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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,887 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,887
Hads: 5,824
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 287
Gots: 763 | 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

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: 1,887 | Hads: 5,824
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a couple bottles of this while I was in Boston for work. With first pour, I knew this was an entirely different beer than one normally gets their hands on. I recently brewed a double black IPA and thought it was wonderful, but it pales in comparison to this. This is, undoubtedly, an Imperial Black IPA. The unbelievable hop powerhouse aroma unleashes itself immediately. Massive pine and grassy overtones explode in the nose. Sticking your head in a bin of freshly picked hops is comparable to this smell. Jet black body with beige head. Lacing was intense and carbonation was lively. The taste was all IPA from beginning to end. Wonderful hop presence throughout with a warming alcohol taste. Maltiness is there but well hidden behind the hops. Sharpness is intense but very enjoyable. The high abv is hidden behind the IBUs. This is a wonderfully crafted beer that hop heads need to try. I would love to know how they managed to get the dark body without the roasted bitterness. For my Black IPA, I cold steeped de-bittered black malt for 2 days. This a superb beer. (1,081 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pured from a 22oz bottle.

A Pours dark brown with some hints of amber. Chocolate head on top.

S Hops which is weird considering the color. My mind is having a hard time matching up the sight of the beer to the taste. Once past the initial smell of hops you get some malt. The sweetness really compliments the hoppy smell. There is some fruit and choclate in there too but they are very subtle.

T Everyone keeps talking about dark IPA and I am inclined to agree. The malt and alcohol keep the hop taste in check. It really is well balanced. Incredible so actually.

M Incredible feel in the mouth. Nice and creamy with the hop and everything else bouncing back and forth on the way down.

D While I am not a hophead I do enjoy an IPA from time to time. This is something completely different that if the good folks at stone see fit to brew more of I could drink this all the time. The beer is so enjoyable you hardly notice the 8.7%. If I happen upon another bottle it shall be mine.

Please make this beer again stone. Wonderful. (1,032 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of tayner.

A: Pours a thick looking opaque black under a tan head. Pretty good retention and some pretty good lace.

S: Hoppy. A lot of citrus but also some soft undertones of darker fruit. A nice creaminess hidden away here too. Seems to be a big malty sweetness underneath as well. Really a lot going here. Maybe even a hint of chocolate.

T: Big hop bitterness with citrusy tones. Nice sweet berry like fruitiness up front. Really well done. Finish is bitter and it sticks around.

M/D: Carbonation is just right, full bodied. Drinkability is fine on this one but it is definately a sipper. This is a damn fine beer. (642 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After talking from reps from Stone at Stone Pint Night at the Comet I learned that they (I'm assuming that this is Stone's POV) classify or consider this beer to be a Dark IPA (perhaps it was a "Double Dark IPA" don't remember exactly which-given the ABV I'd say most likely Double Dark IPA).

Eye: The brew pours a very dark brown or black if you like. When the light strikes it just right garnet highlights appear at the bottom of the glass. The head is tan in color and leaves some nice lacing, retention is stable, but a large head would be nice, looks very much like a stout except for the fact that the head isn't as creamy.

Nose: Great nose on this beer. Lots of things going on in the aroma of beer. First aroma to hit you is the hops, lots of hops...citrus aromas emanate from the bottle and glass once opened and poured. I'm guessing that there are some cascade hops going on in here. After that there is a very fruity aroma that blends very nicely with the hops. Took me a minute to determine that what I was smelling was pineapple. These two aromas pretty much dominate the brew but there is a bit of a malt backbone in there to support it all, I get a very faint chocolate malty type aroma deep within the aromatic profile of this brew. (or I could be imagining its there). Very unique aromatic profile here.

Tongue: Definitely would classify this one as a Dark IPA myself. The flavor of hops dominates the profile of this beer, makes up the majority of what I'm tasting here. Citrus and floral, citrus and floral... Once the beer is swallowed after a few moments that pineapple comes back just enough to hint at a pineapple flavor. Once the beer starts to go down the throat the hop flavors drop off giving way to malt flavors, as I mentioned with the aroma there is a bit of chocolate in there and also some toasty/lightly roasted flavors-more so the tell-tale bitterness from them, though it is not as nearly as strong as it is in a stout.... all pretty faint though. A slight spiciness from alcohol also adds to this brew's flavor.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Kudos to Stone for the Mouthfeel on this brew, I don't think that I could imagine it any other way. The beer is incredibly smooth, has low carbonation-which one doesn't notice until one thinks on it, then realizes that it is the perfect amount. This is a beer I'd drink all night, alcohol is hidden pretty well, slight spiciness as formerly mentioned and a slight warming in the stomach. This is a beer I'd definitely buy again, think that I'll grab another bomber next time I see one. Too bad it is a limited release, I'd like to see something like this around more, seems to me that Dark IPAs are pretty rare. (2,691 characters)

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. (572 characters)

Photo of BillyB
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown to black color with a thick, foamy, beige/tan head.

