Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
Uinta Brewing Company

Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #264
ABV:
13.2%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,031
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 10.54%
Reviews:
328
Ratings:
1,145
From:
Uinta Brewing Company
 
Utah, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  175
Gots
  310
SCORE
95
World-Class
Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 1,145 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BlurryVisi0n:
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

Feb 07, 2016
More User Reviews:
Photo of Odalis
Odalis from New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours very dark brown almost black similar to the color of "black" coffee I see why they called it a Quadruple Black Ale. Little milky cream head minimal lacing.

Smell: Smells sweet, also can pick up subtle notes of Oaks, Malt then Chocolate.

Taste: Tastes better then it smells, big bold and full bodied, chocolate under tones with a roasted sweet after taste and licorice throughout till the end.

Feel: Full bodied with gentle creamy feel and also goes down smooth and delicate but silky.

Taste: Creamy, nutty, all the flavors compliment eachother, you get different but balanced notes throughout. Goes down exceptionally well being a 13.2% abv.

Bottled & Corked 01/24/12

Sep 14, 2015
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ElCommodoro from Texas

2.47/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This beer was intense. I was wondering how they were going to make a "black ale" so high in alcohol. It seems it was achieved by essentially making it a stout. It did retain a very intense black malt and roasted malt flavour, though. That made it interesting. A lot of things made this beer interesting. But one overarching thing made it disgusting and that was what I call "soy sauce" flavour. I don't know what causes it, but I come across it every now and then in a very strong, dark beer. They take on the flavour and, more prominently, smell, of soy sauce. Everyone seems to agree that that is what they smell like. This is one of those rare beers with this distinct odor and it is most unpleasant. It hits immediately and hard, masking even the presence of alcohol (which is most saddening of all for me). Luckily ,after a few sips, I did start to get used to it with this particular beer. I've had more overwhelming "soy sauce" beers in the past. Underneath it, there is a lot going on and it is all most interesting and appreciated. The oak flavours are very prominent and do a very good job of adding complexity and pleasurable flavour to the strong flavour of roasted malt and licorice.
The mouthfeel wasn't very pleasant either. I like strong stouts, but this was excessively thick, oily, and yeasty. It was not nearly as bad as Jester King's Black Metal, but it suffered from the same problem. It was so thick, yeasty, and strong in flavour and harshness that it became unpleasant. This is coming from someone who thrives on strong, harsh beers. Quads and wee heavies are my favourite styles. But every now and again, I come across something that's just excessive and distasteful. This is one of those things. Interesting, yes, but absolutely not worth buying again. It was a struggle to finish the bottle between four people and only one of us could really say that we "enjoyed" the experience. They best I can muster is, "it was OK. It wasn't "that bad.'" But that's not worth a high score. In the quest for strong stouts, there are much better choices.

Jan 27, 2013
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darktronica from Indiana

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled September 2014. A gorgeous pour, with a finger of super-creamy, light foam that sticks around for ages and looks like a nice canvas for latte art. The nose is less elegant, very anise-forward with a touch of oakiness and vanilla from the barrel. Very smooth on the tongue, a brilliant consistency and thickness that just glides around the mouth, delivering coffee, whiskey, and bitter cocoa atop background notes of toast and vegemite. Hides the 13.2% abv exceptionally. Really well crafted.

Jun 23, 2015
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JDW4195 from Florida

4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very Dark, no light shines through. Nice, creamy head. I dont think this beer is meant to be a Quad ( as in the Belgian style), i think it's meant as quadruple black...as in black x4. The barrel age comes through, but no whiskey or bourbon, so it's more of just a wood flavor. This is a fantastic beer. Should be thought of a an American Imperial Stout.

Aug 21, 2015
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metter98 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Dec 14, 2014
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StevenDumont from New Hampshire

1/5  rDev -76.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a pink plastic cup.

Look: like used, thick motor oil.

Smell: licorice, earth, composted soil.

Taste: horrible.

Feel: like puking.

Overall: I will never drink this again.

Nov 16, 2015
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TripleSun from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rogue stout glass. Bottle dated 12/05/14

L - Oily black
S - Tobacco, coffee, licorice, oak
T - The coffee and tobacco are both very apparent
F - A real sipper at around 13% ABV, feels like something I would pair with a good cigar. Creamy and the head dissipates fairly quickly.

Overall:

I didn't chill it before I poured my first glass but even then it was creamy and very mature. A good late night drink I would share with friends but not something I would drink all the time.

Mar 20, 2016
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ckollias from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 12, 2016
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness from New York

4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Black Hole black! No light shall pass! Thick and sticky dark tan head that leaves a ton of lacing dripping down the glass. The legs are thicker than Kim Kardashian's! Thick, oily and drippy!

S- Rich, dark Belgian 80% chocolate, heavily roasted pecans/walnuts/brazil nuts, licorice, vanilla, cherry nibs, burnt sugar, heavy cream, marshmallows, and a slew of dark dried fruit. Picking up some smoked/charred wood and caramel. This is DEEP and delicious! Wow!

