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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,504 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,504
Reviews: 1,849
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 233
Gots: 531 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,504 | Reviews: 1,849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of davexisxrabid
3.23/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Waited about a year to drink this brew...

Poured a nice dark brown color in the light, almost black when it sat there in my glass. Tiny head fizzled out almost immediately. The slick brew did leave lots of lacing on my glass during the drinking period.

Aroma was of floral hops and a scent that was reminiscent of soy sauce.

Interesting dark malty flavor like unsweetened dark chocolate and hoppy bitterness. The hop bitterness was not too prevalent but noticeable.

The lingering bitterness was a bit excessive, maybe due to roasted malts providing a dry flavor and the hops. Not much alcohol present in the aftertaste or lingering on the taste buds.

Good drinkability for a bold, full bodied brew but the rich flavors would keep it from being a session beer for me.

A good beer but falling short of what I would expect from Stone.

davexisxrabid, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(NOTE, may 2010: the entry for stone 11th anniv. ale has been merged into this one. the following review is for the original 11th anniv. ale)

(originally tasted during the first week of dec 2008, but retired beers were temporarily un-reviewable at the time.)

brought a bottle with me here to beijing earlier in the year, and had been in the fridge ever since the late spring of 2008, before the weather got even the tiniest bit warmer.

poured into tulip.

almost pitch black. amber-brown tones are visible only under direct intense light. great foamy head that slowly fades to a thin wispy layer and ring. nice rings of lace.

piney, fruity and citrusy immediately upon pouring and instantly waft out from the glass, perceptible even though it's a couple feet away from my nose. roasted and caramel malts, approaching chocolately in character. heavy on caramel and rich toffee scents, with hints of coffee. otherwise, quite clean (and free of phenols).

flavor is a sublime balance of caramelized, roasted maltiness and piney/citrusy american hops, which also stay grassy and herbal in the back. more reminiscences of coffee and a hint of cocoa. resinous, bitter hop freshness persists throughout, but syrupy malts still peek through - even in the hoppy, resinous finish.

feel is smooth and substantial, like a light syrup. gentle to moderate carbonation provides counterbalance to resinous texture.

the boldness and high alcohol probably limits drinkability, but i'd be hard pressed to stop ;-)

an amazing brew. i'm so happy that stone will be re-releasing this as a semi-regular offering in the future.

(NOTE, mid 2009: when i was writing my tasting notes by hand, i had no idea at the time that the re-release would include the word "sublime" in the name. it really was just THAT good!)

tai4ji2x, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/6/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown/black with a huge gorgeous tan head that looks like a milkshake and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus hops and sweet roasted malt. Flavor of roasted malt, light citrus hops, alcohol, and lots of sesame and wheat cracker as the beer warms. Nice and rich palate. Excellent and quite drinkable.
8/5/8/4/16 (4.1/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of advm1
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I first want to start off by saying that this is one of my favorite beers right now. So my review is going to be pretty biased :)

It poured out like black coffee into my snifter with a one finger tan head. There were thick tan rings left after each sip and they didn't go away. Smells of hops and more hops, malts and minimal citrus fruits. Tastes exactly how it smells and leaves you with a hoppy aftertaste. Let it warm a little and you'll really taste the malt!! Mouthfeel is wet and refreshing, I actually wanted to gargle with this beer. Carbonation is a little on the heavy side making it a bit difficult to drink glass after glass.

advm1, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of vacax
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this good stuff on tap at Beachwood.

A: This double IPA is nearly black, but retains a tinge of deep brown toward the edges. Nice looking head with beyond adequate lacing.

S: Grapefruit up front with pine in back. Beautiful bouquet with an enormous aroma.

T: Chiefly those grapefruit and pine notes, in bulk quantities. It is a real pleasure to taste this beer fresh once again and it is a far bigger beer than I recall. Vast quantities of hops flavors which would be unbearable if it were not the the roasted balance of the mythical black IPA. An exceptional beverage.

M: Quite on par with any DIPA or strong ale I could want, a tingling palate and medium body that does not go over the top--this is definitely not a porter/stout. It is a black IPA.

D: I absolutely love this beer but it is huge in flavor and quite a high ABV as well. Highly recommend this brew, but it is a little weird to describe a DIPA as a sipper.

Overall, sublime, and Stone has every right to be self-righteous.

vacax, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of antilogic
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From what I hear, this is stone's 11th black IPA re-released. Had it on tap @ Beachwood BBQ this weekend.

