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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

5,712 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,712
Reviews: 1,882
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 257
Gots: 661 | 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: 5,712 | Reviews: 1,882 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TEdubbaD
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cola color with a little bit of transparency. Head is medium sized with a solid creaminess to it, an attractive pizza dough color.

S: Sprucy hops, licorice, caramel, black patent malt and some vinous qualities.

T: Starts with an interesting maltiness that walks the line between caramel and roasted barley at the tip of the tongue. Sprucy hops cruise in and flow from the front to the back of the tongue. Almost chocolaty but not totally, perhaps it’s the hops and malt that are reminding me of Andes candies. Definite coffee ground bitterness comes in after the swallow, as does some redwood abrasiveness. Finishes with tremendous balance of dark malts, bitter roasted barley and vibrant hops. Interesting beer.

M: Medium body, straight forward mouthfeel.

D: I’m not sure how I feel about these hoppy dark beers. Tasty but they aren’t one of my favorite styles…not yet at least. Regardless, this is a delicious beer with fantastic balance.

Photo of mstyne
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so I drank half of my pint before I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing this brew. That probably says enough right there.

Picked up a bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating best I can tell. Pours an extremely dark, dark, red (had to hold it up to the light to confirm it wasn't ink black) with a decent 3/4" of head and good lacing.

Very nice hop aroma. Taste is smoky, with some cocoa/chocolate and wood notes. At 8.7 ABV, this will sneak up on you in a hurry. This is another delicious offering from Stone that I look forward to trying again.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer. Pours with a nice tan head that demonstrated excellent retention and leaves behind some spotty lacing... Does eventually fade to a thin film atop the beer. The beer itself is a chocolate brown color. Slightly transparent on the edge when held to the light.

Aroma is very interesting and fresh. Citrus and fresh hop aroma dominates. Slight alcohol and a touch of green grass or something fresh and green.

Taste is very interesting. I've had this described as a black IPA... That's an interesting description given the assertive hop profile. What's funny is that I taste green as well as detect it in the aroma. Not sure how to describe it further. Not bad... Just fresh/green. Initial Alcohol bite that fades and turns into some fresh hop bitterness. Just behind this is some roasted charcoal or ash flavors. Then some fruit and definitely grapefruit notes. Then lingers with some nice hop bitterness.

Certainly interesting.

Fairly light bodied despite the dark appearance. Low carbonation and rather silky in the mouth.

Nicely drinkable and an interesting brew.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours near opaque, but actually very dark cola color when held to light. Off-white head dissipates quickly with a thin rim lace.

Nose is a mixture of light fruits, perhaps tropical in nature, and a sweet roasty-doughy component that almost reminds me of a fresh batch of donuts with chocolate icing.

Palate offers assertive grapefruity hops up front that bully the palate, with a malt in the background that has long ago submitted to the hop domination. Dark color somewhat betrays the flavor profile in the sense that if you drank it blind I suspect you would just wager that it is a DIPA. Finish is a little tart and the hops pucker the mouth a little too much.

Perhaps it needs age, for the drinkability suffers a little right now.

Photo of scratch69
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Strong aroma of piney hops with notes of roasted malt.

Taste- I am hit with a bitter pine flavor at first that fades into a roasted malt and chocolate taste. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a decent amount of prickly carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall- Interesting beer but a little too bitter for my tastes. I still prefer a good stout or porter but this would be my first choice for an IPA (black or otherwise).

Photo of sweemzander
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a super dark brown, almost black color that actually cascaded for a few moments too. Produced a great light brown head that stuck around for awhile before leaving big clumps of lacing behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A light roastedness of bread and nuts with a piney lemon and lime citrus background. Weird and different, but good.

(T)- Pretty much like the smell. A good roasted profile with a bread, nut, and molasses character. Combine that with a crisp yet citrusy lemon and pine bitterness that meshes into the darkness within.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Roasted like a stout or porter, but crisp and with a hoppy citrus bite like an IPA. An interesting yet different beer unlike most in the style.

(D)- An interesting beer for the style. Malty, yet heavily hopped which I appreciate. Tastes good and is easy to enjoy. A relative easy drinker with a tamer ABV level than usual. Another solid beer from one of my more favorite breweries.

