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

Black Soba pours a dark brown color (almost like a porter), the beer is a deep red color when held up to the light. There is a 1 1/2" beige rocky head at the top. The head falls to a creamy cap and leaves some nice lace rings on the pint glass.

My first impression of the aroma was sweetness. Faint roasted malts and some hops were in the background. Subdued.

The beer starts off with subtle roasted flavor that progresses into a sour twang in the finish. As the beer warmed some of the charred characteristics came out.

The beer is smooth and somewhat creamy. Subtle is the best word I can use to describe this beer. Not overpowering and really not as flavorful as I had hoped.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
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 RockyTopHeel
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber

Deep brown in color with flecks of ruby light reflection. A solid, two-finger head of brown foam that quickly becomes pitted and pocked.

The aroma is ligher than the deep appearance of the brew might let on. Some light hops and roasted buckwheat are melded together in what is an almost creamy smell.

Flavor is smooth and creamy, with roasted flavors central to the taste and nutty, brown ale elements on the periphery.

This is pretty good, though I was perhaps looking for a bit more complexity and depth. On the other hand, the simplicity highlights the flavor of the key ingredient, the soba, and makes for a supremely-focused brew.

Pretty good, and quite interesting for something so straightforward.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a huge head, lots of longevity and tremendous lace. Smells of a rich medium roasted malt that has some slight butter and nutty smells. Taste is quite nice. A fine roasted malt flavor similar to a nice porter but nuttier and creamier. Give this one a try.

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

22oz bottle at a sushi restaurant.

Pours a dark opaque brown with some ruby hints, frothy khaki head. Some fine lacing on the glass. Smell is nutty and malty.

Taste is nutty and rich, not unlike a nice full-bodied English nut brown ale. Sweetish brown malt. Buckwheat flavors take hold in the finish, lending a grainy bitterness to it. Some hops in there too to round it out. Rich and full-bodied yet crisp and kind of refreshing too. A beer in two parts, nut brown up front, soba going out. Better than anticipated and went well with my sushi. Recommended.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark black colored body, with a moderate head. Smell is very roasted and burnt with malt, nutty and rich. Flavor also reflects this, nutty, with lots of roasted and burnt malt, slight chocolate and acidic flavors are also present. Hops are perfect for the beer, they enhance and give it a nice bitter finish. Another very good morimoto rogue ale.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
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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Photo of OStrungT
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark red. It has a small brown head that fades very quickly, leaving very few laces. It has a malty sweet aroma to it. It smells coffee like, with a slightly nutty aroma also. It has very little hop aroma. It tastes malty, but not nearly as sweet as I was expecting. It has a chocolate taste to it. The hops make an appearance in the taste slightly. This beer is rather dry. It is sort of hard to drink because of how dry it is. It makes my mouth feel a little weird. I really cant explain how, just a little off. It is overcarbonated. It leaves a bitter aftertaste. This beer would probably make a bad session beer. Although it is low in alcohol, the aggressive, dry taste might be undesirable to some. I doubt I will have the desire to drink this one again. If you see it, maybe you should buy a different type. Like the Haselnut Brown Nector.

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Photo of BamaScholar
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I continue to be impressed with Rogue's offerings but had not yet tried this one from the 22 oz. bottle before.

Had I not seen its characterization of "fruit / vegetable beer" here on BA, I wouldn't have considered it as such. It poured a dark, dark brown with rich garnet in the corners when held to the light.

Pretty complex aroma balanced between malt and a little floral/fruit nose. The taste is incredibly balanced between malt and hops, with a crisp citrus stampeding through at the finish. It's a very clean finish too, for a darker colored brew. Drinkability is good...of course, how many of these 22 oz. bottles can one realistically put away?

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

Poures a near pitch black but not for the ruby highlights when held up to the light with a big fluffy off white head that clings to the glass nicely,wow a real cascade presence in the aroma wich was entirely unexpected due to the fact well it is Rogue,a nice roastiness also shows itself nicely.Slick mouthfeel to this slides down with ease,interesting melding of flavors firmly nutty with some roasted malt as the core but there is very much a PW hop presence not so pronounced but it lets itself be known.Very interesting and flavorful ale I will be sure to grabe more.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Marty's Fine Wine in Newton, Massachusetts.

One of the smoothest beers I've ever tasted. Toasted malts and chocolate slide down your throat on a bed of velvety smooth goodness.

