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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,887 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,887
Hads: 5,824
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 287
Gots: 763 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,887 | Hads: 5,824
Photo of JDJ
3.39/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm not really a fan of IPA's, but this was the first "dark" IPA I'd ever tried. It is smooth and rich, with a good thick head that lingers just long enough for an ale. I had it from a bottle, served just under room temperature (about 55 or 60 degrees). The smell and taste are that of most IPAs that I've tried, very piney and bitter, which are not up my alley, but this beer has a good mouthfeel. Not too much carbonation, and it actually goes down fairly smooth. The strong hops flavor is just not my thing. This may be a fantastic beer to a true IPA fan, but it's just not my mug of ale. (591 characters)

Photo of Matt_Schlamann
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very under-rated Black IPA. The appearance is very dark with a cream colored head. Smell has lots of malt. Taste hops up front followed by a strong, but not over-powering malt backbone. Easy to drink and at 8.7% ABV could almost be classified as "Dangerously Drinkable" which I like. The mouthfeel is a very faint dryness from the hops with some lingering malt notes.

RECOMMEND. (380 characters)

Photo of thehooksman
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap and served in a small strong ale goblet

Appearance is dark, dark brown. Not quite fully black as you can get some light through it. It has good clarity and about half a finger of tan foam that lingers and coats the glass.

The hop aromas are piney and peppery with a hint of orange peel.

The flavor backs up the nose well and reminds of a hoppy brown ale or black IPA

You would expect it to be fairly bitter but the mouthfeel is rather medium and smooth with justenough tingle from the carbonation. The higher abv is also well hidden in the mix.

Definitely a solid black ale. But it's Stone so why would I expect anything other than excellence? (655 characters)

Photo of THE-DUDE
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am typically not a big fan of black ales, but this is by far the best i have tried! It smells like an IPA, looks like a porter, and tastes fantastic. Floral, hoppy, slightly piney, and slightly sweet. Drinks very smooth and conceals the 8.7 very well. (253 characters)

Photo of dexterk1
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into standard shaker pint. Color is black or maybe dark brown with a rich head of about 2inches.
Aroma is sweet upfront with hints of chocolate, coffee and brown sugar. Minor floral notes as well.
Taste is floral upfront with a malt background. Continues with more pine and green notes. Ends with a piney bitterness that lingers. Mouth feel is somewhat lighter than the appearance would lead on. Moderate carbonation and decent body.
Overall, a very good beer. Complex and big in taste. (508 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a creamy light mocha head.

N: Nose is dominated by orange and pine, but malt, roasted malt, chocolate and coffee make an appearance as well.

T: Roasty in the beginning, followed quite quickly by pine and orange, ending with coffee and roasted malt in the finish, though pine shows up strong in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy, full bodied and smooth. Mouthfeel is perfect.

O: More pine than I like. Nose is much better than the taste. Still recommended, especially if you like their taste in hops (I personally don't, though I love Enjoy By IPA). (570 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Inky black, with only the slightest light showing through. A large pillowy head, off white, which hung around for a while then faded. Lacing, but not too elaborate.

S - Hops and malt, with grass and an undercurrent of alcohol. Pine, with some roasted notes, but really, the nose on this is pretty subtle.

T - Hops in a big way. I am a sucker of the distinctive Stone mix, so this makes me a happy man. Malt underpins it all, with light roasted notes. But really, given the darkness of the brew, the roasted notes are minimal. The hop is still king.

M - Carbonation is moderate, drying is significant, but the amount of build, given how strong a brew this is, is not too severe.

O - The bottle had passed its drink by date by a few weeks, but I don't think it negatively impacted my experience. I'll say that am not generally a huge fan of black ales or black IPAs. I prefer the coffee and chocolate or grainy goodness of stouts and porters. With that said, this is a very good take on the style, and with Stone's signature hop profile, this is something I'd seek out again. (1,081 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz bomber from Brawleys lured into a tulip glass. I like the fact that I tried to type "poured" and it got spell checked into "lured". Enjoy by 2.15.04.

A - Almost jet black, with ruby/brown highlights. Half finger head that moves to a thin but sturdy lace.

S- Fantastic. Your eyes do not prepare you for the smell. Orange , grapefruit, maybe fingers of raspberry. Lightly toasted malts.

