Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
BA SCORE
92.1%
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 5,928 ratings
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPASublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
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
Ranking:
#898
Reviews:
1,915
Ratings:
5,928
Liked:
5,459
Avg:
4.22/5
pDev:
10.43%
Alströms:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
309
Gots:
817
Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,928 |  Reviews: 1,915
Photo of JohnL9013
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I loved this beer, straight-up. If you liked Stone's Ruination, this is a dark-malted twist on it that will intrigue as much as assault you in Stone's typical style.

A: My gosh. This beer is totally black. Small half-inch head likely due to sloppy pouring, no lacing.

S: Wow, very very nice hops in the nose here. Judging by the appearance of this beer I was preparing to bite into a delicious "Arrogant Bastard" style ale, instead, I was greeted with a Ruinous level of hopping and a wonderful, sweet nose with dark malts in the background.

T: I realize that Stone only built this beer to please themselves, however, it's working quite well for me as well. There is a flat-out FANTASTIC balance of hops in this beer, heck, I prefer the balance slightly in this beer to the Ruination, although this beer lacks the Ruination's raw power. The dark malts give an interesting twist on things and actually balance really well with the hops they used to create a beer that is largely homogeneous with a huge emphasis on the hops. Still, there's a complexity in this beer I couldn't have expected.

M: Can be a bit harsh at first, but give it some time.

D: Be careful, this beer is very high in alcohol content. I had one of these and I was done for the night.

Summary: Buy it if you can get it!

edit: This review was written in 2010. As of 2014, this beer is much more common, and I'm quite happy, as it's become one of my go-to, favorite American beers. I have revised my ratings accordingly. I feel that this beer is the epitome of what modern American craft breweries are capable of bringing to the table.

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Photo of oregonskibum
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. No bottled date, but a new shipment just received this week, so I believe it to be fairly fresh.

A: Pours a really dark borwn, almost bordering black. Nice off white / eggshell 1/4 inch head that disappears fairly quickly.

S: Nice big hop flavors up front. Nice piney scents with only some minor toasted malts in the background.

T: This definitely tastes fresh. Big hops presence right from the start, piney, maybe a little citrus notes in there as well. There's a healthy malt background with some bready flavors along with a bit of chocolate. Wow, and then here comes the bitterness. Long bitter finish with lots of grapefruit that lasts for minutes (or more). Maybe a little out of balance on the finish...

M: Medium mouth feel and carbonation. Seems appropriate for the aggressive of the beer.

D: Wow, this starts out as a great beer. But it's also a fatiguing beer. It's so big and aggressive, that it's not easy to finish a 22oz bottle in one sitting. But it's still a really nice beer and I'm glad I can get this on a regular basis.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. 2 fingers of light tan head. Black and sticky looking. Smells of mango, peaches, citrus hops, coffee and alcohol. A little hot on the nose, but otherwise perfect. Tastes like mango, bitter hop flavor, and a bit of toasted malt, vaguely coffee-like. Slightly sweet on the finish, but mostly bitter chocolate and hop. Alcohol is prevalent, but imminently drinkable for a beer at 8.7 abv. Delicious.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thoughtful extra from Thorpe429. Thanks, Mike!

Reddish brown pour creates minimal head that vanishes minutes into this beer

Whoa, Nellie! Smells like meat or, more specifically, beef jerky and ham

Thankfully redemption is found in the drink. Black malts open into a steady stream of citric hops, predominantly orange and pineapple. Classifications be damned, this is an IPA...or black IPA, whatever that truly means.

Carbonation on the low end, with medium to thin body

I enjoyed this more than my compadre, who tastes a 60/40 blend of Tomaco Porter and Coffeed Ruination. Silly friend.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL. We're happy to finally be able to have Stone in Chicago.

Served in a 10oz. snifter

It pours a nice almost black color, creamy dense khaki colored head that lingered for about 1/4 of the glass before receding. A medium amount of lacing was left coating the side of the glass.

The smell was firm but now overpowering piny resinous hop nose. Behind that a supporting background of roasted malt was present. The two opposing smells were melded together in a nice complimentary way.

