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 session1979
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark "Pitch Dark" black with a nice airy 2 finger head that lasted a few minutes and then clung to the glass as it dissipated. Smell was full of fresh oily hops, citrus, pine, and some light toasted malts. As it warms the aroma of over ripened fruit starts to dominate. The taste was of the hop flavors one would expect in a DIPA but there seem to be some other lingering flavors which are quite surprising, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the warm molasses flavor you usually find in a RIS really wants to poke its head out. I am intrigued to say the least... The beer coats the mouth with a smooth medium to full bodied texture. The alcohol really starts to show as it warms and even though there is moderate carbonation the bite is there.

Overall this is a very tasty beer fresh but I look forward to experiencing it over time as it is a bit hot right now. I will give it another shot later on this week to see what I think on the second go round. Cheers!

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Photo of myost88
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours pitch black with two finger chunky tan head.

Smell- Very piney and a little fresh cut grass. Slightly boozey smell.

Taste- Maltier than I expected from Stone. But the hop bitterness is there. Roasted malt is a nice highlight of this beer. Not citrusy really, mostly pine hop flavors. Really glad that boozey scent didnt show up in the taste. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel- Really smooth. Less carbonated than expected.

Drinkability- Perfect alc content for a bomber if you ask me. Low enough to drink the whole thing and not be tipsy, but high enough to give a nice buzz.

Overall- Nicely done from Stone on this one. I personally love how agressively hopped their beers can be, but I understand that not everyone enjoys that. This one is well balanced and hopheads and maltlovers alike will enjoy.

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Photo of maskednegator
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Tan, frothy head that fades when given a minute or so. Looks like a pretty good stout if you ignore the lace.
Smell: Biscuits, Chistmas tree, limes.
Taste: Grapefruit, roasted malts, toffee, chocolate/orange liqeur.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, big carbonation.
Drinkability: Not a hint whatsoever of the ~9% abv. Probably not for everyone, but the bitterness does not linger on the palate in the way that a big stout would.
Verdict: I'm totally having a love affair with this beer.

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Photo of pourmeup
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- light tan head with thin bubbles, light lacing with no retention; beer is dark-stained mahogany
S- Piney is prevalent with light Citrus
T- There is a great sweetness from the malt, almost a light milk chocolate flavor and maple syrup on the beginning with an abundance of hops on the aftertaste: pine and grapefruit predominate the pallet with a slight caramel on very end of the finish.
M- Very creamy with a very light carbonation; very silky small bubbles, the taste of the hops cling the the palette long after its gone.
D- For 8%, this beer is a tad strong on the alcohol flavor, but still extremely tasty. Just not drinkable as for the percentage.

(two person review)

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Photo of BJA
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter

A: The beer is black but not quite ebony. Some light makes it through when you’re viewing it from an angle (and through a small section of the beer; a half inch or so). I got ¼ inch of head on a medium pour. Head is tan, a little creamy and it dissipated in 60 to 90 seconds.

S: I get lightly roasted malt scent followed by fresh flowery hops. There seems to be a hint of dark chocolate and coffee along with an alcohol scent that became much more apparent after the first sip.

T: The roasted malt makes more of an appearance and mixes with the hops in an interesting way. It seems to mute the hops a bit and creates a bitter, roasted black coffee taste with the alcohol a bit too heavy.

M: This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation is fitting. It has a longer finish. It leaves a bitter roasted coffee aftertaste on the roof of my mouth and the back of my tongue.

O: I have always found this beer to be like a roasted, more alcoholic arrogant bastard. I enjoy it every once in a while, but it’s not in my regular rotation like many other stone offerings. It is a really interesting beer to me though. The hop bitterness and roasted malt interaction is cool. I don’t find the beer as bitter as the IBUs testify. I wonder if this beer is best fresh. I wonder if aging this in oak barrels would be beneficial in bringing out some flavor. I definitely find it too heavy on the alcohol in scent and taste.

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

I'm not really sure what to write about this beer. When I decide, it'll be good, but still...

The confusion stems from appearance vs. taste. I poured from the bomber to the snifter before I read the bottle, so I didn't know this is supposed to be a bastard IPA. What you see is something else -- really dark, almost stout-like; rich, short head that hung on a little bit. I'm already thinking of something roasted. Then you take a whiff, and the confusion sets in. Hops are prominent, but I've had hoppy stouts and porters before. This isn't one of those.

Have a taste. Wow -- the hops. This is about the time that I read the bottle, and discovered that I was drinking an IPA. But ... it's not. There's a rich, malty presence too, big enough to completely throw off the perceptions of one who had just read he's drinking an IPA. BA tabbed this as an "American Strong Ale," and I'm glad they did -- if I had to pick a style, I'd still be trying to figure it out.

Don't let my confusion steer you away from giving this a try. I'm not saying it's bad; in fact, I'm saying it's amazing. It's easily one of the most complex beers I've ever sampled, one that's challenging on every level. If you can still find a bottle, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.

