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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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5,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,299
Reviews: 1,829
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 231
Gots: 495 | 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: 5,299 | Reviews: 1,829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of divineaudio
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz dated bottle poured into a tulip glass.

pours dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly devolves into a thin film. leaves behind some nice sparkly, intricate lacing. that's right, sparkly.

smells beautifully of floral hops and citrus fruits. picking up grapefruit, orange and perhaps some berry notes with a bit of a nutty undertone. taste follows nose with added flavors of carmel and toasted malts and a dry, bitter finish. hop character is strong, and alcohol is hidden pretty well. malt character seems to come out a little more as it warms, almost reminds me of a scotch ale.

mouthfeel is on the medium to heavy side with a slightly oily quality. carbonation gives the bitterness a little more bite and helps the flavors pop, but feels a bit coarse.

this is quite an interesting beer from stone, but not one i could drink all the time. considering the higher abv and strong hop character i'd say you'd be done after 1 or 2 of these. ipa fans will love this, everyone else has quite the adventure ahead of them.

divineaudio, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Flashsp2
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone XI into snifter (aged 2yr)

A giant two finger fluffy head of light brown hangs around for a good
bit over the super deep brown (almost black) body. Leaves a big clumpy
ice cream float style head on top, with nice taffy lacing to boot.
Highlights of light brown and golden edges show under direct light.

Aroma is still hop resin, after these years. Flowers, citrus, sticky
pine sap, soft roasted/toasted malt. I had this closer to one year,
but this seems even more rich and inviting.

Hops are weathered, but still punchy and prickly. Bitterness has
mainly subsided, but the flavors are still present. Starts off a bit
malty sweet, then some grapefruit rind, pine resin, and light roasted
malt. As it warns the malt characters start to make a stronger
presence, but the hops also give a bigger prickly response, and they
actually still have a bit of raw edge still.

The body is dense but not syrupy, with a nice dose of tiny bubbles
breaking up the heft.

This is a good drinking beer, and I must say that it goes down preety
quickly. I'm now looking at an empty glass wondering what happened.
Its good stuff, and I'd like to try a SSR to see how a fresh one

Flashsp2, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- far darker then I would have thought after my first sip from from the bottle.

S- Roasty, citrusy, sweet. Quite an interesting mix.

T- Heavy malt background with heavy hops up front. Finishes dry.

M- Semi-creamy mouthfeel. A hop dominating beast, could clearly appreciate being aged a year.

D- Delicious.

thisisxxmyIPA, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of kylehayworth
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I was really excited about trying. It did not dissapoint me.

A: Pours a mean black, and builds a nice head. There is a good amount of lacing here.

S: I smell good hops here, citrus, with some piney smells jumping in.

T: Lovely hops hit your palate, juicy and crisp, well balanced with the malt sweetness. Has a slighly bitter/alcohol finish.

M: Nice and thick, with medium carbonation.

D: I really enjoyed this beer, good balance upfront, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, which I enjoy.

kylehayworth, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of jameswaldo
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wife and I had pints of this poured patiently at Ithaca Coffee Co's Tavern on the Green in Gateway Commons yesterday afternoon when I decided we needed extra fuel to get our tandem bike up steep State St Martin Luther King Jr hill. The head on this sublime beverage is so fierce, it took much gentle pouring and slopping to get the pints just perfectly right. Head is severely persistent, nearly gelatinous, leaving serious permanent lace. "Black IPA" is how Tavern chalkboard promoted this brew, and for sure it's an opaque dark, not letting even direct sunshine from Tavern's south windows peek through its delish murk.
Smell combines all sorts of complex hops and dark malt bitter-sweet odors with high-octane ethanol. Only the yeast hides from strenuous sniffing. Taste is just totally perfect. We hardly want to swallow, the mouth-feel is so smoothly satin-lined comfy cozy unctuous. We had to get a bag of gourmet pretzels to eat with this drink it was so powerfully persistent in its sweet malty bitter aftertaste the palate begs mercy. At $7 per pint, the price (and yes, I've read the blogs where rich dudes claim you shouldn't ever consider expense in "drinkable" considerations) is too steep for us to want more than one pint per day; but the brew itself is so extremely intense, we wouldn't want to indulge in more than a single pint even if we didn't both have to get back on our tandem bike and pedal 3 miles steep uphill to get home with it glowing darkly like a black hole star in our contented bellies. Generally I disapprove of sending beer long-distance (sorry! mental problems with diesel transport interfere with my palate), but thanks, Stone, for the audacity of shipping that truly sublime ale all the way from San Diego to Ithaca!

