Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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5,603 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,603
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 239
Gots: 567 | 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 rajendra82
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pour surprised me at first, because I had not read the full blurb on the back of the silk screened label, and was expecting an IPA. But the last line gave the clue to what this looked like, dark, pitch dark. When held up against the light, some ruby highlights showed up, but otherwise this was pretty much a black beer in terms of look. The head atop seemed small but stable, and was quite light in color, which was in stark contrast to the body. The smell was like a hop field, which pine and grapefruit smells being quite prominent. Underneath them, there was some chocolate lurking there. The taste was quite hoppy indeed, which made me wonder if this was not a year old bottle, but rather a fresh brewed batch for us on the East coast. The spicy, prickly, earthy hoppyness was just as intense as any IPA, however the black patent malt astringency, and some chocolate flavor were unusual, but went surprisingly well with that. The body was more in line with IPA than the looks suggested, and this was very drinkable for me, since I like hoppy beers. Quite a unique combination, but it works.

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

A - Pours an opaque, very deep brown/almost black color with a big, thick tan head that dies down slowly, leaving pretty nice lacing as it recedes.

S - Nice hop aromas which consist mostly pine and some slight citrus and earthy/herbal hints as well. Fairly subtle malty sweetness in the background, with coffee and maybe some chocolate tones.

T - A bit more mellow than I expected from the smell. Pine and grapefruit hops balanced with slightly smokey, sweet, mostly chocolatey malts with a hint of coffee as well. Somewhat bitter finish and a crisp, piney aftertaste.

M - Fairly full-bodied and smooth, with pretty minimal carbonation.

D - I really enjoyed this one, and while it is definitely a sipper, it is quite drinkable and has a nice combination of flavors. For almost 9% abv, it goes down easy. I will probably enjoy one of these again, and I think it would make a great winter brew.

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

22 oz bomber into Duvel tulip.

A--Black as pitch, but putting a lightbulb directly behind it, you can see a very little bit of the beautiful ruby red one sees in a backlit glass of arrogant Bastard. Nice head retention, with a little bit of billowy asymmetry at the top. It may not approach the Belgian head standard, but it's very good for an American beer.

S--Surprisingly, the nose is almost exactly like Sweetwater IPA, just with a little less grapefruit (and actually, that grapefruit is the first aroma to fade in Sweetwater IPA, so I've smelled many that match this Stone brew's nose exactly). It's a good smell.

T--Bitter! But it's a very nice, balanced bitterness, emerging from both hops and malt. Indeed, the malt really seems to be working with the hops' bitterness, rather than balancing it. Dark it may be, but it's nice and dry. In this case, it seems that hop aromatics play more of a balancing role than malt sweetness. Deep piny, resinous, grassy bitterness is very much the star here, and it's done well.

M--Mouthfeel isn't a category I go crazy over, unless it's been screwed up. I have no complaints, so it gets a 4.

D--Well, obviously, ABV and overwhelming bitterness hurt the brews' drinkability, but I could still drink these all night, just rather slowly.

Overall, an excellent brew, like every other Stone brew I've had (Ruination, Cali-Belgie, AB, and Oaked AB). Still, if Arrogant Bastard is too much for you, you're going to want to avoid this even more arrogant brew.

Photo of Anthony1
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter

pours a black with a tan head, not much lace.

smells a bit like chocolate with a dark mix of fruit, but not anything special.

taste was a bit upsetting, bit piny with chocolate/coffee medium feel, but not great after taste,

was kinda of upset with this beer, not going to repurchase.

Photo of nrbw23
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown color, almost black with red edges. A nice tannish brown colored head. Head has decent retention and leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Smells of floral and citrus hops. A touch of chocolate, smoke, caramel malts and darker fruits.

T- An amazing balance between the hops and malts going on here. A ton of hops mainly citrus with just a touch of piney. Alcohol is invisible and a bitter finish.

M- Medium in both carbonation and body.

D- Super easy to drink. I really like this one probably one of my favorite Stone's brews. I compared this one to Southern Tiers Iniquity and this one blows it out of the water.

Photo of thryn
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, dark reddish-brown. Nearly black. Nearly opaque, once it's in the goblet. Head doesn't last, but a cappucino-colored lace hangs out on top and forms a lovely halo. An attractive beer. Some loose-weave lacing.

Tons of citrusy hop character in the nose. Faint roasted malt in the background, but I really have to search for it. Smells pretty much like a good DIPA, but doesn't reach "wow" levels.

