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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,212 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,212
Reviews: 1,827
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 227
Gots: 459 | 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: 5,212 | Reviews: 1,827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kgotcher
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

kgotcher, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of adman08
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours very dark brown, not quite black, with lots of very deep red. Lots of tan head that leaves nice lacing on the glass.
S-Sweet overall aroma. Very interesting, almost a Belgian Dark ale sweetness but very apparent citrus hop scent as well. Sweet aromas of dark sugar and dried fruit.
T-Taste matches the scent, lots of dried fruit sweetness and dark sugar along with a distinct citrus hop flavor. The balance is a little more to the hop side than the sweet.
M-Medium bodied and overall fairly sweet with lots of carbonation.
Overall, an outstanding beer. Basically a blend of the sweet flavors of a Belgian dubbel with a much higher hop bitterness. The choice of the more citrusy hops was a great idea because they blend well with the sweetness. It's basically an imperial black IPA. Really interesting and really good.

adman08, May 11, 2012
Photo of estlinska
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. The color is almost pure black with the most minimal notes of brown when held to the light. There is a tower or beige head that leaves sticky lacings all over the glass. The nose is full of roasted coffee and chocolate malt with a dominating citrus and pine hop character. Very good nose. The taste is very hop dominant. There is lots of citrus hops, grapefruit and orange peel with some resin. A nice balance comes from the roasted malts which even out the palate very well. The palate is big with a long bitter finish. Great black IPA.

estlinska, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark black body with a frothy light brown/tan head. when held against the light of a lamp, ruby red shimmered through the body. looks excellent. lacing is great too.

a beer that has the wonderful appearance of an imperial stout has the great aroma of an IPA. great combo. clearly a ton of cascade hops dumped in there. slight malt background too.

the citrus taste of hops with the backing of the coffee/heavy malt taste that some great stouts have.

the mouthfeel is solid. good carbonation.

for a big abv beer, this is unbelievably drinkable.

one of my favorite beers possibly.

JordonHoltzman, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Monsone
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received from mikesgroove

A - Pours a dark, brown/amber with a nice foamy off white head. Leaves good lace on the glass. Does not look like most beers it tastes similar too. Not sure where to go with this...

S - Smells of piney hop resin with a very slight maltyness in there.

T - Pine and grapefruit hop flavors. High bitterness. A backbone of roasty toffee type malt flavors keeps it in check.

M - Medium bodied and crisp carbo

D - Pretty drinkable for the alco and bitterness.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer. Bitterness was balanced enough to enjoy it. Full flavored. Good beer and worth a try.

Monsone, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of tapman
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For review #300 I picked a goodie.

Looks like a stout or schwarzbier; color is a super dark brown, not black IMO. Head is medium sized, sticky, tawny colored bubbles. Head lasts for-ev-er and looks almost nitro-infused. Really looks like a draught dry stout. YUM.

Smells like a hoppy wet dream. Piney, grapefruit zest and grassy, super west coast, but not too much malt in the nose. I maybe get a little bit of astringent roastiness.

Here is the malt, in the flavor. Malt is like charred, smokey BBQ flavor, and contrast the bright hops while at the same time balances the flavor by not being over- or under-powering. Hops are similar to the nose, but with more pine. A strong bitterness in the finish.

You expect a syrupy mess and get an IPA type of consistency. Fun to drink since your brain is constantly warning you to chew the beer, but unnecessarily so.

A great brew! Unique in that it balances contrasting flavors better than many others balance complimentary ones. I want to try the Amarillo hop edition!

tapman, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of SwillBilly
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, black, opaque with just a bit of dark mahogany show around the edges. A thick, billowy tan head tops this dark brew, then fades slowly to a thin, but creamy toffee colored sheen.

