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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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5,717 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,717
Reviews: 1,884
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 258
Gots: 667 | 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: 5,717 | Reviews: 1,884 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ksmi116
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not my first tango with Stone, and generally a fan so far.

A - So dark you'd think it's black. Shined a super bright flashlight from the back and found its a dark beautiful red. Head is tan, with great retention of foam.

S - Hops hops hops. Fantastic smell. Also citrus, grapefruit. Smells like a IIPA, which is fantastic to me. Does not smell like it looks.

T - Hops and grapefruit, tastes great to someone who loves hops and bitterness. Refreshing and lasting. Alcohol is masked, not overpowering at all. Very very good taste

M - Bitterness stays on the back of the tongue after swallowing. Not overly thick, or thin. Alot like Ruination Ale.

D - Very drinkable, and so enjoyable for a style that I had not tried before. I am quite pleased with this bomber!

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malts, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt finish, sour toast

color- chestnut, deep brown

clarity- appears clear but too hard to tell because it's dark

smell- roasted malt, chocolate

body- medium-length finish

appearance- flat with a little off-white ring of carbonation

notes and comments- i wouldn't characterize this as a double ipa as it was billed at the festival

beer spy- double ipa festival, bistro, hayward ca, 2/12/11, 6 oz. glass

Photo of joshuasamantha
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap, In bottle and growler form from the Stone Brewery- literaly one of the best beers ever, another home run for the guys at stone its like an arrogant bastard IPA strong american strong ale characters very hoppy and citrus-ee ha anyways as dark as midnight and very strong a good beer with bbq meats overall a definate A if you haven't tried it you need to...that is all....

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sublimely Self-Righteous pours as dark as a porter with a big rocky tan head that leaves scads of foamy lacing in it's wake all over the sides of the glass.

The aroma is mostly of big grassy hops with loads of bitter citrus behind it, if there is malt in the smell it is well hidden.

The flavor packs a huge hop punch right off the bat. Big and grassy, chock full of citrus, grapefruity bitterness overlying a background of smooth debitterd black roasted malt. The hop bitterness builds all the way from the initial sip, through the middle and finishes with a lingering bitterness on the tongue as well. Warming blends some of the initial tartness of the roasted malts with the hops in a pleasing manner, really enhancing both.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, lively without being in the least bit watery in nature. Carbonation is high but not harsh at all, making a nice counterpoint to it's smoothness.

I'm still on the fence about Cascadian Dark Ales, American Black Ales, or Black IPAs if you will but this is a good beer and the style could certainly grow on me. I know this particular beer will!

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

Served on-tap at The Moan and Dove.

Appearance is a dark brown with a one finger tan head, which leaves some nice lacing. The smell is sweet with grapefruit, quite a punch of hops, toffee as well. Upon sipping this black ipa from Stone, the same flavors from the nose are there & in a very balanced fashion. I also tasted some chocolate and coffee in the finish. MF is medium, smoother than I expected going in. Drinkability also gets a thumbs up with this beer, another winner from Stone.

Photo of KTCamm
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford CT. All beers served in 16 oz mason jars.

Pours dark black, wisps of off white foam, but otherwise very clear. Smell and taste are roasted, get the sensation of a stout with a little more IPA hop backbone. Residual bitter. More stout than IPA though. Good beer, full of flavor.

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

Pours a dark brown. Very dark with reddish hints. Tons of hops on the nose. Piney and grapefruit primarily. Hops hint first on the tonue. Pine first and foremost and then lots of citrus/grapefruit. Pretty impressive how hoppy it is given the darkness. Light and highly drinkable

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's funny, I must have picked this beer up and then put it back down for some reason and not purchased it. I thought that I had it, and went to review it one day and I could only find a bottle of the Imperial Russian Stout. Well, I felt denied, so I was at Spec's yesterday and saw it...and picked up a bottle. Now that I have conquered the hard part...acquiring the beer...let's give it a go...

Appearance: Pours as dark as it could be...well, not really, but there is no light passing through it even from the corner of the glass. There is a thin tan head of small bubbles that is standing for quite some time, so there must be quite a few bubbles rising to maintain it. There is some pretty serious lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: The aroma is dominated by hops with American citrus abound. There is a decent amount of malt in there, but you have to concentrate to get through the hops. There are some toasty and slightly nutty notes in there to give the malt some backbone. You can pick up the "chalky" aromas that you get from dry-hopped beer, but I am not sure that this is dry-hopped. It may just have a S**t-load of hops and that is the aroma that is lingering after fermentation. Either way, the hops are really generous to say the least.

