Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,903 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,903
Ratings:
5,881
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
795
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,903 | Ratings: 5,881
Photo of Edjamakated
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been wanting to review this beer as my first review for a long time. I am so happy when I see this on the shelf and even happier when I see a fresh date on the neck . In this case 04/04/14

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my favorite chilled snifter

Pours a nice "cola" color. Dark almost syrupy brown. Nice lingering tan head with incredible lacing. Light foam sticks to the sides of the glass as you consume this incredible nectar.

Dominant oak, chocolate, coffee flavors. Extremely balanced! Intense amount of hops but still a malty "stout" like experience.

Strong alcohol content is well masked by all the exquisite flavors. Half way through you might realize it's hitting you fast.

Really enjoy this beer. It is in my top 5 and has been for a while now .

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

$6 bottle from Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Enjoy By date was a week ago at most, but that's not enough to make me whine to the waitress or owner.

Appearance: Opaque black, it seems. Nice tan sort of head on top with fantastic sip-by-sip lacing for the most part.

Smell: A bit of char, but definitely piled with hops... definitely a black IPA on the nose. No fruitiness that I can tell, just earthy, piney hops and some roast.

Taste/feel: The piney/earthy hops are definitely there, but some sort of citrus is in the flavor that I didn't get in the aroma. The hops dominate at the forefront, with a roast/char aftertaste. A nice body on this one as well, with a carbonation that's maybe medium-high.

A pretty great beer, and one of the best black IPAs I've had, for sure.

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Photo of slusk
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: This brew pours a dark, dark ruby color with a thick tan head. Very dense head with good retention.

S: The first thing that hits you is a pronounced hop aroma, predominantly grapefruit with some pine and underlying earthy tone. A pleasant sweetness penetrates the hop aroma laying a nice foundation of dark fruit with an almost perceptible oak aroma.

T: The aroma fools the palate as the first thing you taste is a beautifully heavy malt presence. The sweetness quickly transitions to a nice hop bite followed by a lingering hop bitterness. This is a very nicely balanced Black IPA that showcases the hops but doesn't overpower the malt.

M: Medium to slightly heavy body with a smoothness that's a bit more silk than slick.

O: I'm not a hophead. I like my English browns, but Stone continues to make me a convert. It's nicely layered with malt and hops and gives a pleasant complexity. I'd buy this again!

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Photo of davidsumner
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmm... "strong ale", "black ipa", "dark cascadian" or "black ale" ... ???

Doesn't really matter much to me... I'm not a stickler of beer identification, all I know is that this stuff is pretty good.

It reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and is a lot alike Stones' bastard ale.

this ale's very malt centric and has a nice dark brown or "Cola" tint to it. The head is thin and there's very little lacing.

The nose is pretty decent; again malt centric, with a good sweet candied, cake like feel. You definitely get a light roasted malt scent. The hop is lurking in the background; not exactly sure how to identify it; I want to say piney/citric; but there's a little floral too. All in all, a delightful nose with a good balance.

The taste is very nice. Not overpowering but not light either. A good medium to heavy flavor that is distinctly lightly roasted malty and candied fruit. When I say candied fruit I mean a nice candied dry fruit; mostly cherry, apricot and orange.

I hate to say this, but I'm going to anyway... the finish on this reminds me of fruit cake, but in a good way. Not the "what you hate" about fruit cake; but the actually "ok there's something good in here" aspect of fruitcake. But the finish also has that classic roasted malt taste. But a light roasted malt... not like a porter or stout.

The hops are there too; just a little hard to pin point. But there is a bitterness and it's very balanced with the sweetness of the malt; making it seem less bitter then what I'm sure it is.

All in all, a very pleasing ale. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad and I don't mind drinking it at all. This ale in my opinion is a great after dinner drink.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 22-oz bottle from Total Wine early last month. Enjoy by date reads 01.14.14. Figured I'd pop this open during the Chargers playoff game. Seemed fitting. Poured into a Dogfish IPA glass for review.

Pours like coca-cola. Dark translucent black with large cola flavored head that lasts a heck of a long time that leaves plenty of suds on the glass sides as it slowly fades. Smells of hoppy goodness: melon and pineapple.

