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

1,883 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,883
Hads: 5,812
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 279
Gots: 753 | 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: 1,883 | Hads: 5,812
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. (687 characters)

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. (2,183 characters)

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. (1,372 characters)

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. (472 characters)

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. (861 characters)

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. (596 characters)

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. (351 characters)

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. (739 characters)

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". (1,028 characters)

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. (376 characters)

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. (1,384 characters)

Photo of Jmamay22
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Black IPA pours a very dark black with a tan colored head. Certainly has the black part of Black IPA completed. Wonderful webbing and rings of sticky lacing.

Smells very hoppy and very much like an IPA. Looks can be very deceiving.

Tastes of resinous hops. Very bitter, but the grapefruit, piney, and grass flavors are lacking and leave mostly a bitter flavor. Fortunately, there are some caramel malt flavors that jump in.

Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation serves to enhance the biting hop flavors. Drinkability is high for the abv, but the hops are a little out of whack for me and hurt the drinkability a bit.

More of a Double Black IPA than the Black IPA name it has earned. It is reminiscent of a Black Ruination, but slightly lacking. (756 characters)

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

This black ale pours a dark toffee color with a fine generous head. The aroma is one of citrus and malt. The taste is a mixture of chocolate, coffee, and very dominant Cascade hops. Definitely a "hop slammer's" beer. If you love strong hoppy beers this one is well balanced with malty undertones.

BTW, this beer tastes uncommonly good with peanuts! (349 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. The beer pours a deep deep brown color with a light coating of tan head over top. There is a mild stream of carbonation in it, and clarity is hard to gauge due to the dark color of the brew. Good looker here. The aroma is interesting. There is a nice pungent hop that is coming across very earthy and piney, though I imagine that fresh it was more brilliant. There is a strong malt backbone in there, with a good bit of bready and melanoidan toastyness. There is a hint of anise spicyness as well. It is an interesting mix. The flavor brings an initial hop that is slightly citrusy and earthy, this is followed by a peculiar malt flavor. I get bready and molasses qualities with an infusion of spicy anise. The hop bitterness really hits along with the sharpness that gives me a molasses. I find the bitterness to be a little too harsh for my liking. Mouthfeel is moderate to thick, with a light carbonation. It has a bit of slickness to it. Overall, I think the flavors clash a bit in here. I find the hop bitterness to linger a bit too strong on my tongue. This one is certainly good, but I think it is a little too forceful and slightly unrefined overall to me. (1,178 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's funny, I must have picked this beer up and then put it back down for some reason and not purchased it. I thought that I had it, and went to review it one day and I could only find a bottle of the Imperial Russian Stout. Well, I felt denied, so I was at Spec's yesterday and saw it...and picked up a bottle. Now that I have conquered the hard part...acquiring the beer...let's give it a go...

Appearance: Pours as dark as it could be...well, not really, but there is no light passing through it even from the corner of the glass. There is a thin tan head of small bubbles that is standing for quite some time, so there must be quite a few bubbles rising to maintain it. There is some pretty serious lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: The aroma is dominated by hops with American citrus abound. There is a decent amount of malt in there, but you have to concentrate to get through the hops. There are some toasty and slightly nutty notes in there to give the malt some backbone. You can pick up the "chalky" aromas that you get from dry-hopped beer, but I am not sure that this is dry-hopped. It may just have a S**t-load of hops and that is the aroma that is lingering after fermentation. Either way, the hops are really generous to say the least.

Taste: The flavor is also seriously hoppy, but there is enough malt in there to give some balance all the way until the finish. The hops win out in the conquest for control of the finish, but the malt doesn't give up easily. It doesn't take long for there to accumulate a decent burn on the back of the throat that I think is a combination of Alcohol, hop bitterness, and dark grains...but it is a bit much to linger after only a couple sips. The mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation. The beer is solid, but is pretty well attenuated and leaves the palate pretty dry and acidic.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, but like so many of the West Coast brewers, this beer is just way too out of balance for my particular taste. It has some significant malt, but at 8.7%, how could you not? This beer is a hop-monster, which for some people is the "nectar of the Gods", but I prefer my nectar to be drinkable sip after sip. This beer gets rough and ugly on the palate after a few sips, forcing you to take a drink of water to "reset" your palate. That is a bit much for me. This beer is OK, but I don't think that I would drink it again...especially not a whole 22oz bomber by myself like I am tonight. (2,483 characters)

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

Served in straight pint glass. The bartender had a rough time with this beer, it seemed way over carbonated, and after much pouring off of foam I finally got my beer. Poured a slightly translucent black, with touches of brown on the edges, and had well over an inch and a half of dark khaki colored head that had very good retention and lacing.

A surprisingly neutral and balanced aroma greeted the nose. Nice mixture of malt and hop, with just a touch of roast. The first flavor across the tongue is that roast we found at the end of the aroma. The roast sticks around and covers the expected malt taste and mixes with a bite of hops at the end.

The body is full and just a little sticky. Drinkability is very nice but I think I'd get bored if I had more than 2 in a row. Overall, a decent beer worth trying. (811 characters)

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

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass. Let this one warm up to cellar temps before even thinking about diving in, it gets really weird lower down.

Pours black with a thin fluffy tan cap that sticks around. Looks like a stout, but doesn't move like one - less viscous. If that makes sense.

Nose is floral, massively full of citrus (grapefruit, oranges), piny, some licorice and dark fruit underneath.

