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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: 703 | FT: 8
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 RichBenn
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, almost black, with a creamy head that stays on the glass. Very good head retention

S- Resinous, piney and citrusy like no other "Black IPA" I've had. Very good dry hopping that comes through with the Simcoe and Amarillo smells you'd expect from a heavily dry-hopped west coast IIPA.

T- Like the nose, but with some of the carmel and roasted and darker malt flavors, but in the background enough to let the hops shine. This is clearly a hophead's IPA. It's the way I believe the style "should be", not a beer that really belongs in another category.

MF- Bitter finish, not mega thick. Not as creamy as some, but that's probably because Stone is highlighting the hops. One area that's pretty good but not perfect.

DB- This is too strong for a quaffer, to be sure. But is this style supposed to be sipped or quaffed? Still, it's one of the only areas I marked down a tad.

Other thoughts -- I'm an amateur all-grain homebrewer and admitted hophead, and am already thinking about how to clone this thing. It's that good! For those that think this style should be like a stout or porter - look elsewhere!

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into Otter Creek mug.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a nice frothy, two finger thick tan head. Leaves a bit of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Nice and hoppy scent complimented with some resins and pine scents. Once you've gotten passed the hops, there are some hints of citrus and maybe even some dark fruits.

T: Taste is just as you would expect from the scent, has a very hoppy and piny flavor up front, with the pines and bitters sticking around well after its pass through the palate. The finish has some roasted malt flavors hidden by the bitters.

M: Medium bodied, leaves the bitter flavor and resins.

D: This Black IPA has the most hop characteristics of the other that I have tried. It's definitely the most unique as well, not much roasted malt flavor, it's masked by the bitters and resins that are almost overpowering. This is a beer you must try, it's good but not great. As of right now, if you can get your hands on Element's Dark Matter, do it. That is by far the best Black IPA I've had so far.

Photo of Rjhami
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Leaves a creamy head with lacing sticking some and also disappearing quickly elsewhere.

S - Piny, hoppy resin that is clean and crisp with a roasted finish.

T - The hops standout with the bitterness you would expect in an IPA. Finishes with roasted malt and the balance seems to fight itself a bit. Burnt toast character also present.

F - More like a Porter than IPA, fairly thick and not as much carbonation. Leaves a dry finish.

D - The dry finish and slightly uneven balance limits the desire for another right away. Still this is an intriguing style and Stone has a good handle on it as usual.

Served from 22oz bomber to mug.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is my first review of a black IPA. 22oz bomber poured into chalice. "Enjoy by 2/24/12."

A- Very nice dark mud/black color with a thick khaki head

S- Hops attack! Floral, grapefruit, and pine shine strong. Subtle chocolate notes are present. Dark fruit esters also contribute... almost similar to a quad in a unpinning way.

T- Kind of awkward and mismatched. A bit too light on the malts... I was hoping for a darker, hoppier arrogant bastard actually. It is however very good and the only example of a black IPA I've ever tasted so I will take it easy for now. This may actually taste a little better and balance out more even if it sits a few months past its prime.

M- Very flavorful and kind. The hop bitterness is always welcome and the roastiness is great too, as it kind of sticks around.

D- Drinkability is kind of poor due to the lack of balance... this however may just be indicative of this 1st BIPA review. Alcohol isn't too bad and it is kind of warming!

Photo of wvsabbath
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

APpearance - Black, dark tan, very massive 3 inch creamy head, plenty of lacing.

Smell - Hops, malts, a semi smoked spice. Grapefruit, some alcohol too.

Taste - Dark malts mixed with spicey hops and spices. Has a kick to it for sure. Does have a coffee flavor hidden in there.Very well balanced. Not real bitter since the malts and barley mellow hops out. Really diffrent and tasty.

Mouthfeel - Its bold, strong and coats whole mouth but doesnt wreck palette. Its pretty thick and chewy with the aftertaste. I taste hops big time with the swallow.

Drinkabilty - I would give it a higher rating but it is 8.7%. I had no problems drinking the 22oz, and actually would have loved another one but its strong enough that i woulda been in trouble. This is the best black ipa ive had so far, its very well balanced and a real pleasure to drink. Stone nails another one!

Photo of sprucetip
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

Black, active, dense and fluffy tan head with good retention. Thick lacing early hangs around for quite a while.

More floral but also fruity and piny hops dominate, smoothly though, with moderate boozy esters, and played out on top of a sweet and roasty base..

Definitely more "IPA" than "Black", but roasty character is undeniably present in the background. Piny, and citrusy hops are prominent and sharpen through the swallow, and linger. Roasted grains and malty sweetness support all of this nicely and add depth.

