Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
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
Ratings:
5,928
Reviews:
1,915
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
310
Gots:
818
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,928 |  Reviews: 1,915
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for another treat, this went over well! Review from notes...

Black body, visible irregular lace, great retention. Unholy melange of coffee and pineapple in the nose, pungent west coast hops. Somehow this works! Sweet and luscious grapefruit, very earthy underneath with dark malt taking a backseat, and some nice multi-dimensional hop character. Rich and almost syrupy DIPA body, with hybrid flavors that confound and entertain the palate. Awesome!

 465 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a rocky beige head that is huge and retains very well while really lacing the pint glass

Smell: Grrrapefruit, big time, with a discernable whiff of molasses underneath

Taste: At first, there is a molasses-filled dark, bittersweet flavor but by mid-palate, the grapefruit wants to poke its head into the fold; after the swallow, their is a burst of grapefruit flavors, but the molasses holds its own to the finish (the warmer the beer gets, the more molasses appears in the flavor profile)

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As the beer warms, it just gets better and better; a hopheads delight with a molasses twist

 705 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with some light roasted malt notes. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt with some west-coats bitter hops mostly dominating. Body is quite full with some great carbonation and alcohol is not apparent. Interesting take on the IPA style but nothing really earth shattering.

 417 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a very dark hue with hints of ruby at the edges. A thin, bubbly tan head left some stcky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet molasses and caramel malt. There was kind of a boozy, alcohol aroma, too.

T - It tasted of bitter hops. It was very sweet with toffee, caramel and slight chocolate flavors.

M - It was shapr and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer that really hits you in the mouth.

D - This was tasty and good, but it was quite a heavy beer and a bit much to drink.

 487 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of LXIXME
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear really dark brown and settles in the glass very black below a big tan head that's takes it sweet old time to recede into what I assume will be a lacing at sometime in the future.

Light roasted dark chocolate malt aroma with some citrus, I think it leans toward grapefruit, the aroma is pretty subdued but kinda worth stopping before you drink to search it out.

More roasted dark chocolates dominating the taste with some light almost sweet citrus hints coming through, once again I think they lean towards grapefruit but not really sure, nor care.

Drinking this beer as well as it's aftertaste you kinda get the feeling with it's milkiness that you are drinking a melted candy bar. I feel that I've taken a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bar and melted it in Stone Smoked Porter swirled it around and drank it down.

 834 characters

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

Appearance: This could easily be confused for a stout in appearance - it's dark brown and opaque with a frothy tan-colored head.

Smell: Amazing hop aroma of grapefruit and pine. Dark chocolate and smoked malt are also present beneath the hops.

Taste: What a unique beer. It opens with a rich chocolate and espresso character, but it finishes like a Double IPA. Bitter citrus rind notes blend harmoniously with smoked and roasted flavors in the aftertaste. It's remarkably complex, but the huge variety of flavors are strangely complimentary.

Mouthfeel: Viscous but surprisingly drinkable. It goes down easy despite the high ABV, and it's not particularly extreme in any one character.

Notes: This is the best American beer I've had for a long time. Really impressive stuff.

 777 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip, best by 2/14/2012. Re-reviewing my first rating ever from 6/3/2010. Pours almost pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, biscuit, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, floral, and herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, toasted biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, herbal hop, and coffee. Nice sized smooth spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pine, toasted biscuit, chocolate, caramel, citrus, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop bitterness to roasted malt flavor for a black IPA. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but is still a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a delicious Black IPA as expected. Big hop flavors with a great balanced malt backbone that I usually prefer in black IPAs.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

Wow, what a great beer! It combines citrusy and piney hops with a deeply caramelish malt that's also a touch chocolatey and roasted.

It appears black in a full pint glass, but held to the light it reveals dark mahogany edges. The creamy tan head holds well, and it leaves some nice splatters of lace about the glass.

The nose is citrusy and piney over a hint of dark caramel. Quite nice!

In the mouth it's decidedly medium bodied with a standard carbonation level.

