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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.

4,973 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,973
Reviews: 1,816
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 216
Gots: 358 | 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: 4,973 | Reviews: 1,816 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seanibus


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After 18 months under good conditions in my underground beer lair, this is still an outstanding beer. It could probably have taken even more time.

Pours thick brownish-black with a huge torrent of carbonation and a lively head. The head falls fairly quickly, but leaves nice lacing.

The aroma is plummy and strong, with a little hop fruitiness.

The flavor is rich and plummy, with a little oak-like woodiness and a deep, coffee-ish bitterness developing on the tongue. It has a roasted character, but not like a roasted malt - more like a slow roasted beet, given time to develop its sugary nature. There is toffee and caramel, but light and refreshing.

The mouthfeel is zippy and carbonated. The beer is far lighter on the tongue that you expect from a beer this rich.

This is a worthy and highly drinkable strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 22:08:34 | More by Seanibus
Photo of indiapaleale


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Sublimely Self-Righteous pours BLACK as night with a very contrasting white head. It reminds me of that famous stout from Ireland but this one looks more vigorous and much more assertive.

The aroma from this beer was a shock to say the least. A beer this dark shouldn't smell like this, well maybe it should if its a "Black IPA". We are talking loads of hops, piney, marijuana-ey, grapefruity hops. It also has the familiar smell that makes me think Simcoe hops were a big addition to this beer. Yes, it has that astringent "cat pee" thing going on a bit, but don't think of it that way. Think of it as super fresh hoppy goodness.

One sip and again this defies the dark beer expectations that my mind has. No malty sweetness up front, this beer is all about hops. A ton of piney, evergreen flavor is the most prevalent. The astringent bitter hop flavor is tongue numbing but oh so good. There are some hints of bitter coffee and dark chocolate but mainly this is hophead territory.

What can I say, this beer is great. Call it a Black IPA or an American Strong Ale or whatever you want. Its a big, gutsy beer that will blow you away and wash clean any assumptions you might have about dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 15:05:52 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle to pint glass. at JWS's.

Pours surprisingly dark. Deep, deep ruby, almost to be confused with stout. I actually flipped the bottle over to recheck what I was drinking (nice little write up but these Stone bottles are always impossible to read without the beer in them.) The head of the beer is huge and thick, a nice soft tan color. Very complex aroma, both sweet and piney, and smoke and roasty. The taste reflects the aroma with the same complexity. Very bitter from the beginning, but where most huge IPA’s have a very sweet balance, this one is more dark chocolate and smokey. Still a little of a caramel sweetness peeks through. Aftertaste reflects the dry hops and big ABV. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy. Very drinkable. Great complete beer.


Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 16:44:49 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of azdback


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is a Stone Gargoyle silk screen master piece! Poured into a Stone Imperial glass from which I can see no light through. Just a hint of highlights at the bottom edge of the glass. Head is coco colored and almost three fingers. The lace looks as if it's gonna stick around like the vacuum salesman. Other than a bit watery look this pours just like an Imperial Stout.

The smell is rather complex. There is some dark malt smells that are almost sweet. There is alot of citrus hop smell, grapefruit/orange. I am getting a bit of caramel too.

The taste is even more complex then the smell. First thing I get is a roasted malt taste, that is followed closely by some bitter tastes of the grapefruit. The bitter hop taste then turns into some sweeter tastes of an orange or pink grapefruit, and then turns a bit tart. This is all followed by the chest warming of the alcohol. Just fantastic!!

The mouth is as great as the rest of the beer. It is evenly carbonated and very silky on the tongue. I wouldn't classify this a stout or and ipa. but some kind of hybrid.

Overall I must say this is fantastic beer, that I am able to purchase whenever I want. Lucky Me!!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 06:21:20 | More by azdback
Photo of 1759Girl


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance> Dark brown, with a chocolate malt head. Big bubbles to the froth. Head dissipates slowly and leaves good lacing.

Smell> Leads with a burnt malt nose. Alcohol and hops also present.

Taste> Salty, full flavor. Outrageous earth hops changing quickly to a HEYOUGE burnt hang that lasts for days. This beer is sublimely a Stone... it packs a wallop but has you picking yourself off the floor begging for more.

Mouf>thinner than I expected, but not too shabs.

