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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.

5,097 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,097
Reviews: 1,819
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 224
Gots: 410 | 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: 5,097 | Reviews: 1,819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cooncat


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Had this on tap at Ballantine in Willoughby, OH. during their IPAloosa fest (Feb. 2010).

Delivered to my table in a 'shaker pint' (which isn't really a pint, if you didn't know that).

Beautiful full, almost opaque, dark brown color, with a nice finger width of creamy, eggshell colored head. Relatively good head retention for a beer of this size, and some good lacing developes after each sip.

The nose is West Coast hops, which is expected, and a light malty sweetness just in an undertone underneath that hop aroma. The aroma isn't huge, but it is very pleasant to this hop-head.

Taste is similar to the nose, but more balanced. I was more impressed that this wasn't a "in your face" hop bomb, but rather a more balanced hop forward ale, with good malty character behind all those hops. Dark bread and fruit flavors dominate the maltiness. Mouthfeel is medium full, and very nice to swirl around in the mouth to pick up subtle flavors; creamy and not astringent. The carbonation level is just right for this style. I could find very little wrong with this brew, and it was my favorite IPA of the night (had 4 IPAs). Stone definitely knows how to do IPAs ... on that most craft brew aficianados will agree. I could only go to 4 on drinkability, simply because this isn't a session brew. I think you could have 2 or 3 of these no problem, but beyond that, you are headed for the 'Twilight Zone'.

I will not hesitate to recommend this brew to any craft beer lovers. Since its *nothing* like a Ruination, even non-hopheads will appreciate it. Seek it out, and if you can find it on tap, its even better (imho).

Na Zdravje!

02-13-2010 12:29:19 | More by cooncat
Photo of deruiz10


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A - Two-finger head is tan and very creamy, retains throughout the drink and leaves a great webwork of lacing.

S - Toasty malts, slight brown sugar sweetness, and a whopping helping of hops. Anyone who's had some of the other strong Stone brews knows the distinctive, juniper berry-esque hop smell that characterizes these beers. There is remarkably little alcohol to be detected.

T - Toasted earthy malts, some dark chocolate bitterness, molasses. Also a big hop presence which is citrusy and crisp, though less bitter than other Stone brews. These hops are more subdued and serve to mask the alcohol, though it's still there if you look for it. Finish has a mild hop bitterness, with a slightly sweet and sour undertone as the body fades away.

M - Creamy yet relatively high in carbonation, keeps it from feeling too weighty.

D - A great sipper for the strong beer drinker who's not afraid of some hops, this is a great addition on the mellower side of the Stone lineup. It's pretty well-balanced and not overbearingly heavy, but you'd be wise to take her slow.

12-21-2009 00:09:51 | More by deruiz10
Photo of ectomorph


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

22 oz bomber split with a fellow beer geek. Review from my notes in my 33 Beers book.

A - Black body shows some dark brown edges when held to the light. Thick dense dark tan foam persists and leaves a thick sheet on the glass.

S - Whoa, West Coast IPA smell, loads of hops - pine and grapefruit - with a hint of chocolate.

T - Whoa again!! Big upfront bitterness is balanced by a roasty sweet bread malt interior and then the hops blast you again in the finish. Complex and inviting, this brew has a lot to offer in the way of flavor. You get the pine and citrus hop bite mixed with a dark chocolate. Very nice.

M - Moderate in body, similar to that of a porter. Creamy but not rich. Great carbonation and feel here.

D - For an almost 9% brew, fairly high. I am very impressed and will purchase again as I feel there is so much going on here, I can't nail it all down here...

09-01-2010 14:02:45 | More by ectomorph
Photo of EtOHMD


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

First beer I had at new good beer bar in Cambridge Lord Hobo. Caught my eye as a black IPA - my new favorite style. On tap into 12 oz tulip glass. Pours black with creamy off whie head. Lots of lacing going down. Very nice. Smell is mainly floral to me. Taste is great but I was having a hard time pinning it down. Citrus, coffee, roasted. Recent reviews describing it as ipa up front and stouth at the end are dead on - wish I had come up with that on my own. Thin but not watery feel with nice warming feel from the alcohol. Excellent brew but one is good for me. Already feelin this one.

