I've always been a fan of Rogue Beer's. Some may be off, but there's no denying that they make some pretty interesting beers. Among their many beers they have a three part series that's an homage to Food Network's Iron Chef Morimoto. The beers within the series are an Imperial Pilsner, a Soba ale, and the one I picked up recently at Spec's, a Black Obi Soba Ale. The beer is brewed with roasted buckwheat hence the name Black Obi Soba Ale. Soba are Japanese Buckwheat noodles (an Obi is a Japanese Sash, or the strips of cloth that wrap around martial arts uniforms).
The Beer: Pours a very dark brown almost black. The nose is malty, with strong hints of soba noodle soup, raisins and a bit of hops. The mouth is mild, slightly bitter, tastes a lot like a black lager. A fruity taste, fruity yeast. Its very interesting, but there's an off putting burnt taste. It goes beyond the nuttiness I would expect (and accept) from the roasted buckwheat, its more prevalent. An ok interesting beer, but not something I'd reach for again. This one gets a C+ from me. The folks over at BA don't necessarily agree.