1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

5,742 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,742
Reviews: 1,889
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 266
Gots: 704 | FT: 8
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,742 | Reviews: 1,889
Photo of andrewm190
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All in all a solid product from an excellent brewery that is worthy of praise. Poured a fairly tame head, some solid roasted malt aroma, damn near a stout in my opinion. Fairly bitter after-taste, and definitely alcohol heavy. Certainly worth a try; if nothing else, Stone always delivers with entertaining bottling. Nice mix of hops as well. A strong beer, not for the faint of heart - but that is how Stone likes it.

Photo of danielharper
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thick brown bubbly head that remains on the top of the beer for some time. Some lacing. Slight reddish tinge on the bottom of the glass. Great presentation. Smells strongly of fresh hops, high alpha acids, with a strong citrus note underneath. Hints of sweet nutty malt underneath, with some sweetness coming to light as the beer warms.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma but somehow... off. First of all, there's a strong alcohol astringency on display here that overwhelms the rest of the palate, making it hard to get the complexity of the flavors. There's still that nice alpha hoppiness, some notes of citrus and a whole lot of sweet malt, but it gets overwhelmed by the "heat" of the flavor and just turns into a bit of a mush. It reminds me a bit of an American-made Weizenbock in flavor, hoppier than a traditional German, but the alcohol just overwhelms in the end. It's still good, but a bit one-note.

Mouthfeel is moderate-to-thick, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops. Somewhat syrupy on the tongue.

Overall I don't have much more to add here. This is a good beer, one it might be interesting to age, but it doesn't quite hit that elusive sweet spot for me.

Photo of crossovert
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber bottle. best by 06/29/10.

Pours a dense dark brown/black with hints of ruby when held to light and a foamy, long lasting tan head. It is a bit of an ambiguous color, it looks like a stout.

It smells sweet and hoppy, but it isn't that fragrant.

The taste is bitter and hoppy, with some slight coffee character. It is slightly metallic as well. The hops are piney and mix with the metallicness to create a flavor im not too keen on.

The so called black IPAs seem to be more gimmicks than anything, it seems like no brewers have taken the time to make the perfect recipe for it.

Photo of mynie
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Black Sparrow, billed as a Black IPA because, well, Sparrow customers know that some beers is wheat and some is pilsners and others is IPAs.

Pours like a thick, fluffy stout. Big white head. The body looks black until you hold it up to a light and it's like those Crows candies, it's actually a really deep shade of green that looks black. Pretty cool.

Smells agressive. Big, giant west coast hops. Big, bitter, syrupy malt. There's some nice nodes here, but also some stuff that's unpleasantly intense and really the balance is kind of off.

Aaaand it tastes pretty much like it smells: interesting, but hugely offbalanced. There's some herbs thrown in there, along with the big giant alpha of citrusy west coast hops. That's nice. The whole front half is excellent, actually, but then in the back it's a thick, syrupy malt that's just not all that great. Overall there's a lot more good than bad but the bad still spoils much of the good.

Photo of JamesS
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a fantastic opaque black with some excellent head and nice lacing. Very deep malty scent, huge sweetness with a hint of bitterness in the nose. Great taste, a deep and malty hit, slight roastiness, with an excellent hop hit at the end to balance it all. A wonderfully smooth beer with no alcohol tinge even at over eight percent. An excellent brew.

Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Weyerbacher tulip (instead of the default 3/4 pint glass - thanks, Caitlin!).

A: Black with red tinges and an inch of creamy light brown head. Solid retention and some good, fine lacing.

S: Pure hops at first, with super-bitter grapefruit pith and a bit of pine. The faintest hint of roasted malt gives a touch of coffee to the tail end. Nice.

T: Big hops right off the bat, with some caramel and roasted malts making themselves known in the middle. Fruity hop finish with great bitterness.

M: Fairly light body with a moderate amount of slightly prickly carbonation.

D: Does pretty well here, considering the strength.

Notes: If this isn't a Black IPA, then I don't know what that is. Awesome beer, with a terrific hop presence that's beautifully balanced with a complex malt backbone. Delicious.

Cheers!

Photo of AlexTheAleMan
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stone ipa glass. big, slightly dark head. very dark, but not quite as dark as a stout.

smells slightly metalic and very hoppy. i might be getting sick or suffering from allergies so i dont really smell too much.

tastes very smooth. there is a bitter upfront bite like an ipa that slowly turns into a coffee stout flavor. the bitterness lasts for a long time. very good black ipa.

considering the 8.7% abv it is very drinkable. it is fairly carbonated and finishes very smoothly.

over all this is not my favorite beer, but it is definitely delicious and worth trying. i would most definitely buy this beer again.

