Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,603 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,603
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 239
Gots: 568 | 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: 5,603 | Reviews: 1,859 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DannyS
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a bodum double-walled glass.

A - Pours a clean, pitch black with an inch or so of tan head hat dissipates into a very thick foam collar, with long, sticky tendrils of lacing.

S - Kinda weird and musty on the nose, with some raisin and licorice amongst the must odor.

T - Starts of with a bit of hop bitterness (seems coffee-like at times), with pine and citrus backing it up. Licorice, dried fruit, and oak mingle as one sips, with an almost slightly minty aftertaste and a dry finish.

M - carbonation is minimal and the body is medium-heavy. Close to an impy stout in its feel.

D - The ABV is high and the booze can get to you if you're soloing this bomber. That, combined with the bitterness, make this a clear sipper. I'm already feeling it and I'm not even halfway through the bottle. Phew...

Overall - If this beer truly is self-righteous, it kinda lacks the quality to back it up. It's definitely not bad, and I'd drink it again if offered some, but you'd expect a beer with a name like this to be way better than just good. It definitely looks pretty and gets you buzzed quick, but the flavor could definitely be more balanced. Then again, since when has Stone Brewing been about balance?

(Note: I drank this too cold. It gets better with a little time to warm up to cellar temp.)

Photo of BrewitYerself
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, dense 1 finger light tan head. Lacing about 1/2 way.

Some hops and dark fruit on the nose. Pine and licorice. As it warms, I'm picking up some fusels, moderate esters, maybe some sulfur (although maybe that's the smelly drunks sitting next to me).

Citrus, pine, and herbal notes upfront. Biting bitterness, fades sharply to dark fruit, orange and grapefruit, coffee and espresso. Lots of herbal-piney hops mid-palate, with a bready, toasty, pithy, grapefruit, herbal finish. There is a lot going on here. The progression is truly amazing, every moment is better than the last. Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Nice dark malt and ester profile. Finishes fruity, bittersweet, and pithy.

Good mouthfeel, too much carb, but moderate chewiness, excellent progression.

Very good overall, finishes a little too sweet. I want another one, but the selection is too good. Hop aroma and flavor are very fresh, a little skunky, in a good way (some of you will know what I mean).

Photo of ianjsullivan
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a dogfish ale glass.

The beer is black to the eye, the head is thick.

The smell is strong and alluring, hops flow out the glass. In fact, the smell is noticeable from the time the bottle is open. It is, perhaps, the best part of this beer.

The beer is all about hops, the dark color does nothing to change the IPA nature of this ale. The hops are strong and aggressive, though there is a slight burnt taste that compliments the finish.

The mouthfeel is pleasant, slightly creamy though not over filling. In general, if one is to give it a body, it is medium.

Sublimely is enjoyable and worth a try. However, it is a strong ale that is not meant to be consumed often, it's flavors are to strong to have a high drinkability (and here I will insert that drinkability to me is being able to consume more than one or two in a row).

Photo of jdflyer06
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to try this since the XI was one of my favorite Stone releases. It's supposedly the exact same thing. God I hope so...

A: Pours a rich dark color but a slight ruby color comes through when held to the light. A creamy head that needs an aggressive pour to keep a one finger head up, dissipating and leaving a thin head for the remainder.

S: Smells of roasted and caramel malt with a nice bit of floral hop aroma and slight citrus notes. Toffee and raisin notes, maybe some coffee but not overly present.

M: Plenty of carbonation and a fairly thin body, which gets thicker as it warms and the carbonation mellows out. Some chalkiness on the palate and a bit of alcohol warmth.

T: The hop bitterness hits you up front, followed by a good bit of roasted malt. Smokey, but not overpowering. Some sweetness as it warms. It's IPA character holds up, even under the weight of the roasted malt notes and coffee undertones.

D: I probably wouldn't want to have more than one bomber of this, although I could see myself content with it on certain occassions. It's fairly light but does leave your mouth pretty dry. Not sessionable, but one bottle goes down pretty easily.