The taste starts off much like the nose with a nice dollop of pine hops and the associated bitterness was much smoother than I expected since I find many stone beers to have an overly harsh bitterness. Past the initial hop presence the dark character reared its head with some molasses and just a touch of kilned malts but not as much as was in the nose. The two opposing flavors didn't blend together as well as the nose.

The mouthfeel was ok and had a medium body with an acceptable carbonation in order to help keep those hops form lingering on the tongue. Drinkability was above average and I did not know the ABV until I started writing this review and I must say it hid very well so I give props in that area.

I've only had a couple Black IPAs (Well I guess I can call them American Style India Black Ales since the brewers Association revised the style guidelines today) and they have been all over the board in terms of successfully blending the flavors together. This one is my favorite of the bunch so far.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, "enjoy by 06 29 10"

Pours very dark brown with a sudsy tan head. Smell is super crisp, citrusy, and sweet. A bunch of grapefruit in the taste, and other assorted hoppy layers. Hard to believe all this is coming from such a dark brew. The malt is pretty subdued, but does add a mellowness the body and finish. Bitterness expectedly rears up at the end. Maybe a little clash of characters, and except for a touch of alcohol burn, drinks quite easy for 8.7%

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Photo of emmasdad
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown/mahogany color, with a good tan head. Nice piney hoppy aromas compete with undertones of roasted malt. On the palate, this one boasts a good malt backbone, with roasted malt, cocoa, dark chocolate easily mingling with some good pine/citrus hop flavors. A very nicely balanced beer, and one that is way to dangerous drinkable for its ABV. Excellent

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Photo of JoePat
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a thick light tan almost kaki in color head that leave abundant lacing as it dissipates.
The most dominant smell of the aroma is the wonderfully delicious amarillo hops. That unmistakable pinapple aroma always gets me in the mood for a beer.
I can taste a citrusy hop in the flavor but it is much more balanced with the malt than the flavor would lead you to beleive with a little grassy/piney bitterness near the end. The malt doesnt play a real forward roll in this beer but it balances everything out great like a good worker who is seen but not heard.
The mouth feel is light and creamy and makes this beer all the more pleasure to put in my mouth.
Dispite the 8.7% I feel I could put back one after another and still ask for more.

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Chicagoland!!!

A: Served in a snifter with a thin layer of light tan head. Good lacing. As far as I can tell, the beer itself is black.

S: Predominantly bitter, piney hops and, to a lesser extent, roasted malts.

T: Starts with the light flavor of roasted malt, finishes with an appreciable hop bitterness. Bitterness is the key "flavor" which overwhelms everything else.

M: Medium in weight with appropriate carbonation. Clean.

D: Very good. I recently had a ST Iniquity, which is considered a DIPA, but, in my opinion, this beer is much more accurate representation of the style than Iniquity. However, this beer decides to be classified, I believe any hophead would find it to be quite drinkable.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my brand new Stone Levitation tulip. Glad to have regular access to Stone!

A: Pours pitch black, has all the visual characteristics of a stout, tan head, leaves splotchy lacing, decent retention, no light passes through

S: The nose has a nice big burst of aromatic hops in the form of pine, grapefruit, and other citric notes along with a hint of roasted grains beneath the hops...lots of earthy notes in there, smells quite complex

T:The aromatic hops dominate the front of the palate much like the nose, but they give way to quite a big malt back bone which features chocolate, coffee, molasses, honey and a long finish of bitter and earthy hops and a touch of heat from the alcohol. Lots of interesting things going on here. Like an IPA with a porter's grain bill- very nice.

MF: thick body with medium carbonation

D: wow, this beer is somewhat of a paradox .. its pitch black- tastes like a big IPA- has some touches of porter/stout like qualities, but it all comes together with the hops. Very nice brew, will drink again.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark ruby color, nearly black with one finger of creamy tan head.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugars, caramel, juicy hops, a hint of charred oak and some alcohol. I like the scent a lot, the strong sweet dark fruit, bitter hops, and roasted malts blend very nicely, but the alcohol is a bit too noticeable.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, sugars, bitter, juicy hops, and sweet malts. I was expecting more of a roasty flavor, but was pleased to discovery it is very sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily, but somewhat thin.

