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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

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5,664 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,664
Reviews: 1,870
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 246
Gots: 613 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,664 | Reviews: 1,870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lackingfocus
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber with just a slight cloudiness to it. Nice 1-2 finger cream-colored head with good lacing.

S: I love a hoppy beer, and this one does not disappoint! Comes up with a wonderful citrusy/pine hop smell that ought to be bottled as cologne.

T: Much like it smells. The hops are great but not overpowering. Clean, refreshing, and delicious. And a very light citrusy aftertaste.

M: Very crisp and refreshing for an 8.7% beer. Nice clean feel.

D: Couldn't drink it all day, but I sure could come close.

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

A-Beautiful dark brown/black, nice head that dissipates quickly with beautiful lacing.

S-Hops front and center with some maltiness too. Doesn't seem to be a complex aromatic experience, but it is nice nonetheless.

T-Predominantly hops, some nice chewy malt notes with a bit of coffee. This is a good beer.

M-Nice medium to heavy mouthfeel, very creamy with a slick, oily finish.

D-For a big beer, this is very drinkable. I could do a couple of bombers and not think twice.

I'm glad I got my hands on this one. Another excellent brew from the fine folks at Stone.

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

Poured from 22 oz bottle to a 22 oz snifter. Received in a multi-beer trade.

Appearance - Dark brown, almost black, cannot see through even with light. 1 inch head that stays awhile and leaves a nice brownish white lace.

Smell - Smells of sweet malt and piney hops. Maybe some citrus and roasted malt.

Taste- Love the taste, roasted and sweet malt up front piney yet citrusy at the end with a nice bite. Bitter yet sweet, very subtle and very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Maybe a tad over carbonated for my taste but pleasant mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol well, not overpowering. Decent mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability - I will probably never be able to get this beer again and I am ok with that, once is probably enough for me, it was a good experience but I cannot see myself drinking more than one bomber in a night.

Over all pretty good "black ipa"

Photo of projectflam86
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a vintage Stone tasting.

A- Pours deep amber/brown with a thick 2 finger creamy tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Barley any light is visible through this one.

S- Lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose with floral and other citrus scents (orange peel, pear, resin). A generous amount of malt sweetness is present as well.

T- Bitter grapefruit hops are strong initially with a more earthy pine, resin and hop oil taste throughout the middle. A very noticeable malt sweetness helps to balance this well. Lots of roasted malt flavor in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

M- Big and bold with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

D- This brew is really complex with a great flavor and feel. Alcohol isn't very apparent and the hop profile is still intact even after a year or so of aging.


Had on tap as well at a DFH vs. Stone tasting. The hop bitterness has held up quite well and imparts a nice citrus feel with a roasted finish. Superbly drinkable.

Photo of Dulliwhig
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass...

A - Dark chocolate brown like a tootsie roll with a thick and creamy dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing

S - Piney hops and semi-sweet bready malts.

T - Intense pine and citrus hops with a chocolately roasted malt and bitter ashiness. Mouth puckering and almost overwhelming flavor.

M - Moderately thick and chewy, average carbonation.

D - Not something that I could drink a whole lot of.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black with a touch of reddish brown. Huge head like an IPA. Head is dark brown.

Aroma is very hoppy with a touch of caramel. Citrus like ruby red grapefruit flesh, orange rind, lemon and lime juice.

Taste is very hoppy with notes of caramel. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much roasted grain flavor. To me, it was missing bitter chocolate/acrid coffee tastes BUT... BUT.. it was a very satisfying beer nonetheless. I could easily mistake this for a pale IPA in a blind taste test simply because the hops are the star of the show. The color makes it look maltier than it actually tastes. I bet this would age like a nice barleywine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied (Definitely not RIS thick but thicker than ruination). Nice carbonation keeps the palette lit up.

Drinkability: This is a big beer but it drinks very smoothly.

Photo of brewman6
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought 22oz bomber at the local beer store

poured into a large glass

beautiful head that lasted for the entire beer

Aroma coffe pine and roasted malts

flavor spectacular tremendous bitterness balanced perfectly with the roasted malts hints of citrus, chocalate and coffee

mouth feel very light flavor stays with you for a long time

goes down easy

Photo of WaXHeLL
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Head dissipates a very thin layer, but laces the glass extremely well. This is what a proper beer should look like.

