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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,909 Reviews
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,909
Ratings:
5,896
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
293
Gots:
805
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 5,896
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!

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Photo of Raugupatis
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is only my second review here and I decided to do it on a favorite brewery of mine, Stone. They seem to get the need for body and hops in a beer.

That being said, their 11th anniversary is not a typical Stone Beer. When I think of Stone I think of the nearly-bitter hoppiness of their Arrogant Bastard or Ruination.

In the 11th Anniversary Ale, the hops are mingled with the chocolate/coffee taste from porter, but not flawlessly so. But it is a fun diversion and I am glad I came across this one.

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Photo of dhilltop2000
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Definitely one to try. I wasn't sure what to expect as it’s only listed as Stone XI and mentions a dark IPA on the back. Pours a brownish-black color with ruby accents around the perimeter. The head is a little too over abundant and hangs around in thick 1-2" clumps after finishing a pint. As it warms the head only multiplies in following pours, leaving long yearning minutes of undrinkable beer due to a mountain of foam. Smell is intoxicating! A porter?, an IPA?, BOTH! Smells of toasted oats and grain while balanced by a hoppy aroma, slight citrus note, porter and some barley wine qualities. This is among Stone's better brews as it is an ensemble to the sense. Let this beer sit from the fridge for awhile and it's definitely a treat.

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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.

Wow.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Vintage Estates in Boardman (1 of 7 kegs in the state I understand). Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a medium and lasting tan head. Sticky rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a cross between an Imperial IPA and a roasty Porter. Loads of citrusy hops in the nose, with a full roasted malt undertone. Other aromas like pine and toffee are present as well. Rich and bitter with a full array of citrusy and piney hops flavors. Toasted malt and chocolate flavors are found too. Slow alcohol burn through it all. The finish is long and bitter with a tasty grapefruit hops finish. Excellent overall. Once again Stone manages to do something unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: 2" light tan head with great retention, leaving lots of lacing. Near black body.

S: Strong aroma. Fresh pine and plenty of it. Merry Christmas!

T: Spectacular mix of a piney and citric IPA with a roasty porter. There are loads of hops here, yet the initial hop bite disappears under a rich, roasty malt.

M: Medium bodied (maybe a bit fuller than medium). Soft carbonation. Smooth - as they always are from Stone. Excellent aftertaste.

D: The 8.7% abv is very well hidden under all the flavor. Normally I'd expect to tell you that the alcohol appears as it warms, but I've been through several bottles of this (not all tonight) and I'm now certain no bottle is going to last until it warms. Great stuff!!

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a dark, almost black but not quite, huge tan head with good retention and good lacing

s - citrusy hops and roasted malt bend nicely on the nose, slight chocolate, not much alcohol noticeable

t - very well-balanced flavor with seamless transitions between the start, midpalate and finish, the body of the taste is a balanced mix of sweet, lightly roasted malt and grapefruity hops, some bittersweet chocolate notes, finish is more IPAish, with a Stone signature long lasting bitter finish though there is some mild maltiness, very good and complex...this is more of a 4.75, but I'll err on the low side

m - medium-bodied, lots of carbonation, fairly dry on the finish, slight alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable with the well-balanced taste, abv limits somewhat though

Another great Anniversary brew from Stone. This is very interesting and complex. I was a huge fan of the 10th Anniversary brew, and the 11th is right up there with it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bitterbill for this brew.

Poured into a Stone pint glass a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, which then leaves some nice small islands and thick sticky lacing. The nose is mostly malty, very slight hop tones, and lots of caramel. The taste is very malty, some hops, and caramel. The finish is dry and slight bitterness to it. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Full body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone, very much a joy to drink, highly recommended.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cola color with a little bit of transparency. Head is medium sized with a solid creaminess to it, an attractive pizza dough color.

S: Sprucy hops, licorice, caramel, black patent malt and some vinous qualities.

T: Starts with an interesting maltiness that walks the line between caramel and roasted barley at the tip of the tongue. Sprucy hops cruise in and flow from the front to the back of the tongue. Almost chocolaty but not totally, perhaps it’s the hops and malt that are reminding me of Andes candies. Definite coffee ground bitterness comes in after the swallow, as does some redwood abrasiveness. Finishes with tremendous balance of dark malts, bitter roasted barley and vibrant hops. Interesting beer.

M: Medium body, straight forward mouthfeel.

