Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,893 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,893
Ratings:
5,853
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
291
Gots:
779
For Trade:
7
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,893 | Ratings: 5,853
Photo of rajendra82
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pour surprised me at first, because I had not read the full blurb on the back of the silk screened label, and was expecting an IPA. But the last line gave the clue to what this looked like, dark, pitch dark. When held up against the light, some ruby highlights showed up, but otherwise this was pretty much a black beer in terms of look. The head atop seemed small but stable, and was quite light in color, which was in stark contrast to the body. The smell was like a hop field, which pine and grapefruit smells being quite prominent. Underneath them, there was some chocolate lurking there. The taste was quite hoppy indeed, which made me wonder if this was not a year old bottle, but rather a fresh brewed batch for us on the East coast. The spicy, prickly, earthy hoppyness was just as intense as any IPA, however the black patent malt astringency, and some chocolate flavor were unusual, but went surprisingly well with that. The body was more in line with IPA than the looks suggested, and this was very drinkable for me, since I like hoppy beers. Quite a unique combination, but it works.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a big cocoa colored head.

Smell is HUGE, tons of citrus and piney hops come through as soon as you open the bottle. Exceptional.

Taste is bitter up front, really bitter and piney, with smooth chocolate malts coming through in the finish. Nice

Mouthfeel is thick and resinous, very good.

Overall it is a great beer, I am impressed.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

found this and bought it at first sight.

A: Pours super dark, makes me think of rootbeer.
tan coloroed head with great lacing. so dark it's almost opaque

S: I had a really hard time reconginzing this aroma: (hops with a solid-ass malt backbone
the hops stick around for a bit, too! really this is great.

T: great. think of reeses peanut butter cups: 2 great tastes that taste great together!

M: tons of body. standard carbonation

D: this is pretty heavy. I'd better have antoher!

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Photo of merryjoulton
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark rich black with a brown head that sticks around minimally throughout. Good lacing as well. Smell is a beautiful mixture of roasty malts and sticky piny hops--this is a combination that I haven't come across yet and its a welcome frontier. Tastes congruent with smell, most flavors are from the hops--bitter, citrusy, a commanding grapefruit character--but there are roasty chocolatey flavors as well. Mouthfeel is thick but not creamy. Drinkability is great.

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Photo of IPALOVER
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow-- what a beer! I didn't know what to expect, and loved the creative writing on the bottle that led me to believe that it was going to be a "very dark" IPA.

The beer poured beautifully-- looked like a nitro delivered beer. I said "yum" just looking at it.

After taking the first sip I remarked, "now this is a great beer." What makes it that way? First of all, the hops, which I am a huge fan of. Secondly, the combination of coffee and black licorice that dominate, as well.

Drinking this beer is not easy-- heavy and definitely an after-dinner sipper! As the beer warms it becomes smoother and the coffee notes dominate-- I didn't leave a drop in the glass.

I'm a fan of Stone because of their use of hops, and was pleased to see and sample this truly unique, tasty IPA.

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Photo of obrendano
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I discovered this beast of a drink randomly poking around my local store. I was unaware of its existence until now, and am 100% happy I found it

A - for what is advertised as just an ale this is a dark, dark beer. pretty much a stout appearance, rocky tan head, so inviting, so pretty

S - an instant smack of hops, it actually took me by surprise, though given Stone's reputation, it definitely shouldn't have. rich dark malt undertones and some alcohol too

T - superb. strong hop kick up front fades (slightly) to let an impressive chocolate malt flavor to take over until the finish, when the hops come back in full force to spice up the strong coffee/chocolate taste. some alcohol flavor is present, complementing very well

M - rich and full bodied, very fine carbonation

D - this was absolutely great to drink. sipped on it over an hour letting the flavors slowly evolve as it warmed. halfway through took on a handful of spicy buffalo wings and the pairing was delectable. dare I say it, this is better than Arrogant Bastard

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Photo of EStreet20
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Nearly pitch black brew with two full fingers of tan head sits in the snifter. Nice lacing rings are left behind.