T - More of the same. Strangely delicious. Some hop bitterness on the finish. Can not detect the 8.7%.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Slightly creamy with low but present carbonation.

O - I can see why it was one of Stone's favorites. Give it a go. (650 characters)

Photo of lochef81
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've always been a lover of all of Stone's ipa products but had not delved outside of that line of beers...boy am I glad I did. This black ipa pours and tastes much more like a porter than any ipa I've ever had. It is near perfect opaque black in color but thin and smooth in body. Starts with a small tan head that dissipates to a slight tan lacing that holds well to the glass throughout the session. The aroma is actually very subtle with a lot of roasted malt scents upfront and a little hop and sweetness behind it. The flavor is nothing like I expected following the nose. It is rich and deep with notes of chocolate, coffee, and maybe even a little pepper. Great balance of the sweetness of the malt with the bitterness of the hops. I still feel this one falls closer to porter than black ipa but what ever it is; I think I'll have another one. (851 characters)

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is black as Darth Vader's Suit's Ass blasting through the galaxy like a fuckin' Dark Lord. It's got a hypnotic, spiderweb style foam canvassing itself across the plain. The foam looks like coral sitting on top of somehow liquid coal.

It tastes great, just hoppy enough where you know it's beer. (306 characters)

Photo of shacawgo24
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A-Darkest brown. Almost black. Like coffee. Pitch dark. Three finger manila/tan head. Bubbly and pillow-y. Average retention. Cascading spotty lacing sticks nicely. A root beer colored top layer and edging comes to light when the head is gone. Wish the brew was pitch black, would get a perfect score if it was.

S-Papaya. Mango. Pineapple. Pine. Grapefruit. Citrus, (orange, lemon and lime). Any variation of orange, (mandarin, sweet, tangerine, etc..). Peach. Apricot. Clean astringency. Dark bread. Pumpernickel. Wheat. Pretzels. Smells like a dream...

T-Peach forward. Grapefruit. Then all of the aforementioned citruses wash in. Resin. Hemp. Don't know if it's caramel malt or a wheat-y pretzel strain in the middle. Super bready. Rye & pumpernickel forward. Hops are the mildest of spicy. Very tropical, dark and bitter-hoppy. Taste is as good as any IPA available.

M-Perfect medium body. Creamy and yet fluid. Medium-low carbonation. Bitter and piney. Metallic sour aftertaste. Ink, resin and hemp fog up the palate nicely on the finish. Hops leave a comfortably numb feel. Warms and bubbles down the tongue and throat like a double stout. Gets sticky. If the feel was maintained and didn't get a tad watery it would get a perfect score.

O-Easily one of the best IPA's around. Bold and robust. Yet tropical and refreshing. You can eat the beer, or pair it with food. Everything is in balance with this beer. I love the warming, bubbly effect. What IPA's do that? Only a Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA can pull this off. Sublimely Self-Righteous matches all of the best IPA's and yet cranks up the hops highly and is packed with mysterious head scratching flavors. So known yet unknown. A beer Stone has every right to brag about. Hopefully this beer will be permanently made and available. (1,797 characters)

Photo of Edjamakated
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been wanting to review this beer as my first review for a long time. I am so happy when I see this on the shelf and even happier when I see a fresh date on the neck . In this case 04/04/14

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my favorite chilled snifter

Pours a nice "cola" color. Dark almost syrupy brown. Nice lingering tan head with incredible lacing. Light foam sticks to the sides of the glass as you consume this incredible nectar.

Dominant oak, chocolate, coffee flavors. Extremely balanced! Intense amount of hops but still a malty "stout" like experience.

Strong alcohol content is well masked by all the exquisite flavors. Half way through you might realize it's hitting you fast.

Really enjoy this beer. It is in my top 5 and has been for a while now . (766 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

$6 bottle from Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Enjoy By date was a week ago at most, but that's not enough to make me whine to the waitress or owner.

Appearance: Opaque black, it seems. Nice tan sort of head on top with fantastic sip-by-sip lacing for the most part.

Smell: A bit of char, but definitely piled with hops... definitely a black IPA on the nose. No fruitiness that I can tell, just earthy, piney hops and some roast.

Taste/feel: The piney/earthy hops are definitely there, but some sort of citrus is in the flavor that I didn't get in the aroma. The hops dominate at the forefront, with a roast/char aftertaste. A nice body on this one as well, with a carbonation that's maybe medium-high.

