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Labyrinth Black Ale - Uinta Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Labyrinth Black AleLabyrinth Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

902 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 902
Reviews: 284
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 130
Gots: 204 | FT: 13
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:
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 added by: JohnGalt1 on 06-01-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 902 | Reviews: 284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out like motor oil, in color and thickness. Mocha brown head that is thin and quickly leaves only a few puddles. Aroma of rich cocoa powder, roasted barley and burnt molasses. Flavor is similar to the nose. Rich cocoa, black patent malts,vanilla and small amounts of oak. Thick mouthfeel. Creamy smooth. Baker's chocolate bitterness on the finish but with such a creamy body it is balanced.

DrinkingDrake, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of nickhiller
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: soy sauce, in both color and viscosity, thin and brief brown foam

S: yummy sweet malty malts, sherry, savory meat, like a nice soy sauce and garlic marinade.

T: salty and smoky, burnt toast and wood (someone said hickory, sounds right) linger on the finish, followed in short order by throat-coating spicy alcohol.

M: thick and syrupy

O: very liquor-y, but not really any licorice. Has this weird savory/salty/umami thing going on that I'm not really into.

nickhiller, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Onenote81
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle split with some friends at a tasting back in August. Reviewed from notes.

Deep dark black pour. A wispy beige head caps it off nicely. Nose is heavy with licorice, dark malts, old coffee. This beer is thick and filling. A perfect sipping brew for the cold months. Hints of oak, molasses, syrup on the palate, but the licorice comes through with a bang. As does the booze. Wow. This is a beer to be split with friends. In no way could I polish off a bomber on my own. Not one I will revisit often, but a treat nonetheless.

Onenote81, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of stabzmcgee
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance is deep black with a nice tan leather lace of head. Aroma is that of lycorice and unrefined cocoa. Taste is of roasted malts, cocoa and vanilla. Palate is slick and oily with sweetness from the oak barrel. Overall this is a great beer, good alcohol and taste for fair price.

stabzmcgee, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

zaphodchak, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of ism
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the most opaque beers in my experience, with a 35 lumen LED flashlight not penetrating at all. Beautiful black body, pouring like motor oil. Thin head with low retention, transforming into a light taupe ring at the glass edge.

Roasted malt dominates the nose, with a bitter lightness to balance it. Medium-thick mouthfeel, a bit of a pleasurable glycerine glide over the tongue.

Toasted bread, a bit of chocolate, vanilla oak, a touch of tobacco; rich yet balanced. Alcohol is hidden very well, but emerges as it warms up. Goes down smooth with a bitter chocolate linger, then bright anise licorice emerges if you are looking for it.

Very balanced, yet heavy, not supposed to be sessionable, but a very enjoyable brew. Awesome paired with stinky cheese, fatty smoked charcuterie, gamey lamb.

ism, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- black in the glass with a 2+ finger head thats got some serius staying power. Nice big lacing is left and this looks awesome.

S- big malt with some chocolate woody oak notes and a medium roast. Light bitter scent hangin around in here too

T- nice sweetnes with a roast that mixes well. Bitter chocolate and coffee come through along with some wood. Nice complex flavors.

M- thicker mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Not a bad carhonation but id rather have a little less.

O- glad i got this. I assumed im was an old ABA and am pleasantly surprized. Ill snatch up some more next week.

Gushue3, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has this atthe 2010 ACBF, it poured out nice and black in color. The head was thin and tan. The lacing was light bit it was there for a while. The smell of the beer was big and roasted, had some sweetness on the nose and some hops too. The taste was rich with dark malts and some chocolate flavors, with a good bitterness bite in the finish. The mouthfeel was pretty decentI thought, good amount of body to it and carbonation. Overall this brew was really pretty good, I may need to have this one again someday.

Knapp85, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is no black ale. Make no mistake about it, this is an imperial stout, and a massive imperial stout at that. This was recommended to me by smakawhat in our recent trade. Thanks a lot man!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter.
Note: Brewed with licorice and aged in oak barrels.

APPEARANCE: Pours out thick black and sludgy, yielding a two plus finger, medium-thicker looking, mocha colored head with great retention. Thick black body with almost no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a thick foam cap with some lacing clinging to the sides. Head eventually fades to a ring and splotchy wisp that stays to the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Great looking imperial stout.

SMELL: Big nose. Roasted and burnt malts, dark chocolate and some booze for sure. Notes of sweet molasses mesh nicely with the chocolate aromas. Light oak and vanilla are there as well. Great nose, but perhaps a bit too much alcohol in the nose.

TASTE: Roasted and charred malts up front with some oak and molasses in there as well. Dark chocolate and some light, sweet caramel at the finish, as well as a good dose of alcohol. Big and persistent aftertaste is roasted and bitter, with some oak and chocolate flavors, and a measure of heat on the palate. No real sign of the licorice advertised, but this is very flavorful and extremely enjoyable. Great stuff.

PALATE: Medium-full body with lower levels of carbonation. Heavy on the palate, creamy, goes down smooth with some heat on the swallow and finishes relatively sticky. Big, thick palate that really supports the flavors. Really good.

