Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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1,887 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,887
Hads: 5,835
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 287
Gots: 767 | 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: 1,887 | Hads: 5,835
Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Revewed live.

A: Pours a five finger head of lovely tan creamy lacing and great thickness. Retention is very good, especially considering the 8.7% ABV. Colour is a solid brown-black, very dark indeed. It's very appealing.

Sm: It's extremely hoppy - I get citra and maybe cascade. Nothing gets through other than the (overly?) dominant hop aroma. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: Hoppy goodness is dominant, with a soft blanket undertone of light cream. It gets too bitter on the climax due to the hop overload, but they did what they could to compensate. For the style, it's really quite nicely built. It's simple, which lends itself naturally to easy balancing. For what it is, it's quite lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also very soft and light without being thin. I might call it velvety if I were more pretentious.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV - which itself is cleverly hidden. It's priced right (at least in California) and though it lacks complexity, I'd certainly have it again, particularly if I found it on draught. A nice offering from Stone that every beer fanatic should try.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured into a pint glass a coffee brown with a nice, foamy, beige head that retained and laced decently. I really love this style of beer. Dark malts and dark fruits in the aroma, but a definite citrus hop presence like you'd get from your typical IPA. Smooth dark malts in the taste, molasses, brown sugar, quickly overcome by lots of citrusy hops, though the maltiness lingers on in the background. Flavorful and medium-bodied. Another highly drinkable beer from the consistently excellent Stone Brewing Co.

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

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of rocky mocha colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Piney & citrussy hops with a little malt lurking in the background.

T: Grapefruitty & piney hops, with a little chalkyness & cakeyness up front. Some boozey warmth, tangerines, chocolate, husky grainyness, vanilla, oaky dryness & coffee as this warms. Finishes dry, with cherry, coffee, tanic & resiny hoppyness, but suprisingly no booze

MF: Chewy & oily with moderate carbonation, balanced great

Drinks pretty good considering the complexity & abv, Reminds me of a Black IPA Bristols produced, just not the same hop profile as I try to recall...Worth the hype, the wait

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

I had samples of the 11th when it came out but I never got around to writing a review on it, at the time I wasn't feeling the dark IPA for some reason. This bottle changed all of those feelings I had, this beer nailed the dark roasts and the bold American hops. Stone is perfect I just had the Stone 13th and that was pretty lackluster and definitely carried no finesse. This on poured a pitch black body with no ruby highlights when held to the light, it did have a big tan foaming head that rose well above the rim of my glass. Lacing was even and retention was excellent great looking brew from Escondido. Aromatics hit a solid blast of pine and herbal hops with citrus following close behind, sweet baked goods with cocoa dry powder, definitely roasted malt characterstics wtihout much coffee action. Flavor was layered between dark chocolate roasted malt and aggressive hop bitterness that did manage to work. Some citrus, pine resin, and herbal dirty hop flavors came about between layers of dark chocolate cake it was a good mix with moderate alcohol burn coming through. Mouthfeel was big but not chewy carbonation was tight bubbled it carried the brew very well, not overdone pretty natural smoothness going on with a soothing dry finish between roasted malt and bittering hops. Drinkability overall was excellent another great reintroduction to Stone's black IPA, I had Iniquity last night from Southern Tier and I'm diggin' the dark hoppy beers.

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Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black in color--no light shines through. Nice, tight beige head. Spotty lace.

Very strong grapefruit hop aroma. Reminds me of Double IPA. Given the darkness of the brew, I'm surprised not to smell any burnt or roasted malts.

Tastes like super-hopped IPA. Relatively thin body. There's a mild level of roasted malt in the aftertaste, otherwise it is all bitter, bitter hop.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip, best by 2/14/2012. Re-reviewing my first rating ever from 6/3/2010. Pours almost pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, biscuit, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, floral, and herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, toasted biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, herbal hop, and coffee. Nice sized smooth spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, toasted biscuit, chocolate, caramel, citrus, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop bitterness to roasted malt flavor for a black IPA. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but is still a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a delicious Black IPA as expected. Big hop flavors with a great balanced malt backbone that I usually prefer in black IPAs.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone 11th Anniversary, in the dark with this IPA, pitch dark, so they say...what's that mean? Let's open and find out...

