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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Morimoto Black Obi Soba AleMorimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

366 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 10
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-24-2006

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black in color with a big, fluffy tan head.

S: A bit smokey, definitely a lot of roasted malts in this one. Also coffee and nutty smells coming from this beer.

T: Lots of roasted/toasted flavors, nuts and coffee, woody. A bit of sweetness, but a lingering astringency.

M: Medium in body, but a bit of lingering bitterness.

D: Good variety of flavors to make this somewhat complex and not overpowering in any sense.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent mahogany with a fairly thick, fluffy, light dirty tan head that hangs around for a bit. Aroma is strong and malty with smoky and nutty hints. Flavor is malty with hints of hops, roast nuts and caramel and even a bit of oak. Texture is lively and tingly, sometimes just a wee bit wan but still good. It leaves a mysterious aftertaste a little like smoked wood.

Photo of TLove
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz beer into a Chimay goblet.

Interesting brew... Has an odd, almost bourbon-like taste to it and a buckwheat-like grainy texture.

A black color and porter-like consistency and a tan head with a slight carbonation. Strong bourbon smell, with some birch, nut, and brown bread. The soba is a strong, sour, almost putrid taste, but the wheat rounds it out a bit and has a roasted molasses taste. A little citrus to finish it off.

A caramel malt flavor and graininess in the mouth, with a syrupy finish. Certainly a nice finish, but not quite as well balanced as most stouts or porters (has the unequal finish similar to many smoked beers).

Photo of hustlesworth
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- looks black like a porter, but is a clear, very deep burgundy when held up to the light. dense stiff tan head holds itself firmly dropping off plenty of lace as it goes, eventually settling with a big rising dome in the middle where i poured.

S- roasted and toasted grains, wood, bark, cigar, milk chocolate, weak coffee, very nutty, almost like hazelnut, well water, holiday bread, almond, cassia, caramel.

T- roasted and nutty, very grainy, little or no fruity flavor that can sometimes come out in these dark ales. very grainy and substantial taste, nutritious, cocoa and coffee, and i nice hop bitterness to blend with the roasted bitterness. some grapefruit cascade flavor is sensed on the back of the tongue but is for the most part overtaken by the malt flavors. very nice balance. finishes as any mild stout or porter would, with lingering coffee and burnt caramel and grain flavors.

MF- lighter than it would appear, this one hovers around medium bodied. medium carbonation as well. somewhat crisp when cold, but becoming a bit syrupy as it warms.

D- as interesting as the lighter version with perhaps a bit more depth. nice and hoppy, but i wouldn't have guessed there were any odd ingredients in here if i didn't know better. i can taste the buckwheat cuz i KNOW it's in there, but those flavors are similar to, and can be interpreted as, flavors that we get from different varieties of barley malt. especially when the whole shebang is roasted.

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

Let me start by saying that I just reviewed the regular Soba Ale a few days ago. I had always enjoyed the regular, but was less impressed with this Black Obi.

A- Very dark, almost black in color with a thick brown rocky head that leaves a fair amount of lacing

S- A similar peculiar smell to that of the regular Soba... sweet and nutty

T- Similar, yet less impressive than the regular in my opinion. Similar notes of flavor in a darker stout like beer

M- Smooth. Very little carbonation, bite, or lingering flavor

D- Smooth and relatively easy to drink. Not as heavy as the color would lead you to believe


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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep reddish brown, but not quite opaque. Garnet highlights on the edges. A finger of light tan head rises and falls to a persistent cap. Minimal lacing.

S - Unique and interesting aroma. Buttery and nutty smells linger with a bit of toasted malt and caramel. A spice character runs underneath with hints of chive, allspice, and even a bit of ginger. Chocolate is also detectable along with indistinct herbal aromas. Not sure what the buckwheat is specifically contributing here, but it's all working together nicely.

T - Not quite as exciting as the nose but still unique. Roasty and buttery notes hit first with a bready, almost nutty sweetness. Bittersweet chocolate bubbles in and out as well. As the malt pulls back, intensely herbal hops take the stage. Suggestions of everything from tea, to rosemary, to oregano come to mind with cut grass and chive flavor as well. The herbs give way to a little bit of spice character, particularly something in the range of mild ginger or anise while an earthy/herbal bitterness grows. Toasted malt and vague herbal notes linger into the aftertaste with a moderate bitterness.

M - Originally I'd given the mouthfeel a 3.5, but the carbonation really hasn't held up well. Medium bodied, smooth, with a moderate carbonation at first. However, as the beer has breathed and warmed, the carbonation has fell to a minimal level leaving the brew a little flat tasting.

D - My first experience with a beer brewed with buckwheat, and overall a pleasurable quaff. Really unique stuff going on here which must be the buckwheat as this brew has (thankfully) escaped the "sameness" plaguing much of Rogue's line up. Interesting and notable hop bill as well spanning a wide range of flavors.

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

Beer is a very very dark copper red. It looks black until you hold it up to the light. It had about a half inch of head with faded into nothing.

Smell is very malty and sweet with a nice nutty aroma from the buckwheat.

