Morimoto Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Soba AleMorimoto Soba Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
8 Ingredients:
Malts: Roasted Soba, Harrington, Metcalf, Munich & C-15.
Hops: Crystal.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

30 IBU
75 AA
14º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-25-2007

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Reviews: 215 | Ratings: 513
Photo of meday
4.92/5  rDev +39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One word: beautiful.

I don't much about brewing with soba, but Rogue did good with this. I don't completely agree with the classification, but I guess this has to go somewhere.

It poured from my 22oz bomber into my Smuttynose tulip glass with a clear straw color and nice white head. The head retention was wonderful.

Immediately I could smell honeysuckle and blossoms. It was one of the best smelling beers I have encountered.

The taste was a very well balanced, beautiful bouquet of honeysuckle, herbs, roasted nuts, and a hint of pie. It tasted warm, rich, yet clear and delicate on the tongue.

It paired beautifully tonight with my wife's hazelnut butternut squash lasagna, but I would drink this with just about anything.
Morimoto Soba would go great with a many dishes, from seafood with spicy or light sauces, to any asian dish. I would be hesitant to pair with anything richer or creamier, but it was so good, it may just go with anything.

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Photo of beernerd67
4.7/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW just opened this tasty beverage that I purchased from my local beer man,"Otto", in Fort Smith.
appearance - golden orange
smell - citrus malt
taste - malty fruity (but I can't quite place it)
feel - soft like a woman's breast
drinkability - really pallate friendly. I wonder what the alcohol level is? Subtle finish, very smooth, I wish I bought more!

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Photo of Maltmaiden
4.6/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy orange. Small head that leaves a strong film.

S: Lightly toasted malts. Floral and citrus hops. Orange peel. Corn? Not a particular strong bouquet but a good-smelling one.

T: Lightly toasted malts. Corn and caramel. Some bittering hops. Very delicious.

M: Extremely smooth. Perfect carbonation. Fluffy.

O: I could drink this all day! Sessionable and refreshing.

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Photo of noeldundas
4.47/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 22 oz. thin head, slight haze; picture a golden coloured hefewiezen.

the aroma is rich with malt, honey and a toasty backbone. just a hint of some candied roasted nuts.

the taste is clean with moderate to high carbonation and a slight sweetness balanced with acidity. finish is clean and dry with some residual honey and acidity.

i had this on its own but it would truly make a great accompaniment to many foods especially sushi (for which it was designed to some degree I'm sure). i will do that again soon.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.44/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque golden honey. ~1 finger of white head with about average lacing.

S - Fresh white peach, touch of toast, honey, hint of golden raisins.

T - Bring ricey grains, touch of sour malt, light grade honey. Alcohol says hello for a split second later in the profile. Porridge and cream in the aftertaste.

M - Soft texture and a medium body. Finishes slightly sweet.

D - Very drinkable. Mellow flavors and a great mouthfeel.

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Photo of StanfordBlack
4.43/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one is strange for me. I think it's overall a good beer, but only if I'm in the right mood.

Appearance: beautiful gold color that reflects the wheaty nature of the beer.

Smell: absolutely wonderful! Rich notes of toasted buckwheat with a very mild floral hint. Smelling it brought a nice big smile to my face.

Taste: a bit delicate but nice with hints of buckwheat and a very slight but pleasant starchiness. Standalone the beer is great! But with a nice bowl of hot udon it's a masterpiece.

Feel: good, but not perfect. I felt it lacked a prominent head and unfortunately was a tad flat. It's not bad, but it feels like it's meant to be paired with food.

Overall: it's a good beer, but not something I would drink on board games night. Rather it's one I would prefer on a quiet night watching a movie and eating some Udon.

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Photo of tosshin
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: cloudy, light gold like hay. white fluffy head disipated quickly, some lacing.
s: sweet smell, honey, light citrus, molasses . nice but not complex.
t: well balanced light pale ale flavor. citrus and hop bitterness very mild and subtle.
m: light body, mild carbonation. nice hot weather beer
d: easy drinker that cleanses the pallet. not sure what the abv is, but certainly not overpowering.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.35/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer in a 4oz sample glass at the brewery as part of a sampler.

A-nice bright golden color with a white head

S-clean and very bready smelling

T-dough, almost chewy, clean


D-Drink this beer. I will definately have this beer again and again. I had it with fish and chips and it was a very good pairing.

