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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,894
Photo of schinebd
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - "Pitch dark" as the label says. A nice white head that retains nicely and laces as well.

Smell - Some piny hop smell still resides in this aged brew, though I'm sure much muted than in 07. Instead the chocolate malts and spice are much more forward in the nose.

Taste- Follows the smell almost perfectly. Sweet, roasted chocolate malts and cinnamon spice up front, with some very muted piny hops providing a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkability - Still somewhat hot from the alcohol, which I thought would have mellowed a bit more. Still tasty and easy on the way down and a great brew for a hot summer night.

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Photo of franksnbeans
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think it’s hilarious what name recognition does. I tried a VERY similar beer last week called BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA and all the reviews are substantially lower than here. Pours a very dark ruby, almost black with a couple fingers of lacy tan head that stays well. Smells of grassy hops and a little malt. Tastes malty with bitter almost pineapple hops with a different hop profile that I’m now realizing is particular to this style. Medium in the mouth with good carbonation. Took a little time to finish. The better of the two Dark IPAs that I’ve tried. Though it’s not a bad style, I still prefer is predecessor.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a virtually black color with a 1/2 inch of brown head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is chocolatey and boozey. Some coffee and only a bit of hops. Taste is of piney and floral hops. Maybe some chocolate and coffee flavors but they are certainly in the background. The hops are the main focus here. This one smelled boozey but taste wise there isn't a lot of alcohol flavor. This is a pretty solid beer and certainly does taste like a Stone. Overall, I dig it and will grab it again.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured into a pint glass a coffee brown with a nice, foamy, beige head that retained and laced decently. I really love this style of beer. Dark malts and dark fruits in the aroma, but a definite citrus hop presence like you'd get from your typical IPA. Smooth dark malts in the taste, molasses, brown sugar, quickly overcome by lots of citrusy hops, though the maltiness lingers on in the background. Flavorful and medium-bodied. Another highly drinkable beer from the consistently excellent Stone Brewing Co.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours Coca-Cola brown/black with garnet highlights and a globby, creamy khaki head.

S - Heavy on toasty malt, faint cocoa, coffee, chocolate.

T - Roasted malt, faint dry bitter chocolate, piny hops, sort of an odd caramel foamy finish.

M - Fluffy, fizzy, medium bodied.

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Photo of ohoove
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured off at first what seemed to be a black/brown but when seen in the light more like a deep dark rusty copper.
A beautiful thick and frothy head hung tough and eventually gave way to consistent and clingy lace. Nice tan color.
Would never have guessed American Strong Ale by the smell, more of an IPA dipped in smoke.
Taste to me is the best of both worlds IPA characteristics combined with the malt and smoked flavor of an American Porter.
Medium mouthfeel.
Good drinkability, although i wouldn't session this one, she's got some bite to er. Very good.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into a DFH curved pint glaas.

A- Self-righteous was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a storm king nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit to hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Very hoppy, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. Perhaps some short term aging would do this some good as it is a bit "strong" for me at the moment. I could not finish a bomber now but down the line when things have shifted, hell ya.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bomber to the Abita pint glass, after sitting the bottle about 30 minutes on the counter. Should be around 50 degrees by now...

A: Deep, rich brown pour, tinged heavily with ruby when held to a strong light...very, very dark otherwise. Topped with a long-lasting light tan head - fizzy and frothy at first, creamy and thicker as it wanes. Beautiful sticking lace, gathered in wide bands.

S: Citrus hops, lots of mandarin orange and grapefruit. Backing of sweet caramel malts - smells like a good hop-filled West Coast IPA. Expected this to hold more steady than it did, fading rather abruptly.

T: First sip was a bracing jolt of pithy, bitter grapefruit without much grain or sweetness coming through. As my tongue gets used to the hard hoppiness, hints of caramel develop and more tangy/spicy citrus-ness subsides...a little. A deeply toasted malt finishes each sip.