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Photo of andrewm190
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All in all a solid product from an excellent brewery that is worthy of praise. Poured a fairly tame head, some solid roasted malt aroma, damn near a stout in my opinion. Fairly bitter after-taste, and definitely alcohol heavy. Certainly worth a try; if nothing else, Stone always delivers with entertaining bottling. Nice mix of hops as well. A strong beer, not for the faint of heart - but that is how Stone likes it.

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Photo of danielharper
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thick brown bubbly head that remains on the top of the beer for some time. Some lacing. Slight reddish tinge on the bottom of the glass. Great presentation. Smells strongly of fresh hops, high alpha acids, with a strong citrus note underneath. Hints of sweet nutty malt underneath, with some sweetness coming to light as the beer warms.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma but somehow... off. First of all, there's a strong alcohol astringency on display here that overwhelms the rest of the palate, making it hard to get the complexity of the flavors. There's still that nice alpha hoppiness, some notes of citrus and a whole lot of sweet malt, but it gets overwhelmed by the "heat" of the flavor and just turns into a bit of a mush. It reminds me a bit of an American-made Weizenbock in flavor, hoppier than a traditional German, but the alcohol just overwhelms in the end. It's still good, but a bit one-note.

Mouthfeel is moderate-to-thick, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops. Somewhat syrupy on the tongue.

Overall I don't have much more to add here. This is a good beer, one it might be interesting to age, but it doesn't quite hit that elusive sweet spot for me.

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Photo of crossovert
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber bottle. best by 06/29/10.

Pours a dense dark brown/black with hints of ruby when held to light and a foamy, long lasting tan head. It is a bit of an ambiguous color, it looks like a stout.

It smells sweet and hoppy, but it isn't that fragrant.

The taste is bitter and hoppy, with some slight coffee character. It is slightly metallic as well. The hops are piney and mix with the metallicness to create a flavor im not too keen on.

The so called black IPAs seem to be more gimmicks than anything, it seems like no brewers have taken the time to make the perfect recipe for it.

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Photo of mynie
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Black Sparrow, billed as a Black IPA because, well, Sparrow customers know that some beers is wheat and some is pilsners and others is IPAs.

Pours like a thick, fluffy stout. Big white head. The body looks black until you hold it up to a light and it's like those Crows candies, it's actually a really deep shade of green that looks black. Pretty cool.

Smells agressive. Big, giant west coast hops. Big, bitter, syrupy malt. There's some nice nodes here, but also some stuff that's unpleasantly intense and really the balance is kind of off.

Aaaand it tastes pretty much like it smells: interesting, but hugely offbalanced. There's some herbs thrown in there, along with the big giant alpha of citrusy west coast hops. That's nice. The whole front half is excellent, actually, but then in the back it's a thick, syrupy malt that's just not all that great. Overall there's a lot more good than bad but the bad still spoils much of the good.

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Photo of JamesS
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Weyerbacher tulip (instead of the default 3/4 pint glass - thanks, Caitlin!).

A: Black with red tinges and an inch of creamy light brown head. Solid retention and some good, fine lacing.

S: Pure hops at first, with super-bitter grapefruit pith and a bit of pine. The faintest hint of roasted malt gives a touch of coffee to the tail end. Nice.

T: Big hops right off the bat, with some caramel and roasted malts making themselves known in the middle. Fruity hop finish with great bitterness.

M: Fairly light body with a moderate amount of slightly prickly carbonation.

D: Does pretty well here, considering the strength.

Notes: If this isn't a Black IPA, then I don't know what that is. Awesome beer, with a terrific hop presence that's beautifully balanced with a complex malt backbone. Delicious.

Cheers!

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Photo of AlexTheAleMan
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stone ipa glass. big, slightly dark head. very dark, but not quite as dark as a stout.

smells slightly metalic and very hoppy. i might be getting sick or suffering from allergies so i dont really smell too much.

tastes very smooth. there is a bitter upfront bite like an ipa that slowly turns into a coffee stout flavor. the bitterness lasts for a long time. very good black ipa.

considering the 8.7% abv it is very drinkable. it is fairly carbonated and finishes very smoothly.

over all this is not my favorite beer, but it is definitely delicious and worth trying. i would most definitely buy this beer again.