Ripe pineapple overwhelms the smell of this beer initially. Citrus flavors also are present in the nose. Slight hints of roasted malt and floral hops. Extremely interesting.

Roasted malts and big hops dominate the taste. The pineapple again is ever so present, but balanced nicely with the rest of the taste. Slight hints of coffee, pine, and citrus flavors. The hop note is huge, and contributes a good amount to the bitter taste. The finish however is a mix of smooth (surprising) and bitter. Pineapple flavors are also present in the aftertaste. I'm generally not a fan of the sweeter beers, but this one is done extremely well. Not too sweet, and not dry either.

Not as heavy as I expected. Medium body (and almost border-line light, as light as this type of beer can be). Light carbonation. Pretty creamy for the style, but not creamy in the grand scheme of beers.

Real easy to drink, and could definitely drink this a lot. APV is not present at all.

Extremely interesting beer, and definitely worth it. Complex, yet extremely well executed.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1pint 6 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours a deep mahogany and opaque. Pours with ~3 fingers of thick, light brown head, which fades very slowly to a solid cap, leaving thick lacing as it recedes. Excellent retention.

S- Pine and grapefruit hopiness are strong from the outset. Slight roasty sweet notes begin to slip in behind the solid hops.

T- Solid hoppy pine and grapefruit flavors pitted against rich, roasted malty sweetness. Solid bitterness. Really interesting and enjoyable.

M- Moderate carbonation with a fairly full feel. Fairly creamy.

D- Excellent. Fairly high an ABV could render this one dangerous were I to have access to more than 22 oz. at this time.

Future outlook: Wow. Pretty pricey (~$9 /22 oz.), but I have to admit, it knocked my socks off. A super-hopped strong ale (black DIPA??), to be sure, and it worked. Extremely enjoyable, and something I won't hesitate to try again...I just wish it were cheaper!!

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown color, almost black, nice fluffy light brown head that settles into a puffy cap. The aroma is of grapefruit hops, some pineapple; juicy and fresh. The taste is of grapefruit, piney, and resiny hops, all in that order. A roasted malt is detected after the hop blast, also a touch of caramel. This is one hoppy and roastd malt bitter bomb. Well bodied, not quite chewy, fizzy carbonation, bitter all around, finishes with an asprin like dryness. Good contrast between the hops and malt but both bitter. A little too bitter and dry for my liking. A big hoppy bitter brew, with plenty of flavor. I'll finish off the bomber but my tastebuds might be shot.

Photo of bhalter8
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brass Tap, pours a deep, dark brown with a tan one finger head. The aroma is a strong combination of earthy/piney hops and roasted malt. Some citrus hints are dashed in there too. Flavor follows suit, in a big way. A very complex beer that changes flavor as you drink, and it warms. Starts off with a sweet malt flavor, but the hop bitterness follows. It is really an odd combination that, in the end, I really enjoy. The hops could be considered out of place, but it works! Almost like a chocolate orange at Christmas time. A bit dense, as a result of it being such a robust beer. An enjoyable beer due to all the things happening, but definitely a sipper, almost on that could stand alone after dinner as a treat.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown to black with a mocha head and a
nice consistent lace

S: Sweet, malty, grapes !

T: A medley of grapes, chocolate, and toasted
malt. Like eating bakers malt out of the tub

M: Sturdy rich feel on the pallet

D: Try to take it from me, I dare you.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass. Let this one warm up to cellar temps before even thinking about diving in, it gets really weird lower down.

Pours black with a thin fluffy tan cap that sticks around. Looks like a stout, but doesn't move like one - less viscous. If that makes sense.

Nose is floral, massively full of citrus (grapefruit, oranges), piny, some licorice and dark fruit underneath.

