Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,928 |  Reviews: 1,915
Photo of jzm2500
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Brown-black and opaque. Has a thick, frothy, tan head that smears down the glass like a Guinness.

S/T/M- Smells like citrus-y hops. Taste is IPA-ish (grapefruit, pine, bitter) combined with flavors of molasses and smoke. There is a pleasant sweetness from the malt. Finishes w/ a lingering bitterness. Feels relatively thick in the mouth, frothy, very nice. Flavor is immensely satisfying.

D- Nice. Take it easy though!

This is an exceptional beer. A black IPA-ish mutant.. Don't know how to categorize it, but it is big, bold, and wonderful.

Update: On subsequent tastings, I have been blown away every time. The head has had less of the creaminess than what I noted the first time, but it's still thick and ever-present.. This beer is a powerhouse of flavor. Top 5.

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

Either really dark brown or black, but definitely opaque. A full, dense, frothy, tan head two fingers thick. Looks like a stout. Lace makes nice bands, measuring the size of each gulp. Yes, I gulp. This is a beautiful beer!

Might look like a stout, but smells like an IPA. Well, what did I expect from those hop-crazed maniacs at Stone? Hmm, pink grapefruit preserves spread on a piece of toast?

Wow! The boys from Escondido are nowhere near the bottom of their stash of hops. What a sucker-punch to the back of the throat! Hops heads will rejoice! You malt heads might enjoy as well, if you can get past all the puckering. The toast tends more toward burnt in the taste, but there's still sweetness. It's hard to figure out how to describe the sweetness since the bitterness pervades all the way up the sides of the tongue, encroaching on sectors that are traditionally salty and sweet. Perhaps it's figs, dried cherries or raisins, but surely dark fruit.

The bitterness really packs a wallop! Much too much of a wallop for a Belgian fan like me. I appreciate balance and this beer has a train-load of hops on one end of the scale and a goodly amount of malts on the other. Fifty tons outweigh 50 pounds.

The back of the bottle reads, self-righteously, that they "know their stuff" at Stone. Yes, they do. They brew great beers and also know that the prevailing trend right now is to the grapefruit bitterness of the many varieties of hops from the Pacific Northwest.

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Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Mondial:

Deep rich brown with massive tan cap.

Aromas are like an IPA-Stout mutant: Rich Cocoa-coffee roast over grapefruit-pine,,,gets more pungent as it warms.

Rich malt body, silken mouth feel.

Big chewy roasty malts are balanced with citrus peel an resinous pinet hopping, goes wickedly dry in the finish with a touch of anise.

Great big beer.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had no idea that this would be essentially black given the dark brown bottle. Giant head. I had to pour it slowly with multiple pauses to allow the head to settle. Thick sticky lacing clung to the glass.

The taste was a full spectrum from roasted malts, coffee, to spicy hops. Very unique. This is not typical of my preferred brews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. I probably went through about five 22 ounce bottles until I could find no more.

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Photo of klikger
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber served in a Bruery tulip glass.

A - Jet black; substantial off-white head and great lacing

S - Piny hops and a bit of coffee

T - The front end consists of roasted coffee, mint, and generous amounts of pine. Licorice and a touch of smoke appear subsequently. As the beer warms slightly, some tropical fruit flavors become evident - perhaps papaya or passion fruit. The finish is citrus and more pine, and these make for a gloriously lingering bitter aftertaste. Espresso beans remain on the palate for minutes afterward, as well.

M - Medium to heavy bodied with ample carbonation.

D - It's best to sip slowly and savor the myriad of flavors present. It's very easy to drink though.

Very distinctive, enjoyable brew here. It actually reminds me of a lower viscosity, less sweet (and more bitter) version of Goose Island's Night Stalker because of the specific flavors found in each of them (roasted malts + pine, tropical fruit, etc.).

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

A Very dark brown color; almost black. Poured a 2 finger chocolate head that gave way slowly to a half finger cap. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Floral hops; citrus, grapefruit and pine. Foundation of toasted malts; toffee and cocoa.

