Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

5,925 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,925 |  Reviews: 1,914
Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colour with a medium foamy light tan head. Good head retention. Nice lacing.

Dense, piney aroma with a touch of malt. Good.

Slightly sweet malt with no real dark malt character. A hint of caramel. Moderately-high bitterness. Piney hop character. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. A solid, well structured beer.

A really nice Black Ale. Lots of flavour with a great hoppiness. Solid.

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

22 oz bomber - couldnt find a bottled date or freshness date on the bottle.

Poured pretty agressively into oversized wine glass. Pours a deep deep dark brown/black with a nice finger full of khaki cofee head. Lacing on the glass as consumed.

Smells like fresh grapefruit & pineapple - is intriguing due to the oxymoronical appearance! Deep down under those fruity aromas I can pick up some nice roasted malts, but the fresh grapefruit & pineapple characteristics really dominate the nose.

Up front there is a nice hoppy bite - very fruity mid taste with grapefruit, pineapple, & citrus. On the back end is where I get a roasty hop bitterness with hints of chocolate malts - it works really well though.

This one is silky smooth, really nice body on it. It is not too thin for the roasty characters, but not too thick for the hop & fruity characters. Carbonation is spot on I think. I wouldnt have this any more carbonated than as is.

Purchased at Total Wine & More for $6.99 - which is a solid price I think. I may revisit this one a while from now.

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

Coal black and a nice head with excellent lacing. Smell is toasty malt with some espresso. taste is of roasty malts with some sweetness and a hop bitterness. Coffee, dark fruit, oak, astringency, juniper, grapefruit. This is a unique and complex ale that drinks like a combination of styles. Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and sticky with good carbonation. Aftertaste is clean and bitter. Seems like a black IPA. Taste comes off as extremely bitter to me. I'm gonna have to come back to this later.

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

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a shaker pint.

Dark chocolate brown, with highlights ranging from amber to deeper crimson. The dense, sticky two-finger head of medium tan isn’t going anywhere. Tons of streaming lace decorates the glass as I drink. Quite the looker.

The nose is a bit reserved. Smooth citrusy grapefruit and hints of chocolate malt are there, but that’s really it.

The flavor holds nothing back, however. I get grapefruit juice, pine, caramel, a moderate pithy bitterness and very subtle toast notes. It’s smooth and quite hoppy, but could use just a touch more malt.

I love the lush feel. The medium body is creamy as hot chocolate and met with prickly carbonation. Snappy.

Overall, one of the standout examples of the nebulous black IPA style – which makes sense, as it was one of the first.

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

Bought a 1 Pint, 6 Fl Oz bottle of this from Dierbergs in Ellisville, MO for $4.99. Poured into my LongHammer IPA glass and has a Best By Date of 07.08.11 on the front almost chalked in white on the bottle.

Aroma- Great malt and hop aromas from the start. A hint of roastiness and almost stout like.

Appearance- Pours a 2 finger of off white head that has good retention. Has a deep brown color body and leaves great lacing behind.

Flavor- A very rich and malty beginning with some spices around the finish. Hop bitterness was perfect and perfect drink! A top black ale!

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Thick, Rich, Medium Carbonation, and leaves combo of hop/coffee on the palate.

Overall Impression- And Stone just keeps em coming! Great black ale and will be enjoying this one again VERY soon. It almost reminds me of a Black IPA but not hoppy enough for this style. Great price for this beer as well.

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Photo of peacebone116
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 tulip glass. Beer was bottled in April, tasted son 6/30/11.

A: Black with a retained, light tan head. Auburn hues highlight the body of the beer.

N: Very hop forward pine and citrus.

T/M: Hops and bitter chocolate dance across the tongue together with a medium, oily body. Oils sit on the back of the tongue and hop bitterness lingers.

This was the first time I have had this beer since it was released. I have recently been gaining an appreciation for the BIPA, and I find myself really enjoying this one. I compared in a side by side tasting of SN Juniper Black Ale ('11) and Back In Black. This beer sat on the hoppier side of the spectrum, while the BiB was on the malt driven end. (The Juniper was very well balanced.) SSR is a hop driven BIPA whose spicy and citric hop notes truly compliment the chocolaty malt backbone.

This was an excellent beer and I definitely plan to revisit.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber, best by date of 09-08-11.

