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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,888 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,888
Hads: 5,845
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 290
Gots: 777 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,888 | Hads: 5,845
Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

whoa...forgot i had this. stumbled across it when trying to pick something out...thanks to BVbeer1

a - opened and poured into my capt lawrence taster tulip. black with a creay mocha white head. pretty frothy. left milkshake like lacing clinging to the glass.

s - great balance. strong malt presence with decent hop showing as well. nice cinnamon zing. smells great.

t - strong chocolate and extreme roastiness. this brew is intense. finishes rather bitter and dry.

m - punch you in the eye

o - overall, a good black ipa/ale with the bitterness i'd expect from stone. worth checking out for sure.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter, the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale was almost black in color, but it had an odd transparency and some light was able to shine through the glass. A pretty standard, but nice white, fluffy head rested on top.

SMELL: Sweet, spicy aromas combined with a berry-like smell.

TASTE: Very malty, spicy with some anise-like notes. A strong taste with a dry, hoppy finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and creamy, but not mouthcoating at all. Goes down easy.

OVERALL: Interesting and different beer. The Sublimely Self-Righteous is very easy to drink, but also a nice alternative to the ordinary. I will drink this again, but it probably isn't something I would make a part of my standard rotation.

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Photo of Rjhami
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Leaves a creamy head with lacing sticking some and also disappearing quickly elsewhere.

S - Piny, hoppy resin that is clean and crisp with a roasted finish.

T - The hops standout with the bitterness you would expect in an IPA. Finishes with roasted malt and the balance seems to fight itself a bit. Burnt toast character also present.

F - More like a Porter than IPA, fairly thick and not as much carbonation. Leaves a dry finish.

D - The dry finish and slightly uneven balance limits the desire for another right away. Still this is an intriguing style and Stone has a good handle on it as usual.

Served from 22oz bomber to mug.

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Photo of Storri
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from a bottle into a Nonic Pint glass. Poured out a nice deep black with some red tinge when held up to a light source. Finger and a half mountainous head that laced thickly throughout the entire session.

S- Smelled extremely floral with just a touch of biscuit.

T- Extremely floral and hoppy, as these beers are known for. It started out with a not unwelcome extreme floral and slightly citrus bitterness, and ended light and bready.

M- Sharp mouth feel that tingles on the tongue and smooths out for a nice finish.

O- A pretty alright, almost outstanding beer. I will say this was the second time I tried the beer after letting my tastebuds mature quite a bit. The first time I tried it I found it absolutely horrendous and overly bitter. This second time I found it much more satisfying. So if you don't like it the first time around, perhaps wait a few months or a year (if you were new to beer) and try it again.

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Photo of rangerred
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nearly opaque dark reddish-brown with a one finger tan head. Despite the smallish head there is outstanding head retention and nearly a solid wall of lace all the way around.

Aroma punches hard with pine resin and some tree bark. There is also a slight influence from tropical fruit but it is far behind the pine. There is a pleasant malt base with dark caramel, toast, and just a slight hint of coffee.

Tons of hops upon tasting. Pine mixed with a little bit of orange and lemon really dominates hardly letting any malt flavor through at all. Some sweet caramel along with dark toast and a faint hint of cocoa. Not nearly as much roast as I would expect given the dark color. The dark malt really shows more in the sweeter, heavier mouthfeel than in roastyness. Very bitter along with a full, somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, a really good Black IPA but I want more roast. There is not enough here to firmly set this apart from a normal IPA. That complaint aside, an excellent beer all around.

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Photo of nick76
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is very hoppy with both pine and citrus as well as a toasted caramel malt. The appearance is black with a large foamy head. The taste is like the aroma with a huge hop kick but not a super astringent one. The palate is thin but smooth from carbonation. Overall the beer is good but a bit too hoppy for me.

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Photo of dowen17
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Tan colored two finger head with good retention and great lacing.

On the nose is grapefruit and citrus. There are some dark malt scents lurking in the background and very mild, dark chocolate smell. Very faint, though.

Taste is very hoppy. Grapefruit is the dominant flavor here. Some dark malts come through in the middle and a big bitter pine punch at the end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and perfectly carbonated.

This is a very good beer. Pick it up if you can. Definitely worth the try.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep and dark mahogany brown, just shy of pitch black. A relatively thin tan colored head sits atop for quite some time.

