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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,121 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,121
Reviews: 1,820
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 224
Gots: 423 | 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
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Ratings: 5,121 | Reviews: 1,820 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bierguy5


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

22 oz. bottle, 8.7% ABV. Very dark brown, approaching black in color. Edges are ruby, thick rocky tan head. Seems to be a good amount of carbonation. Great head retention.

Slightly piney and grapefruit hops in the nose. A whiff of caramel and a slightly roasty character. Hop aroma seems well rounded.

Starts with a roasty flavor, which then turns into a bit of chocolate. Seems a bit chalky. Long lingering pinet bitterness. Finishes a bit dry.

Good body. Alcohol seems pretty well hidden to me. Interesting beast this one is.

11-23-2007 17:21:47 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of blackie


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

a: The translucent black ale holds up a pretty 1 finger mocha head that recedes slowly and partially, with a nice layer retained for awhile.

s: BIG hops, even with age...dark, thick, juicy NW hops linger over burnt toast, light roasted coffee, and a burnt toffee sweetness. Quite aromatic. Spicy, alcoholic nose. If I was forced to narrow it down to one phrase, it'd be rum-raisin cake with a bitter cocoa-molasses glaze (and hops).

m: carbonation is medium, and the body is on the full side of the medium range...pretty smooth/creamy

t: Pulpy hops everywhere, start to finish. A semisweet caramel base malt supports a big presence of darkly toasted malts, turning more roasty and astringent after the swallow. The bitterness is moderate and the finish lingers long with near-burnt grain.

d: a nice beer, good drinkability even as the abv makes itself well known

shipped Southward by the fuhrer of foam, dirtylou

04-09-2008 06:07:58 | More by blackie
Photo of barefootbrewer


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

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

10-24-2007 23:17:24 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of coachdonovan

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

in typical Stone fashion, it takes me a full minute and a half to read the treatise on the bottle explaining this beer. hopefully the expectations aren't too high.

color is very dark but not quite all black. think: the color of root beer. BIG big fluffy khaki head leaves great lacing. both aroma and taste are reminiscent of an IPA but with a decent malt base as well. the hops here are more floral than citrus, but they're not overwhelming. the bitter finish is there, but again, it doesn't decimate the palate. this is pretty oily, so i would like a bit more carbonation.

this one definitely grew on me. i wasn't blown away at first, but everything is in balance. the abv is right where it should be, you get some sweetness, some bitterness... it just works. i would definitely buy this again.

04-18-2010 19:03:48 | More by coachdonovan
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours almost a stout like black with one finger of fluffy tan head that settles after a bit.

Smell: Citrus and piney hops, smokey malt and some chocolate notes.

Taste: Bitterness from the hops hit at first, followed by burnt malt, coffee and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, well carbonated and slightly hot.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer from Stone. I had this when it was the Anniversary beer and loved it then. Extremely glad they brought this back, at $6 a bomber, this is a great deal.

05-13-2010 23:24:18 | More by Axic10
Photo of dstc


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours a dark, almost black color with a generous dirty, cream colored head. Head falls oh so slow leaving behind big, sticky lace.

It has a real nice floral hop nose. Bit of a roasted and sweet character to it as well.

Nice roasted malts up front followed by robust flowery hops. Bitter and sweet battle it out to be the prominent taste. Ends with a lingering bitterness.

Rather full in the mouth and fairly smooth. Slightest bite.

Nice brew. Another job well done by Stone.

01-18-2010 14:24:05 | More by dstc
Photo of GbVDave


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours an incredible looking near-black with faint garnet highlights. Creamy, khaki-colored, two finger head that leaves gobby sheets of sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

S: Hops and brown sugar dominate this one with a touch of chocolate and roasted malt as well.

T: Grapefruit hop flavors explode all over this one! Along with the major citrus is a seething undercurrent of brown sugar or molassas, bitter dark chocolate, and roasted malt.

M: Very bitter and spicy. I found an interesting chocolate aftertaste in the finish as well. The hops grab ahold of the tongue and just refuse to let go!

D: Drinkable to the max. What a surprisingly dark treat.

