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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 Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a snifter

dark brown, almost black pour with a nice head that quickly dissipates. smell is big on roasty malts with a very nice hop aroma on the back end. the taste grows on you. sweet up front, bitter finish. hops are blended perfectly. a lot of flavor here. great. medium bodied with mild carbonation. a hard style to do but stone nailed this.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderate hop aroma with a resiny, grapefruity character, malt nose is low to moderate – hints of chocolate and faint toast. Brilliant chestnut under a 2” light tan foam cap. Enters creamy with traces of coffee to chocolate but no burnt roast. Medium high bitterness – grapefruit rind mellowed by malts with some bitter support from darker malts. Medium body, slight astringency in the finish. Hop driven, lingering bitterness.

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

A-Looks like almost stout like in coloration. Only some light can penetrate this beer. A night bubbly tan head sits on top and slowly fades leaving lacing galore.

S-I have had a few black IPAs before but this one takes the cake in the smell category. Big, big hops are dominant. But the rich dark maltiness of the beer is quite evident as well. Definately the most hop foward Black IPA atleast in the nose department.

T-I find it to be maltier than the nose. But don't be fooled, this one is hopped quite thoroughly. The citrusy hop blast really wallops the tongue. The dark sweet malts are awesome here too however. Roasty and rich, very nice.

M-Pretty thick. Nice oily way about it. Sticky. Medium-heavy. Not overly carbonated.

D-The high alcohol is masked so pleasantly you can't stop yourself here. Very drinkable.

Stone aces it again.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the clear dark brown brew. Frothy head lasts and lasts, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is pungeant piney green hops. Taste is bit lacking in the chewy malts one might expect for such a dark color, but hops character and bitterness is excellent. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is great as well. Yet another anniversary brew from Stone that is worthy of the milestone.

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Photo of barczar
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Two months past the best by date.

Pours an opaque onyx, impervious to light, with a frothy one inch beige head that slowly dissipates, leaving modest lacing.

Coffee, roast malt, and nutty notes are evident after the pour. Further investigation reveals licorice, resin, herbal and floral hops, and a generally earthy character. Grapefruit and fresh cut grass emerge.

Flavor is extremely grassy, minty, herbal, and earthy initially, with offerings of grapefruit turning chocolatey mid palate and finishing roasty, with hints of coffee, char, and significant hop bitterness. Huge flavors!

Body is moderate to slightly full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Packed full of flavor, this brew is about as complex as they get. Most black ipas don't jive for me, as the roast malt character and citrusy hops often collide in a negative way, but not the case with this one. The bitterness is a touch more than I prefer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is mostly citrusy (grapefruit) and pine hops, but there's also some roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruit noticable. The beer tastes pretty much just like the aroma. It's mostly hoppy, but there's enough malt in there that you can taste those flavors too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's somewhat creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. Drinkability is great, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd buy it again in the future.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says Enjoy By 12/05/14.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Drippy, semi-resilient lacing.

S- Hops, booze and dark roasted malt. The hops are grassy and the booze plays off the malt sweetness to create a brown sugar/caramel quality.

T- All the elements come together in a big wave of semi-astringent aggression where it's all happening so fast you can't pin down which tastes are which. There's some coffee that's cut off by the hop bitterness that's interrupted by the sweetness from the malt that's abruptly diverted by the alcohol. All this chaos comes to an end once the palate acclimates and everything starts to make sense. The hop flavors start to work in harmony with the coffee and char notes that once seemed to be random. The booze bite goes away and the sweetness acts as a mediator between everything else to present the profile's complexity as a whole. Remarkable.

M- Somewhat creamy and quite viscous with a bit of a tingle from the hops and medium carbonation. Fullish body.

O- Though I feel like this beer is better realized and a bit smoother on draft, the bottled version certainly does it justice. An unforgiving Black IPA that is the prototype for all other Black IPAs.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost pitch black in color but has a slight burgundy hue when you hold the glass to the light, mild head. This one smells really good - lots of pine and grapefruit with hoppy astringency coming through. This beer looks more like a porter which is why I'm so intrigued by it. The taste is really, really good! Lots of pine and citrus up front, very light malt, with a bitter chocolate finish that sticks around for 30 seconds or so before the chocolate starts coming through again, then fades away to hops. This is a very weird beer and one of the most unusual ales I've ever experienced. The feel is very smooth on the tongue and almost touches on creamy, but doesn't quite get there. This is a very drinkable beer and I could definitely have a few of these and not grow tired of it. I would say it's complex only because it fades in and out of a few flavors, there's not alot of stuff going on beyond hops and chocolate, but the way it blends is pretty impressive, especially when the color fools your brain into thinking there'll be more malt presence. Yet another well brewed and creative beer from Stone Brewing, I love their beers.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black almost like an imperial stout with fluffy white head.
S - Very faint coffee and chocolate with very strong almost overwhelming hop profile. Dangerous.
T - Oh damn! The hops were too much for me! I really couldn't taste anything but buckets of hops. Defiantly a sipper.
M - Very harsh yet enjoyable beer.
D - Man I may have to have this again but I am pretty sure its the hoppiest beer I ever had from Stone. They are know for angry beers and this one had some good rage.

