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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.

5,194 Ratings

(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 THE-DUDE
4.43/5  rDev +5%

I am typically not a big fan of black ales, but this is by far the best i have tried! It smells like an IPA, looks like a porter, and tastes fantastic. Floral, hoppy, slightly piney, and slightly sweet. Drinks very smooth and conceals the 8.7 very well.

THE-DUDE, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of ThreeKingdoms
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Reviewed 6/13/13,

L: Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter; nearly pitch black, with a hint of ruby color when held up to light. around a finger of tan head, with great lacing.
S: I first pick up coffee, and roasted malts dominate.
T: picks up where the nose left off...plenty of roasted maltiness--toffee and biscuit, and some caramel. this taste is promptly followed by the hoppy bitterness. a pleasant lingering bitterness in the aftertaste
F: Moderate carbonation, and nice and thick on the mouthfeel--nice :)
O: a great balance of roasted malts and hops; just what I'm looking for in BIPAs, good stuff! I'll definitely drink this again

ThreeKingdoms, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%

Enjoyed on tap at HI-DIVE Lounge in Kansas City. Poured into a standard tumbler glass.

Appearance - Body is pitch black with no light coming through. Atop it sits a healthy one-finger head the color of cocoa powder comprised of mostly medium-sized bubbles that lend a slightly soapy look to the foam. Retention is excellent, and the foam is still there when I take my first drink. Lacing is ample, leaving ringed sheets of bubbles down the side of the glass as I drink.

Smell - I love the fact that this one smells equal parts roasty chocolate and resinous, piney hops. There is also an element of citrus, but it's less prevalent alongside the more pronounced roasted characteristics. I also get hints of grass and generic herbs.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, the taste is a wonderful balance of two distinct flavors: roasty and hoppy. Semisweet chocolate and fresh-ground espresso are both present alongside lemon and orange zest. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation and a body on the heavy side of medium lends for a chewy, but still somewhat juicy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a stellar "black IPA". One of my favorites in the style if not THE favorite. Really does an excellent job of creating a balanced, meaty, refreshing beer that has the best of both worlds that are quintessential to a black IPA. Also does an exceptional job of concealing the almost-9% ABV.

LambicPentameter, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of kguard
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%

I disagree on the type as a black ale. It's a black IPA.
Looks like a thin oatmeal stout.
Smell gives the secret away. Caramel malt and lots of fruit hops. In fact a lot of hops.
Fruit forward hoppiness, lightly toasted malt, finishing with a nice grapefruit bitter finish that lingers.
Mouthfeel is a bit less carbonation than a standard IPA. Slightly chewier than most IPA. Still, I don't feel I'm eating a small meal.
Really suprised by the fruitiness of this beer. Having a black "ale" that brings the hops and fruits to the table like this is just awesome. Love it.

kguard, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

I knew this was referred to as a dark ipa but from a distance it could have been a stout with its dark color with ruby edges with a cream like head. Not much on the nose, a bit estery with some roasted smell. A great mouthfeel to this very smooth with little to no carbonation. Some dark fruit and black licorice as well as some little maple syrup Very easy drinking beer but I can feel the effects after one bomber.

WeymouthMike, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of BillyB
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours a deep dark brown to black color with a thick, foamy, beige/tan head.

Very big, but nicely balanced bitter hop and sweet malt aromas. Piney, citrusy, hoppiness dominates with a sweet caramel/mollasses maltiness following closely behind.

Tastes of sweet caramel, mollasses, maple syrup with a hint of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is sharp and bitter in all the right places.

A very big, but drinkable offering from Stone. Check it out if you can.

BillyB, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of aval89
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

A: beautiful jet black color.. 2 fingers of khaki head. Looks amazing.

S: resinous hops!! Grapefruit as well.. a little bit of burnt malts with a nice sweetness deep in there..

T: smoothness upfront.. then the hops come in. Big resin hops again. Back of the palate gets hits with a charcoal like taste and some subtle sweetness.some small booze az well. leaves a lingering char, resinous, & slightly boozed finish.

Mf: smooth full bodied brew. Minimal alcohol heat.

O: very nicely done.. hop heads won't be disapointed

aval89, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of rocky mocha colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Piney & citrussy hops with a little malt lurking in the background.

