Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,913 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:
1,913
Ratings:
5,924
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
818
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,913 | Ratings: 5,924
Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into a DFH curved pint glaas.

A- Self-righteous was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a storm king nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit to hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Very hoppy, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. Perhaps some short term aging would do this some good as it is a bit "strong" for me at the moment. I could not finish a bomber now but down the line when things have shifted, hell ya.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sampled September 2007
Well carbonated, even a careful pour produces a five-finger thick head in my Tulip glass. The head is a creamy light brown color and leaves spotty lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly recedes back into the beer. The beer is an opaque, almost black color that shows brilliantly clear, chocolate brown notes around the edges. As expected the aroma is quite hop focused. Dominant citrus / floral hop notes mix with pine-like / menthol-esque hop aromatics. When you dig for it, noticeable toasted malt aromatics become noticeable, but the dark malt character is certainly well masked by the hop onslaught. Interestingly enough, even up front there seems to be a noticeable chocolate character; it is extremely subtle & I almost wonder if my eyes are trying to pull a fast one on my nose. I don't think so though, there is a slight note of chocolate that intermingles with notes of grapefruit, freshly zested tangelo skins and lychee. With time the sharper pine / menthol hop aromatics seem to fade a bit. The hops here really capture the essence of freshly zested citrus peel, I almost feel like I got to close to the grater while zesting some sweet citrus fruits and ended up with a nose full of citrus oil.

The beer is served cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), this produces an almost creamy mouthfeel up front, but of course the hop character is the most noticeable aspect here. Bracingly hoppy from the get go, towards the middle with a little malt help the sweet citrus notes become really noticeable. The finish has a bitterness that only becomes more biting & sharp the longer the beer has been gone from my mouth; almost as if the bitterness sticks harshly to my palate while the malt character melts away. The bitterness in the finish seems to be accentuated a bit by some dark malt derived acidity; in fact this is where the dark malt character seems to come into play. The dark malt flavors are drowned out by the hops. This is quite easy drinking, there is a sort of creaminess to the beer, but it is still quite quaffable if not quite light. I would not even guess this was almost 9% alcohol, as it captures the drinkability & relatively light body of a West Coast IPA. The citrus hop flavors are definitely the dominant flavor contributor here. They are not quite so over the top as the aroma was (that citrus oil character is muted a bit), but still ample notes of tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, orange zest, and lychee are quite noticeable. As the beer warms and my palate gets used to it, subtle notes of roast coffee and chocolate start to become noticeable.

This is most definitely an IPA inspired beer; the lingering, tongue flagellating bitterness in this beer is huge. Astringent at times, bracing, palate dominating, but thoroughly enjoyable for the hop heads out there. I really hope this beer lasts longer than the 10th anniversary beer; for some reason that one had a 2 week window where it was a zesty hop bomb, but after that it became a train wreck of flavors (though I'll have to revisit it as some have said it has mellowed recently). Anyway, if you only have one bottle drink it now, cause it is at it's peak fresh hoppiness right now. It will be interesting to see how the dark malt character plays out; it is very subtle right now and if this was put in a blind IPA tasting (you would actually have to be blind folded though), most would have a hard time guessing this was not a typical, albeit supper hoppy IPA.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I need a hop fix... and don't want to dive into recent trades or too deep into the cellar.. so I picked out a 11th and am hoping for the best. I haven't had one of these in a couple of months and noticed then, the hops were definitely dying down.

22oz picked up at a variety of places around Boise in the $5.50 range... poured into a shaker pint.

Looong lasting lite tan head leaves crusty lacing for the entire glass.... color of the brew reminds me of a schwarzbier.. near black but still walnut and dark ruby highlites show when held to a light.

Aroma is certainly more subdued than fresh.. but still reminiscent of a big grapefruit and piney DIPA. Black coffee/with sugar notes are more prevalent than before.

Flavor is abundant citrus .. dark roasted malts are only available on the end of the palate and the finish.. even then, the hops are the heavy hitters... Very smooth from front to back.. the hops resins add nicely to the palate.. Doesn't taste as dark as expected.. just enough interesting espresso/chocolate components that drives everything home.

This brew is going to age very well... don't let the naysayer change your mind .... it may go through a significant muddy period like the 8th, but ultimately, the 11th will be fantastic... I will not drink another for probably 6 months... ooh my.. I have another glass.. cheers. Galt.

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

Black IPA...OK I will give it a try.

Super high carbonation level; pour this one CAREFULLY!

Clear super dark brown colored ale with a tall tan colored head.

Smell is a clone of Arrogant Bastard ale. Hyper strong hop aroma with lots of molasses and caramel.

Taste starts out mellow with a strong melon flavor and a quite bitter after taste. Melon remains the dominate flavor here with a subtle citrus hop flavor of grapefruit and just super fresh hop flavor, so fresh it is like chewing up a hop bud in my mouth. Some hop flavors simply taste like nothing else on earth, this tastes like that. Lots of flavors under the hops, chocolate and coffee mostly. This still has a rather strong melon flavor, I am curious about how this might age.

Mouthfeel is quite full.

