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: 307 | Ratings: 1,054
Photo of Homerb3
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked this beer up on a recommendation. I typically like BA's but this one took me by surprise. I've never had anything that compared, it was like pouring semi sweet chocolate chips in my mouth. It was kinda thick like melting chocolate. Since I was savoring it, it warmed up a little and tasted even better the warmer it got. I will be buying another this weekend, and will also be trying more of Uintas creations. Good job!

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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 JamnesCameron
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Malheur goblet.

Pours a deep, dark black, with deep ruby highlights around the edges of the glass, and a fluffy, mocha head. About a finger of head drops slowly to a rocky wisp and tons of lacing.

Aromas of highly roasted coffee, anise, and roasted malt. The anise/licorise is strong. No hop aromas.

First sip is of an alcoholic, coffee, chocolate shake. Some alcohol burn, brewed strong coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and a milky creaminess. What an amazing complex brew. Finish is long on roasted malt flavors, and a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is big, full, silky, and creamy.

Highly drinkable, and highly dangerous, at 13 percent. Big enough to share. Tasty enought to hoard by yourself over a long winter's night. Seek this one out.

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Photo of JCellars
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
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!

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Photo of drpimento
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whoa, major black beauty! Full throttle. I let the bottle warm some out of the fridge and then poured a beautiful, foamy, frothy tan head that settled down after a little and good lacing. Color is unquestionably, absolutely opaque pitch black. Aroma a heady blend of roast, cocoa, coffee, soy sauce, licorice, very old leather. Flavor is similar to nose with bittersweetness on top followed tight with carbonic tang which also releases some of the hop stuff; man this beer is RIGHTEOUS! BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!!! Body is almost perfect; I think a touch soft. Finish is exactly like flavor and so refined to the scheme as to yield perfection overall. I am in the presence of the almighty. And I drank it.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of the best beers I've ever had, and I will be buying another bottle. Poured from one of the coolest bottles ever (style-wise, not temperature-wise, DO NOT drink this ice cold like you would Corona) into probably a small snifter of some kind.

A: Anise and dark chocolate in the nose. I gave it a 5 for originality. Plus I love both of those smells.

T: Blackened barley, roasted malt, anise, vanilla, caramel, oak (tastes bourbony, but this site says it's aged in rye barrels, however I have not had much rye whisky, and never have I had it on its own, only in my sazeracs, for which I use ri1). ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! A touch of smoke in there too, which is nice.

M: Full bodied and smooth, perfect.

O: Try this beer if you like barrel aged imperial stouts and anise. I know some people don't like anise, but I love, and I love this beer. One of the few bottles I'll be trying again, and number 16 out of more than 600 beers I've tried, as of writing this. So good.

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Photo of Pwnasaur90
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 16 snifter, bottled 1/23/13. Pours as black as can be, with a beautiful one inch mocha head, that takes its time settling into a layer of thick foam, and coats the glass with lacing. Smell is licorice, roasted coffee, leather, pipe tobacco, and oaky vanilla. Taste is so complex all the flavors from the nose are exposed, some dark chocolate and hints of bourbon come out also. Body is big, perfect amount of carbonation, not as dry as you would expect, and for its heft dangerously drinkable. Yes I loved this beer, welcome to N. H Uinta! They make awesome beer. If you are looking for a Bourbon bomb go else where. If you want a crazy complex imperial stout, this is one. Don't let the fact that is brewed with licorice sticks scare you off, that is a small part of this treasure of a beer.

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Photo of xtrastoutalex
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Found a 2010 vintage and thought it would be worth a try.
Poured into cigar city snifter.

Appearence: Dark like a blind man in a maze. Pours used motor oil thick. The head was quite thin and yet still present, a clear sign of high abv and sugar content. Lacing is clumps of slow moving, sticky, white foam.

Smell: As the tight cork gave way with a satisfying snap a tight curl of aged vapor came sneeking out. It reeked of dark leather and aged tobacco mixed with burnt molasses , chocolate, and a hint of anise. The age was very present and promising.

Taste: Wow. The age has done wonders for this receipe! The anise forward has been balanced by the smokey leather flavor the years have gifted the bottle. All the other usual palate pleasers are still existant. The prunes and plums play on the middle palate and the burnt sugars, chocolate, and molasses give way to a wiskey style burn amplified by the slight residual anise.