Hey, that is dark...and hoppy...big aromas, leaping out at ya...just about black, this one, with a smallish dark brown head.

Aroma: bright hops, mixed with rich, dark malt...ripe fruit melds with cocoa and coffee tones...interesting, to say the least...and I like it!

In the taste, big hop smack, taking a dark turn, feeling hot, roasted, and full. Tangy, twangy, tingly hops, meet roasted malt...overloaded with character and confidence. Some trickles of molasses and a hint of spice linger in as well...hops are everywhere, this is in IPA territory, definitely, but those dark malts take somewhere else entirely...and I like that!
first bitter fruit feel, then dark roast burning the palate...again, I like!

8.7%? I'm hardly feeling it...or, am...I?

A bit of bright orange and grapefruit pith, then a round of chocolate and coffee grounds..I'm enjoying that!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

a - Very dark brown color with hints of red. This had moderate carbonation and about 1 finger of head that looked great.

s - I definitely smelled some roasted malts, and also smelt some coffee, toffee, and chocolate. Smells great.

t - Wow, really liked this taste. Tastes of roasted malts, some chocolate, but also some bitter hops. A nice contrast of sweet and bitter tastes.

m - Full bodied with small carbonation, this beer feels very creamy and smooth.

d- I really liked this strong ale. I thought the taste was very complex and interesting, and I really liked the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. I would definitely buy this again.

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

Since I can't make it to Stone Winter Storm I thought I'd pay tribute by having my bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary today. Served in a Stone pint glass.

A - Pours with two-plus fingers of soapy light tan foam. Excellent retention and a few chunks of sticky lace. Body is a transparent dark ruby red-brown with some visible bubbles.

S - Wow, there's still a good amount of pine and citrus hoppiness, even after two and a half years. Actually it's quite shocking, as this doesn't seem significantly less hoppy than the Sublimely Self-Righteous I had six months ago. There's a spicy malt backbone with some burnt sugar and a touch of cocoa.

T - Taste is quite similar to Sublimely Self-Righteous, with intense grapefruit bitterness and some peripheral cocoa sweetness. It seems a little mellower, but not by much. Aftertaste is a stupidly strong amount of grapefruit bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty much identical to SSR - "Moderate carbonation, medium body, lots of residual stickiness and hop oil character. Maybe a touch of warmth after I finished half the bomber."

D - I get the sense this isn't going to get any less bitter - however if you really loved this beer then you can rest assured it's holding up just fine. Same criticisms as I had about SSR - "The bitterness is kind of crazy - I'll finish this bomber, but this isn't something where I'll be rushing out for more bottles. I think it could have used a little more malt sweetness to keep things in balance."

This was nearly identical to SSR, but without as much lacing. Not my favorite Stone offering, but an interesting experience nonetheless.

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

Growler taken directly from the store where this was poured into a Unibroue snifter shortly after arrival.

Pours basically black with subtle signs of deep orange-red coloration around the edges. The tan head is moderate in size but long-lasting and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, as expected from Stone, with obvious pine and citrus aspects as well as some vague herbal notes. Enticing. A strong piney hop flavor dominates up front. Usually this would be followed by q quite bitter taste, or at least a very bitter aftertaste. Although there's an obvious bitterness and an IBU = 90, this beer starts bitter-sweet and keeps the bitterness under control all the way through. There's a solid dark malt component helping out with this, but clearly Stone extracted plenty of hop aroma and flavor without boiling all the bitterness out of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops. The high ABV makes itself known in the aroma, after some warming, but remains fairly well hidden in the taste. Complex and rich, extraordinary balance and interesting, and wonderful flavor dynamics.

M: full bodied; about as creamy smooth as can be at ABV = 8.7%; excellent, medium carbonation.

O: an amazing beer and the cream of the crop in Black IPAs in my experience. In any case, a world class beer all hop heads should seek out.

