Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,913 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,913
Ratings:
5,924
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
818
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,913 | Ratings: 5,924
Photo of DannyS
3.59/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a bodum double-walled glass.

A - Pours a clean, pitch black with an inch or so of tan head hat dissipates into a very thick foam collar, with long, sticky tendrils of lacing.

S - Kinda weird and musty on the nose, with some raisin and licorice amongst the must odor.

T - Starts of with a bit of hop bitterness (seems coffee-like at times), with pine and citrus backing it up. Licorice, dried fruit, and oak mingle as one sips, with an almost slightly minty aftertaste and a dry finish.

M - carbonation is minimal and the body is medium-heavy. Close to an impy stout in its feel.

D - The ABV is high and the booze can get to you if you're soloing this bomber. That, combined with the bitterness, make this a clear sipper. I'm already feeling it and I'm not even halfway through the bottle. Phew...

Overall - If this beer truly is self-righteous, it kinda lacks the quality to back it up. It's definitely not bad, and I'd drink it again if offered some, but you'd expect a beer with a name like this to be way better than just good. It definitely looks pretty and gets you buzzed quick, but the flavor could definitely be more balanced. Then again, since when has Stone Brewing been about balance?

(Note: I drank this too cold. It gets better with a little time to warm up to cellar temp.)

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Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really black but dark brown. Two fingers of head forms and slowly settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Mostly hops in the aroma with hints of pine and citrus. Seems to be the popular hop bill for this style of beer. Missing roasted malt aroma however.

The flavor features a lot of hops which is not surprising. Mostly pine but also some grapefruit. Not really tasting the "black" part of this beer. A little smoke is about all I get. Bitterness is high.

Substantial body and nicely carbonated. Not porter/stout like in body but a little more than a typical pale ale.

In a blind taste test I doubt I could identify it as a black ale and not an IPA. What's the point then?

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Photo of Raime
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had in a stone variety pack. Poured from the bottle straight into a pint glass.

L - Nice and deep black with a thick, heavy tan head standing a finger and a half high.

S - Burnt coffee, nice roasted maltiness enveloping into toasty warmth.

T - This is where the disappointment comes in. The black coffee and the toasty essence come in, but it doesn't have the punch or embrace the smell lead you on the believe it would.

F - Thick, light to moderate carbonation, lingering coffee for days on end.

O - Good beer, but the taste missed the punch.

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Photo of Vixie
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one dark beer. Pitch black, with a large tan head.

Smell is mainly hops, with a hint of malt and yeast.

Very complex taste. Reminds me a lot of am imperial stout, but with a large dose of hops. There is coffee and chocolate in there, and a bit of smoke as well. The hops are pronounced, adding an almost fruity bite.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for how dark this beer is, I expected something a little thicker.

An interesting beer. I really don't care much for IPAs, so scored this one a bit lower than I might have otherwise. Still, this is a very complex beer, which scores points with me. There is a lot going on here, the only thing keeping me from really loving this is the high hops content. If you are a fan of hops, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

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Photo of stephens101
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first black IPA, how exciting. Been a while since I've had a completely new style.

Pours dark brown with penetrating red hues throughout. The tan head is prolific, bubbly and resilient; causing an anxious delay before all systems go. A few eliptical lines of lace poke out at the top.

Earthy hops rise to the nose upon initial inspection. Another take reveals a few notes of malt and nuts. Tastes hoppy with a lingering roastiness and dim notes of chocolate.

Obviously well-carbonated and lies medium on the palate. The alcohol warmth becomes more discernible as the beer warms, becoming a bit hot at the end.

A lazy man might define this as a hoppy porter, or a malty IPA, which would be a keen juxtaposition, but there's much more going on here with the interactions that you can't quite pass it off as a simple crossing of styles.

A very interesting brew and successful experiment of a style if nothing else, but a brew and style I will probably only revisit when I'm in a definite mood for something this unique.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice tan rocky head that is nothing but a skim in the end. Some good rings of lace. Zero clarity.

Big pine and alcohol aromas. They didn't skimp on the hops, and the chemical alcohol gets right in your nose, but that is all I get. The charred malt is so faint that it could be imaginary.

Nice complexity. Strong hops up front. All pine and citric notes with an immediate switch to charred malt and alcohol, with bitter coffee and a diminishing long bitter finish. This is an astringent brew. The palate clears to a very dry light bitter pucker.

