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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

5,294 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,294
Reviews: 1,829
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 230
Gots: 494 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,294 | Reviews: 1,829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccoffeegod
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this beer at Grape and Gourmet in Virginia Beach, Va.

Beer was poured into the glass was inky black, no light would show through. 3 finger head, head dense and smoky in color. The smell of the beer was overwhelmingly one of grapefruit, odd but welcome. Taste was a blast of hops. Very bitter followed by a hint of sweentness. Again grapefruit taste at the very end. Mouthfeel was smooth with a bit of sharpness to it. An exellent beer, well worth the money I spent, but it is a one time thing I dont think I want another and least not right now.

ccoffeegod, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Resiny hop aromas, citrus, grapefruit-like notes all over the place. A touch of warming alcohol but very subdued. No fruity esters. It's all about the West Coast hops.

Appearance: As advertised...pitch dark. Deep brown color with garnet highlights. A thick and fluffy tan head. Smells like a double IPA, looks like a robust porter.

Flavor: Huge resiny bitter hops notes up front. Orange rind, a little baby aspirin which makes me think "Amarillo" hops. Piney background notes blend in with candied orange slices that provide just enough sweetness to keep this from being a total palate destroyer. Finish is bitter, dry, and clean.

Mouthfeel: Slightly prickly with medium-high carbonation. Slightly oily and a medium body.

Overall impression: Impressive color without roastiness. A hop kick to the palate. I like the darkness with the hop blast. I'm not sure what all the controversy is about surrounding this beer. The hops have just enough sweetness to balance, the alcohol is hidden well, and this is a well-made beer. Pretty much everything you sign up for when you buy a Stone beer. It won't be subtle. It's not sessionable but it's definitely a treat to be savored. Strongly recommended.

mattcrill, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of BigTone
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the guys from the Liquor Stop in Highland. He said this beer will give you "dark eyes in the morning" Sure did, coming in at a high ABV it hits you hard but not before it twists your taste buds around.

appearance: Poured pitch black into a pint glass. Thick head retention that lasted a good while.

smell - Full of hops. Like grabbing a handful of hop pellets and putting them to your nose.

taste: Like a roller coaster starting on a incline of hops coasting through a molasses malt taste finishing with a screaming roar of hops.

mouthfeel: Medium thickness with quite a bit at the end.

drinkability: If you do anything other than sip this you aren't going to be able to recover and you'll be taking in sharp hops the whole time. Great if you have the time to drink it. I had to split the bomber into two sessions.

BigTone, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $7.49 at the liquor stop in Highland, IN. purchased within the last month or so in between 3F and ND

I believe Stone 8th anniversary was one of the first beers i ever rated and i've had them all since

appearance: pours nicely into a bell's tulip glass...dark as night body with huge foamy tan head and great retention. For some reason this wasnt what i expected to pour out of the bottle, but looks can be deceiving

smell: the aroma is a full on blast of hops - highly bitter, west coast pine, plum and other dark fruit, molasses, lots of sweet malts...very intriguing - seem impossibly hoppy for a beer so dark

taste: hops come through the pipeline immediately in large doses, heavy pine presence makes this a candidate for a nice holiday beer...thick molasses malts, heavy bitterness, alcohol seems to bite stronger than 8.7%...another winning anniversary effort

mouthfeel: wonderfully smooth with a bitter hop current and moderate alcohol buzz

drinkability: a sipper for sure

dirtylou, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a completely foreboding, opaque black that produces an immensely dense head and sticky lacing along the sides of the tulip.

S: Lots of grapefruit (and, dare I say, pineapple) in the nose, very hopped out with a hint of pine and grass. Overall, an aromatic swirl of hops with a spicy tinge.

T: Upon examining the beer visually, I was curious about the lack of malty notes in the bouquet, being overpowered by the hop presence. However, the taste reveals a subtle, but detectable roasted malt character underneath a wave of grapefruit-citrus hops. Actually, there is quite a balance stuck here. With enough malt in the base to push this hop attack through, it's reminiscent of an Arrogant Bastard in a sense, only with seemingly more complexity with more relaxed results. Aftertaste is a lingering citrusy taste and that hint of malt sticks around a smidgeon, too. Gets even better as it warms.

