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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.

5,594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,594
Reviews: 1,858
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 237
Gots: 563 | 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: 5,594 | Reviews: 1,858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erikm25
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This pours a dark brown, like a coke, but with subtle ruby highlights. Nice medium foamy sized head with minimal retention. Regardless of the retention, there was sticking and spotty lacing all around the glass. This is a serious looking beer. While this doesn't belong here the appearance and graphics on the bottle continue in typical Stone fashion. If I had an old school 70's van one contender for the graphic art would be the Stone demon throwing down with Iron Maiden's Eddie.

S: Talk about smelling nothing like the look may suggest. Sharp citrus and pine hops with a faint backdrop of maple wood and chocolate. Grapefruit with peppery and casual vanilla hints. Spruced and roasted. Faint garden and floral aromas. All around complex.

T: Sweet candy malts blended against freshly squeezed citrus. Creamy caramel balanced against lemon zest and bitter pine tastes. Spiced citric mangoes and roasted grapes. Resinous sugars and burnt toffee oranges. As this warms the tastes become a little more pronounced and separates out but still seem perfectly entangled.

M: Perfect carbonation with a medium mouth feel. Drinks smooth and despite its intimidating color it is pretty refreshing. But this still has some serious weight and bite as you move through the bottle.

D: I really love how this seems to walk this blurred line between a strong ale and a double IPA. Probably worth cellaring a few as well and at $6.99 it is worth it. This is a very drinkable beer but so far, in my personal experience, that goes without saying with Stone.

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

Poured into a La Fin Du Monde Chalice from a bomber

A - black with the slightest hint of ruby at the bottom of the glass, poured a good 2 finger head that was tan and fluffy, already leaving great lace

S - great hops smell - citrus/piney, pepper, maybe grass, hints of wood and pale malt

T - sweet, fruit candy like start that is immediately taken over by the hops that are more piney here, the end reminds me of a high quality whiskey with the oak and alcohol

M - good carbonation and medium body, definitely smooth

D - was going to just drink half and then recap it, but I decided I wanted to keep exploring this beer, esp when it warmed, a good sipping beer but one you just can't stop sipping, Stone owns the American Strong Ale category

Photo of jsp2
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. Jet black, with thin white foam. Aroma of hops, wood, vanilla, barley, and faint fruit.

Taste is incredible. Sweet/sour attack followed by herbal/piney hops, with almost a cherry, wood, bitter finish. Licorice is very present. There is almost a smokiness to the aftertaste. Hops are aggressive yet very balanced with other extremely prominent complexities. Unusual tartness. Unusual aftertaste. Both very nice.

Reasonable carbonation and well suited to sipping. Ridiculous flavor even for the high abv.

This beer delivers 110% on taste. The flavor is complex, delicious, and not shy, you get punched with it every sip. Unusually nice roasted barely flavor bitterness in the aftertaste of every sip.

I bought this beer simply because it said Stone on it and I am not only please I did, but I will be buying it again. More complex and pronounced than other examples of the style.

Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass of this courtesy of daryk77 - thanks!

Pours a color that's one shade away from black with dark brown highlights - I knew what this was going into it and was still surprised by how dark it was. Head is one-finger of light tan foam that recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine hops - more emphasis on the citrus than pine - and pale malts. I tried but could find no hints of roasted or even toasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front quickly give way to citrus and pine hop flavors. The ending is solidly bitter - the only hint of darker malts.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation and goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is very good. I had half a bomber and could easily polish off a full one.

Overall this beer is quite the conundrum - a dark IPA that's definitely worth a shot.

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

Picked up this bottle from my favorite "we have old stock, but sometimes that can benefit you," store.

Interestingly, I had tried Sublimely Self-Righteous (the new name for this beer under regular production) prior to tasting this beer. With a year and a half on it, this is a VERY different beer.

Pours a beautiful opaque deep brown. Can't get ANY light though this one. 1.5 finger cappuccino head forms and develops little craters on top. Minimal retention and lacing is what separates this beer from visual perfection. A beauty nonetheless.

The smell, however: perfection. Unbelievably complex. Big, very sweet malt, brown sugar, dates, black coffee, licorice and alcohol. A huge whiff is intoxicating.

