Morimoto Soba Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Morimoto Soba AleMorimoto Soba Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

485 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 485
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.63%
Wants: 16
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-25-2007

8 Ingredients:
Malts: Roasted Soba, Harrington, Metcalf, Munich & C-15.
Hops: Crystal.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

30 IBU
75 AA
14º Lovibond
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 485 | Reviews: 213
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a very nice sunset color with a minor head with no real retention. The lacing is scant. The soba ale smells of sweet malts and some graininess. The taste was overly sweet with no real outstanding flavor characteristics detected. The mouthfeel was a little thin for my taste and was an overall average experience. The lingering "skunkiness" is subtle but unpleasant none the less.

Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 head, orange-gold, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: sweet fruit, malt, honey, and pear

Taste: toasted malt, grains, pear, a touch of apple and hops--towards the end

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of my favorites from Rogue just because it tastes different from anything else I have ever had. This has a very interesting and complex taste for the style. I would gladly have this again...point for originality.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arriving several weeks after the main Rogue brewery release at the LCBO was Morimoto Soba Ale. A quick look at the Rogue website reveals that this brew was prepared in consultation with Iron Chef Morimoto, who was the third "Iron Chef Japanese" on the tv show.

*Note: the Ontario bottles, which require alcohol content to be clearly labelled, have a sticker that says "Light Beer, 3.8% ABV." Not sure why there is a discrepancy; this certainly tastes more like 3.8% rather than 4.8%.

Poured into a nonic. A splendid golden hue, very bright, with a ridiculously high fluffy head that will not quit. Lively visible carbonation at first. Huge patches of lacing. There seems to be something about buckwheat/soba, as every brew I've had with buckwheat in the recipe seems to have pretty rockin' head retention.

Nose is pleasant, but one dimensional. Buckwheat, nuts, a tiny whiff of west coast hoppage. Potent, enjoyable, but not much to it.

At first I really didn't dig this brew, as I found it tasted to me like an above-average light lager. But the nuts and buckwheat flavors started to make a stronger appearance as the beer warmed a touch, giving the brew a nice full flavor profile. Some citrus and saltiness notes as well. Creamy, medium bodied, mild carbonation. Would have preferred a bit stronger carbonation to cut through the thickness, but it's not bad.

It's hard to give beers like this proper credit, considering how often we tip our caps to robust porters/stouts and potent IPAs. True, I found Rogue's hoppier fare to me far more personally appealing. But this brew had its own unique character which really grew on me by the time I neared finishing the bomber. It has a simple, nutty flavor that is several cuts above your normal light ale/lager fare, which would go well on a hot day and probably pairs nicely with Japanese cuisine, far better than the standard Japanese rice lagers most sushi restaurants carry. I mean really, who's going to argue with the Iron Chef?

Photo of NicholasCasber
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is a nice muddy golden color with a nice white head, that is leaving some great lacing.

S: Smelled like a generic Asian beer, but it had a few other hints of fruit and bitterness.

T: Taste was nearly off the charts. I found myself wanting to drink more and more. The smell that I had gotten from the original pour was begging to be searched more, and once I allowed it to rest on my tongue I had some nice quality notes of sweet and bitterness with an almost milky quality, which leads me to:

M: The mouthfeel for this beer was perfect. It wasn't to watery and it wasn't too full, the milkiness that I found was after the beer had a chance to dance on my tongue.

D: This beer was outstanding... if I wasn't a poor college kid, I'd reach for it nearly every-time.

Overall, I'd suggest this with a nice pairing of a lighter meal, sushi, fish, etc. Best of luck in your findings, and as always:


Photo of Cavanaghty
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber color, with a thick white head. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: No overpowering scents really. But I could smell some more floral type smell, grassy, corn, and malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Bitter taste, with a grainy grassy taste to it.

Overall: Glad I tried it but not one of my favorites by a long shot.