Photo of EtOHMD
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First beer I had at new good beer bar in Cambridge Lord Hobo. Caught my eye as a black IPA - my new favorite style. On tap into 12 oz tulip glass. Pours black with creamy off whie head. Lots of lacing going down. Very nice. Smell is mainly floral to me. Taste is great but I was having a hard time pinning it down. Citrus, coffee, roasted. Recent reviews describing it as ipa up front and stouth at the end are dead on - wish I had come up with that on my own. Thin but not watery feel with nice warming feel from the alcohol. Excellent brew but one is good for me. Already feelin this one.

Photo of Pittsburgh
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the idea behind this beer, and where they are trying to go with it. Intentions are good. Dark, bitter, malty, fruity. It is a cross between an IPA and a stout from what I can tell. It's good, a very strong beer, complex, with a strong finish, sort of coffee-like at the end, leaves a slight after taste. I must admit, at the first sip, I was disappointed, I have learned to expect great things from Stone, but after I started to drink it, it grew on me, and I enjoyed it. Great pour/appearance, consistency. For the price they charge, I am not sure I'd buy this again, don't get me wrong, it's a solid beer, but it is over-priced, I think you could get alot better value for the money. I probably wouldn't get it again, mainly because of the price not taste.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: big citus, smells like a strong IPA, no indication that it's a dark beer at all.

taste: very complex and comlicated beer. which makes it interesting. It's drinks like an IPA on the front, citrus, grapefruit, and a stout on the back, bitter and coffee flavors. fantastic and one of the best front to back chnages in a beer that I have had.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine

Photo of DNICE555
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the B with Zapps. It's a stone show tonight with this offering, the ipa, and the 09 double bastard. Had the ipa plenty of times and the double bastard once so I went with a sample of the double bastard and a pint of the sublimely slef righteous. I had this pint for free as well as the rest of the meal. Zapps made the mistake of betting me on movie trivia. Yes, Benecio Del Toro was in the Usual Suspects. On to the review.

A - Dark brown with a reddish tint.

S - Hops, roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate.

T - Complex, hoppy, roasted malts, dark fruit, a malty sweetness, nutty.

M - Tight, well balanced, smooth, nice carbonation.

D - This one holds up well. Ive had it in a bomber. I'd have to say it's even better on tap with a bit of age on it.

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

22oz poured into SN hop pint glass.

A: Dark dark brown with a large light brown head that took its time to reduce into a velvety layer of foam. Good sticky lacing left on the glass.
S: Huge amount of hops up front, mostly grassy but some floral notes present as well. Hints of fruits, possibly apricots, peaches and tangerines.
T: Hops up front followed by some alcohol notes, dark chocolate and dark fruits. Hops are by far the most dominant with a citrusy fruity flavor. There are some slight roasted notes as well as some faint malt sweetness in the finish.
M: Pretty bitter and extremely dry but not uncomfortable. The bitter has a lot of grapefruit in it.
D: If you like IPA's you love this beer. Very good hoppy brew from Stone. It's more of a dark IPA than a strong ale. I can only handle one of these at a time. I wouldn't drink this all the time but it is something I wouldn't mind coming back to.

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

Review is for 11th Anniversary.

A - Nice Dark Brown with a half finger of tan head that fades quickly.

S - Brown sugar, Fig, Raisins, Black Pepper, Sodium, and a slight sweet Chocolate smell. This beer almost smells barrel aged, I guess that is what 2 years does.

T - Tastes of Coffee, Brown sugar, Pepper, Bourbon, Raisins, Vanilla, Bell Pepper(weird), and Oak.

M - Very nice carbonation, smooth mouth feel, and only a slight bitter bite especially for an IPA.

D - This is a very drinkable beer and even more so than the Self Righteous.

I need to trade for another one of these or maybe age a Sublimely Self Righteous.

Photo of jmz62565
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby mahogony with a tan frothy head. The head is large with lacing that lasts a long time. The smell is a very strong citrus hops with some pine aromas. The taste is a mixture of pine and citrus hops. A very good mixture with alcohol and bread yeast that makes a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well. Another in the long line of very good Stone beers.

Photo of iuhophead87
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Was glad to see this beer at my local beer store!

A- I don't know what I was expecting, but this beer is even darker and thicker than I expected. The dark brown color is topped with a tanish head that dissipates quickly. This looks much like a black IPA.
S- Like most Stone beers there is a strong hop aroma. It is more citrus than pine, but both smells are there. Maybe a hint of chocolate or maybe I'm just hoping its there. This smells much like a black IPA
T- Not quite what I was expecting; more bitter, dry, and earthy. A very dry hop almost grainy taste. As this beer warms a burnt malty flavor does come through, but can no way over power the bitter hops.
M- This is a medium bodied beer in my opinion. Although it is dark, it drinks like a lighter beer. The finish is VERY DRY!!! I can hardly put down the glass before I need another sip.
D- This beer is growing on me. This is not the first beer I would go for, but it is very drinkable. The 8.7 ABV is hardly noticeable and it would be easy to drink too many of these.

Overall this is another good beer by Stone. Again Stone puts out another beer I like, but nothing to go out of my way for. I guess I am a little confused with my styles. This is classified as an American Strong Ale, but I thought it was a Black IPA until I read the description. What ever it is, the beer is solid and would recommend it to hop lovers.

Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep and dark like a stout or coca-cola with its red-tinged hue. Head is big and fluffy and the lightest brown around, but lingers until it settles nicely on top of the brew. Lacing is quite thick and prominent.
Smell is bitter hops with a roasted note. There is a weird plastic-like bitterness mixed with lemon and its rind coming through as well.
Taste is pine and citrus to start then melds into a woodsy tree bark feel. Roasted hazelnuts with a bit of toffee and alcohol are present on the lips before more pine, orange and bittersweet lemon oil approaches.
Mouthfeel is smooth and fatty, kinda like bacon, and carbonation is light. It goes down quite easily and doesn't seem to be 8.7% like the label says, but when it is all finished the head and body will definitely experience the alcohol.
A solid brew with interesting flavors and roast. It's hard for Stone to do wrong.

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

Poured from a bomber dated September 2007 into a Bruery tulip.

A: Dark brown with a deep amber glow that has an "amoeba-like" carbonation.

S: Leather, Fig Newtons, and old coffee make up the aroma.

T: Dark fruits, tobacco, and Sun-Maid raisins. Plenty of barley was added to this beer as that comes through pretty well. The finish is quite bitter which leads me to believe that this was a treat when it was first released.

M: The carbonation held up fine and works well with the lighter body of the beer. Finishes dry.

D: Can't really complain here. I thought maybe this beer was going to be too sweet, but that's definitely not the case. It's also not filling at all and drinks well right out of the fridge or room temperature.

This beer has characteristics of a black IPA and a barleywine - I can sense Double Bastard and Old Guardian in the mix. Next time my fridge is nearing empty I'll pick up a bomber of Sublimely Self-Righteous.

Photo of nickfl
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with two fingers of medium tan head that rests on top of a dark brown body with a hint of tan light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - A strong, green hop aroma up front with notes of pine, more pine, and perhaps lemon. Some dark malt in the background, caramel and toffee, it has a light transformative effect on the hop character to give just a bit of the mustardy note common in american barleywines.

T - Dark toffee malt with a hint of espresso. Citrus hops come in next with lots of grapefruit and orange. The hop bitterness kicks in towards the middle with a sharp wave of powerful bitterness. Some sweet toffee and bready toast sooth the palate briefly before the bitterness comes back on and swells to a crushing finish. Notes of profoundly pithy grapefruit blend with the moderately dark malt to form a spicy, mustardy hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Lingering notes of blue veined cheese, cigar tobacco, and grapefruit pith.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer impresses from the first whiff of the aroma and doesn't let up until long after the last drop is gone. The hop aroma is spectacular with a very intense and fresh pine note that is much less colored by dark malt than I would have expected based on the style and the color. The flavor is quite a bit darker and more typical of the style, though no less excellent. There is a very nice balance between caramel malts and citrus hops as well as between harsh, acrid bitterness and a subtle, restrained sweetness that appears at just the right moments to encourage your palate to endure the assault and keep the beer drinkable. This is one of the most surprising, complex, and well balanced American strong ales that I have come across and it is one of Stones best efforts (which is obviously saying a lot). A must try.

Photo of divineaudio
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz dated bottle poured into a tulip glass.

pours dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly devolves into a thin film. leaves behind some nice sparkly, intricate lacing. that's right, sparkly.

smells beautifully of floral hops and citrus fruits. picking up grapefruit, orange and perhaps some berry notes with a bit of a nutty undertone. taste follows nose with added flavors of carmel and toasted malts and a dry, bitter finish. hop character is strong, and alcohol is hidden pretty well. malt character seems to come out a little more as it warms, almost reminds me of a scotch ale.

mouthfeel is on the medium to heavy side with a slightly oily quality. carbonation gives the bitterness a little more bite and helps the flavors pop, but feels a bit coarse.

this is quite an interesting beer from stone, but not one i could drink all the time. considering the higher abv and strong hop character i'd say you'd be done after 1 or 2 of these. ipa fans will love this, everyone else has quite the adventure ahead of them.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone XI into snifter (aged 2yr)

A giant two finger fluffy head of light brown hangs around for a good
bit over the super deep brown (almost black) body. Leaves a big clumpy
ice cream float style head on top, with nice taffy lacing to boot.
Highlights of light brown and golden edges show under direct light.