Taste - whoa. Wow. This one is interesting. Big time hop presence leads to massive resiny pine hops up front, surrounded by a chocolaty, roasty malt body, some caramel, with some star anise notes around the edges. Finish is massively piny, bitter. This is like an Imperial India Schwarzbier. Only an ale, which totally throws everything off with my analogy. Personally, I think a little bit of time to let the hops settle down would do wonders for this one, as they're just a bit out of control right now, but man does this one have a lot of potential. Still, way too much piny hop bitterness in its current state.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lighter than expected, crisp carbonation while still a bit creamy. Overly bitter on the lingering finish.

A really interesting beer, but I'd have a hard time drinking a lot of this. Wow.

Photo of BeerStine
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a stemless wine glass (all I had to work with).

An aggressive pour yields a pitch black color with fluffy almond colored head. Smells like citrus hops with good balancing malts. Taste is like the smell, strong citrus hops with a great malt backbone. Hints of grapefruit too. Mouthfeel is light with light/medium carbonation. Drinkablity is great. I could drink this all night.

Great beer. I was pleasantly surprised by the great hops in this one.

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

Can you say yummy?

Color is lightly black with some faint red hues when held up to the light. Head is a thick light beige color that is solid. Good Belgian lacing. Aroma of earthy piney hops with some malt sweetness evident. Flavor was similar to how it smelled. Rich malt flavors up front followed by piney hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is good. A big beer that is worthy of its name.

Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black in color--no light shines through. Nice, tight beige head. Spotty lace.

Very strong grapefruit hop aroma. Reminds me of Double IPA. Given the darkness of the brew, I'm surprised not to smell any burnt or roasted malts.

Tastes like super-hopped IPA. Relatively thin body. There's a mild level of roasted malt in the aftertaste, otherwise it is all bitter, bitter hop.

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Black as night. Nice small, thick head that leaves lots of lacing behind as you drink it.

S- Alcohol smell with chocolate and coffee notes. Also there is a big hop smell as well.

T- Big in hop and alcohol flavor. i can also detect a small coffee taste. After liking my lips right after a sip, I taste a bitter, burnt chocolate flavor. This beer could use a little warming up as it is a lot smoother as it does.

M- Mouthfeel is solid. A little thicker than thin, but I like that.

D- Drinkability is better as it warms up a bit. But the big alcohol taste makes me only want to stay at one of these bad boys.

Photo of Nickls
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Deep brownish color with a thinner slightly off-white head. Decent retention

S - Pineapple/citruisy hop bitterness; some darker fruity sweetness; piney hops toward the end. Really nice

T - As suggested by the aroma, great hop presence, but was by no means overpowering. Hoppiness was tempered by the substantial malt presence

M - Medium MF, bit of a kick on the palate from the alcohol presence

D - Pretty solid drinkability given the weight of flavor, body, and abv. Pretty pleasant sipper.

Overall, a nice brew and definitely enjoyed the hops. Fairly tame next to some of Stone's other offerings, but worth a look.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark rich black with a brown head that sticks around minimally throughout. Good lacing as well. Smell is a beautiful mixture of roasty malts and sticky piny hops--this is a combination that I haven't come across yet and its a welcome frontier. Tastes congruent with smell, most flavors are from the hops--bitter, citrusy, a commanding grapefruit character--but there are roasty chocolatey flavors as well. Mouthfeel is thick but not creamy. Drinkability is great.

Photo of adamette
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live Review. Poured from a bomber purchased for $6.99 from Miles Market in Cleveland into my Murphy's Irish Red pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Great looking medium brown head over a great looking dark dark body that in front of direct light shows only a dark mahogony hue on the edges. Lacing is already starting to form and I have not even taken my first drink. The look could not be better I do not think.

S High hop profile but also a candy sweetness. This strong but possibly balanced bittersweet smell is very inviting.

T Hops predominate but there is that malt sweetness that I had smelled that comes through in the taste. I believe that I also pick up some coffee like tastes as well (black coffee comes to mind). This is a big beer and the hops are too much for my taste but I know that this will please many reading this who enjoy hops.

M Huge. The hops and the sweet malt conspire to raise the mouthfeel bar.

D I will finish the bomber without too much trouble but that will be it. For its bigness it is quite drinkable.