jameswaldo, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage September 2007. Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass in two parts. Review taken from notes.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, color with ruby highlights. Pours a beige, one finger head with pretty good retention.

Aroma: Notes of rich cocoa beans are the first burst to hit the nose. Also, espresso notes are present and provide a nice richness. Some bitter hops appear near the back end of the aroma. They are definitely subdued heavily after a couple years.

Taste: Bitter, unsweetened cocoa and espresso notes provide a rich, earthy, bitter flavor to the front end of this brew. Hop bitterness begins to come in stronger near the back end. Provides some light pine notes, but mostly just acts to provide bitterness. Spicy, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied brew overall. Goes down smoothly as there is not a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: The ABV here is not present throughout any of the beer. If this beer has one thing that detracts from its drinkability its the abundance of bitterness.

Overall, even with all the hop flavors subdued, the strong roasted malt and bittering hops still make for a great flavor profile. Very nice balance here a well. Ages much better than most beers with such a strong hop profile.

Gosox8787, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of cnally
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This I had on tap at Scotty's in downtown Indianapolis.

The appearance is a wicked black, barely transparent around the edges. Slight off white head drifts to a lacing.

Aroma is insanely hoppy and very floral.

Flavor is all hops, a sick amount and very prevelant. A little sweet, which is balanced by the intense bitterness in the finish.

Feel is crisp. But pretty highly carbonated.

I enjoy it. Highly drinkable and really for the hops lover.

cnally, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a dark brown with decent head. Almost two fingers of light tan head rises, lasting a couple minutes. The lacing is pretty solid.

The aroma is pretty light giving off a nice smooth hoppiness.

The taste is super hoppy from start to finish with a very bitter finish. There is slight earthniess to this that separates it from being an ipa, a nice change of pace.

Overall, pretty decent. Its an ipa that isn't. If your an ipa search this out.

jrallen34, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of ToddT
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black liquid topped with a well formed one finger head. Head fades slowly to a cap and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Nice blend of pine and grapefruit hops.

T- Big blast of grapefruit hops to start, slowly diminishing into a pine resin finish. Finish is dry and slightly astringent with some alcohol heat.

M- Medium in body and well carbonated , for all of the hops in it the finish is relatively clean with only a minor amount of hop oil left on the palate.

D- Pretty drinkable for a big beer but the 8.7% ABV does show through in the finish.

Another over hopped beer from Stone, this one could be a case of a little less would be a lot more. This one just doesn't stand out from the rest of their offerings.

ToddT, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, sweets, hops and pine. Very aromatic.

T: A well-balanced taste of malt, pine resin, west coast hops, and a little caramel. Sort of similar to an IPA, but has a very particular character.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Very drinkable and well made.

avalon07, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of JTahoe
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep dark brown, nearly black, with glowing ruby highlights. Tan head with respectable lace.

S - Layered and complex. Grapefruit and citrus character hoppy aromas hit first. Deep roasted, charred aromas comes and goes. Occasional whiffs that can only be described as a stubbed joint.

T - Big and hoppy with juicy citrus (tangerine and grapefruit make a bold presence) along with resinous pine and a hefty dose of floral-ness. While there is plenty of bitter goodness, the malty body exhibits a distinct sweetness. Slight background char lingers fairly delicately on the palate (much lighter than the aroma suggests), with some nice dry bitterness.

