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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.

5,112 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,112
Reviews: 1,819
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 224
Gots: 417 | 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
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Ratings: 5,112 | Reviews: 1,819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsp77


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Point. Best by date of June 14, 2011.

Appearance: Near black with thick foamy tan head and nice lacing rings.

Smell: Very hoppy and roasted aroma. Pine, citrus and molasses are at the forefront. Somewhat floral as well, like roses.

Taste: Roasted malt backbone with molasses and coffee. Complex, bitter hops override the malts, especially on the finish with loads of pine and grapefruit. Doesn't mesh quite as well as I hoped.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, pretty smooth body with a dry, warming finish.

Overall: This is a style that I really like when it strikes the proper balance between roasted malts and citrusy hops. This one just misses that balance, but is very good nevertheless.

04-02-2011 22:33:20 | More by bsp77
Photo of glid02


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Had a glass of this courtesy of daryk77 - thanks!

Pours a color that's one shade away from black with dark brown highlights - I knew what this was going into it and was still surprised by how dark it was. Head is one-finger of light tan foam that recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine hops - more emphasis on the citrus than pine - and pale malts. I tried but could find no hints of roasted or even toasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front quickly give way to citrus and pine hop flavors. The ending is solidly bitter - the only hint of darker malts.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation and goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is very good. I had half a bomber and could easily polish off a full one.

Overall this beer is quite the conundrum - a dark IPA that's definitely worth a shot.

04-24-2009 02:31:23 | More by glid02
Photo of Franchise


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

This anniversary ale pours a dark brown with some lighter highlights leaving a thick tan head that softens and disappates while still sticking to the glass. The aroma is tropical fruit, pineapple, plums, oranges, tangerines, mango, passion fruit, crazy fruit sweet aroma.

The taste starts hoppy, spicy, strong grapefruit, with a lot of fruit esters, spiced hop profile but a nice malt caramel back drop that allows for balance and quite delicious. What a unique beer fruity, hoppy, dark brown and delicious.

06-04-2008 14:02:32 | More by Franchise
Photo of philbe311


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Absolutely love the bottle...

A - A mammoth billowing and cascading medium brown colored airy head with a rocky batter like top settles at slightly more than three fingers worth before displaying excellent retention... A great deal of lacing clings to the glass... An opaque flat black to the naked eye, but some minor notes of red hue can be detected when back lit...

S - Hoppy citrus notes can be detected well before bring one's nose over the glass... Grapefruit... Pineapple... Oranges... Some faint piney hop notes... A touch of roasted malts... Very appealing...

T - Hop forward to say the least... Mostly citrus, with a touch of piney hops... A quick hit of roasted malts before the hops reassert themselves... Perhaps a some faint chocolate notes on the finish as well...

M - The creamy lushness of the foam touches the lips first... Medium bodied, yet still airy and light... Very light carbonation... A strong hop bitterness lingers in the throat and on the back of the tongue...

D - Wow, this is a great brew... If it were not for the color and faint roasted malt components this would compete for prominence about IPAs and DIPAs... With the black color and faint roasted malt component, this becomes a highly memorable and enjoyable brew... The only things keeping this being a "5" in this category are the 9% ABV which is hard to hide and the hop assault that leaves the tongue blistered and battered...

12-29-2010 01:37:15 | More by philbe311
Photo of lbaker


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

(a)- Pours very dark/black. Small amount of head, little carbonation, neat tan color. My first black ale, quite similar to a stouts appearance. Poured in sniffer (4/5)

(s)- Cocoa, if there was a chocolate flower this would be it. Smells great. (5/5)

(t)- Amazing taste. So much to take in yet the balance is there. Rich and malty, yet without the weight of lack of depth in taste like some stouts. (4/5)

(m)-Great mouth fell. Little more pop than the usual Stone line.(4/5)

(d)- This beer isn't exactly a sniffer, but it isn't something you'd be ordering a pitcher of either. Its intended to be bought and enjoyed in 2 sniffers, like im doing now. I'll definitely pick this one up again. (4/5)

01-28-2011 03:47:21 | More by lbaker
Photo of generalnotsew


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

I am usually not a fan of the style but have heard good things from others that aren't fans. Pours black as night but the head shrinks fast and is a bit thin. Smell is sublime. Sweet tangy grapefruit with a touch of caramel malt and toffee. The main reason I usually don't like the style is because the chocolate malts overpower the rest but seems more into the IPA zone. The citrusy notes come through as more of an orange/lemon zest and this beast is bitter as hell! Very clean and easy drinking. I think I finally found one in this style I finally like. Carbonation is spot on as well as the downplayed alcohol although there is a touch of heat. Being only a month old probably helps too.

