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 StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought rogue was through making these, so I was super excited to see this on the shelf. the pour is jet black, inky and thicker, with a hard to control rising off white head that has a mind of its own. it smells like burnt toast and a really weird malt profile. had to google it to learn soba is Japanese buckwheat, which definitely provides some interesting smells and tastes here. its sort of like rye in terms of smell, bold and fully rich, but the flavor is much more mild, without the spice and with a starchy sort of feel. with the other black roasty malts and bittering hops, I think it works great in this beer. there is also a new yeast going on that's foreign to my palate, or maybe its just the buckwheat again, hard to tell, but its pasty in texture and bitterly bland in a good way of that's possible. a complex brew with an exceptional mouthfeel. huge body and plenty of carbonation, it really shocks the palate as something different and well done. I like this better than the imperial pils, and fully support anything involving chef morimoto, his work in the kitchen is unrivaled.

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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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Photo of NilocRellim
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer poured out from the bottle a dense, reddish brown colour. Slightly cloudy with a ruby tint when held to the light. Ale had a clean, sweet molasses aroma to it. Tasted roasty and malty, yet had a light body and a clean finish to it.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

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Photo of tdm168
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Hoyt for sharing this bomber with me.

A - brown with ruby edges; soft, white head that has good retention

S - nutty, caramel; similar to a brown ale

T - nutty, caramel, faint roastiness, earthy, mildly bitter

M - crisp, overcarbonated, medium bodied

This beer was a bit off for me. It had a nice flavor, similar to a brown ale, but it wasn't full flavored enough for me. I wish it had been a bit more assertive. It may be worth a try, but I won't be trying it again.

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Photo of Serge
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale version. Poured a dark brown with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of light roast, nuts, and caramel. Tastes of nuts, some dark fruits, and caramel. Nutty. Malty sweet with a very light bitter finish. Tastes and aromas were both on the subtle side. Body on the thinner side. Some lacing left on the glass.

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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 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 mrfrancis
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a jet black with ruddy amber highlights and a lingering tan head.

S: Aromas of molasses, cream, black pepper, and toffee are very present on the nose. There is not nearly as much of a buckwheat aroma as I was expecting.

T: A creamy, sweet entry gives way to notes of toffee, molasses, cream, vanilla, milk chocolate, roasted grain, roasted nuts, and coffee. The finish is grainy and mildly pungent with cream, coffee, and chocolate notes accompanied by a mild buckwheat flavor.

M: Medium bodied with firm carbonation. The beer gets a bit stickier toward the finish.

O: This is a pretty solid little ale, but one complaint that I have is that it really lacks any sort of recognizable buckwheat flavor until the finish. Even then, this flavor only comes across very briefly. To me, it makes no sense to make a buckwheat beer that neither smells nor tastes all that much like buckwheat. Still, this one doesn't taste bad and is solidly constructed, so I can't fault it too much.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rob for sharing.

Poured a thin mahogany brown with a tannin colored head.

Smell was toasty and bittersweet chocolate.

Taste is also roasty, semi sweet chocolate, molasses and slightly sweet.

mouthfeel is lighter side of medium with firm carbonation.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, caramelized malts, some spices and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong caramel & dark fruit sweetness, followed by some spicy and herbal flavors. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s ok for something different but there are other similar beer I would choose first.

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

I've had this sitting around for awhile, figured it's time to give it a try....

A = pours a dark brown, large amount of cream head with good retention and lacing.

S = smells malty, sour, smoky, can't quite place it.

T = bitter, coffee, smoky, then more bitterness that lingers

M = thin compared to what I expected given the pour. Moderate carbonation, hints of alcohol in the end

D = This was ok. It is listed as a fruit/vegetable beer, but I can't place anything outside of a black ale, although I don't run across soba very often. I don't think I would seek this one out again specifically, but I wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to me.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, first tried this a couple years back at a local Rogue tasting event, but this is the first time since
A - clear deep brown, tall fluffy tan head retained well
S - mix of nutty and fruity aromas, light all spice and herbs
T - strong nutty and saltiness, dark molasses, hops of citrus and spice, and a mild blood like flavour on the late finish, definitely interesting
M - full smooth start, thins out gradually and finishes with a medium bitter
O - not sure what soba is, but this beer definitely has a unique flavour profile, complex yet easy to drink

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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 andrenaline
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy mahogany colour, finger of brown head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Chocolate, leafy green, peppery spice and a hint of vanilla root beer.

T - Chocolate cocoa malts with an odd bitterness that comes through alongside nutty almonds and caramel.

M - A tad overly carbonated for my liking. Could certainly tone down the carbonation on this one, which is odd.

O - A tasty dark ale that's easily drinkable and offers some unique flavours. That being said, it's not something that would make an lasting impression.

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Photo of IllNate
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A hazy brown with ruby red highlights and a ton of off-white head.

S- A bit fruity with caramel notes.

T- Smooth, and very well balanced. Nutty flavors with some dark malt tones, but nothing overpowering. Nice bitterness there without a lot of hop flavor, just a general hop background. Really good.

M- A great drinker, nice and smooth with a perfect bitterness.

O- Great session beer.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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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