Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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1,909 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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

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Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,893
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 cavedave
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The look of it is menacing somehow, in the way of a beautiful temptress offering dark pleasure, hiding danger. Thick, alive, mahogany-red, opaque, somehow glowing despite the opacity. A dark, dank head of close-knit lather. It leaves shaving cream peaks and valleys on my stemless wine glass.

The aroma is thick, silky, enters my nose like a waft of citrus perfume, lemon balm candy, with spicy herbal edges. My fourth sniff reveals a new bottom of mysterious fragrance that I find incredibly seductive. Can't wait for a sip.

Woahh, what an unexpected jolt of herbal goodness. It is a lightning bolt of intensity, immensity, and complexity. The thunder of the bolt rolls across tongue and mind beneath booms of bourbon, citrus, burnt caramel, currants, raisins, hints of chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, through it all the faintest promise of sweetness which sustains the flavor, and ends in a charge of the dry brigade, floral, dark, bitter, and long. I haven't been this blown away by a first sip in some time. Five sips later I'm now into the rhythm of the brew, some vanilla popping in, what a blend of flavor, what an amazing jazz piece of complex virtuousity. Feels like seeing Dexter Gordon at the Vanguard in the old days. Tastes so good it takes you to a new place. Am I crazy? Is this as good as it now tastes? Man, that sounds crazy, but this stuff has done it to me. O'kay, another big sip. This is one of the best beers I ever tasted. I love all of Stone's stuff, maybe I am a Stone pimp, oh well, I call 'em as I see 'em. Just try this and tell me I'm wrong. What a fucking deliciously complex, pleasingly delicious beer that is absolutely deliciously delicious.

Mouthfeel is awesome, just right clinginess, just right carbonation, just right acidity, sustains a long finish that is a joy.

Drinkability is extremely, dangerously, I-can't-say-it-strongly-enough superlatively wonderful. Between a very, very mild alcohol presence, and a flavor which nearly matches what my current fantasy beer would taste like, it is most perilously, marvelously drinkable.

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

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: big citus, smells like a strong IPA, no indication that it's a dark beer at all.

taste: very complex and comlicated beer. which makes it interesting. It's drinks like an IPA on the front, citrus, grapefruit, and a stout on the back, bitter and coffee flavors. fantastic and one of the best front to back chnages in a beer that I have had.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine

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Photo of bcsbeer
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bomber poured in to a tulip glass. Enjoy by date of 1/2/2013

A: Black but not completely opaque. A deep ruby glow got through when held up to the light. Poured with a huge khaki head. I had to interrupt the pour to keep it from over flowing its boundaries. Incredible lacing. I haven't seen anything like it. As the beer went down the foam crystallized on the walls of the glass, leaving the impression that it was permanently etched in.
S: Coffee beans , figs, root beer, bread, molasses, green pine cones.
T: Initially presents the roasty goodness of the malts, coffee, raisin ,caramel and brown sugar but at 90 IBUs the hop bitterness takes over like a bully in third grade. Dominating the playground. Mostly pine. After the swallow the bitterness sticks to the tongue like sap. The alcohol is undetectable.
M: Slightly dry and bitter, very sticky, perfect carbonation.
O: If you can't make up you mind between a Russian Imperial Stout and a Imperial IPA, this is the beer for you. It's like mixing Old Rasputin with Palate Wrecker. A Masterpiece by STONE.

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

Enjoyed on tap at The (Brilliant) Blind Pig.

Deep black ale with dark ruby trim when held to the light, with two fat fingers of creamy, light tan foam. Excellent duration, ample lacing, and a terrific looking beer. The aroma is magnificent, lush with citrus smell, pine, chocolate and caramel malts. Orange, pineapple, and some lemon fill the nose, making this a surprisingly hop-forward Black Ale with ample malt, as the taste attests. Exceptional smell, nothing short.

The taste is magnificent, very well-rounded, and packed with rich, durable flavors. The first part, especially given the hop content, is surprisingly malt heavy, loaded with chocolate with a hint of roasted coffee bean. Citrusy hops and some pine emerge with a little warmth, adding some sweetness. Fabulous, all the more so because, combined with some appreciable hop grit, this is is eminently smooth, creamy, amply effervescent, and thoroughly enjoyable. This doesn't allude to 8.7% ABV whatsoever, too easy on the palate, too accessible, too good. Amazing.

Stone arrived in East Central Champaign with much fanfare and advanced advertisement, with bars such as The Pig, Crane Alley, Seven Saints, and others conducting tap takeovers filled with Stone offerings. I had enjoyed Stone's delicious wares before, so I was prepared for their craft goodness, but Sublimely Self-Righteous was a breed apart. One of the very best veers around, this is first rate Black Ale/Black IPA.

