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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,613 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4613
Reviews: 1801
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%

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: 4,613 | Reviews: 1,801 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle was opened to celebrate a personal achievement that I worked hard for. As I am rightfully proud of this achievement, this new offering from Stone seemed like the only beer to help celebrate that.

Pours a super ultra uber dark brown, or, okay, black. Head is a half-inch of toasted brown foam and thins rather quickly leaving a few wild lace streaks on the glass.

Aroma is tremendous. Apparently Stone either haven't heard about the hop shortage or are holding some in reserve. This nose is intensely hoppy, with that ultra-clean and super-fragrant character that reminds of SurlyFest or Gumballhead. You know--dryer sheets. Maybe a grainy character similar to rye in the background, but it's pretty much hop-forward. Also: this does NOT look like it smells and vice versa.

The flavor is equally tremendous, and more complex than the nose. The rye element comes out stronger (not sure if they actually used rye) with a bitterness like astringent black tea while the hops intermingle with everything else. But they're they're, and they mean business. Rind-like pucker in the finish. What adds extra dimension to this beer is the subtle layer of black licorice and chocolate--as in fine Belgian chocolate--that lays on the tongue as the sips accumulate.

Texture is on the light-medium side, having presence and a little stick while remaining unobtrusive. And with the near-demonic boldness of the flavor, you wouldn't want a huge chewy feel. I wouldn't anyway...

Basically, Sublimely Self-Righteous is like one huge industrial-sized sheet of Bounce flapping in the wind, one end of the clothesline hung on a pine tree and the other on a lemon tree. With a burning rye field nearby and a chocolate factory across the street. Hung by you as you munch on black licorice nibs. This is my kind of beer and I hope they have the good sense at Stone to offer it year round. Mold-breaking, even having a transcendental element in its uniqueness, but seriously quaffable, which is really what counts most.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 22:19:44 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of MusicmanSD


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Stone just never disappoints, do they? A black IPA huh? Looks great, has an edge of ruby to it, smells like hops and sweetness, not so much burnt as a stout or porter usually is. It tastes of resin-y hops and dark beer flavors. In fact, almost black lager-like in taste, not so much Guinness-y. Great mouthfeel and, although hard to drink because of it's heave, a great beer. Totally self-righteous!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 04:18:01 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of Foxtrot


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber of this with a friend.

Poured into a tulip glass revealed a intensely dark brown body with a nice ivory cap, with moderate lacing.

Good God! The aroma is intense! Multitudes of hop goodness with ample amounts of molasses and dark fruits to reign in this bad boy of a beer from being a complete hop bomb! This must be the most unique aroma of any beer I have encountered to date. Might even oust Pliny The Elder.

Taste was on par with what I was expecting. Big flavors of bitter chocolate with an assortment of citrus fruits, and brown sugar, accompanied by big pine resinous notes to finish it all off. This beer demands your attention with every sip to truly appreciate it.

Mouthfeel was big. Thick and viscous.

Stone hid the alcohol extremely well in this beer. Huge marks for drinkability as it did not become cloying or repetitive. I wish Stone could make this a seasonal beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 05:58:14 | More by Foxtrot
Photo of Taylor88


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so F'in Stone...I am however a "Stoner" I've shared this beer with many of my friends. It freaks most of them out! "What the hell is this?" is the most common response. It is a difficult beer to describe. It's hoppy, it's malty, it's, it's, it's...everything! I think Stone threw everything in this beer but the proverbial "kitchen sink"...Not for everybody, but this "Stoner" loves it!!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 01:40:02 | More by Taylor88
Photo of hophead247


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear, dark brown body with a dense beige head on top. It has a nice aroma with chocolate, coffee, sweetness and dried fruits, as well as a lovely hop profile with pine, resin and citrus, mostly orange. Chocolate and coffee flavor, rather burnt, with fruity hop flavors, citrus notes, pine and resin. Full, rather dry mouthfeel, and a long, piney and resiny finish with citrus. This is one of those lovely beers with layers and layers of aroma and flavor. The aroma being the best of those though. I'm happy they modeled this beer after the 11th Anniversary ale...It was my favorite Stone beer to date.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2010 05:52:36 | More by hophead247
Photo of mempath


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

incredible from the start....huge dark crema head that settles in slow-motion Matrix fashion, lacing in odd gobs and veils. dark buckwheat pancake batter appearance develops as it descends...

nose: toasty, oily hops. can't find a best before date (if there is one), but this seems quite fresh. no telling, since i bought this in Penn Station/NYC for $8.

this is a full-bodied, luscious slop of massive hops and malts that have been working out with the hops...extreme balance of, well, extremes! nonetheless, unified into a lip-smacking perfection that is realized only as you finally taste it. creamy mouthfeel with enough carbonated punch to make this bristle and slide. totally different from, say, another hop masterpiece such as Nugget Nectar, but the devastating impact is all the same.

most drinkable...at least for the initiated, self-righteous and not-so-sublime. loved that Cali-Belgie, but this is stellar!

p.s. another swallow as this slightly warms and i get the dark sweet dried fruit sense i get in some really good imperial stouts....has much to offer as you try to take this one in slowly and experience its many nuances.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 16:05:09 | More by mempath
Photo of BigBlacke


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where do I start. This might be a biased review seeing as SSRA is one of my favorites.

