Morimoto Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Soba AleMorimoto Soba Ale
516 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 516 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of paxkey
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
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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Photo of mintjellie
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slighlty hazed and orange in colour. A fingers worth of eggshell head is tightly formed and fairly retentive. Good lacing. Nutty and earthy notes in the aroma with some mild citrusy hop tones. Mixed nuts and that earthy quality again in the mouth, brightened by tangerine-like hop flavour. Mild bitterness. This is light-bodied ale, but given it's alcohol-by-volume, I was expecting it to be much lighter than it is. Carbonation feels a bit prickly though. Light and refreshing quencher with an interesting flavour, but not a good value for what you pay. I wont be coming back to this.

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Photo of bryehn
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden colour with a slight orange tint. Soapy white head leaves some mild lacing.

Aromas of salted butter and caramel, wheat and freshwater.

Bitter crispness to the taste at first, followed by a burned wheat taste and a sort of saltiness.

Satisfying mouthfeel for a light beer. Light-bodied, but the yeast gives it a bready quality. Low carbonation but a thin film of head lasts until the end, which gives it a refreshing tingle on the tongue.

Very good, flavourful light beer that could wash down a bunch of different meals; namely anything salty. Great hot day refresher.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle from the recent LCBO feature, relabeled at 3.8%, no date. Pours a slightly cloudy golden hue with a finger of foam which leaves some splotches of lacing.

Nose has a bit of butter, earthy buckwheat, hint of nuttiness, citrus. Taste features a touch of butter, buckwheat which comes across as both nutty and earthy, dashes of lemon and orange dance around it - almost marmalade like, touch of ginger, faint cardboard, light bitter drying in the finish, able and refreshing carbonation, light body.

It suits this hot day and I can easily see it pairing well with Asian food, in fact quite well. It's nothing amazing but unique its use of buckwheat which is quite evident.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
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 shand
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This one pours a radiant golden color with two fingers of head. Retention is alright, and lacing is good. The aroma is a bit strange, it's got a very smooth, sweet caramel maltiness, along with some fruitiness. I also sense a slight nuttiness and some wheat. The taste here mostly follows the nose, there's some complexity underneath but the nondescript fruity flavors, sweet grains, and sweet caramel malts are really the stars of the show, stripping the beer of any underlying complexities it may have.

The mouthfeel is thin and prickly. The drinkability is very poor for the ABV, this one's just too sweet, I really started to struggle through the second glass of the bomber. Overall, a decent brew, but absolutely nothing special. For the intended purpose of pairing with food, there's plenty of things that are better.

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Photo of peensteen
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazy pale golden blonde, one finger dense white head. Smell has a big malt profile, buckwheat like, biscuit, nutty scents, subtle underlying citrus notes. Taste is malty but nowhere near as malty as the nose would have you believe, a nutty dry bitterness takes over the finish. Quite thin in the mouthfeel, watery with really high carbonation. Overall this is just OK, pretty clean and refreshing but lacks depth in the flavour profile.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
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 MeisterBurger
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pleasing golden amber topped by a 1/2" thick bright white head.

The aroma is very unusual, like Mr. Noodles and beer...aaaahhhh. Does that EVER remind me of my college days. Bliss! Loads of husky grain. I have never smelled roasted soba, but I can only image it is the cause much that is in the aroma. The rest is light cooked vegetable and margarine.

The taste is very light and bready/buckwheaty with just a hint of lemon and a certain nuttiness. Very grainy/husky. Light bitterness. Finishes quick. It has some sake like qualities to it. Acceptable levels of diacetyl.

High carbonation, very crisp and creamy.

Light, decent, and quaffable but hard to love.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into Sam Adams "Perfect Pint". Colour is a very pale amber, no visible carbonation, finger-thick head quickly fades away to a thin white film leaving pretty even lacing around the rim.

Smell: Moderate citrus, some hopes and malt. Not very strong.