Taste is really good. I like the other two Morimoto beers and this is no exception. Style wise it is similar to a brown ale but with a more refined flavor. It comes on malty and finishes with the buckwheat nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel is good, very nutty and lightly carbonated.

A drinkable beer, this is another good offer from Rogue.

Photo of brendan13
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass a dark brown with a 2cm beige head that falls fairly quickly leaving a significant lace.
S - Subtle roastiness, coffee and a nutty earthiness. Some very vauge floral hop character.
T - Much like the smell but the soba flavour comes through a bit more.
M - Light to medium bodied, fairly high carbonation.
D - Quite a flavourful beer & quite sessionable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, walnut brown body with a smallish, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Earthy, roasty, and a bit sweet-smelling. There are aromatic notes of mild coffee, nuts, molasses, and caramel with an undercurrent of lightly spiced grapefruit segments.

Taste: Lightly roasty malts with some slight coffee tones and hint of fire-charred nuts. Some sweeter tastes of earthy molasses, dark caramel, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of chocolate follow. Spicy, citrusy blend of hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Subtle hint of licorice emerges late. Finishes dry, roast, and with an errant, lasting taste of burnt bread crusts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation, though there's a slight effervescent crackle to it.

Drinkability: Worth a try, though perhaps a more worthy of a try than their other soba-based brew. Quite quaffable all around though.

Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with a large light tan head that possesses amazing retention and solid lacing around the glass as well.

S- The aroma is very nice. It is very malty and nutty with some chocolate and just a hint of caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma is deliciously malty with some roast and a nice nutty finish with a touch of hops. This is not an overly complex beer, but it is pretty damn tasty and very drinkable.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed this Moromoto Black Obi Soba Ale. It's something different than the norm and was very tasty. Recommended!

Photo of treehugger02010
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just had this at Kelly's Taproom in Bryn Mawr, PA. I poured it into a nonic glass.
Appearance: The body is pitch black. The head is a thick tan color, two fingers tall, no lacing but great retention.
Smell: The aromas are chocolate, toffee and expresso.
Taste: The tastes are sweet dates, grapes, figs and toffee.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very smooth and thick.
Drinkability: This is a great beer. It is a shame it has been retired.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Douglas14
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a flat black color with a small white head that dissapears rather quickly. The smell is of floral fruits and lightly roasted malts. I almost get a oxidized off-flavor too. There might be some liquorice in the nose too. The flavor is bitter and doesn't have enough sweetness to balance it out. I get that same oxidized flavor in the taste also. I'm guessing it's the roasted soba...

Anyway, definitely glad I was able to try since I am a huge Rogue fan as well as a fan of Morimoto.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 650 ml brown bottle, abv listed at 5.0%. Pours out a dense, nearly opaque brown, deep mahogany highlights appear when held to light. Tall fluffy light tawny head that slowly recedes into a chunky cap, with intense lacing. The frothy cap never fully subsides, in fact it lasts down to the bottom of the glass in ample abundance.

Definitely an earthy vegetable note on the nose, with hints of roasted malt.

Has a taste akin to many gluten-free beers I've sampled, the addition of the soba adds almost a rice vinegar sourness to the overall flavour profile, along with the earthiness of tubers and roots. A little bit of dark roasted malt shows up as well. A charred, woody aftertaste ensues.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, medium-bodied yet a bit watery, although the remaining head adds some creamy heaviness along with it, almost balancing everything out when all is said and done.

Not high on my list for a return visit, yet not bad either. The soba just doesn't do anything for me.

Photo of Shadman
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As usual Rogue has made an awesome looking beer. Coffe black in color with an aboslutely amazing creamy head that was tan in colour. Lacing covers the sides of the glass in web-like sheets.

As the beer warmed, it gave off a faint malt aroma
Interesting to say the least. Some roasted coffee flavour, bit of a metallic twang in the middle as well as some good hop bitterness. Slight sourness as well. Ends with a bready, yet tea-like dryness. I'm guessing the breadiness is from the Soba.

Quite smooth, medium bodied.

Worth a try if you can find it. Seems like the type of beer that would pair up nicely with food.

Photo of elricorico
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one nice looking beer. Deep brown, nearly black in the glass with edges of chestnut. A big foamy beige head that is slow to recede and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smells at once roasty, malty and fruity. Can't put my finger on the fruits, but it brings to mind something with red flesh. Toss in a hint of cola to the aroma as it warms.

Coffee flavour pretty apparant to the taste, fruit doesn't show much like it did in the nose. Some astringincy in the back half of the mouth. Earthy and herbal at the finish. Interesting, not unpleasant.

Medium bodied with slightly higher than average carbonation. Mouthfeel is reasonable, but not a big selling point.

Not a bad beer, but I wish it tasted as good as it looked.

Photo of magictrokini
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Morimoto Black Obi version. Pours clear brown with a medium tan head. Aroma is predominantly nuts and cocoa. Heavy black tea influence. Thin mouthfeel. Taste is weak coffee and cocoa with toasted buckwheat. Grainy, earthy, and veggie. Really felt like it was missing something. Lingering aftertaste of roasted malt and alcohol. Good, not great.