Taste is similarly complex and delicious. While my growler of fresh Self-Righteous was hop dominated, perhaps overly so, this aged version is extremely malty. I am surprised at how hoppy this remains after nearly two years, though. Very nice bitter, vaguely citrusy backbone and finish that plays nicely off of the malty sweetness. Licorice, raisins, and a hint of alcohol are here still too.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. The carbonation is light, but perfect for the beer. A bit of a boozy burn.

Drinkability is high for a 9% brew. Drinks smoothly and easy, but you are definitely aware of the alcohol.

This is a GREAT beer, both fresh (as Sublimely Self-Righteous) and with age on it (as Stone 11th). In fact, I think I prefer this 11th. Time to throw some SSR in the cellar!

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

Served a dark, pretty opaque brown color, with an off white head of around a finger. Big aromas of citric and piney hops along with notes that remind me of a dry stout - lightly sweet, with some astringency.

The flavor is punishingly hoppy, with a lot of roasted notes as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, not terribly full; more like a double IPA than a stout. Great mix of notes, and a great beer to enjoy on tap.

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

Poured from a 750ml bomber courtesy of Monument liqour in Concord.

Pours a meduim thick head with heavy lacey retention and large bubbles. Could be a large head with aggressive pour. Dark mohagony color with red tinge along the edges.

Smells of cherries, hops, dark fruits and brown sugar. Woody aroma with candied figs.

Tastes like an oaky candied fruit with a nice hoppy finish. Has a medium malt backbone and a long lasting flavor.

Medium bodied and very nice texture that leads to its drinkability.

Very satisfying. Highly drinkable and has a lot of variance that keeps you mind and mouth guessing.

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

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Dark jet black color, tiny amount of light penetrates this beast. Brown head.

Smell, tiny hint of pine and citrus. Malt smell is noticable.

Taste is pretty uniform. Like a lighter arrogant bastard that is better balanced with sweet and bitter. Could have more flavor though, but it also helps with the drinkability.

Mouthfeel is laced by a hop aftertaste that is pleasant.

Drinkability is outstanding. Could go bottle for bottle of this.

Photo of Rayek
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

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

Standard 22oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap sporting the Stone Gargoyle.
The label is silk screened as always showing a new gargoyle in profile.
Opaque black body with a tan half creamy and half airy big bubbled head that has great retention and good lace.
Delicious hoppy and bittersweet chocolate scent, very inviting. Nuts, earth, mulch and vegetable.
The flavor is amazingly hoppy with a malty chocolate bean character. The aftertaste is never ending and strong with plenty of resin hops, mulch malts with chocolate bits and nuts.
Full body with good coating and a very dry finish.
Excellent drinkability. Very much true to the style and an absolute pleasure to drink.


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

This is a balls-to-the-wall Stone beer. I guess I should expect nothing else from them, but yeah this one is particularly ass-kicking. I was almost confused at first - the beer pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown color yet with a big fluffy head - but at a whiff it smells much like a sappy pine-riddled IPA. Lots of hops in the nose, but digging deeper you'll find a nice mellow chocolate character. The taste too is all hops up front. Really brashly bitter. Yes please. Resin and pine. Once your palate has been smacked around by the pine and resiny hop attitude you notice the whole roasty, chocolatey, rich underbelly of this beer. Real dry and puckering on the palate, but with a rich creamy finish. A little bit of heat perhaps. So much going on in this beer, quite a hybrid of styles. Wicked good.

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

Poured form a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Looks along the lines of a stout in color but with a livelier head. About a 3/4 inch tan layer of foam which quickly dissipated leaving behind faint but familiar light bodied, IPA style lace.

S- Decadent! Hop heads be warned! Wonderfully sweet and floral hop aroma signature of California with a minute backend of dry, dark malt. Some grassy notes detected as well which seem a bit out of place for such a dark ale.

T- Upfront bitter dark chocolate malt and burnt caramel quickly overpowered by an intense, traditional hop profile. First two sips opened the door for its hidden subtleties of spice and fruit. Third sip left a desirable hop spice on the tongue and lips.

M- Dark chocolate and hop spice dance on the tongue long after the sip. Pleasant carbonation complements the flavors and makes this beer very drinkable.

