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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
5,928 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 5,928 |  Reviews: 1,915
Photo of MikeM40
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. This brew pours a near black and creates a huge foamy light tan head that last forever and leaves tons of lacing. Aromas of bitter hops,pine and citrus fruits,particularly grapefruit greet the nose. First sip reveals a surprising roasted malt character that is nicely balanced by bitter hops. Also hints of bitter coffee,chocolate and more citrus. This beer has a very usual flavor profile but the flavors work together amazingly well. Mouthfeel and carbonation are medium and there is a definite creamy quality to this beer. The finish is long and quite bitter and any hint of alcohol taste has been completely masked. This is a very interesting brew which manages to blend flavors you would not think would go together,and does so very well. An interesting ale I would gladly enjoy again. 

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Photo of djsmith1174
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Stone brew...finally

A - Nearly black with a long lasting head

S - Roasted malts and hops. Little bit of dark fruit.

T - Initial hop bite that I would expect from a Stone brew, but in conjunction with roasty malt. Sweet dark fruit in the middle.

M - Nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Really goes down well.

O - Not being as devout of a hophead, I went after this Stone offering first. I'm sure pleased that I did. What a great mix of flavors in this complex brew. Will have another in the future.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at The (Brilliant) Blind Pig.

Deep black ale with dark ruby trim when held to the light, with two fat fingers of creamy, light tan foam. Excellent duration, ample lacing, and a terrific looking beer. The aroma is magnificent, lush with citrus smell, pine, chocolate and caramel malts. Orange, pineapple, and some lemon fill the nose, making this a surprisingly hop-forward Black Ale with ample malt, as the taste attests. Exceptional smell, nothing short.

The taste is magnificent, very well-rounded, and packed with rich, durable flavors. The first part, especially given the hop content, is surprisingly malt heavy, loaded with chocolate with a hint of roasted coffee bean. Citrusy hops and some pine emerge with a little warmth, adding some sweetness. Fabulous, all the more so because, combined with some appreciable hop grit, this is is eminently smooth, creamy, amply effervescent, and thoroughly enjoyable. This doesn't allude to 8.7% ABV whatsoever, too easy on the palate, too accessible, too good. Amazing.

Stone arrived in East Central Champaign with much fanfare and advanced advertisement, with bars such as The Pig, Crane Alley, Seven Saints, and others conducting tap takeovers filled with Stone offerings. I had enjoyed Stone's delicious wares before, so I was prepared for their craft goodness, but Sublimely Self-Righteous was a breed apart. One of the very best veers around, this is first rate Black Ale/Black IPA.

Tremendous, a privilege to have tasted and enjoyed. I gave this a good go for a dozen pints/bomber bottles soon after it was introduced.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown/black with two fingers of dark tan head that left decent lacing.

Smell: Citric hop, roast malt and a trace of semi-sweet chocolate.

Taste: Citric and resin hops right in the face then heavily roasted almost burnt malt, a hint of semi-sweet bitter chocolate and dark fruit plums or cherries. The burnt character is is cleansed by another washing of citrus hops for a dry and mildly bitter finish. Body is medium with decent carbonation.

This is an excellent American Black Ale.

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

510th review on BA
Bottle to Tulip

**11th Anniversary Review**

Thanks Siggy125 for this extra!!

App- A wonderful cola brown with a two finger head that was super slow to recede. This is 4 years old. Could've fooled me.

Smell- A little faint roast, some dark chocolate, dark fruits and a unique hop kick. Just very aromatic and full on the nose.

Taste- A very big beer. Nicely sweet with a few layers of flavors. Nice dark malts with some chocolate and hops. No fade on this thing. Just very tasty.

Mouth- Very medium bodied and very carbonated. The feel is hops and some dark roast. Nice, just nice.

Drink- This was such a welcome extra and completely unexpected. I will have to have the SSR to compare recipes. If I had access to more 11, I'd be happy.