Appearance is a dark dark opaque blackness. A 1 inch frothy head leaves an random lace pattern.

Smell is of a pine cone sitting in roasted malt with a distinct alcohol note. Absolutely exciting to the taste buds.

Taste goes hand in hand with smell. Roasted malt with a huge smack of piney hops. Alcohol is not well hidden in this one. Absolutely tears up the palate with greatness!!!

Mouthfeel packs a punch sharp pine and alcohol bite that leaves and aftertaste for days.

Drinkability is high if you are into this type of beer. Take a black butte, infuse it with Ruination, and you have SSRA. Get one and bask in its glory.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 02:10:16 | More by BigBlacke
Photo of skridgeus


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

There are few black IPAs in my experience worth drinking. Half are stouts. Half are pseudo IPAs. SSR is down right exceptional. It is the only black IPA that i have had that itches the itch that only a black IPA can scratch.

Living in the great northwest, i have access to some great IPAs. Ironically most come from San Diego, north of Santa Barbara, north of San Fran, and Portland (ty Black Raven for your Wisdom Seeker). SSR is Best of style. Fantastic. Stone, ironically I hate your IPAs,... but the black is badass.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 07:59:54 | More by skridgeus
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Forget about it, this is one of the best beers ever. I am not a huge Stone advocate, but this is one killer beer. Served on tap at Sierra Grill in Northampton, MA. Comes out looking like a stout, nice thick head, obvious black body. But there is simething more to this beer, classified as a "Black IPA" wtf?!?!!?! Considering how unique this beer is, it could be a Black IPA" fuck, it. lets start a new category...include Port Brewing's Old Viscosity.

Massive pine, huge hops, no bitters...how did they do that? An unbelievably great beer. Try and get some.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2007 00:44:23 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of jerrymiller


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color from a 22oz bottle.

Medium sized foamy head, with good retention and decent lacing.

Aroma is floral with bold grapefruit and piney hops with nice chocolate malts.

The malts are roasted and chocolate. The hops are intense, lots of grapefruit and pine. Bitter. It has a interesting interplay between the hops and roasted malts. Lively carbonation. Alcohol is not overwhelming in the taste.

Mouthfeel is full and the finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly dry.

Great beer, I bought a case.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2007 18:28:44 | More by jerrymiller
Photo of chefscott79


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at my favorite place to drink beer in my local area....
beach wood bbq...sigh

Appearance:dark brown...almost black....and great fine head and lots of Brussels lace

smell: Super fragrant lots of summity? hop notes I love the summit hops

Taste: great balance of malt and hop flavor(which I believe is summit hops and when I asked at the brewery it they said summit but on the website it says Amarillo I believe) do they have similar flavor characteristics?

mouth feel:heavy and silky but not too weighty

drinkability: I could drink this for a good long while...and have been in bottle a bit...but on tap hot damn

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2007 21:17:11 | More by chefscott79
Photo of tonistruth


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pitch black brew wearing a massive tan crown, outstanding retention

S- hops galore: citric, pine. caramel, big roasted malt aromas

T- roasted malts and citric/pine hops, grassy. outstanding balance of hops and malts, intense amount of flavor

M- medium creamy body, definite hop abuse, sticky film after

D- WOW, this beer is pure joy. This brew is the answer for us stout lovers who are also closet hop heads. I couldn't possibly recommended this brew enough

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 04:05:10 | More by tonistruth
Photo of dfillius


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Shared with Ksullnh

A: Pitch black. A moderate pour yields one finger of tan head. Head characterized by very tight bubbles. Looks like a stout, not a dark IPA.

S: I could smell it from a couple feet away. Amazing tropical fruit hop aroma! Dried pineapple, grapefruit, a little pine. I caught little whiffs of candied pineapple every once in a while.

T: Big bitter foretaste really bows out cordially to the sweet malt. Sweetness is just on the amazing side of cloying. Tangerine flavor is evident in the background - tastes like white fir needles. Delicious! Surprising that it tastes like a regular IPA since it is so dark.

M: Smooth and likeable, like a con man.