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Photo of jans_90
4.35/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have to appreciate this beer for what it is. If you've had soba tea going beforehand the ale will make so much more sense. I drink the soba tea (dark honey brown color, very sweet with satisfying bitter finish) whenever I go to my Korean friend's house.

I ordered the Morimoto Soba Ale while out for sushi. I really didn't know what to expect; when ordering I had completely forgotten what soba even referred to, but it all clicked once I tasted it.

The sweetness of the soba bean comes through very strongly in the ale, though it's not overbearing. The sweet flavor is curbed nicely by the natural bitterness of the soba bean in combination with the flavor of the hops. The carbonation is relatively light, which I found fitting for the aim of this brew. The beer accentuates a lighter meal superbly.

Overall, I was very excited by with the creative combination of soba and hop flavors. Very unique and successful in my opinion.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- slightly hazy bright golden with a lime green aura about it and lots of rising bubbles, looks very nice in a pils glass. sturdy eggshell colored foam has a tint of yellow to it. excellent retention and delicate spotty lace.

S- light grains and lemony grassy hops, and the mildly smokey toasty buckwheat is inviting and reminds me of buckwheat pancakes i used to have as a kid. aromas not usually found in a light beer such as this add a dimension of interest to what otherwise may be a pretty boring pale ale.

T- very interesting flavor. this is a very mild brew, but the tiny nuances and background subtleties that come out upon swallowing a swig of this stuff are incredible and in many ways hard to describe. starts off with lightly toasted grains and a dash of german flavor hops but as the beer goes down it becomes herbal and earthy and nutty with fruity hints of apricot and plum and rather spicy in an asian sort of way minus the ginger. delicate is used as a description on the bottle and delicate is the best way to describe this one. the soba flavors are fleeting, and all the other intricacies are so light and mild that seeking out particular flavors is nearly of no use, and i find it pretty sweet that a mild ale such as this can have such depth and complexity. anyway, finishes dry and clean and herbal and lemony and toasty with little bitterness but plenty of hop flavor.

MF- smooth and refreshing, light bodied with perfect medium carbonation, a little astringent on the cheeks and drying. the feel of hop oil coats the palate.

D- maybe there should be more beers brewed with buckwheat. as nice of an addition as rye in my opinion, but not popular enough to be a staple like wheat. very interesting unexpected flavor came out of this one and i can't wait to try the dark version waiting quietly in my fridge. allez cuisine!

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Photo of match1112
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a cloudy golden straw color with a big fluffy white head, and leaves tons of lacing till the end. lots of sweet and floral smells. tastes really good with sweet bready malts tons of floral hops and a slight nuttieness on the end. had a light smooth medium carbonation feel to it. was the perfect beer for a salad and fish tacos after working in the yard all day.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.29/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had no idea what Soba was before reviewing this beer. According to the all knowing Wikipedia, soba is a Japanese noodle that is made from buckwheat flour. Who knows if they needed the buckwheat flour in noodle form in order to make this beer? I love to see brewers experimenting with ingredients. No freshness date on the 22oz. bottle. Served in a Carlsberg pint glass.

A: Soba ale pours a somewhat hazy deep golden color with very orange hues. There is a nice off-white head which leaves a very modest amount of lace on the side of the glass. The head drops down quickly. Some carbonation is visible through the haze.

S: There is a very unique smell to this beer. Soba? Hops aroma is a mild spicy smell, accompanied by a sweet malt smell. In fact there is a very sugary smell, reminiscent of rock candy, much like FFF Rabid Rabbit.

T: Light "zesty" flavor, like the bottle claims. I can definitely taste the soba, even though I have never tasted soba alone. Behind the soba flavor lies a very well-balanced ale. Sweet (caramel) malt and floral hops. "Wheat"-like flavor in the aftertaste.

M: Light bodied, with a spritzy carbonation. This beer is very crisp and dry. I think it works very well for this beer, which seems to be striving for a very drinkable, unique cuisine beer.

D: Like I said, one of this beer's main attractions id its drinkability. This is a delicious beer and is very much worth a second try, if not a position in the regular rotation.