03-27-2010 22:14:36 | More by EtOHMD
Photo of BeerDawgs


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A 22oz bottle bought a year ago. So most likely the 2011 version

A - Pitch black, not much lacing. But a creamy, tan lace coating left on the top of the brew looks nice

S - Hoppy pine notes, and something sweet. Very well balanced nose. Smells delicous

T - Delicious! A very hoppy black ale. Not enough though to be considered a black ipa. Sweet hoppy ale

M - Creamy, full bodied, well carbonated. Great mouthfeel

O - Great. Like any Stone brew, very hop forward. But well balanced, and tasty. Well done! Heres to 11, and 111 more!

12-01-2012 03:39:55 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of Spica66


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A: Very dark brown color. You can have as much head as you would like to pour with this beer. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: Mostly hops in the nose.

T: When it was cold, all I could taste was hops, so I left it for 15 minutes and came back. Now we have a rich, malty taste to go with the hops. Much better!

M: Full body, good carbonation.

D: As soon as it got warmer, I drank the bottle right down.

Very cool brew. I am not sure that I even would compare to anything that I have had before.

06-16-2010 14:04:30 | More by Spica66
Photo of JimmyTango


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A: Almost black, moderately clear (too dark to tell really) and a great, sticky, lighter than expected head.

S: Citrus, dank, pine, floral, and carmel malts in that order. The black color seems to work its way into the smell by integrating with the base in a nice toasted sweet bread kinda' way.

T: Really great. THe hops are sticky and prickly. The malt is sweet enough to play off the hops in a grapfruit juice way before finishing pretty dry with a hint of warm toast to compliment the hint of booze.

M: Just like I like. Med and sticky.

O: My favorite “Black IPA” so far. Actually one of my favorite beers. None of the yuck-y cream cheese taste that seems to be ever present in hops in the dark and back in black, just smooth roasty malts and really big citrusy and floral hops. Hella!

05-02-2012 22:21:24 | More by JimmyTango
Photo of cbak999


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

A - black. A nice 1/4" close-to-white head dissipates to a thin head the covers the beer completely. I don't notice any lacing on the glass.

S - most abundant smell is roasted malt. Also hints are caramel detected.

T - drinks like a roasty, black IPA. Very thick. Bitterness sticks with me after each sip. It's a citrus-type bitterness.

D - Great sipper. I like the complexity. The alcohol is hidden nicely. I will likely purchase this Stone beer again!

08-21-2010 22:44:03 | More by cbak999
Photo of gueuzeonhigh


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Gorgeous beer. Pours almost bible black with a frothy lasting head that births large and small bubbles as it "works".

Hits of hops and malt in the nose- maybe a hint of toasted oats?

The flavor is sublime. A strong stance ale -- almost a stout-- maybe a stout but it doesn't have the malty underpinnings of a stout. Bitter hops slathered with toasted malt. But in the end after some consideration the over-all flavor isn't that complex.. maybe it's the mouthfeel that keeps me going...

A long long lasting finish and hangs around with a hops flavor reverb bouncing off the walls.

A sublimely enjoyable mouthfeel-- it's a coating not a beer!

Drinkability-- even with a higher ABV there is enough "body" to this beer so I could see myself having emptied several 22 oz bottles and being welded to my seat but in beer heaven.

12-06-2010 00:00:26 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of Vengeance526


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a dark brown color with a foamy tan head that retains nicely and leaves a little lacing.

Aroma of citrus and pine upfront with some caramel malt also present. Some roasted malt is also found but the hops seem to be most prevalent.

In the taste, the caramel flavors are more noticeable upfront. The hops again make their presence known as a strong burst of grapefruit comes in the middle along with some lemon and pine. Towards the end, some darker flavors come out again as a touch of chocolate/coffee is evident in the finish.

Medium bodied witha creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this was very interesting to try and something I look forward to having again.

06-29-2010 01:08:14 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Serving Type - Bottle

APpearance - Black, dark tan, very massive 3 inch creamy head, plenty of lacing.