This beer has a nice look, its mostly black with some dark brown edges where the light gets through with a brown head which leaves good lazing and has good retention. The hops are the strongest smell with the roasted malts and some alcohol smells. This has a medium thickness. The taste is mostly of bitter hops, to a lesser extent there are some roasted malts and a molasses taste, but they are overpowered by the hops. Overall an excellent beer and one I'll continue to buy again, but from the few American Black Ales I've tried, I actually prefer Hop in the Dark to this one, I think its better balanced between being very hoppy and having flavorful roasted malts, still this is a great beer.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted May 13th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a Pint Glass

A - jet brown/black opaque, half finger deep tan head and nice lacing

S - alcohol, pineapple, toastedness, hop sap, flowers, caramel, sweetish yeast, oak, red wine, grassy and very zesty

T - alcohol, tree sap, toasted everything (hops, grains, malts, yeast), flowers,pineapple citrus, sweet, a bit yeasty, oak, grass and something else sweet, can't put my finger on it

M - big profile, carbonated, medium acidity, long finish, very bitter, yet nicely sweet

D - big hop bomb, if you don't like hops, toasted flavor profiles or IPA in general, stay away. If you love hops and stone, this one is a can't miss

Final thought - not an everyday, but as aggressive this beer is and at almost 9% this one should be had every month. if you haven't had it on tap, get ready for a taste bud chubby

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Photo of ggilman
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, Maine. 10 oz.-ish pour in a fluted german beer glass.

A decent two finger creamy tan head, not a lot of lacing present. Midnight black, completely solid. Smelled roasty, with chocolate and fruit. Creamy mouthfeel, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dried fruit, dates. Bitterness lingers. Smooth and creamy, with low to medium carbonation.

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

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pitch black with three fingers of tight mocha colored foam. Nice lacing.

S- Citrus hops and roasted malt. Coffee, molasses and brown sugar intermingle with pine and grapefruit aromas.

T- Bitter citrusy hops up front backed up by a bit of dark fruit. Coffee notes enter mid-palate accompanied by caramel
And toffee notes. Hops charge back in at the end and the finish is dry bitter with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Very nicely done.

M- feel is medium bodied, which works well wih the hoppy character of this brew. Carbonation is perfectly medium to low, and lends a creamy texture to the beer.

O- Overall, this is a very tasty offering from Stone. The hops and roasted malt characteristics are expertly melded into a very enjoyable interpretation of the American Black Ale style. Recommended.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone's take on a black ale, should be good. The body is black yet still translucent, good cream-colored head. Roasty, sweet malts, molasses and fruity hops fill in the nose. Chewy molasses and dark roasted malt flavors, espresso and fig also present. As with most beer I have had from this brewery; the hops don't disappoint.This is a high-test, well made beer, it is seeing a black ale through the lens of a skillful west-coast brewer. Very, very good.

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

My first review on a beer that I had about a year ago so this is all from memory and a fond one at that.

Serving from a bottle poured into a snifter. This was (and is) a memorable beer. Dark in appearance. The thing that surprised me and made me fall in love with this beer was after the first sip. The initial flavor was dark chocolatey with a bit of hops to boot and then the aftertaste... Resin toffee candy. I love that candy and to have that in a beer, just lovely.

Sorry not much flowery description here just my impressions on a beer that sets a certain standard for others like it.

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Photo of dcook11
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick three finger slightly tan head. Lacing coats the side of the glass and the beer itself is nearly pitch black with a tint of red when held up to the light. The initial smell is of hops and roasted malts, but as it warms a more piney hop character and some tropical fruit are evident. A touch of alcohol present on the nose as well. The taste is hopy, with just a touch of roasted malt and some alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall one of my favorite black ales. Would love to see this in 4 or 6 packs.

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

bomber poured into my San Diego representative "Green Flash" pint glass

Pour was amazing (on the second pour) with an amazing flow of slowly settling tan/espresso head and dark, nearly opaque body - loved watching this one settle into the glass

Aroma was initially hop forward but nice citrus nose. I lost this along the way and only got glimpses after the first few big breaths. Roasted malt predominated the aroma thereafter.

Taste was complex and highly entertaining. First sip was like the nose up front - big citrus hop presence that then became just a small component. What impressed me was the increasing roast/chocalate malt flavor on the backside that tasted like a smooth porter in the finish. This really was a 3-part taste (after the first two sips that were mostly getting used to the bitter hops). Right as you start the sip it was more sweet with some chocolate detected - the middle was dominated by hops but still well blended, citrus was most of what I got here and still sweet but sticky; then the finish was full on roasted malt and excellent

Mouthfeel was very interesting. only downside was a bit much on carbonation for me. Otherwise it was biting when it needed to be and so smooth on the finish.

Great offering from Stone. Such a nice beer to sip on. This will be a go to for me in the future if I really want a good mix of hop and malt that you can really focus on either flavor and enjoy it all.

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Photo of MattyV
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color, pretty much opaque with a light mocha head that resembles sponge toffee. Hop-heavy aroma--lots of citrus and pine notes, as well as an underlying roasted/molasses sweetness. A subtle but complex malt profile, serving as a great foil for the hops with an initial sweetness that hints at chocolate, nuts and even dark fruit, before settling in a roasted/cocoa undertone. The hops provide a good mix of both piney/citrus characteristics depending on the sip, sometimes I pick up more grapefruit and other times more sharp biting pine needles. Moderate lingering bitter finish with the roasted undertone.
Medium to full bodied with average carbonation, drinks fairly well, likely due to its appearance tricking me into expecting a big heavy RIS. This leans more toward the IPA end of the spectrum based on what I've sampled of the style thus far. A great option for hop heads looking for a bit of a change of pace.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear really dark brown and settles in the glass very black below a big tan head that's takes it sweet old time to recede into what I assume will be a lacing at sometime in the future.

