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 dvmin98
1.98/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into standard pint glass (all we had at the beach).

The smell was of malts and pepper?

This beer seemed to literally have no body to it. It was like watered down soda. The taste was not good at all. I think I had my hopes up since this was a Rogue product.

To be honest, I poured it out half-way through. Hopefully, we had an old bottle or something, because it was just not enjoyable.

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Photo of MmmIPA
2.47/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Blackish/reddish with red edges with a off white head that stuck around for a few.Mild lacing

Mild fruit(Sobi) and malt smell

Slightly roasted taste.Pac-man yeast is in there.Sweet taste dominates.I personally cant taste the hops

Mild carbonation,nothing really harsh.Not boozy at all

Very different for me to drink.But good,im glad i tried it.Good solid brew but from Rogue but not there best.

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Photo of hoffman
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first review in a very long time.

I've been aging several beers for the last 5 years or so. This one is part of that lot. I realize it isn't a high ABV selection, but I'm experimenting with everything.

Obviously this one is past it's prime. But it still resembles, very closely, the Black Obi Soba that I remember when it was brand new. Good pour, thin and opaque black. Weak nose, even in a snifter, tobacco, chocolate. Tastes toasted chocolate/coffee, raisins and alchohol in the finish. The time has taken the edge off the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is watery and weak.

Overall I think this beer was below average fresh, the age obviously doesn't help it, especially after this amount of time.

For what it's worth.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to Hop Cat tulip glass.

A - Light to medium orange/yellow colour with a half finger of bubbly white head that very quickly disappeared.

S - Bready malts, orange, some sweetness.

T - Bready malts are the dominant flavour with some good overall sweetness. Some light citrus notes are present as well in the background. A very slight bitterness is evident as well. This is a strange beer. Decent flavour for a light beer, but the sweetness became too much for me and I didn't finish the bottle. Not very well balanced at all.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - Decent for 3.5% ABV but very plain.

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Photo of klewis
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours dark brown with a massive frothy head. The thickist lacing I've ever seen covers the glass.

S: Pale ale-like hop smell with some vegetal celeryish aromas.

T: Much like the smell, the taste is somewhat bitter, with some hop flavor and very strong flavors of carrots or celery. Too bad I'm not a fan of vegetables.

M: Surprisingly light in body live a clean, watery finsih.

D: This isn't a bad beer, but I'm not a big fan of the taste or mouthfeel. Others that have more of an appreciation for vegetables may enjoy this more.

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Photo of RickS95
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It says fruit/vegetable beer, but I've never seen that type look like this. It looks like a porter or stout. It's extremely dark, almost black, with a thin white head that recedes relatively quickly leaving a creamy top.

Again, I'm not sure this is actually a fruit/vegetable beer. There's nothing resembling any fruit or veggie I know, though it's very malty and the nose fills with scents of caramel and toffee.

It's a strange taste, not something I'm familiar with. I can't even describe what it tastes like. The closest thing it watered down cola.

Has a loose, watery, creamy feel. It's medium-bodied. Has no sweet or even bitter feel, and no alcohol.

This tastes like no beer I've had, and if I was blindfolded, I'd be hardpressed to call it a beer. Doesn't really taste like me, provides no hint of alcohol. It's not bad, it's just not close to good. More or less a waste of $8.99.

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Photo of theopholis
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance-Very dark. Just a hint of deep, dark blood red. Almost no head at all.

Aroma- Not overly complex. A nice,sweet maltiness. Very light hops. Fairly crisp and clean.

Taste- Hard to put a handle on it. Very little malty sweetness. Not dry either. Slightly bitter. Some coffee undertones. Not real impressive, but not bad either.

Mouthfeel- Not bad, not impressive. Decent carbonation level, but not so overpowering you lose the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not a beer I plan on buying again, but I wouldn't tell anybody not to buy it either.

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Photo of BeerGodz
2.92/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Look: Brownish red color, massive head that will not go away with insane lacing

Smell:Roasted malt, nuts, buckwheat

Taste: Up Front: Buckwheat, coffee. Finish: Chocolate, slight metalic taste, then more chocolate

Mouthfeel: Light/Medium body, high carbonation

Drinkability: The sharp carbonation bite made this harder to drink than it could have been

Overall Impression: It was impossible to pour this beer without excessive foaming, and since the head retention excellent, that was an issue. The high carbonation killed this beer in mouthfeel and drinkability as well. That sucks, because it had a pretty interesting flavor. I'm hoping this was an isolated incident.

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Photo of Naes
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is a very dark brown (not quite black) with a tall dark tan head. The head has decent retention, but provides very little lacing.
The aroma is sweet and slightly roasty.
The flavor is a bit watered down, but has a grainy and slightly roasted presence. There is also a slight hop presence, though this is definitely not a bitter beer.
Mouth feel is a bit watery.

