1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,090 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,090
Reviews: 1,819
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 222
Gots: 409 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,090 | Reviews: 1,819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chilidog


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

I bought thisone upon its release, cellared it six months and very much enjoyed on MY, as I do every year with anniversary ale.

It pours a nice, rich dark brown. A good tan head forms, settles to a thin eighth inch film and dose leave some spotted and web lace.

The aroma takes the citric hop and pine route.

The taste follows with the hop up front with citric and pine notes.
The malt side got me. Sweet malts, roasted, unbuttered toast, coffee, chocolate and a sign of alcohol.

The beer feels on the mouth a dark roast, alcohol, with hints of a porter likeness. A slight warming feel as well.

Very much enjoyed this brew here in March, the weather was crap and the beer, its time at rest and the over-all result...It hit the spot!

03-18-2008 22:18:55 | More by chilidog
Photo of photomike


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

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!

04-23-2009 01:54:34 | More by photomike
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a very dark red, almost black. Smell is extremely hoppy, I swear when I opened the bottle the sweet, sweet bitterness exploded out underneath the cap and my whole room smelled like hoppiness. Nice thick head in the glass, taste is medium to full bodied. Hop heads delight with some smokiness flavor coming through. Super creamy and somehow well balanced. Goes down way too easy for a 8.7% ABV. Fantastic beer, will definitely be picking this up again when I need a hop kick.

01-12-2012 00:56:01 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of hosehead83


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

Poured into a "Stone" pint glass
Dark plum with a big, two-inch head
Wonderfully surprising aroma of citrus and piney hops with very subtle chocolate? coffee?
Taste-Wow! Unexpected grapefruit citrus and hops melded with a stout-like bitterness and complexity. Fantastic flavor that has my tastebuds enraptured! This is what a "dark" IPA must taste like!
Overall, outstanding offering from the beer gods at Stone Brewing. This is a limited edition ale so go get some before they disappear! Go now!!

05-04-2009 18:59:19 | More by hosehead83
Photo of Dogbrick


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

On draught at Vintage Estates in Boardman (1 of 7 kegs in the state I understand). Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a medium and lasting tan head. Sticky rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a cross between an Imperial IPA and a roasty Porter. Loads of citrusy hops in the nose, with a full roasted malt undertone. Other aromas like pine and toffee are present as well. Rich and bitter with a full array of citrusy and piney hops flavors. Toasted malt and chocolate flavors are found too. Slow alcohol burn through it all. The finish is long and bitter with a tasty grapefruit hops finish. Excellent overall. Once again Stone manages to do something unique and enjoyable.

12-18-2007 19:54:16 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of hopfacebrew


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from bomber into pint glass.

A: Very dark. Not quite pitch black as you can observe tints of brown on the edges in the light but very dark and opaque. a good 2 finger thick creamy head with huge lacing!

S: Very noticeable citrus and pine hop tones with roasted malt presence.

T: Hops hit immediately with a very nice presence. Citrus and Pine deliver with medium bitterness. Roasted and chocolate malt deliver as well with a very nice complex yet not overly aggressive flavor.

M: Great carbonation with subtle warming notes of the alcohol.

D: Extremely drinkable!

Overall this is a great brew to represent the style. I will continue to enjoy it as long as it's available. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-15-2011 16:43:52

01-28-2012 17:37:35 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

bomber started off by pouring into a 10oz glass

a-cola colored with cola elements...light head khaki colored..beautiful lacing...excellent carbonation...

s-floral piney hops..caramel and slight toffee on the nose..smells bitter like fresh cut grass..

t-piney and grassy up front...nice malt...roasty and bitter chocolate in the middle...finishes hoppy and dry...bitter..

m-slick and oily..excellent level of carbonation...resiny and sticky..

d-seriously dangerous...abv well hidden...goes down smooth..not overwhelming at all

stone has been hit or miss with me in bomber form..but i understand what tall the rave is about with this one...its almost perfect...a little cleaning and this one would be a 5 all around...will seek more of this out...glad its available here

10-31-2009 01:14:23 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of babaracas


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a very dark brown with light khaki head, one fingers worth sticks around, spotty lacing. Smell: seriously hoppy.. pine, earthy, pineapple juice, a little citrus rind. Mildly sweet brown sugar. Taste: floral, piney, grapefruit, dark brown sugar and a little powdery milk chocolate. Light roasted astringency in the end of the sip along with some nice citric bitterness. Medium bodied and exceptionally creamy in the face of a piney, dry finish. A good-great dipa with something extra, will be returning to this one.

12-24-2009 05:58:26 | More by babaracas
Photo of BBQSteve


4.46/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured into a stem bubbly white head immediately.

Hop smell up front but not in taste.

Great mouthfeel medium heavy.