M - Medium body with smooth and creamy feel. Bitter dryness on the finish and rich coating quality.

D - Very drinkable for such an assertive brew. Robust yet refined and beautifully layered.

JTahoe, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of FickleBeast
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split with awebber. Reviewed on my Droid.

Pours pitch black with a thin ring of off white foam. There is good lacing. Aroma is shocking... not what you expect coming fromsuch a dark colored brew. Aroma is very hoppy with grapefruit and citrus overtones.

This tastes just like a hoppy west coast ipa... there is a good amount of malty sweetness but it is still VERY hoppy. It is hard to reconcile the flavor with the color but if I close my eyes I consider this an above average ipa. Mouthfeel is fairly viscous and this beer hides the alcohol very adroitly behind the substantial hoppiness.

FickleBeast, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of swierczt
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black color that you cannot see through. A big tan head with good retention. Slowly subsides to lacing around the glass. Almost resembles a stout.

S- Citrus (grapefruit) and pine dominate the smell. Overall, big IPA characteristics in the nose. Not picking up on any malts in the smell.

T- Taste is all citrus and hops up front. Subsides to some additional interesting flavors. Smoke, caramel, and perhaps some coffee notes. However, bitterness hangs on through the finish.

M- Medium bodied. A bit heavier than a traditional IPA. Medium to low carbonation.

D- Overall, I enjoyed my first bottle.Very drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden. Wouldn't have guessed that this offering was 8.7% ABV. Looking forward to having the second bottle that I have purchased in the near future.

swierczt, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, Duvel snifter

This thing pours almost like a stout. Its dark, deep brown, almost black. Lighter brown around the edges, nice tan head.

Im looking at a beer that almost looks like a stout, yet when I take a whiff of it I get blasted with citrus hops. Alot of grapefruit, and some pine as well. Theres certainly some alcohol in the nose too. Pretty good, certainly not bad, the alcohol in the nose is only slightly distracting.

Hops up front with subtle malts, dark fruits, a little smokiness. Finishes sweet and dry, with lingering hop bitterness. If you drink this too cold, you'll really only be getting a big dose of hops. Reminds me of an American Barleywine but as other have said, it drinks a little easier.

This is thick, but also nicely carbonated.

I could have a couple of these. Its a little rough around the edges, yet drinks quite well.

zoolzoo, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Ego
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

as is their muse Stone once again has a take on offensive to the moron PC crowd of crap beer quaffers... being a self righteous a-hole myself, this beer seems almost as well named as Arrogant Bastard..

angry rising head almost overwhelms the boundaries of my glass, standing 3 feet tall it is not a midget in the world of head but more of a minut bol, the head is an off white cream with craggy nooks and crannies all about, it collapses from the outside in, leaving an ionic column of beer foam floating in the middle of the brew, a Pangaea of primordial foam, light needs a GPS to navigate through the darkness offered here, it's not quite black but don't tell the beer that... looks super nice "super, thanks for asking"

on the initial pour I detected more hops than I did at this moment (about 2 minutes in, served in a DFH pregnant pint glass), raisiny hops, some weird burnt chemical smell just lingering beneath, I definitely detect the booze...

taste etc...
raisiny and a touch barley-wine esque (but lighter drinking), the carbonation level is perfect, living somewhere between prickly and silent, gliding over the tongue making this sucker mega smooth, the taste is mild compared to many stone offerings, not a bad thing, the hops have a toned down citrus slide into the back of your mouth, this really reminds me of a barleywine "light".

pretty laid back for stone, and not at a price to break the wallet, looking not to destroy the taste buds but have a nice beer with a mild hop kick ? try some.

Ego, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - black with a really tiny off white head, head dissapears shortly after pouring, looks more of a dark brown color when you look at it in the light

S - smells like citrusy hops, if I had to guess based on smell alone I would thnk this was an IPA, I'm not sure if it's because I am using a pint glass but it really doesn't smell as hoppy as I was expecting.

