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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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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:
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Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,894
Photo of Phenom
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow do I love this beer, I consider it my favorite beer and nearly perfect. I have had several before, but am just getting around to reviewing it. Too bad I only have 4 left after this one, it would be a real shame if Stone never brewed it again.

Very dark, nearly black with a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is of piney hops, melon or tropical fruits, raisins, molasses, an almost woody or oak-like smell which is interesting since this beer is not oak aged.

The flavor is really complex, with too many flavors for me to separate, and simply delicious. There is a big hit of hop bitterness, yet the beer is very syrupy and coats the palate well. The alcohol meshes well with the other flavors and is well-hidden.

Honestly I remember the beer being hoppier the first time I tasted it, and I liked it a bit better then. There is still plenty of hop bitterness, but this beer has some age on it now and the hop aroma and flavor has started to mellow and fade a little. My score reflects to some extent my memory of the fresh beer. Still excellent now, but not quite as exceptional as it was. Who knows what it will become with even more age?

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

Apppearance is close to a total eclipse however as I held it up to the sun some light penetrated. The head was respectable and hung around a little while.

Smell is a hoppy aroma upfront with a light malt hiding behind the hops.

Taste is a well balanced (tipped slightly to the hop side) mellow sensation. This is a good brew!

Mouthful is light on carbonation.

Overall this may overtake my favorite american black ale.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A monster of taste and aggression!

Stone always does the image thing well and they have the bold flavors to back it up. The dark dark pour with no head is expectedly awesome. There is some bitterness and a hoppy smell, but most of this is controlled but the other dark and roasted flavors.

A bit much to down at 22oz of this. But, Stone even admits that there is no point in disagreeing with this beer - it is Self-Righteous for its own sake.

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Photo of noknife83
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, dark coffee in color, with creamy light tan head. The faint smell of coffee, very strong taste. I'm glad I've only got one 22oz of these, I'm not eve half done with it and I can already feel it. After taste has a slight twinge to the tongue, hard to describe. A very good beer, I will definitely get it again.

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

Drank on 4/19/10

A- creamy 1/4" off white head on an espresso colored opaque brew. Head receeds leaving whispy multi-tiered halos.

S- fruity hops with a hint of malt sweetness. Light refreshing fruit aroma of a much lighter beer.

T- chocolate & roast malt flavors with a delicious hop flavor interweaving. Nice hints of coffee and malty sweetness. Fruity & citrus hop flavors come through well.

MF- nice med. Bodied ale with a good mouth coating. Nice bitterness reminiscent of SNPA. Light carbonation feeling.

D- delicious, with quite an intoxicating effect after the first pint. I love the roast malts and biting hop flavor.

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Photo of Hawksfan79
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Glass: Oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Motor oil black, thick frothy mocha colored head and a really nice lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma: Hoppy with a slight molasses, I was also getting a sweet bready aroma.

Taste: Strong hop flavor at first, a slight hay flavor was detected in quite a few sips and a bitter finish. It didn't seem to have much more than hops going for it.

Mouthfeel: Light body, thin texture with a bitter finish.

This was pretty disappointing. I'm a huge fan of Stone but this ale really didn't do anything for me. However while the taste left a lot to be desired the aroma was phenomenal.

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Photo of djsmith1174
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Stone brew...finally

A - Nearly black with a long lasting head

S - Roasted malts and hops. Little bit of dark fruit.

T - Initial hop bite that I would expect from a Stone brew, but in conjunction with roasty malt. Sweet dark fruit in the middle.

M - Nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Really goes down well.

O - Not being as devout of a hophead, I went after this Stone offering first. I'm sure pleased that I did. What a great mix of flavors in this complex brew. Will have another in the future.

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Photo of digr
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Opaque liquid pours to create a 3 cm brownish head with fairly large bubbles. Bubbles slowly pull back, but remain for quite some time.

S- Interesting. Strong mix of hops and mouth watering malt.

T - much like the smell, balanced mix of warm malty goodness and strong hop flavor. Slight bitterness from the darker grains in the malt bill. Lacking the sometimes burnt flavor from dark / stout like brews.

D - If you like dark beers with full flavor, not too sweet and not too strong, then this is a beer for you. The 8.6 ABV is extremely well hidden. Not a weak beer, quite a lot of flavor. But a nicely balcend beer that I would hesitate to call a stout.
This was goes nicely with a full flavor meal, say steak and a nice slice of fresh summer tomato. Oh, and it goes well with Blue cheese ;).

Find this beer if you can.

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Photo of RppIII
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: This beer emerges from its vessel a glossy pitch black emitting an inch worth of fluffy caramel white head. As the head recedes it exposes the surprisingly non- diaphanous liquid below. Clinging to the sides of my glass feathery foam slowly diminishes back into a dismal black abyss.

