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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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5,719 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,719
Reviews: 1,884
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 259
Gots: 670 | 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: 5,719 | Reviews: 1,884 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Trappissed
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite an intense brew. Huge amounts of dark roasted malts. Gives off a coffeeish flavor. Of course, it also comes with big hops, both citrus and pine. Maybe just a little more citrus. Fairly bitter. Dark fruits, mainly prunes. Not exactly amazing, but somewhat interesting and unique. I would say pretty good overall.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Sublimely Self-Righteous pours BLACK as night with a very contrasting white head. It reminds me of that famous stout from Ireland but this one looks more vigorous and much more assertive.

The aroma from this beer was a shock to say the least. A beer this dark shouldn't smell like this, well maybe it should if its a "Black IPA". We are talking loads of hops, piney, marijuana-ey, grapefruity hops. It also has the familiar smell that makes me think Simcoe hops were a big addition to this beer. Yes, it has that astringent "cat pee" thing going on a bit, but don't think of it that way. Think of it as super fresh hoppy goodness.

One sip and again this defies the dark beer expectations that my mind has. No malty sweetness up front, this beer is all about hops. A ton of piney, evergreen flavor is the most prevalent. The astringent bitter hop flavor is tongue numbing but oh so good. There are some hints of bitter coffee and dark chocolate but mainly this is hophead territory.

What can I say, this beer is great. Call it a Black IPA or an American Strong Ale or whatever you want. Its a big, gutsy beer that will blow you away and wash clean any assumptions you might have about dark beer.

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

A - Dark Opaque liquid pours to create a 3 cm brownish head with fairly large bubbles. Bubbles slowly pull back, but remain for quite some time.

S- Interesting. Strong mix of hops and mouth watering malt.

T - much like the smell, balanced mix of warm malty goodness and strong hop flavor. Slight bitterness from the darker grains in the malt bill. Lacking the sometimes burnt flavor from dark / stout like brews.

D - If you like dark beers with full flavor, not too sweet and not too strong, then this is a beer for you. The 8.6 ABV is extremely well hidden. Not a weak beer, quite a lot of flavor. But a nicely balcend beer that I would hesitate to call a stout.
This was goes nicely with a full flavor meal, say steak and a nice slice of fresh summer tomato. Oh, and it goes well with Blue cheese ;).

Find this beer if you can.

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

Got this at Abraxas (Miami Beach) on Saturday Night as my second beer of the night. From the look of it I knew I was on to something... The hoppiness was unexpected and it packed quite a punch. After the first sip my first comment was "Whoah!!" which caught the attention of the bartender. The hops sucker-punched me as it was again totally unexpected yet very pleasant.
A very dark beer, I held it agaist several light sources to no avail. Very nice perfume, piney and citrucy except you're too busy salivating to the hoppy bitterness to notice during the first few sips. Once you catch up to this brew you start to fully enjoy it. The flavor masks its alcohol content and at 8.7% be mindful you might not want to have too many of these unless you've got a designated driver.

Photo of Patrick999
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft during this weekend's Stone orgy @ Abraxas.

Pours a "thin black" - while the color is similar, you can tell it's not a stout, as it does not pour like black oil. Thin head.

Aroma is hugely redolent of skunky, sticky bud if you ask me. Hugely hoppy, very fresh, quite similar to rubbing a fresh hop cone in your hands and sniffing.

With a smell like that, you *know* what it is going to taste like. The first glass of this is shockingly bitter. Not unenjoyable, but very bitter, so much that I didn't really notice much else. The second glass, I noticed a pleasant citric sweetness beginning to creep in. For such a dark beer, I don't get much roasty character at all, which is fine with me here. This beer is all about the hops - at least if it is fresh.

Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Extremely-hopped beers make me thirsty, and this is not an exception.

I'd say it's pretty drinkable as things like this go - hell, I had 3 of them, I must have liked drinking it.

Photo of rhinos00
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to have this on-tap at the Trolley Stop. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Had a dark black appearance with two fingers width of cream/tan colored head. Some lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- Bouquet of citrus hops and fruit. I'm getting some pineapples and oranges mixed with a faint hops character and a bit of roasted malt.

T- A lot like the aroma. The hops are not really present, but give off a tremendous citrus, fruit punch flavor. Underneath this are some chocolate and roasted malts that give it an interesting twist.

M- Medium to heavy bodied. Plenty of carbonation and pretty smooth.

D- This was a slow sipper for sure.

This is an exceptional beer, especially for those that love the combination of juicy fruit hops and roasted malts. For me, I typically don't like to mix the two, but this one worked out to say the least.

Photo of Foxtrot
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber of this with a friend.

Poured into a tulip glass revealed a intensely dark brown body with a nice ivory cap, with moderate lacing.

