Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,909 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,893
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.

 947 characters

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.

 548 characters

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.

 581 characters

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

Holy crap! I unexpectedly came across a bottle of this tonight and although I wasn't planning on reviewing it, I feel it deserves mentioning here.

For appearance: the beer was black as any stout of good lineage could be expected to be. Opaque and solid, lacey and full - all good roasted barley beer qualities in attendance.

Aroma is the high point of this all around stand-out brew. With eyes closed the nose almost made me believe I was quaffing a Weyerbacher 11. If that reference is not meaningful to you, let me just say - think of the richest hop medley aroma you can conjure and you'd have the nose on this beer.

In flavor comes the uniqueness of this anniversary ale. It is at once a full-bodied IPA and a completely unsour strong porter/fully mellow yet rich stout. I'm gushing, I know, but this beer really is superb. It nails every point I expected from the description.

Mouthfeel means full but not filling. demanding but not overpowering, rich but not gut-busting.

Drinkability is really quite amazing considering the beer's roots. Stone really pulled this off. A truly unique and thoroughly enjoyable beer.


 1,131 characters

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

After talking from reps from Stone at Stone Pint Night at the Comet I learned that they (I'm assuming that this is Stone's POV) classify or consider this beer to be a Dark IPA (perhaps it was a "Double Dark IPA" don't remember exactly which-given the ABV I'd say most likely Double Dark IPA).

Eye: The brew pours a very dark brown or black if you like. When the light strikes it just right garnet highlights appear at the bottom of the glass. The head is tan in color and leaves some nice lacing, retention is stable, but a large head would be nice, looks very much like a stout except for the fact that the head isn't as creamy.

Nose: Great nose on this beer. Lots of things going on in the aroma of beer. First aroma to hit you is the hops, lots of hops...citrus aromas emanate from the bottle and glass once opened and poured. I'm guessing that there are some cascade hops going on in here. After that there is a very fruity aroma that blends very nicely with the hops. Took me a minute to determine that what I was smelling was pineapple. These two aromas pretty much dominate the brew but there is a bit of a malt backbone in there to support it all, I get a very faint chocolate malty type aroma deep within the aromatic profile of this brew. (or I could be imagining its there). Very unique aromatic profile here.

Tongue: Definitely would classify this one as a Dark IPA myself. The flavor of hops dominates the profile of this beer, makes up the majority of what I'm tasting here. Citrus and floral, citrus and floral... Once the beer is swallowed after a few moments that pineapple comes back just enough to hint at a pineapple flavor. Once the beer starts to go down the throat the hop flavors drop off giving way to malt flavors, as I mentioned with the aroma there is a bit of chocolate in there and also some toasty/lightly roasted flavors-more so the tell-tale bitterness from them, though it is not as nearly as strong as it is in a stout.... all pretty faint though. A slight spiciness from alcohol also adds to this brew's flavor.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Kudos to Stone for the Mouthfeel on this brew, I don't think that I could imagine it any other way. The beer is incredibly smooth, has low carbonation-which one doesn't notice until one thinks on it, then realizes that it is the perfect amount. This is a beer I'd drink all night, alcohol is hidden pretty well, slight spiciness as formerly mentioned and a slight warming in the stomach. This is a beer I'd definitely buy again, think that I'll grab another bomber next time I see one. Too bad it is a limited release, I'd like to see something like this around more, seems to me that Dark IPAs are pretty rare.

 2,691 characters

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

22 oz bottle courtesy of tayner.

A: Pours a thick looking opaque black under a tan head. Pretty good retention and some pretty good lace.

S: Hoppy. A lot of citrus but also some soft undertones of darker fruit. A nice creaminess hidden away here too. Seems to be a big malty sweetness underneath as well. Really a lot going here. Maybe even a hint of chocolate.

T: Big hop bitterness with citrusy tones. Nice sweet berry like fruitiness up front. Really well done. Finish is bitter and it sticks around.

M/D: Carbonation is just right, full bodied. Drinkability is fine on this one but it is definately a sipper. This is a damn fine beer.

 642 characters

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

It's a black, but not opaque, pour. Tan fluffy head with Don Ho approved tiny bubbles. Hops, hops and more hops in the nose, but what did you expect? Creamy mouthfeel that invites another sip. Bitter finish, all hops. Where's the malt? Don't care. Awesome like ogling a Farrah Fawcett poster while listening to Slayer. I'll buy twenty more...Sublimely Self Righteous that is.

