Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

5,926 Ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,926 |  Reviews: 1,914
Photo of jimmah120
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, no date

Does a great job of combining the skunky dank hoppiness of their IPA with some toasty roasted molassesy goodness (the black). Maybe a touch of alcohol spice but otherwise its very drinkable for ~9%.

If more black IPAs were like this, they wouldn't beso much like the red-headed stepchild of beer styles

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Photo of BigTone
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the guys from the Liquor Stop in Highland. He said this beer will give you "dark eyes in the morning" Sure did, coming in at a high ABV it hits you hard but not before it twists your taste buds around.

appearance: Poured pitch black into a pint glass. Thick head retention that lasted a good while.

smell - Full of hops. Like grabbing a handful of hop pellets and putting them to your nose.

taste: Like a roller coaster starting on a incline of hops coasting through a molasses malt taste finishing with a screaming roar of hops.

mouthfeel: Medium thickness with quite a bit at the end.

drinkability: If you do anything other than sip this you aren't going to be able to recover and you'll be taking in sharp hops the whole time. Great if you have the time to drink it. I had to split the bomber into two sessions.

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Photo of Anthony666
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Cafu912
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of BeerLover99
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep black molasses, big fluffy oatmeal/creme head (2 inches) drops down quickly, excellent lacing.

S: piney, hops, citrus with a subtle toasted nut hints in background.

T: nice balance of sweet with bitter. no aftertaste, has slight cocoa, ripe fruit sweet with earthiness of hops.

M: medium, smooth, for such big flavor not too heavy.

D: Fine sipping beer, enjoy on a special occasion. This is my first Stone beer and was rather impressed, look forward to sampling more Stone beers. I have only tried this style one other time, quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, settles to a near black body in the glass. Frothy tan head that leaves a ring of bubbles on top, with some lacing.

S- Bitter, piney hops cut through a roasted malt aroma. Lots of pine and roasty malts, but not much else.

T- Really similar to the aroma, with big roasty malts playing off of lots of piney hops. Slight herbal hop flavor comes through on the back end.

M- Smooth with a big body. Slightly more alcohol burn than a lot of the black IPAs I have had.

O- For a style I really enjoy, this one was not as great as I was hoping for. A nice example of a stronger black IPA, but not one of the better ones I have had.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dec 1, 2007
Stone XI is a solid black ale with red highlights. It has a creamy tan head with oily bubbles. Great retention and lacing. It has an aroma of licorice and medicine. It almost smells like seawater. There is salmiakki and something leafy in the nose. It's medium-bodied and a bit sharp with a gritty finish. The roast really comes out in the flavor, along with a bit of chocolate. It's quite bitter! It tastes like Christmas trees. It's bold and flavorful and has good balance. It's almost like... an imperial porter? Good stuff!

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Photo of machostacos
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from chilled bomber into tulip glass. "Best enjoyed by" date is: 8/31/10 - wish I would have noticed that when I picked up this bottle. Alas.

A: Pours a very rich practically-black brown, with slight ruby highlights peeking around the edges when held up to a light. A small soapy tan head forms, though doesn't last long, leaving little lacing.

S: Surprisingly enough it's retained a lot of fresh hop character (though I'm sure it's not nearly as impressive as it would be fresh); lots of pine, resin, and the classic Simcoe cat-urine-ammonia aromas on the nose, with a hint of citrus (grapefruit mainly - maybe a tiny bit of pineapple, though it could all be in my head.) A rich roasty and chocolaty aroma pulls up the rear. Smells great even though it is a bit past its prime.

T: Wow. A harmoniously cacophonous tug-o-war between a rich stout and an IPA all the way. Strong chocolate character shows first, wrestling with the strong pine and resin flavors from the hops, back to a toasty, slightly smoky char from the roasted malts, giving way to a delicious blend of sweet and bitter from both the malts and hops. Finishes long, dry, and quite bitter. Both characters are at war, yet equally share the spotlight without one side really overpowering the other. A fantastic balance between opposing styles.