Upfront chocolate malt flavors that evenly gives way to nice soft yet firm bitterness. The dark note characters stick around until the end giving a nice balanced aftertaste. Some hop fruitiness flavors add add'l complexity. And some pine.

Feels about medium. Firm bitterness with good carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden for over 8%.

A very well crafted beer. Although I'm not a particular fan of this style of beer, I'd definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of ajmitch4
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was another one that I drank on 12/23/13 after my phone died, so am doing this from memory. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearnace: extremely dark, not transparent, great chocolate/coffee color. Nice head builds with the pour and a bit of lace remains.

Smell is intriguing. You get the roasted dark malts of a porter along with hints of that strong chocolate/coffee flavor. These olfactions are quickly overtaken by the hop presence.

I definitely got the feel that this is a Black IPA. I know about Stone's uncanny ability to write an essay about their beer on the bottle while neglecting to mention a single characteristic of the brew but I found on their webpage that this is, indeed, a BIPA. Phenomenal hop flavor and aftertaste as always from Stone. The dark malts offset the floral and citrus hops.

Surprisingly light-bodied, I think, for a Black IPA. Doesn't weigh down on the palate like some others do. Fond of this one.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a pitch black with a two-finger tan head. Heavy amount of lacing.

S - Earthy piney hops with a good amount of roasted malts. Some light citrus is present also.

T - Big rich malts right up front with some chocolate. Nice pine and citrus flavors follow the maltiness. Nice bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Very good Black IPA. Lots of complex flavors going on. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Labeorphile
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Dark like flat soda, with almost no bubbles coming up from underneath, but a thick fluffy head with a combination of small and medium bubbles. Good lacing down the glass.

First thing in the nose is the hops. Piney, resiny type hops, which I typically don't like as much as the citrus hops, but they are perfect for the match with the sweet chocolatey malts on the back.

Flavor is mellow and smooth unlike many in the style. The alcohol is pretty well hidden given ABV and the telltale bitter finish is there. Sweet on the front of the tongue and bitter on the back, a perfect match. Smooth and creamy as well.

A great, enjoyable offering from Stone that is better than many Black IPAs / Black Ales I have tried.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Head is a light, sandy color. The body is that of a rich cola. The head takes its time in calming down, and looks rather rich and lathery. Good retention with good lacing.

The smell is complex and inviting. Malt with earthy hops and caramel start it off. This transitions into a more tropical hop aroma with pine undertones. Further sniffs reveal a little chocolate in the beginning as well.

The taste up front has a deep malt character. Aspects of dark fruit, toffee and chocolate all play around before surrendering to pine and a deeply grapefruity citrus flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied. It is almost creamy. Very good.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into teku; black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that sticks around, slowly creeping down and leaving dense, fine lacing as it does.
Smells of lots of hops, bitter earthy and fruity, as well as dark roasted malt, bit of soft grain, chocolate and coffee.
Taste is a perfect dichotomy; it's like an imperial IPA and a robust porter are fighting it out in my mouth. Hop flavors strike first, with earthy bitterness mingling among fruit and citrus rind. Then the dark malts come in, with coffee and dark bitter chocolate balancing the hops perfectly. Aftertaste is sticky hop bitterness with hints of dark malt left over.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, medium-bodied.
Overall, another of Stone's boastful beers lives up to its name; a beer this good certainly deserves a good deal of self-righteousness. This is the perfect black IPA/cascadian dark ale/hopped black ale/etc. as I imagine the style in its purest form.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at HI-DIVE Lounge in Kansas City. Poured into a standard tumbler glass.

Appearance - Body is pitch black with no light coming through. Atop it sits a healthy one-finger head the color of cocoa powder comprised of mostly medium-sized bubbles that lend a slightly soapy look to the foam. Retention is excellent, and the foam is still there when I take my first drink. Lacing is ample, leaving ringed sheets of bubbles down the side of the glass as I drink.

