Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

1,914 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

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Reviews: 1,914 | Ratings: 5,925
Photo of BSiegs
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

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Photo of NWer
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark. Indistinguishably dark. Nice head. Tight foam settles in beautifully. A good looking beer.
Complex taste and flavors blend very smoothly in the palate leaving a pleasing aftertaste. Very smooth.
This is worth seeking out if you feel worthy.

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Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a nice description and history of the beer as this is a remake of there 11th anniversary ale. The ADV is listed as 8.7% and there is no freshness date.

Appearance: The body has an opaque dark black color with a thick light tan head on top. The head is long lasting and makes for tons of cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has solid roasted and toasted maltiness with caramel like sweetness backed up by equally solid citrusy hops.

Taste/Palate: Its deep maltiness sets up a firm base for the hops to work there bitter magic. From the base malt I get firm toasted and roasted character with loads of caramel like sweetness that weaves in and out of the dominate hops. The hops bring a big hit of citrus and pine like bitterness. Notes of grapefruit, lime, bitter orange and pine resin hang onto the tongue long into the slow fading finish. The big full body brings a heavy slow sipping and sticky texture with just enough carbonation to keep things from getting cloying.

Notes: This is another outstanding beer from Stone.

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Photo of econ
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an American pint glass

At 8.7 ABV and 90 IBU, with a viscous, almost opaque off-black and a creamy tan head, this beer is no pushover. Both in terms of aroma and flavor, it has the rich, heavy chocolate, coffee and roasted malt of an imperial stout, along with the arrogant hop bitterness that Stone is known for. I find that it reaches a good balance between both extremes, and is a good beer for those rainy days when you're just shuttered in at home. Heavy-bodied and almost sticky on the palate, with a slightly bitter finish that tends to stick around as well. I do feel that malts do offset the hops quite well, as it doesn't have that trademark hop profile that is ruinous and offensive for everyone except the most arrogant of bastards. Stone pats itself on the back quite strongly for this one, as evidenced by the name of the beer itself, and deservedly so. I'd love to try this fresh, and see how the hops dropped off when compared to the bomber I tried.

crossposted on

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No need for you to read this, just go pick up a bottle now.

Pours very dark brown with orange highlights around the edges. Big thick foamy head. Huge lacings stick out from the side of the glass. Fantastic retention.

Close your eyes and you're smelling a big IPA. All brash hops. Loads of citrus, grapefruit juice, with a touch of pine.

Hops up front. Again, big citrus fruit all the way through. Transitions to a nice piney lasting bitterness. Like with the aroma, you could easily mistake it for a DIPA. Nonetheless, caramel malt is there. Interesting flavour mix with the bitter hops, together they give off flavours of really excellent dark chocolate.

Medium body. Nice and smooth going down. Not overdone, perfectly drinkable.

A fantastic beer.

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Photo of boogyman
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pour is beautiful. Color is dark as an imperial stout. Almost no light penetrates it. Head is a off white cream color and the bubbles are very small and the head looks thick and creamy and sticks around and the lacing looks to be very sticky.

S- I can smell both a decent malt and a nice floral scent from the hops. I can smell everything from dark caramel to roasty malts. Then comes the citric fruit like lemon, orange and grapefruit. The nose has a lot going for it.

T- Wow... Right off the bat I can already tell this one one great brew. It is pungent on the malt side like ABA but has enough hops to relate to Ruination IPA. I get all the best aspects of a strong malty beer like dark fruit and roastyness but also a very awesome bitterness and citric flavors on the back end. This is definitely one of the best tasting strong ales I have had.

M- Goes down as smooth as a stout but leaves a bite similar to a good IPA. This is definitely one of the most unique brews I have had in a long time. My brain still can't decide weather I am drinking an IPA, strong ale, or stout.

D- Definitely have no problem putting this beer down. Has a bit of every aspect I look for in a good beer and I will definitely be picking this one up again as long as I can get my hands on it. Stone, you have yet to disappoint!