M: Plenty of carbonation that produces a rather velvety mouthfeel. Oily hop residue subsides smoothly in the finish, coating the back of the mouth but with a sweetness from the malt that avoids a disgusting aftertaste.

D: Complexity, balance, and an arsenal of flavor, this beer is fantastic. I expected nothing less from Stone, but was still blown away by what I got. This one should definitely not be missed, and even though it's flavors and alcohol are dialed up, it is remarkably drinkable in nature.

CharlieMopps, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the clear dark brown brew. Frothy head lasts and lasts, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is pungeant piney green hops. Taste is bit lacking in the chewy malts one might expect for such a dark color, but hops character and bitterness is excellent. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Yet another anniversary brew from Stone that is worthy of the milestone.

ppoitras, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of joeskirkie
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Whole Foods on Houston St. NYC.

It says September 2007, for whats thats worth, and has a whole big paragraph on the back about the past year at Stone with a little teaser, "Looks like were going to be kept in the dark with this IPA. Pitch dark."

So I crack her open and go for the snifter, because I can dammit.

And wouldn't you know it, it's dark. Pitch dark. Allowing no light to pass through whatsoever, it kept a very healthy head.

I could smell it while pouring. Stick your nose in and it's Grapefruit and pine INSTANTLY. Very sugary too, and not much else, I don't think they were going for much else.

Good GOD, it's like they Doubled the Double Bastard. Even as you tilt the glass to your mouth you can feel the hops coming. On the first few sips, my tongue is walloped by a big bag of pine cones. It's then given a brief taste of super sweet citrus, and left with nothing but bitterness. But, as you go on you start to pick up some malty caramel and chocolate notes, making for an intriguing balance. Don't get me wrong though, theres still a VERY bitter finish.

About mouthfeel: I'm officially done trying to taste anything else for the rest of the night. My tongue is hereby overwhelmed.

About drinkability: Do I want another one? Yes. Do I want it right now? I think I'll wait.

joeskirkie, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of garbercury
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to get this on tap at Vintage wine and beer, nice...

A---Looks like a stout, appearances can be deceiving.

S---Smell the hops, love it.

T---This is a unique, classic beer, so good. A union of Stout, Porter, and IPA, crazy stuff, this is such a good beer, the flavor is incredible

M---nice.

D--This is a very drinkable beer, I recommend it highly. One of the better beers I can remember having in my time on this earth...

garbercury, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of zdk9
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really sure what the big deal about this beer is, a decent IPA, not really noticing any details from the dark malts.

A- Pours an extreamly dark brown, almost midnight purple. A fingers worth of clumpy light tan head decorates the top of the beer and leaves some nice spidery lacing.

S- Sweet tangerine and orange gush out of this beer to my nose. Maybe a touch of carmel but not much besides the citrus, though I can find some alcohol with some deep sniffs.

T- A hops forward beer with orangy notes dominating the taste. Again as in the nose there is a hint of carmel malt but really it's all hops. In the aftertaste I notice perhaps a slight hint of dust or dirt flavor.

M- Somewhat syrupy, though not overly so. Bitterness is nicely balanced with some sweetness.

D- There is a fine taste in this beer but it isn't mind boggling just hops hops and some hops. While I notice the balance in terms of bitter/sweet, I'm hard pressed to detect any malt flavor in the nose or taste. I liked this beer but not enough for the price and not that special for an anniversary beer.

zdk9, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of ncvbc
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, I must say that this one was an upset in my book. Initially what seemed to be promising left me wondering why.

This poured a nice dark color, near black with ruby brown highlights. Nice carbonation and an off-white near tan head with some lacing.

Smell was great! It was like a Ruination on crack. Powerful sugary citrus hops. Very strong and filled the air when I popped the cap. Again, not much of a piney hop presence, but sweet grapefruit, orange, and other citrus scents dominate. I feel like I'm in for something lovely...

