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

1,883 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,883
Hads: 5,812
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 279
Gots: 753 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,883 | Hads: 5,812
Photo of altctrlsdelete
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black with a tan head, half an inch tall and persisting. Craters and bubbling on the surface, slowly dissipating to a quarter of an inch.

Biscuity nose, minimal if any hop notes that I can detect. The roasted malts are on full display here.

More roasty, solid malts in the mouth, with more of a hop balance with a very bitter aftertaste. Dry finish. It seems, dare I say, simple to me, with up front roastiness and a simply bitter finish. Maybe an undertone of sweetness to go with that, perhaps a hint of fig. I feel like I'm missing something, but it seems straightforward.

Slight carbonation and a solid feel. Not too thin and not overly viscous. Some spiciness from the hops is present here too.

The alcohol is carried well, but overall I find this somewhat disappointing. There's just not enough that I'm able to appreciate going on in this brew. I wouldn't go out of my way to have this again.

Same style as Arrogant Bastard? Really? I don't see it. This is closer to a porter by my taste. (1,006 characters)

Photo of Dulliwhig
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of stevenseg
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.

SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.

The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.

The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.

The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.

Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.

I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation. (2,824 characters)

Photo of jdaelhousen
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark color with a good amount of head (about 1/2" after pour). Head disappates slowly and leaves a spotty, tan lace around the glass.

Aroma is highly complex and has hints of pineapple, mango and other fruit aromas.

Has a light mouthfeel to the body, with an initial flavor of light malt flavor combined with moderate hop taste. Has a very complex blend of fruit, just like the aroma. Fruit notes present are mango and pineapple, and these are very noticeable in the aftertaste as well.
Overall, a very unique beer from Stone. Superb! (542 characters)

Photo of Jedimaster1
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one great brew from Stone. Just amazing. Poured from the bomber into a glass snifter.

A: As black as night. This is amazing to see for a DIPA!

S. You can smell the hops as well as the caramel malt. The dark malt breaks through at the end of this hoppy beer.

T: Very tasty! The taste is of citrus hops -- which are bigger and badder than the Ruination brew -- and dark malt. The taste reminded me of a barelywine as the flavor was thick, hoppy, and malty all at once similar to barleywines I have had as of recent.

M: This one just sits nice in the mouth. The bitter dry taste is followed by a warm alcohol taste (which does not overwhelm the feel for this beer).

D: Easy to drink. Too easy so be wary of the 8.7% ABV.

Great creation by Stone. Can't wait to have my other one. (789 characters)

Photo of discovolante65
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston MA.

A murky brown with well over an inch of caramel/tan colored foam. Lots of carbonation. Nice lacing, fairly good head retention.

Smells like a hopped-up wee heavy for some reason. Lots of floral/piney citrus hop smell backed up by roasted malts and a little peaty/earthy aroma.

Ok, definitely a good malt balance in this, but I was way off in the wee heavy impression in the smell. The hop profile is wonderful. Good citrus, piney bitterness that lingers and co-mingles with the malt very nicely. Slightly meaty as well. Carbonation adds to the enjoyment of the flavor profile very much so.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel with an incredibly perfect amount of carbonation.

I remember commenting to my party that this seemed to be a differently hopped version of AB.

Drinkability is up there. I enjoyed this with sirloin tips and it really made me happy. (905 characters)

Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just have to second many of the thoughts of those that enjoyed this beer. Though I read the reviews before drinking (I already had purchased two bottles), I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. They experimented with this beer and really hit the mark in my estimation. Simply, I just wanted to give further props to a beer that is not only interesting, but pretty damn good to drink as well. (400 characters)

Photo of DackAchan
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (460 characters)

Photo of jdflyer06
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to try this since the XI was one of my favorite Stone releases. It's supposedly the exact same thing. God I hope so...

A: Pours a rich dark color but a slight ruby color comes through when held to the light. A creamy head that needs an aggressive pour to keep a one finger head up, dissipating and leaving a thin head for the remainder.

S: Smells of roasted and caramel malt with a nice bit of floral hop aroma and slight citrus notes. Toffee and raisin notes, maybe some coffee but not overly present.

M: Plenty of carbonation and a fairly thin body, which gets thicker as it warms and the carbonation mellows out. Some chalkiness on the palate and a bit of alcohol warmth.

T: The hop bitterness hits you up front, followed by a good bit of roasted malt. Smokey, but not overpowering. Some sweetness as it warms. It's IPA character holds up, even under the weight of the roasted malt notes and coffee undertones.

D: I probably wouldn't want to have more than one bomber of this, although I could see myself content with it on certain occassions. It's fairly light but does leave your mouth pretty dry. Not sessionable, but one bottle goes down pretty easily. (1,179 characters)

Photo of Tomhet
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone's 11th anniversary ale that was so good they kept it in constant rotation as one of their most easily obtainable beers. Thank God for that.