Black, brown body. Not quite opaque, but a step below brown. Aroma is of hops, medium body, with a mix of IPA characteristics like the citrus and floral but a definite touch of malt. A very interesting mix, and much better done than other black IPAs I've had (dogzilla, etc).

Worth a try!

antilogic, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surpirsed when Stone shipped this to Georgia (as well as some IRS) in the Double Bastard Shipment. I have been fortunate enough over the years to stumble into every Anniversary Ale going back to 8th with the exception of this one and it seems as if I have now stumbled into a fifth anniversary ale from stone.

So on this Thursday evening after a brutal week at work so far, I poured this bomber into my 22oz Terrapin snifter. As the beer descends into my glass, a black-brown body emerges underneath a two finger tan head. The head dissipates down to a full ring and an almost complete thin foam cap. As I drink the beer, a nice amount of lace is left on the side of the glass.

The aroma of the beer is initially all hops. This seems to be mostly C-Hops along with some Simcoe. As the beer warms, however, the malt becomes more apparent, first with a familiar caramel malt presence you would expect, and then with the rosted malt character that the appearance of the beer would suggest.

Looks can be deceiving, and the aroma of the beer only give a hint to this beer's true nature. Once you take a sip though, you know where its true loyalties lie. This beer's heart and soul is in its IPA nature. Hops bust forth with that piney, resiny, and somewhat citrusy nature. Not to be out of sync with the aroma, the beer starts to display its dark side as the beer warms up. While the initial flavor of the beer is still hops, subtle roasted and chocolate malt flavors attempt to cut through the hops and creep in towards the finish. Nevertheless, the hop flavor is what stays on your tongue til the end. It is amazing how well the hops have held up for more than one year. I might even have to pick up a few more bottles of this to see how it ages. I imagine that those darker malts would eventually cut through the hops, totally changing the profile of this beer.

The beer displays a body on the full side of medium. Carbonation is about average and lively.

Overall, Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale is great. I think that 10th-12th really outdid 8th & 9th for me, and personally 11th 12th outstrip 10th. While 10th was by all means great, it just didn't bring anything new to the table. It was a great DIPA, but no better than Ruination, but this "Black IPA", now this is unique, and not just unique's sake, it is damn tasty too. Kudo's to Stone for doing something different and doing it well. Now I am going to have to go out and see if I can get some more.

MSchae1017, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of montageman
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Prior to pouring this bad boy, I read over the bottle. A brief scan mentions IPA as the style, so I brace myself for another Stone hop bomb.

Poured into a pint glass.

Wait a second - this is dark, REALLY dark. Unlike like any IPA I've seen before, but totally intriguing from the get go. Totally sturdy head with lots of lacing and plenty of sticking to sides goodness. Roasted malt mixed with pine and citrus is the complex aroma. Really nice and different. Taste is a cross between a really nice dark ale and a hoppy IPA. Sweet and malty but finishes bitter and citrusy. Excellent stuff. Sturdy, full mouthfeel and this is one easy to drink brew. I could have another bottle right now. But alas, I only bought one. Highest recommendation.

montageman, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Florida Stone Kick Off party.

A: Pours a nice dark hue with a nice tight half finger head. Nice retention and lace noted.

S: Nice marriage of malt and hops. Nice roasted malt aromas with bold tones of citrus pushing thru.

T: This one has toned down a touch from when I had it fresh in bottles, but that is not a bad thing. I loved this one fresh and it has added wonderful balance with age. Tons of rich roasted malt up front. Hints of chocolate and a touch of toast. The hops still dominate the finish. Tons of C hops give this one a nice citrus finish.

M: Medium in body, great carbonation.

D: Drinking real nice with a year under its belt.

tpd975, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Phocion - thanks!!! Poured into a Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: Whoa! It's dark. Thick, black, and dark, with a foamy deep tan head with great retention. Lacing is streaky, sticky, foamy, bubbly, nice, and doesn't stick around too long after things warm up, but still, it's very nice.

Aroma: Roasted sweetness, dark bready, licorice, with twinges of coffee, and a solid, solid hop aroma profile - resinous pine, sweet citrus (the good, heavier kind, grapefruit, hints of pineapple, very nice), and a faint bitterness that you can smell.

Taste: Whew, this one's mellow as hell, and a year in the cellar has treated it kindly. Thick toasted malts, with lots baker's chocolate, toasted breads, hints of waffles, strong anise, and even a few burnt astringencies as things warm; a mild, well-blended bitterness that was likely at one point significantly more potent; and a nice dose of sticky pine and grapefruit, tropical fruit. This one's really well-blended - there's no hint of alcohol warmth whatsoever, which is impressive given the abv%.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied, but incredibly creamy, smooth, even, and fluffy. It's not nearly as thick as it probably should be, and the airiness of the body counteracts the thickness of the beer itself.

