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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.

5,231 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,231
Reviews: 1,827
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 230
Gots: 470 | 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: 5,231 | Reviews: 1,827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of threeviews
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter glass

A-Pours nearly black (but when the glass is near empty, allowing a bit of light through, it is more like a dark toffee) with a beige, 1/2-3/4" fluffy head possessing light-to-moderate retention. Boozy lacing slides down the glass as it warms

S-Pine and citrus hops are in the forefront folllowed by mild roasted, chocolate malts. As the brew warms, the roasted malts mesh with the hops in equal amounts...very well done!

T-Everything present in the nose is alive and well in the taste. Hops dominate, but the roasted malts keep it in balance. The flavors really flourish as the brew warms (and that goes for the alcohol presence as well).

M-Despite its menacing appearance, this brew is quite thin and quite refreshing. Very drinkable courtesy of the relatively strong carbonation (uncapping the bottle exhausted quite a blast of CO2)

O-Of the Black IPA's that I've tried, this now tops my list (knocking 21st Amendment's 'Back In Black' to second fiddle). If you like, or are interested in this style of beer, look no further. Let this one warm, as this is a complex concoction that should be enjoyed at (or above) cellar temperatures to elicit all of the flavors.

threeviews, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of vobr0002
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark black color with a caramel colored head that lasts on top of the beer.

S- citrus hops, then the roasted smell comes through to finish. Hint of chocolate smell.

T- a smooth roasted chocolate flavors then followed by a blast of hops. A bit more pine flavor on the taste than on the smell. Lasting bittetness.

M-medium high carbonation level with a slightly creamy feel.

O- I like this beer a lot. Has a very unique profile that leaves your mouth wanting more of the bitterness.

vobr0002, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of TVolt1
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very black. When the light hits it just right, there is a tint of red on the edges. Toffee colored head, small amount with lacing that disappears rather quickly.

S: Malty smell with a touch of dark chocolate and toasted coffee beans.

T: Good taste. Has initial taste of malt and chocolate followed by a hit of pine and floral hops. A little too strong of the pine taste in the finish but overall, I good beer.

M: Good mouthfeel. Medium in thickness and stays on your tongue long enough to enjoy and get a good impression of the beer.

O: Overall this is a decent beer. I would buy it again but am not thinking I would ever crave this beer and have to have it now.

TVolt1, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black as night with light brown head - some ruby highlights when held to the light. Excellent retention and some lacing.

Smells of citrus, pine, and some floral notes with pine dominating the scene.

Big hop slap in the mouth - bitter domination. Pine leads the way and outshines all else. It is followed by some bitter grapefruit. It gets slightly biscuity towards the end, but not enough to add any sweetness - this beer is all bitter & hoppy, but it is good, damn good.

Chickenhawk9932, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of rickards9
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy brought over a 22 of this beer last night. Poured from the 22 oz bottle into one Sam Adams glass and one Long Trail pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown, but with some ruby red along the edges of the glass. Normal pour provided a decent head, probably one finger, and it dissipated very slowly.

Smell: Chocolate. In your face chocolate. My buddy said he smelled some bourbon too.

Taste: I had read that it's classified as an American Black Ale, which usually to me means Black IPA. This one did not have the hops to classify it as an IPA. I got a whole lot of chocolate in the aroma and no hops. The flavor was of sweet chocolate syrup, which gave way to a more bitter aftertaste with some heat from the alcohol (it is almost 9% after all). Not hop bitter, but rather dark malt bitter.

Mouthfeel: Good body on this beer. Pretty thick and heavy.

Overall: I'm giving this a 4.5 right now, mainly because I drank it thinking it was going to be hoppy, and that it was at least 90 degrees in my kitchen. This would be an AMAZING late fall or winter beer, but mid-July? I'll stick to my IPAs and keep this cellared for a few months.

rickards9, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colour with a medium foamy light tan head. Good head retention. Nice lacing.

Dense, piney aroma with a touch of malt. Good.

