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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,901 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:
1,901
Ratings:
5,875
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
793
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,901 | Ratings: 5,875
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone 11th Anniversary, in the dark with this IPA, pitch dark, so they say...what's that mean? Let's open and find out...

Hey, that is dark...and hoppy...big aromas, leaping out at ya...just about black, this one, with a smallish dark brown head.

Aroma: bright hops, mixed with rich, dark malt...ripe fruit melds with cocoa and coffee tones...interesting, to say the least...and I like it!

In the taste, big hop smack, taking a dark turn, feeling hot, roasted, and full. Tangy, twangy, tingly hops, meet roasted malt...overloaded with character and confidence. Some trickles of molasses and a hint of spice linger in as well...hops are everywhere, this is in IPA territory, definitely, but those dark malts take somewhere else entirely...and I like that!
first bitter fruit feel, then dark roast burning the palate...again, I like!

8.7%? I'm hardly feeling it...or, am...I?

A bit of bright orange and grapefruit pith, then a round of chocolate and coffee grounds..I'm enjoying that!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Since I can't make it to Stone Winter Storm I thought I'd pay tribute by having my bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary today. Served in a Stone pint glass.

A - Pours with two-plus fingers of soapy light tan foam. Excellent retention and a few chunks of sticky lace. Body is a transparent dark ruby red-brown with some visible bubbles.

S - Wow, there's still a good amount of pine and citrus hoppiness, even after two and a half years. Actually it's quite shocking, as this doesn't seem significantly less hoppy than the Sublimely Self-Righteous I had six months ago. There's a spicy malt backbone with some burnt sugar and a touch of cocoa.

T - Taste is quite similar to Sublimely Self-Righteous, with intense grapefruit bitterness and some peripheral cocoa sweetness. It seems a little mellower, but not by much. Aftertaste is a stupidly strong amount of grapefruit bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty much identical to SSR - "Moderate carbonation, medium body, lots of residual stickiness and hop oil character. Maybe a touch of warmth after I finished half the bomber."

D - I get the sense this isn't going to get any less bitter - however if you really loved this beer then you can rest assured it's holding up just fine. Same criticisms as I had about SSR - "The bitterness is kind of crazy - I'll finish this bomber, but this isn't something where I'll be rushing out for more bottles. I think it could have used a little more malt sweetness to keep things in balance."

This was nearly identical to SSR, but without as much lacing. Not my favorite Stone offering, but an interesting experience nonetheless.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a snifter

Pours a thick black with a heavy, foamy head. Nose is a perfect bouquet of flowers. Taste is a solid balance of roasted malt and bitter hops a little chocolate in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated.

This beer is amazing. Looks like a stout. Tastes like an IPA..You have to try it.

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

Pours a dark black that shows some red highlights when held up to the light. Two finger head that dissipates, but never goes away, laces the glass all the way down. Aroma is hops citrusy, piney, grapefruity hops with a faint biscuit/caramel malt in the background. Taste is more of the same bitter hops. Another great offering from Stone.

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

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont into a tumbler.

Great light cocoa brown chocolate like head that is foamy. Cloudy dark brown body with red character. Just like it's bottle cousin, some good lacing while drinking too.

Hop citrus orange and grapefruit but muted, seems oily, sharp but still tiny and muted, I'll say it's slightly bigger than out of the bottle.

Taste is a little more varied briefly, first a quick sugar of milk chocolate disappearing with hop and grapefruit bitter. Aromatics of oil and citrus fruit on the finish, extremely fruity it never lets up.

A little more dynamic, but mostly just more powerful on tap and still a good example of this style. Can't go wrong with it at all.

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

Beer poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is dark black. A tight brown head forms from moderate carbonation. As head falls away lacing is left on the sides of the glass. As the beer is drank, the head becomes more diffuse and remains as a thin layer on the top of the beer.

Aroma is strong with pine-like hops. There isn't much else I'm able to pull out. I would expect some malt / roast character but the hop aroma pushes it all out.

