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 spoony
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (the date code was smudged and illegible) into a nonic.

A-An aggressive pour produces maybe a half-finger of tan head that drops to a patchy cap after a minute. A stray bit of lacing remains on the glass. The brew is nearly black with only a speck of light getting through on the edges.

S-The smell is fantastic...for an IPA (or IIPA, I guess). Loads of tropical, citrus hop notes like orange, tangerine, and pineapple make me forget that the brew is basically pitch black. A touch of pine also pokes through. There is only a faint bit of dark, chocolatey malt underneath the hops to bring things back to reality.

T-The taste opens with the same citrusy, hoppy deliciousness as the smell, but it transitions to more bitter, earthy, spiced pine on the finish. Again, I could be drinking a IPA. There is a bit of dark malty fruit poking through the hops, but not much.

M-The feel is one of moderate heft, maybe a bit on the light side for the style, with medium carbonation that fits well with the flavor profile.

O-I should have expected a Black Ale from stone to pack loads of hops, but the tropical hop onslaught in this beer exceeded my expectations by a long way. The aroma is a real high-point. In fact, this is one of the better smelling brews I have tasted recently. That being said, I could have used a little more charred/chocolatey malts from this brew if I was going to judge to style. (1,421 characters)

Photo of dwren89
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pretty much jet black with thin tan head, opaque so no discernible clarity

Aroma: roasty and malty, slight alcohol note, a slight meaty/cheesy note

Taste: very malty and roasty, but with a cheesy like flavor that just doesn't seem to fit. I don't know I I have a bad bottle or what (the drink by date is not for another 6 weeks and I have stored it in my fridge since I bought it). Overall not bad, but I didn't get the citrusy flavors nearly as much as the other reviewers of this beer did, which makes some sense as cheesy flavors are a result of degraded hops.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy, and full bodied, medium-low carbonation

Overall: I think I got a bad bottle of this beer, because every other Stone beer I've had has been great. This one just had a funk to it that was a little cheesy. Great roasty and malty flavors with some solid bitterness on the finish. (882 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I've tried quite a few times, reviewing for the first time.

A - 4.75 - Great looking beer, dark brown/black/opaque with a light tan 2 finger head that sticks around for a while with some sparse lacing.

S - 4.50 - Citrusy/piney hops with a dark malt backbone and some hints of oats. Roasty/chocolate malts with a hint of coffee.

T - 4.50 - Citrusy hops are very intense with grapefruit/lemon/lime zest, some piney tones. Some roasted/chocolate malts but very in the background. Mostly hop flavor.

M - 4.75 - Great medium-high carbonation. Strong bitterness from the hops. leaves a nice bittery hoppy aftertaste. Slight hint of roastiness in the aftertaste.

O - 4.50 - Good beer, great black iPA, not as amazing as Stone's IPAs and Imperial Stouts. I'd probably say Wookey Jack is a bit better, with Dad's Little Helper (Rogue) and Dubhe (Uinta) being quite a bit below this. (896 characters)

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Solid black with very good white foam. Decent lacing.

Smell: Strong pine and coffee. Very earthy.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially lots of strong Cascade hops. Finishes with strong coffee. A bit too bitter, but very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp, rather medium-bodied for a black ale.

Overall Drinkability: I would have liked some more roasty notes in this beer, but it works as an IPA. (408 characters)

Photo of Crawfish61
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber $6.50 Expiration 8/31

Appearance- looks like a porter or stout with a beautiful brown head.

Smell - Like grapefruit dipped in Chocoate

Taste- Pretty much like the smell. Very delicious and I wish I had another bottle

Mouthfeel- very creamy and soft

Overall- First American Black Ale. Just awesome. Really enjoying the whole experience. Will be buying this again. Really enjoyed it. (400 characters)

Photo of MWolverines66
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap in Arlington VA. It pours a nice jet black color into a tulip glass. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is a little weird to me, not sure if it's possible that my palate just isn't appreciative of black ipa's (this is my first one) but there really isn't too much flavor to this beer. It has a nice balance but the hops bite I get from other IPA's just isn't there on this one. (404 characters)

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

Poured from the bomber into a nucleation glass.

A:Dark, but not blacked out. The head was inches thick and lasted well. Laced pretty good on the glass.

S:Smelled great. Sweet and dark, with a hoppy character backing up. Very complex smell. Stone does well.

