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

1,883 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,883
Hads: 5,813
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 280
Gots: 754 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,883 | Hads: 5,813
Photo of orsulacp
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep dark brown with a nice tan head. A nice piney citrus hop aroma with a good sweet malt background, kind of like molasses.
The taste is really something, good piney/citrus hop at first and then the sweet malt takes over and then it gets a nice woody/earthy hop finish. I love how the flavors just layer over each other, not mixing just layered. I am always amazed how Stone can continue to make their beers have these layered flavors.
The mouth is medium - thick, with a biting carbonation and a slight alcohol burn. It is a very drinkable beer (567 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 10-23-07

Pours a deep brown color, with a foamy tan head that goes on and on.

Smell is all big hops, some citrus. There is an almost soapy quality to it, although not a bad thing. Aromas exude bitterness, but the whole thing is a bit one-dimensional.

Taste is gigantic, sweet and sour hops, lots of grapefruit and other citrus. As it goes down the hops take a more grassy, earthy turn, and just a hint of a malt backbone comes through. The finish is slick and very bitter, with the alcohol adding a nice bite.

Mouthfeel is very good, the thick, oily feel really adds to the intense hop aromas, flavor, and bitterness.

Drinkability is decent, but the hoppiness, bitterness, and alcohol form a brutal combo.

Overall, I liked this beer. It's a complete surprise to have such a hoppy beer after it pours more like a stout. Stone was trying to mix things up a bit here, and it's a nice change. I think this will really be something in a year's time. Recommended. (974 characters)

Photo of edskirk3
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Screen-painted bomber. Familiar gargoyle. Four ingredients. September 2007. Pint glass.

Pours dark. Very nearly opaque. Thick, sticky froth. This ale appears quite still in the glass.

Smells STRONGLY of oily, aggressive hops. Grapefruit and pine to the max. Faint roasted background.

Busy for the tongue as well. Several layers of bitterness. I'm counting three. Beginning, middle and end. The beginning layer is more tart like in a grapefruit while the end is more on the herbal side, slightly minty (and lingers for a while). Underlying sweetness and roasted flavors. It's faint but it's there.

Medium thickness and maximum stickiness. One is enough for now.

Good old Stone. Razing my taste buds as usual. (712 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the darkest of browns,with a nice creamy tan head. Very good retention,and lacing. Smell is of piney,earthy hops,with an underlying sweetness. Medium bodied with some carbonation. Taste has a roasted edge, nicely bittered through out. This is a serious beer,but one per session would be it! (296 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured dark/black color with a huge cream colored head – nice lacing and lots of retention. The aroma is strong of hops with a sweetness that is perceptible. The taste is bitter and very hoppy with an entangled sweetness from the malt. The finish leaves a nice hoppy taste. The mouthfeel is full and it lingers with an oily feel on the back of the tongue. This is a serious beer that is great, but may not be the easiest to drink freely. (448 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to crack this brew open after hearing the news that no harm has come to the brewery during the horrible fires in SD (my fingers are still crossed). Damn, this was a great brew.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - In the glass it was nearly opaque, while being very translucent around the perimeter of the glass. It produced a 2 finger off-white head.

Smell - It smelled like a roasty (stout-ish) IPA. The notes were of roasted malt, pineapple, pine, grapefruity citrus and caramel. Delicious.

Taste - This beer was not devious at all with its flavor - it smelled almost exactly like it tasted. There was a strong roasted malt presence, along with fruity pineapple and grapefruit citrus, all intermingled with caramel sweetness. Yummy hops, as to be expected from these guys. The ABV on the other hand, is always devious with Stone - they mask it perfectly. They are the masters of deception in that arena.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Near perfect carbonation level. Goes down smooth. Pretty much common place with Stone.

Drinkability - Near perfect. The ABV is so well hidden, I didn't even notice it until I was done with the beer. The flavor and smell just make me go in for more.

I am pretty sure that someone else on the site mentioned this, but it was like they took the best parts of their AB, SP, and IPA and mixed them together. Man, it is a shame that this is a one time thing. I would definitely buy this all of the time. This was a wonderful experiment.

Hope you have AT LEAST 11 more anniversaries, Stone. You guys are incredible. I just wish they offered your entire line-up in Texas. (1,632 characters)

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

I just have to second many of the thoughts of those that enjoyed this beer. Though I read the reviews before drinking (I already had purchased two bottles), I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. They experimented with this beer and really hit the mark in my estimation. Simply, I just wanted to give further props to a beer that is not only interesting, but pretty damn good to drink as well. (400 characters)

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

I'm not really sure what to write about this beer. When I decide, it'll be good, but still...

The confusion stems from appearance vs. taste. I poured from the bomber to the snifter before I read the bottle, so I didn't know this is supposed to be a bastard IPA. What you see is something else -- really dark, almost stout-like; rich, short head that hung on a little bit. I'm already thinking of something roasted. Then you take a whiff, and the confusion sets in. Hops are prominent, but I've had hoppy stouts and porters before. This isn't one of those.

