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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,519 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,519
Reviews: 1,852
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 234
Gots: 531 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,519 | Reviews: 1,852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

metter98, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Stone after tasting it on tap. Wonderful beer; Black with a dan head; an assertive super fresh and bright fresh pine hop nose with undertones of dark unsugared coffee nose.

Big coffee flavor with underlying very bright and citric, grapefruit bitter hops and a back palate of unsweetened licorice and more dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Full body that is very well balanced and with a nice light/medium creamy mouth feel.

A strong long lasting hop and bitter coffee finish. All around very bright hops, full bright flavored and wonderfully drinkable.

GRG1313, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a rocky beige head that is huge and retains very well while really lacing the pint glass

Smell: Grrrapefruit, big time, with a discernable whiff of molasses underneath

Taste: At first, there is a molasses-filled dark, bittersweet flavor but by mid-palate, the grapefruit wants to poke its head into the fold; after the swallow, their is a burst of grapefruit flavors, but the molasses holds its own to the finish (the warmer the beer gets, the more molasses appears in the flavor profile)

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As the beer warms, it just gets better and better; a hopheads delight with a molasses twist

brentk56, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08

Boy, the hops really come through on tap. Even with my mind wanting me to beleive that this beer is malty because of the color, the hops still dominate. A very balance IPA with a mysterious color and a chalk-like crispness, dryness in the finish.

October 18, 2007: Bottle:

Had to pull out a special beer to celebrate UK's win over LSU. Even if I don't like this beer, this is a good day! The beer pours a lot like a dry stout: very dark brown, nearly opaque, and with a firm, withstanding head formation and retention throughout. It's basically a black beer. Aromas are very deceiving comming from a black beer; with a heavy citrus hop nose and backup notes of pine, lemon-grass, and charcoal. The beer tastes similarly from the hop's side. But the beer has a different story too: the malts. The sweet malt character is very similar to the candy-sweet flavors found in Belgian Dark Strong beers -- but without the yeasty, peppery, phenolic twang. This beer is all American with a high attenuation rate and hop domination throughout. Though the hops side and malts side make the beer enjoyable, they may be two separate beers, caught in the same bottle and need much more melding together to do. As is, it's a firm DIPA with challenging malt character. Good beer, but time will surely do it some favors. But as American Strong Ales go, I prefer Arrogant Bastard.

BEERchitect, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with some light roasted malt notes. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt with some west-coats bitter hops mostly dominating. Body is quite full with some great carbonation and alcohol is not apparent. Interesting take on the IPA style but nothing really earth shattering.

Phyl21ca, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Charred walnut with dark copper trim that extends a short distance into the liquid rather than being a mere sliver along the edge of the glass. The golden brown sugar colored head is the usual beauty from the boys at Stone. It produces numerous bridges of foam that result in sticky splotches of lace when they eventually break. We're starting things off on a high note.

I love the aroma! It's hard to get the beer's color out of my mind, but I'm not sure that I could have identified this as anything but a hugely resinous DIPA. A whiff of black malt would be welcome. However, when a beer smells this sensational, it isn't essential. Pineapple and grapefruit in brown sugar syrup explode out of a glass that is begging to be upended.

11th Anniversary Ale tastes like a black IPA. In other words, it's an IPA that happens to use some quantity of dark malt. Actually, Double IPA might be more accurate given the ABV. I was expecting something along the lines of Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, but that beer is, at heart, an Imperial porter that uses more hops that I've ever tasted in a 'dark' beer.

Maybe it's the muddying effect of the roasted malt, but the hoppiness isn't as bright and as vibrant as it could be. The citrus zestiness (almost exclusively white grapefruit now) is front and center, it's just that the bitterness digs in harder than the hop flavor. I feel like I'm nitpicking because 11th is clearly delicious beer... that could be even more delicious with a tweak or two.

I understand the brewery's desire not to do yet another C-hop IPA/DIPA, even though they do them very well. What I'm trying to say is that if you're going to brew a black IPA, then make it unquestionably BLACK. Give me roasted barley and bittersweet chocolate right alongside the grapefruit. Those flavors work well together, as Alpha Klaus, Rogue Black Brutal '07 and Bear Republic Big Bear Black have shown.

Despite my ever so slight misgivings about the flavor profile (which are really nothing more than wanting a good beer to be a great beer), drinkability is right up there. I was shocked when I picked up the bottle and found it to be almost empty. The mouthfeel is much closer to an IPA than a DIPA and is part of the reason why this sucker is disappearing like nobody's business.

I've been drinking the Stone Anniversary Ales since 7th and haven't been blown away by any of them. Keep in mind that this is in comparison to Imperial Russian Stout, Ruination IPA, IPA, et al. 11th is probably my favorite and is a beer that deserves a repeat purchase if I'm lucky enough to run across a few bombers again. Don't age this one. Drink it now.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -5.2%

kylehay2004, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -5.2%

jaydoc, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -5.2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Now this one was truly unique. Poured a jet black as night opaque liquid. You could tell it was not that thick though as there was some light getting through on the sides and bottom. Very unique to say the least. A nice off white head formed on the top, maybe about two inches in height. Sticky and foamy it gradually relented and rested back down to about a half inch layer across the top and this hung around for the rest of the session. Very nice side glass lace presentation on this throughout. Now overall I have to admit the look was very intresting considering this was an IPA. I was really looking forward to having a crack at this one.



