Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,885 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,885
Hads: 5,820
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 287
Gots: 762 | 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: 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: 1,885 | Hads: 5,820
Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a one-finger off-tan head. Nice retention and lace.

Nose is massively dark- burnt malt, coffee and earth with touches of prune and piney hops.

A brief moment of sweet smoky malt yields to gigantic bitterness- espresso and earth tones turn slightly resinous on the mouthwatering, dark chocolatey finish.

Overall, this is good no doubt, but personally I'd opt for a good ol' Stone IPA with a touch more brightness. Maybe this is more of a wintertime brew for me cuz the darkness is vast, oppressive and soul-crushing. It's something that can come from no one but Stone. (593 characters)

Photo of kbnooshay
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- Very very dark brown, almost black. Super huge frothy light brown head. Spotty lacing is forming as we speak.

s- Super citric and floral and hoppy with light roasty malt flavor. Got a nice whiff of pine tree.

t- Taste is different from the smell at first. The hops take the back seat and a super dry malt flavor takes over. Theres some dark Belgian chocolate flavor in there. Tastes more how it looks than smells. But now as its warming up its getting hoppy again! This is a bitter black.

mf/d- Feel of a porter. Almost creamy but kinda slick and tingly.
Not super drinkable because of the strong bittering hops. Kinda cool though. (638 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. I've been working on trying more beers from Stone and since I have never seen this beer on the shelf before I figured I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottling date was not visible, i think it rubbed off, but it just showed up at the store so I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The bottle looks pretty good with a big evil looking devil like figure that is pretty eye catching. It poured a pretty dark black color that didn't really let any light come through and it was pretty much pitch black with two and a half fingers worth of cream medium dark tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky rings of lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, there's nothing at all wrong with it, the head and lacing were awesome.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a nice mixture of hop aromas, the citrus hops seem to stick out the most with some grapefruit aromas coming through and there were some grassy and earthy hop aromas in the background. Up next comes the malts which show up a medium amount and impart some roasted malt aromas along with some light chocolate, coffee, caramel and smokey aromas with some more chocolate and caramel and maybe a little bit of toffee coming through towards the end. The aroma was pretty good, I liked the contrast between the hop profile and the roasted malts.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of sweetness followed by a pretty large amount of hops, the citrus, earthy and grassy hop aspects that I got in the aroma show up in the taste, but the they are much more balanced and the citrus hops show up just as much as the grassy and earthy hop aspects. Up next comes a medium amount of malts that impart a roasty, slightly charred and slightly smokey flavor with some lighter chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors showing up in the background. On the finish there's a lower amount of high bitterness with a bitter hoppy aftertaste with a slight bit of roasted malts coming through. This was a nice tasting beer, but I thought the hop profile could have had a little more citrus hop aspect like the aroma and I thought the bitterness was a little too much.

M- Not the smoothest, creamy, a slightly lighter amount of medium warming alcohol, on the fuller side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel worked good with this beer for the most part but it could have been smoother.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style, but the hop profile didn't impress me as much as other Black IPA's and the bitterness was just a little too aggressive in this beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it wasn't too smooth, and the alcohol was a little too warming for it's strength, but the flavors did a decent job at holding my attention, one would be enough for me, I think the bitterness would really start to wear on me if I had more then one. What I like the most about the beer was the appearance and aroma, they were both very good with appearance being the best, it may be the best looking Black IPA I have ever seen. What I liked the least about this beer was the flavor, it wasn't bad, I just wish the hop profile highlighted those citrus hops that I got in the aroma more and I thought the bitterness was just too intense for this beer, it would really help the drinkability if it was toned down. I wouldn't buy this again, it's no a bad beer, but there's many more Black IPA's that I like more than this one so I don't think I will be revisiting it anytime soon and I think it's a little overpriced but I would recommend that any fan of the style at least give it a try. All in all I was a little let down with this beer, Stone is very good with hoppy beers, but this one fell a little short in my eyes and it didn't have a hop profile that kept me coming back for me, better luck next time guys. (4,176 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery 07-10-09. Pours a beautiful dark brown with nice tan head. Great looking beer with a really unique aroma dominated with chocolate and orange. Would have love to tasted this blind as the aromas were a bit confusing to the senses. Pretty well balanced with a nice bitter chocolate finish. My notes are also saying that there was a nice woody aroma and touch of dry wood in the taste, though I'm not sure how that came about. (444 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black IPA, hmm, let's see what this is all about...