The taste of the beer is really interesting. There is a lot of backend bitterness from the hops but its balanced well with the roast character from the dark malts in the beer. Not a lot of front end sweetness to speak of. A full bodied beer, a great feel and high drinkability.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled last night, 22 oz bomber, shared with a friend. From memory...

A: Muddy black, supple tan head that left some great lacing and a moderate cap throughout the tasting.

S: Roasted grain malt, bitter hops, ash, black peppercorn. This smells great but I worry these roasted qualities may not play as well as I hope with the bitterness.

T: Bitter hops are up front followed by some charcoal and grass. The overall roasted qualities here are too weak for the bitterness of these hops. I was expecting the hops, obviously, but thought the definite dark malt profile would be a bit more present to balance this out. Disappointed.

M: Wild carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: For me, this is hard. I love IPAs and in general Black IPAs but something about this one is just hard for me to get down, let alone an entire 22 oz bottle. Luckily I shared.

I wouldn't go for this again unless it was on draft somewhere. Understandably so an IPA, though it still needs balance, something I feel the Sublimely is lacking.

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

"A new creation from Stone", happy happy...this one goes into a short wine glass, and pours near black, or at least very dark, under a long lasting dark tan head, tiny bubbles and creamy, each sips reveals gobs of sheeting and then rings of striated lacing, nice looking stuff. Distinctive, herbal, citric hoppy nose, yum. Fresh and pungent brew, plenty o'hoppy goodness, crunching along up front. Full bodied and full mouthfeel, hops continue to carry the weight. Also Some dark maltyness picked up, cafe au lait and mild chocolate, meandering around in the background. Complex, tasty and full throttle, yet more fine brew from the folks at Stone. Washed down a slice of olive bread in fine fashion...go get some and consume.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well its Monday...what the hell....why not have a Self-Righteous Ale!?!?!? This beer has awesome complexity....that I would argue gave birth to a whole new line of craft beers....the Black IPAs, etc. This beer is very dark with ecru foamy head. The nose screams hops like an IPA. The taste is a wonderment that begins like an IPA, but finishes with a roasty malt character. The mouthfeel is decent, but the ABV can be tough to start. I could probably handle two stingers (22oz) fairly easily, but after that someone would have to carry me home.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/23/07- Purchased at Dart Liquors in Stateline, NV.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, September '07 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Not quite as pitch black as the label memo says, but still pretty darn dark. Nice 3/4 inch fluffy head upon the pour which settles at a slight off white rim. Leaves behind very sticky patchwork lacing.

Smell- Scents of dark and roasted caramel malt. Pretty intense chocolate notes as well. And it wouldn't be Stone if it didn't have a nice bitter tear your nose hairs out hop aroma.

Taste- Hmmm, combo of a bunch of flavors. Coming up with a schwatzbier-ipa combo. Has a nice dark chocolate-caramel mixed flavor which is combined with a fresh grapefruit hop taste. Maybe even a slight note of coffee beans as well. Very interesting combo. I like it.

Mouthfeel- A bit in the higher carbonation range, but has a nice thicker and viscous dark malt and bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty sweet to be a session brew, in fact one bomber was almost a bit too much, but I wouldn't turn down a pint if offered. Another quality and interesting style brew released by Stone.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at the Stone Brewery into a pint glass. The beer is a dark brown, glassy, thick coloring, almost black in the depths. The beer has a 1 inch creamy, thick, tan head. The nose is hop heavy, with grapefruit and resinous forward notes, followed by a solidly smoked and roasted note that helps to balance it. The taste is hop forward, very bitter and resinous, and these characteristics are enhanced by the roast and smoke characters. The hop-heavy feel continues into the finish, where there is more of a citrus hops linger, but still plenty of bitterness. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, despite the boldness of the flavors. This is a big beer, with very heavy characteristics. Damn tasty, and not for the faint of heart.

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

- Pardon the abbreviated review, this was sampled at a free Stone tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Deep cola.

S - Beautifully flora. Light citrus hops. Rich malt backbone.

T - Woody hops up front with some deep toast and rye bread. Great balance.

M - Smooth with a bitterness that doesn't overpower.

