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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,340 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,340
Reviews: 1,830
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 232
Gots: 509 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,340 | Reviews: 1,830 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with two fingers of medium tan head that rests on top of a dark brown body with a hint of tan light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - A strong, green hop aroma up front with notes of pine, more pine, and perhaps lemon. Some dark malt in the background, caramel and toffee, it has a light transformative effect on the hop character to give just a bit of the mustardy note common in american barleywines.

T - Dark toffee malt with a hint of espresso. Citrus hops come in next with lots of grapefruit and orange. The hop bitterness kicks in towards the middle with a sharp wave of powerful bitterness. Some sweet toffee and bready toast sooth the palate briefly before the bitterness comes back on and swells to a crushing finish. Notes of profoundly pithy grapefruit blend with the moderately dark malt to form a spicy, mustardy hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Lingering notes of blue veined cheese, cigar tobacco, and grapefruit pith.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer impresses from the first whiff of the aroma and doesn't let up until long after the last drop is gone. The hop aroma is spectacular with a very intense and fresh pine note that is much less colored by dark malt than I would have expected based on the style and the color. The flavor is quite a bit darker and more typical of the style, though no less excellent. There is a very nice balance between caramel malts and citrus hops as well as between harsh, acrid bitterness and a subtle, restrained sweetness that appears at just the right moments to encourage your palate to endure the assault and keep the beer drinkable. This is one of the most surprising, complex, and well balanced American strong ales that I have come across and it is one of Stones best efforts (which is obviously saying a lot). A must try.

nickfl, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Jason, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

WVbeergeek, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of chocolate.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with good complexity. There's the good floral hops bitterness as well as the hearty roasted malt character with mild flavors of dark fruit and chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, excellent representation of the "Dark IPA" sub-style, this is yet another very good beer from Stone that is worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, May 18, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap @ the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on 11/9/09. There were a lot of great beers to choose from on tap here but I wanted to try one of my Stone favorites right there at the source.

Pours black, with the just the tiniest bit of ruby coming out along the bottom, and a 1/4 finger of creamy mocha colored froth. Retains with a soft and creamy look, just completely coating the sides of the glass with thick rings of lacing. The aroma is fresh and floral in the nose, with a nice hard edge of spice and pine to it. A blast of citric hops rolls in next, backed by a nice crunchy mix of coffee and roast, as well as some softer cocoa and toffee character. This sits with a bit of heft in the nose as well. Smells like a dark Porter oozing with American hop attitude.

The taste is pretty spot on with the aroma, as heavy rich notes of chocolate roast and coffee flavor are right at the forefront of this. Luckily, they are more than an equal match for the aggressive resinous bite of the hops, which is just dripping with juicy & bright citric character. This is overall very roasty, bitter, and intense, with burnt notes that really hang around for a while. The mouthfeel is medium to maybe a bit fuller, with a sharp prickly nature that matches up well with those bold hops. There is some heft here to the body but the alcohol is kept to a minium in the taste, allowing it's presence to just add even more to the overall bigness of this beer.

Hands down on of my favs from these guys and probably my favorite example of the "Dark IPA" style. I've really enjoyed this out of the bottle several times but it seemed just so much more intense here on draft. Great stuff!

Kegatron, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

RblWthACoz, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decanted this cool from a brown 22oz into a goblet, purchased this at Thirsty's in York, Pa.

A - Black as cinder w/ a tall, 3 fingers of rocky tan head w/ an ultra-fine bead. Moderately full coating of lace on the glass.

S - A huge citrus aroma w/ totally hop dominant nose. Tinges of malty toasted and creamy notes peek out from behined the NW hop aroma.

M - Rich, acidic feel w/ leafy resionous pungency, bitter upfront w/ notes of sweet dark malt in the finish.

T - An intensely flavored ale w/ a nod to the IPA, very citrusy w/ grapefruit and tangy citrus notes w/ mango and sweet subtle flavors that have a gentle dark malt influence w/ hints of molasses and dark sugar w/ caramel and roasted flavors. The acidity is present in each sip as the citrus hop flavor makes its potency known. Sip after sip says Grapefruit! There is a ruby red note w/ a turbinado sugar topped flavor, very zesty the taste reminds me of a grapefruit winter warmer I brewed w/ actual ruby red fruit years ago. I find it unique that this should bring back that one-off memory. I like how the malt is in the taste kind of cushioning the high vault of hops, a very nice effect.

D - This beer is impressive in craftsmanship. Nice black color, all IPA in flavor. It is not something I could see myself drinking many of, but is tasty-it kept me coming back. This ale isn't what I consider complex, but makes its point well and is very drinkable. Shame it is only around for the Anniversary.

Slatetank, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  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

russpowell, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

MasterSki, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Made a hoppy stout of my own, and I think its comparative to this beer, so I'm going to try them side by side and see what I think. I didn't create a clone on purpose, I just wanted a nice hoppy stout and found out so did Stone.

