Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,909 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,893
Photo of deuschbag
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber into my stone 9th anniversery pint glass. pours a dark dark mahogany color, pretty much porter status. off white thick head with nice sticky lacing.

smell is wonderfull. such a great blend of chocolate, piney hops and malts. not one single thing over powers one another. picture perfect balance.

the taste is a resemblence to arrogant bastard but with a few tweeks to it. aggressive piney hops with just the near perfect amount of chocolaty malts which leades to a plesent dry bitter aftertaste.

full bodied soft chewy mouthfeel.

this is quite possibly one of the best fresh and well balanced brews from stone i've ever had. such a better blend than last years 10th anniversery(which was also a great brew too, don't get me wrong). i'll be getting as much fresh bottles of this as possible.

 808 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated "Enjoy By" 10/24/2013, into a tulip.
Appearance - pitch black, a thick, meringue-like, tan head; rings of lacing!
Smell - brilliant hop forward in the nose, with some hints of some roasted coffee beans!
Taste - just great! Follows the nose, maybe a touch more of the roasted coffee bean than is present in the nose. The 8.7% ABV is hidden beatuifully!
Feel - complex like great black IPA's seem to be! Medium body, noticeable carbonation, hop forward, but terrific balance with the dark malts!
Overall - I could drink this everyday and not get tired of it, fantastic beer!

 599 characters

Photo of BigBrewStu
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

What a great beer! Dark, a really dark tan color--almost black. Fair carbonation. Coffee fan? You will love this bitter beer! Feels creamy in the mouth, goes down smooth, but has an unexpected bitter finish. This beer is overwhelming, and pretty much dominates your palette. Do not start with this first unless you only plan on drinking this all night, or plan to move up to something even more rich in flavor.

 460 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle is consumed (without hesitation of course) in honor of Michael Jackson.

A - Black (dark brown) brew with a large head that dissipates leaving thick intricate lacing all down the sides of the glass. The inital head had the same cascade effect as guinness. Quite attractive.

S - Faint caramel, chocolate and black patent under a viscous onslaught of hops. A very spicy, white pepper dominates with a more subtle pine and lily aroma.

T - The dark flavors are subdued, but there is a detectable flavor of black patent and even a touch of cocoa. But the real flavors are in the hops, the hop assault is peppery with a hint of pine. Aftertaste is a potent bitterness that leaves you craving another sip. Very nice.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, very refreshing in spite of the harshness from the hops.

D - Wow! The abv is felt quickly. Distribution of this beer is wide, but, hell, I might pick up a few of these as trade bait for the future. I suppose the claim that it is not a stout and not a porter, but a black IPA is warranted. It is basically to a porter what an IPA is to an ESB. So really, it is a black IPA. I am guesing more breweries will produce one of these soon.

 1,185 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a very dark brew with a nice tan head that retains very well. Nice lacing to boot.

Smell - WOW! Smells like an absolutely amazing DIPA. Very piny, sweet malts, grassy, hops, hops, hops...extremely floral, grapefruit, tropical notes...absolutely intense!!!!

Taste - Again, WOW! Is this beer really dark?! lol Tastes like an amazing DIPA, again...Very piny, citrusy, tropical notes, great malt backbone to balance the extreme hop presence, tremendous depth...mild alcohol burn. Amazing.

Mouthfeel - Velvety, good body, active carbonation...nice.

Drinkability - This beer is so damn enjoyable, that alone makes me wanna drink more than only one bomber. The abv% obviously hinders how much one can drink of this gem of a beer, but boy, is it tempting.

 770 characters

Photo of IHC
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, very very dark.

Smell - You can smell the hops right off the bat and then a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste-light taste of chocolate/roasted flavor and a boat load of hops. Definitely a slow drinking beer.

Mouthfeel- bitter all the way.

Drinkability - Not going to have more than 1 of these in a night, but one is all you need.

 349 characters

Photo of Edjamakated
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been wanting to review this beer as my first review for a long time. I am so happy when I see this on the shelf and even happier when I see a fresh date on the neck . In this case 04/04/14

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my favorite chilled snifter

Pours a nice "cola" color. Dark almost syrupy brown. Nice lingering tan head with incredible lacing. Light foam sticks to the sides of the glass as you consume this incredible nectar.

Dominant oak, chocolate, coffee flavors. Extremely balanced! Intense amount of hops but still a malty "stout" like experience.

Strong alcohol content is well masked by all the exquisite flavors. Half way through you might realize it's hitting you fast.

Really enjoy this beer. It is in my top 5 and has been for a while now .

 766 characters

Photo of GordonQuid
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter.

Black as night witha white foamy head and thick lacing. A bit of "leg" too.

Smells like a punch in the face with a pine branch; POW! Piney with just a hint of pineapple sweetness.

Taste is strong alpha hop piney pleasure blended with roasted chocolate malts. Quite an experience of complexity.

This is a heavy drinker.


 352 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up in Totowa last week because I heard so many good things about it. Sure enough - they were all true. There's no doubt that this was the best beer that I tried for the first time this year and might possibly be the best offering that I've had from Stone, which is saying quite a bit given their roster!