Drinkability> Well, I can't have too much, but darn I would definitely buy another sometime. Quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 04:21:28 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of calebmills

West Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my dear lord. this is great stuff. happy anniversary indeed!
pours deep brown almost black smells like a coffee and some fruit citrus and piny smells. very aromatic. taste is amazingly smooth and very balanced yet complex lots of different flavors exactly like what you smell instead of the high alcohol overwhelming the taste it warms you up with every drink. i love this stuff hopefully ill be able to get some more before its gone forever

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 04:25:47 | More by calebmills
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: stout? Nope - but pitch black, head thins - the appearance creates an expectation

S: smells crisper than it looks; you can detect the hops, some char, and only a subtle sweetness

T: sharp, crisp, hops - more clarity than sweetness - tastes different than it looks

M: it is light, almost (gasp!) refreshing, with more carbonation than it's appearance might lead you to believe

O: a great beer. I enjoy strong sweet stouts and sharp crisp Belgian-esque pales, and this beer hovers tentatively between the two styles.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 02:54:40 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of maxcoinage


4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber [best by 1/14/14 - just in time ;-) ] - agressive pour into DFH signature glass

a - thick fluffyy off-white colored head, beer is black with an so slight brown hue. There was a ridiculous amount of lacing on the glass as I drank the brew down.

s - pine, some dark fruits, malts

t - dark malts, citrus, enjoyable bitter finish

mouthfeel - great carbonation, medium to strong body, a bit slick

overall - very enjoyable. I don't really drink Black IPA's often but I think I should start, or at least buy this beer more often.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 22:21:52 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of tmm313


4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black with a super creamy, almost milky, 1/4 finger head. Really nice lacing. Looks like a thin Stout.
S- Orange, floral, chocolate, caramel, and bitterness that seems to shift between pine and coffee.
T- Wow, now that's a mix of flavors, right there. Sweet citrus with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, and pine up front. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and more pine round out the finish.
M- Medium body with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with a nice oily coating left behind. Aftertaste is piney at first but shifts to coffee with a touch of orange a little later.
O- I was really impressed by this beer. The flavors balance incredibly well despite belonging to different styles. To me, this was a quality stout meets a quality IPA. Honestly, how can you beat that? For those times I'm torn between the two styles, this is will be beautiful solution. I will be having this far too often.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 00:57:44 | More by tmm313
Photo of MattyG85


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark with a thick foam head with good retention. A little light comes through at the bottom. Very good lacing.

Smell: Strong pine and citrus hop aroma with a hint of grapefruit.

Taste: Caramel sweetness and roasted malt followed by hop bitterness. A hint of cherry in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a bit of cream and medium carbonation.

Overall: An interesting beer that seems like a mix of an ipa and porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 00:13:46 | More by MattyG85
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll be the first to say, I'm not the biggest fan of Stone. (Although fresh 13 was a thing of beauty) I'm also not the biggest fan of Black IPAs / Cascadian Dark Ales or whatever you want to call them. However, this one is in a league of it's own in this not new, but emerging style.

Bottle Date best by 8/10/2011 which means this beer was bottled 6 days ago. As fresh as a San Franciscan will get any Stone beer.

A - Black with a nice light frothy head and nice retention in the tulip.

S - a little muted but Pine resin, citrus, and the dark malts are there but you really have to look for them. They're in the background over-shadowed by the hops. Smells like a nice big piney IPA. Yum.

T - Impressive. Dank and resinous whereas the hops are the first thing that smack you in the face with a citrus bite, followed by a mild coffee and dark malts, then the hops finish grassy and piney with sharp bitterness, oddly similar to PtE. (in the finish) Lots going on with this beer and I like it.

M - drinks like a nice big resinous DIPA with dry bitter finish. Spot on for the style and the best I've had of the style.

O - I love that this is a Hop forward Black IPA whereas the dark malts take a back seat. This gives me hope for this style. Amazing citrus hops packed into such a dark beer and the pine and resin just made this fantastic.

Finding this beer fresh is recommended. Great Job with this one Stone!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 19:57:02 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of jmz62565


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby mahogony with a tan frothy head. The head is large with lacing that lasts a long time. The smell is a very strong citrus hops with some pine aromas. The taste is a mixture of pine and citrus hops. A very good mixture with alcohol and bread yeast that makes a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well. Another in the long line of very good Stone beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 03:35:43 | More by jmz62565
Photo of ElGordo


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Two fingers of creamy, tan head remain on the top for a good long while. Nicely balanced aroma of dark malt and assertive floral hops, with notes of chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit, and a hint of grass.
Palate is quite complex - a sharp hoppy bitterness comes through up front, yielding to a rich malty character on the swallow. The hops come through again on the finish, leaving a pleasant bitter finish. Flourishes of brown sugar, dark fruit, balsamic vinegar, and potent, grassy hops come through at various points.
Body is nice and creamy, more like a stout than a strong ale. Nevertheless, it fits the big malt profile and high abv of this beer quite well. Although it runs a touch strong for everyday or session drinking, this is a very drinkable ale. Hail to the folks at Stone! I look forward to what they come up with during the next 11 years.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 05:12:46 | More by ElGordo
Photo of JohnL9013

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 that sheer 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. This is a truly underrated beer.

