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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,599 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4599
Reviews: 1801
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%

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: 4,599 | Reviews: 1,801 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Neecee513

New York

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Black, with tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass, good retention.

S: Pine and citrus notes.

T: Grapefruit and citrus, bit of toasted backbone masked by substantial hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, bitter and dry on the finish.

D: Very good, but hops can overwhelm at times. I paired with a Gouda, which was pleasing.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 02:58:53 | More by Neecee513
Photo of ChillMike


3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Quite shocking to be honest, Pours a very dark reddish brown color, that doesn't let much light in. A nice dark tan head that stays around for a while and leaves some nice lacing, however it doesn't stick around too much.

S: Very pleasant smelling light pine hoppy scent typical of a nice IPA, also hints of nuts, chocolate, sort of a mix of smells between an IPA and a stout.

T: Very earthy taste, lots of bitter hops. A super bitter aftertaste that sticks around. Honestly I may need another review of this but this is a fairly one dimentional Stone Release. I'm not really seeing where the darkness in color is coming from.It does however hide the almost 9% quite well though. Overall a bit odd.

MF:This is where this beer wins. An excellent feeling beer. Just enough carbonation and thickness. I really like the way this one goes down. Quite pleasant

D: Not too bad, it is a hefty and hearty beer, the flavor is a bit off in my humble opinion, probably a once in a while beer.

Overall probably my least favorite Stone brew yet, that's not to say I didn't enjoy it, it's just that I was expecting better things after last years masterpiece. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 03:41:49 | More by ChillMike
Photo of zdk9


3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really sure what the big deal about this beer is, a decent IPA, not really noticing any details from the dark malts.

A- Pours an extreamly dark brown, almost midnight purple. A fingers worth of clumpy light tan head decorates the top of the beer and leaves some nice spidery lacing.

S- Sweet tangerine and orange gush out of this beer to my nose. Maybe a touch of carmel but not much besides the citrus, though I can find some alcohol with some deep sniffs.

T- A hops forward beer with orangy notes dominating the taste. Again as in the nose there is a hint of carmel malt but really it's all hops. In the aftertaste I notice perhaps a slight hint of dust or dirt flavor.

M- Somewhat syrupy, though not overly so. Bitterness is nicely balanced with some sweetness.

D- There is a fine taste in this beer but it isn't mind boggling just hops hops and some hops. While I notice the balance in terms of bitter/sweet, I'm hard pressed to detect any malt flavor in the nose or taste. I liked this beer but not enough for the price and not that special for an anniversary beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 05:58:38 | More by zdk9
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like stone!

Appearance: Blacker than I expected, a bit of mahogany brown to it. Small head on the pour, no lacing.
Smell: Piney hops but too much dark malt, fair amount of bitterness.
Taste: Not as strong as I expected, big malt backbone. Might have a touch of tea to it? I can't tell these Stone beers apart, had this with the 13th and felt they were remarkably similar. Perhaps some dates/prunes and a touch of chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and Oily
Drinkability: Average for the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 04:56:54 | More by craytonic
Photo of Spider889


3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review taken from VIP tasting seminar at the Columbus Beer Fest.

After having just tasted the Founder's El Diablo del Noche I was expecting a lot from Stone's new black IPA. Unfortunately the balance and finesse was lacking in this brew.

Poured very dark like a mocha porter. Smelled almost entirely of fresh strong hops. There were the normal oily hop notes and mild citrus aromas of massive amounts of dry hopping. I personally didn't detect any roasted malts here.

The taste is of a pure and utter hop bomb. My first thought was - "my god this is hoppier than Ruination!" If I remember correctly the Stone rep claimed that they don't like to release the actual number of ibus on this one because once you get to a certain point most palates can't tell the difference anyways. In any case, this is to this day the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted.

Mouthfeel was hot and prickly from the hop bitterness.