Aroma is noticeably hoppy with big American hops showing off. No noticeable malt aroma at first, but becomes apparent as the beer warms.

This beer really falls in-line with many DIPA's, but with the dark malts to throw things off. Hop-forward with a strong bitter presence and flavors or citrus. A slightly sweet/toasted malt character can be detected, but its well hidden.

A lighter bodied feel than I expected, but thats not to say this is a light beer. It still packs plenty of punch and you can feel that in your mouth. Overall, this is a beer that pretty much defines the black IPA category. Who knew hoppy and dark could go so well together.

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Photo of jmalex
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I just missed out on buying Stone 10th in stores last year. I wasn't about to miss Stone 11th this year. This is my first bottle of it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker black in color with a 3-finger high loose-bubbled light tan head. It drops to a thick surface coating never once showing the surface of the beer. Lacing comes in sheets all the way down the glass.

SMELL: Huge hop profile that is very characteristic of Stone. Spicy, piny, and slightly citrusy hops dominate the nose. Additional sniffs yield the chocolate-type malt aromas one would expect from the color of this beer. Make no mistake though - the hops are king here by a large margin.

TASTE: Surprise! It's a hop bomb. Again, a very typical Stone hop profile with maybe a bit of extra citrusy sweet dry-hopped oomf. All I can taste is the hops even as the beer crosses my palate. And just as I'm about to be disappointed by the lack of flavor from the malt, it all of sudden kicks in... and keeps going. The finish has chocolate flavors growing and growing. And then it gets roasty and just keeps getting stronger long after the beer is gone. A very cool 2-layered taste.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full body that is just a bit syrupy. Carbonation level is higher than average but at a nice level.

DRINKABILITY: Stone 11th is kind of doomed from the start in this category. Huge body, huge ABV, stout flavors, and massive hops are tough on their own. But when all combined into one beer, it's tough to want more than 1 bomber. Taking that into account though, it's still a pretty nice drinker.

I've never had anything like this beer before, but I'm very intrigued by it. My best description would be to call it an Inverse Imperial Stout. It's clearly a DIPA first and foremost, but with a really cool twist. I can't wait to drink my others.

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Photo of sfoley333
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 22oz bottle from Holiday wine cellar into a 7th annivesary port english pint glass. Poured nice coffee color with brown hue edges where any light can come through. but with less viscoity than a irs or porter. Head thick and tan that had good retention. Aroma of roasted citrus with a touch of yeast on the backend.Taste of ipa is there with pine and citrus but is backed up with a roasted coffee flavor with hint of moca similar to a porter or dry stout but a little more alcohol heat at the end. Mouth feel sides a litttle more with an ipa style. The combination is quiet amazing but at times confusing on the tongue but like anything new it makes you want to try more.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, with reddish at the edges, and a substantial tan-colored head that leaves good lacing.

Smell is mostly citrus hops, and a bit weak. Grapefruit is the dominant fruit, but I have to reach a bit to get it.

Taste is smooth rich malts, rather subdued, leading into a nice citrus hop punch, that finishes out without much lingering bitterness. The hops are the central character, but they're backed up well by some malty richness and sweetness. Looking at it, I was definitely expecting more roasted malt character than I got.

Medium-bodied, decent carbonation, not bad, but nothing special.

This beer was a bit of a surprise for me. Didn't know what to expect, but the dark color without a ton of malt flavor, and the strong citrus hop presence, are just right for a black IPA. Quite tasty, better balanced than many beers like it, and one I'm quite likely to drink again.

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black-brown pour, ruby highlight and a dense , 2 finger, tan head. Sweet, citrusy aroma with notes of fig, cocoa, caramel and vanilla. Flavor is alcohol, pine, slight citrus and some roastiness and chocolate. Oily, medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of elliot23
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber emptied into my largest snifter.

A. Pours very dark with a hint of caramel brown on the outside. A soft creamy white/brown head. Light with decent retention.

S. Smells of chocolate, pine tree, malts, alcohol. Very nice.

T. Very roasty toasty malts. Some real bitter chocolate. Reminds of a stout to some extent. A nice bitter finish... almost of espresso. More hops.

