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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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5,662 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,662
Reviews: 1,869
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 248
Gots: 609 | 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: 5,662 | Reviews: 1,869 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gyle41386
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a 24 oz mug. Awesome bottle. So far, it's my favorite.

Pours a very dark brown, practically black. A finger of light brown foam retains well and leaves behind some nice lacing.

If you had no prior knowledge of this beer, you'd be absolutely floored by the aroma. Huge burst of west coast hops, plus bitter ground coffee and roasted barley. Tons of citrus. Amazing aroma.

The taste to me doesn't seem to follow the nose at all. There's a big piney hop character, rather than the citrus I had been smelling. An absolute in your face, aggressive bitterness. Six months ago, I would've hated this. This is more bitter than any beer I've tasted so far, moreso than Ruination. 13th Anniversary is in the fridge, so I'm interested to see how the bitterness compares. There's the aforementioned pine hop bitterness, then a chewed up coffee bean bitterness, and bitterness from the roasted barley that borders on harsh.

The texture is nice. It's got the body I'd expect from an IPA. Surprisingly smooth. There's a nice creaminess. Well done. The alcohol isn't present in the taste, but just as a warming sensation on the way down.

This one toes the line between bitter and unpleasant. Had Stone made this any bigger, I don't think it would work out at all. It's definitely a beer that grows on you. Those first few sips are almost overwhelming. I know they already used the "You're not worthy" line for Arrogant Bastard, but it's more applicable here. All in all, this is a pretty bad ass beer.

Photo of atsprings
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at Flying Saucer poured into a Duvel glass a nice opaque black with a nice frothy light-tan head that diminishes and leaves slight lacing. Aroma is a subtle amount of black malts and crisp hops. Taste is very nice balance of black malts and citrus and pine hops. Very nice complex amount of flavors with bitter cocoa and espresso showing up nicely as well. The beer is medium bodied with the alcohol present, but somewhat hidden. I got to try 11th when it was a year old, and this one is certainly better fresh.

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

Consumed on 6/28 from a growler into a pint glass.
A: Pours out black and fairly thick looking. Good size head emerges from initial pour. Head texture is creamy and ivory brown in color. Head is pretty sticky but not much lacing is left on the glass as the brew is consumed. The head stays around for awhile and finally settles to a thin layer.

S: Mostly pine but some floral/grassy notes are there as well. Roasty notes very very faint (maybe be my mind playing a trick). Orange zest is also present in the smell.

T: Pretty much the same as the smell. Big pine taste upfront followed by a slight bitter finish. Grassy notes linger in the aftertaste. Alcohol isn't present when brew is cooler but as it warms up alcohol is more present.

M: Great mouthfeel, creamy but not thick. Good amount of carbonation but it doesn't take away from anything. No harsh alcohol taste when cold but as it warms, slight alcohol taste can be detected but by no means is it harsh.

D: This is a damn drinkable beer. The growler was gone all too quick, glad they bottle this. I really enjoy this beer, goes down smooth and overall just an amazing beer. If you loved the Stone XI fresh, you'll love this beer.

Photo of Bung
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Anniversary ale bottle. Dark brown/black pour. Frothy tan head. A little musty smelling, with piney hop and some roast and burnt malt. Taste has plenty of roasted malt, some dark chocolate. Very clean finishing with biter coffee, bakers chocolate, pretty dry. Medium bodied with good carbonation. I think 1 year of age would have been about perfect, this was just a little over. The 2 years really mellowed the hops, which was good for me. Good balance of malt, roast and hops. A real nice drinker, with only slightly high abv, which is not noticeable at all anyways. From what I understand this is now the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this little guy at a BevMo in San Francisco, just visiting for a while. I really wish that Stone graced us with this brews presence, this thing really surprised me with a few of the different aspects.

The appearance is mind rocking. It is brown, meaning brown ale brown and it has no IPA characteristic to it at all. It is a thicker Strong Ale and just insane with the look and taste. No real head and goes away really fast.

The smell was great, I got a few scents of brown sugar, alcohol, lots and lots of malt. Just an overall trip.

This is where somethings did not give me the best impression. It was hoppy, and malty, just overall good. But it was just good. Nothing great at all. I thought that it was going to have one overbearing characteristic that would make it stand out, but none showed. Why I gave it a 4 is because it was balanced, something that Stone does not really do that often. Like ruination the hop bitterness just pops. This is almost too balanced to make it stand out in my mind. I liked it and thought it was very enjoyable but I might forget about it down the road.

Overall a good beer but nothing too special that I would make a point to buy again.


Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber,.. probably too tossed to review this already as I have just had a bomber of their 13th anni. ale...

- Is this a porter? Sure looks like one... dark dark black and brown... mocha head... rich looking.. listening to Greatful Deads Whiskey in a jar...

- Roasted burnt chocolate malt...sweetness... coffee w/ creamer... bit of tomato soup... rather interesting.... bitterness maybe..

- What an interesting ale!.. seriously smooth... fruity, zesty and yet has a bit of a tomato soup sweetness and flavor to it.... bit of pine hop... and whatever they flippin' used to adjunct... wow...

- Great mouthfeel w/ and interesting aftertaste....

- Hugely drinkable as most strong ales are from stone brewing....

Photo of alleykatking
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle got in a trade with bkrefetz...thanks for everything Brett!

A- Poured into pint glass. Deep brown color with some lighter brown highlights when held to the light. Nice 1 finger tan/mocha colored head. Soapy style lacing that slides down the glass.

S- I can tell this has some age on it. The hop profile has faded with this beer over time. More sweet malt aroma makes up the forefront of this beer. Sweet bready chocolate malts to be exact. This is followed by hints of piney hops...very faint though. Even with age this beer as a alright smell.

T- Right off the top all the hops it has left in there come crashing to the front with a slight pine taste followed almost at the same time with a sweet alcohol malt taste declining into a bitter hop taste. Sipping on this makes more malt flavors (chocolate, burnt sweetness) than hop (bitter pine) of course but still it is almost balanced out after almost 2 years on it.

M- This has a medium to medium-heavy mouthfeel to it. The carbonation to this is dead on and makes for a pleasant drinking experiance. This beer still has a hop presence and you can tell with the oily resin it leaves on the tounge making for a slick feel. Good aftertase leaving you wanting more.

D- Well sadly this is my last 11th from Stone so I can not drink anymore of this. Too bad cause it tastes good with some age on it.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served (too) cold on tap in a small taster. Took repeated samples!!! It was that good, kept going back.

Dark brown, almost jet black with a modest head.

Nose is big with grapefruit hops. Some hints of dark fruit, not much in the way of malt.

Flavor is just fantastic, complementing the nose. Hint of chocolate malt, but not really like an American brown, more like a Black IPA. Mouthfeel is perfectly balanced for an IPA.

Overall this is a really fantastic beer. I like Stone XI, but I love this. Whatever the subtle difference is, it's for the better. Definitely something to stock up on.

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

Had this at a recent tasting, poured into a taster glass. Pours a dark brown to black in color with a fluffy head. Smell has a nice hop profile, tangerine, pineapple, grass. Taste is as good as the smell, exploding with a refreshing hop bitterness of grapefruit and tangerine. This has a nice malt character with maybe a bit of smoke in the finish. Overall I didn't know what to expect from Stone on this one, it really met my expectations.

Photo of rajendra82
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
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
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
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
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
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
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
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
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
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
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
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
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
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
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,662 ratings.