Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,935 |  Reviews: 1,916
Photo of timonan
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought home a growler from Stone Brewery. Opened a week after it was bottled.

A - Very dark brown. small brown head that dissipates quickly, leaving a few scattered bubbles. almost no lace.

S - Earthy, coffee, a bit grassy, characteristic stone hop smell.

T - A lot of different flavors at once. The sweetness and floralness of the hops is wonderfully balanced by a dark, malty flavor. Kind of a "sugar with your coffee" flavor.Toasty aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

M - Almost no carbonation - not sure if this is typical. Maybe a bad seal on the growler? The flavor is very present because of the low carbonation.

D - Very smooth. Almost slides down the throat, but I have to let it linger in the mouth each sip to savor the flavor.

We had this last year at Stone, and it seemed more vibrant then. Still, a great beer with a very interesting mix of flavors.

 881 characters

Photo of steve8robin
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone has some great beers so I figured it is time to try this one...

A: Looks awesome. It poured great. Super dark with hints of ruby highlights hidden around the edges. A thick 1 inch off-white almond head. Could not be better.

S: Stone brews are usually very earthy and the nose on this one definitely follows suit. I get some earthy bitter hop upfront blended with some grapefruit bite. Hints of booze and citrus hidded on the backend. Good.

T: Hmm, it's earthy, but not as earthy as I had expected judging by the nose. I get some sweet orange citrus upfront blended with some grapefruit which is quickly followed by a nice earthy hop bite. Hints of booze hidden well on the backend. Good.

M: A thicker than I would have liked for this style. Leaves some good thick flavors on your palate. Decent.

D: Once you get the earthy hop bite down, this one's good to go. Good.

All in all, this was a good brew. The thing that's always intrigued me about Stone is that they make solid brews. Beer that's usually very good, but never great. This beer definitely falls into that category for me. This is a very good brew, but not great. I'd say you definitely should try this at least once.

 1,189 characters

Photo of MenloBeer
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Up front I should note that after having Hop In The Dark from Deschutes, Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA is rapidly becoming my fave style beer.

A: Dark, almost opaque blackness. Held up to the light you get a little penetration, but that's minimal. Good lacing on a two finger head that died down but remained "scummy" on the top.

S: Mind f*ck right up front with a lot of hop and citrus notes. Anyone expecting something porter or stout-esque should be be getting the clue now. This is an altogether different type of beast. Grassy tones, with barely a hint of malt.

T: The taste ... bitter citrus meets a great blend of darkly roasted malt. Hops all over the place, but some cereal notes, too. It's kind of like drinking grapefruit juice and eating toast. Beer is for breakfast!

M: Oily, but slides off the tongue easily. Doesn't have the coating factor you might expect from a dark beer. Finishes more sweet than dry, but not by much.

D: I like this beer. I like this style. At 8% ABV this beer would kick me in the groin after more than a few, but I could see myself willingly going there, given the awesome blend of hops and malt in this beer. Well done, Stone.

 1,210 characters

Photo of begforme4484
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I know going into this review my words can never pay this beer homage.

That said, I was lucky enough to find this beer on tap for my first tasting of it. I've since bought it by the case in bottle form. It's not quite as good in bottle as on tap, but that can be expected with any beer.

SSRA pours a very dark brown. By eye it is almost black. Trying to peer through the liquid into a light or even the sun is useless, as you cannot see through it. It has almost 2 fingers worth of a tan-white head that recedes somewhat quickly, but laces with every sip I take.

It smells sweet and roasted initially. The malts smells of chocolate and caramel. Further looking into it, you can get a scent of the faint hops smell behind the malts. The hops smell somewhat grassy.

The taste is superfluous. It's very dark and smokey upfront with a very tasty bitter finish. It's like Stone combined 5 different styles of beer into one and made it work somehow. It's smokey like a porter, thick like a stout, clean as a lager, and as bitter and refreshing as an IPA. (Due in part to the 80ish IBU's I'm sure).

The beer is well carbonated. It does linger a lot.. and suffice it to say I think any beer you taste after having this will be ruined.

