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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,740 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,740
Reviews: 1,888
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 702 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,740 | Reviews: 1,888
Photo of spree92
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once I cracked this open, an aroma that made me smile filled the air. Pours a thin black that turns cola color in the light around the edges. Small head but some even lacing. Smell is bitter but not of hops, initially. Slightly burnt grainy malts and molasses lead into some earthy hops, grass, spruce and citrus peel. Taste is so weird, in a good way. Jumps back and forth from malts to hops to malts to hops and back. After is sits a bit, the finish is a nice roasted coffee bean flavor. A bigger beer at 8.7%, but this is pretty thin and very easy to consume. Alcohol is hidden behind all the changing pieces as it doesn't know what to be. One drink a malt beer, next is IPA. Excellent beer from Stone, should we be surprised.

Photo of WaXHeLL
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Pours pitch black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Head dissipates a very thin layer, but laces the glass extremely well. This is what a proper beer should look like.

Smell:
Ripe pineapple overwhelms the smell of this beer initially. Citrus flavors also are present in the nose. Slight hints of roasted malt and floral hops. Extremely interesting.

Taste:
Roasted malts and big hops dominate the taste. The pineapple again is ever so present, but balanced nicely with the rest of the taste. Slight hints of coffee, pine, and citrus flavors. The hop note is huge, and contributes a good amount to the bitter taste. The finish however is a mix of smooth (surprising) and bitter. Pineapple flavors are also present in the aftertaste. I'm generally not a fan of the sweeter beers, but this one is done extremely well. Not too sweet, and not dry either.

Mouthfeel:
Not as heavy as I expected. Medium body (and almost border-line light, as light as this type of beer can be). Light carbonation. Pretty creamy for the style, but not creamy in the grand scheme of beers.

Drinkability:
Real easy to drink, and could definitely drink this a lot. APV is not present at all.

Overall:
Extremely interesting beer, and definitely worth it. Complex, yet extremely well executed.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Beautiful obsidian color with a light khaki head. Nice head retention on this one. Moderate lacing. I read the bottle and it said IPA, but this appearance is throwing me off. Strong floral hop aroma, sweet pine, and a light dash of citrus. I am pulling some tart green apple. Some sweet malts makes this remind me of a barley wine. Very hoppy, slight citrus with a very sweet yet subtle malt characteristic. Great grapefruit taste. This makes me crave a barley wine for comparison. Definitely more hoppy than a barley wine but the malts are wonderful in this. The mouthfeel is a little on the dry side for my liking, but understandable with the high alpha hops. Mild carbonation. A nice treat. I am going to try to age one of these just to see what happens.

Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a Chimay glass. Enjoy by date is listed as 5/13/09. Comes in at 8.7%.

A-Pours black with a fluffy one finger tan head. Some bubble clusters stick on the inside of the glass. Lots of lace.

S-Fresh citrus hops with some pine in there. Not getting the roasted malt or alcohol.

T-Citrus comes through, particularly lemon. The citrus hops coat quickly leaving some lingering bitterness. Tastes of roasted malt and chocolate can de detected on the back of the palate.

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D-Where's the alcohol? This is very easy to drink. Should have bought more than one.

I really enjoyed this beer. I had the 11th when it first came out and I loved it. I love how this beer does not taste like you would think based on its black color.

Photo of THE-DUDE
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am typically not a big fan of black ales, but this is by far the best i have tried! It smells like an IPA, looks like a porter, and tastes fantastic. Floral, hoppy, slightly piney, and slightly sweet. Drinks very smooth and conceals the 8.7 very well.

Photo of BrainDad
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hopcat in GR. Except for the bitter element of the hops being a bit too harsh, this is an exemplary Black IPA. The nose is what really gets me. It has that rich, earthy, citrusy hop aroma reminiscent of Founder's Double Trouble (as a reference).

Color is a rich, ruby black. Seems a bit thin on the tongue at first but really rolls off nicely. A nice head to start with good lacing as I work down the glass. I could really drink a lot of this on a hot summer day. That's where the bitterness really pays off!

Photo of Chris7482
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such an interesting beer. It has the hop profile of an IPA, but the malt profile of a porter or stout. Pine resin taste from the hops and a roasted taste from the malt. Also, a hint of chocolate or espresso as well. I would definitely have this beer again. Another great from Stone,

Photo of IBUnit63
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome deep dark root beer cola color with maple walnut 1-finger head that dissipates with great sediment/water level lacing.

Loads of caramel malt and roasted coffee ice cream scent. Hops are oily and floral with mild grapefruit tinge. Velvety and silky. Solid.

Let's let this warm a bit - alcohol burns heavy at first with grassy hops. Lots of mocha here - malt is looking for an entrance...and there it is - big, bold and bountiful.

Clean but smoky - nice coffee coating. Long but tight finish.

