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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,706 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,706
Reviews: 1,880
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 256
Gots: 659 | FT: 7
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: 5,706 | Reviews: 1,880 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elniko
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Stella glass.

A: Not quite opaque black coloring with nice tan head and good looking heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Typical Stone nose, citrus hops apparent but lingering in background are some roasty burnt tones.

T & M: Medium bodied, citrus hop notes quite apparent but as in the nose the slight roasty tones from the dark malt come through as well. Well balanced.

D: Quite drinkable, yet another fine Stone brew.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: black, though the hue suggests more of an extremely dark brown. Head is two fingers of rocky tan foam with great retention.

Smell: Bright, piney, citrusy, earthy, funky hops. Just a great, complex combination. There also seems to be some alcohol pepperiness buried in the hops for just a touch more complexity. I really enjoy the aroma of this.

Taste: a rich flavor of piney and citrusy hops along with a caramel-infused complex malt flavor. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. A tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation. While I don't usually expect much creaminess from a strong ale like this, there rather was some which created a nice smooth experience.

Drinkability: quite drinkable for its strength and intensity. I'd definitely have this one again.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. draft pour into an elongated chalice.

A: A finger and a half of creamy light tan colored head. Excellent retention allows the head to attach itself to the glass. The body is the darkest brown imaginable with ruby highlights that are only visible when held to light. Lacing in sheets with just a few holes.

S: The nose is incredible. Sweet and juicy hops dominates. There are much less malts than I expected based on other BIPAs I've had in the past. The hops provide aromas of citrus and pine with citrus components of white grapefruit and orange. Black malts and bready malts come through on the aroma. There is an odd kerosene scent to this brew. Hops are heavy, malts are medium-light. Dark candi sugar.

T: Follows the nose. Hop tastes of tangerine and the skin of fresh peaches are more noticeable on the palate.

M: Starts out sweet, cut through by a fine fizzy carbonation and ends dry and crisply. Long flavor duration. Slightly alcoholic warmth but only noticeable when the beer is already in the stomach.

D: Dangerously drinkable. There are only a few Stone brews that "WOW" me, and this is one of them. I am honestly surprised at how high my ratings are, but I stand by them. SSRA is my shit!

Photo of coldmeat23
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

Man, this one pours up solid black. It has a two-finger head of Medium-brown colored foam sitting on top. The retention is really good and the lacing is thick and sticky.
Pretty impressive looking, actually.

As I've come to expect from Stone, the nose is filled with hops notes. Lots of big bright citrus notes, along with a pleasing tropical hop presence. Some good dark, earthy hop notes also. There are some nice, caramel-like, sweet malt notes here as well, but they are almost buried by the hops.

Fruity hops notes come out strong. They are followed by an earthy, almost woody, presence. A slight hint of caramel is then squashed by the bitter bite of hop resin and pine sap. This finishes with an interesting amount of charred/smokiness to it.

This one is full-bodied and has a wonderful, mild-to-high level of carbonation, which is filled with small-to-almost-medium sized bubbles. It is very smooth and has a nice level of creaminess to it.

This is good, and is nicely drinkable, as long as you like hops. Unfortunately, this is quite a bit more hop-forward than I really enjoy my beers to be. I'm not yet worthy, I guess.

Photo of boatshoes
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spit a bomber of this Memorial Day evening with a friend who stopped over at the house. Not my first time with this beer but the first time I've had a full glass.

Appearance- Pours a rich, not quite completely opaque black out of the bottle with a very creamy finger and a half of slightly tan head sitting on top. Very good head retention and a pretty substantial sheet sticks across the top of my beer for most of the drink. Decent amount of lacing left as well.

Smell- Interesting combination of pungent, slightly earthy smelling hops and richer smelling roasted malts. Unique mix of sweet and bitter smells coming off this one but with the hops definitely gaining the upper hand.

Taste- Starts off with the bitter, piney, hops which retain a bit of the topsoil-esque qualities I got in the nose. Gradually moves onto a richer, slight roastiness mid-palate but finishes with lingering bitterness. Flavors melded together very well.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is relatively substantial and creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability was quite good as well, and I didn't have a problem putting away my glass of this beer.

Overall, a very good offering from Stone. Definitely worth a shot if you haven't had it before.

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

A- Dark brown with dark red and orange edges. Light barely gets through this beer. The head is big and tan. The bubbles are glowing man

S- Flowery and citric with a fruity sugar smell and a hint of chocolate and molasses.

T- The flavor is like the best of every style all layered into one beer. Refreshing, herbal and citric hops, then a solid sweet honey and toffee center and finished with a bitter coffee and dank alcohol that leaves you wanting more.

M- My mouth feels great when I drink this beer. Smooth, foamy, chewy and stingy.

