Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

1,914 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

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

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Reviews: 1,914 | Ratings: 5,925
Photo of 0110x011
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Easily my favorite Stone beer, if not my all-time favorite beer, period. A real treat that should be enjoyed by any hophead looking for something more than your standard DIPA fodder.

pours pitch-black into a snifter, with a dark ruby hue when held up to direct light. Full two-finger head dissipates quickly with medium lacing. piney hops hit the nose first, with caramel, chocolate and dark fruit (raisin & fig) behind it. hops don't factor quite as heavily in the taste, with chocolate, toffee, light coffee, and dark fruit flavors abound. the hops make their presence known towards the end, where the pineyness & bitters hit the back & sides of the tongue, along with a mild alcohol burn. Full bodied, but not stout syrupy, and insanely drinkable.

The roasted malts & signature Stone hop punch create a very interesting & complex cross-breed of a beer. I'm planning on getting my greedy mitts on as much of this stuff as i can. A true drinking pleasure.

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Photo of bort11
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from sirk0rebreg as part of the Brews-n-Tunes 3 BIF. Big thanks!

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Surprisingly large creamy tan head that has some serious legs. Slow to recedes it leaves a frothy cap on the surfaces and spotty chunks on the glass. Color is deep and dark red/black. Ruby red highlights are visible around the edges.

Smell is predominantly hops with a balancing malt backbone. Taste is hoppy to the point that it is comparable to an IIPA. Malts balances the bitterness very well.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium body. Very smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of errantnight
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe my favorite Stone beer?

That's a bit strong... but man can they work those hops.

Pours jet black with a deep tan head that's frothy, thick, and lasting. In the light there's a bit of a ruby hue.

Smell is all hops, with a muted tangerine must funk and a solid rich malty background.

Tastes much the same, with a rolling malty middle and overwhelming hop presence, just a suggestion of roast in amidst the bready malt.

Perfect full mouth, creamy and just effervescent enough.

This beer goes down far too easily, and I kept going back to buy more whenever I saw it... it's not drinking quite as well as it was when fresh, and I can see it starting to go down the 10th Anniversary Road towards an off-Barleywine... but the malt here is more solid, and while it won't be as good, it may hold up over the long run in more interesting ways...

If there's still any left out there, snap it up!

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

a: The translucent black ale holds up a pretty 1 finger mocha head that recedes slowly and partially, with a nice layer retained for awhile.

s: BIG hops, even with age...dark, thick, juicy NW hops linger over burnt toast, light roasted coffee, and a burnt toffee sweetness. Quite aromatic. Spicy, alcoholic nose. If I was forced to narrow it down to one phrase, it'd be rum-raisin cake with a bitter cocoa-molasses glaze (and hops).

m: carbonation is medium, and the body is on the full side of the medium range...pretty smooth/creamy

t: Pulpy hops everywhere, start to finish. A semisweet caramel base malt supports a big presence of darkly toasted malts, turning more roasty and astringent after the swallow. The bitterness is moderate and the finish lingers long with near-burnt grain.

d: a nice beer, good drinkability even as the abv makes itself well known

shipped Southward by the fuhrer of foam, dirtylou

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a Duvel tulip glass the beer was jet black in color and topped with three fingers of sticky head that retains very well.

The nose has a big hoppy smell with chocolate, malt, coffee and mollasses.

The taste has the hops hit the palate first with medium bitterness. Not an agresive in your face bitter wallop like some Stone offerings (not as though that is a bad thing) but the bitterness is well balanced with chocolate flavors, caramel, mollassess and raisons. Some roasted flavors lend a bitterness all their own. The taste finished with a burnt espresso, chicory like flavors with some hazelnut too.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

An interesting creation for sure. A hybrid stout-IPA of sorts with equal proportions of bitterness coming from two different sources. Hoppy bitterness hits first and then a complete turn to roasted coffee chocolate bitterness. All in all I enjoyed this one.

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

A 22oz bomber into my Brooklyn tulip tumbler. A clear dark brew, like the color of Coke syrup. Light barely gets through the glass. A good sized somewhat rocky tan head bubbles up and eventually thins to an algae like covering active and alive. Lacing goes all the way down my glass as I enjoy.

Piney grapefruit with a hearty roasted malt undertone hits my nose with force. Simple, uncomplicated appealing.

Roasted malt and coffee with an aggressive hoppiness are the main players in the game here. A burnt caramel malt sweetness flows underneath and ties it in nicely. Grapefruit and piney hops are a feature of the long drying finish.

A nicely weighted medium mouthfeel with mild carbonation.
Feels lighter than it is really.