Taste: The flavor is also seriously hoppy, but there is enough malt in there to give some balance all the way until the finish. The hops win out in the conquest for control of the finish, but the malt doesn't give up easily. It doesn't take long for there to accumulate a decent burn on the back of the throat that I think is a combination of Alcohol, hop bitterness, and dark grains...but it is a bit much to linger after only a couple sips. The mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation. The beer is solid, but is pretty well attenuated and leaves the palate pretty dry and acidic.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, but like so many of the West Coast brewers, this beer is just way too out of balance for my particular taste. It has some significant malt, but at 8.7%, how could you not? This beer is a hop-monster, which for some people is the "nectar of the Gods", but I prefer my nectar to be drinkable sip after sip. This beer gets rough and ugly on the palate after a few sips, forcing you to take a drink of water to "reset" your palate. That is a bit much for me. This beer is OK, but I don't think that I would drink it again...especially not a whole 22oz bomber by myself like I am tonight.

Photo of aasher
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark, dark brown on the verge of black with a rich mahogany one finger head that laces the glass. It barely allows any light to pass through it and is medium in body. The aromas are surprisingly very hoppy upfront with a good amount of charred malts in the back. The flavor is hoppier than anticipated as well. It has a very sharp and distinct pine/citrus hop profile right out of the gate. It finishes with a load of dark roasted malts, on the verge of tasting burnt. It's good but the charcoal flavor keeps me from scoring it higher. It drinks pretty full in body and the flavors become more bold as you continue to drink it. It's a good beer but like a lot of Stone's darker beers, I don't consider it to be overly drinkable. Something about their aftertastes just throw me off.

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

A: Pours a very dark brown color with mahogany highlights and a toffee colored cap of very frothy foam. Several sheets of lace on the glass, but otherwise unremarkable.

S: Sublime, indeed. Gobs of tropical and citrus fruit melt into a sweet brown sugar and light chocolate backdrop. An explosive and robust aroma.

T&M: A pithy, bitter grapefruit flavor and notes of resinous pine feature strongly here. A hint of chocolate malt and some slight sweetness follow near the back end, though the finish is long and relatively dry. Body and feel are very enjoyable. It drinks like a standard IPA, not a bigger beer.

D: Solid flavor, medium-light body for the style, solid drinkability. There's a touch too much dry bitterness for me to drink more than a bomber.

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

A - Pours a dark brown that looks black in the glass. If you hold it up to the light you can see just a hint of light coming through around the edge of the glass. An ample amount of light brown silky head tops the beer. The head lasts a long time and leaves nice lacing as you drink the glass.
S - The smell is lightly hoppy with a hint of sweetness.
T - The taste is heavy and complex. There's a bit of sweetness that greets you first and as you swallow you start picking up the bitter chocolate and coffee notes of the roasted malt. The hops add some overtones that are hard to pick out on their own but lend to the overall character of the beer.
M - Mouthfeel is heavy and what you'd expect from a big dark beer.
D - The flavors are all in good balance without any rough edges. Great beer to drink.

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

Very dark, almost black with some lacing that hangs around down the glass. Roasty malts - like a porter, pretty much - with a hint of the hop assault. Black IPA is a perfect description of this beer. The hops are prominent and persistent throughout the palate. Upfront, the first impression is of a porter, with the chocolate/roasted malt flavor. Then the hops come in and dominate; the dry hopping is especially prominent in this one. The hop flavor in this beer is AMAZING-seriously like having a glass of fresh hops. This is a thick, velvety beer and the lingering hop taste does have a tongue-drying effect. Overall, a fantastic beer.

Photo of jsprain1
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a definite black with a thin foamy tan head and lots of lacing.
S- Smell is definitely hop forward. A rich hop bouquet of pine and mint. Just a touch of citrus. Enough of a burnt malt presence to bear note.
T- Immediate pine presence. Mellows into more of a minty flavor. Some burnt malt in there. Don't fool yourself into thinking it's balanced. Don't fool yourself into thinking it should be.
M- Just a touch above medium bodied. Slightly below medium carbonation.
D- A definite hop lovers beer. A bit too in your face for me to want to drink a great deal of it in a night. But I dug it. Merited another purchase.