Mouthfeel: Initially, surprisingly thinner than expected. Following that observation my saliva glands activated, thanks to the spices, and it felt much thicker. Very palatible and able to take time to savor all the notes without one being overwhelming.

Overall: On age, one of the best bottled brews on the shelf. If you like well balanced aged stouts this is a must try. Very unique in a pleasant way. Interested to experience the years in between to see the progression.

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Photo of Big_Beers
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

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 constantine_272
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

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 elNopalero
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A curiosity pick I’ve seen around but never had a chance to try before now. Is this an imperial stout? Definitely looks like one. Pours a solid black. Nice nose. I can tell it’s strong just from smelling it. Coffee, toffee, chocolate nibs all vie for attention. Dangerously smooth, a real easy sipper that belies it’s strength. Careful or you’ll get lost in this labyrinth!

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Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Scored this today at Macadoodles in Bentonville, AR. Bottled on 09/03/10

750 ml corked/caged bottle opens with a nice pop. Pours black with 3 fingers of bubbly brown head. Good head retention & lacing. It was great the last few drops of this slowly drip from the bottle like molasses!

S: Bourbon & vanilla & some booze at the end

T: Follows the nose, much oaky dryness, dark chocolate, licorice & vanilla. Oaky dryness, vanilla, charred caramel, dark chocolate & a good taste of Bourbon & woody hops sneaking in the back door. Finishes with boozey vanilla, herbal 7 woody hops, oakyness & carob

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, smooth as can be, nice warming feel to this, slickens up at the end

13.2 % ABV is not really showing through this sucker is too drinkable. If I get a chance to hit that store again any time soon, I will probably buy every damn bottle they have. This is a very hidden gem that Arkansas beer drinkers should be tickled pink to get

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Photo of Neorebel
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, oily, and opaque in color with a creamy looking, puffy tan head resting on top. You'd swear the beer is literally midnight black. The head remains for some time as well. Gorgeous! The aroma is interesting and complex. Definitely very sweet and malty, with toffee and dark chocolate to start... There are subtle traces of star anise, whisky, and vanilla as well. Now for the highly anticipated taste! All the flavors that I smelled are coming through, especially the whisky. Much more coffee that I didn't really get from the nose. Some dark fruit, a touch of smokiness and a certain sharp aspect, too. The licorice is slightly there in the finish. It certainly coats the mouth well and feels sticky, but not overly full-bodied. Some beers of this alcohol level have to be somewhat choked down, so to speak, but I knocked this back very easily. Very warming but pleasant afterwards. Overall a stellar beer, a near perfect Imperial Stout! Need to buy this again.

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Photo of Resuin
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a teku glass. This is a 2011 version.

Appearance: Pours a jet-black and leaves a solid finger of dark tan head. A great looking imperial stout!

Smell: Chocolate, whisky, vanilla, licorice, light coffee, dark fruits. Delicious smelling beer.

Taste: Matches the smell: whisky, chocolate, plums, figs, licorice, vanilla, coffee and finishes with a delicious whisky flavor. Really well balanced.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a light to medium carbonation. Extremely smooth, especially with regards to the ABV - the alcohol is really well hidden.

Overall: This is an incredible stout. Super well balanced, and chocolate-forward. The licorice comes through but is light. Highly recommended.

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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 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 BarkingMonkeye
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Im not an experienced beer connoisseur, but i have had enough experience to know a good beer when i see it. And this is one of the best in its category which can be found in Utah in my opinion. Id doesnt have that hard water taste of international dark beer, which im happy to do without. This beer is great for anyone who wants a high ABV and full flavor with thicker viscosity. I pretty biased for the malt type beers so i score this one higher.

Personally i love everything about the beer. IF i had more experience with beer and a better spectrum to judge, i would give it 5.0.

If your looking for something different in the RIS category you owe it to yourself to try this beer!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this today to celebrate my birthday of 29 years of age (almost 5 years on the site) Paid the premium on this 14.99 for the bomber bottled 7/09/12. Hopefully with almost two years of age the Black Licorice is aged out well.

