Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,906 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,906
Ratings:
5,885
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
794
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,906 | Ratings: 5,885
Photo of jbhuxley
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a massive, chunky tan head, which soon settles to a nice coating with splochy lacing.

The first smell I pick up is toasty chocolate, with more and more pine coming out. I can just pick up a hint of citrus.

Wow. This one is different. First I pick up a burnt, bitter chocolate, then the hops start to come through. There is definitely grapefruit on the finish.

This one finishes smooth and clean. There is a noticeable lingering bitterness. The body and carbonation are just right.

This is one of the most interesting beers I've tasted in a while.

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Photo of funkydrumma
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is just about anything I could want a beer to be. Smooth and dark with a rich creamy head. Just the right balance of hops and malt to balance the ABV. Dangerous beer. Don't skip it if you get a chance.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black sludge with a 1.5 inch head that dissipates quickly. Lacing stays consistent through the beer experience. When the glass is held up to the light, some reddness is seen.

Smell: Smells sweet and fresh, with piney, floral hops, but is juxtaposed with dark, almost burnt malts and dark chocolate. A really interesting whiff that I'm hoping it is replicated in the taste

Taste: The hops in this cascadian hit first, and they are dry and delicious. A very fresh taste, that develops into the darker flavors beautifully. The middle has hints of dark chocolate and roaster barley. The taste ends up with some dark licorice. Alot of complex flavors that really work well together.

Mouthfeel: a poppy mouthfeel, with a snappy feeling in the back of the mouth as it goes down, coats the tongue even after it goes down.  

Drinkability: Not a huge ABV, but Stone hids it well. There are so many different flavors at every turn in this beer, that I wouldn't want to drink a lot of them, I would just want to dedicate some time to drinking one.

A really good Black IPA, maybe the best one I have ever had in that style.

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Photo of SirRuss
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The head shows a shade of light chocolate and sufficiently tight bubbles to set decent expectations. The body is a matt black with a slither of maroon hue at the very bottom. Retention is also good.

S - Sweet malts and fruity hops battle for center stage, although neither seem to really want to win. It's more of a nudging contest between two half-hearted contenders, although both are pleasant enough. The resulting fragrance is akin to a sprig of milk chocolate - coated cascade leaves being wafted a few feet from your nose.

T - This brew would be a great stepping stone (no pun intended) into porters/stouts. A soft ascorbic spine - like that found in bananas - directs the fairly simple flavour profile. Sweet malts found in the nose appear first, and slowly transition into the roastiness typical to a a porter. Finally the hops blend-in to provide a clean biting finish. Integration and balance is the point-scorer for this brew - simple, but well built.

M&D - This is perhaps the best aspect of the whole experience.The body's weight matches the intensity of flavors, and the alcohol is well aligned with the sugar/acidity levels to create a deceptively drinkable result. Furthermore, and as suggested by the head, the carbonation is firm and well structured. It augments the flavor profile in the same way a good caddy improves the performance of a golfer - humble and unassuming, yet ultimately vital to a winning game.

O - Overall this beer is well assembled, and as such there's nothing really "wrong" with it at all. Having said that, there's also nothing really impressive about it either. All-in-all: solid, but uninspiring - a bit like a girl calling a guy "nice".

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Photo of denflyr
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22 oz Bomber bottle into a pint glass...

Nearly completely black with a nice foam head on it. Residual foam has stayed present even some 20m minutes after pouring and drinking most of the bear!

Nice dark roast/caramel nose from the malt and as is trademark from Stone....a super hoppy nose! Hard to define the hops for me, but I do get the ever present citrus type notes.

The taste is very nice! Not overpowering to me, but you sure can tell that this beer has flavor to last! Obviously a good bit of roasted flavor and a nice nutty flavor as well.

Great carbonation and a great mouthfeel!

I could drink a lot of beer, aside from the higher ABV. This is a style that I like...be it called a strong ale or a CDA in the new parlance!

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

I have been patiently waiting to snatch this one up for some time. The price is always right on these Stone bombers, so I waited until the funds were low and needed a new brew.

A deep red full bodied ale that barely allows any light to pass through her. A near brown head forms lacing all the way down the glass. I poured the brew quite aggressively and the thin cap of head is all the remains after the large bubbled cloud has quickly gone. The smells and aroma are pleasant but not what I was expecting from Stone.... is that too meant to be sublime? I was waiting for a punch to the nostrils with hops and grain. I was quite delighted by the taste however. Near 9% ABV and the most I get is notes of coffee and sharp hop bitterness that clings to the back of the tongue long after the sip has passed. The is a very simple tasting brew to me. Dark roasted flavors come to mind with each taste, but the hop bitterness dominates.

