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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,895 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,895
Ratings:
5,857
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
291
Gots:
784
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
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Reviews: 1,895 | Ratings: 5,857
Photo of arguemaniac
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black IPA, hmm, let's see what this is all about...

Rich, pungent hops are the name of the game here. Heavy astringency, oily hop mouthfeel and a bright citrusy character that is quite delicious. What else does one expect from Stone? There is a bit of balance, though: some nice, heavily toasted caramel and a definite chocolate note too.

Though Stone's attempt at to make this beer so "unique," it's well above average as IPA. Rich, hoppy, and very delicious. And, admittedly, the heavy roast and chocolate is interesting.

Highly recommended...

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Photo of far333
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished chestnut colored with the huge foamy and dimpled inch high head that most Stone beers seem to have.

Aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar and hops.

Rich flavors of dark malt, roasty flavors, brown sugar and citrusy hops. Interesting mix of rich dark malts alongside bright tangerine hops. Hops morph to grapefruit rind and add a piney bitter finish.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy.

Very drinkable, I'm enjoying this one.

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

Stone - 11th Anniversary Ale
September 2007
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a deep & dark brown with an incredible head on top. Excellent trails of sticky lacings that decorate the glassware.

Whiffs of hop bombs & roasting brown sugar.

Yowza...what a delicuous beer, flavors of brown sugar, pie crust and light chocolate with a significant hop snap on the finish. We're talkin' real hop bitterness on the finish.

This beer looks great and tastes great. Not used to the brown-esqe ale from this brewery, but enjoyed just the same.

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

pours black with a dense tan head, the head is very pillowy.
the aroma is wondefula seamless mix of hardy malt and intense hops, the aroma reminds me of a barley wine, pungent, spicy, citrus with caramelized malt to put a smile on your face.

the flavor is tremendously awesome full frontal hops exploding in your mouth, intense malt, caramelized malt, toffee, with a hint of cocoa and coffee, a firm bitterness, resinous, mouth coating hops, lingering spiciness.

this is a great beer, i will be buying more.

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

I had a bottle back in September when it was first released. I enjoyed but felt it was young, I was fortunate enough to find a few still available at a local brew store.

Poured from the bomber into a Brooklyn Flute the appearance is as the marketing speak indicates, pitch black. A pretty tannish head sits on top of this porter/stout looking beer.

The sight deceives the aroma. A big whiff of tangerine and grapefruit hops hit the nose and keep coming. There is a malt layer beneath but not the expectation of beer that is this dark. Much more caramel sweet and light faint milk chocolate. I rarely try to name hops that are not called out by the brewer, but I cannot imagine this beer is not finished with a ton of columbus for the aroma. Clean, nothing off, big and bright and inviting.

As when I first had this I am still marveling at how they get this color and the taste profile is that of a double ipa, a nice rich malty backbone to carry those tasty citrusy and slightly piney hops with a bang of very clean bitterness in the finish. There are some touches of chocolate tastes in the middle, but clean caramel maltiness is predominate in the malt profile.

Really outstanding, clean well crafted, carries a near 9% abv with pride.

Stone should consider moving this into regular production.

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Photo of chileman13
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a-poured a cloudy dark toffee brown with 1/2 finger head that broke to a ring.
a-Hopsy is the word yet a balance malt could be detected.
t- strong alcohol hops and barley. Very complex and tasty.
m- medium creaminess with great carbonation.
strong alcohol aftertase.
this aint your daddies buttwiser.
I would drink tis again and again.

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Photo of ziggy13
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this guy once again here late in the season. Loved it the first time and loved it again.

A - Very, very dark, almost stout-like. Some dark reds shing on the bottom. Nice tan head which dissipated quickly. Lacing, however, was excellent.

S - Full of floral west coast hops. Hits you smack in the nose. Smells like a double IPA.

T - Of couse, at first taste you realize its a little more complex than that. Waves of hops and chocolate malts flow simultaneously over the palate. Its citrusy, flowery, and spicy all in one. Actually finishes tart and piney. Fantastically complex and diverse. Obviously many varieties of hops were used in this one.

M - Medium body. A little chewy. The beer coats the palate and lingers for a while.

D - Obviously its tough to drink a few of these, but one is just enough.

Fantastic brew and I can't wait till next year's offering. Cheers!

