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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

1,885 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,885
Hads: 5,820
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 286
Gots: 760 | 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: 1,885 | Hads: 5,820
Photo of fscottkey
2.6/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark black with a minimal head. The head dissipated immediately.

S: Dark fruits, figs, slight chocolate and musty overtones. Some hop notes too.

T: Smoke, and some fruits. Astringent after taste that is not pleasant.

M: Smooth but with a bit of a carbonated edge to it.

I am pretty surprised by this one. I haven't had a lot of Black Ales, but I love Southern Tier Iniquity. The astringent aftertaste on this one makes it so I won't have another in the future. (503 characters)

Photo of glazeman
2.71/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Split with airohead2001

A: Dark brown with a 3 finger tan colored head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: There's a lot of hoppy bitterness on the nose mixed with a little bit of smokiness.

T: I'm not a big fan of the taste here. There's a lot of bitterness, and not the normal kind of pleasant bitterness that accompanies a good IPA, but rather a sort of rancid sort of staleness. There's some coffee and smokiness also, but not much else.

M: Well, there's a nice level of carbonation, but an unpleasant aftertaste. The viscosity is about what I'd expect.

D: I don't think I would drink this again unless it were already inebriated and it were handed to me for free. (681 characters)

Photo of Hawksfan79
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Glass: Oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Motor oil black, thick frothy mocha colored head and a really nice lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma: Hoppy with a slight molasses, I was also getting a sweet bready aroma.

Taste: Strong hop flavor at first, a slight hay flavor was detected in quite a few sips and a bitter finish. It didn't seem to have much more than hops going for it.

Mouthfeel: Light body, thin texture with a bitter finish.

This was pretty disappointing. I'm a huge fan of Stone but this ale really didn't do anything for me. However while the taste left a lot to be desired the aroma was phenomenal. (626 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.86/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured vigorously into a large tulip. XI has a large khaki head that sits upon a brown opaque body of liquid. Chocolate and the signature Stone aroma wafts into the air. Smells like a vintage Double Bastard with a dark malt presence.

Flavor is extremely mellow. Hops are pretty much absent from flavor but causes a slight bitterness at the back of the palate, leaving an astringent finish. Age has tamed this beer completely. Slight burnt sugar and sweetness. I never had this fresh but if the recipe is exactly the same as Sublimely Self Righteous Ale then this is just a rusted hollow shell of it's former self.

I had an 8 or 10 month old SSR (first batch) and that seemed to be the proper amount of time if you want to age it. Dark malts had a stronger presence and the hops have only partially faded enough to be in perfect balance.

This beer is still drinkable. Alcohol is more prevalent since the beer is so unpronounced now. Carbonation is lively, I could tell immediately from the loud hiss as I opened the bottle. Definitely past its prime though. (1,060 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.86/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to gford217 for this bottle, one of two remaining survivors from an epic SS08. The final one, one of my prizes, is in the fridge & will be going down soon, too.

After four days of crappy beer in Lisbon, I really didn't need a beer to top of the jet lag tonight, but hell, I need to recall what real beer tastes like (though that port wine is really good!). This pours dark, with a foul flickering, deep red running the corners. Smells...oxidized. Oh oh.

And it is. Stone XI hasn't aged well to my palate, although my wife is quite enjoying it, so I know it's not the bottle that's gone bad. There are chimes underneath; fallen figs, heavy sherry, coffee and cream, roast. Hops are faded, but the grapefruit arrives fashionably late. As the beer warms a bit, I warm to it a bit, too. Maybe just a bit. Still lively after all this time.

Well, I now wish I'd consumed this a year ago, but based on the reviews it seemed to be still blazing strong. Decent enough beer, but I'd drink there if you have them. (1,015 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
2.92/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance is a nice near black colour with a thick creamy looking tan head that has decent retention time and leaves a good amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is a great blend of pine and fruit hops, caramel and chocolate malt, with perhaps a touch of coffee as well. It's sweeter than it is rugged, and hoppier than malty. Just really nice overall.

Flavour is a blend of dirty, oily hops, with some pine and fruit coming through again (the latter a bit more so than the former). Definitely some roasted malt in the mix here too. There's a bit of alcohol harshness that mixes with the bitterness from the hops at the finish of each sip as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slick and oily, with a bit of hotness to it.