D: I want more! But it is 8.7%

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 18:33:16 | More by dfillius
Photo of littleshamrocks


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bomber with September 2007 printed on the bottle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown to black in color with a solid one finger of creamy looking head. It is fairly dense, but from what I can tell the carbonation is plenty active. Head leaves behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The first aroma that I identify is grapefruit rind, but I can tell that there is much more going on here. The malt smells are, at the same time, roasted and semi-sweet. Certainly, there are some coffee tones in there. In addition to the citrus, I also picked up some evergreen notes and some fruity esters. Bold flavors abound here. The hops are very assertive and pack plenty of bitterness, and the malts, while they do take a backseat to the hops, are still sufficiently represented as well. The malt flavors are as advertised in the smell- roasted and lightly sweet, but it doesn't take long for the powerhouse citrus hop bitterness to steal the show. The bitterness lingers in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a mostly smooth texture and lively carbonation.

Kudos to Stone for being creative and taking a chance. This is a finely crafted gem to commemorate their eleventh anniversary. Admittedly, I am a sucker for over the top citrus hop taste and bitterness, and this beer satisfied that immensely, but unlike most super hopped up beers, this one added considerable nuances from the malt as well. Not only did I think it cool to have an almost black IPA (or is it a IDA or IBA?), but the malts added a lot to the overall character of this brew. In all, I would say this is one of the best beers that has ever passed through these lips. My wish is that Stone will bring this one back in the future, but for now, enjoy it while you still can.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 22:09:36 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of UA8


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pour a rich, deep and nearly opaque mahogany. Two fingers worth of cocoa colored head which resembles the top of a root beer float.

S- Looks Say Stout ....Nose says IPA! Rich citrus hops with a pineapple backing.

T- Whoa... leads with heavy citrus hops and tropical fruit flavors. Moves to nicely roasted caramel and toffee malts. and finishes with resinous hops.

M- Nice rich and thick with fine carbonation bubble.

D- I love this beer and am extremely sad that its A) retired and B) I found it almost a year after its release. So much going on here its almost as if it starts and IPA then moves to a stout then back to and IPA. Never had something quite like this. I would highly recommend this and fortunately know a place that has a stash left!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 01:36:25 | More by UA8
Photo of jsp2


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. Jet black, with thin white foam. Aroma of hops, wood, vanilla, barley, and faint fruit.

Taste is incredible. Sweet/sour attack followed by herbal/piney hops, with almost a cherry, wood, bitter finish. Licorice is very present. There is almost a smokiness to the aftertaste. Hops are aggressive yet very balanced with other extremely prominent complexities. Unusual tartness. Unusual aftertaste. Both very nice.

Reasonable carbonation and well suited to sipping. Ridiculous flavor even for the high abv.

This beer delivers 110% on taste. The flavor is complex, delicious, and not shy, you get punched with it every sip. Unusually nice roasted barely flavor bitterness in the aftertaste of every sip.

I bought this beer simply because it said Stone on it and I am not only please I did, but I will be buying it again. More complex and pronounced than other examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 02:45:52 | More by jsp2
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown to black with a mocha head and a
nice consistent lace

S: Sweet, malty, grapes !

T: A medley of grapes, chocolate, and toasted
malt. Like eating bakers malt out of the tub

M: Sturdy rich feel on the pallet

D: Try to take it from me, I dare you.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 00:03:18 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of BeerBelcher


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm always a little intrigued when a friend describes something as a "black IPA," bit usually a little on the disappointed side when I try it. Both descriptors set an expectation that is a touch contradictory; something that is hoppy-sweet and citrusy while at the same time roasty and malty. The two tastes are powerful ones, and balance between the two is frequently perceived by me as a touch boring. And RIS's that shout about their hop content don't usually taste hoppy to me - just too much going on to pick up the more nuanced note of bitterness, even if they dumped bushels of high-alpha hops into the mix, my tongue just can't seem to enjoy them for everything else going on.

Wow - that is a long lead in to say that this beer is unique to say that it does this integration very well. It pulls off the balancing act without being boring; in fact it pulls it off so well it does the opposite - this beer is intriguing. It is dark and there is a dark-roasty-malt note to it, but it is also lightly sweet and citrus-y with pronounced bitterness. Both notes are there, but Stone has figured a way to make them play well together. If anything, the hops are more pronounced than the roast, which is the outcome I would've chosen (if given a choice). Appearance is quite pretty with a black-red body and tall white head. Aroma is as I've described flavor, and mouthfeel is like a solid IPA - not slick like a DIPA might be or cloying like a RIS frequently is.

All the way around - this is a heck of a beer, and I need to see if I can find some of it here in C-bus.

I bought my bottle down in KY, at Party Source in Newport.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 16:09:31 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of theboozecruise


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought one of these heading down to the family camp in Texas... hadn't seen this Stone offering in LA yet. My best choice of glassware was an oversized wine glass, but I figure that should work well for this style.