A pretty great beer, and one of the best black IPAs I've had, for sure. (789 characters)

Photo of slusk
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: This brew pours a dark, dark ruby color with a thick tan head. Very dense head with good retention.

S: The first thing that hits you is a pronounced hop aroma, predominantly grapefruit with some pine and underlying earthy tone. A pleasant sweetness penetrates the hop aroma laying a nice foundation of dark fruit with an almost perceptible oak aroma.

T: The aroma fools the palate as the first thing you taste is a beautifully heavy malt presence. The sweetness quickly transitions to a nice hop bite followed by a lingering hop bitterness. This is a very nicely balanced Black IPA that showcases the hops but doesn't overpower the malt.

M: Medium to slightly heavy body with a smoothness that's a bit more silk than slick.

O: I'm not a hophead. I like my English browns, but Stone continues to make me a convert. It's nicely layered with malt and hops and gives a pleasant complexity. I'd buy this again! (913 characters)

Photo of davidsumner
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmm... "strong ale", "black ipa", "dark cascadian" or "black ale" ... ???

Doesn't really matter much to me... I'm not a stickler of beer identification, all I know is that this stuff is pretty good.

It reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and is a lot alike Stones' bastard ale.

this ale's very malt centric and has a nice dark brown or "Cola" tint to it. The head is thin and there's very little lacing.

The nose is pretty decent; again malt centric, with a good sweet candied, cake like feel. You definitely get a light roasted malt scent. The hop is lurking in the background; not exactly sure how to identify it; I want to say piney/citric; but there's a little floral too. All in all, a delightful nose with a good balance.

The taste is very nice. Not overpowering but not light either. A good medium to heavy flavor that is distinctly lightly roasted malty and candied fruit. When I say candied fruit I mean a nice candied dry fruit; mostly cherry, apricot and orange.

I hate to say this, but I'm going to anyway... the finish on this reminds me of fruit cake, but in a good way. Not the "what you hate" about fruit cake; but the actually "ok there's something good in here" aspect of fruitcake. But the finish also has that classic roasted malt taste. But a light roasted malt... not like a porter or stout.

The hops are there too; just a little hard to pin point. But there is a bitterness and it's very balanced with the sweetness of the malt; making it seem less bitter then what I'm sure it is.

All in all, a very pleasing ale. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad and I don't mind drinking it at all. This ale in my opinion is a great after dinner drink. (1,685 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 22-oz bottle from Total Wine early last month. Enjoy by date reads 01.14.14. Figured I'd pop this open during the Chargers playoff game. Seemed fitting. Poured into a Dogfish IPA glass for review.

Pours like coca-cola. Dark translucent black with large cola flavored head that lasts a heck of a long time that leaves plenty of suds on the glass sides as it slowly fades. Smells of hoppy goodness: melon and pineapple.

Upfront chocolate malt flavors that evenly gives way to nice soft yet firm bitterness. The dark note characters stick around until the end giving a nice balanced aftertaste. Some hop fruitiness flavors add add'l complexity. And some pine.

Feels about medium. Firm bitterness with good carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden for over 8%.

A very well crafted beer. Although I'm not a particular fan of this style of beer, I'd definitely drink this one again. (888 characters)

Photo of ajmitch4
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was another one that I drank on 12/23/13 after my phone died, so am doing this from memory. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearnace: extremely dark, not transparent, great chocolate/coffee color. Nice head builds with the pour and a bit of lace remains.

Smell is intriguing. You get the roasted dark malts of a porter along with hints of that strong chocolate/coffee flavor. These olfactions are quickly overtaken by the hop presence.

I definitely got the feel that this is a Black IPA. I know about Stone's uncanny ability to write an essay about their beer on the bottle while neglecting to mention a single characteristic of the brew but I found on their webpage that this is, indeed, a BIPA. Phenomenal hop flavor and aftertaste as always from Stone. The dark malts offset the floral and citrus hops.

Surprisingly light-bodied, I think, for a Black IPA. Doesn't weigh down on the palate like some others do. Fond of this one. (956 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a pitch black with a two-finger tan head. Heavy amount of lacing.

S - Earthy piney hops with a good amount of roasted malts. Some light citrus is present also.

