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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: 5,845
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 291
Gots: 778 | 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: 5,845
Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours completely black with one and a half finger of light khaki colored head. The foam takes quite a bit to fade, and a nice rocky layer of small and large bubbles lines the top of the beer and the glass. Great lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big citrus and floral hops mixed with a solid helping of roasted malt. It actually smells quite good for a Black IPA.

T: It starts out with a mix of sweet and bitter right away. I get vanilla, toasted bread, citrus, and licorice. It a mix of all sorts of flavors. It's hoppy and bitter, sweet and malt, roasty bitter, and just all over the place.

M: Medium bodied beer. It coats the palate from the first sip with a smoothness and that lasts all thew way through the finish. It dries up a little bit in the finish, but not much.

O: I hate this beer. I'm not a fan of Black IPAs to begin with, and this beer is exactly why I don't like them. The flavors don't mingle well together. It's too bitter (but not in super hopped up way). I just don't get this style. I may never buy another Black IPA ever again. Serious.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is my first review of a black IPA. 22oz bomber poured into chalice. "Enjoy by 2/24/12."

A- Very nice dark mud/black color with a thick khaki head

S- Hops attack! Floral, grapefruit, and pine shine strong. Subtle chocolate notes are present. Dark fruit esters also contribute... almost similar to a quad in a unpinning way.

T- Kind of awkward and mismatched. A bit too light on the malts... I was hoping for a darker, hoppier arrogant bastard actually. It is however very good and the only example of a black IPA I've ever tasted so I will take it easy for now. This may actually taste a little better and balance out more even if it sits a few months past its prime.

M- Very flavorful and kind. The hop bitterness is always welcome and the roastiness is great too, as it kind of sticks around.

D- Drinkability is kind of poor due to the lack of balance... this however may just be indicative of this 1st BIPA review. Alcohol isn't too bad and it is kind of warming!

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my review of the bottle version:

I liked this beer a lot but didn't really see why Stone made it. They have a number of strong ales, some weaker (Arrogant Bastard), some stonger (Double Bastard). This beer is a little darker in color than both and I think a little less hoppy. It's also darker.

I would definitely get it again but just don't understand why they're introducing this style.


It wasn't the best beer I'd had. Not interesting enough to justify the high Alcohol by volume and too strong to drink as a refresher.

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Photo of zdk9
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really sure what the big deal about this beer is, a decent IPA, not really noticing any details from the dark malts.

A- Pours an extreamly dark brown, almost midnight purple. A fingers worth of clumpy light tan head decorates the top of the beer and leaves some nice spidery lacing.

S- Sweet tangerine and orange gush out of this beer to my nose. Maybe a touch of carmel but not much besides the citrus, though I can find some alcohol with some deep sniffs.

T- A hops forward beer with orangy notes dominating the taste. Again as in the nose there is a hint of carmel malt but really it's all hops. In the aftertaste I notice perhaps a slight hint of dust or dirt flavor.

M- Somewhat syrupy, though not overly so. Bitterness is nicely balanced with some sweetness.

D- There is a fine taste in this beer but it isn't mind boggling just hops hops and some hops. While I notice the balance in terms of bitter/sweet, I'm hard pressed to detect any malt flavor in the nose or taste. I liked this beer but not enough for the price and not that special for an anniversary beer.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malts, sweet, well-balanced hop/malt finish, sour toast

color- chestnut, deep brown

clarity- appears clear but too hard to tell because it's dark

smell- roasted malt, chocolate

body- medium-length finish

appearance- flat with a little off-white ring of carbonation

notes and comments- i wouldn't characterize this as a double ipa as it was billed at the festival

beer spy- double ipa festival, bistro, hayward ca, 2/12/11, 6 oz. glass

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Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like stone!

Appearance: Blacker than I expected, a bit of mahogany brown to it. Small head on the pour, no lacing.
Smell: Piney hops but too much dark malt, fair amount of bitterness.
Taste: Not as strong as I expected, big malt backbone. Might have a touch of tea to it? I can't tell these Stone beers apart, had this with the 13th and felt they were remarkably similar. Perhaps some dates/prunes and a touch of chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and Oily
Drinkability: Average for the brewery.

