Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,914 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,914
Ratings:
5,925
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
295
Gots:
818
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,914 | Ratings: 5,925
Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fell in love with Black I.P.A.'s when I tried Hoppy Feet from Clown Shoes. Tried a few since and this is the best of the rest. The hops are piney with grapefruit and a good level of bitterness that is balanced by a sweet roasty body. Doesn't taste like it has so high and ABV. DELICIOUS.

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Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Black, but bloody mahogany around the edges when held to the light. Nice head, but the bubbles are actually real large, which always makes me think of soap, but it's no biggie. Smells like I just opened a bag of hops. Straight up. These guys are particularly earthy and piney. Definitely heavy handed hopping going on here, and from the start I was weary for the hop-bomb to come. And it came. I get no roasted or sweet malts at all, so I wonder why even bother with the more expensive, less fermentable black malts...unless you are just being self-righteous and showing off. Which I guess is the point of this beer.

All in all, ditch the black and just go for the IPA. There's hardly any difference in this case, and all you are doing is getting my hopes up for some sweet or roasted malt backbone, which in this case, doesn't exist. As the name suggests, I think this one is just a pissing contest with the black IPA trend. With that said, if I was blind and didn't know it was black, I would just think of it as an other west-coast hop bomb ipa which, depending on my mood, I could take or leave.

*Okay. This beer needs to open up! As my beer warms, the malts are starting to show. There is a burnt brown sugar quality to it now that was not there before. There is also a touch of it in the nose. Still, this quality is virtually hidden behind the hops. Everything above still stands, but I just thought I needed to add that in.

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

Picked up a bottle at Bottle Shop on Lower Greenville.

A: Dark black with a tinge of red around the edges when held to the light. Mocha brown head. Head retention was pretty amazing. More on that later.

S: chocolate malt, dark roasted malt, grapefruit, big grassy hops, citrusy hops, spicy hops, all kinds of hops. malt on malt on malt.

T: Thick mouthcoating waves of malt yet very dry. Malt flavors tempered by citrusy bitter hops all over the tongue. Very hoppy, but not very spicy like the nose would lead you to believe.
This is one of the cleanest tasting beers I've ever tried. I let it open up for a while and the initial onslaught of hops and rich malt was blinding, once this breathed a little bit, it was greatly subdued and balanced.

M: Smooth, but with a good deal of snappy carbonation.

O: I let this beer rest for about three hours and when i came back, there was still head floating on top of it, and lacing all the way down the glass.

Another great offering from Stone. This might become a standard in my collection.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my Stone RIS specialty glass.

A: I see undertones of ruby, but this beer is, by and large, a very dark, opaque offair. It would look almost identical to the RIS, were it not for the generous, rocky, frothy cream-colored head that screams "I taste like a lighter-colored beer!"

S: It definitely smells like an IPA. Orange, grapefruit, and pine resin hops overpower the nose, with a slight fruity hint of raspberry, black currant, and chocolate (very slight) underneath. So far, the color has not asserted itself to any sense but my eyes--I almost wonder if the chocolate scent I pick up is due more to eye-nose association than actual smell. After tasting it, however, the dark roastiness asserts itself more prominently in the nose.

T: The elements are more assertive here. Grapefruit and pine attack the palate, carried on a solid wave of baker's chocolate and dark fruit hints--chocolate covered cherry cordials, perhaps, due to the peppery alcohol bite. There is a definite sweetness in the middle, an almost sugary quality that is quickly vaporized by the roasty malt base and citric-pine oiliness. It's very interesting, and seems to change its balance slightly with each successive sip, bringing different elements forward. It's a little heavy on the alcohol burn in the finish, but still a very complex and intriguing offering.

M: Feels light at first, but it is very sticky. The crispness of the flavors prevents the beer from getting too cloying, but it still clings to the palate a little too long.

D: I really think it's one of Stone's more interesting offerings of late. It's at least as good as the 10th, and will likely age more gracefully. I'd like to find a few more bottles, so I can test that theory.