11-05-2011 02:43:49 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of Flashsp2

New Mexico

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Stone XI into snifter (aged 2yr)

A giant two finger fluffy head of light brown hangs around for a good
bit over the super deep brown (almost black) body. Leaves a big clumpy
ice cream float style head on top, with nice taffy lacing to boot.
Highlights of light brown and golden edges show under direct light.

Aroma is still hop resin, after these years. Flowers, citrus, sticky
pine sap, soft roasted/toasted malt. I had this closer to one year,
but this seems even more rich and inviting.

Hops are weathered, but still punchy and prickly. Bitterness has
mainly subsided, but the flavors are still present. Starts off a bit
malty sweet, then some grapefruit rind, pine resin, and light roasted
malt. As it warns the malt characters start to make a stronger
presence, but the hops also give a bigger prickly response, and they
actually still have a bit of raw edge still.

The body is dense but not syrupy, with a nice dose of tiny bubbles
breaking up the heft.

This is a good drinking beer, and I must say that it goes down preety
quickly. I'm now looking at an empty glass wondering what happened.
Its good stuff, and I'd like to try a SSR to see how a fresh one

03-22-2010 12:36:24 | More by Flashsp2
Photo of dismal


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black (or extremely dark brown) with red highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Nice big light tan head that has great retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. I've never had a black IPA before so I keep thinking more of a stout smell and taste and I keep getting thrown off...in a good way though. The smell was very hoppy way more hoppier than I expected actually. Mainly citrusy. A little bit of malt in the background which gives it a slight roasted smell. The taste is similar, very hoppy with a slight roasted bite in the background. Nice and bitter, ends with a faint coffee/roasted malt finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average and smooth, like a step below creamy. The ABV on this one isn't terribly high so finishing this is no problem. I'd actually take another. My first black IPA and it's pretty great and another great beer from Stone. Will definitely pick this one up again.

12-31-2010 22:34:57 | More by dismal
Photo of mjaskula

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

The first black IPA that i've had. Served in a sniffer. Pours black, with some red hints when held up to the light. The head is thick, dense and tan. It thins down to a film an leaves some lacing.

Aroma is full of hop character, citrus and pine, there is some roasted malt aroma as well. The flavor is typical of a double ipa, strong malt sweetness (dark fruits) balanced with huge hop character (citrus and pine) and bitterness. The bitterness of the hops flows well into the bitterness of he roasted malts. Coffee flavors are present in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, and the bitterness lingers in the mouth a bit to long. A big beer like this is hard to call drinkable, but it certainly is easy to go back to. I like it a lot.

05-01-2010 03:59:39 | More by mjaskula
Photo of BB1313


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

22oz bottle poured twice into a standard pint glass. This one's very dark, almost black, brown hues are noticeable. Nice white head and sticky lacing. Wow, this beer smells great. Very reminiscent of Stone's own Ruination. Lots of fruity hops and pine with an added subtle roasty aroma. Great taste, the hops really shine though, bittersweet. Lots of pine, malts, roasted chocolate, and a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, rich and creamy, properly carbonated; full-bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, makes a good one to savor. I've always enjoyed SSR!

Great offering from Stone.. pretty much a must try.. seek fresh, recommended!

01-16-2011 22:02:58 | More by BB1313
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Into a tulip glass, pours a dark, dark mahogany, very dark, with a nice bubbly sandy tan head and quite some bit of lacing up and down the glass. The aroma is different... has a certain character that reminds me of Darkness... different styles, sure, but thats what it reminds me of. A very nice floral hoppiness, some lovely chocolates are surprising, and.. a bit of sweet malt hiding in there?

The taste is though. Hopping comes on sweet and floral at first, a bit of citrus, rides out into a bittering and ends with a rind-ish drying, puckers up ever so slightly. Not a tongue lasher for sure, but no doubt this is a Stone. Underneath, there lies some tiny treats, roasted grains and some of those mysterious chocolates in the nose. Not overly complex, but nonetheless delightful. The mouth is rather smooth, the carbonation mellow, slightly warming, good body. Overall, I'm glad I got a few bottles of this.

03-04-2008 02:57:30 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of TheItalianStallion

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Opaque black, 2 finger off white head that settles into a thin crown on top. Decent amount of lacing.

S: Dank floral/piney hop aromas. Roasted malts with some chocolate.

T: Big roasted malts, piney hops, citrus zest and sweet chocolate.

M: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Bitter, somewhat dry finish with a faint presence of alcohol.

O: A very good, drinkable, complex beer. Malt and hops do a good job of working together without overpowering the other. Will definitely drink again.

06-20-2014 00:12:27 | More by TheItalianStallion
Photo of ProudBeerSnob

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a Bomber into a pint glass. Beautiful black body with khaki colored head. Looks like a porter, but by no means does it smell like one.

