Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,895 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,895
Ratings:
5,857
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
291
Gots:
784
For Trade:
7
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,895 | Ratings: 5,857
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderate hop aroma with a resiny, grapefruity character, malt nose is low to moderate – hints of chocolate and faint toast. Brilliant chestnut under a 2” light tan foam cap. Enters creamy with traces of coffee to chocolate but no burnt roast. Medium high bitterness – grapefruit rind mellowed by malts with some bitter support from darker malts. Medium body, slight astringency in the finish. Hop driven, lingering bitterness.

 432 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber - from Bessette's in Canton NY

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, coffee, grapefruit/oranges

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of hops mixed with some citrus notes and some chocolate and coffee. There is also some malts and just a touch of smoke. It ends with a hoppy and juicy aftertaste.

Overall - Definitely my favourite American black ale. This bottle was almost a year past expiration and it still had a great hoppy/citrus flavour. Can't wait to drink it again.

 749 characters

Photo of dar482
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It starts off in a very dark black color with a tan head.

The aroma isn’t very strong, but with a roasty malty with a bit of pine. Deep rich hops with a bit of gentle roasty malt.

It tasted more like a strong ale or stout than anything. It was a bit flat, with a bit of creaminess to the body. And then hits with a bit of roasted malty and peppery finish. It even has a slight licorice flavor to it and then hits with an alcohol bite. It's generally just a spicy and very bitter Chinook tasting beer without much complexity.

I'm re-reviewing this with a bottle that is about 5 weeks old and it's still very "flat" in the aroma and flavor. I've had it two twice about this date and it still does not stand up as a great beer for me.

The worst Stone beer I've had.

 769 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, clear, with ruby/mahogany highlights. Fine, tan bubbles clung in sheets to the sides of the glass and formed a tight cap. Good head retention with spotty lacing throughout. Intense pine resin and grapefruit rind aroma up front, fruity citrus and a hint of sweet cocoa fill in the background. Very floral and fragrant. Solid bitterness, not overpowering, that tends to linger. Sweetness is just enough to provide some balance and has more of a chocolate/cocoa character than stright-up caramel, but the hops are still front and center - mostly grapefruit flesh fruitiness and a bit of pine. Light alcohol flavour in the finish, along with mild warmth. Medium bodied, a bit chewy with creamy carbonation. Very nice texture. This is great stuff, worthy of an anniversary celebration. The darker malts, even though they're fairly subtle, really pull things together and create a nice counterpoint for the hops.

 923 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe, couldbe be black, but is more of a blackish brown color with garnet highlights. Two finger, sandstone head that recedes to a nice film of foam througout all 22 ounces.

Pretty aggressive hop aroma. Grapefruit zest to the point of atringency in the nostrils. Gives me the same feeling as spicey Chinese mustard in the sinuses. I like that in my mustard, but not in my beer. I can barely smell a dark roasted malt at all.

The same aggressive, biting grapefruit and lime zest bitterness up front and the middle. Whatever roasted malts are detected towards the finish of the flavor profile, seem to exacerbate the hop bitterness of this brew. I don't detect the abv. but I wonder if that adds to the increases the effect of the hops bitterness.

Astringent and bitter is all I can come up with for the palate. I was expecting a little more fr this beers palate and flavor.

Still a sipper for me. I like bitter beers, but this just didn't sit so well for me.

 966 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Looks like almost stout like in coloration. Only some light can penetrate this beer. A night bubbly tan head sits on top and slowly fades leaving lacing galore.

S-I have had a few black IPAs before but this one takes the cake in the smell category. Big, big hops are dominant. But the rich dark maltiness of the beer is quite evident as well. Definately the most hop foward Black IPA atleast in the nose department.

T-I find it to be maltier than the nose. But don't be fooled, this one is hopped quite thoroughly. The citrusy hop blast really wallops the tongue. The dark sweet malts are awesome here too however. Roasty and rich, very nice.

M-Pretty thick. Nice oily way about it. Sticky. Medium-heavy. Not overly carbonated.

D-The high alcohol is masked so pleasantly you can't stop yourself here. Very drinkable.

Stone aces it again.

 844 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is mostly citrusy (grapefruit) and pine hops, but there's also some roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruit noticable. The beer tastes pretty much just like the aroma. It's mostly hoppy, but there's enough malt in there that you can taste those flavors too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's somewhat creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. Drinkability is great, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd buy it again in the future.

 674 characters

Photo of barczar
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Two months past the best by date.

Pours an opaque onyx, impervious to light, with a frothy one inch beige head that slowly dissipates, leaving modest lacing.

Coffee, roast malt, and nutty notes are evident after the pour. Further investigation reveals licorice, resin, herbal and floral hops, and a generally earthy character. Grapefruit and fresh cut grass emerge.