T: Big toasted malt like smell with a little bit of burnt caramel. Resiny hops dominated by the flavor of pine. Sharply bitter with burnt toast and chocolate lingering a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate to low carbonation. Smooth and silky. Surprisingly balanced for its complexity.

D: Lots of flavor and complexity and good balance. Easy to relax in to this one despite the abv.

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

A - It pours a dark dark red, looks black, but under the right light you can see a nice red hue. 1 finger thick foamy head that stays around a while. Lacing is great.

S - Smells of piney hops, some citrus, but not much.

T - Starts with a sweet caramel malt taste, the piney and citrus hops follow that up. A slight roasted character is there as well as some chocolate/coffee undertones. I don't agree at all with some of the other reviewers, the malt and roast character overpower the hops, but that's not a bad thing. it's a very drastic difference when your nose is in the glass smelling nothing but hops when they aren't the prominent flavor in the beer.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, very smooth with no noticeable alcohol burn. Finish brings back the hops but keeping them balanced with the roasted malts. The initial taste is very spicy from the hops at the start of the sip, but that fades very quickly as the malts take over.

D - Very drinkable given the high ABV. Not overly hoppy, so it goes down easy.

I will definitely be getting this one again.

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

A - Pours into the glass an extremely dark brown almost black, with a light brown almost red head. Really nice lacing that stays for quite some time

S - Rich with hops, cocoa and caramel toffee like aroma

T - Slight bitterness, with a nice citrus bite and hints of caramel and pine as it dissolves from the palate

M - Super smooth and well rounded, medium bodied

D - Incredible beer, so glad to see it back out on the market, easy to enjoy more than one, but be careful, the ABV can catch you by surprise

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sublimely pours a deep amber brown that is almost too dark to see through. It's not possible from the full glass to see if the beer is cloudy or not. I guess I will be forced to drink some down and look at it later. The head is a strong latte brown that rises fast and sticks around for some time.

American Strong ale that should be in the IPA class if not for the color. The nose has buckets full of strong citrus hops with a warm malt backbone behind it. Excellent.

The taste is close to a barleywine because of the strong hops, crisp malts and large bitterness. The citrus from the nose carries on into the taste but it's not as potent. Maple syrup soaked grains make up the rest of this flavorful beer.

Tasty but a little harsh on the mouthfeel. The bitterness starts to wear on me after a few sips. In the beginning it was a nice compliment to the bold flavors but now I find it distracting. There is also a booziness from the ABV that you don't taste but can feel after the swallow. A strong start and an above average finish yields a strong well enjoyed brew. Well worth it and by the reviews (A- with 1,026 and counting) I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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Photo of Dixonian
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this delight many times both on tap and bottle in various glasses. I should preface by stating I'm a huge fan of stone in general (as are many) and this is one of my favorites from them.

Pours almost jet black with two wonderful fingers of khaki colored head-leaves significant lacing. Pine and grapefruit hop aroma as well as flavor. Near perfect use of hops in my opinion-not too much of any one flavor. Coats my entire mouth and just the right carbonation. The almost 9% abv is hidden well-could get in trouble quick slammin it back.

One I've gotten more times than I can count-so glad its here to stay in my area. I love this beer!

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Photo of bs870621345
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a growler, cracked 2 hours later. Poured into a pint glass and a snifter. Pretty good beer.

Pours with a nice 2 finger head that leaves a nice lacing down the glass. Pretty dark brown color.

Smells hoppy (pine) mostly, light sweet background. Licorice, alcohol and raisins.

Taste is hoppy (pine) with a brown sugar background. Alcohol is there, but nothing overbearing. Hints of licorice

Mouthfeel is sort of oily and moderately thick. Carbonation is nice, nothing too crazy, but definitely carbonated.

Drinkability is good, I can't wait to finish this.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, near black, with red-brown head, good lacing.

S: Big notes of pinel and grapefruit hoppy goodness. Has a burnt caramel/toffee scent to it as well.

T: Good amount of pine and citrus bitterness up front. In the background lurks that sweet, but not at all malty, caramel taste. A lot of hops going on here, very nice.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, very smooth and little to no alcohol burn with the 8.7% ABV.

D: Easy to drink a bomber, quite delicious, a real pleasure.

