1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,096 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,096
Reviews: 1,819
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 224
Gots: 410 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,096 | Reviews: 1,819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of s4s
s4s

California

3/5  rDev -28.9%

04-01-2013 01:50:21 | More by s4s
Photo of Sunn
Sunn

Iowa

3/5  rDev -28.9%

05-26-2014 05:07:23 | More by Sunn
Photo of ThomP
ThomP

Texas

3.01/5  rDev -28.7%

Pours real nice, Dark Body with a tan foamy head, nice. However I found this beer to be cloyingly sweet and not enough hop presents for an IPA in my opinion. I would expect something on the level of the regular IPA at least. I prefer other offerings from Stone, I lived just a "Stones Throw" away in Escondido, for a while. Now in Texas I find this and am left wanting, wanting a really high hopped IPA.

05-17-2014 01:12:17 | More by ThomP
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -28.2%

Aromas of strong piney hops and roasted malts with hints of caramels and toffee, however the hops dominate the nose.
The tastes begin with full flavored maltiness with flavors of burnt brown sugar, light coffee/toffee and caramel maltiness but the hops creep in and steal the show to this beer's detriment. The intense hops flavors of pine and grapefruit are just not melding with the dark malts. I do not enjoy the roast mixed with pine.
Overall the stickiness and resiny qualities dominate the mouthfeel and linger far too long for such a dark beer. I have had good, bad and average Black Ales. Unfortunately this is in the bad dept because the hops are just too dominating.

04-01-2011 15:55:53 | More by claspada
Photo of TheGordianKnot
TheGordianKnot

Tennessee

3.03/5  rDev -28.2%

Purchased 22oz bottle and poured into standard American pint glass...

A- Very dark. Almost black, but not opaque with hues of brown/amber, very thick creamy head

S- Strong hop aroma with distinct berry fruitiness. Very appealing and makes you want to drink the beer instantly

T- Excessively hoppy. I personally feel that the hop balance was off a bit. It was very bitter (and I can take a good degree of bitterness) but the hop flavor was a strong pine and earthy flavor. The taste of this beer ruined my chance to taste anything else later that night, and I'm pretty sure I was still tasting the hops in my mouth the next day... It was pretty overwhelming

M- Not bad. Carbonation wasn't too prominent. Average/generic mouthfeel

D- This beer is good in small doses, very small doses.

Overall, this is my least favorite Stone beer I have had to date. Hops were incredibly bitter and not balanced to what I thought. I had an IPA directly after this and it tasted like water. I had no idea this beer would be like this. I think they were too aggressive on this one and I will not be buying this again anytime soon...

04-08-2010 19:40:51 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of LilMatrix
LilMatrix

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -27.7%

A - Poured a dark brown that lets little to no light through. A thin tannish head

S - Smells like it tastes: roasted malts, slight hops, toffee.

T - The malt is up front with caramel, toffee, and slight coffee notes. Transitions to a hoppy back end that's not too overpowering. Not overly complex, this beer is mostly malts.

M - Medium body beer with thin finish.

D - A decent beer from Stone; there is better out there, I'm not overly impressed with this one. I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these but this beer is definitely worth a try.

01-02-2009 00:33:50 | More by LilMatrix
Photo of heysuz
heysuz

Indiana

3.08/5  rDev -27%

Intro: 64 oz. growler poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend.

Appearance: Little to no head that dissipates quickly however when swirled some head remains, jet black color, opaque, little carbonation and no lacing and very oily.

Smell: Slight smell of dates, figs or raisins with an alcohol odor as well.

Taste: Strong and bitter with a subdued unsweetened chocolate with prominent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Leaves dryness in the back of the mouth but at the same time there is a motor oil consistency to the feel.

Drink: Seems to be a sipper and not a beer that improves with warming, better served cold. The taste is almost too bitter to be enjoyed.

Conclusion: I will be the first to admit that I am a card carrying full-fledged hop head and this beer may not be my cup of tea. The main objections to this beer are the bad mouth feel, the coating and aftertaste. After further contemplation, I think maybe my growler came from an old barrel that was nearly empty. My experience just doesn't come close to what I read about this beer.

