Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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: 753 | 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 superspak
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip, best by 2/14/2012. Re-reviewing my first rating ever from 6/3/2010. Pours almost pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, biscuit, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, floral, and herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, toasted biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, herbal hop, and coffee. Nice sized smooth spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, toasted biscuit, chocolate, caramel, citrus, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop bitterness to roasted malt flavor for a black IPA. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but is still a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a delicious Black IPA as expected. Big hop flavors with a great balanced malt backbone that I usually prefer in black IPAs. (1,116 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler taken directly from the store where this was poured into a Unibroue snifter shortly after arrival.

Pours basically black with subtle signs of deep orange-red coloration around the edges. The tan head is moderate in size but long-lasting and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, as expected from Stone, with obvious pine and citrus aspects as well as some vague herbal notes. Enticing. A strong piney hop flavor dominates up front. Usually this would be followed by q quite bitter taste, or at least a very bitter aftertaste. Although there's an obvious bitterness and an IBU = 90, this beer starts bitter-sweet and keeps the bitterness under control all the way through. There's a solid dark malt component helping out with this, but clearly Stone extracted plenty of hop aroma and flavor without boiling all the bitterness out of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops. The high ABV makes itself known in the aroma, after some warming, but remains fairly well hidden in the taste. Complex and rich, extraordinary balance and interesting, and wonderful flavor dynamics.

M: full bodied; about as creamy smooth as can be at ABV = 8.7%; excellent, medium carbonation.

O: an amazing beer and the cream of the crop in Black IPAs in my experience. In any case, a world class beer all hop heads should seek out. (1,352 characters)

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

Served on tap at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark black with some garnet hints when held up to the light. There is a finger tall beige head that last throughout the entire beer - great head retention on this one. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as strong a nose as I expected after some of the other Stone beers, this beer had a decent amount of pine hops with subtler notes of roasted malts and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts with a lot of pine hops in the flavor. Huge bitterness in the finish that is really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really like this one and I will have to get it again. Very sessionable and I enjoyed the flavors and the aroma. (730 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that lasts. The aroma is great. It's loaded with rich malt aroma as well as tons of hops as well. It's quite complex with bit of roasted and black malts as well. The hops dominate the aroma. They're bold and add balance to a hefty malt bill. The taste is awesome. It has a pronounced roasted malt character. It's dark with a warming finish. It goes down hoppy and ends hoppy. What a beautiful beer. The hops resinate after the finish, but a lingering roasted malt taste remains. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass beer; one of the best IPA's I've ever had, black or not. I do enjoy the roasted character. (721 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is piney hops with roasted malt. I also get a touch of citrus. The flavor is pine, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. (263 characters)

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

Review from notes 1/22/11. Thanks to THECPJ for the share.

A: Pours very dark, no light passing through at all. Two fingers of off-white lacing form on top which stands on top for most off the time I drink the beer. Very nice lacing remaining on the glass.

S: Lots of floral hops and citrus. I also get a little bit of malt and some chocolate and toffee, but really dominated by the hops.

T: Extremely hoppy, but still balanced by the malt. The hops have nice citrus and herbal flavors while the malts are dark and roasted. There is also a chocolate flavor similar to the aroma.

M/D: Very smooth. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Extremely drinkable. One of the best in this new category. (701 characters)

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

Pours a black color with a bit of redish brown hues around the edges when held up to the light. Thick tanned head pours more than a finger full and laces all around the glass and has some lasting retension. Aroma is strikingly citrusy with a fresh hop smell. Some burnt malt subtleness is evident in the background. Hops really prevail in the nose. Taste is hop forward with citrus bitterness but burnt grains and a little bit of chocolate/coffee character fills in as well before the bitter finish that lingers. Light carb and medium feel. As it warms the alcohol becomes a bit more evident in the taste but I am not complaining, this is a fine beverage. (655 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled last night, 22 oz bomber, shared with a friend. From memory...

A: Muddy black, supple tan head that left some great lacing and a moderate cap throughout the tasting.

S: Roasted grain malt, bitter hops, ash, black peppercorn. This smells great but I worry these roasted qualities may not play as well as I hope with the bitterness.