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

22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Black/brown color with an off white billowing head. Overall it has good head retention with great lacing.

S: The nose is really interesting, the hops rear their head only to be pulled back back a supreme malt presence. It tends to hint at spices that probably aren't there as the two foes dance, citrus and roasted malt.

T: The hops show up first, citrus, herbal, bubble gum. They quickly give way to the malt body, which is quite significant. Roast dark malt roars into the picture as the beer finishes dry and deliciously bitter.

M: Luscious and full bodied it tickles the palate with light carbonation.

D: Crazy drinkable. I just finished some home brew that clocked in at 190 IBU's before this and the beer still held up hoppy. Cheers to Stone!

Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a large goblet. Pours nearly black with a decent amount of an off-white head that leaves some good lacing on the glass.

At first smell you get a nice sweet and roasted malt aroma before being taken over by piney hop aromas of the northwest US.

It's definitely got a strong hoppy taste, but the malts do make a nice appearance. You get a nice sweet molasses, chocolate and toffee taste at first that gives way to roasted bitterness and finally gives way to a beautiful piney and citrus hoppiness.

It's got nice carbonation and mouthfeel and has good drinkability.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Two fingers of tan head on top of a with a jet black. Great lacing as well. The head does die down quicker than I expected.

S: Crazy citrus dominates the aroma. Hard to smell anything else with the overwhelming hop aroma. Finely hints of some roasty notes with a little bit of chocolate.

T: The tastes starts out with a citrus hop flavor, but is quickly joined by chocolate notes and hop bitterness. Definite sweetness and a bit of cocoa flavor. Initially the strong flavors make the beer seem like it is slightly lacking in complexity, but it really develops as you get more used to the bold flavors and uncover the more subtle ones.

M: Decently thick with a somewhat creamy feel. The carbonation is acceptable. Hint of chalky

D: The strong flavors, thick body, slightly chalky feel, and higher alcohol make this a harder to drink beer. Maybe part of the problem was that while I loved some components, the overall beer was more of a mess than a thing of beauty. I honestly needed someone to split the bomber with me, because this beer is not tame enough for a 22 oz.

Photo of HopMasterFlex
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a go to beer for me. When the 11th anniversary came out I must have drank 20 bottles. It was my first time with a black ipa and frankly I never looked back. Though I feel the 11th was better than the sublimely I was still stoked to have it available year round. It bours black with a root beer hue. The head is an inviting tan. Smell is pure hops and I love it. The subtle toasted malt are present as well. This beer is the definition of an iba. The color is black bit it drinks like an ipa. Super hoppy and delicious. Nothing bad to say about this other than the smaller batch of the 11th was better. I still have 4 bottles of the 11th and I drank one the other day. The profile is completely different as you'd expect. The piney hop flavors are gone and the malt flavors are huge, it's almost choclatey. It is a completely different beer but still delicious!

Photo of irs
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love SSR, so this is a good exercise to try to force myself to be able to explain why. This bottle might have some age to it, but it still tastes great.

A: Black with with a thick tight head of resilient foam
S: Hops, chocolate, malt.
T: First chocolate, then grapefruit, sweet grapefruit, not just in the hop nose, but in the initial taste. Then hop bitterness, lots of it, great hop bomb there.
M: I don't know what to say besides, yum, it just feels great to drink it, smooth viscous, somehow light yet substantial.
D: I love to drink this stuff. And I can drink it until it knocks me down...

Photo of KSac4115
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost completely opaque black/brown with a very minor brown foam head at the top. Lacing is immaculate.

Smells very hoppy as I have come to expect from Stone ales. A sweet malty smell is also detected. Very floral aroma that hits you even before you put your nose up to it. The scent already is getting that bitter bite into my mouth. My mouth is watering.

Exception taste and blend of flavors. Hops are very prevalent. Not at bitter as I had expected. There is a good sweetness to it too. Very well managed flavors and bitterness all around.

Incredibly smooth. Carbonation levels are perfect for the style of beer.

This beer is REMARKABLY drinkable for this imperial ale. At 8.7% one would expect a stronger bite, but instead gets perfect contrast of bitterness and drinkability. As a big IPA/ale guy this is right up my alley. So very smooth I'm pretty sure I could drink this all night if I had the cash.


