Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,907 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:
1,907
Ratings:
5,886
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
794
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,907 | Ratings: 5,886
Photo of Steamer
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very appealing root beer appearance with coppery edges. A large, frothy head that leaves a thin layer of foam and sparse lacing as it recedes. The aroma is a blend of citrus and sharp hops, a bit metallic; reminds me of the smell of a jar full of old pennies just opened. I loved that smell as a kid. Strong hops bitterness hits up front, citrus again with a little hint of alcohol followed by some mild maltiness. Just the right level of carbonation, the hops drys the mouth and leaves touch of bitterness in the back of the tongue. A delicious, unique and satisfying ale all around.

 584 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 6 oz bottle with no date poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance - Black body with faint deep red glimmers when held up to a light source. Light brown head with decent to low lacing and decent retention.

Smell - A forest by the ocean. Reminds me of North Carolina. Woody, chocolate, lots of wet grass, floral. Tobacco and ash. Some fruity sweetness peeks through when given a swirl. One of the best smelling beers I've had in a while.

Taste - Wow. Hard fast and complex. Starts of with a light hint of thin sweetness followed quickly by a strong hay-like hop kick and bitterness. Builds up into a lime peel and creamed coffee bittersweetness. Finishes with a healthy hop and malt buzz, mostly leaning to the hoppy side, that lingers well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and full bodied with a bite-y alcoholic effervescence and some solvency. Warming booziness.

Overall Drinkability - Very drinkable, especially considering the kick and alcohol content. I want to dub it an extreme session (though the bros already have a different use for that term).

 1,069 characters

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black with a nice thick off-white head, lots of lacing.

Amazingly complex smell, intense aroma of pine needles and citrus fruit, strawberries and a hint of dark malts and coffee, one of the best smelling beers my nostrils have ever had the privilege of sniffing.

Tastes like it smells, some coffee and dark fruity malts and intense piney hop finish, this is a hop bomb for sure with a nice malty body to balance it out.

Smooth thick mouthfeel and highly drinkable, especially for the aclochol. I don't know what kind of beer this is, it's more like a dark imperial IPA, possibly the best stone beer ever.

 638 characters

Photo of flipper2gv
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes of the Mondial

A: Pours deep black but just so slightly translucent giving away a light brown/cola hue. Moka head, good retention and lacing.

S: Quite nice mix of strong chocolate, coffee, light vanilla mixed with a solid amount of west coast style hopping that consists of: grapefruit, unripe pineapple, tangerine, pine and fresh mint. Strong, but not wow-like strong smell.

T: The intensity of the taste is just amazing. There are solid dark chocolate in this, coffee and vanilla like most stouts. Again, the hopping is perfect, thanks to the experience Stone has in this subject: super aromatic use of hops with strong grapefruit, pineapple, juicy tangerine, pine and fresh mint. Perfectly balanced of all the fruity juicy-ness and the roasted characteristics of the malt.

M: Smaller than other ABA of this ABV as expected from the look of the beer. Still solid with low carbonation.

O: Another amazing brew from what I consider the best brewery in the world. This sets the bar as to what a damn near perfect ABA should be. And it's easy to get. What more can you ask?

 1,093 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on tap at The Brass Tap.

A: Very very dark brown to black. About one-finger head that lasts.

S: Sweet aroma with resin & floral hoppiness. Some sourness there also to me, but not in a bad way. Roasted malts in the background, and become more prominent as the beer warms.

T: Piney & flowery hops balanced with a good roasted coffee malt flavor. Pleasant slight sour aftertaste. Alcohol presence in the background, but it's not overwhelming.

M: Good smooth mouthfeel & substantial body. The hops give a good "mouth tingle".

O: Very very good beer. One of my favorites from Stone. I've had this on-tap & in the bottle, and it's good beer however it gets into my glass.

 695 characters

Photo of Aiptasia
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a big black IPA done right. Assaults the glass with a viscous darkness and a puffy bagel colored head. The head is monster and unrelenting at a solid 2" of foam. It smells of a promising future in surfing (sea water) and landscaping (big grassy scent). I'm guessing that they do late hop additions and whirlpool this super beer.

Taste is bitter up front with plenty of indian river citrus rind, key lime and malt follows. Great big wonderful taste of fresh hops without being completely nuclear bitter. Just enough alcohol and rich smoked and toffee malt added to a base of amber malt to make it refreshingly good.

It's rich, chewy, smooth and a good friend while watching the NFC championship! Go Giants!

