Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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1,887 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,887
Hads: 5,835
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 287
Gots: 767 | 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
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Reviews: 1,887 | Hads: 5,835
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of oxnard111
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Very very dark brown. Cannot see through liquid what so ever. 1 finger medium tan head. Head is thin in consistency.

S - Sweet caramel and vanilla, maybe even an almond extract type smell. Woodsy/earthy/burnt smells. There is some other smell in there that I just can't identify but can be detected on the exhale.

T - Strong barley. Wood tastes with a bitter aftertaste. Seems like the hops would have been more detectable when it was fresher but has been bottled for almost 2 years so they have lost some of their potency.

M - Very thick almost chewy. Very low carbonation.

D - This a pretty strong brew. Alcohol taste is pretty apparent. This almost seems like a desert beer. I could imagine having this with a ice cream covered hot cookie desert.

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Photo of rangerman21
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark ruby with an off white head, good retention and lacing
S- Hint of booze, plenty of hops
T- Coffee, malty with an aggressive hop finish. Plenty of lingering bitterness
M- Bright
O- Hoppiest of black IPAs. The roasted malts could be stronger, but a very good black IPA nonetheless

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: Draft (City Beer Store)

Smell: Mint julep (when cold), grapefruit/pine oil, salted caramel.

Taste: Rich and bitter and pretty darn good. Herbal/floral/grassy hops with a nice roundness and sharp bitterness. A healthy helping of ripe pear and grapefruit oil that tickles the throat. Molasses and caramel and some barely perceptible clove with nice dark malt flavors. Mocha/Coffee emerges as it warms. Slightly interesting play between the dark, slightly roasted malts and the bitternes but the bitterness is a just a bit harsh and hurts drinkability and the mouthfeel is pretty oily. Finish is grassy with an astringent edge, grainy, bitter coffee, residual orange oil.

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Photo of RossCain
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Piraat tulip:

A: Pours from the bottle a mahogany hue and settles in the glass nearing black in color. The beer initially pours with a cascading, light brown and bubbly head that sits around for a while as it clings to the sides of the glass upon its retreat.

S: Aggressive fresh hops upfront with very strong notes of sweet citrus such as navel orange and apricot with a certain grass-like/floral undertone. You can pick up upon a mild, well blended roasty character in the finish of the nose that pairs nicely with the hops.

T: A tasty, hop forward brew with a bittersweet citrus profile upfront. Aggressive floral and citrus hops are dominant but become decently blended with a (very light) roasted malt profile that pops its head in as the bitterness peaks and mellows out the finish a bit. The finish has a taste that gives off notes of bittersweet orange accented dark chocolate. The alcohol profile is for the most part completely masked.

However, there exists a lingering of a bitter taste upon the palate after sipping that would very easily compare to the same you would expect if you had drank unsweetened cocoa mixed with water. Not exactly pleasant but it seemed to tone down after I was about halfway through the bomber.

M: Dry, medium bodied, with carbonation on the lighter side (could have been a little more). As previously noted, the beer really lingers upon the roof of the mouth with an astringent, bitter characteristic that doesn't subside until you take another sip.

D: The beer was certainly tasty but really took some time to wear on me due to the astringent aftertaste that filled my palate in the beginning (imagine bitter hops + cacoa bean). Definitely a sipper. Not a beer that lacks on flavor in any means and it was not a problem to finish the bottle, however it is not something that I would likely pick up again as it does not exactly stick out among its peers.

Overall, I really wished for there to be a little more emphasis on the roasted malt character in this beer but this seems to have been sacrificed for a more aggressive hop profile. As it stands there was definitely something left to be desired.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near pitch black with light penetrating only the outer edges to reveal a reddish brown tint.The head is light tan and a good 2 and 1/2 fingers thick, excellent retention, resulting in an average, but sticky lace.

Smell - Hop forward, peppery spice and an orange citrus, along with notes of darkly roasted coffee malt. An enticing aroma, I just wish it was stronger.

Taste - Aggressively hopped. Predominately citrus, with a healthy, dark malt background. Coffee and a touch of sweet caramel. More dark malt character emerges as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body. Carbonation is right on the money.

Overall - Beautiful CDA (black ipa). Wonderful all around balance. I don't know what else to say, except I wish it was more affordable, as I'd drink it a hell of a lot more often.

Re-review 11/18/12- I had this on tap a few months ago and was disappointed ,and now I'm having it again from the bottle, and I gotta say it's just as disappointing. Too much bitter pine character overruns the entire experience. I don't know if the bottle I had initially was old and the hops had mellowed to the point that other flavors were able to shine through, or if there's been a change in the brewing process, but it's been a pure pine bomb the last few times I've had it. My score now reflects my latest assessment, which is far less favorable.

