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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.

5,740 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,740
Reviews: 1,888
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 700 | 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: 5,740 | Reviews: 1,888
Photo of Duff27
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- One fingered frothy mocha head atop a black beer. Great lacing and head retention. Holy awesome.

S- Hops, immediately.

T- Yeah! This is what a black IPA should taste like. Well balanced.

M- Smooth, creamy.

D/O- Stone got this right. Best per style? Yes, for sure.

Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This brew pours pitch black with two and a half fingers of mocha head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing down the glass. The smell is also excellent, it's quite hoppy (pineapple and pine), with a touch of roasted malts and coffee. The taste? Damn, this is a palate ruiner. The hops come on straight away, and they are extremely strong. They don't mess around at Stone. However, they're paired with some nice roasty malts and a touch of bitter coffee. The tropical fruits hang out on the forefront of the tongue the whole time, giving this a very strange, but all together fully appealing dichotomy. The aftertaste is full-strength resionous hops and a bit of roastiness. As it warms up, caramel malts become more apparent in the formula. Truely sublime, as the label says.

The mouthfeel is a bit of a let-down, however. It's way too thick for the tropical hop flavors that this one imparts. The super-hoppy tropical taste makes me want to drink this one like water, but the mouthfeel gets in the way. The drinkability is good, it's hampered a bit by the awkward mouthfeel, but is otherwise rather good for the mouthfeel. An amazing brew from Stone, and the beer to turn the Black IPA haters into believers. Worth every penny.

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

A: With a slight bit of ruby faintly showing through the glass when I held it up to an intense light soure, this sucker still was pretty dark. Very slight head, that withered away to a mere froth after a few seconds of air time.

S: Pine, grapefruit, and very floral presence in general. I also detected a great deal of pineapple, which I found very interesting.

T: Yeah... pineapple sums this one up best. A good bit of alcohol kick on the aftertaste, but it was of the candy-coated (or in this case... fruit-coated) variety.

M: Thick and mouth-puckeringly bitter, but I'm almost positive that that is what Stone was going for. The lacing on the glass was very mild compared to the how the brew engaged the other senses. The carbonation was perfect for the style.

D: If I had reviewed this beer last year, I would have given it a C+. In the past, I've criticized Stone for having sort of a "vomit-tasting" quality on many of their hoppy brews. Maybe this is due to genetics, or maybe in the past I just haven't cared for a lot of their stuff. However, on this particular tasting of "Sublimely Self-Righteous" I totally dug it!

Photo of skridgeus
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

There are few black IPAs in my experience worth drinking. Half are stouts. Half are pseudo IPAs. SSR is down right exceptional. It is the only black IPA that i have had that itches the itch that only a black IPA can scratch.

Living in the great northwest, i have access to some great IPAs. Ironically most come from San Diego, north of Santa Barbara, north of San Fran, and Portland (ty Black Raven for your Wisdom Seeker). SSR is Best of style. Fantastic. Stone, ironically I hate your IPAs,... but the black is badass.

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

You know when you pour out a beer and by the mere sight and smell of it you are already in a state of clear obsession to drink it? Well, that's the effect (Sublimely) Stone's Self-Righteous Ale has on me at the moment. I love knowing before I've even put the beer glass up to my lips that a beer is going to be enjoyable! I haven't drank a Stone beer in a very long time but I know from experience everything they make is quality. I'm a fan of theirs since most of their beers are pale ales of some type or close to it. This Self-Righteous Ale, just by smelling it, I know is going to be similar. Time to drink!

When poured out the Self-Righteous is other-pleasing to the eyes. It has a dark chocolate color that's just barely different than black and has a sort of super dark Coca-Cola look to it when put up to a bright light. The head is wonderful, being overly frothy, thick, and latte-colored head that leaves a wonderful lacing and a film on the surface of the beer.

The smell is frightfully delightful. Obvious are the floral hops that come to be almost overwhelming, with a strong pine presence and a bit of mango that is prevalent with most hoppy ales, over the roasted malts, coffee flavors, and sweet toffee. It's like a blanket of pale ale over a petite present of stout.