The flavor reveals the maltiness that's not quite found in the nose. It's almost like burnt-sugar: caramelish, and bit roasty, and even a touch smokey. There's an edge of dark chocolate to it as well. It's rich, but not 'super' rich; and it's complex, but not 'super' complex - it's just everything it needs to be because it's really just acting as the perfect 'dark' springboard for the hops.

With any other malt base I'm sure these particular hops would be displayed in a different fashion, but here they're piney, resinous, and minty with a citrus edge that expresses orange, lemon, and red fruits as well. I think the roasted and dark chocolatey side of the malt develops the mintiness by combining with the pine-like qualities; and the citrus is slightly subdued, but still comes through towards the middle and end as a refreshing splash that pulls you away into a little something different. Atop a golden or amber malt I'm sure the hops would be more emboldened, and more citrusy, piney, and fruity (like fruity pebbles?), but here they're more reigned in. And what that all leads to is a really interesting beer from the first whiff to the elegant, lingering finish. In fact, I get the most smokey edge out of it after it's been gone for a minute or so.

Regarding drinkability, the alcohol at 8.7% by volume is never noticeable. You might feel it, but you won't taste it. And I think the subdued complexity and interesting 'bright points' make it remarkably compelling. It's brilliantly balanced at its core, and superbly studded with hops. Quite possibly my favorite beer from Stone.

 2,065 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of chinchill
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler taken directly from the store where this was poured into a Unibroue snifter shortly after arrival.

Pours basically black with subtle signs of deep orange-red coloration around the edges. The tan head is moderate in size but long-lasting and leaves gobs of sticky lacing on the glass.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, as expected from Stone, with obvious pine and citrus aspects as well as some vague herbal notes. Enticing. A strong piney hop flavor dominates up front. Usually this would be followed by q quite bitter taste, or at least a very bitter aftertaste. Although there's an obvious bitterness and an IBU = 90, this beer starts bitter-sweet and keeps the bitterness under control all the way through. There's a solid dark malt component helping out with this, but clearly Stone extracted plenty of hop aroma and flavor without boiling all the bitterness out of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops. The high ABV makes itself known in the aroma, after some warming, but remains fairly well hidden in the taste. Complex and rich, extraordinary balance and interesting, and wonderful flavor dynamics.

M: full bodied; about as creamy smooth as can be at ABV = 8.7%; excellent, medium carbonation.

O: an amazing beer and the cream of the crop in Black IPAs in my experience. In any case, a world class beer all hop heads should seek out.

 1,352 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Enjoyed on March 24, 2009.

A: Pours a dark molasses from the bottle with a large, two-finger tan head. The brew was barely transparent as it was being poured, and is opaque in the glass. Plenty of carbonation apparent, and the lacing is tremendous.

S: Very rich malt is the initial scent. Raisins and dates are apparent, but molasses, dark malt, and a tiny bit of brown sugar are the most prevalent here. Excellent. Hops are still there as well.

T: Deliciously rich! Malt and molasses are immediately apparent, as are all of the dark fruit undertones. Some hop bitterness remains. I don't know what this was like when initially released, but it is an absolute delight now, at what I assume is around two years of age?

M: Incredibly smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, medium to full body, and just the right alcohol pinch.

D: Pretty high abv and a lot to handle. I think a single bomber of this is definitely enough, although it probably won't last in my glass for too long.

EDIT: This is a merged review from an aged bottle of Stone 11th Anniversary.

 1,114 characters

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

Made a hoppy stout of my own, and I think its comparative to this beer, so I'm going to try them side by side and see what I think. I didn't create a clone on purpose, I just wanted a nice hoppy stout and found out so did Stone.

A: Pours into my Corsendonk tulip glass with a huge thick frothy dark bubbly head that reminds me of blowing bubbles in my chocolate milk as a kid. Its almost pitch black with the slightest light coming through the bottom of the glass where it thins.

N: Floral juicy hops really kick in the nose first. A light creamy malty aroma also gives a nice feel to it. Some sweet caramel malts and light roasted malts. The nose is a lot less spicy bite of hops than mine, and this is a lot more creamy and malty, closer to a nice thick stout. A slight coffee aroma from the roasted malts.