Taste: Overall, very light flavours of bready malts, citrus, and just a hint of hops. There is a flavour I can't seem to identify, it almost reminds me of sake.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated, very light and "fluffy" if I may. Finishes a little sticky.

Overall: I regret not having this brew with food. It is summertime right now so it feels fantastic to drinka beer as light as this one. Definitely one of the odder tasting brews I've had. It's good, though.

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Photo of Ralphs66
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the lightest (in every way) craft beers I've ever had. Possibly THE lightest. Nothing about this beer is overpowering or in your face. That being said, I really enjoyed this beer. Light and crisp, with the buckwheat flavoring adding a subdued nuttiness. Smell is virtually non-existent. Clean golden coloration and a light, thin head. No alcohol presence at all, so drinkable beyond belief. Very refreshing.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bomber poured a hazy honeyed orange with a thin off-white cap.

The fragrance was not strong and of citrus, pine, ripe fruits.

The flavors were that of citrus, hops, but the prevalent flavor was that of citrus rinds. I did not find it sour as I was somewhat expecting from a 'fruit beer'. It was refreshing and a low ABV, so after the bomber wasn't feeling a thing.

Not bad, not great. I think I paid about 9 or 10 bucks which is too much for this.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber body with single finger of creamy whitish head which laces and retains moderately.

Smells odd, kind of sour and biscuity, not quite skunky, but different than a Flemish sour. And then I guess it kind of smells like soba noodles.

It doesn't really taste like soba noodles, and the taste is more pleasant (and less direct) than the nose. It's still sour, and a little biscuity. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and sour, slightly vegetal.

Mouthfeel is kinda standard, nothing outstanding, and in fact leaves it feeling a bit insubstantial. I would've preferred a thicker feel (in terms of carbonation or sediment); this is clearly (no pun) a filtered beer.

It's all right, and definitely something different. It's fairly drinkable, if a bit odd, and a bomber of it won't knock you out at the low ABV. Worth a try if you're looking for a 'gateway' sour, I suppose. Compares very favorably to Hitachino X.H. (which, as a beer aged in sake casks, shares little in common; still for some reason I am reminded), but doesn't stack up against Flemish sours.

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Photo of DCon
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed THE LAST bottle of this ale for $8 @ 3 Monkeys Eating & Drinking Establishment in (South City) Saint Louis, MO. Poured from my 1pt. 6oz bottle into my pint glass and enjoyed with the girlfriend while watching the Cardinals defeat the Astros Wednesday night. (No sign of B.O.D. on this bottle...)

Appearance- Poured a Clear (semi-hazy) Light Peach color body with 2 fingers of Over bubbly head. Good retention and had a small amount of sudsy lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell- There was a vegetable smell that started out, light broccoli or carrots w/ dip. Then a mild amount of citrus hops hit my nose. Very unusual.

Taste- There is a overwhelming grain start with hint of floral hop. The finish tasted like you were finishing a shot of Sake! I liked this attribute and am thinking this Soba had contributions to this after effect. Great qualities!

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, Light Viscosity, and Medium carbonation with a watery finish. Nothing hit the palate with any stir up except for the sake, cheap vodka taste from grainy, mild bitter finish.

Overall- When there is only one more bottle of something at a bar and it looks interesting, I'm grabbing it! It was a semi-easy ale to drink while sake still isn't my drink of choice (only with sake or special occasions). Would recommend anyone trying though! I will have to do more research on Soba and find out what these noodles did to enhance this ale.

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Photo of match1112
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
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 womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
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 WestValleyIPA
4.19/5  rDev +18.7%
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 TheDudeRules
1.06/5  rDev -70%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

From a bottle to a snifter.

And we are off to the Bash A Beer Olympics.... Let the horribleness begin.

I would really love to write just plain awful, avoid at all costs. But the public needs to know just how awful.