T: Much like the aroma let on. Very dark and sweet with a strong bitter aftertaste. Great showing on a black IPA.

M: Almost oily. Spicy from the carbonation.

O:Great brew, very complex. (447 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with no head from the bottle. Aroma of sweet roasty malt, pine hops and sweet candy. Flavor is smoky malt and some pine hop bitter. Lots of smoke for a non smoked beer. Plenty of bite from the hops, with a nice clean bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel with more than adequate carbonation. Solid beer, but I’m not sure it belongs with the likes of Wookey Jack. (370 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. I've been working on trying more beers from Stone and since I have never seen this beer on the shelf before I figured I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottling date was not visible, i think it rubbed off, but it just showed up at the store so I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The bottle looks pretty good with a big evil looking devil like figure that is pretty eye catching. It poured a pretty dark black color that didn't really let any light come through and it was pretty much pitch black with two and a half fingers worth of cream medium dark tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky rings of lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, there's nothing at all wrong with it, the head and lacing were awesome.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a nice mixture of hop aromas, the citrus hops seem to stick out the most with some grapefruit aromas coming through and there were some grassy and earthy hop aromas in the background. Up next comes the malts which show up a medium amount and impart some roasted malt aromas along with some light chocolate, coffee, caramel and smokey aromas with some more chocolate and caramel and maybe a little bit of toffee coming through towards the end. The aroma was pretty good, I liked the contrast between the hop profile and the roasted malts.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of sweetness followed by a pretty large amount of hops, the citrus, earthy and grassy hop aspects that I got in the aroma show up in the taste, but the they are much more balanced and the citrus hops show up just as much as the grassy and earthy hop aspects. Up next comes a medium amount of malts that impart a roasty, slightly charred and slightly smokey flavor with some lighter chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors showing up in the background. On the finish there's a lower amount of high bitterness with a bitter hoppy aftertaste with a slight bit of roasted malts coming through. This was a nice tasting beer, but I thought the hop profile could have had a little more citrus hop aspect like the aroma and I thought the bitterness was a little too much.

M- Not the smoothest, creamy, a slightly lighter amount of medium warming alcohol, on the fuller side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel worked good with this beer for the most part but it could have been smoother.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style, but the hop profile didn't impress me as much as other Black IPA's and the bitterness was just a little too aggressive in this beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it wasn't too smooth, and the alcohol was a little too warming for it's strength, but the flavors did a decent job at holding my attention, one would be enough for me, I think the bitterness would really start to wear on me if I had more then one. What I like the most about the beer was the appearance and aroma, they were both very good with appearance being the best, it may be the best looking Black IPA I have ever seen. What I liked the least about this beer was the flavor, it wasn't bad, I just wish the hop profile highlighted those citrus hops that I got in the aroma more and I thought the bitterness was just too intense for this beer, it would really help the drinkability if it was toned down. I wouldn't buy this again, it's no a bad beer, but there's many more Black IPA's that I like more than this one so I don't think I will be revisiting it anytime soon and I think it's a little overpriced but I would recommend that any fan of the style at least give it a try. All in all I was a little let down with this beer, Stone is very good with hoppy beers, but this one fell a little short in my eyes and it didn't have a hop profile that kept me coming back for me, better luck next time guys. (4,176 characters)

Photo of jroberts8811
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City, MO. Poured into tulip

A-pours dark brown/black - cannot see through it. Head is minimal, to be expected with this ABV. tan/off white with great lacing.

S-smells of lime, hops, citrus, malt, brown sugar, dark fruit.

T- Bitterness from the hops ar the star. malt undertones, coffee, chocolate notes. Smoky/peat notes

M- medium bodied, somewhat sticky/resinous.

O- Great overall. well executed, though it's not my favorite style. Really big, bold flavors you'd expect from Stone. (520 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is best enjoyed with the suggested serving temp: 40-45F. The lower temps bring out
the grapefruit intensity and chocolate.

The beer poured an opaque chocolate color with less than a 1/2 finger head in a ballon glass.

The aroma was light chocolate with hints of coffee.

The mouth feel is moderately carbonated.

The taste is quite unusual: a grapefruit bomb laced with chocolate. A black IPA style- more hops, chocolate, roasted malts melded together.

As the beer warmed, more vanilla and less chocolate. It is better at colder temps.