Appearance is nearly pitch black with a faint trace of ruby surrounding the body when held up to light. A mildly aggressive pour yields a one-finger mocha/copper head and lacing that sticks around for a bit (strangely enough, the last few times I've had this, I've gotten a much bigger head despite the same general pouring strength; whatever). Aroma is one of very aggressive pine hops with a quite robust earthy tinge. It logically follows that there's some lemon peel and other quite acidic citrus notes just waiting to be found.

When it comes to taste, this is the real deal. The front is dominated by the aforementioned pine hops that bite the tip of the tongue, but the middle of the sip reveals a very creamy, slightly waxy mouthfeel that brings out a really balanced malt profile which eventually coalesces back with the hop profile near the end until a wonderful finish of dark chocolate gets the last word. Medium carbonation provides a nice bite and meshes perfectly with the slightly roasted, chocolatey finish. An absolutely stellar example of balance and linear taste progression from these arrogant bastards. (1,273 characters)

Photo of jeffmart22
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a opaque dark dark brown, nearly black. An aggressive pour yields a three finger head that does eventually dissipate leaving a good amount of lacing behind.

A - Has a nice hop presence, I would say more than any other black IPA I've had thus far. Also has a nice roasted malt backbone.

T - Follows the nose. Has a nice subtle hop bitterness that is balanced well by the darker roasted malts. Goes down easy, can't taste a trace of alcohol. Good stuff.

M - Medium in body. Flavor duration is moderate to long.
Drinks like a hoppy porter.

O - My favorite of this style so far. I will drink again and recommend . (623 characters)

Photo of Phenom
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow do I love this beer, I consider it my favorite beer and nearly perfect. I have had several before, but am just getting around to reviewing it. Too bad I only have 4 left after this one, it would be a real shame if Stone never brewed it again.

Very dark, nearly black with a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is of piney hops, melon or tropical fruits, raisins, molasses, an almost woody or oak-like smell which is interesting since this beer is not oak aged.

The flavor is really complex, with too many flavors for me to separate, and simply delicious. There is a big hit of hop bitterness, yet the beer is very syrupy and coats the palate well. The alcohol meshes well with the other flavors and is well-hidden.

Honestly I remember the beer being hoppier the first time I tasted it, and I liked it a bit better then. There is still plenty of hop bitterness, but this beer has some age on it now and the hop aroma and flavor has started to mellow and fade a little. My score reflects to some extent my memory of the fresh beer. Still excellent now, but not quite as exceptional as it was. Who knows what it will become with even more age? (1,208 characters)

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

Apppearance is close to a total eclipse however as I held it up to the sun some light penetrated. The head was respectable and hung around a little while.

Smell is a hoppy aroma upfront with a light malt hiding behind the hops.

Taste is a well balanced (tipped slightly to the hop side) mellow sensation. This is a good brew!

Mouthful is light on carbonation.

Overall this may overtake my favorite american black ale. (421 characters)

Photo of greshdoghophead
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One last go around before this gets retired. Can't believe they won't be making this anymore. One of my favorites of all time. Perfect balance of roasted malt and big IBUs. Tears in my eyes... (195 characters)

Photo of jameswaldo
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wife and I had pints of this poured patiently at Ithaca Coffee Co's Tavern on the Green in Gateway Commons yesterday afternoon when I decided we needed extra fuel to get our tandem bike up steep State St Martin Luther King Jr hill. The head on this sublime beverage is so fierce, it took much gentle pouring and slopping to get the pints just perfectly right. Head is severely persistent, nearly gelatinous, leaving serious permanent lace. "Black IPA" is how Tavern chalkboard promoted this brew, and for sure it's an opaque dark, not letting even direct sunshine from Tavern's south windows peek through its delish murk.
Smell combines all sorts of complex hops and dark malt bitter-sweet odors with high-octane ethanol. Only the yeast hides from strenuous sniffing. Taste is just totally perfect. We hardly want to swallow, the mouth-feel is so smoothly satin-lined comfy cozy unctuous. We had to get a bag of gourmet pretzels to eat with this drink it was so powerfully persistent in its sweet malty bitter aftertaste the palate begs mercy. At $7 per pint, the price (and yes, I've read the blogs where rich dudes claim you shouldn't ever consider expense in "drinkable" considerations) is too steep for us to want more than one pint per day; but the brew itself is so extremely intense, we wouldn't want to indulge in more than a single pint even if we didn't both have to get back on our tandem bike and pedal 3 miles steep uphill to get home with it glowing darkly like a black hole star in our contented bellies. Generally I disapprove of sending beer long-distance (sorry! mental problems with diesel transport interfere with my palate), but thanks, Stone, for the audacity of shipping that truly sublime ale all the way from San Diego to Ithaca! (1,754 characters)

Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic beer. Very dark and strong. Coffee and dark chocolate are present. Alcohol has pletty of taste here. Almost like a Guinness on steroids. Two thumbs way up. (167 characters)

Photo of sellmeagod
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A monster of taste and aggression!

Stone always does the image thing well and they have the bold flavors to back it up. The dark dark pour with no head is expectedly awesome. There is some bitterness and a hoppy smell, but most of this is controlled but the other dark and roasted flavors.

