Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,906 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:
1,906
Ratings:
5,885
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
289
Gots:
794
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,906 | Ratings: 5,885
Photo of forty
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a 'dark IPA' but I was very pleasantly surprised by the result. It poured almost pitch-black with a perfect, creamy head that never disappeared and left some rich lacing on the glass. The taste seemed to me like a perfect marriage of a top-notch Stout or Porter and IPA. The rich malts were superbly balanced by the bold, yet not overly bitter hops and the bottle went down very easily. I was amazed at how drinkable this rich, strong beer proved to be. Perfectly executed.

EDIT: It was so good, it inspired me to write my first review

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Photo of Echosolace
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I came across this first on draught in Stubbies in Gainesville FL. I wasn't told the name, just that it was a black IPA. My friend got one first, him not being a beer lover, thought it was pretty good, so I ordered one and I flipped my shit. I could not, for the love of God, put it down. Once that stuff connected with my tongue, it was over and 2 more had to be on the way. Now I'm reviewing it in bottle form and it's just as good as I remembered it.

A: Nothing this dark have I had the pleasure of experiencing as a beer so unexpectedly refreshing and light(er). It is really dark, and it's not something I quite expected from the taste. From the look of it I'd expect something more like Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout, and if you know that one, then you can understand my surprise.

S: It's very present, but not overflowing. Kind of like a barbecue. It plays a big role in the taste.

T: Solidly smoked grains play in chord with the light bite of the hops. Malts are deftly woven as a foundation, more or less unnoticed by my tongue. A long aftertaste remains, like having a partly overcooked piece of chicken with charcoaled skin to bite through, and it is spectacular... Hold on, the glass is empty... I'll be right back. Mmm, much better. One more thing, it's always seemed a bit salty to me, I like it alot.

M: The bubbly is pretty shallow. It's the only thing I could hope for more of. It is good, just in my preference, I could enjoy a bit more.

D: Hell, even my burps are delicious. What do you think it's like going down? If I had this for every day of my life, well, for one I'd have an awesome beer belly, but secondly, I don't think you could find me tired of this taste. At least give me 20 years with this stuff, then maybe I'll reconsider.

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Photo of funkydrumma
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is just about anything I could want a beer to be. Smooth and dark with a rich creamy head. Just the right balance of hops and malt to balance the ABV. Dangerous beer. Don't skip it if you get a chance.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours like a stout, dark with several fingers of light mocha head. Against good lighting, the bottom of the glass (a Stella Artois gold-rimmed thing that looks like a wine glass on 'roids) shows burgundy highlights and good clarity. As the head falls back, lacing forms like tree rings as a batter-like plug in the middle is going nowhere.

Aroma - piny hops have a low but somewhat intense role. They are mixed with a sweet graininess that struggles for identity among the cones. As soon as I think I smell something akin to cocoa or cola, it's gone.

Taste - what is this, a chocolate IPA? Roasty sweet malts, chocolate coming through briefly. The hops blend in there, starting sweet and citrusy, and keep on coming. The full bitterness is not over the top, but very nicely done. The hops stop short of palate scorch, I appreciate that. A bitter dryness on the swallow, grapefruit rind primarily. A roasty malt reprise every once in a while but not always, a orangey citrus finish occasionally, but not always. Finishes with a kiss of abv warmth.

Mouthfeel - smoothness was noted on the first sip. Solid body and moderate carbonation keep the show rolling.

Drinkability - makes me wish I had six more. Best hopper I've had in a while.

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Photo of rogueleonardi
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review done from notes - Had on tap at Indiana Brewers Guild Winterfest. (1 of only 2 beers stone had on tap that night)

A - Looks like used motor oil, dense dark black color with a thin dark brown head. You can still see some carbonation bubbles rise up the side.

S - Nice aroma, some hop forward characters with lots of different malts ligering leaving hints of coffee chocolate and a bit of sweet caramel. Also a strong piney hop flavor leaving giving this a full balanced aroma.

T - Spectacular! I've never had such a dark beer have so much hop flavor it. All the hops completely overpower any chance the malts had to make this a sweet beer. The strong piney hops give this beer such a unique flavor, its very refreshing.

