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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 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
Photo of RedDiamond


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Soba is a Japanese buckwheat noodle. I couldn’t find the word in Mr. Webster’s Dictionary (thank goodness for Google) but the waiter who brought me my pint of Phred’s told me it was a buckwheat ale. Assuming that the beer is brewed with buckwheat malt and not actual noodles, I would classify this as a dark wheat ale. It has a soft sandy head and a faint molasses aroma. It is ink black with ruby highlights.

Phred’s Black Soba has a delightfully eccentric taste. It is sweet and strangely herbal as though spiced with licorice root with an undercurrent of dried fruits. The head fades quickly and the lace is infrequent. But it earns an enthusiastic recommendation to any adventuresome beer hunter.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2005 08:17:51 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of clvand0


3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Rich O's Public house. Pours a dark brown color with a small head that dies off quickly and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma had hints of roasted malts, but it was very subdued. The flavor was a bit weak too. Reminded me a lot of the standard Buckwheat ale that Rogue makes, but with a bit more roastiness. A nice beer overall, but seemed a bit thin and weak in the flavor. Great flavor, but it could use more if it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2004 18:58:50 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Rich-O's last night. The beer came off the tap a nice dark brown, with just some ruby hues at the edges to let me know its not black. One finger of tan head sat atop the beer throughout the drink. The nose was a little hard to dissect, being a touch weak, but I got a nice roasted character, with a slight coffee as well. The flavor was also only slightly roasty, wtih a really nice caramel sweet base and a touch of hops on the finish. The feel was a touch thin for my liking, but very smooth and easy to consume. This was another nice offerng from Rogue. A good way to start the night.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2004 02:50:32 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch-black body covered over by a fine superfluff head. Laces heavily and thickly.

Nose is weak, but grows pungent as it warms.

Sweet apple juice taste and a clean finish. Some mild roasted malts and an almost vegetal aspect to the cleanness of the finish.

Superlow carbonation. Very, very smooth.

Had this on-tap at the Public House in San Fran.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2004 16:04:36 | More by donnebaby
Photo of GreenWBush


3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black and frothy, this beer has that Pacman-gobbled spicy wort nose indecipherable from anything but the Rogue hop-monsters.

The malt consistency here is like chewing on black tea leaves. The infusion of a slight bit of unrounded bitterness makes the package less than particularly desirable.

With warmth some doughiness comes out, but still that piercing black medicinal taste. Interestingly off.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2004 17:16:47 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of rajendra82


3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Summits Wayside Tavern, in Cumming, the beer came in a standard pint glass, and looked almost completely black at first glance. Closer inspection by holding against the light revealed that the brew was actually very dark brown with reddish highlights and was relatively clear. The head was very thin and small, and left some sparse lacing.

The aroma was very mild, with typical floral and piney hops that are the signature of Rogue, and a faint whiff of chocolate.

The initial taste, when the beer was rather cold, was bready, crisp, and bone dry, with a clean hop bitterness. As the beer warmed notes of coffee, caramel, and chocolate crept in, and the beer became much sweeter.

This felt a lot heftier than the low ABV first suggested. The mouthfeel was on the heavier side of medium, with a smooth texture to it.

A nice quaffable anniversary beer from Rogue will not be around again. I am looking forward to the next one though.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2004 01:45:57 | More by rajendra82
Photo of Reidrover


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one served at Rogues pub on the Newport,Oregon Bayfront.
The beer is rather dark brown ,approaching black, with a large frothy tan head.
Nose is a little weak, but can pick up some grian, and even wheat ..I am not sure what buck wheat smells like.What IU do pick up is nice and fresh.

The taste is quite odd and memorable, quite sweet to begin with and its met in mid-tongue by a nice herbal/spice taste then a long semi-bitter finish.
Its quite nice on the palte..refreshing.
A good session beer indeed..and I would have drank these all night, but I just had to have a few more pints of the "smoke ale".

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2004 00:24:51 | More by Reidrover
Photo of freed


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I nearly passed on this one until I saw the labeling on our waiter's shirt. The evil looking crow was too much to pass up, plus I was about to have some chocolate cake.

The pint was filled with a nearly black liquid that had a ruby brown bottom. There was just a skimming of foam and not much carbonation activity.

The armoa was quite docile, but the beer was served a bit too cold. The most apparent aroma was of smokiness and a hint of hops.

The taste was a nice balance between sweet and sour. Like many dark beers, the rich malts leave a nice coffee-like bitterness. There was plenty of sweet malt to counteract the tartness though.

It also had that almost complely unique Rogue hoppiness, which also rounded out the flavor. Overall, its pretty good, especially with desert.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2004 02:14:26 | More by freed
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
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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 341 ratings.