Monday, January 24, 2011

Beereview: Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale

My wheat beer and my cider have been fermenting for a week now... and I don't have time to transfer them to their respective containers so I'll have to write about that next week. The wheat beer has had a very vigerous fermentation... aaaaand I just noticed that I think I stained the floor beneath the carboy. Good thing it's a closet. The cider, however, hasn't showed much activity. I have read that there's a good chance that I may not see much, but we'll see tomorrow when I do some more brew-things.

Today on the slate we've got a beer from one of my favorite breweries, the Stone brewery from San Diego. Staring me in the face right now is of course there infamous gargoyle all proud and such. One might even say Self-Righteous. Coincidentally that is indeed the name of this lovely 22oz bottle today, "Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale." The bottle weighs in at 8.5% ABV, which relative to some other Stone beers, is a little light. Justifiably, the standard book that adorns the back of every Stone bottle tells a story of an ale that's black, with hops that hit the "sweet spot," and damn good, according to them, because they're amazing, and know what they're doing. At least that's what they tell us on the bottle. From previous experiences however, Stone definitely knows what there doing.

The beer pours a beautiful deep deep amber, almost black color. The head, as you can see, is thick, and long lasting. The aroma of hops is extremely potent. I should have known that to try a Stone brew thirsty (hoppy beers typically aren't thirst quenching). The head is thick enough that it creates mountains and valleys in the top of your glass, akin to the landscape you see when you're flying over the clouds in an airplane (or whatever vehicle you might have access to). The beer isn't as thick as I would have expected, I think I would classify this as a very hoppy porter. There is a moment of sweetness from malt for a split second (like Olympic-style photo-finish split second), then the hops abound. I wouldn't quite describe it chewy, but definitely hop-potent (lets see that word get into Websters). Strangely after a few sips, it's curious how the malt sweetness does lightly shine through the malt explosion in your mouth. The hops calm down some, but not a lot.

I'm not much of a hop-head, so I'll call this one a late-night drinker. The kind you have with the boys and a bunch of cigars (gross). You get the idea. Hop-heads abound however, this one should knock you off balance, but leave you coming back for more.