 719 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a couple bottles of this while I was in Boston for work. With first pour, I knew this was an entirely different beer than one normally gets their hands on. I recently brewed a double black IPA and thought it was wonderful, but it pales in comparison to this. This is, undoubtedly, an Imperial Black IPA. The unbelievable hop powerhouse aroma unleashes itself immediately. Massive pine and grassy overtones explode in the nose. Sticking your head in a bin of freshly picked hops is comparable to this smell. Jet black body with beige head. Lacing was intense and carbonation was lively. The taste was all IPA from beginning to end. Wonderful hop presence throughout with a warming alcohol taste. Maltiness is there but well hidden behind the hops. Sharpness is intense but very enjoyable. The high abv is hidden behind the IBUs. This is a wonderfully crafted beer that hop heads need to try. I would love to know how they managed to get the dark body without the roasted bitterness. For my Black IPA, I cold steeped de-bittered black malt for 2 days. This a superb beer.

 1,081 characters

Photo of zealot
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I live in MN, and don't get access to the Stone gems. I was going to trade this to a friend without tasting it, but he surprised me by opening it and letting me try it with him. Thanks, Jeppe!

I knew this was going to be a black IPA, or an India Black Ale, however you want to call it. I am a big fan of expanding the definitions of traditional styles, and Stone did just that with this brew. Poured dark and opaque. It had a healthy head on it, like any IPA should. Not viscous like an Imp. Stout, but just very different from most beers.

I was too eager to taste this one, so I forgot to dissect the nose. I apologize. But I'm not going to make up a fake one. I'm going it assume it was good, based on my other ratings.

At first I felt a little let down because it just tasted like a regular IPA, but ... wait for it ... the roasted barley showed up. I am pretty sure it was roast barley and not chocolate or black patent - but maybe I'm wrong. But it was a subtle flavor that just boosted the malt profile to round out the flavor and balance the hops. Truly elegant.

Creative and artistic with this beer. Fantastic stuff. It left the great sticky tackiness of a good IPA, but with some added depth from the darker grains. I could have drank the whole bomber, but I just appreciated my taste.

I guess the only criticism I might have would be that I was hoping for just a little more from the dark grains. As stated above, they made their appearance, and it was great, but perhaps just a touch more would have been nice. BUT, the subtleties are what make this the beer that it is.

Get it. Drink it.

 1,607 characters

Photo of femALEist
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

Black IPA dry hopped with Chinook. Funny, I literally just had the regular Black IPA version of this on draft at Pi Bar this week.

This poured a dark chocolate with a touch of light cream.

Nose: Mmmmm dry hopped mixed with some light malty deliciousness and some grapefruit skin bitterness.

It tasted hoppy with a good roasted malt backbone, then roasted coffee, then back to a bitter grapefruit skin finish.

Good carbonation, great mouthfeel.
Sooo good. I LOVE this freaking beer. I can say hands down, this is the BEST Black IPA I have ever had! It has SUCH an incredible balance of being a hugely hopped IPA with a soft, sweet malty balance. Mmmm mmmm good.

 715 characters

Photo of Broden
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep black beer with a beautiful tan head. Head dissipates but lingers throughout. Beautiful beer.

S- Smell is to die for. Some roasted coffee like notes, a little chocolate, and other roasted malt rests beneath a beautiful hop aroma that just blows me away. Seems to be a perfect balance of hops and roasted malts.

T/M- Taste is equally impressive with the perfect balance of hops, and roasted malts. Extremely easy to drink with a medium body, and a very nice finish.

O- Amazing beer. Definitely my favorite easy to come by, drink any time beer. Possibly one of my favorite beers overall. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone, especially any one looking to explore the black IPA style.

 704 characters

Photo of AMERADJUNCTPROF
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just good. Surprisingly warm and very, very good. It will hang with the best ales I've ever had.

I've had varying experiences with Stone but I couldn't resist the bottle. I opened it with low expectations, but was sold at the first smell.

Usually I suspect dark beers of adding black to make them dark. I don't have that feeling here. It numbed me so fast and had me hating that I took the last sip.

 402 characters

Photo of ericj551
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone 11th anniversary pours a deep black with hints of red when held up to the light. It has a creamy brown head that lingers nicely. The aroma is sweet and malty with loads if citrusy hops. There are hints of darker malts, but not as much as I would expect from the color. The flavor starts with sweet dark caramel, but it quickly gives way to bitter, citrusy hops. If I wasn't looking at the color of this beer I would just assume it was a big resiny DIPA, but if I look for them, the roasted malts come through in the finish. The alcohol and strength are both well hidden, probably because the beer is just overboard with flavor.