Good God! The aroma is intense! Multitudes of hop goodness with ample amounts of molasses and dark fruits to reign in this bad boy of a beer from being a complete hop bomb! This must be the most unique aroma of any beer I have encountered to date. Might even oust Pliny The Elder.

Taste was on par with what I was expecting. Big flavors of bitter chocolate with an assortment of citrus fruits, and brown sugar, accompanied by big pine resinous notes to finish it all off. This beer demands your attention with every sip to truly appreciate it.

Mouthfeel was big. Thick and viscous.

Stone hid the alcohol extremely well in this beer. Huge marks for drinkability as it did not become cloying or repetitive. I wish Stone could make this a seasonal beer.

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

Picked up a bomber of this at Julio's the other week. Figured that a rainy New Hampshire afternoon was a good time to sit down and crack this guy open.

Poured into a pint glass leaving a big foamy tan head that maintains pretty well throughout the drinking of this brew. The head leaves a nice amount of lacing hanging above the dark brown, almost black color of this beer. Looks amazing. This has got to be one of the darker ales I have ever had that wasn't classified as a porter or stout.

As I bring the glass close, my nose is hit with the strong and luscious smell of hops. Most likely a blend of hops, with warrior hops being the dominant aroma. However, this isn't an IPA, but Stone does like their hoppy ales. Citrus and pine notes mingle as well

After drinking this delicious brew for awhile my impression is that this is a darker, slightly more burnt and somewhat smokey version of the Arrogant Bastard. I taste well roasted dark malts, chocolate malts and a little bit of smoked malt coming through. These flavors are followed by some pleasant hop bitterness that rounds off the overall taste.

The alcohol is very well hidden and the mouthfeel is thick and creamy. I think I could drink this beer all day. It is smooth, yet packs just enough hop bite to make it interesting. Keeps pulling me back in. Nice work Stone.

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

Pours dark and opaque into a pint glass with appreciable chocolate-tinted head. Smells floral and very hoppy with the hops' characteristic citrus afterglow. This one really smells like it tastes. An over-the-top hop flavor prevails with refreshing lingering bitterness and hints of something richer and more roasty underneath. The carbonation is rounded and underlines the hoppy bitterness. Very smooth, very drinkable despite the intense bitterness. There is a lot to the body of this beer, but it's not chewy. Overall enjoyable, the body does a lot to curb the hoptensity and make this one a delicious beer.

I'm not a hops person, but I can see this beer being high marks for whoever is. Tastes like Stone met their mark here.

Photo of mmmmmbeeer
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A -- Absolutely beautiful pour. Black beer with a lovely creamish-coffee thick 2 finger head. Nice lacing as well

S -- I tried my best not to read any of the reviews on this nor did I read the back of the bottle. The way this poured I expected a heavy malt, coffee stout. Imagine my surprise when the nose was filled with a hop explosion of pine and citrus.

T -- Incredible. Big ups to Stone for this one. It's like an IPA-Stout hybrid on the palette. Hops kick in right off the bat and continue to scream all the way down but lurking in the background is a fantastic coffee/chocolate malt that leads to an incredible balance. I'm not sure if the malt is as present as I think, as this is rather bitter, or if it's the appearance playing tricks on me.

M -- very heavy with mild carbonation.

D -- With how smoothly this goes down, and sporting an 8.7ABV, this could be trouble.

Photo of infestaxion
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Completely opaque black with a beige head that has good retention.

S - Aroma isn't very powerful. Some roasted malt. A bit of hops. Just underwhelming.

T - The hops and malt kind of hit at the same time. They mix fantastically. Bitter and roasty. It's just amazing.

M - Good body and carbonation.

D - I could drink this all day and night.

Photo of Elric14
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured well. The head kept longer than I could wait to drink it. This beer had one of the most intense and pleasing aromas of a beer in a long time. Mouthfeel was pleasingly thick with a slight bite at the end. taste suggested dark burnt candy, rasins and coffee. could feel the alcohol warmth after first sip (gulp). very good beer, but could drink this all night.

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

Appearance - a dark deep brown with a light tan head served in an arrogant bastard stemmed glass, looks pretty damn good.

Smell - strong floral notes, very similatr to a Pliny.

Taste/ Mouthfeel - a very smooth, boozy citrus taste, extremely easy to drink considering the 8.7% abv. It finishes with some faint hoppy notes long after you take the last sip.

Drinkability - these kinds are beer are trouble because they go down so smooth and have that flat like finish that you end up pounding a few and find yourself a bit loaded, but well worth it.