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark ruby highlights. A thick, foamy head leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine - a PLETHORA of citrus. The "dark" part is more subtle - with just a touch of smoke...

The taste is citric and resiny. The alcohol comes through in a hefty way, adding a sweet fruitiness. Charcoal smokiness lingers in the back. Some light chocolate enters too, but this show is led by the hops. Finishes with a walloping punch from the hop spiciness and alcohol with dark sweetness lingering in the back.

This is full-bodied, smooth and intensely hot.

Nice - a bit much - but, oh- so nice...hefty West-Coast hops with a charcoal, dark backing. Unique and ... well - get some of this!

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

Beer poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is dark black. A tight brown head forms from moderate carbonation. As head falls away lacing is left on the sides of the glass. As the beer is drank, the head becomes more diffuse and remains as a thin layer on the top of the beer.

Aroma is strong with pine-like hops. There isn't much else I'm able to pull out. I would expect some malt / roast character but the hop aroma pushes it all out.

The taste of the beer is really interesting. There is a lot of backend bitterness from the hops but its balanced well with the roast character from the dark malts in the beer. Not a lot of front end sweetness to speak of. A full bodied beer, a great feel and high drinkability.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark black with some garnet hints when held up to the light. There is a finger tall beige head that last throughout the entire beer - great head retention on this one. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as strong a nose as I expected after some of the other Stone beers, this beer had a decent amount of pine hops with subtler notes of roasted malts and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts with a lot of pine hops in the flavor. Huge bitterness in the finish that is really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really like this one and I will have to get it again. Very sessionable and I enjoyed the flavors and the aroma.

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

Review from notes 1/22/11. Thanks to THECPJ for the share.

A: Pours very dark, no light passing through at all. Two fingers of off-white lacing form on top which stands on top for most off the time I drink the beer. Very nice lacing remaining on the glass.

S: Lots of floral hops and citrus. I also get a little bit of malt and some chocolate and toffee, but really dominated by the hops.

T: Extremely hoppy, but still balanced by the malt. The hops have nice citrus and herbal flavors while the malts are dark and roasted. There is also a chocolate flavor similar to the aroma.

M/D: Very smooth. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Extremely drinkable. One of the best in this new category.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled last night, 22 oz bomber, shared with a friend. From memory...

A: Muddy black, supple tan head that left some great lacing and a moderate cap throughout the tasting.

S: Roasted grain malt, bitter hops, ash, black peppercorn. This smells great but I worry these roasted qualities may not play as well as I hope with the bitterness.

T: Bitter hops are up front followed by some charcoal and grass. The overall roasted qualities here are too weak for the bitterness of these hops. I was expecting the hops, obviously, but thought the definite dark malt profile would be a bit more present to balance this out. Disappointed.

M: Wild carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: For me, this is hard. I love IPAs and in general Black IPAs but something about this one is just hard for me to get down, let alone an entire 22 oz bottle. Luckily I shared.

I wouldn't go for this again unless it was on draft somewhere. Understandably so an IPA, though it still needs balance, something I feel the Sublimely is lacking.

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

Pours a black color with a bit of redish brown hues around the edges when held up to the light. Thick tanned head pours more than a finger full and laces all around the glass and has some lasting retension. Aroma is strikingly citrusy with a fresh hop smell. Some burnt malt subtleness is evident in the background. Hops really prevail in the nose. Taste is hop forward with citrus bitterness but burnt grains and a little bit of chocolate/coffee character fills in as well before the bitter finish that lingers. Light carb and medium feel. As it warms the alcohol becomes a bit more evident in the taste but I am not complaining, this is a fine beverage.

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

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that lasts. The aroma is great. It's loaded with rich malt aroma as well as tons of hops as well. It's quite complex with bit of roasted and black malts as well. The hops dominate the aroma. They're bold and add balance to a hefty malt bill. The taste is awesome. It has a pronounced roasted malt character. It's dark with a warming finish. It goes down hoppy and ends hoppy. What a beautiful beer. The hops resinate after the finish, but a lingering roasted malt taste remains. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass beer; one of the best IPA's I've ever had, black or not. I do enjoy the roasted character.

