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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale - Rogue Ales

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

359 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 9
Gots: 12 | 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:
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.

12º PLATO
30 IBU
75 AA
36º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant and safe beer although the lable and packaging promised more. Smells mildly and sweetly roasty with a light, smooth roundness. Looks like Coca cola, perhaps a bit darker and with much better carbonation and head retention. Tastes pleasantly roasty, moderately sweet, and mildly spicy. Light alcohols persist into the finish. Feels smooth and refreshingly light to the palate. Finishes a bit airy for a dark, roasted beer. Though nice and without flaws, it falls a little lackluster.

BEERchitect, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of AltBock
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice 22oz. bomber that was silk screened with the word Morimoto and some Japanese writing on the front. The cap also had same artwork as the front of the bottle. No date on the back of the bottle (typical Rogue bottle), but their was plenty of information about the beer on the back though. It has 12o Plato, 30 IBU, 75.2 AA, and 36o L.

Appearance: When poured into my Samuel Smith Imperial Pint Glass, it was dark brown in color with plenty of ruby highlights through it. The head of foam was about 1in. in hight and had an off white color head of foam. It dissipated fast, but left plenty of rings and lace around the glass.

Smell: It was a little weak in the aroma dept. When I first popped the cap, a strong aroma of Cascade hops (thats what was said on the back of the bottle) came pouring out. When I poured it, the hops remained, but a little lighter, and a buckwheat aroma emerged.

Taste: This is where you get to taste the buckwheat you smelled. Up front there was a roasted buckwheat taste (this could also be the roasted Soba mentioned in the ingredients, but I've never had Soba before), very little malt, and with a huge helping of bitter citrus hops at the very end.

Mouthfeel: It was a bit too watery, weak, and dry for my taste and also those dry bitter hops I tasted lingered on for a while in the back of my mouth.

Drinkability: Overall a beer you need only to try once and that's it. This is something I wanted to try since I watch alot of Iron Chef and after drinking this, I was a bit disappointed. Sorry, this isn't one of Rogue's best products.

AltBock, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

White head little head and an occasional grab of lacing. color leans towards black.

I can't pickup any fruits or vegetables, mainly just roasted malts with some hoppy hops.

This to me seems like a porter but with more of a balanced hop attack. Hop bitterness really shines through towards the end when the beer thins out. Finish leaves behind a coating that makes it dry up the palate. I need another drink to swish things around. All in all its not all that bad and worthy of dabbling into if you must.

I have to say this is uncharacteristic for rogue, who knows maybe Morimoto had to much input into this beer because when rogue makes their "own" beers they are phenominal. I'm going to blame this average offering on the chef and move on.

DogFood11, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not black, but almost there. A lovely dark sherry with pale, weathered yellow head. Silky and classy.

Smell: Smells sweet, mostly of grapes, roasted malts, and a vanilla/honey flavor that brings cola or root beer to mind. Hops are not home, but I have a feeling they'll be back soon. Sadly, the buckwheat is not detectable.

Taste: Ahh, there's the buckwheat! A nice roasty, toasty, nutty, wheaty taste. Nice citrus rind hops even things out. This holds up very well against my New Year's Eve feast; paired great with the teriyaki beef tenderloin (made with Stone Russian Imperial Stout), fried soba noodles with sesame oil, and mango rice.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly crisp and refreshing!

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful, but very easy to drink. Perhaps a tad too sweet on its own, but great with a meal.

soulgrowl, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much better than the little-brother Morimoto Soba version. Poured black, with a mocha head. Roasted malt aroma - very stout-like up front with lots of roasted malt flavors. An interesting interplay of malts and the soba, producing an odd finish. I kept thinking that this reminded me very much of another beer, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Finally, it dawned on me how much this beer was like Anchor's Our Special Ale, without the spices or spruce. As with OSA, something interesting, but not something I want a lot of.

