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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,610 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4610
Reviews: 1801
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,610 | Reviews: 1,801 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kosmoraios
kosmoraios

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

<edit 02.03.08>

I've been aging this one since Sept. 07 (5 months) and finally decided to pop it. This ale gets considerably better after a little cellartime. AMAZING, Stone! How do ya do it?

<orig. review 10-17-07>
What an amazing ale.

Pours a dark mahogany into my pint glass, with a 2 finger almost-yellow head that lingers forever, leaving a strong lacing on the glass that lasts until the finish.

Aroma is extraordinarily complex. Definitely the trademark Stone IPA hop aroma, but there is caramel, pine, roasted malts, light coffee, citrus. Pop this one just below cellar temp and then keep sniffing as it warms. Amazing.

Taste is phenomenal. Nice, piney/citrussy hops underwritten by the very slight toasted malt flavor. The "toastedness" of the malt is so slight and subtle it's perfect. Hoppy bitterness certainly dominates, but there are undertones of plum, caramel, fruit all in perfect balance.

Mouthfeel is excellent, perfectly carbonated, nice and substantial, lingers on the palate for just the right amount of time.

Drinkability is good for an 8.7 ABV, quite sessionable indeed.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 04:53:26 | More by kosmoraios
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Fathead's served in a stemmed tulip like glass.
Black,opaque had just a tan ring of foam around the inside of the glass when served to me.

Intense hop nose,complex, Very piney,leafy with a strong minty/evergreen aromas with a sight sweet malt note. The hops were overpowering hard to smell anything else.

Very piney taste,resinous/leafy, tons of hops and intense bitterness. Very dry,astrigent slight sweet maltiness buried under the hops. Couldn't taste any alcohol either. Would have expected more maltiness with the dark color,really got fooled there.

Very thick,full and syrupy. Rough drinkability,unbalanced would have like some maltiness in there,maybe with some aging. A sipper for sure,just one at a time please. If you a hophead enjoy it now,if not might want to sit on this one a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2007 02:24:26 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of rxdrewthejew
rxdrewthejew

California

4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I looked far and wide for this beer. Ended up at the BevMo in West Hollywood. I only had a nickel for the meter so I had to get into the store, get the beer, and get out in 4 minutes. Mission accomplished.

Poured into my new tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

A: Dark. The bottle says it's an IPA, but the color isn't right. It's not quite black, if you hold it up to the light it's really a super dark reddish-brown. A nice tan head, very frothy.

S: Quite fruity, mango maybe, or passion fruit. Smells very swee though. A bit of a hop blast but it's subtle. It's odd because you expect something roasty and you get this...

T: This is a complex beer, lots of flavors going on. The hops dominate from start to finish. Citrus and pine, hits you with the first sip and stays in the mouth. The sweetness is there as well, still tastes tropical to me. A bit of roasted dark mult but not much.

MF: It's a pretty thick, full beer, and the flavors linger for a long time. Not much warming and the alcohol is well masked, not that 8.7% is out of this world or anything. Soooo smooth, especially for an IPA.

D: Man is this beer good. I may just have to go buy a few more bottles of this before it's gone. The taste makes this one a sipper, but you could really gulp these down. Of course, the alcohol catches up to you. The balance is just awesome here. Please god, let more people make black IPA's. Seriously. Great work from Stone, as always.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 02:16:39 | More by rxdrewthejew
Photo of vtfan77
vtfan77

Virginia

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown with a slight reddish tinge. Almost black, but not quite. Nice inch or so of light tan head.

S- Ahhh, now that's the stuff! Amazing hoppy aroma. Strong Simcoe aroma comes through with sweet citrus and floral notes. Only the slightest hint of roasted malt is detectable, but it's certainly there and adds complexity to the smell.

T- It's not particularly sweet, surprisingly enough. It starts out kind of tangy and citrusy before taking on stronger flavors of pine and coffee. The hops and the roasted malt complement each other quite nicely. Alcohol peeks through from time to time. The bitterness is substantial and is joined on the finish by a somewhat astringent roastiness. I suspect my palate is ruined for the rest of the evening.

M- Medium-full body with a fairly low carbonation level that suits the beer just fine.

D- After drinking one, it seems pointless to drink another because I probably won't be able to taste it. But that one sure was nice.