S - Great citrus aromas with some grapefruit/orangey aroma floating around. Some tea like aroma is there too.

T -Wow, some bitterness and alcohol meld with the fruit and lead the way over some dark malt flavors. A little bit of chocolate flavor makes a nice, albeit brief appearance. Alcohol is definitely evident into the finish over those fruity tastes. Very interesting.

M - Nice medium/slightly heavy body with just the right carbonation for this unique brew.

D - So one of a kind. I'm loving it and I want more after every sip.

Notes: India Dark Ale???? The bottle states that the brewers kept everybody "in the dark with this IPA" and it really is like a hybrid of a few possible dark beer styles and an IPA. I guess Strong Ale is the only classification that makes sense but this beer has many characteristics of a barleywine, IPA, and even some stout and/or porter like traits. I guarantee some will love this and some will hate it, but everyone who appreciates craft beer should try it. Me, I'm a fan. I'll have to grab some more.

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Photo of Trizzle
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Opaque black. Some interesting yellow highlights at the edges while I sip from my wine glass. 1/2" brown head slowly recedes to a tight crema with good lacing for this ABV.

Hops on the nose. Slightly floral and oily. Vague hint of dark sweet malts, some beef stock and yeast.

Huge hops straight up. Started this glass too cold*. Mainly hop bitterness with some slight floral notes.. As it warms the dark malt sweetness comes through much more, especially on the front. Some more beef stock notes through the middle and bitter and oily hops beat you down at the finish. Lingers dry, bitter and slightly floral.

Light malt feel with medium light cartbonation suit fit the mould.

While I couldnt session this by a long shot, i've given it 5/5 for the experience of the drink. Challenging and rewarding.. I'm slowly coming around to these hugely hopped american styles. Well done again Stone.

*This really needs to be tried at cellar-room temp. 15deg Celcius would not be too warm. Too cold and this is just extremely hoppy, bitter and astringent.

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Photo of brentusaurus
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into duvel tulip

A: Pours a nice brown, nearly black in the glass. Nice tan head with decent lacing, this is one of the best things I love about Black IPAs.

S: Roasted malt, citrus and pine

T: Much like the nose, deep malt toastiness with orange citrus that shines, great flavor combination

M: Great body, bitterness not too high, nice creaminess, another thing I love about the black IPA style, and stone doesn't disappoint

Great beer, one of my favorite Black IPAs, definitely the benchmark for the style.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this brew in Porter Square, which to me delight has the familiar gargoyle from Stone's 10th Anniversary ale. I poured this beer in to a sniffer glass without really reading the description on the back...in fact I didn't really know anything about this beer, but with Stone I feel like you can bet safely that you are getting quality product when you take a chance on one of their brews. The pour was charcoal black, with no light getting through and a white head. "Stout? fuck no, this is way too hoppy for that" I thought, then decided to check out the label. A black ipa certainly sounds like something interesting to me. Aroma had piney hops, grapefruit, earth, and some rough spices. Beer is chocked full of hops in the flavor, with a nice malt touch in there as well. I also detect a slight hint of rye bread and garlic. Mouthfeel is bordering between medium and heavy for me, although that could be in part because of the fact that the dark coloration of this one makes you think that it is a heavy brew. Easy on the drinkability as well, although I would definitely say that this is one to sip and savor. Kickass offering from Stone right here. They should make this a year round kind of brew. Cheers

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Photo of stover4
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Someone said it best, "looks like used motor oil" lol, but don't let that deter you. The head could use a little help, but everything else is quite delightful.

As with all stone beer, you'll taste some hops, but there is something about this one that merges flavors into something truly special. This is the type of beer you savory as it warms up a bit. It's no wonder they serve it in a brandy snifter type glass. It's the fine cognac of stone's beers, and if you've tried their beer you know they don't mess around.