Smell - I love the fact that this one smells equal parts roasty chocolate and resinous, piney hops. There is also an element of citrus, but it's less prevalent alongside the more pronounced roasted characteristics. I also get hints of grass and generic herbs.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, the taste is a wonderful balance of two distinct flavors: roasty and hoppy. Semisweet chocolate and fresh-ground espresso are both present alongside lemon and orange zest. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation and a body on the heavy side of medium lends for a chewy, but still somewhat juicy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a stellar "black IPA". One of my favorites in the style if not THE favorite. Really does an excellent job of creating a balanced, meaty, refreshing beer that has the best of both worlds that are quintessential to a black IPA. Also does an exceptional job of concealing the almost-9% ABV.

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Photo of WhatTheAle1973
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hit for me, picked this up while looking for stones porter as replacement for lack if porter. Luckily for me the porter wasn't in stock, this was amazing. I'm typically a quad, stout, or porter only drinker and now this will be part of my normal purchase routine.

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Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really strong herbal hops dominate the aroma. Some charcoal, cocoa powder, mango and roast notes hit the nose as well. 8 Ball black appearance with some decent lacing and thin foam. Really strong bitter hops greet the palate. Shortly after, the stout quality comes through delivering strong roast, dry coffee bean oil, subtle toffee and smokey notes to the palate. Finish is immensely dry with a continuous bitterness, herbs and strong alcohol. As it warms up, the juicy, fruity qualities really shine through with grapefruit juice, mango, tropical fruits and pineapple. Really a fantastic take on the style.

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Photo of tmm313
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black with a super creamy, almost milky, 1/4 finger head. Really nice lacing. Looks like a thin Stout.
S- Orange, floral, chocolate, caramel, and bitterness that seems to shift between pine and coffee.
T- Wow, now that's a mix of flavors, right there. Sweet citrus with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, and pine up front. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and more pine round out the finish.
M- Medium body with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with a nice oily coating left behind. Aftertaste is piney at first but shifts to coffee with a touch of orange a little later.
O- I was really impressed by this beer. The flavors balance incredibly well despite belonging to different styles. To me, this was a quality stout meets a quality IPA. Honestly, how can you beat that? For those times I'm torn between the two styles, this is will be beautiful solution. I will be having this far too often.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's really too bad that they discontinued this one, it's one of the best of the style on the market.

It pours a deep impenetrable black, with an off white head, and a good level of lacing.

As Stone does best, this is an all-out attack on the palate. You get hit with searing hop bitterness, leather, smoke, intense roast, and grapefruit rind. This is really tasty stuff. It's creamy and rich.

Bring this back some day, Stone.

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Photo of delta490
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep clear, ruby-tinted brown. The bottle only poured about 1/2 finger of tan head, but it had good retention and left some nice lacing on the glass.

S-deep malt, some pine hops, chocolate and anise are aromas I got at one point or another. Complex.

T- In a word, delicious. Matches the aroma in complexity and pulls it off beautifully. Burnt sugar and pine hops are the two big flavors but others dart around in the background.

M- full and enjoyable. A little oily, too.

O- a great complex ale. It doesn't fit into any one category but crosses types on multiple occasions.

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Photo of turbotype
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Worst bottle of beer I've had from Stone, but I think I say that for personal reasons. I'm sure it's great to someone, but not to me. It looked really nice. finger and a half head. some lacing. Smelled kind of foul. It had the typical hops aroma, but it smelled burnt. Literally like a burnt piece of pine wood. It tasted like it smelled, literally. I dumped the second half out. Perhaps I had a bad bottle, that's why I didn't mark it any lower than I did. Scared to try again though. I will stick with Ruination as my Stone brew of choice >.>

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale into a Belgian Tulip.

A- Pours black with just a touch of ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice thick two fingers of creamy mocha head.

S - Getting grapefruit, pine needles with some hop resin in there.

T - Different for sure. Roasted malts with grapefruit and hops. Mid palate getting subdued pineapple with a touch of citrus.

M - Very smooth beer, medium carbonation with medium to full on the mouthfeel.

O - Nice brew. Just getting in to the style, and this is very nice. Recommended! Cheers!!

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Photo of kguard
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I disagree on the type as a black ale. It's a black IPA.
Looks like a thin oatmeal stout.
Smell gives the secret away. Caramel malt and lots of fruit hops. In fact a lot of hops.
Fruit forward hoppiness, lightly toasted malt, finishing with a nice grapefruit bitter finish that lingers.
Mouthfeel is a bit less carbonation than a standard IPA. Slightly chewier than most IPA. Still, I don't feel I'm eating a small meal.
Really suprised by the fruitiness of this beer. Having a black "ale" that brings the hops and fruits to the table like this is just awesome. Love it.