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

Paid $7.99 for a 22 oz. at a liquor store in Tampa. Poured into my trusty "Crab House" 16 oz. pint glass

Never tried this before but I am a big fan of Stone RIS so I'll give it a whirl. I did not care for the IPA that I had from them years ago so anything that said Ale I shied away from.

I am opening the 22 oz. bottle as I write this so I'll be typing as I drink it.

Nice frothy head about 1 1/2" and its staying around for quote a while here. Even when it dissipates it leaves islands of foam on the glass. Damn, this thing is dark far an ale. It's hard to tell with stone as their bottles are fo freaking dark.

D- Uh oh, smells pretty hoppy, not sure if I'm gonna like that. Roasted malt taste but the hops definitely come through big time. I gotta tell you, this is nicely balanced though. I had a Hopslam last night and though it is delicious for an IPA, I can only have 1 of them. This is pretty hoppy. Almost like a malty beast is trying to get out but the hops keep dragging it back in.

T- Really good actually despite the hoppiness to it. I bet you in a couple of years when the IBU's have been kicked down this thing would be damn good. Still, it's the style and i appreciate it.

Mouthfeel- very thick but not stout thick. A nice balance. I would have one of these again.


Photo of laituegonflable
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, mostly black, with a slight cedar-reddish tinge up to the light. Head is lovely, beautiful even. Dense mother-of-pearl bubbles around the edge with larger bubbles on top, leaves some waves of sticky lace behind. Off-kilter sense to the top, just wonderful.

Smells tasty. Roasty and darkish but some wonderful sweet and spicy hop aromatics. Dark chocolate with blackcurrants, figs and a lot of tasty floral hops. Slight cola tinge to it, giving slight anise aroma. Dark, fruity, mysterious. Wunderbar.

Taste is very very decent indeed. Dark and roasty with cocoa-rich chocolate upfront. Develops some spice notes on the mid; carraway, star anise and some minty characters as well. Slightly metallic on the back, but also some pleasant hop notes, wood and a slight espresso coffee burtness on the very back. A little off-balance at times, but the flavours are all very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is full enough, thick enough, a bit of heat adds harshness though and it's all a bit too dry for my liking at the back.

Tasty beer, with pleasant characters. A bit of a falter towards the end adds a touch too much robustness, but overall a very tasty brew from Stone.

Photo of Buggabeer
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A Nice dark black in appearance with a red cast when held to the light. Poured with a 1 inch head that slowly disapated. Nice lacing around the glass.

S Very nice hop presence. Definite grapefruit aroma

T What an excellent choice for my B-Day beer Has a nice dark beer taste at first and a wonderful hop finish at the end. Perfect not overpowering

M I think it feels great in the mouth not over carbinated or flat at all very nice beer

D Can I have another PLEASE!! I think it is exceptional. Awesome beer.

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

A: Dark black, brown highlight in the light. Nice tan head. Beautiful lace. Gorgeous.

S: Sweet dark malts and grapefruit and pine. Great west coast hops.

T: A little sweet at first, almsot milk chocolate, with a great hop punch that is mostly grapefruit.

m: Maybe a little heavy on the carbonation, but good.

D: Very rich, but considering ABV, very drinkable.

Photo of Pardishcreel
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

When you first pour this bee it is dark when held up to light you can see a hint of red but it looks black without light. The head is a thick strong one that stays around for awhile.
The smell is that of an ipa surprising for the look of the beer that the malts do not show up in the smell.
The taste is that of a hoppy ipa, but with a sweeter finish. If you like hops but the lasting bitter in your mouth this beer is for you.
Not somthing I could drink everyday because of the bitterness, but a great on occasion beer.

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

Poured from bottle into Bells small tulip glass. The appearance is literally black with almost no light coming through. There are some brown accents and the head is finger deep and cream colored. Lacing is good and lasts.

Smell is of rich black malts, with some floral hops present. Not as strong as I would have expected, but definitely not a let down. Some roast smell also comes from the beer.

The nose has a strong hop presence which is surprising to me because this usually comes out in the finish. The finish has a strong black and brown malt flavor. The roasted barley adds a bit of savory flavor, which goes very well with the equally hoppy finish.

Overall the carbonation and ABV goes well with the flavors, but maybe slightly over carbonated. The full body makes this very strong but the bitter finish balances this out nicely. This beer would go well with a grilled steak. Stone never fails to impress and this one just keeps that trend going for me.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,717 ratings.