T: Again starts with a nice floral spicy hop taste with some juicy hops. A slight malty creamy chocolate malt flavor, and some roasted malts as well. The juicy hop flavors never go away either, and they seem to dissipate throughout the entire mouth from start to finish. I almost get a frosting taste towards the end as well with some sweet creamy tastes and juicy hops blended. I used a bunch of cascade hops, esp dry hop so this is blended much better, and they don't contrast as much as mine. I will have to really redo my stout and I want to model it after this.

M: Creamy and pretty thick, a little spicy with hops, good carbonation.

F: Finishes very bitter and pretty dry. More spicy floral hop flavors dangle around the mouth for a bit, and the dryness helps to accentuate the hops. A slight rich creamy stout feel stay around for a bit too. A slight chocolate taste also lingers and seems to blend really well with the juicy hop taste. I would love to have a chocolate covered hop candy bar.

 1,813 characters

Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see the new Stone Ann. ale here in western NY so quickly.My second time trying this new black IPA style of beer my first being Rogue Black Brutal wich I had mixed feelings about,this poured a deep dark brown but not black some ruby colored highlights thruought a thick 2 finger head atop that never completely settled just a fantastic creamy mass left with gobs of lace behind in my impy pint glass,just awesome.Mix of piney and tropical fruit hops and black malt in the nose mainly I picked up some pineapple and molasses wich was nice and it strayed away from the one dimensional resiny hop profile and caramel malt base.The hops are big but so is the black malt element of this beer sure its big and piney and citrusy but the dark bread and molasses in there is large as well in finely balanced that black malt character really shows itself.The alcohol creeps a bit but this is a very interesting brew it has it all big hops and some malty sweetness,another top notch brew form one of the best.

 1,006 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with two fingers of medium tan head that rests on top of a dark brown body with a hint of tan light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - A strong, green hop aroma up front with notes of pine, more pine, and perhaps lemon. Some dark malt in the background, caramel and toffee, it has a light transformative effect on the hop character to give just a bit of the mustardy note common in american barleywines.

T - Dark toffee malt with a hint of espresso. Citrus hops come in next with lots of grapefruit and orange. The hop bitterness kicks in towards the middle with a sharp wave of powerful bitterness. Some sweet toffee and bready toast sooth the palate briefly before the bitterness comes back on and swells to a crushing finish. Notes of profoundly pithy grapefruit blend with the moderately dark malt to form a spicy, mustardy hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Lingering notes of blue veined cheese, cigar tobacco, and grapefruit pith.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer impresses from the first whiff of the aroma and doesn't let up until long after the last drop is gone. The hop aroma is spectacular with a very intense and fresh pine note that is much less colored by dark malt than I would have expected based on the style and the color. The flavor is quite a bit darker and more typical of the style, though no less excellent. There is a very nice balance between caramel malts and citrus hops as well as between harsh, acrid bitterness and a subtle, restrained sweetness that appears at just the right moments to encourage your palate to endure the assault and keep the beer drinkable. This is one of the most surprising, complex, and well balanced American strong ales that I have come across and it is one of Stones best efforts (which is obviously saying a lot). A must try.

 1,926 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of chocolate.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with good complexity. There's the good floral hops bitterness as well as the hearty roasted malt character with mild flavors of dark fruit and chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, excellent representation of the "Dark IPA" sub-style, this is yet another very good beer from Stone that is worth drinking for a long time.

 831 characters

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

Served on tap at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a very dark black with some garnet hints when held up to the light. There is a finger tall beige head that last throughout the entire beer - great head retention on this one. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Not as strong a nose as I expected after some of the other Stone beers, this beer had a decent amount of pine hops with subtler notes of roasted malts and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts with a lot of pine hops in the flavor. Huge bitterness in the finish that is really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really like this one and I will have to get it again. Very sessionable and I enjoyed the flavors and the aroma.

 730 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.