M: Pretty much exactly what I was expecting; medium body with lively carbonation. Quite literally what you'd expect to achieve by pouring a stout into an IPA, though maybe a touch on the thin side.

D: Though delicious, this isn't the most drinkable beer. It's quite bitter with a long finish, has lots of flavors going on that get a tad cloying after a while as they don't really evolve (each flavor profile is easily identifiable and sticks out from the others), and it has a restrictive ABV of 8.7%. I managed a bomber by myself, but that was certainly plenty. I would pick this up again in a heartbeat (especially a fresh bottle), but I'd want to share a bomber with a friend.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip, this one looks a deep dark brown with just a touch of bright brown and burgundy shining through. The head started about an inch tall but slowly fell to a sticky foam leaving behind a lot on the sides.

I can smell it as it sits here beside me. There’s a light piny hop backed by caramel… at two feet away. This gets amplified all the more with my nose in the glass. The pine rounds out with some nice nectarine and strawberry and the caramel takes on a dryer quality that suggests maple syrup. Quite pleasant.

Things come to a screeching halt in the flavor. The hops and malt collide in a cruel automobile accident with bits and parts flying every which way. The hops pick up a very dry pine/cardboard flavor that really rubs the malt the wrong way. I can see that this may have been intended to nestle into a coffee roasted flavor from the caramel, but they seem to have backfired in my mouth. It isn’t entirely unpleasant, odd at the least, but just strange none the less. The dry oddness stays around in the finish.

Feels slick and present with a soft swarm of carbonation trapped in the body. Feels a bit sticky in the finish.

Interesting for sure. I’m not sure how this goes as per “American Strong Ales,” but this seems to be an odd duck.

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Photo of Nctide
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good black ipa, I just wish there was a bit more malt presence. This is a solid beer but doesn't really offer anything special relative to stone's other ipas.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark black with some garnet hints when held up to the light. There is a finger tall beige head that last throughout the entire beer - great head retention on this one. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as strong a nose as I expected after some of the other Stone beers, this beer had a decent amount of pine hops with subtler notes of roasted malts and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts with a lot of pine hops in the flavor. Huge bitterness in the finish that is really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really like this one and I will have to get it again. Very sessionable and I enjoyed the flavors and the aroma.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, served in a tulip glass. Pours a completely opaque black with a light brown head, good lacing. Aroma is caramel and roasted malt, alcohol, grapefruit and grassy hops. Flavor is sweet caramel and roasted malt, grassy hops, grapefruit, pineapple, raisins, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, warming, and a fairly bitter finish. Good beer, decent balance.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty nice one and a half finger head, which is a light brown color. There are some big bubbles and some small creamy bubbles. The body is black with hints of dark brown here and there, especially when held up to the light. The head is still there, but not as much as I would like it to be. Overall this looks pretty good. The smell on this is really surprising to me, it doesn't really smell like a black ale, it smells like a black IPA or maybe ever a regular IPA, the hops are just phenomenal for it being a black beer. I really don't detect too much malt either, maybe a little bit, but not much. It's mostly just the hops on the smell, I do get a small indication of the high alcohol on the smell. Overall it smells pretty good, not too complicated, but it smells good and powerful! Taste is really good, huge hops in the front end, and a little malt in the finish, not too much alcohol noticeable in this one, which is nice. The mouthfeel is a little light, which is ok for the style, but I do like my beer thicker. It's a very well done beer, which is expected from Stone, but just like the smoked porter, it's not that complicated or unique. If you wanted to look up in the dictionary what a good beer should be, you should (I don't know if you would, but you should) find this beer listed. On the other hand if you looked for creative beers in the dictionary this would be no where to be found. Maybe my opinion is a little biased because I recently had their scotch ale and it was super complex, who knows. We will see if there are any other flavors that come out as the beer warms, but for now, I will leave it as this: great beer, not complex.

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Photo of ugaterrapin
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: It is a deep dark brown bordering on a complete black opaqueness. There is about two fingers of tan head that recedes slowly leaving an incredible amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A crisp hop aroma sits on top of a nice bed of burnt malt smells. It is a nice complex aroma that wakes the senses.

