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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,305 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,305
Reviews: 1,829
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 232
Gots: 495 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,305 | Reviews: 1,829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bomber with September 2007 printed on the bottle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown to black in color with a solid one finger of creamy looking head. It is fairly dense, but from what I can tell the carbonation is plenty active. Head leaves behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The first aroma that I identify is grapefruit rind, but I can tell that there is much more going on here. The malt smells are, at the same time, roasted and semi-sweet. Certainly, there are some coffee tones in there. In addition to the citrus, I also picked up some evergreen notes and some fruity esters. Bold flavors abound here. The hops are very assertive and pack plenty of bitterness, and the malts, while they do take a backseat to the hops, are still sufficiently represented as well. The malt flavors are as advertised in the smell- roasted and lightly sweet, but it doesn't take long for the powerhouse citrus hop bitterness to steal the show. The bitterness lingers in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a mostly smooth texture and lively carbonation.

Kudos to Stone for being creative and taking a chance. This is a finely crafted gem to commemorate their eleventh anniversary. Admittedly, I am a sucker for over the top citrus hop taste and bitterness, and this beer satisfied that immensely, but unlike most super hopped up beers, this one added considerable nuances from the malt as well. Not only did I think it cool to have an almost black IPA (or is it a IDA or IBA?), but the malts added a lot to the overall character of this brew. In all, I would say this is one of the best beers that has ever passed through these lips. My wish is that Stone will bring this one back in the future, but for now, enjoy it while you still can.

littleshamrocks, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black IPA? You gotta give the Stone folks some credit for that. T'is very porter like in appearance with a light tan head that isn't skimpy with the lacing.
Scent? Smoked Ruination. Maybe if you mixed their smoked porter with Ruination you'd get something like this out of the nose. Sparkly hoppy scents with deep roasted coffee scents.
The flavors make me think of a wood aged IPA of some sort. Shades of Le Coq stout but dominated by a ballsy IPA profile. The malts make for a pleasing sweetness that rounds everything out.
For drinkability, all I can say is yes, more please. As far as strong ales go I probably would enjoy this more than Arrogant Bastard... is that blasphemous to say? A fitting tribute to a lucky number 11 years and going strong.

ommegangpbr, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 1pint, 6 fl. oz bottle copped from Home Liquors in Verona, this magnificent brew pours a jet-black, ebony color with a tan, frothy head... looks and smells similar to a stout or porter, although the bottle claims this is an ale... big bottle with a picture of a winged devil lifting a beer mug behind a blue "XI" logo, with "September 2007" on the front... Paid about $8 for this one... chocolate, espresso aroma with a rich, creamy, thick mouthfeel... taste is strong with a chocolate, velvet, dark coffee flavor with strong cocoa notes... good mouthfeel and for an 8.7% ABV, you don't really notice the alcohol so much as the unique combination of flavors... a definite winner from Stone... one of the better brews from the company that I've sampled... Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of xymyl
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark mahogany red with a light brown head that drops to a stable 5mm thick film and leaves a lot of lace.

Smell is malt and hops, along the lines of the chocolate, coffee, caramel that you would expect from this density of color, but with a light molasses, fresh bread dough, cherry and what seem to be slight Belgian or wild yeast esters. The hops are rich and spread across the spectrum of the corresponding sweet notes. There are floral, earthy, leafy and spicy hop notes everywhere.

Taste is far more balanced than one would expect, with malt notes matching every punch of bitterness. Overripe fruits and rich dark chocolate notes dominate the profile, but citrus, rootbeer/ginger, cinnamon, clove, leather and chalk show up as well. Citrus leaves, zest and even fresh cut grass are here in force.

Overall: Full bodied with strong bitterness, yet fully balanced (as an IPA). Good, strong carbonation, just enough to savor for a long time and keep the beer moving. Just awesome. This is the third time I've had one of these and felt it was ready for my review. But there is even more in here. I like this beer even more because without knowing that Stone was creating theirs, I made my own Dark Double IPA at exactly the same time. I guess, since my mind was on the style it made me appreciate the effort more. It's great, think about it.

xymyl, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of riored4v
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Dark in color. Basically black with hints of red when held up to a light. Nice big/tight head that slowly fades down a 1 finger head with lacing throughout sample.

S= Hops!! Nice hints of citrusy and grapefruit aromas followed up with a malty sweetness.

T= Did I mention hops? A very nice hop bite that you can feel in the back of your mouth. Nice and bitter with a good malt roastiness that helps to balance things out. Definitely more hoppy than malty.

M= Crisp. Nice carbonation, medium body with and oily tongue feel.

D= VERY drinkable. Session worthy if it wasn't for the high ABV. It does manage to hide the alcohol pretty well.

Outstanding beer in my opinion. Definitely a unique offering and I wish it was more readily available. I'm glad I was able to grab a case because this has become one of my more favorite beers.

riored4v, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of DIM
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This one is pitch black and pours with a big white head.

s: Grapefruity hops with a bit of pine and lemon dominate here. There is a bit of brown sugar caramel sweetness as well.

t: This a pretty good tasting IPA. It has a nice citric hop bite and just enough brown sugar sweetness to provide some balance.

m: Decent body and good carbonation.

d: Like I said earlier, this is pretty good, but aside from the novelty of a black hoppy beer, I'm not sure what the fuss is about.

DIM, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of mobud
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Really dark brown with very little lght passing thru. Short cream colored head that stays thru most of the sample.

S- Overpowering grapefruit hops aroma. Light pine underneath.

T- Very strong grapefruit that is riding on top of a good malt base. Alcohol is well hidden in the taste, but I knew it when I finished the beer.

M- Medium heavy.

D- A very good beer. Shame it is not offer regularly and shame it was not available in DE when it came out. Luckily, I got mine at the source. Another enjoyable beer experience from Stone.

mobud, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of beersabound
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a toughy to review b/c what is a American Strong Ale, really? Anyways, it is very dark brown on the edges with a dark center and that is is where the center of darkness ends. The aroma is hops with some licorice, roasted malt and alcohol thrown in.

The flavor is bitter up front with a bit roasted malt and alcohol again followed up by some resiny hop flavor. Tasty and mouth pleasing for sure but the alcohol flavor detracts a bit for me.

It's medium full bodied with a full mouthfeel. It's not velvety at all but not unpleasant or chalky at all. It's drinks wel lbut not something I'd pair with food. I tried it with some beef ribs and plowed over the ribs and sauce and said "So, what's next?"

Ballsy concept with good follow through. I like it but not love it.

beersabound, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of burtonbe
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I'm not really sure how to judge this attribute, since the brew does not fit any particular style, and the style of strong ale does not specify particularly whether dark-colored ales are a flaw or a plus. Very dark, nearly opaque. 1/2 finger head. Superb lacing.

S - Extremely hoppy. Huge hop flavor. Very very nice --- if I were reviewing an DIPA.

T - Very strong taste. Ultra-bitterness. Coffee notes are apparent. Concentrated malt flavor. Dark malts are present. Be ready for concentrated flavor.

M - Nothing too special, but what I would expect from such a weird brew. Decent mouthfeel, with some residual coating of the palate. I cannot expect much more.

D - This brew really isn't very drinkable. Even for the style, it's a bit over-the-top. It's not really fair to rate this brew against the standard of American Strong Ale, since this is simply so unique...

Overall, I'm blown away. But this brew is really in a category all its own. Putting it into the American Strong Ale category is stupid. It's a very unique brew that I would recommend to anyone looking for an intense experience all-around.

burtonbe, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very unusual beer here. Almost like a hybrid between a porter and an IPA. Very good, though.

Poured very dark with a nice tight head and nice lacing too.

Smelled hoppy but also dark and maybe a little bit fruity as well.

Nice sweet hoppy taste with a bit of darkness to it. Oily mouthfeel and finish is nice too.

