Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

1,895 Reviews
For Trade:
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,895 | Ratings: 5,857
Photo of Foxman
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dense, inky, stout-esque dark brown, impassable but for a blade of ruby at the very bottom. Two fingers of khaki head melt gradually to a velvety quilt of froth. Tapestries of lacing blanket the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there's a murky mist of roasted malt, with caramel, brown sugar, and raisin. A whiff of biscuit falls before a happy onslaught of grapefruit and pine. A surprisingly temperate breeze of alcohol crisps things even further.

Upon sipping, the malt is briefly sweet before a light bitter char speaks of deep roast, and blueberry and currants come through crisply. The hops dash in on a valiant gallop of dry grapefruit, resiny pine, and poignant bitterness. The alcohol is hotter here, but far from scalding. A slight blanch of residual sweetness and biscuit is crisped, dried, and bittered in the finish. The full flavor profile almost sneaks up on you, because it takes a moment or so for the complexity and blending to ring out.

Full bodied, the malt is slick and treacly, and the peppery hop glow is assertive and pert.

As big as it is, much of the flavor, and the malt especially, is rounded and subtle, which is a testament to a fine blend of quality ingredients. It's a hoppy bastard but comfortably over-the-top, Stone-style. The punchy ABV is incorporated, and it warms agreeably, making the beer drinkable and fun, but also a touch dangerous. So, happy Anniversary, and thanks for letting me in on the celebration. And I'll revisit this one at six months and a year courtesy of my cellar.

 1,543 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle is consumed (without hesitation of course) in honor of Michael Jackson.

A - Black (dark brown) brew with a large head that dissipates leaving thick intricate lacing all down the sides of the glass. The inital head had the same cascade effect as guinness. Quite attractive.

S - Faint caramel, chocolate and black patent under a viscous onslaught of hops. A very spicy, white pepper dominates with a more subtle pine and lily aroma.

T - The dark flavors are subdued, but there is a detectable flavor of black patent and even a touch of cocoa. But the real flavors are in the hops, the hop assault is peppery with a hint of pine. Aftertaste is a potent bitterness that leaves you craving another sip. Very nice.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, very refreshing in spite of the harshness from the hops.

D - Wow! The abv is felt quickly. Distribution of this beer is wide, but, hell, I might pick up a few of these as trade bait for the future. I suppose the claim that it is not a stout and not a porter, but a black IPA is warranted. It is basically to a porter what an IPA is to an ESB. So really, it is a black IPA. I am guesing more breweries will produce one of these soon.

 1,185 characters

Photo of sirk0rebreg
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

you can describe this beer with one word...WOW! i just finished drinking a bomber out of a stone IPA glass and i can say i was stunned with this beer...

pours a dark brown almost black...great smell of grapefruit, slightly piney...nice tan head that holds really well...the taste is excellent, great hop presence but it is very well balanced...the 8.7% abv is hidden quite well, it can sneak up on you...

i gave this beer all 5's except for drinkability which got a 4.5, only reason is it seems to sneak up on you and could be dangerous...this beer is awesome, get it while you can...

i grabbed a half a case and i am kicking myself for not grabbing a full case...i will definitely be back at the store very soon to pick up a full case, this is too good...

 759 characters

Photo of boulevard2
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle 9/29/07

Pours a dark thick head with heavy retention almost looks like a stout. Intense aroma of exotic fruits and spice. Hops are tantalizing every sip with smooth well rounded flavour. This beer reminds me of Hop Rod Rye but with a little more kick. I recommend you pick up a couple of these , one to sample and the other to enjoy down the road a bit. Once again Stone puts out another doozy for us to admire and crave for the next offering.

 457 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The first beer enjoyed with my wife on our new patio, and it was worthy. Very dark brown in appearance, with very little head. The smell wasn't overpowering, but was of citrus and maybe some licorice or grapes in there.

Tasted like a Stone IPA with some chocolate, grape, and a bit of licorice. A little bit sweet, too--tremendous flavor. I could drink this all night.

