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
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Reviews: 1,883 | Hads: 5,812
Photo of TheBlueWaffle
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - this beer is seriously dark, pitch black. If you shine a light into it you can see the unfiltered hops and malt.

S- Hops. Malt follows. Fruity and bready almost combining. Simcoe hits me especially..( brewed an all simcoe IIpa today so that may be why)

T - I have only had a few black IPA's, but this would definitely top my list if Stone would call it one. Hops straight forward with strong malt backbone, citrus, melon, coffee, and some caramel, all combining nicely.

M - very dry, gone almost as soon as you sip it, alcohol very present

O- Once again Stone has made an incredible beer. The best Black IPA I have ever had. (633 characters)

Photo of BJA
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter

A: The beer is black but not quite ebony. Some light makes it through when you’re viewing it from an angle (and through a small section of the beer; a half inch or so). I got ¼ inch of head on a medium pour. Head is tan, a little creamy and it dissipated in 60 to 90 seconds.

S: I get lightly roasted malt scent followed by fresh flowery hops. There seems to be a hint of dark chocolate and coffee along with an alcohol scent that became much more apparent after the first sip.

T: The roasted malt makes more of an appearance and mixes with the hops in an interesting way. It seems to mute the hops a bit and creates a bitter, roasted black coffee taste with the alcohol a bit too heavy.

M: This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation is fitting. It has a longer finish. It leaves a bitter roasted coffee aftertaste on the roof of my mouth and the back of my tongue.

O: I have always found this beer to be like a roasted, more alcoholic arrogant bastard. I enjoy it every once in a while, but it’s not in my regular rotation like many other stone offerings. It is a really interesting beer to me though. The hop bitterness and roasted malt interaction is cool. I don’t find the beer as bitter as the IBUs testify. I wonder if this beer is best fresh. I wonder if aging this in oak barrels would be beneficial in bringing out some flavor. I definitely find it too heavy on the alcohol in scent and taste. (1,449 characters)

Photo of unclecrappy
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not really sure what to write about this beer. When I decide, it'll be good, but still...

The confusion stems from appearance vs. taste. I poured from the bomber to the snifter before I read the bottle, so I didn't know this is supposed to be a bastard IPA. What you see is something else -- really dark, almost stout-like; rich, short head that hung on a little bit. I'm already thinking of something roasted. Then you take a whiff, and the confusion sets in. Hops are prominent, but I've had hoppy stouts and porters before. This isn't one of those.

Have a taste. Wow -- the hops. This is about the time that I read the bottle, and discovered that I was drinking an IPA. But ... it's not. There's a rich, malty presence too, big enough to completely throw off the perceptions of one who had just read he's drinking an IPA. BA tabbed this as an "American Strong Ale," and I'm glad they did -- if I had to pick a style, I'd still be trying to figure it out.

Don't let my confusion steer you away from giving this a try. I'm not saying it's bad; in fact, I'm saying it's amazing. It's easily one of the most complex beers I've ever sampled, one that's challenging on every level. If you can still find a bottle, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. (1,259 characters)

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

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale looks marvelous! It pours a dark brown, almost black color with a three finger, frothy tawny-brown head. Hops come through on the smell with a hint of malt and almost licorice. Grapefruit and orange hoppiness dominate with some bready malt flavors submerged in the mix. The hops are aggressive, not overly bitter, but would mitigate my desire to drink this brew all night long. (404 characters)

Photo of Buggabeer
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A Nice dark black in appearance with a red cast when held to the light. Poured with a 1 inch head that slowly disapated. Nice lacing around the glass.

S Very nice hop presence. Definite grapefruit aroma

T What an excellent choice for my B-Day beer Has a nice dark beer taste at first and a wonderful hop finish at the end. Perfect not overpowering

M I think it feels great in the mouth not over carbinated or flat at all very nice beer

D Can I have another PLEASE!! I think it is exceptional. Awesome beer. (510 characters)

Photo of PCampbell
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice deep black that has a thin medium tan head that has great lacing on the edges.