Have a taste. Wow -- the hops. This is about the time that I read the bottle, and discovered that I was drinking an IPA. But ... it's not. There's a rich, malty presence too, big enough to completely throw off the perceptions of one who had just read he's drinking an IPA. BA tabbed this as an "American Strong Ale," and I'm glad they did -- if I had to pick a style, I'd still be trying to figure it out.

Don't let my confusion steer you away from giving this a try. I'm not saying it's bad; in fact, I'm saying it's amazing. It's easily one of the most complex beers I've ever sampled, one that's challenging on every level. If you can still find a bottle, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. (1,259 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pretty, almost black, with nice 1/2 inch head color of light toast. Lacy good.

S - Full, hoppy, some grapefruit, orange smell. Nose gives up a little candy sweetness.

T - Big, hoppy beer. Maybe it is the unusual color or the style of this particular beer, but bocks come to mind. Some candy sweetness and malted barley, wrung dry by the massive hops in the end.

M - Full carbonated and intense flavors, as expected from these guys.

D - Such and unusual style and color. Nice beer. I will be getting a few more... (520 characters)

Photo of brantadid
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured almost black with a tall white head which diminished to a thin white head. Excellent lacing.

Hoppy nose with a slight malty smell. Very floral.

Bright, fresh hops on the front and mid palate with hoppy and malty finish. Very long finish. Tobacco also appeared on the back palate with a very refreshing bitterness.

Very well balanced and then I realize that this is an IPA. The darkest I have ever had.

The 8.7% alcohol is well masked. Just another great beer from Stone. (482 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly pitch black, but when held up to the light one notices dark brown highlights around the edges. The head is tall, thick and tan.

Hoppy smell, aromatic, with underlying hints of chocolate and anise. A bit of smokiness comes through in the end.

Bitterness rides the flavor all the way through. Smokey, woody, bitter coffee, chocolate, and a somewhat pronounced smoked jerky flavor. Hop profile is earthy, green, grassy, and citric. Alcohol warmth is there but subdued. Unique flavors, they mesh well. (514 characters)

Photo of Sleestak
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've missed the other 10 anniversary ales as I am only 2 years into my beer exploration journey. I have come to love Stone's offerings and was excited when I saw this one at the store. An absolute opaque black in appearance, with a nice light tan head. Lots of intense pungent hops in the smell. Smells like a Stone beer, it just has that smell that the Stone beers have. Wow! Lots of sticky piney hops in the taste but still sweet. With the color I was expecting some roastiness, but no there isn't any. An interesting concept brew (I'm guessing that's what it is... never heard of a black IPA before). Can't wait to see what they come up with for next years anniversary. (672 characters)

Photo of dankman38
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one different beer, but it’s really good. This beer drinks, smells and tastes like a mellow IPA but with the hints of roasted cofee and carmel you’d expect from some porters or a quadrupel. Quite unique, if you get the chance I suggest trying it. (256 characters)

Photo of babyhobbes
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is the darkest beer I've seen with virtually no chocolatey, roasted malt flavor. It's downright odd. The smell on this is subdued, not blasting me in the face with hopness. The hop aroma is there,somewhat sweet and citrusy but not as strong as I'd like. Taste is wonderful. It's bitter and sweet, well-balanced hops without the thick, crunchy taste and mouthfeel we've come to expect. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the nose as well as the taste. This is just a great beer and make me wish I had tried the rest in the series.

I think you should run out and buy a few of these. (592 characters)

Photo of ccoffeegod
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this beer at Grape and Gourmet in Virginia Beach, Va.

Beer was poured into the glass was inky black, no light would show through. 3 finger head, head dense and smoky in color. The smell of the beer was overwhelmingly one of grapefruit, odd but welcome. Taste was a blast of hops. Very bitter followed by a hint of sweentness. Again grapefruit taste at the very end. Mouthfeel was smooth with a bit of sharpness to it. An exellent beer, well worth the money I spent, but it is a one time thing I dont think I want another and least not right now. (553 characters)

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

Aroma: Resiny hop aromas, citrus, grapefruit-like notes all over the place. A touch of warming alcohol but very subdued. No fruity esters. It's all about the West Coast hops.

Appearance: As advertised...pitch dark. Deep brown color with garnet highlights. A thick and fluffy tan head. Smells like a double IPA, looks like a robust porter.

Flavor: Huge resiny bitter hops notes up front. Orange rind, a little baby aspirin which makes me think "Amarillo" hops. Piney background notes blend in with candied orange slices that provide just enough sweetness to keep this from being a total palate destroyer. Finish is bitter, dry, and clean.

Mouthfeel: Slightly prickly with medium-high carbonation. Slightly oily and a medium body.

