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: 752 | 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 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)

Photo of reeder
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, unexpected dark color. A respectable tan head lasts for a while then fades away.

Warm hoppy flavors on the nose. Almost a barley wine type scent.

Interesting flavor. Like a really bitter stout. The hops are definitely there, but not the standard citrusy hops such as in the arrogant bastard. The taste evolves until there is a lasting malt at the end.

A little too carbonated. I'm definitely going to hang on to one of these for a while to see if it settles down a bit.

Overall, actually a pretty drinkable beer. A respectable attempt at an unusual style. I would like to see Stone investigate this a bit more. (628 characters)

Photo of Cubieblu
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled in a Stella Artois Chalice, allowed to warm before drinking

A – Dark black with slight reddish around edge of glass if held up to light. 1 ½ fingers of light mocha colored head. Lots of alcohol lacing along the glass.

S – Big up front citrus and floral hops. When cold the roasted qualities didn’t really come out, but as it warmed up the roasted characters started coming out. Get a nice pleasant smell of the malts in the background.

T- Big hop forward beer. Lots of citrus, mostly of grapefruit. As it rolls over your tongue the roasted characteristics from coffee and bitter chocolate are slightly present. Then a nice bitterness of grapefruit gets you on the backend. Some alcohol is noticeable but just enough to let you know this is an imperal.

MF – Medium body with good amount of carbonation.

D – Very drinkable – goes down easily, maybe too easy. (889 characters)

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

I am typically not a big fan of black ales, but this is by far the best i have tried! It smells like an IPA, looks like a porter, and tastes fantastic. Floral, hoppy, slightly piney, and slightly sweet. Drinks very smooth and conceals the 8.7 very well. (253 characters)

Photo of foxbat2500
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark blackish red. Looks and smells like a stout, but the head is not creamy.

Smell has a coffee like richness. Not over powering. Nice

Taste, very enjoyable full range of flavor. For sure its a blend of worlds here. A taste not quite stout, not quite IPA.

Very interesting brew from a great brewery. (313 characters)

Photo of btuthill
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a coffee-like color from a classic stone bomber. Doesn't look terribly thick. Great two finger frothy head follows the liquid down the glass. smell is hoppy - mainly grapefruit bitters - with some chocolate and licorice. taste is great - nothing like you'd expect from the color. tastes like a grapefruit heavy DIPA. the flavor is nice, but could perhaps use some age to chill the bitterness. mouthfeel is perfect - smooth and velvety without being clingy or cloying. drinkability is perhaps limited by the ABV and the overprevalence of bitter hops.

nice beer. thanks to cdviking for the trade. (601 characters)

Photo of Barleythenred
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark like a fined stout

Smell: a combination of strong hops and malts throughout

Taste: Wow just wow looking at it you think malt but with taste here comes hops and hops and more hops

Mouthfeel: Bitterness to a cringe

Drinkability: slow and steady nothing too fast you might end up with a permanent sour face

Definitely a slow drinking beer but very enjoyable non the less if you don't like hops please steer clear of this one you might just throw it out (471 characters)

Photo of rawla
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer numerous times throughout the years, but finally had a chance to review it with a fresh palate.

On tap at Bluepalms Brewhouse on 01/08/2012. Served in a goblet.

A: Jet black with a 2 inch toffee lead. A ruby-caramel note towards the head. Good lacing throughout.

S: Woah. Bacon, toasted almonds, and chicory oak along with a pungent dose of fresh floral hops. I can't begin to explain how well balance the aromas are. Just decadent and truly enticing.

T: G** D***.. Freshly peeled tangerine, along with the smoked bacon and toasted oak backbone. I know toasted and bitter profiles sometimes don't seem to work out well, but they do here in a magnificent way. Each sip/gulp hits you with massive citrus bitterness and smoked oak notes at the same time. A truly well balanced dialogue. Some coffee comes through as the beer warms up a bit, which is like icing on the cake for me. I can drink this by the kegs. Put me on a liver transplant list now.

M: Crisp and made to order iced coffee-like substance. The bitterness may keep some from drinking more than a couple of these, but not me.

