1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,909 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,909
Reviews: 1,813
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 208
Gots: 329 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,909 | Reviews: 1,813 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow! black in the middle and ruby on the edge with a great big tan head that sticks around for a bit and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. smells of piney hops with a hint of malt and some coffee/toffee/chocolate in the background. hops overpower, but there's definitely something else. tastes the same. the piney hops are way way up front, but there's a nice backbone that includes sweet malt and some other stuff like coffee and chocolate. medium to full body with a slight bitter/alcohol kick. super fun to drink, but potent. a stoutdoubleipa. congratulations stone. hope to enjoy 11 more years with you.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 01:55:47 | More by timtim
Photo of daledeee


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz bottle. I bought it because the name sounded good. Oh yeah, Stone is usually good too.

Poured a very dark body; might as well call it black. Off white head: a big one. Nice lacing.

Nose is hops.

Taste is in your face hops. Very piny and strong and I think some oak. AS it warmed up, there may have been some vanilla in the back ground but the hops overpowered it.

Mouth feel is nice as well. Just the right carbonation.

If you're a hop head, this is for you. Really strong hop presence and bitter. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 00:37:36 | More by daledeee
Photo of zerofear13

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this bottle from American Beer Distributors in Brooklyn. They actually have a really good selection of Stone, which surprises me that many other places don't. I know I'm on the east coast, but I feel like if you're going to order a million Belgian beers, Stone isn't so hard to deliver.

Poured out very black, although I wouldn't say jet-black like many other reviewers. I'm sure I've seen darker, sludgier-looking stouts and porters. Foamy, tan-colored head. Smelled of roasted hops and chocolate like porters, but also had some citrus and fruit notes like an ale. Taste was very mixed. On the one hand, there were the tang and fruit notes; on the other, there was the roasted flavor. Interesting mix, but a good balance between the two, in my opinion.

Great beer if you can get your hands on a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 00:40:04 | More by zerofear13
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/6/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown/black with a huge gorgeous tan head that looks like a milkshake and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus hops and sweet roasted malt. Flavor of roasted malt, light citrus hops, alcohol, and lots of sesame and wheat cracker as the beer warms. Nice and rich palate. Excellent and quite drinkable.
8/5/8/4/16 (4.1/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 00:59:37 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of atrus138


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought I missed out on this one, but was delighted to find them in abundance at my local liquor store one day. Poured this from a bomber into a pint glass. Looks pretty much like a good porter or stout should. Black, with at least a two-finger head that retained itself very well. Edges are ruby red when held up to light. Lacing sticks on the glass all the way down. Huge hop presence in the aroma. However, there is a solid dark malt presence. Pretty complex. Taste is very hoppy, of course. However, there is a solid malt backbone that makes this fairly balanced considering the huge hop presence. Mouthfeel is pretty thick, almost syrupy. Actually, "creamy" is the word that comes to mind. Carbonation is moderately high. Alcohol is a bit on the high side, but still drinkable, especially if you give this beer the time and respect it deserves.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 02:57:53 | More by atrus138
Photo of vobr0002


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark black color with a caramel colored head that lasts on top of the beer.

S- citrus hops, then the roasted smell comes through to finish. Hint of chocolate smell.

T- a smooth roasted chocolate flavors then followed by a blast of hops. A bit more pine flavor on the taste than on the smell. Lasting bittetness.

M-medium high carbonation level with a slightly creamy feel.

O- I like this beer a lot. Has a very unique profile that leaves your mouth wanting more of the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 23:02:10 | More by vobr0002
Photo of dgilks


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colour with a medium foamy light tan head. Good head retention. Nice lacing.

Dense, piney aroma with a touch of malt. Good.

Slightly sweet malt with no real dark malt character. A hint of caramel. Moderately-high bitterness. Piney hop character. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. A solid, well structured beer.