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Photo of Anaz
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer, and it's probably my favorite of the Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale type so far. The color is intensely black, fading to dark cola at the edges. The head is a huge coffee-and-cream beauty that resolves into generous lacing.

The bright citrus and resin aroma of the hops blend so well with the roasty coffee and chocolate aromas that it's amazing. This is where the style started to make sense for me, and the aroma of an IPA is supported and enhanced by the dark malt aromas very well.

The flavor is so like the aroma it's fantastic. The bright clean hops that Stone is so well known for mingle with the dark malt flavors, but are never overshadowed by them. The hops rule here, but the malt expresses itself nonetheless.

The rich, bitter mouthfeel finishes clean with at lovely citrus peel bitterness and faint toffee sweetness. There is a slight booziness that gently warms, but doesn't burn. This is a very drinkable beer for the ABV, it's so delicious that it's hard to stop drinking. I Love it, and am very glad that Stone has added this to it's year round releases.

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Photo of NickPiezzo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: probably the best looking beer I've ever seen, beautifully dark with a nice creamy head and nice bubbles
S:smells like an ipa with a hint of chocolate
T: a unique blend of 2 of my favorite beers, an ipa with a slight chocolate and maybe a hind of almond flavors. It has a strong hoppiness with noticeable citrus notes. A power fullbodied flavor of hops citrus and chocolate, possibly my favorite beer I've ever had
F:leaves a nice hoops flavor on your mouth that leave you asking for more
O: poured into a glass from a 1 pint 6 fl Oz single serve big boy bottle. Was excited to try this and it way exceeded my expectations a top notch brew.

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Photo of Sleestak
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've missed the other 10 anniversary ales as I am only 2 years into my beer exploration journey. I have come to love Stone's offerings and was excited when I saw this one at the store. An absolute opaque black in appearance, with a nice light tan head. Lots of intense pungent hops in the smell. Smells like a Stone beer, it just has that smell that the Stone beers have. Wow! Lots of sticky piney hops in the taste but still sweet. With the color I was expecting some roastiness, but no there isn't any. An interesting concept brew (I'm guessing that's what it is... never heard of a black IPA before). Can't wait to see what they come up with for next years anniversary.

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Photo of javincik
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe glass

A-Pours nearly black in color. Nice tan head which dissipates slowly and lingers on the surface. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-One word: hops. While stout like in appearance, the smell resembles an IPA. Big dose of citrusy hops with pine and some roasted notes just peeking through. Also getting some grapefruit in there.

T-Definitely hop forward. Getting grapefruit and some pine notes at the start. Some roasted, burnt flavors try to come through in the middle before a long bitter finish. Finish left me wanting another sip.

M-Medium to heavy bodied. I found the carbonation just about right. Bitter finish left me wanting to coat my tongue again.

D-For a nearly 9% brew, it's pretty high. Alcohol becomes slightly noticeable as it warms, but nothing that would put me off.

Overall a very solid beverage. The transition from start to finish is great. Probably not worth the trouble of trading for it, but definitely something to pick up if easily available at a nearby store.

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Photo of Hershdawg
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass

Appearance: dark black, this looks like a stout or porter.

Smell: wonderful floral aromas. The amarillo and simcoe hops come out wonderfully. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had,

Taste: Hoppy. The dark color betrays you. This is more like a dark IPA then a strong ale.

Mouthfeel: Like a standard IPA

Drinakabillity: Lovely hop taste and aroma. Strong proof. Who cares the taste makes you want to have more.

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Photo of cdbooth219
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Sam Adam's Glass

A: Pours a deep black color, allowing no light through it. Forms a nice 1.5 finger tan head that dissipates slowly leaving some very good lacing.

S: Lots of hops, with floral, piney, and grapefruit notes prevalent. Behind that is lots of dark malts, with chocolate, coffee and licorice notes.

T: Starts of very hoppy with all of the nice floral, pine, grapefruit, and citrus notes. Then comes all the malts. Bitter chocolate, burnt coffee and toast, and licorice. Finishes with licorice and a bit of mint flavor. This has a very complex profile.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. The hop oils coat your tongue on the way down.

