Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
5,926 Ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
5,926
Reviews:
1,914
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
308
Gots:
817
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,926 |  Reviews: 1,914
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip, best by 2/14/2012. Re-reviewing my first rating ever from 6/3/2010. Pours almost pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, biscuit, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, floral, and herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, toasted biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, herbal hop, and coffee. Nice sized smooth spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, toasted biscuit, chocolate, caramel, citrus, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop bitterness to roasted malt flavor for a black IPA. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but is still a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a delicious Black IPA as expected. Big hop flavors with a great balanced malt backbone that I usually prefer in black IPAs.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

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Photo of chinchill
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler taken directly from the store where this was poured into a Unibroue snifter shortly after arrival.

Pours basically black with subtle signs of deep orange-red coloration around the edges. The tan head is moderate in size but long-lasting and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, as expected from Stone, with obvious pine and citrus aspects as well as some vague herbal notes. Enticing. A strong piney hop flavor dominates up front. Usually this would be followed by q quite bitter taste, or at least a very bitter aftertaste. Although there's an obvious bitterness and an IBU = 90, this beer starts bitter-sweet and keeps the bitterness under control all the way through. There's a solid dark malt component helping out with this, but clearly Stone extracted plenty of hop aroma and flavor without boiling all the bitterness out of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops. The high ABV makes itself known in the aroma, after some warming, but remains fairly well hidden in the taste. Complex and rich, extraordinary balance and interesting, and wonderful flavor dynamics.

M: full bodied; about as creamy smooth as can be at ABV = 8.7%; excellent, medium carbonation.

O: an amazing beer and the cream of the crop in Black IPAs in my experience. In any case, a world class beer all hop heads should seek out.

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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 oberon
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see the new Stone Ann. ale here in western NY so quickly.My second time trying this new black IPA style of beer my first being Rogue Black Brutal wich I had mixed feelings about,this poured a deep dark brown but not black some ruby colored highlights thruought a thick 2 finger head atop that never completely settled just a fantastic creamy mass left with gobs of lace behind in my impy pint glass,just awesome.Mix of piney and tropical fruit hops and black malt in the nose mainly I picked up some pineapple and molasses wich was nice and it strayed away from the one dimensional resiny hop profile and caramel malt base.The hops are big but so is the black malt element of this beer sure its big and piney and citrusy but the dark bread and molasses in there is large as well in finely balanced that black malt character really shows itself.The alcohol creeps a bit but this is a very interesting brew it has it all big hops and some malty sweetness,another top notch brew form one of the best.

 1,006 characters

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

Wow, what a great beer! It combines citrusy and piney hops with a deeply caramelish malt that's also a touch chocolatey and roasted.

It appears black in a full pint glass, but held to the light it reveals dark mahogany edges. The creamy tan head holds well, and it leaves some nice splatters of lace about the glass.

The nose is citrusy and piney over a hint of dark caramel. Quite nice!

In the mouth it's decidedly medium bodied with a standard carbonation level.

The flavor reveals the maltiness that's not quite found in the nose. It's almost like burnt-sugar: caramelish, and bit roasty, and even a touch smokey. There's an edge of dark chocolate to it as well. It's rich, but not 'super' rich; and it's complex, but not 'super' complex - it's just everything it needs to be because it's really just acting as the perfect 'dark' springboard for the hops.

With any other malt base I'm sure these particular hops would be displayed in a different fashion, but here they're piney, resinous, and minty with a citrus edge that expresses orange, lemon, and red fruits as well. I think the roasted and dark chocolatey side of the malt develops the mintiness by combining with the pine-like qualities; and the citrus is slightly subdued, but still comes through towards the middle and end as a refreshing splash that pulls you away into a little something different. Atop a golden or amber malt I'm sure the hops would be more emboldened, and more citrusy, piney, and fruity (like fruity pebbles?), but here they're more reigned in. And what that all leads to is a really interesting beer from the first whiff to the elegant, lingering finish. In fact, I get the most smokey edge out of it after it's been gone for a minute or so.

Regarding drinkability, the alcohol at 8.7% by volume is never noticeable. You might feel it, but you won't taste it. And I think the subdued complexity and interesting 'bright points' make it remarkably compelling. It's brilliantly balanced at its core, and superbly studded with hops. Quite possibly my favorite beer from Stone.

 2,065 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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

Made a hoppy stout of my own, and I think its comparative to this beer, so I'm going to try them side by side and see what I think. I didn't create a clone on purpose, I just wanted a nice hoppy stout and found out so did Stone.

A: Pours into my Corsendonk tulip glass with a huge thick frothy dark bubbly head that reminds me of blowing bubbles in my chocolate milk as a kid. Its almost pitch black with the slightest light coming through the bottom of the glass where it thins.