T: Bitter hops are up front followed by some charcoal and grass. The overall roasted qualities here are too weak for the bitterness of these hops. I was expecting the hops, obviously, but thought the definite dark malt profile would be a bit more present to balance this out. Disappointed.

M: Wild carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: For me, this is hard. I love IPAs and in general Black IPAs but something about this one is just hard for me to get down, let alone an entire 22 oz bottle. Luckily I shared.

I wouldn't go for this again unless it was on draft somewhere. Understandably so an IPA, though it still needs balance, something I feel the Sublimely is lacking. (1,018 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/23/07- Purchased at Dart Liquors in Stateline, NV.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, September '07 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Not quite as pitch black as the label memo says, but still pretty darn dark. Nice 3/4 inch fluffy head upon the pour which settles at a slight off white rim. Leaves behind very sticky patchwork lacing.

Smell- Scents of dark and roasted caramel malt. Pretty intense chocolate notes as well. And it wouldn't be Stone if it didn't have a nice bitter tear your nose hairs out hop aroma.

Taste- Hmmm, combo of a bunch of flavors. Coming up with a schwatzbier-ipa combo. Has a nice dark chocolate-caramel mixed flavor which is combined with a fresh grapefruit hop taste. Maybe even a slight note of coffee beans as well. Very interesting combo. I like it.

Mouthfeel- A bit in the higher carbonation range, but has a nice thicker and viscous dark malt and bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty sweet to be a session brew, in fact one bomber was almost a bit too much, but I wouldn't turn down a pint if offered. Another quality and interesting style brew released by Stone. (1,117 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer appears black with a thick, light tan head. The head hangs out for several minutes before leaving a thick sheet of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of alcohol, hops, pine. The flavor is primarily of hops and pine, with chocolate and roast notes following behind. The feel is medium bodied with prominent alcohol throughout. This beer is a bit too hot, slightly degrading the drinkability... (401 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another limited release! I guess that these are to make up for all of the canned swill that I was downing for a while.

The pour produced a finger's worth of light brown head with good retention. The color was cola-like with ruby highlights. The nose had a malty sweetness to it, underlain by hops. The mouthfeel was medium with a licorice-like bitterness on the tongue. The finish had a chocolaty taste, but also smoky with a bit of bitterness. Mole, anyone? (460 characters)

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

Sampled September 2007
Well carbonated, even a careful pour produces a five-finger thick head in my Tulip glass. The head is a creamy light brown color and leaves spotty lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes back into the beer. The beer is an opaque, almost black color that shows brilliantly clear, chocolate brown notes around the edges. As expected the aroma is quite hop focused. Dominant citrus / floral hop notes mix with pine-like / menthol-esque hop aromatics. When you dig for it, noticeable toasted malt aromatics become noticeable, but the dark malt character is certainly well masked by the hop onslaught. Interestingly enough, even up front there seems to be a noticeable chocolate character; it is extremely subtle & I almost wonder if my eyes are trying to pull a fast one on my nose. I don't think so though, there is a slight note of chocolate that intermingles with notes of grapefruit, freshly zested tangelo skins and lychee. With time the sharper pine / menthol hop aromatics seem to fade a bit. The hops here really capture the essence of freshly zested citrus peel, I almost feel like I got to close to the grater while zesting some sweet citrus fruits and ended up with a nose full of citrus oil.

The beer is served cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), this produces an almost creamy mouthfeel up front, but of course the hop character is the most noticeable aspect here. Bracingly hoppy from the get go, towards the middle with a little malt help the sweet citrus notes become really noticeable. The finish has a bitterness that only becomes more biting & sharp the longer the beer has been gone from my mouth; almost as if the bitterness sticks harshly to my palate while the malt character melts away. The bitterness in the finish seems to be accentuated a bit by some dark malt derived acidity; in fact this is where the dark malt character seems to come into play. The dark malt flavors are drowned out by the hops. This is quite easy drinking, there is a sort of creaminess to the beer, but it is still quite quaffable if not quite light. I would not even guess this was almost 9% alcohol, as it captures the drinkability & relatively light body of a West Coast IPA. The citrus hop flavors are definitely the dominant flavor contributor here. They are not quite so over the top as the aroma was (that citrus oil character is muted a bit), but still ample notes of tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, orange zest, and lychee are quite noticeable. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, subtle notes of roast coffee and chocolate start to become noticeable.