Quite drinkable for the abv. Alcohol is well hidden.

Two words here. Winter IPA. A brilliant concoction, keep a few for the holiday season '08!!

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

Poured from tap and had a nice brown head over the clear dark brown brew. Frothy head lasts and lasts, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is pungeant piney green hops. Taste is bit lacking in the chewy malts one might expect for such a dark color, but hops character and bitterness is excellent. It did have nice chocolate taste to it with that hoppy kick. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Yet another anniversary brew from Stone that is worthy of the milestone.

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

Piney, citric hop aroma with notes of yeast and roast malt.

Poured very deep brown with good clarity. Somewhat rocky tan head with very good retention and good lacing.

Citric and piney hop flavor with firm bitterness from hops and roast malt. Noticable alcohol flavor, especially in finish. Nice, big malt profile in the background. Complex finish, a mix of hop flavor, lingering bitterness, and alcohol.

Medium-bodied. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Medium-high carbonation. Smooth finish with slight alcohol warmth.

Interesting beer. Definitely different than the norm. Excellent overall, but a bit too bitter. Perhaps a little bit of age will bring this beer a bit more into balance.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. I had this beer back in the summer and I didn't get a chance to review it but remember it being pretty hoppy. Now it's "Spring" here in Syracuse, let's see how a few months treated this brew.

Clarkson lost tonight to Michigan 2-0, so I'm avoiding beer from that state tonight (unfortunately).

Pours a dark sludge brown with a big two finger tan head that dies down to a layer of big bubbles. Stickiness is pretty solid, no complaints there. Smell is interesting; pine hops, bitter cocoa, light citrus, and creamy caramel. A coffee aroma is present in the nose as well. Flavor is earthy hops from start to finish with some molasses and brown sugar. Pretty bitter as well, too bitter actually, sounds just weird associating that witch such a dark beer. The coffee grind flavor is there which adds more to the bitter effect. Very dry in the mouth with a full medium body. Strong carbonation on the tongue. I guess being classified as a Strong Ale is a pretty good fit seeing it beat the shit out of my mouth. I just wasn't feeling this beer. Maybe I'm crazy or just pissed off about Clarkson losing.

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Photo of Vansmack
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Last night went to Stone Brewery and was able to get a few glasses of the 11th anniversary. I'm not a huge fan of the black beers, but I have to say that the hoppiness of it being an IPA shined through and had a balanced mix of dark and hops.

The appearance on this sucker is absolutely appealing. It's doesn't break up like a guiness or have a nasty smell like most darks. It has a clean hoppy smell.

I have to say, the only downer for me was mouthfeel. I didn't get the usual amazing burst of hops I get when tasting an IPA. It was very drinkable though and I could have sat there all night pounding one after another.

Overall... if you're at Stone any time soon, I'd definitely get a few glasses. It's only $4 a pop and its definitely worth it.


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

Poured into a snifter. Beautiful obsidian color with a light khaki head. Nice head retention on this one. Moderate lacing. I read the bottle and it said IPA, but this appearance is throwing me off. Strong floral hop aroma, sweet pine, and a light dash of citrus. I am pulling some tart green apple. Some sweet malts makes this remind me of a barley wine. Very hoppy, slight citrus with a very sweet yet subtle malt characteristic. Great grapefruit taste. This makes me crave a barley wine for comparison. Definitely more hoppy than a barley wine but the malts are wonderful in this. The mouthfeel is a little on the dry side for my liking, but understandable with the high alpha hops. Mild carbonation. A nice treat. I am going to try to age one of these just to see what happens.

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Photo of Matty1918
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber.

Had this before Easter dinner.

A great looking ale...dark color, dark creamy head that leaves lots of lacing throughout. No light peaking through this glass.

A slight citrus aroma with a hint of burnt malt and hoppy...a little pine maybe.

A very tasty ale indeed. Slight bitterness with a hint of burnt malt. The flavors here blend nicely. I think I'll buy a couple of more and cellar them for a couple of months and try it again.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. The beer pours a deep deep brown color with a light coating of tan head over top. There is a mild stream of carbonation in it, and clarity is hard to gauge due to the dark color of the brew. Good looker here. The aroma is interesting. There is a nice pungent hop that is coming across very earthy and piney, though I imagine that fresh it was more brilliant. There is a strong malt backbone in there, with a good bit of bready and melanoidan toastyness. There is a hint of anise spicyness as well. It is an interesting mix. The flavor brings an initial hop that is slightly citrusy and earthy, this is followed by a peculiar malt flavor. I get bready and molasses qualities with an infusion of spicy anise. The hop bitterness really hits along with the sharpness that gives me a molasses. I find the bitterness to be a little too harsh for my liking. Mouthfeel is moderate to thick, with a light carbonation. It has a bit of slickness to it. Overall, I think the flavors clash a bit in here. I find the hop bitterness to linger a bit too strong on my tongue. This one is certainly good, but I think it is a little too forceful and slightly unrefined overall to me.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Is this a dark IPA or what? unique for sure, and very good. It reminds me of a dark version of the Tenth Ann. Ale (which is my favorite). It has citrus more then one would expect from a beer this dark... grapefruit? Hopps fill in along with some spice and caramel, then more citrus. Interesting beer, very good worth a shot!

