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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

5,510 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,510
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 234
Gots: 531 | 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: 5,510 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alpinebryant
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great American strong ale/ strong hop presence, strong malt presence, nice smooth body and a suprisingly high drinkability. A large caramel presence, at 8.7 abv a great brew.

Pourse a dark dark brown with a large head and a huge aroma presence of Cascade hops from what I can tell. Aside from many other dark IPA's , this one does not have the overwhelming black patent flavor - it just appears that way.

another great brew from Stone

alpinebryant, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have high expectations for anything Stone produces, so I'm probably a bit more critical as a result. This is an interesting beer - residing in some between-styles realm. I'd probably peg is closest to a black IPA. Nice hopping and would like to have seen just a bit more character here. Nicely moderated roasted malt flavor.

Brent, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of gauchebag
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I haven't felt like reviewing a beer in a long time but this is a pretty special brew.

22 oz. bottle

When held up to light you can see a little redness/brownness shine through but to the naked eye without the help it looks pretty damn black, like a stout.

Honestly, maybe one of the best smelling beers I've ever encountered. The smell is totally IPA but it's not as over-the-top as some tend to be. You can smell the hops without it being too citrusy or piney. The smell is mellow without being mellow if you get what I mean.

It tastes like it smells, but nothing like what it looks. It pretty much has it all, hoppy goodness a bit of malty sweetness, caramel, pine, grapefruit. I feel like almost every sip is different in a small way.

Incredibily drinkable, the abv is hardly noticeable. I can see why another reviewer put back 3 pints so easily. I'm going to be wishing there was more when these 22 ounces are gone.

Cheers.

gauchebag, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Hershdawg
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass

Appearance: dark black, this looks like a stout or porter.

Smell: wonderful floral aromas. The amarillo and simcoe hops come out wonderfully. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had,

Taste: Hoppy. The dark color betrays you. This is more like a dark IPA then a strong ale.

Mouthfeel: Like a standard IPA

Drinakabillity: Lovely hop taste and aroma. Strong proof. Who cares the taste makes you want to have more.

Hershdawg, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of WeedKing4
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottle pours a dark black with a little bit of foam. Smell is of pine hops with dark malt lingering. The first taste is more on the malty side with a bit of the hops coming in on the end. Its not a bad beer and it drinks pretty smooth considering the 8.7% alc. This is defiantely an interesting style of beer between black ipa and strong ale. Not bad overall.

Picked up another bottle of this last weekend and it must have been a lot fresher then my previous one. Very hop bitter and quite delicious. Really suprised me this time.

WeedKing4, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

I have been patiently waiting to snatch this one up for some time. The price is always right on these Stone bombers, so I waited until the funds were low and needed a new brew.

A deep red full bodied ale that barely allows any light to pass through her. A near brown head forms lacing all the way down the glass. I poured the brew quite aggressively and the thin cap of head is all the remains after the large bubbled cloud has quickly gone. The smells and aroma are pleasant but not what I was expecting from Stone.... is that too meant to be sublime? I was waiting for a punch to the nostrils with hops and grain. I was quite delighted by the taste however. Near 9% ABV and the most I get is notes of coffee and sharp hop bitterness that clings to the back of the tongue long after the sip has passed. The is a very simple tasting brew to me. Dark roasted flavors come to mind with each taste, but the hop bitterness dominates.

llllDrGONZOllll, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pitch black body with a tan three finger head. Very creamy and thick with incredible lacing and it falls very slowly.

S: Huge pine and citrus hop aroma, lots of pine resin. Caramel malt comes through along with some faint dark fruit (raisin, fig).

T: Pine hops really dominate the palate which makes sense as this is a black IPA...strong caramel malt comes up mid-palate along with roasted coffee and the dark fruit kicks in toward the end only to be overpowered once again by the sticky pine resin hops and a bitter grapefruit citrus finish. Faint booziness is detected as well, but very faint...

M: Medium body with nice carbonation and an almost silky smooth feel. Finish is dry and slightly bitter leaving a lasting flavor and a desire for more!

D: While not sessionable, this beer does go down quite smooth, especially for a fairly high abv...

