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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

5,194 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,194
Reviews: 1,826
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 225
Gots: 456 | 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: 5,194 | Reviews: 1,826 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jondeelee
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Any ale called "Sublimely Self-Righteous" has a lot to live up to, even before the beer hits the lips. Thankfully, this one starts off with a mouthwatering aroma, full of sparkling grape, apple, and grapefruit notes, tempered by rosewater and confectioner's sugar, and grounded by a strong scent of toasted baguette.

On the tongue, the beer proves far darker, beginning with deeply-toasted grains, and descending quickly even further down the scale, adding chocolate malt, caramel, and marble rye tones, as well as brown sugars and hints of fig, vanilla, and roasted pecans. Grapefruit flavors and a noticeable buzzing on the tongue is the most direct evidence of hops for the main part of the mouthful, though a pine-and-grapefruit tinge becomes apparent late in the aftertaste, after the sugars and bitter, husky malt flavors have died off. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a surprisingly dark ale, replete with delicious bread and toasted nut/malt flavors, and begging to be sipped quietly in front of a roaring fire. Only a slight alcohol tinge--a result of the 8.7% ABV--mars what is otherwise an excellent beer. But even then, the alcohol is excusable and warming, much like a whiskey or cognac.

jondeelee, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Growler taken directly from the store where this was poured into a Unibroue snifter shortly after arrival.

Pours basically black with subtle signs of deep orange-red coloration around the edges. The tan head is moderate in size but long-lasting and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, as expected from Stone, with obvious pine and citrus aspects as well as some vague herbal notes. Enticing. A strong piney hop flavor dominates up front. Usually this would be followed by q quite bitter taste, or at least a very bitter aftertaste. Although there's an obvious bitterness and an IBU = 90, this beer starts bitter-sweet and keeps the bitterness under control all the way through. There's a solid dark malt component helping out with this, but clearly Stone extracted plenty of hop aroma and flavor without boiling all the bitterness out of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops. The high ABV makes itself known in the aroma, after some warming, but remains fairly well hidden in the taste. Complex and rich, extraordinary balance and interesting, and wonderful flavor dynamics.

M: full bodied; about as creamy smooth as can be at ABV = 8.7%; excellent, medium carbonation.

O: an amazing beer and the cream of the crop in Black IPAs in my experience. In any case, a world class beer all hop heads should seek out.

chinchill, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +5%

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a deep beige thick head that sticks to the glass in rings after each sip.
S- This beer has a pungent musty Northwest hops that comes through even during the pour. Wow. The roasted note of malt is a little hint in the big hop aroma and there is a green watermelon rind quality in the finish of the hops.
T- The green pungent pine flavor to the hops has a roasted note that blends nicely. There is a pine pungent finish with a minty quality and a pungent herbal hop flavor that lingers.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a slight slippery texture in the finish.
D- Although the bottle reeks of arrogance the beer inside is good. The big hop flavor has lots of nice depth with a little black malt for support. This is my first beer purchased in Chicago, would it taste better if I had to drive 2hr to buy it? Luckily I don't have to find out.

rhoadsrage, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of vincicle
4.43/5  rDev +5%

This beer might actually live up to it's nihilistic name such is the depth and surprise of this dark yet hoppy creation. The smell is an intoxicating herbal hoppiness from the dry hopping as soon as you open it, and it pours a elegant dark black/brown with a full finger head. The nose is strong on hops but also has the notes of roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The taste is wonderfully floral at first and dissipates to a slightly bitter roasted maltiness with an alchoholic kick at the end. This is a beer that stays with you after you've finished as you reflect on, "just how good was it?" One of the better beers I've tried this year and a certain reccomendation for anyone who likes more experimental tastes.
Bravo Stone

vincicle, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of heebes
4.43/5  rDev +5%

1 pint

Pours black with huge foamy tan head. Nose is citrus hops foremost, chocolate roasty malts apparant as well, auromas of a stout sutble. Taste is a complex blend of bitter hops and robust toasted malts. Dark chocolates combined with pine needles. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, dry in the finish. My first experience with a well recieved Cascadian Dark Ale. Honoured it was with Stone's self-proclaimed best. Great benchmark of an ABV, this bomber is goning to be perfect for the drinking session this afternoon. Cheers to great craft beer.

heebes, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of nimrod979
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Pours a murky brown almost black with a thin beige head. Sweet roasty caramel malts as well as a load of piney, citusy hops. Pretty complex malt versus hops but the flavors really compliment each other. Great smooth body and soft carbonation. Long bitter finish. Delicious

nimrod979, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of erialbill
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Pours black but not too thick. Very nice creamy tan head that left ample lacing on sides of the glass. Nice job of combining a great stout with a great IPA. You get to enjoy all of the complex flavours of both beer types in just the right combination. Another great Stone offering. Would highly suggest giving it a try.

erialbill, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of pharmer
4.43/5  rDev +5%

A: Poured from a 1 pint 6 oz brown bottle with painted-on label into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown (black??) color that is nearly impervious to light. A one-finger light brown head tops this brew and shows good retention and great lacing.

