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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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

5,311 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,311
Reviews: 1,830
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 232
Gots: 501 | FT: 6
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: 5,311 | Reviews: 1,830 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vonerichs
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely dark brown body in a well lit room. In a room with even moderate lighting I could easily mistake it for black. One finger of fluffy light tan head. No lacing.

For such a dark beer I was shocked at the hop-centric nose. It's loaded up with pine. There is roasted malt for support.

The taste is a complex battle between hops and malt. The hops take a slight edge, but this is a tug of war between pine and roasted malts. There are brief bursts of coffee and chocolate, but the malt is mainly roasted/burnt. It has a long and dry bitter finish.

Creamy and medium-heavy body. Dry on the palate.

Drinks proper for 8.7% abv. Slight alcohol detected, but as expected.

Vonerichs, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee colored with russet highlights and an airy tan head that leaves sticky lace on the glass. Citrus fruity hops and roasty cocoa blend perfectly in the nose. Huge pine sap simcoe hop flavor with the nice roasty fudge flavor of carafa or black patent malt. The flavors are in perfect harmony with one another, it's rich and bitter all at once. Full bodied with smooth carbonation. One of the best IMO.

biggred1, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

small snifter (10oz?) served at the grumpy bulldog.

A- this one is brought to me in a small snifter. a black body with a neat beige head that doesnt last very long and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are the hops, which seems odd coming from such a dark beer. pine, grapefruit, and a little bit of orange. after that comes lightly roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate.

T- the taste, like the smell, is all about the hops. loads of pine and grapefruit. i think i can detect the orange i could smell also. the roasted malts are in there, but not as dark tasting as a stout. slight chocolate and a little bit of coffee at the end.

M- medium to full bodied with a nice level of carbonation. nice and bitter.

D- easy to finish and i wish the glass was larger. ive tried this not too long ago when it was stone 11, glad i can try it fresher now. look for a bottle review soon. im so glad that stone is on the shelves here.

jwinship83, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of MURF0320
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lodge in Boca Raton. Poured into a tulip, light black with a tint of dark red. Two finger light tan head that faded and left moderate lacing.
Looking for a strong hop aroma as a raised the glass and I found it...citrus, floral, and pine. Also notes of roasted malts and citrus fruits.
Complex flavor. Dominated by bitter citrusy hops. On the bitter side (good for me) but still well balanced with sweet malts and an earthy flavor. I described it as a great IPA with a thimble of great stout thrown in.
Medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very smooth and finishes dry. Warmed well.
Enjoyed every bit of the glass. Highly recommended.

MURF0320, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of nick76
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is very hoppy with both pine and citrus as well as a toasted caramel malt. The appearance is black with a large foamy head. The taste is like the aroma with a huge hop kick but not a super astringent one. The palate is thin but smooth from carbonation. Overall the beer is good but a bit too hoppy for me.

nick76, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to womencantsail, who gave this to me as an extra in a recent trade. 22oz bomber poured into a Goose Island pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown, might just be black, with a couple fingers-worth of tan frothy head. After the initial pour, there's still a decently large cap on top with a bunch of lacing along the sides. A really nice looking beer, no doubt about it.

S - Bitter hops/citrus, orange peel, some sweet chocolate/malt and roasted nuts. A nice meld of bitterness and malts.

T - Strong hoppy bitterness up front, roasted peanuts, malts, floral notes as well. Maybe a little too much going on here for me, but overall, it's good but not great. Very bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, frothy carbonation, oily finish.

D - Not all too high, but something nice if you're tired of straight-up hop bombs or sweet stouts. I'm not going to seek this one out but if it's in front of me, I'll drink it.

Sean9689, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1 L swingtop growler filled at Al's of Hampden this afternoon. A shout-out to ARH.

A: The strong ale is dark, a veritable stout or porter. I'd say it's darker than a porter, offering up no colors or hues other than blackness. An off-white, slightly tanned, head, 2.5 fingers on pour, laces lightly.

S: The nose defies all logic (I remember being floored when I first got hold of 11th Anniversary). Dark roasted malts and ample citrus hops shsre the stage. Malts are first, bready and rich, but quickly yield to the resiny citrus hops. Pow!

T: Dark roasted malts, rye bread and chocolate showcase the malt side. They are immediately followed by hops, lots and lots of oily hops. Those hops are citrusy and strong. A touch of pine adds to the thicker hop presence. The floral finish is lively, several mouthfuls of citrus pulp. My first Black IPA (as Stone 11), and you never forget your first.