T: I must say the taste is more complex than the aroma. There are a lot of different flavors present in the taste. The front of the sip is dominated by the burnt malt presence. Slight tastes of coffee appear as the beer moves across the palate. The finish hits with some hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol. The beer has a oily and slightly creamy body. Due to the intense flavor profile of this beer, I rated the drinkability somewhat low.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It is interesting in a good way because it pushes style barriers. Although I don't see myself purchasing this beer too often it was still a great purchase and one I would recommend. A great offering from Stone Brewing.

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Photo of chilly460
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Excellent expanding tan head billows forth from the mahogany highlighted black depths of this beer. Decent lacing and head retention.

S- Very strange pulling out pure citrus hops goodness from this black beer. My first "Black Ale", didn't know quite what to expect but this is nice.

T- About what you'd expect from the appearance and aroma. Big citrus hops profile up front, grapefruit and lemons. The midrange is where you get just a bit of that roasted goodness, the hops still carries most of the flavor the roast is there and makes for a different beer.

M- Light to medium body with decent carbonation, IPAish.

D- I liked it as my first dip in this style, easy drinking for sure.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured with a thin, tan-colored head, which slowly receded to a collar. You have some little touches of lacing throughout. The body was a very dark garnet color, with no visible carbonation. Although any carbonation could easily be obscured by the dark color itself.

S- On the nose you're getting an incredible bouquet of hops... high alpha acid... citrus and tropical-fruitlike hops. There's some faint indications of pale and stewed malts in the background; but this is very much a hop dominant nose.

T- In the mouth, the hops are even more dominant. The pale and stewed malts appear right up-front, but are immediately overtaken by bucketloads of high alpha hops... which are bitter like citrus zest and citrus pith throughout the finish. The lingering hoppiness on the tongue is a little weaker than the midpalate suggested. Overall good flavor.

M- A medium body. Not much viscosity there... but a nice soft carbonation. There's a bit of astringency there, presumably from the hops.

D- Still quite drinkable, despite its unbalanced hoppiness. The alcohol is very well hidden throughout.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost black in color. Nice mocha colored head tops it off.

S: Hops and a bit of coffee.

T: Slightly sweet from the malts upfront and then it gives way to a nice hoppy but not overly bitter finish. Hops are somewhere between citrus and floral and pleasing to the palette.

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Photo of herman77
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes on 11/12
A: Pretty much black, a touch of brown to it. Smaller light tan head. Okay lacing.

S: Floral and citrusy hops. A little bit of toasted malt, coffee and bitter coco, but the hops are the main smell here.

T: Slightly toasted malt up front with a little bit of bittersweet chocolate and a touch of coffee.The citrus and pine hops come after this and they come on stronger than I was expecting. I was expecting more malt and less piney hops. Reminded me off their IPA a bit. Still good though.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation that is a bit tingly

D: Good drinkability. Split a bomber with some family members, but I could of had a bit more. ABV is hidden very well.

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black, nice lace and small head of white foam.

S - Hops; grapefruity citrus and pine. A touch of roasty malt.

T - Still hops, grapefruit up front. On the back side a very interesting bit of cocoa roast and chalkiness.

M - Fairly highly carbed and medium body. This isn't a hoppy porter.

D - I could down a bomber pretty easily. Not something I really want to seek out, but tasty.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into two glasses.

A: pours dark brown, with a light brown single finger head, that settled to a thin layer that laced the glass well.
S: hoppy, like many on stones strong ales.
T: good and bitter, with dark roast malt sweet and bitter chocolate
M: medium carbonation, light in the mouth
D: drinking it faster than i thought i was, if i can find a bottle ill get it again.

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Photo of Pardishcreel
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

When you first pour this bee it is dark when held up to light you can see a hint of red but it looks black without light. The head is a thick strong one that stays around for awhile.
The smell is that of an ipa surprising for the look of the beer that the malts do not show up in the smell.
The taste is that of a hoppy ipa, but with a sweeter finish. If you like hops but the lasting bitter in your mouth this beer is for you.
Not somthing I could drink everyday because of the bitterness, but a great on occasion beer.