03-06-2011 19:51:29 | More by heysuz
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev -27%

They finally got this stuff in Boise after weeks of waiting. Been excited to try this bad boy. Drank from my Rogue Kells Irish Style Lager pint glass while watching Green Bay vs. Chicago.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish black with a crazy white head considering the color of the beer. The initial two finger head is pretty big and foamy and leaves an awesome collar the entire duration of the brew. Bits of lacing are strewn about the entire glass.
Smell- Holy deceptive. This is definitely an IPA in a Stouts body. Big citrus American hops dominate. Lot’s of piney grapefruit and pineapple smell really nice. Feint caramel undertone try’s to show but is pretty much dominated by the hops.
Taste- Starts super sweet with hints of caramel before it’s quickly taken over by super bitter hops. Huge grapefruit hops and lemon zest dominate. Gritty, piney and numbing. Feint taste of bubblegum/cotton candy in the aftertaste and lots of alcohol warming. I’d guess that this brew is much higher than 8.7%, the alcohol isn’t hidden well. As the beer warms it becomes a bit more balanced but the sweetness becomes a bit cloying.
Mouthfeel- Thick and full-bodied with a nice gentle carbonation and a thin finish (make sense?).
Drinkability- Well, this beer is interesting. I love the nose but that’s about it. I think it’s a little sweet and a bit unbalanced. It’s too sweet at times and too bitter at others. Maybe a little time would help this a bit but until then, this definitely isn’t my favorite offering from Stone.

10-08-2007 03:41:07 | More by younger35
Photo of Jermbrew
Jermbrew

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -26.5%

I've heard this billed as a Black Double I.P.A. .... I'd say that's accurate and the Stone 11th Anniversary is a special treat.

This black ale is a beautiful sight and pours a nice slightly tan head.

My favorite part of this brew is the aroma. Slight roastiness with piney hop notes and floral aroma shining through. The slight alcohol smell is due to the ABV of nearly 9% and it's the perfect complement to the pine/roast smells.

More piney taste with a strong bitterness lingering on the middle and back of tounge. Very strong bitterness, like chinese bitter melon....not what I want in a beer. I can taste the alcohol...no doubt it's strong.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. A sharp carbonation at fist creates a crisp tingle
and the liquid has a creaminess to it. I like.

The nearly black appearance and the over the top hops content make this unique. I appreciate both alcohol and hops, but I can't drink too much of this however, without the bitterness and alcohol becoming too overpowering( hence the lower drinkability score.)

10-19-2007 00:53:28 | More by Jermbrew
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.1/5  rDev -26.5%

'Bout time I review this, I've been glossing it over for a few months now, and I hope this is as killer as the 15th anniversary ale Stone did. 22 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with faint hints of light coming through the body. The head is a two finger light mocha color with a great creamy texture and excellent retention. Nice rings of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Grapefruity. I'm a little disappointed I'm not getting more roast/coffee/chocolate - in fact, it smells mostly like a generic IPA, not just from the citrus rind/pine/herbal hop tones, but honestly a bit from the malt backbone, as well. It smells more bright than roasted, although there's a faint hint of chocolate to remind me it's still a black IPA. Don't get me wrong, I really like how it smells, but I want a little more 'black' and a little less 'IPA'. Then again, I thought the exact same about Storm King, and I absolutely loved that one...

T: This is really drinking like a normal IPA to me, sadly...initial flavors are strong in grapefruit and orange rind, before giving way to a medium finishing bitterness. However, the hop profile is very well executed. Chocolate malt starts to make its appearance after several sips, helping smooth out the hops and providing a burnt, ashy (even vegetal, at times) edge to the finish. Still, it doesn't mesh together in the way Stone's 15th does, and it becomes slightly too boozy as it warms up - drink this one cold, in other words.