Overall impression: Impressive color without roastiness. A hop kick to the palate. I like the darkness with the hop blast. I'm not sure what all the controversy is about surrounding this beer. The hops have just enough sweetness to balance, the alcohol is hidden well, and this is a well-made beer. Pretty much everything you sign up for when you buy a Stone beer. It won't be subtle. It's not sessionable but it's definitely a treat to be savored. Strongly recommended. (1,204 characters)

Photo of BigTone
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the guys from the Liquor Stop in Highland. He said this beer will give you "dark eyes in the morning" Sure did, coming in at a high ABV it hits you hard but not before it twists your taste buds around.

appearance: Poured pitch black into a pint glass. Thick head retention that lasted a good while.

smell - Full of hops. Like grabbing a handful of hop pellets and putting them to your nose.

taste: Like a roller coaster starting on a incline of hops coasting through a molasses malt taste finishing with a screaming roar of hops.

mouthfeel: Medium thickness with quite a bit at the end.

drinkability: If you do anything other than sip this you aren't going to be able to recover and you'll be taking in sharp hops the whole time. Great if you have the time to drink it. I had to split the bomber into two sessions. (840 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $7.49 at the liquor stop in Highland, IN. purchased within the last month or so in between 3F and ND

I believe Stone 8th anniversary was one of the first beers i ever rated and i've had them all since

appearance: pours nicely into a bell's tulip glass...dark as night body with huge foamy tan head and great retention. For some reason this wasnt what i expected to pour out of the bottle, but looks can be deceiving

smell: the aroma is a full on blast of hops - highly bitter, west coast pine, plum and other dark fruit, molasses, lots of sweet malts...very intriguing - seem impossibly hoppy for a beer so dark

taste: hops come through the pipeline immediately in large doses, heavy pine presence makes this a candidate for a nice holiday beer...thick molasses malts, heavy bitterness, alcohol seems to bite stronger than 8.7%...another winning anniversary effort

mouthfeel: wonderfully smooth with a bitter hop current and moderate alcohol buzz

drinkability: a sipper for sure (998 characters)

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

A: Pours a completely foreboding, opaque black that produces an immensely dense head and sticky lacing along the sides of the tulip.

S: Lots of grapefruit (and, dare I say, pineapple) in the nose, very hopped out with a hint of pine and grass. Overall, an aromatic swirl of hops with a spicy tinge.

T: Upon examining the beer visually, I was curious about the lack of malty notes in the bouquet, being overpowered by the hop presence. However, the taste reveals a subtle, but detectable roasted malt character underneath a wave of grapefruit-citrus hops. Actually, there is quite a balance stuck here. With enough malt in the base to push this hop attack through, it's reminiscent of an Arrogant Bastard in a sense, only with seemingly more complexity with more relaxed results. Aftertaste is a lingering citrusy taste and that hint of malt sticks around a smidgeon, too. Gets even better as it warms.

M: Plenty of carbonation that produces a rather velvety mouthfeel. Oily hop residue subsides smoothly in the finish, coating the back of the mouth but with a sweetness from the malt that avoids a disgusting aftertaste.

D: Complexity, balance, and an arsenal of flavor, this beer is fantastic. I expected nothing less from Stone, but was still blown away by what I got. This one should definitely not be missed, and even though it's flavors and alcohol are dialed up, it is remarkably drinkable in nature. (1,410 characters)

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the clear dark brown brew. Frothy head lasts and lasts, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is pungeant piney green hops. Taste is bit lacking in the chewy malts one might expect for such a dark color, but hops character and bitterness is excellent. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Yet another anniversary brew from Stone that is worthy of the milestone. (510 characters)

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

From Whole Foods on Houston St. NYC.

It says September 2007, for whats thats worth, and has a whole big paragraph on the back about the past year at Stone with a little teaser, "Looks like were going to be kept in the dark with this IPA. Pitch dark."

So I crack her open and go for the snifter, because I can dammit.

And wouldn't you know it, it's dark. Pitch dark. Allowing no light to pass through whatsoever, it kept a very healthy head.

I could smell it while pouring. Stick your nose in and it's Grapefruit and pine INSTANTLY. Very sugary too, and not much else, I don't think they were going for much else.

Good GOD, it's like they Doubled the Double Bastard. Even as you tilt the glass to your mouth you can feel the hops coming. On the first few sips, my tongue is walloped by a big bag of pine cones. It's then given a brief taste of super sweet citrus, and left with nothing but bitterness. But, as you go on you start to pick up some malty caramel and chocolate notes, making for an intriguing balance. Don't get me wrong though, theres still a VERY bitter finish.

About mouthfeel: I'm officially done trying to taste anything else for the rest of the night. My tongue is hereby overwhelmed.

About drinkability: Do I want another one? Yes. Do I want it right now? I think I'll wait. (1,301 characters)

Photo of garbercury
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to get this on tap at Vintage wine and beer, nice...

A---Looks like a stout, appearances can be deceiving.

S---Smell the hops, love it.

T---This is a unique, classic beer, so good. A union of Stout, Porter, and IPA, crazy stuff, this is such a good beer, the flavor is incredible

M---nice.

D--This is a very drinkable beer, I recommend it highly. One of the better beers I can remember having in my time on this earth... (438 characters)

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. (1,083 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
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. (1,379 characters)

Photo of Jermbrew
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
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.) (1,031 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,883 ratings.