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.
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.