Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
BA SCORE
4.22/5
Exceptional
5,935 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
Ranking:
#1,001
Reviews:
1,916
Ratings:
5,935
pDev:
10.43%
Bros Score:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
312
Gots:
820
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,935 |  Reviews: 1,916
Photo of number1bum
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm psyched to enjoy this bomber...here goes.

Pours dark brown, nearly black but not quite opaque. Held up to the light reveals some deep ruby hues. A pillowy 2+ fingers of light tan head fill the glass, and the retention is outstanding, leaving a nice lace and tons of stick on the sides. This baby looks a lot like a porter and it's awesome.

Smell is very typical IPA, with pronounced citrus and pine hop resin aromas, but then there's just a touch of chocolate malt in there, as well.

Taste starts out super hoppy, again with emphasis on the citrus and pine. About halfway through the hops display some bitterness, but then to go with it comes some subtle chocolate and sweet caramel malt. It tastes a lot like a typical IPA but with subtle differences, and it's more complex than a regular IPA. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is really creamy and soft on the palate, and it only feels about medium-bodied in the mouth even though it's a big one at almost 9%. It's also very drinkable because the hop bitterness is subdued and it's just so damn tasty.

This is a great brew, another notch on the belt for Stone. Really enjoyable.

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

Pours a dark black color. Not as murky as a typical stout, but a shade of black that looks a little like a schwarzbier. Head is there in full force (1" off of a normal pour) and sticks around for the life of the beer.
Smell is of floral hops. I'm mainly picking up pineapple. Unlike a typical IPA, it's got a roasted smell blended with the hops. Hops are definitely the front runner, but it's there.
It starts off tasting a little like a stout, but then the hops come through. They aren't overbearing, but it's strong like a potent IPA or maybe even DIPA. The finish has the hop bitterness, but also a roasted coffee bitterness as well. Interesting! I've had hoppy dark beers before (Avery's NWP) but none quite like this. To me it's a SchwarzIPA.
Mouthfeel is typical for an IPA. Many dark beers tend to be thick, but this one's really not. It's just right for what it is.
Potency and the bitterness from 2 sources likely keep me from making this a beer I'd have several of, but finishing one bomber's no problem.
I really like this beer. It's unique but holds it's own in multiple categories. Stone has a style bending winner!

Note - you can't really call this an IPA as it's about as non-pale as they come. I'm going to go with India Black Ale (IBA) for this one.

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Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see the new Stone Ann. ale here in western NY so quickly.My second time trying this new black IPA style of beer my first being Rogue Black Brutal wich I had mixed feelings about,this poured a deep dark brown but not black some ruby colored highlights thruought a thick 2 finger head atop that never completely settled just a fantastic creamy mass left with gobs of lace behind in my impy pint glass,just awesome.Mix of piney and tropical fruit hops and black malt in the nose mainly I picked up some pineapple and molasses wich was nice and it strayed away from the one dimensional resiny hop profile and caramel malt base.The hops are big but so is the black malt element of this beer sure its big and piney and citrusy but the dark bread and molasses in there is large as well in finely balanced that black malt character really shows itself.The alcohol creeps a bit but this is a very interesting brew it has it all big hops and some malty sweetness,another top notch brew form one of the best.

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Photo of session1979
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark "Pitch Dark" black with a nice airy 2 finger head that lasted a few minutes and then clung to the glass as it dissipated. Smell was full of fresh oily hops, citrus, pine, and some light toasted malts. As it warms the aroma of over ripened fruit starts to dominate. The taste was of the hop flavors one would expect in a DIPA but there seem to be some other lingering flavors which are quite surprising, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the warm molasses flavor you usually find in a RIS really wants to poke its head out. I am intrigued to say the least... The beer coats the mouth with a smooth medium to full bodied texture. The alcohol really starts to show as it warms and even though there is moderate carbonation the bite is there.

Overall this is a very tasty beer fresh but I look forward to experiencing it over time as it is a bit hot right now. I will give it another shot later on this week to see what I think on the second go round. Cheers!

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Photo of orfeu
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Midnight-doused dark chocolate with cherrywood highlights. Fat dusky-sand foam sticks in thick clumps to the glass. Herbal and woody aromas with sugared grapefruit pulp. Faint earthiness with alcohol vapors. Initially floral and soft, but the quiet storm quickly builds to a thrashing tide of mellowed cedar and grapefruit juice concentrate. Slightly caramelized sugar notes increase as it warms. Medium body. Sharp and lively from pugilistic c-hop and alcohol assault. Lingering citric and pine bitterness in a finish that goes for miles. Underneath the relentless lupulin blast, some slightly vinous dark fruit whispers struggle to be heard. But not here, not now. A welcome expansion of the balls-out IPA palette.

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

I already knew this was going to be a dark IPA but it sure is black. Smell is initially fruity out of the bottle and reminiscent of the vaunted 10th. Second smell from the glass is chocolate and hops! This one is weird, has a chocolate taste, some hops with fruitiness and roastiness at the end. Good stuff and makes me want to revisit Avery’s 14th anniversary ale. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy but I am not sure that I could drink more than one bomber. For some reason the chocolate and hop combination makes me think of chocolate mints.

