Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Stone Brewing

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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
4.24 | pDev: 10.38%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: First brewed in 2007 as the Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, this ale was an instant hit. With us. Other folks with great taste loved it too, but we were focused on how much we liked it, and we felt it was truly sublime. That euphoria didn't last long though, as it was soon replaced with the grim reality that when we sold out of it there wouldn't be any more. For us. And that was simply unacceptable. So, we are now blessing ourselves, and you the enlightened, with this ale. Thusly, you may now revel in your own self-righteousness as you see fit with this glorious example of ours. You are genuinely welcome, as it is our pleasure.

90 IBU
Reviews: 1,918 | Ratings: 5,948 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From old, undated notes; poured from the bottle.

Brown/black liquid-some purple in the light.

Khaki head; a curtain of lace.

Coffee & slight citrus; not a huge nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

This is pretty much pickle juice with a hint of roast invests. Not a great black IPA.

Oct 13, 2019
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LokiFjolsvid from Iowa

4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The last of the first 3 impressions, and the one that cemented IPA over Imperial Stout for my overall preference. Stone and Bells are my faves, until I discover a brewery I think is better. My tastes are pretty set after a decade, but change could happen.

Jan 24, 2019
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bella1956 from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

easily one of the best black ipas I've ever had. if there wasn't a very slight burnt taste I wouls have thought I was drinking one of stone's top ipas

Mar 12, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a nice looking black color with an eggshell white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Sliding semi-stringy lace ran down the glass fairly nice.
The aroma had some roasted almonds, citrus peel, slight grapefruit, then coffee grounds, dark chocolate nibs, and had a slight chalk-like malt backbone.
The flavor had that dry chalky roasty sort of almond to coffee ground taste pretty bold and up front pummeling the dark chocolate further into the background. Super chalky dry/coffee ground aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, perhaps just a touch under but having a decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt appropriate. ABV felt appropriate. Finish was super dry with some citrus, grapefruit and coffee grounds.
Overall, though reviewed fresh, I have to admit, it's not exactly one of the best black IPA's on the market, I guess that's why this got retired.

Aug 02, 2017
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cbenson from California

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Solid Pepsi with a bourbon diffuse color and a thick, black in the body. The head is as thin as they come and colored burnt umber. It's definitely odd, especially for an IPA.
Smell: Vibrant Citrus notes of orange peel and cantaloupe. It has a decent presence of roasted malt character with notes of almonds and walnuts.
Taste: Sweet and layered. Stronger malt character than most IPAs. Strong notes of citrusy fruits including grapefruit and orange. Notes of oak with a little bit of spices, bourbon, and a hint of chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Light and carbonated entry with a thicker body. The sweet finish sticks in the tongue making you crave another sip. Dynamic and drinkable but thinner than I'd like.
Overall: a peculiar blend of styles that nails the taste but falls short in it's consistency.

Jan 21, 2017
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MonkeyBread from Nevada

2.77/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Glad this is retired. The quintessential way to make a terrible black IPA. All roast, bitterness and astringency. Like biting into a piece of chalk wrapped in powder instant coffee particles. Have another beverage ready to wash out your mouth after drinking this.

Sep 25, 2016
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with nice tan head and good lacing. Smell consists of some dark chocolate, hops, and little hit of coffee and a malty zest. Flavor is nice, hops hit you up front with little pine, the malt and bits of chocolate/coffee break into the mix. The finish is dry and hoppy. Overall this is a very pleasant beer, well done Stone.

Sep 15, 2016
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

Pours a clear but very dark brown, looks opaque unless held to light. Head is light tan, pillowy, and dissipates to a lacing.

Smells of toasted biscuit, coffee, and piney and woody hops.

Tastes of pine and honey on toasted biscuit, woody hop finish. Bit of caramel on the follow-up.

Medium to full body with a bite of carbonation on the tongue.

Delicious IPA with some dark beer elements that mesh perfectly. Great pour, great taste, great feel. Nothing is short of excellent. A must-try.

