Labyrinth Black Ale - Uinta Brewing Company

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Labyrinth Black AleLabyrinth Black Ale

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980 Ratings
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Ratings: 980
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 140
Gots: 244 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 06-01-2010

Labyrinth Black Ale, from Uinta's new Crooked Line, was triumphant in its first competition since it was conceived earning a Gold medal in the Imperial Stout category of the competition at the 2010 North American Brewers Association Awards. Aged in rye barrels.

56 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 980 | Reviews: 296
Reviews by MetalHopHead6:
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Uinta Labyrinth Black Ale is sweet, sticky, and heavy.

It poured perfectly, with a huge milk chocolate-colored head above black liquid. The head had remarkable retention and the ale left remarkably sticky thick dark brown rings from the top to the bottom of the glass.

The smell and flavor were very sweet with hints of root beer and licorice followed by vanilla and wood. The feel was smooth, with very little bitterness, and a sticky sweet finish. It had a massive alcohol kick that made this a bomber to share.

I love what Uinta does with the Crooked Line and Labyrinth is a rich heavy experience. Although dominated more by sweetness than bitterness, it's a rich experience none the less.

More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that quickly died down, leaving delicate bits of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of licorice are present in the nose. Hints of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has some flavors of licorice, but has some notes of underlying sweetness, dark malts and hints of chocolate. As the beer warms, hints of rye whiskey become evident.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming from the rye whiskey are also perceptible.
O: For such a strong beer, this stout is very drinkable and nearly masks all of its alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night after work and felt it with a dull headache this morning.Poured into an imperial nonic jet black with nicely formed deep tannish colored head atop that never completely settled.Dark roast,char,vanilla/oak,and sweet alcohol in the nose,it's got alot going on and is pretty complex.Sweet chocolatey notes at the onset flavor wise with vanilla and dark fruit soaked in sweet alcohol,the saving grace of the beer is at midway a nice earthy woodsy drying effect comes in.Wow there is alot going on in this beer it's big and brash,a real sipper with alot of components to it.Very good.

Photo of mikechance
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A --- deep black color with about 1/2 inch chocolate head

S --- brandy, malts, chocolate, and vanilla

T --- heavy alcohol, but smooth mixture of malts, chocolate and vanilla

M --- smooth, oily, med body, and moderate carbonation

O --- This is an excellent beer. I divided up a 750 ml bottle with two other guys and had the right amount. I might grab another bottle and sit on it for a while. It would be an excellent beverage to end the day on Christmas.

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, bottled on 2-28-11

Pours BLACK. Dark and sturdy head, slowly goes to a nice rich film, thick collar, classy and extensive rings, spots, blobs and webs of fine lace.

Even my challanged sniffer picks up dense chocolate notes and powdered sugars.

Full flavor stout. Loads of dark and milk chocolate notes, licorice, roasted malts, burnt malts. Big and bold. Thick, viscous and coating mouthfeel. Rich and tasty with complexity abounding.

Very enjoyable and well crafted night capper/cold weather sipper.

Photo of BarkingMonkeye
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Im not an experienced beer connoisseur, but i have had enough experience to know a good beer when i see it. And this is one of the best in its category which can be found in Utah in my opinion. Id doesnt have that hard water taste of international dark beer, which im happy to do without. This beer is great for anyone who wants a high ABV and full flavor with thicker viscosity. I pretty biased for the malt type beers so i score this one higher.

Personally i love everything about the beer. IF i had more experience with beer and a better spectrum to judge, i would give it 5.0.

If your looking for something different in the RIS category you owe it to yourself to try this beer!

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from last year (bottled in October), shared at a recent beer tasting - thanks Brad! Review from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Deep black from which light cannot escape, thin light head of foam, some lacing. Viscosity of motor oil.

Enjoyed with anise seed-dark chocolate.

Nose is rich and hearty, with dark malt, chocolate, coffee, anise (licorice), vanilla, whiskey and a mild hop bitterness.

Very flavorful, enjoyable stout, and absolutely no sense of the big booze factor here. In fact, I had no idea this monster stood at such a high ABV until halfway through the bottle when another member of our party alerted me. I was too busy enjoying the chocolate, coffee, vanilla and anise flavors to be bothered. A nice hop bitterness to the finish, and with some dark fruits lingering in the recesses of each sip.

Thick and silky, coats the tongue like a champ.

My favorite of the beer tasting night - an excellent brew, made all the more surprising to me because generally I can't stand licorice, but the light touch - accentuated only with the anise-chocolate - was quite something. My first brew from the Crooked Line, and damn did this one deliver. Will get again.

Photo of ehammond1
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black throughout with a small brown head that leaves small dots of stick down the glass. This doesn't look particularly heavy or thick for the style.

Very nice aroma and typical of the style: chocolate and roast, mild coffee, and distinct though welcome bourbon notes. There's a nice balance here between beer and barrel.

The flavor is very well integrated, with the barrel adding nice earthy, woody, and vanilla notes to a decadent chocolate and roast-forward stout.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Very nice and quite unexpected.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into 22oz snifter; black as night with a nice thick fluffy brown head that doesn't fade at all seemingly and leaves lots of lacing. Smell is unlike any imperial stout I've had; rye, roasted malt and chocolate, and a slight hint of licorice. A very dry and bitter, roasty smell. Surprisingly no alcohol detectable in the smell really, which is crazy for 13+%. Taste...semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt with slight coffee bitterness, soft slightly spicy rye grain, slight oak/bourbon and a classy amount of booze at the very end warming up the sticky bittersweet aftertaste. As it warms, the flavor grows in seemingly never-ending complexity. Toffee and caramel are among the flavors that reveal themselves. This beer is definitely a sipper, due to flavor, let alone the %abv.
Overall, a unique and insanely good imperial stout. The rye barrel character adds a lot to this beer, something I haven't experienced before, and distinct from a stout made with rye malt. I might still enjoy a bourbon-barrel-aged stout more, but this one is very good. A must-try for big beer lovers.

Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours like motor oil, jet black with an impressive dark tan head. Huge head for a 13% beer. Really good lacing too.

Bourbon note hits first, and hard. Vanilla soon follows, quite oaky, Chocolate, booze, rye bread, and a bit of caramel.

Oh wow, truly surprising. Big chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and some licorice is present. Very bready, dark breads like rye or pumpernickel. Not much booze which is really impressive for such a big brew.

Full, sweetly slick and rich. Warming going down, not harsh at all. Very nice.

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Can get into trouble with the ABV, because that can fool you.

Photo of daveytheformer
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a thin dark mocha head that fades to some spotting.

Smells of lots of licorice , chocolate, roasted malt and a nice toasted bread aroma. A booze smell that's not very hidden.

Tastes are more of that licorice and lots of chalky chocolate. Dry mouth lingering finish. Alcohol burn shows up with each and every sip but never comes off too harsh.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall is pretty good. This is the sixth beer I've tried from Uinta and this one was the firs that really impressed me. I would drink this again and again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours an obsidian black body with a deep inky quality and a tan creamy head that turns bubble but last for a good bit. The beer coats the glass with a inky film after each sip.

S- the dry oak wood aroma has a syrupy black malt with some soy sauce hints to it and a buttered popcorn quality comes through as the beer warms.

T- The soft black malt hint is blended with dry wood flavors and a dark caramel and sweet black malt inky flavor. The finish is a nice sweet thick black malt flavor with some light roasted notes lingering but no real bitterness noticed.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a thick texture and a warming alcohol heat in the finish.

D- No big and bitey like i expect from a imp. stout but a nice blend of smooth complex flavors and a softer support from the barrel. It is a nice beer and very different from typical American monster stouts.

Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 3/31/10
Caged and corked.

Purchased @ Julio's Liquors in Westborough, Mass.

Price - $13.99

Pop goes the weasel, point the cork outside this one's a weapon.

Appearance: Pours jet black and thick like syrup. Medium brown head that settles down to a ring around the glass. This one looks like a winter warmer.

Smell: Roasted malt with coffee, chocolate and caramel. Aged in oak, oh yeah. Bourbon barrels are strutting their stuff.

Taste: Vanilla, coffee and biting hops. Licorice and bourbon round it out. Alcohol aftertaste. If your looking for sweetness, don't look here.

Mouthfeel: Full body and creamy feel with some heat and bitterness.

Drinkability: Think of Bells Expedition stout jacked up on steroids (bourbon barrels). I'll be aging a couple of bottles just to see where we go from here. A winter beer for sure.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a teku. This bottle has a date of 3/29/13.

I love the dark khaki-colored head on this. The appearance of this foamy head over the pitch-black body looks very much like a serving of espresso. A thick layer of lace settles over the body and splotches remain around the glass.

The nose is just huge on this. Potent as all hell. Big oak flavors, chocolate, a hint of red wine, vanilla, and a tiny bit of alcohol.

Not to be outdone, the flavors on this brew are intense and in your face. Huge roasted malt flavors add a new element, but the oak, red wine and other aromas find their way to my tongue. Baker's chocolate lingers with a hint of spicy bourbon flavor.

Well, for being 13.2% ABV, this beer drinks smoothly. It's thick-bodied and malty, viscous, and only minorly hot from the alcohol. There's a touch of hop bitterness at the finish as well as some dryness.

This is an excellent beer. Rich in flavor, smooth to drink, and actually pretty reasonably priced.

Photo of joeseppy
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a mocha thin head. Syrupy texture that clings.

Aromas of bourbon, coffee grounds, herbal hop, licorice, toasted marshmellow and a smokiness.

Taste dark roasty malts, bittersweet oak, vanilla, dark cocoa and some smoky haze. Alcohol for sure but not distracting.

Full bodied and roasty.

Better sipped at cool temps. Wish this sold in smaller options. Big brew for one person. Nice to sip and share with some great BAs. This is my second Uinta and I am liking these guys. Look forward to their other offerings.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: Pours an inky black with a rather fluffy one finger head. Decent retention and lacing. Liked the bottle art on this one.

S: Pretty nice aroma - light roasted malts, some chocolate, vanilla, and a heavy dose of licorice. There was something slightly off-putting at the end, but I couldn't place it.

T: Overwhelming licorice flavor, it dominates by far. Under the licorice there is chocolate, molasses, and a little oak.

M: Medium to full bodied, low carbonation and pretty smooth.

O: The over the top licorice wasn't for me. Had it been dialed back this would have been better, for me at least.

Photo of GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with cork and cage served at cellar temp into a goblet.

Labyrinth is nearly black in color with barely any head. Brown highlights seen on the pour but otherwise not much to see.

Aroma is rich and roasty with a little sweetness. The rye whiskey barrels add just enough to the smell without being overpowering.

Flavor is intense with dark roasted malt, sweet caramel rye, and vanilla from the barrels. It's well balanced without having the boozy quality of some bourbon stouts.

Mouthfeel is strong but surprisingly drinkable given the 13%+ ABV. It's definately a slow sipper but one that I can see enjoying this for several hours to come.

Overall a really nice imperial stout. One that doesn't get a lot of hype but probably deserves to. Just don't tell anyone else.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cork was a son of a bitch to remove. I think it was glued in. I was seriously thinking of using pliers after 5 minutes of struggle. No way to start a weekend.

The appearance here makes all the sweat and toil worthwhile though. Oily black in appearance, with a bronzed golden-brown head that pops and crackles and tries to hang around but that 13.2% ABV doesn't allow it to last long.

A beautiful aroma if you don't mind a bit of alcohol flare in your beer. Sherry-like, it also features licorice (no surprise, as the label reveals this was brewed with licorice sticks), wood (same deal, this was aged in oak), and big blasts of a mingled dark fruit-meets-sweet milk chocolate kind of deal. If the alcohol was dialed down just a notch, I'll bet everything else would shine through brighter, but as is, wow, it's fantastic.

The taste delivers all the aroma promises. All flavors, and there are many, combine perfectly. "Just right" levels of licorice, cocoa nibs, sweet liqueur, chocolate cake, wood and succulent overripe dark fruits hang out, while near the back and finish of the sip sits a healthy hop brightness and a flash of sweet cream.

Where lots of big stouts have milky, sweet, long wet finishes, this one has a dryer complexion, and more bubble action than you'd expect from the style. It's got enough roundness though, and while I might have liked something chewier, it works very well like this. Did the oak have anything to do with this I wonder?

Big and bold, rich but controlled, Labyrinth is so damn good I want to drink it much quicker than the 13.2% will allow. But I'll have no problem taking it slow, it'll last longer that way. If this was super-ultra-rare it would likely be ranked even higher (a la Black Tuesday) by the geeks who like to play those games. It really is that good.

Photo of augustgarage
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL caged-and-corked bottle into my Bruery tulip. Bottled 2/28/2011.

A vigorous pour produces a hefty finger of tan soft peaks resting on top of an opaque seal brown base. The foam settles slowly, becoming denser and creamier over time. Fine sandy lacing leaves arcs punctuated with delicate amoeba-like bubbles amidst a cascading sheets of oily legs in its wake.

Indistinct aromatics suggest coffee, licorice, cocoa, and brown sugar along with hints of speciality malt and maybe a touch of roast barley.

Sweet palate entry, suggestive of brown sugar (which has an increasingly burnt quality as the flavors evolve), candied fennel seeds, and licorice root. Low bitterness, though the deep roast notes lend a somewhat acrid quality. Toasted dark rye, black pepper, with a touch of cinnamon/clove as well in the finish. The oak contributes an additional sensation of char which further balances the initial sweetness. No off flavors.

A touch hot, though not solventy; medium-full bodied, with good carbonation. Faintly tannic and astringent, giving a crisper quality than you might expect. Not especially oily or slick.

A pleasing dessert beer, this would be better paired with a good robust cheese (it's making me crave Emmentaler Switzerland Premier Cru at the moment), though it is almost a meal in itself. I was a worried a beer with such a high ABV from Utah would be a novelty booze-bomb, but this is an earnest offering I think. Not quite up to snuff compared to the top-tier of the style, but pretty tasty none the less.

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this bottle with me.

A - pitch black with a thick cap of brown head that has great retention

S - big chocolate notes, licorice, roasted malts, faint coffee

T - chocolate, bourbon, bitter, black licorice, anise

M - full bodied, very warm, a bit boozy

This is a BIG beer. It has great flavor. It's incredibly enjoyable but a sipper. The alcohol and big body really slow you down. This is definitely worth checking out.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle, Bruery tulip,

This is a midnight black brew with a correspondingly dark head, say two shades darker than a mocha. Retention is not a strong point, but not awful either with a small cap remaining. This is a massive beer.

Very roasty, toasty, and full of super dark fruit. Things almost verge into soy sauce territory, but I'd say job well done as a dark chocolate bar swoops in. A slightly salty chocolate bar, possibly with nuts. Chocolate liqueur.

Tasty chocolate coffee liqueur with hardly any apparent alcohol. Coffee and roast make a great combination. The flavors are very decadent and creamy. It's almost like salted caramel wrapped in bacon, so I guess it's a bit smokey. I think this beer is a sleeper.

The texture really helps to bring out the richness. It's full and velvety with minimal carbonation, though not at all flat. A little fizz and then heavy cream envelopes your tongue.

Fortunately this is not a limited release and really quite affordable in the world of Imperial Stouts. I will be picking up some more and only regret that it sat in my fridge for so long before I discovered the glory. Roasted chocolate and coffee for the win.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finger of tannish head that eventually dissipates, opaque black body.

Smell is bitter licorice and some sort of wood.

Taste is more bitter than I was hoping, but then, this is an American style. There's the licorice, but it's not sweet, and some molasses, also not sweet. It's licorice for sure though (as the bottle indicates) rather than star anise for instance, if that makes sense. There's a lingering woody character that I want to say is hickory, along with some warmth, although the burn you would expect from the ABV is not really present.

Mouthfeel is smooth and thick, carbonation is very subdued.

This is actually pretty similar to the Abyss-- I let this sit out for a while (based on the bottle's instructions) but I'm betting that it will be better after I let the bottle sit in the fridge for a bit. It's decent, but 'black ale' offers no hint as to the dangerous ABV-- drinks and tastes like a stout/porter.

Photo of Mavajo
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a brown head. An aggressive pour yields a thin head. No lacing. Aroma is oak, bourbon, caramel, roast and hops. Taste is licorice, with roasty/charred notes, and a mild bourbon backbone. The char/roast lingers long on the palate. Sticky. Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation - a bit watery.

Aroma is pretty good. Taste is OK. There are better bourbon barrel stouts out there. The long roasty aftertaste is a major downer. Even 15 minutes later, that roastiness was still parching my palate.

Photo of rangerman21
3.46/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with a dark brown head

Smell: Boozey with chocolate/fruit/sweet and a hint of oak.

Taste- Smooth, boozy woody and some liquorice. Roasted malt shows through.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, smooth finish.

Overall: Tasty, lots of different flavors going on. Booze doesn't overwhelm despite being pronounced in the nose. Sipping it definitely gives a warming sensation.

Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Scored this today at Macadoodles in Bentonville, AR. Bottled on 09/03/10

750 ml corked/caged bottle opens with a nice pop. Pours black with 3 fingers of bubbly brown head. Good head retention & lacing. It was great the last few drops of this slowly drip from the bottle like molasses!

S: Bourbon & vanilla & some booze at the end

T: Follows the nose, much oaky dryness, dark chocolate, licorice & vanilla. Oaky dryness, vanilla, charred caramel, dark chocolate & a good taste of Bourbon & woody hops sneaking in the back door. Finishes with boozey vanilla, herbal 7 woody hops, oakyness & carob

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, smooth as can be, nice warming feel to this, slickens up at the end

13.2 % ABV is not really showing through this sucker is too drinkable. If I get a chance to hit that store again any time soon, I will probably buy every damn bottle they have. This is a very hidden gem that Arkansas beer drinkers should be tickled pink to get

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Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 980 ratings.