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

5,807 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,807
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 277
Gots: 748 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,807 | Reviews: 1,903
Photo of Rayek
3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

Photo of dwren89
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pretty much jet black with thin tan head, opaque so no discernible clarity

Aroma: roasty and malty, slight alcohol note, a slight meaty/cheesy note

Taste: very malty and roasty, but with a cheesy like flavor that just doesn't seem to fit. I don't know I I have a bad bottle or what (the drink by date is not for another 6 weeks and I have stored it in my fridge since I bought it). Overall not bad, but I didn't get the citrusy flavors nearly as much as the other reviewers of this beer did, which makes some sense as cheesy flavors are a result of degraded hops.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy, and full bodied, medium-low carbonation

Overall: I think I got a bad bottle of this beer, because every other Stone beer I've had has been great. This one just had a funk to it that was a little cheesy. Great roasty and malty flavors with some solid bitterness on the finish.

Photo of MWolverines66
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap in Arlington VA. It pours a nice jet black color into a tulip glass. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is a little weird to me, not sure if it's possible that my palate just isn't appreciative of black ipa's (this is my first one) but there really isn't too much flavor to this beer. It has a nice balance but the hops bite I get from other IPA's just isn't there on this one.

Photo of Chris_Mac
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker than I was expecting, almost a black copper. Malts dominate the smell, big taste of caramel malts, dry hop bitterness, and alcohol. The head diminishes quickly, but leaves thick swaths of lacing on the way down. Hint of thick, syrupy mouthfeel, but vey pleasant. A strong filling ale, with lots of character. Definitely not an everyday ale, but makes a good impression when the occasion occurs.

Photo of ChillMike
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Quite shocking to be honest, Pours a very dark reddish brown color, that doesn't let much light in. A nice dark tan head that stays around for a while and leaves some nice lacing, however it doesn't stick around too much.

S: Very pleasant smelling light pine hoppy scent typical of a nice IPA, also hints of nuts, chocolate, sort of a mix of smells between an IPA and a stout.

T: Very earthy taste, lots of bitter hops. A super bitter aftertaste that sticks around. Honestly I may need another review of this but this is a fairly one dimentional Stone Release. I'm not really seeing where the darkness in color is coming from.It does however hide the almost 9% quite well though. Overall a bit odd.

MF:This is where this beer wins. An excellent feeling beer. Just enough carbonation and thickness. I really like the way this one goes down. Quite pleasant

D: Not too bad, it is a hefty and hearty beer, the flavor is a bit off in my humble opinion, probably a once in a while beer.

Overall probably my least favorite Stone brew yet, that's not to say I didn't enjoy it, it's just that I was expecting better things after last years masterpiece. Oh well.

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really black but dark brown. Two fingers of head forms and slowly settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Mostly hops in the aroma with hints of pine and citrus. Seems to be the popular hop bill for this style of beer. Missing roasted malt aroma however.

The flavor features a lot of hops which is not surprising. Mostly pine but also some grapefruit. Not really tasting the "black" part of this beer. A little smoke is about all I get. Bitterness is high.

Substantial body and nicely carbonated. Not porter/stout like in body but a little more than a typical pale ale.

In a blind taste test I doubt I could identify it as a black ale and not an IPA. What's the point then?

Photo of Vixie
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one dark beer. Pitch black, with a large tan head.

Smell is mainly hops, with a hint of malt and yeast.

Very complex taste. Reminds me a lot of am imperial stout, but with a large dose of hops. There is coffee and chocolate in there, and a bit of smoke as well. The hops are pronounced, adding an almost fruity bite.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for how dark this beer is, I expected something a little thicker.

An interesting beer. I really don't care much for IPAs, so scored this one a bit lower than I might have otherwise. Still, this is a very complex beer, which scores points with me. There is a lot going on here, the only thing keeping me from really loving this is the high hops content. If you are a fan of hops, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

Photo of stephens101
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first black IPA, how exciting. Been a while since I've had a completely new style.

Pours dark brown with penetrating red hues throughout. The tan head is prolific, bubbly and resilient; causing an anxious delay before all systems go. A few eliptical lines of lace poke out at the top.

Earthy hops rise to the nose upon initial inspection. Another take reveals a few notes of malt and nuts. Tastes hoppy with a lingering roastiness and dim notes of chocolate.

Obviously well-carbonated and lies medium on the palate. The alcohol warmth becomes more discernible as the beer warms, becoming a bit hot at the end.

A lazy man might define this as a hoppy porter, or a malty IPA, which would be a keen juxtaposition, but there's much more going on here with the interactions that you can't quite pass it off as a simple crossing of styles.