The overall drinkability for me is excellent. I can drink SSRA after SSRA and never tire of it. The only problem being is now that I know what SSRA is and how it tastes.. I have to plan ahead of time to make sure to drink it last if I'm drinking other beers. Even it's after taste overpowers a lot of brews.

This beer may not fit everyone's palate, but I see it as a must try. Definitely my #1 favorite beer of all time. Right in front of Pliny the Elder at #2.

 1,697 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque mahogany brown in color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded quickly, but left good lacing sliding down the glass. Looks like a stout, but then the sweet hop aroma comes through like an IPA. This is a good identity crisis since the beer looks good and smells good, even though the look and smell are two different beer styles.

Smells of floral hops, citrus hops, sweet roasted malt, orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, caramel, syrup and some wet wheat bread. Very sweet, pungent and hoppy nose overall that gives off whiffs of barrel aging and light alcohol, almost like a rum or bourbon with hops in it. It's actually a very pleasant aroma that just reeks of a smooth drink.

A smooth drink this is indeed: tastes pretty sweet up front with sweet roasted malt and caramel mixed with the floral and citrus hops, followed by pine cones, grapefruit, orange peel, coriander, toffee, faint brown sugar, mild hop spices, roasted grains, a hint of pepper, and maybe even some cocoa or chocolate. This is complex and pretty well balanced for an overall sweet beer, which has enough hop and citrus flavor to even things out. The aroma is hoppy, but the taste is dominated by sweetness mixed together with a variety of hop sensations; this is a really nice mix.

Mouthfeel is smooth a creamy with a stout like feel on the tongue, a medium to heavy body that shows both the hops and malts present, with very light to no carbonation and a slight hoppy bitter spice pucker to finish it off. The finish is on the bitter side and as dry as chalk, which was very nice and to my liking.

Drinkability for me was very high. An excellent beer that gets better as it warms and is well rounded with a nice level of alcohol, so that one 22 oz bomber is perfect for an evening of enjoyment and a decent buzz. I highly recommend this beer, which I enjoyed immensely. I'm a big fan of Stone Brewing and this beer did not disappoint.

6/8/2012-had an aged 11th Anniversary Ale from September 2007 and it was even smoother than the other bottles I've had, it aged very well. The flavor and nose were full of sweet oaky notes and vanilla, with hints of smoked peat moss, molasses, brown sugar and booze like rum or bourbon. The sweetness ruled the taste, but there was still a lingering smoky bitterness after each sip that left cocoa, toffee and dark chocolate notes. The aging tamed the hops but really brought out the rich malty flavor, which to me was a very welcomed change. This beer still throws a punch as one bomber got me banged up. If you are storing one of these then I suggest cracking it open as it was excellent.

 2,621 characters

Photo of benclimbs
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a tulip glass black and beautiful with a one finger lingering head and a ton of lacing...bad ass lookin beer.

smell is a lot like a big huge double IPA nothing like a dark ale - wow! so freaking surprising, the hoppiest dark ale ive ever smelled.

taste is so amazing, really really hop dominated with some bittersweet STRONG coffee notes and a crazy extremely bitter finish...a little bit of alcohol warmth throughout - crazy crazy beer.

mouthfeel is nice, but can't score well for drinkability - this is one of the harshest, least drinkable beers i've ever had, albeit both delicious and interesting, but DAMN! this thing is freaking gnarly - could not drink a whole bomber of this beer, no freaking way.

 721 characters

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

Excellent creation from Stone. I'm not one for 'balancing' hoppy beers with more malt, as I think it turns them into a barleywine with a lot of hops (I wish there were more beers like Blind Pig). But the high hoppiness combined with a big dose of dark malts works to create something new, different and delicious here. Only fault is that the alcohol is pretty noticeable and gets in the way.

 391 characters

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.

 775 characters

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.

 1,475 characters

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.

 368 characters

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.

 499 characters

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.).

 953 characters

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.

 625 characters

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.

 1,067 characters

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

 508 characters

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.

 1,167 characters

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!

 648 characters

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.

 571 characters

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.

 489 characters

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.

 1,228 characters

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.

 1,047 characters

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.

 588 characters

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!

 293 characters

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!

 471 characters

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!

 754 characters

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