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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,610 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4610
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: 4,610 | Reviews: 1,801 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ThePortlander
ThePortlander

New York

4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 20oz of this at Mugs Alehouse in Williamsburg after Pies 'n' Thighs. It was dry hopped with Amarillo.

Almost pitch black with a thick, luscious tan head. Great sticking power on the head, it never went away. The smell is great, with tons of spicy hops bursting through the coffee-like malt backing. The flavor is fantastic as well, giving off tons of complex malt flavor, with those citrus-like bitter and peppery spice notes that are unique to the Amarillo. So good. Kinda snuck up on me though. One flaw: the hops could meld better into the beer.

Serving type: cask

04-12-2012 00:41:14 | More by ThePortlander
Photo of Lockbreeze925
Lockbreeze925

United Kingdom (England)

4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.25

Just for the hell of it, I'm reviewing the UK-only cask version of this beer, which (to add to the fun) was available on gravity dispense from a cask mounted on the bar. That won't happen often.

This brew (part of the Wetherspoons fest) is UK-brewed by Stone and is significantly moderated down to 5% from the normal strength. Still, it retains the essence of the original with a massive hop punch involving a piney overall taste, coupled with an understated coffee/roast presence and a long bitter finish. Very bitter.

Appearance was naturally flat, with a small cream-coloured head lasting reasonably well on top of the blackness. Aroma was all wet hop impact.

Mouthfeel...er...not the brewer's fault, but that presence on the bar counter, with only a thin jacket for "cooling"...meant the beer was virtually room temperature, much too warm for any beer, never mind a black IPA. However (making imaginative adjustments for the heat), I'm giving high marks for the beer that lurks within the warmth, which is a bitter hop delight. If it had been on hand-pump, they would have needed a crowbar to prise me away.

Serving type: cask

03-31-2012 17:20:56 | More by Lockbreeze925
Photo of theghost3
theghost3

Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the Avenue Pub on 4/29/11.

Pours a deep, dark opaque brown with a 3-finger tan head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is mostly piney malt with a hint of charred malts. The taste is burnt, bitter malts with pine and floral hops. The hops are prevalent, the malts are easy to pick up. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, crisp and carbonated. Feel reminds me a lot of Guinness.

This is a nicely hopped Black IPA. The toasted malt taste does just enough to offset the hops. Watch that 8.7 ABV.

Serving type: cask

05-10-2011 03:33:01 | More by theghost3
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Varga Bar, 3/19/11.

A-Pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a foamy cap of tan head. Great retention and good lacing.

S-Tons of piney hops, perhaps the most aromatic cask beer I have ever run across.

T-Rich roasted malt, tons of piney hops and a sold but controlled bitterness that really sets this beer apart.

M-Medium bodied, the bitterness, while restrained, does linger.

D-Excellent. A great black ale by any delivery mehod.

HV

Serving type: cask

03-29-2011 15:09:41 | More by sholland119
Photo of yardguy
yardguy

California

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this from a cask at The Yard in Santa Monica.

Poured with a thick head. Very dark and murky.

Nose was very hoppy. citrus and malt

Taste was hoppy and bitter. Very smooth mouthfeel, but definitely a hoppy finish that lingers.

Very drinkable. Great in a small glass. Too much would definitely wear your mouth down. Great beer, though.

Serving type: cask

01-12-2011 08:06:58 | More by yardguy
Photo of jpro
jpro

South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a "special cask" (extra dry hopped with amarillo hops) sent by Stone to the Closed for Business birthday party in Charleston last week... from notes...

A: Black with some red around the edges; khaki head is small (cask), but leaves a lot of patchy lace.

S: Mindblowing... citrusy, grassy hops; tropical fruit is also evident in the hop profile; some malt sugary-ness in the background. But, oh so hoppy! Man, the amarillo dry hop on this makes for a delicious aroma!

T: Sweet, tropical fruit concentrate / hoppy nectar; some acrid bitterness on the finish; great stuff.

M: Medium bodied and super smooth.

