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 ThomasMetal75
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Effervescent apple juice, but cloudier. Nice foamy head forms, but quickly dissipated. I could see sediment floating around in the glass, but it was tiny particles.

S- Sweet, some kind of apricot or grapefruit aroma as well. Malty as well in the nose. You can smell the alcohol, but it's not overpowering the nose at all.

T- Tastes like a cross between a Killians Red and a malt liquor. Not much of the 4.8% ABV comes out in the taste. The beer had the malt liquor sweetness and grainy taste with the malty/almost toasted flavor of the Killians. There is a small floral note from the hops that balances the finish. This would probably go really well with brats and sauerkraut!

M- Medium to full bodied. It drinks like a heavier pilsner. It's an easy drinking beer, but the wrong kind for a really hot day.

Overall, I will not be seeking out this beer again. I appreciate that it didn't taste boozy, but the sweet macro lager/malt liquor taste with the red ale taste is just something that wasn't making me hunger for more, nor did it leave a lasting impression on me.

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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 onewetpaw
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Some slight orange and and earthy spice notes.

A- Deep golden with a light haze. Thin white head that persists for a while and leaves a little lace on the tulip glass.

F- Some earthy and spicy hop is present along with a light crispness that reminds me of japanese lagers, but without the thinness I get from Ichiban. The label states that it has a nutty finish. I can taste what they are getting at, but I don't think I'd pick it out as nutty. It has that somewhat protein rich flavor of a Soba noodle.

M- Brisk carbonation. The body is rather full and almost silky considering the OG and light nature of the beer. I wonder if the soba is adding to this like oats do?

O- A nicely drinkable beer. It's like what a japanese lager should be. I'd love to have this with japanese food.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy light golden amber with a frothy, white 2-finger head that hangs around for a good few minutes. It takes a good few minutes before the head gives way to a fine, sticky lacing.

Smell - Lots of fruit in the smell - sweet orange, a bit of apple or peach, a bit of grain, faint caramel. Wonderful aromatic qualities in this beer.

Taste - Wonderfully floral to start, giving way to a slight fruity (berry, apple?) tartness, then a lightly roasted nut and grain dry finish. The fruity tartness tends to linger in the dry finish, giving the aftertaste an almost cranberry like quality.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, and goes down silky smooth. Too smooth. More carbonation might give this beer a bigger bite, which I feel it would benefit from.

Overall - Iron Chef Morimoto knows his stuff, eh? This beer is light, but has an almost romantic flavor and beautiful balance. I'd certainly buy this beer more often if it weren't for the fairly hefty price tag combined with the fairly low ABV.

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Photo of caryt
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One this brew in a raffle..YAY!

A: Light amber with a very slight white lacing on the glass. Slightly hazy. Looks nice!

S: Smells like a lager, rice and not much else. Leaves you hoping that this beer will taste like anything.

T: Tastes like rice and chocolate with high carbonation

M: Crisp and refreshing but don't keep it on your tongue long. Not a sipper.

O: Not my style, not enough complexity. Might be well done for the style but I won'y be drinking this one again. I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

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Photo of Swim424
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into my anchor bar pint glass

A-I would describe this as a cloudy mango orange. Looks really nice when put up to the light. not much head. Some carbonation bubble rising.

S-mango, tangerine, and some other citrus fruit. very pleasant aroma actually. a bit weak though.

T-pretty much same as the smell. citrusy, sort of mango and tangerine mix. pretty good. getting a bit of the yeast also.

MF-pretty light. very smooth. nice texture.

O-I recommend. very nice lighter beer. not to much alcohol.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a pale golden color with a small white head and awesome lacing down the glass.

S- clean grassy hops, with a nutty, caramel malt backbone.

T- clean floral hops with a bit of citrus tea, slightly nutty with a bit of butterscotch at the end. Very complex compared to most beers of this style.

M- medium body with medium carbonation, goes down easy.

O- this is a good beer, one of the better that I have had of the style. Complex tastes yet very easy to drink. Recommended!