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thoughtful extra from Thorpe429. Thanks, Mike!

Reddish brown pour creates minimal head that vanishes minutes into this beer

Whoa, Nellie! Smells like meat or, more specifically, beef jerky and ham

Thankfully redemption is found in the drink. Black malts open into a steady stream of citric hops, predominantly orange and pineapple. Classifications be damned, this is an IPA...or black IPA, whatever that truly means.

Carbonation on the low end, with medium to thin body

I enjoyed this more than my compadre, who tastes a 60/40 blend of Tomaco Porter and Coffeed Ruination. Silly friend.

Photo of 2Dreadnaught
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer on tap at Timothy O'Toole's in Gurnee, IL on 5/14/12.
A: Poured a deep black with a thin (less than 1 finger) light tan head. Virtually no lace.
S: Slight grainy malty aroma with a hint of anise and coco.
T: Dark roast grain with licorice undertones. Medium carbonation with a nice dry finish.
O: A decent black ale worth a try.

Photo of Drewcifer
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark black, leaning a bit to the brown, with only a slight bit of off-white head, which swettles to a thin ring around the top.

Citrusy hops are dominant in the aroma, with some piney hop back to it. Roasted malts sit down deep, and only come out with a big whiff.

The taste is all citrusy hops off the bat, maintained throughout, with some piney, woodsy hops and a bit of an almost salty, slightly bitter caramel aftertaste. There's a hint of bitter chocolate, but merely a brief hint.

Pretty decent amount of carbonation with a medium body.

Overall, a somewhat drinkable brew. Definitely worth a try for the uniqueness of the brew, but not something I'd look to as a daily drinker. Not bad, not great.

Photo of MiScusi
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at fridge temp into a Stone IRS glass. I'm going to see how this progresses through cold to warmer. A pretty dark shade of black. You can't see through it- Not at the edges, not held up to light. Light tan head forms atop, slightly creamy but then breaks up and becomes thin. I'd like a little more substance to the head, otherwise it's perfect. The smell initially is a ton of resiny piny hops. As it is very cold the taste comes across as all pine hops and leaves that resiny bitterness, with just a touch of sweetness lingering as well. Either due to a bit of warming or the tongue getting use to the hops, you can start to get a deeper malt presence, with some of the bitterness seeming to come from the roasted malt- though it's very subtle. I still can't get anything past the pine in the aroma, but at least it is a highly FRESH smell.

The mouthfeel is is incredibly smooth. Slick, but not very heavy- in fact, probably about medium. Complimented by the very fine amount of carbonation

Rating this overall is kind of hard. It's my first black double IPA, so I would say they did a pretty good job of hitting the goal they were going for. On the other hand, I just didn't find it to be my cup of tea. The dark malt and what I perceived to be a very one-dimensional hop aspect (all pine) wasn't that exciting. Of course, nowhere near bad, still a very good drink and a pretty good price for this bomber of $4.49.

Photo of JayS2629
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a beautiful creamy tan head that is three fingers and sticks around. Nice lacing.

The aroma is strong hops, citrus and pine with some earthy elements. Hiding deep underneath is are some chocolate and caramel notes.

Dark caramel, toffee and chocolate notes are completely dominated by citrus and piney hops with some earthy notes.

A little thin, but smooth

Easy to drink, enjoyable, a little off balance.

Photo of aasher
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark, dark brown on the verge of black with a rich mahogany one finger head that laces the glass. It barely allows any light to pass through it and is medium in body. The aromas are surprisingly very hoppy upfront with a good amount of charred malts in the back. The flavor is hoppier than anticipated as well. It has a very sharp and distinct pine/citrus hop profile right out of the gate. It finishes with a load of dark roasted malts, on the verge of tasting burnt. It's good but the charcoal flavor keeps me from scoring it higher. It drinks pretty full in body and the flavors become more bold as you continue to drink it. It's a good beer but like a lot of Stone's darker beers, I don't consider it to be overly drinkable. Something about their aftertastes just throw me off.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Beachwood BBQ - a treat to find this on cask, so I figured I'd review it this time even though I've already had it on tap here before they put the cask on (oh how I love Beachwood).