A really nice Black Ale. Lots of flavour with a great hoppiness. Solid.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 00:41:10 | More by dgilks
Photo of CHADMC3


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown with ruby hues and a big, frothy, cascading tan head that patiently subsides to leave dense sticky lacing behind.

Aromas consist of fresh pine/wood and earthy hops, sweet malt, perhaps caramel, and yeast.

This is quite a unique, yet great palate. Big earthy hops appear first, also generous roasted malt, following is something sweet, perhaps caramel, perhaps dark fruit, I'm not exactly sure.

Medium to full in body, generous carbonation, and overall quite smooth.

This brew is certainly easy to drink, with plenty to offer the senses. This is a delicious beer at a great price.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 02:46:48 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of RussBecker1

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very very dark brown, not opaque, but damn near close. A nice burnt caramel head lasts for a good amount of time, and produces a substantial amount of lacing from the moment it hits the glass.

N- Precisely what I would describe a black ale's nose as. The hops hit you first and make their presence known, but the roasted malts smoothen it out a good deal, and give you the first taste of what an ipa and stout would mix like.

M- Much creamier than I have had in black ales. It gives the feel more of a lighter stout than anything else which I have not yet had in many other black ales.

T- Great example of a black ale. The hops are there the malts are there, and as big of a beer this is, the flavors meld very nicely on the palate leaving it both complex and accessible.

O-American black ales have always been one of my favorite styles, as counter intuitive blend of bitter citrusy hops blended with the sweeter smokier stout has always created a very intriguing flavor profile. I would say this is either my second or third favorite black ale behind Coasts' Event horizon, and potentially Southern Tier's inequity. This Stone brew, relies heavier on the stout side of things that makes it more unique than other brews and for many, a great intro into the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 23:38:38 | More by RussBecker1
Photo of CFHMagnet


4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Head is a light, sandy color. The body is that of a rich cola. The head takes its time in calming down, and looks rather rich and lathery. Good retention with good lacing.

The smell is complex and inviting. Malt with earthy hops and caramel start it off. This transitions into a more tropical hop aroma with pine undertones. Further sniffs reveal a little chocolate in the beginning as well.

The taste up front has a deep malt character. Aspects of dark fruit, toffee and chocolate all play around before surrendering to pine and a deeply grapefruity citrus flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied. It is almost creamy. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 20:15:14 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of stella77artois

New York

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle, poured into pilsener glass.

A - Black. Dark stuff. A very dark brown at the bottom of the glass, only "non-blackness". Showed a very dark red-brown when held to light. A very thick, creamy, light brown head formed, shapshifted a lot, and stuck around. Fair amount of residuals.

S - Not a ton going on. Malt, hops, toffee/caramel and a similar aroma you gather from a red ale.

T - Yum! Up front there's an almost even mix of malt and hops. Some reviews mention a lot of hoppiness, I didn't notice a ton. Was a very good balance. A mild, pleasant sweetness w/ hints of caramel and spice. Lot's going on in the aftertase, too. In addition to above, could also detect a wheat-ish flavor. A very mild coffee tastes could be noticed, too. Alcohol noticed when warmed a tad. Caramel also more detectable when warmed. Did taste better cold (not ice cold, of course) I think. More of the up front flavors.

F - Typical for a strong ale. A decent thickness without a ton of carbonation feel. Felt a tad dry when warmed.

O - First time trying this beer and will certainly buy again. Love the look of this beer and obviously more importantly, the taste. A lot going on, yet nothing is out of place. Have yet to have a bad beer by Stone Brewing, and they're probably my favorite brewery. Highly recommend this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 12:40:57 | More by stella77artois
Photo of Beaver13


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a creamy light tan head that recedes to a wispy film that laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet sugary caramel and resiny piney hops with a touch of bright citrus. As it warms, there's lots of roasted chocolate tinged with caramel piney hops.

