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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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

5,206 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,206
Reviews: 1,827
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 227
Gots: 457 | 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: 5,206 | Reviews: 1,827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had samples of the 11th when it came out but I never got around to writing a review on it, at the time I wasn't feeling the dark IPA for some reason. This bottle changed all of those feelings I had, this beer nailed the dark roasts and the bold American hops. Stone is perfect I just had the Stone 13th and that was pretty lackluster and definitely carried no finesse. This on poured a pitch black body with no ruby highlights when held to the light, it did have a big tan foaming head that rose well above the rim of my glass. Lacing was even and retention was excellent great looking brew from Escondido. Aromatics hit a solid blast of pine and herbal hops with citrus following close behind, sweet baked goods with cocoa dry powder, definitely roasted malt characterstics wtihout much coffee action. Flavor was layered between dark chocolate roasted malt and aggressive hop bitterness that did manage to work. Some citrus, pine resin, and herbal dirty hop flavors came about between layers of dark chocolate cake it was a good mix with moderate alcohol burn coming through. Mouthfeel was big but not chewy carbonation was tight bubbled it carried the brew very well, not overdone pretty natural smoothness going on with a soothing dry finish between roasted malt and bittering hops. Drinkability overall was excellent another great reintroduction to Stone's black IPA, I had Iniquity last night from Southern Tier and I'm diggin' the dark hoppy beers.

WVbeergeek, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber for about $5.xx

A: Pours as opaque deep ruby color that almost appears to be black. Huge thick, creamy looking head that retains very well and leaves some sweet lacing along the glass. Perfect look here

S: Smells more like an IPA/DIPA, with floral and aromatic hops dominate the nose, but there is a firm malt base that provides some nice balance here. The hop profile is diverse, I can safely get Cascade hops in there, but there are more varieties. Very pleasant and not too overwhelming at all. Alcohol is not really present at first, but as the beer warms, the alcohol comes in.

T: Very close copy to the nose, except the malts provide some extra flavors; chocolate, caramel, molasses, as well as a diverse hop combo comprised of bittering and floral hops. Truly amazing. Also, grapefruit/citrus peel are apparent up front, then transitions into some dark lush cherry flavors in the end

MF/D: Very smooth, heavy body, perfect carbonation, and a slightly dry, bitter finish from the hops. I don't exactly love the bitter finish, but I know Stone loooves their hops, so I can't complain.

If you see this, grab it! Worth the extra bucks for the bomber to get the real deal.

scottyshades, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of snaotheus
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a 22oz stein

Pours dark and very heady, strong lacing. Big chunks of froth sticking to the side of the glass. Smells hoppy and nutty. Very piney.

Taste is hops with a hint of coffee and nuts, maybe a little toffee, some smoke.

Mouthfeel is thick and a little sticky, not flat, but heavy. Fairly drinkable.

snaotheus, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been staring at this beer in my refrigerator all weekend, then I finally got a chance to open last night and it was well worth the wait. The brewers at the Stone Brewing Company, located in Escondido, CA, pride themselves on being able to consistently produce such fine works of art like this truly self-righteous ale. This beer was first produced in 2007 as their annual anniversary edition release and was such a huge hit they had to make more. When you poor it into the glass the color is black as pitch with nose that similar to most imperial IPAs with notes of grapefruit that dissipate to hints of red fruits. The palate was bitter, but a balanced bitterness that comes from both the hops and malts, with hints of cranberries in the beginning and finishes long and dry. ABV 8.7%.

WhatsNewinBooze, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a creamy looking tan head which leaves nice lacing. There is a decent amount of carbonation, but it's not too much.

Smell is piney and grapefruit, lots of hops in there.

Taste is plenty of hops with a nice balance of malt. This is a big beer but well balanced. More balanced than AB.

This is a great beer, AB like, but even more over the top and better balanced.

FLBeerGuy, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of GordonQuid
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter.

Black as night witha white foamy head and thick lacing. A bit of "leg" too.

Smells like a punch in the face with a pine branch; POW! Piney with just a hint of pineapple sweetness.

Taste is strong alpha hop piney pleasure blended with roasted chocolate malts. Quite an experience of complexity.

This is a heavy drinker.

Enjoy!

GordonQuid, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz draft served at Flanagan's Ale House. They were having a Stone release party... first time a keg of SSR has ever been tapped in Louisville, KY. Just missed out on scoring some free Stone glassware... oh well!

A: Quite dark and imposing - really looks more like an imperial stout than an American Strong Ale. Near black body with a slightly off-white, not-quite khaki colored head. Really, had it not been for the head, you could have fooled me into thinking this was a big stout. Good lacing on the glass after each sip.

