Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

1,913 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,913 | Ratings: 5,924
Photo of jerrymiller
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color from a 22oz bottle.

Medium sized foamy head, with good retention and decent lacing.

Aroma is floral with bold grapefruit and piney hops with nice chocolate malts.

The malts are roasted and chocolate. The hops are intense, lots of grapefruit and pine. Bitter. It has a interesting interplay between the hops and roasted malts. Lively carbonation. Alcohol is not overwhelming in the taste.

Mouthfeel is full and the finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly dry.

Great beer, I bought a case.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Forget about it, this is one of the best beers ever. I am not a huge Stone advocate, but this is one killer beer. Served on tap at Sierra Grill in Northampton, MA. Comes out looking like a stout, nice thick head, obvious black body. But there is simething more to this beer, classified as a "Black IPA" wtf?!?!!?! Considering how unique this beer is, it could be a Black IPA" fuck, it. lets start a new category...include Port Brewing's Old Viscosity.

Massive pine, huge hops, no did they do that? An unbelievably great beer. Try and get some.

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Photo of beyah
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picture Arrogant Bastard, with a bit roasted barley, and a tad more alcohol. Hops are a bit less forward in this beer. You now have Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. Tan head Black as night, great lacing, mouth feel just right, delicious. Definitely buy this one next time I see it.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone's take on a black ale, should be good. The body is black yet still translucent, good cream-colored head. Roasty, sweet malts, molasses and fruity hops fill in the nose. Chewy molasses and dark roasted malt flavors, espresso and fig also present. As with most beer I have had from this brewery; the hops don't disappoint.This is a high-test, well made beer, it is seeing a black ale through the lens of a skillful west-coast brewer. Very, very good.

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Photo of UA8
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pour a rich, deep and nearly opaque mahogany. Two fingers worth of cocoa colored head which resembles the top of a root beer float.

S- Looks Say Stout ....Nose says IPA! Rich citrus hops with a pineapple backing.

T- Whoa... leads with heavy citrus hops and tropical fruit flavors. Moves to nicely roasted caramel and toffee malts. and finishes with resinous hops.

M- Nice rich and thick with fine carbonation bubble.

D- I love this beer and am extremely sad that its A) retired and B) I found it almost a year after its release. So much going on here its almost as if it starts and IPA then moves to a stout then back to and IPA. Never had something quite like this. I would highly recommend this and fortunately know a place that has a stash left!

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Photo of yonnie
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into tulip. Opaque black in color with 2 fingers of tan head. Moderate lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, hops

T - Rich dark chocolate, coffee, cream, caramel, roasted nuts, bitter hops

M - Smooth, creamy, bitter. Easy to drink.

O - The best Black IPA I have come across yet. A perfect balance of hoppy and dark, roasty, chocolatey flavors.

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Photo of jsp2
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. Jet black, with thin white foam. Aroma of hops, wood, vanilla, barley, and faint fruit.

Taste is incredible. Sweet/sour attack followed by herbal/piney hops, with almost a cherry, wood, bitter finish. Licorice is very present. There is almost a smokiness to the aftertaste. Hops are aggressive yet very balanced with other extremely prominent complexities. Unusual tartness. Unusual aftertaste. Both very nice.

Reasonable carbonation and well suited to sipping. Ridiculous flavor even for the high abv.

This beer delivers 110% on taste. The flavor is complex, delicious, and not shy, you get punched with it every sip. Unusually nice roasted barely flavor bitterness in the aftertaste of every sip.

I bought this beer simply because it said Stone on it and I am not only please I did, but I will be buying it again. More complex and pronounced than other examples of the style.

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Photo of skridgeus
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

There are few black IPAs in my experience worth drinking. Half are stouts. Half are pseudo IPAs. SSR is down right exceptional. It is the only black IPA that i have had that itches the itch that only a black IPA can scratch.

Living in the great northwest, i have access to some great IPAs. Ironically most come from San Diego, north of Santa Barbara, north of San Fran, and Portland (ty Black Raven for your Wisdom Seeker). SSR is Best of style. Fantastic. Stone, ironically I hate your IPAs,... but the black is badass.

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Photo of PrinceofPastures
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not afraid to hand out a 5. There's a time and a place to admit that a beer has done exactly what it came to do, and that's exactly what this bold Imperial Black IPA did. I'll admit it, I'm partial to Stone. Hailing from the Golden Coast, I was almost giddy for a taste of California-goodness when I pulled the bottle from its place in the 4-pack. But I also had very high expectations, and I was nervous that this might just be the first Stone beer to waste my hard-earned pennies.

Well, my worry had never been so needless. What a fantastic beer! It was a joy to look at, so relaxed - though assuredly thick and strapping - in the glass and almost smug in its appearance. I love it when a beer has a personality, and to only have to see it to know it's there is a special feeling. It knew it was every bit as good as the writing on the label claimed, and it wasn't afraid to show it. Rarely are beers this fittingly named!