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

I had samples of the 11th when it came out but I never got around to writing a review on it, at the time I wasn't feeling the dark IPA for some reason. This bottle changed all of those feelings I had, this beer nailed the dark roasts and the bold American hops. Stone is perfect I just had the Stone 13th and that was pretty lackluster and definitely carried no finesse. This on poured a pitch black body with no ruby highlights when held to the light, it did have a big tan foaming head that rose well above the rim of my glass. Lacing was even and retention was excellent great looking brew from Escondido. Aromatics hit a solid blast of pine and herbal hops with citrus following close behind, sweet baked goods with cocoa dry powder, definitely roasted malt characterstics wtihout much coffee action. Flavor was layered between dark chocolate roasted malt and aggressive hop bitterness that did manage to work. Some citrus, pine resin, and herbal dirty hop flavors came about between layers of dark chocolate cake it was a good mix with moderate alcohol burn coming through. Mouthfeel was big but not chewy carbonation was tight bubbled it carried the brew very well, not overdone pretty natural smoothness going on with a soothing dry finish between roasted malt and bittering hops. Drinkability overall was excellent another great reintroduction to Stone's black IPA, I had Iniquity last night from Southern Tier and I'm diggin' the dark hoppy beers.

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

22oz bomber for about $5.xx

A: Pours as opaque deep ruby color that almost appears to be black. Huge thick, creamy looking head that retains very well and leaves some sweet lacing along the glass. Perfect look here

S: Smells more like an IPA/DIPA, with floral and aromatic hops dominate the nose, but there is a firm malt base that provides some nice balance here. The hop profile is diverse, I can safely get Cascade hops in there, but there are more varieties. Very pleasant and not too overwhelming at all. Alcohol is not really present at first, but as the beer warms, the alcohol comes in.

T: Very close copy to the nose, except the malts provide some extra flavors; chocolate, caramel, molasses, as well as a diverse hop combo comprised of bittering and floral hops. Truly amazing. Also, grapefruit/citrus peel are apparent up front, then transitions into some dark lush cherry flavors in the end

MF/D: Very smooth, heavy body, perfect carbonation, and a slightly dry, bitter finish from the hops. I don't exactly love the bitter finish, but I know Stone loooves their hops, so I can't complain.

If you see this, grab it! Worth the extra bucks for the bomber to get the real deal.

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

22oz bottle into a 22oz stein

Pours dark and very heady, strong lacing. Big chunks of froth sticking to the side of the glass. Smells hoppy and nutty. Very piney.

Taste is hops with a hint of coffee and nuts, maybe a little toffee, some smoke.

Mouthfeel is thick and a little sticky, not flat, but heavy. Fairly drinkable.

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

I had been staring at this beer in my refrigerator all weekend, then I finally got a chance to open last night and it was well worth the wait. The brewers at the Stone Brewing Company, located in Escondido, CA, pride themselves on being able to consistently produce such fine works of art like this truly self-righteous ale. This beer was first produced in 2007 as their annual anniversary edition release and was such a huge hit they had to make more. When you poor it into the glass the color is black as pitch with nose that similar to most imperial IPAs with notes of grapefruit that dissipate to hints of red fruits. The palate was bitter, but a balanced bitterness that comes from both the hops and malts, with hints of cranberries in the beginning and finishes long and dry. ABV 8.7%.

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

Pours a pitch black with a creamy looking tan head which leaves nice lacing. There is a decent amount of carbonation, but it's not too much.

Smell is piney and grapefruit, lots of hops in there.

Taste is plenty of hops with a nice balance of malt. This is a big beer but well balanced. More balanced than AB.

This is a great beer, AB like, but even more over the top and better balanced.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter.

Black as night witha white foamy head and thick lacing. A bit of "leg" too.

Smells like a punch in the face with a pine branch; POW! Piney with just a hint of pineapple sweetness.

Taste is strong alpha hop piney pleasure blended with roasted chocolate malts. Quite an experience of complexity.

This is a heavy drinker.


Photo of Buschyfor3
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz draft served at Flanagan's Ale House. They were having a Stone release party... first time a keg of SSR has ever been tapped in Louisville, KY. Just missed out on scoring some free Stone glassware... oh well!

A: Quite dark and imposing - really looks more like an imperial stout than an American Strong Ale. Near black body with a slightly off-white, not-quite khaki colored head. Really, had it not been for the head, you could have fooled me into thinking this was a big stout. Good lacing on the glass after each sip.

S: On looks alone, a stout. On first whiff of this beer, all doubt is removed. Definitely a Stone IPA - huge piney/resiny hops off the top, followed by some lighter floral notes. There is quite a malt backbone to this beer with some strong, toasted bready aromas lurking underneath. Just a kiss of sweetness in the nose, though I'm not sure if its residual sweetness from some of the lighter hop aromas, or if its from some dark molasses/brown sugary goodness in the malts.

