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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Black Obi Soba AleMorimoto Black Obi Soba Ale
389 Ratings
Morimoto Black Obi Soba AleMorimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 |  Reviews: 232
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
3.53/5  rDev -3%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of midaszero
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber served in a snifter.

A: Pours dark mahogany with a small, light tan head. Leaves a small spots of lacing. More or less clear.

S: Sweet aroma featuring mixed grains with fruity overtones, toffee and a hint of red wine barrel. Improved with warming.

T: A more complex and unusual flavor than expected even given the rather unusual and rather complex aroma. Diverse tasted malt aspects, presumably including buckwheat. [Actually, there is a somewhat clear note of buckwheat in the finish,] Hints of toffee, dark fruits and hops. Low bitterness,

M: very good body with medium carbonation. Fairly clean and semi-dry finish.

O: quite distinct, very interesting and well-crafted, with a good sweet/bitter balance, However, neither the aroma nor the flavor profiles were entirely to my liking. As intended, I guess, excellent with Asian cuisine. From memory, more interesting but not quite as enjoyable as Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale. Not a fruit/vegetable beer!

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Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of KeefD
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of bheilman
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of everetends
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 head, dark red/brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: sweet fruit, malt, brown sugar, and a touch of hops

Taste: same as the smell with a touch of wood--sweet fruit, malt, brown sugar, and a touch of hops

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter, medium/light bodied, and high carbonation

Drinkability: Not as impressed with this as the other Morimoto ale from them. I think the taste here seemed rather muted throughout. The smell is good but after that the ale is just ok. I will not be buying this again at the price.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of kkmiller76
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ujsplace
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a deeb brown colored brew with a hint of amber just around the edges of the glass. This brew boasts a massive, rocky light tan colored head that lasts a while and laces nicely. A good looking brew.

Smells of rich, sweet roasted malts, mild chocolate, grains and earthy and citrus hops along with something that must be the buckwheat...

Tastes of roasted chocolate malts, spices, nice hop bitters - citrus, earthy along with some mild coffee. Also a flavor that I am guessing is the roasted soba.

Creamier as it warms, carbonation is good.

A highly drinkable, enjoyable brew. Another winner from Rogue.

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Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a deep dark brown verging on black with red tinges. Fluffy tan head with reasonable retention and lacing.

Massive sweet hop aroma with lots of citrus and floral notes. Tasty with a slight maltiness.

An interesting beer with light earthy roast notes imparting bitterness and complexity. Buckwheat is evident but certainly not overpowering. Some light fruitiness from the hops is also present but nowhere near as powerful as in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is interesting with it starting off very smooth and silky with a medium body and average carbonation. The beer starts to grip the palate with what comes across as quite heavy tannins. An interesting and different approach.

This is a tasty brew but it lacks in overall complexity and fails to really show off the central ingredient. The mouthfeel isn't bad but the grip does make it a bit more difficult to drink.

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Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of bludtek
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend told me about this beer and said it was worthy of a try. Poured from a 650 mL bottle, it is a deep, deep brown colour with a very long lasting beige head and pronounced lacing.

The smell is a mixture of floral and resiny hops, coriander, boiled vegetables, and freshly baked cookies.

Toasted malt is apparent to the finish. A touch of starch is noted, as is spice, and what appears to be some buttery oatmeal.

This beer is smooth and nicely carbonated with a clean finish - medium bodied. I would definitely try it again.

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Photo of Hypersomnia
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Jeffo
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a big fluffy medium-thick off white head with very good retention. Dark brown, almost black, opaque, with some ruby hues. Higher levels of carbonation evident in the form of smaller bubbles. Head slowly fades to a healthy film cap and leaves some immediate lacing. Good film stays with lots of pretty lacing down the glass. Looks like a good-looking porter.

SMELL: Decent strength nose of buckwheat with some roasted hints. A faint touch of chocolate and dark fruits in the background with a bit of a floral hop kick as well.

