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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

5,744 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,744
Reviews: 1,890
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 268
Gots: 705 | 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
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Ratings: 5,744 | Reviews: 1,890
Photo of mrmanning
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Irishboy, thanks Richard! Pours deep, deep brown letting some light in around the edges. The head is toffee coloured, frothy, and I like how long it lasted in my Stone IPA glass. This beer shows aromas of fresh hop flowers, coffee beans, vanilla, grapefruit, and some smokey, dark chocolate. The flavour profile is uniquely Stone's. There's a hop/grapefruit/citrus component leading into a porter like dark chocolate/coffee middle. It is also quite roasty with just a small amount of toffee sweetness towards the end. The finish is chalky, astringent, dry. Coffee bean, hoppy lingering aftertaste with an espresso bitterness. Quite a treat. Thanks for sending this my way Richard

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

Had this on tap at Ballantine in Willoughby, OH. during their IPAloosa fest (Feb. 2010).

Delivered to my table in a 'shaker pint' (which isn't really a pint, if you didn't know that).

Beautiful full, almost opaque, dark brown color, with a nice finger width of creamy, eggshell colored head. Relatively good head retention for a beer of this size, and some good lacing developes after each sip.

The nose is West Coast hops, which is expected, and a light malty sweetness just in an undertone underneath that hop aroma. The aroma isn't huge, but it is very pleasant to this hop-head.

Taste is similar to the nose, but more balanced. I was more impressed that this wasn't a "in your face" hop bomb, but rather a more balanced hop forward ale, with good malty character behind all those hops. Dark bread and fruit flavors dominate the maltiness. Mouthfeel is medium full, and very nice to swirl around in the mouth to pick up subtle flavors; creamy and not astringent. The carbonation level is just right for this style. I could find very little wrong with this brew, and it was my favorite IPA of the night (had 4 IPAs). Stone definitely knows how to do IPAs ... on that most craft brew aficianados will agree. I could only go to 4 on drinkability, simply because this isn't a session brew. I think you could have 2 or 3 of these no problem, but beyond that, you are headed for the 'Twilight Zone'.

I will not hesitate to recommend this brew to any craft beer lovers. Since its *nothing* like a Ruination, even non-hopheads will appreciate it. Seek it out, and if you can find it on tap, its even better (imho).

Na Zdravje!

Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge light tan head that leaves a lot of lacing around the glass and has good retention as well.

S- The aroma is awesome, you can just tell this is going to be another kick ass brew from Stone. It is dominated by a lot of pine and citrus hops along with hints of malt and caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma really centers around the delicious hops creating a nice lingering bitterness throughout the finish. Very tasty!

M- The mouthfeel is pretty damn perfect. It is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I'm a huge fan of this one. Definitely worth seeking out. Highly Recommended!

Photo of caddyshack199
2.43/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Stone sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
220z
A-dark almost black in color
H-wispy thin head nothing or any significance.
N-
T- heavy stout like, roasted malts, chocolate, HOPS!!! Strong
lingering hop character.
I- not very drinkable. Between the heavyness of the roasted malts and
the bitter hops it's a mouthful.

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note - I thought I reviewed a bottle out of this case when I first bought it but apparently not so I don't have a fresh review for 2007. The below review was done in early 2010 after a little over two years in the hole.

Appearance - This one poured a very dark brown in color, almost black, with a nice if a bit understated dirty white head.

Smell - The rich, roasted malts have taken over any hops that were here back in 2007. They are loaded with a beautiful brown sugar aroma. The malts themselves are very dark and heavily roasted.

Taste - The roasted malts really blossomed in the cellar. They are so big and so flavorful they somehow manage to hold up to the sugars. The brown sugar is still tight so the beer isn't past its prime.

Mouthfeel - This is still a big beer, almost full, with a smooth, pleasantly greasy cheek feel and a big, bitter finish.