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

Caught this on tap at Stone in a growler - quite diff from the bottle I tasted a month back...

A - Very dark black ale, but kinda full like a stout or porter. Good creamy head more typical of a pale ale.

S - Amazing hop profile - this is one of Stone's hoppiest. Malt character is sheltered by the bittery hop tones but its still there. Just a hint of roasted grains here - typical for a black ale.

T - Very hoppy beer. Like VERRRRY hoppy. You don't see it coming even after the strong hop smell. I found this to be almost overwhelming vs. the bottle where the hops are a little more subdued. Malt character comes in the middle - with hops dominating the start and finish.

M - Fabulous. Good carbonation supports the grain profile well, until the hops come crashing in.

D - Pretty high for a beer with this much hops. If this were a IIPA and not a black ale I'd say it would be hard to drink. But with the masterful grain profile it really becomes a fabulous drink. I can serve this to folks with an aversion to high alcohol, high hop IPAs and have them smiling...and asking about other hoppy non-IPAs

Photo of Kadonny
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tap at TJs in Paoli into a nonic pint glass.

A: A jet black color with no light filtering. A one finger light brownish head lays atop with nice full glass lacing as you drink this beauty.

S: Wow, holy freaking hell. I do NOT remember such fresh citrus smells on the bottle version, nor on the 11th Anny. Fresh citrus with some deeper pine hops and a nice dark roasted sweetness.

T: Amazing. Citrus just pops on the draft version with huge amounts of grapefruit, orange, tangerine, pineapple. Leads into some darker earthy piney hops flavor that gets paired with the bready sweet but dark malt. Notes of coffee, chocolate and some spicy flavors shoot in, but the hops pound them down and shine at the finish. Creamy smooth hops finish with a warming alcohol flavor that just seems "right".

M: Full, coating, smooth and some alcohol that is very welcomed.

D: Awesome for this high abv beer. Damn how it's drinkable.

Overall this is hands down my favorite Stone beer ever. Every time I taste it I get blown away. Award winning, awesome, give me more. Love it.

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

Served on tap @ the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on 11/9/09. There were a lot of great beers to choose from on tap here but I wanted to try one of my Stone favorites right there at the source.

Pours black, with the just the tiniest bit of ruby coming out along the bottom, and a 1/4 finger of creamy mocha colored froth. Retains with a soft and creamy look, just completely coating the sides of the glass with thick rings of lacing. The aroma is fresh and floral in the nose, with a nice hard edge of spice and pine to it. A blast of citric hops rolls in next, backed by a nice crunchy mix of coffee and roast, as well as some softer cocoa and toffee character. This sits with a bit of heft in the nose as well. Smells like a dark Porter oozing with American hop attitude.

The taste is pretty spot on with the aroma, as heavy rich notes of chocolate roast and coffee flavor are right at the forefront of this. Luckily, they are more than an equal match for the aggressive resinous bite of the hops, which is just dripping with juicy & bright citric character. This is overall very roasty, bitter, and intense, with burnt notes that really hang around for a while. The mouthfeel is medium to maybe a bit fuller, with a sharp prickly nature that matches up well with those bold hops. There is some heft here to the body but the alcohol is kept to a minium in the taste, allowing it's presence to just add even more to the overall bigness of this beer.

Hands down on of my favs from these guys and probably my favorite example of the "Dark IPA" style. I've really enjoyed this out of the bottle several times but it seemed just so much more intense here on draft. Great stuff!

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

Pours a deep, opaque chocolaty brown with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head that hangs around for a bit. Aroma is strongly hoppy and has a hint of spice. Fiercely hoppy flavor makes drinking this beer like drinking a pine tree; it is fairly bitter but not ferociously so. Thick and silky smooth texture leaves a nice tingle and a hint of honey sweetness.

Photo of rootbeerman
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into two glasses.

