Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

232 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 388
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a watery black but has a big foamy head with lots of lacing left behind.
S - slight sweet with a bit of buckwheat.
T - mild malty sweetness, not syrupy, with a very mild bitter in the back. A bit of dark coffee in the aftertaste.
M - well carbonated with a body akin to a porter.
D - easy drinking.
Not over the top in any aspects, just a decent easy drinking beer. Would probably be better sold in a cheaper six pack option.

 429 characters

Photo of enzocc
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is quite something. The appearance is a like a stout. very dark, nice creamy head, high carbonation. The smell and the taste are almost the same. Very dark roasted coffee, smoky. the smell takes me to a barbeque. It's a watery, thin beer.
Not my type of beer. good in his way! different but good!

 306 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent head, but I like the abundant ring lace. The color is deep ruby brown where light comes through the center of the glass.

Dark coffee malt aroma. Slight cream, little else.

There's a stout element to the flavor of dark, unsweetened coffee. The body is very thin with a high carbonation. The aftertaste is all burnt malt flavors, no notable hop.

 352 characters

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.

 632 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque in its darkness was the only saving grace to this one.

The aroma was pleasant, albeit a little lighter then I was expecting. Nice touches of molasses and maple syrup weighed in heavily, though the spices seemed to be all but covered up under a bit too hot alcohol profile. The flavor though started to redeem itself quite nicely. Rich notes of maple syrup and molasses washed over the tongue immediatly, falling into a spiced yam like flavor that was layered on top of a nice bready malt profile.

 511 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours Crayola brown with a nice frothy head. The beer is quite attractive in my glass.

In the nose I get sweet malt, fresh grain, and fruity sweetness, but without the fruit. If barley was to suddenly mutate and grow blueberries they would smell like this.

The taste follows with the muddled sweet malty descriptors above.

The mouthfeel is quite nice, rich and velvety.

This wasn't really all that I had hoped. A bit muddled and somewhat tough to drink.

 457 characters

Photo of HugePlume
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber decanted into a pair of pints to share with the wife :)

A- Great looking beer, pours a great finger and a half light tan head. very rocky. excellent retention, lacing is well above par too. Color is a deepbrown, with just a little light plumb color around the edges.. Its a real looker.

S- Very sweet, carmel corn, grains and dried fruits.

T- many different malt aspects, caramel corn again from the nose, along with sweet hard candy, and toffee malt. A little alcohol at the end. Very low bitterness, theres 3 hops but none of them do much.

M- very good body, thick with slightly above average carbonation which makes it more drinkable. Clean finish, little aftertaste or residue,

O- Good beer, I will have a gain. Well rounded and a nice sweet balance of flavor that does not get sugary or artificial tasting.

 828 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: As it is pouring, you can see that it is pretty clear, and it shows as well through the corner when you hold it to a bright light. The head starts out pretty small 1/8" of light tan and somewhat fizzy bubbles, but it didn't take long for the beer to go creamy on top and the head rose a bit and started leaving considerable lacing on the glass when swirling the beer. This is a pretty well presented beer overall.

Aroma: The aroma is quite complex with dark fruit from the dark malts and some bittersweet chocolate leading the profile. The hops are coming out as a defined floral presence. There is a dryness to the beer that is coming across a bit like wheat that I assume is the Soba.

Taste: Interesting. The taste doesn't really blend all that well. The chocolate and sweet notes that the aroma gave up are there, but the hops are a lot bigger player than the aroma suggested through the dark malts. There is a "dry rice" flavor (that is the only way I can describe it) coming out that I guess is the Soba. The beer is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation to take you all the way through the beer leisurely and it never goes flat. The finish is quite dry and led by the hops big time. They really never let go so the malt stays muted in the finish.

Opinion: This beer had me going up to the first sip, and then it fell apart for me. I liked the look and aroma quite a bit, but the aggression that they used on the hopping really killed this beer. It is so light, however many IBUs they added was probably about double the amount necessary for this beer. This beer was delicate enough that they didn't need to do that to it...but whatever. It is what it is. An overly bittered beer with some interesting notes in the aroma that aren't able to shine through in the flavor. I won't need to go back to this one.

 1,829 characters

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.

 507 characters

Photo of Wattsox
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, consumed Feb 2011.

A - Dark brown body with a very large head on the pour that takes a while to dissipate and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S - Rich grainy aromas with some nuttiness.

T - Roasted malts lead on this one with some caramel, some fruitiness and a nice bitter hoppy balance. Very complex and interesting.

M - Light bodied but slightly heavy on the carbonation. Overall, still quite smooth.

D - Quite drinkable, would be more so if the carbonation was dialled back just a little.

 513 characters

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

$7.49 for a bomber. No bottled on date, as usual per Rogue.

A: Dark, tawny, almost purple though my eyes may be deceiving me here. Not much head retention on the initial pour, but there's some decent lacing.

S: Nutty, mild roast, just the smallest amount of dark fruit to be noticeable.

T: Woodsy, dark chocolate, cold coffee, some raisin action. Oatmeal & some grape bubblegum flavors going on. Aftertaste is wicked dry with some earthy hop bitterness. Reminds me of a dunkel and schwarzbier combined.

M/D: I like the melange of different flavors here using those specialty grains/malts. Complex tasting, but not heavy at all. A unique beer worth a try.

 660 characters

Photo of tapman
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a super meringue-like head, fantastic tawny, three fingered head. Ample carbonation. Looks like it was poured out of a nitro tap, though I'm drinking from the bottle. Head can get out of control if you are not careful.

Nuts and a little earthy hoppiness makes the nose for me. Some smokiness, too.