This beer was not going to be sold to the masses originally, but the employees loved it so much they had to share their passion with everyone. Thank you Stone Brewing, truly a work of art.

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Photo of mmmmmbeeer
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A -- Absolutely beautiful pour. Black beer with a lovely creamish-coffee thick 2 finger head. Nice lacing as well

S -- I tried my best not to read any of the reviews on this nor did I read the back of the bottle. The way this poured I expected a heavy malt, coffee stout. Imagine my surprise when the nose was filled with a hop explosion of pine and citrus.

T -- Incredible. Big ups to Stone for this one. It's like an IPA-Stout hybrid on the palette. Hops kick in right off the bat and continue to scream all the way down but lurking in the background is a fantastic coffee/chocolate malt that leads to an incredible balance. I'm not sure if the malt is as present as I think, as this is rather bitter, or if it's the appearance playing tricks on me.

M -- very heavy with mild carbonation.

D -- With how smoothly this goes down, and sporting an 8.7ABV, this could be trouble.

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: 2" light tan head with great retention, leaving lots of lacing. Near black body.

S: Strong aroma. Fresh pine and plenty of it. Merry Christmas!

T: Spectacular mix of a piney and citric IPA with a roasty porter. There are loads of hops here, yet the initial hop bite disappears under a rich, roasty malt.

M: Medium bodied (maybe a bit fuller than medium). Soft carbonation. Smooth - as they always are from Stone. Excellent aftertaste.

D: The 8.7% abv is very well hidden under all the flavor. Normally I'd expect to tell you that the alcohol appears as it warms, but I've been through several bottles of this (not all tonight) and I'm now certain no bottle is going to last until it warms. Great stuff!!

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Photo of pjwilson
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: it's pitch black. the head is nice and tan and thick and leaves nice lacing on the glass. For an Imperial Stout this is awesome.

smell: ok, so this is not an Imperial Stout. it's another stone double IPA that happens to be black. very raw and sticky hops. no hint of malt of any kind like one would expect from the color. Of course if you read the back it tells you it's a black IPA.

taste: very good. Strong IPA front with the same raw and super sticky hops we got in number 10. The bitterness is here but in balance. After all the front end hoppiness we get just a hint of coffee smoothness at the end. Much less than a stout but enough to had a hint of complexity. wow.

mouthfeel: nicely done as usual by stone. runs about medium, probably a bit lighter than an average IPA.

Drinkability: pretty much compels you to take another sip.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into teku; black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that sticks around, slowly creeping down and leaving dense, fine lacing as it does.
Smells of lots of hops, bitter earthy and fruity, as well as dark roasted malt, bit of soft grain, chocolate and coffee.
Taste is a perfect dichotomy; it's like an imperial IPA and a robust porter are fighting it out in my mouth. Hop flavors strike first, with earthy bitterness mingling among fruit and citrus rind. Then the dark malts come in, with coffee and dark bitter chocolate balancing the hops perfectly. Aftertaste is sticky hop bitterness with hints of dark malt left over.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, medium-bodied.
Overall, another of Stone's boastful beers lives up to its name; a beer this good certainly deserves a good deal of self-righteousness. This is the perfect black IPA/cascadian dark ale/hopped black ale/etc. as I imagine the style in its purest form.

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had to buy this one after a beer and food pairing at BJ's brewpub in A-Town. Of the whole Stone line this one stood alone. Purchased in a deuce-deuce from Libation's in Aurora (I love this place)

A- Deep rich black, somewhat like a good porter. Dense thick off white head, looks like a carbonated stout. Great lacing.

S- Tons of chinook and other high AA% hops with a hint of the carafa III chocolate goodness.