D: The abv is hidden well. It goes down very easy, but i definitely wouldn't drink more than one bomber of this. Its a sipper for sure.

Overall, this is another amazing offering from stone. This is definitely the best black ipa i've ever had and i will be picking up another bottle in the near future.

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Photo of shaunb81
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was super excited about trying this beer and I just couldn't do it by myself. I decided to call my buddy Jax over (he's the only one of my friends that has the same kind of palate for microsas I do). Since we are both huge Stone fans, we were both pretty stoked to crack this one open.

Appearance - Poured jet black into my snifter with a nice 2" dark cream head and lacing to be remembered.

Smell - Roasted, heavenly malts and remarkably hoppy. Every sniff makes me more excited to finally drink it. Jax is at a loss for words.

Taste - There is a sweetness on the front end and it is followed with hops that make the hair on my arms stand up. Jax had only three words to say. Brace yourselves. "Jesus Fucking Christ..." Though it seemed like an appropriate response, I was looking for something a little more descriptive, but couldn't seem to find the words. Coffee and chocolate seemed to poke it's head out throughout the ride.

Mouthfeel - It was creamy and the density was medium. It was actually perfect for me. Body was superb. Black ales might just be one of my new favorite styles.

Overall - This is probably my favorite Stone brew to date. It's got depth and the profile holds up against most ales. If you see this, buy it, smile, and then don't forget to smile while you savor the flavor of this behemoth.

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Photo of mstyne
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so I drank half of my pint before I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing this brew. That probably says enough right there.

Picked up a bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating best I can tell. Pours an extremely dark, dark, red (had to hold it up to the light to confirm it wasn't ink black) with a decent 3/4" of head and good lacing.

Very nice hop aroma. Taste is smoky, with some cocoa/chocolate and wood notes. At 8.7 ABV, this will sneak up on you in a hurry. This is another delicious offering from Stone that I look forward to trying again.

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Photo of DrinkinBuddy
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a complete black with an impressive 2 finger brown head. While pouring, I initially smelt dark chocolate, but when I put the bottle down and took a whiff of this beautiful liquid in my glass, I was greeted with an extreme flowery hopnose that sent me towards heaven. Taste is solid chocolate with such an extreme hopbite it's out of this world. The hops literally assault and pillage your taste buds. Insane hopbite!!! This brew only gets better as it warms, woody/earthy tones mingle with citrus making this an extremely unbelievable brew. Mouth feel is good as well, drinkability is pretty solid as too. I wouldn't suggest slamming too many of these or you might not taste any thing else for a few days! Hats off to stone for this impressive anniversary brew.

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Photo of cr0ckett
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Thick, dark, brown, almost black. Light tan head that leaves good lacing.
S: Surprisingly hoppy/piney; malt and toffee come through a little as it warms up.
T: Piney hops to begin then balanced out somewhat by sweeter malts and earthy tones; light chocolatey note in the finish. Some alcohol warmth, but not noticeable in the taste. Hop note left to coat tongue.
M: Medium to full body, slightly viscous, but not like a thick stout. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth drinker with a bit of a bite.
O: One of a handful of Black Ales that I've tried; very good. Seamless merging of hops, malt, and sweeter chocolate and caramel tones. A must try.

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Photo of Roose13
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Closest color to black without being black. Huge head on the initial pour, beige in color. Head drops to a centimeter and lingers throughout the beer. Lacing is beautifuk

S: Not a huge fan of the smell of black IPAs. Citrusy, which I do like. But the hoppiness isn't one of my favorite smells in a beer. To each their own.

T: Strong. Roasted malts, very very hoppy, which I enjoy now and then. These beer is so bold and robust in flavor that a big-time hophead would love this.

M: Easy to drink in terms of texture but the intensity of the hops and flavor make you really sit back and enjoy it.

O: Excellent beer. Not something I will drink often (may enjoy as the weather really turns cold). Stone is awesome. Need I say more?