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a bomber into Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Pours a dark brown with about inch of creamy head.

S- Sweet malt and citrus. Lots of hops in this.

T- HOPS! Lots of hops in this. Very cirtusey with notes of grapefruit and lemon. I am not usually a fan of hops but this is pretty good.

M- Good carbonation for this beer.

D- I just opened a bomber so we will see if I get through that. I think that I would drink this again. I am not a huge hop-bomb fan so it isn't my favorite though. Very odd that it is so dark. You don't get many dark malt notes in this. Seems like the color doesn't influence the taste at all.

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

A: Pours a dark opaque color with a tan head.

S: Theres some citrus nose with some dry pine and a touch of smokiness. The nose is sweet overall.

T: The flavor is a huge dry roasted malt bill, some dry chocolate with some citrusy hopping and sticky pine. Theres a definity pine sticky resin character to the palate with a great roasted malt presence that is deep and very rich. Definitly tastes like they combined their arrogant bastard and smoked porter recipe. Typical Stone hopping with Chinook with some new Amarillo lemon hops used to give it a distinct citrus/lemon hop flavor. A good combination of malt and hopping and very well balanced. There was a nice lingering bitterness from the hops that hung around for a little bit as well.

M: the mouthful was full with a nice dry roastedness.

D: very good drinkability for its abv. could easily drink in multiples, very smooth palate going down, and nicely hidden alcohol.

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from PHawk in our massive Darkness trade.

Poured into my Aventinus glass.

A: pours a dark ruby brown and quickly forms a big, khaki head, lacing everywhere, looks great

S: almost all hops, but a deep, dark citrus thanks to the huge malt back

T: hop bite up front, but an intriguing almost sweet red berry in the middle, which tapers into an oaky finish.

M: smooth, a little less carbonation than I was expecting, slightly creamy, but still bitey from the hops

D: very hoppy, yet the intense malt backbone compliments it very well. A very unique "IPA" that is a sipper but quite delicious. Had to save some of mine for the next night.

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Photo of elmore
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this on from Grapes of Mirth in Columbus, OH about 3 months ago. Poured from a 1 pint 6 oz bottle into a tulip glass. A one finger, off white head with moderate retention, which left some decent lace.

Described as an IPA on the bottle. The darkest pale ale I've ever seen, which wasn't a huge surprise as the last sentence of the description on the back reads "Pitch dark". Dark black. Nearly opaque - has similar appearance to a porter or stout. Carbonation not real active.

Hops dominate the nose. I can detect more dark malts and hints of carmel than the typical IPA. Hops are definetely the dominate taste, but not overpowering and are well balanced by the dark malts. Docked a few points for drinkablity, because this is just such a big beer.

Creamy, dense, chewy mouthfeel with a bit of oily hops. Moderate carbonation.

This beer is big in every way - malty, hoppy, high ABV. Although called an IPA on the bottle label. BA lists it as an American Strong Ale. I really appreciate beer like this that are hard to put in a single catergory. To me seems to have the strong hops prescence and mouthfeel of an IPA with the dark carmel malts of a porter or stout.

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

Pours a very dark, almost black body, with a big frothy tan head. Nice rentention and generous lace left behind.

Hoppy aroma - bright with lots of citrus and grapefruit. Some malt sweetness lies in the backround.

Powerful blast of hops kicks things off. Very citric with a touch of pine. Sweet maltiness comes in to add a little balance. Mild roast and brown sugar. Alcohol shows just a bit, adding some spice and a little heat towards the end of the bottle. Hops are definitely the showcase here, powerful but not harsh. Damn tasty and very refreshing.

Medium bodied, crisp, and prickly on the tongue. Very drinkable - could be a session beer if it wasn't for the high ABV. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

I enjoyed getting a hop fix from a dark beer. Great brew - more then just a gimmick.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruddy brown. Somewhat muddy in appearance. Floral and fruity aroma. Sort of "burnt" smelling. Quite bitter up front against a mellow malt flavor. Very grainy tasting. Long lingering bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is ok. A decent enough beer but I am not sure what its trying to be. I would like to see Stone do something with a little less hops in it. I mean, I am worthy and all but its time for a change in spots.

