Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Stone Brewing

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Style:
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV:
8.7%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.24 | pDev: 10.38%
Reviews:
1,918
Ratings:
5,948
From:
Stone Brewing
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  317
Gots
  813
SCORE
94
Outstanding
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
Reviews by nickadams2:
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nickadams2 from New York

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

A_Pours dark brown with a thick khaki colored head. Great retention. Heavy lacing.

S_Sweet malt,caramel,and floral hops.

T_Floral hops,caramel,sweet malt. Roasty and chocolaty on the finish.Lot going on but pretty well balanced.

M_Full bodied ,thick and creamy.

D_Bomber does it for me.

Aug 14, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany body, opaque aside from the slightest brown highlight shining from the bottom of my snifter, with a nicely contrasting cappuccino head.

The aroma is that of the growing ever popular hoppy Black Ale, e.g., Night Stalker, Dark Hops, Iniquity. Mad roasty while being loaded with pine resin at the same time. Deep notes of cacao on the dark side, while hints of citrus, almost grapefruit, bringing home the hoppy side. Intriguing to say the least.

The flavor is that of a Night Stalkers little brother, even in body it's not as big. Which is a bonus for me, as Stalker is a bit too gloopy for the flavors it has. Cedery and piney hop resins, cigar smokiness, bitter cocoa, spruce, all with a toasty chocolate fade. Notable, almost crisp, carbonation also helps take it out of the stout catagory.

I've drank about half the bottle and still have no idea what I'm trying to figure out here. It's complex beyond my vocabulary. You haven't lived until you try this beer.

Aug 13, 2010
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours nearly pitch black with a thinner body than you'd expect from this dark color - similar to that of IPAs, and not super-thick like stouts and porters. Looks great - thin layer of off-white head that settled down rather quickly but left very nice lacing along the glass when I was finished. The nose is loaded with hops, pines, oily resin, a touch of citrus, and dashes of roasted malt, which is probably what gives this beer its fantastic color. Upon first taste, the hops immediately jump out and jab your tongue with a huge pine-tree bite. Halfway through the sip, as the beer warms up in your mouth, the roasted malts start to come out and mellow out the hops, performing a balancing act with them that works quite nicely. Your tongue is left with an aftertaste of floral greens and toasty malt and barley. Very smooth on the body, and overall pretty thin, with a fairly high amount of carbonation that goes hand in hand with the initial hop bite. Mouth is left somewhat dry and sticky - keeps you coming back for more.

I love this beer because it's so unique - it's almost starts off in your mouth like an IPA then transforms into a porter right in front of your palette. One of the first brews I ever had from Stone, and it surely did not disappoint. Great beer.

Sep 28, 2012
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Ipaupaweallpa from Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Decided to purchase wondering what the hell a black iPa is months back and trusting stones judgment. Pre beer advocate. First opened. Hmm smells like a porter /stout, but what's that end note!?! I'm gonna go for a sip...... WOW!! this is delicious!! Starts off like a porter stout ends like an iPa. I can't explain it. I've actually looked at the low reviews on this one AND THEY EXIST! I know everyone's taste differs but I feel like this is one of the greatest beers ever. If I had enough to spend $12 on a couple 4 packs a week I would, but rather keep it special and get every so often. Hands down best 12oz bottled beer so far in my journey though craft beer. If you like IPAS and don't mind porters /stouts try this. Just make sure you get it fresh and check the dates! Although it is understandable living on opposite coast these days.. Thank you Stone! Please don't stop brewing this. Ever. Cheers, Kevin.

Dec 26, 2014
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secondtooth from Indiana

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

Appearance: Black, with a tinge of ruby highlights underneath it all. Huge head of off-white suds, and thick, ornate, detailed lace all make the initial showing a pleasure.

Aroma: Delicious and balanced, blending chocolate roasty maltiness with fresh fruity, citrusy hops.

Taste: Bold, assertive, and big, with the bitter citrus hops taking precedence over the roasty malts. There are, of course, notes of burnt chocolate in there, adding a subtlety to the big hops. The mix is masterful and this is a downright wonderful brew.