Rich, pungent hops are the name of the game here. Heavy astringency, oily hop mouthfeel and a bright citrusy character that is quite delicious. What else does one expect from Stone? There is a bit of balance, though: some nice, heavily toasted caramel and a definite chocolate note too.

Though Stone's attempt at to make this beer so "unique," it's well above average as IPA. Rich, hoppy, and very delicious. And, admittedly, the heavy roast and chocolate is interesting.

Highly recommended... (550 characters)

Photo of Portertime
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told by the bartender this was a black IPA so I was excited about trying a new style. Oh well. Poured a nice bark mocha brown color. Smelled piney and citrusy from the hop. Taste was nice with a hop bitterness up front and then a solid malt backbone. What ever style it was, it was good! (293 characters)

Photo of ZebraCakez
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It pours a beautiful black color with a light colored foamy head. It smells hoppy with a spicy finish. Taste is that of hops and burnt malt with a decent citrus undertone. Slightly boozy. Feel is of medium body and active carbonation. Overall a very enjoyable brew. Nothing amazing, just another solid Stone offering. (317 characters)

Photo of kegger22
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a two finger head with good retention. The aroma was a musty bitter, sorry, can't do any better than that. The taste was bitter citrus/pine needles. A little bitter for me, but not bad. The feel was full bodied with more than sufficient carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good, especially if you are into hops. Not a lot of difference as it warmed up, still a good beer. (397 characters)

Photo of JBogan
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one fills the glass with a nice dark brown, almost black hue with a solid off white creamy head which leaves plenty of sticky lacing in it's wake. An attractive looking brew.

Smells of grapefruity hops, dark chocolate and burnt molasses. Interesting mixture.

Taste is along the same lines as the aroma, along with a hint of roasted nuts and maybe a slight bit of toffee. The beer opened up quite a bit as it warmed.

Mouthfeel was very good. Smooth and creamy, somewhat on the thicker end of the scale.

A well done brew by the folks at Stone. This is not my favorite style, but is a beer I'd consider having again sometime. (631 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From: Binny's in Champaign, IL
Best by: None found
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is a solid BIPA, but strikes me as a bit too ethanol-heavy for its own good. While it delivers a nice, medium to medium-heavy body with strong hop and moderate roasted malt flavors, this just does not live up to its potential, the ethanol being too high and not appropriately balanced by the other flavors and aromas in the beer. If this were around 7%, I suspect it would be much more appealing to my palate. As it stands, it's a good beer, but not one I really feel that I'll go back to.

Pours a >2cm head of tan bubbles, small on the lower layers while large to medium on the upper. Head retention is above average, and the descending foam leaves thick lacing along the sides of the glass. The beer's body is opaque, dark brown to black, with no visible carbonation.

Aroma features prominent pine resin, pine bark, and grapefruit hops with a base of roasted malt with notes of char and roasted nuts. Ethanol creeps out a bit as this warms, and so it is more enjoyable when cold.

Taste, overall, presents a steadfast grapefruit and orange citrus bitterness combined with a roasted malt presence, lending chocolate and charred grain to the flavor spectrum. The hops still win out, but the dark malt factor is always present.
Taste opens with dark and roasted malt sweetness, with a fair bit of citrus fruit that's also sweet and flavorful. Mid-palate brings out the grapefruit bitterness and char/chocolate, which lasts through the back of the palate and into the aftertaste. Aftertaste is primarily of a potent bitterness with a noticeable char and roasted malt component. I agree with ThisWangsChung that the beer becomes a bit harsh with its ethanol exposure as it warms up: it's best enjoyed at or below cellar temperature.

Beer's body is medium to medium-heavy in weight, with fairly light to medium-light levels of carbonation. The result is a fairly smooth beer with a hefty body, resulting in a full and satisfying mouthfeel. Closes out expectedly dry, with long-lingering bitterness and a touch of residual sweetness around the lips. (2,170 characters)

Photo of weatherdog
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL. We're happy to finally be able to have Stone in Chicago.

Served in a 10oz. snifter

It pours a nice almost black color, creamy dense khaki colored head that lingered for about 1/4 of the glass before receding. A medium amount of lacing was left coating the side of the glass.

The smell was firm but now overpowering piny resinous hop nose. Behind that a supporting background of roasted malt was present. The two opposing smells were melded together in a nice complimentary way.

The taste starts off much like the nose with a nice dollop of pine hops and the associated bitterness was much smoother than I expected since I find many stone beers to have an overly harsh bitterness. Past the initial hop presence the dark character reared its head with some molasses and just a touch of kilned malts but not as much as was in the nose. The two opposing flavors didn't blend together as well as the nose.