M: Rather thin, with a dryness coming more from the hops rather than the roast. There's a bit of malt stickiness throughout. Alcohol can be felt slightly on the tongue and stomach once it warms up, and it just feels weird all around. Drinkability is disappointingly low.

O: I'm really disappointed it's only 'okay' instead of 'mindblowing' like its (sorely missed) big brother. I'm thinking maybe oldish bottle, but the Stone 15th I had was 6 months old, and it still blew me away. To be fair, that was clearly more malt driven - so I'll try this again fresh, or maybe on tap.

07-19-2012 00:52:19 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of deanhead
deanhead

Vermont

3.1/5  rDev -26.5%

Poured black with a toffee colored head. Nice lace, with a respectable head that stayed with the beer.

Citrusy aroma, pungent guava & some toasted flavor. Aroma of roasted coffee and

Taste is slightly acrid. Reminiscent of roating coffee beans. Many contrasting flavors here. Licorice notes Warming alcohol.

Medium bodied beer with a woody finish. Also finishes with a slightly bitter and vegetative clinginess
Really interesting beer. Not sure if I would seek this one out again, but none the less it had a very unique taste. Kudos to Stone for taking it out of the box yet again.

07-26-2009 20:02:36 | More by deanhead
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -25.8%

Sampled last night, 22 oz bomber, shared with a friend. From memory...

A: Muddy black, supple tan head that left some great lacing and a moderate cap throughout the tasting.

S: Roasted grain malt, bitter hops, ash, black peppercorn. This smells great but I worry these roasted qualities may not play as well as I hope with the bitterness.

T: Bitter hops are up front followed by some charcoal and grass. The overall roasted qualities here are too weak for the bitterness of these hops. I was expecting the hops, obviously, but thought the definite dark malt profile would be a bit more present to balance this out. Disappointed.

M: Wild carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: For me, this is hard. I love IPAs and in general Black IPAs but something about this one is just hard for me to get down, let alone an entire 22 oz bottle. Luckily I shared.

I wouldn't go for this again unless it was on draft somewhere. Understandably so an IPA, though it still needs balance, something I feel the Sublimely is lacking.

12-19-2010 13:07:37 | More by ShanePB
Photo of stevenseg
stevenseg

Michigan

3.13/5  rDev -25.8%

I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.

SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.

The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.

The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.

The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.

Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.

I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation.

04-16-2011 01:32:22 | More by stevenseg
Photo of jwolfie70
jwolfie70

California

3.15/5  rDev -25.4%

I have had several bottles of this beer. It is definitely changing with age, and is getting mellower. When first released the beer was very raw, with hops overdominating and destroying. The beer is mellowing nicely and the roasted malt qualities are starting to poke through. Definitely still a hop bomb. I am interested to see where this beer will go.

02-04-2008 19:45:51 | More by jwolfie70
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

3.18/5  rDev -24.6%

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. I had this beer back in the summer and I didn't get a chance to review it but remember it being pretty hoppy. Now it's "Spring" here in Syracuse, let's see how a few months treated this brew.

Clarkson lost tonight to Michigan 2-0, so I'm avoiding beer from that state tonight (unfortunately).

Pours a dark sludge brown with a big two finger tan head that dies down to a layer of big bubbles. Stickiness is pretty solid, no complaints there. Smell is interesting; pine hops, bitter cocoa, light citrus, and creamy caramel. A coffee aroma is present in the nose as well. Flavor is earthy hops from start to finish with some molasses and brown sugar. Pretty bitter as well, too bitter actually, sounds just weird associating that witch such a dark beer. The coffee grind flavor is there which adds more to the bitter effect. Very dry in the mouth with a full medium body. Strong carbonation on the tongue. I guess being classified as a Strong Ale is a pretty good fit seeing it beat the shit out of my mouth. I just wasn't feeling this beer. Maybe I'm crazy or just pissed off about Clarkson losing.

03-30-2008 03:21:06 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.2/5  rDev -24.2%

Dark bitter ale with no hint of fruitiness.

