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Labyrinth Black Ale - Uinta Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Labyrinth Black AleLabyrinth Black Ale

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928 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 215 | 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:
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: 928 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of illidurit
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle shared at the July Santa Cruz tasting. Pours pitch black with a light-tan head. Boozy aroma with some roasted malts, leather, molasses, and dark chocolate. Flavor displays black coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, wood and port. Big roasty bitterness with a strong - but not hot - alcohol presence. A little oily and acidic but otherwise pretty well-rounded for such a massive beer.

Photo of tbern007
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black/brown. Thick tan head holds well and good lacing.
Scent has a hop surprise to it, light oak, white wine but typically dark roasty, malty as well.
Taste has that hop surprise to it for such a dark one as well. Surprisingly not overwhelming. Roast malt, smoke, oak, mild coffee and chocolate. Not heavy. Good balance. Quite good.

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

Poured dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate roasted malty, licorice and wood aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy dark roasted chocolate malt and licorice flavor with medium to heavy dark sweet finish of moderate to long duration. Solid complex beer.

Photo of brotherloco
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml C&C. Bottled on 02/28/11. Poured into tulip.

Pours pitch black with a thick mocha head. Settles slowly, but mostly disappears. Lots of lacing.

Smells of roasted chocolate malt, some spicy hops, I get a good bit of yeast too. I suppose there's a touch of licorice in there, but it's light. Barrel presence is light too, a whiff of oak and vanilla. Some astringent alcohol appears as well.

The taste really wallops you with an initial sweetness, wasn't expecting that. Things get chalky and roasty in the middle. Some salty soy sauce notes. There's a very distinct bitterness that comes on and lingers through the finish, this must be the promised licorice addition since it has a touch of Nyquil flavor to it, but also probably comes from plentiful hops. The finish is powerfully boozy as well, the big ABV lets itself be known. The barrel presence is about the same as the nose, light but apparent.

The body is medium with low carbonation. A lighter feel than was expected, but quite nice.

This is definitely my favorite of the Crooked Line series. They really deliver on the "multi-dimensional" promise in the flavor. The booze could be knocked down a bit in my opinion, but it really doesn't disturb the overall well blended flavors.

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Bottled on 12/29/10.

Very dark, used oil brown. Almost black. Two fat fingers of dense, creamy, chocolate khaki head that crawls up the sides of the glass. Roasted barley, dark chocolate, licorice, campfire smoke, piny hops, and a little caramel on the nose. Heady and complex.

Roasted barley and coffee bitterness greet the tongue. Dark and milk chocolate sweetness fill in, with notes of dark fruits, and peaty malts. Fruit and caramel sweetness peak, with accents of campfire smoke, soy sauce, and herbal, piny hops. Piny, resinous bitterness increases into the finish. Lingering dark chocolate and dark fruits. Full-bodied, with a thick, chewy feel. Not quite as viscous as Dark Lord, but still plenty thick. Reasonably drinkable for a 13%+ beer! One of the best Utah beers I've had.

Photo of peacebone116
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750-mL bottle (bottled on 2/28/2011) into a Delirium snifter glass on 6/29/11 to celebrate the highly anticipated arrival of a job offer.

A: Deep dark brown with a light brown head that retreats to the edges leaving tan wisps behind in the center.

N: Coffee and chocolate with a note of booze and a slight hint of licorice.

T/M: Thick, & oily body with a warmth from the alcohol. Bitter chocolate with a sharp lingering anise bitterness. A touch of vanilla and toasted oak float through in the middle. The heat from the alcohol remains present throughout entire enjoyment, but is never overwhelming. Not much carbonation either, but it is just right for a big stout.

This is a great beer for a special occasions. I was a little bit disappointed to not have more licorice notes; if I had not been looking for them, I would not have noticed them at all....but I guess that is good for my wife, who does not really enjoy black licorice.

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

Pours a deep dark brown. almost black with a one finger dark tan head , very good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma of dark chocolate, black licorice and dark fruits.

Taste of molasses, black licorice, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a slight bourbon warming.

Mothfeel was medium leaning heavy body, low carbonation, very smooth, you feel the 13.2% ABV.

Overall a very nice Imperial stout with a high ABV from Utah. I hope to find a bottle or two to cellar, would be very interesting beer with a little age.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Deschutes Snifter Glass.

A - Pours a dark brown, no light passes through, with a dark tan, thick head. Good Lacing and retention of the head.

S - Oak, chocolate, coffee.

T - Chocolate and coffee, pretty mild all around.

D - Medium carbonation, a little thick in the mouth.