Much darker pour to this than I envisioned since I didn't know this was an American Black until I logged onto here. There was decent amount of head and a great hop aroma to this beer; maybe one the best that I've ever smelled! The taste was just a nice amount of hops that was neither too strong nor too short-lasting. Warm, citrus notes with some floral accents that reminded me of the Troegs beers that I also enjoy so much.

Who cares if this is strong. I enjoyed it so much that it took a while to work my way through the bottle. I'm used to darker beers having more of a sugar or caramel bend to them but in this instance, this seemed more like a very hoppy ale or an amber ale. The balance is wonderful here and the only way to equate the bittersweet aftertaste is with my feelings as I took the empty bottle out to recycling. This is about as good as beer gets if you're a hophead. Kudos to Stone!

 1,222 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 1,926 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dated September 2007

Appearance: Wow! What a shock for an IPA! It's pitched black and amazing looking. Thick, frothy, slightly off-white head is a generous two fingers. Excellent retention and a nice coat of lace.

Smell: Again, this is a drastic departure from what one would expect from an IPA. It has a sweet malty aroma initially (somewhat chocolaty). It's blended with toasted nut and dark fruit. Citrus scents are noticeable as well as a strong hoppy smell. What a mix.

Taste: Excellent. Chocolate malts are sweet and mixed well with a bit of dark fruit (somewhat raisiny) and toasted nut. Hops kick and provide a bit of bitterness, but it's not over top. Perfect for this beer. There are some slight citrus undertones. This is a very complex and beautifully crafted beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent. ABV is relatively high, but it's perfect for this beer. Extremely drinkable. I really think I could drink this all night. Overall, fantastic offering from Stone. Pick it up now.

 1,029 characters

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an awesome slick looking black. A friend of mine described the smell and taste as a black grapefruit smoothie, which I find kind of perfect really. Big hop nose, tons of grapefruity hop resinous smell. On the tongue its got plenty of bitterness to satisfy or scare, just a delicious mix of hops. I loved this beer as the anniversary and this was my first beer when I visited Stone (it still hadn't hit shelves here in VA). I'd buy a couple cases right now if someone here had it.

 485 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a creamy looking tan head which leaves nice lacing. There is a decent amount of carbonation, but it's not too much.

Smell is piney and grapefruit, lots of hops in there.

Taste is plenty of hops with a nice balance of malt. This is a big beer but well balanced. More balanced than AB.

This is a great beer, AB like, but even more over the top and better balanced.

 390 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark dark brown almost black with a 2" light tan head that is thick and lingers leaving great lacing, clear

S: has an amazing floral nose of hops blended with coffee, caramel, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, cherries

T: taste is very pleasant and follows the nose, bitter sweet, hops and grapefruit blended with sweeter dark fruits, bitter up front, sweet in the middle, dry finish, missing some malt flavors though

M: I expected this to be thicker., medium with lower carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: this is a well made beer with terrific flavors, well hopped with dark fruit sweetness for balance, an excellent black ale

 677 characters

Photo of climax
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black like a stout, could definitely fool ya, with a nose this full of hops. The head was massive and receded two a constant finger of lumpy foam.

Roasty notes from a stout or porter seemed to be at the forefront, while the hops made up the backbone, stinging the nostrils to let me know it's not kidding. Interesting, and a certain joy to whiff. Very sharp grapefruit and tropical citrus showed off the muscle, and lesser notes of clove, bubblegum, and alcohol lurk within.

What a flavor explosion! It starts out with an assault of hops, slightly soapy, but none too harsh. Perfect. Yea, I had it at a 4.5, but I gave in. This is excellent. Grapefruit, floral notes, and bubblegum flavors at the beginning made it seem like a typical Imperial IPA. Then the sweet and roasted flavor of dark chocolate, brown sugar, and a bitter coffee finish took over.

There was maybe a bit more body than a strong IPA, but this is no thick brew. It's incredibly smooth, and the carbonation is spot on IMO. It finishes surprisingly clean, and not too dry. Sublimely easy to drink, with righteous flavor, Bravo Stone.

 1,106 characters

Photo of alphaking
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the best beer i have ever had. I love double simcoe and thought it was perfect on tap, but this is pure excellence. The smell is definitely fresh simcoe hops, and I have to stop to smell every time I go for a taste. The taste is perfect. There is a strong dark chocolate taste, and bitter like unsweetened chocolate chips, but goes very well with this. There is a lingering and pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste that seems like a perfect balance of dark chocolate and fresh hops. I can't get enough of the fresh hop taste. The chocolate taste really reminds me of FFF Alpha Klaus, but the overall flavor is definitely DIPA. After smelling this when I first poured it, I thought for sure there is no way it will taste as good as it smells. I was very wrong. I picked up two cases of this and have already called to set aside a third. Hopslam and Un-earthly will always have a special place in my fridge, but this stuff is hoppier, and just plain delicious. This brew has impressed the shit out of me. Excellent job with this one Stone.

