Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

5,926 Ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,926 |  Reviews: 1,914
Photo of larryi86
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger tan head. Looks like a stout.

S- Sweet and fruity with hints of hops and something roasted. Having trouble pin-pointing different smells, but very good.

T- Roasted malts and hint of coffee up front, with a big bitter hoppy finish. Different and very good.

M- Smooth and a just the right heaviness for the flavor.

D- Just really good. Very unique and a little puzzling. When you pour it you think it is a stout, when you smell it you think it is a Barleywine, and when you taste it you think that it is a brown ale with a hint of coffee stout that finishes like a strong ale. I could easily drink two bombers and feel that it is worthy of the name it is given.

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Photo of Echosolace
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I came across this first on draught in Stubbies in Gainesville FL. I wasn't told the name, just that it was a black IPA. My friend got one first, him not being a beer lover, thought it was pretty good, so I ordered one and I flipped my shit. I could not, for the love of God, put it down. Once that stuff connected with my tongue, it was over and 2 more had to be on the way. Now I'm reviewing it in bottle form and it's just as good as I remembered it.

A: Nothing this dark have I had the pleasure of experiencing as a beer so unexpectedly refreshing and light(er). It is really dark, and it's not something I quite expected from the taste. From the look of it I'd expect something more like Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout, and if you know that one, then you can understand my surprise.

S: It's very present, but not overflowing. Kind of like a barbecue. It plays a big role in the taste.

T: Solidly smoked grains play in chord with the light bite of the hops. Malts are deftly woven as a foundation, more or less unnoticed by my tongue. A long aftertaste remains, like having a partly overcooked piece of chicken with charcoaled skin to bite through, and it is spectacular... Hold on, the glass is empty... I'll be right back. Mmm, much better. One more thing, it's always seemed a bit salty to me, I like it alot.

M: The bubbly is pretty shallow. It's the only thing I could hope for more of. It is good, just in my preference, I could enjoy a bit more.

D: Hell, even my burps are delicious. What do you think it's like going down? If I had this for every day of my life, well, for one I'd have an awesome beer belly, but secondly, I don't think you could find me tired of this taste. At least give me 20 years with this stuff, then maybe I'll reconsider.

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Photo of BravoTwo
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark, deep black almost stout like with a thick, caramel brown head. Nice lacing left as the glass was emptied

S - roasty coffee like notes in the nose , with a balance of citrusy Hops with a note nuttiness

T - complex roasted malt backbone with a strong hops punch. Coffee notes and a nice well rounded overall balance of some very complex flavors

M - medium carbonation , with a crisp feel

D - nicely drinkable beer, very complex but not in any way overpowering

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, Sam Adams pint,

Pours out an dark red tinted brown, not unlike a Porter, with a nice sustained head that imitates same. There are large streaks of lace on the glass.

Tropical fruit hop aromas abound. Some pine and stale lemon zest can also be found. I could smell the pineapple/pine combination as soon as the cap was cracked.

The roast and hops form an intriguing one, two combination. SHAH! BLAMMO! That colorful tropical fruitiness floods up the tongue, fooling one into believing this is a 'normal' IPA. All of a sudden the roast falls heavily, to linger on supported by citric hop bitterness.

Unobtrusive mouthfeel, the good weight and and tamed carbonation do not distract from the interesting and tasty flavor.

As this is my first 'Black IPA'/'Cascadian Dark Ale', there is a definite novelty. I like it, but wouldn't drink more than a bomber at a time even without taking the alcohol content into account.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Spaten mug. Pours dark dark brown almost black with a one-finger light tan head. The aroma is mainly of a slight hoppy note. The flavor on the other-hand is of weak hops with a subtle nutty flavor. It was medium on the palate with low carbonation. There was no apparent lacing. Overall this is a very nice brew as with most Stone's. Definitely worth trying if you have not before...

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Photo of hrmhrm
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you like big brown sudsy heads, get this one. Thick, foamy and tall.

Pour deep dark brown.

Taste is a like too coffee-chocolate for my taste, but not sweet. Other ale styles I like better, but no question this is a great beer. If you love this style, you'll be in heaven.

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Photo of RppIII
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: This beer emerges from its vessel a glossy pitch black emitting an inch worth of fluffy caramel white head. As the head recedes it exposes the surprisingly non- diaphanous liquid below. Clinging to the sides of my glass feathery foam slowly diminishes back into a dismal black abyss.