Drinkability: This is indeed a "dark" IPA, almost a barleywine at this point, given the malt content and the age on it. Definitely an "India Black Ale." Alcohol on this one is expertly-hidden and not too outrageous to begin with, so good show here. Recommended if you can get your hands on it.

CrellMoset, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of grimreeser
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has been in the cellar for a year, was going to review it election night. Instead it gets it's turn tonight. Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head and very good lacing. Wow, big hop aroma still, very surprising considering it's been in my cellar for almost a year. Some chocolate as well. Nice flavor, big hop bite still in this one. This one is aging very nicely.

grimreeser, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of Baileyuk
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at a Stone launch party at uptown grille, and thankfully I did.

A - Great head that was slightly brown. Retained very well and lacing was superb also. Color was closer to black with a brown tint.

S - What a perfect smell. Chinook hops I think give this one a distinctive smell.

T - Excellent hops balanced perfectly with a strong malt backbone. This was a real treat that got better as it went on.

M - Was a little heavy at first but really lightened up to give an excellent feel. Carbonation was perfect.

D - Could definately do a couple more of these. I would definately order this one again as it is one of my favorite beers I have had redently.

Baileyuk, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jac5084 for offering this one to taste last night. Poured into two pint glasses...

A: This one really surprised me. It looks like a stout with how black it is. When held up to the light there is only a faint hint of brown. This is truly remarkable for a strong ale. The head starts off small, but bellows from beneath into a monster that laces and sticks around quite a bit.

S: The smell is straight fresh hops. Smells like cluster hops, but of course that could be because I was reviewing this while brewing with cluster hops. Anyway, the hop presence in the smell is remarkable, but other than that only slight caramel can be discerned.

T: The taste was great too, but again, straight fresh hops. The hop profile is amazing, but there are only slight other flavors in the beer. Some caramel and a touch of roast perhaps can be picked up, bit it is mostly all hops...fresh hops, not bitter.

Overall, this was one hell of an interesting strong ale. Very freshly hopped and another great offering by Stone.

treyrab, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of d0ggnate
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this one pseudo-cellared since the anniversary a little over a year ago. Heard someone else say it was drinking well, so I thought it was as good a time as any to go ahead and see what has become of it in that time.

A: Rich brown/black pour into my imperial pint, nearly unable to see through my glass. A nice, tight-laced two finger head tops the glass.

S: Wow! I didn't expect it, but I was able to smell the rich malt and subtle hops without even lifting the glass to my nose. With an intentional sniff, more of the same roasted malt and smooth, soft hop aroma comes about.

T: A nice bitter, yet still smooth and creamy flavor pops up first. Gentle dark, bitter chocolate is what I'm reminded of. I also find background flavors of a bold hop familar, but not by name.

M: Very smooth and palatable. Bitter upfront with a nice smooth finish. Extremely drinkable and very flavorful at the same time. I find a welcomed complexity here.

D: If I remembered this beer as good as I have just experienced, I would have been reaching for it much more often in the past year. Alcohol isn't overbearing, familiar while also intriguing, and still leaves you wanting more. I'll finish my glass and remember how great the Stone 11th anniversary party was.

d0ggnate, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of scottg
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip glass at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT during the "Stone Extravaganza."

Pours a jet black color with a one finger tan head made up of little bubbles with good retention and thick spotty lacing. Extreme citrusy hop aromas-lemon rind and strong fresh grapefruit with a carmelized malt backbone. Grapefruit hop flavor up front with some pine lead to a roasted/smoked malt, espresso with a lemon rind bitter finish. Medium carbonation, full bodied this beer has a mouth coating coffe like feel to it.

scottg, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of Silenus89
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into my pint glass

A. Has a dark reddish brown color with and off white head that sticks around.

S. Floral hops, a little chocolate and roasted malts.

T. Has nice bitterness from the hops with chocolates and raisins as well then the alcohol comes through.

MF. Creamy, thick, and alcohol presence.

D. Very easy to drink. This is a fantastic beer I just wish i had gotten more when it first came out.

Silenus89, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a very dark hue with hints of ruby at the edges. A thin, bubbly tan head left some stcky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet molasses and caramel malt. There was kind of a boozy, alcohol aroma, too.