 633 characters

Photo of CASK1
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured to a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

A - nearly opaque black with a hint of ruby highlight if held up to the sunlight. Tan head with decent staying power.

S - Hops dominate with a complex blend of citrus, pine, and herbal/woody aromas. Low roast malt in the background with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. I also get some licorice. Very inviting.

T - Hop forward, but nicely balanced. Lots of piney, woody hops that linger all the way through the finish. Bitterness comes up fast and lingers into a long finish. Roast malt supports the hops, but stays in the background. Hints of coffee and burnt toast.

M - Medium-light body and medium high carbonation combine for a highly drinkable beer. Dry finish with some dark malt astringency. Very low alcohol warmth - very well hidden.

O - I seem to have a love-hate relationship with this style, and this one is definitely on the "love" side. I love the complex, dominant hop profile, but the roast malt supports the hops just right for the style. This beer reinforces Stone as a go-to brewery for me.

 1,073 characters

Photo of deuschbag
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber into my stone 9th anniversery pint glass. pours a dark dark mahogany color, pretty much porter status. off white thick head with nice sticky lacing.

smell is wonderfull. such a great blend of chocolate, piney hops and malts. not one single thing over powers one another. picture perfect balance.

the taste is a resemblence to arrogant bastard but with a few tweeks to it. aggressive piney hops with just the near perfect amount of chocolaty malts which leades to a plesent dry bitter aftertaste.

full bodied soft chewy mouthfeel.

this is quite possibly one of the best fresh and well balanced brews from stone i've ever had. such a better blend than last years 10th anniversery(which was also a great brew too, don't get me wrong). i'll be getting as much fresh bottles of this as possible.

 808 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated "Enjoy By" 10/24/2013, into a tulip.
Appearance - pitch black, a thick, meringue-like, tan head; rings of lacing!
Smell - brilliant hop forward in the nose, with some hints of some roasted coffee beans!
Taste - just great! Follows the nose, maybe a touch more of the roasted coffee bean than is present in the nose. The 8.7% ABV is hidden beatuifully!
Feel - complex like great black IPA's seem to be! Medium body, noticeable carbonation, hop forward, but terrific balance with the dark malts!
Overall - I could drink this everyday and not get tired of it, fantastic beer!

 599 characters

Photo of BigBrewStu
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

What a great beer! Dark, a really dark tan color--almost black. Fair carbonation. Coffee fan? You will love this bitter beer! Feels creamy in the mouth, goes down smooth, but has an unexpected bitter finish. This beer is overwhelming, and pretty much dominates your palette. Do not start with this first unless you only plan on drinking this all night, or plan to move up to something even more rich in flavor.

 460 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle is consumed (without hesitation of course) in honor of Michael Jackson.

A - Black (dark brown) brew with a large head that dissipates leaving thick intricate lacing all down the sides of the glass. The inital head had the same cascade effect as guinness. Quite attractive.

S - Faint caramel, chocolate and black patent under a viscous onslaught of hops. A very spicy, white pepper dominates with a more subtle pine and lily aroma.

T - The dark flavors are subdued, but there is a detectable flavor of black patent and even a touch of cocoa. But the real flavors are in the hops, the hop assault is peppery with a hint of pine. Aftertaste is a potent bitterness that leaves you craving another sip. Very nice.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, very refreshing in spite of the harshness from the hops.

D - Wow! The abv is felt quickly. Distribution of this beer is wide, but, hell, I might pick up a few of these as trade bait for the future. I suppose the claim that it is not a stout and not a porter, but a black IPA is warranted. It is basically to a porter what an IPA is to an ESB. So really, it is a black IPA. I am guesing more breweries will produce one of these soon.

 1,185 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a very dark brew with a nice tan head that retains very well. Nice lacing to boot.

Smell - WOW! Smells like an absolutely amazing DIPA. Very piny, sweet malts, grassy, hops, hops, hops...extremely floral, grapefruit, tropical notes...absolutely intense!!!!

Taste - Again, WOW! Is this beer really dark?! lol Tastes like an amazing DIPA, again...Very piny, citrusy, tropical notes, great malt backbone to balance the extreme hop presence, tremendous depth...mild alcohol burn. Amazing.

Mouthfeel - Velvety, good body, active carbonation...nice.

Drinkability - This beer is so damn enjoyable, that alone makes me wanna drink more than only one bomber. The abv% obviously hinders how much one can drink of this gem of a beer, but boy, is it tempting.