A bit much to down at 22oz of this. But, Stone even admits that there is no point in disagreeing with this beer - it is Self-Righteous for its own sake. (445 characters)

Photo of noknife83
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, dark coffee in color, with creamy light tan head. The faint smell of coffee, very strong taste. I'm glad I've only got one 22oz of these, I'm not eve half done with it and I can already feel it. After taste has a slight twinge to the tongue, hard to describe. A very good beer, I will definitely get it again. (335 characters)

Photo of elliot23
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber emptied into my largest snifter.

A. Pours very dark with a hint of caramel brown on the outside. A soft creamy white/brown head. Light with decent retention.

S. Smells of chocolate, pine tree, malts, alcohol. Very nice.

T. Very roasty toasty malts. Some real bitter chocolate. Reminds of a stout to some extent. A nice bitter finish... almost of espresso. More hops.

M. A long bitter aftertaste of hops and burnt coffee.

D. Not the easiest of beers to throw back, but a bomb... no problem. But one is enough. Lots of alcohol. (542 characters)

Photo of evansrdbrew
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on 4/19/10

A- creamy 1/4" off white head on an espresso colored opaque brew. Head receeds leaving whispy multi-tiered halos.

S- fruity hops with a hint of malt sweetness. Light refreshing fruit aroma of a much lighter beer.

T- chocolate & roast malt flavors with a delicious hop flavor interweaving. Nice hints of coffee and malty sweetness. Fruity & citrus hop flavors come through well.

MF- nice med. Bodied ale with a good mouth coating. Nice bitterness reminiscent of SNPA. Light carbonation feeling.

D- delicious, with quite an intoxicating effect after the first pint. I love the roast malts and biting hop flavor. (631 characters)

Photo of Hawksfan79
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Glass: Oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Motor oil black, thick frothy mocha colored head and a really nice lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma: Hoppy with a slight molasses, I was also getting a sweet bready aroma.

Taste: Strong hop flavor at first, a slight hay flavor was detected in quite a few sips and a bitter finish. It didn't seem to have much more than hops going for it.

Mouthfeel: Light body, thin texture with a bitter finish.

This was pretty disappointing. I'm a huge fan of Stone but this ale really didn't do anything for me. However while the taste left a lot to be desired the aroma was phenomenal. (626 characters)

Photo of djsmith1174
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Stone brew...finally

A - Nearly black with a long lasting head

S - Roasted malts and hops. Little bit of dark fruit.

T - Initial hop bite that I would expect from a Stone brew, but in conjunction with roasty malt. Sweet dark fruit in the middle.

M - Nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Really goes down well.

O - Not being as devout of a hophead, I went after this Stone offering first. I'm sure pleased that I did. What a great mix of flavors in this complex brew. Will have another in the future. (528 characters)

Photo of digr
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Opaque liquid pours to create a 3 cm brownish head with fairly large bubbles. Bubbles slowly pull back, but remain for quite some time.

S- Interesting. Strong mix of hops and mouth watering malt.

T - much like the smell, balanced mix of warm malty goodness and strong hop flavor. Slight bitterness from the darker grains in the malt bill. Lacking the sometimes burnt flavor from dark / stout like brews.

D - If you like dark beers with full flavor, not too sweet and not too strong, then this is a beer for you. The 8.6 ABV is extremely well hidden. Not a weak beer, quite a lot of flavor. But a nicely balcend beer that I would hesitate to call a stout.
This was goes nicely with a full flavor meal, say steak and a nice slice of fresh summer tomato. Oh, and it goes well with Blue cheese ;).

Find this beer if you can. (838 characters)

Photo of Mayhem976
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- On the heavy side but not super thick, the head is impressive and left allot of lacing. It looks black but when you hold it to the light you get a reddish brown hue. Very pretty looking beer!

B- All kinds of stuff happening here, I smell bitter hops, citrus notes, some type of floral something or rather (sorry), molasses, barley, and semi coffee smell. Bitter hops will dominate your nose.

T- You can't put this into a category, you get a sweet brown ale flavor for a fraction of a second then B00M! You're slapped in the face by bitter hops, I love IPA's, this flavor sorta has that taste profile but yet you get a sweet taste in there as well.

M- On the thick side and semi creamy.

D- Overall a solid brew from Stone, what they were going for? I'm not sure, but they managed to break the mold on beer categories and put out a special ale (that's what they call it) and it works very very well. IPA lovers take note. (926 characters)

Photo of jizfiasco
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this brew many times and the consistency amazes me always the same. The beer pours black like a stout with a great lasting head. The smell is a hop explosion like an IPA with a tad of sweetness some roastyness and a mild smoke character. Taste is absolutly what a black IPA should be and the best I've had in the style. I can taste candied hops perfect roasted malt flavors and the best part is the coffee taste is minimal. Will continuously go to this beer to get my fix of dark malt as its excellent and easy to get. (527 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,883 ratings.