Smells of chocolate and some citrus hops. Tastes the same as it smells with some bitterness from the chocolate. Notes of coffee, roasted malts and some sweetness. A touch balanced towards the hops. Has a medium bodied feel to it with a good amount of carbonation.

A great example of a Black IPA, well worth drinking if you ever have the chance to. (488 characters)

Photo of enzocc
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice color going around. Dark brown, oak color, almost turning black! The head is almost perfect. Thick, foamy, consistent, cream; the head has Light hazelnut color!

S - the aroma is wonderful. Floral, smoky essences! You can see that the beer has been brew with coffee and dark chocolate,this two aromas are going around strongly. Also a sweet vanilla between the coffee.

T - The taste of this beer is something unique. It takes you from vanilla, oaky flavors to light bourbon with nuts! Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, smoky caramel. Hops going around like crazy. Malts also.

M - Creamy mouthfeeling. Not thick at the end. very balanced for a creamy feeling. It leaves you an essence of what the beer because the kind of mouythfeel, creamy, drinkable, beautiful feeling trought your mouth.

O - This is one of the best beers I have ever tried. Excellent contexture! well balanced flavors. Smoky, caramelly, coffe, and chocolaty.!! :) (938 characters)

Photo of WhatTheAle1973
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hit for me, picked this up while looking for stones porter as replacement for lack if porter. Luckily for me the porter wasn't in stock, this was amazing. I'm typically a quad, stout, or porter only drinker and now this will be part of my normal purchase routine. (273 characters)

Photo of Chris_Mac
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker than I was expecting, almost a black copper. Malts dominate the smell, big taste of caramel malts, dry hop bitterness, and alcohol. The head diminishes quickly, but leaves thick swaths of lacing on the way down. Hint of thick, syrupy mouthfeel, but vey pleasant. A strong filling ale, with lots of character. Definitely not an everyday ale, but makes a good impression when the occasion occurs. (401 characters)

Photo of SDHoffers
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of IHC
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, very very dark.

Smell - You can smell the hops right off the bat and then a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste-light taste of chocolate/roasted flavor and a boat load of hops. Definitely a slow drinking beer.

Mouthfeel- bitter all the way.

Drinkability - Not going to have more than 1 of these in a night, but one is all you need. (349 characters)

Photo of Pardishcreel
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

When you first pour this bee it is dark when held up to light you can see a hint of red but it looks black without light. The head is a thick strong one that stays around for awhile.
The smell is that of an ipa surprising for the look of the beer that the malts do not show up in the smell.
The taste is that of a hoppy ipa, but with a sweeter finish. If you like hops but the lasting bitter in your mouth this beer is for you.
Not somthing I could drink everyday because of the bitterness, but a great on occasion beer. (522 characters)

Photo of Dunkle
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber that had been sitting on the shelf and split it with a friend. Poured half into a pint glass.

A: Almost black with a nice, large tan head. Not much lacing throughout.
S: Smells hoppy and creamy.
T: Tastes kind of like tea, with the alcohol and hops carrying through in the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a very interesting ale; I would love to try it fresh.
M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Warming.
D: I want to try another glass just because it was so intriguing. I could easily drink a few of these in a night.

Definitely worth a shot. This was my first Black IPA and now I want to try more! (635 characters)

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

A - Pours a medium black thickness. The head stays thick and dissipate for awhile. The lace sticks really well to the glass and doesn't seem to slide at all.

S - The smell is roasty and malty. I can smell it being at least a couple feet away from the cup.

T - The taste is almost coffee like being very roasty. There is a subtle sweetness to it and the after taste leaves a bite. Very hoppy.

M - The viscosity is a medium body. The carbonation is slight but noticeable.

O - I believe this is one of stone's best foundation beers. It has a great body, the appearance is what I expect from this beer and it is something I could never get enough of. (651 characters)

Photo of pcguitarwzrd
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark like a stout or porter, with a foamy khaki head.

S: Sweet, malty, hoppy, complex. Can detect semi-sweet chocolate notes and some hops.