D- Heavier than an IPA in body and comparable to a stout or porter in color, this ale might seem like a challenge by looking at it but it has a crisp, refreshing carbonation that rounds it out and makes it extremely drinkable. Try with a heavy meal of grilled steak or pork or on its own for Jebus sake. This beer is absolutely worthy of the Stone catalog!

Photo of Psilo707
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very, very dark appearance on this 2009 Self Righteous Ale by Stone. Took me by surprise! Head & Lacing were both fairly voluptuous and expected. The scent is one of strong cocoa, and I can already tell this one is going to have the standard Stone BITE to it once ingested. A bit of hazelnut and walnut aroma swirl around the top as I get ready to drink.

Tastes just like it smells... delicious! This Stone Ale is set apart from the rest by it's secondary lingering aftertaste and mouthfeel. It has a very citrus-like appeal to it, without it being considered fruity in any way. A complex swirl of tastes and analyzations go through the head as it travels down the mouth and through the body.

With the 8.7% rating, the taste and drinkability are both very high on this. It's a very complex brew. Not to mention the creamy, thick mouthfeel that begs to stay on your tongue for longer than necessary.

Another great release from Stone. This brewery just doesn't stop coming with the heat.

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

After cellaring a Stone XI for who-knows-how-long, I find out they are re-releasing it as this sublimely self-righteous ale. I still have the eleven but I thought I'd try this tonight.

Beautiful bottle, as usual for Stone. Pours into my samuel adams glass a very dark brown color with light passing only through the edges. A slight redish hue. Thick creamy head settles very slowly leaving a solid ring of lace around the glass.

Aroma is immediately recognizable as an IPA, maybe even a double. Lots of big west-coast style hops with grapefruit and other citrus.

Flavor is an interesting mix between porter/stout type roasty malts and a bigger IPA. It's probably not as bitter or hoppy as the big boys but it's still up there in IBUs. It all balances out pretty nicely with the sweetness in the malts but you definately get a big hit of alpha acid towards the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy smooth. That might be the most surprising thing about this beer. I expected a big dark IPA but the thickness quite something. I like it.

Another winner from stone. One of these nights, I'll have to see what it tastes like with a couple years on it.

Photo of JamesP123
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug.

A. Nice bottle, I like the artwork. Whoa! I had no idea this beer was going to be so dark. It pours black with a nice 1 inch dark brown head with significant lacing.

S. Smells like a hoppy IPA, I got a little citrus from the hops followed by roasted malt backround.

T. Hops, Hops, citrusy Hops, roasted maltyness, followed by a good kick of bitterness. Did not taste the 9% abv. Very tasty

M. Much thicker than I expected, but still has the resiny feel from the boatload of hops. This is like a plus sized model, full bodied.

D. Pretty drinkable, altough I don't see myself enjoying more than one of these at a time.

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

A: Dark brown to black liquid with a creamy mocha head. I like a dark hoppy beer. It's not just another amber IIPA.

S: Good, strong aroma. A mix of German malt and strong hops.

T: Well, it's got that Stone bite. Depending on my mood, this could go a half point higher. Their house yeast is an interesting beast. The hops blend with the german dark malt to produce a spicy, citric flavor that is both intriguing and assertive. The simcoe hops lurk in the mix, and I might slightly prefer a bit more malt and some different hops to mix with the simcoe, but I admit that I'm on board the simcoe bandwagon right now.

M: Wonderfully creamy and lush. It has the feel of a schwarzbier or something but the flavors of a Stone brew. Just great.

D: Very good drinkability. Little alcohol comes through. I'm beginning to prefer hoppy beers with a little bit less bite than Stone provides, but beers like this will bring me back around to the Stone kick-you-in-the-face hop style.

Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for another treat, this went over well! Review from notes...

Black body, visible irregular lace, great retention. Unholy melange of coffee and pineapple in the nose, pungent west coast hops. Somehow this works! Sweet and luscious grapefruit, very earthy underneath with dark malt taking a backseat, and some nice multi-dimensional hop character. Rich and almost syrupy DIPA body, with hybrid flavors that confound and entertain the palate. Awesome!

Photo of surfer4life
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a Black IPA poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours dark as night, with a thick brown head. Good Lacing.