Drinkability - This is a great sipping ale and with its relatively low alcohol content for the style means you'll be able to have more than one beer this night.

Photo of jt31914
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber

A: 1 finger of head on the beer; dark dark brown, almost black color. Very frothy and foamy.

S: Faint and fairly weak smell, some hops. Mild but good.

T: Awesome; some bitter hops with a complementing sweetness of something like barley on the finish. Very creamy and delicious.

D/M: Fairly drinkable for the strength; super creamy and smooth, love the mouthfeel.

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

Since I can't make it to Stone Winter Storm I thought I'd pay tribute by having my bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary today. Served in a Stone pint glass.

A - Pours with two-plus fingers of soapy light tan foam. Excellent retention and a few chunks of sticky lace. Body is a transparent dark ruby red-brown with some visible bubbles.

S - Wow, there's still a good amount of pine and citrus hoppiness, even after two and a half years. Actually it's quite shocking, as this doesn't seem significantly less hoppy than the Sublimely Self-Righteous I had six months ago. There's a spicy malt backbone with some burnt sugar and a touch of cocoa.

T - Taste is quite similar to Sublimely Self-Righteous, with intense grapefruit bitterness and some peripheral cocoa sweetness. It seems a little mellower, but not by much. Aftertaste is a stupidly strong amount of grapefruit bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty much identical to SSR - "Moderate carbonation, medium body, lots of residual stickiness and hop oil character. Maybe a touch of warmth after I finished half the bomber."

D - I get the sense this isn't going to get any less bitter - however if you really loved this beer then you can rest assured it's holding up just fine. Same criticisms as I had about SSR - "The bitterness is kind of crazy - I'll finish this bomber, but this isn't something where I'll be rushing out for more bottles. I think it could have used a little more malt sweetness to keep things in balance."

This was nearly identical to SSR, but without as much lacing. Not my favorite Stone offering, but an interesting experience nonetheless.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black brown tint. But it is difficult to see through...but you almost can. Not much head to speak of.

There is a lot of brown sugar in the nose and caramelized roasted esters.

Interesting taste. So many flavors in this big fella. The flavor starts with brown sugar and melds into a mild espresso chocolate, but mostly charred marshmallow love puff. Now enter in some piney hops and the taste is complete. A lot of flavors to examine with this one...nice. The hoppy pine lingers.

There is a mostly clean mouthfeel with a touch of stickiness. This is a big beer, but it leaves the mouth feeling like a milder ABV type beer.

This is a big beer with decent drinkability. I'm not about to pound a sixer of this, but a bomber will do just fine.

Photo of Aenema
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours jet black with a 1.5 finger tan head that leaves some splotchy lacing.
Smell - Piney hops, hint of malt.
Taste - Pine/resin, little bit of both caramel and sweet chocolate malts.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with light carbonation.
Drinkability - Enjoyable beer and the ABV is not distracting.

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

This is a great American strong ale/ strong hop presence, strong malt presence, nice smooth body and a suprisingly high drinkability. A large caramel presence, at 8.7 abv a great brew.

Pourse a dark dark brown with a large head and a huge aroma presence of Cascade hops from what I can tell. Aside from many other dark IPA's , this one does not have the overwhelming black patent flavor - it just appears that way.

another great brew from Stone

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

I have high expectations for anything Stone produces, so I'm probably a bit more critical as a result. This is an interesting beer - residing in some between-styles realm. I'd probably peg is closest to a black IPA. Nice hopping and would like to have seen just a bit more character here. Nicely moderated roasted malt flavor.

Photo of gauchebag
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I haven't felt like reviewing a beer in a long time but this is a pretty special brew.

22 oz. bottle

When held up to light you can see a little redness/brownness shine through but to the naked eye without the help it looks pretty damn black, like a stout.

Honestly, maybe one of the best smelling beers I've ever encountered. The smell is totally IPA but it's not as over-the-top as some tend to be. You can smell the hops without it being too citrusy or piney. The smell is mellow without being mellow if you get what I mean.