S – Aroma was extremely hopped, which is about what one would expect out of it. Lots of very fresh and crisp pine aromas, typical of the Stone hop varieties, but very strong. Almost ripping the nose apart, very good indeed. Now there was some underlying roasted malts in there as well. Some light sweetness, possibly even the slightest touch of a nutty characteristic, but the floral fresh hops tore it to shreds and let you know exactly what this one was and where it came from. I was really getting to like this one already.



T – Now to be honest this was nothing extraordinary, nothing really new, and nothing really absurd if you have had say Ruination before. But there was something very unique about it. It was very fresh, almost sticky with hop resin and very floral. Lots of flavors of orange, and tangerine, grapefruit with pine, just a full on hop assault and no letting up. Somewhat sweet in the finish at first, but that lasts for all of about two seconds before your lips stick to your teeth and the dry bitterness kicked in. No hint what so ever of the ABV, very well hidden here and the overall mix of the hops was actually quite nice as it really wasn’t tearing up your mouth as much as one woudld think. There was definitely a touch of malt in there, especially after it warmed up a bit as a subtle sweetness, and earthy type of flavor started to work its way it. Very nice here indeed, this was something that was really finely tuned before being let go and that was very obvious.



M – Wow, very cool here. Lots of carbonation which always helps in these situations, now the other side to this was that it was jet black. Now this automatically turns your mind and makes you think that this is going to come off thick, maybe even syrup like, however that was not the case, It was very light and indeed quite refreshing in that sort. It never got dull and lifeless, always staying crisp, even up until the very last drop.



D – Perfect as far as I am concerned and I will give this one a five here. It was perfectly balanced, lots of carbonation, not too high in ABV, very crisp, and just a great feel overall. All of these things add up to about perfect for me and it was a no brainer to just keep going on this one.



Overall I was not sure what to expect when going into this one. I knew I would be happy, being an IPA I very seldom am not. I was just pleased that it stayed true to the stone routes and was a nice hugely hopped vehicle. I love that about the stone products and really do appreciate it. I would love to see something like this on tap, or heck dry hopped on tap. This was a really great offering and something that I look forward to having a couple more of. Definitly have to give this one a try if you can.

mikesgroove, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color which is nearly black. The head is a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: A surprising amount of juicy grapefruit hops are still alive and kicking in this beer (especially since it's been two years since this one was released). There is also a bit of sweetness and roasted malt which creeps into the back of the nose.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is quite surprisingly fresh. The hops are still very potent. A lot of grapefruit and perhaps a touch of sweet tropical fruit on the front. The middle of the sip has a nice touch of roasted malt and the finish is very interesting with notes of coffee along with a slight bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol is no more or less present than it was initially, and the beer is still quite good. I liked it better fresh, obviously, but this one has held up surprisingly well.

womencantsail, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fell in love with this one the second I opened the bottle. The beer poured out as a dark black color with a generous brown head on top. The lacing looked pretty impressive as well. The smell of the beer was fully loaded with citrusy hops and roasted malts. The taste was a collision of the two battling it out. The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Overall it's a wonderful beer, I strongly recommend it!

Knapp85, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -5.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body topped with one full inch of fizzy, beige-colored foam.

Smell: Dark malt aroma of chocolate and cola nuts with notes of licorice, Fruity Pebbles, and aged pine needles.

Taste: Plenty of dark maltiness upfront tasting of chocolate and a bit like a blend of cola and root beer. Some sweetish hints throughout. Faint touch of black cherry and orange zest fruitiness. Definitely a slackened hop character, with flavors of citrus (particularly lime) and pine. Only barely a medium-high amount of bitterness remains. Tiny hint of tar on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: My, how this has progressed in just a year's time! I dare say I like it much better this way.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5.2%

SocalKicks, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see the new Stone Ann. ale here in western NY so quickly.My second time trying this new black IPA style of beer my first being Rogue Black Brutal wich I had mixed feelings about,this poured a deep dark brown but not black some ruby colored highlights thruought a thick 2 finger head atop that never completely settled just a fantastic creamy mass left with gobs of lace behind in my impy pint glass,just awesome.Mix of piney and tropical fruit hops and black malt in the nose mainly I picked up some pineapple and molasses wich was nice and it strayed away from the one dimensional resiny hop profile and caramel malt base.The hops are big but so is the black malt element of this beer sure its big and piney and citrusy but the dark bread and molasses in there is large as well in finely balanced that black malt character really shows itself.The alcohol creeps a bit but this is a very interesting brew it has it all big hops and some malty sweetness,another top notch brew form one of the best.

oberon, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This could easily be confused for a stout in appearance - it's dark brown and opaque with a frothy tan-colored head.