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Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, sweets, hops and pine. Very aromatic.

T: A well-balanced taste of malt, pine resin, west coast hops, and a little caramel. Sort of similar to an IPA, but has a very particular character.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Very drinkable and well made.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black ipa pours black, gives about a 1/2" tan head on the top. Aroma smacks of dry hopping. This is definitely better than most black ipas aroma wise.

Taste, lots of hops, bitterness, a little bit of roast, always hoping to stay away from that with black ipas. Definitely hides the high alcohol pretty well. Not my favorite style of beer, but this is one of the better ones (and first).

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe, couldbe be black, but is more of a blackish brown color with garnet highlights. Two finger, sandstone head that recedes to a nice film of foam througout all 22 ounces.

Pretty aggressive hop aroma. Grapefruit zest to the point of atringency in the nostrils. Gives me the same feeling as spicey Chinese mustard in the sinuses. I like that in my mustard, but not in my beer. I can barely smell a dark roasted malt at all.

The same aggressive, biting grapefruit and lime zest bitterness up front and the middle. Whatever roasted malts are detected towards the finish of the flavor profile, seem to exacerbate the hop bitterness of this brew. I don't detect the abv. but I wonder if that adds to the increases the effect of the hops bitterness.

Astringent and bitter is all I can come up with for the palate. I was expecting a little more fr this beers palate and flavor.

Still a sipper for me. I like bitter beers, but this just didn't sit so well for me.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Stone World Bistro in Escondido, CA. Served in a stemmed glass 12/14/14.

A- Dark brown body; appears black in the right lighting. Big two finger tan-brown head with long retention time and longevity. Just swirling the glass revives the head in a big way. Lots of lacing.

S- Rich cocoa, milk chocolate, roast comes out at first, and then you get a blast of citrus, floral and pine hops to the face. This beer seems to blast you with both the black, roasty aspect of the base malt and then the fruity, floral scents of the hops. It smells great in the sense that it doesn't bother trying to integrate the two specific aspects of the beer.

F- More hops on the palate than in the nose; although as it warms up, the malt backbone comes out more in terms of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee and roast malts. But overall this is a grapefruit, pine, and floral bomb on top of a chocolate cake. Very nice.

M- Medium bodied, a bit more carbonated than I'd like but it's well within the acceptable range. Slightly prickly, refreshing with a decently bitter finish that evokes both the piney hops and the milk chocolate within.

O- Very nice black IPA; it's very different from Wookey Jack in the sense that Stone unapologetically amps up both the dark roasted malt presence and the hoppiness, while Firestone Walker pays a little bit more attention to integrating the normally-clashing parts of the components of the beers. Either way, these are great beers if you like the CDA style.

Final score: 4.22

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Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at Avenue pub, New Orleans

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, black in color, opaque

Smell: caramel and pine hops

Taste: big pine hops, charred malt, and a bit of cream

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium body, sweet with a bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: I could have a couple over a long night. I like the nice deep charred malt and pine--my favorite ipa flavor. One of the better in style, yet I think I would reach for others in style first.

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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 mltobin
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Moan and Dove.

Appearance is a dark brown with a one finger tan head, which leaves some nice lacing. The smell is sweet with grapefruit, quite a punch of hops, toffee as well. Upon sipping this black ipa from Stone, the same flavors from the nose are there & in a very balanced fashion. I also tasted some chocolate and coffee in the finish. MF is medium, smoother than I expected going in. Drinkability also gets a thumbs up with this beer, another winner from Stone.

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

Very dark brown, clear, with ruby/mahogany highlights. Fine, tan bubbles clung in sheets to the sides of the glass and formed a tight cap. Good head retention with spotty lacing throughout. Intense pine resin and grapefruit rind aroma up front, fruity citrus and a hint of sweet cocoa fill in the background. Very floral and fragrant. Solid bitterness, not overpowering, that tends to linger. Sweetness is just enough to provide some balance and has more of a chocolate/cocoa character than stright-up caramel, but the hops are still front and center - mostly grapefruit flesh fruitiness and a bit of pine. Light alcohol flavour in the finish, along with mild warmth. Medium bodied, a bit chewy with creamy carbonation. Very nice texture. This is great stuff, worthy of an anniversary celebration. The darker malts, even though they're fairly subtle, really pull things together and create a nice counterpoint for the hops.