A: pours dark brown, with a light brown single finger head, that settled to a thin layer that laced the glass well.
S: hoppy, like many on stones strong ales.
T: good and bitter, with dark roast malt sweet and bitter chocolate
M: medium carbonation, light in the mouth
D: drinking it faster than i thought i was, if i can find a bottle ill get it again.

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

22oz bomber, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: chocolate brown color, no haze,, huge tan head with long retention, lots of lacing

S: it has a moderate malty aroma with a powerful citrusy hop aroma. has an IPA like nose.

T: its got it all. massive dose of bitterness greets you, there is a caramel sweetness that follows along with a dark fruit/raison-like character and some roasted grains. this is all mixed in with some citrusy hop flavor. finishes back where it started, with a good dose of hop bitterness.

MF: medium bodied, modium carbonation, drinks fairly smooth, the higher ABV is not detected.

Drinkability: awesome beer. very drinkable and extremely enjoyable.

Photo of endincolorado
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark plum-ish red body with some ruby showing through at the edges. Attractive light tan head that sticks around for long enough. Nice lacing.

Fragrant, estery hops are first to hit the olfactory cells, followed by some grapefruit and pine, and lastly, a bit of sweet, bready malt.

Grapefruit is there in the first sip, followed by some pine and citrus, and some solid, bready malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Though the hops are pretty powerful and the ABV is up there, I could do with another glass or two of this.

Photo of Cakanator
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Damn what a way to have fourth course BGBBD at sierra. I can still remember 11th coming out and everyone being like... this is no 10th. Well maybe it took the 12th being NOT an ipa for people to want this one back. So flavorful and smooth for its percentage and what hops! Black IPA's are rare but this one showed so much character that its a wonder why nobody else is picking up on this style.

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

Made a hoppy stout of my own, and I think its comparative to this beer, so I'm going to try them side by side and see what I think. I didn't create a clone on purpose, I just wanted a nice hoppy stout and found out so did Stone.

A: Pours into my Corsendonk tulip glass with a huge thick frothy dark bubbly head that reminds me of blowing bubbles in my chocolate milk as a kid. Its almost pitch black with the slightest light coming through the bottom of the glass where it thins.

N: Floral juicy hops really kick in the nose first. A light creamy malty aroma also gives a nice feel to it. Some sweet caramel malts and light roasted malts. The nose is a lot less spicy bite of hops than mine, and this is a lot more creamy and malty, closer to a nice thick stout. A slight coffee aroma from the roasted malts.

T: Again starts with a nice floral spicy hop taste with some juicy hops. A slight malty creamy chocolate malt flavor, and some roasted malts as well. The juicy hop flavors never go away either, and they seem to dissipate throughout the entire mouth from start to finish. I almost get a frosting taste towards the end as well with some sweet creamy tastes and juicy hops blended. I used a bunch of cascade hops, esp dry hop so this is blended much better, and they don't contrast as much as mine. I will have to really redo my stout and I want to model it after this.

M: Creamy and pretty thick, a little spicy with hops, good carbonation.

F: Finishes very bitter and pretty dry. More spicy floral hop flavors dangle around the mouth for a bit, and the dryness helps to accentuate the hops. A slight rich creamy stout feel stay around for a bit too. A slight chocolate taste also lingers and seems to blend really well with the juicy hop taste. I would love to have a chocolate covered hop candy bar.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost pitch black in color but has a slight burgundy hue when you hold the glass to the light, mild head. This one smells really good - lots of pine and grapefruit with hoppy astringency coming through. This beer looks more like a porter which is why I'm so intrigued by it. The taste is really, really good! Lots of pine and citrus up front, very light malt, with a bitter chocolate finish that sticks around for 30 seconds or so before the chocolate starts coming through again, then fades away to hops. This is a very weird beer and one of the most unusual ales I've ever experienced. The feel is very smooth on the tongue and almost touches on creamy, but doesn't quite get there. This is a very drinkable beer and I could definitely have a few of these and not grow tired of it. I would say it's complex only because it fades in and out of a few flavors, there's not alot of stuff going on beyond hops and chocolate, but the way it blends is pretty impressive, especially when the color fools your brain into thinking there'll be more malt presence. Yet another well brewed and creative beer from Stone Brewing, I love their beers.

