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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.

1,888 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,888
Hads: 5,848
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 291
Gots: 777 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,888 | Hads: 5,848
Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just have to second many of the thoughts of those that enjoyed this beer. Though I read the reviews before drinking (I already had purchased two bottles), I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. They experimented with this beer and really hit the mark in my estimation. Simply, I just wanted to give further props to a beer that is not only interesting, but pretty damn good to drink as well.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(NOTE, may 2010: the entry for stone 11th anniv. ale has been merged into this one. the following review is for the original 11th anniv. ale)

(originally tasted during the first week of dec 2008, but retired beers were temporarily un-reviewable at the time.)

brought a bottle with me here to beijing earlier in the year, and had been in the fridge ever since the late spring of 2008, before the weather got even the tiniest bit warmer.

poured into tulip.

almost pitch black. amber-brown tones are visible only under direct intense light. great foamy head that slowly fades to a thin wispy layer and ring. nice rings of lace.

piney, fruity and citrusy immediately upon pouring and instantly waft out from the glass, perceptible even though it's a couple feet away from my nose. roasted and caramel malts, approaching chocolately in character. heavy on caramel and rich toffee scents, with hints of coffee. otherwise, quite clean (and free of phenols).

flavor is a sublime balance of caramelized, roasted maltiness and piney/citrusy american hops, which also stay grassy and herbal in the back. more reminiscences of coffee and a hint of cocoa. resinous, bitter hop freshness persists throughout, but syrupy malts still peek through - even in the hoppy, resinous finish.

feel is smooth and substantial, like a light syrup. gentle to moderate carbonation provides counterbalance to resinous texture.

the boldness and high alcohol probably limits drinkability, but i'd be hard pressed to stop ;-)

an amazing brew. i'm so happy that stone will be re-releasing this as a semi-regular offering in the future.

(NOTE, mid 2009: when i was writing my tasting notes by hand, i had no idea at the time that the re-release would include the word "sublime" in the name. it really was just THAT good!)

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very dark brown with visible carbonation.
S: Very earthy hop aroma, no apparent roasted scents.
T: Dark earthy hop taste backed by a nice malt base. A well balanced beer.
M: Move over Newcastle, this beer is smooth like no other.
D: One more please..

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had many times before, first review of it
Bomber to snifter, best by 10/27 date

Beautiful bottle work with a signature long narrative on the back.
Pours pitch black with a finger of a light brown head. Excellent lacing, great retention

Aroma of coffee, hops, and chocolate. carmal malts shine through with a hint of aocohol

Taste is very bitter, strong hops, coffee, toffee, and the caramel malt all blend together well. Hints of vanilla come through on the after taste. Very good

The feel is probably my favorite part of this beer. Very creamy and smooth, goes down quite easy. Little carbonation to get in the way of the taste

Over all this is the beer getting me interested in black ipas. One of my favorites, will continue to be one of my regular pick ups

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Photo of bierkoning
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a bomber poured in a mug, black as night, wonderful lacing.

I'm a big fan of Stone as a general rule, but this Black IPA is outstanding!

All the wonderful look and mouthfeel of a top-notch stout, but through some sort of magic it still has the fire and bite of a world class IPA!

Would drink this beer any day.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh, yeah!
This brew says, "Anniversary" more than any anniversary brew I've had.
This brew states what the brewer is all about and shows the growth and maturity they've achieved in their short 11 years.
This brew shouts, "Celebrate with us"....Arrogantly...most Arrogantly.

Pours a deep dark mahogany black with a tan full two finger head that melts slowly to very sticky lace.

As soon as you open the bottle you are hit with incredibly fresh west coast citrus peel hops and flooded with pine oils.

One sip and your mouth is filled with an incredibly smooth sweet amber malt then totally overpowered by the fresh...and I mean FRESH ... citrus and pine oil hops.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy...much smoother than you would expect from an IPA...
Aftertaste is a balancing act between the sweet amber malt and all of those pine oils.
I really don't know why this is listed as an American Strong Ale...to me it is a wonderful DIPA.

I have to give it high marks because I like the beat....I can understand what it is saying to me...and I can dance to it.
This stuff is that good!

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Photo of lillieja
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a slight amber hue. Meduim head.

Smells of roasted malts and chocolate followed by the piney hops.

Tastes like it smells, roasted malt and hops.

Full body with medium carbonation.