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

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Pours a deep, dark brown with very little ruby highlights around the edges. A large, dark khaki head fills the snifter and recedes very slowly. Loads of lace.

Aroma is of lightly roasted malt, toasted bread, dark fruits, and a good amount of citrus and pine. An overall earthy, musty aroma with a blend of dark and tropical fruits.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Pine and grapefruit throughout with toasted bread an a musty quality. A small bit of chocolate and alcohol also poke through. Overall, very soothing, but a different take on the style. Hoppier and less boozey.

Medium body with good carbonation. Lacking some creamy, smooth qualities. A tad prickly.

I admit that I am a hophead, but I found this to be a little too hop forward for the style. The roasty notes were low in the mix and could really use a boost.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split this tonight with a couple of friends as a part of a Stone mini-vertical with the 11th-13th. My favorite of the night.

The pour is gorgeous, black with a dense dark brown head with great retention and lacing. On the nose, the hops are still so fresh! Yes, it's been in a 40 degree fridge for a while, but the piney hops with a little bit of fruit character (apricot and peach) really works well with the deep, roasted malt character with coffee and chocolate. Great balance. On the palate, the flavors are replicated, with a surprising amount of hops present, with pine and a little citrus before a gorgeous wave of dark chocolate, coffee and a little sweetness come in. In some ways, almost stout like. Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a long finish with a great balance between hop and malt bitterness, this beer is fantastic. I'd drink a lot more, but I have just one bottle left...

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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 Brad007
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a nice brown two-finger head into my fluted glass.

Aroma is full of floral, citrusy hops with grapefruit standing out the most for the hops. There's also a nice hint of sweet malt that seems a bit roasty as well.

Taste is full of floral, grapefruit-like hop character that dominates at first. It's followed by sweet malt with a hint of raisin and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hop bitterness and sweetness that seem to coat the mouth. Alcohol is present but feels muted just enough, though it coats the throat with warmth.

Interesting beer that has many different flavors to contemplate. Worth a try but make sure that you sip it.

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

Big thanks to DrJay for bringing some of these up!

Pours a hazy dark orange/brown, thick off white head forms, settles slowly dropping a nice lace ring, good retention. Smell is nice, chocolate and toffee, solid roast, lots of pine and floral hops, roast, grapefruit, nice balance with the malts and hops. Taste is similar, caramel and chocolate, roast coffee, light alcohol, nuts, oranges, grapefruit and floral, solid bitterness, excellent. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, bit of warmth. Very good beer! Thanks Jay.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby. Almost black. Thin cola colored head that leaves nice amounts of lace.

Aroma: Bready malts, cocoa nibs and juicy hops.

Appearance: Nice bitter hop presence noticed first and then some alcohol, which is quite noticeable and actually, a little overbearing and scathing in this beer. Covers up a lot of what I was expecting in the hop department. There's some hop juiciness noted, but not a lot. Chocolate is distant. Decent flavor, but not great.

MF/DK: Medium bodied and light=medium to medium bodied. A bit of spiciness from the alcohol and a long lingering astringency from the alcohol. Fair, but not one I'll be tapping again soon.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served a opaque brown with a foamy light brown with very good retention.

S - Served pretty cold, so I let it sit for a while. Finally some roasted malts, nuttiness and bitter hops finally come through.

T - The taste is similar, but the bitter hops kind get in the way of the dark malts and roasted flavors.

D - Good carbonation and a medium to heavy body with a bitter finish.

O - A hoppy dark ale. Mission accomplished.

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

Had this beer at the Bistro Double IPA fest. Even though it is the same recipe as 11th anniversary, I thought this one was lacking compared to the 11th I had recalled. By lacking, I mean, just really really good instead of fantastic.

Black IPA, hopped very well, obvious dry hopping, hides the high alcohol quite well. I can't wait to try the bottled version. Some say don't age, some say age. . . I dunno, I'm still holding bottles of both version, we'll see this Christmas. You don't really taste the alcohol, but it hits you by the end of the bottle.

Anyways, if you see it, check it out. Right up there with Laughing Dog's black IPA's when uber fresh if you ask me.

EDIT: Well this was definitely a drink fresh beer. You can't really taste any of the darker malts used, but if you age it, the hops fade and some of the astringency comes out of it.

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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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