Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

5,928 Ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,928 |  Reviews: 1,915
Photo of deereless
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lots of frothy to espresso like head, dark brown to black in color, slight viscosity is noticeable from a swirl of the glass - 4.50, S: Quite a contrast in aromas - loads of charred grains and ash mixed with some citrusy hop aromas, burnt cherry, possibly some anise on the nose - 4.50, T: Dates and figs which add significantly to the sweetness factor, lots of specialty grains - especially chocolate malts and also some coffee grounds, alcohol is noticeable but not disruptive - 4.25, M: Creamy mouth feel - 4.50, D: An very enjoyable and drinkable beer - 4.25

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Photo of goldbot
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/4/2010. Bottle says to enjoy by 6/23/2010.

Pours very dark brown to black with thick, creamy tan head that persists. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas of roasty black malt, bready and pleasantly nutty. Great balance of citrus and pine hop aroma with some herbal notes. Interesting complexity and interplay.

The taste comes on with mild bread and roasted malt. Quite bitter throughout, some chocolate and coffee notes. Turns hoppy at the end with citrusy brightness and some earthy pine flavor. This subsides to leave a bitter, dry, dark-roast coffee aftertaste.

Fully bodied, bitter, and a bit on the dry side, but overall seems balanced. Overall this beer has a very rich complexity and is very interesting to taste due to the interesting combination of flavors. Still very hoppy, and very balanced, considering it was reviewed so close to the best by date.

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Photo of HosP
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this with an Arrogant Bastard.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black color. light brown head that stuck around for awhile

S- Strong roasted malts with a caramel smell to it.

T- Pretty much like the smell. Had a crisp yet citrusy lemon and pine bitterness that meshes into the darkness within.

M- At first tasted closer to a stout or porter, but nice and with a hoppy citrus bite like an IPA. Quite a bit more smoother than would have thought

D- An interesting beer for the style. Malty, yet heavily hopped which I liked. Tastes good and is easy to enjoy. Very Good beer that I easily enjoyed

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Photo of afausser
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an extremely bubbly dark chocolate with about a finger for near mocha head, which is frothy and doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Looks kind of strange and reminds me of a soda pour.

Smell: The color makes me think I'm about to drink a RIS or something, so it's almost like this brew is playing mind games with me when I get to the nose. Quite aromatic and strong. Piney and a bit citrusy and quite light overall. Some definite sugar notes. smells cold and refreshing.

Taste: The taste isn't as good out of the bottle as it was on tap. That said, it's an interesting brew. Chewy and sticky, with maple, pine sap, and caramel. The bitter hops really bite quite a bit. Pairs well with cashews.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is tricky. This brew seems pretty undercarbonated. That said, I can't really think of what would happen were the carbonation higher. I think the brew would become overly abrasive. That said, the bubbles that are present are pretty big and result in this strange type of foam. It's not frothy, but it lingers well past the sip and really affects the brew. I think that if the bubbles present were finer and crisper, all the other elements of this brew would be elevated quite a bit. As it stands, it's this odd mix...maybe I got a bad bottle?

Drinkability is low for the style. I'm not impressed, which is frustrating because I remember it being pretty decent when I tried it as a sample on tap.

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Photo of Keffa
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Unibroue tulip.

Didn't notice any freshness dates.

A: Dark brown, almost black body, lets no light through. Nice thick tan head that stays around for about 5 minutes. Turns into small ring that leaves lacing on the sides on each drink.

S: Amazing mix of resinous, piney hop with a slight citrus hop and a whiff of sweet malt and dark fruit. At the very end, I noticed deep roasted peanut butter. Weird, but made me want it sooo much. Chocolate in it as well.

T: Deep, sticky, piney, resinous hop, little bit of a flowery hop, and a very faint citrus hop. Roasted malt, very little sweetness, then back to the hops. This is the epitome of a hop forward beer. It is the star, and rightfully so. Great flavors in the hops, and the malt, once it comes out, makes this one I will drink A LOT.

M: Oily, slick, little bit creamy, not bad, but not the best I have had.

D: If you like hops, very. If not, not so much. This is a hop forward beer. You know it as soon as the bottle is opened. If the aroma is offputting, you might want to stay away because it is a perfect indicator of the flavor.

Very good beer. I love it. I am hoping that next year I will be able to put one up side by side with a fresh HopSlam.