I've pretty much run out of things to say about Stone, so I won't even bother. Just know that this beer lives up to the brewery's lofty standards. If you like big IPA's and are a fan of Stone's beers, then you have to give this a try. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 22:21:02 | More by vtfan77
Photo of likestoswallow
likestoswallow

California

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle from Henry’s Market. Pours a deep dark coffee brown color with a khaki head that has plenty of lacing and fades very slowly. Aroma is pungent with hops, grapefruit, oranges and walnuts. Flavor is ripe with oranges, green cedar, burnt toast and bittersweet chocolate; all set in a biter hops backdrop. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with light but distinct carbonation. Finish is more biter-sweet chocolate and hops. This concoction tastes (to me) like a three-way cross between Arrogant Bastard, Ruination IPA and Smoked Porter. I love it. I may get a case to stash away, this should age very well. Wow. Recommended

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 20:10:58 | More by likestoswallow
Photo of walshclimb
walshclimb

Nevada

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Update - I had one of these last night that has been aging almost 4 months. It is like a different beer. Nicer, cleaner smell and much more balanced flavor. That harsh bitter aftertaste is all but gone. I am very impressed with how well this is aging. Boy am I glad I have 3 more bottles. So, I have upped my taste from 3.5 to 4.0. I will reconsider in a month or two and maybe bring it up a little more.

Original review -
I have to say, I had really high hopes for this after last year's anniversary ale. Unfortunately I was left a little disappointed. Still a good beer, just no fireworks for me. Starts off nice, with a black pour with a thick tan head that is frothy with bubbles ranging from very small to 1/8". You can see active carbonation in the body, and it leaves sparse lace up the side of my tulip glass. The smell is there too, with citrus to floral hops coming through first with light malt in the background. It smells almost summer-y and is a surprise considering how dark the beer is. I was expecting strong roasted malts but it isn't really there. There is light caramel to molasses with increasing caramel and decreasing hops smell as it warms.

The initial flavor is nice and bitter with a sweet to smkey transition to a long lived very bitter, almost harsh aftertaste. The aftertaste is complex with roasted to burnt malt and strong hop bitterness that never seems to go away. Not as balanced as I would like and the aftertaste is just too bitter and stays around too long. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a milky to creamy feel, active carbonation and slightly alcoholic finish.

Overall, this is a good beer. I guess it is one of those situations where you look forward to something for too long - a year! The complexity is good, but the balandce is not. It is great for a hop head that likes it dark, but I don't expect to be desperately seeking this one out like I was with last year's beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 19:09:30 | More by walshclimb
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black colored beer with pin grapefruit and resinous hops flowing through the nose and mouth like a DIPA. Who would thunk? Apparently Stone. The Traditional IPAs get a bit dull after a while. A bit repetitious. This is an interesting way to mix it up.

I have now had several pints of this beer. First on-tap at Capones Restaurant in Norristown, a taste out of a bottle and now I have an entire growler all to my self. (long story was supposed to be shared... oh well... more for me =).

At first I thought they were going for hoppy porter with this beer. Hoppy porters seem to be all around me about now. My notes from the first tasting at the bar were rather undecided. My second tasting of it was a bit more convincing. Now that I realize I am on my second snifter of this growler, I am very pleased with the beer.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown almost black color with a beautiful brown head and moderate lacing.

Smell: What is going on here? WOW. I get a big pine, citrus rind resinous hop bitterness, pineapple floral notes and also a black malt, toasted caramel malty element as well.

Taste: Like the nose, it is a muddle of DIPA flavors primarily but with a roasted Swartzbeir underneath all those fresh hops. It starts boldly hoppy. Grapefruit and pine. The flavor turns roasted espresso dark chocolate bitter through the mid to late end of the palate and then the finish and aftertaste is all about the hops once again. The aftertaste cling indefinitely to the taste buds with both coffee bitterness and pin resin bitterness, though all the burps are of the green variety. =)

Mouthfeel: With all the molasses and dark chocolate flavors even a touch of pumpernickel bread, I hoped for a slightly heartier body. This is an easy drinking beer but I don't think it will age well.

Drinkability: Damn, what can I say when I am singlehandedly polishing off a growler. Pretty drinkable beer. With out question. And certainly unique; which I always respect.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: growler

10-16-2007 05:29:34 | More by Phatz
Photo of Jmamay22
Jmamay22

New York

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Black IPA pours a very dark black with a tan colored head. Certainly has the black part of Black IPA completed. Wonderful webbing and rings of sticky lacing.

Smells very hoppy and very much like an IPA. Looks can be very deceiving.

Tastes of resinous hops. Very bitter, but the grapefruit, piney, and grass flavors are lacking and leave mostly a bitter flavor. Fortunately, there are some caramel malt flavors that jump in.

Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation serves to enhance the biting hop flavors. Drinkability is high for the abv, but the hops are a little out of whack for me and hurt the drinkability a bit.