Smell: Hops. Oh, and there is a hint of roast malt. Poignant fruit and citrus invade the nostrils, followed by a hint of mint. On to the roast malt, coffee presents itself to as a decoy for the very faint note of dark chocolate.

Taste: I am drinking an IPA right!? I love the hop character of this beer, grapefruit and citrus accented by the herbal pine taste. Very unorganized flavours. Fighting 90 IBUs the malt makes an appearance. Roast barely and dark malts present themselves giving a distinct coffee flavour accented with dark chocolate. A second wave of hops attack the palate with more of the same and a hint of mint and alcohol. This beer finishes with a very pleasant caramel flavour.

Mouthful: Medium body, the appearance is not telling of it's true viscosity. A little low on the carbonation side, I had a few panic attacks that It would go flat. Different, interesting, and aesthetically pleasing.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. As I wrap up this review I wish I had gotten a second, post review celebration bottle to enjoy. Most certainly will I enjoy this sublime and self-righteous ale!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black almost like an imperial stout with fluffy white head.
S - Very faint coffee and chocolate with very strong almost overwhelming hop profile. Dangerous.
T - Oh damn! The hops were too much for me! I really couldn't taste anything but buckets of hops. Defiantly a sipper.
M - Very harsh yet enjoyable beer.
D - Man I may have to have this again but I am pretty sure its the hoppiest beer I ever had from Stone. They are know for angry beers and this one had some good rage.

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Photo of TommyW
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours like a stout almost; black body with a off-white head.

S- Smell of hops (flowery, pine and citrus) with notes of burnt sugars, chocolate and coffee.

T- Pine and citrus hop presence that moves into the dark malts which have coffee, chocolate and spice flavors. An herbal quality moves in as well and lingers for a little while. Although it looks like a stout, the taste doesn't reflect it. Roasted malts aren't as upfront as you might expect and the hop presence is much more noticeable.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation.

D- A pretty cool creation overall; very complex but well balanced. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Bajasith
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my fave pilsner glass.

Appearance: A black body with a neat beige head that doesnt last very long and leaves behind significant spots of lacing.

Smell: A crisp hop aroma sits on top of a nice bed of burnt malt smell. It is a nice complex aroma that wakes the senses, pine, grapefruit. After that comes lightly roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate.

Taste: Loads of pine and grapefruit. The roasted malts are in there, but not as dark tasting as a stout. slight chocolate and a little bit of coffee at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a nice level of carbonation. Slightly creamy in the front with bitterness and smooth at the end.

Drink: Interesting brew. Characteristics of an IRS but slighly thinner as hops dominate and roasted malts are less pressent. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Sweasty
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale pours an inky brown practically black color. Some ruby highlights struggle to shine through when held to the light. Things are topped off by a finger or so of khaki colored head. The head settles down to a ring, and leaves some lacing down the glass.

Onto the aroma. Sharp smelling pungent hops hit up front. Pine and mint notes are backed up by bitter grapefruit. Light roasted coffee shows up in the middle. There is a light touch of semi-sweet chocolate as well. Some burnt caramel notes round things out.

Moving on, hops hit the palate first. The sharpness in the aroma gives way to a smoother hop character. Herbal grapefruit and pine sap notes waft over the tongue with a bit of a drying quality. Malt struggles to take hold of the middle. Some definite black malt character offers some balance. Roasted coffee notes, with an undercurrent of caramel sweetness help to to quell the onslaught of hops. More herbal hops hit in the finish. Pine and minty hops linger on with a semi-dry finish. Some light warming alcohol notes show up as well just hinting at this brews strength.

Sublimely Self-Righteous is medium bodied with a lightish carbonation. This brew coats the tongue in velvety bliss.

Can self-righteous be considered a beer quality? This brew earns that right.. The hops, while dominant, never overwhelm things. The malt helps balance things out yet never get in the way. The alcohol is kept in check as well. This brew is quite the achievement. It goes down smooth while never overpowering. The folks at Stone have crafted another classic.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was black, like a stout, with a thick tan head and abundant lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, sweet chocolate, and flowers. Nice melange of chocolate, roasted malt, and pine in the taste. The hops really intensified in my mouth. Nice balance of sweet chocolate and bitter hops. Will drink more of these.