M: Very smooth, low carbonation, easy to enjoy and roll around.

D: Be careful, this beer is very high in alcohol content. I had one of these and I was done for the night. Drinkable in terms of the flavor itself? Just fine, but drinking more than one of these in a night? Impossible!

Summary: Buy it if you see it!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 16:14:44 | More by JohnL9013
Photo of CortexBomb


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours like a stout, very dark colouration, huge off tan head, honestly one of the most appealing IPA beers that I've ever poured. Smell is mainly grapefruit.

Taste starts with ruby red grapefruit up front with some bitey pine in the background. A smooth malty backbone is also present. This is actually fairly well-balanced for having as much of a hop bite as it does.

The mouthfeel is big, thick, and hoppy, good stuff. The drinkability is about average for the style in terms of smoothness, and it gets bonus marks for the sheer number of times that I've rebought it. Every time I buy a bomber of it, I assume it's going to be the last time I pick it up, but then I see it again, and buy another bottle or two. Probably my favourite Stone beer beyond Oaked Bastard at this point.

The bottom line: An interesting anniversary beer by the folks at Stone. I like the hop character here, and I'm going to be sad when it is no longer available because it is currently in my active rotation.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 21:20:22 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of charlesw

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty decent IPA, if I do say so. A bit dark on the color, but, still, very nice. Heavier in body and flavor than the arrogant bastard and lighter in body and bitterness than the double bastard. Reminds me, somewhat, of Rocket Red. Obviously, it doesn't taste like that, but the flavor profile reminds me of it. Pretty good. Almost 9%? No wonder I got toasted off one bottle (22oz)! You wouldn't know from drinking it...

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 21:31:31 | More by charlesw
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I need a hop fix... and don't want to dive into recent trades or too deep into the cellar.. so I picked out a 11th and am hoping for the best. I haven't had one of these in a couple of months and noticed then, the hops were definitely dying down.

22oz picked up at a variety of places around Boise in the $5.50 range... poured into a shaker pint.

Looong lasting lite tan head leaves crusty lacing for the entire glass.... color of the brew reminds me of a schwarzbier.. near black but still walnut and dark ruby highlites show when held to a light.

Aroma is certainly more subdued than fresh.. but still reminiscent of a big grapefruit and piney DIPA. Black coffee/with sugar notes are more prevalent than before.

Flavor is abundant citrus .. dark roasted malts are only available on the end of the palate and the finish.. even then, the hops are the heavy hitters... Very smooth from front to back.. the hops resins add nicely to the palate.. Doesn't taste as dark as expected.. just enough interesting espresso/chocolate components that drives everything home.

This brew is going to age very well... don't let the naysayer change your mind .... it may go through a significant muddy period like the 8th, but ultimately, the 11th will be fantastic... I will not drink another for probably 6 months... ooh my.. I have another glass.. cheers. Galt.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 09:18:16 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of TaySuth


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Four finger head slowly recedes down a finger leaving behind major lacing. Very dark brown in color. Can't find a single thing wrong with the appearance.

Smell: The aroma gives off tons of malt and hop flavor. Perhaps a hint of coffee in the background. Smells great.

Taste: Very smooth and balanced on the palate. Surprisingly so actually. Very sweet balanced perfectly with a good amount of bitterness. Hops lend a citrus/fruit flavor while the dark roast adds hints of chocolate and coffee in the background. Really, really good.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. Not amazing, but very nice. The body is great. Similar to an IPA but a little bit heavier.

Overall: Very happy with this beer. I definitely will be purchasing more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 20:33:48 | More by TaySuth
Photo of blammasterj


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into my St Arnold's pint glass with an "Enjoy by" date of 06/10.

A: Pours a dark dark brown, with an off-white head; looks like a porter!

S: Smells of hop goodness: pine, citrus, some resin; also catching the malts buried in the back.

