Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,888 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,888
Hads: 5,848
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 291
Gots: 777 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,888 | Hads: 5,848
Photo of Walken
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone: Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Black IPA
22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, very dark brown with an off-white head that's flat with some bubbles, very clingy, very very clingy, so much stickage.
Odor: Woof woof arf. Intense pineapple, grapefruit rind and waxy floral aromas sit over a backdrop of faint, pumpernickelish dark malt, kind of reminiscent of a shwarzbier, my guess is Carafa Special, but I'm not sure.
Consistency: Light to medium body, walking the edge of the spectrum towards the latter. Carbonation lends an element of creaminess, dark malt astringency is notably missing, which furthers my guess that there's some Carafa Special coloring this beer up.
Taste: Chinook herbal/waxy bitterness hits quick and carries the rest of the flavors along. Hints of dark roasted coffee poke through here and there, hardly making a dent in the hop flavor, though it lingers and intensifies a bit in the finish.

I'm not a big fan of the way the harsh, herbal bitterness of Chinook meshes with the dark malt character in this beer, but when all is said and done, it's still a hell of an ale.

 1,127 characters

Photo of nickhiller
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pitch black with a thick tan head and lacing galore.

S: sharp, almost acrid, hops. They smell extremely fresh and strong and give off an almost vegetable or plant smell. A little bit of roast in there as well.

T: dry, hoppy, bitter and extremely alcoholic--in fact too much alcohol on the front for my taste buds--it kind of takes away from the other flavors. Scorching alcohol burns down to the core, probably good on a bitter cold day. Speaking of bitterness, there's a lot of that on the finish as well. I'm not getting much in the way of complexity though and barely any malty sweetness.

M: well carbonated and pretty dry for how full bodied it is.

D: pretty good. The only other CDA I've had is the Deschutes Hop in the Dark, which I liked a lot, so I'm definitely into the style. The Deschutes version was more complex I seem to remember, and not as relentlessly bitter and alcoholic. Still I'd certainly have another if offered.

 943 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, Sam Adams pint,

Pours out an dark red tinted brown, not unlike a Porter, with a nice sustained head that imitates same. There are large streaks of lace on the glass.

Tropical fruit hop aromas abound. Some pine and stale lemon zest can also be found. I could smell the pineapple/pine combination as soon as the cap was cracked.

The roast and hops form an intriguing one, two combination. SHAH! BLAMMO! That colorful tropical fruitiness floods up the tongue, fooling one into believing this is a 'normal' IPA. All of a sudden the roast falls heavily, to linger on supported by citric hop bitterness.

Unobtrusive mouthfeel, the good weight and and tamed carbonation do not distract from the interesting and tasty flavor.

As this is my first 'Black IPA'/'Cascadian Dark Ale', there is a definite novelty. I like it, but wouldn't drink more than a bomber at a time even without taking the alcohol content into account.

 936 characters

Photo of techfed87
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, strong head. Color is pitch black dark. Smell is a bit hoppier than I expected it to be.

First sip is a nice pairing of dark, charred malt flavor and hop bitterness that gives the beer a body and flavor that matches its color and smell in intensity. Aftertaste is a smooth as well, allowing the flavor to dissipate over time.

A very good beer, you should try it!

 379 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour rocks on! This stop pours a dark amber-/garnet- tinged black-brown topped by about a finger-and-a-half of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises lime, pine, blackened pretzel, light roasted malts, light char, orange zest, and very light coffee. The taste holds notes of pine, roasted malts, light char, light vinyl, lime peel, mint, and balsa. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very solid CDA, though I think the roasted elements were left in the oven just a bit too long (or something like that, anyway). Otherwise, good stuff.

 661 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black in color--no light shines through. Nice, tight beige head. Spotty lace.

Very strong grapefruit hop aroma. Reminds me of Double IPA. Given the darkness of the brew, I'm surprised not to smell any burnt or roasted malts.

Tastes like super-hopped IPA. Relatively thin body. There's a mild level of roasted malt in the aftertaste, otherwise it is all bitter, bitter hop.

 381 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black that shows some red highlights when held up to the light. Two finger head that dissipates, but never goes away, laces the glass all the way down. Aroma is hops citrusy, piney, grapefruity hops with a faint biscuit/caramel malt in the background. Taste is more of the same bitter hops. Another great offering from Stone.