D: I’m not sure how I feel about these hoppy dark beers. Tasty but they aren’t one of my favorite styles…not yet at least. Regardless, this is a delicious beer with fantastic balance.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap, city beer store, sf, ca. This is a dark brew, near black russett brown with haloed edges of caramel/ruby. Aromas are of a hoppy IPA but also there is some roasted and chocolate maltin there as well. This is kind of a cross between death and taxes and racer 5. The malt background is nice and the hoppy/piney/citrusy middle smooths out into a chocolate caramel coated hop finish of roastiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and helps this beer achieve a solid drinkability level. Nice one.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered this online through bottle trek.

22 oz brown bottle dated September 2007.
Gotta love Stone's labels.

a: Deep black with a frothy light tan colored head with good retention and lacing.

s: Sweet malt with chocolate notes combine with a citrus hops to form an unusual and intriguing aroma.

t: Sweet caramel and toffee malt upfront then you're hit in the face by excellent grapefruit hops in the finish. A fantastically unique brew!
I am amazed by how well these flavors work together.

m: A rich, acidic beer, with average carbonation and a full body thats sticky on the tongue.

d: Wonderfully drinkable, strong grapefruit hop flavor pairs surprisingly well with the dark malt. Bitterness is low considering the hop flavor.
The abundance of flavor really hides the alcohol nicely. I really enjoy this beer, I only wish it was available here in Missouri (thank god for mail-order beer!).

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decanted this cool from a brown 22oz into a goblet, purchased this at Thirsty's in York, Pa.

A - Black as cinder w/ a tall, 3 fingers of rocky tan head w/ an ultra-fine bead. Moderately full coating of lace on the glass.

S - A huge citrus aroma w/ totally hop dominant nose. Tinges of malty toasted and creamy notes peek out from behined the NW hop aroma.

M - Rich, acidic feel w/ leafy resionous pungency, bitter upfront w/ notes of sweet dark malt in the finish.

T - An intensely flavored ale w/ a nod to the IPA, very citrusy w/ grapefruit and tangy citrus notes w/ mango and sweet subtle flavors that have a gentle dark malt influence w/ hints of molasses and dark sugar w/ caramel and roasted flavors. The acidity is present in each sip as the citrus hop flavor makes its potency known. Sip after sip says Grapefruit! There is a ruby red note w/ a turbinado sugar topped flavor, very zesty the taste reminds me of a grapefruit winter warmer I brewed w/ actual ruby red fruit years ago. I find it unique that this should bring back that one-off memory. I like how the malt is in the taste kind of cushioning the high vault of hops, a very nice effect.

D - This beer is impressive in craftsmanship. Nice black color, all IPA in flavor. It is not something I could see myself drinking many of, but is tasty-it kept me coming back. This ale isn't what I consider complex, but makes its point well and is very drinkable. Shame it is only around for the Anniversary.

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Photo of WeymouthMike
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I knew this was referred to as a dark ipa but from a distance it could have been a stout with its dark color with ruby edges with a cream like head. Not much on the nose, a bit estery with some roasted smell. A great mouthfeel to this very smooth with little to no carbonation. Some dark fruit and black licorice as well as some little maple syrup Very easy drinking beer but I can feel the effects after one bomber.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip, this one looks a deep dark brown with just a touch of bright brown and burgundy shining through. The head started about an inch tall but slowly fell to a sticky foam leaving behind a lot on the sides.

I can smell it as it sits here beside me. There’s a light piny hop backed by caramel… at two feet away. This gets amplified all the more with my nose in the glass. The pine rounds out with some nice nectarine and strawberry and the caramel takes on a dryer quality that suggests maple syrup. Quite pleasant.

Things come to a screeching halt in the flavor. The hops and malt collide in a cruel automobile accident with bits and parts flying every which way. The hops pick up a very dry pine/cardboard flavor that really rubs the malt the wrong way. I can see that this may have been intended to nestle into a coffee roasted flavor from the caramel, but they seem to have backfired in my mouth. It isn’t entirely unpleasant, odd at the least, but just strange none the less. The dry oddness stays around in the finish.

Feels slick and present with a soft swarm of carbonation trapped in the body. Feels a bit sticky in the finish.

Interesting for sure. I’m not sure how this goes as per “American Strong Ales,” but this seems to be an odd duck.

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Photo of asabreed
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a snifter. First off, let me say that I poured this after it had been in the fridge for a day. The smell, at first, was dirty socks all over the place. Did anyone else get this? Thankfully, I waited about two hours before reviewing it, which was probably the smart move in the first place. Here we go.

Appearance: How is this some kind of opaque IPA? Not sure, but alas, I suppose it is. A good, thick, frothy head around the bowl of the snifter toward the top. Large raindrop-like spots of lacing left all around.