RedBrewer83, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color which is nearly black. The head is a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: A surprising amount of juicy grapefruit hops are still alive and kicking in this beer (especially since it's been two years since this one was released). There is also a bit of sweetness and roasted malt which creeps into the back of the nose.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is quite surprisingly fresh. The hops are still very potent. A lot of grapefruit and perhaps a touch of sweet tropical fruit on the front. The middle of the sip has a nice touch of roasted malt and the finish is very interesting with notes of coffee along with a slight bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol is no more or less present than it was initially, and the beer is still quite good. I liked it better fresh, obviously, but this one has held up surprisingly well.

womencantsail, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

a - Very dark brown color with hints of red. This had moderate carbonation and about 1 finger of head that looked great.

s - I definitely smelled some roasted malts, and also smelt some coffee, toffee, and chocolate. Smells great.

t - Wow, really liked this taste. Tastes of roasted malts, some chocolate, but also some bitter hops. A nice contrast of sweet and bitter tastes.

m - Full bodied with small carbonation, this beer feels very creamy and smooth.

d- I really liked this strong ale. I thought the taste was very complex and interesting, and I really liked the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. I would definitely buy this again.

mdfb79, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, almost completely opaque with just a little red around the edges when held up to the light. Slightly tan head with great lacing. Aroma of grapefruit, pine and dark malt sweetness. Taste is very well balanced with plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop character and a nice, slightly roasty malt sweetness. Dark malts seem well incorporated with just a little bit of graininess in the finish and some alcoholic warmth. Very tasty and silky smooth. This is a very tasty beer, and while not exactly a session beer, does go down fairly easily. An excellent brew.

zoso1967, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Body is a deep mahogany, could certainly be mistaken for black in a low light area. Massive head measures three full fingers after the pour, slowly works its way back. Plenty of heavy lacing left clinging to the sides.

The nose reveals a large dose of west coast hops. Very strong citrus aroma even in a slightly older bottle. Slight roasted character underneath, the hops simple over power. Definitely the most hop driven "Black IPA" when it comes to the smell.

The taste reveals much more balance than experienced in the nose. Citric hops with a piny bite provide the strong handed bitterness. Chocolate, roasted malt and just a touch of java provide balance. The flavor is much less hop forward than the nose, still certainly worthy of the Black IPA tag.

Medium bodied beer delivers and exceptionally smooth and creamy texture. Carbonation is on the lower end but very appropriate. Very good beer all around but it is the mouthfeel which stands out.

Very balanced while delivering strong flavors and hiding the booze. SSRA drinks much easier than it should and it tremendously enjoyable. My only requests is 6 packs and more distribution.

Thanks to CaveDave for the pleasure of enjoying this one.

kzoobrew, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of jbertsch
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow. This one doesn't taste how it looks and doesn't look how it tastes.

I had this on tap first at Deep Ellum in Boston, then bought a bottle from Whole Foods.

This is a black IPA that's literally black. It sports a great 2-finger head that looks like a milky mocha drink. The lacing that soon develops is gorgeous.

The aroma is crazy. It's the first sense that throws you off because the brew looks like it's infused with coffee and chocolate. But it smells the exact opposite; it smells like freshly mowed summer lawn and grapefruit. Ultimately, it smells very citrusy, with the aroma being part grapefruit, star fruit, grape, and orange without being any of those alone....but I feel it leans more towards a bitter grapefruit than anything else.

The taste embodies the bright, sunny aromas of this dark brew but with the addition of bitter hops. The citrus blast hits first, followed by bitter hops that sit on the palate and fade very slowly. Boozy grapefruit rears its head faintly again at the end before the taste finishes. Underneath all this, there's a sense of earthy, bitter coffee grinds.

Mouthfeel is velvet-like.

Drinkability can go either way here. This is masterfully created so of course I want to drink it. So in that sense, drinkability is high. But, its 8%abv feels more like 10%abv - I think because of the strong hop element - so because of that I don't want more than one or two of these in one sitting. A session beer it is not.

IPAs aren't my favorite style. Yes, I do enjoy a good one (such as Dogfish), but I'm no hop head...I prefer malts. Given that, this IPA-styled brew still amazed me. It's a bit like Picasso - it doesn't end up being what it seems. It surprises you on two levels. The appearance and taste are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Then on top of that, both elements are fantastic in their own right. It looks like a glorious after-dinner stout, but tastes like a top-notch, flavorful and summery IPA. Definitely one of the coolest beers out there. I may not end up buying it much, because it's a bit intense, but it sure impressed me a ton.

jbertsch, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of NightINgale
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz/650ml bomber poured into a snifter.