 338 characters

Photo of OnThenIn
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Two fingers of tan head on top of a with a jet black. Great lacing as well. The head does die down quicker than I expected.

S: Crazy citrus dominates the aroma. Hard to smell anything else with the overwhelming hop aroma. Finely hints of some roasty notes with a little bit of chocolate.

T: The tastes starts out with a citrus hop flavor, but is quickly joined by chocolate notes and hop bitterness. Definite sweetness and a bit of cocoa flavor. Initially the strong flavors make the beer seem like it is slightly lacking in complexity, but it really develops as you get more used to the bold flavors and uncover the more subtle ones.

M: Decently thick with a somewhat creamy feel. The carbonation is acceptable. Hint of chalky

D: The strong flavors, thick body, slightly chalky feel, and higher alcohol make this a harder to drink beer. Maybe part of the problem was that while I loved some components, the overall beer was more of a mess than a thing of beauty. I honestly needed someone to split the bomber with me, because this beer is not tame enough for a 22 oz.

 1,077 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at Stone Brewing in Escondido, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thick two-finger head. Off-white color. Long retention. Dark brown color.

S- Caramel malts, darker spicy hops and roast barley.

T- Very strong flavor. Aggressive hops and roast malts. Bold taste. Bitter and beastly.

M- Chewy and well carbonated. Quite the feel.

O- This is a tough guy to drink quickly. Plan appropriately.

 406 characters

Photo of afausser
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an extremely bubbly dark chocolate with about a finger for near mocha head, which is frothy and doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Looks kind of strange and reminds me of a soda pour.

Smell: The color makes me think I'm about to drink a RIS or something, so it's almost like this brew is playing mind games with me when I get to the nose. Quite aromatic and strong. Piney and a bit citrusy and quite light overall. Some definite sugar notes. smells cold and refreshing.

Taste: The taste isn't as good out of the bottle as it was on tap. That said, it's an interesting brew. Chewy and sticky, with maple, pine sap, and caramel. The bitter hops really bite quite a bit. Pairs well with cashews.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is tricky. This brew seems pretty undercarbonated. That said, I can't really think of what would happen were the carbonation higher. I think the brew would become overly abrasive. That said, the bubbles that are present are pretty big and result in this strange type of foam. It's not frothy, but it lingers well past the sip and really affects the brew. I think that if the bubbles present were finer and crisper, all the other elements of this brew would be elevated quite a bit. As it stands, it's this odd mix...maybe I got a bad bottle?

Drinkability is low for the style. I'm not impressed, which is frustrating because I remember it being pretty decent when I tried it as a sample on tap.

 1,438 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black with a creamy head. Smells hoppy with lots of pine and citrus. Taste is a murky mix of dark malts and hops. Very bitter with some grassiness. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Not overly drinkable, this is something you have to take your time with.

 285 characters

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black with a touch of reddish brown. Huge head like an IPA. Head is dark brown.

Aroma is very hoppy with a touch of caramel. Citrus like ruby red grapefruit flesh, orange rind, lemon and lime juice.

Taste is very hoppy with notes of caramel. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much roasted grain flavor. To me, it was missing bitter chocolate/acrid coffee tastes BUT... BUT.. it was a very satisfying beer nonetheless. I could easily mistake this for a pale IPA in a blind taste test simply because the hops are the star of the show. The color makes it look maltier than it actually tastes. I bet this would age like a nice barleywine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied (Definitely not RIS thick but thicker than ruination). Nice carbonation keeps the palette lit up.

Drinkability: This is a big beer but it drinks very smoothly.

 863 characters

Photo of Fish113d
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black (obviously since it's a black IPA) with a fairly thin, tannish oily head that forms to about half a finger and then dissipates to a bubbly surface layer. Some lacing remains on the glass, which is nice.

Very aromatic. Dark roast coffee along with an earthy & cascade hop. A bit of alcohol on the nose as well.

Sipping is much more hoppy than I originally expected. Lots of dark roasty malt but not as chewy as expected. A nice bit of burnt coffee hits on the finish w/ a bit of the alcohol coming through subtly.

