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 UCLABrewN84
2.96/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a murky light yellow-orange with a super foamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and a fruity note. Taste is much the same with a grainy flavor on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a very high level of carbonation with an extremely crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with a carbonation level that is not helping the aromas or flavors at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one the same night I had the dark version of it. I found this one to be better but not by much. The beer poured out as a typical golden color. The head was decent and left some lacing. The smell of the beer had some herbal notes to it but not enough to overpower the malts and hops. The taste of the beer was a little strange to me but it wasn't as wierd as the Black one. Some different things going on in this brew, not sure how to describe. The mouhfeel of this beer is on the lighter side and is fairly drinkable. Overall I'm not missing this beer much since I had it. I can't probably pass this one up from now on.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anybody know what soba is? Apparently it's good roasted and paired with harrington and metcalf (whatever the hell those are too). The lable tells me this much. And you can throw it in a beer.

The aromas sweet, spicy, pungent, fruity, and earthy. Notes of ginger, fresh tobacco, root beer, and weak colas are abundant. Maltiness takes the form of caramel while the yeast provide the classic Rogue fruitiness.

Flavors of the malt take the foreground with the expected caramel maltiness and raw barley taste. Fruitiness and shortbread tastes persist and provide a good springboard for the spicy ginger and raw tobacco taste. A lingering flat cola taste comes into the aftertaste and makes the beer less than clean.

An unusually dirty straw color shows moderate haze. Good head formaiton leads to good retention and a fair amount of lacing.

The malty character leads to a clean attenuation in the body- creamy and dry at the same time. Low on hop bitterness, the sweetness takes hold in the mouthfeel and later leaves a light residual sweetness on the tongue. A peppery sensation accompanies the earthy and spicy notes- typical of ginger.

It's interesting that this beer was chosen to distribute along side of other Rogue beers. The unique ginger and tobacco taste is odd and intriguing, but too unusual to be a 'go to' beer. All this is wrapped in that classic Rogue yeastiness. ...and what the hell is soba?

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Japanese ingredient sensibilities via the west coast, all the way now to lovely central Texas. I'll bite.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some sparsely patterned streaks of randomly webbed lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of buttery, toasted wheat grain, some further crackery pale malt, a touch of corn and rice sweetness, and some tamely bitter earthy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is sweet buttered all-grain bread, more mundane husky rice and corn cereal grain, a touch of dry floral honey, ethereal oily nuts, and somewhat weirdly herbal spicy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low-key and sedate, the body a decent medium weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes still strangely grainy, and yet clean and kind of crisp.

An interesting enough sideways glance at alternative brewing grains, but the strangeness of the buckwheat's manifestation here are limiting me to sharing this bottle, probably.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a thick head that leaves plenty of splashy lace

Smell: Honey sweetness with earthy buckwheat tones

Appearance: Honey coated wheat toast, up front, with the sweetness lingering as it is countered by earthy hops; a bit grainy in the finish, though the earthy tones blend nicely with the sweeter malts

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I can see this pairing very nicely with Japanese food but as a standalone beverage it is a bit too sweet to command my attention

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured out an golden orange color with a tan, foamy, two-finger head. It left some nice lace.

S - It smelled very floral and citrusy. Also, some wheat aromas.

T - This was fairly sweet and fruity. Some lemon and corriander flavors. The wheat taste was also noticeable.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay beer. I expected more with the fancy labeling. But it certainly is drinkable.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 of a 22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Amber; slightly hazy; fine white head has excellent retention.

S: Has a very appealing aroma mainly from light toasted malt but also, I believe, from the soba (buckwheat).

T: follows aroma, with just hints of the earthiness and spiciness found in bolder Rogue brews. I thought the flavor profile was excellent for a beer designed to be consumed with Asian food.

M: Enough carbonation (medium) to be a little crisp and refreshing, especially with the surprisingly dry finish. Medium body.

O: Not enough complexity to be great, but a truly fine tasting beer that, as one might expect, was an excellent pairing with sushi. Highly drinkable. Seemed to be neither harmed nor helped by warming.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Rogue, Portland, OR

Poured a slightly hazy orange-yellow with a wispy white head; minimal lacing. Aroma of grains, grass, light citrus, green tea. The green tea profile really followed through in the taste and in the texture. I really liked this. Also tastes of light herbal hops, grass, and lemony zest. Body was on the lighter side of medium, but man, for the style, this beer sure went down smooth and easy. Very enjoyable overall.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed copper body with a frothy, foamy, white head.