More of a Double Black IPA than the Black IPA name it has earned. It is reminiscent of a Black Ruination, but slightly lacking.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 20:55:05 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brew House Grill

A--Nearly pitch black...not what I expected. Slight deep ruby highlights on edges. Nice, fluffy, off-white head. Laces very nicely.

S--Huge hops, lots of pine resin and citrus. Must be dry-hopped to high heaven as I could not discern a malt presence at all.

T--BAM! hops flavors are grapefruit and pine. More tasting unveils a bit of chocolate, caramel and roasted malt flavors. Finishes with a ton of hops in the aftertaste.

M--Big rich and full bodied with tons o hops and a nice malt afterkick.

D--Lots o hops and a good malt backbone...what more could you want. I really enjoyed drinking this offering from Stone...another fine offering! I could easily drink 2 or 3 in a row...well done!

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2007 11:29:20 | More by Deuane
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i picked this up at the Village Market in Gambier. $6

it's very dark for an american strong, though i suppose this is a bit of a catchall category anyhow. the head is resplendant and leaves frosty lacing in its wake. fine bubbles are reinforced at the back (bottom) by more—even finer

big scent of chinook (warrior?) hops. citrus and pine. my nose says IIPA. i get a suggestion of malt, but it's really all hop

my tongue says "i see what they mean by black ipa". though not featuring the sweetness or body of an RIS, some of the darkness limps through the hop front line. it's minimal, but comes through with a more roasted note. there's a touch of bitterness from the malts that plays with that of the hops. lots of high AA NW hops

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 02:01:11 | More by bruachan
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I just missed out on buying Stone 10th in stores last year. I wasn't about to miss Stone 11th this year. This is my first bottle of it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker black in color with a 3-finger high loose-bubbled light tan head. It drops to a thick surface coating never once showing the surface of the beer. Lacing comes in sheets all the way down the glass.

SMELL: Huge hop profile that is very characteristic of Stone. Spicy, piny, and slightly citrusy hops dominate the nose. Additional sniffs yield the chocolate-type malt aromas one would expect from the color of this beer. Make no mistake though - the hops are king here by a large margin.

TASTE: Surprise! It's a hop bomb. Again, a very typical Stone hop profile with maybe a bit of extra citrusy sweet dry-hopped oomf. All I can taste is the hops even as the beer crosses my palate. And just as I'm about to be disappointed by the lack of flavor from the malt, it all of sudden kicks in... and keeps going. The finish has chocolate flavors growing and growing. And then it gets roasty and just keeps getting stronger long after the beer is gone. A very cool 2-layered taste.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full body that is just a bit syrupy. Carbonation level is higher than average but at a nice level.

DRINKABILITY: Stone 11th is kind of doomed from the start in this category. Huge body, huge ABV, stout flavors, and massive hops are tough on their own. But when all combined into one beer, it's tough to want more than 1 bomber. Taking that into account though, it's still a pretty nice drinker.

I've never had anything like this beer before, but I'm very intrigued by it. My best description would be to call it an Inverse Imperial Stout. It's clearly a DIPA first and foremost, but with a really cool twist. I can't wait to drink my others.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 01:36:58 | More by jmalex
Photo of mdubzfrumpdubz
mdubzfrumpdubz

New York

4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought in NY, smuggled to Chicago, where Stone does not exist....

Out of a 22oz. bomber and into my Delerium Tremens Tulip, this gem pours very dark brown, almost black. Unfortunately my cold does not allow me to pick up all the notes in this one. Roasted malts and a decent hop profile define this beer, but do not overpower the chocolate and some sort of fruit (dates, raisins?) that come through on the back end. There is a slight warming from the alcohol after it is all said and done....until you take another sip....gets more complex as it warms, but again, my cold is not allowing me to identify alot of these tastes. The mouthfeel is exciting but smooth. This is categorized as an American Strong Ale, but it seems like more of an Imperial Stout or Porter. At 8.7%, I'm not sure I could drink this all night, but I wouldn't be afraid to have a couple.