The flavor is fleeting sweet malts and chocolate followed by a big roasty hop bitterness that lingers. The alcohol is well hidden and sneaks up on you. The mouthfeel is full with nice carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer - a dark and roasty IPA. Kind of like a darker and roastier Arrogant Bastard.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 05:44:05 | More by Beaver13
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Rhino in Missoula. Saves me from lugging that particular bottle back across the border...

This beer appears a solid black, with mahogany edges, and one finger of thin creamy beige head, which leaves a wall of lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. It smells like a creamsicle - orange hops and milky caramel malt. The taste is creamy grain, a bit of booze, and woody, weedy, and piney hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight, and zingy, and it finishes with a sweet creamy hop flourish.

A strange textural mixing - tangy and creamy. Sure works in this case, though.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 05:48:55 | More by biboergosum
Photo of dexterk1


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into standard shaker pint. Color is black or maybe dark brown with a rich head of about 2inches.
Aroma is sweet upfront with hints of chocolate, coffee and brown sugar. Minor floral notes as well.
Taste is floral upfront with a malt background. Continues with more pine and green notes. Ends with a piney bitterness that lingers. Mouth feel is somewhat lighter than the appearance would lead on. Moderate carbonation and decent body.
Overall, a very good beer. Complex and big in taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 00:05:16 | More by dexterk1
Photo of Docer


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

Grabbed a bomber,.. probably too tossed to review this already as I have just had a bomber of their 13th anni. ale...

- Is this a porter? Sure looks like one... dark dark black and brown... mocha head... rich looking.. listening to Greatful Deads Whiskey in a jar...

- Roasted burnt chocolate malt...sweetness... coffee w/ creamer... bit of tomato soup... rather interesting.... bitterness maybe..

- What an interesting ale!.. seriously smooth... fruity, zesty and yet has a bit of a tomato soup sweetness and flavor to it.... bit of pine hop... and whatever they flippin' used to adjunct... wow...

- Great mouthfeel w/ and interesting aftertaste....

- Hugely drinkable as most strong ales are from stone brewing....

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 00:17:41 | More by Docer
Photo of nataku00


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

Poured from a bottle into an Allagash chalice. Beer is a very dark brown, bordering on black, with initial three fingers of tan head. The head laces nicely as it receded. Due to how dark the beer is, you can't see any bubbles, but based on the head, it should be well carbonated.

Nose is mostly citrus peel (mostly grapefruit and orange), and some wet pine needle. Really a normal ipa smell, and fairly pedestrian at that.

Taste starts out like a typical IPA, with grapefruit being the dominating flavor, with some pine for freshness. But there's hint of roasted malt at the end of the tongue but not enough to distinguish it from a regular IPA.

Really easy drinking black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 02:10:34 | More by nataku00
Photo of timonan


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

Brought home a growler from Stone Brewery. Opened a week after it was bottled.

A - Very dark brown. small brown head that dissipates quickly, leaving a few scattered bubbles. almost no lace.

S - Earthy, coffee, a bit grassy, characteristic stone hop smell.

T - A lot of different flavors at once. The sweetness and floralness of the hops is wonderfully balanced by a dark, malty flavor. Kind of a "sugar with your coffee" flavor.Toasty aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

M - Almost no carbonation - not sure if this is typical. Maybe a bad seal on the growler? The flavor is very present because of the low carbonation.

D - Very smooth. Almost slides down the throat, but I have to let it linger in the mouth each sip to savor the flavor.

We had this last year at Stone, and it seemed more vibrant then. Still, a great beer with a very interesting mix of flavors.

Serving type: growler

07-11-2010 21:27:28 | More by timonan
Photo of Proteus93


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle was shared by CrellMoset... and a few months ago, at that!

A: Pitch black... Totally opaque. A light tan head. .. More offwhite.

S: Hoppy aromas areall but gone. A LOT of anise. Like snorting a fresh bag full of black licorice. Some notes of bakers chocolate.