T - Big rich malts right up front with some chocolate. Nice pine and citrus flavors follow the maltiness. Nice bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Very good Black IPA. Lots of complex flavors going on. Very enjoyable. (430 characters)

Photo of Labeorphile
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Dark like flat soda, with almost no bubbles coming up from underneath, but a thick fluffy head with a combination of small and medium bubbles. Good lacing down the glass.

First thing in the nose is the hops. Piney, resiny type hops, which I typically don't like as much as the citrus hops, but they are perfect for the match with the sweet chocolatey malts on the back.

Flavor is mellow and smooth unlike many in the style. The alcohol is pretty well hidden given ABV and the telltale bitter finish is there. Sweet on the front of the tongue and bitter on the back, a perfect match. Smooth and creamy as well.

A great, enjoyable offering from Stone that is better than many Black IPAs / Black Ales I have tried. (754 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Head is a light, sandy color. The body is that of a rich cola. The head takes its time in calming down, and looks rather rich and lathery. Good retention with good lacing.

The smell is complex and inviting. Malt with earthy hops and caramel start it off. This transitions into a more tropical hop aroma with pine undertones. Further sniffs reveal a little chocolate in the beginning as well.

The taste up front has a deep malt character. Aspects of dark fruit, toffee and chocolate all play around before surrendering to pine and a deeply grapefruity citrus flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied. It is almost creamy. Very good. (639 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into teku; black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that sticks around, slowly creeping down and leaving dense, fine lacing as it does.
Smells of lots of hops, bitter earthy and fruity, as well as dark roasted malt, bit of soft grain, chocolate and coffee.
Taste is a perfect dichotomy; it's like an imperial IPA and a robust porter are fighting it out in my mouth. Hop flavors strike first, with earthy bitterness mingling among fruit and citrus rind. Then the dark malts come in, with coffee and dark bitter chocolate balancing the hops perfectly. Aftertaste is sticky hop bitterness with hints of dark malt left over.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, medium-bodied.
Overall, another of Stone's boastful beers lives up to its name; a beer this good certainly deserves a good deal of self-righteousness. This is the perfect black IPA/cascadian dark ale/hopped black ale/etc. as I imagine the style in its purest form. (931 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at HI-DIVE Lounge in Kansas City. Poured into a standard tumbler glass.

Appearance - Body is pitch black with no light coming through. Atop it sits a healthy one-finger head the color of cocoa powder comprised of mostly medium-sized bubbles that lend a slightly soapy look to the foam. Retention is excellent, and the foam is still there when I take my first drink. Lacing is ample, leaving ringed sheets of bubbles down the side of the glass as I drink.

Smell - I love the fact that this one smells equal parts roasty chocolate and resinous, piney hops. There is also an element of citrus, but it's less prevalent alongside the more pronounced roasted characteristics. I also get hints of grass and generic herbs.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, the taste is a wonderful balance of two distinct flavors: roasty and hoppy. Semisweet chocolate and fresh-ground espresso are both present alongside lemon and orange zest. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation and a body on the heavy side of medium lends for a chewy, but still somewhat juicy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a stellar "black IPA". One of my favorites in the style if not THE favorite. Really does an excellent job of creating a balanced, meaty, refreshing beer that has the best of both worlds that are quintessential to a black IPA. Also does an exceptional job of concealing the almost-9% ABV. (1,392 characters)

Photo of WhatTheAle1973
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hit for me, picked this up while looking for stones porter as replacement for lack if porter. Luckily for me the porter wasn't in stock, this was amazing. I'm typically a quad, stout, or porter only drinker and now this will be part of my normal purchase routine. (273 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style. (608 characters)

Photo of tmm313
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black with a super creamy, almost milky, 1/4 finger head. Really nice lacing. Looks like a thin Stout.
S- Orange, floral, chocolate, caramel, and bitterness that seems to shift between pine and coffee.
T- Wow, now that's a mix of flavors, right there. Sweet citrus with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, and pine up front. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and more pine round out the finish.
M- Medium body with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with a nice oily coating left behind. Aftertaste is piney at first but shifts to coffee with a touch of orange a little later.
O- I was really impressed by this beer. The flavors balance incredibly well despite belonging to different styles. To me, this was a quality stout meets a quality IPA. Honestly, how can you beat that? For those times I'm torn between the two styles, this is will be beautiful solution. I will be having this far too often. (906 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.