The hops and the bitterness in the finish are indicative of the Stone Brewery signature.

This beer is unusual: diverse tasting elements are brought together in an odd balancing act: light chocolate aroma, intense grapefruit and a special- crisp, refreshing hops and bitterness. (827 characters)

Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black color with a medium long lasting beige creamy head with good lacing. Aroma of citrus, orange peel, pine hops upfront with some good dark caramel chocolate malt. Taste is of dark chocolate malt, a bit of liquorices with a good amount of citrus hops. A medium to full oily body on the palate, slightly smooth with a sweet bitter sticky mouth feel. The finish is a combination of sweet dark caramel malt, chocolate some brown sugar, the ending is sweet bitter liquorices and citrus orange bitterness for balance. Caramel malt flavor shows through more as it warms up. Although a bit on the bitter side, it is an interesting combination of flavors, but still a very good and tasty brew, well done. (715 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this bomber into a mug at cellar temperature.

It's got a dense, two-finger khaki head which sticks around awhile. This black ale is basically black, but it does have some transparency when it gets shallow in the glass... kind of like coke.

Smells like juicy, citric hops and chocolate. Somehow these two scents go VERY well together.

Tastes like hop cones drizzled with dark chocolate! A brilliant combination of resinous, tangy, grapefruity, bitter hops on the front end and roasted chocolate on the back end. It's kinda like bitter, unsweetened chocolate.

The mouthfeel isn't too pushy in any particular direction. It has seamless carbonation that just... fits.

This beer's title is well-justified. It IS righteous. Love it. (740 characters)

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

Bomber best by 8/13

Appearance: Jet black with a tan coffee colored head. Lots of it too. 3 fingers originally that diminishes over time but never disappears. Lots of lacing with chunks clinging to the glass

Aroma: Big hop aroma. Citrus and grapefruit. Grassy earthy undertones. Malt background is roasty and sweet. Espresso and chocolate.

Taste: Starts out floral and fruity. Then big bitter hop profile with lots of citrus. Slightly minty. The flavor is big but the bitterness isn't overpowering. Mellows out with roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Aftertaste is grassy and piney. There is also a pleasant smoky undertone throughout. Complex and enjoyable

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light considering how much is going on here. Slightly slick and coating

Overall: Excellent. Very well-balanced with big flavors and very drinkable. Not much bad you can say about this. Affordable and very tasty. Approachable for fans of west coast IPAs and darker beers alike (970 characters)

Photo of Justinomoore53008
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark, with a tan-like head. Looks like oil in the bottle.

S - Very bitter hops with a hint of citrus (when first opened). Towards the end of the bottle, the malt really comes out and the hops mellows away.

T - Mild malt taste with a strong hops aftertaste. It's rated at 90 IBU's but I would place it more around 80 or 85.

M - Heavy compared to most IPAs I've tried. Feels kind of thick when it starts to warm up, but not overly so.

Overall, I like it. It's the most expensive beer I've ever had, and certainly one of the best. Good job Stone! (552 characters)

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

Fresh, I don't care for this beer one bit. Too hoppy and the malt hasn't really developed much. Too smoky and roasty too. However, I sat on a bottle for like 6 months, and gave it another try, and holy crap it's amazing! It balances out so much better. The hoppiness dies down considerably, the smokiness too. The roasty maltiness tones down a ton too. Really smooths out and becomes extremely enjoyable. (404 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated "Enjoy By" 10/24/2013, into a tulip.
Appearance - pitch black, a thick, meringue-like, tan head; rings of lacing!
Smell - brilliant hop forward in the nose, with some hints of some roasted coffee beans!
Taste - just great! Follows the nose, maybe a touch more of the roasted coffee bean than is present in the nose. The 8.7% ABV is hidden beatuifully!
Feel - complex like great black IPA's seem to be! Medium body, noticeable carbonation, hop forward, but terrific balance with the dark malts!
Overall - I could drink this everyday and not get tired of it, fantastic beer! (599 characters)

Photo of macher0
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I did not take notes on this ale so I'm going on memory. I was not impressed with this ale. It had a burnt taste and smell. it was not very smooth. I was Ok with the hops level, but was way too harsh. This was a very OK beer. I would like to try this again to see if I had a bad bottle. (286 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 BigBrewStu
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

What a great beer! Dark, a really dark tan color--almost black. Fair carbonation. Coffee fan? You will love this bitter beer! Feels creamy in the mouth, goes down smooth, but has an unexpected bitter finish. This beer is overwhelming, and pretty much dominates your palette. Do not start with this first unless you only plan on drinking this all night, or plan to move up to something even more rich in flavor. (460 characters)

Photo of Philousa
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imbibed at Market Beer Co. on 6/25/13.