T- Thick, rich, and bittersweet cocoa! Chocolate malted balls, vanilla beans, oak, licorice whips both black and cherry! Nice roasted nuttiness, bitter coffee and marshmallow sweetness. Picking up some of the Rye from the barrel. Nice touch of alcohol that opens up the taste buds. Deep dried figs, prunes, raisins and some subtle touches of citrus and charred malt. This has to be in my top ten all time Stouts! Absolutely Brilliant!

M- Thick and creamy like a beer shake! Grabs your tongue and never lets go. Keeps developing and changing flavors before, inbetween and after each sip. This is crazy good! All the BBA aging and none of the hype! How is this not rated higher than most "One Day Only, Stand In Line All Day" RIS'? $14 of brilliance in a bottle!

Jan 23, 2013
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smartassboiler from Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.3%

May 16, 2014
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Moses_Malone from District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Jan 25, 2018
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ehammond1

4.1/5  rDev -4%
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.

Jun 14, 2012
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random846 from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Mar 10, 2014
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NHhomebrewguy from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Oct 10, 2013
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sammyg832 from Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Jun 27, 2014
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OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown, almost black, with a huge dark brown foamy chunky head. Head retention is terrific, and lacing is decent.

Some coffee and chocolate, but you get deeper sweet aromas of licorice and blackstrap molasses.

Huge bitter-sweet flavors. Dark roasted coffee, charred malt, molasses, licorice, some dark fruit in there. Excellent balance between the bitter and sweet. Alcohol is there, but the flavors are so rich and deep that you barely notice it.

Super thick and full bodied. Some tingly carbonation keeps the mouth clear while allowing for the palate to be appropriately coated.

This is one to share, even though I didn't. Went down super-smooth. Doesn't have to be a sipper. Glad I found this. Sad it is a limited release, because I would make this a regular purchase. Enjoy this if you can find it.

Dec 04, 2010
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surlytwinsfan from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Jul 17, 2014
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danoble1 from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Nov 11, 2012
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Silverpath6 from Texas

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was set out 1 hour before consumption - Poured from a bomber into a 10 oz. Brandy Snifter. Opaque Black with light brown head - dissipated quickly - with good lacing

Aroma: Chocolate, licorice, Wood, boozey, charred sugar/marshmallow, slight hops (tinge of resiny citrus)

Taste - slightly bitter front with a little burn (from the alcohol no doubt), low-carbonation, - med/full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel - and a semi-sweet finish. Lots going on here in the flavor - dark cherry/currants, chocolate, cocoa, maltiness, a lot of charred oak.

A pretty big and complex beer.

Nov 25, 2013
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theboozecruise from Louisiana

3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet, dark impenetrable brown with a huge off-white head. Beautiful looking beer.

Coffee aroma, a slight hop bitterness to it. Pretty solid.

Taste surpasses the aroma, same as the cockeyed barleywine. It's rich, creamy, hits hard of coffee, not overly alcoholic for such a strong beer. Roasted malts on the aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel, but I'd have a really tough time taking down more than one of these.

Dec 31, 2010
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/08/12, only 4 months old this go-around.

A: Pitch black pour. Big, dense, thick dark brown head. Wonderful legs. Great head retention but only minimal, spotty lacing. Oddly enough, not as good as the "bad" old bottle.

S: Big bourbon notes. Lots of burnt sugar, caramel, toffee and even brown sugar. Hints of oaky vanilla. Heavy roasted malt hides underneath, just barely poking through with some heavy chocolate and char. Even a little coffee.

T: Again, big bourbon but not as strong as the aroma. Caramel, burnt sugar (like burnt marshmallows in fact) and a little toffee. Then enormous and sweet roasted malt. Heavy sweet chocolate abound. Hints of char and coffee but the chocolate is the big one here. Lots of anise, particularly in the finish. Not in a bad way like a belgo-anise Stone IRS but instead it nicely compliments the huge sweetness with some bitter notes. A little bit of char in the finish. Lingering bourbon and oak notes in the aftertaste.

M: Thick, heavy, viscous.

O: A great bourbon barrel stout. Hugely sweet, almost a little much at times but what do you expect from a 13.2% imperial stout? Big anise notes, definitely a must-try for the black licorice lovers. Great big, complex and bold stout. Very nice.

Old review from a 2/2013

Bottle dated 03/31/10, almost 3 years old. I'm guessing the 13.2% ABV can take it.

A: Pitch black pour with one of the thickest, densest dark brown heads I've seen. Big foam. Decent fluffy lines of lacing left behind. Great head retention. (4.25)

S: Big fruit notes. Dark fruits, sherry-like (uh oh?). A bit of whiskey but just a touch. Some roasted malt character hiding underneath but hard to discern - mainly smoke and char. (3)

T: Whiskey and dark fruits up front but then devolves into a harsh sherry in the middle. Finish is stale cardboard (what does fresh cardboard taste like anyway?) and prunes. Oxidized, nasty. (2)

M: Heavy, motor oil thick. (4.25)

O: Shame, guess 3 years was way too much for this beer. Lots of oxidization covers all of the flavors. It shows potential but I will have to seek out a fresh bottle and re-review this one. (2)

Mar 20, 2013
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warpedrevolution from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Dec 26, 2012
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LightnerLiquorKS from Kansas

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Feb 24, 2015
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Britton from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -6.3%

Jan 13, 2012
Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1145 ratings