Photo of magictrokini
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Morimoto Soba, bottle. Poured light amber, hazy, with minimal head. Wheaty, citrus nose with some sourness attributed to the buckwheat. Taste is very light and clean, with a little bite. Didn't really taste the toastiness, but got a lot of the grain. A subtle, good brew.

Photo of far333
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed golden color with three fingers of fluffy off-white foam that lingers long

Semi-sweet aroma of fresh roses and grassy notes.

Light and fresh flavor of honey malt, biscuity, a bit of a zesty finish, some lemony hops.

Even mouthfeel, not very full, but fairly crisp and tingly. Average drinkability, might like it better with a meal.

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 of a 22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Amber; slightly hazy; fine white head has excellent retention.

S: Has a very appealing aroma mainly from light toasted malt but also, I believe, from the soba (buckwheat).

T: follows aroma, with just hints of the earthiness and spiciness found in bolder Rogue brews. I thought the flavor profile was excellent for a beer designed to be consumed with Asian food.

M: Enough carbonation (medium) to be a little crisp and refreshing, especially with the surprisingly dry finish. Medium body.

O: Not enough complexity to be great, but a truly fine tasting beer that, as one might expect, was an excellent pairing with sushi. Highly drinkable. Seemed to be neither harmed nor helped by warming.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST:750ml poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy golden-orange with a thin white head. It leaves wonderful lacing.

S: Peach, citrus, and honey.

T: Starts sour and sweet with honey and rice. It has a bit of oatmeal in the middle to the finish. The alcohol stops to say hello at the end along with some crisp citrus from the hops.

M: Light and dry.

D: It has low abv, nice taste without immense tongue tiring flavor, and it is smooth.

Overall: I was interested in this beer as soon as I saw it, and I am happy with the final result. It is light, has nice flavor, and is incredibly drinkable. It starts and finishes with slight sour and sweet. It worked very well with fish (which is what Rogue suggested would make a good pairing). This beer is restrained and balanced. I highly recommend for a session beer.

Photo of Brenden
3.81/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The color is a soft, hazy pale gold. There's an effervescence evident immediately, and it serves to keep up a soapy pillow of clean white head, which actually sits pretty impressively. It doesn't recede from just over a finger's height, and it leaves some good fluffy lacing, mostly in spotting but pretty dense.
The aroma gives off a whiff of light fruits at first, and I get impressions of mango and apricot, but jammier. Maybe it's just the way it comes out. Rogue says Soba is not a type of wheat but a member of the rhubarb family. That makes more sense. It's a nice, light aroma.
The flavor drops some of that sweetness for a bit of tobacco, a floral note, and an overlying soft nuttiness. I can see how this would pair well with a lot of different foods in different ways. There's a bit of grains, and it could be cleaner in the finish, but I like it.
The feel is fluffy and well-carbonated without being overly filling in a light but not shallow body.

Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Japanese ingredient sensibilities via the west coast, all the way now to lovely central Texas. I'll bite.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some sparsely patterned streaks of randomly webbed lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of buttery, toasted wheat grain, some further crackery pale malt, a touch of corn and rice sweetness, and some tamely bitter earthy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is sweet buttered all-grain bread, more mundane husky rice and corn cereal grain, a touch of dry floral honey, ethereal oily nuts, and somewhat weirdly herbal spicy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low-key and sedate, the body a decent medium weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes still strangely grainy, and yet clean and kind of crisp.

An interesting enough sideways glance at alternative brewing grains, but the strangeness of the buckwheat's manifestation here are limiting me to sharing this bottle, probably.