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Photo of colt45n
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomb!

A: Dark Dark Dark! pours like a stout but the body appears to be a lot looser with a ligh white head.

S: Hops, Unlike their ipa I am getting the hops upfront along with a little bit of sweetness.

T: Love it! I am getting some sweeter(not fruit) but some good sweet hops, with maybe some dark fruit flavors following.

D: Light and creamy, nothing like a stout but more so than a reg ipa, the body is great on this one, good mouthful, easy drink.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, this is a new style for me that I am really enjoying, out of the few stones that I've tried this is my favorite so far.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone Sublimely, on tap at The Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, New York.

Appearance: Exuberant, macchiato-colored and creamy two-finger head. Looks like a nitro pour! Lots of bubbles on top, great retention (head lingers a long while) and lacing. Color is black with auburn tones when swirling the glass. Looks like cold, day-old coffee (in a good way)

Smell: Reminds of the inside of a humidor- not quite smoky but more like a cigar humidor bought at a estate sale after spending three years in your grandpa's attic (the nose has the dryness of an attic, not the dampness of a basement). A hint of smoke, ever-so-subtle. Roastiness and brulee sugars at the end. That said, the aroma is not as enticing and full as the body/appearance. A bit quiet.

Taste: A beautiful combination of dry hops and roasty malts. Some chocolate and toasted bread.

Mouthfeel: A little underwhelming but correct, with medium body, flavor and carbonation and a pleasant stinging and dry and bitter end that lingers in the mouth. Well balanced, never boozy.

Overall: While not as impressive as the bottled version, this is still a beautiful black ale. Smooth, drinkable (almost chuggable). Enjoyable. Subtly and roasty... well done, but perhaps I expect more from Stone.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the brewery today after some munchies at the bistro.

A: Pours a super dark almost black color. More of the darkest brown the spectrum can go. Addorned with a gorgeous 3-4 finger high mocha tan fluffy head that left a veiny web of lace.

S: Smell is full of fantastic fruity citrus and mango hop aromas.

T: Great bitterness full of juicy sweet citrus and resinous pine flavors that are backed up with these slight roasty and nutty malt flavors that leaves hints of coffee on the tongue. Delicate yet complex balance here that is just so good. Slight warming on the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is such a great light to medium body that is creamy and rich in texture. Nice peppery bitterness and a slight ABV warming to it.

D: A very tasty beverage that is incredibly hoppy and light in body despite its appearance. The hops and balance really have me on this one. Very surprising and always a pleasurable brew.

I got to experience this brew at the 11th Anniv. release before I had ever even heard of the Black IPA or Cascadian Style Dark Ale. I was immediately taken by the hoppiness and that great balance or marriage of dark roasty malts here. Glad they decided to make it a regular. One of my fav Stone offerings so far.

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass

Color: Pours black with a nice one inch head. not transparent at all.

Nose: A bouquet of hops hit your nose. It smells fresh and clean like a forrest on a spring damp morning. Light citrus emulates from the beer along with coffee notes and nuts.

Palate: Wow! soft, clean, and gentle. full body beer with a large amount of flavor. Sweet and citrus flavors.

Finish: Long and full of flavor. Very complex and explosive as well. you get the coffee and sweet malt balanced by the bite of the hop.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll be the first to say, I'm not the biggest fan of Stone. (Although fresh 13 was a thing of beauty) I'm also not the biggest fan of Black IPAs / Cascadian Dark Ales or whatever you want to call them. However, this one is in a league of it's own in this not new, but emerging style.

Bottle Date best by 8/10/2011 which means this beer was bottled 6 days ago. As fresh as a San Franciscan will get any Stone beer.

A - Black with a nice light frothy head and nice retention in the tulip.

S - a little muted but Pine resin, citrus, and the dark malts are there but you really have to look for them. They're in the background over-shadowed by the hops. Smells like a nice big piney IPA. Yum.