S: On looks alone, a stout. On first whiff of this beer, all doubt is removed. Definitely a Stone IPA - huge piney/resiny hops off the top, followed by some lighter floral notes. There is quite a malt backbone to this beer with some strong, toasted bready aromas lurking underneath. Just a kiss of sweetness in the nose, though I'm not sure if its residual sweetness from some of the lighter hop aromas, or if its from some dark molasses/brown sugary goodness in the malts.

T: Reminds me alot of AB - huge hoppy punch up front with alot of earthy pine notes and some more delicate flowery flavors. Then the malts follow - black malts, toasted bread, some caramel or maybe its molasses to temper the piney bitterness. Nice contrasts, from huge pine flavors washing into sweeter malts and then fading back into a lingering hop bite for the finish. Malts try to compete throughout, and while they make a strong case mid sip, the hoppiness of this beer ultimately stands out and wins in the finish. Not overly boozy, but you do start to pick up the alcohol once the glass warms up.

M: Solid carbonation off the tap, lending itself to a slightly oily mouthfeel. It was what I expected from a hopped-up Stone brew.

D: 8.7% ABV and I can feel it as I finish the glass. Never really felt the alcohol was too prominent in the taste, but I feel it warming my insides.

However you wish to classify this beer (American Strong Ale vs. Black IPA) its not bad. My only complaint is that I kept thinking about how to differentiate this beer from Arrogant Bastard, and really I could only convince myself that the appearance was the most distinguishing factor. Otherwise, I though the flavor profiles were remarkably similar - not a bad thing since both beers are quite tasty! That being said, its a unique hybrid style and one that I enjoyed. If I see it again, I'd like to give it another try, just to see if I can try to further distinguish it from the AB.

Buschyfor3, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of gnbird
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up while looking for Stone's 13 anniversary beer at Bevmo. This is not what I expected at all. I was thinking it was maybe a brown ale. Upon pouring into imperial pint glass, it looked much like a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark coffee black in color with a foamy brown head. Head dissipated after a few minutes. So excited that it was a stout, I went for a smell and this is where I was surprised yet again. Smell was grapefruit, much like a Ruination but a little sweeter.

Taste is so mind blasting. At 9ABV Stone comes through again by making a very drinkable strong ale, that hides the booze very well. It's hard to describe the complex flavors, but it's like drinking a blended imperial IPA with RIS. The hops come through up front with grapefruit bite with a very coffee, malty and chocolate aftertaste. What a beer my friends, very complex and satisfying. If you like Imperial Stouts and IPAs this beer will not disappoint you.

gnbird, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of schinebd
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - "Pitch dark" as the label says. A nice white head that retains nicely and laces as well.

Smell - Some piny hop smell still resides in this aged brew, though I'm sure much muted than in 07. Instead the chocolate malts and spice are much more forward in the nose.

Taste- Follows the smell almost perfectly. Sweet, roasted chocolate malts and cinnamon spice up front, with some very muted piny hops providing a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkability - Still somewhat hot from the alcohol, which I thought would have mellowed a bit more. Still tasty and easy on the way down and a great brew for a hot summer night.

schinebd, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of kgotcher
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours very black with tan head, med density foam clears quickly.

Aroma is suprisingly hoppy, expecting a strong stout, instead I get an IPA-ish sweetness with stong citrus hops, Almost lemony. . .

First sip is confusing, color says chocolate malt, roasty and toasty but flavor is sweet with mild chocolate and toasted malt tones. Very nice super citrusy finish of hops. You could almost swear there was lemon in this beer.

Unexpected is the word for this beer. Very hard to believe it is almost 9% ABV since it drinks like nice summer time brew with a tip to a porter. Sweet, citrusy, balanced, flavorful. This is not exactly the powerhouse I expect from Stone but I like it. Stealthy!

kgotcher, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Stone after tasting it on tap. Wonderful beer; Black with a dan head; an assertive super fresh and bright fresh pine hop nose with undertones of dark unsugared coffee nose.

Big coffee flavor with underlying very bright and citric, grapefruit bitter hops and a back palate of unsweetened licorice and more dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Full body that is very well balanced and with a nice light/medium creamy mouth feel.

A strong long lasting hop and bitter coffee finish. All around very bright hops, full bright flavored and wonderfully drinkable.

GRG1313, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Black, opaque, with a massive 4+ finger mocha colored head. Retention is excellent with a thick cap remaining. Abundant lacing.

S - Heavy on the hops. Lots of pine and some sweetish fruits. Quite herbal and floral with little bits of citrus and apple.

T - Pine, flowers, and a touch of fruit comes on first with a minimal sweetness that lasts but a second. At this point, I'm not sure whether or not some malt is trying to pull through, but I'm leaning towards not. Spicy grapefruit peel character ushers in the beginning of the bitterness, followed by earthy tones. After some sort of burnt sugar finish, the bitterness is almost staggering as it lingers and lingers for several minutes along with evident alcohol flavor.