T: A bit of hop flavour is there... Citrus rind. Anise again, but a creamy feel that makes it a little unusual. a burnt malt.

M: Creamy, quite full and rich with a big oily body.

D: A nice sipper... I would have liked to try this fresh, but it has held on fairly well.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 15:37:36 | More by Proteus93
Photo of SHODriver


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a rich black with a finger and a half of dense tan head.
S: this one hits the nose with some very sharp bitter pine notes with just a bit of sweet citrus
T: very interesting. roasted malt flavors battle with piney hop goodness to dominate the taste buds. Slightly citrusy and some hiints of coffee and chocolate make brief appearances before getting beaten back by the hops. Lingering bitter pine with a bit of sweetness.
M: Full bodied and a bit creamy. Carbonation is adequate and isn't prickly.
O: a very good beer that is a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 07:24:34 | More by SHODriver
Photo of charlzm


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second bottle, consumed 05/14/08.

Dark brown pour with reddish highlights. Three finger light tan head sprung up with little encouragement. Reduces to one finger soon. Strong lacing.

Aroma is strong spicy and grapefruit hops. Slight grassy note.

Rich roasted bready and chocolate malt flavor. Very smooth, slightly chewy body. Hop bump at back end mainly for bittering but there's a hint of citrus and pepper. ABV is noticeable but does not interfere with flavor. Not terribly complex, but tasty and unusual.

It appears six months of aging have not significantly changed this beer.


Bottled, consumed on 11/2/07.

Cola colored pour, modest tan head with excellent retention and plenty of bubbles. Smoky, piny aroma: reminds me of a robustly hopped porter in the nostrils. Nicely chewy in the mouth. When served cold, hops are assetive in this beer, easily the strongest flavor. There are some faint suggestions of bread and honey mixed in there, but this is a hophead's brew. As it warms, balance appears, allowing a stronger malt profile to emerge. Reminds of pumpernickel bread or a dash of mocha. Strong as it leaves the mouth with a lasting bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 04:36:10 | More by charlzm
Photo of Bosoxfan20


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Pours pitch black with a big, 2 finger tan head. Pretty thick. Head lingers for a few minutes. Beautiful lacing that slowly trickles down the glass

S- Hops hit you strong at first, followed by some roasted barley notes. Strong pine and hop resin with some sweet, earthy aroma.

T- Another hop forward brew as usual from Stone. The hop level really took me by surprise at first since the bottle gave no indication that this was an IPA. But make no mistake...it most certainly is. A little citrus and a boatload of pine really popped me in the mouth. Resinous. Then the roasted flavor came through. A very solid malt base of roasted barley and a touch of chocolate at the end. Very good balance with some complexity. A touch of alcohol at the end that isn't overpowering, but does a nice job of warming you up.

M- mid body. Feels a little thin and oily, but very smooth and drinkable given the ABV. Mid carbonation with a dry finish.

O- Simply delicious. If it isn't a black IPA, it sure fooled me. Since the aroma wasn't powerful like i have come to expect from great IPAs, I couldn't tell until I tasted it that this was an IPA. To steal a quote from another beer advocate, "It's as if you were to cross an Old Rasputin with a Palate Wrecker". A strong dark beer with an intense hop level to go with a robust roasted, malty base. Black IPAs are one of my favorite style of beer, and this one is maybe the best i have ever had (also love El Cucuy by Marshall Brewing). My palate continues to be enchanted by the Stone brews.

