1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,740 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,740
Reviews: 1,888
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 703 | FT: 8
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,740 | Reviews: 1,888
Photo of eric5bellies
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank at The Monk, Fremantle

A - Pors a deep Mahogany colour withe two fingered off White head that left rings all the way down the glass.

S - Plenty of piney hops present with some sweet roasted malts too.

T - Nice Grapefruit flavours up front with the hops up front before the malt almost completely takes over the brew and leaves withasweet bitter finish. Impressive

M - Medium to full body with minimal carbonation.

O - One of the best beers I have had this year so far. Fantastic brew.

Photo of legalpete19340
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured very dark brown almost black with a huge head of sand. The beer laced endlessly and perfectly.

S: Lots of ripe grapefruit and citrus, pine in the background, some slight grassy notes as well. A bit of roasted malt sweetness too. Just great smelling beer. So fragrant.

T: Juicy grapefruit, citrus hops explode. I mean this is a monster. I still get some pine but mostly grapefruit. There is enough malt to stand up to the hops but it never dominates the flavor for more than a second in the mid swig. The malt is dark, bitter and sweet like russian bread. But this is all perfect hop character. Have..no..words.

M: I dont care, this is too good. It seems a little heavier which is good for the brew. Not syrupy.

O: Awesome glorious dark sexy hoperfection.

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really black but dark brown. Two fingers of head forms and slowly settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Mostly hops in the aroma with hints of pine and citrus. Seems to be the popular hop bill for this style of beer. Missing roasted malt aroma however.

The flavor features a lot of hops which is not surprising. Mostly pine but also some grapefruit. Not really tasting the "black" part of this beer. A little smoke is about all I get. Bitterness is high.

Substantial body and nicely carbonated. Not porter/stout like in body but a little more than a typical pale ale.

In a blind taste test I doubt I could identify it as a black ale and not an IPA. What's the point then?

Photo of RickS95
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not 100% black, but awfully close, maybe a touch of dark brown around the edges. Pours a nice head, a combination of large and small bubbles, off-tan in color.

Lots of smells and they're all fighting to be noticed. At different times I picked up scents of coffee, chocolate, licorice, Fritos, sawdust and flowers.

Tastes pale ale-ish. In addition to flowery hops, there was some coffee and licorice. The more I drink, the more I pick up bitter chocolate and tea.

There's complexity on the palate as it starts off creamy but ends on a very bitter note. It's full bodied and as I try to distinguish all things that are happening, I see nice lacing on the glass.

Overall, there's lots to like about this. It looks good and tastes good. It's got good alcohol, but nothing is offensive.

Photo of Vixie
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one dark beer. Pitch black, with a large tan head.

Smell is mainly hops, with a hint of malt and yeast.

Very complex taste. Reminds me a lot of am imperial stout, but with a large dose of hops. There is coffee and chocolate in there, and a bit of smoke as well. The hops are pronounced, adding an almost fruity bite.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for how dark this beer is, I expected something a little thicker.

An interesting beer. I really don't care much for IPAs, so scored this one a bit lower than I might have otherwise. Still, this is a very complex beer, which scores points with me. There is a lot going on here, the only thing keeping me from really loving this is the high hops content. If you are a fan of hops, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

Photo of colts9016
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at 47 degree, drank at Marcellars.

Appearance: A very nice 2 finger head that has good retention and the color is a medium tan.The head is foamy and cream with some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is opaque with dark brown highlight. The clarity is nonexistent, however there is some carbonation bubbles visible on the side of the glass.

Nose: A very rich roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, and a very night toasty note. There are note of phenols and yeast. The hops is strong and more flavorful than the bottle. The hops are floral bouquet, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste: A very strong malt backbone with flavors of chocolate, espresso, and a rounded toasty note. There are note of phenols, yeast, and a touch of solvent. The hops is floral, pine, and grapefruit.

The mouth feel is carbonated, astringent, and coating.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This beer is so much better on tap than in the bottle.

Photo of stevenseg
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.

SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.

The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.

The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.

The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.

Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.

I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation.

Photo of vtblackdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apppearance is close to a total eclipse however as I held it up to the sun some light penetrated. The head was respectable and hung around a little while.

Smell is a hoppy aroma upfront with a light malt hiding behind the hops.

Taste is a well balanced (tipped slightly to the hop side) mellow sensation. This is a good brew!

Mouthful is light on carbonation.

Overall this may overtake my favorite american black ale.

Photo of DoktorZee
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into one schooner, then another, and another... etc. Best before is 5/4/11 so I've got a bit of time on this, but it's time to make it disappear.

A - pours a lovely black with a hint of brown at the edges when exposed to light. Fluffy tan head resolves after a few minutes with very little lacing.

S - Wonderful pine hops and resin nose; slight smoke in the background.

T - The taste is very similar to the nose: powerful pine hops character with a bit of smokiness but also some caramel hops lurking in the background. A hint of dark fruit as well.

M - Very fluffy with effervescence driven by moderate carbonation. Coats the mouth with a sticky quality.