Stone has never let me down before, and judging by this 11th anniversary ale, they probably never will. Well done sirs.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2007 02:03:06 | More by mdubzfrumpdubz
Photo of aquaderek
aquaderek

California

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip tasting glass. One word to describe how this beer looks, "beautiful". A very dark orangish brown with a 4 in head that settles to a nice frothy creamy brownish head. The nose roasted nuts with a little hoppiness in the background. I am really not sure how to describe the taste other than well balanced with a nice amount of bite due to the high alcohol content, but as stated before well balanced. The mouthfeel right amount of carbination slightly viscious and slippery. This is a big beer, as much as I would like to I could probably only drink a couple.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 02:04:22 | More by aquaderek
Photo of beermanbrian
beermanbrian

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black in color. Nice fine foamed tan head that you would expect on a stout. Smell kills the idea that this is a stout right away. Big floral hops smell that just blows me away. This has to be one of the best smelling beers ever. Some sweet malt comes through in the background but it is really the floral smell that stands out. Taste is hoppy up front and then big malts kick in. Very sweet followed by a mild bitterness. Solid chewy mouthfeel that lets you know there something behind this one. Once again a solid beer from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 01:51:01 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of auntfloyd
auntfloyd

New York

3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz bomber into a Stone Pint Glass.

This ale pours dark, dark black, with some faint ruby highlights at the edge. The one fingerof tan head gradually dissipates, but never fully dissapears. This definitely looks a lot like a porter or stout.

The smell, though, is pure DIPA. The citrusy West Coast hops are the most dominant, followed by pine and a faint sweetness.

The taste is similar, with a piney, grapfruit flavor leading off, with a very subdued maltiness and alcohol followup.

The mouthfeel is fairly full. Drinkability is good for the style and strenght though, as this DIPA doesn't have the overpowering aftertaste that many of them do.

Overall, this is a good DIPA, very much what you'd expect from Stone. On the flip side, there's not much to distinguish this from their other IPAs, aside from abv and looks.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2007 22:57:35 | More by auntfloyd
Photo of pjwilson
pjwilson

California

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: it's pitch black. the head is nice and tan and thick and leaves nice lacing on the glass. For an Imperial Stout this is awesome.

smell: ok, so this is not an Imperial Stout. it's another stone double IPA that happens to be black. very raw and sticky hops. no hint of malt of any kind like one would expect from the color. Of course if you read the back it tells you it's a black IPA.

taste: very good. Strong IPA front with the same raw and super sticky hops we got in number 10. The bitterness is here but in balance. After all the front end hoppiness we get just a hint of coffee smoothness at the end. Much less than a stout but enough to had a hint of complexity. wow.

mouthfeel: nicely done as usual by stone. runs about medium, probably a bit lighter than an average IPA.

Drinkability: pretty much compels you to take another sip.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2007 05:39:49 | More by pjwilson
Photo of Admiraldinty
Admiraldinty

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I didn't really know what I was buying when I picke this up.

A: Pours black/ruby, with a substantial tan head.

S: Hops, citrus and alcohol.

T: Complex, as most Stone beers are. Grapefruit, pine, and really strong hops. Some sweetness.

M: Sticky, maybe a bit too much.

D: Great stuff, but treat it with respect.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 23:11:54 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep opaque amber, almost black, with a tan head. Aromas of grapefruity hops, mellow, and non abrasive. In the taste, huge grapefruity hops and a smooth maltiness. A smooth, small bitterness mouthfeel and a grapefruity hop aftertaste. A hop bomb, interesting in color and style. I felt it tasted like an IPA, and looked like a porter, not bad for a strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 20:42:48 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is hops. And then more hops, and then more hops. Citrus and spice. Once it gets very warm, then a little hint of malt and roast character comes through. I don't want to rip it for being one dimensional, it is a Stone Anniversary so what do you expect. The hop aroma is good, fresh smelling and spicy but that's it.

Appearance is deep black with a good solid tan head that leaves great lacing throughout the glass. Held up to the light it has nice red highlights.

Flavor is very Stone. Lots of hop bitterness. Then lots of grassy & Citrus hop flavor. Then lots of fresh hop flavor in the aftertaste. There's barely a hint of malt flavor and if there's any black or roasted malt in there it's blown out by the IBUs. Again, really one dimensional.

Full bodied with a very nice lively carbonation level. Just barely warming from alcohol.

It's a tough one for me. On the one hand, I expect a Stone anniversary to be very aggressively hopped. But the idea of a black IPA is very intriguing. But any flavor or character that might make this unique as a black IPA is blown out by the extreme hoppiness. I like it but I can't help thinking about what could have been if the roast or black malt might have come through a little bit.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 05:07:49 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Seaoflament for this bomber sent as part of the 1000 Mile (East/West) BIF. Big thanks, Carlos!

Pours a deep black with some dark mahogany highlights. There's a thick peanut brittle colored head that has good staying power and leaves nice lacing.

The aroma is lightly sweet with some nuttiness. Oh yeah...there is some hops in this bad boy, also. Lots of 'em. Resinous pine and burning citrus. A bit of a vinous scent in the background as well.