Taste tells me otherwise immediately. Very bitter hop presence. Seems like it packs way more punch than it holds. The hops are more piney here than citrus as suggested before and almost puckering to me. A slight caramel malt but it doesn't do much for balance. I'd much rather go with a Ruination, Arrogant, or the plain IPA for that matter.

Mouthfeel is bitter and drying. It make me feel like I have cotton mouth, if you know what I mean. Almost numbing to the tongue and the lips. Not so impressive.

I split two bombers, each with a different friend of mine, and the perspective seemed to be the same...this beer doesn't live up to the expectations. A pint would be alright but I get the point quickly here. While I'm sorry to say it, thanks, but no thanks.

Younger35, you're still the man. Looking forward to the next exchange, sir.

ncvbc, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of Jermbrew
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've heard this billed as a Black Double I.P.A. .... I'd say that's accurate and the Stone 11th Anniversary is a special treat.

This black ale is a beautiful sight and pours a nice slightly tan head.

My favorite part of this brew is the aroma. Slight roastiness with piney hop notes and floral aroma shining through. The slight alcohol smell is due to the ABV of nearly 9% and it's the perfect complement to the pine/roast smells.

More piney taste with a strong bitterness lingering on the middle and back of tounge. Very strong bitterness, like chinese bitter melon....not what I want in a beer. I can taste the alcohol...no doubt it's strong.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. A sharp carbonation at fist creates a crisp tingle
and the liquid has a creaminess to it. I like.

The nearly black appearance and the over the top hops content make this unique. I appreciate both alcohol and hops, but I can't drink too much of this however, without the bitterness and alcohol becoming too overpowering( hence the lower drinkability score.)

Jermbrew, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of chefscott79
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at my favorite place to drink beer in my local area....
beach wood bbq...sigh

Appearance:dark brown...almost black....and great fine head and lots of Brussels lace

smell: Super fragrant lots of summity? hop notes I love the summit hops

Taste: great balance of malt and hop flavor(which I believe is summit hops and when I asked at the brewery it they said summit but on the website it says Amarillo I believe) do they have similar flavor characteristics?

mouth feel:heavy and silky but not too weighty

drinkability: I could drink this for a good long while...and have been in bottle a bit...but on tap hot damn

chefscott79, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08

Boy, the hops really come through on tap. Even with my mind wanting me to beleive that this beer is malty because of the color, the hops still dominate. A very balance IPA with a mysterious color and a chalk-like crispness, dryness in the finish.

October 18, 2007: Bottle:

Had to pull out a special beer to celebrate UK's win over LSU. Even if I don't like this beer, this is a good day! The beer pours a lot like a dry stout: very dark brown, nearly opaque, and with a firm, withstanding head formation and retention throughout. It's basically a black beer. Aromas are very deceiving comming from a black beer; with a heavy citrus hop nose and backup notes of pine, lemon-grass, and charcoal. The beer tastes similarly from the hop's side. But the beer has a different story too: the malts. The sweet malt character is very similar to the candy-sweet flavors found in Belgian Dark Strong beers -- but without the yeasty, peppery, phenolic twang. This beer is all American with a high attenuation rate and hop domination throughout. Though the hops side and malts side make the beer enjoyable, they may be two separate beers, caught in the same bottle and need much more melding together to do. As is, it's a firm DIPA with challenging malt character. Good beer, but time will surely do it some favors. But as American Strong Ales go, I prefer Arrogant Bastard.