Very big, but nicely balanced bitter hop and sweet malt aromas. Piney, citrusy, hoppiness dominates with a sweet caramel/mollasses maltiness following closely behind.

Tastes of sweet caramel, mollasses, maple syrup with a hint of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is sharp and bitter in all the right places.

A very big, but drinkable offering from Stone. Check it out if you can. (450 characters)

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber with the painted label and no drink by date. The color is very dark brown/black that is topped by a two finger creamy head, tan in color. The head holds with excellent retention and lots of sticky lace. There is a sweet citrus aroma that is abundantly hoppy with a nice bouquet of hop oil freshness.

The taste is superb with a very good blend of hops and malt. The bitterness and alcohol flavors are apparent and get stronger toward the bottom of the glass. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very very taste. This is one of the best beers I have tasted. (581 characters)

Photo of PhiloPsych
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cola brown as it poured from the bottle. The head was active and bubbly at first, then settled to a thin mousse; left no lacing on the glass. In the glass, the color was dark brown with some deep red visible against backlighting. The smell is rich with both sweet malt and spicey hops. The mouthfeel was fluffy as though this were a cask-conditioned beer. Interesting! There are definite dark-roasted, slightly burnt notes in the flavor. The burnt malt flavor dominates the hops hops somewhat, so the hops in the smell are stronger than in the flavor. This is a very interesting hybrid style. I wouldn't want to to drink it all the time, but it is fun as a one time brew. (671 characters)

Photo of sweethome
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown to black - porter darkness. Off white creamy head.

Piney hops in nose with malty sweetness and lsight nuttiness.

First taste is hops, the malts are medium, not as big as color. Malts fail to develop a unique or complex flavor. The hops are piney with medium bittering - why add the dark malts if they aren't going to add complexity? Why have the significant hop load if it's just dressing up a meiocre dark beer?

For an IPA, hard to drink much, for a porter, not enough satisfying malts.

I'm disappointed in this offering. (545 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

stout like in appearance with a nice thick creamy head that settles to a good size with soem lacing.
aroma: ctirusy floral-y piney hops over a layer of chocolate covered wood. notes of a rye-like character (think founders black rye for reference). molasses and caramel show up in small amounts, but a soft powdered cocoa vaguely woody chocolate that verges on cake-y dominates the malt side of things. hops run the show though. tremendous complexity, yet so clean and soft, not subtle, but pleasantly balanced. superb nose.
the taste is loaded with hops of the floral piney variety. they wash over the tongue and touch all other flavors experienced. they verge on minty. citrus is there but, not the greatest of the hop flavors. chocolated and caramel malt balance some but not much. bits of anise here and there. again rye bread fades in and out like i mentioned in the nose. nebulous dark fruitiness hovers towards the finish. i'm leaning towards 5 for flavor, but maybe it's not perfect.
the body is full and has a moderate carbonation. cloys a bit on the finish. though it doesn't feel like it should. nothing severe enough to complain or even critique over.
good drinkability, does a good job cleaning up after itself for a probably substantial malt bill. the total package is excellent though and if i had to give it an overall score it would probably be higher than how these ratings add up. expertly crafted. if i had a vote for one of stone's one shots to become a regular, this would be it. (1,500 characters)

Photo of umustdrink
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JohnGalt1 for this one

A - Black. A ruby red orb appears where I hold it up to the ceiling light. A rocky light brown head settles reluctantly to a quarter inch, leaving many sheets of lacing behind. Very cool looking. Sweet bottle too.

S - Bitter grapefruity hop nose, sweet with a peppery lightly toasted malt background. A little buttery and a little creamy.

T - The taste begins with a sweet peppery spice followed immediately by bitter fruity hops. Some lightly toasted malts, in the middle and the finish leaves an oily bitter grapefruit hop, with some faint coffee flavors.

M - Creamy and smooth with good carbonation.

