Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Rogue – Morimoto Soba Ale

I don’t watch a ton of television, but when I do, I pretty much alternate between Food Network, Comedy Central, and whatever channel is currently playing reruns of House. That being said, one of my favorite Food Network Shows (second only to Good Eats w/Alton Brown) is Iron Chef America. What can I say? I’m inspired by the chef’s abilities to take one ingredient and use it so many different ways. So, hearing about Iron Chef Morimoto pairing up with Rogue to design beer made my eyebrow lift in curiosity. There are three in the set, this ale, a black ale, and an imperial pilsner. I decided to start with the Soba Ale. 

The Morimoto Soba Ale is a light, cloudy orange in the glass, featuring a persistent creamy/fine head. It smells sweet and like some kind of flower. I’m reminded of the Hanami Ale from Smuttynose. Its almost like a soapy flowery smell, like the miniature soaps my grandma had on a table in the bathroom. No disrespect, just that its a very un-beery scent. 

What I think I was detecting was the soba, which gives this brew its name. According to Rogue’s website, soba is not a type of wheat but a member of the rhubarb family and has been a longtime staple of Japanese cuisine. Its also known as buckwheat, and is very commonly made to make asian noodles. I wish I had some here to try this beer with!

The taste is very different. There is a hint of almost a rose taste, followed by the delicate notes of something like a pilsner. At the very end, there’s almost a nut like quality to it. It’s difficult to describe, but it reminds me of a really light beer with the “beery” taste subtracted out from it, leaving all the delicious subtleties of the everything else behind. Its fine textured and smooth, and I have to say it doesn’t taste like anything else I’ve had this year. 
If you’re bored with the same old brewings, seek this out. If nothing else it is certainly memorable in its flavor profiles. Not to be stereotypical but I think this would pair fabulously with sushi or anything (perhaps Thai) flavored with ginger. I am not sure I could sit down and have three or four of these, though, because that undertone of sweetness began to catch up with me by the end of the glass.


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1 Comment

  1. brittany

    Rouge also markets a “Morimoto Signature” Hazelnut Ale, but do not be fooled – it just just a different package for their Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

    If you are interested in the soba beer, you might want to pick up a bottle of the Black Obi Soba Ale as soon as you see one. It has been discontinued (but I think I have still seen them around occasionally).

    Anyway, nice to see another youngish girl beer blogger! Best wishes.

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