I had seen this beer taunting me from the shelf wondering what the hell it was a number of times, so I finally decided to pick one up and read the bottle only to discover it is made by the wonderful Rogue Brewery out of Newport, Oregon. The Morimoto Black Obi Soba is one of three beers launched as a collaboration with Masaharu Morimoto an award winning chef who you may know from the show Iron Chef. These beers are made with Soba, also known as buckwheat which is actually not a wheat but part of the rhubarb family and a staple in Japanese cuisine because of its impressive nutritional properties. This particular beer is dedicated to Rogues Japanese distributor Phred Kaufmann and apparently is a remake of their original Phred’s Black Soba Ale. Now onto the good part. This beer pours with close to an inch of marvelously brown tinted head that is quite frothy and stays for quite a while. Color is black with deep red colors sneaking in while in the light. Aroma is interesting and hard to place, I mostly get malty sweetness, almost fruity like cherry. The flavor of this beer even more interesting, a dull fruit flavor hits the palate first that reminds me of cherry but is nowhere near as sweet which is finished by a malt like flavor that makes this beer very smooth, presumably from the soba. Overall this beer is somewhat flat in most of its flavors, though this is not that uncommon in a porter this is a different one, obviously the grains used in this beer contribute a lot. Not a bad beer, a bit sour in the initial flavor but a relatively smooth dark ale in the finish. RateBeer refers to this beer as a fruit ale, and Beeradvocate as a porter and I must say I agree with both. If you like a dark, not particularly malty beer with some sour but not artificial fruit flavor this will do you right. The ABV of this beer is not listed but the original Phred’s Black Soba AleÂ is rated at 5% and I would be inclined to believe this one is about the same. Anyone who is curious about how irregular ingredients effect a beer will likely appreciate this one. Give it a shot and ride your bike.