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Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear gold color with a thick white head that laces the glass.

S: Sweet bready malt and grassy hop.

T: There is a sweet malt flovr that is combined with a faint grassy hop flavor and fruity esters. There is a saltiness to the beer that is pretty good and some bitterness in the finish to balance out the sweetness.

M: Light body with good carbonation.

O: Actually a pretty good beer here. I would recommend picking it up.

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Photo of
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - golden copper and bright with a thin, but persistent, white head. Leaves some lacing as it recedes.

Smell - A rich malt aroma belies the light colour of this beer. It smells of cereal flakes and toasted nuts, and is reminiscent of a Hovis bisuit. Delicate floral hops and fruity yeast esters round out the aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel - The texture is creamy and mouthfilling, but definitely on the light and refreshing end of things. Yeast and bread dough flavours upfront, followed by a touch of honey and a lingering nuttiness. Lightly spicy hops on the finish with a lingering minerality.

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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 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 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 beerbiatchMD
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: bright yellowy orange, minimal white head doesn't stick around super long.

S: Definitely complex, I get some buttery malts, light honey, yeasty.

T: fine flavor, light roasty malts, minimal hops.

M: crisp, refreshing. Minimal carbonation.

O: a great light beer. Would be ideal on a summer day. I appreciate a craft brewery that can make a complex and flavorful ale without a crazy high abv.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks ok. Pale, cloudy yellow with a nice foamy head that sticks around and leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is light, vegetal with light fruity notes, hints of lemon grass and rice. Clean malts, faint earthy notes.

Rice, bland flavor with light citrus touch and earthy tones. Musty hints with spicy touches.

Very light and grainy.

Bland, boring, but went well with the meal.

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Photo of Kranders
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Really nice and crisp like you'd expect from some sort of lager. Still, there was this strange off-taste that I couldn't place for the life of me. It wasn't bad per say, but it somehow still seemed to detract from the overall quality of the beer. Overall I really wasn't a fan of the experience.

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Photo of HugePlume
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into my favorite pint.

A- A light yellow, with what I first thought was a chill haze, but it did not clear up and maintained its faint fogginess throughout the drink.

S- A sweet leafy aroma, with a little yeast.

T- More of the sweetness, almost like a cider was mixed in with an ale. Its got a peculiar weirdness to it... sort of like one of those veggie corn-dogs. It tastes sort of normal, but you get this building weird flavor that tells you something isn't normal, and eventually, isn't good.

M- Average mouthfeel, could use a little more carbonation.

O- I won't try it again. Its not flawed but its weird. An expirament that I can do without.

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Photo of imasloth
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A hazy honey color with a cream-coloured one finger head that stayed put when poured into a goblet.

S- Sweet, mead-like aroma. A bit like fermented fruit.

T- On initial tasting it was dry and cidery and a little exciting. However, as the beer continued to sit in the glass the taste subsided and it tasted a littler plainer.

M- Beer was heavy with a dry aftertaste that also smoothed a bit as it warmed.

O- Overall, it was enjoyable but not one that I'd rush back out to get, nor one I'd tell a friend they had to try. Kind of middling ...

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

Pours a clear light yellow with two fingers of white foam head that provides adequate lacing.
Nose is light grain, surprisingly similiar to a lager, some spice, mild light fruit and lemon zest.
Taste is similiar: lager yeast and malt, grain, slight spice. Lemon zest throughout.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, dry from the spices.
Overall, unassuming style diverter - very similiar to a Boston Lager. Not overly impressive either.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden in color with a light body and good head retention.

Smell is very fresh, some roasted nuts, fruits and hops.

The nutty flavors I never noticed them, the beer was very light, fruity, with hints of oranges, coriander and spices. Reminded me of certain Witbier than anything else

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


Appearance - Clear amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, lemon/tangerine juice and zest, grains/bread

Taste & Mouth - There is a higher than average amount of carbonation and I can taste light hops, lemon/tangerine juice and zest. There is also a a breadiness and a bit of a metallic flavour. it finishes with a grainy and citrus aftertaste.