Slightly sweet malt with no real dark malt character. A hint of caramel. Moderately-high bitterness. Piney hop character. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. A solid, well structured beer.

A really nice Black Ale. Lots of flavour with a great hoppiness. Solid.

dgilks, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of PCampbell
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice deep black that has a thin medium tan head that has great lacing on the edges.

Smells of chocolate and some citrus hops. Tastes the same as it smells with some bitterness from the chocolate. Notes of coffee, roasted malts and some sweetness. A touch balanced towards the hops. Has a medium bodied feel to it with a good amount of carbonation.

A great example of a Black IPA, well worth drinking if you ever have the chance to.

PCampbell, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of hoptualBrew
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber - couldnt find a bottled date or freshness date on the bottle.

Poured pretty agressively into oversized wine glass. Pours a deep deep dark brown/black with a nice finger full of khaki cofee head. Lacing on the glass as consumed.

Smells like fresh grapefruit & pineapple - is intriguing due to the oxymoronical appearance! Deep down under those fruity aromas I can pick up some nice roasted malts, but the fresh grapefruit & pineapple characteristics really dominate the nose.

Up front there is a nice hoppy bite - very fruity mid taste with grapefruit, pineapple, & citrus. On the back end is where I get a roasty hop bitterness with hints of chocolate malts - it works really well though.

This one is silky smooth, really nice body on it. It is not too thin for the roasty characters, but not too thick for the hop & fruity characters. Carbonation is spot on I think. I wouldnt have this any more carbonated than as is.

Purchased at Total Wine & More for $6.99 - which is a solid price I think. I may revisit this one a while from now.

hoptualBrew, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of jgurley
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Coal black and a nice head with excellent lacing. Smell is toasty malt with some espresso. taste is of roasty malts with some sweetness and a hop bitterness. Coffee, dark fruit, oak, astringency, juniper, grapefruit. This is a unique and complex ale that drinks like a combination of styles. Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and sticky with good carbonation. Aftertaste is clean and bitter. Seems like a black IPA. Taste comes off as extremely bitter to me. I'm gonna have to come back to this later.

jgurley, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of Phelps
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a shaker pint.

Dark chocolate brown, with highlights ranging from amber to deeper crimson. The dense, sticky two-finger head of medium tan isn’t going anywhere. Tons of streaming lace decorates the glass as I drink. Quite the looker.

The nose is a bit reserved. Smooth citrusy grapefruit and hints of chocolate malt are there, but that’s really it.

The flavor holds nothing back, however. I get grapefruit juice, pine, caramel, a moderate pithy bitterness and very subtle toast notes. It’s smooth and quite hoppy, but could use just a touch more malt.

I love the lush feel. The medium body is creamy as hot chocolate and met with prickly carbonation. Snappy.

Overall, one of the standout examples of the nebulous black IPA style – which makes sense, as it was one of the first.

Phelps, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of DCon
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 1 Pint, 6 Fl Oz bottle of this from Dierbergs in Ellisville, MO for $4.99. Poured into my LongHammer IPA glass and has a Best By Date of 07.08.11 on the front almost chalked in white on the bottle.

Aroma- Great malt and hop aromas from the start. A hint of roastiness and almost stout like.

Appearance- Pours a 2 finger of off white head that has good retention. Has a deep brown color body and leaves great lacing behind.

Flavor- A very rich and malty beginning with some spices around the finish. Hop bitterness was perfect and perfect drink! A top black ale!

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Thick, Rich, Medium Carbonation, and leaves combo of hop/coffee on the palate.

Overall Impression- And Stone just keeps em coming! Great black ale and will be enjoying this one again VERY soon. It almost reminds me of a Black IPA but not hoppy enough for this style. Great price for this beer as well.

DCon, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of peacebone116
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22-oz bomber into a tulip glass. Beer was bottled in April, tasted son 6/30/11.

A: Black with a retained, light tan head. Auburn hues highlight the body of the beer.

N: Very hop forward pine and citrus.

