Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
5,925 Ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
5,925
Reviews:
1,914
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
308
Gots:
817
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,925 |  Reviews: 1,914
Photo of scifan
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a nice dark chesnut brown(almost black) color. With a huge fluffy off white head. That literally hung around for ever. Leaving some nice chunky lacing along the glass.
Big citrusy hops on the nose, mostly grapefruit. A nice piney aroma also come into play. Also hints of dark roasted malts linger deep in the background.
Starts off with nice juicy citrus hop bite. Followed by smooth roasty, chocolatey malts. Actually has "dare I say it" an almost balanced flavor. At least for Stone anyway. The hops really come into play in the finish with a huge piney bitter finish.
The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a lower level of carbonation. Another great beer from Stone.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with very thick tan head, lots of sticky lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, citrus, and some pine.

The taste is of bitter hops immediately, then citrus and roasted malts, there is also some coffee and hints of pine.

Medium bodied, smooth and coarse, very little carbonation.

This was an excellent beer, lots of flavor, but quite filling.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours an opaque perfect black, with a mountain of head. Half a finger of head remains.

Smell - Big citrus hop nose, backed up with roasty/chocolatey malt.

Taste - Much like the nose: big citrus hop presence up front with some pine, sweet roast malt follows up, finish is a chocolatey malt and resinous, piney hops. Good dose of ethanol in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied than I expected, viscous and oily, smooth carbonation, and with some of that hooch warmth.

Drinkability - Nice. Liked it quite a bit. Great flavor profile: clean hop taste balanced with roasty/chocolatey malt. I will say it's got more alcohol warmth than I expected. Still great, will do again!

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Photo of irishking1977
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Menacing, black liquid with a copious tan head that holds it's own, while leaving massive rings of lacing. Wow. Looks like an amazing stout. Whatever it is, it looks fantastic.

S: Ahhh. Fresh, clean hops aroma. Malt background subdued, but it's there nonetheless.

T: An insane (in a good way) cavalcade of hops, malt and mild sweetness/bitterness combination. Near perfection. This is what a beer is supposed to taste like.

M: This is probably one of the most balanced beers I've had. Chewy, oily, somewhat creamy, and mildly bitter. This one can certainly cause palate exhaustion because of it's intense taste and feel, but during the drinking process, most beer drinkers won't care. Simply a pleasure to consume.

D: Palate exhaustion is possible with this one, so it's not exactly a session beer in the truest sense of the word. Still, drinking a few bombers of this one wouldn't be so bad, would it?

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a deep beige thick head that sticks to the glass in rings after each sip.
S- This beer has a pungent musty Northwest hops that comes through even during the pour. Wow. The roasted note of malt is a little hint in the big hop aroma and there is a green watermelon rind quality in the finish of the hops.
T- The green pungent pine flavor to the hops has a roasted note that blends nicely. There is a pine pungent finish with a minty quality and a pungent herbal hop flavor that lingers.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a slight slippery texture in the finish.
D- Although the bottle reeks of arrogance the beer inside is good. The big hop flavor has lots of nice depth with a little black malt for support. This is my first beer purchased in Chicago, would it taste better if I had to drive 2hr to buy it? Luckily I don't have to find out.

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

22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip
Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a large off-white head, good retention and lacing. Nice carbonation. Nose is an IPA - hops, citrus, pine with some roasted malt undercurrent. Taste surprises. The pine and bitterness are there, but so is some coffee and chocolate. Medium body. The finish is some bitterness but not overwhelming. There is also some alcohol warmth. This beer was a nice surprise and I will be seeking it out, when available.

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Photo of bobsy
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a very dark brown, that borders on black, but can't maintain the deception when held up to the light. A large tan head sticks around and leaves sheets of lacing. Great appearance. Big hop nose mixing in with strong malt tones... a black IPA before its time? Flowers, some citrus and pine, lots of chocolate, caramel and a light coffee roast. Flavour follows suit, and adds tobacco to the mix. I really dig the chocolate in this, and there's great balance between the hops and the malts. That's not to say this doesn't have high bitterness (it does), it just means the malt bill is so staggeringly high that big matches big. Slick, oily mouthfeel suits this down to the ground.

Really nicely done, and in fact pretty spectacular, as you'd expect from Stone. Craves my hop and malt fix simultaneously.

