Why Chuck Norris? I love a good Chuck Norris "fact" as much as the next guy, but why make a martial arts star who went from getting his ass kicked by Bruce Lee to selling gym equipment on infomercials the subject of an internet phenomenon? Isn't there a better, larger-than-life character out there?
I would like to nominate: Iron Chef Japanese Masaharu Morimoto.
Here are some "facts" about Moriomoto:
Morimoto wears glasses for aesthetic reasons (and to prevent us from realizing that he is Super Man).
Historically, samurai swords were graded by how many bodies they could slice through. Morimoto grades his knives by how deeply he can cut into the space/time continuum. (This may or may not have inspired the Heroes character Hiro Nakamura).
Morimoto once combined cola with natto to create a dessert dish on Iron Chef...and the judges actually liked it.
Perhaps the most important fact for our purposes: Morimoto teamed up with Rogue Brewing to create a line of Morimoto beer. One of these fine brews, Morimoto Soba Ale, will be the subject of today's review.
Is Soba Ale worthy of an Iron Chef or should Morimoto stick to sushi and leave the beer making to Kirin?
Taste: It turns out that Soba isn't a grain at all, it's a fruit and a member of the rhubarb family. This combined with my overzealous appreciation for Iron Chef instilled me with the expectation that I was seconds away from imbibing something world-shattering. What I received instead was a mild, fruity sweetness to round out the flavor of a very solid ale. Soba Ale will not change your perceptions of reality. It will not bestow upon you're the power to create world-class fusion cuisine in less than an hour. It will go down smooth and taste crisp and delicious.
Goes with: sushi. I know, big surprise, right? Think about it this way: given the choice between drinking a bottle of Kirin or a bottle of Soba Ale while munching toro sashimi, I would not hesitate to go with Morimoto's beer. This may be the pinnacle of beers to enjoy while eating sushi.
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I got mine: at Top's Liquor for $5.49 per 1 pint 6 fl. Oz bottle. Considering how good this beer is the price just sweetens the deal.
Verdict: If Chuck Norris did brew, he'd probably call his beverage "Beer'd" and it would be too powerful for human consumption. That's why I'm glad culinary juggernaut Morimoto made a beer instead.
Morimoto is known for doing unexpected things with food, so I expected some sort of gimmick. Even with the soba, there is nothing identifiably exotic here. Perhaps that is for the best though as what's here is a truly delicious ale.