T: Dark malt, espresso, baking chocolate, raisins, citrusy hops--it's like a chocolate covered fruit basket. There's a good amount of malt sweetness, and just enough hop and black malt bitterness to balance it out.

M: Creamy, medium-heavy, like a good porter, but with a lot of hops and alcohol drying it out at the end.

O: A very interesting beer, like a super-hoppy porter or a full-bodied black IPA. Stone's beers frequently defy categorization, but in this case that's a good thing. This one gets straight 4's from me because I was impressed (albeit not floored) in every field. Would certainly buy again. (756 characters)

Photo of blammasterj
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into my St Arnold's pint glass with an "Enjoy by" date of 06/10.

A: Pours a dark dark brown, with an off-white head; looks like a porter!

S: Smells of hop goodness: pine, citrus, some resin; also catching the malts buried in the back.

T: Taste is wave after wave of hops and an exercise in the phenomenology of West Coast hop flavors: slightly sweet, piney, bitter, oily and floral. I know the malts are there only because I haven't been blasted to Hop Island, but I'm only really tasting them on the finish and even then they only provide a slightly pleasant roasted flavor. The finish is long, pleasantly bitter, and slightly coffee-flavored.

MF: Nice medium body, but not a ghost of alcohol except upon reflection.

D: Becomes more barleywine-eque as it warms and the malts come through a little more. Also getting some faint chocolate and coffee on the finish as it warms closer to room temp.

This was definitely a very complex, iconoclastic beer that I will continue to buy and enjoy. However, by means of comparison, I think that Arrogant (and Double) Bastard are better and more balanced brews. (1,131 characters)

Photo of johntangus
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a duvel tulip glass.

nice tan head with tiny bubbles. laced down glass nicely. Very dark with coffee like color on sides.

Great hoppy smell - earthy pine and citrus. i'm actually drooling into the tulip glass as i'm picking out these aromas.

I've never had a beer quite like this. Being relatively noobish, i would've categorized this as some sort of Dark IPA - like a mix between a porter and an IPA. So much for boundaries.

Stone pulls off a seriously balanced beer. But you can tell it is definitely a Stone. Epic. Just when you are getting overwhelmed by the hop nose and front end, it mellows out into a toasty backend.

Great mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I could see myself drinking a little too much of this in a session. (775 characters)

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

Bottle into goblet

A...almost pitch black with a quickly receding light brown head. Great lacing.

S...lots of pine and grass. Smells a bit like being in the mountains.

T...getting mostly the roasted malt right up front. A bit of black coffee and then the bitterness of the hops fight for your attention.

M...nice carbonation. Feels a bit heavy on the mouth. A full bodied brew.

O...nice winter beer for us hop heads. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like hops used may not be just right to compliment the malt. Something seems ever so slightly off. I bet this will go great with a maduro cigar. I will try that combo tomorrow. (639 characters)

Photo of SanDNigel
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into stubby tulip
A- Dark brown to almost black with a nice tan tight head
S- All I can think to start off is sweet grape juice, then after the head disappears it turns to sweet hops (I guess Chinook mostly) with a solid dark roasted malt backside. So uniquely sweet and hoppy.
T- The way the hops play off the darkness is fruity in nature. The alcohol is hidden deep inside this flavor forest. Blueberry, concord grape juice, with a sprinkle of citrusy-pine and chocolatey-coffee. Nothing I've had that really truly compares.
M- Heavy bubble in the 1-10, 10 as the largest bubble, 3 range. Not quite teeny tiny, but small and tight. Surprisingly refreshing.
This is a really good beer. Not one I would like to drink every day, but sparingly it stands out as a true champion of beers; all beers. It's not quite inside any true style (I don't think), it kinda stands on it's own on many levels. If you haven't tried it, you most definitely should. But don't be afraid to leave this one for later in the night. It will not be pushed around by others. (1,057 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style. (608 characters)

Photo of BrainDad
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hopcat in GR. Except for the bitter element of the hops being a bit too harsh, this is an exemplary Black IPA. The nose is what really gets me. It has that rich, earthy, citrusy hop aroma reminiscent of Founder's Double Trouble (as a reference).