M: Spicy hops and bittering right down the center of the tongue, lingering on the back. Some cheek swelling and even some puckering. I'm finding some alcohol heat, too. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation.

D: A very pretty beer to look at and an intriguing style: a dark (black?) IPA. Nice aroma and flavor, but really needs to calm it on the aggressive hopping for my tastes. I'm all for big beers with heavy doses of hopes (though not my personal favorites), but balance is important. I just don't find this beer balanced...yet. Given some time, that may change...which I is why I've decided to cellar a few bottles for later.

Happy 11th Stone!
PS: Nice read on the back label about the 'growing pains' of opening the new Bistro...

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Photo of SirRuss
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The head shows a shade of light chocolate and sufficiently tight bubbles to set decent expectations. The body is a matt black with a slither of maroon hue at the very bottom. Retention is also good.

S - Sweet malts and fruity hops battle for center stage, although neither seem to really want to win. It's more of a nudging contest between two half-hearted contenders, although both are pleasant enough. The resulting fragrance is akin to a sprig of milk chocolate - coated cascade leaves being wafted a few feet from your nose.

T - This brew would be a great stepping stone (no pun intended) into porters/stouts. A soft ascorbic spine - like that found in bananas - directs the fairly simple flavour profile. Sweet malts found in the nose appear first, and slowly transition into the roastiness typical to a a porter. Finally the hops blend-in to provide a clean biting finish. Integration and balance is the point-scorer for this brew - simple, but well built.

M&D - This is perhaps the best aspect of the whole experience.The body's weight matches the intensity of flavors, and the alcohol is well aligned with the sugar/acidity levels to create a deceptively drinkable result. Furthermore, and as suggested by the head, the carbonation is firm and well structured. It augments the flavor profile in the same way a good caddy improves the performance of a golfer - humble and unassuming, yet ultimately vital to a winning game.

O - Overall this beer is well assembled, and as such there's nothing really "wrong" with it at all. Having said that, there's also nothing really impressive about it either. All-in-all: solid, but uninspiring - a bit like a girl calling a guy "nice".

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bottle poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a dark translucent brown color with about an inch of light ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of lemon peel/rind, orange, roasted grains, caramel/molasses, fruity plums, raisins. The ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with more than adequate carbonation. Very nice, coming along quite well.

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Photo of arfenhouse
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark, close to black, with some ruby red shining through. Nice big light brown head with good lacing. Silkscreen and flavor text is a very nice addition.

S: A sweet malt profile which is followed by a slightly-bigger hop profile. Brown sugar, caramel, with some toast. Resiny hops and orange peel. A very faint chocolate

T : First comes very quick, bitter roasted grain. Getting a nice dose of grapefruit/ orange citrus which transitions into a slightly sweet brown sugar. Roasted malt and a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste. Overall taste is dominated by hops. The individual aspects of malt and hops are good but do not seem to combine and transition well. Seems a bit mismatched and confused.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Finishes wet.

O: Overall tasty, but the individual flavors don't seem to match well for me. Probably won't try this one again. Also a bit pricey compared to Stone's other offerings.

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Photo of pgaveau
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Coca-Cola colorerd deep brown. Very little head or lacing. Faint smell of hops but not a lot going on. Caramel malt taste followed by slight bitter after taste. This is an enjoyable beer with a sweet touch. I could do this beer again but I wouldn't go out of my way.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, released 9/10/07, sampled six months after that; brewed to 20.5 plato with "lots" of IBUs. It's a few shades away from pitch black, with a few dregs, three full fingers of khaki head and some nice lacing. Little sweet in the nose, with fruity alcohol, pine and citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit). Roasty and quite hoppy on the palate, with coffee, crystal malts, and medium to high bitterness. I can already taste some age on this one. The body is smooth, a little prickly, with a dry, roasty/chocolate finish. A pretty decent beer, unique and a pleasure to try. I'm picking up the black IPA thing, but I could stand for more hop flavor to help it along.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter, deep black with a slightly tan head. nice lacing.

nose is piney, citrus peel, faint roastiness, touch of caramelized sugar.

taste has a faint roasty note, piney hop flavor, touch of brown sugar, slight bitter grapefruit peel in the finish. finishes very dry.

fairly light bodied for a beer this big, overally fairly drinkable. definitely a good representation of this style.