Smell: Hops. Oh, and there is a hint of roast malt. Poignant fruit and citrus invade the nostrils, followed by a hint of mint. On to the roast malt, coffee presents itself to as a decoy for the very faint note of dark chocolate.

Taste: I am drinking an IPA right!? I love the hop character of this beer, grapefruit and citrus accented by the herbal pine taste. Very unorganized flavours. Fighting 90 IBUs the malt makes an appearance. Roast barely and dark malts present themselves giving a distinct coffee flavour accented with dark chocolate. A second wave of hops attack the palate with more of the same and a hint of mint and alcohol. This beer finishes with a very pleasant caramel flavour.

Mouthful: Medium body, the appearance is not telling of it's true viscosity. A little low on the carbonation side, I had a few panic attacks that It would go flat. Different, interesting, and aesthetically pleasing.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. As I wrap up this review I wish I had gotten a second, post review celebration bottle to enjoy. Most certainly will I enjoy this sublime and self-righteous ale!

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Photo of Mayhem976
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- On the heavy side but not super thick, the head is impressive and left allot of lacing. It looks black but when you hold it to the light you get a reddish brown hue. Very pretty looking beer!

B- All kinds of stuff happening here, I smell bitter hops, citrus notes, some type of floral something or rather (sorry), molasses, barley, and semi coffee smell. Bitter hops will dominate your nose.

T- You can't put this into a category, you get a sweet brown ale flavor for a fraction of a second then B00M! You're slapped in the face by bitter hops, I love IPA's, this flavor sorta has that taste profile but yet you get a sweet taste in there as well.

M- On the thick side and semi creamy.

D- Overall a solid brew from Stone, what they were going for? I'm not sure, but they managed to break the mold on beer categories and put out a special ale (that's what they call it) and it works very very well. IPA lovers take note.

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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.

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Photo of TheRaven
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

If you think you would like to try a variety of Black IPAs, don't try this one first... it will ruin the genre because you won't find another like it. One of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had.

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Photo of PintOh1759
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Look- Look is exactly what i was expecting from the Oxymoron that is the Black India Pale ale, i expected it to be black with a mocha colored head and thats exactly what it is.

Smell- Smell is insane, imagine you took a super fresh draft guinness and set it on the table then right next to it put a cup of fresh hops and smelled them both at the same time through separate nostrils and thats what you will get with this with a hot scent of liquor in the back.

Taste- Let down, flavors clash wayyyy to hard, it trys to be a stout without a heavy body so you get that chocolate and char taste but then you get extreme bitterness from the hops because its trying to be an Imperial IPA at the same time and they do not flow smoothly o your taste buds, leaves an off flavor in your mouth that thankfully dosnt stick around its very similar to that skunk gross flavor that HopStoopid provides.

Feel- Mouthfeel is great once you get over the fact it taste like complete crap. Fully body feel like a lighter stout but still feels like an IPA mouth.

Overall i won't i wasn't too happy with the beer, i won't ever buy it again nor will i recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying a BIPA. spent 9.99 on a bomber and drank maybe 4 ounces of it before i dumped it all

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Photo of ABCJiugui
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into tulip

A- black, opaque with tints of reddish brown on edges with less concentration, sticky 2 finger head recedes to cap, single top ring of consistent lacing.

S- malty, caramel, american hops/piney/citric. Very pleasant and nothing overpowering, in balance and melded well to the point that I'm content that I can't tease out everything.

T- Malt sweetness mixes and recedes into a sharp finish of piney hop bitterness which lingers, very well balanced and tasty.

M- carbonation contributes to creamy feel, full bodied, very pleasing.

Overall, stone's done it again. Like the arrogant bastard/double bastard, this beer is really good. Totally unexpected color, but that actually added to the score for me, and the aggressive-yet-balanced hopping of the beer is really pleasant to take in. Heck of a beer and gladly drink this again.

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured a dark brown that lets little to no light through. A thin tannish head

S - Smells like it tastes: roasted malts, slight hops, toffee.

T - The malt is up front with caramel, toffee, and slight coffee notes. Transitions to a hoppy back end that's not too overpowering. Not overly complex, this beer is mostly malts.

M - Medium body beer with thin finish.

