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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,720 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,720
Reviews: 1,884
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 259
Gots: 670 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,720 | Reviews: 1,884 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Appearance: Black, but some light comes through, gigantic head.

Smell: Very hoppy, pine and citrus.

Taste: Crisp hoppy flavor-lots of citrus. The roasted malts do make a short appearance before a bitter finish.

Drinkability: Doesn't feel too strong, pretty good pricing.

I finally get to try Stone's 11th Anniversary/SSRA since they came to Minnesota. Very good beer, very hoppy but not bruisingly bitter. Glad to finally get to try this one.

Photo of pburland23
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into my Portsmouth bubble glass.

Beer pours a deep, dark black with reddish hues around the edges. Produces a very thin and slightly underwhelming tan head. To no one's surprise, this beer looks like a stout when poured.

It sure doesn't smell like a stout however. There is a funky, pungent hoppiness aroma that leaps forth from the glass. The taste is very bitter. When the beer was first out of the fridge, it was almost too bitter for me but as it opened up, the bitterness subsided and melted into a pleasing and well balance hoppy tasting beer. There was more than enough roasted malt flavor to compliment the hops. A big, robust beer.

The mouthfeel, I thought, was a little thin for what is essentially an IPA.

Overall, I'm trying to wrap my mind around all these new American Black Ales that need popping up on the market. I like stouts. I like IPAs. I'm still not sure how much I like this style though. If more American Black Ales were as good as this one, I could see myself coming around quickly.

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

The bottle is a Stone Gargoyle silk screen master piece! Poured into a Stone Imperial glass from which I can see no light through. Just a hint of highlights at the bottom edge of the glass. Head is coco colored and almost three fingers. The lace looks as if it's gonna stick around like the vacuum salesman. Other than a bit watery look this pours just like an Imperial Stout.

The smell is rather complex. There is some dark malt smells that are almost sweet. There is alot of citrus hop smell, grapefruit/orange. I am getting a bit of caramel too.

The taste is even more complex then the smell. First thing I get is a roasted malt taste, that is followed closely by some bitter tastes of the grapefruit. The bitter hop taste then turns into some sweeter tastes of an orange or pink grapefruit, and then turns a bit tart. This is all followed by the chest warming of the alcohol. Just fantastic!!

The mouth is as great as the rest of the beer. It is evenly carbonated and very silky on the tongue. I wouldn't classify this a stout or and ipa. but some kind of hybrid.

Overall I must say this is fantastic beer, that I am able to purchase whenever I want. Lucky Me!!

Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with some red and brown highlights around the edges. Thick tan cap that's receding but leaving nice lacing as it goes and continues into a sheet the entire way down the glass.

S - Big initial contrast shows it's not just a ABA/BIPA/CDA/whatever in name. There's a perfume-like burst of some darker grains and citrus. Great hop bouquet that Stone almost always nails. Amarillo is noticeable, there's a big citrus rind note along with some floral notes.

T - The roast note in this really reminds me of GL Edmund Fitzgerald, even though it's incredibly subdued in comparison. It has a light roasted grain flavor without the bitterness. There is plenty of bitterness, though. What works so well in is how the hops stand out clearly against the light roast flavor. There are some grapefruit and citrus rind notes that are common in their other beers(from the Chinook, I guess), and also a sort of grassy/intoxicating floral flavor.

MF - Medium bodied and pretty nice considering ABV. Ample carbonation, which I really like in pales and IPAs.

O - I rarely have this beer because I don't see it around all that often, but I walked into the store the other day and it was just sitting in plain sight, so I had to grab one. Glad I did. Stone is consistent and they handle hops better than most. This is one of the few hoppy black ales I've had that I think is more than just someone jumping on the bus.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a black body with a rocky cream-color head. Leaves great lacing.

S: Thick hoppy aroma with notes of pine & grapefruit.

T: Roasted chocolate malts and caramel sweetness upfront followed by bitter and floral hops. Smooth & nicely balanced.

M: Sticky resin mouthfeel, medium carbonation, medium-full body.

O: Great beer. Easy to drink! Definitely for CDA lovers!

Photo of jjjeremy
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wheat beer glass
Appearance-Black,fast pour led to three inch head that lasted forever with nice lacing
Smell-Heavy graipfruit/amongst other citrus aromas
Taste-Not nearly as pungent as the smell led me to think it would taste,of course a bit of grapefruit but more of the pith of an orange taste,mellow malt,slight candy taste.Bitter cherries,simple coffee,really quite complex
Mouthfeel-Very enjoyable,does not over stay its welcome
Overall-LOVE IT!!!Its brand new to st cloud,mn and getting a good positive reaction!!!