Fuller bodied with a nice carbonation prickle. Light tingle from the alcohol as well.

I like this beer, but it is one of the few that I wish I had less of. The bomber is too much for me. Maybe it is the strength of hops (duh, it is an IPA) or just the astringent nature, but by the time you are wrapping up the remainder (I have 1/3 pint left as I write), you are ready to move on. Hop heads will want to bathe in this stuff. Hop-appreciative folks will have respect for it but less affinity. Worth a try just the same. A very good, well made beer.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a 2mm thick, tan head that stays the same throughout

Dark hops upfront that are quickly followed by some mild malt notes and tropical fruit aroma that lingers on the nose. It is a rather fruity smelling dark IPA.

Some dark hops and malts, the hops being stronger. The same tropical fruit taste from the smell. There are hints of spice towards the end too.

Medium bodied & with minimum carbonation, the beer has a bit of a kick to it and has a dry finish that lingers in the after taste. The drink is smooth & good on the palate.

I found this one a nice introduction to the Black IPA style of beer and rather enjoyed this one although it didn't really blow me away in any respect but still a nice, solid dark IPA.

More @ http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

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Photo of jchain
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MUCH better on tap than in the bottle. In the bottle -- for me -- it had a strong aroma of urine that really lessened the drinking experience. However, on tap, this aroma was not present, making it a very nice beer ... ON TAP.

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Photo of Roose13
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Closest color to black without being black. Huge head on the initial pour, beige in color. Head drops to a centimeter and lingers throughout the beer. Lacing is beautifuk

S: Not a huge fan of the smell of black IPAs. Citrusy, which I do like. But the hoppiness isn't one of my favorite smells in a beer. To each their own.

T: Strong. Roasted malts, very very hoppy, which I enjoy now and then. These beer is so bold and robust in flavor that a big-time hophead would love this.

M: Easy to drink in terms of texture but the intensity of the hops and flavor make you really sit back and enjoy it.

O: Excellent beer. Not something I will drink often (may enjoy as the weather really turns cold). Stone is awesome. Need I say more?

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Photo of dwren89
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pretty much jet black with thin tan head, opaque so no discernible clarity

Aroma: roasty and malty, slight alcohol note, a slight meaty/cheesy note

Taste: very malty and roasty, but with a cheesy like flavor that just doesn't seem to fit. I don't know I I have a bad bottle or what (the drink by date is not for another 6 weeks and I have stored it in my fridge since I bought it). Overall not bad, but I didn't get the citrusy flavors nearly as much as the other reviewers of this beer did, which makes some sense as cheesy flavors are a result of degraded hops.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy, and full bodied, medium-low carbonation

Overall: I think I got a bad bottle of this beer, because every other Stone beer I've had has been great. This one just had a funk to it that was a little cheesy. Great roasty and malty flavors with some solid bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of MWolverines66
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap in Arlington VA. It pours a nice jet black color into a tulip glass. Aroma is a mix of chocolate and coffee. Taste is a little weird to me, not sure if it's possible that my palate just isn't appreciative of black ipa's (this is my first one) but there really isn't too much flavor to this beer. It has a nice balance but the hops bite I get from other IPA's just isn't there on this one.

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Photo of Chris_Mac
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker than I was expecting, almost a black copper. Malts dominate the smell, big taste of caramel malts, dry hop bitterness, and alcohol. The head diminishes quickly, but leaves thick swaths of lacing on the way down. Hint of thick, syrupy mouthfeel, but vey pleasant. A strong filling ale, with lots of character. Definitely not an everyday ale, but makes a good impression when the occasion occurs.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Quite shocking to be honest, Pours a very dark reddish brown color, that doesn't let much light in. A nice dark tan head that stays around for a while and leaves some nice lacing, however it doesn't stick around too much.

S: Very pleasant smelling light pine hoppy scent typical of a nice IPA, also hints of nuts, chocolate, sort of a mix of smells between an IPA and a stout.

T: Very earthy taste, lots of bitter hops. A super bitter aftertaste that sticks around. Honestly I may need another review of this but this is a fairly one dimentional Stone Release. I'm not really seeing where the darkness in color is coming from.It does however hide the almost 9% quite well though. Overall a bit odd.