BEERchitect, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of joecast
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

american strong ale. such a broad category. one that stone knows very well. however, as the bottle states, this is a dark ipa. and i think the beer fits that category better than the more generic strong ale. but this isnt a debate on style, its a beer review. so here goes.

very classy appearance. clear near black color with some nice red hues when held to light. the ample head, which never quite settles completely, is lightly tanned but not much. good lacing. low carbonation.

the aroma is where this beer stands apart from most strong ales. certainly leans towards ipa with its super hopped nose. a blend of citrus and floral (dont think i can tell them apart any more to be honest) with a backing of alcohol.

bitterness seems to be the focus of the taste, dont let the dark color fool you. very little influence from the malts. well, other than providing food for the yeast. the start shows a good portion of hops. as they fade i expected some sort of dark sweet malt flavor that never really arrived. even as it warms, it seems that more hops come in to round out the flavor. not that this is a bad thing. just my reasoning to this beer being more an ipa than strong ale. but anyway.

mouthfeel seems a bit heavy suffering the same fate as the 10th ann. too sticky sweet. this also hurts drinkability.

overall, a big beer to celebrate another year for stone. well done to them. and a beer for the rest of us to celebrate with. hmm, what will i celebrate tonight?

joecast, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of dbalsock
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App: Pours black with a tan head about 1 finger high, moving down to a ring and lacing the sides of the glass.

Smell: Despite the appearance, this does smell like a hop bomb. The hops smell fresh with a classic big alpha smell followed by some more intricate hop aromas. There's also an alcoholic essence in this thing.

Taste: Very hoppy like the smell and other than some roastiness, there isn't a lot else going on. Not much of a malt background, and somewhat boring bassed solely on the hops.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter from the hops and the roastiness, and light bodied. The carbonation doesn't do enough to balance the bitterness, and for how it looks I can't get over how thin it feels on my palate.

Drinkability: I made it throught the bomber, and would have it again if it was free, but I don't understand why it's so loved. I think the bastards are better strong ales, and i'd rather have a straight up dipa if i want the aggressive hops. It's still good though, and worth a try.

dbalsock, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: poured dark brown with a hint caramel hue shinning around the rim. A two finger, espresso like creamy head followed. The head fully lasted leaving an excellent sticky lacing from top to bottom.

smell: deep roasted chocolate and molasses upfront, followed by a pine forest from the hops, ending with hints of cola, vanilla, sweet raisin and espresso.

taste and mouthfeel: Fantastic! a very bitter and hoppy pine resin and interesting citrus bite, followed by an oily feel, toasty sweet malt and cola. Toward the end, hint of dark dates and toasted bread were accompanied by a moderate taste of alcohol.

drinkability: smooth, softly carbonated and clean brew makes this easy to enjoy, nice alcohol bite.

Overall, this brew rocks. Stone creates another beauty.

GimpyCane, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich deep walnut/mahogany color like my bedroom suite but deeper, with a nice rich brown headthat falls slow to a thin cap and laces pretty well

Aroma is wnderful hoppy nice pine aromas are almost forest like, and dominate the nose. Malt plays out underneath nice caramel, with some chocolate malts.

Taste is great loads of hops, what else would one expect from Stone. Nice rich resiny pine all over your mouth, good pine flavors, very nice. Malt does show up more in taste then the nose, nice caramel malts with a good dose of roasted malts, some coffee hints and chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel is nice rich medium with a decent carbonation kick.

Drinkability is great, seems more people making a rich hoppy porter like brew and for one I am enjoying them. Hope they get more of these in only had a couple guess I am lucky to get a couple here in Bristol but I want more.

mntlover, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours with a huge tan head on a really dark pretty much black body. Nice thick lacing stays behind.
S- Tons of citrus hops in the nose. A roasted grapefruit would be one easy way to explain this one. The roasted and burnt grains come through in the aroma but the over powering grapefruit and citrus hops clearly win the battle here.
T- Lots of hops but the burnt malt body really does come through especially when it lingers on in the after taste. Grapefruit hops leave a nice big bitterness all over the mouth and with the burnt malts really help to stick all over the mouth. The hop combination on this one is very different since it is the strong grapefruit but you also get some nice ripe fruit juice along with some rind.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D-It is a good brew but wouldn't say it's anything I couldn't live without. I'll drink the rest of the ones I have but won't be buying any more.

BlindPig, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of kosmoraios
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

<edit 02.03.08>

I've been aging this one since Sept. 07 (5 months) and finally decided to pop it. This ale gets considerably better after a little cellartime. AMAZING, Stone! How do ya do it?

