Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,893 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,893
Ratings:
5,853
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
291
Gots:
780
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: 1,893 | Ratings: 5,853
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into teku; black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that sticks around, slowly creeping down and leaving dense, fine lacing as it does.
Smells of lots of hops, bitter earthy and fruity, as well as dark roasted malt, bit of soft grain, chocolate and coffee.
Taste is a perfect dichotomy; it's like an imperial IPA and a robust porter are fighting it out in my mouth. Hop flavors strike first, with earthy bitterness mingling among fruit and citrus rind. Then the dark malts come in, with coffee and dark bitter chocolate balancing the hops perfectly. Aftertaste is sticky hop bitterness with hints of dark malt left over.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, medium-bodied.
Overall, another of Stone's boastful beers lives up to its name; a beer this good certainly deserves a good deal of self-righteousness. This is the perfect black IPA/cascadian dark ale/hopped black ale/etc. as I imagine the style in its purest form.

 931 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at HI-DIVE Lounge in Kansas City. Poured into a standard tumbler glass.

Appearance - Body is pitch black with no light coming through. Atop it sits a healthy one-finger head the color of cocoa powder comprised of mostly medium-sized bubbles that lend a slightly soapy look to the foam. Retention is excellent, and the foam is still there when I take my first drink. Lacing is ample, leaving ringed sheets of bubbles down the side of the glass as I drink.

Smell - I love the fact that this one smells equal parts roasty chocolate and resinous, piney hops. There is also an element of citrus, but it's less prevalent alongside the more pronounced roasted characteristics. I also get hints of grass and generic herbs.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, the taste is a wonderful balance of two distinct flavors: roasty and hoppy. Semisweet chocolate and fresh-ground espresso are both present alongside lemon and orange zest. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation and a body on the heavy side of medium lends for a chewy, but still somewhat juicy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a stellar "black IPA". One of my favorites in the style if not THE favorite. Really does an excellent job of creating a balanced, meaty, refreshing beer that has the best of both worlds that are quintessential to a black IPA. Also does an exceptional job of concealing the almost-9% ABV.

 1,392 characters

Photo of WhatTheAle1973
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hit for me, picked this up while looking for stones porter as replacement for lack if porter. Luckily for me the porter wasn't in stock, this was amazing. I'm typically a quad, stout, or porter only drinker and now this will be part of my normal purchase routine.

 273 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 tmm313
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black with a super creamy, almost milky, 1/4 finger head. Really nice lacing. Looks like a thin Stout.
S- Orange, floral, chocolate, caramel, and bitterness that seems to shift between pine and coffee.
T- Wow, now that's a mix of flavors, right there. Sweet citrus with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, and pine up front. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and more pine round out the finish.
M- Medium body with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with a nice oily coating left behind. Aftertaste is piney at first but shifts to coffee with a touch of orange a little later.
O- I was really impressed by this beer. The flavors balance incredibly well despite belonging to different styles. To me, this was a quality stout meets a quality IPA. Honestly, how can you beat that? For those times I'm torn between the two styles, this is will be beautiful solution. I will be having this far too often.

 906 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's really too bad that they discontinued this one, it's one of the best of the style on the market.

It pours a deep impenetrable black, with an off white head, and a good level of lacing.

As Stone does best, this is an all-out attack on the palate. You get hit with searing hop bitterness, leather, smoke, intense roast, and grapefruit rind. This is really tasty stuff. It's creamy and rich.

Bring this back some day, Stone.

 430 characters

Photo of delta490
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep clear, ruby-tinted brown. The bottle only poured about 1/2 finger of tan head, but it had good retention and left some nice lacing on the glass.

S-deep malt, some pine hops, chocolate and anise are aromas I got at one point or another. Complex.

T- In a word, delicious. Matches the aroma in complexity and pulls it off beautifully. Burnt sugar and pine hops are the two big flavors but others dart around in the background.

M- full and enjoyable. A little oily, too.

O- a great complex ale. It doesn't fit into any one category but crosses types on multiple occasions.

 582 characters

Photo of turbotype
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Worst bottle of beer I've had from Stone, but I think I say that for personal reasons. I'm sure it's great to someone, but not to me. It looked really nice. finger and a half head. some lacing. Smelled kind of foul. It had the typical hops aroma, but it smelled burnt. Literally like a burnt piece of pine wood. It tasted like it smelled, literally. I dumped the second half out. Perhaps I had a bad bottle, that's why I didn't mark it any lower than I did. Scared to try again though. I will stick with Ruination as my Stone brew of choice >.>

 550 characters

Photo of fitrock2112
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale into a Belgian Tulip.

A- Pours black with just a touch of ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice thick two fingers of creamy mocha head.

S - Getting grapefruit, pine needles with some hop resin in there.