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Photo of coachdonovan
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

in typical Stone fashion, it takes me a full minute and a half to read the treatise on the bottle explaining this beer. hopefully the expectations aren't too high.

color is very dark but not quite all black. think: the color of root beer. BIG big fluffy khaki head leaves great lacing. both aroma and taste are reminiscent of an IPA but with a decent malt base as well. the hops here are more floral than citrus, but they're not overwhelming. the bitter finish is there, but again, it doesn't decimate the palate. this is pretty oily, so i would like a bit more carbonation.

this one definitely grew on me. i wasn't blown away at first, but everything is in balance. the abv is right where it should be, you get some sweetness, some bitterness... it just works. i would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a deep ruby color showing highlights throughout. Foam is thick and creamy, tan colored and displays good retention and lacing.

Nose is west coast hops at their finest...citrus grapefruit with lemon and orange peel. Not much else can overcome these cones, but there is a touch of roasty grains and fruity yeast esters. Smells very delicious, one of the best smelling beers I have had in a while.

Hmmm, taste is way more complex and interesting than I thought it would be thinking of some black IPAs I have had in the recent past. Heavenly roasted malt mixes with a very nice hop flavor. Bitterness is there, but not over the top in any way. Bit of wintergreen mintiness comes in and is followed by an almost chocolaty malt flavor. Very smooth for a black IPA and has a nice creamy mouthfeel. ABV is well hidden but still lets you know it is up there. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, and definitely would encourage any good beer lover to try it.

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had to buy this one after a beer and food pairing at BJ's brewpub in A-Town. Of the whole Stone line this one stood alone. Purchased in a deuce-deuce from Libation's in Aurora (I love this place)

A- Deep rich black, somewhat like a good porter. Dense thick off white head, looks like a carbonated stout. Great lacing.

S- Tons of chinook and other high AA% hops with a hint of the carafa III chocolate goodness.

T- I do not know where to begin on this one. It has all of the nice grapefruit and pine hoppy goodness with a small amount of deep roasty stout like chocolate and coffee without the malt bitterness (the hops take care of that). It is so tasty, seriously the most unique and delicious brew I have had from Stone (which is setting the bar pretty high)

M- Light and refreshing with a long and strong finish

D-High, so high. Try it for yourself... please.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that allows little light to shine through. A fairly tall, latte-colored head bubbles up with a dense creamy and frothy texture. Retention is strong, with good lacing.

S: Some mild dark malty sweetness, but the nose is dominated by a freshly hoppy aroma. Citrus peel and pine resin are most noticeable. Some light notes of brown sugar, and a lingering alcoholic pepperiness is also available.

T: Dark maltiness up front, with moderate notes of brown sugar and coffee. Minor hints of dark fruit are also available. A strong bitterness is accompanied by fresh, bold hop flavors of biting grapefruit, orange oil, and sticky pine sap. Alcohol is noticeably spicy into the finish.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Carbonation is on the light side, lending some creaminess that is quickly replaced by a harsh, hoppy dryness. Definite alcohol is noticeable as well, providing some heat.

D: As anyone would expect of a Stone offering, this is boldly flavored and even more boldly hopped. Bitter and almost too boozy, but this pulls off the elusive "Black IPA" better than most. It doesn't tiptoe around, but sometimes that's a nice thing. This is a big, unique, and very freshly hoppy brew.

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

poured out of a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. pours nearly opaque black but reveals a dark dark brown in the light. a nice light biege head that has some great retention. a little bit of lacing as well.

the aroma reveals that classic stone hops aroma. reminds me a little of the levitation ale. citrusy, tropical fruity hops. somewhat floral and piney as well. maybe a touch of some sweetness too. smells just like you would expect an ipa to smell.

definatly an interesting beer we have here. attacks the palate in the same way an ipa does but with a little added bonus of some roasted malts. definatly has that wonderful flavor of the classic stone hoppiness. lots of flavors coming from the hops, citrus, grapefruit, a little pine, some woodiness. moderate amount of bitterness, nothing overpowering. you get tastes of roasted malt and a little cocoa. however, these roasted flavors seem to be overpowered by the hop bitterness and get kind of muddled. non the less a great tasting beer. finishs with a nice lingering hop bitterness mixed with some coffee and roast flavors.

has a nice smooth mouthfeel, medium to slightly heavy body. a little oily and resiny from all the hops.

definatly a drinkable beer, alcohol is hardly noticable, but this one bomber is prolly all i need in one sitting, this is for sure a good beer, and i would recommend to all ipa and stout lover a like. however in my eyes this is more of an ipa than anything. im interested to see what they will call this beer in the future as black american ipa has just been added to the beer styles list.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Poured the color of cola with a dense, three inch mocha-colored head. Some red highlights revealed around the base when backlit. Head eventually dissipates into a soapy skim that coalesces around the shoulders. Generous bands and strands of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose reveals lots of malt, brown sugar and molasses off the pour. Out of the glass some light hops aromas come across in the back. Taste follows nose, but the hops bitterness really asserts itself at the back and lingers between quaffs, slightly detracting from the experience. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a level background carbonation and a slightly creamy texture. Not a bad brew and reasonably priced at $6.99, but the lingering bitterness was a little off-putting for me.