 410 characters

Photo of warmstorage
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, $5.69 at Brown Jug Warehouse store in Anchorage, AK.

Appearance: deep brownish, like a porter. Leaves significant light-brown lace. Creamy thick dense head.

Aroma: Hops and pine and brown sugar and burnt sugar.

Taste: Wood and sugar and hops and pine and leather and roast. Lots and lots going on here. Hints of dark Belgian ale. (Reminds me a lot of a dark strong Belgian ale style.) Hints of citrus. Hints of earth. Hints of rubber. Lots of hints, few direct statements.

Mouth: Thick and slick, tingly spicy with mark to hot alcohol that lingers.

Overall: Decent, drinkable, even good. But extraordinary? No. I'm sure that Stone devotees will disagree with me, but this just isn't that great (especially after the truly fantastic Stone X.) There is just too much going on in it to pin anything down.

4/5/2008: bomber was $5.19 at Safeway liquor on Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, AK. Bottle states September 2007. Same same. Meh, even. No rating numbers changed.

 983 characters

Photo of MmmIPA
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first time trying a Stone limited beer like the anniv. beer.Poured into a Chimay chalice.

Black opaque body with a small tan head that fells pretty fast to a ring.Small patches of lacing left on the glass.

Straight mo fo pine in this nose.Its that resiny pine too.

Piney,black fruity taste.Then some malt goodness hits ya but not like these hops.Thats for sure.

Mouthfeel is really nice and cant complain about this one.Nothing really wrong with it.Creamy head.

This is a good beer.Im glad I got to try it.Stone outdid themselves with this one.They need to redo this beer under a different name and make it a year long beer.

 632 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly pitch black. Has nice cream like head that lasts.

Big bubble gum and artificial peach aromas (think sugar free peach jelly candy). Some pepper, citrus, and brown sugar in the nose.

Much like Arrogant Bastard there is a lot going on here. Hop flavors muscle up against dark fruity flavors. I am picking up lots of pine, plum, peach, grapefruit rind, bubble gum, tobacco, strawberry and some vanilla.

Smooth and silky mouthfeel with some oiliness. I like this beer, but I prefer Arrogant Bastards hop character. Still very nice and highly recommended.

 568 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 11th Anniversary comes in the typical dark bottle with a gargoyle delivering the brew with no freshness date. It pours a lovely black hue with a huge billowy foam head that lasts and lasts. After drinking the 22oz I was wishing for the pillow of foam to lay my head down.

The aromas from the ipa/porter/stout is a strong pine tree smell. It has a hoppy ipa flavor with a malty overtone and an alcoholic taste. The mouthfeel leaves the hoppiness on the tip of your tongue with a thin body the eels down your throat. I found this to be a money beer of this broad style.

 573 characters

Photo of klewis
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a chocolate brown hue with a massive foamy head. Super long and thick head sustain with tons of lacing.

S: Big, piney hop smell with a dark, roasted malt character. Slight alcohol burn.

T: A complex hop taste with grassy and pine flavors and subtle citrus notes. A subtle roasted character adds an even greater depth while staying out of the way of the hops. Bitterness falls in the moderate range for an IPA.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, creamy, and perfect.

D: This one is too good not to be a regular in the lineup. Nearly perfect and a great hybrid style.

 569 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours like a stout, very dark colouration, huge off tan head, honestly one of the most appealing IPA beers that I've ever poured. Smell is mainly grapefruit.

Taste starts with ruby red grapefruit up front with some bitey pine in the background. A smooth malty backbone is also present. This is actually fairly well-balanced for having as much of a hop bite as it does.

The mouthfeel is big, thick, and hoppy, good stuff. The drinkability is about average for the style in terms of smoothness, and it gets bonus marks for the sheer number of times that I've rebought it. Every time I buy a bomber of it, I assume it's going to be the last time I pick it up, but then I see it again, and buy another bottle or two. Probably my favourite Stone beer beyond Oaked Bastard at this point.

The bottom line: An interesting anniversary beer by the folks at Stone. I like the hop character here, and I'm going to be sad when it is no longer available because it is currently in my active rotation.