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Photo of adamette
4.29/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought for $6.99 this past Saturday at Wegman's in Erie, PA with my friend Bill into my Samuel Smith pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Translucent classic yellow body under a 3 inch generous, meringue like head that sticks nicely to the inside of the glass. 3.5

S Very light nuttiness, some barley malt. Not a strong smelling beer. I like the softness, the nuttiness. Repeated sniffs revealed ...and this is going to sound odd... a macaroni like smell that is intriguing. 4.5

T Either this is a tremendous tasting beer or I am in a particularly good mood. This is great! There is this soft nutty flavor that is really unique. I find myself wanting to drink more and more sips to get more of an idea of the flavor. It strikes me that one would either like this beer or not though, as the taste is a bit odd. Odd in a good way for me, maybe not for others. 4.5

M Nice and smooth with the head that leaves a nice lacing. 4.0

D Good, as suggested in the description of the taste. I really wanted to keep sipping to experience that taste over and over. 4.0

Notes: Really unique tasting beer from Rogue and that gets points from me.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber. Great appearance: extremely creamy lacing on the sides and a thin head throughout. A clear, dark gold appearance in general, really excellent and staple appearance. Really clean aromas of hops, wheats, light bread, citrus, grains and fruits. All well balanced. Taste is nice and sweet with wheaty and hop hints. Mouthfeel is really good: crisp, clean, dry and well carbonated. Overall, one of the best I have had from Rogue.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great selection from Rogue, this one having a less upfront flavor and a lighter body than Im used to from their brewery. Nonetheless, an all-around pleaser

A- One of the best things about this beer is the head and the glittering lace it leaves. 2-fingers in my wide-mouthed glass and lace that leaves hypnotic patterns. The beer is a slightly cloudy light-amber(orange-yellow). many streams of carbonation liven up the appearance and keep the head alive. Would get a 5 if it were cloudier.

S- Smell is faint but defined by the "Soba" buckwheat. Mmmm I love wheat as a malt in my beer. Also got some fruitiness probably from the yeast.

T- Taste is good. There the hops are! Crystal hops leave a nice pinch of bitterness without overpowering the wonderful array of malts which include wheat. Mmmm

M- Medium-light, crisp and refreshing feeling that is good both for chugging and sipping.

D- I'm going to call this a perfect session beer and assume that it could also go with any meal except something very sweet

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have this all the time at Origami, a local sushi joint. It goes well with the food. It's bright gold with a moderate cream colored foam cap. Light malts and fruit on the nose while on the palate there is also a nutty flavor and tropical fruit and a suspicion of white wine. It's light and refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from Marukai 22oz bottle $6.99
Golden amber color
Medium Mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Smooth with just a tiny amount of bitterness after taste,has a hint of a taste that does remind me of soba
Overall a really great beer that goes great with food as it has an easy drinking taste that would not overpower or alter the taste of the food you're eating, but has the flavor that keeps you wanting to drink more of it.

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Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 head, orange-gold, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: sweet fruit, malt, honey, and pear

Taste: toasted malt, grains, pear, a touch of apple and hops--towards the end

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of my favorites from Rogue just because it tastes different from anything else I have ever had. This has a very interesting and complex taste for the style. I would gladly have this again...point for originality.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last night I enjoyed a bottle of this ale over dinner at a favorite NE Portland restaurant, Yakuza (Metalmonk - you know the place...). 22 oz. bottle, poured over the course of an hour.

A: Golden/copper pour, quite clear, with a lengthy retention out of that lovely, billowing off-white head, nearly 2-fingers worth. Good sticking lace, minimal carbonation.

S: Strong smell of slightly smoky, very grainy soba (buckwheat), absolutely lovely. Sorta sticky/starchy smell, very nutty and malty.

T: Malty/grainy (a toasted huskiness), balancing nicely between dryness and sweetness. Notable flavor is of toasted nuts, but really it's a hard-to-describe earthy/root flavor imparted by soba in this. If you've enjoyed toasted sesame and buckwheat noodles you understand. Has a light hop profile, similar to pale ale, English-style.

M: Crisp and medium-bodied. Fair carbonation, finishes clean and light on the tongue, with just a little lingering starch stickiness.

D: Ahh, the perfect pairing for a certain dish at this restaurant - cucumber and avocado with soy and toasted sesame (Jeff, you'd love it...). It elicited a 'wow', both from me and my wife, when coupled with this beer - and it was definitely the beer doing the 'wow'ing, though the dish was delicious, too. As a stand-alone drinker, I found the Soba Ale suited my palate quite well; I think I've had it once or twice before, but probably never in this context. Very enjoyable, one I'll get again.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.19/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Duvel Tulip. A finger plus of white head, and a lightly hazy light orange colored body. Head dies relatively quickly with little retention. Smells vaguely pilsner-like, a very light smokiness. Definitely a light sweet malt smell to it, reminiscent of many Indian beers (rice?). Thin on the mouth with not much carbonation holding. Imminently drinkable. Amazing food beer and hot weather beer. Certainly something I'd re-buy.