It tastes like it smells, but nothing like what it looks. It pretty much has it all, hoppy goodness a bit of malty sweetness, caramel, pine, grapefruit. I feel like almost every sip is different in a small way.

Incredibily drinkable, the abv is hardly noticeable. I can see why another reviewer put back 3 pints so easily. I'm going to be wishing there was more when these 22 ounces are gone.

Cheers.

Photo of Hershdawg
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass

Appearance: dark black, this looks like a stout or porter.

Smell: wonderful floral aromas. The amarillo and simcoe hops come out wonderfully. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had,

Taste: Hoppy. The dark color betrays you. This is more like a dark IPA then a strong ale.

Mouthfeel: Like a standard IPA

Drinakabillity: Lovely hop taste and aroma. Strong proof. Who cares the taste makes you want to have more.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottle pours a dark black with a little bit of foam. Smell is of pine hops with dark malt lingering. The first taste is more on the malty side with a bit of the hops coming in on the end. Its not a bad beer and it drinks pretty smooth considering the 8.7% alc. This is defiantely an interesting style of beer between black ipa and strong ale. Not bad overall.

Picked up another bottle of this last weekend and it must have been a lot fresher then my previous one. Very hop bitter and quite delicious. Really suprised me this time.

Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

I have been patiently waiting to snatch this one up for some time. The price is always right on these Stone bombers, so I waited until the funds were low and needed a new brew.

A deep red full bodied ale that barely allows any light to pass through her. A near brown head forms lacing all the way down the glass. I poured the brew quite aggressively and the thin cap of head is all the remains after the large bubbled cloud has quickly gone. The smells and aroma are pleasant but not what I was expecting from Stone.... is that too meant to be sublime? I was waiting for a punch to the nostrils with hops and grain. I was quite delighted by the taste however. Near 9% ABV and the most I get is notes of coffee and sharp hop bitterness that clings to the back of the tongue long after the sip has passed. The is a very simple tasting brew to me. Dark roasted flavors come to mind with each taste, but the hop bitterness dominates.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pitch black body with a tan three finger head. Very creamy and thick with incredible lacing and it falls very slowly.

S: Huge pine and citrus hop aroma, lots of pine resin. Caramel malt comes through along with some faint dark fruit (raisin, fig).

T: Pine hops really dominate the palate which makes sense as this is a black IPA...strong caramel malt comes up mid-palate along with roasted coffee and the dark fruit kicks in toward the end only to be overpowered once again by the sticky pine resin hops and a bitter grapefruit citrus finish. Faint booziness is detected as well, but very faint...

M: Medium body with nice carbonation and an almost silky smooth feel. Finish is dry and slightly bitter leaving a lasting flavor and a desire for more!

D: While not sessionable, this beer does go down quite smooth, especially for a fairly high abv...

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

A: The pour is a dark brown color which is nearly black. The head is a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: A surprising amount of juicy grapefruit hops are still alive and kicking in this beer (especially since it's been two years since this one was released). There is also a bit of sweetness and roasted malt which creeps into the back of the nose.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is quite surprisingly fresh. The hops are still very potent. A lot of grapefruit and perhaps a touch of sweet tropical fruit on the front. The middle of the sip has a nice touch of roasted malt and the finish is very interesting with notes of coffee along with a slight bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol is no more or less present than it was initially, and the beer is still quite good. I liked it better fresh, obviously, but this one has held up surprisingly well.

