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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.

5,089 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,089
Reviews: 1,819
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 222
Gots: 409 | 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: 5,089 | Reviews: 1,819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BretSikkink


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Served a dark, pretty opaque brown color, with an off white head of around a finger. Big aromas of citric and piney hops along with notes that remind me of a dry stout - lightly sweet, with some astringency.

The flavor is punishingly hoppy, with a lot of roasted notes as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, not terribly full; more like a double IPA than a stout. Great mix of notes, and a great beer to enjoy on tap.

04-19-2009 19:44:03 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of macktbone


4.53/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured from a 750ml bomber courtesy of Monument liqour in Concord.

Pours a meduim thick head with heavy lacey retention and large bubbles. Could be a large head with aggressive pour. Dark mohagony color with red tinge along the edges.

Smells of cherries, hops, dark fruits and brown sugar. Woody aroma with candied figs.

Tastes like an oaky candied fruit with a nice hoppy finish. Has a medium malt backbone and a long lasting flavor.

Medium bodied and very nice texture that leads to its drinkability.

Very satisfying. Highly drinkable and has a lot of variance that keeps you mind and mouth guessing.

04-19-2009 00:34:38 | More by macktbone
Photo of crazeguy


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Dark jet black color, tiny amount of light penetrates this beast. Brown head.

Smell, tiny hint of pine and citrus. Malt smell is noticable.

Taste is pretty uniform. Like a lighter arrogant bastard that is better balanced with sweet and bitter. Could have more flavor though, but it also helps with the drinkability.

Mouthfeel is laced by a hop aftertaste that is pleasant.

Drinkability is outstanding. Could go bottle for bottle of this.

04-16-2009 09:16:35 | More by crazeguy
Photo of Rayek


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

04-15-2009 00:53:47 | More by Rayek
Photo of oelergud


4.72/5  rDev +11.8%

Standard 22oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap sporting the Stone Gargoyle.
The label is silk screened as always showing a new gargoyle in profile.
Opaque black body with a tan half creamy and half airy big bubbled head that has great retention and good lace.
Delicious hoppy and bittersweet chocolate scent, very inviting. Nuts, earth, mulch and vegetable.
The flavor is amazingly hoppy with a malty chocolate bean character. The aftertaste is never ending and strong with plenty of resin hops, mulch malts with chocolate bits and nuts.
Full body with good coating and a very dry finish.
Excellent drinkability. Very much true to the style and an absolute pleasure to drink.


04-15-2009 00:42:24 | More by oelergud
Photo of twelvsies


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

This is a balls-to-the-wall Stone beer. I guess I should expect nothing else from them, but yeah this one is particularly ass-kicking. I was almost confused at first - the beer pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown color yet with a big fluffy head - but at a whiff it smells much like a sappy pine-riddled IPA. Lots of hops in the nose, but digging deeper you'll find a nice mellow chocolate character. The taste too is all hops up front. Really brashly bitter. Yes please. Resin and pine. Once your palate has been smacked around by the pine and resiny hop attitude you notice the whole roasty, chocolatey, rich underbelly of this beer. Real dry and puckering on the palate, but with a rich creamy finish. A little bit of heat perhaps. So much going on in this beer, quite a hybrid of styles. Wicked good.

04-10-2009 00:06:21 | More by twelvsies
Photo of SFBeerGuy


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Poured form a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Looks along the lines of a stout in color but with a livelier head. About a 3/4 inch tan layer of foam which quickly dissipated leaving behind faint but familiar light bodied, IPA style lace.

S- Decadent! Hop heads be warned! Wonderfully sweet and floral hop aroma signature of California with a minute backend of dry, dark malt. Some grassy notes detected as well which seem a bit out of place for such a dark ale.

T- Upfront bitter dark chocolate malt and burnt caramel quickly overpowered by an intense, traditional hop profile. First two sips opened the door for its hidden subtleties of spice and fruit. Third sip left a desirable hop spice on the tongue and lips.

M- Dark chocolate and hop spice dance on the tongue long after the sip. Pleasant carbonation complements the flavors and makes this beer very drinkable.

D- Heavier than an IPA in body and comparable to a stout or porter in color, this ale might seem like a challenge by looking at it but it has a crisp, refreshing carbonation that rounds it out and makes it extremely drinkable. Try with a heavy meal of grilled steak or pork or on its own for Jebus sake. This beer is absolutely worthy of the Stone catalog!

04-08-2009 03:30:50 | More by SFBeerGuy
Photo of Psilo707


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Very, very dark appearance on this 2009 Self Righteous Ale by Stone. Took me by surprise! Head & Lacing were both fairly voluptuous and expected. The scent is one of strong cocoa, and I can already tell this one is going to have the standard Stone BITE to it once ingested. A bit of hazelnut and walnut aroma swirl around the top as I get ready to drink.