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

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale looks marvelous! It pours a dark brown, almost black color with a three finger, frothy tawny-brown head. Hops come through on the smell with a hint of malt and almost licorice. Grapefruit and orange hoppiness dominate with some bready malt flavors submerged in the mix. The hops are aggressive, not overly bitter, but would mitigate my desire to drink this brew all night long.

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

A Nice dark black in appearance with a red cast when held to the light. Poured with a 1 inch head that slowly disapated. Nice lacing around the glass.

S Very nice hop presence. Definite grapefruit aroma

T What an excellent choice for my B-Day beer Has a nice dark beer taste at first and a wonderful hop finish at the end. Perfect not overpowering

M I think it feels great in the mouth not over carbinated or flat at all very nice beer

D Can I have another PLEASE!! I think it is exceptional. Awesome beer.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice deep black that has a thin medium tan head that has great lacing on the edges.

Smells of chocolate and some citrus hops. Tastes the same as it smells with some bitterness from the chocolate. Notes of coffee, roasted malts and some sweetness. A touch balanced towards the hops. Has a medium bodied feel to it with a good amount of carbonation.

A great example of a Black IPA, well worth drinking if you ever have the chance to.

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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 WhatTheAle1973
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hit for me, picked this up while looking for stones porter as replacement for lack if porter. Luckily for me the porter wasn't in stock, this was amazing. I'm typically a quad, stout, or porter only drinker and now this will be part of my normal purchase routine.

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Photo of Chris_Mac
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker than I was expecting, almost a black copper. Malts dominate the smell, big taste of caramel malts, dry hop bitterness, and alcohol. The head diminishes quickly, but leaves thick swaths of lacing on the way down. Hint of thick, syrupy mouthfeel, but vey pleasant. A strong filling ale, with lots of character. Definitely not an everyday ale, but makes a good impression when the occasion occurs.

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Photo of blammasterj
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into my St Arnold's pint glass with an "Enjoy by" date of 06/10.

A: Pours a dark dark brown, with an off-white head; looks like a porter!

S: Smells of hop goodness: pine, citrus, some resin; also catching the malts buried in the back.

T: Taste is wave after wave of hops and an exercise in the phenomenology of West Coast hop flavors: slightly sweet, piney, bitter, oily and floral. I know the malts are there only because I haven't been blasted to Hop Island, but I'm only really tasting them on the finish and even then they only provide a slightly pleasant roasted flavor. The finish is long, pleasantly bitter, and slightly coffee-flavored.

MF: Nice medium body, but not a ghost of alcohol except upon reflection.

D: Becomes more barleywine-eque as it warms and the malts come through a little more. Also getting some faint chocolate and coffee on the finish as it warms closer to room temp.

This was definitely a very complex, iconoclastic beer that I will continue to buy and enjoy. However, by means of comparison, I think that Arrogant (and Double) Bastard are better and more balanced brews.

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Photo of SDHoffers
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another one of those unique brews that satisfies completely. Super sweet to the nose and then a bitter smack in the face. Rich caramel head and smooth finish. I really dug the uniqueness of this beer. When poured, the the jet black visual instantly makes you think you are about to drink a porter. I couldn't believe the difference between the smell and taste. I just found out that Stone will be brewing this beer year round so I'll definitely have it on tap all the time.

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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.

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Photo of Pardishcreel
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

When you first pour this bee it is dark when held up to light you can see a hint of red but it looks black without light. The head is a thick strong one that stays around for awhile.
The smell is that of an ipa surprising for the look of the beer that the malts do not show up in the smell.
The taste is that of a hoppy ipa, but with a sweeter finish. If you like hops but the lasting bitter in your mouth this beer is for you.
Not somthing I could drink everyday because of the bitterness, but a great on occasion beer.

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Photo of Dunkle
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber that had been sitting on the shelf and split it with a friend. Poured half into a pint glass.

A: Almost black with a nice, large tan head. Not much lacing throughout.
S: Smells hoppy and creamy.
T: Tastes kind of like tea, with the alcohol and hops carrying through in the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a very interesting ale; I would love to try it fresh.
M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Warming.
D: I want to try another glass just because it was so intriguing. I could easily drink a few of these in a night.

Definitely worth a shot. This was my first Black IPA and now I want to try more!

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Photo of ProducerBRBeer
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium black thickness. The head stays thick and dissipate for awhile. The lace sticks really well to the glass and doesn't seem to slide at all.

S - The smell is roasty and malty. I can smell it being at least a couple feet away from the cup.

T - The taste is almost coffee like being very roasty. There is a subtle sweetness to it and the after taste leaves a bite. Very hoppy.

M - The viscosity is a medium body. The carbonation is slight but noticeable.

O - I believe this is one of stone's best foundation beers. It has a great body, the appearance is what I expect from this beer and it is something I could never get enough of.

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Photo of pcguitarwzrd
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark like a stout or porter, with a foamy khaki head.