11-07-2007 00:23:56 | More by GbVDave
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A black ale, eh? The only one I’ve ever had was from Stone, and I really didn’t like it (15th Anniversary Ale) – I’m not one to give up on a style, though, so bottoms up!

Two months to the day before this one hits its best by date (“Enjoy by 06.14.12;” love Stone’s laser-etched bottle dating).

A: A smooth black body, letting only a tiny amount of light through, pours like coffee from the bottle. Love the head: it comes up from the bottom of the body, churning and rising like the famous foam of a Guinness. It transforms into a rich three fingers of off-white (which looks incredibly vivid compared to the supremely dark body), taking literally minutes to settle to a thick retention with oily lacing. It’s an interesting, intense look for a beer; the perfect first impression for a badass brewery like Stone.

S: Loads of pine hops in the nose, bright and flowery, but with enough oil to leave this one with a feel I can only describe as dank. Stone really knows how to open up a beer with hop character, and that’s exactly how this one starts. The blackness of this nose has that not-so-pleasant licorice and fusel note, just like the Anniversary Ale, but this time it is enveloped by viscous chocolate, cinnamon-sugar, molasses, vanilla ice cream, and gingerbread. I like this combination of flavors: bitter hops and dark, roasty, sugary malts.

T: One word: juicy. The hops are rich with resiny oils, beginning with a subdued assault of pine sap, lavender, and lemon rind; they’d make any hophead’s mouth water. Then comes a smooth pattern of roast-heavy malts, bringing in the syrupy character of toffee and chocolate icing, a sugar-blast of dessert tastes. Cinnamon flavoring (like Hot Tamales), ginger, blackcurrant, coffee with cream, walnut, tons of char, tobacco, and an earthy musk roll around in the malt tirade, leading to an herbal, leafy end note; however, the majority of this brew’s dark aftertaste shows an acidic, citric dryness, some menthol coolness, and a light alcoholic tendency that is ends up somewhat metallic. Now, I know I give a timeline of tastes, but the flavors are so close together in this one that they all seem to roll out at once, giving this beer a lasting impression of chocolate-covered pine cone. Interesting, Stone…

M: Bubbly and hot, this brew’s body lends its character to the spicy hop presence of the palate. It thickens up as it gets warmer, but not by much; if Stone was going for that drinkable tingle of great beer, they got it.

O: This has given me hope for the American black ale style – what a combination of powerful hops and even bigger roasts. It’s an interesting palate, for sure. That’s really the main thing I like about this beer – that it’s unique (as are most of Stone’s offerings) – but as far as dark, hoppy beers go, I think a stout might be a bit more satisfying for my tastes. Of course, that’s not to say that this beer doesn’t have its place. If you really want to see where this one stands out, grab something salty, garlicy, or just plain spicy and crack a bottle – the darkness will soothe your burn, and the hops will rile it up at just the right times.

04-15-2012 00:27:18 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of btuthill


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours a coffee-like color from a classic stone bomber. Doesn't look terribly thick. Great two finger frothy head follows the liquid down the glass. smell is hoppy - mainly grapefruit bitters - with some chocolate and licorice. taste is great - nothing like you'd expect from the color. tastes like a grapefruit heavy DIPA. the flavor is nice, but could perhaps use some age to chill the bitterness. mouthfeel is perfect - smooth and velvety without being clingy or cloying. drinkability is perhaps limited by the ABV and the overprevalence of bitter hops.

nice beer. thanks to cdviking for the trade.

05-03-2009 01:38:02 | More by btuthill
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Bottle courtesy of Irishboy, thanks Richard! Pours deep, deep brown letting some light in around the edges. The head is toffee coloured, frothy, and I like how long it lasted in my Stone IPA glass. This beer shows aromas of fresh hop flowers, coffee beans, vanilla, grapefruit, and some smokey, dark chocolate. The flavour profile is uniquely Stone's. There's a hop/grapefruit/citrus component leading into a porter like dark chocolate/coffee middle. It is also quite roasty with just a small amount of toffee sweetness towards the end. The finish is chalky, astringent, dry. Coffee bean, hoppy lingering aftertaste with an espresso bitterness. Quite a treat. Thanks for sending this my way Richard

02-15-2010 00:12:04 | More by mrmanning
Photo of JMad


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

From a bottle to a glass mug...
Pours black, almost opaque with a fluffy two finger head, left nice lacing.
Smells like sweet grapefruit and floral hos.
Tastes sweet and has a citrusy-piney bitterness, with a hint of wood.
Feels very dry, and gets smoother as it warms.
This is a top notch very enjoyable beer.