M. A long bitter aftertaste of hops and burnt coffee.

D. Not the easiest of beers to throw back, but a bomb... no problem. But one is enough. Lots of alcohol.

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Photo of bwiechmann
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber of this with the wife's friend's boyfriend. Third Stone beer I've had and I have not been disappointed. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- Very black- allows almost no light to penetrate, save only the very edges when held up to light. Very pretty tan head formed nicely and left touches of lacing. Good looking beer.

S-Very hop-forward aroma with primarily pine notes but also a good showing from the roasted malt party with a hint of bitter-sweet chocolate.

T- Lots of malty goodness upfront. Ample amount of chocolate and molasses. Then the hop profile comes through and balances the palate out wonderfully. Not as hop-forward as expected from the nose.

M- Full body

Drinkability- For the ABV the drinkability is good. While it is a sipper consider this one easy to drink, probably not more than a bomber's worth per sitting however.

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Photo of beagle75
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black in color yielding some light transmittance around the edges that shows dark brown, with one finger of mocha-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Root beer-like, with rich toffee and piney hops. A balancing spirituous sharpness cuts through the steady roasted malt notes, especially as it warms and more of the glass volume is filled with air instead of liquid.

T: Begins off-dry, with intense coniferous hop aromatics and lesser burnt caramel amidst bold acidity that seems to draw out some additional spicy and herbaceous hop notes. The middle is more focused on stout-like black grain with some faint dark citrus and dried plum detected, as well as a whiff of cardboard. Earth and even some coffee characterize the finish, where bitterness becomes appropriately intense and durable. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, slightly sticky and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Certain beers, due either to timing or to mastery, have taken on the role of archetypal example of their style: certainly Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the archetypal American-brewed pale ale, and within its distribution range Alaskan Amber will always be the defining American-brewed alt. Sublimely Self-Righteous (SSR) ale by Stone defined the archetype of the black DIPA--which is, I think, an important distinction to make from the black IPA. While the style has been popping up here and there and everywhere with ever-increasing frequency, this beer was very accessible within Stone's distribution range before most breweries had even discovered black IPAs or DIPAs. More hop-focused than some, it is interesting in the way that its hop profile puts it closer to Double Bastard than to the Russian imperial stout. It is worth returning to occasionally, even if it isn't your favorite black DIPA--after all, it set the mark to which all others are measured against.

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Photo of freescribbles
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was totally caught off guard when I poured as I was not expecting a black ale. Reminded me of a porter from the looks. Dark coca-cola like coloring with a thin caramel toned head.

Some nice lacing on the glass and a pleasant carbonation level. It definitely walked the line between a traditional ale and a porter. Hints of grapefruit and some nice subtle hops without the syrupy feel.

Definitely piqued my interest in darker ales.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In Minneapolis, with this fine CA brew.

A: Engine oil black, with a decent amount of visible carbonation, even in the haze of the midnight blackness. Thin head off the pour, fading to a fuzzy film. Soapy, spongy lacing.

S: I love this style. Such a harmonious blend of sweet chocolate candybar malt and floral prickly hops. I actually get a little boozy kick in the nose as well.

T: Seasalt roasted malt, with a consistent but subtle bitter hop backbone, and a soapy linger. Extremely dry, bitter coffee finish, with fresh cut grass essence and a little more soapiness. I wish the soapiness of this one was toned down.

M: Great feel, with a medium body, a controlled level of carbonation, and a dry finish.

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Photo of PBBC
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep rich red,

Scents of grapefruit and formidable roasted malt sweetness paired with a very nice hop bouquet... the smell is nicely balanced on the entire palate.

The taste is excellent... the hops are present with strong grapefruit flavor, but nicely balanced, preventing any overwhelming bitterness... the malt is slightly caramel and roasted, but not overpowering... balancing well, the beer is malty, and hoppy, the two characters accenting, not bogging each other down... for some reason, this beer reminded me of a nice breakfast of buttered toast... sweet grain flavors balanced by the smooth tangy oily-ness of the hops... I may be crazy... but some of the spiciness of the hops seemed to me as slightly gingery?

A heavy beer at 8.7 percent... but interesting and not overpowering.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown, clear with a tan head. Lacing is good.

Toffee like malt and spicy hops(lots of em too).

A bit burnt malt, and a lot of grapefruit and spice like hop flavor.

Medium bodied and creamy with a dry finish.

Somewhat drinkable.