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

a - Very dark brown color with hints of red. This had moderate carbonation and about 1 finger of head that looked great.

s - I definitely smelled some roasted malts, and also smelt some coffee, toffee, and chocolate. Smells great.

t - Wow, really liked this taste. Tastes of roasted malts, some chocolate, but also some bitter hops. A nice contrast of sweet and bitter tastes.

m - Full bodied with small carbonation, this beer feels very creamy and smooth.

d- I really liked this strong ale. I thought the taste was very complex and interesting, and I really liked the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of zoso1967
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, almost completely opaque with just a little red around the edges when held up to the light. Slightly tan head with great lacing. Aroma of grapefruit, pine and dark malt sweetness. Taste is very well balanced with plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop character and a nice, slightly roasty malt sweetness. Dark malts seem well incorporated with just a little bit of graininess in the finish and some alcoholic warmth. Very tasty and silky smooth. This is a very tasty beer, and while not exactly a session beer, does go down fairly easily. An excellent brew.

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

Body is a deep mahogany, could certainly be mistaken for black in a low light area. Massive head measures three full fingers after the pour, slowly works its way back. Plenty of heavy lacing left clinging to the sides.

The nose reveals a large dose of west coast hops. Very strong citrus aroma even in a slightly older bottle. Slight roasted character underneath, the hops simple over power. Definitely the most hop driven "Black IPA" when it comes to the smell.

The taste reveals much more balance than experienced in the nose. Citric hops with a piny bite provide the strong handed bitterness. Chocolate, roasted malt and just a touch of java provide balance. The flavor is much less hop forward than the nose, still certainly worthy of the Black IPA tag.

Medium bodied beer delivers and exceptionally smooth and creamy texture. Carbonation is on the lower end but very appropriate. Very good beer all around but it is the mouthfeel which stands out.

Very balanced while delivering strong flavors and hiding the booze. SSRA drinks much easier than it should and it tremendously enjoyable. My only requests is 6 packs and more distribution.

Thanks to CaveDave for the pleasure of enjoying this one.

Photo of jbertsch
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow. This one doesn't taste how it looks and doesn't look how it tastes.

I had this on tap first at Deep Ellum in Boston, then bought a bottle from Whole Foods.

This is a black IPA that's literally black. It sports a great 2-finger head that looks like a milky mocha drink. The lacing that soon develops is gorgeous.

The aroma is crazy. It's the first sense that throws you off because the brew looks like it's infused with coffee and chocolate. But it smells the exact opposite; it smells like freshly mowed summer lawn and grapefruit. Ultimately, it smells very citrusy, with the aroma being part grapefruit, star fruit, grape, and orange without being any of those alone....but I feel it leans more towards a bitter grapefruit than anything else.

The taste embodies the bright, sunny aromas of this dark brew but with the addition of bitter hops. The citrus blast hits first, followed by bitter hops that sit on the palate and fade very slowly. Boozy grapefruit rears its head faintly again at the end before the taste finishes. Underneath all this, there's a sense of earthy, bitter coffee grinds.

Mouthfeel is velvet-like.

Drinkability can go either way here. This is masterfully created so of course I want to drink it. So in that sense, drinkability is high. But, its 8%abv feels more like 10%abv - I think because of the strong hop element - so because of that I don't want more than one or two of these in one sitting. A session beer it is not.

IPAs aren't my favorite style. Yes, I do enjoy a good one (such as Dogfish), but I'm no hop head...I prefer malts. Given that, this IPA-styled brew still amazed me. It's a bit like Picasso - it doesn't end up being what it seems. It surprises you on two levels. The appearance and taste are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Then on top of that, both elements are fantastic in their own right. It looks like a glorious after-dinner stout, but tastes like a top-notch, flavorful and summery IPA. Definitely one of the coolest beers out there. I may not end up buying it much, because it's a bit intense, but it sure impressed me a ton.

Photo of NightINgale
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz/650ml bomber poured into a snifter.

A - Looks like an imperial stout at first. Opaque dark brown body, with a nice light brown head and some visible carbonation. Good lacing and head retention.

S - An incredible combination of floral, juicy citrus-like hoppiness, with some caramel tones, and a nice rich roastiness, with hints of dark chocolate and espresso. Barely any alcohol in the nose. The scent is quite unique and very appealing!