Photo of mintjellie
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slighlty hazed and orange in colour. A fingers worth of eggshell head is tightly formed and fairly retentive. Good lacing. Nutty and earthy notes in the aroma with some mild citrusy hop tones. Mixed nuts and that earthy quality again in the mouth, brightened by tangerine-like hop flavour. Mild bitterness. This is light-bodied ale, but given it's alcohol-by-volume, I was expecting it to be much lighter than it is. Carbonation feels a bit prickly though. Light and refreshing quencher with an interesting flavour, but not a good value for what you pay. I wont be coming back to this.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle > 20 oz. Stella glass

This is a frosty, orange amber color, mostly clear and very active. Tiny bubbles in perfect lines create a 2" deep, white with tan hued head, dense and foamy with slow dissipation and is pretty dang sticky.

The aroma is very nice, caramel sweetness in the malt, banana's soaked in honey, peppery wheat and herbal, zesty fruits with allspice, soft white bread, subtle corriander...clean and sweet.

The flavor is very crisp and clean with smokey wheat, freshly husked corn, earthy herbal notes along with a sublte starfruit edge and tangy-sour yeast. Well balanced, simple but effective malt flavor, maybe just slightly thin in feel and malt flavor but it feels light and crisp very refreshing and a nice dry but smooth finish.

You can really taste and especially feel the unique body that the roasted soba provides. An easy drinker with many levels of subtle complexities.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy light golden amber with a frothy, white 2-finger head that hangs around for a good few minutes. It takes a good few minutes before the head gives way to a fine, sticky lacing.

Smell - Lots of fruit in the smell - sweet orange, a bit of apple or peach, a bit of grain, faint caramel. Wonderful aromatic qualities in this beer.

Taste - Wonderfully floral to start, giving way to a slight fruity (berry, apple?) tartness, then a lightly roasted nut and grain dry finish. The fruity tartness tends to linger in the dry finish, giving the aftertaste an almost cranberry like quality.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, and goes down silky smooth. Too smooth. More carbonation might give this beer a bigger bite, which I feel it would benefit from.

Overall - Iron Chef Morimoto knows his stuff, eh? This beer is light, but has an almost romantic flavor and beautiful balance. I'd certainly buy this beer more often if it weren't for the fairly hefty price tag combined with the fairly low ABV.

Photo of Stigs
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, split and served in standard pint glasses

A - pours with about a quarter inch of loose bubbly just off-white foam. the beer is pale gold in color, crystal clear.

S - very grainy with a small amount of musty basement, light crackery malt with a touch of soapiness...barely there but kind of odd.

T - begins like a relatively crisp pilsener with assertive crackery and buttery malts with a slight grassy hop finish. the second half brings a fair amount of toasted nuts and a very faint fruitiness.

M - medium bodied with sharp but graceful carbonation. finishes extremely dry, with lingering toasted grains and butter.

D - i can see the appeal here. would go excellent with Sushi, salad, grilled chicken, etc...anything that isnt overpowering. though i have no idea what Soba tastes like, I will have to seek some out since we have another bottle of this.

Photo of HugePlume
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into my favorite pint.

A- A light yellow, with what I first thought was a chill haze, but it did not clear up and maintained its faint fogginess throughout the drink.

S- A sweet leafy aroma, with a little yeast.

T- More of the sweetness, almost like a cider was mixed in with an ale. Its got a peculiar weirdness to it... sort of like one of those veggie corn-dogs. It tastes sort of normal, but you get this building weird flavor that tells you something isn't normal, and eventually, isn't good.

M- Average mouthfeel, could use a little more carbonation.

O- I won't try it again. Its not flawed but its weird. An expirament that I can do without.

Photo of FernMaster
3.19/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Tulip.

I'm sitting in someone else's home as he completes something for work, sitting and sipping at the Morimoto Soba Ale as my car lies abandoned on I-70 Mile marker 92.0 in Missouri eastbound towards St. Louis. It's been an adventurous (to the say the least) couple of days. I came to Boonville, er rather attempted to, to see my girlfriend who is currently busy and my car died twenty-one miles from her home. My life has an impeccably timed narrator who is apt to lay on sarcastic malice in my weakest moments. He's vastly superior to the narrator of "Our Town." As my car lay dead on the side of the highway, as cars briskly past without changing lanes, I saw a brilliant flash and heard thunder that was close enough that counting was unnecessary. A storm quickly raged and only added to my satirically pathetic situation as she tried to find my car. Sitting in the rain in my passenger seat with the seat belt on, I laughed and decided I truly, truly needed a beer.