Early notes of molasses then malt and hops and a bit of sour.

Glad I tried it. It is readily available and it will be on my list again in the future but no hurries.

03-20-2013 00:23:32 | More by BBQSteve
Photo of hail_seitan


4.46/5  rDev +5.7%

Served from 22 oz. bottle into tulip glass.

A - Body is a rich, rosewood-color, with a foamy ivory head forming on top.

S - Pine resin, grapefruit, and hemp dominate. Some hints of mint and smoke.

T - A resin bomb for sure. Sticky hop flavors including pine, hemp, and grapefruit bombard the palate. The malt have tones of raisins and toast. The finish is all piney bitterness and a whiff of smoke.

M - The hop oils almost give the beer a bit of a sticky mouthfeel. The body is a bit hefty and the carbonation is fairly mild.

O - Very good black IPA. A lot more dank, piney flavors than most in the style, but the high ABV and smokey malt flavors make it work.

07-11-2014 11:33:43 | More by hail_seitan
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%

1 pt 6 fl oz bomber from Brawleys lured into a tulip glass. I like the fact that I tried to type "poured" and it got spell checked into "lured". Enjoy by 2.15.04.

A - Almost jet black, with ruby/brown highlights. Half finger head that moves to a thin but sturdy lace.

S- Fantastic. Your eyes do not prepare you for the smell. Orange , grapefruit, maybe fingers of raspberry. Lightly toasted malts.

T - More of the same. Strangely delicious. Some hop bitterness on the finish. Can not detect the 8.7%.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Slightly creamy with low but present carbonation.

O - I can see why it was one of Stone's favorites. Give it a go.

02-01-2014 02:49:51 | More by Apellonious
Photo of thehooksman

North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%

On tap and served in a small strong ale goblet

Appearance is dark, dark brown. Not quite fully black as you can get some light through it. It has good clarity and about half a finger of tan foam that lingers and coats the glass.

The hop aromas are piney and peppery with a hint of orange peel.

The flavor backs up the nose well and reminds of a hoppy brown ale or black IPA

You would expect it to be fairly bitter but the mouthfeel is rather medium and smooth with justenough tingle from the carbonation. The higher abv is also well hidden in the mix.

Definitely a solid black ale. But it's Stone so why would I expect anything other than excellence?

02-16-2014 17:46:02 | More by thehooksman
Photo of mudbug


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours black with a nice fluffy tan head, nice looking stout.
Then the aroma, WTF is this? Hops, piney, grapefruity flowery... Oh my, this aint no stout! then the taste. sweet maltiness mixed with pine boughs.... I'm getting confused here! A dryness sets in, hey, thats not allowed in a black beer! This stuffs refreshing!
Stone is making all our beer conceptions unworthy... again.

12-28-2009 00:23:01 | More by mudbug
Photo of scott


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%


I could immediately tell this meant business when I began pouring. A great sticky/fluffy head with excellent staying power floats atop this dark beauty. Ruby highlights accent the most remote areas. I truly enjoy Stone's beer when it comes to aromatics; I can drink it with my nose. Bright, snappy, bold, enveloping. Hugely floral. When I close my eyes, I'm breathing in the 10th.
Dramatic changes occur when it hits the tongue. I like this, but give me a moment to figure this one out. Malt & molasses diligently try to fend off grapefuit rind & bitter hop with billy clubs. It's kind of messy, and maybe not as spot on focused as I would expect, but far from ingenious. I want to say this is a blended offering (10th & ?). This has presence, and it will hold your attention, as most Stone products do. I highly recommend you run out to try one for yourself, because the only way you'll be disappointed with this product is if it never touches your lips.

09-14-2007 23:01:33 | More by scott
Photo of rwf08


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

I had this in the past but I didn't want to review it because of the style. Now that it is called a Black IPA I feel I can review it properly.

A: Pours a dark molasses brown. Not black but close. Some dark dark amber hues on the edges. Soft off white creamy head. Some good lacing too.

S: I close my eyes when I smell a beer and when I do it with this one all I smell is a piney IPA. There is a slight hint of roast but not much. Maybe toasted bread slathered in pine jelly. Awesomeness to say the least.

T: Creamy soft roasted grain with pine and grapefruit. I get faint dark chocolate with citrus in there but pine dominates.

M: Silky smooth, soft on the palate. Medium carbonation, and creamy as hell. So good!

D: I want more. I thought Hop in the Dark was best but I think this beer is way better! This beer is easy to get for me and I feel I have under-appreciated it!

10-10-2010 20:28:07 | More by rwf08
Photo of jfdean

New York

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

Stumbled across the Sublimely Self Righteous one day at my local beer store and was instantly intrigued by the black color of the so called American Strong Ale. Upon purchasing, some rapid cooling and then a satisfying uncapping; the beer poured a thick almost creamy black with a thin dark tan head. After taking a sip I was hooked.