Smell: All balanced hops and sweet nutty malt. Again, when this was right out of the fridge... wow -- don't do it. It was bad, though I'm not sure exactly why. Now there's the light candy bar chocolate, just-brewed coffee, slight grapefruit and pine resin hops. With some swirls some cinnamon stick and sweetbread. Even some grapes, and some raisins. Let this sucker warm up, definitely to room temperature.

Taste: The best and hardest-to-nail aspect of this beer. As it warms, the hops and IPA flavors get more subdued as the darkness and the malt seems to take over, but it still leaves it as a force of a brew. Woody flavors and dark malt are there, with some blacker vinous characteristics, oily bark, dark bread, husk toasted-and-nuttiness, along with slightly sweeter dark malt, maybe caramel, and some honey and vanilla to balance out the dark and roasted characteristics. The hops, however, are phenomenally balanced with the darkness, which can certainly be felt on the tongue without the overt heaviness to a porter. Sour grapes and vinous hops, along with orange and grapefruit rind, and I mean rind, though it works well with the burnt sweetness of the malt. I have to say I've never had a beer like this before, and for seemingly a first, as far as this beer goes -- though there may be more of this particular style on the horizon -- it's quite impressive and bold.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, allowing the flavors of both the dark and heavy roasted malt to combine nicely with the resiny hop rind flavors. Enough carbonation to not feel thick, but enough to feel the hop oils and their flavors coming through, which is quite astounding for such a dark brew.

Drinkability: I'm not sure this warrants outstanding from me. The 10th I thought was a lot more ballsy and out of this world. Though it was higher alcohol and more sought after I suppose. I do, however, like the experiment, and I have a feeling that this can be a kind of strong ale to set the standards for more like it, with the odd-enough and unheard-of hybird, at least from me, of IPA and Porter, which this beer does, somehow, quite singularly and successfully. Certainly beyond worth a try if you can find a bottle. And even if you wouldn't go for such a style, this isn't going to be around for long of course.

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

The beer emerges from the 22-ounce bottle a sparkling deep brown, the head a crown of light chocolate, creamy and long lasting, after its final demise the lace forms a thick blanket to cover the glass. Nose has a profound hop floral spiciness at the front, backed by the sweet malt, caramel, and maybe a hint of chocolate, mouth watering. Start has a nice malt sweetness; hop bitter bite to the back, top is moderately full in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops potent and spicy; the alcohol warms the tummy while the aftertaste continues the hop spiciness.

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Photo of Risser09
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle shared at a tasting - Poured into a tulip

Appearance: Dark black color that is not pitch black. The edges are still see-through with orange and yellow hues. Some head arises and some lace is left behind.

Smell: Very strong hoppy grapefruit and pine combination for this beer. How deceiving, based on the looks of the brew. Sweet malt aroma.

Taste: Very sweet and grapefruity. A bit of molasses. Quite deceptive.

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied and lots of alcohol burn. Could be the result of this being a young beer.

Drinkability: Tasty, deceptive, and great. I'm sure you've had this by now, and if not, try it. Not as great as some proclaim, but a step in a new direction.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone 11th Anniversary, in the dark with this IPA, pitch dark, so they say...what's that mean? Let's open and find out...

Hey, that is dark...and hoppy...big aromas, leaping out at ya...just about black, this one, with a smallish dark brown head.

Aroma: bright hops, mixed with rich, dark malt...ripe fruit melds with cocoa and coffee tones...interesting, to say the least...and I like it!

In the taste, big hop smack, taking a dark turn, feeling hot, roasted, and full. Tangy, twangy, tingly hops, meet roasted malt...overloaded with character and confidence. Some trickles of molasses and a hint of spice linger in as well...hops are everywhere, this is in IPA territory, definitely, but those dark malts take somewhere else entirely...and I like that!
first bitter fruit feel, then dark roast burning the palate...again, I like!

8.7%? I'm hardly feeling it...or, am...I?

A bit of bright orange and grapefruit pith, then a round of chocolate and coffee grounds..I'm enjoying that!

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Photo of peabody
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark black color with three fingers of tan suds that leave lacing around the glass as they slowly dissapate.
Smell is floral hops with a maltygrapefruit finish. Very nice here. Wonderful aroma.
Taste is a little alcoholy but still very balanced between the malt sweetness and the bitterness of the hops.
Mouthfeel is very clean and refreshing and doesn't dry the mouth out like you think it would. Mabey the alcohol is balancing that out.
This is a very nice ASA and I rate it pretty high on the drinkability scale despite the high abv.

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Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic, Stone's 11th Anniversary is black with a very large, thick, rocky tan head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is overwhelmingly sweet, citrus hops, grapefruit to the extreme. Smells fine, but really more like grapefruit juice then beer, although with enough sweet malt and alcohol to make the difference clear.

