A Name Well Earned
A Review of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale by Stone Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/1/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
                   
Delicious
Occasionally when you are out and about with your ''I'm gonna drink some freaking beer'' pants on, the menu at your chosen establishment for consumption does all the thinking for you. Such an event happened to me recently. There I was, firmly planted on a comfortable bar stool, scanning a relatively decent brew menu, when a particular offering practically jumped off the page and yelled ''Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!''. When such an event happens, how can you say no? When it happens to be the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Company, simply put, you can't.

From the very start, this monster of a beer is out to assault your senses. First off, it is a black IPA, and true to it's claimed style, it has a black appearance. Only when held to a light source can you pick out some dark brown around the edges. A creamy, light tan head sits atop it, and has plenty of staying power. Then, as with most any offering from Stone, you don't even get the chance to lean down and smell it before its jumping out of the glass to slap you senseless. Three different types of hops were used in creating this beast, and the result is a bouquet that is both floral and aggressive. Everything from pine resin, to grass, to grapefruit can easily be found. Beneath all that is a pretty sturdy malt layer that bounces back and forth between caramel, fresh roasted coffee, and smoky chocolate. Sounds deliciously complex, doesn't it?

Now anyone who has ever had an offering from Stone knows that having your tongue mercilessly beaten to a pulp after the first sip is a right of passage requirement for every pint ordered or poured. The same holds true with the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale in the sense that a hops assault is right up front and can take a moment or two of adjustment time before being able to enjoy it. Once the initial hop shock is absorbed, the actual flavors start to come through quite nicely. Surprisingly, the malt flavors come through more than expected. Roasted coffee and smoked nuts provide a nice counterweight to the pine and grapefruit flavors provided by the hops. A slightly bitter aftertaste lingers for a little while, but thanks to a pretty dry finish, it isn't too hard to handle.

Stone Brewing Company has a well deserved reputation of putting out hugely unapologetic beer beasts, and once again, they have lived up to the billing. The Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is one of those beers where I could write pages and pages about it, yet still not do it justice. It is a delightfully complex monster of a beer that deserves drinking respect. Those who understand what I am talking about should absolutely take it for a spin, because it is quite a masterpiece. At the same time, those who are still new to our better beer world should cross the street to avoid it. You aren't ready, and there is no shame in that. Maybe one day, with a solid brew background, you can experience this one in all its glory. Until then, continue to fear the gargoyle.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale by Stone Brewing Co.
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