S: Grapefruit and big time for me. Also some piney notes and a hint of dark malt in the background.

T: This beer tastes great. Strong hop presence obviously. Grapefruit and pine notes predominate. Alcohol quite noticeable both in the middle and at the finish. Also, as would be expected the bitterness hits hard at the finish.

M: Quite highly carbonated with a medium body....quite nice.

D: This beer is excellent...but at 8.7% abv, one must be wise. I sipped on my bomber for about 90 minutes, which gave me a good chance to note its varying nuances with temperature change. I would drink this beer anywhere, anytime, but not more than a pint or two.

pharmer, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Finally reviewing this one. Enjoy by 3/29/12, so not the most fresh bottle. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured black with two fingers of thick, bubbly light brown head that slowly reduced to a thin layer. Some light lacing.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front. A lot of grapefruit. Some roast in the background but the hops dominate the nose.

T - A big bitter punch from the hops up front with grapefruit and pine flavours. The roast enters in the middle with some sweet cocoa. The bitterness returns in the finish. Some coffee flaovurs are evident as it warms up. Considering the (lack of) freshness, this is really good.

M - Medium body with lots of sticky hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - This has always been a favourite. Almost flawless on tap.

TheSevenDuffs, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of ZorPrime
4.43/5  rDev +5%

The color is black, dark black but not as dark as a stout. Some reddish notes on the edges. Head is creamy, tenacious and dense. It is beige in color. A very nice looking beer. The aroma is piney. Strongly piney. I don't get any roasted malts.

On the taste, this one is pretty aggressive. I do get some roasted malts with a bitter finish that shows off the piney hops. The taste lingers in the mouth, it feels so good. I'm in paradise!

In the mouth, I get some warmth due to the high ABV. This is truly an excellent beer. The carbonation is perfect. So easy to drink and it is well balanced in the taste. In the aroma, it lacks a little bit, and as it warms up, I don't get more than that piney hops. Not bad, however not perfect either. Otherwise, it is perfect.

ZorPrime, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +5%

The beer emerges from the 22-ounce bottle a sparkling deep brown, the head a crown of light chocolate, creamy and long lasting, after its final demise the lace forms a thick blanket to cover the glass. Nose has a profound hop floral spiciness at the front, backed by the sweet malt, caramel, and maybe a hint of chocolate, mouth watering. Start has a nice malt sweetness; hop bitter bite to the back, top is moderately full in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops potent and spicy; the alcohol warms the tummy while the aftertaste continues the hop spiciness.

Gusler, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Pours a rich deep walnut/mahogany color like my bedroom suite but deeper, with a nice rich brown headthat falls slow to a thin cap and laces pretty well

Aroma is wnderful hoppy nice pine aromas are almost forest like, and dominate the nose. Malt plays out underneath nice caramel, with some chocolate malts.

Taste is great loads of hops, what else would one expect from Stone. Nice rich resiny pine all over your mouth, good pine flavors, very nice. Malt does show up more in taste then the nose, nice caramel malts with a good dose of roasted malts, some coffee hints and chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel is nice rich medium with a decent carbonation kick.

Drinkability is great, seems more people making a rich hoppy porter like brew and for one I am enjoying them. Hope they get more of these in only had a couple guess I am lucky to get a couple here in Bristol but I want more.

mntlover, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of IBUnit63
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Awesome deep dark root beer cola color with maple walnut 1-finger head that dissipates with great sediment/water level lacing.

Loads of caramel malt and roasted coffee ice cream scent. Hops are oily and floral with mild grapefruit tinge. Velvety and silky. Solid.

Let's let this warm a bit - alcohol burns heavy at first with grassy hops. Lots of mocha here - malt is looking for an entrance...and there it is - big, bold and bountiful.

Clean but smoky - nice coffee coating. Long but tight finish.

Drinks nicely - could use a little more age - definitely a mid-range sipper.

IBUnit63, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of johntangus
4.43/5  rDev +5%

poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a duvel tulip glass.

nice tan head with tiny bubbles. laced down glass nicely. Very dark with coffee like color on sides.

Great hoppy smell - earthy pine and citrus. i'm actually drooling into the tulip glass as i'm picking out these aromas.

I've never had a beer quite like this. Being relatively noobish, i would've categorized this as some sort of Dark IPA - like a mix between a porter and an IPA. So much for boundaries.