T - Impressive. Dank and resinous whereas the hops are the first thing that smack you in the face with a citrus bite, followed by a mild coffee and dark malts, then the hops finish grassy and piney with sharp bitterness, oddly similar to PtE. (in the finish) Lots going on with this beer and I like it.

M - drinks like a nice big resinous DIPA with dry bitter finish. Spot on for the style and the best I've had of the style.

O - I love that this is a Hop forward Black IPA whereas the dark malts take a back seat. This gives me hope for this style. Amazing citrus hops packed into such a dark beer and the pine and resin just made this fantastic.

Finding this beer fresh is recommended. Great Job with this one Stone!

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Photo of spree92
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once I cracked this open, an aroma that made me smile filled the air. Pours a thin black that turns cola color in the light around the edges. Small head but some even lacing. Smell is bitter but not of hops, initially. Slightly burnt grainy malts and molasses lead into some earthy hops, grass, spruce and citrus peel. Taste is so weird, in a good way. Jumps back and forth from malts to hops to malts to hops and back. After is sits a bit, the finish is a nice roasted coffee bean flavor. A bigger beer at 8.7%, but this is pretty thin and very easy to consume. Alcohol is hidden behind all the changing pieces as it doesn't know what to be. One drink a malt beer, next is IPA. Excellent beer from Stone, should we be surprised.

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Photo of shaunb81
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was super excited about trying this beer and I just couldn't do it by myself. I decided to call my buddy Jax over (he's the only one of my friends that has the same kind of palate for microsas I do). Since we are both huge Stone fans, we were both pretty stoked to crack this one open.

Appearance - Poured jet black into my snifter with a nice 2" dark cream head and lacing to be remembered.

Smell - Roasted, heavenly malts and remarkably hoppy. Every sniff makes me more excited to finally drink it. Jax is at a loss for words.

Taste - There is a sweetness on the front end and it is followed with hops that make the hair on my arms stand up. Jax had only three words to say. Brace yourselves. "Jesus Fucking Christ..." Though it seemed like an appropriate response, I was looking for something a little more descriptive, but couldn't seem to find the words. Coffee and chocolate seemed to poke it's head out throughout the ride.

Mouthfeel - It was creamy and the density was medium. It was actually perfect for me. Body was superb. Black ales might just be one of my new favorite styles.

Overall - This is probably my favorite Stone brew to date. It's got depth and the profile holds up against most ales. If you see this, buy it, smile, and then don't forget to smile while you savor the flavor of this behemoth.

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Photo of harrymel
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, I've had problems in the past with the freshness of my Stone locally. I've even been contacted by Greg Koch regarding my reviews r/t this issue. So I've held off until I could get fresh on this one.

Bb: 8/10/11 (bottled 5/10/11)

A: Pours a dark maduro ale with a single finger of latte head which dissipates to a quilt of the same. Excellent clarity albeit difficult to assess given the malt profile. Spotty lacing.

S: Wowzy! Lots of hops! This is the most hoppy of the ABA's I've had. Plenty of pine, citrus rinds, hints of resin, grapefruit. Malts are there, but subdued. Let's hope that isnt the case in my mouth.

T: Bitter, from malts and hops; hard to say which. plenty of Black malty goodness interwoven with a solid west-coast hoppyness. Hints of dark chocolate on the far back end. Really a pleasant beer.

M: More viscous than many I've had in the style, and in a good way. The feel is velvety and low in carbonation allowing for optimal flavor resonance and punctuation.