Sep 12, 2016
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Handwaver from Ohio

2.4/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Maybe something's off with my smeller, but I smell very little from this brew. Taste is nice at first, but it has that bit of funky taste that is the reason I don't drink Porters. Not bad, but not something I will drink again.

Sep 06, 2016
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Prager62 from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A twelve ounce bottle dated 07/09/16 with enjoy by 11/06/16 poured in a Stone snifter for the review.

Look- Pours a medium thick oily black with a generous finger of tan foam that settles leaving ample lacing.

Smell- Dark roasted malt, pine and some char.

Taste- Dark roast and pine forward followed by solid floral notes and a hint of char in the finish.

Feel- Oily and quite thick like an oatmeal stout with a semi dry finish.

Overall- Not my favorite style, but I found this one rather interesting. It tasted like a blend of stout/porter with an IPA. Worth a shot for fans of the style.

Aug 30, 2016
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Stooven from Illinois

3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Definitely not retired: was part of the summer 2016 sampler pack distributed nationwide. Reminds me most of Wookey Jack. Is Jekyll and Hyde in regards to being imbibed straight from the bottle and poured into a glass (the latter is recommended. Without reservation.) The juiciness of the hop profile is alternatingly all-for and against the dark wheat ale profile. It's smoother than your garden-variety bubbly porter, less substantial than a stout. The aftertaste calls for a stronger coffee residue but is somewhat astringent. Has upside. Alcohol is well hidden.

Aug 29, 2016
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Bartleby91 from Illinois

4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So happy this is back even if it is just for a limited amount of time.
Appearance is black with a tan two finger head. Some redness as well when held up to light.
Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, citrus, floral and resiny hop along with some malt sweetness. Really nice and complex.
Tastes are citrus, resiny pine, malt sweetness, chocolate.
The palate is medium plus with a nice creaminess that lingers really well. Big bitterness as well that stays.
Overall this is probably still my favorite beers aer from stone. The best black ipa I have had.

Aug 27, 2016
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mac31 from California

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Entry is briefly sweet, then dry cocoa bitterness kicks intermingling with the bitterness from the hop. Hops are fresh, floral, citrus (lemon), pineapple, earthy, woody, resinous, and intense. I love it. Body thickens up slightly as the beer warms. Hops linger on the palate. Alcohol is forward at times and can be a little sharp. This has gone off the market, but was brought back on in a variety pack. One of the better black IPA's out there. Made in the Stone mold- big, brash, in your face. True to style. If you close your eyes, you get IPA all the way and maybe a little of the dark properties, which in an informal way is how the style is suppose to present itself. This is a really nice beer. It's intense, but it's surprisingly drinkable. I was at the bottom of my glass before I knew it. Not a beer for all. If you are a true IPA fan, grab it if you can get it.

Aug 26, 2016
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Sublimely pours perfect black with thick tan head, just sits there eventually leaving coating lace. Roasted malt n hops fill the nose. Roasty taste, lots of piney bitter hops bite mid way and dominate the rest of the sip. A hop lover's black
IPA. Medium silky feel. Glad they are bringing this one back occasionally.

Aug 10, 2016
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weareallfalafel from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, about a month after bottling. Pours a deep brown, or mahogany in color. Close to black, but not quite. Head is fairly small (1/4 inch to 1/2), but this is mostly due to my pour, I think, because it's been bigger and more sustained in recent times I've enjoyed this. Lacing however is still pretty present and clings to the side of my glass throughout. Smell is of chocolate and coffee at first, and then of fruity hops. Taste is immediately a roasted quality that leads to more coffee, and some dark chocolate. A slight sweetness, and then a tame, but appreciated hop bite, just enough to stay true to the style. Feel is fairly full bodied and a tad creamy, like a stout of similar strength. Overall, a very tasty and enjoyable beer. Smell was a little more tame than expected, but the layered flavors in each sip more than makes up for what was likely due to a less than perfect pour.

Aug 09, 2016
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tprinzing from Texas

4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this as part of a seasonal 12-pack mix. The bottle was date stamped as bottled on 6/3/16. I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

L: It pours a one finger head and leaves a pretty decent amount of lacing, and is quite black.