Aside from a nice look and a very nice aroma, I unfortunately was not a fan of this brew. It's the first Stone beer that I can recall not liking. I just felt the flavours didn't mesh well at all. The numbers will show this one as a positive recommendation, but I can't say that I can recommend this one. It's interesting for sure and has a good amount of flavour, but there's just something about this one that I didn't like. A disappointment for sure. (1,181 characters)

Photo of turbotype
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Worst bottle of beer I've had from Stone, but I think I say that for personal reasons. I'm sure it's great to someone, but not to me. It looked really nice. finger and a half head. some lacing. Smelled kind of foul. It had the typical hops aroma, but it smelled burnt. Literally like a burnt piece of pine wood. It tasted like it smelled, literally. I dumped the second half out. Perhaps I had a bad bottle, that's why I didn't mark it any lower than I did. Scared to try again though. I will stick with Ruination as my Stone brew of choice >.> (550 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty clear dark dark brown beer with a half inch of mocha head. Wow super hoppy nose. Citrus grapefruit and pine. Some sweet caramel malt comes through as the beer airs out.

This is one of the most deceptively colored beers. Really tastes like a standard double IPA than a black IPA. Deep roasted malt comes through a touch in the beginning of the sip but huge resinous hop presence comes through almost instantly. Despite the massive amount of hops and big bitterness pretty good balance, a bit of detectable alcohol. Touch of malt but this beer is a big hop show case. If you love double IPA's you'll love it because big pretty good tasting and pretty standard. However for such a dark beer the malt really doesnt play as much of a role as you expect it. Good but I was expecting much more, especially at the price. (821 characters)

Photo of macher0
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I did not take notes on this ale so I'm going on memory. I was not impressed with this ale. It had a burnt taste and smell. it was not very smooth. I was Ok with the hops level, but was way too harsh. This was a very OK beer. I would like to try this again to see if I had a bad bottle. (286 characters)

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

At first glance this beer seems very inviting. It has interesting aromas, a lovely dark color, good head retention, etc. Just what a porter or stout should look like. Then, I tasted it.

First the nose. Dry, rich, malty and the floral notes of the dry hoping coming through. Seems interesting.

The first flavors I noticed were the Amarillo hops, which I like. Floral, citrusy, yet mild. Not necessarily for a beer like this. Then I was blasted with the overly piney taste of the Simcoe hops. Normally, I love Simcoe hops. IN AN IPA, or something of that sort! Meanwhile, as I'm fighting my way past the spruce tree that just entered my mouth, I start to notice thick rich chocolate malts breaking through. Wow! Pine, Citrus and chocolate malts.

As for the mouth feel, it seemed okay, but I was to busy trying to process why a brewer would combine citrus+pine+chocolate.

Definitely not one of the better Stone beers I've enjoyed. (931 characters)

Photo of elvisnj
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a duvel chalice.

Pours dark almost pitch black with little brown head. Very pretty.

Recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Lots lacing is left behind.

Nose is huge hops. I pick up all kinds. They are strong as hell but the floral hops smell pretty good.

Taste is just as expected by the nose. Lots of herbal, grassy, piney, resinous hops.

I am not a hop head and this was over the top hops for me. It hurts to drink it. I got so lost in the hops I could not find the malts for salvation.

The body was medium and it could have used some more carbonation.

It was hard to finish. And the herbal hops kept repeating on me for the rest of the night. I have loved most of the beers from Stone but this one was the first one I actually disliked. Almost a drain pour.

Better luck next time. (824 characters)

Photo of LilMatrix
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured a dark brown that lets little to no light through. A thin tannish head

S - Smells like it tastes: roasted malts, slight hops, toffee.

T - The malt is up front with caramel, toffee, and slight coffee notes. Transitions to a hoppy back end that's not too overpowering. Not overly complex, this beer is mostly malts.

M - Medium body beer with thin finish.

D - A decent beer from Stone; there is better out there, I'm not overly impressed with this one. I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these but this beer is definitely worth a try. (553 characters)

Photo of heysuz
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Intro: 64 oz. growler poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend.

Appearance: Little to no head that dissipates quickly however when swirled some head remains, jet black color, opaque, little carbonation and no lacing and very oily.

Smell: Slight smell of dates, figs or raisins with an alcohol odor as well.

Taste: Strong and bitter with a subdued unsweetened chocolate with prominent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Leaves dryness in the back of the mouth but at the same time there is a motor oil consistency to the feel.