Photo of claspada
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of strong piney hops and roasted malts with hints of caramels and toffee, however the hops dominate the nose.
The tastes begin with full flavored maltiness with flavors of burnt brown sugar, light coffee/toffee and caramel maltiness but the hops creep in and steal the show to this beer's detriment. The intense hops flavors of pine and grapefruit are just not melding with the dark malts. I do not enjoy the roast mixed with pine.
Overall the stickiness and resiny qualities dominate the mouthfeel and linger far too long for such a dark beer. I have had good, bad and average Black Ales. Unfortunately this is in the bad dept because the hops are just too dominating.

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at Avenue pub, New Orleans

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, black in color, opaque

Smell: caramel and pine hops

Taste: big pine hops, charred malt, and a bit of cream

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium body, sweet with a bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: I could have a couple over a long night. I like the nice deep charred malt and pine--my favorite ipa flavor. One of the better in style, yet I think I would reach for others in style first.

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

A: Pours a very dark brown, minimum carbonation and just a slight lacing around the glass with no persistent carbonation.

S: A mix of piney hops and caramel malt, a touch of toffee, though the hops dominate in the nose.

T: A nice malt and caramel middle with a strong hoppy aftertaste, which is reverse to the usual order of hops/malts. The aftertaste is a lingering of powerful, mighty hops, and the whole thing feels like drinking a hopsicle with some malt sauce.

M: Slight carbonation with a sticky, resiny mouthfeel, but goes down smoothly

O: This is an awesome beer. A powerful hopsicle that offers just a brief respite in a caramel, toffee, malt middle and only continues along the road to palate ruination a la hops.

Photo of CuttDeez
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very dark brown in the light almost black when sitting on the table with a kahki tan head.
S - Great malt pressence in the nose. There is som notes of citrusy hop but the roasted notes and chocolate and caramel are more prevelant.
T & M - A carmalized sugar malty taste up from. Dark Chocolate is there as well. There are also notes of citrus hiding in there as well that balance it out and make the beer more complex.
O - I enjoy this beer a lot. The look of the beer gets a certain taste and smell in your mind. That is challenged as the hop and grapfruit and citrus come out in both nose and mouth of this beer.


Photo of Buebie
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up the bomber for roughly $5.

Off a semi rigeous pour i get a large 3 inch off white head. Super thick and frothy. Very slow to recede, leaving thick full coverage lace.
Color is black with no light penetration.
Aroma is soo delicious and desirable. Ample supply of hops. Dank weed, citrus notes, and orange peel along with pine and grapefruit.
Mouthfeel is slick and creamy with modest carbonation.
Taste is so well balanced. Plenty of floral hop kick as well as malt bitters.
The darkness of the brew is not as perceptive in taste but does supply some bitterness and roasty character.
bitterness grain flavors really linger after the swallow along with more earthy spiced bittering hops.

Terrific brew.

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

Sample #2 from the recently purchased in MN Stone beers.
Begins with a fresh hop fragrance the grows in citrus to tart and sour and full on grapefruit. Slight oily quality as well. Hard to pick up the malt character but more hints of roast.
Black body that show red highlights in the light (also clear). Dark head that settles slowly without ever completely leaving.
At first a nice malt character with a sweetness up front with roast and the roast reappearing at the finish with a dryness. But in time the malt flavors get overwhelmed by the hop flavors and especially the hop bitterness. Seems like lots and lots of cascade with a full-n grapefruit flavor. Bitterness is extended in the long finish. There are other hop flavors intermixed but too often over powered. At a couple of points a mild alcohol taste appeared.
Smooth carbonation with a moderate body.
Boy there are some nice flavors here, but my palate was overwhelmed too often.
Beergoggles noted regarding the text on the bottle, "blah, blah, blah get on with it".

Photo of Tballz420
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black ale. Off the top of my head i can't think of too many of these.

The brews pretty "clear" in that theres lots of hues that can come through, but its a black body. Big tan head still all over the place. A bit of malt on the scent, but its dominated by a massive hop profile. As Alvey at Four Firkins said when he described it, the beer will mess with your head. Its a hop bomb, but it looks like a malt monster. There are nice sweet malts, but the hop oil is what this is about. Much thinner bodied than a stout/porter. Cool beer, very interesting.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! I can get my hands on some of this in my home state. 22 ounce bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Black in color with little light shining through. Head is an inch thick, light tan, and is showing no sign of disappearing. Lacing is sticky, and dries on the glass with artistic form.