Smell: Wow, big upfront citrusy hops, plenty of grapefruit rind, pine needles, and a touch of sweetened coffee. Faint hint of alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste: XI starts with a really nice malty sweetness with caramel and brown sugar overtones, slightly fruity, raisin like with a subtle roastiness. The middle is where things transition quickly to a full on hop assault. Big time grapefruity bitterness along with more pine needles. The grapefruity bitterness lingers long after the swallow, leaving your mouth dry and tempting you to take another sip. The very subtle roastiness of the dark malts also make an appearance in the finish as well. Alcohol is there as you can feel its warmth and flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly a rather moderate mouthfeel, looks definitely deceive. Dry in the finish and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability/Notes: Another great anniversary beer from the folks at Stone. I thought X was a really good IPA (glad I have another bottle), but this black IPA is so unique. The ability to combine a big, hoppy, Double IPA with dark, roasty malts is something else. Doesn't come across as a hoppy Porter as you might expect from its appearance, but its a true, honest to god, big time West Coast DIPA. Plenty of of citrusy hops (dare I say Amarillo or Simcoe?) with a subtle roastiness and plenty of malt sweetness to balance things out. Being 8.7% makes this a sipping beer for sure, but man is it drinkable. The dryness in the finish begs you to take another drink. Definitely seek out and enjoy, highly recommended. A hop heads delight for sure. Glad I grabbed a couple of bottles. Can't wait to cellar and try again next year.

SwillBilly, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of cdkrenz
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The body of this beauty is by no means modest in a cloak of black topped by a foamy, frothy, medium tanned head with nice lacing and solid stamina.

S - An interestingly minty and citrus hop presence with a hint of spice.

T - The combination of hops and malt make for a solid array of flavors to enjoy here. Every time I take another pull I pick up another tasty character. Citrus and dark bread are the mainstays while leafy hops, nut, roasted malt, chocolate and coffee are also all present.

M - Thick body with a slight coarseness.

~ I want more of this beer. I wish I could have one a week. This is a great beer.

cdkrenz, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of vfgccp
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Pardon the abbreviated review, this was sampled at a free Stone tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Deep cola.

S - Beautifully flora. Light citrus hops. Rich malt backbone.

T - Woody hops up front with some deep toast and rye bread. Great balance.

M - Smooth with a bitterness that doesn't overpower.

vfgccp, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of gmcfarre
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into New Belgium chalice
Decanted at approx. 46 degrees F

A - Pours an opaque dark chocolate color with a good 1/2 inch tan head than fades to a thin layer. Lacing is good. -

S - Piney and oily hops with a nice brown sugar malt backing. Dark fruits and a touch of chestnut perhaps. Hops seem to be the star, but its a complex brew.

T - Starts with a brown sugary and plummy sweetness that edges slowly towards a piney and oily hoppiness. Finish is bitter without being over the top. Complex in its combination of sweet malt and bitter hops, but they marry well. A touch of rye breaded dryness seems to be present in the malt.

M - Medium to heavy body with a slightly viscous mouthfeel and a good drying, bitter aftertaste.

D - Fairly high alcohol doesn't show in the taste, but certainly does after downing an entire bomber. A heavy beer that is a better sipper than quaffer. It is fairly drinkable sip after sip though, as its very complex and tasty.

Another interesting and complex winner from Stone. The back of the bottle hints that this is an IPA, but filing it under that category would greatly diminish its complexity. This one should age nicely, so it will be interesting to revisit in a year or two.

gmcfarre, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Varga Bar, 3/19/11.

A-Pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a foamy cap of tan head. Great retention and good lacing.

S-Tons of piney hops, perhaps the most aromatic cask beer I have ever run across.

T-Rich roasted malt, tons of piney hops and a sold but controlled bitterness that really sets this beer apart.

M-Medium bodied, the bitterness, while restrained, does linger.

D-Excellent. A great black ale by any delivery mehod.

HV

sholland119, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of JToad
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So I picked up a bomber of XI, and IX tonight, trying the XI this evening, tomorrow I will do the IX.

I served in a tradition pint glass (moved, all I could find).

Apperance: A lot darker than I anticipated, being an IPA/ASA of sorts, I expected it to be a little lighter.

Smell: Hints of caramel, grapefruit.Hops smell beautiful, if a little understated.

Taste: Very bitter at first, yet smoothes out after a few sips. For as dark as it is, seems very light.

Mouthfeel: As I said above, very light, doesnt linger like most IPAs, or American Strong Ales. Very smoothe.

Drinkability: At first, I thought I would be dissapointed. But this beer gets better as you sip it, Almost half way done, and its real nice.. Very solid beer. Not dissapointed at all. Curious to try the 9th Anniversary tomorrow night, see how well its aged. Stone continues to never let me down..

JToad, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of CalebR1
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

CalebR1, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of 1229design
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bomber into a pint glass

Appears super dark brown almost black, Nice tan head with lacing all the way to the bottom of my Lakemaid pint glass.

