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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

5,738 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,738
Reviews: 1,888
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 696 | 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: 5,738 | Reviews: 1,888
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 car2052
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter.

A: Jet black, with a 1/2 in tan head that sticks around.
S: Ripe tropical fruit: pineapple, peach, mango, grapefruit.
T: Very hop-forward. Starts off with a kick of grapefruit and pine, with some tropical fruit essences, then the hops simmer down and let toasted malt flavors take over the back of the palate. You don't really taste the malt until the aftertaste.
M: Medium. Hops stick around a while.
O: I liked the hop flavors, but thought the toasted malt could have came through more. It was a little unbalanced on the hoppy side.

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.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a tight light brown head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Very stout like in appearance.

Smells of a big dose of west coast hops with some subtle roasted malts.

Tastes of the hops upfront with a solid malt backbone. The hops are citrus and pine with a crispness to it. The malt is also prevalent and has the roasted coffee flavors with some molasses. Some dark fruits also come through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and creamy with a solid amount of carbonation.

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

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights. Nice large sticky peanut butter colored head. Good retention.
One of the best smelling beers my nose has ever had the pleasure to whiff. Earthy floral hops. Smells like perfume or something.
Very interesting taste profile. I've really come to like heavy hopped roasted malt beers, and this is the best one I've had. Also chocolate covered cherries. A bit of alcohol burn at the end but it only adds to the beers character.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and a bit syrupy.
Wonderful beer. Nice one to sip as a nightcap or enjoy while watching a movie.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 7/23/14

Pours a dark brown approaching black color, decent sized light tan head, fades at a decent rate but leaves a huge amount of lacing on the glass and a creamy looking cap sticks around to a long while.

Smell starts with a good hit of piney hops with the dark roasted malt taking the back seat in the nose.

Taste actually goes the other way around now with the roasted malt backbone starting first, it's very roasted with a burnt bitterness to it, the bitterness is compounded with an aftertaste of piney hops, dark bitter chocolate lends a slight but fleeting sweetness, throughly thick and creamy as if it's a milk stout, definitely one of the fullest bodies for a black IPA I've had.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a deep ruby color showing highlights throughout. Foam is thick and creamy, tan colored and displays good retention and lacing.

Nose is west coast hops at their finest...citrus grapefruit with lemon and orange peel. Not much else can overcome these cones, but there is a touch of roasty grains and fruity yeast esters. Smells very delicious, one of the best smelling beers I have had in a while.

Hmmm, taste is way more complex and interesting than I thought it would be thinking of some black IPAs I have had in the recent past. Heavenly roasted malt mixes with a very nice hop flavor. Bitterness is there, but not over the top in any way. Bit of wintergreen mintiness comes in and is followed by an almost chocolaty malt flavor. Very smooth for a black IPA and has a nice creamy mouthfeel. ABV is well hidden but still lets you know it is up there. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, and definitely would encourage any good beer lover to try it.

Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee colored with russet highlights and an airy tan head that leaves sticky lace on the glass. Citrus fruity hops and roasty cocoa blend perfectly in the nose. Huge pine sap simcoe hop flavor with the nice roasty fudge flavor of carafa or black patent malt. The flavors are in perfect harmony with one another, it's rich and bitter all at once. Full bodied with smooth carbonation. One of the best IMO.

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

served out of a bomber bottle into a tasting glass during the Roxbury Beer Festival. served cool.

a- dark garnet body and a tan head
s- varied, fruity hop, some grain and an interewsting hemp smell
t- fruit, grain, very slightg alcohol, resin
m- medium
d- very good, really exceeds expectations. i would drink this again.

Photo of Mikefriedman90
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour, nearly black. Can really taste and smell the hops. Strong, bitter, dark beer- but drinkable, not too filling. Another solid stone beer, great black IPA

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

Very dark reddish notes in black, 1 finger chocolaty brown head with some med lacing.

smells of Pine Hops, dark roasted sweet malts, dark fruits, raisings, prunes, rich!!

taste of bitter chocolate then big earty and pine hops, dark fruits, malts lend some mild sweet notes, alcohol more present as it warms. nice complexity.

full body, good zesty carbonation start to finish, good hop bite and dry finish, medium alcohol warmth.

A bold brew with big hops, full bodied and bold. Good complexity. This one get's your attention.

Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

stout like in appearance with a nice thick creamy head that settles to a good size with soem lacing.
aroma: ctirusy floral-y piney hops over a layer of chocolate covered wood. notes of a rye-like character (think founders black rye for reference). molasses and caramel show up in small amounts, but a soft powdered cocoa vaguely woody chocolate that verges on cake-y dominates the malt side of things. hops run the show though. tremendous complexity, yet so clean and soft, not subtle, but pleasantly balanced. superb nose.
the taste is loaded with hops of the floral piney variety. they wash over the tongue and touch all other flavors experienced. they verge on minty. citrus is there but, not the greatest of the hop flavors. chocolated and caramel malt balance some but not much. bits of anise here and there. again rye bread fades in and out like i mentioned in the nose. nebulous dark fruitiness hovers towards the finish. i'm leaning towards 5 for flavor, but maybe it's not perfect.
the body is full and has a moderate carbonation. cloys a bit on the finish. though it doesn't feel like it should. nothing severe enough to complain or even critique over.
good drinkability, does a good job cleaning up after itself for a probably substantial malt bill. the total package is excellent though and if i had to give it an overall score it would probably be higher than how these ratings add up. expertly crafted. if i had a vote for one of stone's one shots to become a regular, this would be it.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thick tan head and a ton of lacing.

Smell: Pine, roasted malt, hops.

Taste: Very hoppy with burnt malts

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body.

Overall: Great beer, smooth, delicious, ton of hops.

Photo of berley31
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, light tan head that diminished to about 1/2-finger and stayed there. Body is almost black, with ruby highlights here and there, and mostly opaque.

S: Aroma of citrusy, piney hops... touch of sweetness and just a hint of roastiness, but the hops easily dominate.

T: Great-tasting beer... it starts off sweet with an almost toffee quality to it, with a bit of roasted flavors coming through... but a small amount, really. Hop flavor of citrus and pine is high, with moderate-high hop bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied at least, with moderate carbonation.

D: With everything going on, it's still a fairly easy-drinking beer, dangerously so for almost 9% ABV, and I'd easily get it again.

Photo of myoung530
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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..

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,738 ratings.