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Photo of Philousa
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imbibed at Market Beer Co. on 6/25/13.

Pours black, amber around the edges with a dark tan head that dissipates to a thin layer. Laces great. Resinous, dank, and piny describe the initial aroma, with grapefruit, cream, chocolate, baking bread, and toast accompanying. Flavor is intense and bitter to start. Resin an bark followed by dark malt chocolate, roast, cereal, then the heat from the alcohol sets in and the intense bitterness washes over. It's almost too abrasive. The feel is balanced with a dry finish.

Love the beer, but if they scaled back the bitterness it would be superb. As it is, this is great beer with a small flaw to my palate.

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Photo of adamette
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live Review. Poured from a bomber purchased for $6.99 from Miles Market in Cleveland into my Murphy's Irish Red pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Great looking medium brown head over a great looking dark dark body that in front of direct light shows only a dark mahogony hue on the edges. Lacing is already starting to form and I have not even taken my first drink. The look could not be better I do not think.

S High hop profile but also a candy sweetness. This strong but possibly balanced bittersweet smell is very inviting.

T Hops predominate but there is that malt sweetness that I had smelled that comes through in the taste. I believe that I also pick up some coffee like tastes as well (black coffee comes to mind). This is a big beer and the hops are too much for my taste but I know that this will please many reading this who enjoy hops.

M Huge. The hops and the sweet malt conspire to raise the mouthfeel bar.

D I will finish the bomber without too much trouble but that will be it. For its bigness it is quite drinkable.

Notes: This is like Levitation on steroids to me with a higher hop profile and just a bigger beer altogether. Hop lovers everywhere should seek this one out.

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

whoa...forgot i had this. stumbled across it when trying to pick something out...thanks to BVbeer1

a - opened and poured into my capt lawrence taster tulip. black with a creay mocha white head. pretty frothy. left milkshake like lacing clinging to the glass.

s - great balance. strong malt presence with decent hop showing as well. nice cinnamon zing. smells great.

t - strong chocolate and extreme roastiness. this brew is intense. finishes rather bitter and dry.

m - punch you in the eye

o - overall, a good black ipa/ale with the bitterness i'd expect from stone. worth checking out for sure.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter, the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale was almost black in color, but it had an odd transparency and some light was able to shine through the glass. A pretty standard, but nice white, fluffy head rested on top.

SMELL: Sweet, spicy aromas combined with a berry-like smell.

TASTE: Very malty, spicy with some anise-like notes. A strong taste with a dry, hoppy finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and creamy, but not mouthcoating at all. Goes down easy.

OVERALL: Interesting and different beer. The Sublimely Self-Righteous is very easy to drink, but also a nice alternative to the ordinary. I will drink this again, but it probably isn't something I would make a part of my standard rotation.

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

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Leaves a creamy head with lacing sticking some and also disappearing quickly elsewhere.

S - Piny, hoppy resin that is clean and crisp with a roasted finish.

T - The hops standout with the bitterness you would expect in an IPA. Finishes with roasted malt and the balance seems to fight itself a bit. Burnt toast character also present.

F - More like a Porter than IPA, fairly thick and not as much carbonation. Leaves a dry finish.

D - The dry finish and slightly uneven balance limits the desire for another right away. Still this is an intriguing style and Stone has a good handle on it as usual.

Served from 22oz bomber to mug.

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Photo of Storri
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from a bottle into a Nonic Pint glass. Poured out a nice deep black with some red tinge when held up to a light source. Finger and a half mountainous head that laced thickly throughout the entire session.

S- Smelled extremely floral with just a touch of biscuit.

T- Extremely floral and hoppy, as these beers are known for. It started out with a not unwelcome extreme floral and slightly citrus bitterness, and ended light and bready.