09-25-2010 00:48:13 | More by JMad
Photo of BrownNut


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Bottle to tulip, served cool. No date.

A - 4.5 - Pours root beer brown, is black in the glass. Very pretty cream colored head - thick, creamy, textured, and enduring.

S - 4.0 - Smells really nice. Aside from a general hoppy note there's a sweet note that is almost the sweet of cotton candy, but leans a bit caramel. Maybe some orange.

T - 4.0 - I'm getting something part way between a nice caramel and a stiffer black malt. There's a bitterness that is both hop and grapefruit. The sweetness is pleasant and the bitterness stiffens it up nicely. The afertaste is where the bitterness really comes in fully and sticks around, more of a hoppy bitterness at that point rather than grapefruity or black malty, but there's some grapefruit flesh on the exhale. I'm not tasting hop ghost here, but I'm pretty sure I'm sensing a depression where there used to be something more. Despite that it still has good character.

M - 4.0 - Medium bodied and smooth. Feels nice.

O - 4.0 - I think I've only had one other black ale but I'm liking the style. I forgot about this in the back of my fridge for I'm thinking more than three months, and my store is notorious for old shelf stock. So I don't know how old this is but it could be substantial. Don't see a date. But knowing Stone I imagine it would have been a good bit hoppier when fresh, and that may explain the depression, which I won't quite call a hole.

01-31-2013 02:19:37 | More by BrownNut
Photo of Buschyfor3


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

12 oz draft served at Flanagan's Ale House. They were having a Stone release party... first time a keg of SSR has ever been tapped in Louisville, KY. Just missed out on scoring some free Stone glassware... oh well!

A: Quite dark and imposing - really looks more like an imperial stout than an American Strong Ale. Near black body with a slightly off-white, not-quite khaki colored head. Really, had it not been for the head, you could have fooled me into thinking this was a big stout. Good lacing on the glass after each sip.

S: On looks alone, a stout. On first whiff of this beer, all doubt is removed. Definitely a Stone IPA - huge piney/resiny hops off the top, followed by some lighter floral notes. There is quite a malt backbone to this beer with some strong, toasted bready aromas lurking underneath. Just a kiss of sweetness in the nose, though I'm not sure if its residual sweetness from some of the lighter hop aromas, or if its from some dark molasses/brown sugary goodness in the malts.

T: Reminds me alot of AB - huge hoppy punch up front with alot of earthy pine notes and some more delicate flowery flavors. Then the malts follow - black malts, toasted bread, some caramel or maybe its molasses to temper the piney bitterness. Nice contrasts, from huge pine flavors washing into sweeter malts and then fading back into a lingering hop bite for the finish. Malts try to compete throughout, and while they make a strong case mid sip, the hoppiness of this beer ultimately stands out and wins in the finish. Not overly boozy, but you do start to pick up the alcohol once the glass warms up.

M: Solid carbonation off the tap, lending itself to a slightly oily mouthfeel. It was what I expected from a hopped-up Stone brew.

D: 8.7% ABV and I can feel it as I finish the glass. Never really felt the alcohol was too prominent in the taste, but I feel it warming my insides.

However you wish to classify this beer (American Strong Ale vs. Black IPA) its not bad. My only complaint is that I kept thinking about how to differentiate this beer from Arrogant Bastard, and really I could only convince myself that the appearance was the most distinguishing factor. Otherwise, I though the flavor profiles were remarkably similar - not a bad thing since both beers are quite tasty! That being said, its a unique hybrid style and one that I enjoyed. If I see it again, I'd like to give it another try, just to see if I can try to further distinguish it from the AB.

08-12-2009 03:59:23 | More by Buschyfor3
Photo of FosterJM


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

510th review on BA
Bottle to Tulip

**11th Anniversary Review**

Thanks Siggy125 for this extra!!

