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

Added by freed on 07-22-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 |  Reviews: 232
Photo of granger10
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Rogue offering pours a dark ruby color with a meduim tan head. It smells nutty and grainy with just a bit of stinging acidity. The flavor is really strong on the nutty side, I don't know if its the yeast or the soba but it is quite nutty. Smooth but a bit watery and the body really doesn't help this beer at all. A slight dextrin like sweetness emerges on top of the nutty flavors. A bit of citrus come in along with some vegetal flavors. A spicy, high alpha acid finish cleans out this rather unremarkable Rogue offering. It's decent and drinkable but not worth the money imo.

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Photo of Bcant
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting ale. Packed in a brown bomber with Japanese characters and named after a famous chef, Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale pours nearly black with a medium sized off-white head that leaves some lacing on the side. The aroma is very grainy, like fresh baked multigrain bread, though a touch sweet. Very nutty flavor with sweetness at the start that moves to more savior notes with a touch of soy sauce in the middle and finishes dryer and with some spice. Light mouthfeel but perhaps lighter and less round than expected. The first sip or two might be a surprise as this is a unique beer, but it is very drinkable.

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Photo of Naes
2.95/5  rDev -19%
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 maxpower
3/5  rDev -17.6%
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 Drew966
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bomber of this not really knowing what to expect, and yet I was fairly surprised by this beer. It pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, it smells pretty good, but the taste really came as a surprise. It is not a typical rogue ale that is all about the hop, this tasted more like a traditional porter except rather than having a creamy consistency, it was more of a sparkling type of carbonation. I liked this beer,and I would say it is definitely worth a try, but not typical of the Rogue line.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pleasant and safe beer although the lable and packaging promised more. Smells mildly and sweetly roasty with a light, smooth roundness. Looks like Coca cola, perhaps a bit darker and with much better carbonation and head retention. Tastes pleasantly roasty, moderately sweet, and mildly spicy. Light alcohols persist into the finish. Feels smooth and refreshingly light to the palate. Finishes a bit airy for a dark, roasted beer. Though nice and without flaws, it falls a little lackluster.

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Photo of AltBock
3.01/5  rDev -17.3%
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 DogFood11
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
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 soulgrowl
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not black, but almost there. A lovely dark sherry with pale, weathered yellow head. Silky and classy.

Smell: Smells sweet, mostly of grapes, roasted malts, and a vanilla/honey flavor that brings cola or root beer to mind. Hops are not home, but I have a feeling they'll be back soon. Sadly, the buckwheat is not detectable.

Taste: Ahh, there's the buckwheat! A nice roasty, toasty, nutty, wheaty taste. Nice citrus rind hops even things out. This holds up very well against my New Year's Eve feast; paired great with the teriyaki beef tenderloin (made with Stone Russian Imperial Stout), fried soba noodles with sesame oil, and mango rice.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly crisp and refreshing!

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful, but very easy to drink. Perhaps a tad too sweet on its own, but great with a meal.

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Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much better than the little-brother Morimoto Soba version. Poured black, with a mocha head. Roasted malt aroma - very stout-like up front with lots of roasted malt flavors. An interesting interplay of malts and the soba, producing an odd finish. I kept thinking that this reminded me very much of another beer, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Finally, it dawned on me how much this beer was like Anchor's Our Special Ale, without the spices or spruce. As with OSA, something interesting, but not something I want a lot of.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks like a brown ale! Pours with a light tan head. Light can penetrate its depths but has a hard time of doing so. Decent lacing on the glass.
Smells of roasted coffee with some lightly smokey notes.
The taste is somewhere between that of a porter and a brown ale with that unique soba twang. Interesting and signature. Sweet and bitter; on the dry side with a coffee bitter finish.
As far as drinkability goes, this is not really a regular rotation kind of thing but I can see being in the mood for this. One of the more interesting concoctions I've come across in a while. Worth a try.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
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 Fugazme
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good looking beer. Deep amber and brown with little light breaking through. Head is white and dissipates quickly. Decent stick.

Aroma is yeasty and earthy. Chocolate in the nose at the end. Some hops. Definitely earthy. Very slightly nutty.

Nutty flavor. Some maltiness. Bitter on the backend. Doesn't linger and is somewhat watery. A bit harsh on the swallow.

An okay beer. I won't be returning unless it is free, yo!