MF:This is where this beer wins. An excellent feeling beer. Just enough carbonation and thickness. I really like the way this one goes down. Quite pleasant

D: Not too bad, it is a hefty and hearty beer, the flavor is a bit off in my humble opinion, probably a once in a while beer.

Overall probably my least favorite Stone brew yet, that's not to say I didn't enjoy it, it's just that I was expecting better things after last years masterpiece. Oh well.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Dirty Frank's on 7/30/10

Reviewed as a Hoppy Cascadian Porter...Meh, I'm just going with American Strong Ale on this one.

Dark hued. Lighting makes it tough to tell, but it appears to be brown with a few ruby highlights. 1/8th inch head has retained well thus far. Good retention & great, solid lacing.

Has a dank, hoppy aroma reminiscent of a Cascadian Dark Ale. Floral & citric notes. Lemony pine-sol. Roasted dark malts in the back.

Tastes very dry with a slow moving bitterness. Quick hits of citrus zest add a semblance of spice. Roasted dark malts are equally dry; actually seems to have hints of cocoa & coffee grounds.

Full bodied with a decent amount of grit. Carbonation is fairly smooth. It isn't boozy, but has a weird, numbing effect. Roasted residuals linger with a long lasting, dry bitterness.

This is a weird one - smells like a CDA, tastes like a hoppy porter. Therein lies the conundrum. Good, not mind-blowing. I did this review while drinking the first 2/3rds of the glass. The last bit still had enough strength to cut through after eating some of Dirty Frank's excellent hot dogs.

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Photo of JayQue
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had big expectations and the beer was not up to them. Pours a real dark brown with very limited light getting through. Average tan head with decent retention and ok lacing. Smell was weak. I probably drank it too cold but the taste went from being very mild to a a mixture of styles as the beer warmed up.

There were elements of a RIS, Belgian Ale and bitter hoppiness in the taste. Rather than calling it complex, I would say that it was all over the lot...trying to please everybody without making a stand on style and taste.

Mouthfeel was rich and Drinkability improved as the beer warmed. This would not be a beer I would seek out again if I was looking for a high octane sipper. Not bad but not great either.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Revewed live.

A: Pours a five finger head of lovely tan creamy lacing and great thickness. Retention is very good, especially considering the 8.7% ABV. Colour is a solid brown-black, very dark indeed. It's very appealing.

Sm: It's extremely hoppy - I get citra and maybe cascade. Nothing gets through other than the (overly?) dominant hop aroma. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: Hoppy goodness is dominant, with a soft blanket undertone of light cream. It gets too bitter on the climax due to the hop overload, but they did what they could to compensate. For the style, it's really quite nicely built. It's simple, which lends itself naturally to easy balancing. For what it is, it's quite lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also very soft and light without being thin. I might call it velvety if I were more pretentious.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV - which itself is cleverly hidden. It's priced right (at least in California) and though it lacks complexity, I'd certainly have it again, particularly if I found it on draught. A nice offering from Stone that every beer fanatic should try.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: almost pitch black with dark brown highlights, thick brown head that settles to 2 fingers depth and thick lacing
s: mix of hops and roasted malts aromas, bits of chocolate
t: soft malty start and middle with hoppy backbone that becomes more dominant in the finish, strong roasted malts also in the finish with moderate alcohol warmth
m: creamy body, with moderate carbonation especially on the back
d: interesting mix of ipa hoppiness and stout roasted malts that packs a punch. not the best stone brew i've had but still enjoyable

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Photo of reeder
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, unexpected dark color. A respectable tan head lasts for a while then fades away.

Warm hoppy flavors on the nose. Almost a barley wine type scent.

Interesting flavor. Like a really bitter stout. The hops are definitely there, but not the standard citrusy hops such as in the arrogant bastard. The taste evolves until there is a lasting malt at the end.

A little too carbonated. I'm definitely going to hang on to one of these for a while to see if it settles down a bit.

Overall, actually a pretty drinkable beer. A respectable attempt at an unusual style. I would like to see Stone investigate this a bit more.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, dark black with probably one of the best lacings I've ever seen. Super sticky with thick lines of lacing.

S: Malty tropical fruits! Cool, but not really my thing.

T: Follows the nose with a citrusy, super malty taste. Orange peels and milk chocolates.

M: Full and not as thick as it looks! Medium carbonation.

