Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 5,003 | Reviews: 1,817 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stevenseg:
3.13/5 rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.
SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.
The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.
The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.
The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.
Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.
I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation.
Serving type: bottle
04-16-2011 01:32:22 | More by stevenseg
More User Reviews:
3.94/5 rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12oz bottle from Stone variety pack, poured into pint glass. Enjoy by 10/02/14.
Black body with reddish hints when held up against a light. Small tan colored head, well carbonated, and good lacing.
Faint sweetness on the nose.
Taste was very nice, sweet with only a very faint bitterness. Roasted malts come out at the end. (Similar pattern to Arrogant Bastard) Mouth was around medium.
I personally do not really understand Black Ales/IPA's, seems to me there are always much better options on either the IPA or stout side. This one seems to favor the stout side. Taste seem to improve as the ale warmed up toward room temperature. Overall, an enjoyable drink.
Serving type: bottle
07-28-2014 03:50:44 | More by MikeWard
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,003 ratings.