This one is a bit of a letdown when you consider the brewery.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not the biggest fan of this one. I had this one right after the other Morimoto Ale and found this one to be a little awkward. The pour looked good, had a deep brown color similar to a black lager but with a super sized head on it that was tan in color. The lacing was pretty good too. The aromas were mixed on this it has grassy aromas and some herbal notes. The taste was a little strange. I'm can't really explain it. I just tasted gross to me. I was able to finish it but I won't being buying this again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (courtesy of Okbeer): Poured a pitch-black ale with a medium head with average retention. Aroma of bitter hops with some strange spice that I don’t think I have encountered in beer before. Taste is a mix between the roasted malt, bitter hops and this strange spice. Body is too thin and carbonation is very low. This is not bad but nothing extraordinary either; I’d still go with the mocha porter any day thought.

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Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle pours a dark red almost black color with a small light brown head that leaves little lacing in my glass. Light grain and wheat aromas, taste of wheat bread, not much flavor kind of bland. Light to medium bodied with a watery mouthfeel, finishes a bit sweet.

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Photo of AltBock
3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice 22oz. bomber that was silk screened with the word Morimoto and some Japanese writing on the front. The cap also had same artwork as the front of the bottle. No date on the back of the bottle (typical Rogue bottle), but their was plenty of information about the beer on the back though. It has 12o Plato, 30 IBU, 75.2 AA, and 36o L.

Appearance: When poured into my Samuel Smith Imperial Pint Glass, it was dark brown in color with plenty of ruby highlights through it. The head of foam was about 1in. in hight and had an off white color head of foam. It dissipated fast, but left plenty of rings and lace around the glass.

Smell: It was a little weak in the aroma dept. When I first popped the cap, a strong aroma of Cascade hops (thats what was said on the back of the bottle) came pouring out. When I poured it, the hops remained, but a little lighter, and a buckwheat aroma emerged.

Taste: This is where you get to taste the buckwheat you smelled. Up front there was a roasted buckwheat taste (this could also be the roasted Soba mentioned in the ingredients, but I've never had Soba before), very little malt, and with a huge helping of bitter citrus hops at the very end.

Mouthfeel: It was a bit too watery, weak, and dry for my taste and also those dry bitter hops I tasted lingered on for a while in the back of my mouth.

Drinkability: Overall a beer you need only to try once and that's it. This is something I wanted to try since I watch alot of Iron Chef and after drinking this, I was a bit disappointed. Sorry, this isn't one of Rogue's best products.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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 "". 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...

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.04/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black and frothy, this beer has that Pacman-gobbled spicy wort nose indecipherable from anything but the Rogue hop-monsters.

The malt consistency here is like chewing on black tea leaves. The infusion of a slight bit of unrounded bitterness makes the package less than particularly desirable.

With warmth some doughiness comes out, but still that piercing black medicinal taste. Interestingly off.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a dark brown chestnut color with a small light tan head. Lacing is good when tipped, but falls quickly.

S - Nutty, roasted malt in a very intense manner. Little hop action

T - Rich dry roasted malt with a nice almost peanutty flavor in the subtext. Little fruit to be tasted. Drying in the finish, but mostly roasted almost burnt flavors abound after the swallow. A touch sweet.

M - Little carbonation leads to a slightly biting medium bodied brew. Aftertaste is sweet and bitter with some cloying attributes.

D - What is Black Obi Soba anyway? Is this really a fruit/vegetable beer? Rogue's website says Soba is buckwheat, which is really a fruit and not a grain. Hmm. It tastes and smells like a grain to me (at least in beer form), so don't go expecting a "fruity" beer for this one. Anyhow, this is not a favorite of mine, and I doubt I will be revisiting. Just a touch too roasted and dry without more redeeming qualities.

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Photo of cokes
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

 1,178 characters

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, dark amber with a rocky, crackling, khaki head. Smells of mild hop spiciness, with roasted and slightly chocolatey malt. Initially hits with gentle hops followed by a dry roasted malt in the middle finishing with a nutty, hop crispness. Slightly astringent and almost salty. Medium body, drying mouthfeel. Not that impressive, but perhaps pairing it with the right foods will make it standout.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1 pint 6 fluid ounce ‘Bomber’ which has a restrained appearance considering Rogues trait for decorated bottles, this one has a simple red and white motif with the words ‘Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale’. Reverse printing has the following stats 12° Plato, 30 IBU, 75.2 AA, 36°L.

Appearance: Dark brown fig juice body that has a gorgeous dark tan fluffy marshmallow head, fleshy at first the head develops a crusty rocky surface with some nice collapsed rock pool paint bubble lacing on the glass walls. Minimal short lived carbonation levels when swirled. Long lasting head gives this one a great look.