Good and drinkable but I REALLY don't think this has reached its best quite yet. This is a lot like a mix of Barley Wine and IPA and I think this will be better in two years after the melon flavor mellows out some.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle with September 2007 labeled on it poured into a tulip.

A: Sitting still in the glass the liquid looks nearly black, stout like. However as it was poured it showed it was a clearer, deep dark ruby and against some light reveals the same. Clear, but very dark and hard to see through dark ruby with a little active carbonation. Large fluffy tan head with lots of tiny bubbles, extremely retentive and patchy lacing.
S: As pretty as the beer looks and as strong as it smells I feel like this falls short. Has a barleywine like smell rich with piney hops and a malt background. Also some dark fruit and light smell of alcohol. However something for me just isn't adding up between the appearance and the smell and I'm blaming the smell.
T: Packs a punch like a good IPA/DIPA and that seems like most obvious reference but there's more going on here and I wouldn't lump this in with beers like that. Still, the strongest flavor is the piney/floral hop taste that is particularly strong in the finish, but doesn't dominate and isn't particularly bitter like other hop bombs. Instead, this has more of a malty sweetness that balances hop. Also in the finish is a slight graininess, mild chocolate and some pleasant alcohol warming, though.
M: Somehow this ends up feeling syrupy to me, yet slightly watery. Appropriate amount of light carbonation. I'm just put off by the slightly thin feeling it leaves.
D: As this warmed up and I spent more time with it I started to like this a lot more. For its complexity and relatively high ABV this is very drinkable and enjoyable.

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

Had this on tap at Concordia Alehouse the other night.

The beer pours an unexpected darkish color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty interesting, sort of a dry citrusy bitter aroma. On the palate this beer comes across as a dry dunkel, but with a significant hop wallop in the mid palate and finish. The beer is not heavy and is medium bodied, with a hoppy dry finish. The abv. is well disguised, and this beer is really prettry drinkable for a beer with 8.7% alcohol.

Very nice effort from Stone. I preferred last year's edition of this beer, but this is not bad.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, the re-release of Stone 11th,

A: Pours black, with a creamy off-tan head, good retention. Soapy lacing.

S: Not getting huge notes here, light scent especially for a cask offering. Some chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate hits immediately, but is soon overwhelmed by sharp pine needle bitterness that sticks and tingles on the tongue. Roasted malt is an undercurrent, though the hops tend to dominate much more than I remember in the 11th, perhaps it is due to the serving style.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied/light carbonation from the cask. Sticky resin with a long aftertaste.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, another solid offering from Stone, a tasty imperial pint to be had if this beer is found cask-conditioned.

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

On tap at the Brattleboro, Vermont Brewer's Festival on May 22, 2010. There is a mahogany dark brown pour with some red hues and a two-inch puffy tan head. Hops are the lead ingredient in the aroma but it seems very well-balance and not overdone. Hops also tend to be the first thing caught on the tongue but there is also a rather molasses-like sugar-sweetness in there. Definitely not as bitterly hopped as some strong ales. This one tends to be a lot mellower than other strong ales. Pretty good.

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

A: Black with brown highlights, tan head, good retention & lace.

S: Pine, citrus rind, grapefruit, candied fruit, rye bread.

T: Grapefruit, pine, marmalade, dark caramel, toffee, rye bread, hint of lightly roasted coffee, good bitterness, alcohol is well-hidden.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a dry finish with hop and a little roasted acidity.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A almost black body with a quickly dying tan head and minimal lace. Intense hoppy smell but there is a noticeable aroma of roasted and cocoa malt. Like a hoppy coffee stout this beer has a medium body that is smooth and a tad creamy with a mixture (heavier on the former) of roasted coffee and chocolate malt (gives a lil' bit of sweetness) and citric hops. Also a minor note of black cherry and other plush fruit. Easy to drink ale that is meant to relax w/ after dinner.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/1/2010

Poured into my Stone IRS snifter. The beer is very dark brown with a monstrous frothy two finger beige head with excellent retention and scattered lacing.

The aroma is pine resin, grapefruit rind & flesh, and earth (damp forest soil, mineral, desperation). Malt exhibits a moderate roast and a slight toast that compliment the hop profile nicely. Light chocolate notes are evident as well.

The flavor displays an upper moderate level of bitterness up front with aggressive pine resin and grapefruit rind notes. The light roasted malt profile is a welcome addition to the lupulin onslaught. The finish is aggressively hopped with big alcohol notes, a light roast/toasted malt profile, and lingering pine and grapefruit.

The mouthfeel is creamy and sticky. Carbonation is at a moderate level. Great mouthfeel.

A very nice Indian San Diego Dark Hoppy Pale Ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a very good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight piney hop nose. Flavor is slightly more pine hops than caramel malt and with lingering piney aftertaste. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Liquorama Upland, CA.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark, near black with a fluffy beige head that slowly fades into a mild cap of suds. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, caramel, espresso, and a huuuge amount of pine and grapefruit.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, caramel malt up front followed by a gigantic bitter dryness during the swallow.

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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 cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge light tan head that leaves a lot of lacing around the glass and has good retention as well.