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

The beer is poured a deep brown almost black with a nice fluffy dark tan head. There is a bit of ruby colours at the bottom of the the glass. It looks pretty damn pretty. When popping open the beer I got a huge rush of citrusy hops and some floral notes. A slight bit of chocolate/toffee comes through as well. I'm actually quite surprised at how intensely this beer is hopped. The grapefruit starts to shine at the end as well.

When sipping the beer a huge amount of spicy grapefruit hops come through. It's way more spicy than I expected from the nose. I feel like I"m drinking a wet hopped beer because of all the resiny hops. The combination of spiciness and grapefruit is very good. In the first few sips, I am surprised at how little the malts come through. I can barely taste them. This thing is a hop monster. I can barely taste anything else, so good thing the hop character is tasty. I guess I just kind of expect a brown beer to have a bit more maltiness than it actually does.

As the beer warms up I still don't get that much malt in the beer, maybe a slight sweetness and a little bit of breadiness, but that's it. There is a nice round medium body to the beer, and I like it. The beer is pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, black body with light reddish brown head. Leaves nice lacing and sticks around for quite a while in all it's beautiful creaminess.

Smell is very hop forward, I also get some chocolate and caramel malts there which add a burly backing of body to the bitter hopping that is asserting itself.

This beer is classic stone in flavor, the hops aren't floral and refreshing, they are bitter and wooded. The malt adds a nice thick grainy flavor to it, like dark rye bread sweetened with molasses and dark brown sugar. It's intense and pungent, in your face in the hop flavoring. It's balanced by a calmer thick smooth body that adds bulk and a great feel to the brew.

I recommend this brew to anyone who is an IPA fan, reminds me of a stone styled hop in the dark by Deschutes. A dark bodied malty sweet ipa instead of a lighter floral fruit-sweet ipa. A great contrast between the two styles and further defines the limits of what dark brews can taste like and what hoppy brews can look like.

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Photo of Mancer
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown with a one finger high light brown head. Thick lacing was spotted on the glass. The initial smell of the beer was that of citrus hops, burnt caramel, and pine. The initial taste of the beer was that of the citrus hops, malts and a roasted/burnt caramel. This was a full bodied brew with a nice amount of carbonation and bitterness.

Something that never ceases to amaze me is that Stone is spot on with their beers. I find that if I'm ever in doubt about buying a beer, I can always turn to Stone to keep me on edge and satiate my want for an excellent beer.

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Photo of Portertime
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told by the bartender this was a black IPA so I was excited about trying a new style. Oh well. Poured a nice bark mocha brown color. Smelled piney and citrusy from the hop. Taste was nice with a hop bitterness up front and then a solid malt backbone. What ever style it was, it was good!

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Photo of chickenflea
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle pours dark brown with a big tan creamy head that stays well with lots of lace. Aromas of pine slight grapefruit and some chocolate and burnt notes. Flavor is mostly caramel and pine but there are grapefruit notes, much roast, and slight chocolate hints. Interestingly complex and honestly quite delightful in the mouth. Feels full in body but very easy to drink. Another fine brew that is worthy of an anniversary celebration! Stone never disappoints!! Great!

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Photo of Durge
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another nice find at The Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro, NC. This strong ale shows a thick dark brown with a fair whispy light tan head and very good lacing. The aroma says grapefruit and orange citrus hops, tasteful over a slightly flowery wheat bread idea. The flavor jumps out with a delicious citrus and pine hop blend, so solid yet mellow and inviting. This is solidly medium bodied and it almost pulls out some chocolate flavors at times. Finely carbonated it has a lively but smooth feel that wants to go down the hatch readily. There is a little alcohol presence to keep you mindful...or not so mindful. Very fruity with a bit of bubblegum sweetness and toffee malt. It has a dry finish and the hops linger so nicely. A great beer for any hop fan!

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a foamy tan head that retains nicely and leaves a little lacing.

Aroma of citrus and pine upfront with some caramel malt also present. Some roasted malt is also found but the hops seem to be most prevalent.