Tastes just like it smells... delicious! This Stone Ale is set apart from the rest by it's secondary lingering aftertaste and mouthfeel. It has a very citrus-like appeal to it, without it being considered fruity in any way. A complex swirl of tastes and analyzations go through the head as it travels down the mouth and through the body.

With the 8.7% rating, the taste and drinkability are both very high on this. It's a very complex brew. Not to mention the creamy, thick mouthfeel that begs to stay on your tongue for longer than necessary.

Another great release from Stone. This brewery just doesn't stop coming with the heat.

04-02-2009 03:21:35 | More by Psilo707
Photo of GilGarp


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%

After cellaring a Stone XI for who-knows-how-long, I find out they are re-releasing it as this sublimely self-righteous ale. I still have the eleven but I thought I'd try this tonight.

Beautiful bottle, as usual for Stone. Pours into my samuel adams glass a very dark brown color with light passing only through the edges. A slight redish hue. Thick creamy head settles very slowly leaving a solid ring of lace around the glass.

Aroma is immediately recognizable as an IPA, maybe even a double. Lots of big west-coast style hops with grapefruit and other citrus.

Flavor is an interesting mix between porter/stout type roasty malts and a bigger IPA. It's probably not as bitter or hoppy as the big boys but it's still up there in IBUs. It all balances out pretty nicely with the sweetness in the malts but you definately get a big hit of alpha acid towards the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy smooth. That might be the most surprising thing about this beer. I expected a big dark IPA but the thickness quite something. I like it.

Another winner from stone. One of these nights, I'll have to see what it tastes like with a couple years on it.

04-01-2009 23:53:17 | More by GilGarp
Photo of JamesP123


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug.

A. Nice bottle, I like the artwork. Whoa! I had no idea this beer was going to be so dark. It pours black with a nice 1 inch dark brown head with significant lacing.

S. Smells like a hoppy IPA, I got a little citrus from the hops followed by roasted malt backround.

T. Hops, Hops, citrusy Hops, roasted maltyness, followed by a good kick of bitterness. Did not taste the 9% abv. Very tasty

M. Much thicker than I expected, but still has the resiny feel from the boatload of hops. This is like a plus sized model, full bodied.

D. Pretty drinkable, altough I don't see myself enjoying more than one of these at a time.

03-31-2009 23:33:25 | More by JamesP123
Photo of popery


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%

A: Dark brown to black liquid with a creamy mocha head. I like a dark hoppy beer. It's not just another amber IIPA.

S: Good, strong aroma. A mix of German malt and strong hops.

T: Well, it's got that Stone bite. Depending on my mood, this could go a half point higher. Their house yeast is an interesting beast. The hops blend with the german dark malt to produce a spicy, citric flavor that is both intriguing and assertive. The simcoe hops lurk in the mix, and I might slightly prefer a bit more malt and some different hops to mix with the simcoe, but I admit that I'm on board the simcoe bandwagon right now.

M: Wonderfully creamy and lush. It has the feel of a schwarzbier or something but the flavors of a Stone brew. Just great.

D: Very good drinkability. Little alcohol comes through. I'm beginning to prefer hoppy beers with a little bit less bite than Stone provides, but beers like this will bring me back around to the Stone kick-you-in-the-face hop style.

03-31-2009 05:07:52 | More by popery
Photo of emerge077


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

Thanks to Jason for another treat, this went over well! Review from notes...

Black body, visible irregular lace, great retention. Unholy melange of coffee and pineapple in the nose, pungent west coast hops. Somehow this works! Sweet and luscious grapefruit, very earthy underneath with dark malt taking a backseat, and some nice multi-dimensional hop character. Rich and almost syrupy DIPA body, with hybrid flavors that confound and entertain the palate. Awesome!

03-31-2009 01:19:55 | More by emerge077
Photo of surfer4life


4.22/5  rDev 0%

This is a Black IPA poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours dark as night, with a thick brown head. Good Lacing.

S - Burnt hops with a solid malt backbone. Citrus Notes.

T - The roasted malt give the front a very fruity taste but it's almost immediately interupted by the big floral citrusy hop taste that overwhelmes. Great big hop taste.

M - Full bodied and creamy as hell. A delight to the pallet with medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, love this as much from the bottle as I did from the tap.

03-29-2009 21:37:38 | More by surfer4life
Photo of Alkiser


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

This beer pours a deep dark black with ruby red highlights around the edges. The smell of amarillo and simcoe assualt you from the moment you open and pour the beer. The head is a slightly off white and sticks around throughout the glass.

Hop bitterness dominates the taste with citrus notes throughout the beer. A malt creeps on the end of the beer to attempt to balance this out but so fresh the beer is weighted heavily to the hops.