A little buttery with a chocolate/caramel middle. Cream-like taste as well. Hops come after all of this with some low bitterness and a moderately sharp cheesiness.

A little dry and a little thin. Texture does have a milk stout-esque quality.

This is a good brew and it does go well with pork as stated on the bottle.

 635 characters

Photo of ujsplace
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 633 characters

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.

 724 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark with wonderful cherry red highlights when backlit. Small kaki head with low retention.

S - Raisin, brown sugar, molasses.

T - Wonderfully interesting. Raisins, porridge, cream, earthy roast, honey. Mocha latte finish with a touch of citrusy bitterness. All the flavors are standards but the way the soba holds them together is something I can't quite describe. It's very different and very enjoyable.

M - Medium-light body with a strange dry/sweet finish, where the texture is dry but the aftertaste holds a residual sweetness.

D - Flavors are little too big to really session with, but overall it's very pleasant.

O - Definitely give this a try.

 660 characters

Photo of bbb099
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Split with mjyoung.

A: Moderate amount of head. Color was an appealing ink black.

S: Subtle amount of roasted malt aroma. Nothing to write home about.

T: The first thing that hits you when you sip the beer is how carbonated it is. The bubbles were a little overwhelming in that you can't taste much until the beer goes down your throat. Then do you sense the bitterness from the roasted malt. It's a little disappointing that it is quite watery; however, it finishes dry with a hint of the soba, which was pleasant.

M: Light bodied and could use less carbonation.

D: I could probably drink a lot of it because it is a little watery, but I would not go out of my way to get another bottle.

 693 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, split with bbb099

A: Dark with a nondescript 1/2 finger's worth of head that is fairly resilient. It doesn't leave much more than the lightest of laces. The bottle is of course appealing, typical Rogue.

S: Strong hints of roasted malt and burnt caramel. It does have the slightest of fruity hints, but it isn't a very complex smell.

T: Heavily roasted malt and caramel comes through in the taste as well. It doesn't develop much, but it does have a hint of hop and finishes nicely with a hint of, as bbb099 puts it, wheat noodle. This makes for a rather unique combination of tastes that will at least set this beer apart for me.

M: A dry, light bodied dark beer, the carbonation is a bit much. That's not enough to detract from the experience though.

D: Quite unique, but I'm not sure that it really does it for me. I definitely like certain aspects of the beer, but I'm glad I'm splitting the bottle.

 921 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Caramel colored, nice one inch head formed and a fair amount of bubbles.

S - Light caramel, a slightly sour note. Very subtle smell overall.

T - Burnt malt, but very smooth and no real bitterness.

M - Creamy and soft but still light bodied. Moderate carbonation. I'm actually very impressed/surprised by this. The creaminess and light body do not seem a likely combination, but I really like it.

D - Given the ingredients used this ale turned out well. A nice curiosity but nothing I'll be drinking again soon.

 555 characters

Photo of claspada
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark dark amber with off-white head. Aromas are quite contrasting and complex. There's some iced-coffee, though very mild, with some cream and molasses, earthiness, and roots, along with some dark bread crust, craziness...

Tastes follow the nose, really complex. The beer initially tasted like schwartzbier but then I get some earthiness (from the hops I guess) and some fruitiness and this medicine (cherry cough syrup) character which isn't bad, just different. Rogue's Pacman yeast is also detectable but not as much as in their other beers. Mild coffee, but not bitter, with some faint hops in the end.

This is a really complex beer, not sure if the other Soba ale from Rogue is at all similar but now I have to go try it to compare. This beer is many different styles combined at once, they clash, but not in a bad way. I have never been so intrigued and pleased at the same time, especially from a beer under 5% ABV.

 927 characters

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.

 391 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The same as the previous reviewer, the bottle I've got here is at 5%abv.; purchased at the UTOBEER beer shop in the Borough Market, London, coming in a 650ml brown bomber. BB date unknown.

A: dark brown-ish in colour, topped with a thick and well-lasting light tan froth supported by the endless streams of lively carbonation. Enticing in appearance.
S: a touch of licorice+ginger candy underscores the main aroma mixed of caramel, burned malts, longan-fruits and juicy&thick flowery fragrance of US hops. Pleasant, hoppy, semi-sweet malty like a premium bitter or brown ale in some ways.
T: a light-bodied swallow of caramel (with thin-bodied sweetness), licorice and lightly bitter-sweet toffee makes up the foretaste, leading smoothly to an interesting mid-taste consisting of undertone of longan-fruits, raisins, bitter chocolates, brown bread, etc.; the semi-bitter, dry-ish aftertaste is reminiscent of Roibush teas with a little nice tannin, while lingering maltiness is very different indeed, supposedly the work of soba? Hoppiness is in general balanced seamlessly with the malts and plays the second fiddle all in all.
M&D: quite clean on the palate, while the finish features a faintly powdery texture; med-bodied, reasonably flavoursome, this is a very drinkable brown ale that never goes quite thin or watery.

 1,323 characters

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.

 768 characters

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.

 531 characters

Photo of MikeBrandman
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 1,160 characters

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had in a pint glass at Sushi Rock in Cleveland. Pours dark brown, with a bubbly tan head. Large bubbles popped out of the bottle after it was poured.

Has an almost wheat smell, somewhat yeasty. It has a somewhat sour taste, barley and malt, with almost a nutty or sesame aftertaste. Has a fair amount of carbonation. The taste improves when paired with the octopus salad.

A thinner mouthfeel than I'd expect from the color.

Was a decent pairing for sushi, but better for the octopus salad. Would definitely get again over the typical Sappro or Kirin.

 556 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.