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Photo of Scooter70
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with smells of alcohol and malt. Thick, tan head with good retention. Taste is mostly malty with a hint of hops. The alcohol smell doesn't really come through in the taste. Overall, the taste didn't match what I expected from a dark IPA. (What the heck is an IPA doing this dark anyway?!?!) I prefer more hop and less malt but overall I like this beer. I don't think I've had a beer from Stone that I didn't like. ;)

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Photo of medic25
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a generic pint glass. Pours a dark, almost black body with a big frothy tan head. Hoppy aroma. Taste is impressive; big powerful hit of hops, but a touch of sweetness and maltiness that is balanced very well. This beer reminded me of a DIPA and an imperial stout that got together to make something new. The alcohol is present, but pleasantly welcome. Goes down quite nicely; another great offering from a brewery I wish would come to Connecticut some day.

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

22oz brown bomber with September 2007 printed on the bottle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown to black in color with a solid one finger of creamy looking head. It is fairly dense, but from what I can tell the carbonation is plenty active. Head leaves behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The first aroma that I identify is grapefruit rind, but I can tell that there is much more going on here. The malt smells are, at the same time, roasted and semi-sweet. Certainly, there are some coffee tones in there. In addition to the citrus, I also picked up some evergreen notes and some fruity esters. Bold flavors abound here. The hops are very assertive and pack plenty of bitterness, and the malts, while they do take a backseat to the hops, are still sufficiently represented as well. The malt flavors are as advertised in the smell- roasted and lightly sweet, but it doesn't take long for the powerhouse citrus hop bitterness to steal the show. The bitterness lingers in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a mostly smooth texture and lively carbonation.

Kudos to Stone for being creative and taking a chance. This is a finely crafted gem to commemorate their eleventh anniversary. Admittedly, I am a sucker for over the top citrus hop taste and bitterness, and this beer satisfied that immensely, but unlike most super hopped up beers, this one added considerable nuances from the malt as well. Not only did I think it cool to have an almost black IPA (or is it a IDA or IBA?), but the malts added a lot to the overall character of this brew. In all, I would say this is one of the best beers that has ever passed through these lips. My wish is that Stone will bring this one back in the future, but for now, enjoy it while you still can.

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

A black IPA? You gotta give the Stone folks some credit for that. T'is very porter like in appearance with a light tan head that isn't skimpy with the lacing.
Scent? Smoked Ruination. Maybe if you mixed their smoked porter with Ruination you'd get something like this out of the nose. Sparkly hoppy scents with deep roasted coffee scents.
The flavors make me think of a wood aged IPA of some sort. Shades of Le Coq stout but dominated by a ballsy IPA profile. The malts make for a pleasing sweetness that rounds everything out.
For drinkability, all I can say is yes, more please. As far as strong ales go I probably would enjoy this more than Arrogant Bastard... is that blasphemous to say? A fitting tribute to a lucky number 11 years and going strong.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 1pint, 6 fl. oz bottle copped from Home Liquors in Verona, this magnificent brew pours a jet-black, ebony color with a tan, frothy head... looks and smells similar to a stout or porter, although the bottle claims this is an ale... big bottle with a picture of a winged devil lifting a beer mug behind a blue "XI" logo, with "September 2007" on the front... Paid about $8 for this one... chocolate, espresso aroma with a rich, creamy, thick mouthfeel... taste is strong with a chocolate, velvet, dark coffee flavor with strong cocoa notes... good mouthfeel and for an 8.7% ABV, you don't really notice the alcohol so much as the unique combination of flavors... a definite winner from Stone... one of the better brews from the company that I've sampled... Definitely recommended...

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Photo of xymyl
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark mahogany red with a light brown head that drops to a stable 5mm thick film and leaves a lot of lace.

Smell is malt and hops, along the lines of the chocolate, coffee, caramel that you would expect from this density of color, but with a light molasses, fresh bread dough, cherry and what seem to be slight Belgian or wild yeast esters. The hops are rich and spread across the spectrum of the corresponding sweet notes. There are floral, earthy, leafy and spicy hop notes everywhere.

Taste is far more balanced than one would expect, with malt notes matching every punch of bitterness. Overripe fruits and rich dark chocolate notes dominate the profile, but citrus, rootbeer/ginger, cinnamon, clove, leather and chalk show up as well. Citrus leaves, zest and even fresh cut grass are here in force.