D - Extremely flavorful, but also very drinkable; not as much alcohol warmth as one would expect.

This is one of my go to beers; it's powerful and unique and bursting with flavor. Hard to have anything else after one of these.

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with only the slightest ruby highlights. Head is thick and creamy, leaving tons of sticky lacing as it dissipates.

Aroma is sweet malt base and rich in light citrus fruit notes.

Taste is initially sweet and malty. Dark fruit appears momentarily. Then leafy tobacco hop takes over. Finishes with a mild woody, earthy aspect, and lingering green hop dark grain bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

A very flavorful and interesting black ale. Hops have a strong presence, but do not completely dominate the dark malt grain. Very nice.

Photo of bashiba
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black, with a big thick foam.

The smell is big and green, very fresh hops and piney with hints of citrus, no black malt notes to speak of.

The flavor is a nice blend of dark black cacao notes mixing in with a big fresh hop flavor, nice hints of pine and citrus. Very black and hoppy tasting at the same time.

The mouthfeel is light and very resiny with a long lasting hop coating.

pretty good black IPA, stone certainly knows how to do hops right.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well its Monday...what the hell....why not have a Self-Righteous Ale!?!?!? This beer has awesome complexity....that I would argue gave birth to a whole new line of craft beers....the Black IPAs, etc. This beer is very dark with ecru foamy head. The nose screams hops like an IPA. The taste is a wonderment that begins like an IPA, but finishes with a roasty malt character. The mouthfeel is decent, but the ABV can be tough to start. I could probably handle two stingers (22oz) fairly easily, but after that someone would have to carry me home.

Photo of Snow81
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Super dark amber almost black

Head: light brown head

Smell: Orange zest right up front with a bright hop and light maltyness

Taste: Bright tropical fruit upfront as the malt washes over the bitter hops bit back and stack on the palate

Weight: Medium frosty body with high to medium carbonation

Finish: Bitter hops with subtle malty sweetness and a hint of heat

Photo of Japerrault
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark brown with a tan head. Nice lacing present.

S: Pine, Grapefruit, in abundance. Also, a little toffee aroma.

T: Piney hops mixed in with a mellow sweetness. Grapefruit bitterness through the middle, finishing with dark roasted malt.

M: Full bodied. Nice carbonation. Alcohol warmth in the finish.

O: Complex flavors with a good feel. Nice beer for those who like their hops flavors and aromas.

Photo of ZAP
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Outstanding black IPA...awesome aroma..big citrus which reminds of Simcoe and Amarillo....that follows in the taste...really a nice juicy citrus hit....then just enough black malt to make this doubly interesting.

This might rate as one of my favorite Stone beers. An extremely well done Black IPA..wish the price was a little lower because this drinks nicely as a session beer rather than a sipper...

Photo of zeledonia
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, with reddish at the edges, and a substantial tan-colored head that leaves good lacing.

Smell is mostly citrus hops, and a bit weak. Grapefruit is the dominant fruit, but I have to reach a bit to get it.

Taste is smooth rich malts, rather subdued, leading into a nice citrus hop punch, that finishes out without much lingering bitterness. The hops are the central character, but they're backed up well by some malty richness and sweetness. Looking at it, I was definitely expecting more roasted malt character than I got.

Medium-bodied, decent carbonation, not bad, but nothing special.

This beer was a bit of a surprise for me. Didn't know what to expect, but the dark color without a ton of malt flavor, and the strong citrus hop presence, are just right for a black IPA. Quite tasty, better balanced than many beers like it, and one I'm quite likely to drink again.

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

Poured a nice dark almost black color from a 22 oz bomber with ABV on the label. Nice two finger head that dissipates ever so slowly, leaving behind a nice lace.
Aroma is a nice blend of hops with a fruity (apricots, and some raisin) aroma.
This ale is a wonderful assault on the palate. Nice bitterness of the hops up front with hints of sweetness and finishing again on a nice bitter note. However, the bitterness of the finish has a caramel/cocoa like flavor.
An excellent example of how I would want my black ale/IPA to be. Excellent mouthfeel and drinkability.
Absolutely worth a try and highly recommended.

Photo of tewaris
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

India Black Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/Gimmicky name # 10
8.7 % ABV
90 IBU's

Received in trade with dvelcich before Stone started distributing to MN. Thanks Dan! 22 oz. bomber with a best by date of 05.04.2011 poured into a New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown, looks real black in the glass, with a dark-ish brown head, good retention and great lacing. Smells of nothing initially but then leafy fresh minty hops come along. I can swear that there's some overlap in the hop profile of this one and AB. Still nowhere close to what I experienced in the doubly dry hopped version of this beast. Take a sip... shall we?

Yeah baby, this is a black IPA alright! Taste transitions smoothly from an IPA to an incredibly hopped up stout, this is what a "Black & Tan" oughta taste like. It has the fresh, light, and cleansing hop bitterness and the bad-ass, broody-ass depth of roast. This is Robert De Niro playing a trigger happy cowboy. Mouthfeel is sadly a little watery-ier than I'd like. The finish is bitter and roasty, and dry.