M: Roasted malts. Lotsa hops. Any questions? The fullness of the malts and their ability to influence the ale is impressive. Looking at the ale, you'd expect it to be much chewier but it isn't.

D: I'll finish off the growler but I'm starting to feel it after too glasses.

akorsak, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of JohnL9013
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I loved this beer, straight-up. If you liked Stone's Ruination, this is a dark-malted twist on it that will intrigue as much as assault you in Stone's typical style.

A: My gosh. This beer is totally black. Small half-inch head likely due to sloppy pouring, no lacing.

S: Wow, very very nice hops in the nose here. Judging by the appearance of this beer I was preparing to bite into a delicious "Arrogant Bastard" style ale, instead, I was greeted with a Ruinous level of hopping and a wonderful, sweet nose with dark malts in the background.

T: I realize that Stone only built this beer to please themselves, however, it's working quite well for me as well. There is a flat-out FANTASTIC balance of hops in this beer, heck, I prefer the balance slightly in this beer to the Ruination, although this beer lacks the Ruination's raw power. The dark malts give an interesting twist on things and actually balance really well with the hops they used to create a beer that is largely homogeneous with a huge emphasis on the hops. Still, there's a complexity in this beer I couldn't have expected.

M: Can be a bit harsh at first, but give it some time.

D: Be careful, this beer is very high in alcohol content. I had one of these and I was done for the night.

Summary: Buy it if you can get it!

edit: This review was written in 2010. As of 2014, this beer is much more common, and I'm quite happy, as it's become one of my go-to, favorite American beers. I have revised my ratings accordingly. I feel that this beer is the epitome of what modern American craft breweries are capable of bringing to the table.

JohnL9013, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. No bottled date, but a new shipment just received this week, so I believe it to be fairly fresh.

A: Pours a really dark borwn, almost bordering black. Nice off white / eggshell 1/4 inch head that disappears fairly quickly.

S: Nice big hop flavors up front. Nice piney scents with only some minor toasted malts in the background.

T: This definitely tastes fresh. Big hops presence right from the start, piney, maybe a little citrus notes in there as well. There's a healthy malt background with some bready flavors along with a bit of chocolate. Wow, and then here comes the bitterness. Long bitter finish with lots of grapefruit that lasts for minutes (or more). Maybe a little out of balance on the finish...

M: Medium mouth feel and carbonation. Seems appropriate for the aggressive of the beer.

D: Wow, this starts out as a great beer. But it's also a fatiguing beer. It's so big and aggressive, that it's not easy to finish a 22oz bottle in one sitting. But it's still a really nice beer and I'm glad I can get this on a regular basis.

oregonskibum, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased 22oz bottle and poured into standard American pint glass...

A- Very dark. Almost black, but not opaque with hues of brown/amber, very thick creamy head

S- Strong hop aroma with distinct berry fruitiness. Very appealing and makes you want to drink the beer instantly

T- Excessively hoppy. I personally feel that the hop balance was off a bit. It was very bitter (and I can take a good degree of bitterness) but the hop flavor was a strong pine and earthy flavor. The taste of this beer ruined my chance to taste anything else later that night, and I'm pretty sure I was still tasting the hops in my mouth the next day... It was pretty overwhelming

M- Not bad. Carbonation wasn't too prominent. Average/generic mouthfeel

D- This beer is good in small doses, very small doses.

Overall, this is my least favorite Stone beer I have had to date. Hops were incredibly bitter and not balanced to what I thought. I had an IPA directly after this and it tasted like water. I had no idea this beer would be like this. I think they were too aggressive on this one and I will not be buying this again anytime soon...

TheGordianKnot, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. 2 fingers of light tan head. Black and sticky looking. Smells of mango, peaches, citrus hops, coffee and alcohol. A little hot on the nose, but otherwise perfect. Tastes like mango, bitter hop flavor, and a bit of toasted malt, vaguely coffee-like. Slightly sweet on the finish, but mostly bitter chocolate and hop. Alcohol is prevalent, but imminently drinkable for a beer at 8.7 abv. Delicious.

WestValleyIPA, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thoughtful extra from Thorpe429. Thanks, Mike!

Reddish brown pour creates minimal head that vanishes minutes into this beer

Whoa, Nellie! Smells like meat or, more specifically, beef jerky and ham

Thankfully redemption is found in the drink. Black malts open into a steady stream of citric hops, predominantly orange and pineapple. Classifications be damned, this is an IPA...or black IPA, whatever that truly means.