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Photo of wedge
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect, thick frothy tan head sits atop a nearly black liquid with deep mahogany highlights. The aroma is hoppy, but amazingly balanced: pine, fruit, and a hefty dose of chocolate and dark bread. The flavor starts out with a very resinous, fresh hop quality, yet again has a balancing sweet dark maltiness. Simcoe comes through the strongest with the characteristic piney-citrus flavors, though the sweet chocolate and coffee malts put up a good fight. Very smooth and bitter mouthfeel, a little short of full in body.

Wow, what an interesting beer. Extremely well balanced all around - hoppy and bitter, but not too over the top. Excellent and very well crafted.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the clear dark brown brew. Frothy head lasts and lasts, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is pungeant piney green hops. Taste is bit lacking in the chewy malts one might expect for such a dark color, but hops character and bitterness is excellent. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Yet another anniversary brew from Stone that is worthy of the milestone.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with very thick tan head, lots of sticky lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, citrus, and some pine.

The taste is of bitter hops immediately, then citrus and roasted malts, there is also some coffee and hints of pine.

Medium bodied, smooth and coarse, very little carbonation.

This was an excellent beer, lots of flavor, but quite filling.

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Photo of garbercury
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to get this on tap at Vintage wine and beer, nice...

A---Looks like a stout, appearances can be deceiving.

S---Smell the hops, love it.

T---This is a unique, classic beer, so good. A union of Stout, Porter, and IPA, crazy stuff, this is such a good beer, the flavor is incredible


D--This is a very drinkable beer, I recommend it highly. One of the better beers I can remember having in my time on this earth...

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As the beer filled my glass I was surprised by its color. The color is black. A black IPA? Yes, this Stone IPA is black as a moonless night. The smell of this IPA is great. It's like walking into a produce department and condensing it into this 22oz bomber. Orange, grapefruit and even raisins take this IPA to the bank. This one of the best IPA's I've tasted, period.
The mouthfeel lasts so long I needed a glass of water to try Brainzilla's beer.

Overall: GET THIS BEER!! Better yet grab a case if you can!

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Photo of number1bum
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm psyched to enjoy this goes.

Pours dark brown, nearly black but not quite opaque. Held up to the light reveals some deep ruby hues. A pillowy 2+ fingers of light tan head fill the glass, and the retention is outstanding, leaving a nice lace and tons of stick on the sides. This baby looks a lot like a porter and it's awesome.

Smell is very typical IPA, with pronounced citrus and pine hop resin aromas, but then there's just a touch of chocolate malt in there, as well.

Taste starts out super hoppy, again with emphasis on the citrus and pine. About halfway through the hops display some bitterness, but then to go with it comes some subtle chocolate and sweet caramel malt. It tastes a lot like a typical IPA but with subtle differences, and it's more complex than a regular IPA. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is really creamy and soft on the palate, and it only feels about medium-bodied in the mouth even though it's a big one at almost 9%. It's also very drinkable because the hop bitterness is subdued and it's just so damn tasty.

This is a great brew, another notch on the belt for Stone. Really enjoyable.

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Photo of ThePortlander
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 20oz of this at Mugs Alehouse in Williamsburg after Pies 'n' Thighs. It was dry hopped with Amarillo.

Almost pitch black with a thick, luscious tan head. Great sticking power on the head, it never went away. The smell is great, with tons of spicy hops bursting through the coffee-like malt backing. The flavor is fantastic as well, giving off tons of complex malt flavor, with those citrus-like bitter and peppery spice notes that are unique to the Amarillo. So good. Kinda snuck up on me though. One flaw: the hops could meld better into the beer.

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Photo of giblet
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a dark opaque brown. wonderful smell and fullness. excellent carbonation and head. very creamy head with tremendous lace. rich body and taste but not overpowerfully full. i drank a 22 oz and did not feel bloated and full.

yet another masterpiece from Stone. this company is certainly in my top five brewers that i have had the pleasure of enjoying!!!