Tremendous, a privilege to have tasted and enjoyed. I gave this a good go for a dozen pints/bomber bottles soon after it was introduced.

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

Had this on tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD

A: Not what I expected! Black with a cream-colored semi-rocky head. The bartender called it an IBA (India Black Ale). Nice lacing on the inside of the glass after a few mouthfuls.

S: Strong, piney hop aroma. I'm a hop-head, so very nice.

T: A big, initial hop hit, and stuck around for the entire tasting. A great balance of hop flavor and bitterness, which did a fantastic job of masking the substantial amount of alcohol in this beer. The warmness came through, but not until you swallow.

M: All hop flavor and bitterness...again, very nicely done.

D: This is a dangerous brew, since it is very drinkable and does such a nice job of masking the 8.7% ABV. I haven't had a bad Stone beer yet, and I think this might just be my favorite. Frisco has 7 of the Stone beers on tap right now in preparation for a tasting tonight - wish I could be there.

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Photo of klewis
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a chocolate brown hue with a massive foamy head. Super long and thick head sustain with tons of lacing.

S: Big, piney hop smell with a dark, roasted malt character. Slight alcohol burn.

T: A complex hop taste with grassy and pine flavors and subtle citrus notes. A subtle roasted character adds an even greater depth while staying out of the way of the hops. Bitterness falls in the moderate range for an IPA.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, creamy, and perfect.

D: This one is too good not to be a regular in the lineup. Nearly perfect and a great hybrid style.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a litre growler of this the other night from the new Stone Brewing World bistro and Gardens - Liberty Station in Point Loma and poured it into a Bitburger branded stemmed pilsner glass.

Pours like iced espresso coffee with auburn highlights when held up to the light, massive tan head that mushroomed over the edge of my glass with ridiculous amounts of lacing from the first sip to the last. Smell is like a West Coast IPA - extremely hop forward right off the bat - chlorophyllic and resinous, as it warms aromas of carmel and roasted malts emerge, balancing the aggressive hoppiness perfectly - hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans as well. Flavor is amazing and on point with what the nose suggests - hops abound with earthy goodness that coats the palate, sweet toffee and carmel, fresh milled grains, espresso and cocoa nibs round the flavor profile perfectly - insanely tasty and so well balanced! Mouthfeel is on the lighter end of medium bodied which is just insane for a beer clocking in at nearly 9% ABV - chewy but finishes clean and dry, carbonation is perfect for the style with a lingering bitterness from the 90 IBU's. Where is the alcohol - barely detectable - a bit of warmth with all those hop oils but other than that, you'd never know what this one clocks in at.

More please!

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Photo of McLovinBeast57
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours dark black with medium carbonation that creates a nice tan head as well as some decent lacing. Looks like what you would expect from a stout.

S: The smell is fantastic! Lots of earthy and fruity hops (grapefruit and citrus) as well as a hint of that dark (almost molasses) malt aroma.

T: This is where the beer shines... Very bitter but not so much as to deter you from drinking it. Earthy, floral, and fruity hops show through the roasted malt and peach flavor of the beer. Stone did an amazing job creating a unique style that blends together all the flavors so nicely. Very flavorful!

M: Mouthfeel is perfect. Medium to full body, creamy but very drinkable. The finish isn't dry and those flavors stick to your tastebuds for a while after you sip. Carbonation is spot on with the flavor.

O: Overall this is probably my favorite beer of the ones I've tried so far. Definitely one that you can try more than once and enjoy just as much, if not more, as the last time. Stone has made a beer that somehow has a strong and intense flavor that makes you wish you had another bottle when you're done!

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Stone Brewing Co.
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
“Enjoy By” date of 10/20/2014 printed on bottle
Date Reviewed: September 7th, 2014
Glass of Choice: IPA Glass
12 fluid ounce bottle

Eyes: A dense tan head collapsed and left a good amount of sticky lacing. Dark brown body… coffee coloured would best describe this body as it had a translucent brown glow around the edges of the glass.

Nose: The hops hit the nose hard: primarily floral with minor herbal traces. Very subtle presence of toasted malts… subtle may be too generous of a description here.

Taste: An explosion of floral and herbal hop flavours hit the tongue right off the bat. A weak backbone of toasted grains and coffee made up the malts. The brewers over at Stone nailed the balance here… just the right amount of warm, toasty malts to showcase a very fresh and heavy hop flavour. Medium-bodied. Moderate-heavy carbonation.

Overall: Excellent black IPA. A real treat for hop-heads.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

God, I freaking love Stone. It pours an incredible dark, deep, rich brown…almost black but not quite. It has a nice thick, foamy head with very good retention and nice lacing.

It smells intensely of hops (no surprise coming from Stone), maybe banana, maybe dark cherries.

The abundance of flavors are balanced so well in this beer…hops, dark fruits, roasty goodness. Everything about this beer is amazing.

