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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.

361 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 361
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 10
Gots: 13 | 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.

30 IBU
75 AA
36º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 361 | Reviews: 228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictrokini
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

magictrokini, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of grs8313
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

grs8313, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

jujubeast6000, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of DIM
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

DIM, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of younger35
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

younger35, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of bheilman
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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.

bheilman, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

cswhitehorse, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

EnojysAnyBeer, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

thekevlarkid, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
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

Atron67, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Retired? I see plenty of this around, and finally decided to give it a try.

A - Pours really dark into a goblet. Raises a decent head. Good lacing.

S - A bit of a buttery aroma, kind of a sweet pound cake.

T - The roasted soba makes this a different animal than the other, lighter Morimoto soba ale. Sharp tang of buckwheat up front along with some noticeable but not overwhelming hop bitterness and dark-roast coffee. Manages to be kinda creamy, but quite dry in the finish. Aftertaste long on bitter bakers chocolate and lawn clippings. A lot going on here.

F - Nice and creamy, a departure from some other Rogue brews which I find to be a bit too harsh and astringent.

D - A pretty cool beer. Finishing the bomber is no problem. Like the lighter Morimoto ale, though, I'm left thinking that I really had to pair it with appropriate food to truly experience this beer. Don't get me wrong, it's excellent by itself, but it would really shine at the dinner table, probably with some Asian-fusion cuisine. Otherwise, if a dry, tangy dark beer sounds like your idea of a good time, definitely pick this one up.

Patrick999, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of HugoGrim
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great looking beer. Nearly jet black with a beautiful head which rapidly gained thickness as it was poured ending at a full 2-3 fingers. Some beautiful lace recedes down the glass quickly.

Aromas of dark, roasted grains, lightly elegant hops, and a delicate toasted sweetness.

The flavor delivers initially, but seems to fall short of being truly full and robust. It's like a light version of a really good porter. A dark richness comes across, but I'm left wanting more. For so dark an ale it is quite crisp, as the label claims.

HugoGrim, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glassy dark-caramel brown color with a light tan head of super-tiny bubbles. Lace clings firmly with any little tilt of the glass. Head remains at half-inch for a good long time.

Unusual aroma offers up mint, mild anise, and a perfume/flowery essence up against a roasted vibe that reminds of a porter.

Flavors of Folger's coffee, black tea, tart dark fruit and dark bread are given a dryness by husky, seed-like earthiness. Further along into the bottle I keep thinking "dirt...soil...earth". Hardly any sweetness present, nor as perfume-like as the aroma hinted at. Kind of unappealing, especially with the insanely quick-drying effect that leaves the mouth feeling like it just French-kissed a lawn.

Nice texture...buttery and bouncy...but when a flavor doesn't appeal very much, how much should it matter?

It's unique, I'll give it that. Glad I tried it once, so drinkability's not awful. Neither is the flavor, but it's hardly refreshing or appealing. Just not sure why or when I'd ever want to drink this beer again. I like weird beer, but it's also got to taste good. Geez, that Bell's Third Coast Old Ale is looking pretty good about now...

Metalmonk, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Pours a dark red color with ruby tones and a thin one-finger head.

Aroma: Nice and malty with very mild hint of cherry and other fruit in the nose. Hop bitterness seems mild enough.

Taste: Dry and malty with hints of plum and dark fruit. I detect a bit of soy as well, which could be attributed to the soba (?). Somewhat chewy as well like a bock.

Mouthfeel: I'm able to detect the characteristics of a bock with fruit, dark malt and even a bit of chocolate at the back of the throat. Chewy.

Drinkability: Interesting flavors abound in this ale. I remember when the Morimoto beers first came out. The design of the bottle has changed and I think my palate has evolved enough at the same time to appreciate these ales for their complexity.

If you are one of the folks that thinks that Morimoto gets no respect on Iron Chef America, at least he has two beers produced by Rogue. I don't know about those folks, but I'd consider having a beer named after me to be a huge sign of respect.

Brad007, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber I got from Four Winds in Pensecola. Poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Actually poured a nice dark brown almost black as the name suggests. When held to the light it allows a nice amber hued light to come through. Has a nice off white head that diminishes to a top cap that produces some nice lacing. Good looking beer, kinda suprising.

S: Has a serious nuttiness to it. There are the aromas of malt and hops. There is a bit of sweetness that comes from what appears to be fruit, I assume this to be the soba. Weird smell but still good.

T: Taste is of some nice nutty malt, hops, coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate. There is some nice,somewhat sweet dark fruit. All of these flavors don't seem like they would have mixed well, but quite good.

M: The only thing that turned me a little off was that this beer was a little thin, and had a fizzy mouthfeel.

D: This is a good beer that I enjoyed drinking, but one bomber is enough for a while. Morimoto is my favorite Chef, but I may have to wait to have another bomber of this until I dine at his restaurant in New York. Not only was this a good tasting beer, I think it would be awesome to cook with.

everetends, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of fitzy84
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why it's retired, they had plenty of it at R&P packie. Great appearance: solid dark black with some brown amber colors in the light. Creamy lacing with a thin head. Metallic aromas wrapped around weak hops are a little flavorless. But, there are some roasty smells especially from some simple malts. The taste has a fruity, almost roasted grape-like flavor, to the beverage with a dry finish. Good carbonation allows it to be crisp but really can't help the flavors. Overall, a rollercoaster beer in extremes.

fitzy84, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of midaszero
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown with slight red coloring. Light head that fades quickly.