As much as I enjoyed this beer's taste and mouthfeel I could not help but obsess over one thing...Did Sir Alec Guinness ever see Ewan McGreggor's performance of Obi Wan Kenobi before he passed away? I wonder what he thought of it if he did. I think he did a hell of a job.

I've been intrigued with the Morimoto line of Rogue beers and buy them whenever I've come across them. I love a good gimic and good beer so walk away from the experience a winner.

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Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with burgandy highlights. A nice 1" tan head. Some mild lacing develops through the drink. The aroma is of hazlenuts and coffee. Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, coffee, nuts, prunes is nicely balanced with nice bitterness. There was also something about the overall flavor I couldn't identify.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. The bitter chocolate tones linger into the aftertaste. Overall a different tasting brew, but one 22 oz. bottle was enough to enjoy.

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Photo of cokes
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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

Pours into the pint glass a dark dark ruby black. Big foamy head, lacing, and falls to a table of beige bubbles. Nose is toasted bread and malt, some alcohol soaked sugars. Taste is chocolate, hop bitterness and what must be the "soba" flavor, like a Japanese noodle bowl. Not my thing. The finish is an annoying bitterness that lingers far past its welcome. Other than that, this is relatively watery beer. It's ok.

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

The beer emerges from the 22-ounce brown bottle a deep raspberry color with a stupendous frothy light tan head that linger long, after its eventual demise the resultant lace forms a thick and sticky skirt to surround the glass. Nose has a nice toasted grain aroma with a sweet nut-like tone, fresh and clean, a hint of caramel, start is somewhat sweet with a decent grain profile, top is light to medium in feel. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops spicy and the aftertaste somewhat dry with a bit of residual bitterness, a drinkable beer.

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Photo of MrSeth
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-black opaque color with a 1/2" tan head that settles leaving a big lacey ring inside the glass.

The nose is hoppy with a savory undertone. Somewhere between the two extremes are chocolate and licorice aromas.

Light bodied, good carbonation, with a very wet refreshing mouthfeel. The taste is a malt that is rich but isn't particularly toasty. Alot of hops flavors come across. This brew is nothing if not interesting. I'm sure I would drink it again, sometime.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
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 mzwolinski
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark -- not quite black, but close. Dark roasty malts are the most notable elements of the aroma. Slightly nutty with hints of caramel. Flavor is nutty and malty as well, with just enough bitterness to balance. Roasty, toasty and yummy, with a nicely lingering aftertaste. Overall a drinkable beer but not enthralling by any means. Not Rogue's best offering.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. served chilled. The beer pours a deep deep brown with tinges of red and has a 1 inch tan head that leaves nice lacing. Hops, nuts, licorice, and butter in the nose - the aroma could be stronger. The flavor is very nutty and roasted with notes of coffee, licorice, and butter. It is very crisp with a medium body and has a decent hop bitterness. Seems kinda like a brown ale with a twang. Initially the carbonation is tingly but becomes smoother by the end of the bomber. It's good, but for the money I'll go for something better.

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Photo of sweethome
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark pour. A slight red hue when held to the light. Big bubbles make a nice tan head. Licorice, straw and a little smoke on the nose. The flavor profile has typical Rogue hop flavors up front. Rather soft and smooth mouthfeel. Strong bittering as it moves through, again to the Rogue pedigree. Peppery, roast malt develops and leads to flavorful finish, but backed by a snappy hop bite.

The Soba adds dryness and smooth charachter.

A unique style with a good delivery.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
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 TheLongBeachBum
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
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 ElGordo
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
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 merlin48
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber purchased at Peabody's in Boone, NC, for $3.99. Pours a very dark chestnut brown, not quite opaque, with a large, creamy beige head that retains well. Lots of sticky patch lace all over the glass. Aroma is subdued, with roasty and grainy malts, a hint of cocoa powder, and a note of citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and light medium bodied. The flavor is unique, and difficult to describe. Earthy buckwheat nuttiness and some herbal tea notes. A hint of mild coffee, and a restrained hops bitterness. Finishes crisp and refreshing, with mild hops bitterness. Goes down smooth and easy, and is very drinkable. Very interesting!

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a massive head and left a nice lacing as I drank it.

The most impressive thing about this beer was the aroma, and I cannot even describe the complexity of it... fruit, nuts, and deep molasses is what comes to mind.

The taste is hard to decipher, but I did find it a bit dry and crisp and perhaps would have liked to see more substance behind the dark, burnt flavor that came through.

The beer was medium-bodied, and was pretty neutral in terms of consistency.

I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys dark beer or beers that are bold and innovative.

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