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Photo of genog
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brownish black color with cascading carbonation coming after the pour. Head is dark brown and a thick 3 inches that lingers and leaves a lot of great lacing. Aroma is hoppy followed by a toasted malt presence. I can also smell some grapes I believe. Taste is bitter followed by an overly sweet hoppy flavor, and a lot of raisins making this one seem like a barleywine type flavor. Mouthfeeling is oily and soft carbonation. Somewhat heavy on the alcohol.

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Photo of Belgianbeerbunny
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's difficult to review a style that I don't enjoy. I tend to like Belgian anything (except Lambics and Geuzes), porters and stouts. Although this bottle didn't say "IPA", I suspected that anything coming out of Stone would be very hoppy.

A - It looks like something I'd want to drink - black as night with a 1/2 inch head leaving nice lacing.

T - Then I get a whiff of the hops and pine. It smells like I'm about to drink a Daisy Cutter. (Not that I mind a Daisy Cutter every once in a while, especially is I'm up at Half-Acre.) I don't taste the malt or yeast at the end. Just pine and hops.

M - Medium body. Someone else said "oily" and I'm going to go with that. Is it the pine oil?

O - If I was entertaining an IPA-lover, I would get them this. Usually I do buy Daisy Cutter or Dog Fish Head 90 Minute IPA, but this would be good in the IPA rotation.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

220z bomber. Pours nearly back with slight reddish glow at the bottom when held to the light. Smells hoppy with malty notes and a strong hint of charred wood. The flavor is dominated by dry hops and toasted malt with a slight smack of cherry cough drops on the finish. The mouth is dry most the way through, the slight sweetness at the end, but that diverse of a mouth from tongue to throat. It's quite drinkable, with the alcohol well hidden, but the predominant woodiness would prevent it from being a session beer. Solid overall, but rather mundane compared to the stars in the Stone universe.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours a dark shade of crimson with two fingers of head and nice lacing. The flavor is bright with a floral and citrusy hop profile. The taste is very bitter initially with an earthy hop profile that is good but quite boring to my palate. The body is medium with low carbonation. Overall this is a tasty but highly uneventful beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at the Stone Brewery into a pint glass. The beer is a dark brown, glassy, thick coloring, almost black in the depths. The beer has a 1 inch creamy, thick, tan head. The nose is hop heavy, with grapefruit and resinous forward notes, followed by a solidly smoked and roasted note that helps to balance it. The taste is hop forward, very bitter and resinous, and these characteristics are enhanced by the roast and smoke characters. The hop-heavy feel continues into the finish, where there is more of a citrus hops linger, but still plenty of bitterness. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, despite the boldness of the flavors. This is a big beer, with very heavy characteristics. Damn tasty, and not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample #2 from the recently purchased in MN Stone beers.
Begins with a fresh hop fragrance the grows in citrus to tart and sour and full on grapefruit. Slight oily quality as well. Hard to pick up the malt character but more hints of roast.
Black body that show red highlights in the light (also clear). Dark head that settles slowly without ever completely leaving.
At first a nice malt character with a sweetness up front with roast and the roast reappearing at the finish with a dryness. But in time the malt flavors get overwhelmed by the hop flavors and especially the hop bitterness. Seems like lots and lots of cascade with a full-n grapefruit flavor. Bitterness is extended in the long finish. There are other hop flavors intermixed but too often over powered. At a couple of points a mild alcohol taste appeared.
Smooth carbonation with a moderate body.
Boy there are some nice flavors here, but my palate was overwhelmed too often.
Beergoggles noted regarding the text on the bottle, "blah, blah, blah get on with it".

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Photo of JDV
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black pour with a big tan head in a tulip. Smell is quite hoppy and some dark malt notes in there as well. Or maybe that is just my eyes projecting that on what otherwise is very IPA like. Taste is strong, bitter, and hoppy. Some dark roast flavors show up, but mostly what you'd expect from a strong rich heavy IPA. Light alcohol presence, but this is still nicely drinkable.

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Photo of callmemickey
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown body with a darker off white head that approaches a soft sand-khaki. Spotty lacing remains as the head slowly subsided.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, pine, fresh grass, and bark.

T: I am really not sure what the appeal is with these "black IPAs." The nose hinted at a harmonious marriage of darker roasted, toasted, and earthy malts with earthy, resinous, pine hops. Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't really come together as well. The malts used here added a bit too much sweetness and contrasted a bit harshly with the hops which sliced their way forward, but with a bit inconsistency.

When dealing with IPAs/dIPAs I like to think of malt as a canvas and the hops as paint. A quality canvas is necessary for the paint to adhere to, standout from, and leave a lasting impression. That said, the malts don't need to be bland, boring and hidden. But the canvas can't be full of ridges and valleys that alternately shed and pool the paint. Here the malt did just that, spiking out at times with too much malt, and at times just assaulting with bitter hops.

All said, it wasn't unpleasant. Just a tad frustrating with what "could" have been done here.

M: Medium bodied. Prickly carbonation. A bit of excess sweetness in the finish that could have been more crisp and defined.

D: A good, style-bending beer. Not sure if the experiment works for me in the long run though.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.