Flavor is extremely grassy, minty, herbal, and earthy initially, with offerings of grapefruit turning chocolatey mid palate and finishing roasty, with hints of coffee, char, and significant hop bitterness. Huge flavors!

Body is moderate to slightly full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Packed full of flavor, this brew is about as complex as they get. Most black ipas don't jive for me, as the roast malt character and citrusy hops often collide in a negative way, but not the case with this one. The bitterness is a touch more than I prefer.

 940 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black almost like an imperial stout with fluffy white head.
S - Very faint coffee and chocolate with very strong almost overwhelming hop profile. Dangerous.
T - Oh damn! The hops were too much for me! I really couldn't taste anything but buckets of hops. Defiantly a sipper.
M - Very harsh yet enjoyable beer.
D - Man I may have to have this again but I am pretty sure its the hoppiest beer I ever had from Stone. They are know for angry beers and this one had some good rage.

 486 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a super dark brown, almost black color that actually cascaded for a few moments too. Produced a great light brown head that stuck around for awhile before leaving big clumps of lacing behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A light roastedness of bread and nuts with a piney lemon and lime citrus background. Weird and different, but good.

(T)- Pretty much like the smell. A good roasted profile with a bread, nut, and molasses character. Combine that with a crisp yet citrusy lemon and pine bitterness that meshes into the darkness within.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Roasted like a stout or porter, but crisp and with a hoppy citrus bite like an IPA. An interesting yet different beer unlike most in the style.

(D)- An interesting beer for the style. Malty, yet heavily hopped which I appreciate. Tastes good and is easy to enjoy. A relative easy drinker with a tamer ABV level than usual. Another solid beer from one of my more favorite breweries.

 1,039 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to DrJay for bringing some of these up!

Pours a hazy dark orange/brown, thick off white head forms, settles slowly dropping a nice lace ring, good retention. Smell is nice, chocolate and toffee, solid roast, lots of pine and floral hops, roast, grapefruit, nice balance with the malts and hops. Taste is similar, caramel and chocolate, roast coffee, light alcohol, nuts, oranges, grapefruit and floral, solid bitterness, excellent. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, bit of warmth. Very good beer! Thanks Jay.

 545 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby. Almost black. Thin cola colored head that leaves nice amounts of lace.

Aroma: Bready malts, cocoa nibs and juicy hops.

Appearance: Nice bitter hop presence noticed first and then some alcohol, which is quite noticeable and actually, a little overbearing and scathing in this beer. Covers up a lot of what I was expecting in the hop department. There's some hop juiciness noted, but not a lot. Chocolate is distant. Decent flavor, but not great.

MF/DK: Medium bodied and light=medium to medium bodied. A bit of spiciness from the alcohol and a long lingering astringency from the alcohol. Fair, but not one I'll be tapping again soon.

 660 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served a opaque brown with a foamy light brown with very good retention.

S - Served pretty cold, so I let it sit for a while. Finally some roasted malts, nuttiness and bitter hops finally come through.

T - The taste is similar, but the bitter hops kind get in the way of the dark malts and roasted flavors.

D - Good carbonation and a medium to heavy body with a bitter finish.

O - A hoppy dark ale. Mission accomplished.

 432 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a nice brown two-finger head into my fluted glass.

Aroma is full of floral, citrusy hops with grapefruit standing out the most for the hops. There's also a nice hint of sweet malt that seems a bit roasty as well.

Taste is full of floral, grapefruit-like hop character that dominates at first. It's followed by sweet malt with a hint of raisin and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hop bitterness and sweetness that seem to coat the mouth. Alcohol is present but feels muted just enough, though it coats the throat with warmth.

Interesting beer that has many different flavors to contemplate. Worth a try but make sure that you sip it.

 679 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at the Bistro Double IPA fest. Even though it is the same recipe as 11th anniversary, I thought this one was lacking compared to the 11th I had recalled. By lacking, I mean, just really really good instead of fantastic.

Black IPA, hopped very well, obvious dry hopping, hides the high alcohol quite well. I can't wait to try the bottled version. Some say don't age, some say age. . . I dunno, I'm still holding bottles of both version, we'll see this Christmas. You don't really taste the alcohol, but it hits you by the end of the bottle.

Anyways, if you see it, check it out. Right up there with Laughing Dog's black IPA's when uber fresh if you ask me.

EDIT: Well this was definitely a drink fresh beer. You can't really taste any of the darker malts used, but if you age it, the hops fade and some of the astringency comes out of it.

 855 characters

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

22 oz. Anniversary ale bottle. Dark brown/black pour. Frothy tan head. A little musty smelling, with piney hop and some roast and burnt malt. Taste has plenty of roasted malt, some dark chocolate. Very clean finishing with biter coffee, bakers chocolate, pretty dry. Medium bodied with good carbonation. I think 1 year of age would have been about perfect, this was just a little over. The 2 years really mellowed the hops, which was good for me. Good balance of malt, roast and hops. A real nice drinker, with only slightly high abv, which is not noticeable at all anyways. From what I understand this is now the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

 643 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, sweets, hops and pine. Very aromatic.