D: Great drinkability considering the abv - there's almost no hint of it in the taste. I'm a big fan of the "regular" Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (which also utilizes amarillo hops, but not at this level!)... this version definitely takes it up a notch... great stuff! Not sure what the availability on this one is, but if I ever see it again I'll be sure to have a couple -

Serving type: cask

12-20-2010 15:50:31 | More by jpro
Photo of msmezher
msmezher

California

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

Sublimely Self-Righteous was my first beer on cask, and while I really liked it, it didn't floor me as being incredibly good. It poured a solid black, with a light foamy head that lasted several minutes of sipping. The beer had a fairly light body with a malty taste and a strong hoppy finish. Slight chocolaty and roasty flavors were present, but nothing overall that greatly impressed me, although I might have enjoyed this over Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Black Ale.

Serving type: cask

11-01-2010 23:31:27 | More by msmezher
Photo of Lldeegan
Lldeegan

Louisiana

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a tight, creamy khaki head.
Aroma of citrus and some dark malt
The sweet malt is first on the palate with a burst of tart, juicy grapefruit hidden inside, then fades into dark roasty malt combined with some lasting bitter pine in the finish. Very complex, very interesting beer and overall style.
One of my favorite styles and this is incredible on cask

Serving type: cask

09-21-2010 07:54:38 | More by Lldeegan
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dry hopped with amarillo. Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms in Hollywood - served in a goblet.

Seal brown with a ruddy desert sand cracker of foam forming a lasting spotted head. Creamy heavy curtain of lace clings doggedly.

Chocolate malt, ovaltine, fresh grassy hops, and a touch of hemp in the nose.

Sweet dark roast malt, cherry pits, chicory, burdock root, and leaves on the palate - followed rapidly by a wave of hops characterized by earthy peppery spice, low fruitiness, moderate dusty bitterness, and faint grapefruit. Finishes slightly sweet with caramel overtones.

Medium bodied with light astringency and moderate carbonation (especially for the serving type).

The cask delivery ramps up the drinkability quite a bit for me and delivers the flavors with a certain purity.

Serving type: cask

09-16-2010 04:18:37 | More by augustgarage
Photo of localhost
localhost

California

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask @ Beachwood BBQ

Pours very dark yet not very heavy and remains very drinkable. Mine poured with quite a bit of head, however this was likely due to the temperature of the cask and was kept under control. Many different flavors come at you at once, but they work very well together. Good flavor and scent of hops but much darker than a traditional IPA. A good amount of roasted and malty flavors, a little similar to arrogant but still quite different.

Overall a very good beer with a strong flavor. If you like arrogant, then you will like this one.

Serving type: cask

09-12-2010 04:02:11 | More by localhost
Photo of femALEist
femALEist

California

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

Black IPA dry hopped with Chinook. Funny, I literally just had the regular Black IPA version of this on draft at Pi Bar this week.

This poured a dark chocolate with a touch of light cream.

Nose: Mmmmm dry hopped mixed with some light malty deliciousness and some grapefruit skin bitterness.

It tasted hoppy with a good roasted malt backbone, then roasted coffee, then back to a bitter grapefruit skin finish.

Good carbonation, great mouthfeel.
Sooo good. I LOVE this freaking beer. I can say hands down, this is the BEST Black IPA I have ever had! It has SUCH an incredible balance of being a hugely hopped IPA with a soft, sweet malty balance. Mmmm mmmm good.

Serving type: cask

04-28-2010 20:53:26 | More by femALEist
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of a gravity dispense cask. Out of the many cask brews that I've tried, this might've been the best. It's almost a perfect IPA. It's very dark, almost black like Guinness. Perfectly balanced with hops and a citrus/fruity mix to it. Absolutely awesome.

Serving type: cask

01-15-2010 21:07:08 | More by Amalak
Photo of natelocc787
natelocc787

California

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark beer leaving great sheets of sticky lacing around the entirety of the glass. I'm not surprised to smell the big hops in the nose. With Stone they do it big with hops in almost all beers they brew. Very complex and dark for a Stone release with bunches of prunes and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is silky, creamy and complements the bitter finish letting the character of this beer linger on the palate. Get one if you see it!