This is an amazing beer and I hope I can find more of it. Too bad it’s a one time batch…this is my kind of IPA.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark and black in the glass. Good head at pour - at least a finger and a nice off white color and good retention. Solid spider web lacing. Aroma is hoppy yet presence of malts even on nose - sweet, bitter and a hint of roast. Flavor is equally impressive with malts present up front and malts showing more towards the back. Extremely well balanced.

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Photo of RichBenn
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, almost black, with a creamy head that stays on the glass. Very good head retention

S- Resinous, piney and citrusy like no other "Black IPA" I've had. Very good dry hopping that comes through with the Simcoe and Amarillo smells you'd expect from a heavily dry-hopped west coast IIPA.

T- Like the nose, but with some of the carmel and roasted and darker malt flavors, but in the background enough to let the hops shine. This is clearly a hophead's IPA. It's the way I believe the style "should be", not a beer that really belongs in another category.

MF- Bitter finish, not mega thick. Not as creamy as some, but that's probably because Stone is highlighting the hops. One area that's pretty good but not perfect.

DB- This is too strong for a quaffer, to be sure. But is this style supposed to be sipped or quaffed? Still, it's one of the only areas I marked down a tad.

Other thoughts -- I'm an amateur all-grain homebrewer and admitted hophead, and am already thinking about how to clone this thing. It's that good! For those that think this style should be like a stout or porter - look elsewhere!

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Photo of FARGO619
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many many times. I'm finally getting around to rate it. It took me off guard the first time I tried it. Nice and hoppy.
A: Dark brown with light head went down fast. Lightly carbonated. Dark ruby light flowing through on the bottom.
T: Hoppy, sweet, bitter, and subtle floral hit the nose.
D: Easy to drink.
O: Overall it is a nice dark hop that is always good to just chill to.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

First BA review in a few years! Dark ruby when held to the light with big sheets of thick lacing. Great aromas from this one, malty and dark roasted notes, slightly sweet and subtle vanilla. Soft on the pallet with a nice hop texture, finishing with a lasting dryness till the next sip. Very balanced BIPA, lending itself to the the hoppy side of the range. The strong ABV is controlled and not overpowering, but shows on the finish. I really like this offering from Stone and see it as one to judge others.

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Photo of rawla
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer numerous times throughout the years, but finally had a chance to review it with a fresh palate.

On tap at Bluepalms Brewhouse on 01/08/2012. Served in a goblet.

A: Jet black with a 2 inch toffee lead. A ruby-caramel note towards the head. Good lacing throughout.

S: Woah. Bacon, toasted almonds, and chicory oak along with a pungent dose of fresh floral hops. I can't begin to explain how well balance the aromas are. Just decadent and truly enticing.

T: G** D***.. Freshly peeled tangerine, along with the smoked bacon and toasted oak backbone. I know toasted and bitter profiles sometimes don't seem to work out well, but they do here in a magnificent way. Each sip/gulp hits you with massive citrus bitterness and smoked oak notes at the same time. A truly well balanced dialogue. Some coffee comes through as the beer warms up a bit, which is like icing on the cake for me. I can drink this by the kegs. Put me on a liver transplant list now.

M: Crisp and made to order iced coffee-like substance. The bitterness may keep some from drinking more than a couple of these, but not me.

O. C.D.A/Black I.P.A perfection. Some Dark I.P.A's tend to be overly roasted, or overly bitter. Self-Righteous lives up the name by tooting its own horn and truly displaying a well-balanced, yet assertively hopped and smokey beer. A plus.

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Photo of Bloodreign
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is great beer. It looks like a stout and tastes like a IPA. Superb hoppy biter taste. Full feeling. Pleasent taste from lips to throat. It does have very little head when poured from the bottle but i would drink this beer very often. Stone as usual hits it out of the park.

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Photo of shaunb81
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was super excited about trying this beer and I just couldn't do it by myself. I decided to call my buddy Jax over (he's the only one of my friends that has the same kind of palate for microsas I do). Since we are both huge Stone fans, we were both pretty stoked to crack this one open.

Appearance - Poured jet black into my snifter with a nice 2" dark cream head and lacing to be remembered.

Smell - Roasted, heavenly malts and remarkably hoppy. Every sniff makes me more excited to finally drink it. Jax is at a loss for words.

Taste - There is a sweetness on the front end and it is followed with hops that make the hair on my arms stand up. Jax had only three words to say. Brace yourselves. "Jesus Fucking Christ..." Though it seemed like an appropriate response, I was looking for something a little more descriptive, but couldn't seem to find the words. Coffee and chocolate seemed to poke it's head out throughout the ride.

Mouthfeel - It was creamy and the density was medium. It was actually perfect for me. Body was superb. Black ales might just be one of my new favorite styles.