App- A wonderful cola brown with a two finger head that was super slow to recede. This is 4 years old. Could've fooled me.

Smell- A little faint roast, some dark chocolate, dark fruits and a unique hop kick. Just very aromatic and full on the nose.

Taste- A very big beer. Nicely sweet with a few layers of flavors. Nice dark malts with some chocolate and hops. No fade on this thing. Just very tasty.

Mouth- Very medium bodied and very carbonated. The feel is hops and some dark roast. Nice, just nice.

Drink- This was such a welcome extra and completely unexpected. I will have to have the SSR to compare recipes. If I had access to more 11, I'd be happy.

05-24-2011 03:51:49 | More by FosterJM
Photo of DavidST


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from a 22oz bomber, best by date of 09-08-11.

This beer has a nice look, its mostly black with some dark brown edges where the light gets through with a brown head which leaves good lazing and has good retention. The hops are the strongest smell with the roasted malts and some alcohol smells. This has a medium thickness. The taste is mostly of bitter hops, to a lesser extent there are some roasted malts and a molasses taste, but they are overpowered by the hops. Overall an excellent beer and one I'll continue to buy again, but from the few American Black Ales I've tried, I actually prefer Hop in the Dark to this one, I think its better balanced between being very hoppy and having flavorful roasted malts, still this is a great beer.

07-05-2011 18:45:11 | More by DavidST
Photo of crazeguy


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Dark jet black color, tiny amount of light penetrates this beast. Brown head.

Smell, tiny hint of pine and citrus. Malt smell is noticable.

Taste is pretty uniform. Like a lighter arrogant bastard that is better balanced with sweet and bitter. Could have more flavor though, but it also helps with the drinkability.

Mouthfeel is laced by a hop aftertaste that is pleasant.

Drinkability is outstanding. Could go bottle for bottle of this.

04-16-2009 09:16:35 | More by crazeguy
Photo of cvm4


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A - pours a very dark brown with a nice 2 finger hazelnut head.

S - a strong hoppy presence up front developing into malts with coffee & chocolate in the background.

T - It has a full range of flavors. From coffee to chocolate to malts and ending with a hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation. The dry finish leaves you wanting for more.

O - Black IPA's are a nice change of pace for me. This is the best one I've tried to date.

10-05-2011 00:47:14 | More by cvm4
Photo of jmdrpi


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

22oz bomber, no date.

pours black, with a nice tall khaki-colored head. great lacing and head retention.

aroma is a nice mix of roasty malt and flowery hops. the taste follows, with a flavorful mix of dry malt and sticky hops. well balanced, but the hops linger.

lower carbonation, smooth. i polished off the bomber pretty quickly, easy to drink and no notice of the almost 9% abv.

11-16-2010 02:57:14 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of DNICE555


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

On tap at the B with Zapps. It's a stone show tonight with this offering, the ipa, and the 09 double bastard. Had the ipa plenty of times and the double bastard once so I went with a sample of the double bastard and a pint of the sublimely slef righteous. I had this pint for free as well as the rest of the meal. Zapps made the mistake of betting me on movie trivia. Yes, Benecio Del Toro was in the Usual Suspects. On to the review.

A - Dark brown with a reddish tint.

S - Hops, roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate.

T - Complex, hoppy, roasted malts, dark fruit, a malty sweetness, nutty.

M - Tight, well balanced, smooth, nice carbonation.

D - This one holds up well. Ive had it in a bomber. I'd have to say it's even better on tap with a bit of age on it.

03-26-2010 02:34:22 | More by DNICE555
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: pretty much black. Head is the color of fresh espresso. Creamy and fluffy. Head drops to a spotty cap. Sheets of lacing stick to the glass.

Smell: Pine resin and some serious citrus. Black patent malt, chocolate malt, and some seriously roasted malts. Bitter chocolate and some dark cocoa as well. So chocolatey. Burnt in good measure. Mellow backing sweetness.

Taste: Creamy roasted chocolate. Big slap of oily pine with some grapefruit zest. Chocolate malts aplenty. Cocoa nibs and smooth milk chocolate sweetness. Burnt and then some. Black patent goodness. Hops are huge, but so are the malts. Aggressive but balanced for what it is.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a mild carbonation. A touch dry. Super smooth.