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

Finally reviewing this one. Enjoy by 3/29/12, so not the most fresh bottle. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured black with two fingers of thick, bubbly light brown head that slowly reduced to a thin layer. Some light lacing.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front. A lot of grapefruit. Some roast in the background but the hops dominate the nose.

T - A big bitter punch from the hops up front with grapefruit and pine flavours. The roast enters in the middle with some sweet cocoa. The bitterness returns in the finish. Some coffee flaovurs are evident as it warms up. Considering the (lack of) freshness, this is really good.

M - Medium body with lots of sticky hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - This has always been a favourite. Almost flawless on tap.

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

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that lasts. The aroma is great. It's loaded with rich malt aroma as well as tons of hops as well. It's quite complex with bit of roasted and black malts as well. The hops dominate the aroma. They're bold and add balance to a hefty malt bill. The taste is awesome. It has a pronounced roasted malt character. It's dark with a warming finish. It goes down hoppy and ends hoppy. What a beautiful beer. The hops resinate after the finish, but a lingering roasted malt taste remains. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a kick ass beer; one of the best IPA's I've ever had, black or not. I do enjoy the roasted character.

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

A: poured black as night with a finger of head and left lots of blotchy lacing on the glass.

S: I got some nice piney hops at first whiff with caramel malts that are kinda roasty. It also seemed to have a little citrus notes with faint underlying booze aromas.

T: upfront was a blend of chocolate and piney hops with a good malty backbone that had grapefruit to enhance the bitterness. There was a little dark fruit presence with slight booze notes .

M: the brew was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but piney hop bitter finish.

D: overall the beer was quite delicious and drank good but to be honest it taste very similar to other stone brews I've had in the past, there is some type of signiture flavor in most of their brews that I can't pin point; oh well.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool idea here - black IPA. I'd call it "hop cocoa." My only qualm is that there isn't more malt. The hops are near perfect, just riding the line of big, but not too big. The aroma is a very sweet fruity, reminds me of the Avery's big beers. The flavor has a get mix of hops flavors that change as the beer warms. It covers floral, fruit punch, citrus rind, and finishes with an herbal black pepper taste. Yummy. There's a touch of cocoa in the background, sort of like what baking cocoa adds to a mole sauce. So, a pretty great beer, I want more like this. Thank you Stone.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, pours a black liquid, a bit thick looking with a chocolate shake-foam type head. Huge head. About 3 1/2 fingers. Not quite as thick looking as a stout.
Hops dominate the aroma. A bit surprising given the look of it. A sharp citrus smell, some anise and prune. Some resin as well.
Taste is like an IPA, but not as strong, yet stronger than a PA. The hops, again, dominate.The sharp citrus is more subtle, dry. A hint of molasses with some dark fruit. Not sweet at all, though. Alcohol is noticeable. Some of the anise comes through in the taste, not a fan of that.
A slick feel to it. Feels like a watered down stout, which I'm not sure is good or bad.
I like it, though. 22oz bomber didn't stand a chance.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is piney hops with roasted malt. I also get a touch of citrus. The flavor is pine, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a thick two finger head that produces some thick lacing.

Smell: big malt sweetness, brown sugar, prunes, grapefruits, and a huge hop presence that leaps out of the glass. Soft alcohol tones are also picked up.

Taste: this is a bold brew. Huge malt profile produces a nice sugary sweetness, but the pine resin, grapefruits, prunes, and soft bitter chocolate tones balances this out wonderfully. Alcohol levels provide a warmth in the throat and belly.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is very long as the strong malt and big hop bitterness wraps itself around the tongue and doesn't leave for minutes. Heavy in body.

Drinkability: definite slow sipping beer, but extremely satisfying on a flavor front. This could be considered a meal if one had an empty stomach. The alcohol does come through as you finish the bottle, so more than the one bomber bottle would be dangerous. Awesome beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They had quite a bit of this at the BevMo in Brea and hearing the good reviews of this beer on this site, I grabbed one. Purchased at $4.49, on to the beer:

This is a totally different kind of IPA. It's dark, nearly black in appearance. The piney and esters of an IPA are there in the flavor, but you can't really taste any raw hops, and for good measure is kissed by some cocoa. The checker at the store said he didn't like IPA's, but he really enjoyed this offering. This isn't an aggressive beer like some of the other Stone products, but a rather mellow beer that won't tax your palate too much.