Aroma is still hop resin, after these years. Flowers, citrus, sticky
pine sap, soft roasted/toasted malt. I had this closer to one year,
but this seems even more rich and inviting.

Hops are weathered, but still punchy and prickly. Bitterness has
mainly subsided, but the flavors are still present. Starts off a bit
malty sweet, then some grapefruit rind, pine resin, and light roasted
malt. As it warns the malt characters start to make a stronger
presence, but the hops also give a bigger prickly response, and they
actually still have a bit of raw edge still.

The body is dense but not syrupy, with a nice dose of tiny bubbles
breaking up the heft.

This is a good drinking beer, and I must say that it goes down preety
quickly. I'm now looking at an empty glass wondering what happened.
Its good stuff, and I'd like to try a SSR to see how a fresh one
tastes.

Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- far darker then I would have thought after my first sip from from the bottle.

S- Roasty, citrusy, sweet. Quite an interesting mix.

T- Heavy malt background with heavy hops up front. Finishes dry.

M- Semi-creamy mouthfeel. A hop dominating beast, could clearly appreciate being aged a year.

D- Delicious.

Photo of kylehayworth
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I was really excited about trying. It did not dissapoint me.

A: Pours a mean black, and builds a nice head. There is a good amount of lacing here.

S: I smell good hops here, citrus, with some piney smells jumping in.

T: Lovely hops hit your palate, juicy and crisp, well balanced with the malt sweetness. Has a slighly bitter/alcohol finish.

M: Nice and thick, with medium carbonation.

D: I really enjoyed this beer, good balance upfront, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, which I enjoy.

Photo of jameswaldo
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wife and I had pints of this poured patiently at Ithaca Coffee Co's Tavern on the Green in Gateway Commons yesterday afternoon when I decided we needed extra fuel to get our tandem bike up steep State St Martin Luther King Jr hill. The head on this sublime beverage is so fierce, it took much gentle pouring and slopping to get the pints just perfectly right. Head is severely persistent, nearly gelatinous, leaving serious permanent lace. "Black IPA" is how Tavern chalkboard promoted this brew, and for sure it's an opaque dark, not letting even direct sunshine from Tavern's south windows peek through its delish murk.
Smell combines all sorts of complex hops and dark malt bitter-sweet odors with high-octane ethanol. Only the yeast hides from strenuous sniffing. Taste is just totally perfect. We hardly want to swallow, the mouth-feel is so smoothly satin-lined comfy cozy unctuous. We had to get a bag of gourmet pretzels to eat with this drink it was so powerfully persistent in its sweet malty bitter aftertaste the palate begs mercy. At $7 per pint, the price (and yes, I've read the blogs where rich dudes claim you shouldn't ever consider expense in "drinkable" considerations) is too steep for us to want more than one pint per day; but the brew itself is so extremely intense, we wouldn't want to indulge in more than a single pint even if we didn't both have to get back on our tandem bike and pedal 3 miles steep uphill to get home with it glowing darkly like a black hole star in our contented bellies. Generally I disapprove of sending beer long-distance (sorry! mental problems with diesel transport interfere with my palate), but thanks, Stone, for the audacity of shipping that truly sublime ale all the way from San Diego to Ithaca!

Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage September 2007. Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass in two parts. Review taken from notes.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, color with ruby highlights. Pours a beige, one finger head with pretty good retention.

Aroma: Notes of rich cocoa beans are the first burst to hit the nose. Also, espresso notes are present and provide a nice richness. Some bitter hops appear near the back end of the aroma. They are definitely subdued heavily after a couple years.

Taste: Bitter, unsweetened cocoa and espresso notes provide a rich, earthy, bitter flavor to the front end of this brew. Hop bitterness begins to come in stronger near the back end. Provides some light pine notes, but mostly just acts to provide bitterness. Spicy, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied brew overall. Goes down smoothly as there is not a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: The ABV here is not present throughout any of the beer. If this beer has one thing that detracts from its drinkability its the abundance of bitterness.

Overall, even with all the hop flavors subdued, the strong roasted malt and bittering hops still make for a great flavor profile. Very nice balance here a well. Ages much better than most beers with such a strong hop profile.

Photo of cnally
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This I had on tap at Scotty's in downtown Indianapolis.

The appearance is a wicked black, barely transparent around the edges. Slight off white head drifts to a lacing.

Aroma is insanely hoppy and very floral.

Flavor is all hops, a sick amount and very prevelant. A little sweet, which is balanced by the intense bitterness in the finish.

Feel is crisp. But pretty highly carbonated.

I enjoy it. Highly drinkable and really for the hops lover.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,742 ratings.