D- You probably are not worthy of this beer.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a very dark brownish amber color with ruby highlights and a thin, creamy head of beige foam. Clarity was nil and the lacing was oily and coating.

S: Smells very rich and hoppy, with a bit of charcoal and citrusy, herbal hops in the nose. Some candied fruits and a certain roasted malt character.

T: Flavor is a big dose of bittersweet roasted caramel malt at first with some underlying candied tropical fruit and raisin soon after. The finish is a bit sticky sweet and bitterly resinous, with remnants of smoky peet, molasses and black malt to compliment the already coating pine and herbal hop bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is full bodied and a bit coating, but it never becomes a labor to sip away on.

D: The marriage of a barleywine, American brown ale and an IPA all crammed into one, this ale was complex and tasty. A bit rough around the edges as the 8.7% ABV and hop profile do make the brew a little hot, but it does mello a bit when let to come up to room temperature. I'd likely get it again for it's sweet and bitter complexity.

Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is piney hops with roasted malt. I also get a touch of citrus. The flavor is pine, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

amazing hoppy aroma as soon as i crack the bottle.

A- pours deep dark stout black with a generous mahogany highlight at the bottom of the glass. head falls somewhere in between beige and khaki and is so sturdy and thick that it barely even moves when i tilt the glass. it doesn't even recede it just sits there. lurking, stubborn, becoming pitted and pockmarked. monster lace on this one. an absolutely outstanding look and one hell of a handsome beer.

S- stone. stoooone dude hop me. incredible zesty grapefruit aroma with pineapple, passionfruit, mango and pine. fresh and bold amarillo and simcoe really hit it out the park like i'm holding a handful of sticky hop flowers. the great citrus bitter smell is balanced out by an underlay of somewhat cocoa somewhat roasted but very sweet and caramel toffee brown sugary coated nuttiness and the smallest hint of cinnamon and nutmeg and pipe tobacco. sandalwood nag champa incense come out as it warms a bit. herbal, earthy, spicy, sweet and a total nose boner.

T- this is insane. i know strong ale here in the states can cover a broad range of styles but this is some sort of freak of nature. i call arrogant bastard a red ipa so i guess i could call this a black ipa or even a double. unrelenting hop flavor from start to finish. not just bitterness, which it does have plenty of, but a crazy hop freshness that makes me feel like i'm chewin on a resinous nug of cali's finest. and at the same time very hard to describe. grapefruit, of course, flesh, pith, peel and all, with a generous coating of pine rosin and pineapple. some passionfruit and mango hang in there as a sweet and roasted brown sugar nuttiness attempts to attain some sort of balance. as the beer warms, the malt flavor increases and a very fine balance is achieved as the hops relent. at 45 degrees it's a hop titan but at 60 it's a nicely balanced chocolatey ipa.
finishes with lingering hop flavor and some roasty stuff.

MF- full, creamy and soft with fine under medium carbonation allowing the weight of this beer to really be felt. luscious like a stout with the dry resinous feeling of an ipa. sticky lips slippery cheeks and a rough tongue result from a nice sip of this brew.

D- not bad drinkableness for something this intence and alcoholic. alcohol content is barely evidenced in the flavor and by the end of a pint i'm starting to get the buzz on. hoppy and tasty but a big brew. sort of a conglomerate of porter, brown ale, and DIPA, this black beauty was well worth the $7 bomber.

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

Dark, dark brown with fluffy coffee creamer head floating on top. Elegant but strong looks. Aroma that touches upon hop resin, leaves, spice, sweet malt, slight booze and weirdly reminiscent of soy sauce. Thick, creamy mouthfeel brings on a slew of flavors ranging from syrup, sweet malts, hops, tobacco-esque hop bitterness, slight bitter cocoa, coffee beans. Hop bitterness finishes out the drink and slicks the tongue. Despite the strength of the beer and its flavors, it remains a very drinkable ale that asks to be enjoyed at dusk. A tasty brew that will put some hair on the beer drinker's chest.

Photo of mullenite
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark black in to the glass. If you were to ask, "How much more black could this be?" The answer would be none; none more black... Okay it could be more black as it had a reddish brown highlight but whatever. The head was made up of tightly packed cream colored bubbles that left lacing down the whole glass.

Smell was very fruity hops, lots of citrus with some pineapple and mango. All hops in the aroma, no real malt character.

Taste was similar to the smell with lots of citrus and other tropical fruits. The bitterness is smooth and well rounded, not as harsh as it usually is with stone beers.

Medium body with adequate carbonation to cleanse the palate.

Overall this is a pretty good beer, not sure why it had to be black because the dark malts don't really add anything to the beer underneath the hop character.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very, very dark brown. Near black color with a tan head. Fluffy head is lasting quite a while and leaving a bit of lacing as it recedes slowly. Nice head for a strong ale.

