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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,001 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,001
Reviews: 1,817
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 217
Gots: 368 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,001 | Reviews: 1,817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grimreeser


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has been in the cellar for a year, was going to review it election night. Instead it gets it's turn tonight. Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head and very good lacing. Wow, big hop aroma still, very surprising considering it's been in my cellar for almost a year. Some chocolate as well. Nice flavor, big hop bite still in this one. This one is aging very nicely.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 00:47:51 | More by grimreeser
Photo of harrymel


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, I've had problems in the past with the freshness of my Stone locally. I've even been contacted by Greg Koch regarding my reviews r/t this issue. So I've held off until I could get fresh on this one.

Bb: 8/10/11 (bottled 5/10/11)

A: Pours a dark maduro ale with a single finger of latte head which dissipates to a quilt of the same. Excellent clarity albeit difficult to assess given the malt profile. Spotty lacing.

S: Wowzy! Lots of hops! This is the most hoppy of the ABA's I've had. Plenty of pine, citrus rinds, hints of resin, grapefruit. Malts are there, but subdued. Let's hope that isnt the case in my mouth.

T: Bitter, from malts and hops; hard to say which. plenty of Black malty goodness interwoven with a solid west-coast hoppyness. Hints of dark chocolate on the far back end. Really a pleasant beer.

M: More viscous than many I've had in the style, and in a good way. The feel is velvety and low in carbonation allowing for optimal flavor resonance and punctuation.

O: I can see why this one is among the best. Not my favorite ABA, but I would argue better crafted than my favorite ABA (mad River Serious Madness). This one is easily had, year around, has the best body I've had in the style, and comes from a reputable brewery with their eyes on QA.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 22:39:21 | More by harrymel
Photo of ToasterChef


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slightly chilled 22oz bottle poured into a NERAX pint. A big brown foam head with cascading bubbles rests atop opaque, dark brown liquid. Once the cascading stops, the foam still fills more than half the glass. As the foam begins to settle, lots of lacing remains.

Bitter hops make up a majority of the nose, but there are also some sweet smells and some roasted malts present. It's an inviting aroma, and one that is different from a typical IPA.

An impressive flavor balances hops and malts. West coast bitterness is present, but it isn't a one dimensional flavor. Some roasted malts add balance and a little bit of sweetness keeps things interesting. Alcohol can be detected as I swallow, but it isn't unwelcome. A dry bitterness with mildly bitter coffee notes are the two flavors that linger on after I swallow. I like that the roasted malts and different bitter flavors make this more than an IPA that happens to be black.

Full bodied with medium carbonation, the beer leaves a good coat behind and has some stickiness. It is above average considering the ABV. I wouldn't mind if the coat had more flavor.

This is a tasty beverage that can act as a good introduction to this relatively young style. The fact that it is available in most states surely helps. I would pick up a bottle if interested, but I also wouldn't go out of my way to obtain one if it isn't sitting on the shelves of your local store.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 22:41:13 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of travolta


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle with Stone's constitutionally gifted delineation. Very very dark. Black until held to the light, then it was a tiny bit amber. Fluffy head and thick lacing stays around. Head Retention is notable.

The first smell received was the pine. Vibrant malt and mellow hops. It is awake and green on the nose.

Mouth feel is perfectly constructed to be both elusive and comfortable. It is not as heavy as it looks and not light enough to be a letdown. It is graceful, yet commanding on your tongue. toasty malt upfront, as well as some citrus hops woven in and out. The finish is drying, but not uncomfortably so. This is an expertly balanced beer. Nothing commands, nothing sleeps. To have this with the addition of creativity is divine.

I am very pleased and would highly recommend this beer. It has Stone's predictable aftertaste. I can't quite pinpoint it.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 04:00:21 | More by travolta
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was feeling self-righteously sublime with a glass stein.