M - I was expecting a much thicker feeling taste. This poured pretty heavy, but as I drank it I realized the viscosity was actually pretty thin. Still had a good amount of carbonation making for a drinkable, refreshing beer.

O - Overall a world class beer, Not a perfect 5 but close.

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Photo of brewgeeknosaint
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance is dark almost stout like with a 2 cm head that fades rather quickly. Beautiful. 4.5

Smell is that of a double IPA on Guinness steroids. Excellent 4.0

Taste is magnificent! Think a ruination with a small batch of old Rasputin and that's exactly what this great ale Sums up to. Nice and bitter with just the right amount if hops to dark roasted barley. Grapefruit then coffee beautifulness! 5.0

Mouthfeel is nice and carbonated yet very smooth, dare I say velvet? Groovy. 4.5

Overall my vote would be to rate this up there with the best of them. Pallet differences aside for anyone who likes porter/stouts and a great IPA this is for you. Hands down the best "black IPAS" I've ever had. Thank you Stone brewery!

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from PHawk in our massive Darkness trade.

Poured into my Aventinus glass.

A: pours a dark ruby brown and quickly forms a big, khaki head, lacing everywhere, looks great

S: almost all hops, but a deep, dark citrus thanks to the huge malt back

T: hop bite up front, but an intriguing almost sweet red berry in the middle, which tapers into an oaky finish.

M: smooth, a little less carbonation than I was expecting, slightly creamy, but still bitey from the hops

D: very hoppy, yet the intense malt backbone compliments it very well. A very unique "IPA" that is a sipper but quite delicious. Had to save some of mine for the next night.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice three finger head with nice lacing and retention. Dark brown color that is pretty thick.

Smell, caramel malts are huge on the bill. I also smell some pale and a little chocolate characteristic on the malts. Wonderfully complex. Smells like cascade/amarrillo/chinook hops in the backround. Nice raisin undertones

Taste: Wonderfully complex with pale malts follwed by caramel malt sweetness balanced by a chocolate maltiness with a nice hopping to balance. Nice grape and resin taste provide a balance as well. Such balance with an awesome complexity. No doubt, this is the best stone beer that I have ever tasted. I love the oaked bastard, but this is my favorite of the collection. I hope I can keep my other sample for trade bait. It will be a bit hard.

Mouthfeeel has a nice bite from the carbonation which provides a good crispness. It also has a light creaminess. Very nice. I ususally have an issue with stone beers in the mouthfeel department, but this is splendid.

One of the easiest to drink strong ales I've had to date. I wish this was part of the stone line up for the rest of time.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a completely foreboding, opaque black that produces an immensely dense head and sticky lacing along the sides of the tulip.

S: Lots of grapefruit (and, dare I say, pineapple) in the nose, very hopped out with a hint of pine and grass. Overall, an aromatic swirl of hops with a spicy tinge.

T: Upon examining the beer visually, I was curious about the lack of malty notes in the bouquet, being overpowered by the hop presence. However, the taste reveals a subtle, but detectable roasted malt character underneath a wave of grapefruit-citrus hops. Actually, there is quite a balance stuck here. With enough malt in the base to push this hop attack through, it's reminiscent of an Arrogant Bastard in a sense, only with seemingly more complexity with more relaxed results. Aftertaste is a lingering citrusy taste and that hint of malt sticks around a smidgeon, too. Gets even better as it warms.

M: Plenty of carbonation that produces a rather velvety mouthfeel. Oily hop residue subsides smoothly in the finish, coating the back of the mouth but with a sweetness from the malt that avoids a disgusting aftertaste.

D: Complexity, balance, and an arsenal of flavor, this beer is fantastic. I expected nothing less from Stone, but was still blown away by what I got. This one should definitely not be missed, and even though it's flavors and alcohol are dialed up, it is remarkably drinkable in nature.

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Photo of oelergud
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Standard 22oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap sporting the Stone Gargoyle.
The label is silk screened as always showing a new gargoyle in profile.
Opaque black body with a tan half creamy and half airy big bubbled head that has great retention and good lace.
Delicious hoppy and bittersweet chocolate scent, very inviting. Nuts, earth, mulch and vegetable.
The flavor is amazingly hoppy with a malty chocolate bean character. The aftertaste is never ending and strong with plenty of resin hops, mulch malts with chocolate bits and nuts.
Full body with good coating and a very dry finish.
Excellent drinkability. Very much true to the style and an absolute pleasure to drink.