A - As expected thick dark blackness with a full two inches of deep mocha head. It slowly dissipates despite its massive 13% ABV. Served at cellar temperature 55 degrees.
S - Wow the whiskey and the licorice are big on this but more like a licorice jellybean so sweet. So is a big oak and roasty smell. Not getting much chocolate going on here so I assume it's not going to be a sweet assult which I kind of enjoy. Very potent at only slightly chilled.
T +M - Despite the small burn in the finish I am amazed how smooth both the body and flavor is. Every sip is different first sip was heavy whiskey slightly sour but mostly woody in taste then moves to a bite of licorice and a hint of roast. The next sip was solid chunk chocolate so smooth and creamy and lead to sweet whiskey and a roasty finish. It is very hoppy despite all this even after over a year the hop bite is there in the finish. The only note of the ABV is a warm stomach from each sip but nothing in the flavor.

Overall I was super glad this wasn't an anise bomb like that one Stone's RIS. And the whiskey barrel aged worked so well on this beer. Quite possibly one of the best whisky aged beers I ever had and best beer I ever drank from Uinta.

I only gave the overall a 4.5 because of the price. Its seldom made and at $14.99 it's not really going to be a top must have all the time.

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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 puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the 750 ml. bottle bottled on 1-13-13. Sampled on April 12, 2013.

Oh my! The short version is this is something else.

It pours black as night with a long lasting, moderate fluffy mocha head.

The aromas carry the characteristics of mildly sweet dark malts, yeast, licorice, and exotic oil for lack of a better description. Short version - this smells great.

The body is bold but smooth.

Up front the taste brings out some the elements of the nose such as dark sweet malts and licorice but with a slightly dry finish and low bitterness. Some people like smoke in their Porters but this one does not need it. I enjoyed this immensely and would have it again.

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Photo of pezfiend
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark black, poured into my PALM snifter glass, very low carbonation more or less a thin round frame around the glass.

S: Freshly baked chocolate cake and coffee

T: Dark molasses and vanilla, gives way to a chocolate and coffee backbone. The licorice i can only taste at the very end after a swallow. No alcohol taste whatsoever considering the high content

M: Thick and milky, extraordinarily smooth

D: Very good, if it were not for the high alcohol content, 13% this could be a session beer

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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 bagpiper2005
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Completely and totally opaque jet black. Massive four fingers of milk chocolate brown head with excellent retention and lacing (and that was from a light pour).

Smell: Bold chocolate and caramel aroma with some tones of coffee, dark fruit, licorice, and a hint of vanilla. Subtle hop and alcohol aroma.

Taste: Bold, sweet caramel front end with hints of molasses and vanilla kick things off. Hints of raisins and plums with some notes of chocolate and black coffee, and the licorice is definitely there. The back end finishes dry with some hop bitterness, smoke, and an herbal/anise note. Not much actual alcohol taste, but it is a very warming beer.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, full, creamy, ultra-smooth body. Very little carbonation.

Drinkability: You better watch out! This beer is extremely drinkable, and you could easily get carried away. It might be 13.2%, but you could chug it!

Final Notes: Well worth $13, this beautiful beer lasted me all night, just savoring its complexities and hidden flavors. Drink it nice and warm (I found it tasted its best near room temp) to mask the alcohol and bring out its true beauty. Best enjoyed without food so you can really appreciate it. Simply amazing beer.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into 22oz snifter; black as night with a nice thick fluffy brown head that doesn't fade at all seemingly and leaves lots of lacing. Smell is unlike any imperial stout I've had; rye, roasted malt and chocolate, and a slight hint of licorice. A very dry and bitter, roasty smell. Surprisingly no alcohol detectable in the smell really, which is crazy for 13+%. Taste...semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt with slight coffee bitterness, soft slightly spicy rye grain, slight oak/bourbon and a classy amount of booze at the very end warming up the sticky bittersweet aftertaste. As it warms, the flavor grows in seemingly never-ending complexity. Toffee and caramel are among the flavors that reveal themselves. This beer is definitely a sipper, due to flavor, let alone the %abv.
Overall, a unique and insanely good imperial stout. The rye barrel character adds a lot to this beer, something I haven't experienced before, and distinct from a stout made with rye malt. I might still enjoy a bourbon-barrel-aged stout more, but this one is very good. A must-try for big beer lovers.

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Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,054 ratings.
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