In the taste, the caramel flavors are more noticeable upfront. The hops again make their presence known as a strong burst of grapefruit comes in the middle along with some lemon and pine. Towards the end, some darker flavors come out again as a touch of chocolate/coffee is evident in the finish.

Medium bodied witha creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this was very interesting to try and something I look forward to having again.

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Photo of drpimento
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoaaaa! This beer IS righteously titled. Normally I don't go too much for hoppy dark beers, but this one is GREAT!! Poured with a smallish tan head and a little lace. Color is a very dark almost black brown. Aroma is very hoppy, roasty, cocoa, malt, toffee, iron. Flavor's similar to nose. Hop is not fruity, thank goodness. Great body and carbonation fit the style perfectly. Finish (with good burps!) is like flavor, mostly bitter with a hint of malt sweetness to smooth it out and is of medium length. Session for sure, even though it's so rich. Excellent!

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Photo of AEK
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml brown bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A. A black beer with a dirty brown coloured head.

S. Slight coffeeish notes, fruity malt, roast malt, over ripe bananas, hints of cigar smoke, the odd whiff of raisins and some nuttiness.

T. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark caramelized fruit. A good hop finish.

M. Medium, almost thick.

D. Surprisingly smooth. The alcohol content burn soon kicks in. Definitely an enjoyable sipper - not one to be rushed or you will be sorry.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery 07-10-09. Pours a beautiful dark brown with nice tan head. Great looking beer with a really unique aroma dominated with chocolate and orange. Would have love to tasted this blind as the aromas were a bit confusing to the senses. Pretty well balanced with a nice bitter chocolate finish. My notes are also saying that there was a nice woody aroma and touch of dry wood in the taste, though I'm not sure how that came about.

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

I poured into a pint glass to a generous two finger tan head. It is very dark in color. Very little light around the edges. It isn't quite black but it's as close as your gonna get.

The aroma is fresh grapefruit. The taste goes right along with the smell. It is a pretty intense grapefruit taste. I expected some more of the roasted malt to come through but the hops mutes that aspect. I just get a hint of roasted malt in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium. I am a little disappointed with this one. I've had other "black IPA's" that have been hoppy with porter or stout characteristics. This just tastes like an IPA. I prefer the melding of styles with my "black IPA's".

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

A - Looks kind of like coke. A pretty dark velvety brown color with a bubbley brown head.

S - Brown suger comes through with the requisit malts. Does not smell as dark as it looks, a lot of sweetness and some citrus and spice.

T - Caramel malts are the dominate flavor with some interesting bitter hops and citrus. Kind of like a hoppy big ale. Very nice.

M - Full body with a moderate amount of carbonation that helped lighten this beer up along with the taste.

D - Pretty nicely drinkable for the ABV, although the bitterness continued to become stronger and knocked it down a bit as I went.

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Photo of Manoftyr
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance-Pours a rich dark brown into the glass and a sumptuous light tan head rises leaving very sticky lace all along the sides as it ever so slowly recedes. This is something of a lace monster leaving super-chunky lace all along the sides which is extremely impressive given its ABV, Stone rarely disappoints.

Aroma-Clean, fresh, rich west-coast hops dominate the aroma with a strong piny, woody scent followed by a smell of sharp citrus fruits; I can detect, tangerine, lemon, orange most outstandingly. The fruity hoppiness give way to an undercurrent of malts that smell reminiscent of sticky toffee on towards the finish. This beer has a really wonderful aroma.

Taste-The first thing that assails the palette are the hops and burnt malt and...unfortunately that's it. I hate to say it but the flavor is a little underwhelming, it almost tastes as though they were trying to balance the dark malt and the hops a little 'too' much and ended up watering down both flavors. The hops could be tweaked a bit to give it more of that grapefruit/citric character and the malts turned up to get more of that dark chocolate taste which would make this beer really amazing. It's still a good beer, just not as good as what I've come to expect from Stone and what could potentially be an amazing beer.

Mouthfeel-The mouthfeel is quite nice, thick and rich; just like it should be.

Drinkability-Decent, it's not up to Stone's usual standards though; it's a tad of a chore to drink.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92.1% out of 100 with 5,928 ratings
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