Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,883 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,883
Hads: 5,812
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 279
Gots: 752 | FT: 7
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:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,883 | Hads: 5,812
Photo of IHC
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, very very dark.

Smell - You can smell the hops right off the bat and then a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste-light taste of chocolate/roasted flavor and a boat load of hops. Definitely a slow drinking beer.

Mouthfeel- bitter all the way.

Drinkability - Not going to have more than 1 of these in a night, but one is all you need. (349 characters)

Photo of Pardishcreel
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

When you first pour this bee it is dark when held up to light you can see a hint of red but it looks black without light. The head is a thick strong one that stays around for awhile.
The smell is that of an ipa surprising for the look of the beer that the malts do not show up in the smell.
The taste is that of a hoppy ipa, but with a sweeter finish. If you like hops but the lasting bitter in your mouth this beer is for you.
Not somthing I could drink everyday because of the bitterness, but a great on occasion beer. (522 characters)

Photo of Dunkle
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber that had been sitting on the shelf and split it with a friend. Poured half into a pint glass.

A: Almost black with a nice, large tan head. Not much lacing throughout.
S: Smells hoppy and creamy.
T: Tastes kind of like tea, with the alcohol and hops carrying through in the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a very interesting ale; I would love to try it fresh.
M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Warming.
D: I want to try another glass just because it was so intriguing. I could easily drink a few of these in a night.

Definitely worth a shot. This was my first Black IPA and now I want to try more! (635 characters)

Photo of ProducerBRBeer
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium black thickness. The head stays thick and dissipate for awhile. The lace sticks really well to the glass and doesn't seem to slide at all.

S - The smell is roasty and malty. I can smell it being at least a couple feet away from the cup.

T - The taste is almost coffee like being very roasty. There is a subtle sweetness to it and the after taste leaves a bite. Very hoppy.

M - The viscosity is a medium body. The carbonation is slight but noticeable.

O - I believe this is one of stone's best foundation beers. It has a great body, the appearance is what I expect from this beer and it is something I could never get enough of. (651 characters)

Photo of pcguitarwzrd
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark like a stout or porter, with a foamy khaki head.

S: Sweet, malty, hoppy, complex. Can detect semi-sweet chocolate notes and some hops.

T: Dark malt, espresso, baking chocolate, raisins, citrusy hops--it's like a chocolate covered fruit basket. There's a good amount of malt sweetness, and just enough hop and black malt bitterness to balance it out.

M: Creamy, medium-heavy, like a good porter, but with a lot of hops and alcohol drying it out at the end.

O: A very interesting beer, like a super-hoppy porter or a full-bodied black IPA. Stone's beers frequently defy categorization, but in this case that's a good thing. This one gets straight 4's from me because I was impressed (albeit not floored) in every field. Would certainly buy again. (756 characters)

Photo of blammasterj
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into my St Arnold's pint glass with an "Enjoy by" date of 06/10.

A: Pours a dark dark brown, with an off-white head; looks like a porter!

S: Smells of hop goodness: pine, citrus, some resin; also catching the malts buried in the back.

T: Taste is wave after wave of hops and an exercise in the phenomenology of West Coast hop flavors: slightly sweet, piney, bitter, oily and floral. I know the malts are there only because I haven't been blasted to Hop Island, but I'm only really tasting them on the finish and even then they only provide a slightly pleasant roasted flavor. The finish is long, pleasantly bitter, and slightly coffee-flavored.

MF: Nice medium body, but not a ghost of alcohol except upon reflection.

D: Becomes more barleywine-eque as it warms and the malts come through a little more. Also getting some faint chocolate and coffee on the finish as it warms closer to room temp.

This was definitely a very complex, iconoclastic beer that I will continue to buy and enjoy. However, by means of comparison, I think that Arrogant (and Double) Bastard are better and more balanced brews. (1,131 characters)

Photo of johntangus
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a duvel tulip glass.

nice tan head with tiny bubbles. laced down glass nicely. Very dark with coffee like color on sides.

Great hoppy smell - earthy pine and citrus. i'm actually drooling into the tulip glass as i'm picking out these aromas.

I've never had a beer quite like this. Being relatively noobish, i would've categorized this as some sort of Dark IPA - like a mix between a porter and an IPA. So much for boundaries.

Stone pulls off a seriously balanced beer. But you can tell it is definitely a Stone. Epic. Just when you are getting overwhelmed by the hop nose and front end, it mellows out into a toasty backend.

Great mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I could see myself drinking a little too much of this in a session. (775 characters)

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

Bottle into goblet

A...almost pitch black with a quickly receding light brown head. Great lacing.

S...lots of pine and grass. Smells a bit like being in the mountains.

T...getting mostly the roasted malt right up front. A bit of black coffee and then the bitterness of the hops fight for your attention.

M...nice carbonation. Feels a bit heavy on the mouth. A full bodied brew.

O...nice winter beer for us hop heads. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like hops used may not be just right to compliment the malt. Something seems ever so slightly off. I bet this will go great with a maduro cigar. I will try that combo tomorrow. (639 characters)

Photo of SanDNigel
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into stubby tulip
A- Dark brown to almost black with a nice tan tight head
S- All I can think to start off is sweet grape juice, then after the head disappears it turns to sweet hops (I guess Chinook mostly) with a solid dark roasted malt backside. So uniquely sweet and hoppy.
T- The way the hops play off the darkness is fruity in nature. The alcohol is hidden deep inside this flavor forest. Blueberry, concord grape juice, with a sprinkle of citrusy-pine and chocolatey-coffee. Nothing I've had that really truly compares.
M- Heavy bubble in the 1-10, 10 as the largest bubble, 3 range. Not quite teeny tiny, but small and tight. Surprisingly refreshing.
This is a really good beer. Not one I would like to drink every day, but sparingly it stands out as a true champion of beers; all beers. It's not quite inside any true style (I don't think), it kinda stands on it's own on many levels. If you haven't tried it, you most definitely should. But don't be afraid to leave this one for later in the night. It will not be pushed around by others. (1,057 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style. (608 characters)

Photo of BrainDad
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hopcat in GR. Except for the bitter element of the hops being a bit too harsh, this is an exemplary Black IPA. The nose is what really gets me. It has that rich, earthy, citrusy hop aroma reminiscent of Founder's Double Trouble (as a reference).

Color is a rich, ruby black. Seems a bit thin on the tongue at first but really rolls off nicely. A nice head to start with good lacing as I work down the glass. I could really drink a lot of this on a hot summer day. That's where the bitterness really pays off! (519 characters)

Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Thick, very dark, gloriously rich looking. Deep, deep velvety red/mahogany around the edges, you won't see much light getting through this brew. Nice 1" head that settled fast to a 1/8" cap that stayed around with chunky lacing to the end of the glass. Beautiful.

Nose: Initial sweetness then the hops came in, definitely a bittersweet chocolate background which surprised me. Dare I say, it smells somewhat like...IPA...the hops are there.

Taste: Initial sweetness, mild chocolate again, followed by that hops come-on. Finishes dry and leaves that wonderful bitterness on the inner cheeks. Maybe a nutty/smokish background there, like faint chocolate covered nuts.

Mouth Feel: Initially I thought it was going to be thick and syrupy, but it felt thinner than appearance dicated. Nice background presence of the hops that stays, but still a smoooth experience. I can feel the claimed 8.7% ABV with a warming in the throat. Not objectionable.

Drinkability: Begs me to have another swallow. One 22oz is a nice sample size, and I don't want to share it! I could drink two of these, but I might need a ride home afther that.

Overall: Very nice! I liked it more than I expected to. 8.5 of 10. (edit: 9 out of 10..read below...)

EDIT: I started drinking this one too cold. It was a bit more bitter/hoppy than I expected. After warming it a solid 10-15 minutes in the glass, it became much smoother, the flavors really came alive with that chocolate/nutty background with a smooth but strong hops flavor I adore. At 45 minutes in, finishing the last third of the 22oz bomber, it was simply phenomenal. I changed my score above to a 9 based on this. (1,661 characters)

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

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard Pint Glass.

