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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale - Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Black Obi Soba AleMorimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

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371 Ratings
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Ratings: 371
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 11
Gots: 21 | 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: freed on 07-22-2004

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: 371 | Reviews: 229
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.

Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

Photo of germaniac
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark black colored body, with a moderate head. Smell is very roasted and burnt with malt, nutty and rich. Flavor also reflects this, nutty, with lots of roasted and burnt malt, slight chocolate and acidic flavors are also present. Hops are perfect for the beer, they enhance and give it a nice bitter finish. Another very good morimoto rogue ale.

Photo of meathookjones
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body with a tan pillowy tan head. Scattered bits of lace were left decorating the glass. Nice roasted malt presence with a light chocolate. Some nutty notes as well as caramel sweetness. Overall a solid aroma that had a bit of depth to it. Nutty roasted malt flavors started this one off with a mild dark chocolate in the background. Caramel sweetness and a light bitterness rounded out the flavor. Bitter sweet roasty finish. About medium and fairly smooth going down. Good drinkability as there is a bit of depth to both the taste and smell. Nice balance of sweet and roasty. Another good brew from Rogue.

Photo of OStrungT
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark red. It has a small brown head that fades very quickly, leaving very few laces. It has a malty sweet aroma to it. It smells coffee like, with a slightly nutty aroma also. It has very little hop aroma. It tastes malty, but not nearly as sweet as I was expecting. It has a chocolate taste to it. The hops make an appearance in the taste slightly. This beer is rather dry. It is sort of hard to drink because of how dry it is. It makes my mouth feel a little weird. I really cant explain how, just a little off. It is overcarbonated. It leaves a bitter aftertaste. This beer would probably make a bad session beer. Although it is low in alcohol, the aggressive, dry taste might be undesirable to some. I doubt I will have the desire to drink this one again. If you see it, maybe you should buy a different type. Like the Haselnut Brown Nector.

Photo of BamaScholar
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I continue to be impressed with Rogue's offerings but had not yet tried this one from the 22 oz. bottle before.

Had I not seen its characterization of "fruit / vegetable beer" here on BA, I wouldn't have considered it as such. It poured a dark, dark brown with rich garnet in the corners when held to the light.

Pretty complex aroma balanced between malt and a little floral/fruit nose. The taste is incredibly balanced between malt and hops, with a crisp citrus stampeding through at the finish. It's a very clean finish too, for a darker colored brew. Drinkability is good...of course, how many of these 22 oz. bottles can one realistically put away?

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poures a near pitch black but not for the ruby highlights when held up to the light with a big fluffy off white head that clings to the glass nicely,wow a real cascade presence in the aroma wich was entirely unexpected due to the fact well it is Rogue,a nice roastiness also shows itself nicely.Slick mouthfeel to this slides down with ease,interesting melding of flavors firmly nutty with some roasted malt as the core but there is very much a PW hop presence not so pronounced but it lets itself be known.Very interesting and flavorful ale I will be sure to grabe more.

Photo of fdrich29
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Marty's Fine Wine in Newton, Massachusetts.

One of the smoothest beers I've ever tasted. Toasted malts and chocolate slide down your throat on a bed of velvety smooth goodness.

As much as I enjoyed this beer's taste and mouthfeel I could not help but obsess over one thing...Did Sir Alec Guinness ever see Ewan McGreggor's performance of Obi Wan Kenobi before he passed away? I wonder what he thought of it if he did. I think he did a hell of a job.

I've been intrigued with the Morimoto line of Rogue beers and buy them whenever I've come across them. I love a good gimic and good beer so walk away from the experience a winner.

Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with burgandy highlights. A nice 1" tan head. Some mild lacing develops through the drink. The aroma is of hazlenuts and coffee. Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, coffee, nuts, prunes is nicely balanced with nice bitterness. There was also something about the overall flavor I couldn't identify.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. The bitter chocolate tones linger into the aftertaste. Overall a different tasting brew, but one 22 oz. bottle was enough to enjoy.

Photo of cokes
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Filthy burnt orange with a plump buttery dome.
Smells empty, and partially of hazelnuts and acrid metal, and toasted pine sprigs.
When cold, this is vacant on all accounts. A smattering of burnt wood, a fizz of Dr. Pepper, and some sprucey bitters. It unfolds (slightly) as it rests and warms. Burnt hazelnuts appear, with a less passive java roastiness. Dark bread permeates the middle, with pumpernickel traits. A sprinkle of vanilla pod replaces the false-seeming cola hues. Lemon-rind notes gain definition, probably in relation to the buckwheat- as opposed to hop-induced- but they tow a minerally sense of astringency. The hops ante up as well, adding a more bracing resiny pine backdoor bitterness.
That might paint an interesting picture, but everything clashes harshly here, even with its lack of assertive flavor.
An initial sense of pillowed heft vaporizes and turns feeble and sparce. There seems to be no real structure here.
For a few moments, this grew on me and seemed a respectable drinker, but it's boring, and not a particularly attractive progression of flavors, pallid as they are.
This is far and away the least distinguished Rogue brew I've had.

Photo of pentathlete
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the pint glass a dark dark ruby black. Big foamy head, lacing, and falls to a table of beige bubbles. Nose is toasted bread and malt, some alcohol soaked sugars. Taste is chocolate, hop bitterness and what must be the "soba" flavor, like a Japanese noodle bowl. Not my thing. The finish is an annoying bitterness that lingers far past its welcome. Other than that, this is relatively watery beer. It's ok.

Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer emerges from the 22-ounce brown bottle a deep raspberry color with a stupendous frothy light tan head that linger long, after its eventual demise the resultant lace forms a thick and sticky skirt to surround the glass. Nose has a nice toasted grain aroma with a sweet nut-like tone, fresh and clean, a hint of caramel, start is somewhat sweet with a decent grain profile, top is light to medium in feel. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and the aftertaste somewhat dry with a bit of residual bitterness, a drinkable beer.

Photo of MrSeth
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-black opaque color with a 1/2" tan head that settles leaving a big lacey ring inside the glass.

The nose is hoppy with a savory undertone. Somewhere between the two extremes are chocolate and licorice aromas.

Light bodied, good carbonation, with a very wet refreshing mouthfeel. The taste is a malt that is rich but isn't particularly toasty. Alot of hops flavors come across. This brew is nothing if not interesting. I'm sure I would drink it again, sometime.

Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark clear ruby. One finger sized brown head. Very creamy looking and long lasting. Lace is better than average. Nice thick aroma. It's got chocolate, roast and char, but also fruit and hop tones like currants and peach. The mouthfeel is quite creamy and lends a good drinkability to the whole equation. Body is about medium. The flavor is chock full of goodies. Rich chocolate and coffee tones on the palate blend with the weird, but nice, soba accents. And a lingering hop bitterness adds the final punch. Nice combination and quite refreshing as well.

Photo of mzwolinski
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark -- not quite black, but close. Dark roasty malts are the most notable elements of the aroma. Slightly nutty with hints of caramel. Flavor is nutty and malty as well, with just enough bitterness to balance. Roasty, toasty and yummy, with a nicely lingering aftertaste. Overall a drinkable beer but not enthralling by any means. Not Rogue's best offering.

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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.