Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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5,603 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,603
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 239
Gots: 567 | 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: 5,603 | Reviews: 1,859 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kinsman
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep and dark mahogany brown, just shy of pitch black. A relatively thin tan colored head sits atop for quite some time.

Aroma is noticeably hoppy with big American hops showing off. No noticeable malt aroma at first, but becomes apparent as the beer warms.

This beer really falls in-line with many DIPA's, but with the dark malts to throw things off. Hop-forward with a strong bitter presence and flavors or citrus. A slightly sweet/toasted malt character can be detected, but its well hidden.

A lighter bodied feel than I expected, but thats not to say this is a light beer. It still packs plenty of punch and you can feel that in your mouth. Overall, this is a beer that pretty much defines the black IPA category. Who knew hoppy and dark could go so well together.

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

dark black body with a frothy light brown/tan head. when held against the light of a lamp, ruby red shimmered through the body. looks excellent. lacing is great too.

a beer that has the wonderful appearance of an imperial stout has the great aroma of an IPA. great combo. clearly a ton of cascade hops dumped in there. slight malt background too.

the citrus taste of hops with the backing of the coffee/heavy malt taste that some great stouts have.

the mouthfeel is solid. good carbonation.

for a big abv beer, this is unbelievably drinkable.

one of my favorite beers possibly.

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

Poured into my Stone IRS tulip. Easily one of the coolest-looking bottles on the shelves!

A - Black with a creamy, 2-finger mocha-colored head. Amazing retention and lacing.

S - Roasted malt, chocolate, pine resin and grapefruit pith.

T - Bitter grapefruit and pine resin give way to a solid, rich backbone of dark roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. Very well balanced and I always love Stones hop choices. Delicious!

M - Smooth and creamy with medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, perhaps the most drinkable Stone offering I've had yet...

Great beer, great brewery. I'm really starting to like these Black IPAs, especially ones done this well.

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

a - poured a three-fingers thick creamy and dense coffee-colored head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lace with nice coating on the sides of the glass. the body was dark black and impossible to see through.
s - pine, muted citrus tones, with a light chocolate malt underneath that really comes through as it warms.
t - dry and citrusy hops at the beginning with a sweet coffee and chocolatey finish. with each sip you get the hops on the front of the tongue and a roasted malty taste on the back.
m - creamy and smooth.
d - considering stone's big hop presence this just begs to be quaffed. easily drinkable and really goes down smooth.

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

This beer might actually live up to it's nihilistic name such is the depth and surprise of this dark yet hoppy creation. The smell is an intoxicating herbal hoppiness from the dry hopping as soon as you open it, and it pours a elegant dark black/brown with a full finger head. The nose is strong on hops but also has the notes of roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The taste is wonderfully floral at first and dissipates to a slightly bitter roasted maltiness with an alchoholic kick at the end. This is a beer that stays with you after you've finished as you reflect on, "just how good was it?" One of the better beers I've tried this year and a certain reccomendation for anyone who likes more experimental tastes.
Bravo Stone

Photo of Fish113d
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black (obviously since it's a black IPA) with a fairly thin, tannish oily head that forms to about half a finger and then dissipates to a bubbly surface layer. Some lacing remains on the glass, which is nice.

Very aromatic. Dark roast coffee along with an earthy & cascade hop. A bit of alcohol on the nose as well.

Sipping is much more hoppy than I originally expected. Lots of dark roasty malt but not as chewy as expected. A nice bit of burnt coffee hits on the finish w/ a bit of the alcohol coming through subtly.

Body is not as chewy as I originally expected but nice balance and great taste.

I'm going to enjoy this one. It seems like a mix between almost an imperial stout and an IPA. Very nice brew. Cheers!

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

Hard to believe now that I almost didn't buy this. It pays to ignore the packaging.

A bold blackish looking beer. Superficially appears like a porter though it obviously isn't. The raw resiny nose was somewhat intoxicating and the head billowing and frothy. Body was big and firm and not ridiculously heavy though still totally dominant and demanding. Bizarrely lusciously lewd to taste. Would never have believed the degree of balance here either.

That was a hell of a thing.

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

A: Thick, rich foam with some stubborn stuck-on lacing. Color is a nearly opaque black-brown with reddish highlights.

S: Strong malt presence with a hint of coffee as it warms, piny hop aromas, floral, and a hint of something like baby powder.

T: Roasted malt, dates, pine hop presence, citrus (orange juice), with some alcohol kick.

M: Good carbonation with a boozy kick.

D: This is my first taste of this style, and enjoyed it. I will definitely be back for more.

Photo of callmemickey
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown body with a darker off white head that approaches a soft sand-khaki. Spotty lacing remains as the head slowly subsided.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, pine, fresh grass, and bark.

T: I am really not sure what the appeal is with these "black IPAs." The nose hinted at a harmonious marriage of darker roasted, toasted, and earthy malts with earthy, resinous, pine hops. Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't really come together as well. The malts used here added a bit too much sweetness and contrasted a bit harshly with the hops which sliced their way forward, but with a bit inconsistency.