The taste is a complex one, imo. Of course the hops are the main factor, but there are many other players here. A touch of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee with a good dose of cream, and some alcohol. Maybe it's just me ,but, I get some wood in here, too. I can just sip and think on this one a while....

Bitter, drying aftertaste from this medium body beer. This one's like a mix of a DIPA, porter, cream stout, and a strong ale. I wasn't sure at first, but as it warmed some it really grew on me. Stone does it again. If you can still find it, buy it.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 16:30:06 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of PhageLab
PhageLab

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Finally tracked one of these babies down thanks to alphaking.

A - Just as the description claims, pitch dark, I wasn't sure what I was getting into at first, but I couldn't wait. Thick foamy head, excellent lacing and retention.

S - Strong smell of hop notes and a sweet scent that reminded me of cherries.

T - Very potent bitterness with a floral aftertaste, decent complexity, but it cannot mask the alcohol, which is why I didn't rate it higher than a 4 in this department, it's punch is reminiscent of malt liquor.

M - Full bodied IMO and very sharp, with a little bit of lingering.

D - Hard to put down more than one or two I think, but an excellent ale none the less. Here's to Stone for another excellent brew!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 03:10:04 | More by PhageLab
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brownish black color with cascading carbonation coming after the pour. Head is dark brown and a thick 3 inches that lingers and leaves a lot of great lacing. Aroma is hoppy followed by a toasted malt presence. I can also smell some grapes I believe. Taste is bitter followed by an overly sweet hoppy flavor, and a lot of raisins making this one seem like a barleywine type flavor. Mouthfeeling is oily and soft carbonation. Somewhat heavy on the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 21:02:59 | More by genog
Photo of forty
forty

New York

4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a 'dark IPA' but I was very pleasantly surprised by the result. It poured almost pitch-black with a perfect, creamy head that never disappeared and left some rich lacing on the glass. The taste seemed to me like a perfect marriage of a top-notch Stout or Porter and IPA. The rich malts were superbly balanced by the bold, yet not overly bitter hops and the bottle went down very easily. I was amazed at how drinkable this rich, strong beer proved to be. Perfectly executed.

EDIT: It was so good, it inspired me to write my first review

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 14:47:34 | More by forty
Photo of BlackJeremiah
BlackJeremiah

Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my Stone RIS specialty glass.

A: I see undertones of ruby, but this beer is, by and large, a very dark, opaque offair. It would look almost identical to the RIS, were it not for the generous, rocky, frothy cream-colored head that screams "I taste like a lighter-colored beer!"

S: It definitely smells like an IPA. Orange, grapefruit, and pine resin hops overpower the nose, with a slight fruity hint of raspberry, black currant, and chocolate (very slight) underneath. So far, the color has not asserted itself to any sense but my eyes--I almost wonder if the chocolate scent I pick up is due more to eye-nose association than actual smell. After tasting it, however, the dark roastiness asserts itself more prominently in the nose.

T: The elements are more assertive here. Grapefruit and pine attack the palate, carried on a solid wave of baker's chocolate and dark fruit hints--chocolate covered cherry cordials, perhaps, due to the peppery alcohol bite. There is a definite sweetness in the middle, an almost sugary quality that is quickly vaporized by the roasty malt base and citric-pine oiliness. It's very interesting, and seems to change its balance slightly with each successive sip, bringing different elements forward. It's a little heavy on the alcohol burn in the finish, but still a very complex and intriguing offering.

M: Feels light at first, but it is very sticky. The crispness of the flavors prevents the beer from getting too cloying, but it still clings to the palate a little too long.

D: I really think it's one of Stone's more interesting offerings of late. It's at least as good as the 10th, and will likely age more gracefully. I'd like to find a few more bottles, so I can test that theory.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 05:03:06 | More by BlackJeremiah
Photo of travolta
travolta

California

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Bomber bottle with Stone's constitutionally gifted delineation. Very very dark. Black until held to the light, then it was a tiny bit amber. Fluffy head and thick lacing stays around. Head Retention is notable.

Nose:
The first smell received was the pine. Vibrant malt and mellow hops. It is awake and green on the nose.

Taste:
Mouth feel is perfectly constructed to be both elusive and comfortable. It is not as heavy as it looks and not light enough to be a letdown. It is graceful, yet commanding on your tongue. toasty malt upfront, as well as some citrus hops woven in and out. The finish is drying, but not uncomfortably so. This is an expertly balanced beer. Nothing commands, nothing sleeps. To have this with the addition of creativity is divine.

Notes:
I am very pleased and would highly recommend this beer. It has Stone's predictable aftertaste. I can't quite pinpoint it.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 04:00:21 | More by travolta
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,610 ratings.