S - The smell was light but sweet with a hint of wheat/floral.

T - Nutty burnt coffee flavor that is surprisingly pleasant.

M - Smooth and light feel with a good carbonation feel.

D - I wouldn't want to drink this all the time but it is nice to have around. Would go great with a steak.

Definitely a different kind of beer worth picking up if you can find a bottle.

midaszero, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of KeefD
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruit/Vegetable Beer? Who in the hell came up with that one? If roasted buckwheat is a fruit or vegetable, I'm not sure what planet I'm living on. If anything, this beer is a specialty porter.

Now that I've got my complaining about the style out of the way, here goes the review:

Poured from a bomber into a pint. Dark brown/black color with hints of ruby in the light.

Marvelous, rocky, tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves nice rings of lacing.

Smell is spicy, floral, and bittersweet.

Taste is extremely floral, slightly chocolaty, and heavily roasted malts. Slight bitterness from the hops, but mostly sweet and floral. Hints of spice.

Good carbonation, medium bodied, and goes down smooth.

This is an excellent version of an American Specialty Porter. I like most Rogue brews, and this was no exception.

KeefD, May 19, 2008
Photo of canucklehead
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok, We just got this beer in Vancouver and now its retired? This is a much tastier darker brother to the regular Soba Ale. The beer looks like Coca-cola with a tan head. The nose is malty and kinda bready. That soba taste works really well with the dark malts kinda like Germany meets Japan ( I can see this being made in the Sapporo brewhouse). A very food friendly beer that has an unique taste.

canucklehead, May 09, 2008
Photo of scottoale
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz brown bomber with a 2-color silk-screened label. It pours a very dark red-brown with a 1/2" light brown head that left no lace.

Sweet fruity, malt laden nose, with a slight roastiness, some peat moss and nuttiness as well. A little alcohol peeks through as it warms.

Nutty, sweet and malty with hops cleaning up the finish. Light roast and peat, with fruity and faint floral sweetness and just enough bitterness to balance this medium bodied ale.

Quite drinkable, but nothing impressive.

scottoale, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of kbnooshay
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a VERY dark amber-brown with red highlights. The thick foamy brown head that didn't stick around for long and the lacing was moderate to light. The rich aroma is fruity and malty at first. Next comes the chocolate and nut smell. I also picked up on a faint alcoholic smell but the abv isn't listed. The blend of flavors is very unique and rich. The maltiness is almost overbearing but the combination of nut, fruit and floral hops keeps the flavor rich and varied. The flavor of bitter chocolate is barely a hint in the taste and not as notable as in the aroma. The feel is crisp but smooth. This is drinkable but a bomber is plenty!

kbnooshay, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours medium-to-dark brown with a thin, fluffy white head. Trailing lace slides down the glass, with a bit of stickage.

The smell is of lightly roasted buckwheat/soba, citric notes and Rogue's signature Pacman yeast.

The taste is of roasted nuts, roasted buckwheat/soba. The roasted character (charred) comes close to masking. Mildly astringent. Dry finish.

Fuller side of light-bodied/light-side of medium border.

Drinkable considering over-charred/astringent character.

jwc215, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A: Poured a soda-like dark amber with a thin, fizzy head of offwhite foam.

S: Smells a bit nutty, with the faint aroma of cherries and mahogany.

T: Taste is very palatable, with an interesting blend of nutty brown ale malts and a little semisweet drying fruitiness. A gentle hop finish makes this brew even more interesting.

M: Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a little prickliness from the amount of carbonation.

D: Probably could have taken down the bomber myself, but it's good to share, and then be done with. It's not something you'd want to drink all night, but it's very serviceable as a dinner beer.

Didn't know it was retired, and had I known, I might have saved the bottle a bit longer. But, It's been hanging around for a few months, so it was time. If you can get a hold of it, it's worth a try; if not, it's no big loss.

Gambrinus1184, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cola color with reddish hues with a 2 finger creamy, khaki head that had a light surface turbulence of tiny micro-bubbles from the strong carbonation.

S: cherry wood, with light toasted caramel hints, and a sweet fruitiness (berries).

T: fresh cherries and toasted caramel with a background of soft roasted malts. There was a light presence of berries and cream with a spritzy carbonation similar to a Dr. pepper. The finish was clean with a nice lingering earthy bitterness and roasted lacing gracing the tongue.

M: smooth with a nice spritzy carbonation factor leaving a light roasted malt and dried cherries behind.

D: Good drinkability with a nice roasted and fruity palate that kept things interesting throughout the drink.

beerthulhu, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of asabreed
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A dark amber, off-white head, decent head retention.

Smell: Almost like iced-coffee, though very mild, with some cream, earthiness, and roots, along with some dark bread crust.

Taste: Mild coffee and cream, with some root and earthy bitterness with the finish, along with mild bitter coffee and faint hops.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium-bodied, with a nice full feeling creaminess throughout.

Drinkability: I guess this is retired? A nice brew overall, and something I enjoyed, but I'm not sure if I'd buy it again. I didn't know what I was getting into with buying this on a whim, but it was definitely an interesting experience.

asabreed, Apr 12, 2008
Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
83 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.