This is most definitely an IPA inspired beer; the lingering, tongue flagellating bitterness in this beer is huge. Astringent at times, bracing, palate dominating, but thoroughly enjoyable for the hop heads out there. I really hope this beer lasts longer than the 10th anniversary beer; for some reason that one had a 2 week window where it was a zesty hop bomb, but after that it became a train wreck of flavors (though I'll have to revisit it as some have said it has mellowed recently). Anyway, if you only have one bottle drink it now, cause it is at it's peak fresh hoppiness right now. It will be interesting to see how the dark malt character plays out; it is very subtle right now and if this was put in a blind IPA tasting (you would actually have to be blind folded though), most would have a hard time guessing this was not a typical, albeit supper hoppy IPA. (3,477 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into a DFH curved pint glaas.

A- Self-righteous was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a storm king nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit to hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Very hoppy, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. Perhaps some short term aging would do this some good as it is a bit "strong" for me at the moment. I could not finish a bomber now but down the line when things have shifted, hell ya. (1,543 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a thick two finger head that produces some thick lacing.

Smell: big malt sweetness, brown sugar, prunes, grapefruits, and a huge hop presence that leaps out of the glass. Soft alcohol tones are also picked up.

Taste: this is a bold brew. Huge malt profile produces a nice sugary sweetness, but the pine resin, grapefruits, prunes, and soft bitter chocolate tones balances this out wonderfully. Alcohol levels provide a warmth in the throat and belly.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is very long as the strong malt and big hop bitterness wraps itself around the tongue and doesn't leave for minutes. Heavy in body.

Drinkability: definite slow sipping beer, but extremely satisfying on a flavor front. This could be considered a meal if one had an empty stomach. The alcohol does come through as you finish the bottle, so more than the one bomber bottle would be dangerous. Awesome beer. (983 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a snifter

Pours a thick black with a heavy, foamy head. Nose is a perfect bouquet of flowers. Taste is a solid balance of roasted malt and bitter hops a little chocolate in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated.

This beer is amazing. Looks like a stout. Tastes like an IPA..You have to try it. (335 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (771 characters)

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

"A new creation from Stone", happy happy...this one goes into a short wine glass, and pours near black, or at least very dark, under a long lasting dark tan head, tiny bubbles and creamy, each sips reveals gobs of sheeting and then rings of striated lacing, nice looking stuff. Distinctive, herbal, citric hoppy nose, yum. Fresh and pungent brew, plenty o'hoppy goodness, crunching along up front. Full bodied and full mouthfeel, hops continue to carry the weight. Also Some dark maltyness picked up, cafe au lait and mild chocolate, meandering around in the background. Complex, tasty and full throttle, yet more fine brew from the folks at Stone. Washed down a slice of olive bread in fine fashion...go get some and consume. (726 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours nearly black with a thick tan head. Very good head retention a d lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hoppy, much like a DIPA. It's citrusy with grapefruit and orange but the dark malts also come through with a slightly sweet presence. Taste also has the citrusy hoppy flavor, but the dark malts come through more in the taste. There is a slight sweet caramel and chocolate flavor going on, it's nearly hidden behind the hops though. This takes on more properties of a DIPA but there is still that dark, sweet, chocolate and roasty flavor going on in the background that adds to the complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, a very complex and tasty beer that I really enjoy every time I buy it. (804 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle with September 2007 labeled on it poured into a tulip.