A: Pours into my Corsendonk tulip glass with a huge thick frothy dark bubbly head that reminds me of blowing bubbles in my chocolate milk as a kid. Its almost pitch black with the slightest light coming through the bottom of the glass where it thins.

N: Floral juicy hops really kick in the nose first. A light creamy malty aroma also gives a nice feel to it. Some sweet caramel malts and light roasted malts. The nose is a lot less spicy bite of hops than mine, and this is a lot more creamy and malty, closer to a nice thick stout. A slight coffee aroma from the roasted malts.

T: Again starts with a nice floral spicy hop taste with some juicy hops. A slight malty creamy chocolate malt flavor, and some roasted malts as well. The juicy hop flavors never go away either, and they seem to dissipate throughout the entire mouth from start to finish. I almost get a frosting taste towards the end as well with some sweet creamy tastes and juicy hops blended. I used a bunch of cascade hops, esp dry hop so this is blended much better, and they don't contrast as much as mine. I will have to really redo my stout and I want to model it after this.

M: Creamy and pretty thick, a little spicy with hops, good carbonation.

F: Finishes very bitter and pretty dry. More spicy floral hop flavors dangle around the mouth for a bit, and the dryness helps to accentuate the hops. A slight rich creamy stout feel stay around for a bit too. A slight chocolate taste also lingers and seems to blend really well with the juicy hop taste. I would love to have a chocolate covered hop candy bar.

jlindros, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  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!

feloniousmonk, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of drabmuh
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

drabmuh, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -5.2%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark bitter ale with no hint of fruitiness.

Very dark brown, looks inviting. Doesn't taste dark, however. Very austere, no hint of sweetness in the malt. more like a hint of soy sauce. Hops jump right on without much aromatic foreplay and keep at it. Seems surprisingly light-bodied for a strong, dark ale. Has a very odd taste of metal at the end, an edge on the teeth.

I think this is one of my least favorite Stone ales. For the hard core IPA drinker, for sure.

mactrail, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  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.

Rifugium, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

mendvicdog, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

WesWes, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

mdfb79, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -5.2%

MarkyMOD, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Mora2000, May 31, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

DrunkinYogi, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

jwc215, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -10%
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.

smcolw, May 22, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled September 2007
Well carbonated, even a careful pour produces a five-finger thick head in my Tulip glass. The head is a creamy light brown color and leaves spotty lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes back into the beer. The beer is an opaque, almost black color that shows brilliantly clear, chocolate brown notes around the edges. As expected the aroma is quite hop focused. Dominant citrus / floral hop notes mix with pine-like / menthol-esque hop aromatics. When you dig for it, noticeable toasted malt aromatics become noticeable, but the dark malt character is certainly well masked by the hop onslaught. Interestingly enough, even up front there seems to be a noticeable chocolate character; it is extremely subtle & I almost wonder if my eyes are trying to pull a fast one on my nose. I don't think so though, there is a slight note of chocolate that intermingles with notes of grapefruit, freshly zested tangelo skins and lychee. With time the sharper pine / menthol hop aromatics seem to fade a bit. The hops here really capture the essence of freshly zested citrus peel, I almost feel like I got to close to the grater while zesting some sweet citrus fruits and ended up with a nose full of citrus oil.

The beer is served cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), this produces an almost creamy mouthfeel up front, but of course the hop character is the most noticeable aspect here. Bracingly hoppy from the get go, towards the middle with a little malt help the sweet citrus notes become really noticeable. The finish has a bitterness that only becomes more biting & sharp the longer the beer has been gone from my mouth; almost as if the bitterness sticks harshly to my palate while the malt character melts away. The bitterness in the finish seems to be accentuated a bit by some dark malt derived acidity; in fact this is where the dark malt character seems to come into play. The dark malt flavors are drowned out by the hops. This is quite easy drinking, there is a sort of creaminess to the beer, but it is still quite quaffable if not quite light. I would not even guess this was almost 9% alcohol, as it captures the drinkability & relatively light body of a West Coast IPA. The citrus hop flavors are definitely the dominant flavor contributor here. They are not quite so over the top as the aroma was (that citrus oil character is muted a bit), but still ample notes of tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, orange zest, and lychee are quite noticeable. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, subtle notes of roast coffee and chocolate start to become noticeable.

This is most definitely an IPA inspired beer; the lingering, tongue flagellating bitterness in this beer is huge. Astringent at times, bracing, palate dominating, but thoroughly enjoyable for the hop heads out there. I really hope this beer lasts longer than the 10th anniversary beer; for some reason that one had a 2 week window where it was a zesty hop bomb, but after that it became a train wreck of flavors (though I'll have to revisit it as some have said it has mellowed recently). Anyway, if you only have one bottle drink it now, cause it is at it's peak fresh hoppiness right now. It will be interesting to see how the dark malt character plays out; it is very subtle right now and if this was put in a blind IPA tasting (you would actually have to be blind folded though), most would have a hard time guessing this was not a typical, albeit supper hoppy IPA.

Gueuzedude, Sep 02, 2007
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,340 ratings.