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

This beer appears black with a thick, light tan head. The head hangs out for several minutes before leaving a thick sheet of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of alcohol, hops, pine. The flavor is primarily of hops and pine, with chocolate and roast notes following behind. The feel is medium bodied with prominent alcohol throughout. This beer is a bit too hot, slightly degrading the drinkability...

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a snifter

Pours a thick black with a heavy, foamy head. Nose is a perfect bouquet of flowers. Taste is a solid balance of roasted malt and bitter hops a little chocolate in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated.

This beer is amazing. Looks like a stout. Tastes like an IPA..You have to try it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is piney hops with roasted malt. I also get a touch of citrus. The flavor is pine, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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

9/23/07- Purchased at Dart Liquors in Stateline, NV.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, September '07 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Not quite as pitch black as the label memo says, but still pretty darn dark. Nice 3/4 inch fluffy head upon the pour which settles at a slight off white rim. Leaves behind very sticky patchwork lacing.

Smell- Scents of dark and roasted caramel malt. Pretty intense chocolate notes as well. And it wouldn't be Stone if it didn't have a nice bitter tear your nose hairs out hop aroma.

Taste- Hmmm, combo of a bunch of flavors. Coming up with a schwatzbier-ipa combo. Has a nice dark chocolate-caramel mixed flavor which is combined with a fresh grapefruit hop taste. Maybe even a slight note of coffee beans as well. Very interesting combo. I like it.

Mouthfeel- A bit in the higher carbonation range, but has a nice thicker and viscous dark malt and bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty sweet to be a session brew, in fact one bomber was almost a bit too much, but I wouldn't turn down a pint if offered. Another quality and interesting style brew released by Stone.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another limited release! I guess that these are to make up for all of the canned swill that I was downing for a while.

The pour produced a finger's worth of light brown head with good retention. The color was cola-like with ruby highlights. The nose had a malty sweetness to it, underlain by hops. The mouthfeel was medium with a licorice-like bitterness on the tongue. The finish had a chocolaty taste, but also smoky with a bit of bitterness. Mole, anyone?

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours nearly black with a thick tan head. Very good head retention a d lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hoppy, much like a DIPA. It's citrusy with grapefruit and orange but the dark malts also come through with a slightly sweet presence. Taste also has the citrusy hoppy flavor, but the dark malts come through more in the taste. There is a slight sweet caramel and chocolate flavor going on, it's nearly hidden behind the hops though. This takes on more properties of a DIPA but there is still that dark, sweet, chocolate and roasty flavor going on in the background that adds to the complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, a very complex and tasty beer that I really enjoy every time I buy it.

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Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a thick two finger head that produces some thick lacing.

Smell: big malt sweetness, brown sugar, prunes, grapefruits, and a huge hop presence that leaps out of the glass. Soft alcohol tones are also picked up.

Taste: this is a bold brew. Huge malt profile produces a nice sugary sweetness, but the pine resin, grapefruits, prunes, and soft bitter chocolate tones balances this out wonderfully. Alcohol levels provide a warmth in the throat and belly.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is very long as the strong malt and big hop bitterness wraps itself around the tongue and doesn't leave for minutes. Heavy in body.

Drinkability: definite slow sipping beer, but extremely satisfying on a flavor front. This could be considered a meal if one had an empty stomach. The alcohol does come through as you finish the bottle, so more than the one bomber bottle would be dangerous. Awesome beer.

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

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont into a tumbler.

Great light cocoa brown chocolate like head that is foamy. Cloudy dark brown body with red character. Just like it's bottle cousin, some good lacing while drinking too.

Hop citrus orange and grapefruit but muted, seems oily, sharp but still tiny and muted, I'll say it's slightly bigger than out of the bottle.

Taste is a little more varied briefly, first a quick sugar of milk chocolate disappearing with hop and grapefruit bitter. Aromatics of oil and citrus fruit on the finish, extremely fruity it never lets up.

A little more dynamic, but mostly just more powerful on tap and still a good example of this style. Can't go wrong with it at all.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.