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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,885 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,885
Hads: 5,820
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 286
Gots: 760 | 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: 1,885 | Hads: 5,820
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)

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

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
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.

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

Overall:
Extremely interesting beer, and definitely worth it. Complex, yet extremely well executed. (1,318 characters)

Photo of djwilson
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The color is dark, black with some red highlights coming through in the light. Poured into thick short pilsner glass. Nice thick head almost caramel color, disipated to a light foam across the top with some nice lacing.

Smell was hops upfront with a slight lightly roasted coffee aroma.

First sip and I get hops up front, and a light malty finish that masks the high alcohol content.

Drinkability was fine but too malty for me to keep drinking all night. 2 would be my limit, then try to find more Stone 10.

Overall excellent beer, VERY unique, I love that Stone always seems to suprise for their aniversary beer. (617 characters)

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

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Up front I should note that after having Hop In The Dark from Deschutes, Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA is rapidly becoming my fave style beer.

A: Dark, almost opaque blackness. Held up to the light you get a little penetration, but that's minimal. Good lacing on a two finger head that died down but remained "scummy" on the top.

S: Mind f*ck right up front with a lot of hop and citrus notes. Anyone expecting something porter or stout-esque should be be getting the clue now. This is an altogether different type of beast. Grassy tones, with barely a hint of malt.

T: The taste ... bitter citrus meets a great blend of darkly roasted malt. Hops all over the place, but some cereal notes, too. It's kind of like drinking grapefruit juice and eating toast. Beer is for breakfast!

M: Oily, but slides off the tongue easily. Doesn't have the coating factor you might expect from a dark beer. Finishes more sweet than dry, but not by much.

D: I like this beer. I like this style. At 8% ABV this beer would kick me in the groin after more than a few, but I could see myself willingly going there, given the awesome blend of hops and malt in this beer. Well done, Stone. (1,210 characters)

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

This beer might actually live up to it's nihilistic name such is the depth and surprise of this dark yet hoppy creation. The smell is an intoxicating herbal hoppiness from the dry hopping as soon as you open it, and it pours a elegant dark black/brown with a full finger head. The nose is strong on hops but also has the notes of roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The taste is wonderfully floral at first and dissipates to a slightly bitter roasted maltiness with an alchoholic kick at the end. This is a beer that stays with you after you've finished as you reflect on, "just how good was it?" One of the better beers I've tried this year and a certain reccomendation for anyone who likes more experimental tastes.
Bravo Stone (727 characters)

Photo of localhost
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask @ Beachwood BBQ

Pours very dark yet not very heavy and remains very drinkable. Mine poured with quite a bit of head, however this was likely due to the temperature of the cask and was kept under control. Many different flavors come at you at once, but they work very well together. Good flavor and scent of hops but much darker than a traditional IPA. A good amount of roasted and malty flavors, a little similar to arrogant but still quite different.

Overall a very good beer with a strong flavor. If you like arrogant, then you will like this one. (556 characters)

Photo of Internatbrewlove
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This black ale pours a dark toffee color with a fine generous head. The aroma is one of citrus and malt. The taste is a mixture of chocolate, coffee, and very dominant Cascade hops. Definitely a "hop slammer's" beer. If you love strong hoppy beers this one is well balanced with malty undertones.

BTW, this beer tastes uncommonly good with peanuts! (349 characters)

Photo of BeerT3ch
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really good beer! The unique name fits it's character. Stone Brewery strikes again! Deep/Rich in color, perfect exagerrated biterness, small head, but heavy lacing, malty and all around well balanced. Two of these you will be alright! lol. (Don't Drive) (263 characters)

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

Poured form a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

A- Looks along the lines of a stout in color but with a livelier head. About a 3/4 inch tan layer of foam which quickly dissipated leaving behind faint but familiar light bodied, IPA style lace.

S- Decadent! Hop heads be warned! Wonderfully sweet and floral hop aroma signature of California with a minute backend of dry, dark malt. Some grassy notes detected as well which seem a bit out of place for such a dark ale.