Flash forward to now, I'm sitting with a Morimoto Soba Ale. I've decided to revisit old friends of mine, from noticing a gap in my reviews of beers I love and from visiting my buddy who's texting in front of me now as his brother plays drums in the room next door. Morimoto Soba Ale is an old buddy who I haven't seen in a year.

Reminiscent and melancholy are the words of this review.

My bottle may be a bit old, or maybe my memory was too strong. The pour is a very crisp gold, almost fine cider like. There's a great amount of head, three fingers from my pour and there's lacing as I drink. Other beers in this style seem to lack in this presentation (ignoring the color), this beer does not lack in looks.

The smell is lackluster from what I'd imagine a beer with Morimoto's name on the label should be. The soba is dry, malty like you were smelling raw ingredients. It lacks refinement. It seems young, wild, ignorant of the world. There's a hint of citrus I want to say there, but it's shy. A good twirl only gives the impression that my ramen is finished.

The taste is rather much better than what I expected given the lack of nose. However, it's still dry, something is missing. There's the soba and spice and a hint really watered down orange. Despite the lack of character, which becomes a since of a character, it's sort of enjoyable. In a strange way. It's like sitting on the side of the highway, in a thunderstorm, while images of cops and the news where cars sitting on the shoulder getting creamed play through your mind. There's a sense of enjoyment that can be found in not looking for enjoyment. If I was pairing this with food, Thai for example, it would simply be amazing. By it's self, it's just lacking.

The mouthfeel is frothy, light and drying. The drinkability is aided by the great finish that this beer has. If anything should stand above the rest for this beers highlights, it's the finish. Would I revisit this old friend? I wouldn't drive to see it. If I was however enjoying a dinner and saw it and it seemed agreeable at the time, I would say hi.

Photo of hreb
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

22oz bomber. Beer pours pale in color, with moderate head. Slightly hazey, but too amber and sickly to look like a hefeweiss. Aroma is of toasted grain, with all the nuttiness that implies. Chestnuts, hazelnuts. I almost wonder if it's going to taste like a brown ale. Of course at 14°L it's closer to light beer.

Flavor is pretty mild, with a refreshing hop crispness in the end. In between, the same nutty/toasty flavors from the nose are featured on the palate. It's an interesting thing to showcase in a beer, in that toasted soba totally parallels traditional ale grain bill, but would never be found in one. However the flavor is really very mild, and other than the interesting novelty of it, it's really not that great.

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been a long time since I've had a Rogue beer. They make many quality brews in many different styles. I'll admit that I didn't feel compelled to buy this Morimoto Soba Ale because the rice ales I've tried have never really impressed me much but I thought it'd go well with fish. Too bad I'm not going to drink it with fish. Oh well! Hopefully this will have a clean feel and flavor.

I decided to pour the Soba into a more wine glass-like beer glass because, if sake is considered a rice wine, even though it's a liquor, then perhaps a rice beer should be drank for something like a wine glass. Whatever... The beer is golden-amber in color and clear, though there is a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle that can be poured into the glass. I'll touch on that later on. The head is very bubbly or foamy, with small bubbles, and takes awhile to form and is white. There is little film on top and minimal lacing. While the look might not be very remarkable, it's the smell and taste that deserves detail.

Morimoto Soba has a very grainy, mealy smell to it that mingles with a sort of sweet floral smell. There is some sweet fruit I pick up as well though it's difficult to describe. It's very interesting and not an aroma I've smelled in other beers. It makes Soba not smell, yes, I know that's not a word, but it's definitely something you won't find in basically any other beer you try, unless it's another rice ale.