Well carbonated, strong warming, rich, full body, medium viscosity. Some drying before the lingering bitter finish.

This easy sipper is wicked tasty and helps to define this emerging style. Very complex and interesting beer. It is not bashful in its use of hops, but moves methodically toward an IPA/Stout hybrid.

Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this one a few times, found one four months before the freshness date and was obligated to get on here and review it. I remember it being pretty awesome.

A- Black with a tiny hint of brown around the very edges with a gigantic creamy-frothy head. Retains for almost as long as it takes me to drink the pint. The whole glass ends up coated in thick lacing.

S- Hoppy up front, like I remember a good Stone brew being. Nice citrus/tropical fruit, tons of pine like a Christmas tree and some darker fruit notes. Slight roast and caramel in the very background.

T- Like the nose but a bit more balanced. Some sweet caramel malt with a slight roast profile mixes with the huge pine and citrus zest hops Stone is known for. Very flavorful.

MF- Oily moderately thick body with lower carbonation than I would have expected. I wish it was a bit creamier rather than oily. Very bitter finish.

DB- Just a bit too hoppy in the taste, the aroma is very good though. The mouthfeel is really the only thing that falls short here. Very piney and bitter, starts to wear me down. Very strong beer.

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

Poured dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted and produced excellent lacing. Heavy complex toasted malt,tart citrus and alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Heavy balanced bittersweet chocolate malt flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration. This is a standout beer that I have additional bottles to try the next three years.

Photo of zhanson88
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This Black IPA pours out a dark brown color with a couple fingers of light brown, slightly dirty looking head. Retention is pretty good and lacing is nice.

Smell: Roasted dark malts, a bit of caramel, and plenty of citrus and piney hops. Seems pretty spot on for the style.

Taste: Of course there is plenty of roasted and dark malts up front, with some caramel as well. On the back end there is plenty of citrus and piney hops. Usually I am a big fan of Stone's hop profiles, but this one doesn't do much for me.The flavors really seem to clash a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is between light and medium bodied, and pretty smooth drinking. Overall this is a good example of of a Black IPA, but the flavor profile is just a bit off. Still, not a bad beer.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at the Stone Brewery into a pint glass. The beer is a dark brown, glassy, thick coloring, almost black in the depths. The beer has a 1 inch creamy, thick, tan head. The nose is hop heavy, with grapefruit and resinous forward notes, followed by a solidly smoked and roasted note that helps to balance it. The taste is hop forward, very bitter and resinous, and these characteristics are enhanced by the roast and smoke characters. The hop-heavy feel continues into the finish, where there is more of a citrus hops linger, but still plenty of bitterness. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, despite the boldness of the flavors. This is a big beer, with very heavy characteristics. Damn tasty, and not for the faint of heart.

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

Pours dark black with not as much head as I normally get out of Stone. I was expecting something almost spilling over the sides. A small amount of lacing.

The nose is deceiving in a way. At first you get the standard toasty stout smell but the hops that shine through make this really stand out.
Citrus chocolate dipped grapefruit

very hoppy with orange citrus and grapefruit that has a good spice going on. Toasty as well but its all about the hops in this. Stone usually dominates when it comes to hops characteristics.

Smooth texture and drinkability.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black (or extremely dark brown) with red highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Nice big light tan head that has great retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. I've never had a black IPA before so I keep thinking more of a stout smell and taste and I keep getting thrown off...in a good way though. The smell was very hoppy way more hoppier than I expected actually. Mainly citrusy. A little bit of malt in the background which gives it a slight roasted smell. The taste is similar, very hoppy with a slight roasted bite in the background. Nice and bitter, ends with a faint coffee/roasted malt finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average and smooth, like a step below creamy. The ABV on this one isn't terribly high so finishing this is no problem. I'd actually take another. My first black IPA and it's pretty great and another great beer from Stone. Will definitely pick this one up again.

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

A= dark chestnut brown to black depending on the lighting, big slushy tan head like a rootbeer float.

S= dry roasted dark malts, nice northwest hops, hint of chocolate and occasional smoke and nut notes at some temperatures, complex.

T= dry, with rich dark roasted malts, light hints of caramel sweetness to balance, very bold. Occasional licorice notes. A bit too dry-bitter for my preferences but not too far overdone.

M= very dry with bitters remaining, some toffee hints and dark malts.

D= probably too strong for session, came in a large 22oz bottle and at 8.7% ABV it's probably going to decrease one's capacity. Also somewhat filling. Dryness might get in the way with some foods, or most foods. Maybe good with anything smoked or grilled.