D - Overall very smooth drinking, with interesting tastes and pretty well balanced. Not bad, but more complexity would have been nice. (776 characters)

Photo of mentor
2.34/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Old Chicago in downtown Denver. Presented a pint glass with a finger of dark brown head over a black liquid. Smells piney hops with drying coffee roast. A bit piercing medicinal.

Tastes not good. Potent piney hops and drying roast malts. Combined together, they are quite unpleasant. Needs a bit more sweet to temper the edges. Actually, I doubt that increasing the malt sweet could cut the pine. With searching, a touch of caramel and also come burned grain. Alcohol presence is clear and serves to dry the finish, not a good situation. Finish is dry with lingering (but clean) hop bitterness. Md-heavy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

Drinkablility is quite low. I choked the beer down, in fact, almost sent it back for something else. Guess what, Stone is the new Rogue. Let's throw an overload of hops into a bunch of different base beers. (858 characters)

Photo of marksto
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Falling Rock in Denver and happy with the choice among their many offerings.

Pours a deep brown, almost opaque, with a thin head and good retention. Aroma has big hoppy notes mingling with fruit - and the hops are complex and aromatic, nice. Flavor has a chewy, fruity malt backbone with fragrant, pine-tinged hop flavor and bitterness. This one is like juicy-fruit in a glass, another excellent beer form a brewery well known for its fine, hoppy ales. (471 characters)

Photo of williamherbert
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bottle...

The look is pitch black. Has a large bubbly light brown head. Looks like a stout more than anything. Absolutely opaque. Contains a thick swath of lace as it is emptied.

The smell is of a citrusy IPA, with bitter, woody hops. No stout smell at all. There are magnificently complex hops here (grapefruit, pine, other citrus) with mild dry-English malt thrown in. It's perfect. A real bouquet. Hops are oily and rich. It's a traffic-stopper. Has a hint of dark chocolate.

So it looks like a stout, smells like an IPA. What next?

The taste is major bitter hops, but with a unique burnt coffee malt. Like an India Pale Porter/Stout. Oily bitter hops and dry bitter malt both fight it out. Hops come out strong, and malt takes the later rounds. Rich malt steps up as it warms, with hops as an accent more than anything. It evolves with the temp change.

Thick, smooth, oily feel. Dry roasted malt finish. It's motor oil. Overall it's a big, thick, oily, dark, hoppy, nutty, roasted brew. Too big for all night long, but absolutely perfect for one bottle's worth.

http://jbojangles.blogspot.com/2007/12/beer-othe-moment-stone-11th-anniversary.html (1,167 characters)

Photo of orsulacp
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 (567 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 10-23-07

Pours a deep brown color, with a foamy tan head that goes on and on.

Smell is all big hops, some citrus. There is an almost soapy quality to it, although not a bad thing. Aromas exude bitterness, but the whole thing is a bit one-dimensional.

Taste is gigantic, sweet and sour hops, lots of grapefruit and other citrus. As it goes down the hops take a more grassy, earthy turn, and just a hint of a malt backbone comes through. The finish is slick and very bitter, with the alcohol adding a nice bite.

Mouthfeel is very good, the thick, oily feel really adds to the intense hop aromas, flavor, and bitterness.

Drinkability is decent, but the hoppiness, bitterness, and alcohol form a brutal combo.

Overall, I liked this beer. It's a complete surprise to have such a hoppy beer after it pours more like a stout. Stone was trying to mix things up a bit here, and it's a nice change. I think this will really be something in a year's time. Recommended. (974 characters)

Photo of edskirk3
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Screen-painted bomber. Familiar gargoyle. Four ingredients. September 2007. Pint glass.

Pours dark. Very nearly opaque. Thick, sticky froth. This ale appears quite still in the glass.

Smells STRONGLY of oily, aggressive hops. Grapefruit and pine to the max. Faint roasted background.

Busy for the tongue as well. Several layers of bitterness. I'm counting three. Beginning, middle and end. The beginning layer is more tart like in a grapefruit while the end is more on the herbal side, slightly minty (and lingers for a while). Underlying sweetness and roasted flavors. It's faint but it's there.

Medium thickness and maximum stickiness. One is enough for now.