Body is not as chewy as I originally expected but nice balance and great taste.

I'm going to enjoy this one. It seems like a mix between almost an imperial stout and an IPA. Very nice brew. Cheers!

 728 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cola color with a little bit of transparency. Head is medium sized with a solid creaminess to it, an attractive pizza dough color.

S: Sprucy hops, licorice, caramel, black patent malt and some vinous qualities.

T: Starts with an interesting maltiness that walks the line between caramel and roasted barley at the tip of the tongue. Sprucy hops cruise in and flow from the front to the back of the tongue. Almost chocolaty but not totally, perhaps it’s the hops and malt that are reminding me of Andes candies. Definite coffee ground bitterness comes in after the swallow, as does some redwood abrasiveness. Finishes with tremendous balance of dark malts, bitter roasted barley and vibrant hops. Interesting beer.

M: Medium body, straight forward mouthfeel.

D: I’m not sure how I feel about these hoppy dark beers. Tasty but they aren’t one of my favorite styles…not yet at least. Regardless, this is a delicious beer with fantastic balance.

 956 characters

Photo of mstyne
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so I drank half of my pint before I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing this brew. That probably says enough right there.

Picked up a bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating best I can tell. Pours an extremely dark, dark, red (had to hold it up to the light to confirm it wasn't ink black) with a decent 3/4" of head and good lacing.

Very nice hop aroma. Taste is smoky, with some cocoa/chocolate and wood notes. At 8.7 ABV, this will sneak up on you in a hurry. This is another delicious offering from Stone that I look forward to trying again.

 570 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer. Pours with a nice tan head that demonstrated excellent retention and leaves behind some spotty lacing... Does eventually fade to a thin film atop the beer. The beer itself is a chocolate brown color. Slightly transparent on the edge when held to the light.

Aroma is very interesting and fresh. Citrus and fresh hop aroma dominates. Slight alcohol and a touch of green grass or something fresh and green.

Taste is very interesting. I've had this described as a black IPA... That's an interesting description given the assertive hop profile. What's funny is that I taste green as well as detect it in the aroma. Not sure how to describe it further. Not bad... Just fresh/green. Initial Alcohol bite that fades and turns into some fresh hop bitterness. Just behind this is some roasted charcoal or ash flavors. Then some fruit and definitely grapefruit notes. Then lingers with some nice hop bitterness.

Certainly interesting.

Fairly light bodied despite the dark appearance. Low carbonation and rather silky in the mouth.

Nicely drinkable and an interesting brew.

 1,085 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours near opaque, but actually very dark cola color when held to light. Off-white head dissipates quickly with a thin rim lace.

Nose is a mixture of light fruits, perhaps tropical in nature, and a sweet roasty-doughy component that almost reminds me of a fresh batch of donuts with chocolate icing.

Palate offers assertive grapefruity hops up front that bully the palate, with a malt in the background that has long ago submitted to the hop domination. Dark color somewhat betrays the flavor profile in the sense that if you drank it blind I suspect you would just wager that it is a DIPA. Finish is a little tart and the hops pucker the mouth a little too much.

Perhaps it needs age, for the drinkability suffers a little right now.

 738 characters

Photo of scratch69
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Strong aroma of piney hops with notes of roasted malt.

Taste- I am hit with a bitter pine flavor at first that fades into a roasted malt and chocolate taste. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a decent amount of prickly carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall- Interesting beer but a little too bitter for my tastes. I still prefer a good stout or porter but this would be my first choice for an IPA (black or otherwise).

 554 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a super dark brown, almost black color that actually cascaded for a few moments too. Produced a great light brown head that stuck around for awhile before leaving big clumps of lacing behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A light roastedness of bread and nuts with a piney lemon and lime citrus background. Weird and different, but good.

(T)- Pretty much like the smell. A good roasted profile with a bread, nut, and molasses character. Combine that with a crisp yet citrusy lemon and pine bitterness that meshes into the darkness within.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Roasted like a stout or porter, but crisp and with a hoppy citrus bite like an IPA. An interesting yet different beer unlike most in the style.

(D)- An interesting beer for the style. Malty, yet heavily hopped which I appreciate. Tastes good and is easy to enjoy. A relative easy drinker with a tamer ABV level than usual. Another solid beer from one of my more favorite breweries.