Appearance: Full three finger vanilla bean colored head, which is quite impressive, but settles to a quarter-finger after a time. Lacing makes this one take a bit of a hit, as it is pretty spotty and fleeting, not lasting too long, but it exists, at least. Body is jet black.

Smell: Pine, grapefruit, perceptible alcohol, sugary malt base. I swear I smell banana on the back end of this beer. Who knew? There's something, I suspect, about the hops combining with the roasted malt that creates that impression. This is incredibly (incredibly) hoppy smelling, and has a bit too much alcohol on the nose for me to rave about. Additionally, the "Black" aspect of it is lost, for the most part, with the exception of my aforementioned banana theory - it's basically a hop bomb that looks black, nose-wise.

Taste: Whoa, banana! Like, literally, I taste banana on the front end most prominently. I guess that's a sign that the roasted malt is asserting itself here better. Still, it's also a sign that the roastiness is competing, desperately, with the hoppiness, and mostly losing. Pine, lemon, grapefruit citrus hop flavors follow. Some caramel on the back end. This is a hop monster, still, but I found this more balanced and more interesting than the nose.

Mouthfeel: I wrote in my notes, "it's a cask pour." Enough said I guess - it's creamy, smooth, carbonated fine, and room temperature, what one would expect.

Drinkability: This is so damn hoppy that it takes a while to put one down. Compared to the only other "Black IPA" I've had so far, Warrior Black IPA by Pizza Port, this is like a Double IPA versus a "Regular" IPA," but not in necessarily a good way. I think when experimenting with this new style of sorts, more brewers are going to have to balance out the stout flavors and the IPA flavors. It may be an IPA first and a stout second, alright, fair enough, but still. Anyway, I congratulate Stone on pioneering the style, though, this is getting a TON of praise from people I've met in person and on BA.

Photo of noknife83
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, dark coffee in color, with creamy light tan head. The faint smell of coffee, very strong taste. I'm glad I've only got one 22oz of these, I'm not eve half done with it and I can already feel it. After taste has a slight twinge to the tongue, hard to describe. A very good beer, I will definitely get it again.

Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decanted this cool from a brown 22oz into a goblet, purchased this at Thirsty's in York, Pa.

A - Black as cinder w/ a tall, 3 fingers of rocky tan head w/ an ultra-fine bead. Moderately full coating of lace on the glass.

S - A huge citrus aroma w/ totally hop dominant nose. Tinges of malty toasted and creamy notes peek out from behined the NW hop aroma.

M - Rich, acidic feel w/ leafy resionous pungency, bitter upfront w/ notes of sweet dark malt in the finish.

T - An intensely flavored ale w/ a nod to the IPA, very citrusy w/ grapefruit and tangy citrus notes w/ mango and sweet subtle flavors that have a gentle dark malt influence w/ hints of molasses and dark sugar w/ caramel and roasted flavors. The acidity is present in each sip as the citrus hop flavor makes its potency known. Sip after sip says Grapefruit! There is a ruby red note w/ a turbinado sugar topped flavor, very zesty the taste reminds me of a grapefruit winter warmer I brewed w/ actual ruby red fruit years ago. I find it unique that this should bring back that one-off memory. I like how the malt is in the taste kind of cushioning the high vault of hops, a very nice effect.

D - This beer is impressive in craftsmanship. Nice black color, all IPA in flavor. It is not something I could see myself drinking many of, but is tasty-it kept me coming back. This ale isn't what I consider complex, but makes its point well and is very drinkable. Shame it is only around for the Anniversary.

Photo of callmescraps
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's been awhile since I've had this one.

Appearance - Very dark, black practically. Held up to a light and nothing gets through. Two inches of mocha-colored head with nice stiff head. Looks very good.

Smell - Surprising amount of hops right up front. Lots of pine and some grass. Citrus comes in as well. There's a dark roasted malt quality lingering somewhere.

Taste - Up front it's love. Nice hoppy bite. Very aggressive. But the follow is a tough malt roast aspect, with some smoke. Definitely some coffee tones. Tastes burnt, honestly. It also lingers.

Mouthfeel - Luscious and creamy.

Drinkability - The lingering burnt flavor is off-putting, honestly.

This is a very interesting beverage. I love half, and don't care for the other half. Frankly, it's a little jumbled and incoherent. Overall, it's interesting but doesn't excite me.

