Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
5,935 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,935 |  Reviews: 1,916
Photo of feylure
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is quite fantastic. I've had it twice on-tap/in-growler and now in a bottle.

Smell is quite roasty and malty (like deep brown-sugar). Personally, I find it quite enticing.

It pours quite well with a decent bit of carbonation.

Taste is beautiful; bold, roasty and colorful flavor up front. The carbonation adds to it. And it finishes with a fantastic tail of the same kind. Late in the end of the taste, I find a bit of hops/bitters but not enough to put me off. It's an interesting tail that makes me want to have another drink.

It is quite drinkable, especially if you like dark beers. The taste is not too abrupt and over-the top bold to make you grimace. It feels like it struck the right balance.

It definitely fits into the concept of an angry beer with the dark overtones and malty-body, and it is one beer that I will keep enjoying for a while.


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

Reviewed from notes: 1/22/2011

A: mild hoppiness with predominantly floral hops scents, sweetness attributed perhaps to toffee

Ap: black with a faint reddish hue, 1 finger mocha colored head, nice ringed lacing down the glass

B/T: mild carbonation, medium body, crisp

Af: floral hop notes, hints of chocolate on the backend

O: nice balance of chocolate and hops, easily drinkable.


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Photo of webmanspidey
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black with a creamy head. Smells hoppy with lots of pine and citrus. Taste is a murky mix of dark malts and hops. Very bitter with some grassiness. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Not overly drinkable, this is something you have to take your time with.

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Photo of Zraly
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Close to opaque black with a mocha head. Head holds and laces nicely. The smell is a wonderous whiff of hops. Smells like fresh, resiny whole hops touched leather-based perfume.

Deep roasty malts and sharp, juicy hops dominate. This is hefty but well-balanced. There is a slightly danky, earthy, perfumey undertone to the composition of this ale -- it's quite nice. I don't know that I've ever experienced that note with a darker ale. Full-bodied yet smooth. Beautiful dry finish that borders on chalky, which ultimately leaves but one impression: lip-smackin' good.

I had a 21st Amendment Back in Black before this and, even though they are both classified as American Black Ales, the comparison is night and day.

This would be a nice pairing with a variety of beef dishes, and would probably be wonderful with nicely roasted lamb.

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

This beer appears black with a thick, light tan head. The head hangs out for several minutes before leaving a thick sheet of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of alcohol, hops, pine. The flavor is primarily of hops and pine, with chocolate and roast notes following behind. The feel is medium bodied with prominent alcohol throughout. This beer is a bit too hot, slightly degrading the drinkability...

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

22 oz. bottle at 45 degrees into a tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with two fingers of light tan latte-like foam with great retention and lace.

S: It smells like Stone Ruination blended with a Porter: typical Stone hop profile, citrus notes, chocolate, and some roastiness.

T: Lots of floral hoppiness, orange, grapefruit, cocoa, and coffee.

M: It has a medium body with lots of creaminess and a flavor-lingering palate.

D: It's tastes good but it is just an odd combination that takes a bit to get used to.

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

Pours a black color that turn ruby when held up to the light...has medium off-white head. Scent is very hoppy with a tiny bit of chocolate as well. Taste is so surprisingly different than what you're expecting from the appearance. Gotta love those Cascadian Black IPAs! I'm really glad they're popping up more often, because they're delicious! At first I get much similar flavors to an Imperial IPA, with the caramel, strong malt profile as well as intense hops. The hops seem to be well balanced of citrus and floral notes. Then the darkness comes in...with slight roasty and chocolate flavors. Finishes with a pleasant balance of hops and bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and not nearly as thick as expected...Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of RossCain
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Piraat tulip:

A: Pours from the bottle a mahogany hue and settles in the glass nearing black in color. The beer initially pours with a cascading, light brown and bubbly head that sits around for a while as it clings to the sides of the glass upon its retreat.

S: Aggressive fresh hops upfront with very strong notes of sweet citrus such as navel orange and apricot with a certain grass-like/floral undertone. You can pick up upon a mild, well blended roasty character in the finish of the nose that pairs nicely with the hops.