M- Sharp mouth feel that tingles on the tongue and smooths out for a nice finish.

O- A pretty alright, almost outstanding beer. I will say this was the second time I tried the beer after letting my tastebuds mature quite a bit. The first time I tried it I found it absolutely horrendous and overly bitter. This second time I found it much more satisfying. So if you don't like it the first time around, perhaps wait a few months or a year (if you were new to beer) and try it again.

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

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nearly opaque dark reddish-brown with a one finger tan head. Despite the smallish head there is outstanding head retention and nearly a solid wall of lace all the way around.

Aroma punches hard with pine resin and some tree bark. There is also a slight influence from tropical fruit but it is far behind the pine. There is a pleasant malt base with dark caramel, toast, and just a slight hint of coffee.

Tons of hops upon tasting. Pine mixed with a little bit of orange and lemon really dominates hardly letting any malt flavor through at all. Some sweet caramel along with dark toast and a faint hint of cocoa. Not nearly as much roast as I would expect given the dark color. The dark malt really shows more in the sweeter, heavier mouthfeel than in roastyness. Very bitter along with a full, somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, a really good Black IPA but I want more roast. There is not enough here to firmly set this apart from a normal IPA. That complaint aside, an excellent beer all around.

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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 dowen17
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Tan colored two finger head with good retention and great lacing.

On the nose is grapefruit and citrus. There are some dark malt scents lurking in the background and very mild, dark chocolate smell. Very faint, though.

Taste is very hoppy. Grapefruit is the dominant flavor here. Some dark malts come through in the middle and a big bitter pine punch at the end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and perfectly carbonated.

This is a very good beer. Pick it up if you can. Definitely worth the try.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep and dark mahogany brown, just shy of pitch black. A relatively thin tan colored head sits atop for quite some time.

Aroma is noticeably hoppy with big American hops showing off. No noticeable malt aroma at first, but becomes apparent as the beer warms.

This beer really falls in-line with many DIPA's, but with the dark malts to throw things off. Hop-forward with a strong bitter presence and flavors or citrus. A slightly sweet/toasted malt character can be detected, but its well hidden.

A lighter bodied feel than I expected, but thats not to say this is a light beer. It still packs plenty of punch and you can feel that in your mouth. Overall, this is a beer that pretty much defines the black IPA category. Who knew hoppy and dark could go so well together.

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Photo of jmalex
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I just missed out on buying Stone 10th in stores last year. I wasn't about to miss Stone 11th this year. This is my first bottle of it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker black in color with a 3-finger high loose-bubbled light tan head. It drops to a thick surface coating never once showing the surface of the beer. Lacing comes in sheets all the way down the glass.

SMELL: Huge hop profile that is very characteristic of Stone. Spicy, piny, and slightly citrusy hops dominate the nose. Additional sniffs yield the chocolate-type malt aromas one would expect from the color of this beer. Make no mistake though - the hops are king here by a large margin.

TASTE: Surprise! It's a hop bomb. Again, a very typical Stone hop profile with maybe a bit of extra citrusy sweet dry-hopped oomf. All I can taste is the hops even as the beer crosses my palate. And just as I'm about to be disappointed by the lack of flavor from the malt, it all of sudden kicks in... and keeps going. The finish has chocolate flavors growing and growing. And then it gets roasty and just keeps getting stronger long after the beer is gone. A very cool 2-layered taste.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full body that is just a bit syrupy. Carbonation level is higher than average but at a nice level.

DRINKABILITY: Stone 11th is kind of doomed from the start in this category. Huge body, huge ABV, stout flavors, and massive hops are tough on their own. But when all combined into one beer, it's tough to want more than 1 bomber. Taking that into account though, it's still a pretty nice drinker.

I've never had anything like this beer before, but I'm very intrigued by it. My best description would be to call it an Inverse Imperial Stout. It's clearly a DIPA first and foremost, but with a really cool twist. I can't wait to drink my others.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,894 ratings.
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