 543 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ruddy brown pour with a frothy, two fingered head.

Juicy hop aromas fill the room upon pouring. Grapefruit, passion fruit, sweet orange flower honey, everything an american hop has ever been or wanted to be. Some caramelized sugars and coffee aromas as well.

Flowery sweet grapefruit up front, roast and hop juice midtongue. Leaves a balanced hop bitterness and chocolate.

Fantastically designed beer. Very, very nice. I'll miss this when it is gone.

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

Dense, dark garnet-black bordering on midnight in all but the thinnest regions of the glass, with a massive pillowy head of tan foam.

Aroma of dark malts, tannins, leather, leafy hops.

Taste is smooth and creamy dark malts first, then some moderate leafy hops mingling with a hint of citrus and pine. Finish turns almost light and fluffy with just a mild twinge of alcohol.

Easy to drink for its size and incredibly more-ish... imagine a schwarzbier brewed with ale yeast and then hopped to standard American IPA levels.

In a word, exceptional.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chocolate brown in color, quite dark without much light peering through. The pour leaves a massive tan head with great retention. Plenty of crusty lace clings to the glass, plus there is an espresso-like foam that never fully disappears.

Beautiful, fresh citrus hops hit the nose. Very tempting, they are resiny with loads of grapefruit and orange tanginess. Not much malt character here but who cares right? I was able to enjoy the aroma for at least a couple minutes on this one.

The flavor is also a blast of tangy citrus hops but this time with a little more strength from the coffee toasted malt. The finish is exceptional with a drying nuttiness and a note of chocolate noticible before the strong bitterness takes hold. There is definitely a battle between the roasted malts and the infinite hops here in which the hops seem to dominate in the long run. The mouthfeel is syrupy thick, with the carbonation leaning toward the lower side.

It's hard not to like a beer with such intense flavor and aroma. Being somewhat syrupy I thought it might be a sipper but it went down pretty easy once I got used to that. This is definitely another extreme brew and just what I would expect from Stone. I would argue it's better than the 10th Anniversary so stock on up, but also drink soon because these hops will only fade and it won't be the same...

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled September 2007
Well carbonated, even a careful pour produces a five-finger thick head in my Tulip glass. The head is a creamy light brown color and leaves spotty lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes back into the beer. The beer is an opaque, almost black color that shows brilliantly clear, chocolate brown notes around the edges. As expected the aroma is quite hop focused. Dominant citrus / floral hop notes mix with pine-like / menthol-esque hop aromatics. When you dig for it, noticeable toasted malt aromatics become noticeable, but the dark malt character is certainly well masked by the hop onslaught. Interestingly enough, even up front there seems to be a noticeable chocolate character; it is extremely subtle & I almost wonder if my eyes are trying to pull a fast one on my nose. I don't think so though, there is a slight note of chocolate that intermingles with notes of grapefruit, freshly zested tangelo skins and lychee. With time the sharper pine / menthol hop aromatics seem to fade a bit. The hops here really capture the essence of freshly zested citrus peel, I almost feel like I got to close to the grater while zesting some sweet citrus fruits and ended up with a nose full of citrus oil.

The beer is served cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), this produces an almost creamy mouthfeel up front, but of course the hop character is the most noticeable aspect here. Bracingly hoppy from the get go, towards the middle with a little malt help the sweet citrus notes become really noticeable. The finish has a bitterness that only becomes more biting & sharp the longer the beer has been gone from my mouth; almost as if the bitterness sticks harshly to my palate while the malt character melts away. The bitterness in the finish seems to be accentuated a bit by some dark malt derived acidity; in fact this is where the dark malt character seems to come into play. The dark malt flavors are drowned out by the hops. This is quite easy drinking, there is a sort of creaminess to the beer, but it is still quite quaffable if not quite light. I would not even guess this was almost 9% alcohol, as it captures the drinkability & relatively light body of a West Coast IPA. The citrus hop flavors are definitely the dominant flavor contributor here. They are not quite so over the top as the aroma was (that citrus oil character is muted a bit), but still ample notes of tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, orange zest, and lychee are quite noticeable. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, subtle notes of roast coffee and chocolate start to become noticeable.

This is most definitely an IPA inspired beer; the lingering, tongue flagellating bitterness in this beer is huge. Astringent at times, bracing, palate dominating, but thoroughly enjoyable for the hop heads out there. I really hope this beer lasts longer than the 10th anniversary beer; for some reason that one had a 2 week window where it was a zesty hop bomb, but after that it became a train wreck of flavors (though I'll have to revisit it as some have said it has mellowed recently). Anyway, if you only have one bottle drink it now, cause it is at it's peak fresh hoppiness right now. It will be interesting to see how the dark malt character plays out; it is very subtle right now and if this was put in a blind IPA tasting (you would actually have to be blind folded though), most would have a hard time guessing this was not a typical, albeit supper hoppy IPA.

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