<orig. review 10-17-07>
What an amazing ale.

Pours a dark mahogany into my pint glass, with a 2 finger almost-yellow head that lingers forever, leaving a strong lacing on the glass that lasts until the finish.

Aroma is extraordinarily complex. Definitely the trademark Stone IPA hop aroma, but there is caramel, pine, roasted malts, light coffee, citrus. Pop this one just below cellar temp and then keep sniffing as it warms. Amazing.

Taste is phenomenal. Nice, piney/citrussy hops underwritten by the very slight toasted malt flavor. The "toastedness" of the malt is so slight and subtle it's perfect. Hoppy bitterness certainly dominates, but there are undertones of plum, caramel, fruit all in perfect balance.

Mouthfeel is excellent, perfectly carbonated, nice and substantial, lingers on the palate for just the right amount of time.

Drinkability is good for an 8.7 ABV, quite sessionable indeed.

kosmoraios, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Fathead's served in a stemmed tulip like glass.
Black,opaque had just a tan ring of foam around the inside of the glass when served to me.

Intense hop nose,complex, Very piney,leafy with a strong minty/evergreen aromas with a sight sweet malt note. The hops were overpowering hard to smell anything else.

Very piney taste,resinous/leafy, tons of hops and intense bitterness. Very dry,astrigent slight sweet maltiness buried under the hops. Couldn't taste any alcohol either. Would have expected more maltiness with the dark color,really got fooled there.

Very thick,full and syrupy. Rough drinkability,unbalanced would have like some maltiness in there,maybe with some aging. A sipper for sure,just one at a time please. If you a hophead enjoy it now,if not might want to sit on this one a bit.

jcdiflorio, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I looked far and wide for this beer. Ended up at the BevMo in West Hollywood. I only had a nickel for the meter so I had to get into the store, get the beer, and get out in 4 minutes. Mission accomplished.

Poured into my new tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

A: Dark. The bottle says it's an IPA, but the color isn't right. It's not quite black, if you hold it up to the light it's really a super dark reddish-brown. A nice tan head, very frothy.

S: Quite fruity, mango maybe, or passion fruit. Smells very swee though. A bit of a hop blast but it's subtle. It's odd because you expect something roasty and you get this...

T: This is a complex beer, lots of flavors going on. The hops dominate from start to finish. Citrus and pine, hits you with the first sip and stays in the mouth. The sweetness is there as well, still tastes tropical to me. A bit of roasted dark mult but not much.

MF: It's a pretty thick, full beer, and the flavors linger for a long time. Not much warming and the alcohol is well masked, not that 8.7% is out of this world or anything. Soooo smooth, especially for an IPA.

D: Man is this beer good. I may just have to go buy a few more bottles of this before it's gone. The taste makes this one a sipper, but you could really gulp these down. Of course, the alcohol catches up to you. The balance is just awesome here. Please god, let more people make black IPA's. Seriously. Great work from Stone, as always.

rxdrewthejew, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown with a slight reddish tinge. Almost black, but not quite. Nice inch or so of light tan head.

S- Ahhh, now that's the stuff! Amazing hoppy aroma. Strong Simcoe aroma comes through with sweet citrus and floral notes. Only the slightest hint of roasted malt is detectable, but it's certainly there and adds complexity to the smell.

T- It's not particularly sweet, surprisingly enough. It starts out kind of tangy and citrusy before taking on stronger flavors of pine and coffee. The hops and the roasted malt complement each other quite nicely. Alcohol peeks through from time to time. The bitterness is substantial and is joined on the finish by a somewhat astringent roastiness. I suspect my palate is ruined for the rest of the evening.

M- Medium-full body with a fairly low carbonation level that suits the beer just fine.

D- After drinking one, it seems pointless to drink another because I probably won't be able to taste it. But that one sure was nice.