But how does the beer taste? Is it so self-righteous that it cannot be enjoyed? Am I put off by the arrogance of a beer so sublimely self-righteous?! Nein! This brew really brings a lot of flavors that are in-your-face but totally enjoyable. Odds are if you're drinking this beer then you're probably an educated and experienced enough of a beer drinker to want something that is packed full of flavor. Like the smell of the beer, the flavor boasts of a pale ale. The hops burst onto the scene, or more precisely your tongue, with a sinful bitterness (at least for moi!) that is followed by a symphony, a smorgasbord, a "bombardment" (from Command & Conquer: Generals) of flavor. The mango (or whatever else citrus we wish to attribute) adds an extra tang to go along with the pine tree...flavor. Seriously, it's like they took the "essence" of the pine tree and put it in this beer. The pine flavor dominates the middle of the flavor train that has some delightful sweetness. The dark, stout-like, flavors join in later on that bring a mellowness to the beer which allows it to be much more drinkable and complete the full-bodied experience. There is a chocolate-coffee roasty goodness that allows the tongue to cherish something more savory. The mouthfeel is much more drinkable than one would think of something so full of flavor. Although there is a lot of hoppiness, the latter end of the beer flavor helps make the ale feel and taste complete. Did I mention it is 8.7% ABV? You won't be able to tell, because of the level of flavor, until it's got you buzzing!

The Self-Righteous Ale reminds me very much of Deschutes' Cascadian Dark Ale. Their flavors are both fantastic, mixing a strong pale ale with the darker flavors of a porter or stout. I LOVE pale ales and I LOVE stouts so this beer is a perfect blend of the two. If you want something packed full of flavor yet very drinkable then definitely pick this up. Great beer by Stone!

Photo of glazeman
2.71/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Split with airohead2001

A: Dark brown with a 3 finger tan colored head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: There's a lot of hoppy bitterness on the nose mixed with a little bit of smokiness.

T: I'm not a big fan of the taste here. There's a lot of bitterness, and not the normal kind of pleasant bitterness that accompanies a good IPA, but rather a sort of rancid sort of staleness. There's some coffee and smokiness also, but not much else.

M: Well, there's a nice level of carbonation, but an unpleasant aftertaste. The viscosity is about what I'd expect.

D: I don't think I would drink this again unless it were already inebriated and it were handed to me for free.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bomber with my brother.

The look is dark brown with a thick thick tan head

The aroma is hops citrus spice love it

The beer starts with a sweet malt it quickly becomes light in the tongue but hops take over a slight roast and citrus pair to a dry finish leaving a big bitter on the tongue

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

This was a 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

Appearance : black amber with a very thick brown head with long retention sticks to the side of my glass all the way down

Smell: muted citrus evergreen and floral hoppiness and carmel notes

Taste : not alot of bitterness reminds me a little of dates hops
don't come through mild sweetness

Mouthfeel: medium body lingering after taste muted coffee and coco

Drinkability: very drinkable not overpowering could drink a couple servings with no problem

Photo of ehammond1
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Appears black as night; I don't see much light passing through and I'm holding it up directly against the afternoon sun. A sticky chocolate milk colored head slowly grows to over an inch and stays unmoving for quite some time. Splotches and patches of sticky lacing coat the glass. A head turner!

Whoa! Smells like fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice! If I'd been blindfolded and forced to play "Name That Scent," I'd have confidently said "grapefruit!" Marvelous, mysterious, and surprising; what's this black as night marvel doing smelling like a world-class DIPA?

Some initial hop bitterness with a pungent punch of grapefruit and floral hops. An always present underlying chocolate and roasted malt presence as well. Not nearly as staggering as the nose; this tastes like a well-balanced IPA and drinks like one too. If anything, just a tad disappointing after the nose nearly floored me.

Medium to thin bodied and highly carbonated. Very little alcohol presence.