A yummy beer but a mite too Hoppy for the style. I like a more malty strong ale, but still good.

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Photo of danielharper
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thick brown bubbly head that remains on the top of the beer for some time. Some lacing. Slight reddish tinge on the bottom of the glass. Great presentation. Smells strongly of fresh hops, high alpha acids, with a strong citrus note underneath. Hints of sweet nutty malt underneath, with some sweetness coming to light as the beer warms.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma but somehow... off. First of all, there's a strong alcohol astringency on display here that overwhelms the rest of the palate, making it hard to get the complexity of the flavors. There's still that nice alpha hoppiness, some notes of citrus and a whole lot of sweet malt, but it gets overwhelmed by the "heat" of the flavor and just turns into a bit of a mush. It reminds me a bit of an American-made Weizenbock in flavor, hoppier than a traditional German, but the alcohol just overwhelms in the end. It's still good, but a bit one-note.

Mouthfeel is moderate-to-thick, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops. Somewhat syrupy on the tongue.

Overall I don't have much more to add here. This is a good beer, one it might be interesting to age, but it doesn't quite hit that elusive sweet spot for me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body topped with one full inch of fizzy, beige-colored foam.

Smell: Dark malt aroma of chocolate and cola nuts with notes of licorice, Fruity Pebbles, and aged pine needles.

Taste: Plenty of dark maltiness upfront tasting of chocolate and a bit like a blend of cola and root beer. Some sweetish hints throughout. Faint touch of black cherry and orange zest fruitiness. Definitely a slackened hop character, with flavors of citrus (particularly lime) and pine. Only barely a medium-high amount of bitterness remains. Tiny hint of tar on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: My, how this has progressed in just a year's time! I dare say I like it much better this way.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip. Very dark brown color with great 2 finger head. Head dissipates fairly quickly leaving nice lacing.

Sharp aroma of grapefruit and hops. Smells like an IPA or DIPA, but with a touch of a dark raisin-like fruity aroma.

Sweet taste of hops is pleasant. Seems like a more darkly roasted flavor is in the background. Easy to drink and only a small presence of alcohol.

Tasty brew! Will easily be enjoyed by IPA lovers.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a super dark mahogany with a thick fluffy head that is plastered to the side of your glass. Very mild nose, some faint hops and malt but fairly underwhelming. Taste is great: lots of roasted grains and cereals, carmalized sugar, baking chocolate and a strong hoppy finish. Pretty complex, and a pleasure to drink. Smooth and full bodied with lots of carbonation. None of the 8+% comes through. Absolutely terrific beer, and one of my favorite black IPAs.

Great pizza beer!

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with no head from the bottle. Aroma of sweet roasty malt, pine hops and sweet candy. Flavor is smoky malt and some pine hop bitter. Lots of smoke for a non smoked beer. Plenty of bite from the hops, with a nice clean bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel with more than adequate carbonation. Solid beer, but I’m not sure it belongs with the likes of Wookey Jack.

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Photo of tewaris
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

India Black Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/Gimmicky name # 10
8.7 % ABV
90 IBU's

Received in trade with dvelcich before Stone started distributing to MN. Thanks Dan! 22 oz. bomber with a best by date of 05.04.2011 poured into a New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown, looks real black in the glass, with a dark-ish brown head, good retention and great lacing. Smells of nothing initially but then leafy fresh minty hops come along. I can swear that there's some overlap in the hop profile of this one and AB. Still nowhere close to what I experienced in the doubly dry hopped version of this beast. Take a sip... shall we?

Yeah baby, this is a black IPA alright! Taste transitions smoothly from an IPA to an incredibly hopped up stout, this is what a "Black & Tan" oughta taste like. It has the fresh, light, and cleansing hop bitterness and the bad-ass, broody-ass depth of roast. This is Robert De Niro playing a trigger happy cowboy. Mouthfeel is sadly a little watery-ier than I'd like. The finish is bitter and roasty, and dry.

I hate that BA has done away with drinkability because this is where I used to voice my opinion on drinkability, obviously and stuff like ABV. This beer is way higher in alcohol than it should be, in my opinion. Overall good, but nothing earth shattering. Still an achievement considering that this is the first beer of a style everyone wants to brew these days.

Score: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 3/5; Overall 4/5

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,888 ratings.