Drinkability was really low. I would struggle through a whole pint of this I fear, and I love IPAs. If you want a hop bomb then this beer is for you. If you want something with the complexity that a black IPA would suggest then I would recommend trying something else.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 08:37:38 | More by Spider889
Photo of NorCalYeti


3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malts, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt finish, sour toast

color- chestnut, deep brown

clarity- appears clear but too hard to tell because it's dark

smell- roasted malt, chocolate

body- medium-length finish

appearance- flat with a little off-white ring of carbonation

notes and comments- i wouldn't characterize this as a double ipa as it was billed at the festival

beer spy- double ipa festival, bistro, hayward ca, 2/12/11, 6 oz. glass

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 01:13:04 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my review of the bottle version:

I liked this beer a lot but didn't really see why Stone made it. They have a number of strong ales, some weaker (Arrogant Bastard), some stonger (Double Bastard). This beer is a little darker in color than both and I think a little less hoppy. It's also darker.

I would definitely get it again but just don't understand why they're introducing this style.


It wasn't the best beer I'd had. Not interesting enough to justify the high Alcohol by volume and too strong to drink as a refresher.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 14:16:59 | More by david18
Photo of kcopelan002


3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving- bottle to pint glass
Appearance- A thin tan head. Dark black and Opaque
Taste- very bitter hops at the beginning. some hints of malt.
Smell- Strong hoppy smell
Mouthfeel- moderate carbonation
Overall- the has a very overpowering hop taste. which made it hard for me to taste everything else. It is a good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 18:52:39 | More by kcopelan002
Photo of MWolverines66

New York

3.51/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap in Arlington VA. It pours a nice jet black color into a tulip glass. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is a little weird to me, not sure if it's possible that my palate just isn't appreciative of black ipa's (this is my first one) but there really isn't too much flavor to this beer. It has a nice balance but the hops bite I get from other IPA's just isn't there on this one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2013 20:00:23 | More by MWolverines66
Photo of beersabound


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a toughy to review b/c what is a American Strong Ale, really? Anyways, it is very dark brown on the edges with a dark center and that is is where the center of darkness ends. The aroma is hops with some licorice, roasted malt and alcohol thrown in.

The flavor is bitter up front with a bit roasted malt and alcohol again followed up by some resiny hop flavor. Tasty and mouth pleasing for sure but the alcohol flavor detracts a bit for me.

It's medium full bodied with a full mouthfeel. It's not velvety at all but not unpleasant or chalky at all. It's drinks wel lbut not something I'd pair with food. I tried it with some beef ribs and plowed over the ribs and sauce and said "So, what's next?"

Ballsy concept with good follow through. I like it but not love it.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 07:42:28 | More by beersabound
Photo of lackenhauser


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruddy brown. Somewhat muddy in appearance. Floral and fruity aroma. Sort of "burnt" smelling. Quite bitter up front against a mellow malt flavor. Very grainy tasting. Long lingering bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is ok. A decent enough beer but I am not sure what its trying to be. I would like to see Stone do something with a little less hops in it. I mean, I am worthy and all but its time for a change in spots.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 23:14:45 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of opwog


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Listening to: Murda Corner - Oh No You Did't

A- Looks black, but in actuality is just a deep dark brown when held up to moderate light. Brownish thick head that leaves a rather thick disc while drinking all the way through.
S- Hops floated up to my nose as I poured it. It smells like an imperial IPA, but I was not catching the dark roast in the smell.
T- roasted malt, mild coffee, some choolate in the aftertaste
M- creamy, almost stout like. Carbonation looked like it might be high when I pured this, but it was actually a nice balance with a thicker body.
D- This si actually a decent drinking dark IPA. I would like to see more breweries experimenting with this.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 05:21:53 | More by opwog
Photo of bheilman


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker than anything I've ever had from Stone minus their imperial stout. I was expecting a little lighter color. It's nearly porter in color, but a little bit lighter, sort of red. The head was nice and stayed around for a while. The taste was good with a bitter old ale flavor. It reminds me a bit of the german alt style. It is a little fruity with hops but mostly exhibitsa solid malt flavor; caramel, raisin, with a bite of peppery spice. There is very little hops in the scent. It barely has any scent at all, but definitely more malt than hops. The aftertaste is good, and the beer is smooth. I would not guess the alcohol content as the bite is minimal compared to some beers over 8%. Not my favorite Stone, but worth a try, especially if you like this style.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:51:18 | More by bheilman
Photo of kingcrowing


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a magic hat tulip.

