Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale
…Or, quite possibly the most surprising beer I’ve had in a long time. No stranger to Buckwheat Noodles (try them cold with sweet Soy sauce – delicious), I’ve never had a beer brewed with it. Technically I still haven’t – Soba noodles are just Buckwheat noodles, so this – in essence – is a Buckwheat Ale.
Semantics aside, there’s a lot of flavour packed into this beer – especially when you consider the 4.8% abv. There’s creamy, milk-biscuit notes on the nose, with no real hop character at all; only a slight herbal tinge. Not entirely unexpected, given that the grain is the star here. Mid-Amber in colour, it looks the part, resplendent with a tight, tan head.
Then I take a sip – wow. It tastes – in my opinion, anyway – of Coconut Cream. You know those little Coconut Macaroon sweets you get in sweet shops when you were a kid? Imagine a beer with that in it. Sweet and creamy with a slightly toasted, nutty edge. The finish is even more perplexing, finishing things off with a Tangerine note that just cleans things up a little.
I guess I’m not used to Rogue being subtle; but despite all these flavours, this is actually a really drinkable, balanced beer. It could have been cloying, it could have been overpowering, but instead you get a rich mix of flavours, all singing from the same hymn-sheet. Now, will someone out there make a Soba/Buckwheat Stout, please?