All this to say, I hadn't really been giving the whole experience THAT much thought until the first sip. Immediately, I realized that I had to be damn sure to remember how the introduction went down, as this was a date with the glass that I'd want to remember. The flavor was the feel. I can only describe it as a huge sphere of experience that hits you, with the dark, malty power perfectly in balance with the impressive load of hops that makes your whole mouth prickle a little.

Because they have the ratio of taste nailed down exactly the way they want it, the fellas at Stone aren't afraid to ramp up the scale of boldness. What they've left us with is a beer that satisfies with every sip. It doesn't leave you wanting more in any sense of the word because it gives you everything already. In spades. And lets be honest, if you like Stone, this is what you looking for in the first place. Get yourself a glass but do save some for me, because this is a beer I'll be seeing again.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Stone just never disappoints, do they? A black IPA huh? Looks great, has an edge of ruby to it, smells like hops and sweetness, not so much burnt as a stout or porter usually is. It tastes of resin-y hops and dark beer flavors. In fact, almost black lager-like in taste, not so much Guinness-y. Great mouthfeel and, although hard to drink because of it's heave, a great beer. Totally self-righteous!

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Photo of littleshamrocks
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bomber with September 2007 printed on the bottle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown to black in color with a solid one finger of creamy looking head. It is fairly dense, but from what I can tell the carbonation is plenty active. Head leaves behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The first aroma that I identify is grapefruit rind, but I can tell that there is much more going on here. The malt smells are, at the same time, roasted and semi-sweet. Certainly, there are some coffee tones in there. In addition to the citrus, I also picked up some evergreen notes and some fruity esters. Bold flavors abound here. The hops are very assertive and pack plenty of bitterness, and the malts, while they do take a backseat to the hops, are still sufficiently represented as well. The malt flavors are as advertised in the smell- roasted and lightly sweet, but it doesn't take long for the powerhouse citrus hop bitterness to steal the show. The bitterness lingers in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a mostly smooth texture and lively carbonation.

Kudos to Stone for being creative and taking a chance. This is a finely crafted gem to commemorate their eleventh anniversary. Admittedly, I am a sucker for over the top citrus hop taste and bitterness, and this beer satisfied that immensely, but unlike most super hopped up beers, this one added considerable nuances from the malt as well. Not only did I think it cool to have an almost black IPA (or is it a IDA or IBA?), but the malts added a lot to the overall character of this brew. In all, I would say this is one of the best beers that has ever passed through these lips. My wish is that Stone will bring this one back in the future, but for now, enjoy it while you still can.

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Photo of mikeborglum
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured in pint glass: burnt malt aroma, resin, chocolate, citrus; pitch black, with frothy brown head and good lacing; very bitter, medium sourness, like pineapple and grapefruit with some syrup; full body, creamy, sticky, soft carbonation, bitter, long finish, maybe the finest brew I’ve had.

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Photo of BeerBATvocate
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me prefaces by saying... WOW! Very nice beer indeed. I'm a big fan of the style. And Stone pulls it off like a champ.

OK.. so
Standard 22oz. Bottle for Stone
A. Pours out black with a nice light tan head. Nice lacing. Not much light comes through the black. Maybe a bit, with a tad dark brown and ruby highlights... but faint.

S. Roasted malt, Hops, and a hint of cherry. Very compelling.

T. Fist comes the roasted malt, followed immediately by fresh hops, then finishing with a black cherry followed by bitterness that sticks for a bit. Very nice.

M. Medium body, Creamy, Slightly sticky, with a well balanced carbonation.

D. Quite impressive. Very complex for the style. Almost a contradiction in a way... but in a really good way. Overall ver impressive. Not much to complain about really. Possibly.. well no... on second thought.. nothing really to complain about on my end. I love it.

Will buy again. Often.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pitch black brew wearing a massive tan crown, outstanding retention

S- hops galore: citric, pine. caramel, big roasted malt aromas

T- roasted malts and citric/pine hops, grassy. outstanding balance of hops and malts, intense amount of flavor

M- medium creamy body, definite hop abuse, sticky film after

D- WOW, this beer is pure joy. This brew is the answer for us stout lovers who are also closet hop heads. I couldn't possibly recommended this brew enough

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just drank my last bottle of SSR and Stone has pulled out of the WI market. Needless to say, I bummed:

"Spending all my nights
All my money going out on the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes
I'm right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can't live without you"

Come on Stone, you left me just when we were getting good... Now I'm stuck drinking other black american ales and it just ain't right. You are sublimely self-righteous for thinking that you can tease me with such fine indulgences, then walk away as if nothing ever transpired between us. I miss you, your gorgeous head, your sexy black body, your juicy-fruit perfume and your deep, dark nastiness. How am I suppose to go on when I've already sampled the best? All others literally pale in comparison. I fell for you, after you, from you... and you just turn around and walk away from me.