Drinks nicely - could use a little more age - definitely a mid-range sipper.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the brewery today after some munchies at the bistro.

A: Pours a super dark almost black color. More of the darkest brown the spectrum can go. Addorned with a gorgeous 3-4 finger high mocha tan fluffy head that left a veiny web of lace.

S: Smell is full of fantastic fruity citrus and mango hop aromas.

T: Great bitterness full of juicy sweet citrus and resinous pine flavors that are backed up with these slight roasty and nutty malt flavors that leaves hints of coffee on the tongue. Delicate yet complex balance here that is just so good. Slight warming on the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is such a great light to medium body that is creamy and rich in texture. Nice peppery bitterness and a slight ABV warming to it.

D: A very tasty beverage that is incredibly hoppy and light in body despite its appearance. The hops and balance really have me on this one. Very surprising and always a pleasurable brew.

I got to experience this brew at the 11th Anniv. release before I had ever even heard of the Black IPA or Cascadian Style Dark Ale. I was immediately taken by the hoppiness and that great balance or marriage of dark roasty malts here. Glad they decided to make it a regular. One of my fav Stone offerings so far.

Photo of jdhowe
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle, Enjoy by 08/08/13 (not clearly printed, so it's possible this isn't the date).

A: Pours a deep brown (very minimal light passes through the edges, revealing a deep brown color, but otherwise it's black) with 1 1/2 fingers of foamy mocha head. Plentiful lacing down the glass.

S: All hops. Piney, earthy hop aromas predominate, followed by light alcohol.

T: Strong hop bitterness, a sweet malty backbone filling out the flavor profile, with coffee and roast flavors on the finish. The coffee was undetectable on the nose for me, and is a truly pleasant surprise.

M: thick, oily, and moderate carbonation. This coats the mouth and stays long after the sip.

O: I am very impressed by this beer. While I am far from a huge fan of Stone, this is definitely one of the best beers I've had by them, right up with Espresso IRS and Enjoy By. I would not hesitate to have this beer again, and I will probably purchase it again if I am in the mood for a black IPA-type beer, which is really what this reminds me of. If Hop in the Dark were available year-round, this would have a bit more contest, but as it is, this may become the go-to for me in its style.

Photo of MadCat
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Almost black, in light you can see hints of red. Small head that disappears quick. Amazing lacing, large portions of my glass are covered!

Smell: Hoppy with some hints of malt

Taste: Amazing. Some bitterness to be expected for the style. Hoppy, with some roasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, good carbonation, more beer needs to have mouthfeel like this

Drinkability: Could drink a few of these, but the hoppiness would slow me down, but thats a matter of my personal tastes.

Overall, excellent. It is clear why this is in the top 100, and why Stone decided to continue brewing it after it was an anniversary beer.

Photo of kgotcher
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours very black with tan head, med density foam clears quickly.

Aroma is suprisingly hoppy, expecting a strong stout, instead I get an IPA-ish sweetness with stong citrus hops, Almost lemony. . .

First sip is confusing, color says chocolate malt, roasty and toasty but flavor is sweet with mild chocolate and toasted malt tones. Very nice super citrusy finish of hops. You could almost swear there was lemon in this beer.

Unexpected is the word for this beer. Very hard to believe it is almost 9% ABV since it drinks like nice summer time brew with a tip to a porter. Sweet, citrusy, balanced, flavorful. This is not exactly the powerhouse I expect from Stone but I like it. Stealthy!

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style.

Photo of humuloner22
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am getting into black IPA's, actually, I have been for a while bu this is the first time I have reviewed one.

Appearance: Black, but not totally light free, there is some light that escapes, looks very much like a porter. Not totally black and absorbs light like a Imperial stout, but from a distance you might think that it was.

Aroma: Some hops, burned malts, some caramel sweetness, but nothing like a stout. This is an animal all of its own.

Taste: Hops, bitterness, like a bitter dark chocolate, but definitely like an IPA, but with some charred malts incorporated. It is what you would expect to taste if you blended a pale ale or mild IPA with a light stout or porter. I am intrigued by this combination.

Overall: I like this style of beer, its not better than any of the other ones I have had, but its not really worse. They all are around the same in quality, at least the ones that I have tried. This one is worth seeking out. I have a 4 pack of Founders Dark Penance I am looking forward to trying, I am interested in seeing how this compares.

Photo of AJNIDEK
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of delta490
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep clear, ruby-tinted brown. The bottle only poured about 1/2 finger of tan head, but it had good retention and left some nice lacing on the glass.

S-deep malt, some pine hops, chocolate and anise are aromas I got at one point or another. Complex.

T- In a word, delicious. Matches the aroma in complexity and pulls it off beautifully. Burnt sugar and pine hops are the two big flavors but others dart around in the background.

M- full and enjoyable. A little oily, too.

O- a great complex ale. It doesn't fit into any one category but crosses types on multiple occasions.