Stone pulls off a seriously balanced beer. But you can tell it is definitely a Stone. Epic. Just when you are getting overwhelmed by the hop nose and front end, it mellows out into a toasty backend.

Great mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I could see myself drinking a little too much of this in a session.

johntangus, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of jkanavel
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Picked up a bottle at Bottle Shop on Lower Greenville.

A: Dark black with a tinge of red around the edges when held to the light. Mocha brown head. Head retention was pretty amazing. More on that later.

S: chocolate malt, dark roasted malt, grapefruit, big grassy hops, citrusy hops, spicy hops, all kinds of hops. malt on malt on malt.

T: Thick mouthcoating waves of malt yet very dry. Malt flavors tempered by citrusy bitter hops all over the tongue. Very hoppy, but not very spicy like the nose would lead you to believe.
This is one of the cleanest tasting beers I've ever tried. I let it open up for a while and the initial onslaught of hops and rich malt was blinding, once this breathed a little bit, it was greatly subdued and balanced.

M: Smooth, but with a good deal of snappy carbonation.

O: I let this beer rest for about three hours and when i came back, there was still head floating on top of it, and lacing all the way down the glass.

Another great offering from Stone. This might become a standard in my collection.

jkanavel, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Clydesdale
4.43/5  rDev +5%

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that allows little light to shine through. A fairly tall, latte-colored head bubbles up with a dense creamy and frothy texture. Retention is strong, with good lacing.

S: Some mild dark malty sweetness, but the nose is dominated by a freshly hoppy aroma. Citrus peel and pine resin are most noticeable. Some light notes of brown sugar, and a lingering alcoholic pepperiness is also available.

T: Dark maltiness up front, with moderate notes of brown sugar and coffee. Minor hints of dark fruit are also available. A strong bitterness is accompanied by fresh, bold hop flavors of biting grapefruit, orange oil, and sticky pine sap. Alcohol is noticeably spicy into the finish.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Carbonation is on the light side, lending some creaminess that is quickly replaced by a harsh, hoppy dryness. Definite alcohol is noticeable as well, providing some heat.

D: As anyone would expect of a Stone offering, this is boldly flavored and even more boldly hopped. Bitter and almost too boozy, but this pulls off the elusive "Black IPA" better than most. It doesn't tiptoe around, but sometimes that's a nice thing. This is a big, unique, and very freshly hoppy brew.

Clydesdale, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Pours dark black with not as much head as I normally get out of Stone. I was expecting something almost spilling over the sides. A small amount of lacing.

The nose is deceiving in a way. At first you get the standard toasty stout smell but the hops that shine through make this really stand out.
Citrus chocolate dipped grapefruit

very hoppy with orange citrus and grapefruit that has a good spice going on. Toasty as well but its all about the hops in this. Stone usually dominates when it comes to hops characteristics.

Smooth texture and drinkability.

DrinkingDrake, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Poured form a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Looks along the lines of a stout in color but with a livelier head. About a 3/4 inch tan layer of foam which quickly dissipated leaving behind faint but familiar light bodied, IPA style lace.

S- Decadent! Hop heads be warned! Wonderfully sweet and floral hop aroma signature of California with a minute backend of dry, dark malt. Some grassy notes detected as well which seem a bit out of place for such a dark ale.

T- Upfront bitter dark chocolate malt and burnt caramel quickly overpowered by an intense, traditional hop profile. First two sips opened the door for its hidden subtleties of spice and fruit. Third sip left a desirable hop spice on the tongue and lips.

M- Dark chocolate and hop spice dance on the tongue long after the sip. Pleasant carbonation complements the flavors and makes this beer very drinkable.

D- Heavier than an IPA in body and comparable to a stout or porter in color, this ale might seem like a challenge by looking at it but it has a crisp, refreshing carbonation that rounds it out and makes it extremely drinkable. Try with a heavy meal of grilled steak or pork or on its own for Jebus sake. This beer is absolutely worthy of the Stone catalog!

SFBeerGuy, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of myoung530
4.43/5  rDev +5%

I picked this beer up on good faith, after trying Arrogant Bastard and finding out that I was not worthy. I chilled the bottle for a couple of hours and dove in head first. I used a Tulip shaped pint glass, the head was dark and very dense with a smell of roasted chocolate coffee. I sat on my front porch enjoying every dark sip while watching the sunset and B.S.ing with some friends. It tasted AMAZING, almost like a cappuccino with a kick. Mouthfeel was very full, like a bite of tri-tip that had been slow cooked over charcoal.
Needless to say I was very impressed by this Full Bodied bottle of joy. My faith has been restored in Stone Brewing Co. and I will definitely be trying some of their not so Arrogant masterpieces ....All in all you must try this beer at least once in your life..

myoung530, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
4.43/5  rDev +5%

I fell in love with Stone beer after I had their IPA. When I buy a bottle of Stone, I know i'm going to get the following: a beautiful fragrance, a pleasant taste that lingers until the last droplet of beer goes down and a happy buzz.