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of mithrascruor
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-brown color, almost black. Medium-tan head is thick and foamy, laces the glass, and retains quite well. Looks almost like a porter.

Smell: Has a very piney/citrus aroma up front. But there's also more subtle roasted malty and coffee aromas further back. Nicely balanced, and quite intriguing.

Taste: Wow! It's very strong with many things going on. Hoppy bitterness, coffee bitterness, pine and citrus sweetness, a bit of chocolate-like sweetness, and other unusual flavors in there too. It's a very complex taste and well-balanced too. Everything really stands out too. A slight bit of alcohol in the finish, and the aftertaste is roasted malts & pine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with just a bit of carbonation. Medium- to full-bodied. Slight alcohol tingling after a while.

Drinkability: This is a strong beer, in taste and alcohol, so take it easy. Hardly a session beer, but still very drinkable.

This is a very unusual beer -- somewhere between Stone's Pale Ale, Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Smoked Porter. It certainly has elements common to all of those beers. It's a real beast of a beer, so best not for the light-hearted. But if you want to try something really unique and bold, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of alkemy
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with a tight tan head. This really looks like a stout or porter. It does not, however, smell like one. Hops are strong with pine and grapefruit. The grains seem only to be present in a slightly burnt aroma. It was odd drinking a beer with this appearance/taste combination. Alcohol is really not noticeable...very drinkable. The grapefruit is probably the strongest taste with the pine then blending in. That burnt taste lends itself to a hint of coffee for me. Very good.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with mahogany hued edges and a two finger, stiff tan colored head that resists fading. 3D lacing follows in its wake. The smell is akin to an aggressive Double IPA. The aroma is primarily a grapefruit hop. Full bodied, the mouth feel is well carbonated, but primarily conditioned to the grapefruit character. Full flavored, the taste is a fruity grapefruit hop with an understated sweet malt thing. An excellent drinker - the 8.7% ABV is REAL. I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS ONE FOR "X"...come on!!! an India Black Ale (IBA)..WOW!!! Scoring points for this 20/20 hindsight?

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Photo of Squelch
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black. Thin Brown head. opaque

Smell: Excellent citrus hop aroma. Very appetising.

Taste: I really don't know how to take the acrid bitterness of the roast malts combined with bitterness from the hops. It is definitely a different beer from that regard. Otherwise, the flavor is very well balanced with hop and malt bitterness hitting you up front equally, and finishing with great hop flavor and malt balance at the end. Actually it is a very well balanced and multi-layered beer, even though it is a new breed for me to drink. Me likey...

Mouthfeel: Slightly puckering. Moderately heavy beer.

Drinkability: A sipper for sure. Complex and layered, this is a very fine beer deserving of accolades.

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Photo of IBUStu
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had no idea what I was getting when I poured this beer. I knew nothing about it. It came out of the bottle dark and hoppy and I smiled, and I said to myself what in the fucking hell is this?

Pours stout-ish with a finger and a half of dense, tan head that recedes down to a ring with an island in the middle. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had. It smells like a malty hop soaked in grapefruit juice and it tastes like a hoppy grapefruit. When I aerate it in my mouth I get bitter, dark fruits. I love it. It's viscous and it finishes sweet and dry. It's a strong, interesting beer but there is nothing offensive about it at all. I'll take pleasure in pushing it on friends who are in the mood for something new. Very worthy of my first review here.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I've tried quite a few times, reviewing for the first time.

A - 4.75 - Great looking beer, dark brown/black/opaque with a light tan 2 finger head that sticks around for a while with some sparse lacing.

S - 4.50 - Citrusy/piney hops with a dark malt backbone and some hints of oats. Roasty/chocolate malts with a hint of coffee.

T - 4.50 - Citrusy hops are very intense with grapefruit/lemon/lime zest, some piney tones. Some roasted/chocolate malts but very in the background. Mostly hop flavor.

M - 4.75 - Great medium-high carbonation. Strong bitterness from the hops. leaves a nice bittery hoppy aftertaste. Slight hint of roastiness in the aftertaste.