A - Looks like an imperial stout at first. Opaque dark brown body, with a nice light brown head and some visible carbonation. Good lacing and head retention.

S - An incredible combination of floral, juicy citrus-like hoppiness, with some caramel tones, and a nice rich roastiness, with hints of dark chocolate and espresso. Barely any alcohol in the nose. The scent is quite unique and very appealing!

T - First you might mistake it for a nice, full-flavoured west-coast IPA, with a good hop bite and some juicy grapefruit notes. The finish, however, has both the bitterness and some nice lingering chocolatey and coffee-like notes. There is also some dark fruit undertones, and a little bit of smokiness, too. Simply outstanding and extremely satisfying!

M - Medium body to it. Some crisp carbonation initially. Smoothly coats the palate, very pleasant in the mouth! For a 8.9% beer, the alcohol is very well-masked!

D - Just because it is so full-flavoured and intense, the drinkability is unlike that of a session ale. But, mind you, it drinks very smoothly and with little effort.

This is easily the best beer I've tried in months, and I try quite a few each month! How about a round of applause for Stone?

NightINgale, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of SDHoffers
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another one of those unique brews that satisfies completely. Super sweet to the nose and then a bitter smack in the face. Rich caramel head and smooth finish. I really dug the uniqueness of this beer. When poured, the the jet black visual instantly makes you think you are about to drink a porter. I couldn't believe the difference between the smell and taste. I just found out that Stone will be brewing this beer year round so I'll definitely have it on tap all the time.

SDHoffers, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, almost black color with a generous dirty, cream colored head. Head falls oh so slow leaving behind big, sticky lace.

It has a real nice floral hop nose. Bit of a roasted and sweet character to it as well.

Nice roasted malts up front followed by robust flowery hops. Bitter and sweet battle it out to be the prominent taste. Ends with a lingering bitterness.

Rather full in the mouth and fairly smooth. Slightest bite.

Nice brew. Another job well done by Stone.

dstc, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About a month ago, I sent an email to Stone to inform them of a possible infected batch/small scale problem. I bought 2 bottles of Stone IRS in Hudson, WI. One turned out to be infected and the other was perfectly fine. I sent this email with no other intention of informing the brewery of a possible problem if they had other complaints.

Come yesterday, Friday the 15th, I recieved a box in the mail from Stone. Inside was a replacement bottle of Stone IRS, and a gift bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale! I was shocked and very pleased and here is my unbiased review of it! Thanks a bunch to Stone and specifically Mitch for making this possible.

Pours a dark dark brown color. In the glass it looks nearly black and when held into the light surprisingly litle color comes through. It's nearly opaque, like a stout. Nice one finger tan head is produced with great retention and some of the best lacing I've ever seen. There is more left over foam than glass, literally.

The nose is very hoppy, this bottle must be fairly fresh. Citrus and grapefruit characters come out, along with a faint piney and resiny hop character. A huge caramel malt backbone is also very prominant. As it warms it becomes an entirely different beer, with smokey and roasted characters coming out in full force. It has a roasted-marshmellow like smell, or burnt sugar, that when coupled with the nice hop presence makes this a very enjoyable beer to smell.

The taste starts out with a in-your-face hop character, spicey and resiny, bitter and dry. It mellows, only for a second, to allow the characters of the malts to shine, if only for the briefest moment. Then, after the swallow, the lingering bitterness comes and takes over again. The burnt and roasted characters found in the nose are nowhere to be found in the taste, but thats fine with me because I think they work much better in the nose and would be out of place here in the taste department.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, with a smooth and crisp texture. Slightly over carbonated in my opinion, but it doesn't necessarily take away from the beer. It anything it amplifies the tastes.

Drinkability is fantastic. I had this pegged as a sessionable beer, but momentarily forgot that Stone made it (I kid I kid). The nearly 9% ABV is completely hidden amongst the layers and layers of flavor and complexity. This is a fantastic brew.

As far as Cellaring outlook, I personally feel this was meant to be enjoyed fresh when possible. The hop character make this beer it's own, and make it extremely enjoyable. I can't imagine this beer being better after loosing it's hop characters.