When dealing with IPAs/dIPAs I like to think of malt as a canvas and the hops as paint. A quality canvas is necessary for the paint to adhere to, standout from, and leave a lasting impression. That said, the malts don't need to be bland, boring and hidden. But the canvas can't be full of ridges and valleys that alternately shed and pool the paint. Here the malt did just that, spiking out at times with too much malt, and at times just assaulting with bitter hops.

All said, it wasn't unpleasant. Just a tad frustrating with what "could" have been done here.

M: Medium bodied. Prickly carbonation. A bit of excess sweetness in the finish that could have been more crisp and defined.

D: A good, style-bending beer. Not sure if the experiment works for me in the long run though.

Photo of BigBlacke
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where do I start. This might be a biased review seeing as SSRA is one of my favorites.

Appearance is a dark dark opaque blackness. A 1 inch frothy head leaves an random lace pattern.

Smell is of a pine cone sitting in roasted malt with a distinct alcohol note. Absolutely exciting to the taste buds.

Taste goes hand in hand with smell. Roasted malt with a huge smack of piney hops. Alcohol is not well hidden in this one. Absolutely tears up the palate with greatness!!!

Mouthfeel packs a punch sharp pine and alcohol bite that leaves and aftertaste for days.

Drinkability is high if you are into this type of beer. Take a black butte, infuse it with Ruination, and you have SSRA. Get one and bask in its glory.

Photo of JMad
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle to a glass mug...
Pours black, almost opaque with a fluffy two finger head, left nice lacing.
Smells like sweet grapefruit and floral hos.
Tastes sweet and has a citrusy-piney bitterness, with a hint of wood.
Feels very dry, and gets smoother as it warms.
This is a top notch very enjoyable beer.

Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a dangerously dark midnight color with a chocolate brown head and nice lacing.

The citrus hop smell bubbles up first, but there are also deep coffee-malt aromas that come through as well. The flavor is bold, but extremely balanced. The hops infect every part of my mouth (in a sublime way)! HOWEVER just when you think it's a common black ipa, the sweet malts come through and blow up with crazy complexity wonder.

Let's just say, I really like it. It's pretty good.

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

I picked up a bomber that had been sitting on the shelf and split it with a friend. Poured half into a pint glass.

A: Almost black with a nice, large tan head. Not much lacing throughout.
S: Smells hoppy and creamy.
T: Tastes kind of like tea, with the alcohol and hops carrying through in the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a very interesting ale; I would love to try it fresh.
M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Warming.
D: I want to try another glass just because it was so intriguing. I could easily drink a few of these in a night.

Definitely worth a shot. This was my first Black IPA and now I want to try more!

Photo of Lldeegan
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a tight, creamy khaki head.
Aroma of citrus and some dark malt
The sweet malt is first on the palate with a burst of tart, juicy grapefruit hidden inside, then fades into dark roasty malt combined with some lasting bitter pine in the finish. Very complex, very interesting beer and overall style.
One of my favorite styles and this is incredible on cask

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

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Very dark brown to black. Pours about 1 and half finger, foamy, brown-white head. Plenty of bubbly carbonation clings to the sides of the glass. Settles very slowly. Some sticky remains as it does. Plenty of spider web lacing remains as you drink it down.

S: Roasted malt, a little coffee, pine nuts, and maybe a little butterscotch.

T: Deep roasted coffee malt, sharp hops, and little peaty. Kind of woody overall tone. Nice and bitter, but robust with the slightest hint of sweetness.

M: Thick, heavy, robust; but crisp, clean, and pristine. Malty and woody in the front, dry and bitter in the finish.

D: Sip and enjoy this quality brew.

Atmosphere is great. Tall, dark, and handsome. Deep, rich hue with a full, foamy head, and plenty of sticky lacing. Nose is full and a great balance of malt and hops with some woody and sweet tones in there too. Flavor is a fantastic malty, woody, hoppy balance. Very well done. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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

A - this stone redux pours a porter type dark with over a finger of moderately tan head

S - obvioulsy generously hopped from the aroma, a crisp piney resiny hop aroma, i was surprised by a background cocoa/chocolatey background aroma

T - very analagous to the aroma, piney and resinous up front with some lingering background sweetness of chocolate malts

M&D - you could name this beer balance, it is remarkably balanced between a strong hop profile and the cloying malts, these factors create an easy to drink beer that will appease hop heads and session beer drinkers

Photo of ChadQuest
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks great, as it has a pleasent amount of lasting bubbles and head and lacing, with a dark brown body and tanish head.
Aroma is good too, and there is no mistaking this s an ipa with your eyes closed, alot of cascade-esque hops and citrus on the nose, with a light milky coffee note.
taste is just like a cross between a citrusy IPA and a porter, with most of the action being done by the hops, and a light roasty note taking some jabs. the mouthfeel is really creamy, and its really easy to drink.
Pretty simple overall honestly, i didnt find alot going on, but everything there is well done.

Photo of mstyne
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so I drank half of my pint before I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing this brew. That probably says enough right there.

