Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

I always tend to associate piney hops with the East Coast and citrusy hops with the West. So it’s really surprising that Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is one of the pineyist beers I’ve ever considering this brewery is the king of the left coast. It’s a nice change of pace coming from them and it’s a delicious beer to boot.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (750) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 6, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque black body with a large, khaki colored, creamy head which is slow to dissipate and leaves gorgeous lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong pine needle aroma with a subtle coffee scent. Some sweet orange juice concentrate as well.

Taste: It’s been a while since I had an IPA that really accentuated the piney hops, so Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale really caught me off guard. As soon as it hits the tongue there’s intense bitterness that only increases as the swig follows through. Light and rustic at first like pine needles which gives way to a richer, stickier, bittersweet flavor of pine sap and a hint of dark chocolate. The ending is just like the beginning with even more sharp dry bitterness that lingers on the tip of the tongue and leaves a dry aftertaste.

This is definitely the kind of uber-hoppy brew you expect from Stone. It doesn’t let your palate rest, that’s for sure. Though not very complex this palate never grows old. The only flaw, if I had to find one, is that it drinks so much like a regular IPA I almost forget it’s a black IPA. Though there are subtle coffee and dark chocolate flavors they’re not as overt as most brews of the style.

Drinkability: This is definitely not a beer for beginners. Between the intense bitterness and robust palate it’s not something you simply gulp down. Though the mouthfeel is comfortable with a slightly creamy texture, it still has a strong presence. The hops definitely linger so this isn’t a refreshing beer, though it would stand up to hearty meals well. At 8.7% ABV Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is actually light on its toes as it has no alcohol presence in the palate and doesn’t go straight to your head, either.
 Grade: 9/10

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