So imagine my shock and joy upon having Sublimely appear on tap at a bar near me. When delivered it had all the velvety appearance of the bottled version and more. The aroma coming off the glass is something akin to a IPA surviving a very mild lumber yard fire (primarily ceder and oak, maybe some pine) fire; with just enough heat and smoke to darken and roast without driving off the hops. The tap better preserves the roasted character of the beer and the subtle hop aroma while enhancing the mouth feel. As with the bottled version this beer is very drinkable and something I recommend to people new to beer and more seasoned drinkers alike.

08-31-2010 16:32:43 | More by jfdean
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Pours a dark opaque color with a tan head.

S: Theres some citrus nose with some dry pine and a touch of smokiness. The nose is sweet overall.

T: The flavor is a huge dry roasted malt bill, some dry chocolate with some citrusy hopping and sticky pine. Theres a definity pine sticky resin character to the palate with a great roasted malt presence that is deep and very rich. Definitly tastes like they combined their arrogant bastard and smoked porter recipe. Typical Stone hopping with Chinook with some new Amarillo lemon hops used to give it a distinct citrus/lemon hop flavor. A good combination of malt and hopping and very well balanced. There was a nice lingering bitterness from the hops that hung around for a little bit as well.

M: the mouthful was full with a nice dry roastedness.

D: very good drinkability for its abv. could easily drink in multiples, very smooth palate going down, and nicely hidden alcohol.

01-22-2008 00:12:31 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights. Nice large sticky peanut butter colored head. Good retention.
One of the best smelling beers my nose has ever had the pleasure to whiff. Earthy floral hops. Smells like perfume or something.
Very interesting taste profile. I've really come to like heavy hopped roasted malt beers, and this is the best one I've had. Also chocolate covered cherries. A bit of alcohol burn at the end but it only adds to the beers character.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and a bit syrupy.
Wonderful beer. Nice one to sip as a nightcap or enjoy while watching a movie.

05-19-2008 02:49:48 | More by wcudwight
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

Best by 7/23/14

Pours a dark brown approaching black color, decent sized light tan head, fades at a decent rate but leaves a huge amount of lacing on the glass and a creamy looking cap sticks around to a long while.

Smell starts with a good hit of piney hops with the dark roasted malt taking the back seat in the nose.

Taste actually goes the other way around now with the roasted malt backbone starting first, it's very roasted with a burnt bitterness to it, the bitterness is compounded with an aftertaste of piney hops, dark bitter chocolate lends a slight but fleeting sweetness, throughly thick and creamy as if it's a milk stout, definitely one of the fullest bodies for a black IPA I've had.

06-20-2014 23:20:13 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

22 oz bomber pours a deep ruby color showing highlights throughout. Foam is thick and creamy, tan colored and displays good retention and lacing.

Nose is west coast hops at their finest...citrus grapefruit with lemon and orange peel. Not much else can overcome these cones, but there is a touch of roasty grains and fruity yeast esters. Smells very delicious, one of the best smelling beers I have had in a while.

Hmmm, taste is way more complex and interesting than I thought it would be thinking of some black IPAs I have had in the recent past. Heavenly roasted malt mixes with a very nice hop flavor. Bitterness is there, but not over the top in any way. Bit of wintergreen mintiness comes in and is followed by an almost chocolaty malt flavor. Very smooth for a black IPA and has a nice creamy mouthfeel. ABV is well hidden but still lets you know it is up there. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, and definitely would encourage any good beer lover to try it.

04-18-2010 15:55:36 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of gopens44


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

A - Pours black as night with a generous mocha colored head.

S - Straight up hop goodness that takes the shape of grapefruit with barely present earthy notes.

T - Super fantastic fun time taste power! Grapefruit on top of oaked mmonshine that gives way to a smooth oakey finish.

M - A little more carbonation than I expected, but it's all good. A touch of burn throughout with a moderately heavy aftertaste.

I challenge Stone to make a beer that doesn't make me happy. This beer delivers very well. Perhaps the hoppiest Cascadian I've had yet!

12-21-2010 00:16:00 | More by gopens44
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours opaque mahogany brown in color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded quickly, but left good lacing sliding down the glass. Looks like a stout, but then the sweet hop aroma comes through like an IPA. This is a good identity crisis since the beer looks good and smells good, even though the look and smell are two different beer styles.

Smells of floral hops, citrus hops, sweet roasted malt, orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, caramel, syrup and some wet wheat bread. Very sweet, pungent and hoppy nose overall that gives off whiffs of barrel aging and light alcohol, almost like a rum or bourbon with hops in it. It's actually a very pleasant aroma that just reeks of a smooth drink.