T: Reminds me alot of AB - huge hoppy punch up front with alot of earthy pine notes and some more delicate flowery flavors. Then the malts follow - black malts, toasted bread, some caramel or maybe its molasses to temper the piney bitterness. Nice contrasts, from huge pine flavors washing into sweeter malts and then fading back into a lingering hop bite for the finish. Malts try to compete throughout, and while they make a strong case mid sip, the hoppiness of this beer ultimately stands out and wins in the finish. Not overly boozy, but you do start to pick up the alcohol once the glass warms up.

M: Solid carbonation off the tap, lending itself to a slightly oily mouthfeel. It was what I expected from a hopped-up Stone brew.

D: 8.7% ABV and I can feel it as I finish the glass. Never really felt the alcohol was too prominent in the taste, but I feel it warming my insides.

However you wish to classify this beer (American Strong Ale vs. Black IPA) its not bad. My only complaint is that I kept thinking about how to differentiate this beer from Arrogant Bastard, and really I could only convince myself that the appearance was the most distinguishing factor. Otherwise, I though the flavor profiles were remarkably similar - not a bad thing since both beers are quite tasty! That being said, its a unique hybrid style and one that I enjoyed. If I see it again, I'd like to give it another try, just to see if I can try to further distinguish it from the AB.

Photo of gnbird
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up while looking for Stone's 13 anniversary beer at Bevmo. This is not what I expected at all. I was thinking it was maybe a brown ale. Upon pouring into imperial pint glass, it looked much like a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark coffee black in color with a foamy brown head. Head dissipated after a few minutes. So excited that it was a stout, I went for a smell and this is where I was surprised yet again. Smell was grapefruit, much like a Ruination but a little sweeter.

Taste is so mind blasting. At 9ABV Stone comes through again by making a very drinkable strong ale, that hides the booze very well. It's hard to describe the complex flavors, but it's like drinking a blended imperial IPA with RIS. The hops come through up front with grapefruit bite with a very coffee, malty and chocolate aftertaste. What a beer my friends, very complex and satisfying. If you like Imperial Stouts and IPAs this beer will not disappoint you.

Photo of schinebd
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - "Pitch dark" as the label says. A nice white head that retains nicely and laces as well.

Smell - Some piny hop smell still resides in this aged brew, though I'm sure much muted than in 07. Instead the chocolate malts and spice are much more forward in the nose.

Taste- Follows the smell almost perfectly. Sweet, roasted chocolate malts and cinnamon spice up front, with some very muted piny hops providing a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkability - Still somewhat hot from the alcohol, which I thought would have mellowed a bit more. Still tasty and easy on the way down and a great brew for a hot summer night.

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

Pours very black with tan head, med density foam clears quickly.

Aroma is suprisingly hoppy, expecting a strong stout, instead I get an IPA-ish sweetness with stong citrus hops, Almost lemony. . .

First sip is confusing, color says chocolate malt, roasty and toasty but flavor is sweet with mild chocolate and toasted malt tones. Very nice super citrusy finish of hops. You could almost swear there was lemon in this beer.

Unexpected is the word for this beer. Very hard to believe it is almost 9% ABV since it drinks like nice summer time brew with a tip to a porter. Sweet, citrusy, balanced, flavorful. This is not exactly the powerhouse I expect from Stone but I like it. Stealthy!

Photo of GRG1313
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Stone after tasting it on tap. Wonderful beer; Black with a dan head; an assertive super fresh and bright fresh pine hop nose with undertones of dark unsugared coffee nose.

Big coffee flavor with underlying very bright and citric, grapefruit bitter hops and a back palate of unsweetened licorice and more dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Full body that is very well balanced and with a nice light/medium creamy mouth feel.

A strong long lasting hop and bitter coffee finish. All around very bright hops, full bright flavored and wonderfully drinkable.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Black, opaque, with a massive 4+ finger mocha colored head. Retention is excellent with a thick cap remaining. Abundant lacing.

S - Heavy on the hops. Lots of pine and some sweetish fruits. Quite herbal and floral with little bits of citrus and apple.

T - Pine, flowers, and a touch of fruit comes on first with a minimal sweetness that lasts but a second. At this point, I'm not sure whether or not some malt is trying to pull through, but I'm leaning towards not. Spicy grapefruit peel character ushers in the beginning of the bitterness, followed by earthy tones. After some sort of burnt sugar finish, the bitterness is almost staggering as it lingers and lingers for several minutes along with evident alcohol flavor.

M - The mouthfeel on SSR is great. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Everything slides down quite smoothly begging me for another sip.

D - Decent stuff, but somehow unoriginal. The bitterness is pretty rough but the mouthfeel provides a great delivery of the flavors at hand. For such a black beer I would expect more malt presence which hinders the brew a little. Still, a solid offering from Stone.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,719 ratings.