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

5,805 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,805
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 277
Gots: 747 | 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: 5,805 | Reviews: 1,903
Photo of heysuz
3.05/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of microbrewlover
3.05/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours black with a one finger mocha head and moderate to heavy lacing on the glass; mild carbonation.

The smell is heavy with floral hops, no real subtlety, just strong hops along with a roasted malt and burnt coffee backbone. There is also a pungent smell as well.

The tastes follows the nose with hops, then burnt coffee and roasted malts going back to hops. Not bad but not great considering all of the usual bragging that Stone does on their bottle.

The mouthfeel is thin and creamy, which might be strange for an IPA but that is how it feels. Some hop oil is left on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this is not a bad IPA but not great. Stone over-hypes themselves by doing their usual bragging on the side of the bottle but this brew does not live up to the hype. Strong hops with no subtlety, roasted malts and burnt coffee. I would still say give it a try; I know that Stone is a popular brewery and you just might like this offering more than I.

Photo of ThomP
3.06/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of claspada
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Totalpackage411
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Stone is a popular brewery, but I've yet to have a beer I can enjoy from them. This one definitely taste different than any black IPA I've had. too bitter for my taste. the Speakeasy Butchertown Black IPA blows this one away. get that instead if you can find it.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

'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.

Photo of deanhead
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of younger35
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of ShanePB
3.16/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of Jermbrew
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of stevenseg
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Anthony1
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.25/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of LarryV
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark stout like black with a generous head. Aroma is slightly malty and wort like. Taste is very similar, a bit raw tasting with a bit of grapefruit like hoppiness. I really wanted to like this beer but in the end, one is enough for me and I won't be revisiting it. It was a bit of a chore to finish the entire bottle.

Photo of donmonkey1
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe, couldbe be black, but is more of a blackish brown color with garnet highlights. Two finger, sandstone head that recedes to a nice film of foam througout all 22 ounces.

Pretty aggressive hop aroma. Grapefruit zest to the point of atringency in the nostrils. Gives me the same feeling as spicey Chinese mustard in the sinuses. I like that in my mustard, but not in my beer. I can barely smell a dark roasted malt at all.

The same aggressive, biting grapefruit and lime zest bitterness up front and the middle. Whatever roasted malts are detected towards the finish of the flavor profile, seem to exacerbate the hop bitterness of this brew. I don't detect the abv. but I wonder if that adds to the increases the effect of the hops bitterness.

Astringent and bitter is all I can come up with for the palate. I was expecting a little more fr this beers palate and flavor.

Still a sipper for me. I like bitter beers, but this just didn't sit so well for me.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.27/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of HiAIPA
3.29/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 22oz. bomber, this unique black IPA was a bitter bomb from start to finish. The cooked roasted profile hits you on the nose, with chocolate malts and broasted grains. With good head and a nice quaff, an IPA porter hybrid comes to mind. The flavors tilt to the bitter side of IPA-land, with roasted dark nuts and barleycorn leading the pack. Overall a good, distinctive IPA, but a little bitter for my bulls-eye.

Photo of Glennlawless
3.29/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a 16 oz Tulip Glass

A - Very very dark brown almost black. I got a nice inch thick head that was a nice beige color. leaves nice lacing as well.

S - Getting some sweet malts, dark fruit, caramel, and tons of grapefruit.

T- Has a bit of a piney after taste. a little oakey as well..almost "herbal" if thats the right word....Right when you sip you get a combo of grapefruit and sweet malt. really interesting. I feel like this is too heavy for a stout. Almost a confusing flavor as well.

M - Somewhat creamy and well carbonated.

Overall, this is definetley a pretty cool beer. Worth checking out, not my favorite though.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Paid $6.99 for a bomber from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. After reading, I find this is the 'reincarnation' of their 11th Anniversary Ale. I pour into a large snifter to review.

Dark brown to black in color. Half inch dense and frothy tan-colored head. Excellent lacing. A very thin layer of frothy retention.

Sweet and lightly roasted caramel malts nicely balanced with aromas of wet hops. Some hints of raisin, wood and cocoa. Robust, earthy and fresh.

Taste is very well balanced and as equally complex as the nose. Alcohol well hidden.

Medium bodied and surprisingly quite dry. Wish it was a bit more carbonated to add life to the mouthfeel. Short and sweet finish.

Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Black, but bloody mahogany around the edges when held to the light. Nice head, but the bubbles are actually real large, which always makes me think of soap, but it's no biggie. Smells like I just opened a bag of hops. Straight up. These guys are particularly earthy and piney. Definitely heavy handed hopping going on here, and from the start I was weary for the hop-bomb to come. And it came. I get no roasted or sweet malts at all, so I wonder why even bother with the more expensive, less fermentable black malts...unless you are just being self-righteous and showing off. Which I guess is the point of this beer.

All in all, ditch the black and just go for the IPA. There's hardly any difference in this case, and all you are doing is getting my hopes up for some sweet or roasted malt backbone, which in this case, doesn't exist. As the name suggests, I think this one is just a pissing contest with the black IPA trend. With that said, if I was blind and didn't know it was black, I would just think of it as an other west-coast hop bomb ipa which, depending on my mood, I could take or leave.

*Okay. This beer needs to open up! As my beer warms, the malts are starting to show. There is a burnt brown sugar quality to it now that was not there before. There is also a touch of it in the nose. Still, this quality is virtually hidden behind the hops. Everything above still stands, but I just thought I needed to add that in.

Photo of djaeon
3.31/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I couldn't find this at my local liquor store, so I bought a bottle on my latest trip up to Stone. I read that this is a repackaging of their 11th Anniversary dark IPA, so I knew what to expect when drinking this one.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with a one finger, light tan head. Looks like a very dark, opaque brown color. You can't see through it.

Smell: All I really smell here is hopps with a citrus undertone.

Taste: Lots and lots of hopps. I feel the bite in the back/sides of my tongue, and bitter hopps and citrus are really all I taste.

Mouthfeel: Except for the bite mentioned above, It feels pretty smooth in the mouth. Perfectly carbonated out of the bottle.

Drinkability: I started drinking it right out of the fridge, and it was a little tough. As it starts to get closer to room temperature, it gets a little easier to drink.

Serving type: Bomber

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,805 ratings.