T - citrusy, juicy hop flavor with a decent malt backbone, the bitterness lingers for awhile on the tongue

M - very lightly carbonated, medium body

D - This is a slow drinker, Don't taste the alcohol which is good for a higher-ish ABV beer. This is an enjoyable beer but I wasn't blown away by it like I expected.

jpmclaug, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of mechamifune
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking forward to this one for a while....

Pours a very dark brown with a slight off white head. Evident carbonation, but not overwhelming.

Smell is more hoppy than I was expecting.... some sweetness to it as well, but smell is akin to a heavier DIPA.

Taste starts out very bitter, almost like a RIS, then slides into a more floral, hoppy afertaste. A real interesting taste that reminds me a little of the 13 anniversary ale (it would be interesting to try the two side by side, but i fear that ship has sailed). All in all very pleasant and interesting.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth, not rigid at all despite the bitterness. This in turn lends to a high drinkability. Minimal alcohol present in the taste and I feel like a could sip on this for an extended period (though I might regret it later). Taste is still relitively intense though.

In total a very high quality offering from Stone.... in their catalouge I put it slightly below their 13 aniv. ale and their RIS and slightly above arrogant bastard. Will be looking to get my hands on this one again.

mechamifune, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of WickedSluggy
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had an hour pass since I imbibed so my recollection is fresh yet I have no notes, just great memories

A - Lovely - very dark in a snifter with ruby highlights in the corners. The foam is light brown. The first glass out of the tap held no head after a minute or two - the second glass maintained for twenty minutes, frilling nice lacey remnants.

S - Stone has had some great winners lately - the 13th Anniversary Ale and this years DB, both winners in the aroma (and flavour). Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale too, is a scent to behold. Piney. Fruity. Resinous (very resinous)! Malty aroma is all pleasant and sweet.

T - I can't say anything negative about this beer's flavor either. It is indeed sublime - sweet and malty - bitter and perfectly balanced. The use of Chinook hops for bettering is bold. Simcoe utilization is fruity not at all soapy. The hops profile is well executed, interesting and appropriate. The beer is very hoppy but not boring. It is not typical. It is huge but appropriate.

M - The beer is rich as a barleywine. Mouthfeel is quite pleasing, but I wonder about this class of strong ale. It is indeed"strong" ale but it's very much in Stone's old ale class.

D - This beer is a wonderful sipping beer.

WickedSluggy, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of Trizzle
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Opaque black. Some interesting yellow highlights at the edges while I sip from my wine glass. 1/2" brown head slowly recedes to a tight crema with good lacing for this ABV.

Hops on the nose. Slightly floral and oily. Vague hint of dark sweet malts, some beef stock and yeast.

Huge hops straight up. Started this glass too cold*. Mainly hop bitterness with some slight floral notes.. As it warms the dark malt sweetness comes through much more, especially on the front. Some more beef stock notes through the middle and bitter and oily hops beat you down at the finish. Lingers dry, bitter and slightly floral.

Light malt feel with medium light cartbonation suit fit the mould.

While I couldnt session this by a long shot, i've given it 5/5 for the experience of the drink. Challenging and rewarding.. I'm slowly coming around to these hugely hopped american styles. Well done again Stone.

*This really needs to be tried at cellar-room temp. 15deg Celcius would not be too warm. Too cold and this is just extremely hoppy, bitter and astringent.

Trizzle, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of thain709
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - I was surprised when this beer came to me...a deep, brown body that was borderline black...some highlighting around the edges...a creamy, light brown head sat on top and never really dissipated...nice lacing

S - Oh yea...this is your typical Stone nose with some twists...a great big hop profile full of sweet citrus...a subtle roastiness sneaks in and the malts shine through

T - The flavors play well with one another on the palate...the malts actually hit you first...they have a nice roasted presence ad they show off caramel and a little chocolate flavoring...the caramel adds a nice sweetness...the hops take over full force after the sweet malts subside...full blown citrus (grapefruit and lemon)...sweet and not too bitter

M - Medium bodied...pretty soft and creamy with that lingering citrus hop flavor

D - This was very interesting...I wouldn't even know how to classify this one but it was great...bold malt flavors pairing nicely with bright citrus hop flavors...another well done brew by Stone

thain709, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown with ruby hues and a big, frothy, cascading tan head that patiently subsides to leave dense sticky lacing behind.

