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: 275
Gots: 742 | 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 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

Photo of MNJR
3.31/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark brown, almost opaque with hints of orange-ish ruby red where light can get through. Head is rich tan and very impressive - whipped cream consistency. Immediate scents of dark roasted coffee, smoke, spice (black pepper), dead pine and an odd, sweaty B.O. "old tennis shoe" odor which detracts. The flavor is sharp and pungent, musty and rich with smoke and earthy basement flavors. The mouthfeel is very good, rich with a nice spiky carbonation. Drinkability is a bit low due to thick gunk collecting on the back of the tongue and throat. Not a true winner. Stone was over-hyped for introduction to my market (Chicago), and has turned out to be no big deal compared to Founders, Bell's, New Glarus and other reputable midwest brewers. Plus, the price is sky high and not justified. So they ship it from CA? Big deal. A good beer, don't get me wrong, but not "great," and not "sublime."

Photo of mdwalsh
3.32/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of PintOh1759
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Look- Look is exactly what i was expecting from the Oxymoron that is the Black India Pale ale, i expected it to be black with a mocha colored head and thats exactly what it is.

Smell- Smell is insane, imagine you took a super fresh draft guinness and set it on the table then right next to it put a cup of fresh hops and smelled them both at the same time through separate nostrils and thats what you will get with this with a hot scent of liquor in the back.

Taste- Let down, flavors clash wayyyy to hard, it trys to be a stout without a heavy body so you get that chocolate and char taste but then you get extreme bitterness from the hops because its trying to be an Imperial IPA at the same time and they do not flow smoothly o your taste buds, leaves an off flavor in your mouth that thankfully dosnt stick around its very similar to that skunk gross flavor that HopStoopid provides.

Feel- Mouthfeel is great once you get over the fact it taste like complete crap. Fully body feel like a lighter stout but still feels like an IPA mouth.

Overall i won't i wasn't too happy with the beer, i won't ever buy it again nor will i recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying a BIPA. spent 9.99 on a bomber and drank maybe 4 ounces of it before i dumped it all

Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

appearance; very dark brown to almost black. When poured a little bit rough, a stiff tan head will form and dissipate slow, leaving great lacing, looks to me like the walls of a quarry.

smell; fir tree like resin and camphor, oh no not one of these over hopped crap-brews, that everyone seems to love, I hope. Some malt sweetness is present but mostly dominated by the hops.

taste; evergreen like hop bitterness that carries into the finish and leaves a bitter aftertaste. Look for fir trees, they have smooth bark and blisters, pop one of the blisters and suck out the sap, that's the main flavor of this beer. Yet some sweet malts are also there and try to round out the intense hops but fall short. Keeping the style in mind, this is quite a well made beer and the alcohol is well hidden but the balance is off and the hop bitterness hangs around too long after the beer is consumed.

mouthfeel; like velvet, really feels nice in the mouth with lovely and gentle carbonation. Almost perfect, well done here.

drinkability; a very smooth and crisp drink but the bitterness from the hops hangs around for too long and one is enough for me.

Note; I'm trying to be nice and keep the style in mind, but in general, I hate IPAs of all kinds. However this one was not so bad and I could certainly appreciate the bitterness. I'll never be a hophead but this was a fine drink to be sure.

Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

OK, so I bought into the hype. I had to make a selection, so why not get on my way and take the bottle OT Stone that everyone has been talking about...

Visuals: poured freely into a La Trapped goblet... a rich two inch tan head forms like cream over pitch black ale. Not as viscous as the Sam Smith RIS enjoyed the other night, but my taste buds are already preparing for a luxuriously silky ale with dark fruit and roasted flavors. Head subsides, w/o long, into a hair-thin head.

Aroma: Father, I have a confession. I know this beer is supposed to LOOK one way and ACT another, but that luscious looking beer I just poured has me hankering for big roasted and dark fruit aroma!

Talk about identity crisis!!! it might look like Guinness, but it smells like a glass of fresh-squeezed Grapefruit juice.

"Cha'lie Murphy, what did the glass of Stone day to the nose?