T: A well-balanced taste of malt, pine resin, west coast hops, and a little caramel. Sort of similar to an IPA, but has a very particular character.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Very drinkable and well made.

 493 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split this tonight with a couple of friends as a part of a Stone mini-vertical with the 11th-13th. My favorite of the night.

The pour is gorgeous, black with a dense dark brown head with great retention and lacing. On the nose, the hops are still so fresh! Yes, it's been in a 40 degree fridge for a while, but the piney hops with a little bit of fruit character (apricot and peach) really works well with the deep, roasted malt character with coffee and chocolate. Great balance. On the palate, the flavors are replicated, with a surprising amount of hops present, with pine and a little citrus before a gorgeous wave of dark chocolate, coffee and a little sweetness come in. In some ways, almost stout like. Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a long finish with a great balance between hop and malt bitterness, this beer is fantastic. I'd drink a lot more, but I have just one bottle left...

 904 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says Enjoy By 12/05/14.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Drippy, semi-resilient lacing.

S- Hops, booze and dark roasted malt. The hops are grassy and the booze plays off the malt sweetness to create a brown sugar/caramel quality.

T- All the elements come together in a big wave of semi-astringent aggression where it's all happening so fast you can't pin down which tastes are which. There's some coffee that's cut off by the hop bitterness that's interrupted by the sweetness from the malt that's abruptly diverted by the alcohol. All this chaos comes to an end once the palate acclimates and everything starts to make sense. The hop flavors start to work in harmony with the coffee and char notes that once seemed to be random. The booze bite goes away and the sweetness acts as a mediator between everything else to present the profile's complexity as a whole. Remarkable.

M- Somewhat creamy and quite viscous with a bit of a tingle from the hops and medium carbonation. Fullish body.

O- Though I feel like this beer is better realized and a bit smoother on draft, the bottled version certainly does it justice. An unforgiving Black IPA that is the prototype for all other Black IPAs.

 1,395 characters

Photo of claspada
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of strong piney hops and roasted malts with hints of caramels and toffee, however the hops dominate the nose.
The tastes begin with full flavored maltiness with flavors of burnt brown sugar, light coffee/toffee and caramel maltiness but the hops creep in and steal the show to this beer's detriment. The intense hops flavors of pine and grapefruit are just not melding with the dark malts. I do not enjoy the roast mixed with pine.
Overall the stickiness and resiny qualities dominate the mouthfeel and linger far too long for such a dark beer. I have had good, bad and average Black Ales. Unfortunately this is in the bad dept because the hops are just too dominating.

 677 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with thin cap of khaki head, leaving decent lacing. The scent is mild, muted hops combined with a muted earthy and muddy backbone with hints of chocolate, nuts, carmel. The taste brings a nice citrusy hop flavor the the front, followed my a smooth and mellow blend of earth, wood, carmel, nuts, dried grain and dense bread. Lighter side of medium bodied, lower carbonation, slightly dry. An all around nice beer whcih doesnt attempt to overpower the senses with any one ingredient.

 505 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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.

 413 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a dark brown with decent head. Almost two fingers of light tan head rises, lasting a couple minutes. The lacing is pretty solid.

The aroma is pretty light giving off a nice smooth hoppiness.

The taste is super hoppy from start to finish with a very bitter finish. There is slight earthniess to this that separates it from being an ipa, a nice change of pace.

Overall, pretty decent. Its an ipa that isn't. If your an ipa search this out.

 511 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this on tap at the Hop Devil in Manhattan several months ago, but finally got around to trying a bomber over the holidays. It pours black with a tan colored foam but smells like a strong IPA, grapefruit citrus dominating. The taste is mainly hops, I don't get much of any roasted malt that other reviewers have mentioned. Very good as Stone always produces good IPAs.

 381 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Pours a deep, dark brown with very little ruby highlights around the edges. A large, dark khaki head fills the snifter and recedes very slowly. Loads of lace.

Aroma is of lightly roasted malt, toasted bread, dark fruits, and a good amount of citrus and pine. An overall earthy, musty aroma with a blend of dark and tropical fruits.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Pine and grapefruit throughout with toasted bread an a musty quality. A small bit of chocolate and alcohol also poke through. Overall, very soothing, but a different take on the style. Hoppier and less boozey.

Medium body with good carbonation. Lacking some creamy, smooth qualities. A tad prickly.

I admit that I am a hophead, but I found this to be a little too hop forward for the style. The roasty notes were low in the mix and could really use a boost.

 866 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,895 ratings.