Overall: Full bodied with strong bitterness, yet fully balanced (as an IPA). Good, strong carbonation, just enough to savor for a long time and keep the beer moving. Just awesome. This is the third time I've had one of these and felt it was ready for my review. But there is even more in here. I like this beer even more because without knowing that Stone was creating theirs, I made my own Dark Double IPA at exactly the same time. I guess, since my mind was on the style it made me appreciate the effort more. It's great, think about it.

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Photo of riored4v
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Dark in color. Basically black with hints of red when held up to a light. Nice big/tight head that slowly fades down a 1 finger head with lacing throughout sample.

S= Hops!! Nice hints of citrusy and grapefruit aromas followed up with a malty sweetness.

T= Did I mention hops? A very nice hop bite that you can feel in the back of your mouth. Nice and bitter with a good malt roastiness that helps to balance things out. Definitely more hoppy than malty.

M= Crisp. Nice carbonation, medium body with and oily tongue feel.

D= VERY drinkable. Session worthy if it wasn't for the high ABV. It does manage to hide the alcohol pretty well.

Outstanding beer in my opinion. Definitely a unique offering and I wish it was more readily available. I'm glad I was able to grab a case because this has become one of my more favorite beers.

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

a: This one is pitch black and pours with a big white head.

s: Grapefruity hops with a bit of pine and lemon dominate here. There is a bit of brown sugar caramel sweetness as well.

t: This a pretty good tasting IPA. It has a nice citric hop bite and just enough brown sugar sweetness to provide some balance.

m: Decent body and good carbonation.

d: Like I said earlier, this is pretty good, but aside from the novelty of a black hoppy beer, I'm not sure what the fuss is about.

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

Bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Really dark brown with very little lght passing thru. Short cream colored head that stays thru most of the sample.

S- Overpowering grapefruit hops aroma. Light pine underneath.

T- Very strong grapefruit that is riding on top of a good malt base. Alcohol is well hidden in the taste, but I knew it when I finished the beer.

M- Medium heavy.

D- A very good beer. Shame it is not offer regularly and shame it was not available in DE when it came out. Luckily, I got mine at the source. Another enjoyable beer experience from Stone.

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Photo of beersabound
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a toughy to review b/c what is a American Strong Ale, really? Anyways, it is very dark brown on the edges with a dark center and that is is where the center of darkness ends. The aroma is hops with some licorice, roasted malt and alcohol thrown in.

The flavor is bitter up front with a bit roasted malt and alcohol again followed up by some resiny hop flavor. Tasty and mouth pleasing for sure but the alcohol flavor detracts a bit for me.

It's medium full bodied with a full mouthfeel. It's not velvety at all but not unpleasant or chalky at all. It's drinks wel lbut not something I'd pair with food. I tried it with some beef ribs and plowed over the ribs and sauce and said "So, what's next?"

Ballsy concept with good follow through. I like it but not love it.

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Photo of burtonbe
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I'm not really sure how to judge this attribute, since the brew does not fit any particular style, and the style of strong ale does not specify particularly whether dark-colored ales are a flaw or a plus. Very dark, nearly opaque. 1/2 finger head. Superb lacing.

S - Extremely hoppy. Huge hop flavor. Very very nice --- if I were reviewing an DIPA.

T - Very strong taste. Ultra-bitterness. Coffee notes are apparent. Concentrated malt flavor. Dark malts are present. Be ready for concentrated flavor.

M - Nothing too special, but what I would expect from such a weird brew. Decent mouthfeel, with some residual coating of the palate. I cannot expect much more.

D - This brew really isn't very drinkable. Even for the style, it's a bit over-the-top. It's not really fair to rate this brew against the standard of American Strong Ale, since this is simply so unique...

Overall, I'm blown away. But this brew is really in a category all its own. Putting it into the American Strong Ale category is stupid. It's a very unique brew that I would recommend to anyone looking for an intense experience all-around.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very unusual beer here. Almost like a hybrid between a porter and an IPA. Very good, though.

Poured very dark with a nice tight head and nice lacing too.

Smelled hoppy but also dark and maybe a little bit fruity as well.

Nice sweet hoppy taste with a bit of darkness to it. Oily mouthfeel and finish is nice too.

Very intense beer that I will be getting again.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,895 ratings.