Smell: Amazing hop aroma of grapefruit and pine. Dark chocolate and smoked malt are also present beneath the hops.

Taste: What a unique beer. It opens with a rich chocolate and espresso character, but it finishes like a Double IPA. Bitter citrus rind notes blend harmoniously with smoked and roasted flavors in the aftertaste. It's remarkably complex, but the huge variety of flavors are strangely complimentary.

Mouthfeel: Viscous but surprisingly drinkable. It goes down easy despite the high ABV, and it's not particularly extreme in any one character.

Notes: This is the best American beer I've had for a long time. Really impressive stuff.

largadeer, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour rocks on! This stop pours a dark amber-/garnet- tinged black-brown topped by about a finger-and-a-half of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises lime, pine, blackened pretzel, light roasted malts, light char, orange zest, and very light coffee. The taste holds notes of pine, roasted malts, light char, light vinyl, lime peel, mint, and balsa. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very solid CDA, though I think the roasted elements were left in the oven just a bit too long (or something like that, anyway). Otherwise, good stuff.

TMoney2591, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for another treat, this went over well! Review from notes...

Black body, visible irregular lace, great retention. Unholy melange of coffee and pineapple in the nose, pungent west coast hops. Somehow this works! Sweet and luscious grapefruit, very earthy underneath with dark malt taking a backseat, and some nice multi-dimensional hop character. Rich and almost syrupy DIPA body, with hybrid flavors that confound and entertain the palate. Awesome!

emerge077, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Rhino in Missoula. Saves me from lugging that particular bottle back across the border...

This beer appears a solid black, with mahogany edges, and one finger of thin creamy beige head, which leaves a wall of lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. It smells like a creamsicle - orange hops and milky caramel malt. The taste is creamy grain, a bit of booze, and woody, weedy, and piney hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight, and zingy, and it finishes with a sweet creamy hop flourish.

A strange textural mixing - tangy and creamy. Sure works in this case, though.

biboergosum, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a very dark hue with hints of ruby at the edges. A thin, bubbly tan head left some stcky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet molasses and caramel malt. There was kind of a boozy, alcohol aroma, too.

T - It tasted of bitter hops. It was very sweet with toffee, caramel and slight chocolate flavors.

M - It was shapr and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer that really hits you in the mouth.

D - This was tasty and good, but it was quite a heavy beer and a bit much to drink.

zeff80, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

an outstanding big black ipa that sort of straddles the line between styles. pours a gorgeous looking thick dark chocolate color with an almost nitro-tap looking head on it, all creamy and white and lasting and foamy and yummy. smells great! lots of hops synergizing with very dark roasted malts to produce an exceltionally rich bitter character that radiates in both the nose and in the flavor. there are also subtle hints of vanilla, sweet spices, and wood in the flavor. feel is awesome, thich and velvety. full bodied but sessionable, with a very well hidden 8.7% abv. in the end i dont know why i looked at this one on the shelf for so long before picking it up. i loved every drop and will almost certainly purchase this again. really really good stuff here, not like any other black india pales out there.

StonedTrippin, May 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, what a great beer! It combines citrusy and piney hops with a deeply caramelish malt that's also a touch chocolatey and roasted.

It appears black in a full pint glass, but held to the light it reveals dark mahogany edges. The creamy tan head holds well, and it leaves some nice splatters of lace about the glass.

The nose is citrusy and piney over a hint of dark caramel. Quite nice!

In the mouth it's decidedly medium bodied with a standard carbonation level.

The flavor reveals the maltiness that's not quite found in the nose. It's almost like burnt-sugar: caramelish, and bit roasty, and even a touch smokey. There's an edge of dark chocolate to it as well. It's rich, but not 'super' rich; and it's complex, but not 'super' complex - it's just everything it needs to be because it's really just acting as the perfect 'dark' springboard for the hops.

With any other malt base I'm sure these particular hops would be displayed in a different fashion, but here they're piney, resinous, and minty with a citrus edge that expresses orange, lemon, and red fruits as well. I think the roasted and dark chocolatey side of the malt develops the mintiness by combining with the pine-like qualities; and the citrus is slightly subdued, but still comes through towards the middle and end as a refreshing splash that pulls you away into a little something different. Atop a golden or amber malt I'm sure the hops would be more emboldened, and more citrusy, piney, and fruity (like fruity pebbles?), but here they're more reigned in. And what that all leads to is a really interesting beer from the first whiff to the elegant, lingering finish. In fact, I get the most smokey edge out of it after it's been gone for a minute or so.

Regarding drinkability, the alcohol at 8.7% by volume is never noticeable. You might feel it, but you won't taste it. And I think the subdued complexity and interesting 'bright points' make it remarkably compelling. It's brilliantly balanced at its core, and superbly studded with hops. Quite possibly my favorite beer from Stone.

NeroFiddled, Dec 23, 2010
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,519 ratings.