T- I do not know where to begin on this one. It has all of the nice grapefruit and pine hoppy goodness with a small amount of deep roasty stout like chocolate and coffee without the malt bitterness (the hops take care of that). It is so tasty, seriously the most unique and delicious brew I have had from Stone (which is setting the bar pretty high)

M- Light and refreshing with a long and strong finish

D-High, so high. Try it for yourself... please.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with a very dark brown hue when held to light - a nice tan colored thick frothy head bellows up and hangs around and doesn't want to leave - a beautiful yet devious looking brew - ends up leaving some very thick sticky lacing with each drink. The smell is insane! A nice mixture of piny and tangy hops that mash up with a very welcoming burnt chocolate and vanilla mixture of aromas - the hops do take over here, though. The flavors are as the bottle says "sublime". The piny resinous hop flavor is perfect with a sweet hop bit taking the back seat - the roasted maltiness comes through strong coffee, bitter chocolate, and the slightest hint of smoke coming through. Exceptional. The mouthfeel is damn near full bodied - very creamy and still very well carbonated. A little burn from the booziness but nothing overwhelming. This beer was a real treat - all the cocky text on the back of the bottle, which is typical of Stone, is completely fulfilled in this delicious brew. Glad I had the opportunity to enjoy this.

Cheers!

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Photo of pwoods
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber obtained at The Comet during their Stone's 11th anny pint night.

A: Pours a deep black with some red hues showing on the sides. Not what I excepted... everyone said this was a IPA/DIPA and I've never seen one black before. 1 1/2 fingers of cream colored head. Head settles into a 1finger pillow and laces most of the glass.

S: Huge hops up front. Getting citrus from them but I can't identify it. Plenty of sweet and toasty malted aroma to balance it out. Very interesting.

T/M: The first sip is a struggle between bitter hops and toasty malts. Even from the smell, I never expected the malts to contend with the hops this much... and it's not a bad thing at all. Hops do eventually take over in the finish and stay long after. I could definitely see some people not likely how strong of an aftertaste this leaves.... sucks for them. Full bodied and medium carbonation.

D: It drinks pretty heavy but just tastes so damn good. I'll be picking up more of this every chance I get.

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Photo of pecochran1
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this not knowing what it was only that it came from Stone and I trust them.

After drinking, I still trust!

Much darker than expected, excellent head that lasted just long enough. THe nose was far hoppier than expected but not as malty as the color would lead on. It warmed up and bit probably to where it should be consumed and became more balanced.

I would love to find a clone recipe, for this was a great beer.

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Photo of Amalak
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of a gravity dispense cask. Out of the many cask brews that I've tried, this might've been the best. It's almost a perfect IPA. It's very dark, almost black like Guinness. Perfectly balanced with hops and a citrus/fruity mix to it. Absolutely awesome.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amazing Black IPA.

Big sticky, and frothy head. Deep shade of brown when held up to light, dark black otherwise.

Aroma is a wonderful blend of roasted malts, bitter floral hops, and tannins.

The taste is really spot on for the style. Perfect balance of malts/hops, both being on the heavy side. However, none of the notes overpower each other. They work in perfect harmony. The alcohol content is covered extremely well. I'd guess 6.8% at best blind taste test.

With the roasted malt notes, a hint of coffee, a bit of caramel. The blend of citric, floral, and piney hops, just works so well.

This beer is really straight forward, but really well done. Amazing beer all around, and incredibly drinkable. One bomber wasn't enough, two would be no problem. Enjoy.

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Photo of theformula
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black, inky body into a tapered goblet, w/ some ruby tones when held to the light. Looks like an RIS, wow. A big tan head quicky forms with excellent retention. Lacing is sticky all the way around the glass. This is a DIPA? Start the revolution!

Pure, unadulterated hops. Massive aroma of citrus, pine and not much else. Those west coast hops have a slight "cat pee" scent, seriously. But it's inviting, not a turn off. Maybe a little charcoal in there but very faint if so. Just a little spicy alcohol as well.

Medium bodie w/ a crisp, moderate carbonation level. M.F. is very full, soft and incredibly smooth. Very nice.