The mouthfeel was ok and had a medium body with an acceptable carbonation in order to help keep those hops form lingering on the tongue. Drinkability was above average and I did not know the ABV until I started writing this review and I must say it hid very well so I give props in that area.

I've only had a couple Black IPAs (Well I guess I can call them American Style India Black Ales since the brewers Association revised the style guidelines today) and they have been all over the board in terms of successfully blending the flavors together. This one is my favorite of the bunch so far. (1,536 characters)

Photo of Pagzzz
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, purchased from beverages 4 less in Santee. Sampled in Stone IRS tulip glass.

Appearance: Inky black with slight auburn hue right around the edges. Looks like an RIS. Tan head builds, dissipates quickly but leaves nice lacing. crystal clear (what I can see)

Aroma: Big citrus hop aroma. Blind, smells of Ruination but with a slight burnt caramel hint. Citrusy hops, some pine notes. Definitively IPA characteristics, but just a little roast or chocolate character (de-husked black malt must be used). Little more ester character than other Stone IPA's, slightly English-like. No diacetyl.

Flavor: Firm, bold american hop bitterness dominates the taste. Sharp roasted malt flavor suggested, but not featured. Slight caramel or molasses character, but not overpowering. Drinks like a big IPA, showing very few dark roast characteristics. Much like a Schwarzbier emulates a Pilsner, but looks like a Dunkel. No diacetyl. Malt is overpowered by hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body that finishes quite dry. Alcohol is evident, maybe a little hot, but it's young. This could definitely get interesting after a couple of years. Could use a touch more body to bring out malt character for some balance.

Overall, a very interesting beer with IPA-centric qualities and some subterfuge thrown in with the dark appearance. Not super drinkable, but given high hopping rate and big alcohol character, it isn't meant to be a session beer. (1,455 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark body with about a 1 inch, tan head with solid retention. Good lacing all along the glass until the finish.

S: Smells slightly spicy with some floral hints.

T: A slightly sweet, malty taste in the beginning. Very smooth; reminded me a little bit of a milk stout. About halfway through the beer, the hops become more noticeable as the beer gets slightly bitterer. Hops are originally present in the aftertaste in the beginning of the beer but become more evident in the taste later.

M: A solid, full-bodied beer. Nice and smooth and easy on the palette.

D: A pretty drinkable beer overall. Fairly balanced with respect to hops and malts. Smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel makes this brew a good session beer. (725 characters)

Photo of KarlosT
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ok. given my tastes, not really notable. I'm looking for a replacement for harpoon ipa, and this was not significantly better.

perhaps a bit too hoppy for my tastes. but others really seem to enjoy this beer.

For my tastes, Racer 5 is my standard for IPA's (258 characters)

Photo of RobbDogg
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark, nearly black with a thin head, but does have good lacing in the pint glass. Smells of sweet malt. A pleasant combination of malt, and faint coffee with just enough bitterness to remind you of an IPA. For me, there is not enough distinguishable fruit, and a lack of hop presence. A solid ale but not for me on a regular basis. (342 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured very dark with a one-finger head

S - smells of dark fruits, caramel malt, and some grassy hops

T- taste follows the nose. There are some dark fruits with caramel malt backbone that are pushed aside to make room for the grassy and grapefruity hops.

M - medium body that goes down smoothly

D - this was an all right beer. I guess I wasn't expecting the hops aspect of the beer, which was fine, but it caught me off guard. This isn't the best Stone beer I have had, but it was still pretty decent. (509 characters)

Photo of philosobeer
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass at Binny's South Loop store in Chicago. Great bartender (Jim) talked about this and similar beers as a nice prelude.

Appearance - Pretty damn intense, and that generally characterize the beer and the brewer for the most part. This looked black, in the glass, coal with a lacing tan head. Catch light through the edge of a tilted glass, and you get a very dark garnet ray, provided the room has enough light.

Smell - The hops come out in full on the nose, generally a sappy pine, I smell just a touch of citrus. Both dark fruit and roasted flavors are an undertone here, as well as alcohol.

Taste - The pine hops are there on the front, and in the mid-palate I get flavors of anise and fennel (I was reminded of the fennel flavors in el camino (un)real). This isn't without some rich notes like chocolate. It has very good complexity, but the finish was fairly chemical.

Mouthfeel - sits somewhat heavily, but the carbonation (perhaps accentuated by bitter flavors) is sharp, and rather clean.