SMACK, Bitch!"

Flavor: It's marginally more complex than your standard IPA. In truth, any extra complexity is lost to the gritty hops... juicy hops are in turn overwhelmed by booziness. It finishes dry, but is actually chew deeper in. The coarseness isn't so much in the finish, so I'm not struggling to finish the bottle, but it becomes nondescript.
Ok, it is dark. Then either make OT a classic lean IPA or gimme something interesting to work with: premium base malt, toasted malt, dark fruits, roast/smoked/astringent character.

I like my IPA to be West Coast. Malt character belongs elsewhere. This beer is so big it has to be malty. There's such a thing as too much. I found it here.
Plenty of alcoholic burn that just doesn't work in a hop-centric beer.

Mothfeel: chewy - not just because of caramel malts... It's nor THAT sweet.... dry finish, but not lean or crisp enough.

I get it, the discrepancy between the appearance and taste are meant to make your head spin... in reality the conflict comes between the attempt to make an IPA and something too boozey and one-dimensional.

Measuring this on it's style, I'm ok giving a beer that drinks like an IPA while looking like a Stout high marks for... well, looking like a Stout and not an IPA. That's not the same as tasting like an IPA and drinking like something fat and sloppy!!
Schwarzbiers and many exceptional Porters pull off being dark AND crisp/light-bodied. So why shouldn't an IPA? :-/

Overall: ranking it on its style I guess you can say Sublimely hits all the marks, but in reality this is a style that doesn't do much more than market American IPA's. So it plays a Mindfu**k, I'm not finding a palatable reason to get this beer again, or sponsor this style.

Photo of mikefuski17
3.34/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A. Pitch black. Small head and minimal lacing.

S. Smell is very hoppy. Enough said.

T. Extremely hoppy. But is very tasty.

M. Not too thick of a beer. But nice bodied beer.

O. The beer is strong and hoppy. Taste great though. Try it if you get your hands on it.

Photo of sensorglitch
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - dark, blackish , good head

s - citrusy spicy

t - reasonable taste, citrusy, hoppy, sharp

M - decent

d - good

To be honest, this is a really mediocre , I was not impressed. Maybe i would have been a little more impressed by a beer from a lesser brewery, but this is by far a low point for stone.

Photo of sweethome
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown to black - porter darkness. Off white creamy head.

Piney hops in nose with malty sweetness and lsight nuttiness.

First taste is hops, the malts are medium, not as big as color. Malts fail to develop a unique or complex flavor. The hops are piney with medium bittering - why add the dark malts if they aren't going to add complexity? Why have the significant hop load if it's just dressing up a meiocre dark beer?

For an IPA, hard to drink much, for a porter, not enough satisfying malts.

I'm disappointed in this offering.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 8.7% ABV, Enjoy by 10 14 10 -RE-REVIEW of an oxidized bottle.

A - Even better looking than last time. A moderate pour creates cascading and a four-finger tan head with phenomenal retention and epic lace coating the glass. The beer itself is a black clear mahogany color with slivers of ruby showing through.

S - Light notes of coffee poke through a heavily hopped aroma full of resin and citrus. Once again the hops come out full-force up front then fall away leaving a lightly oxidized-like cardboard-like aroma with the malts. Toasted amber and black patent nose. Not anywhere near as bad as my last experience but the hops seem to fade out far too quickly allowing imperfections to shine through.

T - Little amounts of cocoa and coffee give a sense of depth to this hop monster. Lots of American hops with lots of resiny hop oils take over and linger through the duration of the tasting. There is an interesting quality to this beer that makes it very bland feeling while hinting at depth. In the end it just seems to be all bittering hops and not a lot of flavor.

M - Tons of bitterness that really leaves it unbalanced on the palate. Lots of oily resin on the finish. Smooth and medium-bodied, the alcohol isn't tasted at all but it's felt in the retro nasal breathing and warming sensation.

