Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

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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

Added by freed on 07-22-2004

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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 388
Photo of beertaster13
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with roasted buckwheat and 2-row pale, Munich, C-15, C-60 and Weyermann malts. Hopped with Horizon, Sterling and Cascade.

12 degrees plato, 30 IBUs, 75.2 AA, 36-degrees lovibond.

Pours out to a nearly opaque very dark mahogany, forming a tall soapy and sticky dark tan head with superior retention and excellent sticky lacing. Very nice looking beer. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is wonderful with a sweet chocolate graininess with sweet dark roasted malt...wonderful residual sugars and a definite nuttiness which I attribute to the roasted buckwheat. Mouthfeel is dry and brisk with a refreshing medium-light body. Taste begins with very nice delicate deeply roasted grain with the buckwheat nuttiness layered with the jilting sweetness of complex sugars. The hops are there in droves as well; herbal and moderately intense. Hazelnut towards the finish with moderate-strong bitterness. Aftertaste of very woodsy hops and charcoal. Cleanly fermented with no appreciable off-flavors.

This is a really interesting beer, reminding me at times of a mix between Guinness Export Stout & Rogue's Morimoto Soba Ale. It has that sharp burnt caramel bitterness of the Guinness and the medium body, hoppy intensity and residual sugars of the Soba. At any rate, this is a really good beer, but I think I could only finish one of these bombers at a time. Good stuff John!

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Photo of mempath
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beautiful deep red-brown with a massive pancake batter head that sticks nicely. wonderful buckwheat bready smell. sweet faint black strap molasses notes in there, too. very rich and deep. the taste doesn't quite match the look and nose of this, but it's still quite good, bready-malty, some nice slight sourdough sourness. i think the mouthfeel is about the same...could be better but it's still quite good. a bit thinner than i'd like, but carbonated just right, this is nonetheless quite drinkable. easy to drink and quite a joy to drink.

that said, it's a bit pricey...why?

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Photo of RBorsato
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with ruby and mahogany hues with a nice full tan head. Nice roasty malt aroma and flavors much like a mocha coffee; thankfully nothing like the regular Soba Ale. Actually, does not have any "soba-like" character at all. A bit of chocolate character tops it off nicely. Light-medium bodied with a creamy smoothness and a roasty dry coffee-like finish.

Nice !

Per Bottle: 12 P, IBU 30, AA 75.2, 36 L. Roasted Soba, Metcalf, Munich, Harrington, C-15, C-60, and Carafa Special #2 Malts. Horizon, Sterling, and Cascade hops.

Per Rogue website: Roasted Buckwheat and malts (2-row pale, Minuch, C-15, C-60 and Weyermann). Horizon, Sterling and Cascade hops.

($3.99 / 22 oz. lithographed bottle)

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Photo of Quaffer
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Appearance: This beer looked a lot like a porter sitting in the glass. It was a very dark brown color that revealed some deep red highlights when it was held up to the light. The biege head rose up easily to two fingers and settled slowly. It became rather dense and fluffy as it did so. The foam was sticky and left a respectable amount of lace behind.

Smell: Very reminiscent of the Buckwheat and Soba Ales. A buttery sweetness was present that hinted of caramel. Very light chocolate and an occasional touch of hops. The main aroma was a soft, very nutty grain component that I can only attribute to the buckwheat. Some nice roasted malt eventually emerges as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a coating buttery smoothness up in the front of the mouth. The carbonation emerged on the back of the tongue and in the throat.

Taste: Once again, very reminiscent of the Buckwheat and Soba, but with a kick. There was the expected nutty malt and grain that had a bit of a husky edge. Some buttery caramel sweetness came up on the finish. However, these were cut by flavors of bitter coffee and dark chocolate in the middle. Then a nice hops bitterness emerged to linger into the aftertaste along with the coffee. These didn't dominate the aforementioned flavors, they just mingled with them nicely and balanced out the flavor.

I really liked this one, but I have always enjoyed the original Buckwheat Ale. This is very similar, but more brash, unrefined, and punchier. Good stuff.

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Photo of sleazo
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Parallel 33 last night with dinner. Having tried the soba ale and enjoyed it this defnitely was something i was interested in. This was also the best beer on their list.

A- Poured out a dark chocolate brown with a nice head. Decent head retention and plenty of lace.

S-The smell was dominated by roasted malts with a breadlike component to it.

T-The first thing that hits you is the aforementioned roasted malts followed up with a pleasant sourness from the buckwheat. In this it is very similar to the regular Soba Ale. I think the sourness, roasted malt flavour and just a twinge of sweetness make this a very well rounded beer.