S: Nice big malt backbone on this one. Caramel and dark malts are quite nice here. Of course this being a Stone brew, the hops are also quite present. Not too much bitterness from the hops, yet rather a floral and near fruity quality. The malts are winning this fight though, some alcohol heat that accentuates the hop profile.

T: Has a savory flavor, getting a beef jerky/soy sauce type flavor. Smokey malts and a very bitter hop presence. I am reminded of the GUBNA meaty flavor and the soy sauce in Expedition stout. Not nearly as evident as either though. Hop bitterness is balancing the big malt backbone out well. Just a bit of some strange flavors mingling here.

M: Carbonation is at a good spot. This one has been sitting in the cellar for a month or so, may have mellowed the hops a bit. Still falls a bit short, relatively thin mouthfeel. Leaves a bit of a sizzling carbonation on the teeth.

D: This beer is definitely drinkable, very full of flavor. Not sure the flavors going on work well together but it sure is interesting.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, small tan head, laces well.

Smells like pure fresh hops right before putting them into the boil. It's intense. Theres a little bit of roasted malt at the end.

Tastes of pine and resiny hops with a hint of citrus. Very hop forward. It's not unbalanced though. When I first had this on tap last week, before finding some bottles (finally) at the store, the bartender told me this was a double black IPA. I know Stone is hop crazy, but it fits the IPA bill, so I'm going to roll with it. It's not a black Ruination though. Whatever it is, it's unique and I'm in love with it!

Medium to light body, feels a tad thin but over all great.

Being as I had been told that it was only going to be available on draft in my area, when I found it in a neighboring town in bottles, I bought em out...and I could happily drink the whole lot of them.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

A- jet black with a 2 finger slightly offwhite head. So yeah, this looks awesome. Not at all what I was expecting...but it looks great.

S- holy fragrance! It smells like the best IPA in the world...I get pounded with hops...grapefruit and orange mostly predominant. Not at all what I'd expect from something that poured like this.

T- this is amazing...I'm getting a ton of hops like it smells, and theres also a smokiness that is representative of the color. The bitterness from the hops mixes so well with that subtle smokiness...its amazing

M- feels great. Carbonated goodness without having a texture that makes it overwhelming...this is perfect.

D- unbelievably drinkable. I want more now. It drinks like an IPA but looks like a stout...I love this so much

Photo of LarryV
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark stout like black with a generous head. Aroma is slightly malty and wort like. Taste is very similar, a bit raw tasting with a bit of grapefruit like hoppiness. I really wanted to like this beer but in the end, one is enough for me and I won't be revisiting it. It was a bit of a chore to finish the entire bottle.

Photo of IBUStu
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had no idea what I was getting when I poured this beer. I knew nothing about it. It came out of the bottle dark and hoppy and I smiled, and I said to myself what in the fucking hell is this?

Pours stout-ish with a finger and a half of dense, tan head that recedes down to a ring with an island in the middle. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had. It smells like a malty hop soaked in grapefruit juice and it tastes like a hoppy grapefruit. When I aerate it in my mouth I get bitter, dark fruits. I love it. It's viscous and it finishes sweet and dry. It's a strong, interesting beer but there is nothing offensive about it at all. I'll take pleasure in pushing it on friends who are in the mood for something new. Very worthy of my first review here.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Smokin' Joes.

A- Body is a nearly opaque black hue. When held up to the dim light some brown comes through around the edges. Served with a 1/2 finger or so off-white head which fades to a thin collar-traces of lacing are left behind in the glass.

S- An assault of grapefruit and pine come through initially with a much weaker, but still present roasted malt backbone.

T- Like many stone brews the flavor upfront is big. It offers a lot of white grapefruit flavor with a substantial roasted malt backbone. The hops are definitely the highlight of the flavor-but the dark roasted malt backbone isn't hiding. The finish adds a good amount of refreshing pine-as the bitterness builds. The lingering hop bitterness is moderate in strength and does not become cloying- the roasted malt flavors linger for about the same amount of time but are slightly milder.

M- Medium to high tingly carbonation with a medium to heavy weight, full, oily body.

D- In summary-This is a very hoppy black IPA-I wouldn't say its balanced-but the malt is not hiding. And with anything IPA I expect it to be very hoppy. This brew is pretty aggressive and very good overall. ABV is completely hidden by the flavors this brew exceeds my expectations for this hybrid style.

Photo of Casey10
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this at bootleggers in Thopsham, ME. Glad to see this there as was a nice tasting beer. If there was ever a beer that could be clasified as black IPA this would be it. Dark black and lots of hops this beer has it and should be a must have for anyones portfolio.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep opaque black with an ample tan head. Generally malty in nature with bitterness coming from what seems to be roasted and chocolate malts. Taste is similar with a chocolaty malt flavor and bitterness some coffee notes as well. Not overpoweringly chocolate but definitely good. Feel is smooth and medium bodied, with a slight fullness. Carbonation is light and tickles the senses well. Overall a very good beverage.