Drink: Seems to be a sipper and not a beer that improves with warming, better served cold. The taste is almost too bitter to be enjoyed.

Conclusion: I will be the first to admit that I am a card carrying full-fledged hop head and this beer may not be my cup of tea. The main objections to this beer are the bad mouth feel, the coating and aftertaste. After further contemplation, I think maybe my growler came from an old barrel that was nearly empty. My experience just doesn't come close to what I read about this beer. (1,048 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours black with a one finger mocha head and moderate to heavy lacing on the glass; mild carbonation.

The smell is heavy with floral hops, no real subtlety, just strong hops along with a roasted malt and burnt coffee backbone. There is also a pungent smell as well.

The tastes follows the nose with hops, then burnt coffee and roasted malts going back to hops. Not bad but not great considering all of the usual bragging that Stone does on their bottle.

The mouthfeel is thin and creamy, which might be strange for an IPA but that is how it feels. Some hop oil is left on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this is not a bad IPA but not great. Stone over-hypes themselves by doing their usual bragging on the side of the bottle but this brew does not live up to the hype. Strong hops with no subtlety, roasted malts and burnt coffee. I would still say give it a try; I know that Stone is a popular brewery and you just might like this offering more than I. (972 characters)

Photo of ThomP
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours real nice, Dark Body with a tan foamy head, nice. However I found this beer to be cloyingly sweet and not enough hop presents for an IPA in my opinion. I would expect something on the level of the regular IPA at least. I prefer other offerings from Stone, I lived just a "Stones Throw" away in Escondido, for a while. Now in Texas I find this and am left wanting, wanting a really high hopped IPA. (403 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of strong piney hops and roasted malts with hints of caramels and toffee, however the hops dominate the nose.
The tastes begin with full flavored maltiness with flavors of burnt brown sugar, light coffee/toffee and caramel maltiness but the hops creep in and steal the show to this beer's detriment. The intense hops flavors of pine and grapefruit are just not melding with the dark malts. I do not enjoy the roast mixed with pine.
Overall the stickiness and resiny qualities dominate the mouthfeel and linger far too long for such a dark beer. I have had good, bad and average Black Ales. Unfortunately this is in the bad dept because the hops are just too dominating. (677 characters)

Photo of Totalpackage411
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Stone is a popular brewery, but I've yet to have a beer I can enjoy from them. This one definitely taste different than any black IPA I've had. too bitter for my taste. the Speakeasy Butchertown Black IPA blows this one away. get that instead if you can find it. (266 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

'Bout time I review this, I've been glossing it over for a few months now, and I hope this is as killer as the 15th anniversary ale Stone did. 22 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with faint hints of light coming through the body. The head is a two finger light mocha color with a great creamy texture and excellent retention. Nice rings of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Grapefruity. I'm a little disappointed I'm not getting more roast/coffee/chocolate - in fact, it smells mostly like a generic IPA, not just from the citrus rind/pine/herbal hop tones, but honestly a bit from the malt backbone, as well. It smells more bright than roasted, although there's a faint hint of chocolate to remind me it's still a black IPA. Don't get me wrong, I really like how it smells, but I want a little more 'black' and a little less 'IPA'. Then again, I thought the exact same about Storm King, and I absolutely loved that one...

T: This is really drinking like a normal IPA to me, sadly...initial flavors are strong in grapefruit and orange rind, before giving way to a medium finishing bitterness. However, the hop profile is very well executed. Chocolate malt starts to make its appearance after several sips, helping smooth out the hops and providing a burnt, ashy (even vegetal, at times) edge to the finish. Still, it doesn't mesh together in the way Stone's 15th does, and it becomes slightly too boozy as it warms up - drink this one cold, in other words.

M: Rather thin, with a dryness coming more from the hops rather than the roast. There's a bit of malt stickiness throughout. Alcohol can be felt slightly on the tongue and stomach once it warms up, and it just feels weird all around. Drinkability is disappointingly low.

O: I'm really disappointed it's only 'okay' instead of 'mindblowing' like its (sorely missed) big brother. I'm thinking maybe oldish bottle, but the Stone 15th I had was 6 months old, and it still blew me away. To be fair, that was clearly more malt driven - so I'll try this again fresh, or maybe on tap. (2,082 characters)

Photo of deanhead
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured black with a toffee colored head. Nice lace, with a respectable head that stayed with the beer.