O: I can see why this one is among the best. Not my favorite ABA, but I would argue better crafted than my favorite ABA (mad River Serious Madness). This one is easily had, year around, has the best body I've had in the style, and comes from a reputable brewery with their eyes on QA.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To say that I’ve been looking forward to this beer is an understatement. One of my buddies happened to pick this up in Denver last year but he of course didn’t share. 22 ounce bomber poured into an oversized wine goblet. Comes out of the bottle dark brown (think cola) with a frothy long lasting tan head. Wish the head was a bit thicker, but the high ABV probably makes that difficult. Aroma comes across as this dank and earthy hop character, with big notes of pine. It’s huge! Roasted grain and chocolate are buried in the nose. You have to work your way past the incredible hop aroma but they’re in there. Then there’s the whole matter of taste. Hops shatter the palate first, with a prolonged bitterness in the finish. The first taste is all hops. As you acclimate you’ll be able to start to pick at the malt profile a bit more, but the first taste is jarring. I like the mouthfeel as well. It’s slick and despite all the hops never gets sticky. This beer finishes very dry (something I’ve noticed with most Stone beers), as the malt character never goes overboard into sweet territory. Instead it opts for roasted and nutty, with a slight bitter coffee note. That’s not the best description. Let me put it this way I’ve toasted pine nuts, getting them to the point where they’re almost too dark, and that’s what this malt flavor reminds me of. It’s not burnt, but is right there on the edge. There’s also some definite alcohol warmth but I’m not picking up any fusels in the nose or taste, very impressive. It’s not often that I find a beer that lives up to my expectations when trying it, but Sublimely Self-Righteous does that and then some. Not sure if it’s possible, but this is a textbook example of an emerging style.

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Photo of stercomm
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass

A - Very dark brown, with an initial finger length mocha lacing that dissipates quickly leaving a nice glass retention.

S - Malty, hoppy, almost some burnt marshmellow, very nice.

T - Great balance, get lots of hops on the front, malts in the middle and a nice powdered cocca with mild sweetness on the finish. The hops are there for the hophead but the balance of the beer will make it enjoyable for a broader range of palates.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation.

D - This was a crowd pleaser in our clan, all the beer geeks really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a virtually black color with a 1/2 inch of brown head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is chocolatey and boozey. Some coffee and only a bit of hops. Taste is of piney and floral hops. Maybe some chocolate and coffee flavors but they are certainly in the background. The hops are the main focus here. This one smelled boozey but taste wise there isn't a lot of alcohol flavor. This is a pretty solid beer and certainly does taste like a Stone. Overall, I dig it and will grab it again.

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my review of the bottle version:

I liked this beer a lot but didn't really see why Stone made it. They have a number of strong ales, some weaker (Arrogant Bastard), some stonger (Double Bastard). This beer is a little darker in color than both and I think a little less hoppy. It's also darker.

I would definitely get it again but just don't understand why they're introducing this style.


It wasn't the best beer I'd had. Not interesting enough to justify the high Alcohol by volume and too strong to drink as a refresher.

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Photo of ralree
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep brown, almost black, brown head, great lacing and beautiful retention. Bi-Winning!

S: Extremely hoppy and pleasantly sweet. This smells delicious!

T: To die for - perfect super-hopped flavor meets really toasty and brown-sugary malt! Nice and alcoholic, which is just barely noticeable. This is one amazing brew!

M: A bit on the oily side - really keeps the hop flavor alive. Carbonation is perfect. A tiny bit astringent - just enough.

D: This is one of the best ales I've had in a long time. Drink it! It goes down wonderfully.

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Photo of theghost3
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the Avenue Pub on 4/29/11.

Pours a deep, dark opaque brown with a 3-finger tan head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is mostly piney malt with a hint of charred malts. The taste is burnt, bitter malts with pine and floral hops. The hops are prevalent, the malts are easy to pick up. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, crisp and carbonated. Feel reminds me a lot of Guinness.

This is a nicely hopped Black IPA. The toasted malt taste does just enough to offset the hops. Watch that 8.7 ABV.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A pours a super dark brown with a little head that dissapates fast.

S hops come out up front with citrus and grapefruit. Some malty notes as well.

T hops come out again with a strong floral flavor, and a citrus bite that hints of grapefruit.

M medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Overall a great dark ipa, and another great job by stone. If you like dark hoppy beers you could do a lot worse then this one.

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Photo of Seeker41184
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 1/6/11

Bomber into pint glass

Pours a watery-black color with a hint of caramel color. Smell is typical Stone hops with sweet-tangy citrus. The taste is bitter hops upfront with a vast array of floral. Blended flowers is the best way to describe it, but it totally works. Another great beer by a great brewery. Go out and get this.

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Photo of longbongsilver
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A branch out deuce-deuce pick after the arrogant one, first thing I notice immediately on open is a very distinct spicy funk (yes, I would call it a funk) from the dark malt/hop strength combo. It "stinks", but in a good way. Smell opens up to sharp citrus suggesting blood orange, plus caramel, & a bit of booze in the back.

Oh, yeah, the pour, forgot...Straight up black, even in the light, with a tan frothy head. Kinda looks like I poured a rootbeer.

Taste throws a bit of a curveball, as somehow coffee and butterscotch get invited to the party, and the booze on the nose vanishes in the drink. Goes down kinda milky in terms of pure feel, far as I can tell.

I can count the black ales I've had on one hand, and one of those was my own homebrew (from before I realized the style existed already). SSR is the first I've had that distinguished itself by what it wasn't: it's not just fistfulls of IPA style hops + roasted malts. There's actually a 3rd character element here, as if it's a step in the style's evolution. Me likes...

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Photo of diegoangeles
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this one on a day-to-day scenario, with my family at the burger restaurant.

A- At first I got fully pleased by it's almost pitch black color, barely noticed a hint of light coming through, it pured gracefully on the glass and had an awesome tan head that lasted perfectly before dissipating.

S- It had a bold citric, piney and roasted smell, with some chocolate and toast on it.
Quite a punch in the good way!

T- It's the citrus and pine the ones to take the first punch, but it nicely merges with notes of dried fruits, roasted malt and chocolate.. I even recall some peach on it! (?!)

M- It wasn't viscous as I expected, the carbonation is perfectly balanced with the mix of flavors coming out of it, and it comes down dangerously easy!

O- On a very personal level, this is just a spit away from what would be my perfect black ale, the looks and taste are great, and it doesn't get stuck on your mouth forever, letting you enjoy it while having any steak or burger or any other thing you like! (and trust me, well it goes!)


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Photo of TheDudeRules
1.98/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

From a bomber to my Darkness snifter.

Pours a dark chocolatey brown. A mountain of tan head rests upon the liquid. I sit and wait for it to come back to earth. Heavy sticky lacing remains cemented to the sides of my glass. Smells incredibly hoppy. Literally jumps out of my glass and into my nose. I get some light maltyness in the backend. Pretty lively and bubbly on my tongue. About the only thing going for it. A hoppy IPA that had sex with a malty coffee brown ale. Hate is not a strong enough word for how I feel about this beer. I'm looking for the litterbox for something to suck on to get this taste out of my mouth. I had have the glass and dumped everything else down the drain. Not before I gave my wife a sip to make sure I wasn't crazy. The look of horror on her face was enough of an answer for me, words were not needed.

Another horrible offering from this company. They have one more chance with me. Their RIS. Hopefully that is good. As it stands right now if Stone was giving me free beer I wouldn't bother drinking any of it.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby. Almost black. Thin cola colored head that leaves nice amounts of lace.

Aroma: Bready malts, cocoa nibs and juicy hops.

Appearance: Nice bitter hop presence noticed first and then some alcohol, which is quite noticeable and actually, a little overbearing and scathing in this beer. Covers up a lot of what I was expecting in the hop department. There's some hop juiciness noted, but not a lot. Chocolate is distant. Decent flavor, but not great.

MF/DK: Medium bodied and light=medium to medium bodied. A bit of spiciness from the alcohol and a long lingering astringency from the alcohol. Fair, but not one I'll be tapping again soon.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 5,928 ratings
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