 994 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Deep dark brown / borderline black. Intense ruby coloured highlights. Dense creamy looking tan head retains very well.

Appetizing waft of citrus & pine. A bit of roasted malt creeps in at the end.

Big, bold, and hoppy. A dark DIPA with a cornucopia of hop flavours - grassy, pine, & grapefruit are prominent.

Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation. I won't mind revisiting this one in the near future.

 438 characters

Photo of idResponse
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


I just poured myself a glass of labrea tar!


It reeks of hops... reek being a great thing...it almost smells of an imperial stout... the bottle calls it a black IPA... this site calls it an american strong ale... what the hell is this thing for real?!?

mmm, tasty... tasty tasty!
take your favorite IPA and mix it with a twinge of your favorite Imperial Stout... With this strangely bittersweet aftertaste... i can't put my tastebud on anything in particular...

it feels great to drink and it drinks great!

 594 characters

Photo of Roguester
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass, enjoyed with a good friend on a Friday evening. Appearance is very deceptive, I was expecting something overly malty and sweet given the dark reddish look of this beer. Smell is very interesting, very malty, extremely hoppy, but not overpowering. This beer tastes exceptional, very well balanced, very smooth and drinkable. Alcohol taste is masked easily by the loud flavors. This is definitely a beer that I would recommend to others and purchase for myself in the near future. I have never tasted a beer similar to this one, it seems like Stone definitely took it upon themselves to make their 11th anniversary a special one.

 667 characters

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not quite pitch black. You get a bit of light through the edges. Two fingers of creamy tan head to start that turns into a thin layer with a good amount of lacing as you go.

Smell: A tiny bit of roasted chocolates that are soon overtaken by a huge amount of citrusy, grapefruity hops.

Taste: Very good. For a split second, you get a chocolatey dark stout like flavor that is quickly undone by a big grapefruit hop flavor. Like a good stout for a second and then turns into an above average IPA. You get a decent warmth as you go. Good complex flavor that is different from any other beer I've had. As you go, the IPA bitterness takes the forefront, but the dark flavors are very obvious in the beginning.

Mouthfeel: Good for an IPA, decent for a chocolate stout beer. Since the IPA flavor dominates, I would give this a good rating.

Drinkability: Good smooth beer with an above average hoppy IPA characteristic. Highly recommended, I'm not sure how long my other bottle will last.

 996 characters

Photo of jerrymiller
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color from a 22oz bottle.

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

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

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

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

Great beer, I bought a case.

 520 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They had quite a bit of this at the BevMo in Brea and hearing the good reviews of this beer on this site, I grabbed one. Purchased at $4.49, on to the beer:

This is a totally different kind of IPA. It's dark, nearly black in appearance. The piney and esters of an IPA are there in the flavor, but you can't really taste any raw hops, and for good measure is kissed by some cocoa. The checker at the store said he didn't like IPA's, but he really enjoyed this offering. This isn't an aggressive beer like some of the other Stone products, but a rather mellow beer that won't tax your palate too much.

 600 characters

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool idea here - black IPA. I'd call it "hop cocoa." My only qualm is that there isn't more malt. The hops are near perfect, just riding the line of big, but not too big. The aroma is a very sweet fruity, reminds me of the Avery's big beers. The flavor has a get mix of hops flavors that change as the beer warms. It covers floral, fruit punch, citrus rind, and finishes with an herbal black pepper taste. Yummy. There's a touch of cocoa in the background, sort of like what baking cocoa adds to a mole sauce. So, a pretty great beer, I want more like this. Thank you Stone.

 574 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark ruby highlights. A thick, foamy head leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine - a PLETHORA of citrus. The "dark" part is more subtle - with just a touch of smoke...

The taste is citric and resiny. The alcohol comes through in a hefty way, adding a sweet fruitiness. Charcoal smokiness lingers in the back. Some light chocolate enters too, but this show is led by the hops. Finishes with a walloping punch from the hop spiciness and alcohol with dark sweetness lingering in the back.