TASTE: Roasted buckwheat up front with some bitter chocolate and coffee notes through the middle, leading into some bitter hops at the end. A bit of a grainy fink going on as well. Powdery finish with a mild but long lasting roasty, chocolaty, bitter-sweet aftertaste. Odd, but nice. Kind of like a dry stout with buckwheat.

PALATE: Medium body and higher end carbonation. A light and powdery feel on the palate. Smooth, goes down very smooth and finishes very dry, almost too astringent. Again, strange, but interesting.

OVERALL: Decent beer and drinkable enough, but I'm not sure what I think of it. I enjoyed it enough, and I get the feeling this beer is exactly what it was intended to be, but I'm not sure if I'd really want it again. Glad to have had it though.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My girlfriend bought this because she likes buckwheat. Buckwheat makes me gassy. I'm assuming she doesn't know that yet...but she soon will.

Are we sure this is Rogue? Where's the mug and fist pump? I call shenanigans. Near opaque dark brown with a 1 finger beige head. Good retention.

Smells like buckwheat and dog.

Tastes like buckwheat pancakes dipped in a so-so brown ale. Somewhat of a nutty complexity that I enjoy. Typical Pacman mouthfeel.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep body into a hefeweizen glass. Brown, red, black, and slight golden hues. 3 fingers of off white, slightly creamy head, with a little rockiness to it. Decent lacing, but I was expecting a little more. Mostly translucent, close to opaque. No visible carbonation or sediment.

S - Very interesting rosy smell off this. Very powerful smell. Slightly syrupy sweet. A little roasted as well.

T - Interesting taste, definitely unlike anything I've ever had. Again, syrupy sweetness. Dark fruits and caramel. Almost honey sweetness to this. Initially very carbonated, but faded down a little bit. Good nutty taste to this as well. Slight hop bitterness, but not very pronounced. Unbalanced in favor of the malts. No alcohol taste, which isn't very surprising since it's only about 4.5%. Still not very refreshing, but more on the savory side.

MF - Something about this beer doesn't rub me right. A little graininess to this. Rather offputting considering the syrupy taste and smell to this. Slightly on the heavier side.

D - Not terribly drinkable. A little on the heavy side and the flavor doesn't lend itself well to drinking a lot or frequently.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber served into a tulip

Pours a chocolate brown that is red in the center when held to direct light. The mocha head is fluffy at one and a half fingers size. This looks an awful lot like a porter, frankly. Indistinguishable from a porter, even. The lacing is actually quite lovely; great rings of notched foam around the whole glass.

I can make out the buckwheat (soba) immediately, especially after having had the other Morimoto soba ale. It smells wet and more earthy than your standard malted barley. This buckwheat is roasted (hence the dark color) so there are some chocolate & coffee undertones. Roasted soba doesn't lend itself to those flavors nearly as well as barley, so there is a slight disconnect going on. Hoppy? Yeah, it is. Also, there is a metallic twinge to the beer that might be coming from the hops. Either way its unpleasant but not so much as to overshadow the other aspects of the beer.

I had the porter comparisons in my head ever since the pour, but the taste beckons the dry stout style. Black Obi Soba Ale is light and pretty refreshing in the way that dry stouts tend to be. Its just enough roasted flavor to keep things interesting. The hop character is surprisingly pronounced. Grassy, vegetal hop flavors mostly -- and they go with the grainy/funky/nutty/sweet taste of buckwheat. It doesn't have the undercurrents of black... currant... like the OG Soba Ale does, but the roasted character makes up for it.

I enjoy the mouthfeel here. Its not thick by any means but its not water-thin either. The OG Soba Ale was a superb meal beer, and Black Obi is no different. I paired it with a dish of pot roast and carrots and the beer was tough enough to stand up to the rich meat. I'm rating the drinkabilty as high as I am not only because of its individual merits in that category but also because of that impressive balance -- its light but also strong enough to handle some heavy meat dishes.

Just like the OG Morimoto Soba Ale, Black Obi is a wonderful and unique beer to enjoy, especially with food. Its definitely earned its black belt. Roasted buckwheat -- different but ultimately successful.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3%

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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 389 ratings