Appearance- Atop the opaque and cola-colored body sits a two-finger width band of mocha. The pillowy foam has a rather cratered cap rife with big bubbles. Retention is pretty decent, still a good finger-width wad after a few minutes.

Smell- So much pine and resin present on the nose being squeezed by plenty of citrus aroma. The citrus is more tangy than sour, more on the grapefruit end of the spectrum, rather than lemon or lime.

A burnt quality wafts through momentarily, about as much of the dark malt that I am sensing.

Taste- Neither end of the malty and hoppy spectrum ever takes complete control of the palate over the entirety of the drink. The malt backbone is still coming across mostly as roasted, with a slight vegetal tang.

And the citrus blends so well into this offering. Again, more grapefruit, maybe even star fruit and orange coming through. Piney and resinous characteristics are far in reserve and are most noticed in the finish. A nice little kick of bitterness is present too. Well done.

Mouth feel- I hope you like them dry because this one really sucks at the cheeks. The hop bitterness really sticks to the sides of the tongue the more you drink.

The body is not all that hefty, but still a decent medium feel with an easy swallow. It could have been heavier than this and I would have been really happy with it.

Overall- Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is a beer that demonstrates how well this style can be crafted. The blend of dark malts and hops produce a combination of flavors so well balanced it is as if they could not have existed apart from one another before this beer existed.

Despite a mouth feel that does not quite do the beer justice, I would seek this one out again gladly.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 21:45:20 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of HopHead84


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Poured into my Stone IRS snifter. The beer is very dark brown with a monstrous frothy two finger beige head with excellent retention and scattered lacing.

The aroma is pine resin, grapefruit rind & flesh, and earth (damp forest soil, mineral, desperation). Malt exhibits a moderate roast and a slight toast that compliment the hop profile nicely. Light chocolate notes are evident as well.

The flavor displays an upper moderate level of bitterness up front with aggressive pine resin and grapefruit rind notes. The light roasted malt profile is a welcome addition to the lupulin onslaught. The finish is aggressively hopped with big alcohol notes, a light roast/toasted malt profile, and lingering pine and grapefruit.

The mouthfeel is creamy and sticky. Carbonation is at a moderate level. Great mouthfeel.

A very nice Indian San Diego Dark Hoppy Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 02:16:03 | More by HopHead84
Photo of thain709


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - I was surprised when this beer came to me...a deep, brown body that was borderline black...some highlighting around the edges...a creamy, light brown head sat on top and never really dissipated...nice lacing

S - Oh yea...this is your typical Stone nose with some twists...a great big hop profile full of sweet citrus...a subtle roastiness sneaks in and the malts shine through

T - The flavors play well with one another on the palate...the malts actually hit you first...they have a nice roasted presence ad they show off caramel and a little chocolate flavoring...the caramel adds a nice sweetness...the hops take over full force after the sweet malts subside...full blown citrus (grapefruit and lemon)...sweet and not too bitter

M - Medium bodied...pretty soft and creamy with that lingering citrus hop flavor

D - This was very interesting...I wouldn't even know how to classify this one but it was great...bold malt flavors pairing nicely with bright citrus hop flavors...another well done brew by Stone

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2010 13:59:23 | More by thain709
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very dark with a beautiful, thick, off white head. It looks like a porter or a stout. However, the nose immediately lets you know this is no stout. The nose is extremely hoppy. Grapefruit overwhelms the nose with a touch of pine. The flavor is very similar to the nose with grapefruit dominating, except there is a touch, and I mean a touch, of chocolate that comes through. The mouthfeel is about perfect, with the right amount of carbonation. It is pretty drinkable, a couple of bombers could probably be drank in one sitting. Overall, I enjoyed this beer, but probably will not purchase it again, unless it is on tap. It seemed weird to me for a beer to look like a stout but taste like an ipa.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 16:23:11 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of TheBlueWaffle


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - this beer is seriously dark, pitch black. If you shine a light into it you can see the unfiltered hops and malt.