Smells very hoppy some malt essence coming through, a bit of pine too.

Tastes like it smells times a hundred, a huge piney like hoppiness up front with some big malt punching through and finishing bitter to balance out the sweet malts. smooth warming alcohol sneaks in.

Dark and full bodied, almost reminds me of a porter on hop steroids....that's a good thing!

massively tasty, not for the faint of heart
delicious if you like big beers! a must if you appreciate stones other offerings.

1229design, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of saintwarrick
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a midnight-dark red, sort of cola colored with a foamy tan head. Tons of hops in the aroma, like a DIPA, also a sweetness like brown sugar, with some piney hops. The taste turns to citrus, sugary grapefruit, a bit more unbalanced towards the hops, but not negatively so. Definitely a big brew for the hopheads.

A bit darker than the 13th anniversary in taste and appearance, but this brew follows along that line and should appeal ton anyone who likes that or any of Stone's hoppy goodness.

saintwarrick, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of YouSkeete
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Really dark brown, almost back. Small darker tanned head, hardly any lacing.

S: Bright floral scent with hops and deeper notes of honey and caramel malts. Some chocolate and roasted coffee beans also. Tingly aroma of alcohol.

T: The smell follows the flavor. Huge floral hop flavor, burst of bitterness mixed with the sweetness of the honey and caramel malts. coffee and chocolate are definitely apparent. Enormous flavor. Heavy on the presence of alcohol, but it certainly fits.

M: Full body and on the stronger side with carbonation.

D: A lot of flavor to handle, utterly delicious. It's name says it all.

YouSkeete, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a standard pint.

A - Almost black with a one finger tan head that sticks around for a while. When held up to the light I see some ruby flashes and can just barely see through to the other side of the glass. It leaves a nice tiered lacing down the glass.

S - Floral hops and roasted malts. No need to look any further because they meld perfectly and nothing more is needed.

T - I get citrus and piney hops which are met quickly by the malt. Some molasses, spicy notes, and sweetness on the tail end, but mostly a tug of war between the bitter hops and toasted malts. It is a stale mate that demonstrates perfect balance. I get more and more orange as it warms. Truly delicious.

M - Carbonation is just right; combines with the thick body to give a creamy feel. Just slightly tingly on the tongue but extremely smooth.

O - American Black Ale is one of my favorite styles and this is the gold standard in my opinion. I often find beers of the style to either favor the roasted and smoked or IPA side of the style, but this one is so perfectly balanced that I have no complaints. Stone sometimes underwhelms me, but this is an amazing beer.

NoLeafClover44, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of lhaqq
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nearly opaque black with a generous dense dark tan head. Looks almost like a nitrogenated stout.
S: Lots of hops initially though the smell still is subdued. Pine and a bit of maltiness.
T: Most of the taste seems to be a floral hoppy bitterness. Begins, though, with some bittersweet chocolate and light roast coffee. But there is a big grapefruit finish that was unexpected.
M: Enjoyably lighter than expected from the taste and abv.
D: Refreshing and can't taste the high abv.

lhaqq, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark almost black color from a 22 oz bomber with ABV on the label. Nice two finger head that dissipates ever so slowly, leaving behind a nice lace.
Aroma is a nice blend of hops with a fruity (apricots, and some raisin) aroma.
This ale is a wonderful assault on the palate. Nice bitterness of the hops up front with hints of sweetness and finishing again on a nice bitter note. However, the bitterness of the finish has a caramel/cocoa like flavor.
An excellent example of how I would want my black ale/IPA to be. Excellent mouthfeel and drinkability.
Absolutely worth a try and highly recommended.

CaptDavyJones, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of Lunch
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, Maryland (12/10/09) into a goblet at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a very dark brown to almost black with a slight ruby hue when held up to the light. Capped with a one finger head which dissipate slowly leaving excellent lacing on the inside of the glass.

S: At first whiff this reminds me of a Black IPA since grapefruit and other citrus flavors come to the surface first followed by at hint of roasted malt (coffee, perhaps) and smoke.

T: The Black IPA theme continues onto the palate in the form of a citrusy hop that is primarily made up of grapefruit and orange. This is followed by coffee and an underlying roasted malt with some smokiness. The finish is quite bitter leaving a grassy flavor coating the palate.