T - First you might mistake it for a nice, full-flavoured west-coast IPA, with a good hop bite and some juicy grapefruit notes. The finish, however, has both the bitterness and some nice lingering chocolatey and coffee-like notes. There is also some dark fruit undertones, and a little bit of smokiness, too. Simply outstanding and extremely satisfying!

M - Medium body to it. Some crisp carbonation initially. Smoothly coats the palate, very pleasant in the mouth! For a 8.9% beer, the alcohol is very well-masked!

D - Just because it is so full-flavoured and intense, the drinkability is unlike that of a session ale. But, mind you, it drinks very smoothly and with little effort.

This is easily the best beer I've tried in months, and I try quite a few each month! How about a round of applause for Stone?

Photo of SDHoffers
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another one of those unique brews that satisfies completely. Super sweet to the nose and then a bitter smack in the face. Rich caramel head and smooth finish. I really dug the uniqueness of this beer. When poured, the the jet black visual instantly makes you think you are about to drink a porter. I couldn't believe the difference between the smell and taste. I just found out that Stone will be brewing this beer year round so I'll definitely have it on tap all the time.

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

Pours a dark, almost black color with a generous dirty, cream colored head. Head falls oh so slow leaving behind big, sticky lace.

It has a real nice floral hop nose. Bit of a roasted and sweet character to it as well.

Nice roasted malts up front followed by robust flowery hops. Bitter and sweet battle it out to be the prominent taste. Ends with a lingering bitterness.

Rather full in the mouth and fairly smooth. Slightest bite.

Nice brew. Another job well done by Stone.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About a month ago, I sent an email to Stone to inform them of a possible infected batch/small scale problem. I bought 2 bottles of Stone IRS in Hudson, WI. One turned out to be infected and the other was perfectly fine. I sent this email with no other intention of informing the brewery of a possible problem if they had other complaints.

Come yesterday, Friday the 15th, I recieved a box in the mail from Stone. Inside was a replacement bottle of Stone IRS, and a gift bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale! I was shocked and very pleased and here is my unbiased review of it! Thanks a bunch to Stone and specifically Mitch for making this possible.

Pours a dark dark brown color. In the glass it looks nearly black and when held into the light surprisingly litle color comes through. It's nearly opaque, like a stout. Nice one finger tan head is produced with great retention and some of the best lacing I've ever seen. There is more left over foam than glass, literally.

The nose is very hoppy, this bottle must be fairly fresh. Citrus and grapefruit characters come out, along with a faint piney and resiny hop character. A huge caramel malt backbone is also very prominant. As it warms it becomes an entirely different beer, with smokey and roasted characters coming out in full force. It has a roasted-marshmellow like smell, or burnt sugar, that when coupled with the nice hop presence makes this a very enjoyable beer to smell.

The taste starts out with a in-your-face hop character, spicey and resiny, bitter and dry. It mellows, only for a second, to allow the characters of the malts to shine, if only for the briefest moment. Then, after the swallow, the lingering bitterness comes and takes over again. The burnt and roasted characters found in the nose are nowhere to be found in the taste, but thats fine with me because I think they work much better in the nose and would be out of place here in the taste department.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, with a smooth and crisp texture. Slightly over carbonated in my opinion, but it doesn't necessarily take away from the beer. It anything it amplifies the tastes.

Drinkability is fantastic. I had this pegged as a sessionable beer, but momentarily forgot that Stone made it (I kid I kid). The nearly 9% ABV is completely hidden amongst the layers and layers of flavor and complexity. This is a fantastic brew.

As far as Cellaring outlook, I personally feel this was meant to be enjoyed fresh when possible. The hop character make this beer it's own, and make it extremely enjoyable. I can't imagine this beer being better after loosing it's hop characters.

I don't think that Mitch and Stone could have sent me a better brew. This is fantastic. As a "sub-style," Black IPA's always strike a cord with me, and this is a particularly great one.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,744 ratings.