Fruity, piney nose matches the flavor. Hops with a familiar bite in the finish, but with a hearty malt backbone.

A beautiful beer. I will continue to seek out the style.

11-01-2010 02:04:51 | More by ProudBeerSnob
Photo of sprucetip


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

From notes.

Black, active, dense and fluffy tan head with good retention. Thick lacing early hangs around for quite a while.

More floral but also fruity and piny hops dominate, smoothly though, with moderate boozy esters, and played out on top of a sweet and roasty base..

Definitely more "IPA" than "Black", but roasty character is undeniably present in the background. Piny, and citrusy hops are prominent and sharpen through the swallow, and linger. Roasted grains and malty sweetness support all of this nicely and add depth.

Well carbonated, strong warming, rich, full body, medium viscosity. Some drying before the lingering bitter finish.

This easy sipper is wicked tasty and helps to define this emerging style. Very complex and interesting beer. It is not bashful in its use of hops, but moves methodically toward an IPA/Stout hybrid.

01-06-2011 07:07:10 | More by sprucetip
Photo of Durge


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Another nice find at The Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro, NC. This strong ale shows a thick dark brown with a fair whispy light tan head and very good lacing. The aroma says grapefruit and orange citrus hops, tasteful over a slightly flowery wheat bread idea. The flavor jumps out with a delicious citrus and pine hop blend, so solid yet mellow and inviting. This is solidly medium bodied and it almost pulls out some chocolate flavors at times. Finely carbonated it has a lively but smooth feel that wants to go down the hatch readily. There is a little alcohol presence to keep you mindful...or not so mindful. Very fruity with a bit of bubblegum sweetness and toffee malt. It has a dry finish and the hops linger so nicely. A great beer for any hop fan!

06-29-2010 02:01:05 | More by Durge
Photo of BarrelO


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoy by 12/18/09.

Black body with a chalky white head that leaves some lacing. Glorious hoppy, grapefruity, piney aroma. Taste continues to bring the hoppiness. If you've had a Stone beer before, you know what you're in for in that regard. Just a hint of roastiness in the finish. Mouthfeel isn't nearly as thick and syrupy as most IPAs. In all, I like this a great deal. It's different enough to be distinctive, but it manages to retain all the features of a great IPA. Stone's braggadocio is kind of grating at times, but I'll put up with it if they continue to back it up.

11-05-2009 23:13:50 | More by BarrelO
Photo of BigJTrucker


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a very dark, almost black color. Small head settled fairly quickly. Aroma is chock full of citrusy hops. Flavor is also tilted towards citrus flavors, with hints of coffee, dark chocolate, maybe even some peat somewhere in the mix. Initially the mouthfeel seems a bit harsh, but that fades very quickly to a full boddied brew with a slightly fizzy finish. Another well rounded offering from Stone. I'm not sure if this beer is trying to be a dark IPA, or a very hoppy porter, but whichever it is, it does it quite well.

11-04-2007 18:22:41 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured into an Imperial Pint. (Spilt half on the carpet immediately after writing the notes for this review)

A- Opaque, almost black, faint hints of reddish brown hue along the edges. Two finger light brown sugar head. Okay lacing.

S- Grassy, earthy hops, pine, grapefruit, mandarin oranges, faint toasty malts.

T- More of the malt get me first, than the piney hops let you know they want to party too. Earthy goodness and slight burnt coffee.

M- Chewy, smooth, creamy. A lot heavier than I was expecting.

D- Heavier than I was expecting but not too heavy. The alcohol did not shine through at all. Every sip was more magical than the last!

07-14-2010 02:30:25 | More by korguy123
Photo of jt31914


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

22 oz. Bomber

A: 1 finger of head on the beer; dark dark brown, almost black color. Very frothy and foamy.

S: Faint and fairly weak smell, some hops. Mild but good.

T: Awesome; some bitter hops with a complementing sweetness of something like barley on the finish. Very creamy and delicious.

D/M: Fairly drinkable for the strength; super creamy and smooth, love the mouthfeel.

02-08-2010 00:49:40 | More by jt31914
Photo of jwhancher


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Bought a 22-oz bottle from Total Wine early last month. Enjoy by date reads 01.14.14. Figured I'd pop this open during the Chargers playoff game. Seemed fitting. Poured into a Dogfish IPA glass for review.

Pours like coca-cola. Dark translucent black with large cola flavored head that lasts a heck of a long time that leaves plenty of suds on the glass sides as it slowly fades. Smells of hoppy goodness: melon and pineapple.

Upfront chocolate malt flavors that evenly gives way to nice soft yet firm bitterness. The dark note characters stick around until the end giving a nice balanced aftertaste. Some hop fruitiness flavors add add'l complexity. And some pine.