Incredibly drinkable. This is a fantastic black IPA. I wish I could slow down to better savor the drink over the course of a whole evening, but I can't stop putting the glass to my lips! Oh well, I suppose that's a good problem to have.

Another winner from the arrogant bastards at Stone!

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

A - Black, barely any highlights but ruby red highlights where there are any. Off white tan, good retention.

S - Bit of roasty, but ample hop aroma (citrus and fruity).

T - Interesting. Roasty notes but hopp at the same time. Citrus and fruity again, with floral notes.

M - Smooth and bitter.

D - Good.

From notes take a few weeks ago.

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

It's a black, but not opaque, pour. Tan fluffy head with Don Ho approved tiny bubbles. Hops, hops and more hops in the nose, but what did you expect? Creamy mouthfeel that invites another sip. Bitter finish, all hops. Where's the malt? Don't care. Awesome like ogling a Farrah Fawcett poster while listening to Slayer. I'll buy twenty more...Sublimely Self Righteous that is.

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

Review from notes 1/22/11. Thanks to THECPJ for the share.

A: Pours very dark, no light passing through at all. Two fingers of off-white lacing form on top which stands on top for most off the time I drink the beer. Very nice lacing remaining on the glass.

S: Lots of floral hops and citrus. I also get a little bit of malt and some chocolate and toffee, but really dominated by the hops.

T: Extremely hoppy, but still balanced by the malt. The hops have nice citrus and herbal flavors while the malts are dark and roasted. There is also a chocolate flavor similar to the aroma.

M/D: Very smooth. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Extremely drinkable. One of the best in this new category.

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

Poured from the 22oz bomber into a large snifter.

A: Surprising in its total blackness. An excellent looking beer topped by a light tan 2.5 finger thick head that lasts a pretty good while.

S: Primarily a hop assault - pine and some citrus rind at first glance, but then balanced a bit by some kind of dark bready note. Followed by a nice sweetness and more citrus character.

T: Very bitter up front with a full array of hop flavors. Very nice and Dry but also with a balancing malt with the taste of fresh pumpernickel and then caramel and then a big bitter black coffee finish and more hops.

This is an enigma of a beer. So much to take in here that it might take a few more bottles to sort everything out. Looking forward to it...

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

Pours opaque ruby-tinged black with a minimal creamy head and thin lacing. Nose is all hops upfront, a soft stab of cut grass with fresh tangerine peel lingering in the background, on a solid plank of roasted malt notes. Loving the nose. Taste opens with some distant chocolate shavings quickly enveloped by a combination of roasted malt base overcome by a sharp swing of hops. This is one awesome balanced brew. The ABV is barely noticeable in the aftertaste. And the mouthfeel is a full, a sturdy canvas.

Photo of rdilauro
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A real treat! I wasnt sure want to expect. I was a bit surprised at the dark pour and creamy head. But boy from across the room, the hops came flying through. The first taste was totally awesome, hops and woody forest aroma and full body. A perfect balance.
The end was just as nice as the start.
Another Stone I love!

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up in Totowa last week because I heard so many good things about it. Sure enough - they were all true. There's no doubt that this was the best beer that I tried for the first time this year and might possibly be the best offering that I've had from Stone, which is saying quite a bit given their roster!

Much darker pour to this than I envisioned since I didn't know this was an American Black until I logged onto here. There was decent amount of head and a great hop aroma to this beer; maybe one the best that I've ever smelled! The taste was just a nice amount of hops that was neither too strong nor too short-lasting. Warm, citrus notes with some floral accents that reminded me of the Troegs beers that I also enjoy so much.

Who cares if this is strong. I enjoyed it so much that it took a while to work my way through the bottle. I'm used to darker beers having more of a sugar or caramel bend to them but in this instance, this seemed more like a very hoppy ale or an amber ale. The balance is wonderful here and the only way to equate the bittersweet aftertaste is with my feelings as I took the empty bottle out to recycling. This is about as good as beer gets if you're a hophead. Kudos to Stone!