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

Beautiful, red and white, silk-screened, Japanese-themed bottle. Dark brown with generous highlights of bronze, gold and red. I continue to be impressed with the appearance of Rogue beer. I don't remember when I last saw one that was less than beautiful. The head is toasted beige in color and is firmly creamy. Thick splotches of lace occupy the glass just above the beer's surface, with scattershot lace seen higher up.

I like the nose much more than the nose on the lighter soba beer, Buckwheat Ale (Morimoto Soba). It's darker and richer, which effectively camouflages the relatively unappealing, or at least uninteresting, aroma of buckwheat itself. It's dark malty, nicely fruity and impressively molasses-like. Think Scotch ale without the peat.

Although the flavor doesn't quite hold up its end of the bargain, it comes close. Black Obi most resembles an Irish dry stout on the palate. There's quite a bit of roastiness, so much so that it edges toward bitter and borderline astringent. Scorched black coffee is probably the best comparison that I can come up with. Those last two sentences make it sound as though this beer is unappealing. It isn't.

After several mouthfuls, I'm feeling better about things. The lightly sweet fruitiness of the buckwheat is more apparent and mingles well with bittersweet chocolate and treacle notes. In addition, the grapefruit zest zestiness of the Cascade hops has come to the fore. There really are a lot of flavors in this beer, though I can't say that I'm thrilled with the combination. Good, but not special.

The nearly unbroken wall of lace on the glass opposite is great; my next pour should add another heavy coat of crust. I'm sure the mouthfeel was designed to be elegant rather than heavy-handed, scrimshaw rather than chainsaw carving, but it doesn't quite pull it off. It's closer to medium than to light, is a shade undercarbonated and doesn't have a great deal of mouth presence.

Black Obi (the wide belt on a kimono) Soba Ale is a better beer than its lighter counterpart. The roasting of the buckwheat brings out flavors that are preferable to the unroasted fruit and the different malt and hop bills are more to my liking as well. It doesn't quite make it over the hump called 'recommended', but I'm still glad this is a bomber.

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Photo of budsboy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish brown, a bit soda-pop fizzy looking, with a low tan head the subsides quickly.

Smells woody, berry and malty mixed with raisen and spice hints.

Odd flavor, not overpowering, with a bitter overtone, roasty malt, sourish rhubarb crispness. Grainy and tart would be the best way to call it.

Light, clean in the mouth. Lively carbo. Gave me the hiccups.

Unusual beer. Very much brings rhubarb or chickory to my mind. An acidity and sourness remain, but it does ease as it warms. Find a bottle with a good price, then try some, but don't spend too much on this one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -17.6%
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 tavernjef
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mirrored black appearance with ghostly glares of dark cherrywood. Cap is medium in height, foam is a bit gluey, bumpy, and broken but firmly set morphing and crystalizing itself down to a sensible skim and bubbly collar. Lacing is intricately placed in thick cottony webbed sheets.

Aroma is soft and delicately natured with a nice cocoa dusting with a very light hint to mild orange/peach jelly and some kind of dry cooking spice; red pepper? Perhaps white cheese? Even lighter roasty black malts, deep woody earth, and baked pizza dough tend to creep in too. Reminiscent to certain years of OSA's, just lighter. Intriguing as all hell, but a little too soft to get everything I think I'm smelling.

Taste is firm and well placed with a certain black malt texture and drier flavor of cocoa thats quite nice. Front to mid ranged grab of spice thats a mild peppery glint of interest just after the intial taste of light roast and dark breadish marble rye. Gentle on the palate with little additions of sweet fruityness of dark pear, dark apple, and a sliver of currant. Fades into the finish a bit quicker then I'd like, but it's still fun to have happen. Partially spicy, partially dry, well textured and lightly fluffy with cocoa and breads. Foreboding, pleasant, and so close to pushing the envelope of boldness and intrigue.

Feel seemed to fit the flavors, perhaps a bit light; seemingly, but the drying tone and lighter, efficient dark texture is pretty nice to take in and helps the flavor profile. Body is about medium with a elegantly dry texture and spice to it. Quite smooth too.

I quite liked this beer. One that grows on ya. A fine drinker and taster. Perhaps not the complete knock out that it could be, but for what it is, it's about right and pretty solid.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is served up in a pint glass from a bottle chilled.