A - Two fingers plus of an almost fluffy tan head on top of an abyss of opaque black liquid. Dissapates reasonably quickly and leaves average lacing.

S - Solid nose that could be detected as I poured from a foot away. The citrusy character of the hops blends with the roasted malts to give it an almost dark fruit scent. Powerful and robust, with notes of bitter chocolate to compliment.

T - Similar to the scent, with the combination of roasted malt and hops. But whereas the beer smelled initially like a combination of the two, the taste is a little bit more of a ride. The malts hit first, with a slight bitter chocolatey note, transform into a dark fruit flavor, and finish with a pine-hop aftertaste.

M - Not overly viscous, not watered down. A good balance, with light carbonation, and an appropriately wet mouthfeel that gives the illusion of sticking a bit more due to the hoppy aftertaste character of the beer.

O - A perfectly drinkable black ale for a warm evening insofar as it offers the great combination of roasted flavor, but the drinkability of a hoppy IPA. (1,125 characters)

Photo of chefscott79
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at my favorite place to drink beer in my local area....
beach wood bbq...sigh

Appearance:dark brown...almost black....and great fine head and lots of Brussels lace

smell: Super fragrant lots of summity? hop notes I love the summit hops

Taste: great balance of malt and hop flavor(which I believe is summit hops and when I asked at the brewery it they said summit but on the website it says Amarillo I believe) do they have similar flavor characteristics?

mouth feel:heavy and silky but not too weighty

drinkability: I could drink this for a good long while...and have been in bottle a bit...but on tap hot damn (633 characters)

Photo of Lockbreeze925
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,116 characters)

Photo of WaXHeLL
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Pours pitch black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Head dissipates a very thin layer, but laces the glass extremely well. This is what a proper beer should look like.

Smell:
Ripe pineapple overwhelms the smell of this beer initially. Citrus flavors also are present in the nose. Slight hints of roasted malt and floral hops. Extremely interesting.

Taste:
Roasted malts and big hops dominate the taste. The pineapple again is ever so present, but balanced nicely with the rest of the taste. Slight hints of coffee, pine, and citrus flavors. The hop note is huge, and contributes a good amount to the bitter taste. The finish however is a mix of smooth (surprising) and bitter. Pineapple flavors are also present in the aftertaste. I'm generally not a fan of the sweeter beers, but this one is done extremely well. Not too sweet, and not dry either.

Mouthfeel:
Not as heavy as I expected. Medium body (and almost border-line light, as light as this type of beer can be). Light carbonation. Pretty creamy for the style, but not creamy in the grand scheme of beers.

Drinkability:
Real easy to drink, and could definitely drink this a lot. APV is not present at all.

Overall:
Extremely interesting beer, and definitely worth it. Complex, yet extremely well executed. (1,318 characters)

Photo of djwilson
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The color is dark, black with some red highlights coming through in the light. Poured into thick short pilsner glass. Nice thick head almost caramel color, disipated to a light foam across the top with some nice lacing.

Smell was hops upfront with a slight lightly roasted coffee aroma.

First sip and I get hops up front, and a light malty finish that masks the high alcohol content.

Drinkability was fine but too malty for me to keep drinking all night. 2 would be my limit, then try to find more Stone 10.

Overall excellent beer, VERY unique, I love that Stone always seems to suprise for their aniversary beer. (617 characters)

Photo of MenloBeer
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Up front I should note that after having Hop In The Dark from Deschutes, Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA is rapidly becoming my fave style beer.

A: Dark, almost opaque blackness. Held up to the light you get a little penetration, but that's minimal. Good lacing on a two finger head that died down but remained "scummy" on the top.

S: Mind f*ck right up front with a lot of hop and citrus notes. Anyone expecting something porter or stout-esque should be be getting the clue now. This is an altogether different type of beast. Grassy tones, with barely a hint of malt.