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Photo of Chizoad
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is like a combo beer. Hoppy, resinous, malty and thick.

Came out way darker than expected, with a clear, deep brown appearance and a fluffy tan head that had huge bubbles in it and excellent retention. Reminded me a little bit of the Duvel head, almost 50-50. Could be the glass I poured it into, one of those tall narrow ones designed to display the head.

Smells very bitter and hoppy. Doesn't promise a huge amount from the nose, and doesn't deliver something extraordinary in the taste. But the malt manages to bleed through, giving a stout-y richness, while the bitter hops dominate and leave a lingering resinous sensation on the tongue. As it warmed I could sense a bit of coffee and chocolate up front (I would love more of this! Could they make a beer that was *just* the amazing malt/coffee/stout that starts this beer off?) before the bitterness came back to dominate. All in all, pretty good. One complaint is that the more I drank it, the more the bitterness built up. Thankfully not overwhelming. I liked the mouthfeel for a while, but eventually it got a bit too much.

Enjoyed it while it lasted, but wouldn't open another one immediately afterwards.

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Photo of pecochran1
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this not knowing what it was only that it came from Stone and I trust them.

After drinking, I still trust!

Much darker than expected, excellent head that lasted just long enough. THe nose was far hoppier than expected but not as malty as the color would lead on. It warmed up and bit probably to where it should be consumed and became more balanced.

I would love to find a clone recipe, for this was a great beer.

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Photo of Spica66
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown color. You can have as much head as you would like to pour with this beer. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: Mostly hops in the nose.

T: When it was cold, all I could taste was hops, so I left it for 15 minutes and came back. Now we have a rich, malty taste to go with the hops. Much better!

M: Full body, good carbonation.

D: As soon as it got warmer, I drank the bottle right down.

Very cool brew. I am not sure that I even would compare to anything that I have had before.

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Photo of obywan59
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque for me. Except at the very base of my Old Guardian glass, where it narrows down. Substantial tan head that leaves nice thick lacing.

Major hops!! In your face, citrusy, fruity hops. Tropical even. Maybe overripe oranges?

Really bitter at first, not much sweetness at all, with a taste of coffee and burnt malt. Nearer the end of the bottle I get more of the sweet malty flavor up front soon replaced by a lasting bitterness.

Great creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth. Drying in the end. Nice alcohol burn in the throat.

I think the bitterness slowed me down a bit, but it mellowed out in the end. I wouldn't hesitate to try this again.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark black with a tannish tint in the light, sick off white lacing and killer lacing found on the pint glass. Admired for several minutes in aw, I did.

S: Great aromatics to be had as well. Chocolate, licorice, raisons all give way right off the bat. Followed by earthy tones and some sweetness in toe. 5 star

T: Has a bit of a chocolate taste in the front and some sweet molasses characters in the back. Good hit of the hops visible in the confines and a pronounce presence of malt to wash things out.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, ABV hidden to some extent.

D: Overall, I like this as a slow sipper. A lot of things are going on in this beer and I"m overwhelmed just thinking about it. Didn't get a chance to try this as an anniversary brew, but sure glad I got to sample it as a fixture. CA here I come...

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Photo of vkv822
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into snifter.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with deep red accents and a frothy tan head. It has a surprisingly hoppy aroma despite the dark appearance, with notes of citrus and pine. There is a nice bready malt backing to the nose as well.
The flavor is a very pleasant mix of juicy, citrus and tropical fruit and roasty malts, though the hops are dominant. There is also a slightly boozy warming finish, while the mouthfeel is a medium to light body with decent carbonation.
This beer is very drinkable, especially considering the ABV. I particularly enjoy the balance of hops and malts.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pt. 6 oz. bottle into a Corned Beef & Co. shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. Has a large tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves impressive lacing.

Smell: Cascade hops almost completely dominate, giving it a very grassy, earthy smell. Slight bready smell in the background.

Taste: Hops overwhelm at the front. As it develops, it gets slightly more malty. Tastes like a slightly maltier DIPA. Very tasty. Leaves an earthy, piney aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and reasonably well-carbonated.

Drinkability: A damn fine beer and another win from Stone. While I don't think most people could handle more than one of these at a time, it is definitely still a world-class brew.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a 22 oz bomber on 2010-06-12 in Lynchburg, VA

A - Coffee color with a generous, light tan head

S - Fresh bread, lemon, mild pine, hop resins

T - Roasted grain, coffee, raisin, smoke, molasses sweetness, chalk, nice and strong bitterness and some astringency. Alcohol is camoflauged. Finishes dry.

M - Light to medium with light carbonation. Not particularly creamy.

D - Light enough to quaaf but the really interesting flavors keep you coming back for another sip. Nice.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a super dark brown, almost black color that actually cascaded for a few moments too. Produced a great light brown head that stuck around for awhile before leaving big clumps of lacing behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A light roastedness of bread and nuts with a piney lemon and lime citrus background. Weird and different, but good.

(T)- Pretty much like the smell. A good roasted profile with a bread, nut, and molasses character. Combine that with a crisp yet citrusy lemon and pine bitterness that meshes into the darkness within.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Roasted like a stout or porter, but crisp and with a hoppy citrus bite like an IPA. An interesting yet different beer unlike most in the style.

(D)- An interesting beer for the style. Malty, yet heavily hopped which I appreciate. Tastes good and is easy to enjoy. A relative easy drinker with a tamer ABV level than usual. Another solid beer from one of my more favorite breweries.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark brew just sort of a stout. not opaque but damn near with a smallest head that fades. nose is that of an IPA with some earthiness and coffee in it. palate is surprisingly bitter. peppery but nice. come chocolate and coffee. a mild smoky quality. fruit is raisin that isn't overpowering in comparison to the bitter. a great balance. probably fantastic after a year of cellaring. has a very delicate liquored cherry qualitied that seems like its hiding in the finish that would mature wonderfully.

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

Pours a deep dark brown with thin cap of khaki head, leaving decent lacing. The scent is mild, muted hops combined with a muted earthy and muddy backbone with hints of chocolate, nuts, carmel. The taste brings a nice citrusy hop flavor the the front, followed my a smooth and mellow blend of earth, wood, carmel, nuts, dried grain and dense bread. Lighter side of medium bodied, lower carbonation, slightly dry. An all around nice beer whcih doesnt attempt to overpower the senses with any one ingredient.

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Photo of weazal
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Dark, sweet roasted notes boldly contrasting against bright, pine-y floral hops. Not unlike the distinct smell of weed :o Strong, potent, and intriguing.

T: Full bodied and sweet upfront. Three quarters through the hoppy bitterness starts to breakthrough and explodes with full blown, tongue-cripplingly effect. Hours later the bitterness does not leave your palate.

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

Very dark pour, opaque except when held to bright light; it presents a nearly inch-thick head of tan foam on top. The nose is really dominated by hops, earthy and resinous, though lurking underneath is some roasted malt. The flavor, likewise, is mostly hops. There's a good quantity of black patent malt as well, and a touch of roast, but typical of Stone, the emphasis is on the hops. The finish is dry, of course.

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Photo of myost88
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours pitch black with two finger chunky tan head.

Smell- Very piney and a little fresh cut grass. Slightly boozey smell.

Taste- Maltier than I expected from Stone. But the hop bitterness is there. Roasted malt is a nice highlight of this beer. Not citrusy really, mostly pine hop flavors. Really glad that boozey scent didnt show up in the taste. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel- Really smooth. Less carbonated than expected.

Drinkability- Perfect alc content for a bomber if you ask me. Low enough to drink the whole thing and not be tipsy, but high enough to give a nice buzz.

Overall- Nicely done from Stone on this one. I personally love how agressively hopped their beers can be, but I understand that not everyone enjoys that. This one is well balanced and hopheads and maltlovers alike will enjoy.

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

pours with a nice thick creamy head that stays firm

smell: for me i mostly smelt either passion fruit or grapefruit it was a very fruity smell

taste: fore taste is very smooth very creamy tastes like one of the best i guess i should say stout but not since its an ale but the aftertaste is strong with the grapefruit

once the beer becomes warm it over powers the beer

food pairing: i have put a lot of thought into and really i cant think of anything so good luck to you

i would have it again but i do not think i can have more then one in a sitting grapefuit flavor is to much for me and i do like grapefruit

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Photo of jpittman80
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Basically opaque with ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Huge tan head that lasts to the end with plenty of lacing.

S - Beautiful blend of chocolate, roast malt, earthy and piney hops.

T - Oh. Wow. Chocolate, a nice biscuity flavor, roast malts, huge hop flavor and perfect bitterness to counterbalance the sweetness, which even on its own wouldn't be cloying. Finishes dry and big on hops. Amazing.

M - Silky, creamy, perfectly smooth with very soft carbonation. Perfectly dry finish to compliment the amazing smoothness.

D - With a tiny, tiny bit of alcohol, and the high ABV, a bomber will do. This beer is near perfect, and besides, you don't want to overdo it with this one. Keep it special.

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Photo of Pahn
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Stag's Head in Manhattan. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Bartender leaves a one inch tan head that dissipates very slow, leaving thick rings of lacing. Pours a very dark brown, and leaves huge rings and walls of lacing all around the glass.

Smell: Caramel, and some big, piny/grapefruit hops. The deep, almost barleywine caliber malt has a nutty character to it. Smells like a really good porter, plus some almost DIPA strength hops.

Taste: Wow, on tap this beer is amazing. It's so rich and creamy, like a beautiful stout with some piny, fruity hops thrown in. Not much bitterness from either the hops or malt at first. This malt flavor is exquisite; cocoa, chocolate chip cookies, balanced by a big hop presence that mysteriously doesn't clash with the decadent, creamy malt flavors in the slightest. That big hop bite yields a nice citrus, tropical fruit aftertaste, blending beautifully with the rich malt.

This flavor gives me a whole new perspective on the "black IPA" idea; it asks, "what if a world class stout were hoppy enough to be a double IPA?" Sublimely Self-Righteous is the answer: a generous barrage of cookie dough, roasted malt, and big, clear hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. About as smooth as Fritz and Ken's, an excellent beer whose highest point was its silken mouthfeel. Subdued carbonation, silky cookie dough, and a prickly hop bitterness. Excellent.

Drinkability: If black IPAs are inherently experimental, this experiment is a resounding success. After discovering how amazing this beer is fresh on tap, it would take a lot of convincing for me to order anything else.

I really can't get over how impressive Stone Brewing Co. is. Just when I think I'm giving them too much praise and credit, they deliver a beer that surpasses my expectations of them (this happens consistently). Sublimely Self-Righteous works my brain by giving me a whole new take on the so-called "black IPA" (it doesn't have to be a malty IPA, it can be a perfect stout with overdrive hops!), while delivering a simply fantastic beer regardless of style. If this beer were called "Stone Stout" or "Stone Barleywine", it would be scoring A or above from me.

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Photo of thecarster1
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bomber poured into a snifter, very deep, dark brown coloring, one finger of head leaves an uneven layer of lace with spotting all over the glass, very attractive.

s- nicely hopped, earthy hops, slightly peppery with toasted malt and great caramelized brown sugar sweetness.

t- really nice hop kick off the bat, earthy and strong - this isn't playing around, i'm loving it - some toast, and dark fruits jump into the mix, there is nice lingering earthy bitterness, the alcohol is slightly apparant, and warms the back of the throat as the beer warms.

m- very smooth, medium body with some slickness and coating.

d- really great, i'd drink this again for sure, this is a nice way to celebrate my 200th review. it was a very tasty journey - heres to 300!

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

Poured from bomber into Stella glass.

A: Not quite opaque black coloring with nice tan head and good looking heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Typical Stone nose, citrus hops apparent but lingering in background are some roasty burnt tones.

T & M: Medium bodied, citrus hop notes quite apparent but as in the nose the slight roasty tones from the dark malt come through as well. Well balanced.

D: Quite drinkable, yet another fine Stone brew.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: black, though the hue suggests more of an extremely dark brown. Head is two fingers of rocky tan foam with great retention.

Smell: Bright, piney, citrusy, earthy, funky hops. Just a great, complex combination. There also seems to be some alcohol pepperiness buried in the hops for just a touch more complexity. I really enjoy the aroma of this.

Taste: a rich flavor of piney and citrusy hops along with a caramel-infused complex malt flavor. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. A tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation. While I don't usually expect much creaminess from a strong ale like this, there rather was some which created a nice smooth experience.

Drinkability: quite drinkable for its strength and intensity. I'd definitely have this one again.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,928 ratings.
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