Labyrinth Black Ale | Uinta Brewing Company

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Labyrinth Black AleLabyrinth Black Ale

Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

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

Added by JohnGalt1 on 06-01-2010

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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 1,060
Photo of michaelbritten
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 11/8/12. 13.2% ABV and presence of licorice sticks as an adjunct kept me wary of this, and as such, kept it in my cellar -- what a fool I was. Luscious body, sweet mocha, earthy coffee, and spicy rye whiskey; this is a hidden gem of barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, and one of the biggest/best surprises I've ever come across. The "Quadruple Black Ale" branding makes a certain kind of sense, but doesn't necessarily do this any favors: this is so close to a "world class" RIS and should be viewed as such. Find your way into this Labyrinth!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep obsidian black

S : Musty attic, licorice, cacao

T : Rich chocolate, sap, bourbon, oats, oak

Feel is thick and syrupy

Love this beer will seek it out for sure

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Photo of rifleman_zach
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in 2012, aged 4 years. Poors extremely dark with an almost caramel colored head. Let stand for a couple minutes so it wont be frigid. Amazingly smooth! The nose is a nice rich malty/roasted flavor. The middle is smooth with a light black licorice flavor. The finish is great, not as heavy as a finish as i would have expected. Nice and easy leaving me wanting more.

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Photo of Mateo2699
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a snifter. Very dark brown pour, nearing black. Light khaki colored head that sticks around the glass effortlessly. Smell has subtle hints of vanilla, some licorice in the background mixed with a some pipe tabacco. Honestly the aroma is slightly muted though. Taste makes up for this though, big licorice and sweet vanilla upfront, slight hints of bakers chocolate with a finish consisting of fresh leather and more pipe tabacco and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is relatively thin, but still palate coating. Very good.

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Photo of Ottoj55
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark black beer, tan head quickly faded. Smells like deep roasted malt, espresso, dark candied fruit, whiskey and vanilla. The taste is whiskey and vanilla up front, the rye barrel coming through strong with sweet dark fruits behind it. Smooth bodied, very subtle alcohol warming but not hot. A perfect barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of Strix
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black, good initial head that fades to a persistent ring.

Smoke, molasses, licorice in the nose.

Dry muted notes of oak, charcoal, molasses, licorice, bourbon. Alcohol present in the finish but well hidden, considering the ABV.

Super smooth mouthfeel, carbonation kicks in after a while.

Nice smooth big beer here.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a mug (not my choice) from a 25oz bomber.

Appearance: pitch motor oil black with a tab head with medium bubbles on the body. Drops after two or three sips it drops to nada, steady lacing.

Smell: Heavy molasses, you smell the sweet brown sugar.

Taste: incredible, honestly this beer label should be changed to imperial stout it's still labelled as a black ale...sweet brown sugar.

Mouth: Super sticky, sweet finish with a medium malt.

Overall: Incredible brew which was given as a gift and honestly one of the best keeper's of the of the brew industry. Salad!

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2013. Not as "marshmellowy" as I remember when fresh. Very little signs of licorice if any. Very rich and bold malty mocha flavors. Fantastic version, ala a Russian stout. Far from a black ale as listed on bottle. ABV deafened with time, not too "hot" at all. So good.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 750 ml bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasty, milk chocolate, ash, caramel, molasses, toffee, toasted, vanilla, oak, and warm boozy alcohol.

Taste: Nice blend of above aromas. Ashy bitterness and warm booze in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium to full bodied, ashy bitterness, medium carbonation, and warm boozy alcohol.

Overall: At 13.2 % and barrel aged, this is one tasty beer. Will look forward to more of this in the future.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On the docket: 750 mL cork and cage bottle of Uinta’s Labyrinth, bottle date: 7/26 (year unknown)

Poured into: Jester King Snorkel snifter

S: The inkiest, blackest, consuming black fills my glass. On top, espresso-foam head wells up, then settles to a small ring. It’s completely opaque, so I cannot detect bubble activity. I could stare into its depths for hours, but I have to smell and taste it, too.

A: Roasted coffee, wood, the darkest of chocolate, and Oh My Sweet Lord! Black Licorice. Bright citrus aroma off the hops. And yes… booze. This black beauty weighs in at 13.2%. Sip with care!

T: If I were Adam, in the Garden, and Lucifer were to slither up to me with a glass of this and start speaking of rebellion–well–let’s just say he wouldn’t have to try very hard. This is most of everything I look for in a dark, dangerous beer. Sweet date and fig up front quickly yields to coffee, dark chocolate, and black licorice. The bright note from the hop aroma shows up towards the end, only to be outdone by a dry, roasty, woody finish. The faintest hint of vanilla. Your tongue turns to 800 grit sandpaper and you go back for another seductive barrage of flavor. A note- the black licorice is smooth and silky, like that of gourmet product, not of a candy that rhymes with sizzler.

F: Creamy, oily, slick, coating. Rich and luxurious. As it warms…. so does the finish, though quite dry. Drink cool for crispness, drink warmer for richness.

O: Quite possibly the best imperial stout I’ve ever tasted, and though may not have had offerings such as The Abyss, Dark Lord, Hunahpu, Speedway, Black Note, or those whales that people chase… good God! Give me one of these every year, and I’ll consider myself a blessed man.

S: 4 A: 4.5 T: 4.75 F: 4.25 O: 4.5

Suggested food pairing: smoked charcuterie, braised beef, low and slow barbecue, tiramisu, and my personal pick- traditional Slovak poppy seed roll. Divine flavor synthesis.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pitch black. on tap at green truck. smells like licorice and vanilla. the barrel stood out. licorice was tame. i thought there was going to be more licorice. mouthfeel was medium. good carbonation.

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Photo of atone315
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was looking for a beer that was a black licorice bomb...turned to the forums here on BA and this was suggested by a few peeps. After searching around my local shops for one, I finally found it. Waited a few days to pop it, then spent 3 or so hours enjoying it. Beer pours black as a moonless night, very dark and thick, tan head. Struggled to smell much of anything, the smell bordered on disappointment. The taste was very nice, although lacking in both licorice and barrel. I thoroughly enjoy both flavors in my brews so this was a bit of a let down. There was quite a taste of sweet chocolate and a hint of coffee, so that helped things along. The feel of the beer was near perfect to me, reminded me of Founders Imperial Stout. Thoroughly enjoyed this beer, too bad it didnt taste of licorice as that is what I was after.....still, I would hunt this down and enjoy again.

edit: forgot to mention that this beer drinks more like a 6% or 7% beer, so BE CAREFUL!

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Photo of don1481
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
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 +11.7%
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 +16.9%
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%
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 +12.6%
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 -9.1%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.2%
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 +10.3%
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 +0.2%
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 -4.5%

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 +0.2%
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 +9.5%

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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Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,060 ratings.
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