T: Taste is wave after wave of hops and an exercise in the phenomenology of West Coast hop flavors: slightly sweet, piney, bitter, oily and floral. I know the malts are there only because I haven't been blasted to Hop Island, but I'm only really tasting them on the finish and even then they only provide a slightly pleasant roasted flavor. The finish is long, pleasantly bitter, and slightly coffee-flavored.

MF: Nice medium body, but not a ghost of alcohol except upon reflection.

D: Becomes more barleywine-eque as it warms and the malts come through a little more. Also getting some faint chocolate and coffee on the finish as it warms closer to room temp.

This was definitely a very complex, iconoclastic beer that I will continue to buy and enjoy. However, by means of comparison, I think that Arrogant (and Double) Bastard are better and more balanced brews.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 05:40:27 | More by blammasterj
Photo of beerdrifter


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Save-On, a great beer store in Mentor Ohio. Totally black pour with nice two-finger caramel colored head with great lacing. Very unuasual, unique earthy nose that's half stout, half IPA. Initially it almost reminds me of soy sauce, with just a touch of black licorice. Lots of malty burnt toffee as well as some subdued citrusy hop notes. Really unique taste that's much like the nose. All the best characteristics of a stout perfectly matched and balanced with the best of an IPA. Subtle roasty, chocolate and coffee matched with bitter, hoppy, citrus, and sweet malts to balance it all out. Mouthfeel is also part creamy stout, part bitter hop bomb. Extremely drinkable for such a big beer. Very complex and unique beer that stands out and defies classification. Can't wait for round 2 if I can find it again...

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 12:55:46 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking forward to this one for a while....

Pours a very dark brown with a slight off white head. Evident carbonation, but not overwhelming.

Smell is more hoppy than I was expecting.... some sweetness to it as well, but smell is akin to a heavier DIPA.

Taste starts out very bitter, almost like a RIS, then slides into a more floral, hoppy afertaste. A real interesting taste that reminds me a little of the 13 anniversary ale (it would be interesting to try the two side by side, but i fear that ship has sailed). All in all very pleasant and interesting.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth, not rigid at all despite the bitterness. This in turn lends to a high drinkability. Minimal alcohol present in the taste and I feel like a could sip on this for an extended period (though I might regret it later). Taste is still relitively intense though.

In total a very high quality offering from Stone.... in their catalouge I put it slightly below their 13 aniv. ale and their RIS and slightly above arrogant bastard. Will be looking to get my hands on this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 18:31:08 | More by mechamifune
Photo of Soozy


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a reddish hue in the light. Has a thin mocha head. The smell of this beer is a complex mix. I can't really put my finger on it, but it has an intense grassy smell mixed with a pineapple citrus, maybe some lime. Overall, a great smell.

Tastes of a light burnt chocolate taste - not overpowering. A strong floral and grassy taste follows. Finishes mellow, smooth, balanced with the right amount of hops and a slight bitterness.

This beer has the taste and bitterness of a stout mixed with the aroma and taste of a grassy IPA.

Well balance, this is what experimental brewing is all about.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 04:00:12 | More by Soozy
Photo of bunnyhustle


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber with much anticipation. One of the first "limited release" beers I've been able to find. Pours virtually black, some ruby hints with light, and a 1 finger tan head. Long lasting layer of head and nice lace trails left behind. Smell is strong of spruce, pine, and hops (cascade?). Taste is virutally the same. Strong hop notes up from with a bit of pine, notes of roasted grain as well and a hint of caramel, just a hint. Bitter aftertaste but smooth going down, light and crisp. A terrific beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 03:09:39 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of alexpkoehler


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was like an American take on a Theakston Old Peculier for those of you familiar with that particular Yorkshire ale. It is rich dark smooth and malty without ever being heavy. An awful lot of brown-ish head when you pour this into the glass that takes a while to dissipate (probably has something to do with it coming from a bottle and my walking it home from the store.) I will definitely have some more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 04:41:15 | More by alexpkoehler
Photo of vkv822


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into snifter.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with deep red accents and a frothy tan head. It has a surprisingly hoppy aroma despite the dark appearance, with notes of citrus and pine. There is a nice bready malt backing to the nose as well.
The flavor is a very pleasant mix of juicy, citrus and tropical fruit and roasty malts, though the hops are dominant. There is also a slightly boozy warming finish, while the mouthfeel is a medium to light body with decent carbonation.
This beer is very drinkable, especially considering the ABV. I particularly enjoy the balance of hops and malts.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 03:40:42 | More by vkv822
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,973 ratings.