OVERALL: This was great. I had no idea this beer even existed, let alone that it was this good. Looked great, smelt great, tasted amazing and the feel was huge. The booze was perhaps a little too present, as they certainly didn’t apologize for the 13.2% ABV, but a little time might take care of that. This was very flavorful and extremely enjoyable, and I wouldn’t back away from another bottle, that's for sure. Thanks again smakawhat for recommending this one to me. Outstanding creation.

Jeffo, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of remhaze
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily, black, with a superb little brown head. Beautiful! Chocolate, hopas and soy notes in the aroma. Taste is perfectly balanced. Lots of chocolate. Citrus hops. Some light hint of licorice in the aftertaste. The body is big and the texture incredibly smooth.

Overall, this was a great black ale. It reminded me of .. a cheaper, and lighter version of black xantus.

remhaze, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled 11/2010

appearance - black with minimal head that dissipates quickly. good solid lacing.

smell - very dark, very rich chocolate. black licorice, brown sugar, and roasted malts follow. creamy. a bit of hops/grass.

taste - follows the nose, thankfully the licorice isnt too strong (not a big fan of the licorice).

mouthfeel - medium body for the style and abv. carbonation is big and solid for being what it is.

claytong, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Wow. Where have YOU been all my life? This is a GREAT stout. I didn't even have it in with my stouts, because it's labeled as a "black ale." It took just seconds after pouring it to realize this was a stout. Guess I should have looked it up on here. Whatever. This poured with fingers width thick espresso crema like head. Jet black. That's all you need to know about the rest of the beer's appearance. The smell is just absolutely delightful. Full of rich, roasty, malted, chocolaty goodness. The taste even trumps the smell, making all those scents come to life in a well orchestrated flavor profile. One of my favorites to date. The mouthfeel is where this billy bad ass really shines. What an incredibly decadent, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It's like a chocolate melting in my mouth. Decadent. I simply cannot wait for the second glass to come from this bomber. I will say this, you can't taste a goddam bit of that 13.2% ABV. Woooo daddy. Dangerous. If you haven't already, get some. Now. Right now. C'mon, get up. Left foot right foot. They call it walking.

Retail1LO, Sep 07, 2011
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.

daveytheformer, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Yagman3000
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet goblet in a tasting with fellow BA CosmicEvan.

This appears a really midnight black. Its head reduced to nothing but a tiny rim.

Smells clearly of black licorice with some bitter chocolate roast coming through on the end.

Tastes of dark roast coffee infused with black licorice. I do pick up a little vanilla.

Pretty bubbly and creamy on a dark dark beer. It curls the tongue.

Overall I liked this beer but I feel that it came in a little too dark on the roasted side. While I note that this is a black ale, I feel like there's too much of a burnt malt undertone.

Yagman3000, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by yagman.

A - poured a deep shiny slick silky black with a thin head that was gone quick leaving no evidence behind.

S - deep rich dark chocolate. Nice maltiness. Smells great.

T - oh boy. Very deep rich chocolate. Malty roast vanillaness. Delicious.

M - silky and smooth. Rich without being too filling.

O - fantastic imperial stout I am surprised that you don't hear more about this fantastic beer. Can't wait to have it again.

cosmicevan, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of BeerTwins
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Inky black with a dense tan, lasting head.

Smell - Dark and malty. Unfortunately, no licorice detected.

Taste - Awsome Imperial Ale. Strong malt and bready. Unfortunately, no sign of the licorice sticks, was really looking forward to that. Alcohol not evident until the swallow and then it is very smooth. Overall, excellent.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy. Alcohol very evident in tne swallow. Nice.

Really enjoyed this Black Ale/Imperial Ale. Would really have liked to be able to taste licorice. Would be great on a cooler evening.

BeerTwins, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of matjack85
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this wire corked 750ml brown bottle at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL for $9.99 (club member price - $12.99 for non-members). Eye catching black and white maze makes up the entire front label and a bottling date of Dec. 2010 lets me know this is an 8 month old beer.

The beer poured a jet black color and made 4-fingers worth of creamy mocha colored head. Retention was good and lacing was incredible.

The beer smelled like dark roasted malt, coffee, and black licorice.

Wow! As Monty Python would say - "And now for something completely different". There's so much going on in here you hardly know where to start. No wonder they call this "Labyrinth". The initial sip hits you with dark roasted malt, coffee, and black licorice, just like the nose suggested, but then you start tasting vanilla notes, chocolate notes, and a drying wood oak flavor as well. I don't know what variety of hops are used in here, but there is a pleasant bitterness as well. Then at the finish, and especially after swallowing, you are hit with a second kick of black licorice. I found this beer both interesting and delicious.

This is not the thickest stout I ever had. It's only somewhere between medium and full bodied, but it is extremely smooth due to the low carbonation. For a 13.2% abv brew they certainly hid most of the alcoholic taste as well.

If you're not a fan of black licorice you might not like this one. While the licorice taste is not at all overpowering, it is definitely what sets this one apart from most other stouts. I enjoyed it.

matjack85, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of pitasoup
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to neorunner for this 750.

