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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,901 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,901
Ratings:
5,867
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
793
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,901 | Ratings: 5,867
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 stevoj
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nicely done black IPA, lots of roast grain and hop bitterness without being overwhelming. Black with abundant beige head, smell mostly of roast grains, hops come in at the taste. Nice mellow bitter finish, some lingers, making you want more.,

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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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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took a vacation to Santa Fe and found this at the Whole Foods. This beer pours very dark although not completely black and forms a nice looking tan head. A very nice looking beer. It smelled of piney hops with dark malt flavors underneath.
Hard to desrcibe the taste other than a dark IPA. It really worked for me. The piney hops with some of the typical darker flavors (chocolate/coffee) worked very well. The alcohol starts to creep in after a few sips and warmed me nicely on a cold night. I would seek this out again and encourage any beer afficianado to do the same.

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Photo of mikechance
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A --- Deep red with almost an inch of head

S --- Hop forward with a nice layer of malts in the background. Maybe a little sugar or something sweet.

T --- Malty, raisins, figs and yeast

M --- Medium-to-full body, good carbination, creamy. Almost porter like

O --- This is a solid beer! Very interesting and worth drinking again and again. Another solid effort from Stone!

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Photo of Cresant
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. Dated September 2007. The body was nearly opaque dark brown with a bubbly tall head. Splotchy lace remained.

Smell was sweet and fruity. Grains and brown sugar.

Taste was of the usual bold Stone flavors (a good thing). Sweet, with a stout-like richness. Tangy currants. Mild alcohol. Grassy sharpness with a miles long linger. Dark fruits and pineapple.

Mouthfeel was full bodied, chewy (?).

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Photo of Yesac
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at The Brick Store Pub

a- dark ruby color. tan head that fades to a thin layer. sloppy lacing on the glass.

S- fresh piney hops and booze.

T- this reminds me of a arrogant bastard ale but with more hops. Along with the smell.. delicious wet piney hops up front that create a bitter middle with a boozy finish. not the most complex brew but a nice nice mix of strong hops and booze.

M/D- thick bodied, slighty sticky on the back of the palate. Booze is present with bite but isnt totally overbearing. medium carbonation.

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

I have been patiently waiting to snatch this one up for some time. The price is always right on these Stone bombers, so I waited until the funds were low and needed a new brew.

A deep red full bodied ale that barely allows any light to pass through her. A near brown head forms lacing all the way down the glass. I poured the brew quite aggressively and the thin cap of head is all the remains after the large bubbled cloud has quickly gone. The smells and aroma are pleasant but not what I was expecting from Stone.... is that too meant to be sublime? I was waiting for a punch to the nostrils with hops and grain. I was quite delighted by the taste however. Near 9% ABV and the most I get is notes of coffee and sharp hop bitterness that clings to the back of the tongue long after the sip has passed. The is a very simple tasting brew to me. Dark roasted flavors come to mind with each taste, but the hop bitterness dominates.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly into sticky lacing. The aroma is of pine resin, grapefruit, and roasted malt. The taste is similar to the aroma with a sharp bitterness that hides most of the malt character. There is also a harsh alcohol heat in the finish that is unpleasant. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a nice beer that I could drink again.

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Photo of Aenema
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours jet black with a 1.5 finger tan head that leaves some splotchy lacing.
Smell - Piney hops, hint of malt.
Taste - Pine/resin, little bit of both caramel and sweet chocolate malts.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with light carbonation.
Drinkability - Enjoyable beer and the ABV is not distracting.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with small tan head, head dissipates quickly no lacing.
Smell hoppy smell some toasted malt notes slight grapefruit notes.
Taste nice hop up front flavor bitter orange or grapefruit peel on the back end toasted malts.
Medium body odd after taste
Overall a decent beer probably would not have this again.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured bottle into glass. 7/14/14 freshness date. 8.3 % abv.

Appearance- Quite dark and opaque. Nearly black with a monstrous brown-tinted head that lasts. Not unlike a stout.

Smell- Intense fresh aroma of pine. Citrus is prominent as well with hints of orange peel. No shortage of smell.

Taste- Much the same profile as the smell, keeping up with the superb freshness. Elements of pine and an earthy malt flavor are made much apparent at first. This is followed by a grapefruit blast of hops. The bitterness afterwards is right on par with this generous hopped beer. Perhaps a slight roasted malt tone but this was easily passed by the pine/grapefruit transitional blast, if there was some roasted flavor. This was not indicative to the look.

Mouthfeel- Very heavy thick and creamy in texture, this was aided by the super high carbonation.

Overall- I was impressed. This is a strong yet smooth hop bomb. Easy drinking and packed with flavor. Possibly one of the biggest heads of all my bottle pours. I never had an ale so dark. What an awesome, heavy brew.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with a thick tan head

S-smells much like an IPA. Weedy hops, pretty good. Strong scent. 

T-comes in with a very bitter taste of citrusy hops and just a touch of roasted grains. Almost exclusively an ipa. Not much darkness in the taste at all. 

M-medium creamy carbonation with a watery finish

O-This really is an ipa with a dark color. It's possible that due to that, this is one of my favorite black ales out there. It's drinkable and tasty and not at a terrible price.

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Photo of L0ne
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cola brown with ruby highlights as light shines through. A couple fingers of creamy, inviting tan colored head that leaves huge sheets of lacing.

Not getting a whole lot from the smell, but roasty caramel malts come through alongside some resinous hops and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is roasty coffee, caramel sweetness (especially when warm), and maybe some bitter-sweet chocolate. The lingering bitterness from the dark malts blends into the bitterness from the hops, which also lend a faint hit of citrus. Mouthfeel is not especially heavy to begin with, and an abundance of carbonation makes it feel even lighter.

Overall it is a tasty brew that, while not mind-blowing, is consistently and reliably delicious. I'm sad to see it go.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a go cup in front of Sydney's in New Orleans while dodging tourists who kept saying, "Man that's a big bottle!"

A: chocolate brown heading towards black. Tan, 2.5 finger head that lingers. Self-righteous lacing.

S: Piney, floral hops rush up the nostrils with just a hint of malt.

T: Pow, there go those Stone sublime hops, overwhelming the malts. More swallows blends the taste towards a 2/3 hops, 1/3 malt tango. Great for hopheads; a bit much for me and way too much for the wife.

M: light to medium with arrogant carbonation. Smooth and rich.

O: I really prefer Levitation, since I'm a malt lover. But SSR is a great stepping Stone before the explosive taste of Ruination.

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Photo of Dulliwhig
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass...

A - Dark chocolate brown like a tootsie roll with a thick and creamy dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing

S - Piney hops and semi-sweet bready malts.

T - Intense pine and citrus hops with a chocolately roasted malt and bitter ashiness. Mouth puckering and almost overwhelming flavor.

M - Moderately thick and chewy, average carbonation.

D - Not something that I could drink a whole lot of.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,901 ratings.