Basically, it's a mindfuck -- it doesn't *look* like a DIPA, but it *tastes* like a DIPA. It's good, but I was hoping for the roasted malt to come out a bit more. It's present right when the beer first hits my tongue, but then the powerful hop flavors overwhelm it, sending the poor malts screaming for the hills. Hop character is mostly citrusy, bitter grapefruit with some oily pine involved as well. A tiny bit of raisin character and a little more roastiness comes out as it warms. Still, I would, indeed, call this a black DIPA.

The mouthfeel is outstanding. It's fairly thick, and of course oily from all the hops, but creamy nonetheless.

This is drinkable, but it is also powerful.

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

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into a DFH curved pint glaas.

A- Self-righteous was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a storm king nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit to hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Very hoppy, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. Perhaps some short term aging would do this some good as it is a bit "strong" for me at the moment. I could not finish a bomber now but down the line when things have shifted, hell ya.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Stone Brewing on-tap 6/14

Appearance: Dark. Nearly black. It looks the part of a stout for sure, much darker than the Arrogant Bastard and much more like that of a porter. Pours with decent head and lacing, with the head diminishing fairly rapidly.

Smell: Piny, smoky, and slight hop aroma. Nothing over the top, but gives a pretty fair interpretation of what it's going to taste like.

Taste: Smoky and dark, with the alcohol coming early and fading pretty quickly, leaving a porter-y coating flavor. Slight citrus, maybe grapefruit, with an earthy flavor to it. Not too complex, but consistent from the first sip to last.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Darker flavor, but not too alcoholic. Really nothing to criticize, just wished for a bit more crispness.

Drinkability: Similar to the Bastard for sure, but drinks slower due to the ABV. Although it feels closer to a 7 when drinking, it catches up as you go along. Good for a bomber, but not a whole lot more for a session, just a little too filling.

Photo of PintOHops
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a rich black, not to oily looking though, produces about 1/4 an inch of head with retention that wasn't great, and lacking only slightly. Leaves some splashy, spotty lacing as well. Smells of loads of syrupy molasses, malts, graininess, along with mild plum & cherry notes. Followed by an intensely herbal & earthy, freshly cut pine tree, almost tree sap aroma that dominates! An intense spicy pine hop aroma overall, and some sweet buttery toffee notes make an appearance as it warms, as well as some subtle alcohol of course.

Taste/Moutheel - Tastes of sharp pungent, herbal, spicy pine tree hop notes, followed by mild citrus grapefruit rind. Some sweet black cherry & plum make a very short appearance at the very finish, and is immediately smothered with an herbal, earthy, dry hop bitterness that lingers till Christmas! Mild butterscotch notes can be picked up when it warms, as well as some alcohol. Very winter seasonal! Mouthfeel fits the flavors perfectly, thick, creamy, smooth, chewy & slightly silky. Overall, full bodied & perfect for the style!

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This thing was so earthy, it was like tasting & smelling tree sap! It was something I hadn't experienced before, that's for sure. This thing could be mistaken for a Winter Ale, I know I would enjoy a bomber of this, properly poured into a chalice on a snowy day, sitting in front of a fire, ah. I really did enjoy all the flavors & aromas, and although I'm not big on super hop giants, this one was uniquely herbal & earthy, and I would love to have this again. I recommend you grab it when they can brew it. Cheers!

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

Stone was one of the pioneers that got me into craft beer. However, the more I have from them, the more bland their beers seem. This is their newest year rounder. Here is my review:

A: Pours pitch black. Very stout-like. No light is going to penetrate the glass. Head is a tan color that leaves light lacing on the glass.

S: Smells primarily of hops. Lots of pine, some citrus. I don't get any roasted malts or anything.

T: Again, mostly hops. Hops are piney, and herbal. A touch of citrus. The hop flavoring seems very tame and subdued, probably because of the malts. The finish is slightly smokey and roasty, but not nearly as malty and complex as Southern Tier's Iniquity. More on the hops, less on the malt.

M: Medium to heavy-bodied. Pretty creamy and coats the mouth somewhat. Somewhat bitter but not overpowering.

D: Its a pretty easy drinking beer. A little thicker than the average IPA, but still very good. Hops do seem a little weak, and it drinks more like a 7% beer instead of a 8.7% beer. Pretty good overall.

I got to admit, I find Stone's brews kinda overrated. Their quality is not as high as a lot of micro brews I have had lately. But this is one of their better beers. Nice hoppy flavor that isn't overpowering, with a pretty big body. I personally prefer Iniquity to this, but this still gets a pretty high recommendation. Good but not great.