 375 characters

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

Color is dark mahogany red with a light brown head that drops to a stable 5mm thick film and leaves a lot of lace.

Smell is malt and hops, along the lines of the chocolate, coffee, caramel that you would expect from this density of color, but with a light molasses, fresh bread dough, cherry and what seem to be slight Belgian or wild yeast esters. The hops are rich and spread across the spectrum of the corresponding sweet notes. There are floral, earthy, leafy and spicy hop notes everywhere.

Taste is far more balanced than one would expect, with malt notes matching every punch of bitterness. Overripe fruits and rich dark chocolate notes dominate the profile, but citrus, rootbeer/ginger, cinnamon, clove, leather and chalk show up as well. Citrus leaves, zest and even fresh cut grass are here in force.

Overall: Full bodied with strong bitterness, yet fully balanced (as an IPA). Good, strong carbonation, just enough to savor for a long time and keep the beer moving. Just awesome. This is the third time I've had one of these and felt it was ready for my review. But there is even more in here. I like this beer even more because without knowing that Stone was creating theirs, I made my own Dark Double IPA at exactly the same time. I guess, since my mind was on the style it made me appreciate the effort more. It's great, think about it.

 1,353 characters

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

Pours opaque ruby-tinged black with a minimal creamy head and thin lacing. Nose is all hops upfront, a soft stab of cut grass with fresh tangerine peel lingering in the background, on a solid plank of roasted malt notes. Loving the nose. Taste opens with some distant chocolate shavings quickly enveloped by a combination of roasted malt base overcome by a sharp swing of hops. This is one awesome balanced brew. The ABV is barely noticeable in the aftertaste. And the mouthfeel is a full, a sturdy canvas.

 506 characters

Photo of FarmerJohnny
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber, no freshness date

A - Pours a thick, dark brown with a lighter brown, two-finger head the lingers. Absolutely beautiful

S - Hops, hops, hops. Hops dominate the smell. Very earthy and crisp. A hint of maltiness in the background.

T - Extremely well balanced. Malty start, almost hints of cocoa in the middle, and hoppy, slightly dry finish (Stone signature).

M - Very smooth, not too thick, and clean, crisp finish. Almost perfection

O - One of my personal favorites, never gets old, and arguably one of Stone's finest. The perfect balance of malt and hops. The name says it all. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your list.

 647 characters

Photo of riored4v
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Dark in color. Basically black with hints of red when held up to a light. Nice big/tight head that slowly fades down a 1 finger head with lacing throughout sample.

S= Hops!! Nice hints of citrusy and grapefruit aromas followed up with a malty sweetness.

T= Did I mention hops? A very nice hop bite that you can feel in the back of your mouth. Nice and bitter with a good malt roastiness that helps to balance things out. Definitely more hoppy than malty.

M= Crisp. Nice carbonation, medium body with and oily tongue feel.

D= VERY drinkable. Session worthy if it wasn't for the high ABV. It does manage to hide the alcohol pretty well.

Outstanding beer in my opinion. Definitely a unique offering and I wish it was more readily available. I'm glad I was able to grab a case because this has become one of my more favorite beers.

 836 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a fantastic opaque black with some excellent head and nice lacing. Very deep malty scent, huge sweetness with a hint of bitterness in the nose. Great taste, a deep and malty hit, slight roastiness, with an excellent hop hit at the end to balance it all. A wonderfully smooth beer with no alcohol tinge even at over eight percent. An excellent brew.

 355 characters

Photo of onthefarside
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the great pleasure to try this beer on tap last night at Mahar's in Albany. Curious about the type of beer this was, I was told it was an Imperial Porter by the all knowing bar-keep.

A: Served in a 20oz glass with 1 cm of head about, not much. Was a very very dark brown or black, couldn't tell with the dim lights.

S: Smells like every Stone beer, hoppy and alcohol"y".

T: This beer has a nice one two punch on the tastes a nice flavourful malt up front with nice complexity and then a nice crisp hops twinge to hide any trace of alcohol, couldn't taste it at all. But this is definately a sipper.

M: Nice feel, not too watery, good to swish it around and let it cover your mouth.