Smell - Hops, malts, a semi smoked spice. Grapefruit, some alcohol too.

Taste - Dark malts mixed with spicey hops and spices. Has a kick to it for sure. Does have a coffee flavor hidden in there.Very well balanced. Not real bitter since the malts and barley mellow hops out. Really diffrent and tasty.

Mouthfeel - Its bold, strong and coats whole mouth but doesnt wreck palette. Its pretty thick and chewy with the aftertaste. I taste hops big time with the swallow.

Drinkabilty - I would give it a higher rating but it is 8.7%. I had no problems drinking the 22oz, and actually would have loved another one but its strong enough that i woulda been in trouble. This is the best black ipa ive had so far, its very well balanced and a real pleasure to drink. Stone nails another one!

01-07-2011 04:40:07 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of deereless


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

A: Lots of frothy to espresso like head, dark brown to black in color, slight viscosity is noticeable from a swirl of the glass - 4.50, S: Quite a contrast in aromas - loads of charred grains and ash mixed with some citrusy hop aromas, burnt cherry, possibly some anise on the nose - 4.50, T: Dates and figs which add significantly to the sweetness factor, lots of specialty grains - especially chocolate malts and also some coffee grounds, alcohol is noticeable but not disruptive - 4.25, M: Creamy mouth feel - 4.50, D: An very enjoyable and drinkable beer - 4.25

06-26-2010 00:25:09 | More by deereless
Photo of blackcompg


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

Appearance - Poured a quick 2 fingers of rich tan/mocha head, body appears to be opaque, but when held up to a light is a tranparent, and the deepest dark red garnet I've ever seen. Lots of carb activity within the body, creating a lingering rocky 1 finger cap, lacing is a thickly lined foam that coats the inside of the glass.

Smell - Big citrus nose of orange peel and red grapefruit, semi-sweet roasted malt, rich soy sauce, some slight floral and herbal hops, very light sweet basil.

Taste - Wow - begins with big citrus hops of lightly candied orange peels and big red grapefruit flavors which are quickly joined with flavors of unsweetened molasses, touch of soy sauce - then some toasted pumpernickel crust, then the hops return with a mouthful of citrus piths and dried peach pits, and some bitter florals and herbs.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel on this due mostly to the bold flavors (almost rich feeling) that fill the mouth. Carb is lower side of medium and is silky smooth foam across the center of the tongue but ends in bright, sharp edges over the sides. Some light heat remains in the throat after each quaff.

Overall - I've had black ipa's in the past where it seemed like a mediocre ipa was "blackened" in the hopes of improving it, not the case here. This feels alot more like a fantastic ipa that has been enhanced with complimentary flavors of roast, soy sauce and a whiff of molasses. A wonderfully complex and balanced black ipa/ale. Must try!

04-05-2014 04:20:43 | More by blackcompg
Photo of brureview


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

This beer is best enjoyed with the suggested serving temp: 40-45F. The lower temps bring out
the grapefruit intensity and chocolate.

The beer poured an opaque chocolate color with less than a 1/2 finger head in a ballon glass.

The aroma was light chocolate with hints of coffee.

The mouth feel is moderately carbonated.

The taste is quite unusual: a grapefruit bomb laced with chocolate. A black IPA style- more hops, chocolate, roasted malts melded together.

As the beer warmed, more vanilla and less chocolate. It is better at colder temps.

The hops and the bitterness in the finish are indicative of the Stone Brewery signature.

This beer is unusual: diverse tasting elements are brought together in an odd balancing act: light chocolate aroma, intense grapefruit and a special- crisp, refreshing hops and bitterness.

07-26-2013 02:01:31 | More by brureview
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a very deep brown color bordering on black with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is big and robust of some nice hoppy and roasted smells. There are lots of roasted malt smell as well as some other darker aromas of a bit of coffee. Along with the darker aromas is a great dose of hop, with a grapefruit hop aroma the heaviest, but being accompanied by some nice pine and earthy hop smells as well. Rounding out the smell is just some hints of sweeter aromas with some light orange smells as a hint of molasses.

Taste – The taste starts with a rather roasty malt flavor with some coffee and a bit of a caramel sweetness. An earthy and pine hop flavor are present right from the start, beginning the taste with a rather decent hop flavor. As the taste advances, the hop grows more and more intense with the lighter level of caramel sweetness that was also present right at the start of the flavor fading a bit. A bit of a grapefruit hop flavor grows on the tongue as the flavor advances, but the biggest hop flavor increase comes with the pine flavors as they really grow quite potent toward the end of the taste. Along with the increase in the hop, the roasted flavors grow stronger as well as growing a bit grainier and burnt in nature. With the mix of roasted flavors and the rather big pine and other hop flavors, one is left with a rather robust, darkly hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are very nice for the mix of pine hop and darker flavors and make for a great sipping, but still very drinkable dark IPA.

Overall – A rather tasty and moderately stronger black IPA. It had a nice blend of big pine hop flavors and roasted malt that would leave one craving either of these flavors (if not both) rather satisfied.

03-18-2014 00:56:32 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Alextricity


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

$6 bottle from Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Enjoy By date was a week ago at most, but that's not enough to make me whine to the waitress or owner.

Appearance: Opaque black, it seems. Nice tan sort of head on top with fantastic sip-by-sip lacing for the most part.

Smell: A bit of char, but definitely piled with hops... definitely a black IPA on the nose. No fruitiness that I can tell, just earthy, piney hops and some roast.

Taste/feel: The piney/earthy hops are definitely there, but some sort of citrus is in the flavor that I didn't get in the aroma. The hops dominate at the forefront, with a roast/char aftertaste. A nice body on this one as well, with a carbonation that's maybe medium-high.

A pretty great beer, and one of the best black IPAs I've had, for sure.

01-13-2014 17:11:44 | More by Alextricity
Photo of McStagger


4.29/5  rDev +1.7%

Purchased a bomber from Von's. Always ignored this and opted for Ruination instead....not this time.

A: Best by 9/16/13. Pours black. That sumbitch is black. No light is getting through that. Thus, I can't tell what the carbonation is doing. Vigorous swirl kicks up a finger and a half of espresso creme colored head. Lacing is good, with bits sticking to the glass.

S: Smelled it as soon as I opened the bottle. Huge notes of grapefruit, pine and other delectable West Coast IPA smells. The malt underneath is nothing of the sort. Notes of bitter chicory, roasted malt and espresso are beneath the big aromas of citrus and tropical fruit.

T: The forward palate is fruity on the tongue. Smoky oily mid palate, with transitions to light roasted coffee before the hops take over and take a more aggressive tone of evergreen and citric soapiness. Running through the finish are big notes of stone fruit, with nectarine being dominant. The aftertaste is dominated by juicy notes of nectarine, with a bit of the soapiness still clinging on. Not a touch of alcohol heat, with it only contributing to the fruity notes.

M: Pretty damn light on its feet considering its pushing 9%. Not overdone. Hell, it's light for the style.

O: I am duly impressed. Gives Wooky Jack a run for its money.

06-25-2013 08:46:28 | More by McStagger
Photo of Pat_McWilliams


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

08-22-2014 01:33:45 | More by Pat_McWilliams
Photo of Boitnott

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from bottle into Bells small tulip glass. The appearance is literally black with almost no light coming through. There are some brown accents and the head is finger deep and cream colored. Lacing is good and lasts.

Smell is of rich black malts, with some floral hops present. Not as strong as I would have expected, but definitely not a let down. Some roast smell also comes from the beer.

The nose has a strong hop presence which is surprising to me because this usually comes out in the finish. The finish has a strong black and brown malt flavor. The roasted barley adds a bit of savory flavor, which goes very well with the equally hoppy finish.

Overall the carbonation and ABV goes well with the flavors, but maybe slightly over carbonated. The full body makes this very strong but the bitter finish balances this out nicely. This beer would go well with a grilled steak. Stone never fails to impress and this one just keeps that trend going for me.