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

Stone just never disappoints, do they? A black IPA huh? Looks great, has an edge of ruby to it, smells like hops and sweetness, not so much burnt as a stout or porter usually is. It tastes of resin-y hops and dark beer flavors. In fact, almost black lager-like in taste, not so much Guinness-y. Great mouthfeel and, although hard to drink because of it's heave, a great beer. Totally self-righteous!

Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Jungle Jims in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours a dark brown/black with some khaki head that settles down to a light film of bubbles and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of light hops, caramel malts, molasses, brown sugar, light chocolate

T: Strange flavor, tastes like a blend of an IPA, brown ale, and stout...some hops and pine, nuttiness, chocolate and caramel malts

M: Very full bodied and almost creamy mouthfeel

D: Alcohol flavor is minimal and the flavor is solid

Photo of JBogan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one fills the glass with a nice dark brown, almost black hue with a solid off white creamy head which leaves plenty of sticky lacing in it's wake. An attractive looking brew.

Smells of grapefruity hops, dark chocolate and burnt molasses. Interesting mixture.

Taste is along the same lines as the aroma, along with a hint of roasted nuts and maybe a slight bit of toffee. The beer opened up quite a bit as it warmed.

Mouthfeel was very good. Smooth and creamy, somewhat on the thicker end of the scale.

A well done brew by the folks at Stone. This is not my favorite style, but is a beer I'd consider having again sometime.

Photo of mikey711
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a two finger think head with big tan bubbles. Slightly transparent when held up to the light.

citrus hops is the dominating smell, but not overpowering. a little flowery and a slight hint of chocolate.

the first sip brings lots of hops followed by a sublte caramel blending really nicely. definately some grapefruit, earthy, and pine notes. very pleasant. It tends a bit more to the hoppy side, but overall there is a good balance. Very easy to drink could probably have a few more.

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

A: Golden amber with just a slight cloudiness to it. Nice 1-2 finger cream-colored head with good lacing.

S: I love a hoppy beer, and this one does not disappoint! Comes up with a wonderful citrusy/pine hop smell that ought to be bottled as cologne.

T: Much like it smells. The hops are great but not overpowering. Clean, refreshing, and delicious. And a very light citrusy aftertaste.

M: Very crisp and refreshing for an 8.7% beer. Nice clean feel.

D: Couldn't drink it all day, but I sure could come close.

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

A-Beautiful dark brown/black, nice head that dissipates quickly with beautiful lacing.

S-Hops front and center with some maltiness too. Doesn't seem to be a complex aromatic experience, but it is nice nonetheless.

T-Predominantly hops, some nice chewy malt notes with a bit of coffee. This is a good beer.

M-Nice medium to heavy mouthfeel, very creamy with a slick, oily finish.

D-For a big beer, this is very drinkable. I could do a couple of bombers and not think twice.

I'm glad I got my hands on this one. Another excellent brew from the fine folks at Stone.

Photo of cvaypai
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle to a 22 oz snifter. Received in a multi-beer trade.

Appearance - Dark brown, almost black, cannot see through even with light. 1 inch head that stays awhile and leaves a nice brownish white lace.

Smell - Smells of sweet malt and piney hops. Maybe some citrus and roasted malt.

Taste- Love the taste, roasted and sweet malt up front piney yet citrusy at the end with a nice bite. Bitter yet sweet, very subtle and very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Maybe a tad over carbonated for my taste but pleasant mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol well, not overpowering. Decent mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability - I will probably never be able to get this beer again and I am ok with that, once is probably enough for me, it was a good experience but I cannot see myself drinking more than one bomber in a night.

Over all pretty good "black ipa"

Photo of projectflam86
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a vintage Stone tasting.

A- Pours deep amber/brown with a thick 2 finger creamy tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Barley any light is visible through this one.

S- Lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose with floral and other citrus scents (orange peel, pear, resin). A generous amount of malt sweetness is present as well.

T- Bitter grapefruit hops are strong initially with a more earthy pine, resin and hop oil taste throughout the middle. A very noticeable malt sweetness helps to balance this well. Lots of roasted malt flavor in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

M- Big and bold with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

D- This brew is really complex with a great flavor and feel. Alcohol isn't very apparent and the hop profile is still intact even after a year or so of aging.


Had on tap as well at a DFH vs. Stone tasting. The hop bitterness has held up quite well and imparts a nice citrus feel with a roasted finish. Superbly drinkable.

Photo of Dulliwhig
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass...

A - Dark chocolate brown like a tootsie roll with a thick and creamy dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing

S - Piney hops and semi-sweet bready malts.