-Oelergud

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Photo of mdm4584
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bomber at AJ's in Scottsdale, AZ.\

The brew w/o tasting has very hoppy IPA scent.

After pouring has a thick, long-lasting, lacy head. Piney, herby, citrusy dominates.

Pungent taste. Strong pine taste on tongue... almost overdoing it... almost.

Perfect for a hophead!

I think this is one of the most hop crazy beers I've had in a long time. Be wary!

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-good cup lacing, dark beer little to no light gets through
-pungent sweet smelling hops floralish
-taste is next to none, has the hoppy bite of a ipa but finishes with more of a smokey porter with roasted notes. the best of both worlds and with a ale sweetness
- hops don't effect drink ability, feels dark with thickness but it washes away pleasantly
-amazing beer one of my favorite beers i have drank to date, so complex with the flavors that pair so well together

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Photo of BethanyB
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%

Appearance: An opaque, ebony brew with a smooth tan head that melts quickly due to the high alcohol content, but still leaves lacing on the glass. 2/3

Aroma: Refreshing C-hops mix surprisingly well with roasty coffee notes from the malt. Some tropical fruit aromas add additional brightness and complexity. 12/12

Taste: Roasted, almost smoky malt leads to well brewed coffee flavors that mix nicely with a heavy sigh of citrus, earth, and pine. Almost reminiscent of a rauchbier, as the smoky flavors give way to some uniquely savory tastes. 19/20

Mouthfeel: Medium body leads the way to a dry finish, thanks to a medium dose of carbonation. Slight chewiness brings additional depth to the flavor, while typical IPA bitterness reminds us that the beer is ultimately "true to style." 5/5

Overall: A unique, delicious, well-crafted IPA that balances black smokiness with bright hops. There definitely exists the notion that by calling upon unquestionable expertise, this beer achieves the nearly unthinkable. Absolutely incredible. 9/10

TOTAL: 47/50

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale pours a black color, with a small lacing head. There is a nice smokey, but mostly floral aroma. The taste has a sharp hoppy kick, then finished smooth and smokey, with hints of a burnt like malt flavors. Good full flavors. Overall this beer is soo incredibly enjoyable, great full intense flavors.

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Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just have to second many of the thoughts of those that enjoyed this beer. Though I read the reviews before drinking (I already had purchased two bottles), I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. They experimented with this beer and really hit the mark in my estimation. Simply, I just wanted to give further props to a beer that is not only interesting, but pretty damn good to drink as well.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(NOTE, may 2010: the entry for stone 11th anniv. ale has been merged into this one. the following review is for the original 11th anniv. ale)

(originally tasted during the first week of dec 2008, but retired beers were temporarily un-reviewable at the time.)

brought a bottle with me here to beijing earlier in the year, and had been in the fridge ever since the late spring of 2008, before the weather got even the tiniest bit warmer.

poured into tulip.

almost pitch black. amber-brown tones are visible only under direct intense light. great foamy head that slowly fades to a thin wispy layer and ring. nice rings of lace.

piney, fruity and citrusy immediately upon pouring and instantly waft out from the glass, perceptible even though it's a couple feet away from my nose. roasted and caramel malts, approaching chocolately in character. heavy on caramel and rich toffee scents, with hints of coffee. otherwise, quite clean (and free of phenols).

flavor is a sublime balance of caramelized, roasted maltiness and piney/citrusy american hops, which also stay grassy and herbal in the back. more reminiscences of coffee and a hint of cocoa. resinous, bitter hop freshness persists throughout, but syrupy malts still peek through - even in the hoppy, resinous finish.

feel is smooth and substantial, like a light syrup. gentle to moderate carbonation provides counterbalance to resinous texture.

the boldness and high alcohol probably limits drinkability, but i'd be hard pressed to stop ;-)

an amazing brew. i'm so happy that stone will be re-releasing this as a semi-regular offering in the future.

(NOTE, mid 2009: when i was writing my tasting notes by hand, i had no idea at the time that the re-release would include the word "sublime" in the name. it really was just THAT good!)