T: Grapefruitty & piney hops, with a little chalkyness & cakeyness up front. Some boozey warmth, tangerines, chocolate, husky grainyness, vanilla, oaky dryness & coffee as this warms. Finishes dry, with cherry, coffee, tanic & resiny hoppyness, but suprisingly no booze

MF: Chewy & oily with moderate carbonation, balanced great

Drinks pretty good considering the complexity & abv, Reminds me of a Black IPA Bristols produced, just not the same hop profile as I try to recall...Worth the hype, the wait

russpowell, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of hdofu
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

It pours black as cola with a thick sandy head. Smell of wonderful hoppyness. While being fairly strong it's imposibly smooth going down albeit intensely hoppy. This one is deffinetly worth a repeat. This goes well with a sweet and meaty entree like say honey bbq wings

hdofu, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of Rutager
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown ith almost two fingers of thick, pale orange-tan head that leaves some pretty bands.

Smell. Roasty dark malts, dark chocolate, orange and grapefruit rind and a little pine needles.

Taste. Big dark malts and equally big citrusy, piney hops. A little chocolate and roastyness on the second sip. Love the big hops!

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly crisp and refreshing for such a big beer.

Overall. Great stuff. I'll be watching out for this one again.

Rutager, Aug 26, 2011
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

12 oz. draft pour into an elongated chalice.

A: A finger and a half of creamy light tan colored head. Excellent retention allows the head to attach itself to the glass. The body is the darkest brown imaginable with ruby highlights that are only visible when held to light. Lacing in sheets with just a few holes.

S: The nose is incredible. Sweet and juicy hops dominates. There are much less malts than I expected based on other BIPAs I've had in the past. The hops provide aromas of citrus and pine with citrus components of white grapefruit and orange. Black malts and bready malts come through on the aroma. There is an odd kerosene scent to this brew. Hops are heavy, malts are medium-light. Dark candi sugar.

T: Follows the nose. Hop tastes of tangerine and the skin of fresh peaches are more noticeable on the palate.

M: Starts out sweet, cut through by a fine fizzy carbonation and ends dry and crisply. Long flavor duration. Slightly alcoholic warmth but only noticeable when the beer is already in the stomach.

D: Dangerously drinkable. There are only a few Stone brews that "WOW" me, and this is one of them. I am honestly surprised at how high my ratings are, but I stand by them. SSRA is my shit!

FeDUBBELFIST, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

There are some beers you try once and remember forever, even though you know you will never try it again. Until SSR was re-released, that was Stone XI for me. A transcendental experience during my senior year of college, I finally get a chance to sit down and review this beer. To this day, this is a measuring stick for Black IPAs, or Ales, or whatever they are called now.

The body is very porter-like. Deep garnet-hued brown during the pour, but black once it all gathers in the glass. The head that forms is about 1 cm thick, and creamy, fine, and fluffy. It leaves thick rings of sticky laced foam all over the sides of the glass.

The aroma is full of pine, but there is also a good dose of grapefruit and under-ripe oranges that give a very tart and unpolished citrusy character to go along with the dark roast malts that balance out some of the bitterness. The flavor is more bitter, with the pine coming through more than the grapefruit. You would almost forget that this wasn't a traditional IPA, except that instead of sweet caramel in the background, there is a hint of acrid roast instead.

Creamy and full on the palate, and it leaves a sticky resinous film after the finish. A little bit of warmth as the beer approaches room temperature, too. I like this one a lot. Very happy this wasn't a 1-and-done but instead is now a standard offering.

NittanyBeerFan, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of atigerlife
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours black with ruby highlights. Huge brown head. Good retention. Good lacing. Very nice to look at.

Aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits and hops.

Taste is dark chocolate, roasted malts, woody, hops bitterness. Very intense flavors and a lot going on. Some other things going on here but can't quite place them.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry and cleansing.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. Delicious. Impressive and interesting. High ABV does limit the quantity that can be consumed.

atigerlife, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of gonzo000
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

a. Was not expecting a black ale - deep and dark with a two inch head on the pour. (new bottles specify black ale)

s. Smells like a sweet ale. Malt and hops with sugar or molasses (color might be bringing me to molasses).

t. Sweet tasting ale. Quite nice. Alcohol hidden well, as is the case in most stone products.

m. Very nice, good carbonation.

o. Very enjoyable. The light feel of this black ale is surprising.

gonzo000, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours black with dark ruby highlights. A thick, foamy head leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine - a PLETHORA of citrus. The "dark" part is more subtle - with just a touch of smoke...

The taste is citric and resiny. The alcohol comes through in a hefty way, adding a sweet fruitiness. Charcoal smokiness lingers in the back. Some light chocolate enters too, but this show is led by the hops. Finishes with a walloping punch from the hop spiciness and alcohol with dark sweetness lingering in the back.