Smell: Fragrant, delicate nose of fresh flowers, honey-dipped biscuits, fruit, as well as nuts and spice.

Taste: Lightly sweet clover honey stirred up with some crumbled dry biscuits. Curious touch of berry-like fruitiness amidst hints of dried lemon peel and coriander. Small hint of nuts. Floral, spicy hop character with a modest amount of imparted bitterness present. Finishes dry with some lasting honeyish and floral qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Worth at least one try, I'd say. A subtle, pleasant brew simply eager to be paired with a meal of some sorts, say, a plate of trout almondine.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one ws rather intresting. Poured a nice, buttad hazy light brown with a touch of amber to it. Nice two finger head of creamy off white lace formed on top and this was quickly settled down and replaced by a thin layer of lace ontop and adequate side glass lace. A very nice carbonation profile was visible. Smell was light. I picked up some rice, and what almost seemed like a blueberry aroma, although I could not really place exactly what it was. The tase was kinda odd to in that it was trying to be a light lager but came of a little sweet with a big rice flavor. Overall this was intresting although not my favorite roge I have tried it definitly wasnt bad. I would pick one up again in a pinch but wouldnt really seek one out.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a clear golden copper color with a large white head on it.

S: Smells interesting. Very heavy on the biscuity malts with a touch of corn, perhaps. Nice floral hop notes. Very intense floral notes, actually which give the beer a somewhat perfumey nose. A little bit of spice is present, too.

T: Big time floral flavor. A bit honey-like, in a sense. Good sweetness to the beer with a biscuit and toast malt profile. A light nuttiness on the background (I guess that's what the soba provides?).

M: On the lighter end of medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: I've had this one a few times over the years and have consistently liked it. It's a good beer, but like many Rogue products, not something I would frequently purchase.

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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 Tone
3.94/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, golden/copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet grass, herbs, hops, slight spice, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Fruit / Vegetable beer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of hops, herbs, sweet grass, and slight spice. Overall, a crisp and refreshing beer. The herbal flavors are not overpowering.

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Photo of Gavage
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a cloudy orange color with a 1" head. Some light lacing develops.

Smell: buckwheat and grass are most dominant. Slight fruit in the background.

Taste: buckwheat, malt, grass, hint of lemon zest, a touch of spiciness, and mild bitterness makes up a mellow ale that is easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Dry at the finish. Aftertaste is dry and brief. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. Light on the tastebuds. Worth giving this a try.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Rogue's Portland bar. Wow, this beer smells just like buckwheat pancakes. Interesting. The flavor is more subtle, and that's probably a good thing. The beer still focuses on the malt flavors with sort of a wheaty, cracker taste. I'm not sure I'd order this beer often, but it's tasty, different and drinkable. Totally worth trying.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a lots of suspended floaties. It has a pretty white head that lasts. The aroma is decent. It has a light, pale malt scent along with a nutty, roasted soba aroma. The taste is decent as well. It's light, with a nice pale malt flavor. It goes down easy and finishes bitter with a mild hop element. I'm not sure what soba tastes like, but there is a slight nuttiness to the palate as well as a zing that I can't describe. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker, although I'll probably not pick it up again. All in all, it's worth a try.

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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 Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber. A nice straw yellow appearance with a bone white head. Fizzy carbonation bubbles to the top.
Smells of grain, husk, spice and malted barley. Faint menthol like aroma.
The taste follows the nose, with a slight roasted edge on some hay, sweet malt and grain. Just a hint of nutty malt/grain flavor and grassy citrus. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Good and different.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's fair to say of Japanese culture that it emphasizes conformity; while this ale is designed to be widely approachable and easily quaffed, it doesn't exactly look like most mainstream marketed beers. For one, it has way more colour (a fair papaya flesh tone) and its head retention suggests that they haven't skimped out on any malts.

Soba sounds exotic but it's just the Japanese word for buckwheat. In fact, soba is extremely common in Japanese cuisine and chances are if you've ever ordered an Asian noodle soup or gotten some fast stir-fry to go, you've tried it already.

The aroma comes across without much fireworks. It is a plain-ish, rather ordinary smelling ale, free of fruity esters or much graininess. The buckwheat is identifiable, however, to those who would know to recognize it. Likewise a light drizzle of pungent Pacific North-West hops, which lie delicately over the bouquet like an early morning mist over the seaside.