It pours a cloudy dark orange color w/ a slight eggshell colored white fizzy head atop. Very little head retention as it fizzes out to a slight edge layer only.

Aroma is a bit of smoke maybe, along with some fruit and maybe some nut (almonds). Some sweet malts also come out, but I found this not so good. (maybe I don't get the style...i don't know?)

Sipping reveals a bit of sweet hops along with some bitter nuttiness throughout the body. A bit of sweetness also (carmel) and the fruit. I also find maybe just a bit of smoke on the finish.

Feel is a bit fizzy to me, which isn't always a good thing. Medium body; nice; a little dryness on the finish also.

Fairly complex brew but fairly easy to drink. I'd like another bottle to review it again I think.

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Photo of DavidJ710
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another great offering from the Rouge people out in Oregon. The more of their beer I try, the more I feel a pilgrimage to the land of indie rock and micro-brews.

The beer pours into a pint glass leaving a small eggshell-colored head to contrast with the otherwise black body of the beer. This bad boy is almost opaque, but when held up to the flourescent light in my room, a dark maroon hint shines through. The beer smells bitter and sweet, which is not to be confused with bittersweet. That is something totally different. Burnt malts lay the ground work for the flavor, supporting the sugary beginning, bready buckwheat middle, and hoppy finish. The hops and the sugar stick on the toung for 5 or 8 seconds after the swallow. I don't know much about Soba's, but this beer is a bit thin for the flavor. That said, I think this is a well crafted beer, and a fitting addition to the Morimoto signiture series.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a 22 oz. brown, bomber bottle of this one at Brewers on the Bay. The bottle had not best by or brewed on date.

The beer poured black with some brown or copper on the fringes. It's off white head didn't retain very well at all and left no lacing. The beer was very carbonated - at least visually - and looked like a cola with CO2 bubbles clinging and rising to the top of the glass. The aroma was of a roasted malt sweetness with a hint of nuttiness too. The brew tasted of malts to start and also some nuttiness as well, and very, very faint hops on the finish. The light bodied beer finished very clean with an almost adruptly crisp finish.

A drinkable beer, but no much flavor really, a little thin in that area. Not one that particularly impressed me or will have me out searching for it again.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Soba is a Japanese buckwheat noodle. I couldn’t find the word in Mr. Webster’s Dictionary (thank goodness for Google) but the waiter who brought me my pint of Phred’s told me it was a buckwheat ale. Assuming that the beer is brewed with buckwheat malt and not actual noodles, I would classify this as a dark wheat ale. It has a soft sandy head and a faint molasses aroma. It is ink black with ruby highlights.

Phred’s Black Soba has a delightfully eccentric taste. It is sweet and strangely herbal as though spiced with licorice root with an undercurrent of dried fruits. The head fades quickly and the lace is infrequent. But it earns an enthusiastic recommendation to any adventuresome beer hunter.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
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 germaniac
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle of this up at the Rogue outpost in San Francisco, but wound up drinking it in a motel room in Davis without notes of any kind, so I didn't feel right about reviewing it until I spotted a bottle at my local Cost Plus World Market. My memories of it were pleasant, so I shelled out the four bucks for a 22oz bottle.

A black pour, accentuated by red at the edges. Smells nutty, with a prominent roasted malt sweetness. Flavor is pretty mellow, hoppy bitterness edged by malt sweetness. There is an overall nuttiness that almost gives it a brown ale quality. Nothing fancy here, seems like just another oppurtunity for Rogue to push the "gourmet" Morimoto line. Worth a try.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
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 Troyone
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat like a dark coffee color with an amber hue, some beige head with minimal lacing.

Has a toasted caramel malt smell with a hint of chocolate or molasses, and a herbal resin and citrus hops aroma. After putting my nose in it, this is a rather pleasant aroma.

Has a dark ale taste, similar to a Strong Ale without the potency. Lightly sweet and acidic, moderate to heavy bitter, roasted to almost burnt caramel and slight dark chocolate malt, and resin with grapefruit and orange flavored hops.

Medium bodied, dry almost syrupy texture, soft and almost flat carbonation, with a smooth and tad metallic finish that lingers a slight burnt flavor..

After getting through the initial slightly burnt taste, this is a very drinkable beer limited to the tolerance of the fading burnt aftertaste.

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