Pour a very deep dark brown with a thin light brown head. Nose is malty and rich with some good hoppiness.

Taste is fairly similar to arrogant bastard, it's rich bitter and roasty all at once. Basically it a palate pummeled. Really nice cramy mouthfeel makes it surprisingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 22:32:36 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sublimely Self Righteous Ale pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head and lace stickage. Smells of piney hops, some malt, and earthy/woodsy elements. In the flavor, dry hoppiness and some light citrus and pine notes. Sweet caramel malt backing and some booziness. Nothing exciting, more raw and strong flavors. Overall, more of a strong ale than a black ale, would like a more pronounced roasted malt flavor and less booze. Nonetheless this is an ass kicker.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 05:02:29 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BJA


3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter

A: The beer is black but not quite ebony. Some light makes it through when you’re viewing it from an angle (and through a small section of the beer; a half inch or so). I got ¼ inch of head on a medium pour. Head is tan, a little creamy and it dissipated in 60 to 90 seconds.

S: I get lightly roasted malt scent followed by fresh flowery hops. There seems to be a hint of dark chocolate and coffee along with an alcohol scent that became much more apparent after the first sip.

T: The roasted malt makes more of an appearance and mixes with the hops in an interesting way. It seems to mute the hops a bit and creates a bitter, roasted black coffee taste with the alcohol a bit too heavy.

M: This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation is fitting. It has a longer finish. It leaves a bitter roasted coffee aftertaste on the roof of my mouth and the back of my tongue.

O: I have always found this beer to be like a roasted, more alcoholic arrogant bastard. I enjoy it every once in a while, but it’s not in my regular rotation like many other stone offerings. It is a really interesting beer to me though. The hop bitterness and roasted malt interaction is cool. I don’t find the beer as bitter as the IBUs testify. I wonder if this beer is best fresh. I wonder if aging this in oak barrels would be beneficial in bringing out some flavor. I definitely find it too heavy on the alcohol in scent and taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 03:35:54 | More by BJA
Photo of reeder


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, unexpected dark color. A respectable tan head lasts for a while then fades away.

Warm hoppy flavors on the nose. Almost a barley wine type scent.

Interesting flavor. Like a really bitter stout. The hops are definitely there, but not the standard citrusy hops such as in the arrogant bastard. The taste evolves until there is a lasting malt at the end.

A little too carbonated. I'm definitely going to hang on to one of these for a while to see if it settles down a bit.

Overall, actually a pretty drinkable beer. A respectable attempt at an unusual style. I would like to see Stone investigate this a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 06:29:27 | More by reeder
Photo of Rayek


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 00:53:47 | More by Rayek
Photo of Ryan011235


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Dirty Frank's on 7/30/10

Reviewed as a Hoppy Cascadian Porter...Meh, I'm just going with American Strong Ale on this one.

Dark hued. Lighting makes it tough to tell, but it appears to be brown with a few ruby highlights. 1/8th inch head has retained well thus far. Good retention & great, solid lacing.

Has a dank, hoppy aroma reminiscent of a Cascadian Dark Ale. Floral & citric notes. Lemony pine-sol. Roasted dark malts in the back.

Tastes very dry with a slow moving bitterness. Quick hits of citrus zest add a semblance of spice. Roasted dark malts are equally dry; actually seems to have hints of cocoa & coffee grounds.

Full bodied with a decent amount of grit. Carbonation is fairly smooth. It isn't boozy, but has a weird, numbing effect. Roasted residuals linger with a long lasting, dry bitterness.

This is a weird one - smells like a CDA, tastes like a hoppy porter. Therein lies the conundrum. Good, not mind-blowing. I did this review while drinking the first 2/3rds of the glass. The last bit still had enough strength to cut through after eating some of Dirty Frank's excellent hot dogs.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2010 02:21:42 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of Lordquackingstic

New York

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, dark black with probably one of the best lacings I've ever seen. Super sticky with thick lines of lacing.