This is full-bodied, smooth and intensely hot.

Nice - a bit much - but, oh- so nice...hefty West-Coast hops with a charcoal, dark backing. Unique and ... well - get some of this!

jwc215, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of jakon
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

22oz. bottle purchased for $5.49 at Orenco New Seasons.

Pours coffee black with a substantial tan head that recedes slowly while leaving a wash of sticky lacing in its wake. The aroma is brightly hoppy. Huge citrus character. Based on aroma alone, this most closely resembles the Summer Yulesmith. My first impression upon tasting is that this beer could possibly age quite well. There is plenty of malt lying just below the surface of all that hop presence. Like a furious undertow waiting to drag you out to sea as if to prove it's just as powerful as a towering wave. As it is, there is just a ton of flavors vying for my taste buds' attention. Tough to pick them out singularly, but there is definite chocolate, roasted coffee and fig presence to go along with those great hop characteristics that we all know so well. Together, these flavors combine to produce a pretty strong bitterness. Despite the intense battle going on between so many different strong flavors, this brew finishes pretty clean. Mouthfeel is dialed in just right. It's slightly thick and a bit oily, and the carbonation is ratcheted down a notch or two. Very smooth on the tongue with just enough bite to satisfy. Fits the flavor profile nicely. Overall, I really like this beer and am impressed by Stone's apparent eagerness to step outside the box and put out something so unique. Not sure I like this one quite as much as last years anniversary ale, but I'm excited about seeing what will happen to this one over time. I plan to put at least 6 of these away and won't check on it for another 6-8 months. I see great potential and think it might be even better once some of these background players step to the front of the stage.

jakon, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of twelvsies
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

This is a balls-to-the-wall Stone beer. I guess I should expect nothing else from them, but yeah this one is particularly ass-kicking. I was almost confused at first - the beer pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown color yet with a big fluffy head - but at a whiff it smells much like a sappy pine-riddled IPA. Lots of hops in the nose, but digging deeper you'll find a nice mellow chocolate character. The taste too is all hops up front. Really brashly bitter. Yes please. Resin and pine. Once your palate has been smacked around by the pine and resiny hop attitude you notice the whole roasty, chocolatey, rich underbelly of this beer. Real dry and puckering on the palate, but with a rich creamy finish. A little bit of heat perhaps. So much going on in this beer, quite a hybrid of styles. Wicked good.

twelvsies, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Have had this cellared for some time, and am quite excited to see how this tastes. Am having this poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. The bottle bears a stamp stating that it is best if enjoyed by 8/31/10; obviously, I am long beyond that, but it still smells delicious!

Pours a deep dark black, with a tan/cocoa colored head that goes from a two finger height to a thin wispy skim on top.

Quite hoppy in aroma, with loads of pine, cedar, and faint citrus; a thin malt note is struggling to be heard, but frankly is being snuffed out by the abundant hops. It may have the look of a stout, but has the aroma of a west coast IPA.

Roasted and toasted, with hints of cocoa and coffee, before it is buried beneath an avalanche of hops. The malt does a better job here, though, of not being pushed around by the hops than it did in the aroma. The bitter hops, though asserting themselves earlier on in the sip, find themselves tamed by a pleasant chocolate finish. Overall, a complex and pretty well balanced taste.

Medium bodied, with a dry finish, this is a pleasant sipper.

Awesome to drink, it has that signature Stone hoppiness that I just can't get enough of. The darker chocolate and coffee notes really finish it nicely. I wonder how similar this will be to the black IPA that Stone is just putting out now.

TheHoppiest, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of nUgZ
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with an almost 2 finger head. Very nice lacing.

S: Hops and malts are present but accentuated by coffee and bitter chocolate aromas.

T: Chocolate malt flavors at first, followed by some mild hops. Hides the alcohol well.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Light to moderate carbonation.

O: Extremely well balanced and about perfect for the style. I'm an IPA fan, but this is a great option for the winter months. I will definitely be buying more.

nUgZ, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of dbell23
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance is black with a nice tan head that lingers. Nice lacing.

The smell is hoppy but nicely muted.

The taste is great! Really good beer! Nice hops but very balanced. The hops really stick around.

Nice body and mouthfeel is just this side of full bodied. Nice carbonation.

Overall this a great beer. One of my favorite Stones.

dbell23, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of zac16125
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost but not quite black, but certainly opaque with a 2 and half fingers width of khaki colored head that dissipated very slowly leaving at least a half finger widths throughout most of the drink. It leaves some of the heaviest lacing I have ever seen.