S- Hops. Malt follows. Fruity and bready almost combining. Simcoe hits me especially..( brewed an all simcoe IIpa today so that may be why)

T - I have only had a few black IPA's, but this would definitely top my list if Stone would call it one. Hops straight forward with strong malt backbone, citrus, melon, coffee, and some caramel, all combining nicely.

M - very dry, gone almost as soon as you sip it, alcohol very present

O- Once again Stone has made an incredible beer. The best Black IPA I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 04:18:53 | More by TheBlueWaffle
Photo of golffan8


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste this beer for what it is, simply, something different. The Brewmasters at Stone toyed around with a Black IPA and created a beer that tastes similar to an IPA with a darker color and a slight touch of toasted malt.

S - It smells like a typical IPA, citrus and pine.

M - Mouthful was moderate, similar to a double IPA; however I didn't have the same hop oil residue. Possibly, the toasted malt somehow dissipated the hop oil texture (just my opinion, who knows?).

T - Initial taste was dominated by grapefruit, and citrus then segued into a slight note of toasted malt. The finish was a hint of dark chocolate. If the color was lighter, most people would rate it as a hoppy grade (A) West Coast IPA with a toasted malt finish.

Bottom line, it is a fun beer! Drinking beer can be a fun experience and Stone did a great job creating this unique beer. It will not be a beer in my weekly rotation but I appreciate the beer for what it is...a unique style that should be distributed as a limited edition.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 02:00:49 | More by golffan8
Photo of illidurit


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with amber hues. 3 finger light tan cascading head. Excellent retention with thick concentric lacing.

S: Piney hops. Retrograde exhalation reveals a boozy tinge.

T: Overriding piney hop flavor with hints of citrus. Faint influence from the dark malt.

M: Well carbonated. Hops are sharp, bitter, and oily, resulting in a bit of a sticky finish.

D: Hits pretty hard at 8.7%. Great beer for an extreme hophead.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 04:58:38 | More by illidurit
Photo of Sycodrummer


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a Duvel tulip glass the beer was jet black in color and topped with three fingers of sticky head that retains very well.

The nose has a big hoppy smell with chocolate, malt, coffee and mollasses.

The taste has the hops hit the palate first with medium bitterness. Not an agresive in your face bitter wallop like some Stone offerings (not as though that is a bad thing) but the bitterness is well balanced with chocolate flavors, caramel, mollassess and raisons. Some roasted flavors lend a bitterness all their own. The taste finished with a burnt espresso, chicory like flavors with some hazelnut too.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

An interesting creation for sure. A hybrid stout-IPA of sorts with equal proportions of bitterness coming from two different sources. Hoppy bitterness hits first and then a complete turn to roasted coffee chocolate bitterness. All in all I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 18:57:28 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark... black. A huge head starts off this brew, nice and tan. Sexy lacing, makes you want to lick it off the glass.

The smell is a mash-up of charred malts and citrus. Hard to pick any one thing out. Hints to a complex taste but not on the most appealing of ways.

Burnt chocolate, coffee and strong grapefruit lead off the taste. A touch of coffee and an almost marijuana herbal taste follows (not surprising being that they are in the same family). I taste a bit of creamy vanilla bean and another hint of citrus in the finish. A touch of booze is noticed as it warms. Goes down well, though a little heavily carbonated.

When I'm in the mood for the style, this would be a, "go to brew". Very nice, one is good for a sitting though.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 02:02:58 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of SkitzIrish3


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and leaves two fingers of creamy, brown foam.

The smell is toasty and a heavenly mix of earthy/floral hop aromas.

Even layer of oily hop bitterness from the first drop on the tongue. The hop presence is IPA status which caught me off guard. Chocolate notes are present, but right now are hard to find since the hops are kicking my palate around. Light alcohol presence aids the bitterness; mouthfeel is solid.