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Photo of Cellach
4.17/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a stemless red wine glass. The appearance is a slightly hazy, translucent gold, with persistent effervescence and a thick, foamy white head. The nose is subtle but pleasant - light biscuity malts, cereal, very faint honey, and something nutty. This is more or less consistent with the palate, with the prominent notes being cashew and butter. There is surprising richness for the light flavors of the palate. It is medium-bodied, clean, dry, and savory. The finish is short but very pleasant.

This is an odd experiment, but it just WORKS. Is it profound? Well, no, but it massively over-delivers for my expectations and its modest presentation. Fans of dry golden ales, Maibocks, Helles/Munich Lagers and other styles along those lines will find much to enjoy here.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.14/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Rogue Ales I've tried on one occasion before, I think it was the chocolate stout, anyway they are dastardly expensive in Australia so when I got the Soba Ale it was with great wallet-hesitation however I was rightfully expecting great things from this brew.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Pokal.

A: Pours a clear amber body with a 1cm chalk white head.

S: Has a distinct roasted nut aroma with a dry malt grain note and complimentary earthy hops in the background. Expect big nutty/earthy flavours and a lingering dry finish.

T: Very Japanese in its uniqueness. There are a smattering of flavours that make this interesting; the aforementioned nuttiness, which is more a roasted chestnut than a roasted peanut, earthy hops, dry finish, all of which were expected but here's where it makes a distinct Japanese turn; it has a soy sauce note with a hint of sweetness that you would find in Mirin sauce (along with that Sake taste).

M: Mid to light body with medium carbonation.

D: I was expecting great things and the Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale delivered. If you're looking for an ale with that weird Japanese flair then this is a great option. Personally I like the oddness of Japanese flavours in beer as it brings something new to the table and this beer exactly captures the essence of Japan in a beer so well that you would think it was brewed in Japan itself. Alternatively If you aren't looking for that quirkiness you might find yourself somewhat disappointed.

Food match: The choice of Japanese cuisine is obvious, in fact whilst drinking this I was craving some Edamame big time, but this would also go well with Asian cuisine from other nations like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam (to name a few).

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Yardhouse in Brea, on to the beer:

This beer is lighter copper in color, clear, filtered, and a good tight head. Lace rings are all over the glass as the beer is consumed. The aroma is made up of toasted malt, caramel, and a whisp of hops. The balance in this beer is very good, making this one a very easy drinker. Similar taste as exists in the nose, and somewhat clean. It's grainy upfront with a hint of peach, then it tastes like an APA. I had no idea this was suppose to be a fruit beer, so the style this is listed under was a surprise to me. Oh wait, it's brewed with buckwheat...that's a fruit?!?

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Photo of parris
4.11/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Smell - Like saki as the head is still popping, but more sweet and roasty after.

Appearance - golden to copper, perfect carbonation and good head retention. Thick lacing as the glass gets emptier

Taste - Very crisp, and decently bitter, hint of sweetness. I could be convinced this was a German pilsner

Mouthfeel - Crisp, somewhat soapy.

Overall very tasty, great light bodied beer, I could see myself drinking it all the time if it had bigger distribution.

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Photo of NicholasCasber
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is a nice muddy golden color with a nice white head, that is leaving some great lacing.

S: Smelled like a generic Asian beer, but it had a few other hints of fruit and bitterness.

T: Taste was nearly off the charts. I found myself wanting to drink more and more. The smell that I had gotten from the original pour was begging to be searched more, and once I allowed it to rest on my tongue I had some nice quality notes of sweet and bitterness with an almost milky quality, which leads me to:

M: The mouthfeel for this beer was perfect. It wasn't to watery and it wasn't too full, the milkiness that I found was after the beer had a chance to dance on my tongue.

D: This beer was outstanding... if I wasn't a poor college kid, I'd reach for it nearly every-time.

Overall, I'd suggest this with a nice pairing of a lighter meal, sushi, fish, etc. Best of luck in your findings, and as always:


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Morimoto Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
3.54 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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