This is full-bodied, smooth and intensely hot.

Nice - a bit much - but, oh- so nice...hefty West-Coast hops with a charcoal, dark backing. Unique and ... well - get some of this!

 703 characters

4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow-- what a beer! I didn't know what to expect, and loved the creative writing on the bottle that led me to believe that it was going to be a "very dark" IPA.

The beer poured beautifully-- looked like a nitro delivered beer. I said "yum" just looking at it.

After taking the first sip I remarked, "now this is a great beer." What makes it that way? First of all, the hops, which I am a huge fan of. Secondly, the combination of coffee and black licorice that dominate, as well.

Drinking this beer is not easy-- heavy and definitely an after-dinner sipper! As the beer warms it becomes smoother and the coffee notes dominate-- I didn't leave a drop in the glass.

I'm a fan of Stone because of their use of hops, and was pleased to see and sample this truly unique, tasty IPA.

 780 characters

Photo of benito
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A Black IPA from a 22 ounce bomber that promises to "keep you in the dark. Pitch dark."

Pitch dark (promise kept!) with a foamy, off-white head. Were the grapefruit aromas not so unmistakable, even from a distance, this would easily be mistaken for a RIS. Yet, the aromas promise something different. Grapefruit dominates and hides a slight alcohol tinge. The flavor is that of an ultra smooth IPA: the dark malts may add a creaminess and smoothness of texture that is hard to find even in the best of DIPAs. The 8.7% ABV is masked well, but not so well as to deceive you into thinking you should drink too many of these.

In the end, there's nothing too complex about this beer--it is a dark, double IPA, and an excellently simple one at that. This is the best brew from Stone that I've had

Don't miss it!

 808 characters

Photo of gwood
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours VERY dark brown with nice bits of dark red/orange color that crop up in the light with a swirl of the snifter. This is damn near totally opaque...surprising really. Tan colored head had good retention and was interesting to watch with it's mix of large oblong and small tightly grouped bubbles.

S - Straight out with citrus hops. Some very slight notes of caramel as it warmed a bit.

T - I served this one too cold to start with and paid the price initially. Acidic hops hit the palate first and foremost but the finish didn't linger as long as expected relative to the hop blast. A bit cleaner/dryer than expected (again a bit to do with it being too cold I think). As the beer warmed alcohol peaked through at times along with slight caramel malts and figs at the finish.

M - Good carbonation. Medium body - a bit more than expected.

D - Good overall. Not TOO heavy.

 882 characters

Photo of phatmatt20
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very visually compelling beer. It has all the look of a darker, roasted malt beer. But, aside from looking the part, drinks like a double IPA. Has a heavy hop aroma, even a little "piney". Then goes onto a great hoppy flavor throughout the palate. Some people may wonder why a dark/black IPA? As I drank through the bottle, I was consistently impressed with the visual/physical contrast the XI presents. A great beer!! Hop heads should enjoy.

 452 characters

Photo of drseamus
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark with a mocha colored head. The head was pretty thick at first but never disappears completely.

S: Citrusy grapefruity hops.

T: Mostly those citrus hops are back. There is a high amount of bitterness in addition to the flavor. It is a pretty powerful beer. If I closed my eyes before I drank it, I would have expected it to be amber.

M: Medium to heavy. Not at all what the color leads you to believe.

D: Not bad at all, just very weird. Style guidelines be dammed.

 476 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with mahogany hued edges and a two finger, stiff tan colored head that resists fading. 3D lacing follows in its wake. The smell is akin to an aggressive Double IPA. The aroma is primarily a grapefruit hop. Full bodied, the mouth feel is well carbonated, but primarily conditioned to the grapefruit character. Full flavored, the taste is a fruity grapefruit hop with an understated sweet malt thing. An excellent drinker - the 8.7% ABV is REAL. I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS ONE FOR "X"...come on!!! an India Black Ale (IBA)..WOW!!! Scoring points for imagination...is this 20/20 hindsight?

 607 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,895 ratings.