S: Malty tropical fruits! Cool, but not really my thing.

T: Follows the nose with a citrusy, super malty taste. Orange peels and milk chocolates.

M: Full and not as thick as it looks! Medium carbonation.

O: I don't think my palate knows what to do with black ales just yet. The tropical notes just don't seem to mesh well with the heavy malt. This is good, but nothing I'd by again. Don't think I can appreciate black ales.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 01:41:46 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of Chris_Mac

New Hampshire

3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker than I was expecting, almost a black copper. Malts dominate the smell, big taste of caramel malts, dry hop bitterness, and alcohol. The head diminishes quickly, but leaves thick swaths of lacing on the way down. Hint of thick, syrupy mouthfeel, but vey pleasant. A strong filling ale, with lots of character. Definitely not an everyday ale, but makes a good impression when the occasion occurs.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 23:13:33 | More by Chris_Mac
Photo of belgbeerdrinker


3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: almost pitch black with dark brown highlights, thick brown head that settles to 2 fingers depth and thick lacing
s: mix of hops and roasted malts aromas, bits of chocolate
t: soft malty start and middle with hoppy backbone that becomes more dominant in the finish, strong roasted malts also in the finish with moderate alcohol warmth
m: creamy body, with moderate carbonation especially on the back
d: interesting mix of ipa hoppiness and stout roasted malts that packs a punch. not the best stone brew i've had but still enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2007 20:18:28 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of JayQue


3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had big expectations and the beer was not up to them. Pours a real dark brown with very limited light getting through. Average tan head with decent retention and ok lacing. Smell was weak. I probably drank it too cold but the taste went from being very mild to a a mixture of styles as the beer warmed up.

There were elements of a RIS, Belgian Ale and bitter hoppiness in the taste. Rather than calling it complex, I would say that it was all over the lot...trying to please everybody without making a stand on style and taste.

Mouthfeel was rich and Drinkability improved as the beer warmed. This would not be a beer I would seek out again if I was looking for a high octane sipper. Not bad but not great either.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 02:11:06 | More by JayQue
Photo of stephens101


3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first black IPA, how exciting. Been a while since I've had a completely new style.

Pours dark brown with penetrating red hues throughout. The tan head is prolific, bubbly and resilient; causing an anxious delay before all systems go. A few eliptical lines of lace poke out at the top.

Earthy hops rise to the nose upon initial inspection. Another take reveals a few notes of malt and nuts. Tastes hoppy with a lingering roastiness and dim notes of chocolate.

Obviously well-carbonated and lies medium on the palate. The alcohol warmth becomes more discernible as the beer warms, becoming a bit hot at the end.

A lazy man might define this as a hoppy porter, or a malty IPA, which would be a keen juxtaposition, but there's much more going on here with the interactions that you can't quite pass it off as a simple crossing of styles.

A very interesting brew and successful experiment of a style if nothing else, but a brew and style I will probably only revisit when I'm in a definite mood for something this unique.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 00:25:38 | More by stephens101
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice tan rocky head that is nothing but a skim in the end. Some good rings of lace. Zero clarity.

Big pine and alcohol aromas. They didn't skimp on the hops, and the chemical alcohol gets right in your nose, but that is all I get. The charred malt is so faint that it could be imaginary.

Nice complexity. Strong hops up front. All pine and citric notes with an immediate switch to charred malt and alcohol, with bitter coffee and a diminishing long bitter finish. This is an astringent brew. The palate clears to a very dry light bitter pucker.

Fuller bodied with a nice carbonation prickle. Light tingle from the alcohol as well.

I like this beer, but it is one of the few that I wish I had less of. The bomber is too much for me. Maybe it is the strength of hops (duh, it is an IPA) or just the astringent nature, but by the time you are wrapping up the remainder (I have 1/3 pint left as I write), you are ready to move on. Hop heads will want to bathe in this stuff. Hop-appreciative folks will have respect for it but less affinity. Worth a try just the same. A very good, well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 23:07:31 | More by OtherShoe2
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,599 ratings.