O - Decent black ale, easy drinking.

Photo of seand
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black with a fair amount of dark tan head. A thin layer retains on top with a nice ring around the edge of the glass, which leaves nice lacing.

S: Chocolate roasted malts, with notes of candy licorice. A touch of something alcoholic, a bit like a bitters, maybe Campari-like.

T: Sweet, with lots going on. There's a touch of chocolate, with the licorice noticeable mid-palate. The finish has a dry coffee note. The alcohol is well hidden. Given how high the ABV is, maybe too well hidden.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

Overall quite nice. The flavors are deep and complex, and it all works well together.

Photo of alexhahn82
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/14/11 - tasted 6/20/110

A -- Black, coffee like 1/2 finger head.

S - Coffee, Chocolate, Toffee.

T/M Coffee, chocolatey with a late finish of licorice. Bitey mide range with nice effervescence, rich dark chocolate bitterness.

O - 13.2%, def. a good beer, had some with a Uinta Rep. up at the Lander Wyoming beer festival about a month ago and had to get another bottle ASAP!

PP (Price Point) - $13 for a 750ml bottle, thats a little over a dollar per ABV point! Well worth it, give it a try!!

Photo of WesWes
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding. It has a warm, rich roasted malt scent that boasts of earthy black malts and non malted roasted barley. There is a good deal of chocolate malt as well. It's complex with a significant alcohol presence. The taste is great. It has a damn fine earthy, roasted character. It goes down slow and easy with a rich chocolatey finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific stout. It's incredibly complex; a good slow drinker.

Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into my Stone IRS glass. Black in color with a tan colored and bubbly head to it. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it left just a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweeter, chocolaty and molasses like flavor to it. Some dark fruits and brown sugar are there as well, with just a bit of roast to it. Pretty smooth aroma overall.

The taste is very smooth for the size of the beer. I get some sweeter, malty, caramel like flavors to it up front. Towards the finish more dark chocolate, molasses and roasty flavors start to come out. A good amount of hoppiness is there throughout the beer as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a very flavorful and easy drinking beer of the style. It definitely surprised me how smooth it was. It did feel slightly sweet at times, but overall I really enjoyed it.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 6/11/10, just over a year.

A- Deep, dark black liquid with some noticeable viscosity to it. A suprisingly long lasting mocha/brown creamy head. For the amount of booze this takes a long time to settle, and leaves some nice lacing all down the glass.

S- Heavy doses of chocolate, roast, some sweet dark fruits too. Brown sugar, molasses, and faint amounts on the back end of bourbon and vanilla. Just a great smelling nose, the year in the bottle has probably calmed the strength down some and made things more subtle.

T- The flavor is fairly complex. The bourbon taste is in the beginning, tastes a bit in the Jack Daniels variety. Cocoa nibs and strong vanilla flavors. The vanilla is probably the strongest felt. Some heated booze in the back of the throat going down. I'm glad I sat on this for awhile because I could see this being hot fresh.

M- The mouthfeel is just right. Not too thick, on the heavier side of medium bodied. Though the bit of heat this is still nice and smooth. Noticeable carbonation.

O- This is definitely a highly enjoyable barrel aged stout. A sipper from the complexity. I had this before and it was good. I think they made A LOT of this beer because I see it at bottle shops almost everywhere. Still I would like to see this maybe go from limited to rotating at least.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into Bruery tulip
A: Pours black with a small dark brown head that maintained for several minutes
S: Roasted malts, licorice, chocolate, very subtle oak
T: Moderately sweet with burnt sugar, and licorice, again subtle oak. The licorice comes out more and more as the beer warms.
M: Rather think, somewhat syrupy, but in a pleasant way. Carbonation was low to moderate but fits that style very well.
O: Really enjoyed this one. A great Imp stout, 13% is very well hidden and the beer is super smooth.

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

8oz sample poured into snifter on 05/16/2011.
Pours black with a dark brown and creamy head. Good retention and good lacing. The nose is full of chocolate and burnt sugar. Bread? Some vanilla and oak are also present. Just a touch of hops dance on the tongue. Brown sugar, anise, vanilla, oak, and chocolate present themselves nicely. Full bodied with low/medium carbonation. Great beer for sure. I would like to see how it matures with some age.

Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a New Holland tulip.

A: pours pitch black, dark brown head, some lacing, decent head retention

S: black licorice is instantly detectable along with molasses and and ash, notes of vanilla sneak through at the end with an oaky finish

T: taste is deep rich cocoa, again the black licorice comes through in a big way and pairs nicely with the malt profile. Everything is bold, and then finishes all bourbon. Considering the abv, this beer is very well balanced.