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Photo of jrish
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

This beer is a beast. Absolutely love it. Pours a great black, tar looking body. A thick 2 inch khaki head is on top. Lacing is present til its time to refill. Smell completely catches you off guard with a left hook, your nose gets hit with a wonderful blend of citrus-floral smelling hops and a wonderful caramel malt. It tastes of a hop - malty fist fight ending with a wonderful chocolatey knockout. Full bodied with a perfect bitter. Very drinkable.

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Photo of hawks10
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my Duvel tulip...

Pours a very dark brown, borderline black with 3 fingers of very light tan head which sticks around forever. Decent lacing left throughout the drink...

Does not smell at all how it looks. Sweet, citrusy hops, grapefruit and some piny hop aromas as well. Lightly balanced by some roasted malt, but this beer smells as good as some of the best IPA's...

The sweet/citrus aroma does not transfer over to the taste. As where this beer did not smell at all like you would expect from a dark beer, the taste is what you would expect. Roasted bitter malt and some coffee. A bitter hop presence shows up in the finish and leaves some lingering piny taste. The more you drink, the more you pick up the hops...roasted upfront and finishes like a nice IPA...

Medium bodied, bordering on heavy. Somewhat chewy and coating. Decent carbonation and a slight alcohol presence...

Pretty good beer here, definitely think the nose was the best part of this beer, highly unexpected given the pour. Have had on tap and from the bottle and both were pretty damn good...

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

Extremely dark brown body in a well lit room. In a room with even moderate lighting I could easily mistake it for black. One finger of fluffy light tan head. No lacing.

For such a dark beer I was shocked at the hop-centric nose. It's loaded up with pine. There is roasted malt for support.

The taste is a complex battle between hops and malt. The hops take a slight edge, but this is a tug of war between pine and roasted malts. There are brief bursts of coffee and chocolate, but the malt is mainly roasted/burnt. It has a long and dry bitter finish.

Creamy and medium-heavy body. Dry on the palate.

Drinks proper for 8.7% abv. Slight alcohol detected, but as expected.

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Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee colored with russet highlights and an airy tan head that leaves sticky lace on the glass. Citrus fruity hops and roasty cocoa blend perfectly in the nose. Huge pine sap simcoe hop flavor with the nice roasty fudge flavor of carafa or black patent malt. The flavors are in perfect harmony with one another, it's rich and bitter all at once. Full bodied with smooth carbonation. One of the best IMO.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

small snifter (10oz?) served at the grumpy bulldog.

A- this one is brought to me in a small snifter. a black body with a neat beige head that doesnt last very long and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are the hops, which seems odd coming from such a dark beer. pine, grapefruit, and a little bit of orange. after that comes lightly roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate.

T- the taste, like the smell, is all about the hops. loads of pine and grapefruit. i think i can detect the orange i could smell also. 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.

M- medium to full bodied with a nice level of carbonation. nice and bitter.

D- easy to finish and i wish the glass was larger. ive tried this not too long ago when it was stone 11, glad i can try it fresher now. look for a bottle review soon. im so glad that stone is on the shelves here.

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Photo of MURF0320
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lodge in Boca Raton. Poured into a tulip, light black with a tint of dark red. Two finger light tan head that faded and left moderate lacing.
Looking for a strong hop aroma as a raised the glass and I found it...citrus, floral, and pine. Also notes of roasted malts and citrus fruits.
Complex flavor. Dominated by bitter citrusy hops. On the bitter side (good for me) but still well balanced with sweet malts and an earthy flavor. I described it as a great IPA with a thimble of great stout thrown in.
Medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very smooth and finishes dry. Warmed well.
Enjoyed every bit of the glass. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nick76
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is very hoppy with both pine and citrus as well as a toasted caramel malt. The appearance is black with a large foamy head. The taste is like the aroma with a huge hop kick but not a super astringent one. The palate is thin but smooth from carbonation. Overall the beer is good but a bit too hoppy for me.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to womencantsail, who gave this to me as an extra in a recent trade. 22oz bomber poured into a Goose Island pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown, might just be black, with a couple fingers-worth of tan frothy head. After the initial pour, there's still a decently large cap on top with a bunch of lacing along the sides. A really nice looking beer, no doubt about it.