M - The mouthfeel on SSR is great. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Everything slides down quite smoothly begging me for another sip.

D - Decent stuff, but somehow unoriginal. The bitterness is pretty rough but the mouthfeel provides a great delivery of the flavors at hand. For such a black beer I would expect more malt presence which hinders the brew a little. Still, a solid offering from Stone.

PatrickJR, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bottle poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a dark translucent brown color with about an inch of light ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of lemon peel/rind, orange, roasted grains, caramel/molasses, fruity plums, raisins. The ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with more than adequate carbonation. Very nice, coming along quite well.

ClockworkOrange, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of foxbat2500
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark blackish red. Looks and smells like a stout, but the head is not creamy.

Smell has a coffee like richness. Not over powering. Nice

Taste, very enjoyable full range of flavor. For sure its a blend of worlds here. A taste not quite stout, not quite IPA.

Very interesting brew from a great brewery.

foxbat2500, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served a black, nearly opaque body with a thin ecru head that leaves sticky lacing. Plenty of roastiness, pineapple, dark roast coffee in the nose. Flavors explode on the tongue. Sweet up front ,then hoppy tropical fruit, followed by a bitterness that says "I am righteous & here to stay!" Solid mouthfeel on the lushly full not thick side. A one and done due to the abv.

rtratzlaff, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of Goldopelgt
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a jet black with a nice tan head...decent retention and lacing left on the glass...

S- Lots of piney hops and dark fruits...some maltiness and smokiness too...distinctively Stone, if you know what I mean...

T- Just like it smells...smacks you in the face with hops and bitterness...very unique and difficult to describe...almost as if you combined a good black ale with a DIPA and a stout...delicious!

M- Medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation...dry, but lingers on the palate...

D- Another great offering from Stone...a very unique, and very tasty brew thats worth a try and probably a re-vist or two...

Goldopelgt, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of grayburn
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Between this and the Cali-Belgie, Stone has really outdone themselves as of late...This beer looks like a nice stout when poured, thick and creamy with a tan head that sticks and stays.

The smell and taste are a mix between a stout and an ipa, I love it...this hoppy stoutiness...not in the ways of ris's, a whole new style, where the hops take front seat and the malt sits only slightly behind them, excellent.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with just enough bittering to wipe away the cloying...excellent. Drinkability is quite nice as well, this bomber went fast.

grayburn, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of OldeEnglishD
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a mug. I was really excited to try this beer as I missed out on it when it was released as their 11th anniversary beer.

The beer pours a dark brown, almost black like coffee. A nice 2.5 finger head of tan that has serious staying and lacing power.

The smell is heavy grapefruit and pine, with just a touch of coffe/chocolate in the background.

The taste hits in almost the same order, citrus up front, with pine and earthiness next, followed by a hint of chocolate and coffe. It finishes bitter on the back end. As the beer gets warmer, the bitterness is not as harsh at the end.

This beer is heavier in the mouth than ABA, but not as thick as a Guiness.

This is a sipping beer that I do not feel I could drink more than 1 or 2 of in a night, but I sure as hell would enjoy those 2!

OldeEnglishD, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Someone sent this to me as an extra..any time before July of this year I unfortunately didn't keep any kind of record of trades, but thank you and cheers to whoever that was.

Stone and I have a love and hate relationship. Sometimes I will have a bottle and think it's the greatest thing going. Sometimes I will have that same beer and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Sometimes I start to think that every one of their beers is a slight variation on their IPA. Sometimes Smoked porter bitch slaps me into realizing that isn't completely true. Here is a beer, Stone XI, that I know nothing about going in other than what's written on the bottle, which describes something of a black IPA. Since this bottle has sat a while, I'm sure most of the hops have faded. Let's see what we have.

Appearance is going to be difficult to rate to style but it is attractive to me. A very dark brown liquid and a very nice thick brown head that leaves excellent lacing.

Scent is a little worrying. Citrusy hop hits you and doesn't let go, maybe a tiny bit of wood though that could be my nose playing tricks on me. While I am of the "keep your hops out of my dark beer" school, I can't knock it for that preference, and on it's own merit, it is a good smell. If this were a simple IPA, I'd give it a 4, so that's what I will go with here.

Taste is going to be tricky with no real reference point so this is going to be completely subjective with the understanding that this is going to be less hoppy than it was intended to be since it has sat for a while. Interestingly enough there is still some hop character and it isn't malty enough to make me disgusted (a la Gonzo). The hops are definitely diminished so this has something of a slightly hoppy barleywine character, but this plays the crystal pepsi trick..if it was golden, I'd tell you it was an IPA that sat a bit too long. 4.0

Mouth is medium in body and relatively high in carbonation, goes down pretty quickly with a little sticky aftertaste. I like it.

