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

5,804 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,804
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,804 | Reviews: 1,903
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of unclecrappy
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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...

Photo of brantadid
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of Sleestak
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of dankman38
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of babyhobbes
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of ccoffeegod
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of BigTone
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of joeskirkie
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of garbercury
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
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...

Photo of zdk9
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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

I've heard this billed as a Black Double I.P.A. .... I'd say that's accurate and the Stone 11th Anniversary is a special treat.

This black ale is a beautiful sight and pours a nice slightly tan head.

My favorite part of this brew is the aroma. Slight roastiness with piney hop notes and floral aroma shining through. The slight alcohol smell is due to the ABV of nearly 9% and it's the perfect complement to the pine/roast smells.

More piney taste with a strong bitterness lingering on the middle and back of tounge. Very strong bitterness, like chinese bitter melon....not what I want in a beer. I can taste the alcohol...no doubt it's strong.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. A sharp carbonation at fist creates a crisp tingle
and the liquid has a creaminess to it. I like.

The nearly black appearance and the over the top hops content make this unique. I appreciate both alcohol and hops, but I can't drink too much of this however, without the bitterness and alcohol becoming too overpowering( hence the lower drinkability score.)

Photo of chefscott79
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at my favorite place to drink beer in my local area....
beach wood bbq...sigh

Appearance:dark brown...almost black....and great fine head and lots of Brussels lace

smell: Super fragrant lots of summity? hop notes I love the summit hops

Taste: great balance of malt and hop flavor(which I believe is summit hops and when I asked at the brewery it they said summit but on the website it says Amarillo I believe) do they have similar flavor characteristics?

mouth feel:heavy and silky but not too weighty

drinkability: I could drink this for a good long while...and have been in bottle a bit...but on tap hot damn

Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08

Boy, the hops really come through on tap. Even with my mind wanting me to beleive that this beer is malty because of the color, the hops still dominate. A very balance IPA with a mysterious color and a chalk-like crispness, dryness in the finish.

October 18, 2007: Bottle:

Had to pull out a special beer to celebrate UK's win over LSU. Even if I don't like this beer, this is a good day! The beer pours a lot like a dry stout: very dark brown, nearly opaque, and with a firm, withstanding head formation and retention throughout. It's basically a black beer. Aromas are very deceiving comming from a black beer; with a heavy citrus hop nose and backup notes of pine, lemon-grass, and charcoal. The beer tastes similarly from the hop's side. But the beer has a different story too: the malts. The sweet malt character is very similar to the candy-sweet flavors found in Belgian Dark Strong beers -- but without the yeasty, peppery, phenolic twang. This beer is all American with a high attenuation rate and hop domination throughout. Though the hops side and malts side make the beer enjoyable, they may be two separate beers, caught in the same bottle and need much more melding together to do. As is, it's a firm DIPA with challenging malt character. Good beer, but time will surely do it some favors. But as American Strong Ales go, I prefer Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of joecast
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

american strong ale. such a broad category. one that stone knows very well. however, as the bottle states, this is a dark ipa. and i think the beer fits that category better than the more generic strong ale. but this isnt a debate on style, its a beer review. so here goes.

very classy appearance. clear near black color with some nice red hues when held to light. the ample head, which never quite settles completely, is lightly tanned but not much. good lacing. low carbonation.

the aroma is where this beer stands apart from most strong ales. certainly leans towards ipa with its super hopped nose. a blend of citrus and floral (dont think i can tell them apart any more to be honest) with a backing of alcohol.

bitterness seems to be the focus of the taste, dont let the dark color fool you. very little influence from the malts. well, other than providing food for the yeast. the start shows a good portion of hops. as they fade i expected some sort of dark sweet malt flavor that never really arrived. even as it warms, it seems that more hops come in to round out the flavor. not that this is a bad thing. just my reasoning to this beer being more an ipa than strong ale. but anyway.

mouthfeel seems a bit heavy suffering the same fate as the 10th ann. too sticky sweet. this also hurts drinkability.

overall, a big beer to celebrate another year for stone. well done to them. and a beer for the rest of us to celebrate with. hmm, what will i celebrate tonight?

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 GimpyCane
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: poured dark brown with a hint caramel hue shinning around the rim. A two finger, espresso like creamy head followed. The head fully lasted leaving an excellent sticky lacing from top to bottom.

smell: deep roasted chocolate and molasses upfront, followed by a pine forest from the hops, ending with hints of cola, vanilla, sweet raisin and espresso.

taste and mouthfeel: Fantastic! a very bitter and hoppy pine resin and interesting citrus bite, followed by an oily feel, toasty sweet malt and cola. Toward the end, hint of dark dates and toasted bread were accompanied by a moderate taste of alcohol.

drinkability: smooth, softly carbonated and clean brew makes this easy to enjoy, nice alcohol bite.

Overall, this brew rocks. Stone creates another beauty.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,804 ratings.