T - It tasted of bitter hops. It was very sweet with toffee, caramel and slight chocolate flavors.

M - It was shapr and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer that really hits you in the mouth.

D - This was tasty and good, but it was quite a heavy beer and a bit much to drink.

zeff80, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft arrives in a small goblet, and the dark, seemingly ebony body held to the evening sun reveals the drink to be a hue of the darkest possible ruby with a twinkle of gold at the edges. A thin cap of mocha foam leaves swaths of lacing on the glass.

The smell is roasty and darkly chocolatey with a hefty smack of citrusy hops.

The taste is wonderfully roasty and succulent with notes of dark mocha chocolate-covered orange splashed with a little grapefruit and sprinkled with bitter lime zest. Dark, rich roasty notes add depth and support.

Full in body with silky smoothness, Stone's 11th Anniversary is a fine and quaffable brew.

cvstrickland, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body topped with one full inch of fizzy, beige-colored foam.

Smell: Dark malt aroma of chocolate and cola nuts with notes of licorice, Fruity Pebbles, and aged pine needles.

Taste: Plenty of dark maltiness upfront tasting of chocolate and a bit like a blend of cola and root beer. Some sweetish hints throughout. Faint touch of black cherry and orange zest fruitiness. Definitely a slackened hop character, with flavors of citrus (particularly lime) and pine. Only barely a medium-high amount of bitterness remains. Tiny hint of tar on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: My, how this has progressed in just a year's time! I dare say I like it much better this way.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of Strix
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks darker than it seems it should be.

Smells quite hoppy, yet a bit roasty underneath. I like it.

This reminds me a bit of Rogue Black Brutal, except this is more bitter. Has grapefruit elements of a nice IPA, but also a maltier background with roastedness, overall, nice flavor complexity. A long, strong grapefruit hop finish.

Mouthfeel smooth with medium carbonation.

I enjoyed this, a somewhat creative blend of styles, very drinkable and tasty.

Strix, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of hooliganlife
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

aged 1 year this month and poured into a imp pint glass. pours dark, looks like a stout. smell is very alcoholic mixed with roasted malt. taste is rather sweet, like a sweet arrogant bastard and very similar to a barleywine. mouthfeel is wonderful with perfect carbonation. too bad i only have one of these.

hooliganlife, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color, though purple/red in direct light, with 2 fingers of frothy tan head. Excellent retention and uber-sticky lacing. Smells of grapefruit, pineapple, roasted malt, caramel, and pine, pure West Coast IPA with a uniqueness from the malt. Tastes of pineapple and grapefruit up front followed by some hearty bread, chocolate, roasted malt, and caramel. Finishes with a nice blast of pine resins and a slight warmth of alcohol. Medium in body with good carbonation. Crisp and bitter, but also smooth and roasty. Even after having bottles for over a year, this stuff doesn't fail to impress. Starting to taste a little more boozy than its abv suggests, but still pretty impressive for sitting over a year.

HopDerek, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this one at Tom's Farm in Corona and got pretty excited. I was a little skeptical though, considering it was a year old. Bought it anyway. Poured out a dark brown with a coarse tan head that left a little lacing.

Scents of rich roasted and chocolate malts, pine, grapefruit, and floral hops float off. Very interesting.

Tastes follows the smell pretty well. Deep chocolate and roasted malt flavors to start and then finishes with intense piney floral hops that mix in with the malt flavors. Nice syrupy mouthfeel with good carbonation. A sipper.

I really dug this unique IPA meets RIS style. By no means a session brew, but I enjoyed the whole bottle.

RodBurg, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of kmeves
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brown with a large frothy beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, grapefruit, floral, pineapple and berries. Flavor is sweet grapefruit, pine, earthy, chocolate, caramel, berries and peaches. Long grapefruity bitter finish. Smooth medium-full body, resinous texture.

kmeves, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of opwog
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Listening to: Murda Corner - Oh No You Did't

A- Looks black, but in actuality is just a deep dark brown when held up to moderate light. Brownish thick head that leaves a rather thick disc while drinking all the way through.
S- Hops floated up to my nose as I poured it. It smells like an imperial IPA, but I was not catching the dark roast in the smell.
T- roasted malt, mild coffee, some choolate in the aftertaste
M- creamy, almost stout like. Carbonation looked like it might be high when I pured this, but it was actually a nice balance with a thicker body.
D- This si actually a decent drinking dark IPA. I would like to see more breweries experimenting with this.

opwog, Aug 24, 2008
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,504 ratings.