I don't think that Mitch and Stone could have sent me a better brew. This is fantastic. As a "sub-style," Black IPA's always strike a cord with me, and this is a particularly great one.

Mistofminn, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-very dark, cola like, brown color that is transparent but lets just a little light through giving off red hues. the head is a thick creamy khaki color that has decent retention and leaves huge lacing on the glass

S-big sweet malt, caramel and brown sugar, hints of hops, grass clippings, citrus, and pine

T-the taste is quite different, there is a lot more going on. there is some oak, burnt wood, dark chocolate, hints of licorice; a light citrus hop comes in at the end but a smokey wood flavor accompanies and dominates it.

M-full end of medium body, extremely creamy, very smooth, a good bit of carbonation, and slick on the back of the throat. very interesting!

D-very interesting taste to this, very dark malty, almost smokey. some hops but very faint (lots of age mellowed those out i'm sure). great mouthfeel, complex but nice!

cpetrone84, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of Amalak
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of a gravity dispense cask. Out of the many cask brews that I've tried, this might've been the best. It's almost a perfect IPA. It's very dark, almost black like Guinness. Perfectly balanced with hops and a citrus/fruity mix to it. Absolutely awesome.

Amalak, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm always a little intrigued when a friend describes something as a "black IPA," bit usually a little on the disappointed side when I try it. Both descriptors set an expectation that is a touch contradictory; something that is hoppy-sweet and citrusy while at the same time roasty and malty. The two tastes are powerful ones, and balance between the two is frequently perceived by me as a touch boring. And RIS's that shout about their hop content don't usually taste hoppy to me - just too much going on to pick up the more nuanced note of bitterness, even if they dumped bushels of high-alpha hops into the mix, my tongue just can't seem to enjoy them for everything else going on.

Wow - that is a long lead in to say that this beer is unique to say that it does this integration very well. It pulls off the balancing act without being boring; in fact it pulls it off so well it does the opposite - this beer is intriguing. It is dark and there is a dark-roasty-malt note to it, but it is also lightly sweet and citrus-y with pronounced bitterness. Both notes are there, but Stone has figured a way to make them play well together. If anything, the hops are more pronounced than the roast, which is the outcome I would've chosen (if given a choice). Appearance is quite pretty with a black-red body and tall white head. Aroma is as I've described flavor, and mouthfeel is like a solid IPA - not slick like a DIPA might be or cloying like a RIS frequently is.

All the way around - this is a heck of a beer, and I need to see if I can find some of it here in C-bus.

I bought my bottle down in KY, at Party Source in Newport.

BeerBelcher, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of taylorhamrick
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had 12/30/09

This pours a dark, dark brown - definitely not quite black, with an effervescent head, loose quick forming and disappearing head. Looks decent, but not exiting. The smell gets you with C-hops, citrus, underripe mango, lemon-lime, with a lot of pollen, resin, flowers. Super flowery. But you get just a note of chocolate, caramelly sweetness. I guess it more than does its job as a black IPA. The taste definitely has more malt balance than the smell. It's very sweet and chocolatey, caramelly, not quite roasty like a stout, but the hops add greatly to the complexity. Pleasant and fruity, a nice layer of sweetness, mango and sweet oranges on top of some chocolatey tastes, not quite bready enough to remind me of cake. The body is moderately full, the carbonation is kind of hard to predict, but is a little low. Overall, its very nice and enjoyable, though the hoppiness pushes the envelope. I think its a good beer, like Stone IPA with some chocolatey sweetness, which I think is a bit of an improvement on the enjoyability. And it gets more interesting as it warms.

taylorhamrick, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of MarsMoose
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this at my local liquor store and thought it looked interesting. Went in with no idea of what it was supposed to be.