My last bottle, savored.
My memories, flooded.
My heart, broken.

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Photo of Duttonic
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes 11/11/10, growler fill from Dancing Bear pub 11/09, served in a pint glass.

A- Jet black and shiny/oily. One finger tan head, ample lacing, and slow bubbles.

S- Alcohol, chocolate/coco nibs, crisp smell of hops, roasted malt, floral, and faint citrus.

T/M- Light/medium body, bitter and slight alcoholic finish. Extremely smooth texture, similar to chocolate milk, but tastes better.

D- This wasn't the first time I've had SSSRA, but it was the first time I've had it from a growler, let alone it was the first thing I put in my new Stone growler. This is one of my go to beers when I'm in the mood for a change up from the usual IPA. The richness of a complex porter or stout with the great flavor of a solid IPA combined seamlessly. Highly recommend.

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Photo of Taylor88
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so F'in Stone...I am however a "Stoner" I've shared this beer with many of my friends. It freaks most of them out! "What the hell is this?" is the most common response. It is a difficult beer to describe. It's hoppy, it's malty, it's, it's, it's...everything! I think Stone threw everything in this beer but the proverbial "kitchen sink"...Not for everybody, but this "Stoner" loves it!!

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Photo of BigBlacke
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where do I start. This might be a biased review seeing as SSRA is one of my favorites.

Appearance is a dark dark opaque blackness. A 1 inch frothy head leaves an random lace pattern.

Smell is of a pine cone sitting in roasted malt with a distinct alcohol note. Absolutely exciting to the taste buds.

Taste goes hand in hand with smell. Roasted malt with a huge smack of piney hops. Alcohol is not well hidden in this one. Absolutely tears up the palate with greatness!!!

Mouthfeel packs a punch sharp pine and alcohol bite that leaves and aftertaste for days.

Drinkability is high if you are into this type of beer. Take a black butte, infuse it with Ruination, and you have SSRA. Get one and bask in its glory.

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Photo of hophead247
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear, dark brown body with a dense beige head on top. It has a nice aroma with chocolate, coffee, sweetness and dried fruits, as well as a lovely hop profile with pine, resin and citrus, mostly orange. Chocolate and coffee flavor, rather burnt, with fruity hop flavors, citrus notes, pine and resin. Full, rather dry mouthfeel, and a long, piney and resiny finish with citrus. This is one of those lovely beers with layers and layers of aroma and flavor. The aroma being the best of those though. I'm happy they modeled this beer after the 11th Anniversary ale...It was my favorite Stone beer to date.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber of this with a friend.

Poured into a tulip glass revealed a intensely dark brown body with a nice ivory cap, with moderate lacing.

Good God! The aroma is intense! Multitudes of hop goodness with ample amounts of molasses and dark fruits to reign in this bad boy of a beer from being a complete hop bomb! This must be the most unique aroma of any beer I have encountered to date. Might even oust Pliny The Elder.

Taste was on par with what I was expecting. Big flavors of bitter chocolate with an assortment of citrus fruits, and brown sugar, accompanied by big pine resinous notes to finish it all off. This beer demands your attention with every sip to truly appreciate it.

Mouthfeel was big. Thick and viscous.

Stone hid the alcohol extremely well in this beer. Huge marks for drinkability as it did not become cloying or repetitive. I wish Stone could make this a seasonal beer.

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Photo of mempath
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

incredible from the start....huge dark crema head that settles in slow-motion Matrix fashion, lacing in odd gobs and veils. dark buckwheat pancake batter appearance develops as it descends...

nose: toasty, oily hops. can't find a best before date (if there is one), but this seems quite fresh. no telling, since i bought this in Penn Station/NYC for $8.

this is a full-bodied, luscious slop of massive hops and malts that have been working out with the hops...extreme balance of, well, extremes! nonetheless, unified into a lip-smacking perfection that is realized only as you finally taste it. creamy mouthfeel with enough carbonated punch to make this bristle and slide. totally different from, say, another hop masterpiece such as Nugget Nectar, but the devastating impact is all the same.

most least for the initiated, self-righteous and not-so-sublime. loved that Cali-Belgie, but this is stellar!

p.s. another swallow as this slightly warms and i get the dark sweet dried fruit sense i get in some really good imperial stouts....has much to offer as you try to take this one in slowly and experience its many nuances.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Solid black color with a giant three fingers of sticky rocky beige head that last the duration. Big hoppy grapefruit and pine with an outstanding malt character of dark caramel, nutty malt and wafts of roasted coffee. Layers of malt character is evident; caramel, deep roasted grains, pumpernickel bread, and sour grains going into the finish, and roasted espresso. Beautifully balanced hops; mild pepper spice, pine, fresh raw hop oil, and a touch of mint starting towards the end. Fruity tartness mixed in for extra complexity. Sweetness from brown sugar and burnt sugars with hints of dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and a thick creamy carbonation. Spicy, minty, some pine, charred malt, and espresso all in the finish. This beer is just wonderful, I’ve got to find more!

