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 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)

Photo of Glennlawless
3.29/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a 16 oz Tulip Glass

A - Very very dark brown almost black. I got a nice inch thick head that was a nice beige color. leaves nice lacing as well.

S - Getting some sweet malts, dark fruit, caramel, and tons of grapefruit.

T- Has a bit of a piney after taste. a little oakey as well..almost "herbal" if thats the right word....Right when you sip you get a combo of grapefruit and sweet malt. really interesting. I feel like this is too heavy for a stout. Almost a confusing flavor as well.

M - Somewhat creamy and well carbonated.

Overall, this is definetley a pretty cool beer. Worth checking out, not my favorite though. (637 characters)

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

Pours a beautiful black walnut color with just a bit of a lighter hue that comes through at the bottom and around the edges. The foam is the color of light brown sugar. Sits atop this dark body like a cloud and falls slowly to a cap and ring with a film on top. Laces well and constantly refreshes.

Nose is out of this world. It's citrus. Grapefruit and pineapple. Some pine and a faint oniony quality. On the nose the malt is just nicely toasted with a good helping of brown sugar. It smells big and beautiful.

Taste follows the nose to perfection. The malt is burnt and toasted, roasted goodness. Smooth and flowing underneath all that hop character. The pineapple is sweet, the grapefruit is tart. There's some orange and some tangerine; pith and all to go with the pine. The onion quality is not bothersome on the nose nor in the drink. The malt is a little nutty and deeply sweet to hold up a very enormous bitter. The pine is sticky with resin and the bitter is dry. Floral hops are everywhere in this beer.

Stone has really outdone itself if you ask me. This is one great beer that brings together dark malt with a bit of bitter of it's own from the burnt and charred qualities and it's signature hop bitter. This was fruity and tremendously sweet. That sweetness deepens on the nose and in the drink as it warms but it never surpasses the tart fruits or the piney resin. The brown sugar goes so well with the orange. I'm in love. Sticky, sweet, full mouthfeel. I could drink this all day. (1,501 characters)

Photo of dowen17
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Tan colored two finger head with good retention and great lacing.

On the nose is grapefruit and citrus. There are some dark malt scents lurking in the background and very mild, dark chocolate smell. Very faint, though.

Taste is very hoppy. Grapefruit is the dominant flavor here. Some dark malts come through in the middle and a big bitter pine punch at the end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and perfectly carbonated.

This is a very good beer. Pick it up if you can. Definitely worth the try. (562 characters)

Photo of DemoniChris
4.86/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap poured in a snifter

A - Obsidian black with a 2-3 inch off-white head. Simply amazing.

S - Smells of tropical fruits, mild chocolate notes with a hint of roastiness.

T - Sensory explosion. Huge hop blast up front, which turns into a malty dry finish. Delivers on both hop bitterness and malt bitterness. Sublime stuff!

M - Sticky mouth coating feel that just seems right for a black IPA.

O - This is my favorite black IPA and one of my favorite beers. I'm so glad that this is on Stone's lineup and is available year round at a decent price! (553 characters)

Photo of mikefuski17
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A. Pitch black. Small head and minimal lacing.

S. Smell is very hoppy. Enough said.

T. Extremely hoppy. But is very tasty.

M. Not too thick of a beer. But nice bodied beer.

O. The beer is strong and hoppy. Taste great though. Try it if you get your hands on it. (269 characters)

Photo of PrinceofPastures
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not afraid to hand out a 5. There's a time and a place to admit that a beer has done exactly what it came to do, and that's exactly what this bold Imperial Black IPA did. I'll admit it, I'm partial to Stone. Hailing from the Golden Coast, I was almost giddy for a taste of California-goodness when I pulled the bottle from its place in the 4-pack. But I also had very high expectations, and I was nervous that this might just be the first Stone beer to waste my hard-earned pennies.

Well, my worry had never been so needless. What a fantastic beer! It was a joy to look at, so relaxed - though assuredly thick and strapping - in the glass and almost smug in its appearance. I love it when a beer has a personality, and to only have to see it to know it's there is a special feeling. It knew it was every bit as good as the writing on the label claimed, and it wasn't afraid to show it. Rarely are beers this fittingly named!

All this to say, I hadn't really been giving the whole experience THAT much thought until the first sip. Immediately, I realized that I had to be damn sure to remember how the introduction went down, as this was a date with the glass that I'd want to remember. The flavor was the feel. I can only describe it as a huge sphere of experience that hits you, with the dark, malty power perfectly in balance with the impressive load of hops that makes your whole mouth prickle a little.

Because they have the ratio of taste nailed down exactly the way they want it, the fellas at Stone aren't afraid to ramp up the scale of boldness. What they've left us with is a beer that satisfies with every sip. It doesn't leave you wanting more in any sense of the word because it gives you everything already. In spades. And lets be honest, if you like Stone, this is what you looking for in the first place. Get yourself a glass but do save some for me, because this is a beer I'll be seeing again. (1,918 characters)

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

A = Very dark brown, almost pitch black, 1 finger head

S = I actually get tons and tons of grapefruit, very citrusy, lots of hops, piney.

T = Grapefruit, grapegruit and more grapefuit, feels like I'm eating a complete grapefruit, when it warms up i get a little of caramel or sweet flavor, just a little and also a dark chocolate, not a sweet chocolate. Very hop forward.

M = Medium to full body, not too creamy but very well balanced. The bitterness stays for days after you finish this one. I actually drank a Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA after this one and still have the mouthfeel of the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous after it.

O = This is actually only the second Black IPA that I have had, the other one was the Black Racer IPA from Bear Republic. I think this is a very good beer, I would probably enjoy this better during the day in a hot weather but overall, a very good beer. (887 characters)

Photo of LaneMeyer
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle (enjoy by 11-19) into a tulip.

A - Very dark brown, 2 fingers of dark tan head.

S - Mango, pine, dark cherry, pine resin, bready maltiness, bubble gum, orange.

T - Pine, mango, taffy, raisin bread, citrus.

M - Very well carbonated, refreshing and light, yet thick and satisfying.

O - A really wonderful example of the style. Plus extra points for coming in a four pack, my favorite container style. (424 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by 09/26/13, served in a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Black, with cola brown color at the edges. Thin light tan with lots and lots of persistent fine strands of lacing.

Smell: Clean citrus, bready, leafy, with a hint of mint.

Taste: Roasted malt, some coffee and espresso notes, molasses, caramel malts, piney and citrus hops. All perfectly blended from start to finish. A great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with just enough carbonation under it all. Some stickiness on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Very very good beer. I really wish I had another this is so drinkable - full of flavor, great appearance and mouthfeel, and great with food (BLTs, tabbouleh, brownies for dessert). I will have to look out for a six pack of this one. (783 characters)

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