Brent, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks like a brown ale! Pours with a light tan head. Light can penetrate its depths but has a hard time of doing so. Decent lacing on the glass.
Smells of roasted coffee with some lightly smokey notes.
The taste is somewhere between that of a porter and a brown ale with that unique soba twang. Interesting and signature. Sweet and bitter; on the dry side with a coffee bitter finish.
As far as drinkability goes, this is not really a regular rotation kind of thing but I can see being in the mood for this. One of the more interesting concoctions I've come across in a while. Worth a try.

ommegangpbr, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of hopsaplenty
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, dark amber with a rocky, crackling, khaki head. Smells of mild hop spiciness, with roasted and slightly chocolatey malt. Initially hits with gentle hops followed by a dry roasted malt in the middle finishing with a nutty, hop crispness. Slightly astringent and almost salty. Medium body, drying mouthfeel. Not that impressive, but perhaps pairing it with the right foods will make it standout.

hopsaplenty, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of Fugazme
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good looking beer. Deep amber and brown with little light breaking through. Head is white and dissipates quickly. Decent stick.

Aroma is yeasty and earthy. Chocolate in the nose at the end. Some hops. Definitely earthy. Very slightly nutty.

Nutty flavor. Some maltiness. Bitter on the backend. Doesn't linger and is somewhat watery. A bit harsh on the swallow.

An okay beer. I won't be returning unless it is free, yo!

Fugazme, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful, red and white, silk-screened, Japanese-themed bottle. Dark brown with generous highlights of bronze, gold and red. I continue to be impressed with the appearance of Rogue beer. I don't remember when I last saw one that was less than beautiful. The head is toasted beige in color and is firmly creamy. Thick splotches of lace occupy the glass just above the beer's surface, with scattershot lace seen higher up.

I like the nose much more than the nose on the lighter soba beer, Buckwheat Ale (Morimoto Soba). It's darker and richer, which effectively camouflages the relatively unappealing, or at least uninteresting, aroma of buckwheat itself. It's dark malty, nicely fruity and impressively molasses-like. Think Scotch ale without the peat.

Although the flavor doesn't quite hold up its end of the bargain, it comes close. Black Obi most resembles an Irish dry stout on the palate. There's quite a bit of roastiness, so much so that it edges toward bitter and borderline astringent. Scorched black coffee is probably the best comparison that I can come up with. Those last two sentences make it sound as though this beer is unappealing. It isn't.

After several mouthfuls, I'm feeling better about things. The lightly sweet fruitiness of the buckwheat is more apparent and mingles well with bittersweet chocolate and treacle notes. In addition, the grapefruit zest zestiness of the Cascade hops has come to the fore. There really are a lot of flavors in this beer, though I can't say that I'm thrilled with the combination. Good, but not special.

The nearly unbroken wall of lace on the glass opposite is great; my next pour should add another heavy coat of crust. I'm sure the mouthfeel was designed to be elegant rather than heavy-handed, scrimshaw rather than chainsaw carving, but it doesn't quite pull it off. It's closer to medium than to light, is a shade undercarbonated and doesn't have a great deal of mouth presence.

Black Obi (the wide belt on a kimono) Soba Ale is a better beer than its lighter counterpart. The roasting of the buckwheat brings out flavors that are preferable to the unroasted fruit and the different malt and hop bills are more to my liking as well. It doesn't quite make it over the hump called 'recommended', but I'm still glad this is a bomber.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of budsboy
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish brown, a bit soda-pop fizzy looking, with a low tan head the subsides quickly.

Smells woody, berry and malty mixed with raisen and spice hints.

Odd flavor, not overpowering, with a bitter overtone, roasty malt, sourish rhubarb crispness. Grainy and tart would be the best way to call it.

Light, clean in the mouth. Lively carbo. Gave me the hiccups.

Unusual beer. Very much brings rhubarb or chickory to my mind. An acidity and sourness remain, but it does ease as it warms. Find a bottle with a good price, then try some, but don't spend too much on this one.

budsboy, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (courtesy of Okbeer): Poured a pitch-black ale with a medium head with average retention. Aroma of bitter hops with some strange spice that I don’t think I have encountered in beer before. Taste is a mix between the roasted malt, bitter hops and this strange spice. Body is too thin and carbonation is very low. This is not bad but nothing extraordinary either; I’d still go with the mocha porter any day thought.

Phyl21ca, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mirrored black appearance with ghostly glares of dark cherrywood. Cap is medium in height, foam is a bit gluey, bumpy, and broken but firmly set morphing and crystalizing itself down to a sensible skim and bubbly collar. Lacing is intricately placed in thick cottony webbed sheets.