S - Bitter hops/citrus, orange peel, some sweet chocolate/malt and roasted nuts. A nice meld of bitterness and malts.

T - Strong hoppy bitterness up front, roasted peanuts, malts, floral notes as well. Maybe a little too much going on here for me, but overall, it's good but not great. Very bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, frothy carbonation, oily finish.

D - Not all too high, but something nice if you're tired of straight-up hop bombs or sweet stouts. I'm not going to seek this one out but if it's in front of me, I'll drink it.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1 L swingtop growler filled at Al's of Hampden this afternoon. A shout-out to ARH.

A: The strong ale is dark, a veritable stout or porter. I'd say it's darker than a porter, offering up no colors or hues other than blackness. An off-white, slightly tanned, head, 2.5 fingers on pour, laces lightly.

S: The nose defies all logic (I remember being floored when I first got hold of 11th Anniversary). Dark roasted malts and ample citrus hops shsre the stage. Malts are first, bready and rich, but quickly yield to the resiny citrus hops. Pow!

T: Dark roasted malts, rye bread and chocolate showcase the malt side. They are immediately followed by hops, lots and lots of oily hops. Those hops are citrusy and strong. A touch of pine adds to the thicker hop presence. The floral finish is lively, several mouthfuls of citrus pulp. My first Black IPA (as Stone 11), and you never forget your first.

M: Roasted malts. Lotsa hops. Any questions? The fullness of the malts and their ability to influence the ale is impressive. Looking at the ale, you'd expect it to be much chewier but it isn't.

D: I'll finish off the growler but I'm starting to feel it after too glasses.

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Photo of JohnL9013
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I loved this beer, straight-up. If you liked Stone's Ruination, this is a dark-malted twist on it that will intrigue as much as assault you in Stone's typical style.

A: My gosh. This beer is totally black. Small half-inch head likely due to sloppy pouring, no lacing.

S: Wow, very very nice hops in the nose here. Judging by the appearance of this beer I was preparing to bite into a delicious "Arrogant Bastard" style ale, instead, I was greeted with a Ruinous level of hopping and a wonderful, sweet nose with dark malts in the background.

T: I realize that Stone only built this beer to please themselves, however, it's working quite well for me as well. There is a flat-out FANTASTIC balance of hops in this beer, heck, I prefer the balance slightly in this beer to the Ruination, although this beer lacks the Ruination's raw power. The dark malts give an interesting twist on things and actually balance really well with the hops they used to create a beer that is largely homogeneous with a huge emphasis on the hops. Still, there's a complexity in this beer I couldn't have expected.

M: Can be a bit harsh at first, but give it some time.

D: Be careful, this beer is very high in alcohol content. I had one of these and I was done for the night.

Summary: Buy it if you can get it!

edit: This review was written in 2010. As of 2014, this beer is much more common, and I'm quite happy, as it's become one of my go-to, favorite American beers. I have revised my ratings accordingly. I feel that this beer is the epitome of what modern American craft breweries are capable of bringing to the table.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. No bottled date, but a new shipment just received this week, so I believe it to be fairly fresh.

A: Pours a really dark borwn, almost bordering black. Nice off white / eggshell 1/4 inch head that disappears fairly quickly.

S: Nice big hop flavors up front. Nice piney scents with only some minor toasted malts in the background.

T: This definitely tastes fresh. Big hops presence right from the start, piney, maybe a little citrus notes in there as well. There's a healthy malt background with some bready flavors along with a bit of chocolate. Wow, and then here comes the bitterness. Long bitter finish with lots of grapefruit that lasts for minutes (or more). Maybe a little out of balance on the finish...

M: Medium mouth feel and carbonation. Seems appropriate for the aggressive of the beer.

D: Wow, this starts out as a great beer. But it's also a fatiguing beer. It's so big and aggressive, that it's not easy to finish a 22oz bottle in one sitting. But it's still a really nice beer and I'm glad I can get this on a regular basis.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. 2 fingers of light tan head. Black and sticky looking. Smells of mango, peaches, citrus hops, coffee and alcohol. A little hot on the nose, but otherwise perfect. Tastes like mango, bitter hop flavor, and a bit of toasted malt, vaguely coffee-like. Slightly sweet on the finish, but mostly bitter chocolate and hop. Alcohol is prevalent, but imminently drinkable for a beer at 8.7 abv. Delicious.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,925 ratings.
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