D - This bottle needs to be split a few ways for me to drink it, otherwise it'll just demolish one's taste buds. Again, it's far better than my last experience but I'm still not all that impressed. It seems to be a flat-out bitter bomb with hops masking everything else. The taste lacks some good depth that's found in so many other Stone brews. By far, it's one of my least favorites from a brewery I love.

On a side note, thanks to Stone rep Aaron Tyrell for all the contact on the bad bottle issue. Hearing from reps or brewery employees about quality issues, or any other issue for that matter, means a lot to me an other beer geeks.

Photo of ncvbc
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, I must say that this one was an upset in my book. Initially what seemed to be promising left me wondering why.

This poured a nice dark color, near black with ruby brown highlights. Nice carbonation and an off-white near tan head with some lacing.

Smell was great! It was like a Ruination on crack. Powerful sugary citrus hops. Very strong and filled the air when I popped the cap. Again, not much of a piney hop presence, but sweet grapefruit, orange, and other citrus scents dominate. I feel like I'm in for something lovely...

Taste tells me otherwise immediately. Very bitter hop presence. Seems like it packs way more punch than it holds. The hops are more piney here than citrus as suggested before and almost puckering to me. A slight caramel malt but it doesn't do much for balance. I'd much rather go with a Ruination, Arrogant, or the plain IPA for that matter.

Mouthfeel is bitter and drying. It make me feel like I have cotton mouth, if you know what I mean. Almost numbing to the tongue and the lips. Not so impressive.

I split two bombers, each with a different friend of mine, and the perspective seemed to be the same...this beer doesn't live up to the expectations. A pint would be alright but I get the point quickly here. While I'm sorry to say it, thanks, but no thanks.

Younger35, you're still the man. Looking forward to the next exchange, sir.

Photo of muttyd
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown/black with a thin foamy tan head.

S: Pine/citrus hops. Burnt sugar/sweet malty aroma.

T: Follows the nose, heavy on the hops. Much more bitter than I would have expected, but the malt sweetness (toffee & brown sugar) help balance it out. Finishes really bitter.

M: Oily, slick, and chewy.

D: Good.

Photo of altctrlsdelete
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black with a tan head, half an inch tall and persisting. Craters and bubbling on the surface, slowly dissipating to a quarter of an inch.

Biscuity nose, minimal if any hop notes that I can detect. The roasted malts are on full display here.

More roasty, solid malts in the mouth, with more of a hop balance with a very bitter aftertaste. Dry finish. It seems, dare I say, simple to me, with up front roastiness and a simply bitter finish. Maybe an undertone of sweetness to go with that, perhaps a hint of fig. I feel like I'm missing something, but it seems straightforward.

Slight carbonation and a solid feel. Not too thin and not overly viscous. Some spiciness from the hops is present here too.

The alcohol is carried well, but overall I find this somewhat disappointing. There's just not enough that I'm able to appreciate going on in this brew. I wouldn't go out of my way to have this again.

Same style as Arrogant Bastard? Really? I don't see it. This is closer to a porter by my taste.

Photo of JDJ
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm not really a fan of IPA's, but this was the first "dark" IPA I'd ever tried. It is smooth and rich, with a good thick head that lingers just long enough for an ale. I had it from a bottle, served just under room temperature (about 55 or 60 degrees). The smell and taste are that of most IPAs that I've tried, very piney and bitter, which are not up my alley, but this beer has a good mouthfeel. Not too much carbonation, and it actually goes down fairly smooth. The strong hops flavor is just not my thing. This may be a fantastic beer to a true IPA fan, but it's just not my mug of ale.

Photo of crossovert
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber bottle. best by 06/29/10.

Pours a dense dark brown/black with hints of ruby when held to light and a foamy, long lasting tan head. It is a bit of an ambiguous color, it looks like a stout.

It smells sweet and hoppy, but it isn't that fragrant.

The taste is bitter and hoppy, with some slight coffee character. It is slightly metallic as well. The hops are piney and mix with the metallicness to create a flavor im not too keen on.

The so called black IPAs seem to be more gimmicks than anything, it seems like no brewers have taken the time to make the perfect recipe for it.

Photo of dbalsock
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App: Pours black with a tan head about 1 finger high, moving down to a ring and lacing the sides of the glass.