I've pretty much run out of things to say about Stone, so I won't even bother. Just know that this beer lives up to the brewery's lofty standards. If you like big IPA's and are a fan of Stone's beers, then you have to give this a try. But you already knew that, didn't you?

vtfan77, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of likestoswallow
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle from Henry’s Market. Pours a deep dark coffee brown color with a khaki head that has plenty of lacing and fades very slowly. Aroma is pungent with hops, grapefruit, oranges and walnuts. Flavor is ripe with oranges, green cedar, burnt toast and bittersweet chocolate; all set in a biter hops backdrop. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with light but distinct carbonation. Finish is more biter-sweet chocolate and hops. This concoction tastes (to me) like a three-way cross between Arrogant Bastard, Ruination IPA and Smoked Porter. I love it. I may get a case to stash away, this should age very well. Wow. Recommended

likestoswallow, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of walshclimb
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Update - I had one of these last night that has been aging almost 4 months. It is like a different beer. Nicer, cleaner smell and much more balanced flavor. That harsh bitter aftertaste is all but gone. I am very impressed with how well this is aging. Boy am I glad I have 3 more bottles. So, I have upped my taste from 3.5 to 4.0. I will reconsider in a month or two and maybe bring it up a little more.

Original review -
I have to say, I had really high hopes for this after last year's anniversary ale. Unfortunately I was left a little disappointed. Still a good beer, just no fireworks for me. Starts off nice, with a black pour with a thick tan head that is frothy with bubbles ranging from very small to 1/8". You can see active carbonation in the body, and it leaves sparse lace up the side of my tulip glass. The smell is there too, with citrus to floral hops coming through first with light malt in the background. It smells almost summer-y and is a surprise considering how dark the beer is. I was expecting strong roasted malts but it isn't really there. There is light caramel to molasses with increasing caramel and decreasing hops smell as it warms.

The initial flavor is nice and bitter with a sweet to smkey transition to a long lived very bitter, almost harsh aftertaste. The aftertaste is complex with roasted to burnt malt and strong hop bitterness that never seems to go away. Not as balanced as I would like and the aftertaste is just too bitter and stays around too long. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a milky to creamy feel, active carbonation and slightly alcoholic finish.

Overall, this is a good beer. I guess it is one of those situations where you look forward to something for too long - a year! The complexity is good, but the balandce is not. It is great for a hop head that likes it dark, but I don't expect to be desperately seeking this one out like I was with last year's beer.

walshclimb, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black colored beer with pin grapefruit and resinous hops flowing through the nose and mouth like a DIPA. Who would thunk? Apparently Stone. The Traditional IPAs get a bit dull after a while. A bit repetitious. This is an interesting way to mix it up.

I have now had several pints of this beer. First on-tap at Capones Restaurant in Norristown, a taste out of a bottle and now I have an entire growler all to my self. (long story was supposed to be shared... oh well... more for me =).

At first I thought they were going for hoppy porter with this beer. Hoppy porters seem to be all around me about now. My notes from the first tasting at the bar were rather undecided. My second tasting of it was a bit more convincing. Now that I realize I am on my second snifter of this growler, I am very pleased with the beer.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown almost black color with a beautiful brown head and moderate lacing.

Smell: What is going on here? WOW. I get a big pine, citrus rind resinous hop bitterness, pineapple floral notes and also a black malt, toasted caramel malty element as well.

Taste: Like the nose, it is a muddle of DIPA flavors primarily but with a roasted Swartzbeir underneath all those fresh hops. It starts boldly hoppy. Grapefruit and pine. The flavor turns roasted espresso dark chocolate bitter through the mid to late end of the palate and then the finish and aftertaste is all about the hops once again. The aftertaste cling indefinitely to the taste buds with both coffee bitterness and pin resin bitterness, though all the burps are of the green variety. =)

Mouthfeel: With all the molasses and dark chocolate flavors even a touch of pumpernickel bread, I hoped for a slightly heartier body. This is an easy drinking beer but I don't think it will age well.

Drinkability: Damn, what can I say when I am singlehandedly polishing off a growler. Pretty drinkable beer. With out question. And certainly unique; which I always respect.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Oct 16, 2007
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,294 ratings.