Photo of pgaveau
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Coca-Cola colorerd deep brown. Very little head or lacing. Faint smell of hops but not a lot going on. Caramel malt taste followed by slight bitter after taste. This is an enjoyable beer with a sweet touch. I could do this beer again but I wouldn't go out of my way.

Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Black, but bloody mahogany around the edges when held to the light. Nice head, but the bubbles are actually real large, which always makes me think of soap, but it's no biggie. Smells like I just opened a bag of hops. Straight up. These guys are particularly earthy and piney. Definitely heavy handed hopping going on here, and from the start I was weary for the hop-bomb to come. And it came. I get no roasted or sweet malts at all, so I wonder why even bother with the more expensive, less fermentable black malts...unless you are just being self-righteous and showing off. Which I guess is the point of this beer.

All in all, ditch the black and just go for the IPA. There's hardly any difference in this case, and all you are doing is getting my hopes up for some sweet or roasted malt backbone, which in this case, doesn't exist. As the name suggests, I think this one is just a pissing contest with the black IPA trend. With that said, if I was blind and didn't know it was black, I would just think of it as an other west-coast hop bomb ipa which, depending on my mood, I could take or leave.

*Okay. This beer needs to open up! As my beer warms, the malts are starting to show. There is a burnt brown sugar quality to it now that was not there before. There is also a touch of it in the nose. Still, this quality is virtually hidden behind the hops. Everything above still stands, but I just thought I needed to add that in.

Photo of stckhndlr
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass and witnessed as a beautiful 2 inch dirty tan head formed. Lacing clings to the glass forever. pitch black beer.

S- very nice citrus smell of grapefruit and dark berries. hops are strong and it has a distant roasted scent.

T- Has a good citrus and hops taste. Aftertaste is a bit bitter but it actually gets better the more you drink it. Kind of like seasoning your taste buds. they just have to get used to it.

M- Coats the whole mouth with a thick foamy full body. goes down with a touch of bite.

D- I thought it was a decent beer. I can't say I would drink it all the time but I would not shy away from having this one again. Good beer.

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

A: Dark and deep.
S: Very sweet and fruity.
T: A very nice contrast of sweet and bitter. The hops really stand here. Not as sugary as the smell indicated.
M: Nice. Slighty Warm. A little thinner than I expected.
D: Oh, I could drink this often. A very nice beer.

Photo of PEIhop
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My amazing wife gave this to me as part of a Valentine's Day gift....Sweet!

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep, rich, leathery black with minimal lacings and a small carbonated head.

S - Due to the color, I wasn't expecting the abundant hop presence in this ale. Along with the hop presence, dark fruit and hints of chocolate permeate throughout.

T - The initial wave is dominated by the "pineyness" from the hops and a secondary wavy leaves hints of chocolate and plum/dates.

M - Full-bodied with a very appealing creaminess.

D - This ale was extremely enjoyable (shared with my wife) because of the unexpected hop presence. Extremely well-crafted ale with high drinkability.

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

My first Stone beer. Poured into a crystal beer mug the beer is almost black with hints if red when held into the light. The head is rich and creamy light brown and holds up good time, leaving good lacing. Very attractive.
Smell is fruity and hints grapefruit and citrus.
Tasting the beer you get hit with a very refreshing fruity front, where the grapefruit and citrus tastes are dominant. In the middle a roasted malt will come through and checked by a good amount of hops in the end. Great balance and interesting lingering of a bittersweet aftertaste.
Great mouthfeel of a fantastic medium bodied beer. What a experience, will definitely buy it again, and will try more from this brewer.

Photo of Neecee513
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Black, with tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass, good retention.

S: Pine and citrus notes.

T: Grapefruit and citrus, bit of toasted backbone masked by substantial hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, bitter and dry on the finish.

D: Very good, but hops can overwhelm at times. I paired with a Gouda, which was pleasing.

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

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,740 ratings.