Carbonation on the low end, with medium to thin body

I enjoyed this more than my compadre, who tastes a 60/40 blend of Tomaco Porter and Coffeed Ruination. Silly friend.

BarrytheBear, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of weatherdog
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL. We're happy to finally be able to have Stone in Chicago.

Served in a 10oz. snifter

It pours a nice almost black color, creamy dense khaki colored head that lingered for about 1/4 of the glass before receding. A medium amount of lacing was left coating the side of the glass.

The smell was firm but now overpowering piny resinous hop nose. Behind that a supporting background of roasted malt was present. The two opposing smells were melded together in a nice complimentary way.

The taste starts off much like the nose with a nice dollop of pine hops and the associated bitterness was much smoother than I expected since I find many stone beers to have an overly harsh bitterness. Past the initial hop presence the dark character reared its head with some molasses and just a touch of kilned malts but not as much as was in the nose. The two opposing flavors didn't blend together as well as the nose.

The mouthfeel was ok and had a medium body with an acceptable carbonation in order to help keep those hops form lingering on the tongue. Drinkability was above average and I did not know the ABV until I started writing this review and I must say it hid very well so I give props in that area.

I've only had a couple Black IPAs (Well I guess I can call them American Style India Black Ales since the brewers Association revised the style guidelines today) and they have been all over the board in terms of successfully blending the flavors together. This one is my favorite of the bunch so far.

weatherdog, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of sixerofelixir
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, "enjoy by 06 29 10"

Pours very dark brown with a sudsy tan head. Smell is super crisp, citrusy, and sweet. A bunch of grapefruit in the taste, and other assorted hoppy layers. Hard to believe all this is coming from such a dark brew. The malt is pretty subdued, but does add a mellowness the body and finish. Bitterness expectedly rears up at the end. Maybe a little clash of characters, and except for a touch of alcohol burn, drinks quite easy for 8.7%

sixerofelixir, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown/mahogany color, with a good tan head. Nice piney hoppy aromas compete with undertones of roasted malt. On the palate, this one boasts a good malt backbone, with roasted malt, cocoa, dark chocolate easily mingling with some good pine/citrus hop flavors. A very nicely balanced beer, and one that is way to dangerous drinkable for its ABV. Excellent

emmasdad, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of JoePat
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a thick light tan almost kaki in color head that leave abundant lacing as it dissipates.
The most dominant smell of the aroma is the wonderfully delicious amarillo hops. That unmistakable pinapple aroma always gets me in the mood for a beer.
I can taste a citrusy hop in the flavor but it is much more balanced with the malt than the flavor would lead you to beleive with a little grassy/piney bitterness near the end. The malt doesnt play a real forward roll in this beer but it balances everything out great like a good worker who is seen but not heard.
The mouth feel is light and creamy and makes this beer all the more pleasure to put in my mouth.
Dispite the 8.7% I feel I could put back one after another and still ask for more.

JoePat, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Chicagoland!!!

A: Served in a snifter with a thin layer of light tan head. Good lacing. As far as I can tell, the beer itself is black.

S: Predominantly bitter, piney hops and, to a lesser extent, roasted malts.

T: Starts with the light flavor of roasted malt, finishes with an appreciable hop bitterness. Bitterness is the key "flavor" which overwhelms everything else.

M: Medium in weight with appropriate carbonation. Clean.

D: Very good. I recently had a ST Iniquity, which is considered a DIPA, but, in my opinion, this beer is much more accurate representation of the style than Iniquity. However, this beer decides to be classified, I believe any hophead would find it to be quite drinkable.

Florida9, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my brand new Stone Levitation tulip. Glad to have regular access to Stone!

A: Pours pitch black, has all the visual characteristics of a stout, tan head, leaves splotchy lacing, decent retention, no light passes through

S: The nose has a nice big burst of aromatic hops in the form of pine, grapefruit, and other citric notes along with a hint of roasted grains beneath the hops...lots of earthy notes in there, smells quite complex

T:The aromatic hops dominate the front of the palate much like the nose, but they give way to quite a big malt back bone which features chocolate, coffee, molasses, honey and a long finish of bitter and earthy hops and a touch of heat from the alcohol. Lots of interesting things going on here. Like an IPA with a porter's grain bill- very nice.