Aroma is soft and delicately natured with a nice cocoa dusting with a very light hint to mild orange/peach jelly and some kind of dry cooking spice; red pepper? Perhaps white cheese? Even lighter roasty black malts, deep woody earth, and baked pizza dough tend to creep in too. Reminiscent to certain years of OSA's, just lighter. Intriguing as all hell, but a little too soft to get everything I think I'm smelling.

Taste is firm and well placed with a certain black malt texture and drier flavor of cocoa thats quite nice. Front to mid ranged grab of spice thats a mild peppery glint of interest just after the intial taste of light roast and dark breadish marble rye. Gentle on the palate with little additions of sweet fruityness of dark pear, dark apple, and a sliver of currant. Fades into the finish a bit quicker then I'd like, but it's still fun to have happen. Partially spicy, partially dry, well textured and lightly fluffy with cocoa and breads. Foreboding, pleasant, and so close to pushing the envelope of boldness and intrigue.

Feel seemed to fit the flavors, perhaps a bit light; seemingly, but the drying tone and lighter, efficient dark texture is pretty nice to take in and helps the flavor profile. Body is about medium with a elegantly dry texture and spice to it. Quite smooth too.

I quite liked this beer. One that grows on ya. A fine drinker and taster. Perhaps not the complete knock out that it could be, but for what it is, it's about right and pretty solid.

tavernjef, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is served up in a pint glass from a bottle chilled.

It pours a cloudy dark orange color w/ a slight eggshell colored white fizzy head atop. Very little head retention as it fizzes out to a slight edge layer only.

Aroma is a bit of smoke maybe, along with some fruit and maybe some nut (almonds). Some sweet malts also come out, but I found this not so good. (maybe I don't get the style...i don't know?)

Sipping reveals a bit of sweet hops along with some bitter nuttiness throughout the body. A bit of sweetness also (carmel) and the fruit. I also find maybe just a bit of smoke on the finish.

Feel is a bit fizzy to me, which isn't always a good thing. Medium body; nice; a little dryness on the finish also.

Fairly complex brew but fairly easy to drink. I'd like another bottle to review it again I think.

Fish113d, Oct 12, 2005
Photo of DavidJ710
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another great offering from the Rouge people out in Oregon. The more of their beer I try, the more I feel a pilgrimage to the land of indie rock and micro-brews.

The beer pours into a pint glass leaving a small eggshell-colored head to contrast with the otherwise black body of the beer. This bad boy is almost opaque, but when held up to the flourescent light in my room, a dark maroon hint shines through. The beer smells bitter and sweet, which is not to be confused with bittersweet. That is something totally different. Burnt malts lay the ground work for the flavor, supporting the sugary beginning, bready buckwheat middle, and hoppy finish. The hops and the sugar stick on the toung for 5 or 8 seconds after the swallow. I don't know much about Soba's, but this beer is a bit thin for the flavor. That said, I think this is a well crafted beer, and a fitting addition to the Morimoto signiture series.

DavidJ710, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a 22 oz. brown, bomber bottle of this one at Brewers on the Bay. The bottle had not best by or brewed on date.

The beer poured black with some brown or copper on the fringes. It's off white head didn't retain very well at all and left no lacing. The beer was very carbonated - at least visually - and looked like a cola with CO2 bubbles clinging and rising to the top of the glass. The aroma was of a roasted malt sweetness with a hint of nuttiness too. The brew tasted of malts to start and also some nuttiness as well, and very, very faint hops on the finish. The light bodied beer finished very clean with an almost adruptly crisp finish.

A drinkable beer, but no much flavor really, a little thin in that area. Not one that particularly impressed me or will have me out searching for it again.

edmundfitzoil, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

RedDiamond, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a sweet crystal malt scent with a nutty accent. There are some hops present, but the overall aroma is dominated with nuts and chocolate. The taste is great as well. It has a roasted, coffee-like flavor that is sweet, but with an earthy, nutty edge. There is a bit of tanginess in the flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an outstanding beer. It has a delicious aroma followed by an enjoyable taste; a good drinker.

WesWes, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of germaniac
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle of this up at the Rogue outpost in San Francisco, but wound up drinking it in a motel room in Davis without notes of any kind, so I didn't feel right about reviewing it until I spotted a bottle at my local Cost Plus World Market. My memories of it were pleasant, so I shelled out the four bucks for a 22oz bottle.