Serving type: cask

10-19-2009 22:00:55 | More by natelocc787
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
RidiculedDisplay

California

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Beachwood BBQ - a treat to find this on cask, so I figured I'd review it this time even though I've already had it on tap here before they put the cask on (oh how I love Beachwood).

Appearance: Full three finger vanilla bean colored head, which is quite impressive, but settles to a quarter-finger after a time. Lacing makes this one take a bit of a hit, as it is pretty spotty and fleeting, not lasting too long, but it exists, at least. Body is jet black.

Smell: Pine, grapefruit, perceptible alcohol, sugary malt base. I swear I smell banana on the back end of this beer. Who knew? There's something, I suspect, about the hops combining with the roasted malt that creates that impression. This is incredibly (incredibly) hoppy smelling, and has a bit too much alcohol on the nose for me to rave about. Additionally, the "Black" aspect of it is lost, for the most part, with the exception of my aforementioned banana theory - it's basically a hop bomb that looks black, nose-wise.

Taste: Whoa, banana! Like, literally, I taste banana on the front end most prominently. I guess that's a sign that the roasted malt is asserting itself here better. Still, it's also a sign that the roastiness is competing, desperately, with the hoppiness, and mostly losing. Pine, lemon, grapefruit citrus hop flavors follow. Some caramel on the back end. This is a hop monster, still, but I found this more balanced and more interesting than the nose.

Mouthfeel: I wrote in my notes, "it's a cask pour." Enough said I guess - it's creamy, smooth, carbonated fine, and room temperature, what one would expect.

Drinkability: This is so damn hoppy that it takes a while to put one down. Compared to the only other "Black IPA" I've had so far, Warrior Black IPA by Pizza Port, this is like a Double IPA versus a "Regular" IPA," but not in necessarily a good way. I think when experimenting with this new style of sorts, more brewers are going to have to balance out the stout flavors and the IPA flavors. It may be an IPA first and a stout second, alright, fair enough, but still. Anyway, I congratulate Stone on pioneering the style, though, this is getting a TON of praise from people I've met in person and on BA.

Serving type: cask

03-10-2009 00:20:11 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, the re-release of Stone 11th,

A: Pours black, with a creamy off-tan head, good retention. Soapy lacing.

S: Not getting huge notes here, light scent especially for a cask offering. Some chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate hits immediately, but is soon overwhelmed by sharp pine needle bitterness that sticks and tingles on the tongue. Roasted malt is an undercurrent, though the hops tend to dominate much more than I remember in the 11th, perhaps it is due to the serving style.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied/light carbonation from the cask. Sticky resin with a long aftertaste.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, another solid offering from Stone, a tasty imperial pint to be had if this beer is found cask-conditioned.

Serving type: cask

03-09-2009 20:15:54 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of paytoplay
paytoplay

California

3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at O'Briens SD. Funky, blast of hops on the nose. A bit of sweetness, very complex, herb and vegital. Extremely long length. Color was black with a brown standard type cask head. Hops really dominate and the malt create a unique brew. Much different from the 11th bottle enjoyed a week prior. Interested to see how current bottles compare.

Serving type: cask

02-06-2009 17:27:25 | More by paytoplay
Photo of samtrillo
samtrillo

California

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Creamy tan head and beautiful dark dark red body.

S - Sweet roasted malts with some hops

T - Um.. yum! Sweet malt and roasted caramel underneath with a bevy of hop and citrus IPA characteristics.

M - Smooth upfront and carbonated later with a bit Alcohol at the end.

O - Really enjoyable and not everyday flavour. Down to have one of these whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:02:15 | More by samtrillo
Photo of gonzo000
gonzo000

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a. Was not expecting a black ale - deep and dark with a two inch head on the pour.

s. Smells like a sweet ale. Malt and hops with sugar or molasses (color might be bringing me to molasses).

t. Sweet tasting ale. Quite nice. Alcohol hidden well, as is the case in most stone products.

m. Very nice, good carbonation.

o. Very enjoyable. The light feel of this black ale is surprising.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 02:00:12 | More by gonzo000
Photo of blackcompg
blackcompg

Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into glass. 7/14/14 freshness date. 8.3 % abv.