I love this beer. Certainly my favorite black IPA I have had to this point. I will drink this again often.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

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Photo of gnbird
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up while looking for Stone's 13 anniversary beer at Bevmo. This is not what I expected at all. I was thinking it was maybe a brown ale. Upon pouring into imperial pint glass, it looked much like a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark coffee black in color with a foamy brown head. Head dissipated after a few minutes. So excited that it was a stout, I went for a smell and this is where I was surprised yet again. Smell was grapefruit, much like a Ruination but a little sweeter.

Taste is so mind blasting. At 9ABV Stone comes through again by making a very drinkable strong ale, that hides the booze very well. It's hard to describe the complex flavors, but it's like drinking a blended imperial IPA with RIS. The hops come through up front with grapefruit bite with a very coffee, malty and chocolate aftertaste. What a beer my friends, very complex and satisfying. If you like Imperial Stouts and IPAs this beer will not disappoint you.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the mood for a big beer to end the night. Stone has been a consistent winner for me so in the glass it goes. Dark body with some deep ruby red around the edges. Spider web lace.

Screw categories and trying to place this somewhere its just good. It has a fresh kendling type aroma and it translates to a nice but guarded smoked edge. Hops create a great sticky resin that lays back and gradually takes over 3/4 way through and lingers until the next pull.

Brilliant and once again Stone keeps the price sane. Price per value is off the charts.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber with the painted label and no drink by date. The color is very dark brown/black that is topped by a two finger creamy head, tan in color. The head holds with excellent retention and lots of sticky lace. There is a sweet citrus aroma that is abundantly hoppy with a nice bouquet of hop oil freshness.

The taste is superb with a very good blend of hops and malt. The bitterness and alcohol flavors are apparent and get stronger toward the bottom of the glass. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very very taste. This is one of the best beers I have tasted.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy crap! I unexpectedly came across a bottle of this tonight and although I wasn't planning on reviewing it, I feel it deserves mentioning here.

For appearance: the beer was black as any stout of good lineage could be expected to be. Opaque and solid, lacey and full - all good roasted barley beer qualities in attendance.

Aroma is the high point of this all around stand-out brew. With eyes closed the nose almost made me believe I was quaffing a Weyerbacher 11. If that reference is not meaningful to you, let me just say - think of the richest hop medley aroma you can conjure and you'd have the nose on this beer.

In flavor comes the uniqueness of this anniversary ale. It is at once a full-bodied IPA and a completely unsour strong porter/fully mellow yet rich stout. I'm gushing, I know, but this beer really is superb. It nails every point I expected from the description.

Mouthfeel means full but not filling. demanding but not overpowering, rich but not gut-busting.

Drinkability is really quite amazing considering the beer's roots. Stone really pulled this off. A truly unique and thoroughly enjoyable beer.


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Photo of becktone
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After talking from reps from Stone at Stone Pint Night at the Comet I learned that they (I'm assuming that this is Stone's POV) classify or consider this beer to be a Dark IPA (perhaps it was a "Double Dark IPA" don't remember exactly which-given the ABV I'd say most likely Double Dark IPA).

Eye: The brew pours a very dark brown or black if you like. When the light strikes it just right garnet highlights appear at the bottom of the glass. The head is tan in color and leaves some nice lacing, retention is stable, but a large head would be nice, looks very much like a stout except for the fact that the head isn't as creamy.

Nose: Great nose on this beer. Lots of things going on in the aroma of beer. First aroma to hit you is the hops, lots of hops...citrus aromas emanate from the bottle and glass once opened and poured. I'm guessing that there are some cascade hops going on in here. After that there is a very fruity aroma that blends very nicely with the hops. Took me a minute to determine that what I was smelling was pineapple. These two aromas pretty much dominate the brew but there is a bit of a malt backbone in there to support it all, I get a very faint chocolate malty type aroma deep within the aromatic profile of this brew. (or I could be imagining its there). Very unique aromatic profile here.

Tongue: Definitely would classify this one as a Dark IPA myself. The flavor of hops dominates the profile of this beer, makes up the majority of what I'm tasting here. Citrus and floral, citrus and floral... Once the beer is swallowed after a few moments that pineapple comes back just enough to hint at a pineapple flavor. Once the beer starts to go down the throat the hop flavors drop off giving way to malt flavors, as I mentioned with the aroma there is a bit of chocolate in there and also some toasty/lightly roasted flavors-more so the tell-tale bitterness from them, though it is not as nearly as strong as it is in a stout.... all pretty faint though. A slight spiciness from alcohol also adds to this brew's flavor.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Kudos to Stone for the Mouthfeel on this brew, I don't think that I could imagine it any other way. The beer is incredibly smooth, has low carbonation-which one doesn't notice until one thinks on it, then realizes that it is the perfect amount. This is a beer I'd drink all night, alcohol is hidden pretty well, slight spiciness as formerly mentioned and a slight warming in the stomach. This is a beer I'd definitely buy again, think that I'll grab another bomber next time I see one. Too bad it is a limited release, I'd like to see something like this around more, seems to me that Dark IPAs are pretty rare.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of tayner.