Overall - This is probably my favorite Stone brew to date. It's got depth and the profile holds up against most ales. If you see this, buy it, smile, and then don't forget to smile while you savor the flavor of this behemoth.

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Photo of FarmerJohnny
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber, no freshness date

A - Pours a thick, dark brown with a lighter brown, two-finger head the lingers. Absolutely beautiful

S - Hops, hops, hops. Hops dominate the smell. Very earthy and crisp. A hint of maltiness in the background.

T - Extremely well balanced. Malty start, almost hints of cocoa in the middle, and hoppy, slightly dry finish (Stone signature).

M - Very smooth, not too thick, and clean, crisp finish. Almost perfection

O - One of my personal favorites, never gets old, and arguably one of Stone's finest. The perfect balance of malt and hops. The name says it all. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your list.

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Photo of riored4v
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Dark in color. Basically black with hints of red when held up to a light. Nice big/tight head that slowly fades down a 1 finger head with lacing throughout sample.

S= Hops!! Nice hints of citrusy and grapefruit aromas followed up with a malty sweetness.

T= Did I mention hops? A very nice hop bite that you can feel in the back of your mouth. Nice and bitter with a good malt roastiness that helps to balance things out. Definitely more hoppy than malty.

M= Crisp. Nice carbonation, medium body with and oily tongue feel.

D= VERY drinkable. Session worthy if it wasn't for the high ABV. It does manage to hide the alcohol pretty well.

Outstanding beer in my opinion. Definitely a unique offering and I wish it was more readily available. I'm glad I was able to grab a case because this has become one of my more favorite beers.

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Photo of JamesS
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a fantastic opaque black with some excellent head and nice lacing. Very deep malty scent, huge sweetness with a hint of bitterness in the nose. Great taste, a deep and malty hit, slight roastiness, with an excellent hop hit at the end to balance it all. A wonderfully smooth beer with no alcohol tinge even at over eight percent. An excellent brew.

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Photo of onthefarside
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the great pleasure to try this beer on tap last night at Mahar's in Albany. Curious about the type of beer this was, I was told it was an Imperial Porter by the all knowing bar-keep.

A: Served in a 20oz glass with 1 cm of head about, not much. Was a very very dark brown or black, couldn't tell with the dim lights.

S: Smells like every Stone beer, hoppy and alcohol"y".

T: This beer has a nice one two punch on the tastes a nice flavourful malt up front with nice complexity and then a nice crisp hops twinge to hide any trace of alcohol, couldn't taste it at all. But this is definately a sipper.

M: Nice feel, not too watery, good to swish it around and let it cover your mouth.

D: I didn't know the abv at the time of drinking this beer, knowing stone tends to up the abv, i thought it was about 5-6 but i'm suprised to find it near 9! Unknowing, I could drink 3-4 and wonder why i felt strange. Over all a great beer from Stone again and it will please people who like their IPA and Bastard Ale. I felt like it was a mix of the two almost.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone XI poured a deep ruby color, more along the characteristics of a Stout than a brown ale. The head was dark, rich, and had a "surge" similar to a Guinness. The smell had a noticeable aroma of earthy hops and a slight roasted malt undertone. The taste was true to the aroma; it had a solid roasted malt character that sat well on the tongue and faded gently into a distinct and enjoyable hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very good, a nice body but not heavy or thick. This beer is quite drinkable, but be careful to enjoy in moderation or it will bite you back. Enjoy!

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Photo of 94coog
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lurking here for awhile. Never felt compelled to write a review until now.

A: pours a rich black with amber edges. a medium-rocky head that laces well.

S: Rich malt with doughy bread notes, brown sugar, grassy hops.

T: Takes me to my knees. Its like the malt and hops are fighting for supremacy, and both are winning. Cloying sweet malt with alcohol punch that carries the hops through the palate.

M: perfectly carbonated. Could be a bit less thin, but remember its an IPA, not a porter or stout. This beer is confusing in the way it crosses styles. Its an IPA. No, a barleywine. Wait, an imperial porter. No, it's all of those. It's the best of all of those. It's sublime.

D: If I had more than one bomber, I would drink all I had.

A humbling experience. Its as if the best qualities of an IPA, porter, and barleywine were combined into one beer.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with dark red and orange edges. Light barely gets through this beer. The head is big and tan. The bubbles are glowing man

S- Flowery and citric with a fruity sugar smell and a hint of chocolate and molasses.

T- The flavor is like the best of every style all layered into one beer. Refreshing, herbal and citric hops, then a solid sweet honey and toffee center and finished with a bitter coffee and dank alcohol that leaves you wanting more.

M- My mouth feels great when I drink this beer. Smooth, foamy, chewy and stingy.

D- You probably are not worthy of this beer.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,893 ratings.
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