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

First off WOW.

Pours a solid black with mostly white with some tan head. the head fades quickly (probably because its a shocking %8.7 but leaves a lot of lacing.

The smell isnt over powering but of a nice toffee pine.

The taste is fairly bitter but off set by a roasted coffee. The alcohol at first isnt present but then I started noticing it the more I drank.

Great beer!

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

Appearance: Extremely dark ruby red/brownish color, brown head, some sediment. Nice head and lacing.

Aroma: Very nice floral and pine, very hoppy, a little citrus. Some roast and coffee notes come though.

Taste: Nice strong hop bite, pine, grapefruit, spice, with some citrus flavors and dryness. Some roast, coffee, and dark chocolate notes from the malts. Hops dominate this brew, but the sweetness from the malts is noticeable. Alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Nice carbonation. Hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: Very well brewed Black IPA. Nice juicy hop flavor with some stout/porter characteristics. Stone is a very consistent brewery and this brew lives up to the high standards they set.

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

1 pint

Pours black with huge foamy tan head. Nose is citrus hops foremost, chocolate roasty malts apparant as well, auromas of a stout sutble. Taste is a complex blend of bitter hops and robust toasted malts. Dark chocolates combined with pine needles. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, dry in the finish. My first experience with a well recieved Cascadian Dark Ale. Honoured it was with Stone's self-proclaimed best. Great benchmark of an ABV, this bomber is goning to be perfect for the drinking session this afternoon. Cheers to great craft beer.

Photo of fsimcox
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an 8oz tulip glass.

Poured a deep, dark black. Big tan fluffy head that dissipates surprisingly quickly to a thin tan layer! Very nice lacing down the entire glass.

Smells of hops, some grapefruit and a hint of roast malt. Very nice, and not overpowering.

Creamy hops up front, with a slightly bitter finish, some grapefruit at the end, and a hint of grapefruit aftertaste. Some carbonation in the back.

Mouth feel is creamy. With an all around hop presence.

Overall a wonderful IPA well worth a second glass.

Photo of philbe311
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely love the bottle...

A - A mammoth billowing and cascading medium brown colored airy head with a rocky batter like top settles at slightly more than three fingers worth before displaying excellent retention... A great deal of lacing clings to the glass... An opaque flat black to the naked eye, but some minor notes of red hue can be detected when back lit...

S - Hoppy citrus notes can be detected well before bring one's nose over the glass... Grapefruit... Pineapple... Oranges... Some faint piney hop notes... A touch of roasted malts... Very appealing...

T - Hop forward to say the least... Mostly citrus, with a touch of piney hops... A quick hit of roasted malts before the hops reassert themselves... Perhaps a some faint chocolate notes on the finish as well...

M - The creamy lushness of the foam touches the lips first... Medium bodied, yet still airy and light... Very light carbonation... A strong hop bitterness lingers in the throat and on the back of the tongue...

D - Wow, this is a great brew... If it were not for the color and faint roasted malt components this would compete for prominence about IPAs and DIPAs... With the black color and faint roasted malt component, this becomes a highly memorable and enjoyable brew... The only things keeping this being a "5" in this category are the 9% ABV which is hard to hide and the hop assault that leaves the tongue blistered and battered...

Photo of almychristopher
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a dark near black color with a tan head that recedes to lacing. the aroma brings the promised hops nearly balanced by the roasted malt character. the taste has a really nice piney hop character up front filled out by the coffee notes of the black roast, the medium body and good co2 make this a very drinkable beer.

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

Pours a beautiful balck/ dark mahogany with a nice, frothy espresso creme head. Lacing is consistent and substantial. Nice floral, pine smell tells you you're in for a hop treat. It doesn't disappoint. First taste denotes citrus and molasses. The alcohol is foreward initially, which I don't mind. It mellows in subsequent tastes to a nice, warming presence. The mouthfeel is creamy, more so than I expected. The hop presence wins by a nose over that malt sweetness, which is never cloying. Just an all around flavorful, drinkable beer and a real treat for the beer senses.

Photo of HoustonTX
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amazing Black IPA.

Big sticky, and frothy head. Deep shade of brown when held up to light, dark black otherwise.

Aroma is a wonderful blend of roasted malts, bitter floral hops, and tannins.

The taste is really spot on for the style. Perfect balance of malts/hops, both being on the heavy side. However, none of the notes overpower each other. They work in perfect harmony. The alcohol content is covered extremely well. I'd guess 6.8% at best blind taste test.