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

snagged a bottle when i was out at the blue point beer dinner night @ spinnerstown inn.

poured from the nicely graphic'd bottle to an AB pint glass: a not so hard pour yields a very black body (only slightly ruby on the edges) topped with a 2 finger-light tan head. the head does receed, but leave some nice sticky lace behind. can't see through the blackness.

smells like a stone brew for sure. lots of hoppy smells (aka citrus and some pine) and some touches of roastiness. interesting for certain.

tastes stoney. hop flavor and bitterness are abundant. but there is a malt backbone that is present and shows itself with a touch of roasted flavor. not an overpowering coffee or such like from a stout though. it's a peculiar taste, and i like it. i can't quite explain it all, but the taste has a mesh to it that is nice.

medium bodied, and a tiny bit oily on the tongue. carbonation is there, but not creamy like you might expect.

drinkable for certain, and with the interesting taste it presents (compared to the usual stone lineup around here) i could have more than one easily. but it's not to be found in NJ for the most part.

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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 IPALOVER
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow-- what a beer! I didn't know what to expect, and loved the creative writing on the bottle that led me to believe that it was going to be a "very dark" IPA.

The beer poured beautifully-- looked like a nitro delivered beer. I said "yum" just looking at it.

After taking the first sip I remarked, "now this is a great beer." What makes it that way? First of all, the hops, which I am a huge fan of. Secondly, the combination of coffee and black licorice that dominate, as well.

Drinking this beer is not easy-- heavy and definitely an after-dinner sipper! As the beer warms it becomes smoother and the coffee notes dominate-- I didn't leave a drop in the glass.

I'm a fan of Stone because of their use of hops, and was pleased to see and sample this truly unique, tasty IPA.

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Photo of BigDRS
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Admittedly, this is my first cascadian dark ale/american black ale/black ipa/whatever. Worth the hype.

A - Black. Solid black. Just a bit of light shines through the bottom of my glass, but that's it. I'm surprised at just how opaque this brew is. Head is tan in color and the initial two finger head dies down to a thick film that leaves a good amount of lace on my glass. This beer is awesome already.

S - Smell is intense. Lots of hops, burnt malt, and a bit of caramel. There is just a bit of some fruitness, mostly dark cherry, in the nose as well.

T - Hops dominate all the way through. The roasted malt flavor comes through initially and lets up to a caramel/molasses taste. Aftertaste is at first sweet and a few seconds later turns bitter. This beer is very rich and complex. Maybe Stone just brewed another amazing beer or maybe it's my first crack at the style, but this beer is awesome.

M - Mouthfeel has just the right amount of creamy/syrupy goodness. Carbonation level feels good to me.

O - If this is representative of the style then I'm hooked. The name of this beer says it all. Stone has never let me down and I doubt it ever will. Buy this beer and drink it NOW.

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

Pours with a massive, chunky tan head, which soon settles to a nice coating with splochy lacing.

The first smell I pick up is toasty chocolate, with more and more pine coming out. I can just pick up a hint of citrus.

Wow. This one is different. First I pick up a burnt, bitter chocolate, then the hops start to come through. There is definitely grapefruit on the finish.

This one finishes smooth and clean. There is a noticeable lingering bitterness. The body and carbonation are just right.

This is one of the most interesting beers I've tasted in a while.

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Photo of funkydrumma
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is just about anything I could want a beer to be. Smooth and dark with a rich creamy head. Just the right balance of hops and malt to balance the ABV. Dangerous beer. Don't skip it if you get a chance.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black sludge with a 1.5 inch head that dissipates quickly. Lacing stays consistent through the beer experience. When the glass is held up to the light, some reddness is seen.

Smell: Smells sweet and fresh, with piney, floral hops, but is juxtaposed with dark, almost burnt malts and dark chocolate. A really interesting whiff that I'm hoping it is replicated in the taste

Taste: The hops in this cascadian hit first, and they are dry and delicious. A very fresh taste, that develops into the darker flavors beautifully. The middle has hints of dark chocolate and roaster barley. The taste ends up with some dark licorice. Alot of complex flavors that really work well together.

Mouthfeel: a poppy mouthfeel, with a snappy feeling in the back of the mouth as it goes down, coats the tongue even after it goes down.  

Drinkability: Not a huge ABV, but Stone hids it well. There are so many different flavors at every turn in this beer, that I wouldn't want to drink a lot of them, I would just want to dedicate some time to drinking one.

A really good Black IPA, maybe the best one I have ever had in that style.

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Photo of SirRuss
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The head shows a shade of light chocolate and sufficiently tight bubbles to set decent expectations. The body is a matt black with a slither of maroon hue at the very bottom. Retention is also good.

S - Sweet malts and fruity hops battle for center stage, although neither seem to really want to win. It's more of a nudging contest between two half-hearted contenders, although both are pleasant enough. The resulting fragrance is akin to a sprig of milk chocolate - coated cascade leaves being wafted a few feet from your nose.