Photo of grs8313
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1pt. 6oz. bottle pours a black with dark red edges. One inch of head with good retention when poured. Not much lacing.

Smell: Malts, hops, citrus and honey.

Taste: Honey, seltzer, malts, slight coffee hints, and toffee, with hops as a finish.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than water, but not overly thick. Not a ton of carbonation, which is nice. The mouth is left quite clean with a slight hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and different from what I have had lately. A good change of pace and a beer I would definitely have again.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed 11/3/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very dark brown-red body. Smallish tannish head, diminishing but lingering. Dark fruit aroma like raisin or plum. Maybe some coffee & purple grape juice. Plum, coffee, some chocolate aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel. Pretty tasty.

Photo of DIM
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: This was a clear, dark, coppery amber color with golden edges. Pours with a huge, long lasting, sticky, light tan head.

s: Tea and potpourri both come to mind. Flowery, musty fruits, (cranberries perhaps, but not fresh ones) sweet vanilla, and strange grains that smell a bit like sourdough bread.

t: Dry and chalky flavors of something floral and vaguely fruity dominate. I guess that would be the buckwheat. There is a little vanilla and toffee here as well. The finish reminds me of a spiced, fruited tea.

m: The carbonation is long lasting and the body is fine. The score would be higher if the dry, flowery tea-ness wasn't so pervasive.

d: I always love trying something new, and this certainly qualifies. I'm glad they made this, but this one bottle more than satisfies my curiosity.

Photo of younger35
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this from the Brewery on Labor Day weekend '07. I had this aging in the cellar for almost a year before I put it in the fridge. I hope it held up okay. Drank out of my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish crimson with a nice one finger dark tan head that recedes fairly slowly leaving a spotty cap and thin collar. Some lightly spotty lacing is left but it's not thick or lasting.
Smell- Lightly kilned malts add a bit of a dark roasted elements along with the small amount of caramel sweetness. Some molasses and odd metallic twinge are present as well.
Taste- Lightly sweet upfront with a small toffee profile before the kick of that roasted malt kicks in. Coffee and very mild chocolate are at the forefront of this roasted character. This reminds me a lot of a Porter or even an Irish Stout until the hops come forward a bit. They aren't aggressive or overbearing but they do add a bit of citrus that you wouldn't expect from either a Porter or Stout. Finishes with a light nuttiness that lingers.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that manages to feel almost creamy yet has a fairly crisp bite from the carbonation. Is that possible?
Drinkability- Although I don't remember drinking the regular Obi Soba Ale I do remember liking it and thinking it was fairly unique. I'm fairly sure I like this better. Like it's brother though its definitely unique. Good beer that if you happen to see it around or Rogue releases it again, give it a shot!

Photo of bheilman
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When you have this with omakase at the restaurant it is great. I don't know how it would stand up on it's own, but I feel like it would fall a bit short in the taste factor on it's own. Get the hazelnut, it is considerably better then this brew and matches better with the seafood heavy menu.

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

The Black Soba ale poured a dark brown sugar color with a nice 2 finger foam head.

The aroma was real nutty and soba smelling. The taste was malty and finished strong with a real noticeable soba flavor. It was nicely carbonated and left a good soba taste on the tongue. Overall it was a real solid fruit/vegetable brew.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If this beer really is retired I'm glad to have gotten a 22oz bomber while I still can (I don't think it's retired)

A- Poured the last of the bomber into a glass like a madman for a 4-finger head with some cascading and good lace. Deep brown color that is almost opaque.

S- Smells like sweet roasted buckwheat malt and some hops. Also noticed some fruitiness and nutty scents.

T- Taste is smooth, fruity, and nutty, with an aftertaste of wheat and relaxed hops.

F- Feel is medium body with silky carbonation

D- Drinks great for a darker beer. Compliments food well.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the brown bomber bottle this one poured a dark Coca Cola brown with a huge light brown head. Great retention and very sticky lacing. Roasted malt aroma with herbal hops in there too. The flavors were well balanced too. The roasted soba is apparent in the unusual flavor profile, woody and nutty with a pleasant hop kick of bitterness on the finish. Coffee and bakers chocolate. Smooth mouthfeel and full bodied without being heavy. Quite good but not as unique as all the ingredients suggest it should be.

Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another 750 ml bottle that i picked up for ~ 3 dollars.

A- pours a rich copper with a deep red hue. big offwhite head that built up and left pretty solid lacing around the side of the glass. looks pretty clear by the red hue up to the side

S- roasted/chocolate scents acompany the slight fruity tartness of the soba. a light almost sourcherry note seems to pick up along it as well. slightly sweet all around

T- light chocolate flavors reminiscent of a porter start off the flavors then it blends into the rounded flavors of a light hopping, but which are still noticable and the tartness of the soba.

M- pretty full, but not huge, medium carbonation

D- actually a pretty big fan of this beer, much better than the regular form. too bad its being phased out. cherry stout fans would def enjoy this

Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.