S: Predominately hoppy aromas of the pine and citrus variety. No real malt characteristic, just hit your nose hops. Not a very complex aroma, but very inviting if you are a hop lover like myself.

T: First sip is a very well balanced blend of roasted malts and hops. This beer is not particularly complex, but it doesn’t have to be. The simplicity may be what makes it so damn good. It is just an excellent balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Some very subtle burnt malt flavors with hints of caramel, but the balance between roasted malt and piney hops with a strong hop bitterness on the aftertaste certainly predominates. The ABV is masked wonderfully, with no overpowering alcohol characters. Hop flavors definitely are the mainstay of the drink, but are by no means overwhelming. If you consider yourself a hop head, you will almost certainly enjoy this beer.

M/D: Perfect amount of carbonation, relatively smooth and very easy to drink. Leaves the mouth feeling somewhat dry, but not to a fault. It is very drinkable considering the ABV, heavy stout-like appearance, and dominating hop flavors.

O: This beer is deceiving in that judging by its appearance you would expect a more stout-like drink with a certain heaviness and stronger malt characters. But in reality its more or less a great, hop-heavy ,IPA that happens to look like a stout. Overall this is an excellent beer. I admittedly am not that familiar with black IPAs, but I can’t imagine one being much better than this. I recommend this beer to all those who love hops and to those who are interested in this beer style. I will certainly drink this beer again.

zac16125, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of elmore
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Bought this on from Grapes of Mirth in Columbus, OH about 3 months ago. Poured from a 1 pint 6 oz bottle into a tulip glass. A one finger, off white head with moderate retention, which left some decent lace.

Described as an IPA on the bottle. The darkest pale ale I've ever seen, which wasn't a huge surprise as the last sentence of the description on the back reads "Pitch dark". Dark black. Nearly opaque - has similar appearance to a porter or stout. Carbonation not real active.

Hops dominate the nose. I can detect more dark malts and hints of carmel than the typical IPA. Hops are definetely the dominate taste, but not overpowering and are well balanced by the dark malts. Docked a few points for drinkablity, because this is just such a big beer.

Creamy, dense, chewy mouthfeel with a bit of oily hops. Moderate carbonation.

This beer is big in every way - malty, hoppy, high ABV. Although called an IPA on the bottle label. BA lists it as an American Strong Ale. I really appreciate beer like this that are hard to put in a single catergory. To me seems to have the strong hops prescence and mouthfeel of an IPA with the dark carmel malts of a porter or stout.

elmore, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of TasteTester
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

I agree with the last review, I love this beer. Another great beer in the long line of the Stone Family.

A-Deep, dark, darker than the bottle it came in. Caramel colored head that was a finger or two tall. Lace that lasted top to bottom.

S-Alcohol, hops, caramel.

T-Great american strong ale. Nice hop lingering flavor. Not overpowering, but very much present.

M-Smooth, slightly sticky.

D-Could definitely have a lot of these, if i could only find more.

TasteTester, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of Leviathan
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Stone rarely disappoints and this beer is no exception. Picked up this bomber several weeks ago and forgot about it in the fridge. Got home from the golf course today and found it behind some Williamsburg Ale Works...

Appearance is dark brown/black with a nice white head when poured into a pint glass. Smells like roasted, malty deliciousness...

The taste is like a strong ale bordering on stout-like proportions. This beer is well balanced with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and hops coating the palette. The beer laces nicely down the glass and leaves a nice crisp hop aftertaste.

I've always been a fan of Stone and will definitely throw this beer into the rotation now that the weather is cooling down. At nearly 9%, a few of these will have you melting back in your chair...

Leviathan, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Tolann
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

A - pours really black. It's nearly opaque, but shows a ruby hue when you hold it up to the light. Lots of thick head that is dark and foamy and leaves behind a nice lacing.

S - sweet hops. Very big hops nose. Theres a citrus I can't identify in there as well (I still suck at identifying this stuff)

T - Big hops hits the back of your tongue and you're then reminded by the sweet. Really nice! The bitterness hangs a bit. The sweetness doesn't hang nearly as much.

M - really nice and what's to be expected for this style. Not too fizzy, not too heavy. I nice medium bodied beer that rolls down your throat.

D - I wish I had more bottles!! A great IPA example! Love the hops, love the beer! This one is disappearing much too fast.

Tolann, Nov 10, 2007
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,194 ratings.