Morimoto Soba Ale | Rogue Ales

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Morimoto Soba AleMorimoto Soba Ale
520 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: 520 |  Reviews: 218
Photo of KansasBeerLover
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I purchased this beer, I had no idea what soba was. I thought it was a rice, due to the Japanese name. The cashier at the store thought soba might be a wheat-like grain. We were both wrong.

Soba is a Japanese variety of buckwheat. It is not a cereal grain, but a member of the rhubarb family. The fruit is nut-like, similar in shape to a beech nut.

The beer pours similar to a light wheat beer. About 10% head that is light. The body has an amber hue and a mild cloud. Aroma is a mild sweet malt, with a touch of fruit. Taste is a bit unusual. At first I thought of a strong rice, but finishes more like a wheat and remains in the mouth for a long time (30 minutes and I still taste it).

I would call this a decent beer. Above average but not the best by any standard. Kudos to rogue for daring to be different.

Will I buy it again? Probably, but it will be a while before I do.

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Photo of BigDank
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Trappistes Rochefort glass it falls a dark golden, slightly hazy but still see through color. Practically no head but what was there was off white and thin. Smell is somewhat fruity and wheaty. Taste is that almost of a light wheat beer and nothing spectacular but it's not too bad. Medium carbonation, easy on the palate. Drinkibility is up there as there are no overpowering characters and a pretty low ABV. One worth trying but not top of the list.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
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 tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
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 webmanspidey
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass. This one's a pale golden color, heavily carbonated with a solid inch or two of head. Smell is very grainy and fresh. The taste is light and grainy, cracked wheat, nuts, and slight hoppiness at the end. Very light-bodied and low in alcohol presence. An easy drinker and a definite session candidate. Not an exceptionally complex beer but decent.

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Photo of tosshin
4.37/5  rDev +23.8%
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 froghop
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a hazy yellow-orange with heavy carbonation, a small white head, and good lacing.

smell is of grain, some citrus, a little wheat, some hay, a touch of citrus, dusty, and malt.

taste is oily, somewhat sour, orange peel, grain, malt in the malt, a little wheat, a little bitter, and some nuts, ends a little creamy, and a little bitter.

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Photo of katan
3.39/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a pint

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Head is very strong, white in color. Very well retained. Carbonation in the beer itself doesn't appear as strong.

S - A malty sweet note with the background of some kind of barley grainy note. Very hard to dissect.

T - Starts off with a light sweet flavor of the malt combined with that hard to understand grainy edge. Mid-stream does grow more bitter, but zero hops. Finishes with a more overt sour, almost grapefruit type flavor. It seems to hang around for a very long time.

M - Medium to strong body - very creamy. Carbonation bite is restrained. Little oils or resins on the tongue.

D - Moderate drinkability - perhaps low for the style. ABV is manageable, but it does appear to be a bit heavy on the palette.

Not sure what to make of this beer - may have to revisit again when my palette is at its highest sensitivity.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a very nice sunset color with a minor head with no real retention. The lacing is scant. The soba ale smells of sweet malts and some graininess. The taste was overly sweet with no real outstanding flavor characteristics detected. The mouthfeel was a little thin for my taste and was an overall average experience. The lingering "skunkiness" is subtle but unpleasant none the less.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
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 MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly deep gold and a bit hazy/cloudy. decent creamy head. smell and taste are reminiscent of a euro all-malt light lager but with a bit more going on. i didn't really get the soba in here, don't know if that's a good thing or not. light bodied with a frothy mouthfeel and a crisp drying finish. just interesting enough to make me keep drinking.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev 0%
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 yesyouam
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Morimoto Soba Ale is a sparkling, hazy, golden ale with a bubbly white head that fades and leaves nice lacing. It has a citrusy aroma, like orange and wheat. It's medium-light bodied and fluffy. It feels almost ashy. The citrusy element is present, but the toasted flavor is really the focus. The finish is almost... salty and umami. This is unique and pleasant.

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Photo of bbeane
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Golden color, with a nice head that stayed around surprisingly long after the pour

S- A strange but nice smell. Kind of a nutty and sweet aroma mixed together

T- Again, a strange but very good taste. Starts out sweet...finishes with a nutty flavor with a hint of hops... very light

M- Pretty typical

D- Extremely light and easy to drink. A very refreshing beer... easy to enjoy on a hot day

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on sale thinking it was the black soba I have had before. Nice surprise.

This is a very interesting beer. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color. Lively carbonation and a retentive fluffy head. It smells like peanut shells and buttered popcorn. The taste also reveals that same peanut shell character, but it makes more sense to relate it to a grain husk flavor. The hops in this unite perfectly with the husk flavor to create a sort of dry tannin flavor. A little butter at the end as well that makes it a smooth and almost salty finish. Sunflower kernels, peanut butter, buttered bread. I'm not so sure I've ever tasted a beer with all of these flavors at once. Overall, it isn't a spectacularly flavorful beer, but the interesting factor definitely gives it some points. Very earthy and raw.