A: Pours a thick looking opaque black under a tan head. Pretty good retention and some pretty good lace.

S: Hoppy. A lot of citrus but also some soft undertones of darker fruit. A nice creaminess hidden away here too. Seems to be a big malty sweetness underneath as well. Really a lot going here. Maybe even a hint of chocolate.

T: Big hop bitterness with citrusy tones. Nice sweet berry like fruitiness up front. Really well done. Finish is bitter and it sticks around.

M/D: Carbonation is just right, full bodied. Drinkability is fine on this one but it is definately a sipper. This is a damn fine beer.

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Photo of specksnreds
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a black, but not opaque, pour. Tan fluffy head with Don Ho approved tiny bubbles. Hops, hops and more hops in the nose, but what did you expect? Creamy mouthfeel that invites another sip. Bitter finish, all hops. Where's the malt? Don't care. Awesome like ogling a Farrah Fawcett poster while listening to Slayer. I'll buy twenty more...Sublimely Self Righteous that is.

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Photo of xymyl
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark mahogany red with a light brown head that drops to a stable 5mm thick film and leaves a lot of lace.

Smell is malt and hops, along the lines of the chocolate, coffee, caramel that you would expect from this density of color, but with a light molasses, fresh bread dough, cherry and what seem to be slight Belgian or wild yeast esters. The hops are rich and spread across the spectrum of the corresponding sweet notes. There are floral, earthy, leafy and spicy hop notes everywhere.

Taste is far more balanced than one would expect, with malt notes matching every punch of bitterness. Overripe fruits and rich dark chocolate notes dominate the profile, but citrus, rootbeer/ginger, cinnamon, clove, leather and chalk show up as well. Citrus leaves, zest and even fresh cut grass are here in force.

Overall: Full bodied with strong bitterness, yet fully balanced (as an IPA). Good, strong carbonation, just enough to savor for a long time and keep the beer moving. Just awesome. This is the third time I've had one of these and felt it was ready for my review. But there is even more in here. I like this beer even more because without knowing that Stone was creating theirs, I made my own Dark Double IPA at exactly the same time. I guess, since my mind was on the style it made me appreciate the effort more. It's great, think about it.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque ruby-tinged black with a minimal creamy head and thin lacing. Nose is all hops upfront, a soft stab of cut grass with fresh tangerine peel lingering in the background, on a solid plank of roasted malt notes. Loving the nose. Taste opens with some distant chocolate shavings quickly enveloped by a combination of roasted malt base overcome by a sharp swing of hops. This is one awesome balanced brew. The ABV is barely noticeable in the aftertaste. And the mouthfeel is a full, a sturdy canvas.

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Photo of FarmerJohnny
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber, no freshness date

A - Pours a thick, dark brown with a lighter brown, two-finger head the lingers. Absolutely beautiful

S - Hops, hops, hops. Hops dominate the smell. Very earthy and crisp. A hint of maltiness in the background.

T - Extremely well balanced. Malty start, almost hints of cocoa in the middle, and hoppy, slightly dry finish (Stone signature).

M - Very smooth, not too thick, and clean, crisp finish. Almost perfection

O - One of my personal favorites, never gets old, and arguably one of Stone's finest. The perfect balance of malt and hops. The name says it all. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your list.

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Photo of riored4v
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Dark in color. Basically black with hints of red when held up to a light. Nice big/tight head that slowly fades down a 1 finger head with lacing throughout sample.

S= Hops!! Nice hints of citrusy and grapefruit aromas followed up with a malty sweetness.

T= Did I mention hops? A very nice hop bite that you can feel in the back of your mouth. Nice and bitter with a good malt roastiness that helps to balance things out. Definitely more hoppy than malty.

M= Crisp. Nice carbonation, medium body with and oily tongue feel.

D= VERY drinkable. Session worthy if it wasn't for the high ABV. It does manage to hide the alcohol pretty well.

Outstanding beer in my opinion. Definitely a unique offering and I wish it was more readily available. I'm glad I was able to grab a case because this has become one of my more favorite beers.