Overall - A nice easy drinking beer that has a flavour well suited for the summer months. The taste is well balanced and the the fruit flavours are very refreshing. Not sure it's worth the price, but it's still a beer that is warrants trying.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw, cloudy yellow with a thin white head, some nice lacing.

Smells of light grass, vegetable-like aromas, maybe a hint of cabbage, rice...Also some skim milk, and citrus. Interesting.

Does not taste as interesting as it smells. Tastes slightly grassy and citrusy with some vegetable undertones. A slightly bitter aftertaste. Pretty light, not very complex, but nice and refreshing.

Interesting beer, but probably not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arriving several weeks after the main Rogue brewery release at the LCBO was Morimoto Soba Ale. A quick look at the Rogue website reveals that this brew was prepared in consultation with Iron Chef Morimoto, who was the third "Iron Chef Japanese" on the tv show.

*Note: the Ontario bottles, which require alcohol content to be clearly labelled, have a sticker that says "Light Beer, 3.8% ABV." Not sure why there is a discrepancy; this certainly tastes more like 3.8% rather than 4.8%.

Poured into a nonic. A splendid golden hue, very bright, with a ridiculously high fluffy head that will not quit. Lively visible carbonation at first. Huge patches of lacing. There seems to be something about buckwheat/soba, as every brew I've had with buckwheat in the recipe seems to have pretty rockin' head retention.

Nose is pleasant, but one dimensional. Buckwheat, nuts, a tiny whiff of west coast hoppage. Potent, enjoyable, but not much to it.

At first I really didn't dig this brew, as I found it tasted to me like an above-average light lager. But the nuts and buckwheat flavors started to make a stronger appearance as the beer warmed a touch, giving the brew a nice full flavor profile. Some citrus and saltiness notes as well. Creamy, medium bodied, mild carbonation. Would have preferred a bit stronger carbonation to cut through the thickness, but it's not bad.

It's hard to give beers like this proper credit, considering how often we tip our caps to robust porters/stouts and potent IPAs. True, I found Rogue's hoppier fare to me far more personally appealing. But this brew had its own unique character which really grew on me by the time I neared finishing the bomber. It has a simple, nutty flavor that is several cuts above your normal light ale/lager fare, which would go well on a hot day and probably pairs nicely with Japanese cuisine, far better than the standard Japanese rice lagers most sushi restaurants carry. I mean really, who's going to argue with the Iron Chef?

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Photo of Tschnab
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a hazy yellow with an active but tiny head. Lace scatters down the glass

S- smells of rice crackers, lemon, buttery bread, malt.

T- very light and crisp, and unique tasting. The taste is like soy rice cakes with citrus and maltiness.

O- not bad, it is different but interesting. Cool, but one glassbis enough.

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Photo of jrenihan
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright golden colour with a a thick white head.

Toasted scents spring forward- toasted grains or nuts (obviously the toasted soba, though I could not have told you that), as well as some butter. It's an interesting and rather pleasant smell, and totally unlike any other beer I have encountered. However, it is not particularly complex. I get the toasted grains and that is it.

As interesting as the scent is, the taste is totally underwhelming. The toasted flavour is present but not as strongly, and is overshadowed by a thin, watery body that is not enjoyable at all. Very very light, and too much carbonation. It is really hard for me to get past the poor mouthfeel to get much from the taste. The more I drink the more I can recognize the toasted flavour as soba, and it is reminiscent of soba noodles. Unique, but not very good.

Definitely not a beer I will come back to. In fact, I won't be finishing the bottle. Definitely a unique beer, and an interesting idea, but it doesn't work for me. Oh well.

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Photo of paxkey
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy light orange golden color with white head.

smells summery and fresh

crisp and refreshing with that little aftertaste makes this really yummy.

the ridiculous low abv makes this easy to drink loads of and with so much flavor its well worth it.

a unique and tasty beverage.


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