T- Upfront bitter dark chocolate malt and burnt caramel quickly overpowered by an intense, traditional hop profile. First two sips opened the door for its hidden subtleties of spice and fruit. Third sip left a desirable hop spice on the tongue and lips.

M- Dark chocolate and hop spice dance on the tongue long after the sip. Pleasant carbonation complements the flavors and makes this beer very drinkable.

D- Heavier than an IPA in body and comparable to a stout or porter in color, this ale might seem like a challenge by looking at it but it has a crisp, refreshing carbonation that rounds it out and makes it extremely drinkable. Try with a heavy meal of grilled steak or pork or on its own for Jebus sake. This beer is absolutely worthy of the Stone catalog! (1,233 characters)

Photo of sensorglitch
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - dark, blackish , good head

s - citrusy spicy

t - reasonable taste, citrusy, hoppy, sharp

M - decent

d - good

To be honest, this is a really mediocre , I was not impressed. Maybe i would have been a little more impressed by a beer from a lesser brewery, but this is by far a low point for stone. (303 characters)

Photo of Dixonian
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this delight many times both on tap and bottle in various glasses. I should preface by stating I'm a huge fan of stone in general (as are many) and this is one of my favorites from them.

Pours almost jet black with two wonderful fingers of khaki colored head-leaves significant lacing. Pine and grapefruit hop aroma as well as flavor. Near perfect use of hops in my opinion-not too much of any one flavor. Coats my entire mouth and just the right carbonation. The almost 9% abv is hidden well-could get in trouble quick slammin it back.

One I've gotten more times than I can count-so glad its here to stay in my area. I love this beer! (648 characters)

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

Relatively unique beer. Almost like drinking a pine hopped porter, the beer is dark in appearance but heavily IPA in flavor. Alcohol is less aggressive than might be expected given the ABV, but as with most of the Stone offerings the taste is nuanced while all up in your grill.

Some of the other reviewers mention that they'd have trouble with a bomber in one sitting; this problem wouldn't apply to me.

It's certainly not a beer for all occasions - it strikes me as a really excellent option for the fall - but what it does, it does well. (544 characters)

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

Had on tap, In bottle and growler form from the Stone Brewery- literaly one of the best beers ever, another home run for the guys at stone its like an arrogant bastard IPA strong american strong ale characters very hoppy and citrus-ee ha anyways as dark as midnight and very strong a good beer with bbq meats overall a definate A if you haven't tried it you need to...that is all.... (383 characters)

Photo of sanzenapocalypz
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- poured out of a brown bottle, this beer pours an opaque black color. not much lacing to see, not that you would even be able to see it, honestly. not much head, I have some light bubbles sitting on the top, nice ring around the outside of the tulip shaped glass.

Smell- I smell a dark sweetness at first. I get hints of a caramel coffee. Smells SO TASTY. DEAR LORD. I get a bit of like a chocolate malt almost, and the hops are present as well, but fairly well hidden in the smell IMO. Definitely smells more like... molasses, if anything.

Taste- YES. The hops really come out in the flavor. definitely a good bitter taste at the beginning, but finishes with a crisp, sweet coffee/chocolate/molasses taste. I cant put my tongue on exactly what it tastes like, definitely a complex taste for a dark IPA.

Mouthfeel- medium body, goes down smooth, I would say this is a bit silky or creamy? mild carbonation.

Overall- this beer rules. Stone Brewery's fancy wording on the bottle does it justice. This is the kind of complex beer you can tell they made repeat batches with its recipe for a damned good reason. Overall, this beer just tastes fantastic, is pretty easy to drink, and not SO bitter where a regular beer drinker who is into craft brews wont find it a chore to finish the pint. A TON of hops at the beginning, but it doesnt leave you with an overly sticky/bitter feeling in your mouth. There is a great and complex flavor to the beer and makes you want to come back for more. (1,499 characters)