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Photo of ThreeKingdoms
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 6/13/13,

L: Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter; nearly pitch black, with a hint of ruby color when held up to light. around a finger of tan head, with great lacing.
S: I first pick up coffee, and roasted malts dominate.
T: picks up where the nose left off...plenty of roasted maltiness--toffee and biscuit, and some caramel. this taste is promptly followed by the hoppy bitterness. a pleasant lingering bitterness in the aftertaste
F: Moderate carbonation, and nice and thick on the mouthfeel--nice :)
O: a great balance of roasted malts and hops; just what I'm looking for in BIPAs, good stuff! I'll definitely drink this again

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Photo of boulevard2
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle 9/29/07

Pours a dark thick head with heavy retention almost looks like a stout. Intense aroma of exotic fruits and spice. Hops are tantalizing every sip with smooth well rounded flavour. This beer reminds me of Hop Rod Rye but with a little more kick. I recommend you pick up a couple of these , one to sample and the other to enjoy down the road a bit. Once again Stone puts out another doozy for us to admire and crave for the next offering.

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Photo of crazybrody06
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a 16oz snifter. Pitch black, big tan head, did I mention it was black?
Smell was hops, hops, hops, some sweet hints in the backgrounds.
Taste was perfect hops without the horrible bitterness of some very hoppy beers. Some sweet fruits chocolate.
Mouthfeel was full bodied, easy to drink, just the right amount of carbonation.
Drinkablity surpised me, it took me about an hour to finish the bomber put I could drink more.
Overall a great looking beer, great hop flavor without the bitterness, decent drinkablity.

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Photo of pharmer
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 1 pint 6 oz brown bottle with painted-on label into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown (black??) color that is nearly impervious to light. A one-finger light brown head tops this brew and shows good retention and great lacing.

S: Grapefruit and big time for me. Also some piney notes and a hint of dark malt in the background.

T: This beer tastes great. Strong hop presence obviously. Grapefruit and pine notes predominate. Alcohol quite noticeable both in the middle and at the finish. Also, as would be expected the bitterness hits hard at the finish.

M: Quite highly carbonated with a medium body....quite nice.

D: This beer is excellent...but at 8.7% abv, one must be wise. I sipped on my bomber for about 90 minutes, which gave me a good chance to note its varying nuances with temperature change. I would drink this beer anywhere, anytime, but not more than a pint or two.

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Photo of yonnie
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into tulip. Opaque black in color with 2 fingers of tan head. Moderate lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, hops

T - Rich dark chocolate, coffee, cream, caramel, roasted nuts, bitter hops

M - Smooth, creamy, bitter. Easy to drink.

O - The best Black IPA I have come across yet. A perfect balance of hoppy and dark, roasty, chocolatey flavors.

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One last go around before this gets retired. Can't believe they won't be making this anymore. One of my favorites of all time. Perfect balance of roasted malt and big IBUs. Tears in my eyes...

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Photo of biophiliadude
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap to pint.

A: Jet black, brown at the bottom. 1/2 inch head.

S: Hops, coffee, grass.

T: Malts, cake, coffee.

M: Bitter end, smooth start. Classic "better have another drink to get these bitters off my tongue" beer!

D: High. I could do these multiple times and finish off with a smoother RIS. A hoppy, dark beer. The taste truly is "sublime". Score another one for Stone!

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wife and I had pints of this poured patiently at Ithaca Coffee Co's Tavern on the Green in Gateway Commons yesterday afternoon when I decided we needed extra fuel to get our tandem bike up steep State St Martin Luther King Jr hill. The head on this sublime beverage is so fierce, it took much gentle pouring and slopping to get the pints just perfectly right. Head is severely persistent, nearly gelatinous, leaving serious permanent lace. "Black IPA" is how Tavern chalkboard promoted this brew, and for sure it's an opaque dark, not letting even direct sunshine from Tavern's south windows peek through its delish murk.
Smell combines all sorts of complex hops and dark malt bitter-sweet odors with high-octane ethanol. Only the yeast hides from strenuous sniffing. Taste is just totally perfect. We hardly want to swallow, the mouth-feel is so smoothly satin-lined comfy cozy unctuous. We had to get a bag of gourmet pretzels to eat with this drink it was so powerfully persistent in its sweet malty bitter aftertaste the palate begs mercy. At $7 per pint, the price (and yes, I've read the blogs where rich dudes claim you shouldn't ever consider expense in "drinkable" considerations) is too steep for us to want more than one pint per day; but the brew itself is so extremely intense, we wouldn't want to indulge in more than a single pint even if we didn't both have to get back on our tandem bike and pedal 3 miles steep uphill to get home with it glowing darkly like a black hole star in our contented bellies. Generally I disapprove of sending beer long-distance (sorry! mental problems with diesel transport interfere with my palate), but thanks, Stone, for the audacity of shipping that truly sublime ale all the way from San Diego to Ithaca!

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,906 ratings.
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