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Photo of EtOHMD
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First beer I had at new good beer bar in Cambridge Lord Hobo. Caught my eye as a black IPA - my new favorite style. On tap into 12 oz tulip glass. Pours black with creamy off whie head. Lots of lacing going down. Very nice. Smell is mainly floral to me. Taste is great but I was having a hard time pinning it down. Citrus, coffee, roasted. Recent reviews describing it as ipa up front and stouth at the end are dead on - wish I had come up with that on my own. Thin but not watery feel with nice warming feel from the alcohol. Excellent brew but one is good for me. Already feelin this one.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the idea behind this beer, and where they are trying to go with it. Intentions are good. Dark, bitter, malty, fruity. It is a cross between an IPA and a stout from what I can tell. It's good, a very strong beer, complex, with a strong finish, sort of coffee-like at the end, leaves a slight after taste. I must admit, at the first sip, I was disappointed, I have learned to expect great things from Stone, but after I started to drink it, it grew on me, and I enjoyed it. Great pour/appearance, consistency. For the price they charge, I am not sure I'd buy this again, don't get me wrong, it's a solid beer, but it is over-priced, I think you could get alot better value for the money. I probably wouldn't get it again, mainly because of the price not taste.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: big citus, smells like a strong IPA, no indication that it's a dark beer at all.

taste: very complex and comlicated beer. which makes it interesting. It's drinks like an IPA on the front, citrus, grapefruit, and a stout on the back, bitter and coffee flavors. fantastic and one of the best front to back chnages in a beer that I have had.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine

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Photo of DNICE555
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the B with Zapps. It's a stone show tonight with this offering, the ipa, and the 09 double bastard. Had the ipa plenty of times and the double bastard once so I went with a sample of the double bastard and a pint of the sublimely slef righteous. I had this pint for free as well as the rest of the meal. Zapps made the mistake of betting me on movie trivia. Yes, Benecio Del Toro was in the Usual Suspects. On to the review.

A - Dark brown with a reddish tint.

S - Hops, roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate.

T - Complex, hoppy, roasted malts, dark fruit, a malty sweetness, nutty.

M - Tight, well balanced, smooth, nice carbonation.

D - This one holds up well. Ive had it in a bomber. I'd have to say it's even better on tap with a bit of age on it.

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Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz poured into SN hop pint glass.

A: Dark dark brown with a large light brown head that took its time to reduce into a velvety layer of foam. Good sticky lacing left on the glass.
S: Huge amount of hops up front, mostly grassy but some floral notes present as well. Hints of fruits, possibly apricots, peaches and tangerines.
T: Hops up front followed by some alcohol notes, dark chocolate and dark fruits. Hops are by far the most dominant with a citrusy fruity flavor. There are some slight roasted notes as well as some faint malt sweetness in the finish.
M: Pretty bitter and extremely dry but not uncomfortable. The bitter has a lot of grapefruit in it.
D: If you like IPA's you love this beer. Very good hoppy brew from Stone. It's more of a dark IPA than a strong ale. I can only handle one of these at a time. I wouldn't drink this all the time but it is something I wouldn't mind coming back to.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review is for 11th Anniversary.

A - Nice Dark Brown with a half finger of tan head that fades quickly.

S - Brown sugar, Fig, Raisins, Black Pepper, Sodium, and a slight sweet Chocolate smell. This beer almost smells barrel aged, I guess that is what 2 years does.

T - Tastes of Coffee, Brown sugar, Pepper, Bourbon, Raisins, Vanilla, Bell Pepper(weird), and Oak.

M - Very nice carbonation, smooth mouth feel, and only a slight bitter bite especially for an IPA.

D - This is a very drinkable beer and even more so than the Self Righteous.

I need to trade for another one of these or maybe age a Sublimely Self Righteous.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby mahogony with a tan frothy head. The head is large with lacing that lasts a long time. The smell is a very strong citrus hops with some pine aromas. The taste is a mixture of pine and citrus hops. A very good mixture with alcohol and bread yeast that makes a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well. Another in the long line of very good Stone beers.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92.1% out of 100 with 5,928 ratings
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