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Photo of bheilman
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker than anything I've ever had from Stone minus their imperial stout. I was expecting a little lighter color. It's nearly porter in color, but a little bit lighter, sort of red. The head was nice and stayed around for a while. The taste was good with a bitter old ale flavor. It reminds me a bit of the german alt style. It is a little fruity with hops but mostly exhibitsa solid malt flavor; caramel, raisin, with a bite of peppery spice. There is very little hops in the scent. It barely has any scent at all, but definitely more malt than hops. The aftertaste is good, and the beer is smooth. I would not guess the alcohol content as the bite is minimal compared to some beers over 8%. Not my favorite Stone, but worth a try, especially if you like this style.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is hops. And then more hops, and then more hops. Citrus and spice. Once it gets very warm, then a little hint of malt and roast character comes through. I don't want to rip it for being one dimensional, it is a Stone Anniversary so what do you expect. The hop aroma is good, fresh smelling and spicy but that's it.

Appearance is deep black with a good solid tan head that leaves great lacing throughout the glass. Held up to the light it has nice red highlights.

Flavor is very Stone. Lots of hop bitterness. Then lots of grassy & Citrus hop flavor. Then lots of fresh hop flavor in the aftertaste. There's barely a hint of malt flavor and if there's any black or roasted malt in there it's blown out by the IBUs. Again, really one dimensional.

Full bodied with a very nice lively carbonation level. Just barely warming from alcohol.

It's a tough one for me. On the one hand, I expect a Stone anniversary to be very aggressively hopped. But the idea of a black IPA is very intriguing. But any flavor or character that might make this unique as a black IPA is blown out by the extreme hoppiness. I like it but I can't help thinking about what could have been if the roast or black malt might have come through a little bit.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Fathead's served in a stemmed tulip like glass.
Black,opaque had just a tan ring of foam around the inside of the glass when served to me.

Intense hop nose,complex, Very piney,leafy with a strong minty/evergreen aromas with a sight sweet malt note. The hops were overpowering hard to smell anything else.

Very piney taste,resinous/leafy, tons of hops and intense bitterness. Very dry,astrigent slight sweet maltiness buried under the hops. Couldn't taste any alcohol either. Would have expected more maltiness with the dark color,really got fooled there.

Very thick,full and syrupy. Rough drinkability,unbalanced would have like some maltiness in there,maybe with some aging. A sipper for sure,just one at a time please. If you a hophead enjoy it now,if not might want to sit on this one a bit.

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Photo of opwog
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Listening to: Murda Corner - Oh No You Did't

A- Looks black, but in actuality is just a deep dark brown when held up to moderate light. Brownish thick head that leaves a rather thick disc while drinking all the way through.
S- Hops floated up to my nose as I poured it. It smells like an imperial IPA, but I was not catching the dark roast in the smell.
T- roasted malt, mild coffee, some choolate in the aftertaste
M- creamy, almost stout like. Carbonation looked like it might be high when I pured this, but it was actually a nice balance with a thicker body.
D- This si actually a decent drinking dark IPA. I would like to see more breweries experimenting with this.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a magic hat tulip.

Pour a very deep dark brown with a thin light brown head. Nose is malty and rich with some good hoppiness.

Taste is fairly similar to arrogant bastard, it's rich bitter and roasty all at once. Basically it a palate pummeled. Really nice cramy mouthfeel makes it surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of BJA
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter

A: The beer is black but not quite ebony. Some light makes it through when you’re viewing it from an angle (and through a small section of the beer; a half inch or so). I got ¼ inch of head on a medium pour. Head is tan, a little creamy and it dissipated in 60 to 90 seconds.

S: I get lightly roasted malt scent followed by fresh flowery hops. There seems to be a hint of dark chocolate and coffee along with an alcohol scent that became much more apparent after the first sip.

T: The roasted malt makes more of an appearance and mixes with the hops in an interesting way. It seems to mute the hops a bit and creates a bitter, roasted black coffee taste with the alcohol a bit too heavy.

M: This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation is fitting. It has a longer finish. It leaves a bitter roasted coffee aftertaste on the roof of my mouth and the back of my tongue.