Stone has a winner here, call it the summer beer for stout lovers. You can have your refreshing hoppy taste and have people still think you are drinking a stout.

sonicdescent, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of Dank0814
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just to preface, i'm a huge IPA fan, and this does not disappoint.

Color is very dark, almost that of a stout, with a ruby color on the edges.

Smell is very heavy with hops. Not wuite what would be expected from the color, but definitely what i was looking for.

Tastes amazing. Rich hop flavor, with a strong malt finish. Not too heavy, but just enough to have you asking for more.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected as well. Not heavy at all, but has the same of any other pale ale i've had.

This beer is way too easy to drink. Goes down smooth for how dark and rich it is. I can see myself getting lost in a case for a weekend....

A definite must for any IPA drinker. Recommended by my beertender since he knew how big of a hop head. Busted one out that night and I bought them out. Enjoy!!

Dank0814, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of saintwarrick
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a midnight-dark red, sort of cola colored with a foamy tan head. Tons of hops in the aroma, like a DIPA, also a sweetness like brown sugar, with some piney hops. The taste turns to citrus, sugary grapefruit, a bit more unbalanced towards the hops, but not negatively so. Definitely a big brew for the hopheads.

A bit darker than the 13th anniversary in taste and appearance, but this brew follows along that line and should appeal ton anyone who likes that or any of Stone's hoppy goodness.

saintwarrick, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of johntangus
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a duvel tulip glass.

nice tan head with tiny bubbles. laced down glass nicely. Very dark with coffee like color on sides.

Great hoppy smell - earthy pine and citrus. i'm actually drooling into the tulip glass as i'm picking out these aromas.

I've never had a beer quite like this. Being relatively noobish, i would've categorized this as some sort of Dark IPA - like a mix between a porter and an IPA. So much for boundaries.

Stone pulls off a seriously balanced beer. But you can tell it is definitely a Stone. Epic. Just when you are getting overwhelmed by the hop nose and front end, it mellows out into a toasty backend.

Great mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I could see myself drinking a little too much of this in a session.

johntangus, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Pours a deep, dark brown with very little ruby highlights around the edges. A large, dark khaki head fills the snifter and recedes very slowly. Loads of lace.

Aroma is of lightly roasted malt, toasted bread, dark fruits, and a good amount of citrus and pine. An overall earthy, musty aroma with a blend of dark and tropical fruits.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Pine and grapefruit throughout with toasted bread an a musty quality. A small bit of chocolate and alcohol also poke through. Overall, very soothing, but a different take on the style. Hoppier and less boozey.

Medium body with good carbonation. Lacking some creamy, smooth qualities. A tad prickly.

I admit that I am a hophead, but I found this to be a little too hop forward for the style. The roasty notes were low in the mix and could really use a boost.

ColForbinBC, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this still on the shelf at a shop in Ypsilanti when I was up for the summer beer fest.

Poured into a nonic pint.
A- Pours with almost no head rising up. What does bubble up gathers into a brown pillow in the center. The beer is very very dark brown. Its like a porter or stout. There are some garnet edges but mostly its all black in the glass. No lacing not great head retention.

S- Now-a-days XI is smelling quite like some Belgian strong darks. Malty, caramelly, dark fruity.

T- Up front its similar to some Belgian strong darks too. Comes in malty smooth, woody, raisin-y and chocolaty. Whats left of the hops comes in at the finish with a very piney profile. The hop bitterness lingers.

M- Medium high carbonation, medium full body. Id assume when this was new having more bitterness would make it seem less smooth, but after 2 years its almost creamy.

D- Good drinkability. Low bitterness, just enough to create complexity.

In all this was a pretty sweet little secret I found up in Ypsi.

MbpBugeye, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of farrago
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large head, slowly works down to around one finger, while it is mostly miniscule bubbles, you get oddly sized larger bubbles here and there and the head does dimple in spots, almost sheets of lacing down the sides, thick and clingy, light brown in hue. Completely and I mean completely black in color, you'd think it was a stout by looking at the glass. Then you smell and, wham, the hops slap you upside the head, all pink grapefruit, pine needles, tropical pineapple, guava, papaya, nectarine fruit, the floral side the weakest hops element, yields to burnt biscuits, lightly roasted coffee beans and peat moss. In the mouth it's full-bodied, muscularly sinewy and gets right up in your face. While there's no getting around that pink to white grapefruit, pine sap, licorice and bitters, here there's more equanimity shown towards the roasted malts and toasty dough elements, blends in coffee bean, hard toffee and a nip of butterscotch. The carbonation more prickly than anything else, fits in with the overall tingle. Balance for Stone is a high wire act blindfolded, but this one comes about as close as the brewery can get. More than any of the flavors you feel the energy bristle through each sip.

farrago, Jul 28, 2009
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,206 ratings.