A very interesting brew and successful experiment of a style if nothing else, but a brew and style I will probably only revisit when I'm in a definite mood for something this unique.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice tan rocky head that is nothing but a skim in the end. Some good rings of lace. Zero clarity.

Big pine and alcohol aromas. They didn't skimp on the hops, and the chemical alcohol gets right in your nose, but that is all I get. The charred malt is so faint that it could be imaginary.

Nice complexity. Strong hops up front. All pine and citric notes with an immediate switch to charred malt and alcohol, with bitter coffee and a diminishing long bitter finish. This is an astringent brew. The palate clears to a very dry light bitter pucker.

Fuller bodied with a nice carbonation prickle. Light tingle from the alcohol as well.

I like this beer, but it is one of the few that I wish I had less of. The bomber is too much for me. Maybe it is the strength of hops (duh, it is an IPA) or just the astringent nature, but by the time you are wrapping up the remainder (I have 1/3 pint left as I write), you are ready to move on. Hop heads will want to bathe in this stuff. Hop-appreciative folks will have respect for it but less affinity. Worth a try just the same. A very good, well made beer.

Photo of flyingpig
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a 2mm thick, tan head that stays the same throughout

Dark hops upfront that are quickly followed by some mild malt notes and tropical fruit aroma that lingers on the nose. It is a rather fruity smelling dark IPA.

Some dark hops and malts, the hops being stronger. The same tropical fruit taste from the smell. There are hints of spice towards the end too.

Medium bodied & with minimum carbonation, the beer has a bit of a kick to it and has a dry finish that lingers in the after taste. The drink is smooth & good on the palate.

I found this one a nice introduction to the Black IPA style of beer and rather enjoyed this one although it didn't really blow me away in any respect but still a nice, solid dark IPA.

More @ http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

Photo of jchain
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MUCH better on tap than in the bottle. In the bottle -- for me -- it had a strong aroma of urine that really lessened the drinking experience. However, on tap, this aroma was not present, making it a very nice beer ... ON TAP.

Photo of Roose13
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Closest color to black without being black. Huge head on the initial pour, beige in color. Head drops to a centimeter and lingers throughout the beer. Lacing is beautifuk

S: Not a huge fan of the smell of black IPAs. Citrusy, which I do like. But the hoppiness isn't one of my favorite smells in a beer. To each their own.

T: Strong. Roasted malts, very very hoppy, which I enjoy now and then. These beer is so bold and robust in flavor that a big-time hophead would love this.

M: Easy to drink in terms of texture but the intensity of the hops and flavor make you really sit back and enjoy it.

O: Excellent beer. Not something I will drink often (may enjoy as the weather really turns cold). Stone is awesome. Need I say more?

Photo of PorterLambic
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deeply dark brown borderng on absolutely black. A medium tan head retreats to a thick, creamy looking film that leaves some awesome lacing behind.
Smell is hops aplenty, after warming for about 10 minutes faint notes of malt and brown sugar.
Taste is hoppy, citrusy, malt and
Warming with a medium-to-full body. A somewhat sharp effervescence that fades quickly and a dry finish to end with. A good beer, quite enjoyable. It appears "black ale" means Dark IPA. Fine with me but a bit of notice, eh?

Photo of DannyS
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a bodum double-walled glass.

A - Pours a clean, pitch black with an inch or so of tan head hat dissipates into a very thick foam collar, with long, sticky tendrils of lacing.

S - Kinda weird and musty on the nose, with some raisin and licorice amongst the must odor.

T - Starts of with a bit of hop bitterness (seems coffee-like at times), with pine and citrus backing it up. Licorice, dried fruit, and oak mingle as one sips, with an almost slightly minty aftertaste and a dry finish.

M - carbonation is minimal and the body is medium-heavy. Close to an impy stout in its feel.

D - The ABV is high and the booze can get to you if you're soloing this bomber. That, combined with the bitterness, make this a clear sipper. I'm already feeling it and I'm not even halfway through the bottle. Phew...

Overall - If this beer truly is self-righteous, it kinda lacks the quality to back it up. It's definitely not bad, and I'd drink it again if offered some, but you'd expect a beer with a name like this to be way better than just good. It definitely looks pretty and gets you buzzed quick, but the flavor could definitely be more balanced. Then again, since when has Stone Brewing been about balance?

(Note: I drank this too cold. It gets better with a little time to warm up to cellar temp.)

Photo of righthereisay
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a variety pack in Bridgeville, PA.

Pours very dark, but not pitch black. The lightest beer that is called "black" I've ever seen.

First smell is of your everyday ipa. Nothing out of the ordinary. Hoppy/Citrus, blah blah blah.

I have to be honest I am not very found of this beer. I like Stone Brewery, I guess my expectations were too high. Piney, grapefruit, but just too bitter for me.