Drinkability - It drinks like an american strong dark ale, I was happy with one. (1,103 characters)

Photo of DM1293
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a peculiar Stone drink. Looking at it initially, it definitely lives up to its "Black Ale" by being as dark as any stout. I tilted it up to the light and got a dark amberish brown color. Smell is initially hops and something underneath, but I also got a lot of piney grapefruit in the background.

The taste is where I don't really agree with it. The hops don't quite mix well, because citrus-y sweet into a stouty-toast doesn't sit well to me. The initial taste is alright though, the hops are quite good...almost too much of the grapefruit comes up though, and when the bitterness comes up it doesn't quite balance it out.

The beer changes when it sits though. What was hops into bitter...actually became more malty as I drank it. After polishing off half the beer I poured in the rest of the bottle to top it off, and it didn't really go back to hop-sweet. I'm not sure why.

Overall, its not bad. Its not the best I've had from Stone, but its still a solid ale. (974 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Black at the body, you get dark ruby hues around the edge. Great color and a bubbly yet firm, khaki head creates a very nice appearance.

Sweet candied fruits and dry fruitiness hit the nose. Hints of chocolatey sweetness and breadiness hide inside prune, raisin and must.

Strong hop flavor and dry pineyness assault the tongue. Dried fruit flavors such as prune or raisin are enveloped in strong pine and metallic tastes. No roast, no toast and no malt flavor can be found in a very dry to the palate feel. Strong metal after taste sits in the mouth and a harsh dryness stays for some time.

This resembles an IPA with little Black qualities in the taste. The scent got my hopes up but the taste and feel really let me down. (727 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with some light roasted malt notes. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt with some west-coats bitter hops mostly dominating. Body is quite full with some great carbonation and alcohol is not apparent. Interesting take on the IPA style but nothing really earth shattering. (417 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone Subliminally Self Righteous Ale

Appearance: Brown,medium head,and good lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, citrus, and hops.

Taste: Grapefruit bitterness, citrus fruits, and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Overall:
If you like unsweetened grapefruit, you will most definitely like this beer. It is very bitter and hoppy. Oh, and one more thing, did I mention it was bitter? (368 characters)

Photo of paytoplay
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at O'Briens SD. Funky, blast of hops on the nose. A bit of sweetness, very complex, herb and vegital. Extremely long length. Color was black with a brown standard type cask head. Hops really dominate and the malt create a unique brew. Much different from the 11th bottle enjoyed a week prior. Interested to see how current bottles compare. (344 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Poured the color of cola with a dense, three inch mocha-colored head. Some red highlights revealed around the base when backlit. Head eventually dissipates into a soapy skim that coalesces around the shoulders. Generous bands and strands of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose reveals lots of malt, brown sugar and molasses off the pour. Out of the glass some light hops aromas come across in the back. Taste follows nose, but the hops bitterness really asserts itself at the back and lingers between quaffs, slightly detracting from the experience. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a level background carbonation and a slightly creamy texture. Not a bad brew and reasonably priced at $6.99, but the lingering bitterness was a little off-putting for me. (798 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to womencantsail, who gave this to me as an extra in a recent trade. 22oz bomber poured into a Goose Island pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown, might just be black, with a couple fingers-worth of tan frothy head. After the initial pour, there's still a decently large cap on top with a bunch of lacing along the sides. A really nice looking beer, no doubt about it.

S - Bitter hops/citrus, orange peel, some sweet chocolate/malt and roasted nuts. A nice meld of bitterness and malts.

T - Strong hoppy bitterness up front, roasted peanuts, malts, floral notes as well. Maybe a little too much going on here for me, but overall, it's good but not great. Very bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, frothy carbonation, oily finish.

D - Not all too high, but something nice if you're tired of straight-up hop bombs or sweet stouts. I'm not going to seek this one out but if it's in front of me, I'll drink it. (917 characters)

Photo of KMDouds
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa, Stone has done it again! Sublimely Self-Righteous plays like a sacred union between an IPA and a Porter. Apparently such a union between these 2 styles yields a very favorable Black Ale.

Think big hops meets big malt. The slightly sweet slightly burnt malt flavoring is off set by the characteristic Stone hoppiness.

I experience this as a sipping brew: a beer to enjoy with time and conversation, something that warms with time, and actually improves upon it's initial taste. Strong across the board. The only thing that precludes a very high rating is it's fragrance, and that's perhaps the most subjective of the categories. (636 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,885 ratings.