T: I really like the black IPA style to begin with. The taste of this one did not disappoint, with a delightfully hoppy taste with significant toasted malt.

F: Rolls over the tongue pretty much like any of the Stone IPA's, a nice feel.

If this beer were available all of the time, I would buy it regularly.

Jul 21, 2016
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vabeerguy from Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass. As the name implies, the beer is black. Nice head, nice lacing. I enjoyed the taste but have to say it is not my favorite IPA. I would probably not buy a six pack of this but if included in a mixed twelve pack I would go for it.

Jul 02, 2016
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Bulabeers from California

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: black with one finger of white head nice lacing as you drink
S: roasty toasty figs and pine
T: toasted malts, grapefruit, pine, and a hint of alcohol
F: Black IPA feel is tricky. It's crisp, it's got medium carbonation, and the bitterness from the hops and toasted malts are leaving me thirsty. I kind of perceive it as heavier. I believe this is the feel that has been intended.
O: This is a fine brew.

Jun 24, 2016
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WickedBeer from Alabama

4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm so glad they brought this back so I'd have the opportunity to try it! Stone released this in their Mixed 12 Pack, paired with their classic Stone IPA, Ruination Double 2.0, and their new seasonal Citruy Wit. It pours nearly jet black with about a 1/2 inch head and heavy lacing. You get a mild hoppy, resinous aroma initially, but the first sip is a sweet and hoppy burst of flavor, complimented by bready, malty notes that finishes with a subtle pine flavor that does an incredible job of balancing out the full flavor of this beer. So glad to experience this, would love to see it go into regular circulation. 4.5/5

Jun 14, 2016
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akolb from Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing aroma that includes dark fruits, roasted malts, dark caramel, and pine. A rich, complex flavor. Starts a little sweet, and then waves of chocolate malt, bitterness, toasted bread, pine, and caramel malts. This is such a unique and flavorful beer, showcasing phenomenal malts with some hops to give it a bite. Renewed my faith in the oft underwhelming black IPA style.

Jun 08, 2016
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz. bottled 04/30/16

Pours dark maroon, nearly black with a creamy frothy tan head. Smells like caramelized raisins, dried fig and plums, some candied grapefruit and orange citrus, mild licorice, some tropical pineapple, papaya, dark roasted caramel, toffee, molasses, subtle vanilla, chocolate, coffee, with mild earthy grass and pine. Tastes like dark roasted malts, burnt caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, charred coffee, dark raisins, dried fig and plum, candied caramelized grapefruit and orange citrus, some tropical pineapple and papaya undertones, with earthy grass and pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice black IPA.

Jun 07, 2016
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BSiegs from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black in color, with very slight ruby edges when held to light. Ample tan foam that retains and laces incredibly well. Aroma is pure hops at first - pine, citrus, slight spice. The subtle roasted malts follow, adding a nice complexity. The taste is more balanced between the roasted malts and the hoppy characteristics. Piney, resinous, and roasty. Medium light body with moderate-high carbonation. Slightly bitter, dry finish. Really happy Stone brought this back!

Jun 03, 2016
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Liz_Yoder from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I am not an IPA drinker so this one was a little rough for me. However, I can't deny it is full of body and flavor and will make any IPA lover beg for more. The smell of coffee (and maybe chocolate) is pleasant and again makes this a standout among IPAs. If you love your porters and/or IPAs then this is for you. For those of you who shy away...take several steps back.

May 22, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nicely done black IPA, lots of roast grain and hop bitterness without being overwhelming. Black with abundant beige head, smell mostly of roast grains, hops come in at the taste. Nice mellow bitter finish, some lingers, making you want more.,

May 18, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black ipa pours black, gives about a 1/2" tan head on the top. Aroma smacks of dry hopping. This is definitely better than most black ipas aroma wise.

Taste, lots of hops, bitterness, a little bit of roast, always hoping to stay away from that with black ipas. Definitely hides the high alcohol pretty well. Not my favorite style of beer, but this is one of the better ones (and first).

Apr 28, 2016
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5948 ratings