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Photo of Axic10
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours almost a stout like black with one finger of fluffy tan head that settles after a bit.

Smell: Citrus and piney hops, smokey malt and some chocolate notes.

Taste: Bitterness from the hops hit at first, followed by burnt malt, coffee and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, well carbonated and slightly hot.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer from Stone. I had this when it was the Anniversary beer and loved it then. Extremely glad they brought this back, at $6 a bomber, this is a great deal.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle today at the best beer shop in Tokyo, Tanakaya. Strangely fizzy cola-like appearance. Black with foamy head that settles soon. I don't have the proper glass, but it shouldn't make much of a difference. Not impressed with the looks.

Smell is a different story. Quite a unique bouquet! I can't make up my mind what style it reminds me of - one moment picking up IIPA piney citrus hoppiness, then I think more of a winter warmer, then suddenly I get a fat dose of vanilla maltiness. Amazing in its complexity.

The 9% is noticeable but not distracting. Taste is even more bitter than expected, with a terrific mouthfeel and finish. I feel it's a bit too heavy on the IBUs for my taste. Ever since I fell in love with the elixir that is barleywine, other styles seem to fall short. Of the Stone offerings I've tried, I'll take the arrogant, the double bastard and the barleywine over this, but this one is still definitely goood shiiit (^_<)~★

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Photo of hoplover82
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am so glad it finally made it to south texas! This is a wonderful beer!

Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that has outstanding retention and lacing. The head never dissapears, that's always impressive.

The aroma is huge on the chinook and simcoe hops I believe. Big grapefruit citrus and piney hop aromas and pleasantly mild roasted barley and chocolate notes along with the typical sweet bread dough from their house yeast that I love so.

The flavor is much like the aroma but with a huge bitterness that kind of hide the roasty and chocolate notes a little, but they're still there. Lots of grapefruit and pine hop flavor with very hidden but there, chocolate malt flavors.

This beer has a big and juicy feel with a slightly dry finish and full carbonation.

This beer is extremely drinkable!

I think this beer deserves a perfect score for sure. I can't find anything wrong with this beer. I am very pleased with my experience indeed.

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

On tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a goblet: Smooth black, just a few dark brown highlights at the bottom. Half-finger of foamy tan head.

Smells of rich grapefruit, straight up & delicious. Just the tiniest bit of grape.

Taste right in step: grapefruit, cereal malt, tiny backbone of caramel & some roastiness. A hint of dark fruit just to give it a twist & round it off. Bitter & woddy in aftertaste.

Feels full & creamy, leaves you dry afterward.

Overall very tasty but powerful. One's good, though I could easily see myself ordering it again in the future.

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Photo of mempath
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

incredible from the start....huge dark crema head that settles in slow-motion Matrix fashion, lacing in odd gobs and veils. dark buckwheat pancake batter appearance develops as it descends...

nose: toasty, oily hops. can't find a best before date (if there is one), but this seems quite fresh. no telling, since i bought this in Penn Station/NYC for $8.

this is a full-bodied, luscious slop of massive hops and malts that have been working out with the hops...extreme balance of, well, extremes! nonetheless, unified into a lip-smacking perfection that is realized only as you finally taste it. creamy mouthfeel with enough carbonated punch to make this bristle and slide. totally different from, say, another hop masterpiece such as Nugget Nectar, but the devastating impact is all the same.

most least for the initiated, self-righteous and not-so-sublime. loved that Cali-Belgie, but this is stellar!

p.s. another swallow as this slightly warms and i get the dark sweet dried fruit sense i get in some really good imperial stouts....has much to offer as you try to take this one in slowly and experience its many nuances.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a deep and translucent brown with a creamy khaki head.

The smell is strongly hoppy. Intense pine and citrus notes as well as a deeply sweet roasted malts.

Deliciously hopped sweet goodness. The hops are spectacularly citrusy in a truly American fashion. Sweet roasted barley and delicious thick grainy body. The drinkability is excellent.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany with a cherry tint, with a rocky light brown head. A thin film cap remains the entire time, with some sticky lace as well.

Smell: Typical Stone punch-in-the-nose strength. Strong grapefruit hops, with a distinct pine notes as well.

Taste: A little bit unbalanced for me. I always expect monster hops with Stone brews, but a little more balance would do this one good. It starts off bitter, but black malt, roast coffee, and dark fruit have a subtle presence, before a citrus hop bite sinks in. A bitter pine finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium carbonation wrapped in a nice full body. Alcohol is not present in the taste, but warms on the way down.