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Photo of Tone
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong citrus/floral hops, sweet malt, slight alcohol, hint of vanilla, and citrus (grapefruit). Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also a strong bitterness. Tastes of floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, wood, hint of earthy malt, and slight citrus. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of Duff27
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- One fingered frothy mocha head atop a black beer. Great lacing and head retention. Holy awesome.

S- Hops, immediately.

T- Yeah! This is what a black IPA should taste like. Well balanced.

M- Smooth, creamy.

D/O- Stone got this right. Best per style? Yes, for sure.

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

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into a DFH curved pint glaas.

A- Self-righteous was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a storm king nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit to hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Very hoppy, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. Perhaps some short term aging would do this some good as it is a bit "strong" for me at the moment. I could not finish a bomber now but down the line when things have shifted, hell ya.

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

Sampled September 2007
Well carbonated, even a careful pour produces a five-finger thick head in my Tulip glass. The head is a creamy light brown color and leaves spotty lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes back into the beer. The beer is an opaque, almost black color that shows brilliantly clear, chocolate brown notes around the edges. As expected the aroma is quite hop focused. Dominant citrus / floral hop notes mix with pine-like / menthol-esque hop aromatics. When you dig for it, noticeable toasted malt aromatics become noticeable, but the dark malt character is certainly well masked by the hop onslaught. Interestingly enough, even up front there seems to be a noticeable chocolate character; it is extremely subtle & I almost wonder if my eyes are trying to pull a fast one on my nose. I don't think so though, there is a slight note of chocolate that intermingles with notes of grapefruit, freshly zested tangelo skins and lychee. With time the sharper pine / menthol hop aromatics seem to fade a bit. The hops here really capture the essence of freshly zested citrus peel, I almost feel like I got to close to the grater while zesting some sweet citrus fruits and ended up with a nose full of citrus oil.

The beer is served cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), this produces an almost creamy mouthfeel up front, but of course the hop character is the most noticeable aspect here. Bracingly hoppy from the get go, towards the middle with a little malt help the sweet citrus notes become really noticeable. The finish has a bitterness that only becomes more biting & sharp the longer the beer has been gone from my mouth; almost as if the bitterness sticks harshly to my palate while the malt character melts away. The bitterness in the finish seems to be accentuated a bit by some dark malt derived acidity; in fact this is where the dark malt character seems to come into play. The dark malt flavors are drowned out by the hops. This is quite easy drinking, there is a sort of creaminess to the beer, but it is still quite quaffable if not quite light. I would not even guess this was almost 9% alcohol, as it captures the drinkability & relatively light body of a West Coast IPA. The citrus hop flavors are definitely the dominant flavor contributor here. They are not quite so over the top as the aroma was (that citrus oil character is muted a bit), but still ample notes of tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, orange zest, and lychee are quite noticeable. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, subtle notes of roast coffee and chocolate start to become noticeable.

This is most definitely an IPA inspired beer; the lingering, tongue flagellating bitterness in this beer is huge. Astringent at times, bracing, palate dominating, but thoroughly enjoyable for the hop heads out there. I really hope this beer lasts longer than the 10th anniversary beer; for some reason that one had a 2 week window where it was a zesty hop bomb, but after that it became a train wreck of flavors (though I'll have to revisit it as some have said it has mellowed recently). Anyway, if you only have one bottle drink it now, cause it is at it's peak fresh hoppiness right now. It will be interesting to see how the dark malt character plays out; it is very subtle right now and if this was put in a blind IPA tasting (you would actually have to be blind folded though), most would have a hard time guessing this was not a typical, albeit supper hoppy IPA.

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

Thanks to Bitterbill for this brew.

Poured into a Stone pint glass a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, which then leaves some nice small islands and thick sticky lacing. The nose is mostly malty, very slight hop tones, and lots of caramel. The taste is very malty, some hops, and caramel. The finish is dry and slight bitterness to it. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Full body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone, very much a joy to drink, highly recommended.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,901 ratings.
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