Citrusy aroma, pungent guava & some toasted flavor. Aroma of roasted coffee and

Taste is slightly acrid. Reminiscent of roating coffee beans. Many contrasting flavors here. Licorice notes Warming alcohol.

Medium bodied beer with a woody finish. Also finishes with a slightly bitter and vegetative clinginess
Really interesting beer. Not sure if I would seek this one out again, but none the less it had a very unique taste. Kudos to Stone for taking it out of the box yet again. (585 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.15/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

They finally got this stuff in Boise after weeks of waiting. Been excited to try this bad boy. Drank from my Rogue Kells Irish Style Lager pint glass while watching Green Bay vs. Chicago.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish black with a crazy white head considering the color of the beer. The initial two finger head is pretty big and foamy and leaves an awesome collar the entire duration of the brew. Bits of lacing are strewn about the entire glass.
Smell- Holy deceptive. This is definitely an IPA in a Stouts body. Big citrus American hops dominate. Lot’s of piney grapefruit and pineapple smell really nice. Feint caramel undertone try’s to show but is pretty much dominated by the hops.
Taste- Starts super sweet with hints of caramel before it’s quickly taken over by super bitter hops. Huge grapefruit hops and lemon zest dominate. Gritty, piney and numbing. Feint taste of bubblegum/cotton candy in the aftertaste and lots of alcohol warming. I’d guess that this brew is much higher than 8.7%, the alcohol isn’t hidden well. As the beer warms it becomes a bit more balanced but the sweetness becomes a bit cloying.
Mouthfeel- Thick and full-bodied with a nice gentle carbonation and a thin finish (make sense?).
Drinkability- Well, this beer is interesting. I love the nose but that’s about it. I think it’s a little sweet and a bit unbalanced. It’s too sweet at times and too bitter at others. Maybe a little time would help this a bit but until then, this definitely isn’t my favorite offering from Stone. (1,525 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled last night, 22 oz bomber, shared with a friend. From memory...

A: Muddy black, supple tan head that left some great lacing and a moderate cap throughout the tasting.

S: Roasted grain malt, bitter hops, ash, black peppercorn. This smells great but I worry these roasted qualities may not play as well as I hope with the bitterness.

T: Bitter hops are up front followed by some charcoal and grass. The overall roasted qualities here are too weak for the bitterness of these hops. I was expecting the hops, obviously, but thought the definite dark malt profile would be a bit more present to balance this out. Disappointed.

M: Wild carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: For me, this is hard. I love IPAs and in general Black IPAs but something about this one is just hard for me to get down, let alone an entire 22 oz bottle. Luckily I shared.

I wouldn't go for this again unless it was on draft somewhere. Understandably so an IPA, though it still needs balance, something I feel the Sublimely is lacking. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Jermbrew
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've heard this billed as a Black Double I.P.A. .... I'd say that's accurate and the Stone 11th Anniversary is a special treat.

This black ale is a beautiful sight and pours a nice slightly tan head.

My favorite part of this brew is the aroma. Slight roastiness with piney hop notes and floral aroma shining through. The slight alcohol smell is due to the ABV of nearly 9% and it's the perfect complement to the pine/roast smells.

More piney taste with a strong bitterness lingering on the middle and back of tounge. Very strong bitterness, like chinese bitter melon....not what I want in a beer. I can taste the alcohol...no doubt it's strong.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. A sharp carbonation at fist creates a crisp tingle
and the liquid has a creaminess to it. I like.

The nearly black appearance and the over the top hops content make this unique. I appreciate both alcohol and hops, but I can't drink too much of this however, without the bitterness and alcohol becoming too overpowering( hence the lower drinkability score.) (1,031 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have had several bottles of this beer. It is definitely changing with age, and is getting mellower. When first released the beer was very raw, with hops overdominating and destroying. The beer is mellowing nicely and the roasted malt qualities are starting to poke through. Definitely still a hop bomb. I am interested to see where this beer will go. (352 characters)

Photo of stevenseg
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.

SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.

The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.

The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.

The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.

Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.

I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation. (2,824 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter

pours a black with a tan head, not much lace.

smells a bit like chocolate with a dark mix of fruit, but not anything special.

taste was a bit upsetting, bit piny with chocolate/coffee medium feel, but not great after taste,

was kinda of upset with this beer, not going to repurchase. (312 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,885 ratings.