Mouthfeel. I don't know, a little watery to me. Just not very fond of it. I taste no alcohol.

Overall, I wouldn't purchase this as a case or a 6 pack. It was fine for a variety pack. Too much bitter after taste, and not enough flavor and poor mouthfeel.

Photo of scooter231
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I forget about this beer style quite a bit, which is crazy considering Arrogant Bastard (and oak aged, and double) is one of my favorite fall-backs, and the Utopias I had once pleased me to the tips of my toes. When I picked this up I had no idea what it was- I just saw Stone, and Self-Righteous, and I was sold. If I hesitated at all, the long, verbose description would have pushed me over anyway.

SO! Pours a dark chocolate, nearly motor oil but not quite, and no light is getting through this sucker. Tan, poofy head that looks creamy and leaves nice lacking and some pretty designs on top. So far, I am pleased.

Smells chocolatey and sweet, but it's not cloying. There's some smokeyness, almost like burnt yoohoo. Caramel comes through, as well as some roasty toasty malt smells. There's something slightly burny and off-putting about it (can we say alcohol content?) but I forgive it.

Oh man, does this taste good. It's bitter up front, with some chocolate, caramel-y, light brown sugar in the middle, finishing with some definite roasted biscuity flavors. It's like Arrogant Bastard's slightly less flavorful, less brash, more sophisticated little brother (or sister, or whathaveyou.) It's tasty if you don't want to get punched in the taste buds like AB does.

Mouthfeel is a little weak, a little thin, but hey, can't have it all! Overall this is, indeed, self-righteous and I enjoyed it. If you want to introduce AB to someone, and you're not sure how they'll handle it, start with this guy.

Photo of greencovesteve
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours black as coffe. Thin spiderwebbed lacing hangs around.

S: chocolate tone with hints of pine.

T: a malty smooth transition to a bitter "Stone" bite.

M: overbearing carbonation then ending sharp and dry.

O: not my favorite Stone creation, but it's no doubt another unique creation for the lineup. They call it an ale, I call it a bitter porter.

Photo of nd5282
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A relatively muted after taste for an IPA. However, the mellow easy going character lead to the subsequent enjoyment of a few other pints. Bitterness factor is minimal and overall flavor versus drinkability ratio is superb. I personally bought multiple bottles to cellar and failed miserably at being patient.

Photo of jdhende
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Espresso Black

S: Extremely hoppy. I didn't get a whole lot of other smells besides hops in this one.

T: Hops, hops and more hops. Strong roasted and chocolate flavors. The beer finishes bitter and dry.

M: This one packs a big punch. This one is definitely full.

O: That's hops are overpowering on this one. Not a bad beer, just isn't very well balanced in my opinion.

Photo of Damian
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Enjoy by 10/27/12
Drank from a pint glass

The beer poured a dark chestnut brown and was topped by a two-plus finger tall crown of tight, bubbly, cocoa colored foam. Excellent retention. The head slowly faded to a thick cap. Spotty blocks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was remarkably hoppy. Candied orange peel was most noticeable. Somewhat grassy. There was a generic, sweet fruitiness that was well matched by a dry, powdery yeastiness. The malts were practically nonexistent. If I tried hard, I could pick up a touch of roastiness, but perhaps that was just my imagination.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was dominated by hops. In this case, however, the hops were much more bitter and punchy. A touch of roasted malts and cold coffee appeared on the front end before the hops took over. The hops had an orange peel-like flavor initially. As the beer moved along my palate, the hops intensified, turning super dry, pithy and grapefruit-like. The beer finished bone dry, super bitter and resiny with strong notes of pine needles. While the flavor profile may not have been my cup of tea, I was amazed by how well this beer buried its alcohol prowess.

The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than anticipated with a very fine and mild effervescence. The liquid felt surprisingly watery for the style.

Had I not been able to look at this beer, I would have sworn that it was an IPA. Neither my nose nor my palate could pick up any more than an inkling of roastiness or malty sweetness. Personally, I would prefer a bit more balance, but what can you expect from Stone?

Photo of warmstorage
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, $5.69 at Brown Jug Warehouse store in Anchorage, AK.

Appearance: deep brownish, like a porter. Leaves significant light-brown lace. Creamy thick dense head.

Aroma: Hops and pine and brown sugar and burnt sugar.

Taste: Wood and sugar and hops and pine and leather and roast. Lots and lots going on here. Hints of dark Belgian ale. (Reminds me a lot of a dark strong Belgian ale style.) Hints of citrus. Hints of earth. Hints of rubber. Lots of hints, few direct statements.

Mouth: Thick and slick, tingly spicy with mark to hot alcohol that lingers.