Apr 26, 2015
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

So their 11th Anniversary Ale was arrogant enough to become year-round. Thin, tan lacing on top of a nearly pitch-black brew. Thick resin hop nose with hints of burnt malt, old school. Smooth, almost full-ish body. Oh mama, insane hop presence ... enough for a hophead to get their fix within the first sip. Spikes of charred malt poke through the thick blanket of hops. Warmth of alcohol plays well. We have no choice but to love this beer.

Jan 11, 2011
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cavedave from New York

4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The look of it is menacing somehow, in the way of a beautiful temptress offering dark pleasure, hiding danger. Thick, alive, mahogany-red, opaque, somehow glowing despite the opacity. A dark, dank head of close-knit lather. It leaves shaving cream peaks and valleys on my stemless wine glass.

The aroma is thick, silky, enters my nose like a waft of citrus perfume, lemon balm candy, with spicy herbal edges. My fourth sniff reveals a new bottom of mysterious fragrance that I find incredibly seductive. Can't wait for a sip.

Woahh, what an unexpected jolt of herbal goodness. It is a lightning bolt of intensity, immensity, and complexity. The thunder of the bolt rolls across tongue and mind beneath booms of bourbon, citrus, burnt caramel, currants, raisins, hints of chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, through it all the faintest promise of sweetness which sustains the flavor, and ends in a charge of the dry brigade, floral, dark, bitter, and long. I haven't been this blown away by a first sip in some time. Five sips later I'm now into the rhythm of the brew, some vanilla popping in, what a blend of flavor, what an amazing jazz piece of complex virtuousity. Feels like seeing Dexter Gordon at the Vanguard in the old days. Tastes so good it takes you to a new place. Am I crazy? Is this as good as it now tastes? Man, that sounds crazy, but this stuff has done it to me. O'kay, another big sip. This is one of the best beers I ever tasted. I love all of Stone's stuff, maybe I am a Stone pimp, oh well, I call 'em as I see 'em. Just try this and tell me I'm wrong. What a fucking deliciously complex, pleasingly delicious beer that is absolutely deliciously delicious.

Mouthfeel is awesome, just right clinginess, just right carbonation, just right acidity, sustains a long finish that is a joy.

Drinkability is extremely, dangerously, I-can't-say-it-strongly-enough superlatively wonderful. Between a very, very mild alcohol presence, and a flavor which nearly matches what my current fantasy beer would taste like, it is most perilously, marvelously drinkable.

Apr 29, 2009
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IPALOVER from Colorado

4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow-- what a beer! I didn't know what to expect, and loved the creative writing on the bottle that led me to believe that it was going to be a "very dark" IPA.

The beer poured beautifully-- looked like a nitro delivered beer. I said "yum" just looking at it.

After taking the first sip I remarked, "now this is a great beer." What makes it that way? First of all, the hops, which I am a huge fan of. Secondly, the combination of coffee and black licorice that dominate, as well.

Drinking this beer is not easy-- heavy and definitely an after-dinner sipper! As the beer warms it becomes smoother and the coffee notes dominate-- I didn't leave a drop in the glass.

I'm a fan of Stone because of their use of hops, and was pleased to see and sample this truly unique, tasty IPA.

Sep 27, 2007
Photo of davidchollar
davidchollar from Washington

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle today at the best beer shop in Tokyo, Tanakaya. Strangely fizzy cola-like appearance. Black with foamy head that settles soon. I don't have the proper glass, but it shouldn't make much of a difference. Not impressed with the looks.

Smell is a different story. Quite a unique bouquet! I can't make up my mind what style it reminds me of - one moment picking up IIPA piney citrus hoppiness, then I think more of a winter warmer, then suddenly I get a fat dose of vanilla maltiness. Amazing in its complexity.