Feels about medium. Firm bitterness with good carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden for over 8%.

A very well crafted beer. Although I'm not a particular fan of this style of beer, I'd definitely drink this one again.

01-05-2014 20:58:10 | More by jwhancher
Photo of shirfan

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Dense, dark garnet-black bordering on midnight in all but the thinnest regions of the glass, with a massive pillowy head of tan foam.

Aroma of dark malts, tannins, leather, leafy hops.

Taste is smooth and creamy dark malts first, then some moderate leafy hops mingling with a hint of citrus and pine. Finish turns almost light and fluffy with just a mild twinge of alcohol.

Easy to drink for its size and incredibly more-ish... imagine a schwarzbier brewed with ale yeast and then hopped to standard American IPA levels.

In a word, exceptional.

09-10-2007 21:32:57 | More by shirfan
Photo of delicious


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Opaque, warm black body beneath a dense and tall mocha-cream colored head.
Prominent, fresh, citrus hops stick in the nose like pine sap, with a backing of faint syrupy sweetness like the sugar smell you get while making cotton candy.
This beer fills the mouth entirely. Up front it's bitter and citrus, and that bitterness lasts and lasts. As the temperature rises, the hops get more piney, a roasted chocolate sweetness comes through, and an alcohol warmth starts to appear.
It's a great looking and great tasting beer, and I really enjoyed the dichotomy between the black body and strong hop character.

11-04-2007 06:17:45 | More by delicious
Photo of threeviews

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a bomber into a snifter glass

A-Pours nearly black (but when the glass is near empty, allowing a bit of light through, it is more like a dark toffee) with a beige, 1/2-3/4" fluffy head possessing light-to-moderate retention. Boozy lacing slides down the glass as it warms

S-Pine and citrus hops are in the forefront folllowed by mild roasted, chocolate malts. As the brew warms, the roasted malts mesh with the hops in equal amounts...very well done!

T-Everything present in the nose is alive and well in the taste. Hops dominate, but the roasted malts keep it in balance. The flavors really flourish as the brew warms (and that goes for the alcohol presence as well).

M-Despite its menacing appearance, this brew is quite thin and quite refreshing. Very drinkable courtesy of the relatively strong carbonation (uncapping the bottle exhausted quite a blast of CO2)

O-Of the Black IPA's that I've tried, this now tops my list (knocking 21st Amendment's 'Back In Black' to second fiddle). If you like, or are interested in this style of beer, look no further. Let this one warm, as this is a complex concoction that should be enjoyed at (or above) cellar temperatures to elicit all of the flavors.

07-20-2011 21:12:46 | More by threeviews
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

22 oz bottle with September 2007 labeled on it poured into a tulip.

A: Sitting still in the glass the liquid looks nearly black, stout like. However as it was poured it showed it was a clearer, deep dark ruby and against some light reveals the same. Clear, but very dark and hard to see through dark ruby with a little active carbonation. Large fluffy tan head with lots of tiny bubbles, extremely retentive and patchy lacing.
S: As pretty as the beer looks and as strong as it smells I feel like this falls short. Has a barleywine like smell rich with piney hops and a malt background. Also some dark fruit and light smell of alcohol. However something for me just isn't adding up between the appearance and the smell and I'm blaming the smell.
T: Packs a punch like a good IPA/DIPA and that seems like most obvious reference but there's more going on here and I wouldn't lump this in with beers like that. Still, the strongest flavor is the piney/floral hop taste that is particularly strong in the finish, but doesn't dominate and isn't particularly bitter like other hop bombs. Instead, this has more of a malty sweetness that balances hop. Also in the finish is a slight graininess, mild chocolate and some pleasant alcohol warming, though.
M: Somehow this ends up feeling syrupy to me, yet slightly watery. Appropriate amount of light carbonation. I'm just put off by the slightly thin feeling it leaves.
D: As this warmed up and I spent more time with it I started to like this a lot more. For its complexity and relatively high ABV this is very drinkable and enjoyable.

03-08-2008 01:49:53 | More by yourefragile
Photo of orsulacp


4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

This beer poured a deep dark brown with a nice tan head. A nice piney citrus hop aroma with a good sweet malt background, kind of like molasses.
The taste is really something, good piney/citrus hop at first and then the sweet malt takes over and then it gets a nice woody/earthy hop finish. I love how the flavors just layer over each other, not mixing just layered. I am always amazed how Stone can continue to make their beers have these layered flavors.
The mouth is medium - thick, with a biting carbonation and a slight alcohol burn. It is a very drinkable beer

10-25-2007 03:48:19 | More by orsulacp
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,112 ratings.