D: I didn't know the abv at the time of drinking this beer, knowing stone tends to up the abv, i thought it was about 5-6 but i'm suprised to find it near 9! Unknowing, I could drink 3-4 and wonder why i felt strange. Over all a great beer from Stone again and it will please people who like their IPA and Bastard Ale. I felt like it was a mix of the two almost.

 1,055 characters

Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone XI poured a deep ruby color, more along the characteristics of a Stout than a brown ale. The head was dark, rich, and had a "surge" similar to a Guinness. The smell had a noticeable aroma of earthy hops and a slight roasted malt undertone. The taste was true to the aroma; it had a solid roasted malt character that sat well on the tongue and faded gently into a distinct and enjoyable hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was very good, a nice body but not heavy or thick. This beer is quite drinkable, but be careful to enjoy in moderation or it will bite you back. Enjoy!

 573 characters

Photo of 94coog
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been lurking here for awhile. Never felt compelled to write a review until now.

A: pours a rich black with amber edges. a medium-rocky head that laces well.

S: Rich malt with doughy bread notes, brown sugar, grassy hops.

T: Takes me to my knees. Its like the malt and hops are fighting for supremacy, and both are winning. Cloying sweet malt with alcohol punch that carries the hops through the palate.

M: perfectly carbonated. Could be a bit less thin, but remember its an IPA, not a porter or stout. This beer is confusing in the way it crosses styles. Its an IPA. No, a barleywine. Wait, an imperial porter. No, it's all of those. It's the best of all of those. It's sublime.

D: If I had more than one bomber, I would drink all I had.

A humbling experience. Its as if the best qualities of an IPA, porter, and barleywine were combined into one beer.

 865 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with dark red and orange edges. Light barely gets through this beer. The head is big and tan. The bubbles are glowing man

S- Flowery and citric with a fruity sugar smell and a hint of chocolate and molasses.

T- The flavor is like the best of every style all layered into one beer. Refreshing, herbal and citric hops, then a solid sweet honey and toffee center and finished with a bitter coffee and dank alcohol that leaves you wanting more.

M- My mouth feels great when I drink this beer. Smooth, foamy, chewy and stingy.

D- You probably are not worthy of this beer.

 584 characters

Photo of rawla
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer numerous times throughout the years, but finally had a chance to review it with a fresh palate.

On tap at Bluepalms Brewhouse on 01/08/2012. Served in a goblet.

A: Jet black with a 2 inch toffee lead. A ruby-caramel note towards the head. Good lacing throughout.

S: Woah. Bacon, toasted almonds, and chicory oak along with a pungent dose of fresh floral hops. I can't begin to explain how well balance the aromas are. Just decadent and truly enticing.

T: G** D***.. Freshly peeled tangerine, along with the smoked bacon and toasted oak backbone. I know toasted and bitter profiles sometimes don't seem to work out well, but they do here in a magnificent way. Each sip/gulp hits you with massive citrus bitterness and smoked oak notes at the same time. A truly well balanced dialogue. Some coffee comes through as the beer warms up a bit, which is like icing on the cake for me. I can drink this by the kegs. Put me on a liver transplant list now.

M: Crisp and made to order iced coffee-like substance. The bitterness may keep some from drinking more than a couple of these, but not me.

O. C.D.A/Black I.P.A perfection. Some Dark I.P.A's tend to be overly roasted, or overly bitter. Self-Righteous lives up the name by tooting its own horn and truly displaying a well-balanced, yet assertively hopped and smokey beer. A plus.

 1,353 characters

Photo of Bloodreign
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is great beer. It looks like a stout and tastes like a IPA. Superb hoppy biter taste. Full feeling. Pleasent taste from lips to throat. It does have very little head when poured from the bottle but i would drink this beer very often. Stone as usual hits it out of the park.

 279 characters

Photo of shaunb81
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was super excited about trying this beer and I just couldn't do it by myself. I decided to call my buddy Jax over (he's the only one of my friends that has the same kind of palate for microsas I do). Since we are both huge Stone fans, we were both pretty stoked to crack this one open.

Appearance - Poured jet black into my snifter with a nice 2" dark cream head and lacing to be remembered.

Smell - Roasted, heavenly malts and remarkably hoppy. Every sniff makes me more excited to finally drink it. Jax is at a loss for words.

