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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

5,667 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,667
Reviews: 1,870
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 247
Gots: 615 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,667 | Reviews: 1,870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ebin
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of schnarr84
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of BBQSteve
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stem bubbly white head immediately.

Hop smell up front but not in taste.

Great mouthfeel medium heavy.

Early notes of molasses then malt and hops and a bit of sour.

Glad I tried it. It is readily available and it will be on my list again in the future but no hurries.

Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TCgoalie
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black brown tint. But it is difficult to see through...but you almost can. Not much head to speak of.

There is a lot of brown sugar in the nose and caramelized roasted esters.

Interesting taste. So many flavors in this big fella. The flavor starts with brown sugar and melds into a mild espresso chocolate, but mostly charred marshmallow love puff. Now enter in some piney hops and the taste is complete. A lot of flavors to examine with this one...nice. The hoppy pine lingers.

There is a mostly clean mouthfeel with a touch of stickiness. This is a big beer, but it leaves the mouth feeling like a milder ABV type beer.

This is a big beer with decent drinkability. I'm not about to pound a sixer of this, but a bomber will do just fine.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “ENJOY BY” date is “12/28/12.”

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is very dark brown leaning toward black. Two fingers of dense, cappuccino-colored head dissipated very slowly.

Smell: Lots of west coast citrus and pine; mostly grapefruit but there is also tangerine and orange. Very invigorating. Dark chocolate and sweet caramel are also present. There are also faint roasted malts and molasses.

Taste: It offers a very strange and tasty flavor experience. At first it seems the hops are about to slam my taste buds. But just about the time I expect them to become overwhelming, they are balanced by the dark malts. Everything plays a minor role: hop citrus, pine, and the dark malts. The mouthfeel is much like I expect from a pale ale, and a slight, boozy sting is pervasive. As it warms, the hops leave an earthy, grainy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Excellent. This is something I will definitely drink again.

Photo of williamherbert
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bottle...

The look is pitch black. Has a large bubbly light brown head. Looks like a stout more than anything. Absolutely opaque. Contains a thick swath of lace as it is emptied.

The smell is of a citrusy IPA, with bitter, woody hops. No stout smell at all. There are magnificently complex hops here (grapefruit, pine, other citrus) with mild dry-English malt thrown in. It's perfect. A real bouquet. Hops are oily and rich. It's a traffic-stopper. Has a hint of dark chocolate.

So it looks like a stout, smells like an IPA. What next?

The taste is major bitter hops, but with a unique burnt coffee malt. Like an India Pale Porter/Stout. Oily bitter hops and dry bitter malt both fight it out. Hops come out strong, and malt takes the later rounds. Rich malt steps up as it warms, with hops as an accent more than anything. It evolves with the temp change.

Thick, smooth, oily feel. Dry roasted malt finish. It's motor oil. Overall it's a big, thick, oily, dark, hoppy, nutty, roasted brew. Too big for all night long, but absolutely perfect for one bottle's worth.

http://jbojangles.blogspot.com/2007/12/beer-othe-moment-stone-11th-anniversary.html

Photo of Labeorphile
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Dark like flat soda, with almost no bubbles coming up from underneath, but a thick fluffy head with a combination of small and medium bubbles. Good lacing down the glass.

First thing in the nose is the hops. Piney, resiny type hops, which I typically don't like as much as the citrus hops, but they are perfect for the match with the sweet chocolatey malts on the back.

Flavor is mellow and smooth unlike many in the style. The alcohol is pretty well hidden given ABV and the telltale bitter finish is there. Sweet on the front of the tongue and bitter on the back, a perfect match. Smooth and creamy as well.

A great, enjoyable offering from Stone that is better than many Black IPAs / Black Ales I have tried.

Photo of Jufu07
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of photomike
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle from my favorite "we have old stock, but sometimes that can benefit you," store.

Interestingly, I had tried Sublimely Self-Righteous (the new name for this beer under regular production) prior to tasting this beer. With a year and a half on it, this is a VERY different beer.

Pours a beautiful opaque deep brown. Can't get ANY light though this one. 1.5 finger cappuccino head forms and develops little craters on top. Minimal retention and lacing is what separates this beer from visual perfection. A beauty nonetheless.