Very intense beer that I will be getting again.

Tilley4, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of rallison
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to finally review this beer after having had so many of them.

A: Reddish black pour with a nice 1 1/2 finger off white head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S: Slightly juicy hops with maybe a touch of dark fruits - maybe.

T: Piny and citrusy hops are still at the forefront followed by a bit of dark fruits and maybe a touch of roasted character. When fresh, this beer, if tasted blind, could have been mistaked for a regular DIPA. However, with a bit of age (not all that much), there seems to be some darker malt flavors coming out. Finishes with a nice bitterness. Anyway, it's tasty now.

M: Medium carbonation with a nice mouthfeel that occasionally leans on the syrupy side.

D: Good.

Recommended. Still a very tasty beer. Was a touch better really fresh, but still quite solid.

rallison, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of atrus138
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought I missed out on this one, but was delighted to find them in abundance at my local liquor store one day. Poured this from a bomber into a pint glass. Looks pretty much like a good porter or stout should. Black, with at least a two-finger head that retained itself very well. Edges are ruby red when held up to light. Lacing sticks on the glass all the way down. Huge hop presence in the aroma. However, there is a solid dark malt presence. Pretty complex. Taste is very hoppy, of course. However, there is a solid malt backbone that makes this fairly balanced considering the huge hop presence. Mouthfeel is pretty thick, almost syrupy. Actually, "creamy" is the word that comes to mind. Carbonation is moderately high. Alcohol is a bit on the high side, but still drinkable, especially if you give this beer the time and respect it deserves.

atrus138, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is quite interesting.
Pours a deep black with the slightest ruby where light penetrates. nice off white/light tan head. The smell is of an IPA with a little bit of that oaked bastard smell. Maltfunk and some light spicy cream. The taste is a two headed beast. It starts off making you think it is going to be a strong IPA. The taste then mellows into that creamy kind of Oaked bastard taste. The finish has some good hop bitterness in the back of the tongue and throat, but is smoother than your average strong IPA. Mouthfeel is nice, not too thick, not too thin. Very drinkable and the abv is incredibly well hidden. Ive put two of these in the cellar just for the F of it to see what happens. ya never know!! Good offering from stone, and defenitely not what i expected by the color. This is the darkest damn IPA related sort fo kind of hoppy thing ive ever had. Good brew tho, go stone.

AKBelgianBeast, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of Scoobydank
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok, I did not know anything about this beer before I poured it in the glass, so this was an awesome suprise to me.
L:A thick mocha colored head that covers 2 to 3 fingers. The beer itself is a dark thick black, like chocolate.
S:Big grapefruits and pine needes, liek an IPA
T:Pine needly hops on the back. Coffee beans as well. The pine needles linger for awhile.
M:Sharp tiny little buddles. Because of the thick black color, I figured full and round.
D:AWesome!!!! What a great beer and huge surpirse. I was thinking a big porter of some form, but it turned out to be a awesome IPA. Certainly would age well.

Scoobydank, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of twilight
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, it is good to be back in the States. After living in Germany for two years, this type of beer tastes excellent. Pours a dark almost black like a stout, but with a grey head. It smells very piney citrusey like a freshly brewed IPA so bitter. The taste is roasty and hoppy. The sourness and the citrus go well together with a strong lingering hop finish. Mouthfeel is delicious, and you can taste the yummy malt profile for which I love Stone. Drinkability is good. Thanks to my brother-in-law for lugging this from CA to SC for me.

Overall another excellent offering from Stone.

twilight, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of AaronRed
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a poweful beer. Dark and basically black, it pours with a nice creamy tan head. Sort of a smoky flavor and sweet aroma at first- the taste is huge- lots of hops all over. You can notice the sweetness in the ale. It tastes like an IPA, but the smokiness makes it quite different and very enjoyable. Unique.