T - This brew would be a great stepping stone (no pun intended) into porters/stouts. A soft ascorbic spine - like that found in bananas - directs the fairly simple flavour profile. Sweet malts found in the nose appear first, and slowly transition into the roastiness typical to a a porter. Finally the hops blend-in to provide a clean biting finish. Integration and balance is the point-scorer for this brew - simple, but well built.

M&D - This is perhaps the best aspect of the whole experience.The body's weight matches the intensity of flavors, and the alcohol is well aligned with the sugar/acidity levels to create a deceptively drinkable result. Furthermore, and as suggested by the head, the carbonation is firm and well structured. It augments the flavor profile in the same way a good caddy improves the performance of a golfer - humble and unassuming, yet ultimately vital to a winning game.

O - Overall this beer is well assembled, and as such there's nothing really "wrong" with it at all. Having said that, there's also nothing really impressive about it either. All-in-all: solid, but uninspiring - a bit like a girl calling a guy "nice".

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

Poured out of a 22 oz Bomber bottle into a pint glass...

Nearly completely black with a nice foam head on it. Residual foam has stayed present even some 20m minutes after pouring and drinking most of the bear!

Nice dark roast/caramel nose from the malt and as is trademark from Stone....a super hoppy nose! Hard to define the hops for me, but I do get the ever present citrus type notes.

The taste is very nice! Not overpowering to me, but you sure can tell that this beer has flavor to last! Obviously a good bit of roasted flavor and a nice nutty flavor as well.

Great carbonation and a great mouthfeel!

I could drink a lot of beer, aside from the higher ABV. This is a style that I like...be it called a strong ale or a CDA in the new parlance!

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

I have been patiently waiting to snatch this one up for some time. The price is always right on these Stone bombers, so I waited until the funds were low and needed a new brew.

A deep red full bodied ale that barely allows any light to pass through her. A near brown head forms lacing all the way down the glass. I poured the brew quite aggressively and the thin cap of head is all the remains after the large bubbled cloud has quickly gone. The smells and aroma are pleasant but not what I was expecting from Stone.... is that too meant to be sublime? I was waiting for a punch to the nostrils with hops and grain. I was quite delighted by the taste however. Near 9% ABV and the most I get is notes of coffee and sharp hop bitterness that clings to the back of the tongue long after the sip has passed. The is a very simple tasting brew to me. Dark roasted flavors come to mind with each taste, but the hop bitterness dominates.

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Photo of Anaz
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer, and it's probably my favorite of the Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale type so far. The color is intensely black, fading to dark cola at the edges. The head is a huge coffee-and-cream beauty that resolves into generous lacing.

The bright citrus and resin aroma of the hops blend so well with the roasty coffee and chocolate aromas that it's amazing. This is where the style started to make sense for me, and the aroma of an IPA is supported and enhanced by the dark malt aromas very well.

The flavor is so like the aroma it's fantastic. The bright clean hops that Stone is so well known for mingle with the dark malt flavors, but are never overshadowed by them. The hops rule here, but the malt expresses itself nonetheless.

The rich, bitter mouthfeel finishes clean with at lovely citrus peel bitterness and faint toffee sweetness. There is a slight booziness that gently warms, but doesn't burn. This is a very drinkable beer for the ABV, it's so delicious that it's hard to stop drinking. I Love it, and am very glad that Stone has added this to it's year round releases.

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Photo of NickPiezzo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: probably the best looking beer I've ever seen, beautifully dark with a nice creamy head and nice bubbles
S:smells like an ipa with a hint of chocolate
T: a unique blend of 2 of my favorite beers, an ipa with a slight chocolate and maybe a hind of almond flavors. It has a strong hoppiness with noticeable citrus notes. A power fullbodied flavor of hops citrus and chocolate, possibly my favorite beer I've ever had
F:leaves a nice hoops flavor on your mouth that leave you asking for more
O: poured into a glass from a 1 pint 6 fl Oz single serve big boy bottle. Was excited to try this and it way exceeded my expectations a top notch brew.

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Photo of Sleestak
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've missed the other 10 anniversary ales as I am only 2 years into my beer exploration journey. I have come to love Stone's offerings and was excited when I saw this one at the store. An absolute opaque black in appearance, with a nice light tan head. Lots of intense pungent hops in the smell. Smells like a Stone beer, it just has that smell that the Stone beers have. Wow! Lots of sticky piney hops in the taste but still sweet. With the color I was expecting some roastiness, but no there isn't any. An interesting concept brew (I'm guessing that's what it is... never heard of a black IPA before). Can't wait to see what they come up with for next years anniversary.