Taste - whoa. Wow. This one is interesting. Big time hop presence leads to massive resiny pine hops up front, surrounded by a chocolaty, roasty malt body, some caramel, with some star anise notes around the edges. Finish is massively piny, bitter. This is like an Imperial India Schwarzbier. Only an ale, which totally throws everything off with my analogy. Personally, I think a little bit of time to let the hops settle down would do wonders for this one, as they're just a bit out of control right now, but man does this one have a lot of potential. Still, way too much piny hop bitterness in its current state.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lighter than expected, crisp carbonation while still a bit creamy. Overly bitter on the lingering finish.

A really interesting beer, but I'd have a hard time drinking a lot of this. Wow. (1,231 characters)

Photo of imaguitargod
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass to a head that was decent (slightly off white color) that died down to a ring around the glass with very little lacing. Dark, black cherry red color to the beer. Very brief malt sweetness then a big burst of bitterness. I almost want to say that too much Black Patent malt or something was used and it got that typical burnt flavor that results. Pretty big hop presence but it wouldn't be a Stone beer without that. Not bad, but probably wouldn't purchase it again unless I intended to age it for a year or so to see if it mellows.

~Jonathan Passow (574 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, the re-release of Stone 11th,

A: Pours black, with a creamy off-tan head, good retention. Soapy lacing.

S: Not getting huge notes here, light scent especially for a cask offering. Some chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate hits immediately, but is soon overwhelmed by sharp pine needle bitterness that sticks and tingles on the tongue. Roasted malt is an undercurrent, though the hops tend to dominate much more than I remember in the 11th, perhaps it is due to the serving style.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied/light carbonation from the cask. Sticky resin with a long aftertaste.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, another solid offering from Stone, a tasty imperial pint to be had if this beer is found cask-conditioned. (771 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Lasered enjoy by date on bottom of 8/18/09. Was dark brown almost black in color with some mahogany edges against the light. Good lacing. It had a massive 3 finger than head that ever so slowly settled to a constant foam.

Being Stone, the aroma was heavy hops - floral and pine resin. Also had some darker fruit aroma in the back. Not much else could escape the hops. The taste was really good but definitely a hop attack. Tonuge is shredded barely a 1/3 of the way into it. I like bitter hops but this one just goes over the enjoyable line into the pain area. Makes it tough to finish since numb at the end.

Overall, a really good beer that definitely brings the hops. For me, this is a good sharing beer as it's painfully bitter after awhile. Glad I got to try it as I missed getting the Stone 11 (this is that just re-released and re-labeld) but one is enough.

[1x] (916 characters)

Photo of CONOR8832
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - chocolate and coffee life in color, nice froathy light brown head, nice lacing left on glass.

S - Some carmel/sweet malty notes then finishes off with good hoppy notes.

T - Nice earthy flavor, bittersweet like dark chocolate, mild caramel flavor, then finshes off with a good lingering hoppy bite.

M - Low/mild carbination, nice creamy feel, medium bodied, bitter dry lingering after taste.

D - Good dark ale, more hoppy than the appearance and smell make it out to be. Stone hits another home run on this brew. (519 characters)

Photo of MacDomer
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shout out to PretzelCity for hooking me up with this in a trade - thanks a lot!

22 oz. bomber poured into my Duvel tulip. Looks nice - it's pretty dark, if not black, but I see some light coming through the edges. The head is pretty pillowy. Some light tan lacing clings to the glass. The nose made me say wow right away. Not so much a "this is great" wow, but a "this is interesting" wow. There's pine and citrus, and orange, some fruity sweetness, and then comes in the roastiness at the end with coffee tones, and light caramel malt. When I taste it, I can tell that it's not fresh (which I wasn't expecting of course), but it still is pretty hoppy. It's a bit sweet, prickly, with some grassiness, then comes in the roasty chocolate character - it's quite interesting. I'm not sure if I'm really into it, but it sure is fun to try. Pretty good overall, quite unique. I was thinking that I'd pick up a Sublimely Self Righteous if I come across one, since I'm really curious to try this one fresh. (1,000 characters)

Photo of DackAchan
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Good appearance. Pours dark with a nice one finger mocha head that laces slightly.

S- Decent smell, can smell the hops in it.

T- Good taste, wonderful hops taste. Slight lemon taste to it with a bitter aftertaste.

M- Decent mouthfeel. Slight bite, heavy body. can feel the alcohol as it goes down.

D- The drinkablity is down because of the high alcohol content and the bitterness. But, if you like IPAs, this is a good one, but not as good as Ruination. (460 characters)

Photo of 9InchNails
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow! A very tan almost a stout-like head. The head abruptly took off as I was pouring it. The body is almost opaque but has ruby red entwined with the darkness.

A fruity pine smell that is very strong. The aroma is really amazing. The smell of citrus hops and malt is very pronounced... It's in your face!

A bitterness of hops and pine in the beginning then an almost sweet roasted malt and a bitter backbone as it finishes. I taste grapes, pineapple, some roasted malts. There is a slight taste of a boozy taste but nothing extreme. It's quite different tasting but good.

Medium body, you can tell the body is thicker than average Ales when the beer hits the lips. Lightly carbonated.

I don't think I can have another one, it's a little too heavy. The smell of booze towards the last third of it is getting extremely more pronounced.

Overall, not a bad beer. If I saw it on tap I would order one immediately, just to see if their is a taste differential. (966 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber.

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

Aroma is piney, roasty and a slight whiff of alcohol.

Flavor is piney up-front, with some citrus, chocolate and dark fruits lurking around.

Finish is long and piney, but there is enough malt balance to keep it from drying out.

This should age well. (322 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,883 ratings.