M-Very much like a porter, good carbonation maing this very good with my niman ranch ribeye I was eating as it cut through the fat.

D-I could have alot of these. This is a well made beer and right up my alley. This makes a perfect pairing for a rich piece of meat.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Somewhere between black coffee and really, really dark brown. Mocha colored head with light lacing.

Aroma: Both chocolatey and woody, slightly spicy in that Rogue way.

Taste: Roasted malts, subdued coffee bitterness, some hidden caramel sweetness. Very complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Springy, spry, alive!

Overall: Pretty surprised by this. Its very good with lots of different flavors to pick over.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of rjimlad
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep sarsaparilla colour with yeast sediment and rich tan head. Nice fruity aroma with a melange of toffee, roast malt and some sort of fruit like dates or something. Just a hint.
Flavour is the same with roast beef and molasses. Add some indistinct fruit and a fine carbonation. This is really enjoyable and complex. I found it hard to place but thoroughly liked it. A pity it's deer in Oz.

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Photo of Atron67
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent mahogany with a fairly thick, fluffy, light dirty tan head that hangs around for a bit. Aroma is strong and malty with smoky and nutty hints. Flavor is malty with hints of hops, roast nuts and caramel and even a bit of oak. Texture is lively and tingly, sometimes just a wee bit wan but still good. It leaves a mysterious aftertaste a little like smoked wood.

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Photo of AmorousAngel
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown with red tint. Small, off-white head. Light lacing.

Roasted malt and coffee aroma.

Dominated by the roasted malt, with just enough hops to balance without being overly aggressive. Coffee and nutty undertones. Packed with a lot of flavor considering it is such a low alcohol beer.

Medium-bodied with creamy texture. Low carbonation.

Very flavorful, without being too filling.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- looks black like a porter, but is a clear, very deep burgundy when held up to the light. dense stiff tan head holds itself firmly dropping off plenty of lace as it goes, eventually settling with a big rising dome in the middle where i poured.

S- roasted and toasted grains, wood, bark, cigar, milk chocolate, weak coffee, very nutty, almost like hazelnut, well water, holiday bread, almond, cassia, caramel.

T- roasted and nutty, very grainy, little or no fruity flavor that can sometimes come out in these dark ales. very grainy and substantial taste, nutritious, cocoa and coffee, and i nice hop bitterness to blend with the roasted bitterness. some grapefruit cascade flavor is sensed on the back of the tongue but is for the most part overtaken by the malt flavors. very nice balance. finishes as any mild stout or porter would, with lingering coffee and burnt caramel and grain flavors.

MF- lighter than it would appear, this one hovers around medium bodied. medium carbonation as well. somewhat crisp when cold, but becoming a bit syrupy as it warms.

D- as interesting as the lighter version with perhaps a bit more depth. nice and hoppy, but i wouldn't have guessed there were any odd ingredients in here if i didn't know better. i can taste the buckwheat cuz i KNOW it's in there, but those flavors are similar to, and can be interpreted as, flavors that we get from different varieties of barley malt. especially when the whole shebang is roasted.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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 Trizzle
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really expected this to be rated higher than it is... It is definitely not a fruit/vegetable style (both my bottle and the rogue website say the only ingredients are water, malted barley, hops and yeast) and this bottle (imported to Europe) says 5.0%abv not the 4.8 shown here. Did I get a collectors edition?? Too late. I drank it.

L: Black and slightly murky but nice dense head with top retention and laces beautifly.

S: sweet dark malts, light spiced raisins and some oil hop hints.

T: lovely sweet malt and light fruity hops and some subliminal soy sauce and mirin. Not greatly complex but At 5% (or 4.8) you don't really expect it to be huge.

M: medium malt body with good carbonation.

D: great. A touch on the sweet side but could pound this all day.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very dark, near black with red highlights and a light tan head. decent retention and lacing. very strong roasted peanut aroma. flavor is nutty as well with a nice earthy hop character. finishes dry with the traditional pacman yeasty aftertaste. very smooth drinking beer with a zesty and crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. bomber is gone quickly. another excellent beer out of the morimoto line.