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

This bottle was opened to celebrate a personal achievement that I worked hard for. As I am rightfully proud of this achievement, this new offering from Stone seemed like the only beer to help celebrate that.

Pours a super ultra uber dark brown, or, okay, black. Head is a half-inch of toasted brown foam and thins rather quickly leaving a few wild lace streaks on the glass.

Aroma is tremendous. Apparently Stone either haven't heard about the hop shortage or are holding some in reserve. This nose is intensely hoppy, with that ultra-clean and super-fragrant character that reminds of SurlyFest or Gumballhead. You know--dryer sheets. Maybe a grainy character similar to rye in the background, but it's pretty much hop-forward. Also: this does NOT look like it smells and vice versa.

The flavor is equally tremendous, and more complex than the nose. The rye element comes out stronger (not sure if they actually used rye) with a bitterness like astringent black tea while the hops intermingle with everything else. But they're they're, and they mean business. Rind-like pucker in the finish. What adds extra dimension to this beer is the subtle layer of black licorice and chocolate--as in fine Belgian chocolate--that lays on the tongue as the sips accumulate.

Texture is on the light-medium side, having presence and a little stick while remaining unobtrusive. And with the near-demonic boldness of the flavor, you wouldn't want a huge chewy feel. I wouldn't anyway...

Basically, Sublimely Self-Righteous is like one huge industrial-sized sheet of Bounce flapping in the wind, one end of the clothesline hung on a pine tree and the other on a lemon tree. With a burning rye field nearby and a chocolate factory across the street. Hung by you as you munch on black licorice nibs. This is my kind of beer and I hope they have the good sense at Stone to offer it year round. Mold-breaking, even having a transcendental element in its uniqueness, but seriously quaffable, which is really what counts most.

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

I was doing some spring cleaning tonight, and this included going through all the beer in my pantry and trying to organize it. I bought a case of this last February after having the extremely rare pleasure (for the east coast anyways!) of having it on tap.

I was never too impressed with the bottle after having it on tap, but it was still a very solid beer. I probably hadn't had one for about 6 months, maybe longer. The time has treated this beer extremely well.

Hops have mellowed considerably, but there is still a nice grapefruit-like smell with a hint of pine. It takes me back to the time I had it on tap the second I smell it.

The mellowing of the hops have really helped it to get some balance, actually bringing the taste closer to what I experienced when I had it on tap. Its' hard to explain but in the bottle they never really seemed to mesh. Until now. Between the rich dark malts, the abundance of fruity flavors, and that intoxicating aroma, it is almost overwhelming to drink. Almost ;)

The alcohol taste remains pretty strong, but at 8.7% that is hard to avoid.

Mouthfeel is about the same, but the improved balance has really let
Like a fine wine, this is getting better and better with age. If you get a chance to drink it, don't let the age turn you off. Even though its' getting old, it still won't disappoint! I don't even have a basement either, I bet this would be even better if it had been sitting in ideal conditions.

Now, time to go drink the other half of the bottle :D

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

I looked far and wide for this beer. Ended up at the BevMo in West Hollywood. I only had a nickel for the meter so I had to get into the store, get the beer, and get out in 4 minutes. Mission accomplished.

Poured into my new tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

A: Dark. The bottle says it's an IPA, but the color isn't right. It's not quite black, if you hold it up to the light it's really a super dark reddish-brown. A nice tan head, very frothy.

S: Quite fruity, mango maybe, or passion fruit. Smells very swee though. A bit of a hop blast but it's subtle. It's odd because you expect something roasty and you get this...

T: This is a complex beer, lots of flavors going on. The hops dominate from start to finish. Citrus and pine, hits you with the first sip and stays in the mouth. The sweetness is there as well, still tastes tropical to me. A bit of roasted dark mult but not much.

MF: It's a pretty thick, full beer, and the flavors linger for a long time. Not much warming and the alcohol is well masked, not that 8.7% is out of this world or anything. Soooo smooth, especially for an IPA.

D: Man is this beer good. I may just have to go buy a few more bottles of this before it's gone. The taste makes this one a sipper, but you could really gulp these down. Of course, the alcohol catches up to you. The balance is just awesome here. Please god, let more people make black IPA's. Seriously. Great work from Stone, as always.

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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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