T/M: Hops and bitter chocolate dance across the tongue together with a medium, oily body. Oils sit on the back of the tongue and hop bitterness lingers.

This was the first time I have had this beer since it was released. I have recently been gaining an appreciation for the BIPA, and I find myself really enjoying this one. I compared in a side by side tasting of SN Juniper Black Ale ('11) and Back In Black. This beer sat on the hoppier side of the spectrum, while the BiB was on the malt driven end. (The Juniper was very well balanced.) SSR is a hop driven BIPA whose spicy and citric hop notes truly compliment the chocolaty malt backbone.

This was an excellent beer and I definitely plan to revisit.

peacebone116, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

DavidST, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted May 13th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a Pint Glass

A - jet brown/black opaque, half finger deep tan head and nice lacing

S - alcohol, pineapple, toastedness, hop sap, flowers, caramel, sweetish yeast, oak, red wine, grassy and very zesty

T - alcohol, tree sap, toasted everything (hops, grains, malts, yeast), flowers,pineapple citrus, sweet, a bit yeasty, oak, grass and something else sweet, can't put my finger on it

M - big profile, carbonated, medium acidity, long finish, very bitter, yet nicely sweet

D - big hop bomb, if you don't like hops, toasted flavor profiles or IPA in general, stay away. If you love hops and stone, this one is a can't miss

Final thought - not an everyday, but as aggressive this beer is and at almost 9% this one should be had every month. if you haven't had it on tap, get ready for a taste bud chubby

whatthehull, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of ggilman
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, Maine. 10 oz.-ish pour in a fluted german beer glass.

A decent two finger creamy tan head, not a lot of lacing present. Midnight black, completely solid. Smelled roasty, with chocolate and fruit. Creamy mouthfeel, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dried fruit, dates. Bitterness lingers. Smooth and creamy, with low to medium carbonation.

ggilman, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pitch black with three fingers of tight mocha colored foam. Nice lacing.

S- Citrus hops and roasted malt. Coffee, molasses and brown sugar intermingle with pine and grapefruit aromas.

T- Bitter citrusy hops up front backed up by a bit of dark fruit. Coffee notes enter mid-palate accompanied by caramel
And toffee notes. Hops charge back in at the end and the finish is dry bitter with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Very nicely done.

M- feel is medium bodied, which works well wih the hoppy character of this brew. Carbonation is perfectly medium to low, and lends a creamy texture to the beer.

O- Overall, this is a very tasty offering from Stone. The hops and roasted malt characteristics are expertly melded into a very enjoyable interpretation of the American Black Ale style. Recommended.

Sideswipe, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of TastyTaste
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone's take on a black ale, should be good. The body is black yet still translucent, good cream-colored head. Roasty, sweet malts, molasses and fruity hops fill in the nose. Chewy molasses and dark roasted malt flavors, espresso and fig also present. As with most beer I have had from this brewery; the hops don't disappoint.This is a high-test, well made beer, it is seeing a black ale through the lens of a skillful west-coast brewer. Very, very good.

TastyTaste, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of grag
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review on a beer that I had about a year ago so this is all from memory and a fond one at that.

Serving from a bottle poured into a snifter. This was (and is) a memorable beer. Dark in appearance. The thing that surprised me and made me fall in love with this beer was after the first sip. The initial flavor was dark chocolatey with a bit of hops to boot and then the aftertaste... Resin toffee candy. I love that candy and to have that in a beer, just lovely.

Sorry not much flowery description here just my impressions on a beer that sets a certain standard for others like it.

grag, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of dcook11
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick three finger slightly tan head. Lacing coats the side of the glass and the beer itself is nearly pitch black with a tint of red when held up to the light. The initial smell is of hops and roasted malts, but as it warms a more piney hop character and some tropical fruit are evident. A touch of alcohol present on the nose as well. The taste is hopy, with just a touch of roasted malt and some alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall one of my favorite black ales. Would love to see this in 4 or 6 packs.

dcook11, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of KidsDoc
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into my San Diego representative "Green Flash" pint glass

Pour was amazing (on the second pour) with an amazing flow of slowly settling tan/espresso head and dark, nearly opaque body - loved watching this one settle into the glass

Aroma was initially hop forward but nice citrus nose. I lost this along the way and only got glimpses after the first few big breaths. Roasted malt predominated the aroma thereafter.