Photo of NJBeerguy
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leave it to Stone to create a complex beer of difference. I'm not sure it fits in a current category. Strong Ale, Old Ale well not that either. Stone calls it a Imperial BPA (Black Pale Ale). Well for me it poured beautifully, The thick tan head above a midnight black beer looked like the perfect stout(especially poured into a pint guinness glass), but the taste is anything but that similar to a stout. The head faded as the beer was drunk leaving a perfect lace ring to mark each sip's journey down the glass. I'm not sure I can describe all the flavors I'm tasting. First there's a strong flavor of roast coffee, and burnt malt, followed by a winey, nutty middle, that ends with the dry astingency found in this brewery most noted of hoppiest of beer like their IPA and Ruinnation. The winey flavor and the roasted hops converge to leave a long lingering aftertaste you will long remember. I had this beer in bottle and on draft within the last three days, the most notible different was the draft version had a very noticable alcohol burn, I'd even call it a rush of warmth that doesn't come through in the bottle. I still want to lay down a bottle of this complexed bottle of flavors for at 8.70% ABV the changes can only be interesting. Do pick up a bottle! (1,265 characters)

Photo of burtonbe
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I'm not really sure how to judge this attribute, since the brew does not fit any particular style, and the style of strong ale does not specify particularly whether dark-colored ales are a flaw or a plus. Very dark, nearly opaque. 1/2 finger head. Superb lacing.

S - Extremely hoppy. Huge hop flavor. Very very nice --- if I were reviewing an DIPA.

T - Very strong taste. Ultra-bitterness. Coffee notes are apparent. Concentrated malt flavor. Dark malts are present. Be ready for concentrated flavor.

M - Nothing too special, but what I would expect from such a weird brew. Decent mouthfeel, with some residual coating of the palate. I cannot expect much more.

D - This brew really isn't very drinkable. Even for the style, it's a bit over-the-top. It's not really fair to rate this brew against the standard of American Strong Ale, since this is simply so unique...

Overall, I'm blown away. But this brew is really in a category all its own. Putting it into the American Strong Ale category is stupid. It's a very unique brew that I would recommend to anyone looking for an intense experience all-around. (1,115 characters)

Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- far darker then I would have thought after my first sip from from the bottle.

S- Roasty, citrusy, sweet. Quite an interesting mix.

T- Heavy malt background with heavy hops up front. Finishes dry.

M- Semi-creamy mouthfeel. A hop dominating beast, could clearly appreciate being aged a year.

D- Delicious. (310 characters)

Photo of Belgianbeerbunny
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's difficult to review a style that I don't enjoy. I tend to like Belgian anything (except Lambics and Geuzes), porters and stouts. Although this bottle didn't say "IPA", I suspected that anything coming out of Stone would be very hoppy.

A - It looks like something I'd want to drink - black as night with a 1/2 inch head leaving nice lacing.

T - Then I get a whiff of the hops and pine. It smells like I'm about to drink a Daisy Cutter. (Not that I mind a Daisy Cutter every once in a while, especially is I'm up at Half-Acre.) I don't taste the malt or yeast at the end. Just pine and hops.

M - Medium body. Someone else said "oily" and I'm going to go with that. Is it the pine oil?

O - If I was entertaining an IPA-lover, I would get them this. Usually I do buy Daisy Cutter or Dog Fish Head 90 Minute IPA, but this would be good in the IPA rotation. (861 characters)

Photo of ziggy13
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this guy once again here late in the season. Loved it the first time and loved it again.

A - Very, very dark, almost stout-like. Some dark reds shing on the bottom. Nice tan head which dissipated quickly. Lacing, however, was excellent.

S - Full of floral west coast hops. Hits you smack in the nose. Smells like a double IPA.

T - Of couse, at first taste you realize its a little more complex than that. Waves of hops and chocolate malts flow simultaneously over the palate. Its citrusy, flowery, and spicy all in one. Actually finishes tart and piney. Fantastically complex and diverse. Obviously many varieties of hops were used in this one.

M - Medium body. A little chewy. The beer coats the palate and lingers for a while.

D - Obviously its tough to drink a few of these, but one is just enough.

Fantastic brew and I can't wait till next year's offering. Cheers! (880 characters)

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,885 ratings.