T - Different for sure. Roasted malts with grapefruit and hops. Mid palate getting subdued pineapple with a touch of citrus.

M - Very smooth beer, medium carbonation with medium to full on the mouthfeel.

O - Nice brew. Just getting in to the style, and this is very nice. Recommended! Cheers!!

 548 characters

Photo of kguard
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I disagree on the type as a black ale. It's a black IPA.
Looks like a thin oatmeal stout.
Smell gives the secret away. Caramel malt and lots of fruit hops. In fact a lot of hops.
Fruit forward hoppiness, lightly toasted malt, finishing with a nice grapefruit bitter finish that lingers.
Mouthfeel is a bit less carbonation than a standard IPA. Slightly chewier than most IPA. Still, I don't feel I'm eating a small meal.
Really suprised by the fruitiness of this beer. Having a black "ale" that brings the hops and fruits to the table like this is just awesome. Love it.

 571 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much as the seemingly demonic bottle graphics give me pause, the little essay of self-congratulations and flattery makes up for it. Now on to the drinking part!

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass

a: Clear black/red ruby, tall two inch tan head receded to very rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark fruit and pine.

t: The silky smoothness hits you right off, followed by hop bite and then dark malt and fruit. Rather dry finish with not that much bitterness lingering. Does a nice job with its 8.7% ABV too. Later the taste becomes more smoky/roasty porterlike.

m: Heavy but oh so silky smooth!

o: Classified as an "American Black Ale," this is in reality a magnificent hoppy stout. Liking it even better than Rasputin and at least as well as Sam Smith Oatmeal, due to the super smooth mouthfeel and complex flavor. An absolute gem and a fortunate choice for my 200th BA review.

UPDATE 3/24/14: Giving my top-rated brews another shot to firm up their ratings. This time a 12 oz. bottle poured into a Tree House snifter.

a: Appearance is the same as before except not much foam this time, ending in a thin patchy surface film.

s&m: Not detecting as much aroma, nor is this one as "silky smooth," although quite smooth.

t: Also not getting as much stout flavor. This is more true to a Black ale, but a tasty one with dark fruit and sweet dark malt balanced by a good hop bite.

Ratings adjustments: a: 4.75 to 4; s: 4.5 to 4; t: 4.5 to 4.25; m: 4.75 to 4.25; o: 4.5 to 4.25. Will definitely be buying more to reconfirm the differences noted.

 1,594 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale has a very thick, foamy, beige head, a reddish-dark brown appearance, and pretty heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of brown bread and citrus juice, and the flavor is of citrus (hop oil), bitterness, brown bread, brown bread crust, and sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale finishes semi-dry, somewhat thick, not so bitter, and delicious. Overall, this is one to have.

RJT

 461 characters

Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour dark black, small head. Very intriguing scent. Taste starts thick, malty. It's a very complex flavor. I taste: raspberries, wheat, chocolate, coffee, honey. It's sweet, yet full-bodied. The aftertaste leaves you wanting more. Overall, this a very drinkable beer. The flavor is interesting. I went through a whole bottle without being able to put my finger on the exact flavor. I wish I would've bought two bottles!

I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

 466 characters

Photo of AAG
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a large cold bottle into a stein...this beer is definitely self-righteous!

Appearance - Extremely dark black; opaque; light, tan fluffy head; started about two fingers in depth and decreased to a finger but frothed nicely throughout the length of the beer. Very attractive appearance; my mouth is watering.

Smell - Sugary, malt-like, liquor-smell.

Taste - Tremendous surge of bitter hops on the first sip; really packs a punch; charcoal, burnt taste midway through; hops maintained their kick throughout but smoothed out nicely; thick hops malt; tremendous.

Mouthfeel - Bitter (not for the feint of heart) yet comfortable and smooth in its own way...

Overall - This is a tremendous ale; if you like a strong, hoppy beer this is the one for you; Stone proves why it is a hop-heads fantasy. I strongly recommend this one and will seek it out again.

 863 characters

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

A - Solid dark black and red body, with three fingers of super dense caramel tan head. Tons of lacing along the glass.

S - Strong sugary toffee malts.

T - Deep smokey malts upfront, washing away to pine and floral hops along with a huge punch of alcohol which all linger in the aftertaste leaving your mouth feeling warm and fuzzy.

M - Medium/full body with moderate amount of very fine carbonation. The texture is slightly sticky but slick enough to not last too long.

O - What a great beer to ring in the fall season. It's deep, dark, bitter, complex, balanced, what more can I say. I can't wait to be rocking this around a campfire, and it's got the ABV to keep me warm.

 677 characters

Photo of zookerman182
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with a light tan huge foamy head.
Aroma is sweet and malty with a little bit of a roasted character.
Taste is roasted malts and caramel with a sweet note. Little bit of pine and not overly bitter. Slight coffee flavor and as it warms all the little flavors become larger.
Not boozy at all for such a high abv. Delicious version if a black ipa.