Photo of Tballz420
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black ale. Off the top of my head i can't think of too many of these.

The brews pretty "clear" in that theres lots of hues that can come through, but its a black body. Big tan head still all over the place. A bit of malt on the scent, but its dominated by a massive hop profile. As Alvey at Four Firkins said when he described it, the beer will mess with your head. Its a hop bomb, but it looks like a malt monster. There are nice sweet malts, but the hop oil is what this is about. Much thinner bodied than a stout/porter. Cool beer, very interesting.

Photo of JToad
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So I picked up a bomber of XI, and IX tonight, trying the XI this evening, tomorrow I will do the IX.

I served in a tradition pint glass (moved, all I could find).

Apperance: A lot darker than I anticipated, being an IPA/ASA of sorts, I expected it to be a little lighter.

Smell: Hints of caramel, grapefruit.Hops smell beautiful, if a little understated.

Taste: Very bitter at first, yet smoothes out after a few sips. For as dark as it is, seems very light.

Mouthfeel: As I said above, very light, doesnt linger like most IPAs, or American Strong Ales. Very smoothe.

Drinkability: At first, I thought I would be dissapointed. But this beer gets better as you sip it, Almost half way done, and its real nice.. Very solid beer. Not dissapointed at all. Curious to try the 9th Anniversary tomorrow night, see how well its aged. Stone continues to never let me down..

Photo of lhaqq
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nearly opaque black with a generous dense dark tan head. Looks almost like a nitrogenated stout.
S: Lots of hops initially though the smell still is subdued. Pine and a bit of maltiness.
T: Most of the taste seems to be a floral hoppy bitterness. Begins, though, with some bittersweet chocolate and light roast coffee. But there is a big grapefruit finish that was unexpected.
M: Enjoyably lighter than expected from the taste and abv.
D: Refreshing and can't taste the high abv.

Photo of jroberts8811
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City, MO. Poured into tulip

A-pours dark brown/black - cannot see through it. Head is minimal, to be expected with this ABV. tan/off white with great lacing.

S-smells of lime, hops, citrus, malt, brown sugar, dark fruit.

T- Bitterness from the hops ar the star. malt undertones, coffee, chocolate notes. Smoky/peat notes

M- medium bodied, somewhat sticky/resinous.

O- Great overall. well executed, though it's not my favorite style. Really big, bold flavors you'd expect from Stone.

Photo of BenjieK
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, brown highlight in the light. Nice tan head. Beautiful lace. Gorgeous.

S: Sweet dark malts and grapefruit and pine. Great west coast hops.

T: A little sweet at first, almsot milk chocolate, with a great hop punch that is mostly grapefruit.

m: Maybe a little heavy on the carbonation, but good.

D: Very rich, but considering ABV, very drinkable.

Photo of crazybrody06
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a 16oz snifter. Pitch black, big tan head, did I mention it was black?
Smell was hops, hops, hops, some sweet hints in the backgrounds.
Taste was perfect hops without the horrible bitterness of some very hoppy beers. Some sweet fruits chocolate.
Mouthfeel was full bodied, easy to drink, just the right amount of carbonation.
Drinkablity surpised me, it took me about an hour to finish the bomber put I could drink more.
Overall a great looking beer, great hop flavor without the bitterness, decent drinkablity.

Photo of SanDNigel
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into stubby tulip
A- Dark brown to almost black with a nice tan tight head
S- All I can think to start off is sweet grape juice, then after the head disappears it turns to sweet hops (I guess Chinook mostly) with a solid dark roasted malt backside. So uniquely sweet and hoppy.
T- The way the hops play off the darkness is fruity in nature. The alcohol is hidden deep inside this flavor forest. Blueberry, concord grape juice, with a sprinkle of citrusy-pine and chocolatey-coffee. Nothing I've had that really truly compares.
M- Heavy bubble in the 1-10, 10 as the largest bubble, 3 range. Not quite teeny tiny, but small and tight. Surprisingly refreshing.
This is a really good beer. Not one I would like to drink every day, but sparingly it stands out as a true champion of beers; all beers. It's not quite inside any true style (I don't think), it kinda stands on it's own on many levels. If you haven't tried it, you most definitely should. But don't be afraid to leave this one for later in the night. It will not be pushed around by others.

Photo of vincicle
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer might actually live up to it's nihilistic name such is the depth and surprise of this dark yet hoppy creation. The smell is an intoxicating herbal hoppiness from the dry hopping as soon as you open it, and it pours a elegant dark black/brown with a full finger head. The nose is strong on hops but also has the notes of roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The taste is wonderfully floral at first and dissipates to a slightly bitter roasted maltiness with an alchoholic kick at the end. This is a beer that stays with you after you've finished as you reflect on, "just how good was it?" One of the better beers I've tried this year and a certain reccomendation for anyone who likes more experimental tastes.
Bravo Stone

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,740 ratings.