N: Floral juicy hops really kick in the nose first. A light creamy malty aroma also gives a nice feel to it. Some sweet caramel malts and light roasted malts. The nose is a lot less spicy bite of hops than mine, and this is a lot more creamy and malty, closer to a nice thick stout. A slight coffee aroma from the roasted malts.

T: Again starts with a nice floral spicy hop taste with some juicy hops. A slight malty creamy chocolate malt flavor, and some roasted malts as well. The juicy hop flavors never go away either, and they seem to dissipate throughout the entire mouth from start to finish. I almost get a frosting taste towards the end as well with some sweet creamy tastes and juicy hops blended. I used a bunch of cascade hops, esp dry hop so this is blended much better, and they don't contrast as much as mine. I will have to really redo my stout and I want to model it after this.

M: Creamy and pretty thick, a little spicy with hops, good carbonation.

F: Finishes very bitter and pretty dry. More spicy floral hop flavors dangle around the mouth for a bit, and the dryness helps to accentuate the hops. A slight rich creamy stout feel stay around for a bit too. A slight chocolate taste also lingers and seems to blend really well with the juicy hop taste. I would love to have a chocolate covered hop candy bar.

 1,813 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of chocolate.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with good complexity. There's the good floral hops bitterness as well as the hearty roasted malt character with mild flavors of dark fruit and chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, excellent representation of the "Dark IPA" sub-style, this is yet another very good beer from Stone that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark black with some garnet hints when held up to the light. There is a finger tall beige head that last throughout the entire beer - great head retention on this one. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as strong a nose as I expected after some of the other Stone beers, this beer had a decent amount of pine hops with subtler notes of roasted malts and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts with a lot of pine hops in the flavor. Huge bitterness in the finish that is really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really like this one and I will have to get it again. Very sessionable and I enjoyed the flavors and the aroma.

 730 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

Served on tap @ the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on 11/9/09. There were a lot of great beers to choose from on tap here but I wanted to try one of my Stone favorites right there at the source.

Pours black, with the just the tiniest bit of ruby coming out along the bottom, and a 1/4 finger of creamy mocha colored froth. Retains with a soft and creamy look, just completely coating the sides of the glass with thick rings of lacing. The aroma is fresh and floral in the nose, with a nice hard edge of spice and pine to it. A blast of citric hops rolls in next, backed by a nice crunchy mix of coffee and roast, as well as some softer cocoa and toffee character. This sits with a bit of heft in the nose as well. Smells like a dark Porter oozing with American hop attitude.

The taste is pretty spot on with the aroma, as heavy rich notes of chocolate roast and coffee flavor are right at the forefront of this. Luckily, they are more than an equal match for the aggressive resinous bite of the hops, which is just dripping with juicy & bright citric character. This is overall very roasty, bitter, and intense, with burnt notes that really hang around for a while. The mouthfeel is medium to maybe a bit fuller, with a sharp prickly nature that matches up well with those bold hops. There is some heft here to the body but the alcohol is kept to a minium in the taste, allowing it's presence to just add even more to the overall bigness of this beer.

Hands down on of my favs from these guys and probably my favorite example of the "Dark IPA" style. I've really enjoyed this out of the bottle several times but it seemed just so much more intense here on draft. Great stuff!

 1,687 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark bitter ale with no hint of fruitiness.

Very dark brown, looks inviting. Doesn't taste dark, however. Very austere, no hint of sweetness in the malt. more like a hint of soy sauce. Hops jump right on without much aromatic foreplay and keep at it. Seems surprisingly light-bodied for a strong, dark ale. Has a very odd taste of metal at the end, an edge on the teeth.

I think this is one of my least favorite Stone ales. For the hard core IPA drinker, for sure.

 466 characters

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

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured into a pint glass a coffee brown with a nice, foamy, beige head that retained and laced decently. I really love this style of beer. Dark malts and dark fruits in the aroma, but a definite citrus hop presence like you'd get from your typical IPA. Smooth dark malts in the taste, molasses, brown sugar, quickly overcome by lots of citrusy hops, though the maltiness lingers on in the background. Flavorful and medium-bodied. Another highly drinkable beer from the consistently excellent Stone Brewing Co.

 557 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of dcmchew
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours nearly black with a thick tan head. Very good head retention a d lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hoppy, much like a DIPA. It's citrusy with grapefruit and orange but the dark malts also come through with a slightly sweet presence. Taste also has the citrusy hoppy flavor, but the dark malts come through more in the taste. There is a slight sweet caramel and chocolate flavor going on, it's nearly hidden behind the hops though. This takes on more properties of a DIPA but there is still that dark, sweet, chocolate and roasty flavor going on in the background that adds to the complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, a very complex and tasty beer that I really enjoy every time I buy it.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,926 ratings.
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