Beautiful, intense and resinous hops. It's strange drinking a pitch black IPA...
Huge grapefruit, lemon, piney hops, very green and grassy which hang around through the finish. An understated yet balancing malt backdrop wraps it up nicely and is lightly sweet and sugary, very similar to Ruination. Some pepper and spice also are biproducts of the hops. Only a subtle, gritty charcoal-esque flavor gives a way the dark malts and a decent, spicy alcohol note makes it warming and more complex.

Stone's done it. A bold, strictly hoppy "DIBA" or whatever, yet not for novices as the alphas are high on the scale here. Great bitterness, very assertive. I'd gladly drink again and will, I bought up plenty (and thanks to trades).
An awesome beer, and drinks pretty well for the ABV.

Highly recommended for the advanced hophead.

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Photo of kidcas
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a misunderstood BEAUTY. There are very few "black IPAs" on the market. Greg Noonan at Vermont pub and brewery used to brew one and I lived for it. This one takes the cake though. Its appearance is as exciting as the taste profile. The dominant hops are not overpowering so that the chocolate and roasted malts come through. I am not sure why this is labeled as American Strong Ale. It is not like Old Thumper or the old Magic Hat Red Ale, its an IPA on steroids, GREAT BEER.

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Photo of brdc
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled September 2007. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Dark brown, reddish highlights, nice tan head that holds well, a lot of lacing.
Aroma is obviously different than some reviews as this is comparatively older, but well kept in a controlled cellar. Malty sweetness is starting to come upfront, mostly with caramel notes, but the herbal, grassy hoppiness is still impressively obvious, and it eventually dominates the aroma that also shows fruity and flowery notes. Very nice.
Medium bodied, it has a nice balance, and flavors evolve from an initial caramel sweetness, brown sugar, breadiness, followed by fruitiness that is mostly citric, and eventually a very nice grassy hop bite, that if not an assault as described in the fresh sample, it is quite noticeable and eventually dominates.
Very impressive, and I was very happy to hear it will come now as a regular. Unsure if it is better fresh as some mentioned, but cannot compare as I did not have it. As it stands now, it is an amazing beer - I will probably age it again when I get my hands on it.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow. This one doesn't taste how it looks and doesn't look how it tastes.

I had this on tap first at Deep Ellum in Boston, then bought a bottle from Whole Foods.

This is a black IPA that's literally black. It sports a great 2-finger head that looks like a milky mocha drink. The lacing that soon develops is gorgeous.

The aroma is crazy. It's the first sense that throws you off because the brew looks like it's infused with coffee and chocolate. But it smells the exact opposite; it smells like freshly mowed summer lawn and grapefruit. Ultimately, it smells very citrusy, with the aroma being part grapefruit, star fruit, grape, and orange without being any of those alone....but I feel it leans more towards a bitter grapefruit than anything else.

The taste embodies the bright, sunny aromas of this dark brew but with the addition of bitter hops. The citrus blast hits first, followed by bitter hops that sit on the palate and fade very slowly. Boozy grapefruit rears its head faintly again at the end before the taste finishes. Underneath all this, there's a sense of earthy, bitter coffee grinds.

Mouthfeel is velvet-like.

Drinkability can go either way here. This is masterfully created so of course I want to drink it. So in that sense, drinkability is high. But, its 8%abv feels more like 10%abv - I think because of the strong hop element - so because of that I don't want more than one or two of these in one sitting. A session beer it is not.

IPAs aren't my favorite style. Yes, I do enjoy a good one (such as Dogfish), but I'm no hop head...I prefer malts. Given that, this IPA-styled brew still amazed me. It's a bit like Picasso - it doesn't end up being what it seems. It surprises you on two levels. The appearance and taste are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Then on top of that, both elements are fantastic in their own right. It looks like a glorious after-dinner stout, but tastes like a top-notch, flavorful and summery IPA. Definitely one of the coolest beers out there. I may not end up buying it much, because it's a bit intense, but it sure impressed me a ton.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,893 ratings.