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very dark brown with visible carbonation.
S: Very earthy hop aroma, no apparent roasted scents.
T: Dark earthy hop taste backed by a nice malt base. A well balanced beer.
M: Move over Newcastle, this beer is smooth like no other.
D: One more please..

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had many times before, first review of it
Bomber to snifter, best by 10/27 date

Beautiful bottle work with a signature long narrative on the back.
Pours pitch black with a finger of a light brown head. Excellent lacing, great retention

Aroma of coffee, hops, and chocolate. carmal malts shine through with a hint of aocohol

Taste is very bitter, strong hops, coffee, toffee, and the caramel malt all blend together well. Hints of vanilla come through on the after taste. Very good

The feel is probably my favorite part of this beer. Very creamy and smooth, goes down quite easy. Little carbonation to get in the way of the taste

Over all this is the beer getting me interested in black ipas. One of my favorites, will continue to be one of my regular pick ups

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Photo of bierkoning
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a bomber poured in a mug, black as night, wonderful lacing.

I'm a big fan of Stone as a general rule, but this Black IPA is outstanding!

All the wonderful look and mouthfeel of a top-notch stout, but through some sort of magic it still has the fire and bite of a world class IPA!

Would drink this beer any day.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh, yeah!
This brew says, "Anniversary" more than any anniversary brew I've had.
This brew states what the brewer is all about and shows the growth and maturity they've achieved in their short 11 years.
This brew shouts, "Celebrate with us"....Arrogantly...most Arrogantly.

Pours a deep dark mahogany black with a tan full two finger head that melts slowly to very sticky lace.

As soon as you open the bottle you are hit with incredibly fresh west coast citrus peel hops and flooded with pine oils.

One sip and your mouth is filled with an incredibly smooth sweet amber malt then totally overpowered by the fresh...and I mean FRESH ... citrus and pine oil hops.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy...much smoother than you would expect from an IPA...
Aftertaste is a balancing act between the sweet amber malt and all of those pine oils.
I really don't know why this is listed as an American Strong Ale...to me it is a wonderful DIPA.

I have to give it high marks because I like the beat....I can understand what it is saying to me...and I can dance to it.
This stuff is that good!

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Photo of lillieja
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a slight amber hue. Meduim head.

Smells of roasted malts and chocolate followed by the piney hops.

Tastes like it smells, roasted malt and hops.

Full body with medium carbonation.

I love this beer. Certainly my favorite black IPA I have had to this point. I will drink this again often.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

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Photo of gnbird
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up while looking for Stone's 13 anniversary beer at Bevmo. This is not what I expected at all. I was thinking it was maybe a brown ale. Upon pouring into imperial pint glass, it looked much like a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark coffee black in color with a foamy brown head. Head dissipated after a few minutes. So excited that it was a stout, I went for a smell and this is where I was surprised yet again. Smell was grapefruit, much like a Ruination but a little sweeter.

Taste is so mind blasting. At 9ABV Stone comes through again by making a very drinkable strong ale, that hides the booze very well. It's hard to describe the complex flavors, but it's like drinking a blended imperial IPA with RIS. The hops come through up front with grapefruit bite with a very coffee, malty and chocolate aftertaste. What a beer my friends, very complex and satisfying. If you like Imperial Stouts and IPAs this beer will not disappoint you.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the mood for a big beer to end the night. Stone has been a consistent winner for me so in the glass it goes. Dark body with some deep ruby red around the edges. Spider web lace.

Screw categories and trying to place this somewhere its just good. It has a fresh kendling type aroma and it translates to a nice but guarded smoked edge. Hops create a great sticky resin that lays back and gradually takes over 3/4 way through and lingers until the next pull.

Brilliant and once again Stone keeps the price sane. Price per value is off the charts.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber with the painted label and no drink by date. The color is very dark brown/black that is topped by a two finger creamy head, tan in color. The head holds with excellent retention and lots of sticky lace. There is a sweet citrus aroma that is abundantly hoppy with a nice bouquet of hop oil freshness.

The taste is superb with a very good blend of hops and malt. The bitterness and alcohol flavors are apparent and get stronger toward the bottom of the glass. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very very taste. This is one of the best beers I have tasted.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,906 ratings.
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