The smell, however: perfection. Unbelievably complex. Big, very sweet malt, brown sugar, dates, black coffee, licorice and alcohol. A huge whiff is intoxicating.

Taste is similarly complex and delicious. While my growler of fresh Self-Righteous was hop dominated, perhaps overly so, this aged version is extremely malty. I am surprised at how hoppy this remains after nearly two years, though. Very nice bitter, vaguely citrusy backbone and finish that plays nicely off of the malty sweetness. Licorice, raisins, and a hint of alcohol are here still too.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. The carbonation is light, but perfect for the beer. A bit of a boozy burn.

Drinkability is high for a 9% brew. Drinks smoothly and easy, but you are definitely aware of the alcohol.

This is a GREAT beer, both fresh (as Sublimely Self-Righteous) and with age on it (as Stone 11th). In fact, I think I prefer this 11th. Time to throw some SSR in the cellar!

Photo of rwf08
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this in the past but I didn't want to review it because of the style. Now that it is called a Black IPA I feel I can review it properly.

A: Pours a dark molasses brown. Not black but close. Some dark dark amber hues on the edges. Soft off white creamy head. Some good lacing too.

S: I close my eyes when I smell a beer and when I do it with this one all I smell is a piney IPA. There is a slight hint of roast but not much. Maybe toasted bread slathered in pine jelly. Awesomeness to say the least.

T: Creamy soft roasted grain with pine and grapefruit. I get faint dark chocolate with citrus in there but pine dominates.

M: Silky smooth, soft on the palate. Medium carbonation, and creamy as hell. So good!

D: I want more. I thought Hop in the Dark was best but I think this beer is way better! This beer is easy to get for me and I feel I have under-appreciated it!

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served a black, nearly opaque body with a thin ecru head that leaves sticky lacing. Plenty of roastiness, pineapple, dark roast coffee in the nose. Flavors explode on the tongue. Sweet up front ,then hoppy tropical fruit, followed by a bitterness that says "I am righteous & here to stay!" Solid mouthfeel on the lushly full not thick side. A one and done due to the abv.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
The beer pours a deep and dark chocolate brown. Very little head forms that is a dark tan. The beer also leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell:
I smell hints of dark chocolate mixed with roasted malts. The hops are a nice citrus smell that balances out the malt.

Taste:
I get nice mix of roasted malts with citrus hops. In addition to the roasted malts, the beer also has a slight dark chocolate taste to it. The aftertaste mainly consists of citrus hops.

Mouthfeel:
A dry feeling with little carbonation.

Overall:
A very good beer and the best American Black Ale that I've had for a while. Personally, I wish that this came in a 6-pack.

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my Stone RIS specialty glass.

A: I see undertones of ruby, but this beer is, by and large, a very dark, opaque offair. It would look almost identical to the RIS, were it not for the generous, rocky, frothy cream-colored head that screams "I taste like a lighter-colored beer!"

S: It definitely smells like an IPA. Orange, grapefruit, and pine resin hops overpower the nose, with a slight fruity hint of raspberry, black currant, and chocolate (very slight) underneath. So far, the color has not asserted itself to any sense but my eyes--I almost wonder if the chocolate scent I pick up is due more to eye-nose association than actual smell. After tasting it, however, the dark roastiness asserts itself more prominently in the nose.

T: The elements are more assertive here. Grapefruit and pine attack the palate, carried on a solid wave of baker's chocolate and dark fruit hints--chocolate covered cherry cordials, perhaps, due to the peppery alcohol bite. There is a definite sweetness in the middle, an almost sugary quality that is quickly vaporized by the roasty malt base and citric-pine oiliness. It's very interesting, and seems to change its balance slightly with each successive sip, bringing different elements forward. It's a little heavy on the alcohol burn in the finish, but still a very complex and intriguing offering.

M: Feels light at first, but it is very sticky. The crispness of the flavors prevents the beer from getting too cloying, but it still clings to the palate a little too long.

D: I really think it's one of Stone's more interesting offerings of late. It's at least as good as the 10th, and will likely age more gracefully. I'd like to find a few more bottles, so I can test that theory.

Photo of jaramilr
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of mjurney
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Deep dark brownish-red color, see through. Awesome creamy head, lacing looks great on the glass.