Give it a try.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
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 brendan13
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly hazy orangey dark golden colour with a 2 centimetre fluffy white head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - Smells wheaty and herbal.
T - The soba really comes through in the taste. Earthy, nuttiness. Some herbal, slightly floral character as well.
M - Quite light bodied, medium to high carbonation.
D - Interesting beer, not horrible but I'll certainly be drinking the many other Rogue beers before this again.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours darker-than-expected golden orange. While there are plenty of bubbles, the size of the head was very slight, leaving little lacing.

I'm pick up a traditional American Pale Wheat scent profile on the nose, or it seemed that way at first. The lemon zest scents that usually come in that style don't show up. Instead a clean, grassy hop aroma plays around what could be construed as an "off scent" regarding the wheat but in actuality is the buckwheat. There's a sweet fruittiness there too, apple perhaps.

The first thing that I notice with respect to taste is the difference between wheat and buckwheat. Moriomoto Soba Ale has a certain nuttiness not found in the average Hefeweizen. Sweet malt taste and the nutty quotient go well together and are not over powering at all. The beer is nicely hopped; the 30 IBUs provide a grassiness and a pleasant-in-its-slightness bitter aspect to the beer. Finally that light kiss of sweet fruit shows up again, a brief glimmer of black currant flavor.

I enjoy the mouthfeel here. Its not thick by any means but its not water-thin either. It is an excellent consistency to pair with lighter meats, i.e. chicken or fish. I paired this with some lightly flour-fried crappie fillets and the pairing was a large success. I'm rating the drinkabilty as high as I am not only because of its individual merits in that category but also because of its versatility to complement a variety of meals.

An excellent beer to drink during a meal. It is not quite as good on its own, but it is at all times an interesting and unique change-of-pace in the wheat beer world.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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 Moxley
3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another tasting with fellow BA and good friend Pleepleus. Always good times with you Pleep.

A - Pours a hazy apricot with a thin off-white head that dissipated quickly, leaving no real lacing to speak of.

S - Full bodied nose - lots of sweet and nutty toffee and roasted malts. Smelled better than it tasted.

T - I don't know what a SOBA is, but this beer is nutty and sweet, with a lot of toffee and malt undertones. Also got some dark fruits on the finish.

M&D - A little watery, not sure if this is typical for the style, as this is my first soba ale. A bit of a metallic bitterness up front with a lingering yeasty finish.

Not a bad beer. Not a great beer. Good to try a soba beer if you get the chance.

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Photo of noeldundas
4.47/5  rDev +26.6%
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 morimech
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy, dark yellow color with a small white head that did not hang around very long. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. Citrus hops and sweet malt makes up the aroma. Smells really sweet. Tastes like an average pale ale. I do not know what the soba brings to this beer but I cannot detect any. Sweet malt is the most agressive aspect of this beer with a little citrus from the hops. Bitterness is low. Light and refreshing body with ample carbonation. The best thing about the beer. A low ABV beer that is sort of ordinary. Plus it is sold at Rogue prices so I will not be revisting this beer.

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Photo of surfer4life
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy yellow with orange hues dancing through the middle, large milky white head on the top fluffy like clouds. Minimal Lacing.

S - Smells like sour apples, nutmeg and corriander. Little bit of citrus and hop smell but doesn't define the nose.

T - Not a lot to the taste, there is a hop taste, but it is very light and well balanced by the malt which is also not overbearing. Almost non-existent. However, it tastes very good. I do get some of the tastes I smell, a little apple and a little coriander.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

D - Pretty good, I could drink this on hot day or at the beach.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow gold color, the slightest bit of haze. A good amount of white head, big bubbled with a top reminiscent of clouds. Some sparse spotty lacing.

The aroma is slightly reminiscent of a pils. Biscuit malt. Herbal and floral notes. A nuttiness at the end.

Biscuit malt. Lemon zest, grass, herbal notes. Delicate hops, a nice level of bittering. Buckwheat evidenced through nuttiness, as indicated by the bottle. Finishes pretty clean.

Crisp carbonation, an overall very crisp brew, refreshing and pretty easy drinking. Light bodied. I'm not entirely sure why, but despite the refreshing nature of the beer, I don't think I'd want more than the 22oz. I just finished.

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Photo of burnstar
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a medium head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Aroma is malty with some grassy and herbal hop notes. Taste is malty and grainy but with a very low sweetness. The soba note is definitely present- buckwheat pancakes. Herbal hops in the finish. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Pretty drinkable.

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Morimoto Soba Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 520 ratings