A: pours pitch black, thick, seemingly little head that turns into gushing coffee brown foam that is very slow to subside.

S: licorice, anise, vanilla, oak, smoke, and burnt malts. like liquefied twizzlers thrown into a stout.

T: anise and hop bitterness, then some burnt malts, slightly tart, as if from black patent. subtle spicyness from wooden barrels later.

M: smooth and easy drinking, despite the obvious visible thickness. the 13% abv is disturbingly well hidden.

O: this was quite good, but not as delicious as I remember from having it at SAVOR. I'd definitely seek out more Uinta products, but this may be a one time taster, because of it's high abv/dense flavors.

pitasoup, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip.

My first taste from the crooked line series. I really like the labels, bold and draws the eye. This beer pours a pitch black with medium brown head. Head retention was medium with minor lacing. Smell is licorice, charcoal, alcohol and molasses. Taste is fairly boozy whiskey with a burnt bittersweet chocolate. Prunes, figs and the black licorice. Mouthfeel, especially once it warmed was quite boozy, medium-heavy body. Overall a good stout, a tad boozy but nice and smooth.

OakedCanuck, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of JCellars
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL into a tulip glass at around 55-60 degrees. Pours thick and dark with a chocolatey two finger head. Nice retention.

This beer delights the senses with the absence- of-light darkness and aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, a slight earthiness, and of course licorice (having been brewed with it).

The taste doesn't disappoint with the coffee and bittersweet chocolate promised on the nose coming through beautifully. The texture is surprisingly smooth with excellent carbonation, which I wasn't expecting from a barrel-aged badboy like this one. The chewy, opulent malt is balanced by the well integrated hop profile on the finish. I also like that there's no sweetness despite the all the chocolate flavor.

Word of Caution though, this beer is way too smooth for it's 13.2 ABV, so you better find a friend to share with or a couch to crash on!

JCellars, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Pwnasaur90
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this via Whole Foods in Chicago

A very delicious beer that I have enjoyed again and again, and I will continue to do so in the future.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful pitch black color; think motor oil dark.

Smell: Very strong alcohol smell along with a nice hint of licorice and chocolate.

Taste: Outstanding; strong alcohol flavor at first melts into a delicious licorice, dark fruit flavor; then mellows out into a nice espresso and chocolate aftertaste.

This beer is a must try. If you feel like treating yourself to something nice and delicious, this is the way to go.

Pwnasaur90, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 2/28/11.

Pours an opaque black with a thick 3 inch dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. Nice foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, slight coffee, and some spices (licorice?). Alcohol smells come out as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malt, coffee grounds, and dark cocoa powder. Mild roasty bitterness sticks to the palate after each sip. There is also a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. Low carbonation makes for a thick and creamy mouthfeel with a sticky feeling. Overall, this is a good stout from Uinta but the alcohol in this one keeps it from being more drinkable.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of Spcoly
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was recommended by Binnys emplyoee and he got it right! I was hesistant to purchase it at first because of the black licorice, but you cannot even taste it!

A - Pours Dark with little head

S - Oak, chocoate, deliciousness

T - Not too heavy with a touch of vanilla / oak

M - Again, not too heavy, more of a medium tone with a slight burn from the high ABV

O - Great beer but you cannot have mnore than 1 due to the high ABV. Ive tasted 8% ABV beers with more burn than this. I keep this one in the rotation.

Spcoly, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, it certainly pours black. It has a small but nice mocha head. No lace.

Dark chocolate, licorice, earth and dry oak make up the smell.

Chocolate and roasted coffee make up the front of the tast. Licorice comes in around the middle and is nice and mellow. Very slight hint of oak. The finish is smooth and creamy like melty chocolate. Very smooth and with very well hidden ABV.

Not a top 10 but a very good Flavored Imperial Stout. This is my second beer from Unita, and so far I'm impressed. I'd love to cellar one of these and see what happens.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of ffejherb
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared with FooFaa and brewslut on 7/1/11.

A - Poured a dark, ominous slick black liquid with deep burgundy and cocoa brown hues and a thick wall of burnt mocha foam on top that yielded a fence of lacing around the glass.

S - Complex aroma suggests rich molasses, licorice, soy sauce or even Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, roasted malt, alcohol and smoked meat.

T - Smooth chocolate and tangy soy sauce comprises the base of the flavor, while a hint of roasted coffee emerges midway through, as well as a sweet caramel and toffee character. The chocolate persists throughout, although the finish introduces a hint of earthy hop bitterness and mild alcohol warmth.

M - Full bodied with an oily, viscous texture and modest carbonation, resulting in a smooth, rich mouthfeel overall. Finishes bittersweet on the palate.

D - This concoction is equal parts Black Ale, Imperial Stout, Barleywine and Strong Ale all in one. One of the more complex beers I've had recently. A little soy saucy perhaps, but tasty nonetheless. A labyrinth indeed.

ffejherb, Jul 26, 2011
Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 902 ratings.