Tasty but overall low drinkability due to the bitterness of the beer. An experince I would share with a friend again however.

03-28-2009 21:37:03 | More by Alkiser
Photo of PerzentRizen


4/5  rDev -5.2%

I am very impressed with this aged DIPA. I would not expect any IPA to withstand 15 months but this one is very very tasty. The first taste was just like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye!

The first look is a frothy deep dark ale with no similance of an IPA in any respect. This is more along the lines of a very dark brown ale or even a light looking stout! There is some massive malt to this one.

The smell is probably very muted but is quite pleasant. Roasted malt, light touches of coffee, and hop oils.

Taste is knock your socks off good. There is a massive malt flavor then a light hoppy note. This could easily be an overhopped Brown Ale at this point and I'm loving it! This is everything I have come to love about stone! I completely dig this aged DIPA!

Mouthfeel is very rich and decatant. There is a massive malt creaminess that makes this a very thick beer.

Drinkability is decent. I have sipped this one slowly like a barleywine, but it is still very very smooth. Enjoy with aged cheese if you still have one.

03-28-2009 02:42:27 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of Thorpe429


4.72/5  rDev +11.8%

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

03-24-2009 23:13:25 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Proteus93


4.05/5  rDev -4%

Bottle was shared by CrellMoset... and a few months ago, at that!

A: Pitch black... Totally opaque. A light tan head. .. More offwhite.

S: Hoppy aromas areall but gone. A LOT of anise. Like snorting a fresh bag full of black licorice. Some notes of bakers chocolate.

T: A bit of hop flavour is there... Citrus rind. Anise again, but a creamy feel that makes it a little unusual. a burnt malt.

M: Creamy, quite full and rich with a big oily body.

D: A nice sipper... I would have liked to try this fresh, but it has held on fairly well.

03-22-2009 15:37:36 | More by Proteus93
Photo of maskednegator


3.93/5  rDev -6.9%

Appearance: Black. Tan, frothy head that fades when given a minute or so. Looks like a pretty good stout if you ignore the lace.
Smell: Biscuits, Chistmas tree, limes.
Taste: Grapefruit, roasted malts, toffee, chocolate/orange liqeur.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, big carbonation.
Drinkability: Not a hint whatsoever of the ~9% abv. Probably not for everyone, but the bitterness does not linger on the palate in the way that a big stout would.
Verdict: I'm totally having a love affair with this beer.

03-20-2009 19:15:57 | More by maskednegator
Photo of winky13


4.22/5  rDev 0%

Had this on tap at the Bistro's Double IPA festival and on 3/13 at the brewery. As everyone has already written, this beer messes with you: dark and malty looking but damn it tastes like a double IPA!!

A: Inky black
S: Hops! I love this smell. I could just sit with this glass in front of my face and daydream about these hops. My wife thinks I'm weird.
T: Great, like a DIPA but not. At the Bistro DIPA fest, we really enjoyed this and the Poorman's IPA. I prefer this brew to Stone's Ruination.
M: Pronounced and solid.
D: Can drink this all night. Stone only pours an 8oz glass ($4) and I quickly drained it.

03-18-2009 06:36:15 | More by winky13
Photo of MacDomer


3.68/5  rDev -12.8%

Shout out to PretzelCity for hooking me up with this in a trade - thanks a lot!

22 oz. bomber poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice - it's pretty dark, if not black, but I see some light coming through the edges. The head is pretty pillowy. Some light tan lacing clings to the glass. The nose made me say wow right away. Not so much a "this is great" wow, but a "this is interesting" wow. There's pine and citrus, and orange, some fruity sweetness, and then comes in the roastiness at the end with coffee tones, and light caramel malt. When I taste it, I can tell that it's not fresh (which I wasn't expecting of course), but it still is pretty hoppy. It's a bit sweet, prickly, with some grassiness, then comes in the roasty chocolate character - it's quite interesting. I'm not sure if I'm really into it, but it sure is fun to try. Pretty good overall, quite unique. I was thinking that I'd pick up a Sublimely Self Righteous if I come across one, since I'm really curious to try this one fresh.

03-18-2009 04:03:39 | More by MacDomer
Photo of brdc


4.6/5  rDev +9%

Bottled September 2007. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Dark brown, reddish highlights, nice tan head that holds well, a lot of lacing.
Aroma is obviously different than some reviews as this is comparatively older, but well kept in a controlled cellar. Malty sweetness is starting to come upfront, mostly with caramel notes, but the herbal, grassy hoppiness is still impressively obvious, and it eventually dominates the aroma that also shows fruity and flowery notes. Very nice.
Medium bodied, it has a nice balance, and flavors evolve from an initial caramel sweetness, brown sugar, breadiness, followed by fruitiness that is mostly citric, and eventually a very nice grassy hop bite, that if not an assault as described in the fresh sample, it is quite noticeable and eventually dominates.
Very impressive, and I was very happy to hear it will come now as a regular. Unsure if it is better fresh as some mentioned, but cannot compare as I did not have it. As it stands now, it is an amazing beer - I will probably age it again when I get my hands on it.