Good old Stone. Razing my taste buds as usual. (712 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the darkest of browns,with a nice creamy tan head. Very good retention,and lacing. Smell is of piney,earthy hops,with an underlying sweetness. Medium bodied with some carbonation. Taste has a roasted edge, nicely bittered through out. This is a serious beer,but one per session would be it! (296 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured dark/black color with a huge cream colored head – nice lacing and lots of retention. The aroma is strong of hops with a sweetness that is perceptible. The taste is bitter and very hoppy with an entangled sweetness from the malt. The finish leaves a nice hoppy taste. The mouthfeel is full and it lingers with an oily feel on the back of the tongue. This is a serious beer that is great, but may not be the easiest to drink freely. (448 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to crack this brew open after hearing the news that no harm has come to the brewery during the horrible fires in SD (my fingers are still crossed). Damn, this was a great brew.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - In the glass it was nearly opaque, while being very translucent around the perimeter of the glass. It produced a 2 finger off-white head.

Smell - It smelled like a roasty (stout-ish) IPA. The notes were of roasted malt, pineapple, pine, grapefruity citrus and caramel. Delicious.

Taste - This beer was not devious at all with its flavor - it smelled almost exactly like it tasted. There was a strong roasted malt presence, along with fruity pineapple and grapefruit citrus, all intermingled with caramel sweetness. Yummy hops, as to be expected from these guys. The ABV on the other hand, is always devious with Stone - they mask it perfectly. They are the masters of deception in that arena.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Near perfect carbonation level. Goes down smooth. Pretty much common place with Stone.

Drinkability - Near perfect. The ABV is so well hidden, I didn't even notice it until I was done with the beer. The flavor and smell just make me go in for more.

I am pretty sure that someone else on the site mentioned this, but it was like they took the best parts of their AB, SP, and IPA and mixed them together. Man, it is a shame that this is a one time thing. I would definitely buy this all of the time. This was a wonderful experiment.

Hope you have AT LEAST 11 more anniversaries, Stone. You guys are incredible. I just wish they offered your entire line-up in Texas. (1,632 characters)

Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just have to second many of the thoughts of those that enjoyed this beer. Though I read the reviews before drinking (I already had purchased two bottles), I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. They experimented with this beer and really hit the mark in my estimation. Simply, I just wanted to give further props to a beer that is not only interesting, but pretty damn good to drink as well. (400 characters)

Photo of unclecrappy
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not really sure what to write about this beer. When I decide, it'll be good, but still...

The confusion stems from appearance vs. taste. I poured from the bomber to the snifter before I read the bottle, so I didn't know this is supposed to be a bastard IPA. What you see is something else -- really dark, almost stout-like; rich, short head that hung on a little bit. I'm already thinking of something roasted. Then you take a whiff, and the confusion sets in. Hops are prominent, but I've had hoppy stouts and porters before. This isn't one of those.

Have a taste. Wow -- the hops. This is about the time that I read the bottle, and discovered that I was drinking an IPA. But ... it's not. There's a rich, malty presence too, big enough to completely throw off the perceptions of one who had just read he's drinking an IPA. BA tabbed this as an "American Strong Ale," and I'm glad they did -- if I had to pick a style, I'd still be trying to figure it out.

Don't let my confusion steer you away from giving this a try. I'm not saying it's bad; in fact, I'm saying it's amazing. It's easily one of the most complex beers I've ever sampled, one that's challenging on every level. If you can still find a bottle, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. (1,259 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pretty, almost black, with nice 1/2 inch head color of light toast. Lacy good.

S - Full, hoppy, some grapefruit, orange smell. Nose gives up a little candy sweetness.

T - Big, hoppy beer. Maybe it is the unusual color or the style of this particular beer, but bocks come to mind. Some candy sweetness and malted barley, wrung dry by the massive hops in the end.

M - Full carbonated and intense flavors, as expected from these guys.

D - Such and unusual style and color. Nice beer. I will be getting a few more... (520 characters)

Photo of brantadid
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured almost black with a tall white head which diminished to a thin white head. Excellent lacing.

Hoppy nose with a slight malty smell. Very floral.

Bright, fresh hops on the front and mid palate with hoppy and malty finish. Very long finish. Tobacco also appeared on the back palate with a very refreshing bitterness.

Very well balanced and then I realize that this is an IPA. The darkest I have ever had.

The 8.7% alcohol is well masked. Just another great beer from Stone. (482 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly pitch black, but when held up to the light one notices dark brown highlights around the edges. The head is tall, thick and tan.

Hoppy smell, aromatic, with underlying hints of chocolate and anise. A bit of smokiness comes through in the end.

Bitterness rides the flavor all the way through. Smokey, woody, bitter coffee, chocolate, and a somewhat pronounced smoked jerky flavor. Hop profile is earthy, green, grassy, and citric. Alcohol warmth is there but subdued. Unique flavors, they mesh well. (514 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.