Drinkability: The feel of this beer is great and helps make it evaporate, but this is a bit hop-heavy and does not really have any distinguishing characteristics over AB or other strong ales.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle that says best 6/29/10. They love their hops at Stone and I love them for that. Normally you would expect a beer this dark to be sweet and heavy. But this one comes across like some crazy hybrid of just about everything Stone does well and the result is awesome. Pours fairly thick, like a porter say, and as dark as a stout but with more carbonation. A nice, thick toasted brown head forms. The scent is almost all hops with notes of chocolate and roasted malt. The taste is a beautiful melange of hops, dark chocolate, coffee, and raisins. Not too sweet and not too bitter. The good amount of hop bitterness gives it a lighter body and cleaner finish than an imperial stout, making it a very drinkable strong ale.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

220z bomber. Pours nearly back with slight reddish glow at the bottom when held to the light. Smells hoppy with malty notes and a strong hint of charred wood. The flavor is dominated by dry hops and toasted malt with a slight smack of cherry cough drops on the finish. The mouth is dry most the way through, the slight sweetness at the end, but that diverse of a mouth from tongue to throat. It's quite drinkable, with the alcohol well hidden, but the predominant woodiness would prevent it from being a session beer. Solid overall, but rather mundane compared to the stars in the Stone universe.

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Photo of TK5150
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a beige head.

S- Monster grapefruit, some apricots and tropical fruitiness. Roasted malt takes a back seat.

T- Grapefruit and roasted malt. Firm bitterness on the back-end. Not a ton of complexity here, but tastes quite nice.

M- Light to medium bodied. I was actually surprised at how light this was. Effervescent as well.

D- Pretty drinkable stuff due to being so light in body.

Overall, not what I was expecting for some reason, but pretty good. I enjoy this a little more than the score indicates. The weight for my score in the mouthfeel deducts more points than I think it should. Probably in the neighborhood of a 3.9 IMO.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe, couldbe be black, but is more of a blackish brown color with garnet highlights. Two finger, sandstone head that recedes to a nice film of foam througout all 22 ounces.

Pretty aggressive hop aroma. Grapefruit zest to the point of atringency in the nostrils. Gives me the same feeling as spicey Chinese mustard in the sinuses. I like that in my mustard, but not in my beer. I can barely smell a dark roasted malt at all.

The same aggressive, biting grapefruit and lime zest bitterness up front and the middle. Whatever roasted malts are detected towards the finish of the flavor profile, seem to exacerbate the hop bitterness of this brew. I don't detect the abv. but I wonder if that adds to the increases the effect of the hops bitterness.

Astringent and bitter is all I can come up with for the palate. I was expecting a little more fr this beers palate and flavor.

Still a sipper for me. I like bitter beers, but this just didn't sit so well for me.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.86/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured vigorously into a large tulip. XI has a large khaki head that sits upon a brown opaque body of liquid. Chocolate and the signature Stone aroma wafts into the air. Smells like a vintage Double Bastard with a dark malt presence.

Flavor is extremely mellow. Hops are pretty much absent from flavor but causes a slight bitterness at the back of the palate, leaving an astringent finish. Age has tamed this beer completely. Slight burnt sugar and sweetness. I never had this fresh but if the recipe is exactly the same as Sublimely Self Righteous Ale then this is just a rusted hollow shell of it's former self.

I had an 8 or 10 month old SSR (first batch) and that seemed to be the proper amount of time if you want to age it. Dark malts had a stronger presence and the hops have only partially faded enough to be in perfect balance.

This beer is still drinkable. Alcohol is more prevalent since the beer is so unpronounced now. Carbonation is lively, I could tell immediately from the loud hiss as I opened the bottle. Definitely past its prime though.

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

A: black with a nice tan head and lacing.
S: american hops and dark roasted malts.
T: same as above. malts are reminiscent of a just over medium bodied dryish stout (some coffee and dark molasses) with lots of american hops clearing it out to a bitter, drying finish. lingering hops and roasty malts, manages to seem crisp at the end.
M: frothy and lively for this abv.
D: goes down a lot easier than you'd think for this abv. alcohol is well-hidden and the dryish hoppy finish helps in this regard.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,926 ratings.
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