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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,888 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,888
Hads: 5,848
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 291
Gots: 777 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,888 | Hads: 5,848
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bomber to the Abita pint glass, after sitting the bottle about 30 minutes on the counter. Should be around 50 degrees by now...

A: Deep, rich brown pour, tinged heavily with ruby when held to a strong light...very, very dark otherwise. Topped with a long-lasting light tan head - fizzy and frothy at first, creamy and thicker as it wanes. Beautiful sticking lace, gathered in wide bands.

S: Citrus hops, lots of mandarin orange and grapefruit. Backing of sweet caramel malts - smells like a good hop-filled West Coast IPA. Expected this to hold more steady than it did, fading rather abruptly.

T: First sip was a bracing jolt of pithy, bitter grapefruit without much grain or sweetness coming through. As my tongue gets used to the hard hoppiness, hints of caramel develop and more tangy/spicy citrus-ness subsides...a little. A deeply toasted malt finishes each sip.

M: Spicy hops and bittering right down the center of the tongue, lingering on the back. Some cheek swelling and even some puckering. I'm finding some alcohol heat, too. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation.

D: A very pretty beer to look at and an intriguing style: a dark (black?) IPA. Nice aroma and flavor, but really needs to calm it on the aggressive hopping for my tastes. I'm all for big beers with heavy doses of hopes (though not my personal favorites), but balance is important. I just don't find this beer balanced...yet. Given some time, that may change...which I is why I've decided to cellar a few bottles for later.

Happy 11th Stone!
PS: Nice read on the back label about the 'growing pains' of opening the new Bistro...

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

The beer poured out a dark brown (definitely brown, not black) with about a 1/8 inch tan head. Lots of lacing was left all along the glass. The smell was all about piney and lemony hops. Certainly unusual for a beer of this color.

You would certainly expect some roastiness in here and there is absolutely zero! If you close your eyes this tastes exactly like an orange hued - copper colored DIPA. There is a strong lemon/grapefruit/pine hop bite at the end of the swallow. There is also enough malt backbone in there to stand up to it, even if there isn't much flavor in the malt.

The mouthfeel is medium with some high carbonation. This is very drinkable and interesting. It's not everyday you run into something this dark that tastes like something much lighter.

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

As the beer filled my glass I was surprised by its color. The color is black. A black IPA? Yes, this Stone IPA is black as a moonless night. The smell of this IPA is great. It's like walking into a produce department and condensing it into this 22oz bomber. Orange, grapefruit and even raisins take this IPA to the bank. This one of the best IPA's I've tasted, period.
The mouthfeel lasts so long I needed a glass of water to try Brainzilla's beer.

Overall: GET THIS BEER!! Better yet grab a case if you can!

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Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, dark blue and grey colors on the screenprinting. Usual long description on the back seems to imply this is a dark IPA.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown/black, with some ruby around the edges. Nice tan colored head with great retention.

Smell: Strange - with the dark color I was expecting roast or chocolate malt aroma, but it is all hops. Lots of citrus.

Taste: Mmm .. hoppy, just a bit of darker malt flavors in the finish. Lots of citrus hops up front, and then the finish is a bit of dark fruit, and some roasted taste.

Overall impression: Very good combination of malt and hops - I like this one a lot. Reminds me a lot of the Avery New World Porter, which is another dark IPA. I'd love to see this one on a regular basis, but I won't be holding my breath.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone pint glass.

A: Pours a jet black color with a huge tan head.

S: The aroma on this one if fascinating. The complexity in the nose hints at what is in store for the taste. The smell is primarily that of wonderfully fresh hops: citrus, pineapple, and a bit of pine. But wait, what is that? Some aromas normally associated with that of a stout show up as well; a bit of espresso and even some chocolate.

T: This has got to be one of the more difficult beers to describe that I've ever tasted. It has amazing complexity and layers of flavors. The primary flavors are that of an excellent IPA. Citrus, tropical fruits and delicious piney oils. The IPA part of this beer would alone make it worthwhile. However, there is something much more lurking in this brew. Hiding underneath the IPA lies the flavors of a dark stout. Some espresso, slightly sweet molasses, even some chocolate. I drank two glasses of this beer at two different temperatures and it drank like two totally separate beers. The first glass was rather cold and drank like an IPA, the second glass the brew was quite a bit warmer and at this temperature the dark malt flavors dominated. A truly unique and fascinating beer.

M: As good as the smell and taste of this beer is, the mouthfeel might be the best part. It's creamy and smooth yet not all that full-bodied for such a dark beer.

D: A very drinkable beer for how dark is it. A simply delicious, complex, and fascinating beer. Stone Brewing is awesome. They are constantly pushing the boundaries of craft brewing and turning out consistently unique and outstanding beers.

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Photo of onthefarside
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the great pleasure to try this beer on tap last night at Mahar's in Albany. Curious about the type of beer this was, I was told it was an Imperial Porter by the all knowing bar-keep.

A: Served in a 20oz glass with 1 cm of head about, not much. Was a very very dark brown or black, couldn't tell with the dim lights.

S: Smells like every Stone beer, hoppy and alcohol"y".

T: This beer has a nice one two punch on the tastes a nice flavourful malt up front with nice complexity and then a nice crisp hops twinge to hide any trace of alcohol, couldn't taste it at all. But this is definately a sipper.

M: Nice feel, not too watery, good to swish it around and let it cover your mouth.

D: I didn't know the abv at the time of drinking this beer, knowing stone tends to up the abv, i thought it was about 5-6 but i'm suprised to find it near 9! Unknowing, I could drink 3-4 and wonder why i felt strange. Over all a great beer from Stone again and it will please people who like their IPA and Bastard Ale. I felt like it was a mix of the two almost.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - pitch black color with a huge tan head that had plenty of staying power, leaving sticky lacing down the entire glass.

S - hop scents, pine and citrus fill the nose, but if you sniff real hard you can smell some roasted malt.

T - delicious brew, strong hop flavor upfront, roasted malt flavor hits briefly before the bitter hop flavor kicks back in on the finish. Alcohol is only slightly detectable after it warms (drink up, buddy!).

M - full bodied brew with a great amount of carbonation (hop burps, baby!).

D - at close to 9% abv, the drinker should know his limits, but if you drink this one cautiously, you can enjoy it all night.

Final Note: I love what Stone has done here.
This brew is a wolf in sheep's clothing...
a black sheep that is!

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