T: The taste ... bitter citrus meets a great blend of darkly roasted malt. Hops all over the place, but some cereal notes, too. It's kind of like drinking grapefruit juice and eating toast. Beer is for breakfast!

M: Oily, but slides off the tongue easily. Doesn't have the coating factor you might expect from a dark beer. Finishes more sweet than dry, but not by much.

D: I like this beer. I like this style. At 8% ABV this beer would kick me in the groin after more than a few, but I could see myself willingly going there, given the awesome blend of hops and malt in this beer. Well done, Stone. (1,210 characters)

Photo of vincicle
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer might actually live up to it's nihilistic name such is the depth and surprise of this dark yet hoppy creation. The smell is an intoxicating herbal hoppiness from the dry hopping as soon as you open it, and it pours a elegant dark black/brown with a full finger head. The nose is strong on hops but also has the notes of roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The taste is wonderfully floral at first and dissipates to a slightly bitter roasted maltiness with an alchoholic kick at the end. This is a beer that stays with you after you've finished as you reflect on, "just how good was it?" One of the better beers I've tried this year and a certain reccomendation for anyone who likes more experimental tastes.
Bravo Stone (727 characters)

Photo of localhost
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of Internatbrewlove
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This black ale pours a dark toffee color with a fine generous head. The aroma is one of citrus and malt. The taste is a mixture of chocolate, coffee, and very dominant Cascade hops. Definitely a "hop slammer's" beer. If you love strong hoppy beers this one is well balanced with malty undertones.

BTW, this beer tastes uncommonly good with peanuts! (349 characters)

Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Looks along the lines of a stout in color but with a livelier head. About a 3/4 inch tan layer of foam which quickly dissipated leaving behind faint but familiar light bodied, IPA style lace.

S- Decadent! Hop heads be warned! Wonderfully sweet and floral hop aroma signature of California with a minute backend of dry, dark malt. Some grassy notes detected as well which seem a bit out of place for such a dark ale.

T- Upfront bitter dark chocolate malt and burnt caramel quickly overpowered by an intense, traditional hop profile. First two sips opened the door for its hidden subtleties of spice and fruit. Third sip left a desirable hop spice on the tongue and lips.

M- Dark chocolate and hop spice dance on the tongue long after the sip. Pleasant carbonation complements the flavors and makes this beer very drinkable.

D- Heavier than an IPA in body and comparable to a stout or porter in color, this ale might seem like a challenge by looking at it but it has a crisp, refreshing carbonation that rounds it out and makes it extremely drinkable. Try with a heavy meal of grilled steak or pork or on its own for Jebus sake. This beer is absolutely worthy of the Stone catalog! (1,233 characters)

Photo of sensorglitch
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - dark, blackish , good head

s - citrusy spicy

t - reasonable taste, citrusy, hoppy, sharp

M - decent

d - good

To be honest, this is a really mediocre , I was not impressed. Maybe i would have been a little more impressed by a beer from a lesser brewery, but this is by far a low point for stone. (303 characters)

Photo of Dixonian
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this delight many times both on tap and bottle in various glasses. I should preface by stating I'm a huge fan of stone in general (as are many) and this is one of my favorites from them.

Pours almost jet black with two wonderful fingers of khaki colored head-leaves significant lacing. Pine and grapefruit hop aroma as well as flavor. Near perfect use of hops in my opinion-not too much of any one flavor. Coats my entire mouth and just the right carbonation. The almost 9% abv is hidden well-could get in trouble quick slammin it back.

One I've gotten more times than I can count-so glad its here to stay in my area. I love this beer! (648 characters)

Photo of sogrady
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Relatively unique beer. Almost like drinking a pine hopped porter, the beer is dark in appearance but heavily IPA in flavor. Alcohol is less aggressive than might be expected given the ABV, but as with most of the Stone offerings the taste is nuanced while all up in your grill.

Some of the other reviewers mention that they'd have trouble with a bomber in one sitting; this problem wouldn't apply to me.

It's certainly not a beer for all occasions - it strikes me as a really excellent option for the fall - but what it does, it does well. (544 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,883 ratings.