Light roasted dark chocolate malt aroma with some citrus, I think it leans toward grapefruit, the aroma is pretty subdued but kinda worth stopping before you drink to search it out.

More roasted dark chocolates dominating the taste with some light almost sweet citrus hints coming through, once again I think they lean towards grapefruit but not really sure, nor care.

Drinking this beer as well as it's aftertaste you kinda get the feeling with it's milkiness that you are drinking a melted candy bar. I feel that I've taken a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bar and melted it in Stone Smoked Porter swirled it around and drank it down.

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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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark brown to black with a small tan head that lingers throughout.

S - Lots of roasted chocolate

T - Again chocolate comes through along with a nice bittering from the hops. Finishes with a strong bitter hop taste with a slight warm alcohol tinge.

M - Fairly light, but good carbonation. Not too heavy, but does have a good thickness to it.

D - Another great beer from Stone. Not an overally complex beer, but it goes down pretty smooth and if you like a chocolate profile you'll like this one.

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

This beer pours dark dark brown with a decent off white head. The smell is hops up from floral and piney with a burnt malt finish. The flavor is pretty close to the smell with the hops coming out first followed by the roasted burnt malt flavor. The beer is very dry with no residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is light bodied wig good carbonation and a bitterness feel on the side of you tongue. Overall it's a good beer worth trying at least once

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 3" off-white head which was slow to recede. Dark walnut brown in color, and clear I think though it's so dark it's hard to tell. Smell is strong on hops and citrus and I'd agree grapefruit seems dominant. Taste matches the smell but includes quite a bitter finish. As is often the case with Stone this is a big bold beer with no shyness on hops. They're all great, but I do think most are just slight deviations from each other or from a central big beer concept by Stone.

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

22oz bottle, served in a tulip glass. Pours a completely opaque black with a light brown head, good lacing. Aroma is caramel and roasted malt, alcohol, grapefruit and grassy hops. Flavor is sweet caramel and roasted malt, grassy hops, grapefruit, pineapple, raisins, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, warming, and a fairly bitter finish. Good beer, decent balance.

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Big off-white head that leaves a lot of lacing down the sides of the glass. The smell is mostly of grapefruit from the hops, with a little of the dark roasty malts shining through. Tastes like a schwarzbier with an abundance of American hops and a big bitter component. I'll definitely buy this one again when I see it.

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

Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, American Black Ale 8.7%

A: Very dark with a shiny deep brown and 2 finger head with large bubbles, minimal lacing. Almost black with a watery pallor than a stout somewhere in between an ipa and an imperial porter,.

S: lots of bittering on the nose, it feels like a DIPA with Trojan horse malty notes. Great smell that is both urban maltiness and rustic pine concurrently.

T: herbal dryness akin to the ruination but more muted, some rauschbier notes with rasin and lots of hoppy fulfillment

M: Very light coating given the super heavy presentation, strange bait and switch, ultimately an intimidating appearance that ends up being a very approachable character. Not a huge amount of coating and just the right amount of thickness.

D: This is very drinkable, but in a strange way. The hops finish quickly and add a drying sensation but the overall feel of it makes you want to take another sip.

Narrative: “AND STAY OUT OF MY ROOM!” Becca, or GWENDOLINE as she preferred to be called in her adolescent epoch, slammed the door of her room. The Twilight posters swelled with a gush of incoming air and tusseled her Junior High School diploma on the wall. “They don’t understand my depth, and just because I leave my leather bound poetry book out doesn’t meant that she can JUST READ IT!” she fumed to herself. She had a bitter and dark note inside of herself, but she tried relentlessly to present herself in a comprehensible manner. Her acoustic guitar collected dust in the corner, next to an unfinished paint canvas, just beside her various competition dance uniforms; the items formed a confusing strata of personality layers ever weathering, ever changing. Ultimately, her interpretive dance classes would alienate school and performer alike but, she would maintain her bitter cold dignity with calm poise.

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

A: pours a rich black with a finger and a half of dense tan head.
S: this one hits the nose with some very sharp bitter pine notes with just a bit of sweet citrus
T: very interesting. roasted malt flavors battle with piney hop goodness to dominate the taste buds. Slightly citrusy and some hiints of coffee and chocolate make brief appearances before getting beaten back by the hops. Lingering bitter pine with a bit of sweetness.
M: Full bodied and a bit creamy. Carbonation is adequate and isn't prickly.
O: a very good beer that is a pleasure to drink.

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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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