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Labyrinth Black Ale - Uinta Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Labyrinth Black AleLabyrinth Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

295 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 295
Hads: 1,004
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 19.86%
Wants: 141
Gots: 252 | FT: 14
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 295 | Hads: 1,004
Photo of don1481
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep black with a khaki head that lingers and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell: chocolate nibs. Lots of chocolate. No booze on the nose.

Taste: boozy. Not obnoxiously so, but boozy enough to make it clear that this is barrel aged. Hints of licorice cut through the booze.

Mouthfeel: slight black licorice aftertaste.

Overall: Pretty good, not a best in show, but I'm pretty picky with imperial barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a pure black color with a slim finger's worth of off white to tan head that dissipated within about thirty seconds. Light lacing runs stealthily down the glass.
The smell started off with a nice roast leading into sweet black licorice. Coffee and cocoa tones amplify yet balance it all out.
The taste was mainly sweet with some bitterness from the hops sliding into the previously mentioned flavors. A sticky sweet aftertaste leads to refined quick finish.
The mouthfeel sat about a medium on the body with a pretty good sipping quality about it. Carbonation seemed good, letting a thick stickiness to it.
Overall, what a wonderful Double / Imperial Stout that I would love to have again.

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Photo of virginia_lurker
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This stuff is truly black gold

Readily available year-round (because people don't understand how good it is) and I am certainly glad that I am one of the lucky ones who has consumed this libation of the Gods more than once and keep coming back to it and saying OMG holy ×*! $*! this is good!!! I mean... I just had a 4/08/14 bottle and it blew my mind!!! Thank you Uinta and Gods bless!!!

PS how have THE BROS not reviewed this???

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Photo of stevoj
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Excellent stuff. Warm and boozy, slick and slippery. This one is all over the board in aroma and taste; pit fruit, licorice, molasses..... The ABV will do you in however, part of the appeal. An excellent to a session.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is dangerous. The considerable alcohol content is buried in malty licorice notes, and for an Imperial Stout the body is surprisingly easy on the palate. A huge beer that should probably be shared. Delicious!

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Photo of VTR
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Licorice? Count me in! Had this on tap a few days ago. I was anticipating this because of everything I had heard about this beer and being barrel aged?! Even better. It was poured into snifter and served cold. I decided to sample it and let it warm up. I am not sure if it improved as it got warmer. The nose was nice as I picked up coffee, chocolate, licorice, and roasted malts. My first sip was interesting. There is a lot going on with the flavor. I picked up slight chocolate, followed by rye, then coffee and finally licorice. The licorice was very light but what impressed me was the coffee. It was not a bitter coffee that makes me stay away from a few breakfast/coffee stouts. I found the coffee enjoyable. The alcohol was well masked. I was glad to have tried and although I have nothing negative to say about this beer, but it was a little to busy for me. I might have it again on tap but I will not buy the bottles that my bottle shop has.

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Photo of stortore
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours very dark and thick, with a smallish, clingy, dark tan head. Very appealing to look at. The smell is kind of muted, mostly roasted malts, some rye. Did not smell great at the open. Taste follows the nose with the roasted malts, a lot more rye, and a faint licorice taste on the back end. Could be the power of suggestion. It's not very complex, but it is very tasty. No alcohol taste at all- at 13.2%! Good job Uinta.... Very solid body, nicely carbonated. Coats the tongue and feels good in the mouth.

This is a very enjoyable beer, and I'm a big fan of Rye based or barreled beers. If you are too, it's well worth a purchase. I'd buy this again.

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Photo of kevanb
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, bottled on 7.25.2011, poured into a Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout tulip.

The beer pours a deep, colossally jet black color, thick and viscous, intensely opaque with a thick finger or so of caramel head, nice retention that yields a few streaks of soapy lace. The aroma is quite nice, rye spice, bourbon toffee, dark chocolate, light stone fruit, a toast of coffee roast, a bit of raisin and licorice as well, quite complex. The flavors resonate well, big dark chocolate, smooth bourbon, rye spice, almost an oatmeal flavor, licorice, coffee roast, toasted grain, light stone fruit and bit of vanilla. The mouthfeel is okay, a bit thinner and more carbonated than I'd expect but still coats decently and finishes easily, just somewhat lackluster.