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

I bought thisone upon its release, cellared it six months and very much enjoyed on MY, as I do every year with anniversary ale.

It pours a nice, rich dark brown. A good tan head forms, settles to a thin eighth inch film and dose leave some spotted and web lace.

The aroma takes the citric hop and pine route.

The taste follows with the hop up front with citric and pine notes.
The malt side got me. Sweet malts, roasted, unbuttered toast, coffee, chocolate and a sign of alcohol.

The beer feels on the mouth a dark roast, alcohol, with hints of a porter likeness. A slight warming feel as well.

Very much enjoyed this brew here in March, the weather was crap and the beer, its time at rest and the over-all result...It hit the spot!

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely dark with a small brownish head. Smell is extremely hoppy with an obvious grapefruit scent. Underneath there is a subtle burnt malt aroma. Taste starts off very hoppy, with citrus and floral, but fades into burnt malt and a coffee-like taste. Mouthfeel is good. The first time I had this I was slightly disappointed. I wasn't expecting so many hops. Knowing this my second time drinking this beer, made it way more enjoyable.

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Photo of Med
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown with a nice tan head that unfortunately doesn't stay. Lacing is medium and coats the glass nicely.

S - Hops. Lots of hops. Grapefruit and pine. Underneath is a sweet chocolate.

T - Very big and very complex. Starts with floral hops then changes to a roasted malt, followed by a bitter grapefruit finish that stays with you. The combination of flavors from sweet to roasted to bitter is wonderful.

M - Medium bodied and slick. carbonation is soft, and in this case it seems appropriate as it allows the beer to roll around the mouth.

D - The layers of flavor with very little discernible alcohol makes this one a pleasure to drink.

Another great brew from Stone.

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

22oz. bomber: This one pours an opaque, dark brown color. There was a fair amount of a tan head on it that lingers and leaves a good bit of lacing. The aroma is mainly pine, citrus and spicy hops. You can detect some malts trying to break through. The taste is a bit bitter, with a huge amount of malts thrown in. Some sweetness, roastiness, chocolate. It's almost as if they threw in a large amount of everything they had around, but they did it in a way that a nice balance was achieved. Very Nice!

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

Sampled from a 22 ounce bomber poured into my Duvel tulip glass on 11-29-07. This review was enter from copious notes taken during quaffing.

A-Poured nearly pitch black, almost no light enters the glass. there was a slight appearance of brown around the edges. Did not pour extremly thick though. Head was tan and about 2 inches in height from moderately aggressive pour. Retention was good and lace left after the head did fall was phenominal.

S-Malts hit 1st for me, caramel, molasses and toasty bread. The middle to end of the nose brings a hop feild on harvest day, pine hops, green hops and hnt of citrus hops. Alcohol in the nose as well after it begins to warm.

T-Big and bitter piney hops right in the front on the tongue. carmel malts and roasted barley come in in the middle. Some dried pit fruit can be noticed in the middle as well. A hint of unsweetened choclate and espresso shows as well.

M-medium body with a mouth coating creamy texture.

D-The drinkability is pretty good, but the bomber is certainly enough for one sitting. Overall, I thik this is a little hot and bitter right now. I think this one would benefit from sometime in the cellar.

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Photo of stewart124
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Almost jet black with a tan head that is quite viscous and leaves a pretty lace.

Grapefruit and pine but much more subtle than I had anticipated. Hops are clearly the frontrunner in the nose with very little malt background.

A generous amount of spicy/citrusy hops here but that is to be expected from this brewery. Very bold and a lingering pine note in the background. There is very little roasted mats character but the color would lead one to believe that there are some roasted malts in this beer. Nice caramel malts add a sweetness that finishes dry.

A very tasty black IPA or American strong beer that can be very drinkable. I haven't noticed that alcohol but might once the bomber is through. Put another notch on your belt Stone

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark chocolate brown color and head is tan and 1 finger. Opaque and lacing is very thick and sheety.