Overall: This is one of the better approaches to the "Black" IPA. Massive flavor but manages a balance. I set this as the benchmark for the style.

06-25-2012 01:06:13 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of JCaweinstein


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Black in color with some dark brown highlights around the edges of my Sam Adams Perfect Pint. This beer has a light tan two finger head that sticks around untill the beer is empty. There is a lot of carbonation and there is a wonderful lacing left down the sides of my glass. This is a very nice looking ale.
I am picking up a variety of aromas from this ale but I really have to agitate it for them to show. The aromas that I'm getting are mostly malt based with some yeasty notes coming out as well. I'm picking up caramel, roast, and raisins.
The flavor of this beer is a little more complex than the aromas where I'm getting both malt and hop flavors. First I get the roasted malt and caramel flavor which is followed by a light citrus hop flavor. The finish is one that really reminds me of my morning coffee.
Sublimely Self-righteous is a medium bodied beer. It's mouth coatingly smooth up front. It's intensity picks up midway and on the finish where I get roastiness, citrus, and coffee. It leaves a significant aftertaste as well.
This is a quality ale. The great thing is that it's now being sold in 4 packs as opposed to the 22oz format. I'm a fan of Stone and will continue to support them by purchasing more Sublimely.

01-12-2013 20:38:40 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of joepais


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

I thought that this brew was extremely interesting style. So I had to try the stone take on it. Again Stone tends to take their hops seriously I figured a black IPA form them would be one to try.

Bottle pored into a stone IMP pint glass produced a gracious two finger off white to brown head on top of a dark brown body. The head turned into a nice lace that followed the body of the brew down the glass.

There is a huge hop nose on this brew you just can't get past it. This wasn't to much of a shock coming from stone. Big old grapefruit with a tad bit of roast in the end. The flavor was interesting to say the least. You get a good bitter hop flavor with a slight roasted bitter coming thru in the end. That basically sums it up.

I finished the bomber with no problem, and enjoyed every drop. I would buy it again for a hybrid style, I think it is worth the try.

10-15-2010 17:44:41 | More by joepais
Photo of Hopheadjnr

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Bottle into goblet

A...almost pitch black with a quickly receding light brown head. Great lacing.

S...lots of pine and grass. Smells a bit like being in the mountains.

T...getting mostly the roasted malt right up front. A bit of black coffee and then the bitterness of the hops fight for your attention.

M...nice carbonation. Feels a bit heavy on the mouth. A full bodied brew.

O...nice winter beer for us hop heads. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like hops used may not be just right to compliment the malt. Something seems ever so slightly off. I bet this will go great with a maduro cigar. I will try that combo tomorrow.

12-12-2012 03:33:18 | More by Hopheadjnr
Photo of Mayhem976


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A- On the heavy side but not super thick, the head is impressive and left allot of lacing. It looks black but when you hold it to the light you get a reddish brown hue. Very pretty looking beer!

B- All kinds of stuff happening here, I smell bitter hops, citrus notes, some type of floral something or rather (sorry), molasses, barley, and semi coffee smell. Bitter hops will dominate your nose.

T- You can't put this into a category, you get a sweet brown ale flavor for a fraction of a second then B00M! You're slapped in the face by bitter hops, I love IPA's, this flavor sorta has that taste profile but yet you get a sweet taste in there as well.

M- On the thick side and semi creamy.

D- Overall a solid brew from Stone, what they were going for? I'm not sure, but they managed to break the mold on beer categories and put out a special ale (that's what they call it) and it works very very well. IPA lovers take note.

10-12-2009 15:38:21 | More by Mayhem976
Photo of BeerManDan


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured a very dark brown with a medium amount of tan foam and a fair amount of lace on the side of the glass. The smell of hop's with a hint of roasted malts was evident on the aroma. The taste was of a bitter hoppy flavor with a mild sweet roasted malt flavor also. There might just be a touch of chocolate, but, more of a roasted malts flavor. Nice balance of soft bitter/sweet on the finish of the American Strong Ale.

03-02-2009 00:26:25 | More by BeerManDan
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,121 ratings.