Photo of Taylor88
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so F'in Stone...I am however a "Stoner" I've shared this beer with many of my friends. It freaks most of them out! "What the hell is this?" is the most common response. It is a difficult beer to describe. It's hoppy, it's malty, it's, it's, it's...everything! I think Stone threw everything in this beer but the proverbial "kitchen sink"...Not for everybody, but this "Stoner" loves it!!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at the Bistro Double IPA fest. Even though it is the same recipe as 11th anniversary, I thought this one was lacking compared to the 11th I had recalled. By lacking, I mean, just really really good instead of fantastic.

Black IPA, hopped very well, obvious dry hopping, hides the high alcohol quite well. I can't wait to try the bottled version. Some say don't age, some say age. . . I dunno, I'm still holding bottles of both version, we'll see this Christmas. You don't really taste the alcohol, but it hits you by the end of the bottle.

Anyways, if you see it, check it out. Right up there with Laughing Dog's black IPA's when uber fresh if you ask me.

EDIT: Well this was definitely a drink fresh beer. You can't really taste any of the darker malts used, but if you age it, the hops fade and some of the astringency comes out of it.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very dark with a beautiful, thick, off white head. It looks like a porter or a stout. However, the nose immediately lets you know this is no stout. The nose is extremely hoppy. Grapefruit overwhelms the nose with a touch of pine. The flavor is very similar to the nose with grapefruit dominating, except there is a touch, and I mean a touch, of chocolate that comes through. The mouthfeel is about perfect, with the right amount of carbonation. It is pretty drinkable, a couple of bombers could probably be drank in one sitting. Overall, I enjoyed this beer, but probably will not purchase it again, unless it is on tap. It seemed weird to me for a beer to look like a stout but taste like an ipa.

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

A bomber that I had back in spring of 2009. The colour was a very dark brown with a slight veil of a head. The aroma was quite sweet and malty with essence of alcohol. The palate was hoppy and frothy as well as creamy with strong coffee flavours and a very long resounding finish. Please, sir! May I have some more?

Photo of Gtreid
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Review from notes.

A: Mostly black. The pour produced a quarter of off white head that retained well and left some great lace. But, it's black.

A: Hop forward brew for sure. Getting really nice floral and citrusy hop aroma. Caramel malts, and a little nuttiness finish off the nose.

T: Well, I don't care how they catagoize this beer, this is an IPA. Lots of floral and earthy hops in this brew. Nice sweetness from the caramel malts. Finishes dry and bitter.

M: Medium body, good amount of carbonation. Thinner than the color suggests, but welcome.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is great, I had no problem finishing the bomber. Overall, I'm a little on the fence with this. I think a new category is in order, Black IPA. Good beer, I would have again. Skal.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a couple bottles of Stone 11th Anniversary ale in 2007 and decided to pull one out of the cellar tonight.

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin light tan head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma reminds me of a barleywine. Rich malt flavor with a blend of hops. Pine, roasted malt, oak and a hint of chicory are all present.

Each sip of this full flavored beer is thick with a mild carbonated fizz. Slightly chewy. The flavor is rich malt with notes of ripe fruit (cherry, plum), oak and a hint of chocolate. Ever present is a hoppy bitterness with strong notes of pine and some orange citrus. It finishes dry with notes of grassy hops. Once gone the dark fruit, oak and pine lingers on the palate.

For a two year old beer this one really packs a lot of flavor. Well balanced and quite drinkable. Close to a barleywine without being overly hopped.

