect bitterness.

O- Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 03:20:55 | More by IllNate
Photo of Beer4Baltimore


3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a watery black but has a big foamy head with lots of lacing left behind.
S - slight sweet with a bit of buckwheat.
T - mild malty sweetness, not syrupy, with a very mild bitter in the back. A bit of dark coffee in the aftertaste.
M - well carbonated with a body akin to a porter.
D - easy drinking.
Not over the top in any aspects, just a decent easy drinking beer. Would probably be better sold in a cheaper six pack option.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 23:57:09 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of enzocc


3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is quite something. The appearance is a like a stout. very dark, nice creamy head, high carbonation. The smell and the taste are almost the same. Very dark roasted coffee, smoky. the smell takes me to a barbeque. It's a watery, thin beer.
Not my type of beer. good in his way! different but good!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 00:39:24 | More by enzocc
Photo of smcolw


3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent head, but I like the abundant ring lace. The color is deep ruby brown where light comes through the center of the glass.

Dark coffee malt aroma. Slight cream, little else.

There's a stout element to the flavor of dark, unsweetened coffee. The body is very thin with a high carbonation. The aftertaste is all burnt malt flavors, no notable hop.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 01:14:18 | More by smcolw
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to Hop Cat tulip glass.

A - Light to medium orange/yellow colour with a half finger of bubbly white head that very quickly disappeared.

S - Bready malts, orange, some sweetness.

T - Bready malts are the dominant flavour with some good overall sweetness. Some light citrus notes are present as well in the background. A very slight bitterness is evident as well. This is a strange beer. Decent flavour for a light beer, but the sweetness became too much for me and I didn't finish the bottle. Not very well balanced at all.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - Decent for 3.5% ABV but very plain.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 13:27:58 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque in its darkness was the only saving grace to this one.

The aroma was pleasant, albeit a little lighter then I was expecting. Nice touches of molasses and maple syrup weighed in heavily, though the spices seemed to be all but covered up under a bit too hot alcohol profile. The flavor though started to redeem itself quite nicely. Rich notes of maple syrup and molasses washed over the tongue immediatly, falling into a spiced yam like flavor that was layered on top of a nice bready malt profile.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 00:33:35 | More by mikesgroove
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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 341 ratings.