S: Somewhat faint, but piney, resinous hop aromas are dominant with just a bot of roasted character in the backround.

T: This brew's got it all! Roasty malt notes, with some coffee and chocolate up front, along with a hint of dried dark fruit. Hops kick in with a blast of citrus, pine, and even a hint of clover. Finish is bitter, and long-lasting, but not overwhelming.

Notes: SSRA is a treat by any means. It's medium body and robust flavor, along with a creamy mouthfeel make it a beer that is not only very tasty, but extremely fun to quaff. Well done! I will be buying this one many times over.

Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Varga Bar, 3/19/11.

A-Pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a foamy cap of tan head. Great retention and good lacing.

S-Tons of piney hops, perhaps the most aromatic cask beer I have ever run across.

T-Rich roasted malt, tons of piney hops and a sold but controlled bitterness that really sets this beer apart.

M-Medium bodied, the bitterness, while restrained, does linger.

D-Excellent. A great black ale by any delivery mehod.


Photo of pdoran10
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a slightly translucent black color with two fingers of off white head that leave some pretty ridiculous lacing.

Smell is big pine and slight acidic alcohol.

Alcohol heat doesn't come through in the taste. I get pineapple, pine, and grapefruit from the hops, with a slight roast and a big biscuity body from the malt.

Mouthfeel is substantial with moderate carbonation. Well made here.

Really supreme beer. I don't even like this style but somehow they melded flavors so well here that I'm really diggin drinking this.

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark black with raisin colored edges, and a large 3 finger head which has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has pineapple, pine and grapefruit. The fact that I do not smell much in the way of roasted or chocolate malt is surprising, but welcome.

The taste is just like the aroma. There is a little roasted malt, but not much. There is a lot of grapefruit, pine, and pineapple, which I like. All American Black Ales should be more like Sublimely Self-Righteous. Emphasize the hops, and lessen the malts. I love malt forward beers, but I would prefer that malts take a back seat in an American Black Ale.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The aftertaste is what I love about IPAs: grapefruit, pine, and pineapple. I really like this beer a lot, and this is the first American Black Ale that I have been a real big fan of. Way to go Stone, and welcome to Minnesota!!!

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just drank my last bottle of SSR and Stone has pulled out of the WI market. Needless to say, I bummed:

"Spending all my nights
All my money going out on the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes
I'm right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you"

Come on Stone, you left me just when we were getting good... Now I'm stuck drinking other black american ales and it just ain't right. You are sublimely self-righteous for thinking that you can tease me with such fine indulgences, then walk away as if nothing ever transpired between us. I miss you, your gorgeous head, your sexy black body, your juicy-fruit perfume and your deep, dark nastiness. How am I suppose to go on when I've already sampled the best? All others literally pale in comparison. I fell for you, after you, from you... and you just turn around and walk away from me.

My last bottle, savored.
My memories, flooded.
My heart, broken.

Photo of JDizzle
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a Growler from Party Town in Florence, KY

The appearance is a deep dark, reddish old ale that doesn't let a lot of light through. The head is wonderful and thick with an off white color that hangs around for the whole glass. Lacing drags down the glass all the way.

The smell is of strong hops with a citrus backdrop and a little roasteg malt.

This beer taste like an DIPA with attitude that will keep you coming back for more. This is such a great beer that should be in 6'ers!! Think- dark DIPA!

This is very drikable beer that suprised me from the way it looks and catagorized.? One of my favorites from STONE. A slightly sweet Double IPA that lives up to the score.

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

A - Pours completly opaque even when held up to the light. A dense 2 finger tan head presents excellent retention and random patterns of lacing.

S - Resinous pine surrounded by grapefruit zest and sweet tropical fruit. Perfume-like alcohol vapors, hits of roasted dark malts and cocoa.

T - Oily piney hop juice all the way to the middle then instantly turns to aggressive grapefruit pith, tropical fruits, and mint. All the while the roasted, almost burnt malt holds on and adds some smoky sweetness. Bitter fruit and slightly sweet with burnt chocolate on the finish. Aftertaste seems different with every drink but grapefruit seems to dominate.

M - Full bodied, very rich and creamy, moderate carbonation hops coat the mouth with bitterness.

A multitude of hop flavors with good black malts behind it. This is on the edge of being unbalanced on the hops side but the malt comes through just enough.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,720 ratings.