Verdict: A very nice barrel aged stout from Uinta, definitely a hidden gem amongst a dense crowd of competitors. Complex, balanced and smooth, has pretty much everything you can ask for in a good stout.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-Thick thick brown head on a pitch black beer
-Chocolate, alcohol, with a sweet kick
-amazing taste with a warming sensation from the high abv, chocolate foremost light licorice aftertaste
-thick thick and very thick, but in sought after way, warm
-overall a very nice dessert beer, will drink again and very well crafted

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter. This was dredged up from the cellar. Bottling date was cut off, but I'd guess this is 2-3 years old.

A: Deep black pour. Brown head settles shortly. Spotty lacing.

S: Bitter dark chocolate, fudge sauce, mocha, woody roast. Oaky vanilla. Raisins.

T: Fudge sauce, bitter dark chocolate, mocha, subtle hints of black licorice. Muddled soy sauce in the background is a sign of age. Barrel picks up steam with flavors of oak, vanilla, and rye whisky coming out middle to end. Chocolate covered raisins. Caramel chews. Chocolate-caramel chews, fudge sauce, and rye whiskey on the long finish.

M: Thick body, but not syrupy or too weighty. Round, slick, rich. Silky texture. Warming. Very easy to drink given its size.

O: I think this was rescued from the cellar at just the right time. It is probably just past its peak, but still tasting very good. It still displays awesome balance and great integration of flavors. Uinta knows how to barrel age. This beer and Cockeyed Cooper should really get more love. For the price and availability, these are phenomenal brews. They don't really help themselves by calling it a 'Black Ale' though. The average beer geek doesn't know what to make of that. This is a barrel aged Imperial Stout, a style that gets much love in geek circles. Marketing it as such would really help.

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Photo of Pete_IV
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours black with a nice dark creamy head. The head seems too last on mine despite other reviews. Sweet and chocolatey, expected for a 13.2 abv stout. Getting the licorice on the tail end of drinking.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours a thick black, with almost no head, and as you consume this tasty beverage almost no lacing is left behind. The nose is dominantly coffee but some dark chocolate sneaks in as well. I was surprised by the lack of bourbon smell. When you take your first sip you get a mixture of dark chocolate and bourbon that hits you simultaneously. As you swallow a slight bitterness takes over, curtesy of the coffee notes. Extremely well balanced, there is no overwhelming flavor just a superb blending of everything I enjoy in a stout (which even though it's listed as a black ale, make no mistake it is a stout). Tremendous beer.

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Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding beer. Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: a huge thick (2 inches at least) of intense bright brown head. Beer super dark, pitch black.

Smell: chocolate, maybe subtle notes of licorice, not too much to offer here.

Taste: bitter chocolate with sweetness to follow it. Maybe some dark fruits. As the beer returned to room temp, black licorice became much more prominent. Maybe not so complex in flavors, but very rich and decadent.

Mouthfeel: super thick and rich. Knife and fork would be helpful. This is a heavy one.

Overall: outstanding! Surprised this is year-round and not seasonal. It's nice that this solid beer is readily available.

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Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours a near black with dense creamy medium brown head, settles to a half inch, rings halfway down the glass. Smell: caramel, dark chocolate, toast, black plum, mild oak and earth. Taste: chocolate cake batter, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, caramel, mild earth and plums skin help to balance. Medium-plus bodied, creamy, pillowy carbonation. Finishes with licorice, char, vanilla-ish. At 13.2% abv it's pretty well balanced, not a booze nor a sugar bomb. And not overboard on the licorice, nice! 4/14 bottling.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Wow. Pure black with a dark brown foam with great retention. Totally opaque. Smells like rich coffee, caramel, molasses and creamy dark chocolate. Taste is out of this world. Absolutely massive chocolate sauce flavor with coffee and cocoa. The big sweetness rounds it out with a rich fermented earthiness. A big solid herbal bittering finishes dry. Thick viscous feeling with a dry sandy salty finish. Overall one of the best barrel aged beers I've ever had. Wonderful huge developed flavor. Nothing out of place. Phenomenal.