$10.99 for 4 pk

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 23:16:00 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of TheBrewo


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of the deepest brown, which lightens to a reddish amber towards the bottom of the glass. The head put up stands huge at three fingers, with cappuccino colored bubbles that look much like the froth from a cola. It retains well and leaves sticky lacing around the glass. Carbonation appears standard and no sediment or haze is noted. The aroma sings of bright citric and piney hops that sit atop a field of rich roasted caramel malts. They smell a bit toasty, but not charred. There is a sugary and fruity sweetness to it, attributable to dark cherries. There is also a faint boozing and a steely bite of yeast. As we sip, there are big chalky malts up front. They fight for first place with sweet and tart hops that taste both piney and soapy. There is also a citric cleaning, which enhances as we move to the middle. This evens out to bitter hop activity and a darkness of raw coffee bean or raw chocolate, with a slick oiliness. The finish is clean, dominated by more hops and sweeter grain than in the start and middle. The aftertaste reverts to that bitter hop quality, and breathes with a bit of alcohol and that raw organic oil. The body is medium to full and the carbonation is medium. The feel is extraordinarily smooth and soft. There is a big froth, smack, and slurpability to each drag. The abv is appropriate, maybe a bit high, and the beer drinks with great ease.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the surprising mouthfeel and the great balance. The first thing noticed at the very first sip was how soft the feel was. For this style it is easy to produce a watery beer with little substance, but they seemed to retain a good deal of body, after which the hops were added as a secondary feature. This made for a nice balance, which allowed for no component to really obtrude the other.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 00:48:16 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of artoolemomo


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head and a pretty one a that. It's very gritty looking with very tiny bubbles. The color is light tan/beige. The body is a dark chocolate brown with garnet tones around the bottom that become more pronounced when held up to the light. The head is dissipating slowly while it leaves a good amount of lacing. Almost a sheet of lacing is left on the second pour. This is a slow one.

Nose- Very nice aroma with lots of grassiness, pine, and citrus. Very classic IPA smell but I haven't detected any soapiness yet. I've been skeptical of the black IPA but the reviews (and smell) are promising. There is also some orange and wood on the nose.

Taste- Starts off with very typical IPA notes: citrus, pine, wood. This has a very pronounced bitter finish of wood and something akin to coffee. It's not overbearing and right now is quite enjoyable. There is a lot of grass and wood in this one and the alcohol is not present. This is definitely a beer for hopheads. There's nothing wrong with it but at the moment, I can't find anything that sets it apart from you basic good to very good IPAs.

Mouthfeel- This one ends up just on the light side of medium and is quite creamy for IPA. This is definitely a twist on a style which is generally fairly light and crisp. I'm liking it so far. The mouthfeel is one aspect that is definitely unique.

Drinkability- This will take time for those who are not acclimated to serious hops. This will take some time for myself as well- the bitterness of the wood really lingers.

Overall- Right now, this seems like a B+,A-. It's closer to a B+ for having a typical IPA flavor profile but strives toward an A- because of its unique mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 00:21:30 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of MrMcGibblets


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: black with a nice tan head and lacing.
S: american hops and dark roasted malts.
T: same as above. malts are reminiscent of a just over medium bodied dryish stout (some coffee and dark molasses) with lots of american hops clearing it out to a bitter, drying finish. lingering hops and roasty malts, manages to seem crisp at the end.
M: frothy and lively for this abv.
D: goes down a lot easier than you'd think for this abv. alcohol is well-hidden and the dryish hoppy finish helps in this regard.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 16:55:35 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of ABCJiugui


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into tulip

A- black, opaque with tints of reddish brown on edges with less concentration, sticky 2 finger head recedes to cap, single top ring of consistent lacing.

S- malty, caramel, american hops/piney/citric. Very pleasant and nothing overpowering, in balance and melded well to the point that I'm content that I can't tease out everything.

T- Malt sweetness mixes and recedes into a sharp finish of piney hop bitterness which lingers, very well balanced and tasty.

M- carbonation contributes to creamy feel, full bodied, very pleasing.

Overall, stone's done it again. Like the arrogant bastard/double bastard, this beer is really good. Totally unexpected color, but that actually added to the score for me, and the aggressive-yet-balanced hopping of the beer is really pleasant to take in. Heck of a beer and gladly drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2008 06:58:13 | More by ABCJiugui
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,909 ratings.