Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Morimoto Soba Ale

Rogue Ales has an interesting partnership with one of my favorite chefs ... Morimoto.  I used to watch Morimoto on Iron Chef (Japan) with amazement, wishing that, not only could I cook as well as he did, but that I could have the creativity and ingenuity that Chef Morimoto displayed during every challenge.  Since his Iron Chef days, Morimoto has opened restaurants across the United States, including one aptly named "Morimoto" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Both Clare and I dined at that Morimoto.  (We both had an amazing meal there.)  During that dinner, I had the chance to try Morimoto Soba Ale. 

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat.  It is the principal ingredient for inexpensive noodle dishes sold at train stations in Japan, as well as more expensive noodles found in specialty markets around the world.  In this case, Rogue Ales roasts the soba to make it the central ingredient in this specialty beer.  Along with the soba, Rogue Ales uses Harrington, Munich and C-15 Malts; Crystal and Rogue Farm Willammette Hops; "free range coastal waters"; and top fermenting Pacman Yeast.

Rogue Ales describes the beer as having a "delicate flavor" of roasted soba, which brings a "nutty finish to this light and refreshing ale."  The beer pours an orange and golden color.  There is a lot of fermentation, with the foam stubbornly sticking around long after the beer has been poured.  The beer is light and crisp, with only a 4.8% ABV.  There was some nuttiness in the aroma, but more malt or wheat tones.  As for the taste, the Soba Ale has a certain floral flavor, which is accompanied by bready flavors that come from the use of wheat and malt.  Overall, this is a very drinkable beer.  I can see why it won four medals -- three silver and one gold -- at the World Beer Cups.

When it comes to pairings, Rogue Ales suggests that this beer could be paired with poultry and fish dishes, as well as "lighter cuisine."  This makes perfect sense for anyone who has watched Morimoto cook during an Iron Chef challenge knows that he rarely cooks a "heavy" dish, opting for lighter cuisine that borders on perfection with respect to taste, texture and presentation.

This bottle was given to Clare and myself as a gift.  I have seen this beer at several stores with a decent craft beer selection.   Of course, if you find yourself at one of Morimoto's restaurants, you should order one and try it for yourself. 

ENJOY!

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