O - 4.50 - Good beer, great black iPA, not as amazing as Stone's IPAs and Imperial Stouts. I'd probably say Wookey Jack is a bit better, with Dad's Little Helper (Rogue) and Dubhe (Uinta) being quite a bit below this.

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Photo of rightbrained
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this delicious beer on tap and in the bottle. First time was on tap at the Yardhouse in Denver. I recall the hops exuding the floral, citrus goodness much more than the bottle experience. Not to worry though, the bottle is good in it's own right. Either way, you can't go wrong. I'll review the bottle only because its in front of me.

A: nice, thick, dark, roasted color. Decent head, but nothing crazy.

S: Mmmm... I smell malty deliciousness with a nice hop character. I can't smell it without wanting another sip.

T: Damn good. Malt and hops come together to make a balanced, slightly more malty than hoppy (but still hoppy - and not over the top), delicious brew. Goes down clean with a nice smooth aftertaste considering what it is.

M: thick and a little on the heavy side, though not too bad. After awhile, you will feel like you've been drinking something very sweet (and dare I say, almost tannic? Could be the reviewers disposition of course - I am puckering a bit after a few of these)

O: What can I say. On tap, more of a black IPA flavor and smell. In the bottle, not feeling black IPA as much, but still damn good. Like I said, either way you won't be disappointed. The beer is strong and full of flavor. It got me interested in Stone again (not a dig on Stone, they know what they're doing and produce good beers. However, its been awhile since I sought them out). Nice work!

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Photo of xseanprimex
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a nucleation glass.

A:Dark, but not blacked out. The head was inches thick and lasted well. Laced pretty good on the glass.

S:Smelled great. Sweet and dark, with a hoppy character backing up. Very complex smell. Stone does well.

T: Much like the aroma let on. Very dark and sweet with a strong bitter aftertaste. Great showing on a black IPA.

M: Almost oily. Spicy from the carbonation.

O:Great brew, very complex.

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour dark black, small head. Very intriguing scent. Taste starts thick, malty. It's a very complex flavor. I taste: raspberries, wheat, chocolate, coffee, honey. It's sweet, yet full-bodied. The aftertaste leaves you wanting more. Overall, this a very drinkable beer. The flavor is interesting. I went through a whole bottle without being able to put my finger on the exact flavor. I wish I would've bought two bottles!

I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

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Photo of macktbone
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bomber courtesy of Monument liqour in Concord.

Pours a meduim thick head with heavy lacey retention and large bubbles. Could be a large head with aggressive pour. Dark mohagony color with red tinge along the edges.

Smells of cherries, hops, dark fruits and brown sugar. Woody aroma with candied figs.

Tastes like an oaky candied fruit with a nice hoppy finish. Has a medium malt backbone and a long lasting flavor.

Medium bodied and very nice texture that leads to its drinkability.

Very satisfying. Highly drinkable and has a lot of variance that keeps you mind and mouth guessing.

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Photo of sleazo
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been excited to try this as I am for all Stone anniversary releases

A-pours a very dark brown that allows some light through. nice two finger foamy coffee head dotted with large bubbles. Settles in quite nicely. lacing is decent not great which is the only complaint.

S-Wow I can smell this from across the room. Smells sticky like the Ruination, very piney. But you also get lovely roasted notes as well. It smells like a serious 2xIPA with a kick ass malt presence

T-The first thing that hits you is the roasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate very much like a porter. You then get a wave of piney hops on the follow thorugh and a slight hint of alcohol. Overall it is very similar to the Ruination in terms of taste but the malt profile gives it a very different start. The bitterness is consistent throughout as it is not like a sweet porter in the front more roasted bitterness like coffee. This theme contiues with the hop wallop.

M-Slightly thick with a good ammount of carbonation.

D-A very interesting brew. You know this is a Stone beer all the way through. Kind of like a cross between their porter without smoking and the Ruination. I will pick up a few more of these.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,925 ratings.
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