O: I have always found this beer to be like a roasted, more alcoholic arrogant bastard. I enjoy it every once in a while, but it’s not in my regular rotation like many other stone offerings. It is a really interesting beer to me though. The hop bitterness and roasted malt interaction is cool. I don’t find the beer as bitter as the IBUs testify. I wonder if this beer is best fresh. I wonder if aging this in oak barrels would be beneficial in bringing out some flavor. I definitely find it too heavy on the alcohol in scent and taste.

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Photo of Spider889
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review taken from VIP tasting seminar at the Columbus Beer Fest.

After having just tasted the Founder's El Diablo del Noche I was expecting a lot from Stone's new black IPA. Unfortunately the balance and finesse was lacking in this brew.

Poured very dark like a mocha porter. Smelled almost entirely of fresh strong hops. There were the normal oily hop notes and mild citrus aromas of massive amounts of dry hopping. I personally didn't detect any roasted malts here.

The taste is of a pure and utter hop bomb. My first thought was - "my god this is hoppier than Ruination!" If I remember correctly the Stone rep claimed that they don't like to release the actual number of ibus on this one because once you get to a certain point most palates can't tell the difference anyways. In any case, this is to this day the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted.

Mouthfeel was hot and prickly from the hop bitterness.

Drinkability was really low. I would struggle through a whole pint of this I fear, and I love IPAs. If you want a hop bomb then this beer is for you. If you want something with the complexity that a black IPA would suggest then I would recommend trying something else.

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Photo of beersabound
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a toughy to review b/c what is a American Strong Ale, really? Anyways, it is very dark brown on the edges with a dark center and that is is where the center of darkness ends. The aroma is hops with some licorice, roasted malt and alcohol thrown in.

The flavor is bitter up front with a bit roasted malt and alcohol again followed up by some resiny hop flavor. Tasty and mouth pleasing for sure but the alcohol flavor detracts a bit for me.

It's medium full bodied with a full mouthfeel. It's not velvety at all but not unpleasant or chalky at all. It's drinks wel lbut not something I'd pair with food. I tried it with some beef ribs and plowed over the ribs and sauce and said "So, what's next?"

Ballsy concept with good follow through. I like it but not love it.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruddy brown. Somewhat muddy in appearance. Floral and fruity aroma. Sort of "burnt" smelling. Quite bitter up front against a mellow malt flavor. Very grainy tasting. Long lingering bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is ok. A decent enough beer but I am not sure what its trying to be. I would like to see Stone do something with a little less hops in it. I mean, I am worthy and all but its time for a change in spots.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sublimely Self Righteous Ale pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head and lace stickage. Smells of piney hops, some malt, and earthy/woodsy elements. In the flavor, dry hoppiness and some light citrus and pine notes. Sweet caramel malt backing and some booziness. Nothing exciting, more raw and strong flavors. Overall, more of a strong ale than a black ale, would like a more pronounced roasted malt flavor and less booze. Nonetheless this is an ass kicker.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Dirty Frank's on 7/30/10

Reviewed as a Hoppy Cascadian Porter...Meh, I'm just going with American Strong Ale on this one.

Dark hued. Lighting makes it tough to tell, but it appears to be brown with a few ruby highlights. 1/8th inch head has retained well thus far. Good retention & great, solid lacing.

Has a dank, hoppy aroma reminiscent of a Cascadian Dark Ale. Floral & citric notes. Lemony pine-sol. Roasted dark malts in the back.

Tastes very dry with a slow moving bitterness. Quick hits of citrus zest add a semblance of spice. Roasted dark malts are equally dry; actually seems to have hints of cocoa & coffee grounds.

Full bodied with a decent amount of grit. Carbonation is fairly smooth. It isn't boozy, but has a weird, numbing effect. Roasted residuals linger with a long lasting, dry bitterness.

This is a weird one - smells like a CDA, tastes like a hoppy porter. Therein lies the conundrum. Good, not mind-blowing. I did this review while drinking the first 2/3rds of the glass. The last bit still had enough strength to cut through after eating some of Dirty Frank's excellent hot dogs.