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Photo of Big_Beers
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Appearance is great giant head that is cappuccino 4 finger length

Smell: Poured oin a chalice chocolate a little bananna and light brown sugar

Taste and mouth feel: rich choc forward and roasted malt. Thins out towards the end and the alcohol hits like licorice liqour

Overall: I drank this beer pretty new as it was bottled less than 6 months ago. I am well versed in aged beers and beer aging. I am 100 percent sure that this beer would develop into a monster given two years.

Don't get it wrong I enjoy everything about this year...

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11/8/12 Bottling poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a black color with a rich, dense, red/brown head. The head dissipates to a relatively long lasting lacing.
S - Smells of hops, malt, slight char, some oak and a hint of licorice.
T - Taste is similar to the smell with a little chocolate thrown in.
M - A very rich, thick mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - Pretty good for a licorice infused ale. Fans of Deschutes' Abyss will appreciate this ale.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Uinta's Labyrinth, barrel aged quadruple black ale, brewed with licorice sticks; from their Crooked Line series. 13.2% ABV.

Man, that cork was on tight!

A: A full two fingers of solid, chocolate milk-brown head. Very slow dissipation. Utterly black in the glass, with extremely dark brown in the dimple, and just the slimmest dark-golden brown glow in the very bottom. Good lacing, that hold completely steady. Foam slides around the top of the beer in a very pleasing way; slow and deliberate. The bubbles above the beer sparkle against the side of the glass.

S: I smell black licorice right away, once the cork is popped. Up close to my nose, the licorice is still quite present, but a rich bittersweet chocolate is taking over. Some darker oaky caramels, and toasted oak notes. Just a touch of coffee, in the background.

T/MF: As expected, the beer has a nice, soft, almost pillow-y feel on the tongue. The flavor is a pretty decent amount of cocoa cereal, with sweeter black licorice taste that overpowers it just the right amount. A bit of sweeter coffee, rounds it out. A slight char note rides the back end. Finish is long and low, and mostly the sweeter licorice, with a touch of char.

It still amazes me that, while I can't stand licorice candy, I seem to enjoy it most times as a flavor in beer.

While, I wouldn't put it quite up there with some of the better whiskey barrel-aged beers, it is quite good!

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of tviz33
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big ass bottle in to a Duvel tulip.

A- This looks like straight Hershey's syrup which erupts in to a big luscious dark brown head if poured quickly enough.

S- The smell is magical. Barrel up front, chocolate and coffee following. Rich, rich, rich.

T- As with an big stout, the flavor really comes alive as it warms. Cocoa, licorice, and coffee grounds, followed by the slightest alcohol burn. As I keep sipping, dark fruits become very apparent and mildly tart.

M- Huge full feel and medium-light carbonation.

O- I'm a big fan of this beer. Glad I finally gave it a go.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml corked and caged bottle courtesy of and shared with beastmaster. Pours pitch black with a massive creamy dark brown head. Aroma of sweet dark fruits, smokey roast, anise/black licorice, some strong chocolate coming through, char maybe from barrels. Smells pretty rich. Flavor is sweet and smokey molasses, chocolate, oak, booze, raisins. Medium plus plus body, medium to low carbonation, and very smooth. Warming. Very sticky here. Sort of like smoked chocolate covered licorice sticks. Jury is still out but a nice dessert in small quantities. Drinkability on the low side but overall nice.

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Photo of rangerman21
3.46/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a robust 1-2 finger head. Smell is sweet, with an alcohol punch to it. Caught hints of vanilla, black licorice, and oak. Taste was complex, with a sweet licorice up front and a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. Excellent mouthfeel, substantial and creamy. Overall this was an interesting beer but it was a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.