 360 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, settles to a near black body in the glass. Frothy tan head that leaves a ring of bubbles on top, with some lacing.

S- Bitter, piney hops cut through a roasted malt aroma. Lots of pine and roasty malts, but not much else.

T- Really similar to the aroma, with big roasty malts playing off of lots of piney hops. Slight herbal hop flavor comes through on the back end.

M- Smooth with a big body. Slightly more alcohol burn than a lot of the black IPAs I have had.

O- For a style I really enjoy, this one was not as great as I was hoping for. A nice example of a stronger black IPA, but not one of the better ones I have had.

 646 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A. Pours pitch black with a foamy tan head. Excellent lacing and retention.

S. resinous hops, floral, caramel, malts.

T. Huge floral hops, resinous, followed by a big malt backbone. This is a full bodied hoppy malty bomb that will blast your taste buds.

O. This is a phenomenal brew. A must have.

 302 characters

Photo of JG-90
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer is black with just a hint of deep brown, pours a moderate sized, creamy, light khaki head with good retention and leaves almost a complete wall of lacing down the glass. Not a ton of aroma here but what is there is nice, has some roastiness, citric hops, resin, coffee and chocolate.

Taste starts with grapefruit and orange, moving on to a ton of resin, followed by a splash of floral sweetness, then an onslaught of pine, finishing with a charred roastiness with coffee and hints of chocolate and caramel. Has a roasty, floral, citric, coffee aftertaste. Has just below average body with above average carbonation.

 621 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours black, really. With a finger of light brown head. Retention is decent a nice thickish outer ring remains after 15 minutes, lacing is strong as well.

S - citrus bitter hops, lots of them. Some sweet chocolate and roasty malts as well. Didn't realize this was such a citrusy brew.

T - oh wow, dry hop bitterness transcends to dry citrus flavors, lemon, grapefruit, etc. Rosary dark malts balance the citrus very nicely but the finish and aftertaste is predominantly citrusy hop bitterness with only some roasty bitterness.

M - Medium/lighter bodied, very smooth even with the decent carbonation. Quite drinkable

O - so surprisingly citrusy bitter. Very unique choice of hops for what I assume to be/consider a black ipa

 731 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sublimely Self-Righteous, perhaps at this point a staple of the style, is a rich-looking beer that's pretty close to black but with some lighter brown highlights. It grows a creamy head just over a finger tall that leaves patchy lacing that's just as creamy sticking to the glass.
Well, it's Stone, so I can't say I'm surprised at how hoppy it is; maybe the first time out of the bottle, but I know what to expect and have come to love from this brewery. Big, oily resinous piney hops are huge, with some roast giving a bit of char. It's about the right ratio of hops to malts, and definitely done big. There's plenty of grapefruit and citrus zest for added bitterness, though there's a hint of caramel or toffee as well. The aroma and flavor are similar, with the exception that the aroma more strongly showcases the pine and the flavor more the citrus, but each has both powerfully.
The body is medium, going neither to bright and soft or too rich and thick, having elements of each and offering some dryness from the bitter element and the char while remaining almost juicy despite it. Bitterness lingers in a full finish.

 1,125 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 3Vandoo
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not a fan of the BIPA, never really got into the trend of the style but I was clearly surprised by this ale.

When I poured it, it was a clear pitch dark beer that formed a nice foamy head that slowly let herself die slowly on my glass.

The smell was hoppy but with a shy hint of caramel, not very distinctive nothing to throw me overboard, but it is the taste.

Taste wise, it is the hoppiness and bitterness hitting you, but well balanced with hint of bananas and spices. Nothing is very too strong, it is well balanced. The aftertaste is bitter and round in mouth.

 573 characters

Photo of Jacurdy60
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a pitch black color with a nice, thick head that is light beige colored. Head leaves a lot of lacing and retains very well.

S-Salty, earthy hops, lemon-grass, various citrusy esters, perhaps cherry, roasty

T-hops flood the palate at first, but are complemented and followed nicely by a bitter, roasty coffee flavor. Finishes with a lingering salted hop bite

MF-A bit oily, medium bodied with a dry finish

O-A damn good black IPA. I personally like Thomas Creek Orange-Black IPA more, but this one is still great. Hops are a touch overwhelming.

 555 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Black with a short tan head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Pine, citrus, roasted barley, caramel and Cola.

Taste
Roasted barley, caramel, Cola and Tootsie Roll. Pine needles, lemon zest, orange rind and grapefruit skin. Hints of pineapple and starfruit. Espresso, dark chocolate and notes of charcoal linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, bitter and dry.

Overall
Black IPAs have always been an odd mix to me. Everything is there...Roasty-ass IPA.

 512 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,893 ratings.