Picked up a bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating best I can tell. Pours an extremely dark, dark, red (had to hold it up to the light to confirm it wasn't ink black) with a decent 3/4" of head and good lacing.

Very nice hop aroma. Taste is smoky, with some cocoa/chocolate and wood notes. At 8.7 ABV, this will sneak up on you in a hurry. This is another delicious offering from Stone that I look forward to trying again.

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

Dry hopped with amarillo. Hand-pump cask at Blue Palms in Hollywood - served in a goblet.

Seal brown with a ruddy desert sand cracker of foam forming a lasting spotted head. Creamy heavy curtain of lace clings doggedly.

Chocolate malt, ovaltine, fresh grassy hops, and a touch of hemp in the nose.

Sweet dark roast malt, cherry pits, chicory, burdock root, and leaves on the palate - followed rapidly by a wave of hops characterized by earthy peppery spice, low fruitiness, moderate dusty bitterness, and faint grapefruit. Finishes slightly sweet with caramel overtones.

Medium bodied with light astringency and moderate carbonation (especially for the serving type).

The cask delivery ramps up the drinkability quite a bit for me and delivers the flavors with a certain purity.

Photo of bohemiandonut
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Smell just like pineapple orange mango juice blend, with perhaps a few marijuana branches thrown in. Pure genius hop aroma really. A bit of foreign malt lingers, raspberry chocolate, intoxicating coffee liqeur whispers from the deep.

Taste comes on somehow welcome but profoundly surprising. The palate leaps from mango-sweet anticipation to roasty malt-blanketed hop shadows. It's like they took the horror of a rotting DIPA and crossed it with an English porter, with none too much attention paid to either.

Stone is certainly a distinctive brewer. One recognizes their way with hops and malt immediately, and in this case it's a good thing. Few brewers bridge that gap successfully, but Stone manages to straddle it right between "OMG do they make IPA?" and "AW SHI where the BARLEYWINE AT?". Fortunately, these assholes make both.

Good job Stone, I applaud your diction.

Photo of rrski198
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with large mocha colored head. God lacing.

S: Spicy floral and citrus hops. Big time northwestern hops.

T: Awesome spicy hops up front with great bitterness. Solid malt backbone to really balance the beer. At this ABV, the hops and malt work quite well together.

M: Average to large carbonation with a little numbness from the booze. The burn and hops stick around. I like it!

D: For the ABV, I could ahve quite a few of these. I think it is the nice balance between thte hops and malt. Or it could just be another amazing offering from Stone!

Photo of foogerd
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- black ipa?! this looks like a stout to me black as night body coffee colored thick head great lacing, coulda fooled me
S- hops dominate but in a inoffensive manner more in a delicate sense with a coffee/chocolate backbone surprisingly works quite elegantly together
T- again delicate hops dominate and a slight peppery tingle with chocolate and light coffee notes
M- smooth silky enough carbonation to tickle the tongue
D- you'll never have enough of this
Yes definitely a Black IPA

Photo of myoung530
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this beer up on good faith, after trying Arrogant Bastard and finding out that I was not worthy. I chilled the bottle for a couple of hours and dove in head first. I used a Tulip shaped pint glass, the head was dark and very dense with a smell of roasted chocolate coffee. I sat on my front porch enjoying every dark sip while watching the sunset and with some friends. It tasted AMAZING, almost like a cappuccino with a kick. Mouthfeel was very full, like a bite of tri-tip that had been slow cooked over charcoal.
Needless to say I was very impressed by this Full Bodied bottle of joy. My faith has been restored in Stone Brewing Co. and I will definitely be trying some of their not so Arrogant masterpieces ....All in all you must try this beer at least once in your life..

Photo of stephens101
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first black IPA, how exciting. Been a while since I've had a completely new style.

Pours dark brown with penetrating red hues throughout. The tan head is prolific, bubbly and resilient; causing an anxious delay before all systems go. A few eliptical lines of lace poke out at the top.

Earthy hops rise to the nose upon initial inspection. Another take reveals a few notes of malt and nuts. Tastes hoppy with a lingering roastiness and dim notes of chocolate.

Obviously well-carbonated and lies medium on the palate. The alcohol warmth becomes more discernible as the beer warms, becoming a bit hot at the end.

A lazy man might define this as a hoppy porter, or a malty IPA, which would be a keen juxtaposition, but there's much more going on here with the interactions that you can't quite pass it off as a simple crossing of styles.

A very interesting brew and successful experiment of a style if nothing else, but a brew and style I will probably only revisit when I'm in a definite mood for something this unique.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- Very very dark brown, almost black. Super huge frothy light brown head. Spotty lacing is forming as we speak.

s- Super citric and floral and hoppy with light roasty malt flavor. Got a nice whiff of pine tree.

t- Taste is different from the smell at first. The hops take the back seat and a super dry malt flavor takes over. Theres some dark Belgian chocolate flavor in there. Tastes more how it looks than smells. But now as its warming up its getting hoppy again! This is a bitter black.

mf/d- Feel of a porter. Almost creamy but kinda slick and tingly.
Not super drinkable because of the strong bittering hops. Kinda cool though.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,603 ratings.