Photo of elvisnj
3.05/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a duvel chalice.

Pours dark almost pitch black with little brown head. Very pretty.

Recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Lots lacing is left behind.

Nose is huge hops. I pick up all kinds. They are strong as hell but the floral hops smell pretty good.

Taste is just as expected by the nose. Lots of herbal, grassy, piney, resinous hops.

I am not a hop head and this was over the top hops for me. It hurts to drink it. I got so lost in the hops I could not find the malts for salvation.

The body was medium and it could have used some more carbonation.

It was hard to finish. And the herbal hops kept repeating on me for the rest of the night. I have loved most of the beers from Stone but this one was the first one I actually disliked. Almost a drain pour.

Better luck next time.

Photo of maximum12
2.86/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to gford217 for this bottle, one of two remaining survivors from an epic SS08. The final one, one of my prizes, is in the fridge & will be going down soon, too.

After four days of crappy beer in Lisbon, I really didn't need a beer to top of the jet lag tonight, but hell, I need to recall what real beer tastes like (though that port wine is really good!). This pours dark, with a foul flickering, deep red running the corners. Smells...oxidized. Oh oh.

And it is. Stone XI hasn't aged well to my palate, although my wife is quite enjoying it, so I know it's not the bottle that's gone bad. There are chimes underneath; fallen figs, heavy sherry, coffee and cream, roast. Hops are faded, but the grapefruit arrives fashionably late. As the beer warms a bit, I warm to it a bit, too. Maybe just a bit. Still lively after all this time.

Well, I now wish I'd consumed this a year ago, but based on the reviews it seemed to be still blazing strong. Decent enough beer, but I'd drink there if you have them.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A almost black body with a quickly dying tan head and minimal lace. Intense hoppy smell but there is a noticeable aroma of roasted and cocoa malt. Like a hoppy coffee stout this beer has a medium body that is smooth and a tad creamy with a mixture (heavier on the former) of roasted coffee and chocolate malt (gives a lil' bit of sweetness) and citric hops. Also a minor note of black cherry and other plush fruit. Easy to drink ale that is meant to relax w/ after dinner.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale was one of my favorite beers of all time, I was literally about to roll on the floor and have a tantrum when I found out that it wasn't going to be available anymore. Thank God Stone decided to keep the recipe and call it Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. This is a truly outstanding brew.

22oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. These beer pours completely black when in the glass. It comes out a very dark brown when the liquid gets a little thin, but overall it's pretty black and opaque. The beer produces a tan head with some decent lacing to it, the way beer should look. A very good looking brew. The smell is truly exquisite. It's complex, but gets to the point. Overall it's completely dominated by the hops, but the malts make themselves noticeable as well. Roasted malts with a slight smokey smell that is covered by a delicious hop aroma. A little more pine than citrus in my opinion. The taste is truly outstanding, but I wish I had the opportunity to grade it a 4.9 I think that's what I go with in that situation. Like most beers of this style it's very hoppy, the good thing here is it's not to overwhelming. Along with the great hoppy taste is the good malted flavor. It has a great malted taste much like the smell, with a slight smokey taste. Wonderfully balanced overall. Mouthfeel is good, not quite full bodied in my opinion, but pretty close. Has a slight dry bitter finish from the hop, very good. Extremely drinkable beer, could drink this rain or shine on any occasion. A wonderful beer to have on standby, and you should!

Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brattleboro, Vermont Brewer's Festival on May 22, 2010. There is a mahogany dark brown pour with some red hues and a two-inch puffy tan head. Hops are the lead ingredient in the aroma but it seems very well-balance and not overdone. Hops also tend to be the first thing caught on the tongue but there is also a rather molasses-like sugar-sweetness in there. Definitely not as bitterly hopped as some strong ales. This one tends to be a lot mellower than other strong ales. Pretty good.

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: Draft (City Beer Store)

Smell: Mint julep (when cold), grapefruit/pine oil, salted caramel.

Taste: Rich and bitter and pretty darn good. Herbal/floral/grassy hops with a nice roundness and sharp bitterness. A healthy helping of ripe pear and grapefruit oil that tickles the throat. Molasses and caramel and some barely perceptible clove with nice dark malt flavors. Mocha/Coffee emerges as it warms. Slightly interesting play between the dark, slightly roasted malts and the bitternes but the bitterness is a just a bit harsh and hurts drinkability and the mouthfeel is pretty oily. Finish is grassy with an astringent edge, grainy, bitter coffee, residual orange oil.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,706 ratings.