Smell:
Strong piney hops in the nose, earthly, robust, touch of burnt toasted malts. Smells really great!!

Taste/Mouthfeel:
Piney hops up front, a little citrus and floral, along with semi-burnt toasted malts. Some earthly in the middle, I could detect some touch of dark fruit and pepper. Dry finish with nice roasted coffee aftertaste. Chewy/creamy mouthfeel, carbonation feels nice on my tongue. Nice warmth feeling from the alcohol.

Drinkability:
Very drinkable.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1pint 6 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours a deep mahogany and opaque. Pours with ~3 fingers of thick, light brown head, which fades very slowly to a solid cap, leaving thick lacing as it recedes. Excellent retention.

S- Pine and grapefruit hopiness are strong from the outset. Slight roasty sweet notes begin to slip in behind the solid hops.

T- Solid hoppy pine and grapefruit flavors pitted against rich, roasted malty sweetness. Solid bitterness. Really interesting and enjoyable.

M- Moderate carbonation with a fairly full feel. Fairly creamy.

D- Excellent. Fairly high an ABV could render this one dangerous were I to have access to more than 22 oz. at this time.

Future outlook: Wow. Pretty pricey (~$9 /22 oz.), but I have to admit, it knocked my socks off. A super-hopped strong ale (black DIPA??), to be sure, and it worked. Extremely enjoyable, and something I won't hesitate to try again...I just wish it were cheaper!!

Photo of MaryW
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of aerozeppl
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pured from a 22oz bottle.

A Pours dark brown with some hints of amber. Chocolate head on top.

S Hops which is weird considering the color. My mind is having a hard time matching up the sight of the beer to the taste. Once past the initial smell of hops you get some malt. The sweetness really compliments the hoppy smell. There is some fruit and choclate in there too but they are very subtle.

T Everyone keeps talking about dark IPA and I am inclined to agree. The malt and alcohol keep the hop taste in check. It really is well balanced. Incredible so actually.

M Incredible feel in the mouth. Nice and creamy with the hop and everything else bouncing back and forth on the way down.

D While I am not a hophead I do enjoy an IPA from time to time. This is something completely different that if the good folks at stone see fit to brew more of I could drink this all the time. The beer is so enjoyable you hardly notice the 8.7%. If I happen upon another bottle it shall be mine.

Please make this beer again stone. Wonderful.

Photo of Pahn
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Stag's Head in Manhattan. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Bartender leaves a one inch tan head that dissipates very slow, leaving thick rings of lacing. Pours a very dark brown, and leaves huge rings and walls of lacing all around the glass.

Smell: Caramel, and some big, piny/grapefruit hops. The deep, almost barleywine caliber malt has a nutty character to it. Smells like a really good porter, plus some almost DIPA strength hops.

Taste: Wow, on tap this beer is amazing. It's so rich and creamy, like a beautiful stout with some piny, fruity hops thrown in. Not much bitterness from either the hops or malt at first. This malt flavor is exquisite; cocoa, chocolate chip cookies, balanced by a big hop presence that mysteriously doesn't clash with the decadent, creamy malt flavors in the slightest. That big hop bite yields a nice citrus, tropical fruit aftertaste, blending beautifully with the rich malt.

This flavor gives me a whole new perspective on the "black IPA" idea; it asks, "what if a world class stout were hoppy enough to be a double IPA?" Sublimely Self-Righteous is the answer: a generous barrage of cookie dough, roasted malt, and big, clear hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. About as smooth as Fritz and Ken's, an excellent beer whose highest point was its silken mouthfeel. Subdued carbonation, silky cookie dough, and a prickly hop bitterness. Excellent.

Drinkability: If black IPAs are inherently experimental, this experiment is a resounding success. After discovering how amazing this beer is fresh on tap, it would take a lot of convincing for me to order anything else.

I really can't get over how impressive Stone Brewing Co. is. Just when I think I'm giving them too much praise and credit, they deliver a beer that surpasses my expectations of them (this happens consistently). Sublimely Self-Righteous works my brain by giving me a whole new take on the so-called "black IPA" (it doesn't have to be a malty IPA, it can be a perfect stout with overdrive hops!), while delivering a simply fantastic beer regardless of style. If this beer were called "Stone Stout" or "Stone Barleywine", it would be scoring A or above from me.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Pours into my glass a dark black with deep brown hues on the edges as well. An inch of creamy light tan foam sticks to the top and leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Aromas begin with dense hops right off that bat. Citric, grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas weave into pine notes as well. Roasted malt with some toasted bread and a very light smoky quality. A small dollop of cocoa to top it off. Interesting? Yes. Good? Yes!

