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

5,805 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,805
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 277
Gots: 742 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,805 | Reviews: 1,903
Photo of Lockbreeze925
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

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.

Photo of djwilson
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of MenloBeer
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of vincicle
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
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

Photo of localhost
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of Internatbrewlove
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
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!

Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Photo of sensorglitch
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Photo of Dixonian
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

Photo of sogrady
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of joshuasamantha
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
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....

Photo of sanzenapocalypz
4.91/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of NJBeerguy
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Photo of burtonbe
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of Belgianbeerbunny
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of ziggy13
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

Photo of reeder
3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of Cubieblu
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of THE-DUDE
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of foxbat2500
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of btuthill
4.01/5  rDev -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.

Photo of Barleythenred
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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

Photo of rawla
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,805 ratings.