Whether it's all in my head, who knows, but I'm finding this beer to have a very definite "Asian-y" quality to it. It has the same kind of texture (a kind of cardboard starchiness?) as the soba (and udon, for that matter) noodles that I so frequently get for take-out. The flavour of buckwheat is also very perceivable, as if we were chewing on the seeds themselves, and tasting ever so slightly like dried green peas.

The soba has a very definite earthiness and, while others have termed it as being 'nutty', my lasting impression of it is more zesty, much like fresh-grated ginger. However you describe it - and, honestly, try to, it's quite difficult - the ale is certainly a highly approachable one, with its slightly fruity hops going out way more quietly than I ever thought possible in a Rogue beer.

Morimoto Soba is an excellent offering for the squeamish lite-lager crowd to cut their teeth on. It's a unique and well-crafted beer that at the same time won't come across as too unfamiliar. Snobs may snivel about it being average beer, but I think pretty much everyone else is able to recognize it instead for being something both agreeable and enjoyable.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: light golden color; somewhat cloudy with a solid finger of compact ivory head. Not too bad.

Smell: the tart/grainy aroma is interesting, but it doesn't really appeal to me. It has hints of something that reminds of a macro lager, but I can't put my finger on it; perhaps the over-arching graininess.

Taste: sweet and cerealy. It's an interesting flavor, I'll tell you what. Not having really tasted soba in such a central position before, I can't say whether it's well-represented here. I will say that it's not a flavor I strongly associate with beer. It has a slight sweetness; in fact, as I drink it, it's slowly growing on me. It is not bad, but it's definitely outside my beer comfort zone.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body; a nice level of carbonation. It's as smooth as you please.

Drinkability: this is not an everyday beer for me. Once every year or two would be fine. That said, I'm kind of enjoying the one that's in front of me now; really, what else can you ask?

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light golden with a fairly short head. Very strange and interesting beer. Smells and tastes like pancake batter. Doughy, slightly sweet, nutty, grassy, hint of citrus, and lots of creamy tanginess. Definitely buckwheat notes and unbelievably creamy. Highly unusual, and not something I'd drink all the time, but I can see this being quite food friendly, especially with asian foods, either clean and simple like sushi, or more robust like a spicy stir fry.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy light orange body that was covered by a two finger head that took forever to die and left a lace ring down the glass. A floral hop burst in the smell, maybe some citric notes, along with some spices and clove and even some mellow malts like bread. This beer had a good hop presence in the medium body, creating a citric taste and a dry backbite. Also some roasted and caramel malts in there for a lightly sweet taste. Great session beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a white head that quickly fades. The aroma is pretty faint and it is hard to really pick up on much. The faint aroma is slightly nutty and fruity. The taste much like the aroma is hard to pick up some of the flavors. It is slightly toasty and nutty with a touch of hops in the finish. Overall, this beer is one of my least favorite in the Rogue family, but it is highly drinkable and refreshing. It is not something I would pick up again, but it was nice to try something a little different.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
1.59/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I can get Rogue in Australia, but this one never really gripped me enough to buy it for the exorbitant import price. But I was always curious so thought while in America, it was worth trying it out.

Pours a very clear light golden colour, with a fine-bubbled head of white. Lacing is extremely good, even if it sticks in obviously large bubbles around the glass. Looks decent enough.

Nose is really rather sweet, with an almost sickly malted grain cloyingness and a whiff of overripe apples. Nothing much of anything else, except a lingering butteriness that affixes itself to the sweetness and makes it seem worse.

Taste is weird, and confronting. Big welling of slightly corny sweetness, more of that faint apple aroma and a hint of something that could be spicy. Oh, it's such an unpleasant flavour - something that just rankles me, rubs me in completely the wrong way. Maybe I just really despite Soba, but in the beer, it's horrid. Feel is light enough, but doesn't do anything to protect against the rank flavours on the palate.

Oh, horrible, horrible. I can see that this is a beer that's likely to polarise opinion, but it has me firmly on the side of despising it. The sweetness is cloying and unpleasant, almost like the juice from a garbage bin. Maybe some people like this flavour. I think it's repugnant.

I'm so pleased I only spent the US price on this and not the AU price. It doesn't work for me at all - indeed I find it truly offensive - be warned that there is the rank possibility that you will hate this.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright sunset orange with a fluffy white head. Visible carbonation was very high.

S: citrus and tart oranges.

T: For flavor there was a dry fruitiness, orange citrus, and pale malt.

M: fizzy with dry oranges and citrus with a slight creaminess.

D: Overall a fair drinking ale, kinda strange and unique which makes you await the next sip.

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