T: A tasty, hop forward brew with a bittersweet citrus profile upfront. Aggressive floral and citrus hops are dominant but become decently blended with a (very light) roasted malt profile that pops its head in as the bitterness peaks and mellows out the finish a bit. The finish has a taste that gives off notes of bittersweet orange accented dark chocolate. The alcohol profile is for the most part completely masked.

However, there exists a lingering of a bitter taste upon the palate after sipping that would very easily compare to the same you would expect if you had drank unsweetened cocoa mixed with water. Not exactly pleasant but it seemed to tone down after I was about halfway through the bomber.

M: Dry, medium bodied, with carbonation on the lighter side (could have been a little more). As previously noted, the beer really lingers upon the roof of the mouth with an astringent, bitter characteristic that doesn't subside until you take another sip.

D: The beer was certainly tasty but really took some time to wear on me due to the astringent aftertaste that filled my palate in the beginning (imagine bitter hops + cacoa bean). Definitely a sipper. Not a beer that lacks on flavor in any means and it was not a problem to finish the bottle, however it is not something that I would likely pick up again as it does not exactly stick out among its peers.

Overall, I really wished for there to be a little more emphasis on the roasted malt character in this beer but this seems to have been sacrificed for a more aggressive hop profile. As it stands there was definitely something left to be desired.

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

Served on tap at Pizza Paradiso (DC).

Appearance: Extremely black. Held up to a light a couple feet away a bit of light penetrates, but that's it. Dark ivory head. Fairly heavy lacing as it goes down.

Smell: Quite hoppy.

Taste: Bit of a punch in the mouth if you're think Black Ale (like 1554) instead of Black IPA. A bit smoother than you'd probably expect for a Stone IPA, with almost a bit of molasses in there.

Drinkability: Might be difficult to drink to many as it is quite hoppy, but I'd love to start the night with 1 or 2 to get things going. Will set quite the bar to measure up to though!

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Photo of BB1313
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured twice into a standard pint glass. This one's very dark, almost black, brown hues are noticeable. Nice white head and sticky lacing. Wow, this beer smells great. Very reminiscent of Stone's own Ruination. Lots of fruity hops and pine with an added subtle roasty aroma. Great taste, the hops really shine though, bittersweet. Lots of pine, malts, roasted chocolate, and a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, rich and creamy, properly carbonated; full-bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, makes a good one to savor. I've always enjoyed SSR!

Great offering from Stone.. pretty much a must try.. seek fresh, recommended!

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$8.99 growler fill....I think we have a winner for the evening. Thanks Consumers.

After skimming the review and expecting a typical stone light-amber ale I was supremely surprised by this black -dark brown monster. Garnet around the edges with a light tan head that builds to about an inch in my pint mug and stayed present through most of the drink while lacing all the way down.

Super hoppy with a sweet malt that beckons to be consumed, immediately. It's got incredible balance that allows both the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops to be intertwined throughout my entire breath. I can only hope that this balance can translate into taste, a good start for this beer thus far.

This beer tastes almost like an imperial porter. I am definitely getting lingering roasted, caramelized sugars with a pungent, overpowering, and piney hop. The hops are the key player in this flavor profile, which takes some getting used to because they come on strong. It's rich and hearty as far as beers go, but doesn't give as much appreciation to the yeast and malt as I would have preferred.

Initial lingering pine sap all over your tongue coating it from other flavor experiences for at least a minute after tasting. My next sip is more because I want to get rid of the dense bitterness clouding my senses than because I want to. The beer does grow on me as i continually consume it, as I knew it would, but it's at the expense of half a pint sacrifice before coming around. I would have preferred a Stone that didn't have to come on strong with its's obviously lacking for a know.

The price was unbeatable, a sale that will never be reproduced at Consumers again. I am certain that I made the right choice for the evening, even though the beer was lacking in flavor and left a slightly undesirable aftertaste. At a cool temperature this beer travels down the esophagus nicely and with little effort. I would try this beer if you are a fan of stouts/porters, dark, and super hoppy beers.


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Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a big Stone fan for a while now and I was super excited to finally try their Black Ale. Their Bastards and IPA's have set the bar pretty high, so I was hoping this could live up.