Aromas consist of fresh pine/wood and earthy hops, sweet malt, perhaps caramel, and yeast.

This is quite a unique, yet great palate. Big earthy hops appear first, also generous roasted malt, following is something sweet, perhaps caramel, perhaps dark fruit, I'm not exactly sure.

Medium to full in body, generous carbonation, and overall quite smooth.

This brew is certainly easy to drink, with plenty to offer the senses. This is a delicious beer at a great price.

CHADMC3, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass. Review from notes taken over the weekend.

Black with hints of ruby towards the edge of the glass. Light khaki 2 finger head. Lots of lacing. Good retention, a layer of foam hangs around forever.

Smells fruity, real fruity (sweet pineapple/apple juice). Dank and piny as well. Mostly hop aroma. A sweet roasted malt background in the smell too.

Taste follows smell. Sweet roasty malts. A bit chocolatey and earthy. Bitter resin, pine, and pineapple hops. Interesting combination of flavors.

Mouth feel is full bodied with small bubbles. Well carbonated.

Quite drinkable. Tasty and well masked alcohol.

This is basically a black DIPA, and reminds me a lot of Sublimely Self-Righteous. Kinda wish I'd tried them back to back.

billshmeinke, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, served in a Stone Levitation glass...

A - easily pours with 3 inches of big thick and frothy khaki/cappuccino colored foam...falling at a steady pace and leaving spots of lace everywhere. the beer itself is quite dark, black with only dark ruby hues when held up to light.

S - that big bold hop profile found in so many Stone brews...mixed with some dark chocolate, big malt profile...caramel and brown sugar...also a bit of metallic bite to it.

T - huge attack of big bold flavors...starts with a massive malt attack immediately joined in by big, earthy, grassy hops. chocolate really kicks in the second half, finishes with a Hershey's syrup taste. hints all over the place of some dark fruit, plums, chicory, burnt toast, alcohol in the finish. ive had this fresher and some of the big hop finish is missing, but not distracting.

M - just about perfect for the style. thick body, creamy in the mouth, oily going down. nice lively carbonation propels many flavors all over the place. the thickish body allows you to taste the beer long after the swallow, bringing in more chocolate and a healthy alcohol burn.

D - dont get me wrong, this is a damn fine Strong Ale...not shy by any means. to a fault, one after one glass down, i feel like my mouth has been beat up. i will definitely seek this out again, when im in the mood for some delicious punishment.

Stigs, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of ibbjamin
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Paid $6.99 for a bomber from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. After reading, I find this is the 'reincarnation' of their 11th Anniversary Ale. I pour into a large snifter to review.

Dark brown to black in color. Half inch dense and frothy tan-colored head. Excellent lacing. A very thin layer of frothy retention.

Sweet and lightly roasted caramel malts nicely balanced with aromas of wet hops. Some hints of raisin, wood and cocoa. Robust, earthy and fresh.

Taste is very well balanced and as equally complex as the nose. Alcohol well hidden.

Medium bodied and surprisingly quite dry. Wish it was a bit more carbonated to add life to the mouthfeel. Short and sweet finish.

ibbjamin, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid black color with a great topping of medium bodied beige head.
Smell is well hopped here-a citrus note present with some very sweet elements throughout.
Taste is very well balanced and flavorful. It starts with a smack in the face of sweet-malt and a smokey profile-then ends the flavor with the classic bitter-citrus hop taste that rounds out everything very well.
Finish is well hopped as always-wet with sweetness and caramel.
Drinks great-zero hint of its 8.7%-not what I would call sessionable but definitely very drinkable.

ThaBobfather, Feb 16, 2010
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,299 ratings.