Very dark brown, looks inviting. Doesn't taste dark, however. Very austere, no hint of sweetness in the malt. more like a hint of soy sauce. Hops jump right on without much aromatic foreplay and keep at it. Seems surprisingly light-bodied for a strong, dark ale. Has a very odd taste of metal at the end, an edge on the teeth.

I think this is one of my least favorite Stone ales. For the hard core IPA drinker, for sure.

07-12-2010 04:46:35 | More by mactrail
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1

Colorado

3.2/5  rDev -24.2%

poured into a snifter

pours a black with a tan head, not much lace.

smells a bit like chocolate with a dark mix of fruit, but not anything special.

taste was a bit upsetting, bit piny with chocolate/coffee medium feel, but not great after taste,

was kinda of upset with this beer, not going to repurchase.

06-22-2009 01:30:28 | More by Anthony1
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -23.5%

Poured into a snifter. I admit I'm not a fan of Black IPAs, but I figured I'd give this one a go anyway.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is average for style and plenty of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Pleasant marriage of citrusy hops and roastiness. The two seem to get along better in this than in morst BIPAs. Lots of orange with pine and grapefruit in the background. Roastiness without muc chocolate or caramel.

3.0 T: The taste doesn't work too well though. Citrus with roasty burntness simply isn't a tasty combination. At least this isn't overly bitter like a lot of the style. Roasty foremost, orange and grapefruit second, and pine and char last.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking the creaminess that most BIPAs seem to have.

3.0 D: Average for a below average style.

03-03-2012 07:04:20 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of mdwalsh
mdwalsh

Iowa

3.23/5  rDev -23.5%

Large head of tan on a black body. Maybe the head is a little too big? But it does have retention!

Aroma is great, a nice balanced hoppyness

Taste, not so much. There's an astringentness and background chemical blech kind of taste. The hop malt balance here is just terrible in my opinion.

The mouthfeel is fine. This beer is in what always think of as a kind of awkward alcohol range. Not low enough to be a quaffable, session beer with bright carbonation, not high enough to be a real thinker with a mild, low carbonation. But I think this sits in a pretty good balance.

However, I just can't get over that taste. Probably my biggest disappointment from Stone ever.

12-31-2012 16:33:53 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of donmonkey1
donmonkey1

Tennessee

3.23/5  rDev -23.5%

Appearance: Dark brown,almost black. Nice frothy tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Citrusy pine hops.

Taste: Blended pine needles

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lack of carbonation.

All I can taste is the hops, and I'm not a fan of these particular hops. That doesn't take away from the fact that this is a quality beer, but I don't care for it much. As a side note, this was first brewed in 2007 as the Stone 11th Anniversary Ale.

02-21-2012 22:46:43 | More by donmonkey1
Photo of davexisxrabid
davexisxrabid

California

3.23/5  rDev -23.5%

Waited about a year to drink this brew...

Poured a nice dark brown color in the light, almost black when it sat there in my glass. Tiny head fizzled out almost immediately. The slick brew did leave lots of lacing on my glass during the drinking period.

Aroma was of floral hops and a scent that was reminiscent of soy sauce.

Interesting dark malty flavor like unsweetened dark chocolate and hoppy bitterness. The hop bitterness was not too prevalent but noticeable.

The lingering bitterness was a bit excessive, maybe due to roasted malts providing a dry flavor and the hops. Not much alcohol present in the aftertaste or lingering on the taste buds.

Good drinkability for a bold, full bodied brew but the rich flavors would keep it from being a session beer for me.

A good beer but falling short of what I would expect from Stone.

12-29-2008 17:58:47 | More by davexisxrabid
Photo of SjConroy
SjConroy

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -23%

02-24-2014 21:14:38 | More by SjConroy
Photo of lketchersid
lketchersid

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -23%

04-02-2013 01:36:37 | More by lketchersid
Photo of boesesfleisch
boesesfleisch

California

3.25/5  rDev -23%

05-19-2014 22:21:08 | More by boesesfleisch
Photo of DJoe
DJoe

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -23%

02-22-2014 00:31:36 | More by DJoe
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,096 ratings.