01-29-2011 17:22:14 | More by Boitnott
Photo of metter98

New York

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A: The beer is nearly black in color--some amber is visible but only near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a two finger high beige head that has good retention properties--it died down very slowly and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose along with some hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is well balanced between flavors of roasted malts and a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer goes down very easily; I could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

03-04-2011 23:55:28 | More by metter98
Photo of rlee1390


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A-Black in the glass, two finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Good deal of roasted malt, some pine and a nice hop presence.

T-Nice balance of roasted malt and hops. Nice bitterness some pine and citrus with a tad bit of coffee.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated and creamy.

O-One of the best Black IPAs I've tasted, can't believe it took me so long to try this beer.

05-06-2013 01:51:01 | More by rlee1390
Photo of zoso1967


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours very dark, almost completely opaque with just a little red around the edges when held up to the light. Slightly tan head with great lacing. Aroma of grapefruit, pine and dark malt sweetness. Taste is very well balanced with plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop character and a nice, slightly roasty malt sweetness. Dark malts seem well incorporated with just a little bit of graininess in the finish and some alcoholic warmth. Very tasty and silky smooth. This is a very tasty beer, and while not exactly a session beer, does go down fairly easily. An excellent brew.

01-24-2010 00:38:31 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Phatz


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

A black colored beer with pin grapefruit and resinous hops flowing through the nose and mouth like a DIPA. Who would thunk? Apparently Stone. The Traditional IPAs get a bit dull after a while. A bit repetitious. This is an interesting way to mix it up.

I have now had several pints of this beer. First on-tap at Capones Restaurant in Norristown, a taste out of a bottle and now I have an entire growler all to my self. (long story was supposed to be shared... oh well... more for me =).

At first I thought they were going for hoppy porter with this beer. Hoppy porters seem to be all around me about now. My notes from the first tasting at the bar were rather undecided. My second tasting of it was a bit more convincing. Now that I realize I am on my second snifter of this growler, I am very pleased with the beer.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown almost black color with a beautiful brown head and moderate lacing.

Smell: What is going on here? WOW. I get a big pine, citrus rind resinous hop bitterness, pineapple floral notes and also a black malt, toasted caramel malty element as well.

Taste: Like the nose, it is a muddle of DIPA flavors primarily but with a roasted Swartzbeir underneath all those fresh hops. It starts boldly hoppy. Grapefruit and pine. The flavor turns roasted espresso dark chocolate bitter through the mid to late end of the palate and then the finish and aftertaste is all about the hops once again. The aftertaste cling indefinitely to the taste buds with both coffee bitterness and pin resin bitterness, though all the burps are of the green variety. =)

Mouthfeel: With all the molasses and dark chocolate flavors even a touch of pumpernickel bread, I hoped for a slightly heartier body. This is an easy drinking beer but I don't think it will age well.

Drinkability: Damn, what can I say when I am singlehandedly polishing off a growler. Pretty drinkable beer. With out question. And certainly unique; which I always respect.

Hope this is helpful.

10-16-2007 05:29:34 | More by Phatz
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Much thanks to gkatsoris for this gem.

Poured from the bottle a beautiful dark red brown with a thick and frothy tan head.

The aroma is piney hops, sweet caramel malts, and dark fruits.

The taste is sweet and malty along with raisins, chocolate, and a piney and floral hoppiness. Finish is slightly bitter. At almost 9%, the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

Medium bodied and mouthfeel, creamy, and moderately carbonated.

What a nice strong ale from Stone. No surprise, I'm never disappointed with their products. Easy to drink and enjoy for sure.

06-03-2008 20:31:33 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of medic25


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Served in a generic pint glass. Pours a dark, almost black body with a big frothy tan head. Hoppy aroma. Taste is impressive; big powerful hit of hops, but a touch of sweetness and maltiness that is balanced very well. This beer reminded me of a DIPA and an imperial stout that got together to make something new. The alcohol is present, but pleasantly welcome. Goes down quite nicely; another great offering from a brewery I wish would come to Connecticut some day.

01-19-2008 05:21:14 | More by medic25
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,097 ratings.