 1,055 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color with a nice huge, pillowy, off-white head. Tons of resin and pine with a touch of citrus in the nose. A little bit of licorice and chocolate is also there following the hops. A very subtly carbonated beer brings forth a freshly hopped beer rounded out by lots of caramel and chocolate malts. The finish is quite bitter and dry with the hop flavor carrying through. This is an exquisite beer, I'm glad to enjoy it at this date as any more aging would kill the fresh hop flavor. This style seems to be a trend with Avery's Anniversary beer and perhaps started by DFH India Brown Ale. I love hops and chocolate malts, and I love them together. Great job Stone.

 696 characters

Photo of Seebs847
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Surprising offering from stone! Pours a deep black with a 2 inch tan, creamy looking head. Leaves incredible lacing down the entire glass. Has incredible hop flavor that quickly turns into incredible chocolate maltiness. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel with an intense hop bitterness! Overall an incredible beer, very interesting as always with Stone! Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber

 391 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour into my snifter from a 22oz bottle, a recent batch - this arrived in town the day before my pour. Eggshell head, looks great.

Citrus nose, pineapple, pine, dank, stinky hops dominate the scents I'm detecting.

Taste is awesome. Dank pineapple tinged bitterness followed by a nice chocolate roast. Such a great mix of two flavors that are difficult to make jive together the right way. I loved this as the XI Anniversary and love it even more as fresh SSR.

Mouth is lively, nice on the tongue but a bit prickly in my throat. Nice thick body.

Graded on a curve for it's strength and dominant, ruinous hop taste, this "luscious velvety hop bomb" may be the best black IPA ever.

 693 characters

Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious and smooth. It smells like chocolatey, roasty goodness with some mocha. I wish I could wear this as perfume. The taste matches the aroma, plus great hoppy flavor and bitterness. This is a wonderful, good looking brew that I could drink every day (if not for the price; haven't seen this bomber under 10 dollars around here!), my only complaint is the slight aftertaste. It's a bit astringent and aspirin like, more so than other IPAs/APAs I've had. Still, pretty amazing!

 481 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I chose one of the most influential beers as my 20th review. This beer really opened my eyes a year ago. Poured a 22 oz bomber into my 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a gorgeous black, with a 3 inch light tan head. Crazy amount of lacing. Smell is heavenly. Piney, citrusy hops, with a hints of chocolate. It is amazing that they work so well with each other. The taste is similar, with some burnt malts & a hint of booze in the finish. Has a fairly thick body for such a easy drinking high abv beer. Plenty of carbonation. This is an amazing beer and did the same for black IPAs as Nirvana did for grundge music.

 606 characters

Photo of Trueant1
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 3 finger creamy billowing head that STICKS around. Dark dark brown that lets little light through. This looks perfect!

Smells of fresh floral pine hops. Very floral. Smells spicy too. Very fresh hop smelling.

I would call this taste... " A very sweet hop bomb." Wonderfully oily pine hops that are very bitter balanced by extremely sweet malts. I big brew that delivers!

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy from the excessive malts that are ment to balance this hop bomb. A little to overcarbonated for me.

Another awsome west coast type beer from Stone. Loved this sweet hop bomb. Am I becoming a hop head?

Notes: The darkest IPA I have ever seen/smelled.

 662 characters

Photo of jizfiasco
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this brew many times and the consistency amazes me always the same. The beer pours black like a stout with a great lasting head. The smell is a hop explosion like an IPA with a tad of sweetness some roastyness and a mild smoke character. Taste is absolutly what a black IPA should be and the best I've had in the style. I can taste candied hops perfect roasted malt flavors and the best part is the coffee taste is minimal. Will continuously go to this beer to get my fix of dark malt as its excellent and easy to get.

 527 characters

Photo of AmitC
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome beer. Had it at a tasting.

Pours heavy dark brown with a good amount of head. Leaves a lot of lacing. Decent amount of carbonation as well.

Smell : Well very unlike a black ale, hugely filled with hops, floral and piney. A little bit of roasted malt, coffee, porter type of smell.

Taste: Here lies the magic. The bitterness is not at all felt but you know it is bitter, very bitter. Hops are huge. All sorts of taste, very complex, yet delightful. It has a lot of piney, spicy, citrusy, floral taste. A little amount of porter like taste and some grapefruit. Awesome.

Medium to full bodied beer. A good presence in the mouth. Mainly, a bit oily of course but good feel, nonetheless.

Sublime, it truly is. Stone, as usual, never disappoints. Not only that, it over delivers all the time. Excellent stuff there. Highly recommended for hop heads for winter drinking.

 878 characters

Photo of ksullnh
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted 10/29/07 with dfillius

Poured pitch black like a Coke, with a finger of milky-coffee-colored head. Delicious hops in the nose, lots of pine, with a bit of citrus that changed into a candied or dried pineapple smell as it warmed a bit.

Tasted of coffee in the front, but with sweet dark malty notes. The hop bitterness was a piney citrus flavor, a bit like the taste of white fir needles. A dry aftertaste, with slight bitterness and coffee flavors that reminded me of espresso.

The beer was quite smooth and easy drinkin' for a "Dark IPA" with the high ABV.

Excellent overall.

 589 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,893 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!