The same extraordinaryness, another non-word, of Soba's aroma is in its taste. It has a high carbonation and a light mouthfeel, though it has a very bready flavor that would make you think it'd be heavy. There's a tang like from citrus and acidity from sweet fruits, again, I don't know how to describe it in much detail, that fits in well with the high carbonation. There is a balance though with the breadiness as well as an interesting...milky-buttery smoothness that make Soba taste much like sake. That's what is very interesting about Soba in that it's a rice beer but has characteristics of sake, "rice wine". A hint of alcohol towards the end adds to that. If you pour in the little sediment that is at the bottom of the 22 oz bomber then you'll get even more of the unique rice flavors.

Soba is easy to drink with its high carbonation and light mouthfeel, and while it is not overly complex and full of flavor, it is definitely a beer you've not tasted before. Its unique smells and flavors make it something I'd definitely recommend to try. I wouldn't say I particularly think it's a beer that I'd want to have regularly but its uniqueness deserves a try.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber body with single finger of creamy whitish head which laces and retains moderately.

Smells odd, kind of sour and biscuity, not quite skunky, but different than a Flemish sour. And then I guess it kind of smells like soba noodles.

It doesn't really taste like soba noodles, and the taste is more pleasant (and less direct) than the nose. It's still sour, and a little biscuity. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and sour, slightly vegetal.

Mouthfeel is kinda standard, nothing outstanding, and in fact leaves it feeling a bit insubstantial. I would've preferred a thicker feel (in terms of carbonation or sediment); this is clearly (no pun) a filtered beer.

It's all right, and definitely something different. It's fairly drinkable, if a bit odd, and a bomber of it won't knock you out at the low ABV. Worth a try if you're looking for a 'gateway' sour, I suppose. Compares very favorably to Hitachino X.H. (which, as a beer aged in sake casks, shares little in common; still for some reason I am reminded), but doesn't stack up against Flemish sours.

Photo of cjgator3
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a white head that quickly fades. The aroma is pretty faint and it is hard to really pick up on much. The faint aroma is slightly nutty and fruity. The taste much like the aroma is hard to pick up some of the flavors. It is slightly toasty and nutty with a touch of hops in the finish. Overall, this beer is one of my least favorite in the Rogue family, but it is highly drinkable and refreshing. It is not something I would pick up again, but it was nice to try something a little different.

Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Rogue's Portland bar. Wow, this beer smells just like buckwheat pancakes. Interesting. The flavor is more subtle, and that's probably a good thing. The beer still focuses on the malt flavors with sort of a wheaty, cracker taste. I'm not sure I'd order this beer often, but it's tasty, different and drinkable. Totally worth trying.

Photo of Ralphs66
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the lightest (in every way) craft beers I've ever had. Possibly THE lightest. Nothing about this beer is overpowering or in your face. That being said, I really enjoyed this beer. Light and crisp, with the buckwheat flavoring adding a subdued nuttiness. Smell is virtually non-existent. Clean golden coloration and a light, thin head. No alcohol presence at all, so drinkable beyond belief. Very refreshing.

Photo of heebes
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light yellow with two fingers of white foam head that provides adequate lacing.
Nose is light grain, surprisingly similiar to a lager, some spice, mild light fruit and lemon zest.
Taste is similiar: lager yeast and malt, grain, slight spice. Lemon zest throughout.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, dry from the spices.
Overall, unassuming style diverter - very similiar to a Boston Lager. Not overly impressive either.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.19/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Duvel Tulip. A finger plus of white head, and a lightly hazy light orange colored body. Head dies relatively quickly with little retention. Smells vaguely pilsner-like, a very light smokiness. Definitely a light sweet malt smell to it, reminiscent of many Indian beers (rice?). Thin on the mouth with not much carbonation holding. Imminently drinkable. Amazing food beer and hot weather beer. Certainly something I'd re-buy.

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Morimoto Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
80 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.