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Photo of pburland23
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into my Portsmouth bubble glass.

Beer pours a deep, dark black with reddish hues around the edges. Produces a very thin and slightly underwhelming tan head. To no one's surprise, this beer looks like a stout when poured.

It sure doesn't smell like a stout however. There is a funky, pungent hoppiness aroma that leaps forth from the glass. The taste is very bitter. When the beer was first out of the fridge, it was almost too bitter for me but as it opened up, the bitterness subsided and melted into a pleasing and well balance hoppy tasting beer. There was more than enough roasted malt flavor to compliment the hops. A big, robust beer.

The mouthfeel, I thought, was a little thin for what is essentially an IPA.

Overall, I'm trying to wrap my mind around all these new American Black Ales that need popping up on the market. I like stouts. I like IPAs. I'm still not sure how much I like this style though. If more American Black Ales were as good as this one, I could see myself coming around quickly.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Pours a deep, dark brown with very little ruby highlights around the edges. A large, dark khaki head fills the snifter and recedes very slowly. Loads of lace.

Aroma is of lightly roasted malt, toasted bread, dark fruits, and a good amount of citrus and pine. An overall earthy, musty aroma with a blend of dark and tropical fruits.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Pine and grapefruit throughout with toasted bread an a musty quality. A small bit of chocolate and alcohol also poke through. Overall, very soothing, but a different take on the style. Hoppier and less boozey.

Medium body with good carbonation. Lacking some creamy, smooth qualities. A tad prickly.

I admit that I am a hophead, but I found this to be a little too hop forward for the style. The roasty notes were low in the mix and could really use a boost.

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Photo of bogus564
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a weizen glass...

Looks like a can of Coke was poured into a tall glass - head lasted about a minute and a half, dissolving into a lace that stayed on the glass.

As dark as this is, I was expecting a malty smell. Wrong. I'm getting a very hoppy smell. Don't get me wrong, the malty aroma is there, but rather faint.

Drinking this ale, I'm hit with pine and grapefruit tastes. If I had to guess what kind of hops were used for this, I think I'd go with Centennial; I could easily be wrong, but it's hoppy, and it's tasty. I also get some raisin behind the hoppiness. Delicious.

I had to give mouthfeel a 3.5 because the hops stay in your mouth forever. Other than that, nicely done.

I'm surprised that an ale this dark was so hoppy - that said, I could definitely have more than one at a time. It went quite well with my grilled cheese sandwich.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The very last bottle in the coveted Andy's Corner beer fridge... purchased a few months ago and it's remained cold the whole time. Served in an imperial pint glass at just over fridge temperature for a nightcap.

A "black" IPA... nice. I remember being offered a sip of this brew when it was initially released, and was completely blown away. Now, with this single bomber to review and appreciate, I study it.

Appearance- Deep, deep reddish brown color... the head slowly builds from within and rises confidently to four full fingers, incredibly thick and soapy. After about seven minutes, the crown is still a half inch thick volcanic geoscape. Some sporadic, moderate lacing lines the inside of the glass.

Smell- The *instant* I cracked the bottle open, a blast of citrusy, wet hops flew across the room. No kidding, I can only remember one other time a beer's nose was so instant that it literally jumped out of the bottle.
Even after 11 months, we've got the boldest of hops melding with rugged, malty goodness. There's grapefruit, flowers, and pine needles tickling the nostrils along with a solid malt backbone.

Taste- No doubt the year in the bottle softened the riproaring hop attack I remember from last December, now the malts have come forward and really added dimension to it. I would also add that this is drinking more along the lines of a 10% barleywine at this point... I welcome any comments that might either support or refute this. The absolutely wicked bitterness stings the mouth like a cicada-killing wasp, leaving hop resin stuck to the walls.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Average mouthfeel, with its unremarkable carbonation. With the boldest character of hop and malt, this offering from Stone goes balls to the wall and back again... I still say that 8.7% is an understated number.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,926 ratings.
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