S- Very hoppy and a tad smoky and roasty.

T- Smoky and burntlike malts. Alcohol is strong and the IBU's are very high. This beer is a black IPA to me. Rich and pretty complex with some chocolate and liquorice.

M- Medium to thick and high carbonation.

D- Somewhat low due to alcohol taste and strength of the brew.

Overall- This one is a little overrated to me. Just a little bit too "in your face" but I guess that is what Stone is good at. All in all, good brew though. Very consistant for the brewery.

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3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried on 10-01-07

What a way to kick off October. As I pour swear I've got a porter or a stout. A thick foamy 2 finger head quickly develops showcasing a rich tan hue. Body is jet black and really doesnt let any light thru even when held to light. Slight scattered lace is left. Nose has a very creamy hoppiness to it mixed with a vanilla based malt character. With first sip you get... oh what is this, smoooth well developed hop profile followed by a biscuity malty feel. Fresh fruitness gives some sweetness in the middle mixed in with some veggies and spicey malt. A hoppy burnt bitterness is left painted all over the mouthfeel. This beer is unique and hard to classify. I really believe it would balance and mellow very well with about a year of aging. Nicely drinkable now though.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle with September 2007 labeled on it poured into a tulip.

A: Sitting still in the glass the liquid looks nearly black, stout like. However as it was poured it showed it was a clearer, deep dark ruby and against some light reveals the same. Clear, but very dark and hard to see through dark ruby with a little active carbonation. Large fluffy tan head with lots of tiny bubbles, extremely retentive and patchy lacing.
S: As pretty as the beer looks and as strong as it smells I feel like this falls short. Has a barleywine like smell rich with piney hops and a malt background. Also some dark fruit and light smell of alcohol. However something for me just isn't adding up between the appearance and the smell and I'm blaming the smell.
T: Packs a punch like a good IPA/DIPA and that seems like most obvious reference but there's more going on here and I wouldn't lump this in with beers like that. Still, the strongest flavor is the piney/floral hop taste that is particularly strong in the finish, but doesn't dominate and isn't particularly bitter like other hop bombs. Instead, this has more of a malty sweetness that balances hop. Also in the finish is a slight graininess, mild chocolate and some pleasant alcohol warming, though.
M: Somehow this ends up feeling syrupy to me, yet slightly watery. Appropriate amount of light carbonation. I'm just put off by the slightly thin feeling it leaves.
D: As this warmed up and I spent more time with it I started to like this a lot more. For its complexity and relatively high ABV this is very drinkable and enjoyable.

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

Second bottle, consumed 05/14/08.

Dark brown pour with reddish highlights. Three finger light tan head sprung up with little encouragement. Reduces to one finger soon. Strong lacing.

Aroma is strong spicy and grapefruit hops. Slight grassy note.

Rich roasted bready and chocolate malt flavor. Very smooth, slightly chewy body. Hop bump at back end mainly for bittering but there's a hint of citrus and pepper. ABV is noticeable but does not interfere with flavor. Not terribly complex, but tasty and unusual.

It appears six months of aging have not significantly changed this beer.


Bottled, consumed on 11/2/07.

Cola colored pour, modest tan head with excellent retention and plenty of bubbles. Smoky, piny aroma: reminds me of a robustly hopped porter in the nostrils. Nicely chewy in the mouth. When served cold, hops are assetive in this beer, easily the strongest flavor. There are some faint suggestions of bread and honey mixed in there, but this is a hophead's brew. As it warms, balance appears, allowing a stronger malt profile to emerge. Reminds of pumpernickel bread or a dash of mocha. Strong as it leaves the mouth with a lasting bitter finish.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip glass, pours a dark, dark mahogany, very dark, with a nice bubbly sandy tan head and quite some bit of lacing up and down the glass. The aroma is different... has a certain character that reminds me of Darkness... different styles, sure, but thats what it reminds me of. A very nice floral hoppiness, some lovely chocolates are surprising, and.. a bit of sweet malt hiding in there?

The taste is though. Hopping comes on sweet and floral at first, a bit of citrus, rides out into a bittering and ends with a rind-ish drying, puckers up ever so slightly. Not a tongue lasher for sure, but no doubt this is a Stone. Underneath, there lies some tiny treats, roasted grains and some of those mysterious chocolates in the nose. Not overly complex, but nonetheless delightful. The mouth is rather smooth, the carbonation mellow, slightly warming, good body. Overall, I'm glad I got a few bottles of this.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,925 ratings.
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