S - Burnt hops with a solid malt backbone. Citrus Notes.

T - The roasted malt give the front a very fruity taste but it's almost immediately interupted by the big floral citrusy hop taste that overwhelmes. Great big hop taste.

M - Full bodied and creamy as hell. A delight to the pallet with medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, love this as much from the bottle as I did from the tap.

Photo of Alkiser
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep dark black with ruby red highlights around the edges. The smell of amarillo and simcoe assualt you from the moment you open and pour the beer. The head is a slightly off white and sticks around throughout the glass.

Hop bitterness dominates the taste with citrus notes throughout the beer. A malt creeps on the end of the beer to attempt to balance this out but so fresh the beer is weighted heavily to the hops.

Tasty but overall low drinkability due to the bitterness of the beer. An experince I would share with a friend again however.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am very impressed with this aged DIPA. I would not expect any IPA to withstand 15 months but this one is very very tasty. The first taste was just like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye!

The first look is a frothy deep dark ale with no similance of an IPA in any respect. This is more along the lines of a very dark brown ale or even a light looking stout! There is some massive malt to this one.

The smell is probably very muted but is quite pleasant. Roasted malt, light touches of coffee, and hop oils.

Taste is knock your socks off good. There is a massive malt flavor then a light hoppy note. This could easily be an overhopped Brown Ale at this point and I'm loving it! This is everything I have come to love about stone! I completely dig this aged DIPA!

Mouthfeel is very rich and decatant. There is a massive malt creaminess that makes this a very thick beer.

Drinkability is decent. I have sipped this one slowly like a barleywine, but it is still very very smooth. Enjoy with aged cheese if you still have one.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

Photo of Proteus93
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle was shared by CrellMoset... and a few months ago, at that!

A: Pitch black... Totally opaque. A light tan head. .. More offwhite.

S: Hoppy aromas areall but gone. A LOT of anise. Like snorting a fresh bag full of black licorice. Some notes of bakers chocolate.

T: A bit of hop flavour is there... Citrus rind. Anise again, but a creamy feel that makes it a little unusual. a burnt malt.

M: Creamy, quite full and rich with a big oily body.

D: A nice sipper... I would have liked to try this fresh, but it has held on fairly well.

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

Appearance: Black. Tan, frothy head that fades when given a minute or so. Looks like a pretty good stout if you ignore the lace.
Smell: Biscuits, Chistmas tree, limes.
Taste: Grapefruit, roasted malts, toffee, chocolate/orange liqeur.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, big carbonation.
Drinkability: Not a hint whatsoever of the ~9% abv. Probably not for everyone, but the bitterness does not linger on the palate in the way that a big stout would.
Verdict: I'm totally having a love affair with this beer.

Photo of winky13
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Bistro's Double IPA festival and on 3/13 at the brewery. As everyone has already written, this beer messes with you: dark and malty looking but damn it tastes like a double IPA!!

A: Inky black
S: Hops! I love this smell. I could just sit with this glass in front of my face and daydream about these hops. My wife thinks I'm weird.
T: Great, like a DIPA but not. At the Bistro DIPA fest, we really enjoyed this and the Poorman's IPA. I prefer this brew to Stone's Ruination.
M: Pronounced and solid.
D: Can drink this all night. Stone only pours an 8oz glass ($4) and I quickly drained it.

Photo of MacDomer
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shout out to PretzelCity for hooking me up with this in a trade - thanks a lot!

22 oz. bomber poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice - it's pretty dark, if not black, but I see some light coming through the edges. The head is pretty pillowy. Some light tan lacing clings to the glass. The nose made me say wow right away. Not so much a "this is great" wow, but a "this is interesting" wow. There's pine and citrus, and orange, some fruity sweetness, and then comes in the roastiness at the end with coffee tones, and light caramel malt. When I taste it, I can tell that it's not fresh (which I wasn't expecting of course), but it still is pretty hoppy. It's a bit sweet, prickly, with some grassiness, then comes in the roasty chocolate character - it's quite interesting. I'm not sure if I'm really into it, but it sure is fun to try. Pretty good overall, quite unique. I was thinking that I'd pick up a Sublimely Self Righteous if I come across one, since I'm really curious to try this one fresh.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,594 ratings.