I was more than excited to try this after my friend (Sloejams) told me about this.

Head: average head.

Aroma: very floral.

Appearance: very dark. looks thick.

Taste: solid. sweet and floral. the taste really sustains.

Mouthfeel: very full in my opinion.

Drinkability: Although I love stone beer, they are very strong in alcohol content. This was no different. I can only have a 22 of this beer otherwise it would be a little too rich for the stomach.

I loved this beer so much after I tried it, I ran into Whole Foods and bought a case at $4.49 per bottle. I cleaned out the case in less than 2 weeks.

Stone Brewing Company for President!!!

eatdrinknbmerry, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Great black color, mostly clear, with a lingering swirling head and nice lacing.

I could smell the delicious hops even as they had just set my glass on the counter. Absolutely terrific, with lush smelling citrus and fruity hops, and a good malty backbone.

Taste is off the charts with deliciousness! Rich dark malts are balanced with oily, pungent hops, along with some piney grapefruit flavors. For a black ale, it's a lot like an IPA.

Feel is tangy and bitter, with a medium body and plenty of carbonation.

On tap this stuff is outstanding, just as it is in bottles.

AlCaponeJunior, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of flexabull
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Bottle courtesy of ncvbc, thanks again! (for some reason, this didn't make it to Redding...)

Pours a dark brown color, with a small but solid white head on top.

Aromas are very nice. Sticky resin like hops, with a hard candied like character to it as well.

Beer has a nice dark roasted malt flavor, almost a bit burnt tasting. (in a good way, not a bad way) The finish is a lot like the nose, crisp, with a hard candied resiny hops bite.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice carbonation, and a good full feel in the mouth.

Drinkability is quite good. This is an interesting beer. Kudos to Stone for making this unique beer. Not my favorite Stone brew, but this is still tasty and well worth a try.

flexabull, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.43/5  rDev +5%

A - Pours a dark, dark brown with a tinge of mahogany. Light can't seem to find its way through. Nice creamy 1 finger head that dissipates very slowly.

S - Smells of grapefruit and piney hops, slight notes of darker fruit, some chocolate and malt. Very interesting smell, almost a chocolate-covered grapefruit. I really enjoy the smell of this beer

T - Very complex taste here. It's plenty hoppy, a mixture of grapefruit and pine, but it has this full malty backbone with some notes of coffee and chocolate. It's extremely balanced, a perfect mixture of hops and malt. Very tasty.

M - Nice full bodied taste, leaves the mouth a bit dry from the hops, but it's also fresh and crisp. Good mouthfeel.

Overall - I found this a damn good brew. It was my first black ale and I was certainly impressed.

BeerBuckeye, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of ms11781
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Reviewed on 06/25/2011. Enjoy by 08/10/2011 etched on bottle. 22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours an extremely deep brown with lighter brown hues out of the bottle but looks solid black in the glass. A one and a half finger tannish head settles in to a creamy looking tan foam cap and leaves great lacing down the glass.

Big hop aroma in the nose. Nice citrus notes. The grapefruit presence is huge. There is definitely some pine as well. There is just the slightest amount of dark malt detected, which is surprising given the appearance. That just goes to show the amount of hops that are present.

The taste is where the hops and malt come together nicely and present more of a balance, relatively speaking. Huge citrusy hops, grapefruit again, play well off a great roasted malt backbone. The citrus and dark malt seem to present in almost equal quantities before an enormous, bitter, piny stickiness takes over and the hops dominate once again.

Medium carbonation with a fuller body (think as close to full while still being on the medium side of the line, not really thick or anything). Pretty full mouthfeel for such a hoppy beer. Bitterness sticks to the tongue and lingers before it dries out completely.

Excellent take on a dark, hoppy beer. If it wasn't for the fuller body it would almost seem like a borderline DIPA with coloring added. The hop and malt characters are in near perfect complement to each other.

ms11781, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of MadCat
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Appearance: Almost black, in light you can see hints of red. Small head that disappears quick. Amazing lacing, large portions of my glass are covered!

Smell: Hoppy with some hints of malt

Taste: Amazing. Some bitterness to be expected for the style. Hoppy, with some roasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, good carbonation, more beer needs to have mouthfeel like this

Drinkability: Could drink a few of these, but the hoppiness would slow me down, but thats a matter of my personal tastes.

Overall, excellent. It is clear why this is in the top 100, and why Stone decided to continue brewing it after it was an anniversary beer.

MadCat, Jan 27, 2011
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,194 ratings.