 770 characters

Photo of IHC
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark, very very dark.

Smell - You can smell the hops right off the bat and then a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste-light taste of chocolate/roasted flavor and a boat load of hops. Definitely a slow drinking beer.

Mouthfeel- bitter all the way.

Drinkability - Not going to have more than 1 of these in a night, but one is all you need.

 349 characters

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 .

 766 characters

Photo of GordonQuid
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter.

Black as night witha white foamy head and thick lacing. A bit of "leg" too.

Smells like a punch in the face with a pine branch; POW! Piney with just a hint of pineapple sweetness.

Taste is strong alpha hop piney pleasure blended with roasted chocolate malts. Quite an experience of complexity.

This is a heavy drinker.

Enjoy!

 352 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up in Totowa last week because I heard so many good things about it. Sure enough - they were all true. There's no doubt that this was the best beer that I tried for the first time this year and might possibly be the best offering that I've had from Stone, which is saying quite a bit given their roster!

Much darker pour to this than I envisioned since I didn't know this was an American Black until I logged onto here. There was decent amount of head and a great hop aroma to this beer; maybe one the best that I've ever smelled! The taste was just a nice amount of hops that was neither too strong nor too short-lasting. Warm, citrus notes with some floral accents that reminded me of the Troegs beers that I also enjoy so much.

Who cares if this is strong. I enjoyed it so much that it took a while to work my way through the bottle. I'm used to darker beers having more of a sugar or caramel bend to them but in this instance, this seemed more like a very hoppy ale or an amber ale. The balance is wonderful here and the only way to equate the bittersweet aftertaste is with my feelings as I took the empty bottle out to recycling. This is about as good as beer gets if you're a hophead. Kudos to Stone!

 1,222 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with two fingers of medium tan head that rests on top of a dark brown body with a hint of tan light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - A strong, green hop aroma up front with notes of pine, more pine, and perhaps lemon. Some dark malt in the background, caramel and toffee, it has a light transformative effect on the hop character to give just a bit of the mustardy note common in american barleywines.

T - Dark toffee malt with a hint of espresso. Citrus hops come in next with lots of grapefruit and orange. The hop bitterness kicks in towards the middle with a sharp wave of powerful bitterness. Some sweet toffee and bready toast sooth the palate briefly before the bitterness comes back on and swells to a crushing finish. Notes of profoundly pithy grapefruit blend with the moderately dark malt to form a spicy, mustardy hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Lingering notes of blue veined cheese, cigar tobacco, and grapefruit pith.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer impresses from the first whiff of the aroma and doesn't let up until long after the last drop is gone. The hop aroma is spectacular with a very intense and fresh pine note that is much less colored by dark malt than I would have expected based on the style and the color. The flavor is quite a bit darker and more typical of the style, though no less excellent. There is a very nice balance between caramel malts and citrus hops as well as between harsh, acrid bitterness and a subtle, restrained sweetness that appears at just the right moments to encourage your palate to endure the assault and keep the beer drinkable. This is one of the most surprising, complex, and well balanced American strong ales that I have come across and it is one of Stones best efforts (which is obviously saying a lot). A must try.

 1,926 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dated September 2007

Appearance: Wow! What a shock for an IPA! It's pitched black and amazing looking. Thick, frothy, slightly off-white head is a generous two fingers. Excellent retention and a nice coat of lace.

Smell: Again, this is a drastic departure from what one would expect from an IPA. It has a sweet malty aroma initially (somewhat chocolaty). It's blended with toasted nut and dark fruit. Citrus scents are noticeable as well as a strong hoppy smell. What a mix.

Taste: Excellent. Chocolate malts are sweet and mixed well with a bit of dark fruit (somewhat raisiny) and toasted nut. Hops kick and provide a bit of bitterness, but it's not over top. Perfect for this beer. There are some slight citrus undertones. This is a very complex and beautifully crafted beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent. ABV is relatively high, but it's perfect for this beer. Extremely drinkable. I really think I could drink this all night. Overall, fantastic offering from Stone. Pick it up now.

 1,029 characters

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an awesome slick looking black. A friend of mine described the smell and taste as a black grapefruit smoothie, which I find kind of perfect really. Big hop nose, tons of grapefruity hop resinous smell. On the tongue its got plenty of bitterness to satisfy or scare, just a delicious mix of hops. I loved this beer as the anniversary and this was my first beer when I visited Stone (it still hadn't hit shelves here in VA). I'd buy a couple cases right now if someone here had it.

 485 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,907 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe