"Eighty Percent of People Think They're Better Than Average"

Brewery and Country of Origin: Stone Brewing Company of 1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, San Diego, California 92029, USA

Date Reviewed: 5-31-13

In keeping up with our now apparent tradition of bringing up mythical legends from the old days like Hercules, the Banshee, and Uranus, we now present to you, the always popular tale of Narcissus. But first, let's get to why we're doing that for this beer. The name "Self-Righteous" is considered to be a bit derogatory, and rightfully so. One who is "self-righteous" believes that he or she is above others, and that they are morally superior than their peers. They're under the influence that they know better about what's right, what's morally correct. So basically, the person is considered to be massively arrogant, and a bit of a hypocrite. Perhaps, you would then say that they're a bit of a Narcissist. So, in walks this guy named Narcissus. Wait, first let's establish that we're talking about Ancient Greece at this point. Anyway, so Narcissus was a Thespian hunter who would go off in the woods to work. He was a handsome fellow who gained the attraction of forest and mountain nymphs, one of which was named Echo. Echo was a beautiful nymph who Zeus basically hired to distract his wife, Hera, with long and drawn out stories while he went out on the town and "ravaged" the other nymphs. Essentially, it'd be like Eliot Spitzer hiring us to distract his wife from... never mind. You get the idea. Anyway, Hera eventually found out about the affairs and punished Echo by taking away her ability to speak other than repeating other people's words (hence her name). She fell madly in love with Narcissus, but was unable to properly speak to him, which annoyed him. Echo was devastated and eventually went off crying and moaning to the point where she became nothing but an echoing voice. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story, felt bad for Echo, and decided to punish Narcissus for his arrogance. She drew him to some water where he fell in love with an image of pure beauty, his own reflection. He was so amazed by it that he couldn't leave and eventually died by falling into the water which is a bit ironic since he was the son of Cephissus, a river god. A flower sprouted from the place where he gazed, and today, it's referred to as the Narcissus Flower. Still, the term Narcissism is used to describe the condition where people are actually too self absorbed to realize that they're complete assholes.
Date Sampled: 5-24-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA 02134, USA
Beer Style: American Black Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 8.70%
Serving Type: 22 oz Bottle, 20 oz Mug Glass
Rating: 3.88


The Self-Righteous has a deep red color with a clear appearance which gives off a small amount of shine and a very dull glow in the light. This beer pours smoothly with a medium amount of carbonation action, generating a three quarters inch tall foam head with a high density, a creamy texture, a good retention, and full lacing. This beer contains no visible sediment.


This brew has an average strength aroma characterized with herbal, aromatic, and somewhat citrusy hops which set the tone for this bitter beer. The aroma is somewhat spicy, and contains a noticeable amount of darker roasted malt with a balancing amount of sweetness. There are some lighter coffee and subtle biscuity notes present as well. The aroma contains no alcoholic tinge.


This is a medium full bodied brew with an average level of carbonation, an average weight, and a medium high viscosity. This beer has a somewhat dull lingering dry finish which offers very little ending refreshment and a fairly noticeable cooling effect, despite a moderately high ABV. This beer has a fairly smooth texture, and its medium full presence makes it a sipping beer.


As indicated by this beer's aroma, the flavor is mostly bitter with fruity and herbal hops, slightly balanced with a bit of roasted dark coffee and espresso like malty notes. This beer has bold dark malt semi sweet secondary notes. Floral notes are very prominent in the flavor profile, which finishes somewhat dry and pretty bitter in a somewhat lingering aftertaste. Despite a moderately high ABV, there is no alcohol in the flavor.

Our Take

In a way, this beer has somewhat of a right to be a bit self-righteous in that it actually is a very good brew. Of course, as a brewery you never want to set yourself up for disappointment, but in the case of Stone Brewery, it's a bit different. They exceed in promoting a stubbornly unrelenting brand that's as good at being unapologetic to its customers as it is at brewing great beer. They have no need to be kind or gracious. In fact, it works in the opposite way: people are usually quite grateful when it comes to being able to drink Stone beer. That said, this particular Black Ale is no exception. This is a bold, powerful beer with an impressive array of complex flavors and a complementing aroma to match. This beer has a full presence with a pretty strong ABV, and though it is strong and dark, it's pretty easy to drink, and not too cumbersome in the heat of late spring. Hoppy beer fans will be satisfied here, and those looking for a more malty bev shouldn't complain either. And whether you're offended with a bit of arrogance or not, get over it. This is definitely a beer worth trying.