Appearance- Quite dark and opaque. Nearly black with a monstrous brown-tinted head that lasts. Not unlike a stout.

Smell- Intense fresh aroma of pine. Citrus is prominent as well with hints of orange peel. No shortage of smell.

Taste- Much the same profile as the smell, keeping up with the superb freshness. Elements of pine and an earthy malt flavor are made much apparent at first. This is followed by a grapefruit blast of hops. The bitterness afterwards is right on par with this generous hopped beer. Perhaps a slight roasted malt tone but this was easily passed by the pine/grapefruit transitional blast, if there was some roasted flavor. This was not indicative to the look.

Mouthfeel- Very heavy thick and creamy in texture, this was aided by the super high carbonation.

Overall- I was impressed. This is a strong yet smooth hop bomb. Easy drinking and packed with flavor. Possibly one of the biggest heads of all my bottle pours. I never had an ale so dark. What an awesome, heavy brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 03:51:52 | More by PA-hunter
Photo of OldRickSputin
OldRickSputin

Illinois

2.99/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Nice smell. The bottle cap has more aroma than some glasses full of other beers!

Maybe I'm just not a fan of this style but the the aftertaste of this beer is too acidic and lingering. Everything else seems fine but the taste gets worse as it lingers around.

I have no desire to drink another bottle.

This was very close to being a drain pour as I was in the mood for something more substantial.

Again, maybe this just isn't my preferred type of beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 02:39:50 | More by OldRickSputin
Photo of thebrood1987
thebrood1987

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very crisp hop blast. Crisp and dense smelling is the best way I can describe Stone's IPA's. It smells fruity and I can get some orange smells in there as well as the typical flowery hoppy smell and some sweet roasted malts. Smells awesome.

You get the hop crispy bite as soon as it hits your tongue and it evolves into an orange hoppy flavor and then a crisp bitterness with the sweet dark roasted malts melding with the bitterness its amazing.

Amazing hoppy herbal flavors in this one just bursting with flavor. Can't even taste the alcohol wow. What a great beer perfect score for this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 23:59:32 | More by thebrood1987
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey

New York

2.55/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark black with a minimal head. The head dissipated immediately.

S: Dark fruits, figs, slight chocolate and musty overtones. Some hop notes too.

T: Smoke, and some fruits. Astringent after taste that is not pleasant.

M: Smooth but with a bit of a carbonated edge to it.

I am pretty surprised by this one. I haven't had a lot of Black Ales, but I love Southern Tier Iniquity. The astringent aftertaste on this one makes it so I won't have another in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 01:45:52 | More by fscottkey
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 00:56:32 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of McLovinBeast57
McLovinBeast57

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours dark black with medium carbonation that creates a nice tan head as well as some decent lacing. Looks like what you would expect from a stout.

S: The smell is fantastic! Lots of earthy and fruity hops (grapefruit and citrus) as well as a hint of that dark (almost molasses) malt aroma.

T: This is where the beer shines... Very bitter but not so much as to deter you from drinking it. Earthy, floral, and fruity hops show through the roasted malt and peach flavor of the beer. Stone did an amazing job creating a unique style that blends together all the flavors so nicely. Very flavorful!

M: Mouthfeel is perfect. Medium to full body, creamy but very drinkable. The finish isn't dry and those flavors stick to your tastebuds for a while after you sip. Carbonation is spot on with the flavor.

O: Overall this is probably my favorite beer of the ones I've tried so far. Definitely one that you can try more than once and enjoy just as much, if not more, as the last time. Stone has made a beer that somehow has a strong and intense flavor that makes you wish you had another bottle when you're done!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 17:23:08 | More by McLovinBeast57
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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,610 ratings.