I hate that BA has done away with drinkability because this is where I used to voice my opinion on drinkability, obviously and stuff like ABV. This beer is way higher in alcohol than it should be, in my opinion. Overall good, but nothing earth shattering. Still an achievement considering that this is the first beer of a style everyone wants to brew these days.

Score: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 3/5; Overall 4/5

Photo of socon67
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown and has a noticeable smell oh hops and grain. I'd think this was a DIPA based on smell and taste. The finish had more of a whiskey-like burn. On one hand this is a very hoppy black ale and has a good blend of hops to go with a sweet, malty flavor profile. But while I like it, I'm not as in love with it as most. It seemed a little too strong on the back end. this is still a very good option form Stone.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty nice one and a half finger head, which is a light brown color. There are some big bubbles and some small creamy bubbles. The body is black with hints of dark brown here and there, especially when held up to the light. The head is still there, but not as much as I would like it to be. Overall this looks pretty good. The smell on this is really surprising to me, it doesn't really smell like a black ale, it smells like a black IPA or maybe ever a regular IPA, the hops are just phenomenal for it being a black beer. I really don't detect too much malt either, maybe a little bit, but not much. It's mostly just the hops on the smell, I do get a small indication of the high alcohol on the smell. Overall it smells pretty good, not too complicated, but it smells good and powerful! Taste is really good, huge hops in the front end, and a little malt in the finish, not too much alcohol noticeable in this one, which is nice. The mouthfeel is a little light, which is ok for the style, but I do like my beer thicker. It's a very well done beer, which is expected from Stone, but just like the smoked porter, it's not that complicated or unique. If you wanted to look up in the dictionary what a good beer should be, you should (I don't know if you would, but you should) find this beer listed. On the other hand if you looked for creative beers in the dictionary this would be no where to be found. Maybe my opinion is a little biased because I recently had their scotch ale and it was super complex, who knows. We will see if there are any other flavors that come out as the beer warms, but for now, I will leave it as this: great beer, not complex.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly into sticky lacing. The aroma is of pine resin, grapefruit, and roasted malt. The taste is similar to the aroma with a sharp bitterness that hides most of the malt character. There is also a harsh alcohol heat in the finish that is unpleasant. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a nice beer that I could drink again.

Photo of ToasterChef
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slightly chilled 22oz bottle poured into a NERAX pint. A big brown foam head with cascading bubbles rests atop opaque, dark brown liquid. Once the cascading stops, the foam still fills more than half the glass. As the foam begins to settle, lots of lacing remains.

Bitter hops make up a majority of the nose, but there are also some sweet smells and some roasted malts present. It's an inviting aroma, and one that is different from a typical IPA.

An impressive flavor balances hops and malts. West coast bitterness is present, but it isn't a one dimensional flavor. Some roasted malts add balance and a little bit of sweetness keeps things interesting. Alcohol can be detected as I swallow, but it isn't unwelcome. A dry bitterness with mildly bitter coffee notes are the two flavors that linger on after I swallow. I like that the roasted malts and different bitter flavors make this more than an IPA that happens to be black.

Full bodied with medium carbonation, the beer leaves a good coat behind and has some stickiness. It is above average considering the ABV. I wouldn't mind if the coat had more flavor.

This is a tasty beverage that can act as a good introduction to this relatively young style. The fact that it is available in most states surely helps. I would pick up a bottle if interested, but I also wouldn't go out of my way to obtain one if it isn't sitting on the shelves of your local store.

Photo of flavorshark
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm gonna be honest; were I blind-folded, it'd be hard for this noob to tell the difference between this and Arrogant Bastard. That's an enormous compliment.

Smell: Apricot, pineapple, hops. People are saying pine; I want what they're smoking.

Taste: Fruity and hoppy. We are disappointed in our inability to adequately describe whatever else is going on, but it is good.

Appearance: Brown. We're drinking from the bottle.

Overall a very solid beer. Not quite as good as Arrogant Bastard but a nice change in pace.

Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark with a thick foam head with good retention. A little light comes through at the bottom. Very good lacing.

Smell: Strong pine and citrus hop aroma with a hint of grapefruit.

Taste: Caramel sweetness and roasted malt followed by hop bitterness. A hint of cherry in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a bit of cream and medium carbonation.

Overall: An interesting beer that seems like a mix of an ipa and porter.

Photo of bsp77
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Point. Best by date of June 14, 2011.

Appearance: Near black with thick foamy tan head and nice lacing rings.

Smell: Very hoppy and roasted aroma. Pine, citrus and molasses are at the forefront. Somewhat floral as well, like roses.

Taste: Roasted malt backbone with molasses and coffee. Complex, bitter hops override the malts, especially on the finish with loads of pine and grapefruit. Doesn't mesh quite as well as I hoped.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, pretty smooth body with a dry, warming finish.

Overall: This is a style that I really like when it strikes the proper balance between roasted malts and citrusy hops. This one just misses that balance, but is very good nevertheless.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,740 ratings.