The 9% is noticeable but not distracting. Taste is even more bitter than expected, with a terrific mouthfeel and finish. I feel it's a bit too heavy on the IBUs for my taste. Ever since I fell in love with the elixir that is barleywine, other styles seem to fall short. Of the Stone offerings I've tried, I'll take the arrogant, the double bastard and the barleywine over this, but this one is still definitely goood shiiit (^_<)~★

May 10, 2010
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jeff96gt from Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +12%

Apr 24, 2014
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BeerStine from California

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a stemless wine glass (all I had to work with).

An aggressive pour yields a pitch black color with fluffy almond colored head. Smells like citrus hops with good balancing malts. Taste is like the smell, strong citrus hops with a great malt backbone. Hints of grapefruit too. Mouthfeel is light with light/medium carbonation. Drinkablity is great. I could drink this all night.

Great beer. I was pleasantly surprised by the great hops in this one.

May 23, 2009
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bheilman from Indiana

3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker than anything I've ever had from Stone minus their imperial stout. I was expecting a little lighter color. It's nearly porter in color, but a little bit lighter, sort of red. The head was nice and stayed around for a while. The taste was good with a bitter old ale flavor. It reminds me a bit of the german alt style. It is a little fruity with hops but mostly exhibitsa solid malt flavor; caramel, raisin, with a bite of peppery spice. There is very little hops in the scent. It barely has any scent at all, but definitely more malt than hops. The aftertaste is good, and the beer is smooth. I would not guess the alcohol content as the bite is minimal compared to some beers over 8%. Not my favorite Stone, but worth a try, especially if you like this style.

Jul 31, 2010
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teamwiggum from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Aug 29, 2014
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bohemiandonut from California

3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Smell just like pineapple orange mango juice blend, with perhaps a few marijuana branches thrown in. Pure genius hop aroma really. A bit of foreign malt lingers, raspberry chocolate, intoxicating coffee liqeur whispers from the deep.

Taste comes on somehow welcome but profoundly surprising. The palate leaps from mango-sweet anticipation to roasty malt-blanketed hop shadows. It's like they took the horror of a rotting DIPA and crossed it with an English porter, with none too much attention paid to either.

Stone is certainly a distinctive brewer. One recognizes their way with hops and malt immediately, and in this case it's a good thing. Few brewers bridge that gap successfully, but Stone manages to straddle it right between "OMG do they make IPA?" and "AW SHI where the BARLEYWINE AT?". Fortunately, these assholes make both.

Good job Stone, I applaud your diction.

Sep 15, 2010
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DovaliHops from California

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color that turn ruby when held up to the light...has medium off-white head. Scent is very hoppy with a tiny bit of chocolate as well. Taste is so surprisingly different than what you're expecting from the appearance. Gotta love those Cascadian Black IPAs! I'm really glad they're popping up more often, because they're delicious! At first I get much similar flavors to an Imperial IPA, with the caramel, strong malt profile as well as intense hops. The hops seem to be well balanced of citrus and floral notes. Then the darkness comes in...with slight roasty and chocolate flavors. Finishes with a pleasant balance of hops and bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and not nearly as thick as expected...Drinkability is fairly high.

Jan 21, 2011
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unshodjogger from Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Mar 27, 2014
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SpenceLillywhite from California

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Jan 05, 2012
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avaldivia from California

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Nov 14, 2011
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surfotog from California

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Dec 10, 2013
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BeerzMcKenzie from Ohio

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Mar 03, 2012
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Kirby from Colorado

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Feb 28, 2012
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dailyminefield from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Mar 17, 2013
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bestpoop from California

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Dec 10, 2012
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AnitaBrewski from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Jun 22, 2013
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's really too bad that they discontinued this one, it's one of the best of the style on the market.

It pours a deep impenetrable black, with an off white head, and a good level of lacing.

As Stone does best, this is an all-out attack on the palate. You get hit with searing hop bitterness, leather, smoke, intense roast, and grapefruit rind. This is really tasty stuff. It's creamy and rich.

Bring this back some day, Stone.

Nov 14, 2013
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5948 ratings