 1,039 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thoughtful extra from Thorpe429. Thanks, Mike!

Reddish brown pour creates minimal head that vanishes minutes into this beer

Whoa, Nellie! Smells like meat or, more specifically, beef jerky and ham

Thankfully redemption is found in the drink. Black malts open into a steady stream of citric hops, predominantly orange and pineapple. Classifications be damned, this is an IPA...or black IPA, whatever that truly means.

Carbonation on the low end, with medium to thin body

I enjoyed this more than my compadre, who tastes a 60/40 blend of Tomaco Porter and Coffeed Ruination. Silly friend.

 591 characters

Photo of 2Dreadnaught
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer on tap at Timothy O'Toole's in Gurnee, IL on 5/14/12.
A: Poured a deep black with a thin (less than 1 finger) light tan head. Virtually no lace.
S: Slight grainy malty aroma with a hint of anise and coco.
T: Dark roast grain with licorice undertones. Medium carbonation with a nice dry finish.
O: A decent black ale worth a try.

 348 characters

Photo of Drewcifer
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark black, leaning a bit to the brown, with only a slight bit of off-white head, which swettles to a thin ring around the top.

Citrusy hops are dominant in the aroma, with some piney hop back to it. Roasted malts sit down deep, and only come out with a big whiff.

The taste is all citrusy hops off the bat, maintained throughout, with some piney, woodsy hops and a bit of an almost salty, slightly bitter caramel aftertaste. There's a hint of bitter chocolate, but merely a brief hint.

Pretty decent amount of carbonation with a medium body.

Overall, a somewhat drinkable brew. Definitely worth a try for the uniqueness of the brew, but not something I'd look to as a daily drinker. Not bad, not great.

 717 characters

Photo of MiScusi
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at fridge temp into a Stone IRS glass. I'm going to see how this progresses through cold to warmer. A pretty dark shade of black. You can't see through it- Not at the edges, not held up to light. Light tan head forms atop, slightly creamy but then breaks up and becomes thin. I'd like a little more substance to the head, otherwise it's perfect. The smell initially is a ton of resiny piny hops. As it is very cold the taste comes across as all pine hops and leaves that resiny bitterness, with just a touch of sweetness lingering as well. Either due to a bit of warming or the tongue getting use to the hops, you can start to get a deeper malt presence, with some of the bitterness seeming to come from the roasted malt- though it's very subtle. I still can't get anything past the pine in the aroma, but at least it is a highly FRESH smell.

The mouthfeel is is incredibly smooth. Slick, but not very heavy- in fact, probably about medium. Complimented by the very fine amount of carbonation

Rating this overall is kind of hard. It's my first black double IPA, so I would say they did a pretty good job of hitting the goal they were going for. On the other hand, I just didn't find it to be my cup of tea. The dark malt and what I perceived to be a very one-dimensional hop aspect (all pine) wasn't that exciting. Of course, nowhere near bad, still a very good drink and a pretty good price for this bomber of $4.49.

 1,426 characters

Photo of JayS2629
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a beautiful creamy tan head that is three fingers and sticks around. Nice lacing.

The aroma is strong hops, citrus and pine with some earthy elements. Hiding deep underneath is are some chocolate and caramel notes.

Dark caramel, toffee and chocolate notes are completely dominated by citrus and piney hops with some earthy notes.

A little thin, but smooth

Easy to drink, enjoyable, a little off balance.

 432 characters

Photo of aasher
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark, dark brown on the verge of black with a rich mahogany one finger head that laces the glass. It barely allows any light to pass through it and is medium in body. The aromas are surprisingly very hoppy upfront with a good amount of charred malts in the back. The flavor is hoppier than anticipated as well. It has a very sharp and distinct pine/citrus hop profile right out of the gate. It finishes with a load of dark roasted malts, on the verge of tasting burnt. It's good but the charcoal flavor keeps me from scoring it higher. It drinks pretty full in body and the flavors become more bold as you continue to drink it. It's a good beer but like a lot of Stone's darker beers, I don't consider it to be overly drinkable. Something about their aftertastes just throw me off.

 799 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,888 ratings.