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

22 oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe glass

A-Pours nearly black in color. Nice tan head which dissipates slowly and lingers on the surface. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-One word: hops. While stout like in appearance, the smell resembles an IPA. Big dose of citrusy hops with pine and some roasted notes just peeking through. Also getting some grapefruit in there.

T-Definitely hop forward. Getting grapefruit and some pine notes at the start. Some roasted, burnt flavors try to come through in the middle before a long bitter finish. Finish left me wanting another sip.

M-Medium to heavy bodied. I found the carbonation just about right. Bitter finish left me wanting to coat my tongue again.

D-For a nearly 9% brew, it's pretty high. Alcohol becomes slightly noticeable as it warms, but nothing that would put me off.

Overall a very solid beverage. The transition from start to finish is great. Probably not worth the trouble of trading for it, but definitely something to pick up if easily available at a nearby store.

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One last go around before this gets retired. Can't believe they won't be making this anymore. One of my favorites of all time. Perfect balance of roasted malt and big IBUs. Tears in my eyes...

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Photo of Hershdawg
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass

Appearance: dark black, this looks like a stout or porter.

Smell: wonderful floral aromas. The amarillo and simcoe hops come out wonderfully. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had,

Taste: Hoppy. The dark color betrays you. This is more like a dark IPA then a strong ale.

Mouthfeel: Like a standard IPA

Drinakabillity: Lovely hop taste and aroma. Strong proof. Who cares the taste makes you want to have more.

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Photo of cr0ckett
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Thick, dark, brown, almost black. Light tan head that leaves good lacing.
S: Surprisingly hoppy/piney; malt and toffee come through a little as it warms up.
T: Piney hops to begin then balanced out somewhat by sweeter malts and earthy tones; light chocolatey note in the finish. Some alcohol warmth, but not noticeable in the taste. Hop note left to coat tongue.
M: Medium to full body, slightly viscous, but not like a thick stout. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth drinker with a bit of a bite.
O: One of a handful of Black Ales that I've tried; very good. Seamless merging of hops, malt, and sweeter chocolate and caramel tones. A must try.

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Photo of cdbooth219
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Sam Adam's Glass

A: Pours a deep black color, allowing no light through it. Forms a nice 1.5 finger tan head that dissipates slowly leaving some very good lacing.

S: Lots of hops, with floral, piney, and grapefruit notes prevalent. Behind that is lots of dark malts, with chocolate, coffee and licorice notes.

T: Starts of very hoppy with all of the nice floral, pine, grapefruit, and citrus notes. Then comes all the malts. Bitter chocolate, burnt coffee and toast, and licorice. Finishes with licorice and a bit of mint flavor. This has a very complex profile.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. The hop oils coat your tongue on the way down.

D: The abv is hidden well. It goes down very easy, but i definitely wouldn't drink more than one bomber of this. Its a sipper for sure.

Overall, this is another amazing offering from stone. This is definitely the best black ipa i've ever had and i will be picking up another bottle in the near future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so I drank half of my pint before I remembered that I was supposed to be reviewing this brew. That probably says enough right there.

Picked up a bomber from Beverage Mart on NY 66. No dating best I can tell. Pours an extremely dark, dark, red (had to hold it up to the light to confirm it wasn't ink black) with a decent 3/4" of head and good lacing.

Very nice hop aroma. Taste is smoky, with some cocoa/chocolate and wood notes. At 8.7 ABV, this will sneak up on you in a hurry. This is another delicious offering from Stone that I look forward to trying again.

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Photo of DrinkinBuddy
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a complete black with an impressive 2 finger brown head. While pouring, I initially smelt dark chocolate, but when I put the bottle down and took a whiff of this beautiful liquid in my glass, I was greeted with an extreme flowery hopnose that sent me towards heaven. Taste is solid chocolate with such an extreme hopbite it's out of this world. The hops literally assault and pillage your taste buds. Insane hopbite!!! This brew only gets better as it warms, woody/earthy tones mingle with citrus making this an extremely unbelievable brew. Mouth feel is good as well, drinkability is pretty solid as too. I wouldn't suggest slamming too many of these or you might not taste any thing else for a few days! Hats off to stone for this impressive anniversary brew.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,925 ratings.
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