S: Sweet, malty, hoppy, complex. Can detect semi-sweet chocolate notes and some hops.

T: Dark malt, espresso, baking chocolate, raisins, citrusy hops--it's like a chocolate covered fruit basket. There's a good amount of malt sweetness, and just enough hop and black malt bitterness to balance it out.

M: Creamy, medium-heavy, like a good porter, but with a lot of hops and alcohol drying it out at the end.

O: A very interesting beer, like a super-hoppy porter or a full-bodied black IPA. Stone's beers frequently defy categorization, but in this case that's a good thing. This one gets straight 4's from me because I was impressed (albeit not floored) in every field. Would certainly buy again.

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Photo of johntangus
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a duvel tulip glass.

nice tan head with tiny bubbles. laced down glass nicely. Very dark with coffee like color on sides.

Great hoppy smell - earthy pine and citrus. i'm actually drooling into the tulip glass as i'm picking out these aromas.

I've never had a beer quite like this. Being relatively noobish, i would've categorized this as some sort of Dark IPA - like a mix between a porter and an IPA. So much for boundaries.

Stone pulls off a seriously balanced beer. But you can tell it is definitely a Stone. Epic. Just when you are getting overwhelmed by the hop nose and front end, it mellows out into a toasty backend.

Great mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I could see myself drinking a little too much of this in a session.

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Photo of BrainDad
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hopcat in GR. Except for the bitter element of the hops being a bit too harsh, this is an exemplary Black IPA. The nose is what really gets me. It has that rich, earthy, citrusy hop aroma reminiscent of Founder's Double Trouble (as a reference).

Color is a rich, ruby black. Seems a bit thin on the tongue at first but really rolls off nicely. A nice head to start with good lacing as I work down the glass. I could really drink a lot of this on a hot summer day. That's where the bitterness really pays off!

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

Bottle into goblet

A...almost pitch black with a quickly receding light brown head. Great lacing.

S...lots of pine and grass. Smells a bit like being in the mountains.

T...getting mostly the roasted malt right up front. A bit of black coffee and then the bitterness of the hops fight for your attention.

M...nice carbonation. Feels a bit heavy on the mouth. A full bodied brew.

O...nice winter beer for us hop heads. The only thing I didn't like is it seems like hops used may not be just right to compliment the malt. Something seems ever so slightly off. I bet this will go great with a maduro cigar. I will try that combo tomorrow.

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Photo of SanDNigel
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into stubby tulip
A- Dark brown to almost black with a nice tan tight head
S- All I can think to start off is sweet grape juice, then after the head disappears it turns to sweet hops (I guess Chinook mostly) with a solid dark roasted malt backside. So uniquely sweet and hoppy.
T- The way the hops play off the darkness is fruity in nature. The alcohol is hidden deep inside this flavor forest. Blueberry, concord grape juice, with a sprinkle of citrusy-pine and chocolatey-coffee. Nothing I've had that really truly compares.
M- Heavy bubble in the 1-10, 10 as the largest bubble, 3 range. Not quite teeny tiny, but small and tight. Surprisingly refreshing.
This is a really good beer. Not one I would like to drink every day, but sparingly it stands out as a true champion of beers; all beers. It's not quite inside any true style (I don't think), it kinda stands on it's own on many levels. If you haven't tried it, you most definitely should. But don't be afraid to leave this one for later in the night. It will not be pushed around by others.

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Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style.

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Photo of keith712
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Thick, very dark, gloriously rich looking. Deep, deep velvety red/mahogany around the edges, you won't see much light getting through this brew. Nice 1" head that settled fast to a 1/8" cap that stayed around with chunky lacing to the end of the glass. Beautiful.

Nose: Initial sweetness then the hops came in, definitely a bittersweet chocolate background which surprised me. Dare I say, it smells somewhat like...IPA...the hops are there.

Taste: Initial sweetness, mild chocolate again, followed by that hops come-on. Finishes dry and leaves that wonderful bitterness on the inner cheeks. Maybe a nutty/smokish background there, like faint chocolate covered nuts.

Mouth Feel: Initially I thought it was going to be thick and syrupy, but it felt thinner than appearance dicated. Nice background presence of the hops that stays, but still a smoooth experience. I can feel the claimed 8.7% ABV with a warming in the throat. Not objectionable.

Drinkability: Begs me to have another swallow. One 22oz is a nice sample size, and I don't want to share it! I could drink two of these, but I might need a ride home afther that.

Overall: Very nice! I liked it more than I expected to. 8.5 of 10. (edit: 9 out of 10..read below...)

EDIT: I started drinking this one too cold. It was a bit more bitter/hoppy than I expected. After warming it a solid 10-15 minutes in the glass, it became much smoother, the flavors really came alive with that chocolate/nutty background with a smooth but strong hops flavor I adore. At 45 minutes in, finishing the last third of the 22oz bomber, it was simply phenomenal. I changed my score above to a 9 based on this.

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