First sip brings a smooth roasted malt upfront that is quickly taken over by loads of hops. Citrusy grapefruit flavors mingle with pine resins and a tropical undertone. Midway through I get some toasted bread and a very faint smoky cocoa flavor. Flows down with a solid bitterness and lingering piney hop flavors. Overall, a tasty, unique brew!

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy with a medium body. Good steady carbonation. This one really hits the spot. It seems to disappear from my glass and a bomber goes down without a problem with no hint of alcohol in the flavor. Overall, I really enjoyed the 10th Anniversary and I'm happy to say the 11th is just as tasty. Cheers to the continued success of Stone and thanks to warriorsoul for the bottle.

Photo of mudbug
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice fluffy tan head, nice looking stout.
Then the aroma, WTF is this? Hops, piney, grapefruity flowery... Oh my, this aint no stout! then the taste. sweet maltiness mixed with pine boughs.... I'm getting confused here! A dryness sets in, hey, thats not allowed in a black beer! This stuffs refreshing!
Stone is making all our beer conceptions unworthy... again.
BRAVO!!!

Photo of JohnL9013
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I loved this beer, straight-up. If you liked Stone's Ruination, this is a dark-malted twist on it that will intrigue as much as assault you in Stone's typical style.

A: My gosh. This beer is totally black. Small half-inch head likely due to sloppy pouring, no lacing.

S: Wow, very very nice hops in the nose here. Judging by the appearance of this beer I was preparing to bite into a delicious "Arrogant Bastard" style ale, instead, I was greeted with a Ruinous level of hopping and a wonderful, sweet nose with dark malts in the background.

T: I realize that Stone only built this beer to please themselves, however, it's working quite well for me as well. There is a flat-out FANTASTIC balance of hops in this beer, heck, I prefer the balance slightly in this beer to the Ruination, although this beer lacks the Ruination's raw power. The dark malts give an interesting twist on things and actually balance really well with the hops they used to create a beer that is largely homogeneous with a huge emphasis on the hops. Still, there's a complexity in this beer I couldn't have expected.

M: Can be a bit harsh at first, but give it some time.

D: Be careful, this beer is very high in alcohol content. I had one of these and I was done for the night.

Summary: Buy it if you can get it!

edit: This review was written in 2010. As of 2014, this beer is much more common, and I'm quite happy, as it's become one of my go-to, favorite American beers. I have revised my ratings accordingly. I feel that this beer is the epitome of what modern American craft breweries are capable of bringing to the table.

Photo of AEK
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml brown bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A. A black beer with a dirty brown coloured head.

S. Slight coffeeish notes, fruity malt, roast malt, over ripe bananas, hints of cigar smoke, the odd whiff of raisins and some nuttiness.

T. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark caramelized fruit. A good hop finish.

M. Medium, almost thick.

D. Surprisingly smooth. The alcohol content burn soon kicks in. Definitely an enjoyable sipper - not one to be rushed or you will be sorry.

Photo of n2185
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome to see 4-packs of this beer on shelves now for a reasonable $10!

A: Pours black with two fingers of light tan head that recedes to a thin layer with decent lacing.

S: Loads of hops up front with grapefruit and pineapple at first followed by some resiny pine notes. Roasted malts bring up the finish with bitter cocoa, char, and slight coffee aromas.

T: Roasted malts up front with lots of robust flavors like bitter chocolate and char. Very roasty. Hops hit next with a lot of earthy pine flavors and some notes of grapefruit and citrus rind. The finish is charred and reminiscent of very dark chocolate.

M: Body is slightly on the heavier side of medium with medium carbonation that accentuates the hops and roasted malt characters well. This beer avoids being too watery or too thick.

O: One of the most readily available and yet best black ales out there. This style is becoming more popular, but it's difficult to find examples that are as good as this, let alone as easy to get. It does a good job of balancing hops and roasted malts, both very present but without one overwhelming the other.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,667 ratings.