The beer poured a dark, dark brown with a really creamy off-white head. Looks more like a stout.

There's a fantastic hoppy aroma, smells like a pine forest!

If there was one term I'd use to describe this, it would be like drinking a fresh Christmas tree. My friends that I let try it were overwhelmed by the hops, but I loved it.

Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 18:46:47 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of BeerBATvocate


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me prefaces by saying... WOW! Very nice beer indeed. I'm a big fan of the style. And Stone pulls it off like a champ.

OK.. so
Standard 22oz. Bottle for Stone
A. Pours out black with a nice light tan head. Nice lacing. Not much light comes through the black. Maybe a bit, with a tad dark brown and ruby highlights... but faint.

S. Roasted malt, Hops, and a hint of cherry. Very compelling.

T. Fist comes the roasted malt, followed immediately by fresh hops, then finishing with a black cherry followed by bitterness that sticks for a bit. Very nice.

M. Medium body, Creamy, Slightly sticky, with a well balanced carbonation.

D. Quite impressive. Very complex for the style. Almost a contradiction in a way... but in a really good way. Overall ver impressive. Not much to complain about really. Possibly.. well no... on second thought.. nothing really to complain about on my end. I love it.

Will buy again. Often.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 02:53:47 | More by BeerBATvocate
Photo of Duttonic


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes 11/11/10, growler fill from Dancing Bear pub 11/09, served in a pint glass.

A- Jet black and shiny/oily. One finger tan head, ample lacing, and slow bubbles.

S- Alcohol, chocolate/coco nibs, crisp smell of hops, roasted malt, floral, and faint citrus.

T/M- Light/medium body, bitter and slight alcoholic finish. Extremely smooth texture, similar to chocolate milk, but tastes better.

D- This wasn't the first time I've had SSSRA, but it was the first time I've had it from a growler, let alone it was the first thing I put in my new Stone growler. This is one of my go to beers when I'm in the mood for a change up from the usual IPA. The richness of a complex porter or stout with the great flavor of a solid IPA combined seamlessly. Highly recommend.

Serving type: growler

11-17-2010 19:49:40 | More by Duttonic
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a "special cask" (extra dry hopped with amarillo hops) sent by Stone to the Closed for Business birthday party in Charleston last week... from notes...

A: Black with some red around the edges; khaki head is small (cask), but leaves a lot of patchy lace.

S: Mindblowing... citrusy, grassy hops; tropical fruit is also evident in the hop profile; some malt sugary-ness in the background. But, oh so hoppy! Man, the amarillo dry hop on this makes for a delicious aroma!

T: Sweet, tropical fruit concentrate / hoppy nectar; some acrid bitterness on the finish; great stuff.

M: Medium bodied and super smooth.

D: Great drinkability considering the abv - there's almost no hint of it in the taste. I'm a big fan of the "regular" Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (which also utilizes amarillo hops, but not at this level!)... this version definitely takes it up a notch... great stuff! Not sure what the availability on this one is, but if I ever see it again I'll be sure to have a couple -

Serving type: cask

12-20-2010 15:50:31 | More by jpro
Photo of burnheartsMKE


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just drank my last bottle of SSR and Stone has pulled out of the WI market. Needless to say, I bummed:

"Spending all my nights
All my money going out on the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes
I'm right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you"

Come on Stone, you left me just when we were getting good... Now I'm stuck drinking other black american ales and it just ain't right. You are sublimely self-righteous for thinking that you can tease me with such fine indulgences, then walk away as if nothing ever transpired between us. I miss you, your gorgeous head, your sexy black body, your juicy-fruit perfume and your deep, dark nastiness. How am I suppose to go on when I've already sampled the best? All others literally pale in comparison. I fell for you, after you, from you... and you just turn around and walk away from me.

My last bottle, savored.
My memories, flooded.
My heart, broken.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 15:48:12 | More by burnheartsMKE
Photo of TastyTaste


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone's take on a black ale, should be good. The body is black yet still translucent, good cream-colored head. Roasty, sweet malts, molasses and fruity hops fill in the nose. Chewy molasses and dark roasted malt flavors, espresso and fig also present. As with most beer I have had from this brewery; the hops don't disappoint.This is a high-test, well made beer, it is seeing a black ale through the lens of a skillful west-coast brewer. Very, very good.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 00:52:03 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of mikeborglum


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured in pint glass: burnt malt aroma, resin, chocolate, citrus; pitch black, with frothy brown head and good lacing; very bitter, medium sourness, like pineapple and grapefruit with some syrup; full body, creamy, sticky, soft carbonation, bitter, long finish, maybe the finest brew I’ve had.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 00:38:10 | More by mikeborglum
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,613 ratings.