AaronRed, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of cameraman
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A light brown color, with touches of red along the sides of the glass. A two inch thock head foems, beige in color, and lacing slowly down the glass. An incrdible aroma of citrus, mostly grapefruit, pine and grass scents, with a earthy mellowness. There is a surprisingly feint scent of malt at the end. At first taste that malt is very apparent, with a sweet, nutty flavor. That flavor is overtaken by a dominant hop presence, with grapefruit and grassy tastes being the strongest. A medium bodied feel all the way through, very consistant, coats the palate evenly and a dry finish lingers for some time. WOW! What else is there to say, this is an excellent beer. I thought the tenth anniversary brew was outstanding, this beer surpasses that one.

cameraman, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with amber hues. 3 finger light tan cascading head. Excellent retention with thick concentric lacing.

S: Piney hops. Retrograde exhalation reveals a boozy tinge.

T: Overriding piney hop flavor with hints of citrus. Faint influence from the dark malt.

M: Well carbonated. Hops are sharp, bitter, and oily, resulting in a bit of a sticky finish.

D: Hits pretty hard at 8.7%. Great beer for an extreme hophead.

illidurit, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of stephendr
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. glass bottle- color of India ink, with a decent tan colored head - nose of flora hops, and malt – taste is malty, with good floral hops, and resin/gummy quality - body is medium, and with medium to high carbonation – aftertaste of hops, and malt

stephendr, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of kidcas
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a misunderstood BEAUTY. There are very few "black IPAs" on the market. Greg Noonan at Vermont pub and brewery used to brew one and I lived for it. This one takes the cake though. Its appearance is as exciting as the taste profile. The dominant hops are not overpowering so that the chocolate and roasted malts come through. I am not sure why this is labeled as American Strong Ale. It is not like Old Thumper or the old Magic Hat Red Ale, its an IPA on steroids, GREAT BEER.

kidcas, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of aaronh
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with a full, persistent head. Aroma has a bunch of citrus hoppiness in there along with some nice roastiness that pushes through once you expect the hops. taste is all IPA at first, then a bit more of a dry chocolate malt flavor comes through. The malt sweetness seems to build as you drink, and the hop flavor also becomes more sweet and less bitter. Really an enjoyable beer. Mouthfeel is solid, maybe just a tad heavy for the workout the flavor gives you. Drinkabiity is also very good. Something interesting that I'd like to see more examples of in the future.

aaronh, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark body with about a 1 inch, tan head with solid retention. Good lacing all along the glass until the finish.

S: Smells slightly spicy with some floral hints.

T: A slightly sweet, malty taste in the beginning. Very smooth; reminded me a little bit of a milk stout. About halfway through the beer, the hops become more noticeable as the beer gets slightly bitterer. Hops are originally present in the aftertaste in the beginning of the beer but become more evident in the taste later.

M: A solid, full-bodied beer. Nice and smooth and easy on the palette.

D: A pretty drinkable beer overall. Fairly balanced with respect to hops and malts. Smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel makes this brew a good session beer.

maddogruss, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with some light roasted malt notes. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt with some west-coats bitter hops mostly dominating. Body is quite full with some great carbonation and alcohol is not apparent. Interesting take on the IPA style but nothing really earth shattering.

Phyl21ca, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of DackAchan
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Good appearance. Pours dark with a nice one finger mocha head that laces slightly.

S- Decent smell, can smell the hops in it.

T- Good taste, wonderful hops taste. Slight lemon taste to it with a bitter aftertaste.

M- Decent mouthfeel. Slight bite, heavy body. can feel the alcohol as it goes down.

D- The drinkablity is down because of the high alcohol content and the bitterness. But, if you like IPAs, this is a good one, but not as good as Ruination.

DackAchan, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black that shows some red highlights when held up to the light. Two finger head that dissipates, but never goes away, laces the glass all the way down. Aroma is hops citrusy, piney, grapefruity hops with a faint biscuit/caramel malt in the background. Taste is more of the same bitter hops. Another great offering from Stone.

johnnnniee, Jan 02, 2008
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,305 ratings.