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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

5,738 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,738
Reviews: 1,888
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 697 | 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: 5,738 | Reviews: 1,888
Photo of jampics2
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour into my snifter from a 22oz bottle, a recent batch - this arrived in town the day before my pour. Eggshell head, looks great.

Citrus nose, pineapple, pine, dank, stinky hops dominate the scents I'm detecting.

Taste is awesome. Dank pineapple tinged bitterness followed by a nice chocolate roast. Such a great mix of two flavors that are difficult to make jive together the right way. I loved this as the XI Anniversary and love it even more as fresh SSR.

Mouth is lively, nice on the tongue but a bit prickly in my throat. Nice thick body.

Graded on a curve for it's strength and dominant, ruinous hop taste, this "luscious velvety hop bomb" may be the best black IPA ever.

Photo of Drew966
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale was served to me in a pint glass, the beer was a dark brown or possibly even black color with a tan head. This beer smells and tastes like cat piss, and I mean that in the best possible hop loving kind of way. To be a touch more serious, hops dominate the aroma and the flavor with strong grapefruit notes. A very good beer, recommended.

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an awesome slick looking black. A friend of mine described the smell and taste as a black grapefruit smoothie, which I find kind of perfect really. Big hop nose, tons of grapefruity hop resinous smell. On the tongue its got plenty of bitterness to satisfy or scare, just a delicious mix of hops. I loved this beer as the anniversary and this was my first beer when I visited Stone (it still hadn't hit shelves here in VA). I'd buy a couple cases right now if someone here had it.

Photo of Yesac
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at The Brick Store Pub

a- dark ruby color. tan head that fades to a thin layer. sloppy lacing on the glass.

S- fresh piney hops and booze.

T- this reminds me of a arrogant bastard ale but with more hops. Along with the smell.. delicious wet piney hops up front that create a bitter middle with a boozy finish. not the most complex brew but a nice nice mix of strong hops and booze.

M/D- thick bodied, slighty sticky on the back of the palate. Booze is present with bite but isnt totally overbearing. medium carbonation.

Photo of javincik
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe glass

A-Pours nearly black in color. Nice tan head which dissipates slowly and lingers on the surface. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-One word: hops. While stout like in appearance, the smell resembles an IPA. Big dose of citrusy hops with pine and some roasted notes just peeking through. Also getting some grapefruit in there.

T-Definitely hop forward. Getting grapefruit and some pine notes at the start. Some roasted, burnt flavors try to come through in the middle before a long bitter finish. Finish left me wanting another sip.

M-Medium to heavy bodied. I found the carbonation just about right. Bitter finish left me wanting to coat my tongue again.

D-For a nearly 9% brew, it's pretty high. Alcohol becomes slightly noticeable as it warms, but nothing that would put me off.

Overall a very solid beverage. The transition from start to finish is great. Probably not worth the trouble of trading for it, but definitely something to pick up if easily available at a nearby store.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a tight light brown head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Very stout like in appearance.

Smells of a big dose of west coast hops with some subtle roasted malts.

Tastes of the hops upfront with a solid malt backbone. The hops are citrus and pine with a crispness to it. The malt is also prevalent and has the roasted coffee flavors with some molasses. Some dark fruits also come through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and creamy with a solid amount of carbonation.

Photo of Lunch
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, Maryland (12/10/09) into a goblet at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a very dark brown to almost black with a slight ruby hue when held up to the light. Capped with a one finger head which dissipate slowly leaving excellent lacing on the inside of the glass.

S: At first whiff this reminds me of a Black IPA since grapefruit and other citrus flavors come to the surface first followed by at hint of roasted malt (coffee, perhaps) and smoke.

T: The Black IPA theme continues onto the palate in the form of a citrusy hop that is primarily made up of grapefruit and orange. This is followed by coffee and an underlying roasted malt with some smokiness. The finish is quite bitter leaving a grassy flavor coating the palate.

M: Medium-bodied with a slick feel, but at times it seemed a little thin with a slight separation in the flavor profile.

D: Excellent drinkability as this beer has some interesting flavors that work quite well together and the alcohol is completely masked. This beer has quite a bitter finish that may not appeal to some, but i loved it.

Overall I find this beer to be a very well-crafted ale from Stone and one that certainly needs to be tried before it is all gone. Recommended.

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

Pours a black color with a bit of redish brown hues around the edges when held up to the light. Thick tanned head pours more than a finger full and laces all around the glass and has some lasting retension. Aroma is strikingly citrusy with a fresh hop smell. Some burnt malt subtleness is evident in the background. Hops really prevail in the nose. Taste is hop forward with citrus bitterness but burnt grains and a little bit of chocolate/coffee character fills in as well before the bitter finish that lingers. Light carb and medium feel. As it warms the alcohol becomes a bit more evident in the taste but I am not complaining, this is a fine beverage.

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

Tap to pint.

A: Jet black, brown at the bottom. 1/2 inch head.

S: Hops, coffee, grass.

T: Malts, cake, coffee.

M: Bitter end, smooth start. Classic "better have another drink to get these bitters off my tongue" beer!

D: High. I could do these multiple times and finish off with a smoother RIS. A hoppy, dark beer. The taste truly is "sublime". Score another one for Stone!

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

Pours black as night with a tight tan head. This really looks like a stout or porter. It does not, however, smell like one. Hops are strong with pine and grapefruit. The grains seem only to be present in a slightly burnt aroma. It was odd drinking a beer with this appearance/taste combination. Alcohol is really not noticeable...very drinkable. The grapefruit is probably the strongest taste with the pine then blending in. That burnt taste lends itself to a hint of coffee for me. Very good.

Photo of DannyS
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
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
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
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
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
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
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
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
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
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!!

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,738 ratings.