A smooth drink this is indeed: tastes pretty sweet up front with sweet roasted malt and caramel mixed with the floral and citrus hops, followed by pine cones, grapefruit, orange peel, coriander, toffee, faint brown sugar, mild hop spices, roasted grains, a hint of pepper, and maybe even some cocoa or chocolate. This is complex and pretty well balanced for an overall sweet beer, which has enough hop and citrus flavor to even things out. The aroma is hoppy, but the taste is dominated by sweetness mixed together with a variety of hop sensations; this is a really nice mix.

Mouthfeel is smooth a creamy with a stout like feel on the tongue, a medium to heavy body that shows both the hops and malts present, with very light to no carbonation and a slight hoppy bitter spice pucker to finish it off. The finish is on the bitter side and as dry as chalk, which was very nice and to my liking.

Drinkability for me was very high. An excellent beer that gets better as it warms and is well rounded with a nice level of alcohol, so that one 22 oz bomber is perfect for an evening of enjoyment and a decent buzz. I highly recommend this beer, which I enjoyed immensely. I'm a big fan of Stone Brewing and this beer did not disappoint.

6/8/2012-had an aged 11th Anniversary Ale from September 2007 and it was even smoother than the other bottles I've had, it aged very well. The flavor and nose were full of sweet oaky notes and vanilla, with hints of smoked peat moss, molasses, brown sugar and booze like rum or bourbon. The sweetness ruled the taste, but there was still a lingering smoky bitterness after each sip that left cocoa, toffee and dark chocolate notes. The aging tamed the hops but really brought out the rich malty flavor, which to me was a very welcomed change. This beer still throws a punch as one bomber got me banged up. If you are storing one of these then I suggest cracking it open as it was excellent.

07-09-2010 02:55:27 | More by CHickman
Photo of troysoy2


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

First beer of the new year. And it's pitch black as midnight. Half finger of light tan head, quickly diminishes, but leaves patchy lacing and a frosty covering the whole way down.

I smell dark chocolate, lots of it. Burnt malty goodness. Interestingly enough, there are also bready, lighter malts in the smell. Either that, or it's a generous hop aroma playing tricks on my mind.

There's so much going on in the taste.... It's like a good burnt, roasty German beer that fell into a giant vat of American hops. Smooth, chocolatey goodness in the center, drying, drying hop bitterness on the finish. Warm alcohol. Resiny, very West Coast, very Stone. Delicious. I will gladly spend the rest of my night sipping and exploring the intricacies of this brew. Happy New Year, peeps.

01-01-2012 08:29:59 | More by troysoy2
Photo of gatornation


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

served on tap

A- served in stone pint glass it was dark black/brown with a really fresh tan 1 finger head loads of sticky lacing as i drank this one

S- was some cocoa ,chocolate, some toffee, citrus hops

T- was outstanding it had some roasted malt with toffee ,mix in some creamy chocolate,some floral citrus hops,, a little fruit wow so fresh so tasty

M- is is full but its easy to drink with lots of stout tastes mixed with an ipa

D- so easy to drink this high ABV black ipa its stouts flavors mixed with citrus hops makes for an outstanding brew

03-02-2011 22:25:36 | More by gatornation
Photo of MiguelMandingo


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

I decided to crack this brew open after hearing the news that no harm has come to the brewery during the horrible fires in SD (my fingers are still crossed). Damn, this was a great brew.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - In the glass it was nearly opaque, while being very translucent around the perimeter of the glass. It produced a 2 finger off-white head.

Smell - It smelled like a roasty (stout-ish) IPA. The notes were of roasted malt, pineapple, pine, grapefruity citrus and caramel. Delicious.

Taste - This beer was not devious at all with its flavor - it smelled almost exactly like it tasted. There was a strong roasted malt presence, along with fruity pineapple and grapefruit citrus, all intermingled with caramel sweetness. Yummy hops, as to be expected from these guys. The ABV on the other hand, is always devious with Stone - they mask it perfectly. They are the masters of deception in that arena.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Near perfect carbonation level. Goes down smooth. Pretty much common place with Stone.

Drinkability - Near perfect. The ABV is so well hidden, I didn't even notice it until I was done with the beer. The flavor and smell just make me go in for more.

I am pretty sure that someone else on the site mentioned this, but it was like they took the best parts of their AB, SP, and IPA and mixed them together. Man, it is a shame that this is a one time thing. I would definitely buy this all of the time. This was a wonderful experiment.

Hope you have AT LEAST 11 more anniversaries, Stone. You guys are incredible. I just wish they offered your entire line-up in Texas.

10-24-2007 06:42:19 | More by MiguelMandingo
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,090 ratings.