After this light colored spew made it to my glass I quickly turned my head wondering where that smell was coming from. Without being able to pinpoint where this rechid smell was coming from, I started to ask some questions. Hey fellas.... Has there been cats missing in the area? I think maybe somebody is cooking them out back. Wait a second....It's not feline delicacy being cooked, it's the shit wafting out of my glass from this dank beer. I reached to the heavens for the strength to stomach a sip of this nut crusted turd. I'm ashamed I called in a favor from the almighty for this one. A sip and my good tooth turned black. Immediate drain pour. I don't know what rocket scientist dreamed this fail up but they need to be drug out in the street and shot.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been a long time since I've had a Rogue beer. They make many quality brews in many different styles. I'll admit that I didn't feel compelled to buy this Morimoto Soba Ale because the rice ales I've tried have never really impressed me much but I thought it'd go well with fish. Too bad I'm not going to drink it with fish. Oh well! Hopefully this will have a clean feel and flavor.

I decided to pour the Soba into a more wine glass-like beer glass because, if sake is considered a rice wine, even though it's a liquor, then perhaps a rice beer should be drank for something like a wine glass. Whatever... The beer is golden-amber in color and clear, though there is a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle that can be poured into the glass. I'll touch on that later on. The head is very bubbly or foamy, with small bubbles, and takes awhile to form and is white. There is little film on top and minimal lacing. While the look might not be very remarkable, it's the smell and taste that deserves detail.

Morimoto Soba has a very grainy, mealy smell to it that mingles with a sort of sweet floral smell. There is some sweet fruit I pick up as well though it's difficult to describe. It's very interesting and not an aroma I've smelled in other beers. It makes Soba not smell, yes, I know that's not a word, but it's definitely something you won't find in basically any other beer you try, unless it's another rice ale.

The same extraordinaryness, another non-word, of Soba's aroma is in its taste. It has a high carbonation and a light mouthfeel, though it has a very bready flavor that would make you think it'd be heavy. There's a tang like from citrus and acidity from sweet fruits, again, I don't know how to describe it in much detail, that fits in well with the high carbonation. There is a balance though with the breadiness as well as an interesting...milky-buttery smoothness that make Soba taste much like sake. That's what is very interesting about Soba in that it's a rice beer but has characteristics of sake, "rice wine". A hint of alcohol towards the end adds to that. If you pour in the little sediment that is at the bottom of the 22 oz bomber then you'll get even more of the unique rice flavors.

Soba is easy to drink with its high carbonation and light mouthfeel, and while it is not overly complex and full of flavor, it is definitely a beer you've not tasted before. Its unique smells and flavors make it something I'd definitely recommend to try. I wouldn't say I particularly think it's a beer that I'd want to have regularly but its uniqueness deserves a try.

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Photo of FernMaster
3.19/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Tulip.

I'm sitting in someone else's home as he completes something for work, sitting and sipping at the Morimoto Soba Ale as my car lies abandoned on I-70 Mile marker 92.0 in Missouri eastbound towards St. Louis. It's been an adventurous (to the say the least) couple of days. I came to Boonville, er rather attempted to, to see my girlfriend who is currently busy and my car died twenty-one miles from her home. My life has an impeccably timed narrator who is apt to lay on sarcastic malice in my weakest moments. He's vastly superior to the narrator of "Our Town." As my car lay dead on the side of the highway, as cars briskly past without changing lanes, I saw a brilliant flash and heard thunder that was close enough that counting was unnecessary. A storm quickly raged and only added to my satirically pathetic situation as she tried to find my car. Sitting in the rain in my passenger seat with the seat belt on, I laughed and decided I truly, truly needed a beer.

Flash forward to now, I'm sitting with a Morimoto Soba Ale. I've decided to revisit old friends of mine, from noticing a gap in my reviews of beers I love and from visiting my buddy who's texting in front of me now as his brother plays drums in the room next door. Morimoto Soba Ale is an old buddy who I haven't seen in a year.