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Photo of budgood1
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the 22 oz. bomber a nearly opaque brown/crimson/ruby colour with a thick tan head. lots of lace with this one, too. lots of roasted, choco, and toffee notes in the nose; almost candy bar like. at first sip....the first thing i think of is PORTER...the chocolate is unmistakeable and the sweetness is undeniable. the nutty buckwheat characteristics are somewhat overwhelmed by the roasty, toasty, notes of the malt...there is a nice hop addition...adding a bittering flavour. this is a nice beer. it comes off a lot sturdier than 4.8 ABV: the body of this brew is medium with an extremely smooth mouthfeel. the aftertaste is bittering hops...adding to a nice long finish reminiscent of chocolate chip pancakes. a scrumptious brew. dessert worthy, or a breakfast treat. yummy.

another treat provided by my buddy tony from oregon...bringing back rogue treats as a wedding present.

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Photo of Floydster
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle from Cooke's for six dollars

Happy to get the last bottle of this because it was only brewed once

Pour was very dark brown, not quite black, with a thick vanilla head

Smell was roasted malt and vegetable scent

Taste is hard to explain, deep and dry, with almost a dark wheat beer texture

Good beer, but very different than anything I have ever had

Very drinkable, drank my bottle and still wanted more

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber

Almost black with some ruby notes around the edge. Creamy head that dosn't hold as long as i would like. Smell of roasted malts but I also picked up some distinct cascade hops grapefruit in the first wiff. The roasted flavor takes over and pushes the hops out of the picture. Some chocolate and coffee tones in the taste. Mouthfeel is on the thin side but that isn't exactly a bad thing. There is so much flavor in this beer that it stays interesting all the way through. Fruit/vegetable beer dosn't really give you a feel for what this beer is, I would describe it as a scotch ale. Nice beer that is worth seeking out to try.

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4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a highly carbonated inch and a half of rich tan head sticking to the glass slightly as it fades. Body is a thin blackness that shows the carbonation on the body of the glass. Nose is attractive with roasty malt and hints of nutty toffee and minerals. You get a slight tangy sour on the tongue up front this is not harsh though. This quickly yeilds to a nutty malt that paints the mouth fully. Has a nice thickness due to the sour start and the malty balance. Extremely drinkable well balanced refresher.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I pour this beer it shows a brilliantly clear chocolate brown color, it sits in the glass a drab, opaque dark brown color. The head is voluminous and starts out about four-fingers thick. As it slowly falls down it creates a varied, rocky surface, all the while leaving a lacing pattern on the side of the glass. The aroma has a spicy grain like note to it and lots of chocolate-like malt notes as well. This is really quite rich and chocolaty; there is just enough roasted malt character to not add any sharp astringency. There is a touch of toasted malt character and a really solid backdrop of malted grain complexity. The aroma is quite smooth, and very enticing, we'll have to see how the flavor matches up to this aroma.

The beer rests lightly on the palate up front, but picks up soft creaminess that has the beer lingering nicely on the palate by the time one finishes a sip. Once again the chocolate character is the dominant component, but this time of the flavor. Up front the beer has a zippy carbonation, which combines with some spicy, almost grassy grain character to give this beer a change of pace from the chocolate notes. The chocolate notes really don't become dominant until about half way through a sip of this beer and it really melds well with the soft creamy body of this brew. Roasted toasty malt notes in the finish remind me of backed lightly ovened nuts, and a touch of lightly burnt crusty bread.

This is quite a nice brew, I can't say for sure what the soba is adding to this brew, but I am sure it is adding to the complexity. This beer boils down to the complex, dark malt / grain profile that is delivered by a relatively light, easily quaffable brew.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pint 6fl oz bottle into a pint glass

A: The head poured takes up nearly half of the pint glass. As it falls,it takes on a really bready appearance. Color is nearly jet black. Even when held to light it only reveals a small amount of brown around the edges. Great lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of cooked grains,soy, and a touch of banana.

T: The taste here is a little hard to pinoint. It is a little like a savory broth. Definite brown ale (dunkel) characteristics. You can definitely taste buckwheat. A light sweetness that tastes very, very much linke buckweat honey.

M: Thick, rich, chewy, foamy, low carbonation.

D: Great serious food beer. Could be served at fine dining establishments or just with great pub food.

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Photo of andyfrancis
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black, root beer when held to light. nice enough light brown head.

Smells fresh. Almost a cucumber like quality, which is confusing given the color. Roasty malt presenting itself more as it warms.

Great light, earthy flavor. Soda water and a hint of bitterness on the finish. Very sessionable.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this beer.

All in all, an interesting brew that lends itself well to light food and cheese pairings. Great with fresh chevre and pain au levain or cream cheese and a bagel.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.1/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
3.66 out of 5 based on 388 ratings.
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