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Photo of JamesS
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a fantastic opaque black with some excellent head and nice lacing. Very deep malty scent, huge sweetness with a hint of bitterness in the nose. Great taste, a deep and malty hit, slight roastiness, with an excellent hop hit at the end to balance it all. A wonderfully smooth beer with no alcohol tinge even at over eight percent. An excellent brew.

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Photo of onthefarside
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the great pleasure to try this beer on tap last night at Mahar's in Albany. Curious about the type of beer this was, I was told it was an Imperial Porter by the all knowing bar-keep.

A: Served in a 20oz glass with 1 cm of head about, not much. Was a very very dark brown or black, couldn't tell with the dim lights.

S: Smells like every Stone beer, hoppy and alcohol"y".

T: This beer has a nice one two punch on the tastes a nice flavourful malt up front with nice complexity and then a nice crisp hops twinge to hide any trace of alcohol, couldn't taste it at all. But this is definately a sipper.

M: Nice feel, not too watery, good to swish it around and let it cover your mouth.

D: I didn't know the abv at the time of drinking this beer, knowing stone tends to up the abv, i thought it was about 5-6 but i'm suprised to find it near 9! Unknowing, I could drink 3-4 and wonder why i felt strange. Over all a great beer from Stone again and it will please people who like their IPA and Bastard Ale. I felt like it was a mix of the two almost.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone XI poured a deep ruby color, more along the characteristics of a Stout than a brown ale. The head was dark, rich, and had a "surge" similar to a Guinness. The smell had a noticeable aroma of earthy hops and a slight roasted malt undertone. The taste was true to the aroma; it had a solid roasted malt character that sat well on the tongue and faded gently into a distinct and enjoyable hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very good, a nice body but not heavy or thick. This beer is quite drinkable, but be careful to enjoy in moderation or it will bite you back. Enjoy!

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Photo of 94coog
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lurking here for awhile. Never felt compelled to write a review until now.

A: pours a rich black with amber edges. a medium-rocky head that laces well.

S: Rich malt with doughy bread notes, brown sugar, grassy hops.

T: Takes me to my knees. Its like the malt and hops are fighting for supremacy, and both are winning. Cloying sweet malt with alcohol punch that carries the hops through the palate.

M: perfectly carbonated. Could be a bit less thin, but remember its an IPA, not a porter or stout. This beer is confusing in the way it crosses styles. Its an IPA. No, a barleywine. Wait, an imperial porter. No, it's all of those. It's the best of all of those. It's sublime.

D: If I had more than one bomber, I would drink all I had.

A humbling experience. Its as if the best qualities of an IPA, porter, and barleywine were combined into one beer.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with dark red and orange edges. Light barely gets through this beer. The head is big and tan. The bubbles are glowing man

S- Flowery and citric with a fruity sugar smell and a hint of chocolate and molasses.

T- The flavor is like the best of every style all layered into one beer. Refreshing, herbal and citric hops, then a solid sweet honey and toffee center and finished with a bitter coffee and dank alcohol that leaves you wanting more.

M- My mouth feels great when I drink this beer. Smooth, foamy, chewy and stingy.

D- You probably are not worthy of this beer.

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Photo of rawla
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer numerous times throughout the years, but finally had a chance to review it with a fresh palate.

On tap at Bluepalms Brewhouse on 01/08/2012. Served in a goblet.

A: Jet black with a 2 inch toffee lead. A ruby-caramel note towards the head. Good lacing throughout.

S: Woah. Bacon, toasted almonds, and chicory oak along with a pungent dose of fresh floral hops. I can't begin to explain how well balance the aromas are. Just decadent and truly enticing.

T: G** D***.. Freshly peeled tangerine, along with the smoked bacon and toasted oak backbone. I know toasted and bitter profiles sometimes don't seem to work out well, but they do here in a magnificent way. Each sip/gulp hits you with massive citrus bitterness and smoked oak notes at the same time. A truly well balanced dialogue. Some coffee comes through as the beer warms up a bit, which is like icing on the cake for me. I can drink this by the kegs. Put me on a liver transplant list now.

M: Crisp and made to order iced coffee-like substance. The bitterness may keep some from drinking more than a couple of these, but not me.

O. C.D.A/Black I.P.A perfection. Some Dark I.P.A's tend to be overly roasted, or overly bitter. Self-Righteous lives up the name by tooting its own horn and truly displaying a well-balanced, yet assertively hopped and smokey beer. A plus.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,888 ratings.