Overall: Decent, drinkable, even good. But extraordinary? No. I'm sure that Stone devotees will disagree with me, but this just isn't that great (especially after the truly fantastic Stone X.) There is just too much going on in it to pin anything down.

4/5/2008: bomber was $5.19 at Safeway liquor on Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, AK. Bottle states September 2007. Same same. Meh, even. No rating numbers changed.

Photo of ToddT
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black liquid topped with a well formed one finger head. Head fades slowly to a cap and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Nice blend of pine and grapefruit hops.

T- Big blast of grapefruit hops to start, slowly diminishing into a pine resin finish. Finish is dry and slightly astringent with some alcohol heat.

M- Medium in body and well carbonated , for all of the hops in it the finish is relatively clean with only a minor amount of hop oil left on the palate.

D- Pretty drinkable for a big beer but the 8.7% ABV does show through in the finish.

Another over hopped beer from Stone, this one could be a case of a little less would be a lot more. This one just doesn't stand out from the rest of their offerings.

Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic, Stone's 11th Anniversary is black with a very large, thick, rocky tan head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is overwhelmingly sweet, citrus hops, grapefruit to the extreme. Smells fine, but really more like grapefruit juice then beer, although with enough sweet malt and alcohol to make the difference clear.

Taste is pretty good but rather unusual. Basically a big porter with a huge charge of citrus hops. The hops are so citrusy that they're more akin to the sourness of, again, grapefruit. There's a bit of astringency from the black malt as it warms. The finish is a bit boozy, with just enough bitterness to let you know your actually drinking beer. Lots of flavors, but they seem very disjointed, lacking synergy. I think I'd really like this better if they went with EKG or another English or Noble hop, rather then the PNW "C" varieties, but still, it's quite nice. Funny how thinking outside of the box ceases to be so when you do it the same way every time....

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a suprisingly light, yet not thin body.

Drinkablity is about average. The booze is certainly there, and I'm not to fond of grapefruit juice, even if it is as sweet as this. However, like most Stone brews, that second half of the bomber goes down way to quick! Still, I couldn't really take to big of a swig, that weird sweet and sour combo was just too much. I had this right when it came out, and this one tastes about the same, maybe a hair sweeter, but I think the store kept it chilled the past 3 months, as the hops are still in full effect. I'm gonna cellar one just to see what happens in about 2 years. Sure the hops will fade, but dark beers really develop well in my experience, and I expect a whole new animal by then.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very, very dark brown. Near black color with a tan head. Fluffy head is lasting quite a while and leaving a bit of lacing as it recedes slowly. Nice head for a strong ale.

S: Nice big malt backbone on this one. Caramel and dark malts are quite nice here. Of course this being a Stone brew, the hops are also quite present. Not too much bitterness from the hops, yet rather a floral and near fruity quality. The malts are winning this fight though, some alcohol heat that accentuates the hop profile.

T: Has a savory flavor, getting a beef jerky/soy sauce type flavor. Smokey malts and a very bitter hop presence. I am reminded of the GUBNA meaty flavor and the soy sauce in Expedition stout. Not nearly as evident as either though. Hop bitterness is balancing the big malt backbone out well. Just a bit of some strange flavors mingling here.

M: Carbonation is at a good spot. This one has been sitting in the cellar for a month or so, may have mellowed the hops a bit. Still falls a bit short, relatively thin mouthfeel. Leaves a bit of a sizzling carbonation on the teeth.

D: This beer is definitely drinkable, very full of flavor. Not sure the flavors going on work well together but it sure is interesting.

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a large wine glass from a capped 22 oz. bottle. Deep brownish/black on the pour with ruby highlights and with an inch of glistening tan foam. Nice clear body. Retention is fairly strong, maintaining a quarter inch cap for a while before surrendering to just a light ring.

Rich pine and citric hops on the nose and caramel notes of decent depth, opening to some toasted flavors and a light coffee bean, coupled with a hint of smoke. Not very volatile overall however, becoming a bit hard to gather without a fresh spin.

Coffee and roasted malts carry forward to the flavor. Bit of cherried caramel and some hop spice and bitterness are evident. Smell and taste seem reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard in many ways, with more roast and a bit of char in the flavor yet quite similar in hop structure. A bit harsher on the palate than AB.

Carbonation is light making for a smooth and slightly viscous feel. Not quite enough to be syrupy in nature, but still a dense offering from Stone given the malt body and the ABV. Slightly dry and astringent in fact on the finish from the roasted malts, keeping the feel and drink in check.

I've had this on tap a few times and I recall notably more balance and depth. I find the flavors from the bottle to be a bit too distinct, particularly with regard to burnt coffee flavors. Beer needs to warm up to fully appreciate.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,807 ratings.