Reminiscent and melancholy are the words of this review.

My bottle may be a bit old, or maybe my memory was too strong. The pour is a very crisp gold, almost fine cider like. There's a great amount of head, three fingers from my pour and there's lacing as I drink. Other beers in this style seem to lack in this presentation (ignoring the color), this beer does not lack in looks.

The smell is lackluster from what I'd imagine a beer with Morimoto's name on the label should be. The soba is dry, malty like you were smelling raw ingredients. It lacks refinement. It seems young, wild, ignorant of the world. There's a hint of citrus I want to say there, but it's shy. A good twirl only gives the impression that my ramen is finished.

The taste is rather much better than what I expected given the lack of nose. However, it's still dry, something is missing. There's the soba and spice and a hint really watered down orange. Despite the lack of character, which becomes a since of a character, it's sort of enjoyable. In a strange way. It's like sitting on the side of the highway, in a thunderstorm, while images of cops and the news where cars sitting on the shoulder getting creamed play through your mind. There's a sense of enjoyment that can be found in not looking for enjoyment. If I was pairing this with food, Thai for example, it would simply be amazing. By it's self, it's just lacking.

The mouthfeel is frothy, light and drying. The drinkability is aided by the great finish that this beer has. If anything should stand above the rest for this beers highlights, it's the finish. Would I revisit this old friend? I wouldn't drive to see it. If I was however enjoying a dinner and saw it and it seemed agreeable at the time, I would say hi.

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Photo of tapman
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light orange color with ample carbonation mounted by a creamy, large, head of white foam.

Toasted grain aroma with some earthy hops accompanied with a flat roastiness/nuttiness that I take to be the roasted soba (noodles?).

There is a tangy, almost lacto-tartness to the taste. Also, some white toast flavor and a light, floral hoppiness. A creamy nut butter taste in the finish with a very low bitterness. Goes very well with filet mignon kabobs. (with red onion)

Light, dry and with a puckering twang.

Too light in flavor for me to say "best ever," but complex enough to compliment a meal or drink on its own. At $7 I would not buy this beer, so that's why I picked up a discount $5 bottle.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a light golden copper with a fair head that dissapated quickly leaving no lace. smell is faint of sweet malts and what is probably soba. Taste has a twangy (must be the soba) lightly malty sweetness with a mild, but good balance of hops. mouthfeel is a light medium with good carbonation. A little different, light and easy drinking.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST:750ml poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy golden-orange with a thin white head. It leaves wonderful lacing.

S: Peach, citrus, and honey.

T: Starts sour and sweet with honey and rice. It has a bit of oatmeal in the middle to the finish. The alcohol stops to say hello at the end along with some crisp citrus from the hops.

M: Light and dry.

D: It has low abv, nice taste without immense tongue tiring flavor, and it is smooth.

Overall: I was interested in this beer as soon as I saw it, and I am happy with the final result. It is light, has nice flavor, and is incredibly drinkable. It starts and finishes with slight sour and sweet. It worked very well with fish (which is what Rogue suggested would make a good pairing). This beer is restrained and balanced. I highly recommend for a session beer.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.44/5  rDev +25.8%
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 gueuzeonhigh
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden amber-straw color.
A small head that laces the glass.

A nose with a hops and nut-like hints.

This is a light ale but does have much going for it. Even at room temp its quite delectable. I'm sure it would also double as a hot weather thirst quencher served much colder that room temp.

The bitter hops flavor is commingled with a nut-like hint and a malt under pinning. It's a delicate flavor that makes itself known yet not overpowering. The flavor of this beer does differ from other light ales.

The mouthfeel produces a long lasting finish.

Drinkability is superior in part thanks to the 4.8% ABV but also the flavor is complex enough to have snared my interest.

While this beer is not a flavor power-house it is a light but enjoyable brew.

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Morimoto Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 516 ratings
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