03-14-2009 00:18:04 | More by brdc
Photo of mjl21


4.43/5  rDev +5%

22 ounce bottle poured into a Chimay glass. Enjoy by date is listed as 5/13/09. Comes in at 8.7%.

A-Pours black with a fluffy one finger tan head. Some bubble clusters stick on the inside of the glass. Lots of lace.

S-Fresh citrus hops with some pine in there. Not getting the roasted malt or alcohol.

T-Citrus comes through, particularly lemon. The citrus hops coat quickly leaving some lingering bitterness. Tastes of roasted malt and chocolate can de detected on the back of the palate.

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D-Where's the alcohol? This is very easy to drink. Should have bought more than one.

I really enjoyed this beer. I had the 11th when it first came out and I loved it. I love how this beer does not taste like you would think based on its black color.

03-11-2009 17:42:15 | More by mjl21
Photo of djaeon


3.28/5  rDev -22.3%

I couldn't find this at my local liquor store, so I bought a bottle on my latest trip up to Stone. I read that this is a repackaging of their 11th Anniversary dark IPA, so I knew what to expect when drinking this one.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with a one finger, light tan head. Looks like a very dark, opaque brown color. You can't see through it.

Smell: All I really smell here is hopps with a citrus undertone.

Taste: Lots and lots of hopps. I feel the bite in the back/sides of my tongue, and bitter hopps and citrus are really all I taste.

Mouthfeel: Except for the bite mentioned above, It feels pretty smooth in the mouth. Perfectly carbonated out of the bottle.

Drinkability: I started drinking it right out of the fridge, and it was a little tough. As it starts to get closer to room temperature, it gets a little easier to drink.

Serving type: Bomber

03-11-2009 00:13:30 | More by djaeon
Photo of RidiculedDisplay


3.8/5  rDev -10%

On cask at Beachwood BBQ - a treat to find this on cask, so I figured I'd review it this time even though I've already had it on tap here before they put the cask on (oh how I love Beachwood).

Appearance: Full three finger vanilla bean colored head, which is quite impressive, but settles to a quarter-finger after a time. Lacing makes this one take a bit of a hit, as it is pretty spotty and fleeting, not lasting too long, but it exists, at least. Body is jet black.

Smell: Pine, grapefruit, perceptible alcohol, sugary malt base. I swear I smell banana on the back end of this beer. Who knew? There's something, I suspect, about the hops combining with the roasted malt that creates that impression. This is incredibly (incredibly) hoppy smelling, and has a bit too much alcohol on the nose for me to rave about. Additionally, the "Black" aspect of it is lost, for the most part, with the exception of my aforementioned banana theory - it's basically a hop bomb that looks black, nose-wise.

Taste: Whoa, banana! Like, literally, I taste banana on the front end most prominently. I guess that's a sign that the roasted malt is asserting itself here better. Still, it's also a sign that the roastiness is competing, desperately, with the hoppiness, and mostly losing. Pine, lemon, grapefruit citrus hop flavors follow. Some caramel on the back end. This is a hop monster, still, but I found this more balanced and more interesting than the nose.

Mouthfeel: I wrote in my notes, "it's a cask pour." Enough said I guess - it's creamy, smooth, carbonated fine, and room temperature, what one would expect.

Drinkability: This is so damn hoppy that it takes a while to put one down. Compared to the only other "Black IPA" I've had so far, Warrior Black IPA by Pizza Port, this is like a Double IPA versus a "Regular" IPA," but not in necessarily a good way. I think when experimenting with this new style of sorts, more brewers are going to have to balance out the stout flavors and the IPA flavors. It may be an IPA first and a stout second, alright, fair enough, but still. Anyway, I congratulate Stone on pioneering the style, though, this is getting a TON of praise from people I've met in person and on BA.

03-10-2009 00:20:11 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Photo of Halcyondays


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, the re-release of Stone 11th,

A: Pours black, with a creamy off-tan head, good retention. Soapy lacing.

S: Not getting huge notes here, light scent especially for a cask offering. Some chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate hits immediately, but is soon overwhelmed by sharp pine needle bitterness that sticks and tingles on the tongue. Roasted malt is an undercurrent, though the hops tend to dominate much more than I remember in the 11th, perhaps it is due to the serving style.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied/light carbonation from the cask. Sticky resin with a long aftertaste.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, another solid offering from Stone, a tasty imperial pint to be had if this beer is found cask-conditioned.

03-09-2009 20:15:54 | More by Halcyondays
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,089 ratings.