Color is a rich, ruby black. Seems a bit thin on the tongue at first but really rolls off nicely. A nice head to start with good lacing as I work down the glass. I could really drink a lot of this on a hot summer day. That's where the bitterness really pays off! (519 characters)

Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Thick, very dark, gloriously rich looking. Deep, deep velvety red/mahogany around the edges, you won't see much light getting through this brew. Nice 1" head that settled fast to a 1/8" cap that stayed around with chunky lacing to the end of the glass. Beautiful.

Nose: Initial sweetness then the hops came in, definitely a bittersweet chocolate background which surprised me. Dare I say, it smells somewhat like...IPA...the hops are there.

Taste: Initial sweetness, mild chocolate again, followed by that hops come-on. Finishes dry and leaves that wonderful bitterness on the inner cheeks. Maybe a nutty/smokish background there, like faint chocolate covered nuts.

Mouth Feel: Initially I thought it was going to be thick and syrupy, but it felt thinner than appearance dicated. Nice background presence of the hops that stays, but still a smoooth experience. I can feel the claimed 8.7% ABV with a warming in the throat. Not objectionable.

Drinkability: Begs me to have another swallow. One 22oz is a nice sample size, and I don't want to share it! I could drink two of these, but I might need a ride home afther that.

Overall: Very nice! I liked it more than I expected to. 8.5 of 10. (edit: 9 out of 10..read below...)

EDIT: I started drinking this one too cold. It was a bit more bitter/hoppy than I expected. After warming it a solid 10-15 minutes in the glass, it became much smoother, the flavors really came alive with that chocolate/nutty background with a smooth but strong hops flavor I adore. At 45 minutes in, finishing the last third of the 22oz bomber, it was simply phenomenal. I changed my score above to a 9 based on this. (1,661 characters)

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard Pint Glass.

A - Two fingers plus of an almost fluffy tan head on top of an abyss of opaque black liquid. Dissapates reasonably quickly and leaves average lacing.

S - Solid nose that could be detected as I poured from a foot away. The citrusy character of the hops blends with the roasted malts to give it an almost dark fruit scent. Powerful and robust, with notes of bitter chocolate to compliment.

T - Similar to the scent, with the combination of roasted malt and hops. But whereas the beer smelled initially like a combination of the two, the taste is a little bit more of a ride. The malts hit first, with a slight bitter chocolatey note, transform into a dark fruit flavor, and finish with a pine-hop aftertaste.

M - Not overly viscous, not watered down. A good balance, with light carbonation, and an appropriately wet mouthfeel that gives the illusion of sticking a bit more due to the hoppy aftertaste character of the beer.

O - A perfectly drinkable black ale for a warm evening insofar as it offers the great combination of roasted flavor, but the drinkability of a hoppy IPA. (1,125 characters)

Photo of chefscott79
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
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 (633 characters)

Photo of Lockbreeze925
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.25

Just for the hell of it, I'm reviewing the UK-only cask version of this beer, which (to add to the fun) was available on gravity dispense from a cask mounted on the bar. That won't happen often.

This brew (part of the Wetherspoons fest) is UK-brewed by Stone and is significantly moderated down to 5% from the normal strength. Still, it retains the essence of the original with a massive hop punch involving a piney overall taste, coupled with an understated coffee/roast presence and a long bitter finish. Very bitter.

Appearance was naturally flat, with a small cream-coloured head lasting reasonably well on top of the blackness. Aroma was all wet hop impact.

Mouthfeel...er...not the brewer's fault, but that presence on the bar counter, with only a thin jacket for "cooling"...meant the beer was virtually room temperature, much too warm for any beer, never mind a black IPA. However (making imaginative adjustments for the heat), I'm giving high marks for the beer that lurks within the warmth, which is a bitter hop delight. If it had been on hand-pump, they would have needed a crowbar to prise me away. (1,116 characters)

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