S- The aroma is awesome, you can just tell this is going to be another kick ass brew from Stone. It is dominated by a lot of pine and citrus hops along with hints of malt and caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma really centers around the delicious hops creating a nice lingering bitterness throughout the finish. Very tasty!

M- The mouthfeel is pretty damn perfect. It is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I'm a huge fan of this one. Definitely worth seeking out. Highly Recommended!

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

22oz Bomber - from Bessette's in Canton NY

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, coffee, grapefruit/oranges

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of hops mixed with some citrus notes and some chocolate and coffee. There is also some malts and just a touch of smoke. It ends with a hoppy and juicy aftertaste.

Overall - Definitely my favourite American black ale. This bottle was almost a year past expiration and it still had a great hoppy/citrus flavour. Can't wait to drink it again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark opaque color with a tan head.

S: Theres some citrus nose with some dry pine and a touch of smokiness. The nose is sweet overall.

T: The flavor is a huge dry roasted malt bill, some dry chocolate with some citrusy hopping and sticky pine. Theres a definity pine sticky resin character to the palate with a great roasted malt presence that is deep and very rich. Definitly tastes like they combined their arrogant bastard and smoked porter recipe. Typical Stone hopping with Chinook with some new Amarillo lemon hops used to give it a distinct citrus/lemon hop flavor. A good combination of malt and hopping and very well balanced. There was a nice lingering bitterness from the hops that hung around for a little bit as well.

M: the mouthful was full with a nice dry roastedness.

D: very good drinkability for its abv. could easily drink in multiples, very smooth palate going down, and nicely hidden alcohol.

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

This one pours from 22oz bottle a very dark brown with reddish hues and a nice 2 finger head of tannish foam that shrinks slowly leaving some spotting and some lacing.

The smell is of citrus hops along with an ample nose of caramel malt and some fruit.

The taste is a big mix of caramel malt and citrus and my, they work really well together and I find a very blanced flavour overall. Tasty! There's a bit of an alcohol warming after the swallow but it's not obtrusive and is actually welcomed since today is a very cool Autumnish day.

Further sips in and I get some dark fruit, toffee, some coffee, some molasses, some alcohol, and a bit of chocolate. Lots going on here! It has a medium to heavy body and the carbonation is medium. Wow. Did I mention that this one is tasty? It finishes with a slight edge to the bitterness and finishing one sip just demands that another soon follows. Very drinkable. Very tasty. Very smooth. Boy am I impressed with this offering from Stone. I still have another bottle but hopefully, next week I'll find some more on my next trip to Colorado.

Bottom line: This is another great beer from Stone. Well done!!

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

Purchased in the US and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a dark, but tempered deep brown colour, with a frothy and voluminous head of light cocoa-coloured foam. Some sudsy speckled lacing. Body looks surprisingly light, but overall, it looks pretty decent.

Nose is fresh and sharp with big American hop characters. Forget the appearance, this is all about the IPA aroma dry-hopped West Coast goodness, giving lots of Cascade-like citrus and fruit characters. Once it warms, it does start to give off slight hints of chocolate and dark malt as well, which provide an interesting, but dichotomous counter to the hoppiness. But there's no doubting what is king: it's hops all the way.

Taste is also, surprisingly hoppy, with only light caramel chocolate characters coming in at the very end once the hops eventually grant them a fleeting audience with your tastebuds. Rather, there's big hp bitterness throughout, leaving hop oil residue and crisp biting bitterness throughout most of the length of the palate. The chocolate and darker characters only deserve a mention as the palate as a whole dies out.

Feel is rather light, but this just underlines its true nature as an IPA, not a dark ale.

A very strange and one might say extreme example of the IBA style. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing--an IPA masquerading in the guise of a dark beer. The hops almost perfectly mute everything but the colour.

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

My amazing wife gave this to me as part of a Valentine's Day gift....Sweet!

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep, rich, leathery black with minimal lacings and a small carbonated head.

S - Due to the color, I wasn't expecting the abundant hop presence in this ale. Along with the hop presence, dark fruit and hints of chocolate permeate throughout.

T - The initial wave is dominated by the "pineyness" from the hops and a secondary wavy leaves hints of chocolate and plum/dates.

M - Full-bodied with a very appealing creaminess.

D - This ale was extremely enjoyable (shared with my wife) because of the unexpected hop presence. Extremely well-crafted ale with high drinkability.

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

A Very dark brown color; almost black. Poured a 2 finger chocolate head that gave way slowly to a half finger cap. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Floral hops; citrus, grapefruit and pine. Foundation of toasted malts; toffee and cocoa.

T: Big toasted malt like smell with a little bit of burnt caramel. Resiny hops dominated by the flavor of pine. Sharply bitter with burnt toast and chocolate lingering a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate to low carbonation. Smooth and silky. Surprisingly balanced for its complexity.

D: Lots of flavor and complexity and good balance. Easy to relax in to this one despite the abv.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap and had a nice 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. It did have nice chocolate taste to it with that hoppy kick. 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 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 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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Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,924 ratings.
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