Photo of jgurley
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Coal black and a nice head with excellent lacing. Smell is toasty malt with some espresso. taste is of roasty malts with some sweetness and a hop bitterness. Coffee, dark fruit, oak, astringency, juniper, grapefruit. This is a unique and complex ale that drinks like a combination of styles. Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and sticky with good carbonation. Aftertaste is clean and bitter. Seems like a black IPA. Taste comes off as extremely bitter to me. I'm gonna have to come back to this later.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

Man, this one pours up solid black. It has a two-finger head of Medium-brown colored foam sitting on top. The retention is really good and the lacing is thick and sticky.
Pretty impressive looking, actually.

As I've come to expect from Stone, the nose is filled with hops notes. Lots of big bright citrus notes, along with a pleasing tropical hop presence. Some good dark, earthy hop notes also. There are some nice, caramel-like, sweet malt notes here as well, but they are almost buried by the hops.

Fruity hops notes come out strong. They are followed by an earthy, almost woody, presence. A slight hint of caramel is then squashed by the bitter bite of hop resin and pine sap. This finishes with an interesting amount of charred/smokiness to it.

This one is full-bodied and has a wonderful, mild-to-high level of carbonation, which is filled with small-to-almost-medium sized bubbles. It is very smooth and has a nice level of creaminess to it.

This is good, and is nicely drinkable, as long as you like hops. Unfortunately, this is quite a bit more hop-forward than I really enjoy my beers to be. I'm not yet worthy, I guess.

Photo of djwilson
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The color is dark, black with some red highlights coming through in the light. Poured into thick short pilsner glass. Nice thick head almost caramel color, disipated to a light foam across the top with some nice lacing.

Smell was hops upfront with a slight lightly roasted coffee aroma.

First sip and I get hops up front, and a light malty finish that masks the high alcohol content.

Drinkability was fine but too malty for me to keep drinking all night. 2 would be my limit, then try to find more Stone 10.

Overall excellent beer, VERY unique, I love that Stone always seems to suprise for their aniversary beer.

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black color that's actually a little thinner looking than I am used to. It has a big 3 finger brown head that lingers for a bit before lacing the hell out of my snifter. First smell is fairly hoppy. PIne notes mostly. There are some muted roasty notes in the background. It's pretty muted. First sip is quite similar to the nose. Piney hops. Roasted malt. Some subtle coffee notes in the background. A little char bitterness finished the brew off. There is a pretty clean finish with a low bitterness. It's very drinkable and the alcohol is hidden well. Not one I'd seek out again but that's moreso the fact I don't love the style.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep opaque black with an ample tan head. Generally malty in nature with bitterness coming from what seems to be roasted and chocolate malts. Taste is similar with a chocolaty malt flavor and bitterness some coffee notes as well. Not overpoweringly chocolate but definitely good. Feel is smooth and medium bodied, with a slight fullness. Carbonation is light and tickles the senses well. Overall a very good beverage.

Photo of demitriustown
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber: Aroma is nice hop texture to it with some slight lemon zest scents and a light rind texture as well. The malt notes are very subdued because of the hops but are vaguely present within the aroma. Pours a dark brownish black yet somewhat clear with a thick fluffy off white head that lingers around for quite a while. Taste is very citrusy and definite big hop characteristics. The light malt textures show through on the back end of the flavor. Palate is bitter on the tongue and nice and long lasting. With light malt notes later on in the aftertaste. Overall, A very interesting brew to say the least. Big hop textures throughout and quite a good drink. Cheers!

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown color, almost black. There are some reddish hues that come through as well. It looks very still, without much carbonation.

S: It has a strong hoppy scent up front. Some sweet and floral notes come through after the initial bitter hop smell and it finishes with some nice roasted malt/coffee-like aromas.

T: The roasted coffee scent is the first flavors that are noticeable. As it finishes, it has a big hop and bitter end.

M: It is medium bodied with virtually no carbonation which actually works out for this beer. It has a nice crisp finish from the bitter hops and refreshes your palate for the next tasting.

O: I'm not sure how I feel about black IPA's yet as I haven't tried many, but this is a decent offering and probably the best I have tried so far from this style.

Photo of Erik-P
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,712 ratings.