A: Sitting still in the glass the liquid looks nearly black, stout like. However as it was poured it showed it was a clearer, deep dark ruby and against some light reveals the same. Clear, but very dark and hard to see through dark ruby with a little active carbonation. Large fluffy tan head with lots of tiny bubbles, extremely retentive and patchy lacing.
S: As pretty as the beer looks and as strong as it smells I feel like this falls short. Has a barleywine like smell rich with piney hops and a malt background. Also some dark fruit and light smell of alcohol. However something for me just isn't adding up between the appearance and the smell and I'm blaming the smell.
T: Packs a punch like a good IPA/DIPA and that seems like most obvious reference but there's more going on here and I wouldn't lump this in with beers like that. Still, the strongest flavor is the piney/floral hop taste that is particularly strong in the finish, but doesn't dominate and isn't particularly bitter like other hop bombs. Instead, this has more of a malty sweetness that balances hop. Also in the finish is a slight graininess, mild chocolate and some pleasant alcohol warming, though.
M: Somehow this ends up feeling syrupy to me, yet slightly watery. Appropriate amount of light carbonation. I'm just put off by the slightly thin feeling it leaves.
D: As this warmed up and I spent more time with it I started to like this a lot more. For its complexity and relatively high ABV this is very drinkable and enjoyable. (1,580 characters)

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

Ok, pours a black liquid, a bit thick looking with a chocolate shake-foam type head. Huge head. About 3 1/2 fingers. Not quite as thick looking as a stout.
Hops dominate the aroma. A bit surprising given the look of it. A sharp citrus smell, some anise and prune. Some resin as well.
Taste is like an IPA, but not as strong, yet stronger than a PA. The hops, again, dominate.The sharp citrus is more subtle, dry. A hint of molasses with some dark fruit. Not sweet at all, though. Alcohol is noticeable. Some of the anise comes through in the taste, not a fan of that.
A slick feel to it. Feels like a watered down stout, which I'm not sure is good or bad.
I like it, though. 22oz bomber didn't stand a chance. (709 characters)

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

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont into a tumbler.

Great light cocoa brown chocolate like head that is foamy. Cloudy dark brown body with red character. Just like it's bottle cousin, some good lacing while drinking too.

Hop citrus orange and grapefruit but muted, seems oily, sharp but still tiny and muted, I'll say it's slightly bigger than out of the bottle.

Taste is a little more varied briefly, first a quick sugar of milk chocolate disappearing with hop and grapefruit bitter. Aromatics of oil and citrus fruit on the finish, extremely fruity it never lets up.

A little more dynamic, but mostly just more powerful on tap and still a good example of this style. Can't go wrong with it at all. (706 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sublimely Self Righteous Ale pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head and lace stickage. Smells of piney hops, some malt, and earthy/woodsy elements. In the flavor, dry hoppiness and some light citrus and pine notes. Sweet caramel malt backing and some booziness. Nothing exciting, more raw and strong flavors. Overall, more of a strong ale than a black ale, would like a more pronounced roasted malt flavor and less booze. Nonetheless this is an ass kicker. (461 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They had quite a bit of this at the BevMo in Brea and hearing the good reviews of this beer on this site, I grabbed one. Purchased at $4.49, on to the beer:

This is a totally different kind of IPA. It's dark, nearly black in appearance. The piney and esters of an IPA are there in the flavor, but you can't really taste any raw hops, and for good measure is kissed by some cocoa. The checker at the store said he didn't like IPA's, but he really enjoyed this offering. This isn't an aggressive beer like some of the other Stone products, but a rather mellow beer that won't tax your palate too much. (600 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool idea here - black IPA. I'd call it "hop cocoa." My only qualm is that there isn't more malt. The hops are near perfect, just riding the line of big, but not too big. The aroma is a very sweet fruity, reminds me of the Avery's big beers. The flavor has a get mix of hops flavors that change as the beer warms. It covers floral, fruit punch, citrus rind, and finishes with an herbal black pepper taste. Yummy. There's a touch of cocoa in the background, sort of like what baking cocoa adds to a mole sauce. So, a pretty great beer, I want more like this. Thank you Stone. (574 characters)

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

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours almost black with ruby highlights and a thin head. Smells very hoppy with citrus as well as burnt sugar, caramel, and some roastiness. The taste is quite an interesting mix of roastiness, hoppiness, and tannins. Tea-like in flavor, with burnt sugar and hops. In the mouth its smooth and a bit tannic on the finish. Very interesting. (378 characters)

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