Taste - There is a sweetness on the front end and it is followed with hops that make the hair on my arms stand up. Jax had only three words to say. Brace yourselves. "Jesus Fucking Christ..." Though it seemed like an appropriate response, I was looking for something a little more descriptive, but couldn't seem to find the words. Coffee and chocolate seemed to poke it's head out throughout the ride.

Mouthfeel - It was creamy and the density was medium. It was actually perfect for me. Body was superb. Black ales might just be one of my new favorite styles.

Overall - This is probably my favorite Stone brew to date. It's got depth and the profile holds up against most ales. If you see this, buy it, smile, and then don't forget to smile while you savor the flavor of this behemoth.

 1,323 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Stone Brewing Co.
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
“Enjoy By” date of 10/20/2014 printed on bottle
Date Reviewed: September 7th, 2014
Glass of Choice: IPA Glass
12 fluid ounce bottle

Eyes: A dense tan head collapsed and left a good amount of sticky lacing. Dark brown body… coffee coloured would best describe this body as it had a translucent brown glow around the edges of the glass.

Nose: The hops hit the nose hard: primarily floral with minor herbal traces. Very subtle presence of toasted malts… subtle may be too generous of a description here.

Taste: An explosion of floral and herbal hop flavours hit the tongue right off the bat. A weak backbone of toasted grains and coffee made up the malts. The brewers over at Stone nailed the balance here… just the right amount of warm, toasty malts to showcase a very fresh and heavy hop flavour. Medium-bodied. Moderate-heavy carbonation.

Overall: Excellent black IPA. A real treat for hop-heads.

 966 characters

Photo of Douglas14
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

God, I freaking love Stone. It pours an incredible dark, deep, rich brown…almost black but not quite. It has a nice thick, foamy head with very good retention and nice lacing.

It smells intensely of hops (no surprise coming from Stone), maybe banana, maybe dark cherries.

The abundance of flavors are balanced so well in this beer…hops, dark fruits, roasty goodness. Everything about this beer is amazing.

This is an amazing beer and I hope I can find more of it. Too bad it’s a one time batch…this is my kind of IPA.

 525 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark and black in the glass. Good head at pour - at least a finger and a nice off white color and good retention. Solid spider web lacing. Aroma is hoppy yet presence of malts even on nose - sweet, bitter and a hint of roast. Flavor is equally impressive with malts present up front and malts showing more towards the back. Extremely well balanced.

 354 characters

Photo of RichBenn
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, almost black, with a creamy head that stays on the glass. Very good head retention

S- Resinous, piney and citrusy like no other "Black IPA" I've had. Very good dry hopping that comes through with the Simcoe and Amarillo smells you'd expect from a heavily dry-hopped west coast IIPA.

T- Like the nose, but with some of the carmel and roasted and darker malt flavors, but in the background enough to let the hops shine. This is clearly a hophead's IPA. It's the way I believe the style "should be", not a beer that really belongs in another category.

MF- Bitter finish, not mega thick. Not as creamy as some, but that's probably because Stone is highlighting the hops. One area that's pretty good but not perfect.

DB- This is too strong for a quaffer, to be sure. But is this style supposed to be sipped or quaffed? Still, it's one of the only areas I marked down a tad.

Other thoughts -- I'm an amateur all-grain homebrewer and admitted hophead, and am already thinking about how to clone this thing. It's that good! For those that think this style should be like a stout or porter - look elsewhere!

 1,117 characters

Photo of FARGO619
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many many times. I'm finally getting around to rate it. It took me off guard the first time I tried it. Nice and hoppy.
A: Dark brown with light head went down fast. Lightly carbonated. Dark ruby light flowing through on the bottom.
T: Hoppy, sweet, bitter, and subtle floral hit the nose.
D: Easy to drink.
O: Overall it is a nice dark hop that is always good to just chill to.

 398 characters

Photo of orangemoustache
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

First BA review in a few years! Dark ruby when held to the light with big sheets of thick lacing. Great aromas from this one, malty and dark roasted notes, slightly sweet and subtle vanilla. Soft on the pallet with a nice hop texture, finishing with a lasting dryness till the next sip. Very balanced BIPA, lending itself to the the hoppy side of the range. The strong ABV is controlled and not overpowering, but shows on the finish. I really like this offering from Stone and see it as one to judge others.

 507 characters

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,893 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!