A: Dark brown body topped with a fizzy, beige foam.

S: Dark malt aroma of grapefruit.

T: Plenty of dark maltiness upfront with lighter than expected flavors of citrus and pine. A good bitterness provides a nice finish.

M: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

D: A solid brew and a good offering on the Dark Ale side. Still, I was expecting a bit better from Stone since they set the bar so high with all their other brews. An enjoyable beer that any brew lover would enjoy, but not one to go out of your way to find.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap.

A - Dark brown, nearly black. Poured a 1.5-2 finger light tan head with lots of foam.
S - Very strong grapefruit aroma - probably the strongest of any beer I've smelled. Rounded by piny hops and a bit of more sweet fruits.
T - Hoppy with strong, oily pine flavors. Rounded out with a fruity, floral assortment of flavors.
M - Medium-bodied and sticky. Slightly warm in the after-taste.
D - Fantastic beer; another great from Stone. A good balance to their typical uber-hoppy fare (not to say that this isn't hoppy). However, I found this to be more balanced than a lot of their other beers.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into dimple glass from a bomber. Very malty, hoppy black IPA that manages to be aggressive, yet mild and medium bodied at the same time. Poured a black ruby brown from the bottle with a nice tan creamy head. There is some brandy on the nose and a heavy roasted taste. Then the finish kick in and, wow! The finish is incredibly complex, with at least 4 stages of subtle change on the tongue. A tingling sensation followed by some sharp hints of bitterness, then a rollicking wave on the tastebuds that settles into a smooth, refined exit. Truly great.

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Photo of Reveille1984
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- Bottle poured into a New Belgium glass. Dark with about an inch of brown head.

s- Huge burst of citrus hops in the nose with a touch of roastyness lingering in the background.

t- Strong citrus hops in the forefront, similar to the nose on the palate. Finishes out bold, bitter and dry. Very nice mix of strong hop flavor and dry, roasted smoothness.

m- Medium moutfeel, average carbonation. Par for the course.

d- Definitely a sipper, but that's not a bad thing with a beer this tasty. Definitely a tad high on the IBU's, but that's pretty much the standard with every Stone beer. A very unique mix of flavors and one of my favorites from Stone.

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

Serving: Bomber into a very, very tall glass.

A: Very, very dark brown. Opaque. Can't see through it. Poured a 3/4 inch of very thick head which has remained a while. Sticks to the glass with gobs of lacing.

S: Fairly strong piney, citrusy hops. Slight dark malt to it. Not what you expect when you pour a beer as dark as this.

T: Has toasted, chocolately dark malt character to it, almost towards a stout, but the hop profile is definitely an IPA. Aggressively bitter but not overly so, the malts are not overpowered. They mix great together here.

M: Feels great in the mouth.

D: This is a strong one, but very drinkable. I would drink them till I fell off my chair (slowly).

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Photo of IHC
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, very very dark.

Smell - You can smell the hops right off the bat and then a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste-light taste of chocolate/roasted flavor and a boat load of hops. Definitely a slow drinking beer.

Mouthfeel- bitter all the way.

Drinkability - Not going to have more than 1 of these in a night, but one is all you need.

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Photo of Barleythenred
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark like a fined stout

Smell: a combination of strong hops and malts throughout

Taste: Wow just wow looking at it you think malt but with taste here comes hops and hops and more hops

Mouthfeel: Bitterness to a cringe

Drinkability: slow and steady nothing too fast you might end up with a permanent sour face

Definitely a slow drinking beer but very enjoyable non the less if you don't like hops please steer clear of this one you might just throw it out

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

Had this from a cask at The Yard in Santa Monica.

Poured with a thick head. Very dark and murky.

Nose was very hoppy. citrus and malt

Taste was hoppy and bitter. Very smooth mouthfeel, but definitely a hoppy finish that lingers.

Very drinkable. Great in a small glass. Too much would definitely wear your mouth down. Great beer, though.

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Photo of Jayli
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/8
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep, dark brown with a two finger of light brown, sudsy head. Head recedes at a moderate pace leaving one big sheet of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is a fantastic blend of roasted malts, and citrusy, piney hops.