Smell: Despite the appearance, this does smell like a hop bomb. The hops smell fresh with a classic big alpha smell followed by some more intricate hop aromas. There's also an alcoholic essence in this thing.

Taste: Very hoppy like the smell and other than some roastiness, there isn't a lot else going on. Not much of a malt background, and somewhat boring bassed solely on the hops.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter from the hops and the roastiness, and light bodied. The carbonation doesn't do enough to balance the bitterness, and for how it looks I can't get over how thin it feels on my palate.

Drinkability: I made it throught the bomber, and would have it again if it was free, but I don't understand why it's so loved. I think the bastards are better strong ales, and i'd rather have a straight up dipa if i want the aggressive hops. It's still good though, and worth a try.

Photo of sellmeagod
3.42/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A monster of taste and aggression!

Stone always does the image thing well and they have the bold flavors to back it up. The dark dark pour with no head is expectedly awesome. There is some bitterness and a hoppy smell, but most of this is controlled but the other dark and roasted flavors.

A bit much to down at 22oz of this. But, Stone even admits that there is no point in disagreeing with this beer - it is Self-Righteous for its own sake.

Photo of dar482
3.42/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It starts off in a very dark black color with a tan head.

The aroma isn’t very strong, but with a roasty malty with a bit of pine. Deep rich hops with a bit of gentle roasty malt.

It tasted more like a strong ale or stout than anything. It was a bit flat, with a bit of creaminess to the body. And then hits with a bit of roasted malty and peppery finish. It even has a slight licorice flavor to it and then hits with an alcohol bite. It's generally just a spicy and very bitter Chinook tasting beer without much complexity.

I'm re-reviewing this with a bottle that is about 5 weeks old and it's still very "flat" in the aroma and flavor. I've had it two twice about this date and it still does not stand up as a great beer for me.

The worst Stone beer I've had.

Photo of cokes
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The darkest of ruby hues. Virtually black unless back-lit. A pillowy, moderately thick rise of buttercreme suds sticks around a bit before sagging into the ooze, and it laces well even afterward.
The aroma is largely pine. Char, ash, cocoa, and coffee gain traction over time. There are some interplay moments that suggest spearment, vanilla,black cherry and burnt peach. Those are the most interesting, but also the most repressed.
My first impression is probably my most accurate: This tastes like someone extinguished a cigar and/or dumped spent coffee grounds into a pint of Ruination. The roasty, smoky, ashy, blackness of this beer is at odds with the singularly piney bitter aspects of the hopping. There are teases of earth, black cherry, caramel, toast, wintergreen. But at its heart, it's char and pine. And nothing else matters.
The blanketing body is lightened by the steady trickles of CO2. The build could hardly be more appropriate.
But this doesn't do a thing for me. Out of whack, off-balanced, and simple-seeming to boot.
I love hoppy porters and stouts when there is some sense of cohesion between the big malt and hop flavors, but that's altogether absent here.

Photo of zhanson88
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This Black IPA pours out a dark brown color with a couple fingers of light brown, slightly dirty looking head. Retention is pretty good and lacing is nice.

Smell: Roasted dark malts, a bit of caramel, and plenty of citrus and piney hops. Seems pretty spot on for the style.

Taste: Of course there is plenty of roasted and dark malts up front, with some caramel as well. On the back end there is plenty of citrus and piney hops. Usually I am a big fan of Stone's hop profiles, but this one doesn't do much for me.The flavors really seem to clash a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is between light and medium bodied, and pretty smooth drinking. Overall this is a good example of of a Black IPA, but the flavor profile is just a bit off. Still, not a bad beer.

Photo of MisterClean
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone night at the Grad in Davis:

A - Dark lack pour with a 2 fngered head. Dissipates to 1 fingered head and sticks around. Beautiful lacing.

S - Dark roast coffee. Wish I could smell more, but no.

T - Dark roast coffee and light alcohol.

M - Very smooth, little aclohol in the mouthfeel.

D - Good, but needs more hoppiness and flavor.

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