With the roasted malt notes, a hint of coffee, a bit of caramel. The blend of citric, floral, and piney hops, just works so well.

This beer is really straight forward, but really well done. Amazing beer all around, and incredibly drinkable. One bomber wasn't enough, two would be no problem. Enjoy.

Photo of 94coog
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lurking here for awhile. Never felt compelled to write a review until now.

A: pours a rich black with amber edges. a medium-rocky head that laces well.

S: Rich malt with doughy bread notes, brown sugar, grassy hops.

T: Takes me to my knees. Its like the malt and hops are fighting for supremacy, and both are winning. Cloying sweet malt with alcohol punch that carries the hops through the palate.

M: perfectly carbonated. Could be a bit less thin, but remember its an IPA, not a porter or stout. This beer is confusing in the way it crosses styles. Its an IPA. No, a barleywine. Wait, an imperial porter. No, it's all of those. It's the best of all of those. It's sublime.

D: If I had more than one bomber, I would drink all I had.

A humbling experience. Its as if the best qualities of an IPA, porter, and barleywine were combined into one beer.

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

22 oz bottle.

Beautiful dark brown, almost black, like melted chocolate in appearance. A dense quarter inch head of light tan bubbles stays on top for the duration.

I get a huge hit of molasses cookies fresh out of the oven in the nose. Maybe slightly too-browned molasses cookies. There are some hoppy notes in the background, but I can't distinguish them from the malt. The smell is rich and very pleasing.

The first thing that hits my tongue is the sweetness. It is rich, dark and caramel-y. Almost like a lactose based sweetness, it washes right off the tongue and the hops start to come through. There is an initial bitterness that fades into a nose tingling aroma hoppiness. After that, I am inclined to take another small sip. The flavors working together, in a delayed flavor reaction is an impressive feat. The alcohol taste is present, but in the background. Exceptionally clean, the effects come directly from the ingredients.

This is a sipping beer to me. Partly because it is strong, and partly because it is so interesting. As a homebrewer, I am jealous of the mind that created this.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, what a great beer! It combines citrusy and piney hops with a deeply caramelish malt that's also a touch chocolatey and roasted.

It appears black in a full pint glass, but held to the light it reveals dark mahogany edges. The creamy tan head holds well, and it leaves some nice splatters of lace about the glass.

The nose is citrusy and piney over a hint of dark caramel. Quite nice!

In the mouth it's decidedly medium bodied with a standard carbonation level.

The flavor reveals the maltiness that's not quite found in the nose. It's almost like burnt-sugar: caramelish, and bit roasty, and even a touch smokey. There's an edge of dark chocolate to it as well. It's rich, but not 'super' rich; and it's complex, but not 'super' complex - it's just everything it needs to be because it's really just acting as the perfect 'dark' springboard for the hops.

With any other malt base I'm sure these particular hops would be displayed in a different fashion, but here they're piney, resinous, and minty with a citrus edge that expresses orange, lemon, and red fruits as well. I think the roasted and dark chocolatey side of the malt develops the mintiness by combining with the pine-like qualities; and the citrus is slightly subdued, but still comes through towards the middle and end as a refreshing splash that pulls you away into a little something different. Atop a golden or amber malt I'm sure the hops would be more emboldened, and more citrusy, piney, and fruity (like fruity pebbles?), but here they're more reigned in. And what that all leads to is a really interesting beer from the first whiff to the elegant, lingering finish. In fact, I get the most smokey edge out of it after it's been gone for a minute or so.

Regarding drinkability, the alcohol at 8.7% by volume is never noticeable. You might feel it, but you won't taste it. And I think the subdued complexity and interesting 'bright points' make it remarkably compelling. It's brilliantly balanced at its core, and superbly studded with hops. Quite possibly my favorite beer from Stone.

Photo of pharmer
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 1 pint 6 oz brown bottle with painted-on label into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown (black??) color that is nearly impervious to light. A one-finger light brown head tops this brew and shows good retention and great lacing.

S: Grapefruit and big time for me. Also some piney notes and a hint of dark malt in the background.

T: This beer tastes great. Strong hop presence obviously. Grapefruit and pine notes predominate. Alcohol quite noticeable both in the middle and at the finish. Also, as would be expected the bitterness hits hard at the finish.

M: Quite highly carbonated with a medium body....quite nice.

D: This beer is excellent...but at 8.7% abv, one must be wise. I sipped on my bomber for about 90 minutes, which gave me a good chance to note its varying nuances with temperature change. I would drink this beer anywhere, anytime, but not more than a pint or two.

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