I like this beer (not the price) and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is overly hopped for my taste buds. I love hops, but I can't call myself a hop head; I was hoping for more malty flavors in this. IPA lovers: GO CRAZY!

Gotta love the commentary on the back of the bottle, especially the third paragraph!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 20:57:03 | More by SkitzIrish3
Photo of rye726


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nicely made 22oz bomber poured at 45F into a goblet.

Very dark for a strong ale, almost black with shades of brown with light. Has a nice creamy beige head.

The aroma is of piney, citrus and floral hops with an appetizing sweet character in the background. Flavors of ripe plums and caramel come out as it warms.

The taste again is strong of hops but is well complemented with a variety of dark roasted malts. The bitter hops really linger well throughout the finish. A well balanced medium body and a creamy mouthfeel make this beer quite drinkable considering it's complexity. This beer is a beautiful blend between a powerful IPA and a classic strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 04:10:39 | More by rye726
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this at Julio's the other week. Figured that a rainy New Hampshire afternoon was a good time to sit down and crack this guy open.

Poured into a pint glass leaving a big foamy tan head that maintains pretty well throughout the drinking of this brew. The head leaves a nice amount of lacing hanging above the dark brown, almost black color of this beer. Looks amazing. This has got to be one of the darker ales I have ever had that wasn't classified as a porter or stout.

As I bring the glass close, my nose is hit with the strong and luscious smell of hops. Most likely a blend of hops, with warrior hops being the dominant aroma. However, this isn't an IPA, but Stone does like their hoppy ales. Citrus and pine notes mingle as well

After drinking this delicious brew for awhile my impression is that this is a darker, slightly more burnt and somewhat smokey version of the Arrogant Bastard. I taste well roasted dark malts, chocolate malts and a little bit of smoked malt coming through. These flavors are followed by some pleasant hop bitterness that rounds off the overall taste.

The alcohol is very well hidden and the mouthfeel is thick and creamy. I think I could drink this beer all day. It is smooth, yet packs just enough hop bite to make it interesting. Keeps pulling me back in. Nice work Stone.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 22:27:49 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of bbothen


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass for a change.

A - Dark brown with a big 3+ finger head. Looks like a rootbeer float. Super sticky lace. Gonna have to scrub this glass.

S - Sweet fruit, chocolate malt, sugar, piney hops. Smells really nice.

T - Spicy piney hops with a nice rich chocolate/toffee malty backbone. Unique & delicious.

M - Medium, smooth, fairly carbonated. Sticky in the finish.

D - High. Let's go. Get me another.

This is a very tasty & unique brew. Props to Stone for their way of thinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 02:56:09 | More by bbothen
Photo of swierczt


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black color that you cannot see through. A big tan head with good retention. Slowly subsides to lacing around the glass. Almost resembles a stout.

S- Citrus (grapefruit) and pine dominate the smell. Overall, big IPA characteristics in the nose. Not picking up on any malts in the smell.

T- Taste is all citrus and hops up front. Subsides to some additional interesting flavors. Smoke, caramel, and perhaps some coffee notes. However, bitterness hangs on through the finish.

M- Medium bodied. A bit heavier than a traditional IPA. Medium to low carbonation.

D- Overall, I enjoyed my first bottle.Very drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden. Wouldn't have guessed that this offering was 8.7% ABV. Looking forward to having the second bottle that I have purchased in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 04:02:37 | More by swierczt
Photo of DiabolikDUB


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Tulip glass.

Pours jet black with a booming, fluffy light-tan head that never fully dissolves and creates a dense layer atop the glass. The aroma is filled with sticky, resinous hops and has some hints, although very subtle, of chocolate. Flavor is piney hops and sweet malt upfront and is accompanied by some touches of roasted malt and dried fruit. Its a medium bodied beer that is sticky and has a good amount of carbonation. Out of all the "Black" IPA's that I've tried this one certainly sets the bar. I had no idea what this beer looked like before I poured it into my glass and was surprised it was as black as it was. The aroma is purely delicious.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 04:59:12 | More by DiabolikDUB
Photo of BeerStine


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a stemless wine glass (all I had to work with).

