Hope y'all enjoyed Houston Beer Week. We're poor and generally allergic to ticket prices, so we missed most of the high-end fun, though we did find occasion to try a Southern Star Smoked Porter on cask at Anvil (smooth, good, unapologetically malty), and a Victory Hop Devil on cask at the Queen Vic (clean, a perfect match for the mild spices in the food) to celebrate the week in our own way.
To offer yet another good option in addition to all the brews you hopefully experienced last week, we offer Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale from Rogue.
We brought it home without even realizing it was from Rogue, without having tried Rogue's milder, basic soba ale, and without knowing much about soba (Japanese buckwheat, apparently, which Rogue says is a member of the rhubarb family and not a type of wheat.)
All that aside, roasted soba is listed as the first ingredient of this beer, and the first flavors evident on the palate certainly cater to the "roasted" side of that description. But just as the ashy, roasted notes began to come on too strong, what we can only assume was the soba intervened.
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The flavor widened out, got smoother, and perhaps developed some sweet tinges around the edges. These were wide, flat flavors, not the kind that shoot vertically down the throat (acid! ash! roast!).
We don't have a wealth of experience with soba or rhubarb, but frankly this beer tasted like a wheat bread. Not a wheat beer -- this is in no way close to a wheat beer -- but a wheat bread in beer form.
In fact, we were lucky enough to have some homemade wheat bread on hand, and the two went extremely well together.
Though we've given you plenty of words on it, this is a beer best experienced on your own palates. We would certainly recommend it.