Pours black, amber around the edges with a dark tan head that dissipates to a thin layer. Laces great. Resinous, dank, and piny describe the initial aroma, with grapefruit, cream, chocolate, baking bread, and toast accompanying. Flavor is intense and bitter to start. Resin an bark followed by dark malt chocolate, roast, cereal, then the heat from the alcohol sets in and the intense bitterness washes over. It's almost too abrasive. The feel is balanced with a dry finish.

Love the beer, but if they scaled back the bitterness it would be superb. As it is, this is great beer with a small flaw to my palate. (651 characters)

Photo of McStagger
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a bomber from Von's. Always ignored this and opted for Ruination instead....not this time.

A: Best by 9/16/13. Pours black. That sumbitch is black. No light is getting through that. Thus, I can't tell what the carbonation is doing. Vigorous swirl kicks up a finger and a half of espresso creme colored head. Lacing is good, with bits sticking to the glass.

S: Smelled it as soon as I opened the bottle. Huge notes of grapefruit, pine and other delectable West Coast IPA smells. The malt underneath is nothing of the sort. Notes of bitter chicory, roasted malt and espresso are beneath the big aromas of citrus and tropical fruit.

T: The forward palate is fruity on the tongue. Smoky oily mid palate, with transitions to light roasted coffee before the hops take over and take a more aggressive tone of evergreen and citric soapiness. Running through the finish are big notes of stone fruit, with nectarine being dominant. The aftertaste is dominated by juicy notes of nectarine, with a bit of the soapiness still clinging on. Not a touch of alcohol heat, with it only contributing to the fruity notes.

M: Pretty damn light on its feet considering its pushing 9%. Not overdone. Hell, it's light for the style.

O: I am duly impressed. Gives Wooky Jack a run for its money. (1,290 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh, this is just tasty. One of my favorite, if not favorite, black ales. Delicious, complex, smooth, superb balance. I'll get this again, and I love the fact that you can get small bottles. Not too hoppy at all, in my opinion. Stone just knows how to make good beers--some more than others. But this is more than some. Excellent. (329 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a nonic pint

A - Dark, almost opaque, black with a nutty-brown 2-finger head. Nice, slow settle with a good retention on the side ofglass.

S - Right off the bat, the citrus-piney hop smell smashes the nose almost blocking the way of some roasted coffee maltiness. This beast must've been dry hopped like a bastard.

T - Taste picks up from the nose but with the malts taking the forefront here. The piney hops have a nice bitterness that lingers to the swallow. Hidden nicely is the fruitiness of some blueberry and grape. After the first couple of sips, this beer seems to balance out almost perfectly.

M - Medium carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel than expected from a black IPA. Had a nice crispness to it. Again, the bitterness from the hops, the cloaked fruitiness and the roasted malts balance out almost perfectly. This is a really good tasting beer that leaves my mouth Happy! Alcohol is really hidden too.

O - Although this isn't one of my usual styles I really enjoyed this beer. Not something I would sit and drink a lot of but on its own is a really nice brew. It should go well with my steak and gravy tonight (1,165 characters)

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

650 ml bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.
A: has a dark cola appearance when held to direct light. Thin off white head with 2 finger lacing.
S: Smell of roasted coffee and pine dominate strong alcohol burns the nose slightly

T: Again, roasted coffee,dark malts, piney hops, a subtle sweetness, followed by a bitter hop finish.

M: medium carbonation with a smooth slightly creamy finish.

O: IPA's typically don't have much appeal for me. I am a stout lover to the core, but I find this one to have just enough stout characteristics to have some merit. I also had this on tap recently, and found it to be very drinkable. The ABV is very deceptive. Definitely a good gateway beer for those who loves stouts but are having trouble with IPA's.


April 2015 update: What the hell was I thinking? This beer deserves a much higher score than I gave it. If for nothing else, it helped transform me in to the certifiable hop head I am today . New rating: 4.5/5 (964 characters)

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