M: Medium-bodied with a slick feel, but at times it seemed a little thin with a slight separation in the flavor profile.

D: Excellent drinkability as this beer has some interesting flavors that work quite well together and the alcohol is completely masked. This beer has quite a bitter finish that may not appeal to some, but i loved it.

Overall I find this beer to be a very well-crafted ale from Stone and one that certainly needs to be tried before it is all gone. Recommended.

Lunch, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of brantadid
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured almost black with a tall white head which diminished to a thin white head. Excellent lacing.

Hoppy nose with a slight malty smell. Very floral.

Bright, fresh hops on the front and mid palate with hoppy and malty finish. Very long finish. Tobacco also appeared on the back palate with a very refreshing bitterness.

Very well balanced and then I realize that this is an IPA. The darkest I have ever had.

The 8.7% alcohol is well masked. Just another great beer from Stone.

brantadid, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of irishking1977
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Menacing, black liquid with a copious tan head that holds it's own, while leaving massive rings of lacing. Wow. Looks like an amazing stout. Whatever it is, it looks fantastic.

S: Ahhh. Fresh, clean hops aroma. Malt background subdued, but it's there nonetheless.

T: An insane (in a good way) cavalcade of hops, malt and mild sweetness/bitterness combination. Near perfection. This is what a beer is supposed to taste like.

M: This is probably one of the most balanced beers I've had. Chewy, oily, somewhat creamy, and mildly bitter. This one can certainly cause palate exhaustion because of it's intense taste and feel, but during the drinking process, most beer drinkers won't care. Simply a pleasure to consume.

D: Palate exhaustion is possible with this one, so it's not exactly a session beer in the truest sense of the word. Still, drinking a few bombers of this one wouldn't be so bad, would it?

irishking1977, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoaaah. Black, with a breath of red transparency when held in front of the light. Head is splendid, and posesses enviable stamina. Leaves fine, feathery lacing. Smell is an absolute killer, exhibiting massive complexity in the malt. It has a sharpness to it that is reminiscent of cedar. Also evident are espresso and an absurd abundance of humulus lupulus. The flavor is equally massive and impressive, very woody, and with a great finish, that thankfully lingers until the next magnificent swig. Mouthfeel is layered, with great viscosity.

This year's VE scared the hell out of me. This beyond reaffirms my tremendous faith in this finest of breweries.

jeffjfindley, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown with a slight reddish tinge. Almost black, but not quite. Nice inch or so of light tan head.

S- Ahhh, now that's the stuff! Amazing hoppy aroma. Strong Simcoe aroma comes through with sweet citrus and floral notes. Only the slightest hint of roasted malt is detectable, but it's certainly there and adds complexity to the smell.

T- It's not particularly sweet, surprisingly enough. It starts out kind of tangy and citrusy before taking on stronger flavors of pine and coffee. The hops and the roasted malt complement each other quite nicely. Alcohol peeks through from time to time. The bitterness is substantial and is joined on the finish by a somewhat astringent roastiness. I suspect my palate is ruined for the rest of the evening.

M- Medium-full body with a fairly low carbonation level that suits the beer just fine.

D- After drinking one, it seems pointless to drink another because I probably won't be able to taste it. But that one sure was nice.

I've pretty much run out of things to say about Stone, so I won't even bother. Just know that this beer lives up to the brewery's lofty standards. If you like big IPA's and are a fan of Stone's beers, then you have to give this a try. But you already knew that, didn't you?

vtfan77, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of silentjay
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a barely translucent brown/black with a nice sized tan head that sticks around a while and laces really well.

aroma is very heavily piney. some fresh cut grass, cigar smoke, some dark chocolate and a hint of sweetened dark fruits come through as well.

taste is a bit stronger in the malts than the aroma indicated. some burnt coffee, smoke, and bakers chocolate give way to a very grassy, piney and earthy hop profile that lingers a bit. an IPA hop profile with a roasty stout malt profile- opposite ends of the spectrum, but they work beautifully together. bitterness and some citrus also appear as it warms and push the hops to the forefront once again, as some drying cocoa powder finishes this one out.

medium bodied with a pretty high carbonation level. creamy yet dry on the swallow.

oh so smooth. this one goes down easily with no indication of the 8.7% ABV. not traditional at all, which may throw some people off, but it works for me. This one will be copied and imitated over and over again.

silentjay, Jul 22, 2010
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,212 ratings.