T: Taste starts with light citrus hop notes with a blend of deep roasted malts. Toastiness comes through mingled with minor grapefruit. Charred malts and piney earthiness take the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, nice slight, oily feel.

D: Goes down easily, extremely tasty, somewhat filling, well hidden kick. This is easily one of the best Black IPA's that I have had thus far.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

So their 11th Anniversary Ale was arrogant enough to become year-round. Thin, tan lacing on top of a nearly pitch-black brew. Thick resin hop nose with hints of burnt malt, old school. Smooth, almost full-ish body. Oh mama, insane hop presence ... enough for a hophead to get their fix within the first sip. Spikes of charred malt poke through the thick blanket of hops. Warmth of alcohol plays well. We have no choice but to love this beer.

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Photo of RichBenn
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, almost black, with a creamy head that stays on the glass. Very good head retention

S- Resinous, piney and citrusy like no other "Black IPA" I've had. Very good dry hopping that comes through with the Simcoe and Amarillo smells you'd expect from a heavily dry-hopped west coast IIPA.

T- Like the nose, but with some of the carmel and roasted and darker malt flavors, but in the background enough to let the hops shine. This is clearly a hophead's IPA. It's the way I believe the style "should be", not a beer that really belongs in another category.

MF- Bitter finish, not mega thick. Not as creamy as some, but that's probably because Stone is highlighting the hops. One area that's pretty good but not perfect.

DB- This is too strong for a quaffer, to be sure. But is this style supposed to be sipped or quaffed? Still, it's one of the only areas I marked down a tad.

Other thoughts -- I'm an amateur all-grain homebrewer and admitted hophead, and am already thinking about how to clone this thing. It's that good! For those that think this style should be like a stout or porter - look elsewhere!

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Photo of mavbrew
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into Otter Creek mug.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a nice frothy, two finger thick tan head. Leaves a bit of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Nice and hoppy scent complimented with some resins and pine scents. Once you've gotten passed the hops, there are some hints of citrus and maybe even some dark fruits.

T: Taste is just as you would expect from the scent, has a very hoppy and piny flavor up front, with the pines and bitters sticking around well after its pass through the palate. The finish has some roasted malt flavors hidden by the bitters.

M: Medium bodied, leaves the bitter flavor and resins.

D: This Black IPA has the most hop characteristics of the other that I have tried. It's definitely the most unique as well, not much roasted malt flavor, it's masked by the bitters and resins that are almost overpowering. This is a beer you must try, it's good but not great. As of right now, if you can get your hands on Element's Dark Matter, do it. That is by far the best Black IPA I've had so far.

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Photo of Rjhami
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Leaves a creamy head with lacing sticking some and also disappearing quickly elsewhere.

S - Piny, hoppy resin that is clean and crisp with a roasted finish.

T - The hops standout with the bitterness you would expect in an IPA. Finishes with roasted malt and the balance seems to fight itself a bit. Burnt toast character also present.

F - More like a Porter than IPA, fairly thick and not as much carbonation. Leaves a dry finish.

D - The dry finish and slightly uneven balance limits the desire for another right away. Still this is an intriguing style and Stone has a good handle on it as usual.

Served from 22oz bomber to mug.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is my first review of a black IPA. 22oz bomber poured into chalice. "Enjoy by 2/24/12."

A- Very nice dark mud/black color with a thick khaki head

S- Hops attack! Floral, grapefruit, and pine shine strong. Subtle chocolate notes are present. Dark fruit esters also contribute... almost similar to a quad in a unpinning way.

T- Kind of awkward and mismatched. A bit too light on the malts... I was hoping for a darker, hoppier arrogant bastard actually. It is however very good and the only example of a black IPA I've ever tasted so I will take it easy for now. This may actually taste a little better and balance out more even if it sits a few months past its prime.

M- Very flavorful and kind. The hop bitterness is always welcome and the roastiness is great too, as it kind of sticks around.

D- Drinkability is kind of poor due to the lack of balance... this however may just be indicative of this 1st BIPA review. Alcohol isn't too bad and it is kind of warming!

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 5,935 ratings