D - A decent beer from Stone; there is better out there, I'm not overly impressed with this one. I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these but this beer is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of lbaker
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(a)- Pours very dark/black. Small amount of head, little carbonation, neat tan color. My first black ale, quite similar to a stouts appearance. Poured in sniffer (4/5)

(s)- Cocoa, if there was a chocolate flower this would be it. Smells great. (5/5)

(t)- Amazing taste. So much to take in yet the balance is there. Rich and malty, yet without the weight of lack of depth in taste like some stouts. (4/5)

(m)-Great mouth fell. Little more pop than the usual Stone line.(4/5)

(d)- This beer isn't exactly a sniffer, but it isn't something you'd be ordering a pitcher of either. Its intended to be bought and enjoyed in 2 sniffers, like im doing now. I'll definitely pick this one up again. (4/5)

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Photo of tylernim
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with a nice size tan head. The head persisted for a while leaving a great ring the rest of the way (which was quite a while).

Hops and florals on the nose. Pretty overwhelming, and of course odd coming from such a dark offering. Hops upfront on the taste buds, followed by bitter malts and some smokiness. Alcohol warms. The flavor profile definitely mellowed out quite nicely as it warmed.

Medium to heavy body. Decent carbonation. Drinkability is alright for how overwhelming this can be.

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Photo of kcopelan002
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving- bottle to pint glass
Appearance- A thin tan head. Dark black and Opaque
Taste- very bitter hops at the beginning. some hints of malt.
Smell- Strong hoppy smell
Mouthfeel- moderate carbonation
Overall- the has a very overpowering hop taste. which made it hard for me to taste everything else. It is a good beer overall.

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Photo of Neecee513
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Black, with tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass, good retention.

S: Pine and citrus notes.

T: Grapefruit and citrus, bit of toasted backbone masked by substantial hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, bitter and dry on the finish.

D: Very good, but hops can overwhelm at times. I paired with a Gouda, which was pleasing.

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Photo of BeerStine
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Iceman77
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a few black ales before but this one is BLACK, maybe just a hint of amber around the edges where the light comes through. Pours with a fluffy three finger head that recedes slowly throughout the glass. The aroma is great, a ton of roasty malt up front with some hops hiding behind it. There's a lot going on in the flavor as well, where the hops take over a little bit more and there is a hint of sweetness as well. Very smooth on the mouthfeel, with a little bite of carb and bitters on the aftertaste. I think this is a great example of the style, and one of the best from Stone

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

Very dark, almost black with some lacing that hangs around down the glass. Roasty malts - like a porter, pretty much - with a hint of the hop assault. Black IPA is a perfect description of this beer. The hops are prominent and persistent throughout the palate. Upfront, the first impression is of a porter, with the chocolate/roasted malt flavor. Then the hops come in and dominate; the dry hopping is especially prominent in this one. The hop flavor in this beer is AMAZING-seriously like having a glass of fresh hops. This is a thick, velvety beer and the lingering hop taste does have a tongue-drying effect. Overall, a fantastic beer.

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

A - Nice color going around. Dark brown, oak color, almost turning black! The head is almost perfect. Thick, foamy, consistent, cream; the head has Light hazelnut color!

S - the aroma is wonderful. Floral, smoky essences! You can see that the beer has been brew with coffee and dark chocolate,this two aromas are going around strongly. Also a sweet vanilla between the coffee.

T - The taste of this beer is something unique. It takes you from vanilla, oaky flavors to light bourbon with nuts! Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, smoky caramel. Hops going around like crazy. Malts also.

M - Creamy mouthfeeling. Not thick at the end. very balanced for a creamy feeling. It leaves you an essence of what the beer because the kind of mouythfeel, creamy, drinkable, beautiful feeling trought your mouth.

O - This is one of the best beers I have ever tried. Excellent contexture! well balanced flavors. Smoky, caramelly, coffe, and chocolaty.!! :)

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Photo of BeerT3ch
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really good beer! The unique name fits it's character. Stone Brewery strikes again! Deep/Rich in color, perfect exagerrated biterness, small head, but heavy lacing, malty and all around well balanced. Two of these you will be alright! lol. (Don't Drive)

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Photo of chefboy812
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A love child of a Stout and an IPA?!?!

Stone has done it again, taking an extreme and making it extreme(er?).

Upon opening the bomber, befor I even poured it into the glass, the aroma hits you and gets your mouth watering.

It pours chestnut brown with a mild storm that builds a light caramel head that rises to a finger or so then starts to fall and holds to a lacey ring.
I was impressed by the balanced battle of grainy roasty aroma with hints of coffee and molassas with the hops spicey piney strength.

My first sip dissappointed me with a lack of vicosity that my mind was preparing for. but that dissappointment was quickly slapped out of my head by the intence continuation of the aromatic battle for the nose.

usually(to me) flavors come in and fade out with different highlights throuout the taste and the glass. But this; everything is there the whole time, the malt, the hops pushing against each other for pallete dominance. neither gaining advantage over the other, until the very end. long after the sip is swallowed, the hops fade out leaving a satifying roasty bite that lingers until the next sip.

All in all agreat beer, but it is a thinker.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,894 ratings.
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