I found a dark beer, appearing black in the glass but actually a brown with no visible particulates. I found a somewhat persistent frothy white head with the slightest of brown tints. I took a whiff and a got a noseful of hops, yet was not offended. It seemed to me like it smelled oddly familiar. Up-front hop bitterness in the taste seems to overwhelm the slightly roasted-tasting malt, but after about 1/4 of the glass I became accustomed to the bitterness and it was quite pleasant to drink. It was also about this time that I realized that this beer is a less-intense Arrogant Bastard. I should of guessed that from the name, but I guess I'm just a dumb bastard. ; )

MarsMoose, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of scooter231
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I forget about this beer style quite a bit, which is crazy considering Arrogant Bastard (and oak aged, and double) is one of my favorite fall-backs, and the Utopias I had once pleased me to the tips of my toes. When I picked this up I had no idea what it was- I just saw Stone, and Self-Righteous, and I was sold. If I hesitated at all, the long, verbose description would have pushed me over anyway.

SO! Pours a dark chocolate, nearly motor oil but not quite, and no light is getting through this sucker. Tan, poofy head that looks creamy and leaves nice lacking and some pretty designs on top. So far, I am pleased.

Smells chocolatey and sweet, but it's not cloying. There's some smokeyness, almost like burnt yoohoo. Caramel comes through, as well as some roasty toasty malt smells. There's something slightly burny and off-putting about it (can we say alcohol content?) but I forgive it.

Oh man, does this taste good. It's bitter up front, with some chocolate, caramel-y, light brown sugar in the middle, finishing with some definite roasted biscuity flavors. It's like Arrogant Bastard's slightly less flavorful, less brash, more sophisticated little brother (or sister, or whathaveyou.) It's tasty if you don't want to get punched in the taste buds like AB does.

Mouthfeel is a little weak, a little thin, but hey, can't have it all! Overall this is, indeed, self-righteous and I enjoyed it. If you want to introduce AB to someone, and you're not sure how they'll handle it, start with this guy.

scooter231, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of jsh420
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

via trade from jessethehutt

pours dark brown with a good 2 finger tan head that left notches of lacing down the glass

smells of pine hops with hints of roasted malts

taste is great - you get the signature stone west coast hops upfront pine cirtus grapefruit but after that you get chocolate burnt malts some coffee

mouthfeel - a full bodied beer very smooth and creamy

drinkability - a perfect wintertime dipa hybrid - i just wish stone had distribution in IL.

jsh420, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of kbeals
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber received in a trade with bkrefetz.

A- Gentle pour into a snifter glass reveals a black liquid with some light red hues when held up to the light. A generous two fingers of tan, foamy head adorn the top leaving excellent lacing.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, oak and a bit of roasted coffee. A hint of licorice is also noticable. Surprisingly, there's still a bit of a hoppy, fruity aroma that comes through even after the 2+ years this beer's been sitting.

T- Pretty much all the aromas come through in the taste. A good portion of bourbon, oak and vanilla comes through. Also present is the hops. It's not a punch in your face, but it is definitely there. A bit of a bitter, roasted finish.

M- Thick, velvety smooth, very little carbonation. No real complaints here.

D- This is the only area that takes a hit. While the beer is really good, it is just so sweet and high in ABV that it's tough to drink this one. A definite sipper, that's for sure. One glass is more than enough.

Overall, a great beer. Definitely reminds me of some of the barleywines that I've had, especially Behemoth.

Thanks again Brett for this fantastic brew!

kbeals, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a large wine glass from a capped 22 oz. bottle. Deep brownish/black on the pour with ruby highlights and with an inch of glistening tan foam. Nice clear body. Retention is fairly strong, maintaining a quarter inch cap for a while before surrendering to just a light ring.

Rich pine and citric hops on the nose and caramel notes of decent depth, opening to some toasted flavors and a light coffee bean, coupled with a hint of smoke. Not very volatile overall however, becoming a bit hard to gather without a fresh spin.

Coffee and roasted malts carry forward to the flavor. Bit of cherried caramel and some hop spice and bitterness are evident. Smell and taste seem reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard in many ways, with more roast and a bit of char in the flavor yet quite similar in hop structure. A bit harsher on the palate than AB.

Carbonation is light making for a smooth and slightly viscous feel. Not quite enough to be syrupy in nature, but still a dense offering from Stone given the malt body and the ABV. Slightly dry and astringent in fact on the finish from the roasted malts, keeping the feel and drink in check.

I've had this on tap a few times and I recall notably more balance and depth. I find the flavors from the bottle to be a bit too distinct, particularly with regard to burnt coffee flavors. Beer needs to warm up to fully appreciate.

HalfFull, Jan 10, 2010
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,510 ratings.