Taste is pretty good but rather unusual. Basically a big porter with a huge charge of citrus hops. The hops are so citrusy that they're more akin to the sourness of, again, grapefruit. There's a bit of astringency from the black malt as it warms. The finish is a bit boozy, with just enough bitterness to let you know your actually drinking beer. Lots of flavors, but they seem very disjointed, lacking synergy. I think I'd really like this better if they went with EKG or another English or Noble hop, rather then the PNW "C" varieties, but still, it's quite nice. Funny how thinking outside of the box ceases to be so when you do it the same way every time....

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a suprisingly light, yet not thin body.

Drinkablity is about average. The booze is certainly there, and I'm not to fond of grapefruit juice, even if it is as sweet as this. However, like most Stone brews, that second half of the bomber goes down way to quick! Still, I couldn't really take to big of a swig, that weird sweet and sour combo was just too much. I had this right when it came out, and this one tastes about the same, maybe a hair sweeter, but I think the store kept it chilled the past 3 months, as the hops are still in full effect. I'm gonna cellar one just to see what happens in about 2 years. Sure the hops will fade, but dark beers really develop well in my experience, and I expect a whole new animal by then.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Charred walnut with dark copper trim that extends a short distance into the liquid rather than being a mere sliver along the edge of the glass. The golden brown sugar colored head is the usual beauty from the boys at Stone. It produces numerous bridges of foam that result in sticky splotches of lace when they eventually break. We're starting things off on a high note.

I love the aroma! It's hard to get the beer's color out of my mind, but I'm not sure that I could have identified this as anything but a hugely resinous DIPA. A whiff of black malt would be welcome. However, when a beer smells this sensational, it isn't essential. Pineapple and grapefruit in brown sugar syrup explode out of a glass that is begging to be upended.

11th Anniversary Ale tastes like a black IPA. In other words, it's an IPA that happens to use some quantity of dark malt. Actually, Double IPA might be more accurate given the ABV. I was expecting something along the lines of Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, but that beer is, at heart, an Imperial porter that uses more hops that I've ever tasted in a 'dark' beer.

Maybe it's the muddying effect of the roasted malt, but the hoppiness isn't as bright and as vibrant as it could be. The citrus zestiness (almost exclusively white grapefruit now) is front and center, it's just that the bitterness digs in harder than the hop flavor. I feel like I'm nitpicking because 11th is clearly delicious beer... that could be even more delicious with a tweak or two.

I understand the brewery's desire not to do yet another C-hop IPA/DIPA, even though they do them very well. What I'm trying to say is that if you're going to brew a black IPA, then make it unquestionably BLACK. Give me roasted barley and bittersweet chocolate right alongside the grapefruit. Those flavors work well together, as Alpha Klaus, Rogue Black Brutal '07 and Bear Republic Big Bear Black have shown.

Despite my ever so slight misgivings about the flavor profile (which are really nothing more than wanting a good beer to be a great beer), drinkability is right up there. I was shocked when I picked up the bottle and found it to be almost empty. The mouthfeel is much closer to an IPA than a DIPA and is part of the reason why this sucker is disappearing like nobody's business.

I've been drinking the Stone Anniversary Ales since 7th and haven't been blown away by any of them. Keep in mind that this is in comparison to Imperial Russian Stout, Ruination IPA, IPA, et al. 11th is probably my favorite and is a beer that deserves a repeat purchase if I'm lucky enough to run across a few bombers again. Don't age this one. Drink it now.

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

Pours a dark brown practically black with a huge unmovable head that last. Thick crusty lace.

Nose: Piney hops, sweet cherry soda pop,

Thick body. Unexpected hop explosions, mixes well with some sweet dark malts. Not roasty. Finishes with a long lingering piney hop bitterness.

Very drinkable and actually not outrageously priced as some other specialty brews seems to be. Highly recommended.

Review from notes: drank during the Pitt-Baltimore game a few weeks ago. Go Lers.

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Photo of buzzworthy
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale looks marvelous! It pours a dark brown, almost black color with a three finger, frothy tawny-brown head. Hops come through on the smell with a hint of malt and almost licorice. Grapefruit and orange hoppiness dominate with some bready malt flavors submerged in the mix. The hops are aggressive, not overly bitter, but would mitigate my desire to drink this brew all night long.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - dark black,with a offwhite creamy head, and nice lace.

smell - Fruits and hops here.

taste - Sweet,like toasted malts, and toffee with a hoppy finish at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body

drinkability - Not a bad drink, looks like a porter but wasn't. Would buy agin, can't wait for 12th ann.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,896 ratings.
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