O. C.D.A/Black I.P.A perfection. Some Dark I.P.A's tend to be overly roasted, or overly bitter. Self-Righteous lives up the name by tooting its own horn and truly displaying a well-balanced, yet assertively hopped and smokey beer. A plus. (1,353 characters)

Photo of Roguester
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass, enjoyed with a good friend on a Friday evening. Appearance is very deceptive, I was expecting something overly malty and sweet given the dark reddish look of this beer. Smell is very interesting, very malty, extremely hoppy, but not overpowering. This beer tastes exceptional, very well balanced, very smooth and drinkable. Alcohol taste is masked easily by the loud flavors. This is definitely a beer that I would recommend to others and purchase for myself in the near future. I have never tasted a beer similar to this one, it seems like Stone definitely took it upon themselves to make their 11th anniversary a special one. (667 characters)

Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Topped by a healthy, rich dense foamy dark tan head, somewhat reminiscent of a head you'd see on a porter.

Color is dark black yet not entirely opaque like an RIS.

Aroma is all the way hops, big piney sticky hops, not much in the way of anything else going on in the nose, typical IPA all the way.

A combo type beer for sure and man is it enjoyable. My favorite part is the balance and smoothness of it all, surprisingly enough it is killer smooth. Starts off with a creamy mouthfeel (similar to a dry stout) giving way to big hop finish but not overpowering. Lingering taste is a bit of the roasted malt which still has some presence (albeit a small one) amongst the hoppy finish.

Alcohol? Its in here? Can't find it. A surprisingly smooth hybrid style. Grab some while you can. (786 characters)

Photo of DanielClouser
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into Duvel tulip.

A--Black as pitch, but putting a lightbulb directly behind it, you can see a very little bit of the beautiful ruby red one sees in a backlit glass of arrogant Bastard. Nice head retention, with a little bit of billowy asymmetry at the top. It may not approach the Belgian head standard, but it's very good for an American beer.

S--Surprisingly, the nose is almost exactly like Sweetwater IPA, just with a little less grapefruit (and actually, that grapefruit is the first aroma to fade in Sweetwater IPA, so I've smelled many that match this Stone brew's nose exactly). It's a good smell.

T--Bitter! But it's a very nice, balanced bitterness, emerging from both hops and malt. Indeed, the malt really seems to be working with the hops' bitterness, rather than balancing it. Dark it may be, but it's nice and dry. In this case, it seems that hop aromatics play more of a balancing role than malt sweetness. Deep piny, resinous, grassy bitterness is very much the star here, and it's done well.

M--Mouthfeel isn't a category I go crazy over, unless it's been screwed up. I have no complaints, so it gets a 4.

D--Well, obviously, ABV and overwhelming bitterness hurt the brews' drinkability, but I could still drink these all night, just rather slowly.

Overall, an excellent brew, like every other Stone brew I've had (Ruination, Cali-Belgie, AB, and Oaked AB). Still, if Arrogant Bastard is too much for you, you're going to want to avoid this even more arrogant brew. (1,503 characters)

Photo of Pagzzz
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, purchased from beverages 4 less in Santee. Sampled in Stone IRS tulip glass.

Appearance: Inky black with slight auburn hue right around the edges. Looks like an RIS. Tan head builds, dissipates quickly but leaves nice lacing. crystal clear (what I can see)

Aroma: Big citrus hop aroma. Blind, smells of Ruination but with a slight burnt caramel hint. Citrusy hops, some pine notes. Definitively IPA characteristics, but just a little roast or chocolate character (de-husked black malt must be used). Little more ester character than other Stone IPA's, slightly English-like. No diacetyl.

Flavor: Firm, bold american hop bitterness dominates the taste. Sharp roasted malt flavor suggested, but not featured. Slight caramel or molasses character, but not overpowering. Drinks like a big IPA, showing very few dark roast characteristics. Much like a Schwarzbier emulates a Pilsner, but looks like a Dunkel. No diacetyl. Malt is overpowered by hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body that finishes quite dry. Alcohol is evident, maybe a little hot, but it's young. This could definitely get interesting after a couple of years. Could use a touch more body to bring out malt character for some balance.

Overall, a very interesting beer with IPA-centric qualities and some subterfuge thrown in with the dark appearance. Not super drinkable, but given high hopping rate and big alcohol character, it isn't meant to be a session beer. (1,455 characters)

Photo of onthefarside
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the great pleasure to try this beer on tap last night at Mahar's in Albany. Curious about the type of beer this was, I was told it was an Imperial Porter by the all knowing bar-keep.

A: Served in a 20oz glass with 1 cm of head about, not much. Was a very very dark brown or black, couldn't tell with the dim lights.

S: Smells like every Stone beer, hoppy and alcohol"y".

T: This beer has a nice one two punch on the tastes a nice flavourful malt up front with nice complexity and then a nice crisp hops twinge to hide any trace of alcohol, couldn't taste it at all. But this is definately a sipper.

M: Nice feel, not too watery, good to swish it around and let it cover your mouth.

D: I didn't know the abv at the time of drinking this beer, knowing stone tends to up the abv, i thought it was about 5-6 but i'm suprised to find it near 9! Unknowing, I could drink 3-4 and wonder why i felt strange. Over all a great beer from Stone again and it will please people who like their IPA and Bastard Ale. I felt like it was a mix of the two almost. (1,055 characters)

Photo of sirk0rebreg
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

you can describe this beer with one word...WOW! i just finished drinking a bomber out of a stone IPA glass and i can say i was stunned with this beer...

pours a dark brown almost black...great smell of grapefruit, slightly piney...nice tan head that holds really well...the taste is excellent, great hop presence but it is very well balanced...the 8.7% abv is hidden quite well, it can sneak up on you...

i gave this beer all 5's except for drinkability which got a 4.5, only reason is it seems to sneak up on you and could be dangerous...this beer is awesome, get it while you can...

i grabbed a half a case and i am kicking myself for not grabbing a full case...i will definitely be back at the store very soon to pick up a full case, this is too good... (759 characters)

Photo of nd5282
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A relatively muted after taste for an IPA. However, the mellow easy going character lead to the subsequent enjoyment of a few other pints. Bitterness factor is minimal and overall flavor versus drinkability ratio is superb. I personally bought multiple bottles to cellar and failed miserably at being patient. (309 characters)

Photo of swede96
1.8/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Shared a bomber bottle with my brother that he bought. Interestingly, as he was shopping for a craft beer, he was told by the clerk if he like Coors he would like this beer????

The brew poured up a beautiful black body with a 2 finger off white head that was a beauty to behold.

It went quickly down hill from there as I noticed an off colored smell coming from the glass that resembled rotting grapefruit...

Citrus and hop taste, with a sickly sweet flavor of licorace, that for me was hard to get down. The finish had a strong alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel was like a thick coating on the roof of the mouth that stayed with me for the remainder of the evening.

Again for my uncultured taste the drinkability was poor at best, as the mix of sour grapefriut and sweet licorace was too much for my palate. In all fairness, and seeing how well liked this beer is, the bottle was most likely way past its prime. Oh yea....if you do happen to like Coors don't buy this beer thinking you will like it. (996 characters)

Photo of Jermbrew
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
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.) (1,031 characters)

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

Haven't reviewed a beer in a while. Nor have I had a Stone Anniversary Brew since number X. Here it goes.

Bought the beer at Whole Foods in Brentwood. You can always count on Whole Foods for some good beer. Not a revolutionary selection, but they've always got some good old stand-bys when I am in the mood to achieve some beer flavor satisfaction. On a relative scale (and by this I am comparing L.A. to the Bay Area) it is nice to have somewhere to go for good beer in this land of Corona and Stella Artios.

Nice Appearance, pours translucent black with plenty of copper and burgundy when held up the the light. Beautiful, well balanced head, with light tan lacing but it definitely doesn't linger.

Hoppy, iron laced, rusty full bodied and hoppy aroma. I'm getting a floral hoppy smell and prelude to nice and unique character.

Great taste, notes of coffee, malt and finishes with a strong but harmonious bitterness that makes you thirsty for more. Lots of hops including hop bitterness in addition to the hoppy floral flavor. Tastes like a stout IPA.

Overall, a Great beer. I like it. My only criticism (and I don't trust critics) would be to increase the malty body which will bring out the sweetness of this beer and also increase the aftertaste's staying power. (1,273 characters)

Photo of jerrymiller
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color from a 22oz bottle.

Medium sized foamy head, with good retention and decent lacing.

Aroma is floral with bold grapefruit and piney hops with nice chocolate malts.

The malts are roasted and chocolate. The hops are intense, lots of grapefruit and pine. Bitter. It has a interesting interplay between the hops and roasted malts. Lively carbonation. Alcohol is not overwhelming in the taste.

Mouthfeel is full and the finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly dry.

Great beer, I bought a case. (520 characters)

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