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Photo of JayQue
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had big expectations and the beer was not up to them. Pours a real dark brown with very limited light getting through. Average tan head with decent retention and ok lacing. Smell was weak. I probably drank it too cold but the taste went from being very mild to a a mixture of styles as the beer warmed up.

There were elements of a RIS, Belgian Ale and bitter hoppiness in the taste. Rather than calling it complex, I would say that it was all over the lot...trying to please everybody without making a stand on style and taste.

Mouthfeel was rich and Drinkability improved as the beer warmed. This would not be a beer I would seek out again if I was looking for a high octane sipper. Not bad but not great either.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Revewed live.

A: Pours a five finger head of lovely tan creamy lacing and great thickness. Retention is very good, especially considering the 8.7% ABV. Colour is a solid brown-black, very dark indeed. It's very appealing.

Sm: It's extremely hoppy - I get citra and maybe cascade. Nothing gets through other than the (overly?) dominant hop aroma. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: Hoppy goodness is dominant, with a soft blanket undertone of light cream. It gets too bitter on the climax due to the hop overload, but they did what they could to compensate. For the style, it's really quite nicely built. It's simple, which lends itself naturally to easy balancing. For what it is, it's quite lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also very soft and light without being thin. I might call it velvety if I were more pretentious.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV - which itself is cleverly hidden. It's priced right (at least in California) and though it lacks complexity, I'd certainly have it again, particularly if I found it on draught. A nice offering from Stone that every beer fanatic should try.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: almost pitch black with dark brown highlights, thick brown head that settles to 2 fingers depth and thick lacing
s: mix of hops and roasted malts aromas, bits of chocolate
t: soft malty start and middle with hoppy backbone that becomes more dominant in the finish, strong roasted malts also in the finish with moderate alcohol warmth
m: creamy body, with moderate carbonation especially on the back
d: interesting mix of ipa hoppiness and stout roasted malts that packs a punch. not the best stone brew i've had but still enjoyable

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Photo of reeder
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, unexpected dark color. A respectable tan head lasts for a while then fades away.

Warm hoppy flavors on the nose. Almost a barley wine type scent.

Interesting flavor. Like a really bitter stout. The hops are definitely there, but not the standard citrusy hops such as in the arrogant bastard. The taste evolves until there is a lasting malt at the end.

A little too carbonated. I'm definitely going to hang on to one of these for a while to see if it settles down a bit.

Overall, actually a pretty drinkable beer. A respectable attempt at an unusual style. I would like to see Stone investigate this a bit more.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, dark black with probably one of the best lacings I've ever seen. Super sticky with thick lines of lacing.

S: Malty tropical fruits! Cool, but not really my thing.

T: Follows the nose with a citrusy, super malty taste. Orange peels and milk chocolates.

M: Full and not as thick as it looks! Medium carbonation.

O: I don't think my palate knows what to do with black ales just yet. The tropical notes just don't seem to mesh well with the heavy malt. This is good, but nothing I'd by again. Don't think I can appreciate black ales.

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Photo of Rayek
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

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Photo of dwren89
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pretty much jet black with thin tan head, opaque so no discernible clarity

Aroma: roasty and malty, slight alcohol note, a slight meaty/cheesy note

Taste: very malty and roasty, but with a cheesy like flavor that just doesn't seem to fit. I don't know I I have a bad bottle or what (the drink by date is not for another 6 weeks and I have stored it in my fridge since I bought it). Overall not bad, but I didn't get the citrusy flavors nearly as much as the other reviewers of this beer did, which makes some sense as cheesy flavors are a result of degraded hops.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy, and full bodied, medium-low carbonation

Overall: I think I got a bad bottle of this beer, because every other Stone beer I've had has been great. This one just had a funk to it that was a little cheesy. Great roasty and malty flavors with some solid bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of MWolverines66
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap in Arlington VA. It pours a nice jet black color into a tulip glass. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is a little weird to me, not sure if it's possible that my palate just isn't appreciative of black ipa's (this is my first one) but there really isn't too much flavor to this beer. It has a nice balance but the hops bite I get from other IPA's just isn't there on this one.

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