Photo of pixieskid
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into my trusty Nonic.
Appearance: was a dark brown; porter, almost stout like with a frothy 1 finger off white head.
Nose: was a huge citrus presence with nice roasted malt overtones.
Taste:Huge bitter citrus bite up front balanced with a strong dark roasted malt.Very complex flavors and unique undertones: Like a strong ipa of grapefruit flavor and a strong bitterness.
Finishes strong with a citrus bite and dark malt with a pleasing bitterness; hides alcohol greatly.
Mouth-feel: Full body and great carbonation with a frothy mouth-feel.

Overall a very solid beer that I found very unique; like a blend of my two favorite styles, solid double IPA and a strong stout. It's been a while that I have been really blown away from a beer and this one did it.
Very glad it showed up at my local bottle shop: Plaza Liquors. Wish I had gotten another one, hopefully it shows up again.

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

Stone: Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Black IPA
22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, very dark brown with an off-white head that's flat with some bubbles, very clingy, very very clingy, so much stickage.
Odor: Woof woof arf. Intense pineapple, grapefruit rind and waxy floral aromas sit over a backdrop of faint, pumpernickelish dark malt, kind of reminiscent of a shwarzbier, my guess is Carafa Special, but I'm not sure.
Consistency: Light to medium body, walking the edge of the spectrum towards the latter. Carbonation lends an element of creaminess, dark malt astringency is notably missing, which furthers my guess that there's some Carafa Special coloring this beer up.
Taste: Chinook herbal/waxy bitterness hits quick and carries the rest of the flavors along. Hints of dark roasted coffee poke through here and there, hardly making a dent in the hop flavor, though it lingers and intensifies a bit in the finish.

I'm not a big fan of the way the harsh, herbal bitterness of Chinook meshes with the dark malt character in this beer, but when all is said and done, it's still a hell of an ale.

Photo of pourmeup
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- light tan head with thin bubbles, light lacing with no retention; beer is dark-stained mahogany
S- Piney is prevalent with light Citrus
T- There is a great sweetness from the malt, almost a light milk chocolate flavor and maple syrup on the beginning with an abundance of hops on the aftertaste: pine and grapefruit predominate the pallet with a slight caramel on very end of the finish.
M- Very creamy with a very light carbonation; very silky small bubbles, the taste of the hops cling the the palette long after its gone.
D- For 8%, this beer is a tad strong on the alcohol flavor, but still extremely tasty. Just not drinkable as for the percentage.

(two person review)

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

Updated 2/10/12: bought a bomber today with enjoy by 3/29/2012. This may be the freshest SSSRA I have ever had, and this is a favorite style of mine. This was just amazing tonight, even perfect. I can't comprehend a more complete interpretation of this style, so this is my benchmark. Well done Stone, very well done.

From a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Enjoy by 12 18 09. Purchased from specialty beer store for $6.29. Wish I had bought more.

A-pours a beautiful dark brown, nearly black hue with a two finger light brown head with strong retention. Lacing is even all the way down the glass.

S-Aroma is wonderful. Piney and citric hops and dark fruits and sugars, like figs and molasses.

T-Sublime. Righteous, too. Self, or otherwise. This is unlike anything else I have ever had. Evidently, this was considered a black IPA when released as Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale. Works for me. This was very hoppy, but not overpowering since it was balanced by deep, rich malt flavors reminiscent of dark chocolate and brown sugar.

M-Substantial yet smooth, even delicate. A definite sipping beer because you don't want to rush past any of its nuances. I love this beer.

D-This is very drinkable. It must be, since I want more and don't have any. At 8.7% ABV the alcohol is not noticeable in the taste, but it definitely contributes to the overall character of this great beer. Well done, Stone.

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

Tastes like stone!

Appearance: Blacker than I expected, a bit of mahogany brown to it. Small head on the pour, no lacing.
Smell: Piney hops but too much dark malt, fair amount of bitterness.
Taste: Not as strong as I expected, big malt backbone. Might have a touch of tea to it? I can't tell these Stone beers apart, had this with the 13th and felt they were remarkably similar. Perhaps some dates/prunes and a touch of chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and Oily
Drinkability: Average for the brewery.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,603 ratings.