Notes: This is like Levitation on steroids to me with a higher hop profile and just a bigger beer altogether. Hop lovers everywhere should seek this one out.

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

Bomber poured into DFH tulip glass. Surprising smell of hops right off the bat. Wish I could smell the full effect, dam allergies!!! I was not expecting the hoppy smell b/c of the darkness of the beer. Very dark with a 1 finger brownish head, looks like a porter. Very smooth on the tongue, silky texture. Tastes of hop, oak, roasted malt and dare I say "coffe-ish" at times? I didnt really notice the 8% abv, I put the bomber down no problem. I really enjoyed this beer and its one of the best stone brews I have had to date. The picture on the bottle is bad ass as well. Luckily this finally arrived my area so I plan to buy some more. Cheers.

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

A- This is my favorite Stone bottle to date. As for the beer, it looks like a stout or a porter... dark dark opaque black with dark brown highlights around the edge of the glass and a finger or so of creamy off-white head. Retains ok and laces nicely.

S- Notice some strong floral/citrus notes as soon as I opened the bottle. Very hoppy--grapefruit, lemon zest, somewhat piney. Not the smell I was expecting from such a dark beer.

T- Wow, that's good. A bit boozy, fades into nice citrus and now stronger piney hops, finishes with a slight sweet note (malt? or even raisin?) that turns into an earthy darker malt tone (some semi-sweet chocolate too). Very nice.

M- Drinks like a big IIPA, a bit prickly from the alcohol, creamy, moderately carbonated, medium bodied, dry sticky finish.

D- This is just a great brew that has me interested. I'm looking for more flavors all the time. It's definitely a dark IPA-style brew, and one I'm happy I got my hands on. Reminds me of a more affordable Black Sun Stout, although it is more of an IPA than the BSS. Great stuff here, probably my favorite Stone brew.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours a deep brown hue, displaying a nearly stout-like opacity that gives way with a good showing of light, throwing reddish-brown highlights. A creamy light brown froth issues forth, displaying excellent retention and thick, splotchy lacing on the glass.

Hops announce themselves heavily in the nose, with an immense hit of grapefruit, orange, citrus zest and a hint of tea and mint leaves. Absolutely delectable.

A medium-full body carries a moderate, prickly carbonation. Hops are the name of the game here, but a pleasant malt backbone doesn't attempt to let them steal the show. A touch toffee-like, a bit chocolaty, with some of that good ol', undeniably "malty" syrupy sweetness; the hops deliver themselves in a powerful citric bitterness, with mostly grapefruit notes shining through but a bit on the herbal side as well, with a nice tea-like character coming in toward the end. Finish is long, dry and bittersweet, but exceedingly pleasant.

Each sip asks for another go, and the alcohol content, while hefty, isn't too much to manage, making this one deftly drinkable brew.

Overall, the name, as well as the label, say it all. This one is quite sublime, and worthy of the self-righteous arrogance that the brewers bestow on it.

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours almost completely black with a big creamy off-white head that shows great retention and lacing. Sexy looking beer.

The aroma is just an enormous blast of citrus hops, especially grapefruit, that is evident from a couple feet away. There is a hint of dark malts in the back but not too much.

The taste is even better for me as it has the same citrus hop character, but the dark roasted malts become a little more evident and the taste is a fantastic balance between the two.

The mouthfeel is tingly with the hops but also creamy and smooth in the finish with plenty of carbonation.

This is a great beer and I really love what they've done with the balancing of the aggressive hop presence and dark malt backbone.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at BSP 05/14/09. Blackish pour into a pint glass, with an unusual striking sandy tan head. Speckles of sand on top of the perfect 1" froth. Gorgeous contrast of color.
Pungent pink grapefruit on the nose, with a touch of charcoal smoke.
Massive grapefruit up front, which rides all the way through. Very nice malt flavor in the middle and back. Scotchy malt, smoke while possessing a mediciny bitterness. Bright, floral hop bouquet throughout. Somewhat tart and bitter finish.
I had 3 pints and could have had 3 more easily. Exceptional flavor & drinkability...so damn unique.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,664 ratings.