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Photo of scotorum
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much as the seemingly demonic bottle graphics give me pause, the little essay of self-congratulations and flattery makes up for it. Now on to the drinking part!

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass

a: Clear black/red ruby, tall two inch tan head receded to very rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark fruit and pine.

t: The silky smoothness hits you right off, followed by hop bite and then dark malt and fruit. Rather dry finish with not that much bitterness lingering. Does a nice job with its 8.7% ABV too. Later the taste becomes more smoky/roasty porterlike.

m: Heavy but oh so silky smooth!

o: Classified as an "American Black Ale," this is in reality a magnificent hoppy stout. Liking it even better than Rasputin and at least as well as Sam Smith Oatmeal, due to the super smooth mouthfeel and complex flavor. An absolute gem and a fortunate choice for my 200th BA review.

UPDATE 3/24/14: Giving my top-rated brews another shot to firm up their ratings. This time a 12 oz. bottle poured into a Tree House snifter.

a: Appearance is the same as before except not much foam this time, ending in a thin patchy surface film.

s&m: Not detecting as much aroma, nor is this one as "silky smooth," although quite smooth.

t: Also not getting as much stout flavor. This is more true to a Black ale, but a tasty one with dark fruit and sweet dark malt balanced by a good hop bite.

Ratings adjustments: a: 4.75 to 4; s: 4.5 to 4; t: 4.5 to 4.25; m: 4.75 to 4.25; o: 4.5 to 4.25. Will definitely be buying more to reconfirm the differences noted.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale has a very thick, foamy, beige head, a reddish-dark brown appearance, and pretty heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of brown bread and citrus juice, and the flavor is of citrus (hop oil), bitterness, brown bread, brown bread crust, and sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale finishes semi-dry, somewhat thick, not so bitter, and delicious. Overall, this is one to have.

RJT

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour dark black, small head. Very intriguing scent. Taste starts thick, malty. It's a very complex flavor. I taste: raspberries, wheat, chocolate, coffee, honey. It's sweet, yet full-bodied. The aftertaste leaves you wanting more. Overall, this a very drinkable beer. The flavor is interesting. I went through a whole bottle without being able to put my finger on the exact flavor. I wish I would've bought two bottles!

I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

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Photo of AAG
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a large cold bottle into a stein...this beer is definitely self-righteous!

Appearance - Extremely dark black; opaque; light, tan fluffy head; started about two fingers in depth and decreased to a finger but frothed nicely throughout the length of the beer. Very attractive appearance; my mouth is watering.

Smell - Sugary, malt-like, liquor-smell.

Taste - Tremendous surge of bitter hops on the first sip; really packs a punch; charcoal, burnt taste midway through; hops maintained their kick throughout but smoothed out nicely; thick hops malt; tremendous.

Mouthfeel - Bitter (not for the feint of heart) yet comfortable and smooth in its own way...

Overall - This is a tremendous ale; if you like a strong, hoppy beer this is the one for you; Stone proves why it is a hop-heads fantasy. I strongly recommend this one and will seek it out again.

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Photo of JAFoley
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Solid dark black and red body, with three fingers of super dense caramel tan head. Tons of lacing along the glass.

S - Strong sugary toffee malts.

T - Deep smokey malts upfront, washing away to pine and floral hops along with a huge punch of alcohol which all linger in the aftertaste leaving your mouth feeling warm and fuzzy.

M - Medium/full body with moderate amount of very fine carbonation. The texture is slightly sticky but slick enough to not last too long.

O - What a great beer to ring in the fall season. It's deep, dark, bitter, complex, balanced, what more can I say. I can't wait to be rocking this around a campfire, and it's got the ABV to keep me warm.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with a light tan huge foamy head.
Aroma is sweet and malty with a little bit of a roasted character.
Taste is roasted malts and caramel with a sweet note. Little bit of pine and not overly bitter. Slight coffee flavor and as it warms all the little flavors become larger.
Not boozy at all for such a high abv. Delicious version if a black ipa.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,903 ratings.
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