MF: thick body with medium carbonation

D: wow, this beer is somewhat of a paradox .. its pitch black- tastes like a big IPA- has some touches of porter/stout like qualities, but it all comes together with the hops. Very nice brew, will drink again.

homebrew311, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark ruby color, nearly black with one finger of creamy tan head.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugars, caramel, juicy hops, a hint of charred oak and some alcohol. I like the scent a lot, the strong sweet dark fruit, bitter hops, and roasted malts blend very nicely, but the alcohol is a bit too noticeable.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, sugars, bitter, juicy hops, and sweet malts. I was expecting more of a roasty flavor, but was pleased to discovery it is very sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily, but somewhat thin.

paco1029384756, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of andrewm190
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All in all a solid product from an excellent brewery that is worthy of praise. Poured a fairly tame head, some solid roasted malt aroma, damn near a stout in my opinion. Fairly bitter after-taste, and definitely alcohol heavy. Certainly worth a try; if nothing else, Stone always delivers with entertaining bottling. Nice mix of hops as well. A strong beer, not for the faint of heart - but that is how Stone likes it.

andrewm190, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of danielharper
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thick brown bubbly head that remains on the top of the beer for some time. Some lacing. Slight reddish tinge on the bottom of the glass. Great presentation. Smells strongly of fresh hops, high alpha acids, with a strong citrus note underneath. Hints of sweet nutty malt underneath, with some sweetness coming to light as the beer warms.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma but somehow... off. First of all, there's a strong alcohol astringency on display here that overwhelms the rest of the palate, making it hard to get the complexity of the flavors. There's still that nice alpha hoppiness, some notes of citrus and a whole lot of sweet malt, but it gets overwhelmed by the "heat" of the flavor and just turns into a bit of a mush. It reminds me a bit of an American-made Weizenbock in flavor, hoppier than a traditional German, but the alcohol just overwhelms in the end. It's still good, but a bit one-note.

Mouthfeel is moderate-to-thick, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops. Somewhat syrupy on the tongue.

Overall I don't have much more to add here. This is a good beer, one it might be interesting to age, but it doesn't quite hit that elusive sweet spot for me.

danielharper, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber bottle. best by 06/29/10.

Pours a dense dark brown/black with hints of ruby when held to light and a foamy, long lasting tan head. It is a bit of an ambiguous color, it looks like a stout.

It smells sweet and hoppy, but it isn't that fragrant.

The taste is bitter and hoppy, with some slight coffee character. It is slightly metallic as well. The hops are piney and mix with the metallicness to create a flavor im not too keen on.

The so called black IPAs seem to be more gimmicks than anything, it seems like no brewers have taken the time to make the perfect recipe for it.

crossovert, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of mynie
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Black Sparrow, billed as a Black IPA because, well, Sparrow customers know that some beers is wheat and some is pilsners and others is IPAs.

Pours like a thick, fluffy stout. Big white head. The body looks black until you hold it up to a light and it's like those Crows candies, it's actually a really deep shade of green that looks black. Pretty cool.

Smells agressive. Big, giant west coast hops. Big, bitter, syrupy malt. There's some nice nodes here, but also some stuff that's unpleasantly intense and really the balance is kind of off.

Aaaand it tastes pretty much like it smells: interesting, but hugely offbalanced. There's some herbs thrown in there, along with the big giant alpha of citrusy west coast hops. That's nice. The whole front half is excellent, actually, but then in the back it's a thick, syrupy malt that's just not all that great. Overall there's a lot more good than bad but the bad still spoils much of the good.

mynie, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of JamesS
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a fantastic opaque black with some excellent head and nice lacing. Very deep malty scent, huge sweetness with a hint of bitterness in the nose. Great taste, a deep and malty hit, slight roastiness, with an excellent hop hit at the end to balance it all. A wonderfully smooth beer with no alcohol tinge even at over eight percent. An excellent brew.

JamesS, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Weyerbacher tulip (instead of the default 3/4 pint glass - thanks, Caitlin!).

A: Black with red tinges and an inch of creamy light brown head. Solid retention and some good, fine lacing.

S: Pure hops at first, with super-bitter grapefruit pith and a bit of pine. The faintest hint of roasted malt gives a touch of coffee to the tail end. Nice.

T: Big hops right off the bat, with some caramel and roasted malts making themselves known in the middle. Fruity hop finish with great bitterness.

M: Fairly light body with a moderate amount of slightly prickly carbonation.

D: Does pretty well here, considering the strength.

Notes: If this isn't a Black IPA, then I don't know what that is. Awesome beer, with a terrific hop presence that's beautifully balanced with a complex malt backbone. Delicious.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Mar 29, 2010
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,311 ratings.