Taste was complex and highly entertaining. First sip was like the nose up front - big citrus hop presence that then became just a small component. What impressed me was the increasing roast/chocalate malt flavor on the backside that tasted like a smooth porter in the finish. This really was a 3-part taste (after the first two sips that were mostly getting used to the bitter hops). Right as you start the sip it was more sweet with some chocolate detected - the middle was dominated by hops but still well blended, citrus was most of what I got here and still sweet but sticky; then the finish was full on roasted malt and excellent

Mouthfeel was very interesting. only downside was a bit much on carbonation for me. Otherwise it was biting when it needed to be and so smooth on the finish.

Great offering from Stone. Such a nice beer to sip on. This will be a go to for me in the future if I really want a good mix of hop and malt that you can really focus on either flavor and enjoy it all.

KidsDoc, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of MattyV
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color, pretty much opaque with a light mocha head that resembles sponge toffee. Hop-heavy aroma--lots of citrus and pine notes, as well as an underlying roasted/molasses sweetness. A subtle but complex malt profile, serving as a great foil for the hops with an initial sweetness that hints at chocolate, nuts and even dark fruit, before settling in a roasted/cocoa undertone. The hops provide a good mix of both piney/citrus characteristics depending on the sip, sometimes I pick up more grapefruit and other times more sharp biting pine needles. Moderate lingering bitter finish with the roasted undertone.
Medium to full bodied with average carbonation, drinks fairly well, likely due to its appearance tricking me into expecting a big heavy RIS. This leans more toward the IPA end of the spectrum based on what I've sampled of the style thus far. A great option for hop heads looking for a bit of a change of pace.

MattyV, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear really dark brown and settles in the glass very black below a big tan head that's takes it sweet old time to recede into what I assume will be a lacing at sometime in the future.

Light roasted dark chocolate malt aroma with some citrus, I think it leans toward grapefruit, the aroma is pretty subdued but kinda worth stopping before you drink to search it out.

More roasted dark chocolates dominating the taste with some light almost sweet citrus hints coming through, once again I think they lean towards grapefruit but not really sure, nor care.

Drinking this beer as well as it's aftertaste you kinda get the feeling with it's milkiness that you are drinking a melted candy bar. I feel that I've taken a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bar and melted it in Stone Smoked Porter swirled it around and drank it down.

LXIXME, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured into a pint glass a coffee brown with a nice, foamy, beige head that retained and laced decently. I really love this style of beer. Dark malts and dark fruits in the aroma, but a definite citrus hop presence like you'd get from your typical IPA. Smooth dark malts in the taste, molasses, brown sugar, quickly overcome by lots of citrusy hops, though the maltiness lingers on in the background. Flavorful and medium-bodied. Another highly drinkable beer from the consistently excellent Stone Brewing Co.

Rifugium, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark brown to black with a small tan head that lingers throughout.

S - Lots of roasted chocolate

T - Again chocolate comes through along with a nice bittering from the hops. Finishes with a strong bitter hop taste with a slight warm alcohol tinge.

M - Fairly light, but good carbonation. Not too heavy, but does have a good thickness to it.

D - Another great beer from Stone. Not an overally complex beer, but it goes down pretty smooth and if you like a chocolate profile you'll like this one.

jmarsh123, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark dark brown with a decent off white head. The smell is hops up from floral and piney with a burnt malt finish. The flavor is pretty close to the smell with the hops coming out first followed by the roasted burnt malt flavor. The beer is very dry with no residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is light bodied wig good carbonation and a bitterness feel on the side of you tongue. Overall it's a good beer worth trying at least once

rowingbrewer, Jun 28, 2011
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,231 ratings.