MF: the body is a little lighter than I expected at 13.2, but it is still thick. Carbonation is on the high side for the style.

O: This is a nice bourbon barrel aged stout. The licorice works nicely in this beer and pairs great with the bourbon character. Would definitely have this one again.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been eyeballlng this one for a while, but the licorice sticks kept me away. Not a huge licorice fan....but what the heck:

This is a very black beer. How can a beer be very black? Black is black, right? Well, this one pours black, sits black, and ends black. It's black. The head is about 1 finger, off-brown, rich caramel.

I don't get much licorice if at all in the nose. Caramel, baked cocoa, vanilla, slight oak dominate the nose. Some black plum and alcohol.

This is a rich beer. Labyrinth is a good name, because I'm getting lost. Starts off like a smooth barrel aged (whiskey) stout. Caramel, vanilla, some roasted malt. Some sharpness comes in, a tad woody, black plum, prune. The licorice comes through, but very gently to give a snap. The toasted oak provides a soft char presence and is quite inviting.
This beer is smooth and drinkable for the abv. The 750ml warmed up, and the booze is more noticeable.
Good beer

Photo of JayS2629
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, thick, oily black velvet. Smooth, creamy and silky. The smell is of rum soaked raisins, coffee, booze, dark chocolate, licorice and brown sugar. Quite complex and enjoyable. A slight burn on the tounge with a licorice lingering on the back of the throat. Smooth chocolate and robust, roasted coffee. Rich sugary notes throughout with notes of caramel and toffee. Earthy hops in the background. Overall a very enjoyable sipper.

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

Big thanks to JM03 for this treat!

A - Black as night, with a big mocha colored head. Thick and creamy with nice lace coating.

S - Big oak and bourbon notes, licorice, chocolate, booze and coffee.

T - Easier on the oak and bourbon, but big on the licorice, chocolate, coffee, and burnt malts.

M - Definitely full bodied, creamy, and coating. Low carbonation.

D/O - Big beer, but still pretty drinkable. Really enjoyed this one!

Photo of Allpe45
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottled 9/3/2010

a: Pitch black, aggressive pour yields a small creamy mocha-brown head. Decent retention and some lace.

s: Roasted malt, rich sweet chocolate, alcohol-soaked raisins, licorice.

t: Sweet chocolate up front with roasted malt following closely. The roasty malt carries through and leads way to dark fruits and licorice. Plenty of oakey vanilla in the finish but not overpowering.

m: Medium bodied for the style, but smooth/velvety with low carbonation.

The 13.2% is very well masked, only being apparent in the nose after agitation.

Photo of sccala
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25 oz. bottle with a cool labyrinth (go figure) design that plays tricks with your eyes if you look at it too long. Poured into a stemmed tulip.

A- Thickly black. A thin(fizzy) 2 finger head with no retention. Not even the slightest slick of bubbles rested on top after no more than 2 minutes. Just a glass filled with the color black. When the glass was empty, it had a iodine-like coating on it. Pretty cool.

S- Medium roasted malts. Not overdone. Chocolate and anise. Some ethers.

T- A little syrupy, lightly burnt chocolate, anise/licorice. A bit boozy, but just the right amount.

M- A slightly less than expected body for this style. Same can be said for the booziness. Smoother than most I.S.

O- Quite good. The syrupy effect was a little off-putting, but overall, this I'm glad I was able to partake in this limited time offering.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Uinta Labyrinth, corked and caged bottle bought at New Beer Distributors in NYC for $10.95. Bottled June 2010, so what we've got here is an almost year-old brew!

Appearance: After some struggles with the cork (as usual), Labyrinth pours an outrageously massive coffee-colored head with very active bubbles and fabulous lacing. Truly stunning! Great retention too- head never dies completely. A spill shows a dark-as-a-night-in-the-desert black and a very sticky and thick consistency.

Smell: Roasted aromas, chocolate, some dairy and sugar. A tad of smoke. Thick and beautiful.

Taste: Booze, tang, sort of soy-sauce feel. The liquorice does come through now. A bit of wood and bourbon, even though it is not barreled (but it is a one-year-old beer!). Some vanilla. Spice and intense booze at the end. Coffee and dark fruits throughout.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy and thick, like European-style hot chocolate. Low carbonation, full body and flavor. A tad too boozy, but oh-so-delicious!

Overall: This is a super delicious big motherfucking ale! Black Ale? Not so much... an Imperial Stout, mind you. But anyway, fantastic. A bit too *big* and boozy, though, which detracts from the overall, but yummo for sure.

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.

Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.