A black pour, accentuated by red at the edges. Smells nutty, with a prominent roasted malt sweetness. Flavor is pretty mellow, hoppy bitterness edged by malt sweetness. There is an overall nuttiness that almost gives it a brown ale quality. Nothing fancy here, seems like just another oppurtunity for Rogue to push the "gourmet" Morimoto line. Worth a try.

germaniac, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of beertaster13
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a dark coffee color with a beautiful tan head that pours to a 2 inch thick head, lacing will coat the glass. The smell is mysterious, you will find the usuall hints of roasted malts and caramel hues found in darker beers, but the light berry fruit and citrus hop came as a pleasant suprise. The taste is light enough to still drink in the heat of summer. The roasted malts and perfectly blended with the light smooth side of this beer, perfect for your BBQ in the late summer evenings. Perfect.

beertaster13, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of Troyone
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat like a dark coffee color with an amber hue, some beige head with minimal lacing.

Has a toasted caramel malt smell with a hint of chocolate or molasses, and a herbal resin and citrus hops aroma. After putting my nose in it, this is a rather pleasant aroma.

Has a dark ale taste, similar to a Strong Ale without the potency. Lightly sweet and acidic, moderate to heavy bitter, roasted to almost burnt caramel and slight dark chocolate malt, and resin with grapefruit and orange flavored hops.

Medium bodied, dry almost syrupy texture, soft and almost flat carbonation, with a smooth and tad metallic finish that lingers a slight burnt flavor..

After getting through the initial slightly burnt taste, this is a very drinkable beer limited to the tolerance of the fading burnt aftertaste.

Troyone, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Soba pours a dark brown color (almost like a porter), the beer is a deep red color when held up to the light. There is a 1 1/2" beige rocky head at the top. The head falls to a creamy cap and leaves some nice lace rings on the pint glass.

My first impression of the aroma was sweetness. Faint roasted malts and some hops were in the background. Subdued.

The beer starts off with subtle roasted flavor that progresses into a sour twang in the finish. As the beer warmed some of the charred characteristics came out.

The beer is smooth and somewhat creamy. Subtle is the best word I can use to describe this beer. Not overpowering and really not as flavorful as I had hoped.

MUSHROOMCLOUD, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown with ruby highlights, 2 fingers of pale beige head, very large bubbles. OK retention and some light lace.

Nutty, earthy malts on the nose, with a hint of roast, faint smoke, and leather. Timid.

Flavor is equally subdued, with roasty, nutty flavors on the fore, with bitter, nondescript hops trailing. Very one-dimensional and boring. Yawn.

Light body with excessively large bubbles lending to a fuller mouthfeel. Watery palate. Almost as bad as the regular Soba alw. Does anyone actually like this? I can't see anyone buying this more than once.

AlexJ, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber

Deep brown in color with flecks of ruby light reflection. A solid, two-finger head of brown foam that quickly becomes pitted and pocked.

The aroma is ligher than the deep appearance of the brew might let on. Some light hops and roasted buckwheat are melded together in what is an almost creamy smell.

Flavor is smooth and creamy, with roasted flavors central to the taste and nutty, brown ale elements on the periphery.

This is pretty good, though I was perhaps looking for a bit more complexity and depth. On the other hand, the simplicity highlights the flavor of the key ingredient, the soba, and makes for a supremely-focused brew.

Pretty good, and quite interesting for something so straightforward.

RockyTopHeel, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a huge head, lots of longevity and tremendous lace. Smells of a rich medium roasted malt that has some slight butter and nutty smells. Taste is quite nice. A fine roasted malt flavor similar to a nice porter but nuttier and creamier. Give this one a try.

sabrills70, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at a sushi restaurant.

Pours a dark opaque brown with some ruby hints, frothy khaki head. Some fine lacing on the glass. Smell is nutty and malty.

Taste is nutty and rich, not unlike a nice full-bodied English nut brown ale. Sweetish brown malt. Buckwheat flavors take hold in the finish, lending a grainy bitterness to it. Some hops in there too to round it out. Rich and full-bodied yet crisp and kind of refreshing too. A beer in two parts, nut brown up front, soba going out. Better than anticipated and went well with my sushi. Recommended.

ViveLaChouffe, Jul 11, 2005
Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.