T - Intense pine and citrus hops with a chocolately roasted malt and bitter ashiness. Mouth puckering and almost overwhelming flavor.

M - Moderately thick and chewy, average carbonation.

D - Not something that I could drink a whole lot of.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black with a touch of reddish brown. Huge head like an IPA. Head is dark brown.

Aroma is very hoppy with a touch of caramel. Citrus like ruby red grapefruit flesh, orange rind, lemon and lime juice.

Taste is very hoppy with notes of caramel. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much roasted grain flavor. To me, it was missing bitter chocolate/acrid coffee tastes BUT... BUT.. it was a very satisfying beer nonetheless. I could easily mistake this for a pale IPA in a blind taste test simply because the hops are the star of the show. The color makes it look maltier than it actually tastes. I bet this would age like a nice barleywine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied (Definitely not RIS thick but thicker than ruination). Nice carbonation keeps the palette lit up.

Drinkability: This is a big beer but it drinks very smoothly.

Photo of brewman6
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought 22oz bomber at the local beer store

poured into a large glass

beautiful head that lasted for the entire beer

Aroma coffe pine and roasted malts

flavor spectacular tremendous bitterness balanced perfectly with the roasted malts hints of citrus, chocalate and coffee

mouth feel very light flavor stays with you for a long time

goes down easy

Photo of WaXHeLL
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Head dissipates a very thin layer, but laces the glass extremely well. This is what a proper beer should look like.

Ripe pineapple overwhelms the smell of this beer initially. Citrus flavors also are present in the nose. Slight hints of roasted malt and floral hops. Extremely interesting.

Roasted malts and big hops dominate the taste. The pineapple again is ever so present, but balanced nicely with the rest of the taste. Slight hints of coffee, pine, and citrus flavors. The hop note is huge, and contributes a good amount to the bitter taste. The finish however is a mix of smooth (surprising) and bitter. Pineapple flavors are also present in the aftertaste. I'm generally not a fan of the sweeter beers, but this one is done extremely well. Not too sweet, and not dry either.

Not as heavy as I expected. Medium body (and almost border-line light, as light as this type of beer can be). Light carbonation. Pretty creamy for the style, but not creamy in the grand scheme of beers.

Real easy to drink, and could definitely drink this a lot. APV is not present at all.

Extremely interesting beer, and definitely worth it. Complex, yet extremely well executed.

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

Presentation: 1pint 6 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours a deep mahogany and opaque. Pours with ~3 fingers of thick, light brown head, which fades very slowly to a solid cap, leaving thick lacing as it recedes. Excellent retention.

S- Pine and grapefruit hopiness are strong from the outset. Slight roasty sweet notes begin to slip in behind the solid hops.

T- Solid hoppy pine and grapefruit flavors pitted against rich, roasted malty sweetness. Solid bitterness. Really interesting and enjoyable.

M- Moderate carbonation with a fairly full feel. Fairly creamy.

D- Excellent. Fairly high an ABV could render this one dangerous were I to have access to more than 22 oz. at this time.

Future outlook: Wow. Pretty pricey (~$9 /22 oz.), but I have to admit, it knocked my socks off. A super-hopped strong ale (black DIPA??), to be sure, and it worked. Extremely enjoyable, and something I won't hesitate to try again...I just wish it were cheaper!!

Photo of Gmann
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown color, almost black, nice fluffy light brown head that settles into a puffy cap. The aroma is of grapefruit hops, some pineapple; juicy and fresh. The taste is of grapefruit, piney, and resiny hops, all in that order. A roasted malt is detected after the hop blast, also a touch of caramel. This is one hoppy and roastd malt bitter bomb. Well bodied, not quite chewy, fizzy carbonation, bitter all around, finishes with an asprin like dryness. Good contrast between the hops and malt but both bitter. A little too bitter and dry for my liking. A big hoppy bitter brew, with plenty of flavor. I'll finish off the bomber but my tastebuds might be shot.

Photo of bhalter8
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brass Tap, pours a deep, dark brown with a tan one finger head. The aroma is a strong combination of earthy/piney hops and roasted malt. Some citrus hints are dashed in there too. Flavor follows suit, in a big way. A very complex beer that changes flavor as you drink, and it warms. Starts off with a sweet malt flavor, but the hop bitterness follows. It is really an odd combination that, in the end, I really enjoy. The hops could be considered out of place, but it works! Almost like a chocolate orange at Christmas time. A bit dense, as a result of it being such a robust beer. An enjoyable beer due to all the things happening, but definitely a sipper, almost on that could stand alone after dinner as a treat.

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