O: I don't think my palate knows what to do with black ales just yet. The tropical notes just don't seem to mesh well with the heavy malt. This is good, but nothing I'd by again. Don't think I can appreciate black ales.

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Photo of Rayek
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks great. Deep walnut is only a few shades lighter than black. Nice clarity and moderate carbonation from fine bubbles. Tan cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: A ton of sweet pink grapefruit, a small amount of pine and a hint of charred oak if you hunt for it. Certainly not as complex as I had hoped.

T: The pink grapefruit theme continues. Its strong citrus presence dominates everything else. Bitterness isn't overwhelming. But hop flavor is still the hallmark of this beer. A hint of baking chocolate and burnt wood hides out way in the back. Finishes with a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body is oily and sticky at the same time. Carbonation could stand to be a touch lower.

D: This beer just didn't do it for me. The sweet grapefruit theme dominates everything, and creates a rather one-dimensional experience. I'm a big fan of Stone, but I have to say that I'm disheartened by this release. It's a decent beer nonetheless. And I'm glad I tried it. It's just that in my mind, Stone has done better work than this.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sublimely Self Righteous Ale pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head and lace stickage. Smells of piney hops, some malt, and earthy/woodsy elements. In the flavor, dry hoppiness and some light citrus and pine notes. Sweet caramel malt backing and some booziness. Nothing exciting, more raw and strong flavors. Overall, more of a strong ale than a black ale, would like a more pronounced roasted malt flavor and less booze. Nonetheless this is an ass kicker.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruddy brown. Somewhat muddy in appearance. Floral and fruity aroma. Sort of "burnt" smelling. Quite bitter up front against a mellow malt flavor. Very grainy tasting. Long lingering bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is ok. A decent enough beer but I am not sure what its trying to be. I would like to see Stone do something with a little less hops in it. I mean, I am worthy and all but its time for a change in spots.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a magic hat tulip.

Pour a very deep dark brown with a thin light brown head. Nose is malty and rich with some good hoppiness.

Taste is fairly similar to arrogant bastard, it's rich bitter and roasty all at once. Basically it a palate pummeled. Really nice cramy mouthfeel makes it surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of BJA
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter

A: The beer is black but not quite ebony. Some light makes it through when you’re viewing it from an angle (and through a small section of the beer; a half inch or so). I got ¼ inch of head on a medium pour. Head is tan, a little creamy and it dissipated in 60 to 90 seconds.

S: I get lightly roasted malt scent followed by fresh flowery hops. There seems to be a hint of dark chocolate and coffee along with an alcohol scent that became much more apparent after the first sip.

T: The roasted malt makes more of an appearance and mixes with the hops in an interesting way. It seems to mute the hops a bit and creates a bitter, roasted black coffee taste with the alcohol a bit too heavy.

M: This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation is fitting. It has a longer finish. It leaves a bitter roasted coffee aftertaste on the roof of my mouth and the back of my tongue.

O: I have always found this beer to be like a roasted, more alcoholic arrogant bastard. I enjoy it every once in a while, but it’s not in my regular rotation like many other stone offerings. It is a really interesting beer to me though. The hop bitterness and roasted malt interaction is cool. I don’t find the beer as bitter as the IBUs testify. I wonder if this beer is best fresh. I wonder if aging this in oak barrels would be beneficial in bringing out some flavor. I definitely find it too heavy on the alcohol in scent and taste.

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Photo of Spider889
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review taken from VIP tasting seminar at the Columbus Beer Fest.

After having just tasted the Founder's El Diablo del Noche I was expecting a lot from Stone's new black IPA. Unfortunately the balance and finesse was lacking in this brew.

Poured very dark like a mocha porter. Smelled almost entirely of fresh strong hops. There were the normal oily hop notes and mild citrus aromas of massive amounts of dry hopping. I personally didn't detect any roasted malts here.

The taste is of a pure and utter hop bomb. My first thought was - "my god this is hoppier than Ruination!" If I remember correctly the Stone rep claimed that they don't like to release the actual number of ibus on this one because once you get to a certain point most palates can't tell the difference anyways. In any case, this is to this day the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted.

Mouthfeel was hot and prickly from the hop bitterness.

Drinkability was really low. I would struggle through a whole pint of this I fear, and I love IPAs. If you want a hop bomb then this beer is for you. If you want something with the complexity that a black IPA would suggest then I would recommend trying something else.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,924 ratings.
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