Nose: Weird, funky almost, took me a while to get used to this one I have to say…..dark malts, has a fatty smell as well…what is that – the Soba? Strange, not off-putting but not very inviting either.

Taste: Lots of dark roast malts, toasted middle with a whole-wheat bread feel also. Burnt sugar tastes like those from caramelized white sugar that bubbles to a black messy mass….that kind of burnt sugar. Hazelnuts break in the end. Muddy earthworm laden dry finish that has a delicate hop bite. Leaves a burnt roast malt tingle on the tongue and a lingering earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth in the swallow but it has a very strong burnt cum bitter feel which feels rough around the edges. Light chewy nutty dimension also. Uncouth.

Drinkability: Didn’t really wow me to be honest. Easy enough to drink but lightweight and a tad funky but in a messy unconvincing way.

Overall: Hmmmm….listed as a Fruit/Vegetable beer…but I couldn’t help feel that this tasted and drank a little like a below average Dark Mild. Not bad….but I think I’ll pass on this one again if I see it. Very Average and bloody boring….Zzzz…..yawn.

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Photo of Zorro
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a clear deeply brown colored ale with a fast fading light brown head.

Smell is sweet and wheaty with a lot of dark roasted malt aroma. Fairly strong chocolate and coffee aromas and quite bready in scent.

Taste is neutral and slightly bitter in the beginning. Lots of roasted malt flavor here to the point that this is sharply bitter in taste from it. Faint chocolate and coffee flavor but it has a really hard time getting past the charred grain flavor. Surprisingly strongly flavored this really taste much more like a dry porter than a wheat or fruit beer. There is an acrid harshness to this beer that is not pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability just isn't this beers strong suit. There is a harshness to the flavor from too much charred malt. This is distinctly burned in flavor and much closer to a porter or stout than anything else. A beer I can't recommend.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 22oz bottle a seemingly black hue, but deep brown highlights emerge when it is held up to the light. A half-inch, tan-colored head hangs around for a few minutes before retreating into a thin ring on top of the beer. Interesting aroma of roasted malt, caramel, and and a touch of dark fruit. The palate is strange - lightly sweet, with a touch of malt and no discernable hop presence up front. Notes of root vegetable, molasses, and buckwheat come through mid-palate, and a light hop bitterness emerges in the back of the mouth. Light body is a bit too thin. Interesting, to say the least, although I'm not sure I'd drink this very often.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

White head little head and an occasional grab of lacing. color leans towards black.

I can't pickup any fruits or vegetables, mainly just roasted malts with some hoppy hops.

This to me seems like a porter but with more of a balanced hop attack. Hop bitterness really shines through towards the end when the beer thins out. Finish leaves behind a coating that makes it dry up the palate. I need another drink to swish things around. All in all its not all that bad and worthy of dabbling into if you must.

I have to say this is uncharacteristic for rogue, who knows maybe Morimoto had to much input into this beer because when rogue makes their "own" beers they are phenominal. I'm going to blame this average offering on the chef and move on.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 650 ml brown bottle, abv listed at 5.0%. Pours out a dense, nearly opaque brown, deep mahogany highlights appear when held to light. Tall fluffy light tawny head that slowly recedes into a chunky cap, with intense lacing. The frothy cap never fully subsides, in fact it lasts down to the bottom of the glass in ample abundance.

Definitely an earthy vegetable note on the nose, with hints of roasted malt.

Has a taste akin to many gluten-free beers I've sampled, the addition of the soba adds almost a rice vinegar sourness to the overall flavour profile, along with the earthiness of tubers and roots. A little bit of dark roasted malt shows up as well. A charred, woody aftertaste ensues.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, medium-bodied yet a bit watery, although the remaining head adds some creamy heaviness along with it, almost balancing everything out when all is said and done.

Not high on my list for a return visit, yet not bad either. The soba just doesn't do anything for me.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: tall brown 650mL bottle, transluscent craft beer label. Nice!

Appearance: mid dark brown with plenty of red highlights. A decent beige head, approximately 2-cemtimetres, thick and somewhat creamy-looking.

Aroma: a fairly demure aroma but pleasant enough, with molasses, pitted fruits and something vegetal or herbal.

Taste: some smokiness comes across, with plenty of wood, roasted malts and something I still can't put my finger on that makes the whole process a little less desirable.

Aftertaste: I think I picked up the culprit in the aftertaste - it's an astringent alcohol and currant fug that sits across the entire profile. Not awful but not all that pleasant either.

Mouth feel: medium in body with a moderate carbonation - pretty standard feel.

Overall: an interestingly different but ultimately disappointing beer, especially considering it came at a cost of AU$15 a bottle (2013). I simply can't justify the cost for a beer that is alright.

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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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