An aggressive pour yields a pitch black color with fluffy almond colored head. Smells like citrus hops with good balancing malts. Taste is like the smell, strong citrus hops with a great malt backbone. Hints of grapefruit too. Mouthfeel is light with light/medium carbonation. Drinkablity is great. I could drink this all night.

Great beer. I was pleasantly surprised by the great hops in this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 22:42:22 | More by BeerStine
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark brown with fluffy coffee creamer head floating on top. Elegant but strong looks. Aroma that touches upon hop resin, leaves, spice, sweet malt, slight booze and weirdly reminiscent of soy sauce. Thick, creamy mouthfeel brings on a slew of flavors ranging from syrup, sweet malts, hops, tobacco-esque hop bitterness, slight bitter cocoa, coffee beans. Hop bitterness finishes out the drink and slicks the tongue. Despite the strength of the beer and its flavors, it remains a very drinkable ale that asks to be enjoyed at dusk. A tasty brew that will put some hair on the beer drinker's chest.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 19:16:55 | More by JRed
Photo of Scotchboy


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber to snifter.

A: I thought this beer was pouring dark brown but once I checked it against the light in the glass it was indeed black and opaque. Two-and-a-half fingers of soapy light khaki head adorns the top of this beer and sticks to the glass as I drink it down.

S: The citrus hops are bright and dominate the smell, followed by nice West-coast piney notes (reminds me of a Sierra Nevada pineyness). Behind that there are some nice roasted malts but they are buried and the hops really shine.

T: Hop-forward, again with citrus but the pine is preeminent here with some extreme dryness. There are some coffee and espresso notes underneath that blend with the hop bitterness and create some nice flavors.

MF: On the lighter side of medium bodied, feels wet and refreshing and finishing with that bitter hop dryness.

O: The best black IPA I've had, definitely hop-forward with roasted/coffee notes underneath which is how I would prefer a black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 22:13:22 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of bbeane


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... A pitch black liquid pours from the bottle producing a finger thick creamy off white head with nice retention and moderate lacing

S- Not overwhelming but nice... smells mixed grapefruit and floral with a bit of sugary malty sweetness

T- Starts with a hint of sweetness before the dryer coffee flavor takes over. Finishes with with a nice citrusy hop bite. Not a hint of the 8.7% abv

M- Light/medium carbonation with medium body

D- I hear so much hype about Stone beers and for some reason without trying many of them, feel like its overdone... this one definitely lives up to the hype. A delicious Black Ale worth trying


Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 04:17:31 | More by bbeane
Photo of garuda


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bottle, best by dated stamped on neck

A - Black. Solid two fingers of off white head with decent retention and great lacing down the glass.

S - Juicy hops right from the cap removal, some grapefruit, with dark chocolate malts, a little roast, and a touch of caramel sweetness.

T - Pine hops up front with some roasted and burnt malt, then bitter coffee and dark chocolate battle with the hops through the finish with dark chocolate ultimately coming out on top.

M - Medium to full body, low to medium carbonation level, creamy smooth across the palate, finishing clean and bitter.

O - I really enjoyed this one and it gave me hope for the style. I'd definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 01:29:36 | More by garuda
Photo of Innocentexile


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into Stone pint glass

A-pitch black. can't see any color even when up to the light.

S-hoppy way up front, recoiled a bit at first sniff. also got a citrus in there somewhere. chocolate or vanilla scent too

T/M-whoa. Creamy start with a bitter finish. along the way is a roasted malt and pine flavor. deliciousness all the way. not alot of carbonation which makes for an easy drink

O-El Delicioso. I really dig this one. awesome for my first black ale

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 01:19:18 | More by Innocentexile
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,001 ratings.