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Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale | Uinta Brewing Company

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Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
1,135 Ratings
Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States
uintabrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#948
Reviews:
324
Ratings:
1,135
pDev:
10.64%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
174
Gots:
311
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,135 |  Reviews: 324
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.32/5  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.

 683 characters

Photo of GRG1313
2.98/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Crooked Line Series. I am not generally a fan of the wonderfully labeled Crooked Line Series of Uinta Brewing of Utah. I have been disappointed in the past but I expected "more" from this harder to get, expensive and high alcohol "black Ale."

Pours black and creamy with a thick and firm dark brown head. Looks very inviting; look rich and "expensive."

The nose is all dark sweet espresso, black chocolate with licorice underlying it. Black burnt toast but still appealing.

The mouthfeel is rich, viscous and thick with light carbonation. The beer is off balanced but still has some initial appeal in the front.

The front flavors are sweet coffee/espresso; bittersweet black chocolate, vanilla/oak and licorice. The initial appealing sweet front flavors quickly go to burnt coffee, tart aggressive licorice and then off putting bitter espresso, to finish with a very long bitter black burnt coal/coffee/licorice finish.

Interesting to taste, perhaps a sip or two with dessert and a cigar. I could never drink more than the smallest amount of this one. Interesting taste - can't really drink. Simply too intense; too extreme.

I love extreme beer but this is like a burnt bitter chocolate licorice extract. It's just too much without any finesse or elegance; no real drinkability factor.

 1,294 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is up there with any of the top stouts on this site, wow is it something. way bigger than I expected, as its simply labeled a black ale, perhaps the largest understatement in recent beer history! it pours jet black, radiant with an obsidian shine and not a ray of light passing through. the head is tall and coffee brown, light and airy in texture, and with 100% retention. I almost never give 5s for anything, but this beer could not look any more appealing! the nose is surprisingly not too boozy, which I thought it would be at over 13% abv. its got a ton of dark roasted barley and burnt sugar bitterness, as well as a spicy oak character from the rye barrels. I taste tobacco, unsweetened vanilla, heavily used oak, whiskey, black malt, dark chocolate, and licorice! lots of licorice in fact, bitey and potent, somehow raw and unrefined. this is a beer of great complexity. the feel too is fantastic, huge body but also excellent carbonation. I hate to call it drinkable, but my girlfriend wouldn't help me with this one after I opened it, so I did put away a whole bottle of this on my own. I paid for it with a hangover, but this beer was unforgettable. highly recommended!

 1,185 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of nmann08
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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

 795 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crooked Line Series. "Labyrinth Black Ale." "Ale brewed with licorice sticks and aged in oak barrels." 13.2% ABV confirmed. Bottled 09/19/12. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap (also called a cage) over a cork acquired at a local SoCal store and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $14.00. Expectations are very high; my good friend blakelive784 told me this stuff was tasty.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with Swiss chocolate.

A: Pours an absolutely beautiful rich cacao tan colour head of fantastic cream, magnificent thickness, and ridiculously good (10+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Damn; that's impressive. Head isn't as vibrant or gold as the best examples of the style I've had, but it's still damned impressive. Body colour is anontransparent opaque solid jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Light lacing as the head slowly recedes. How they get that good a retention at this high an ABV? Marvelous.

Sm: Chocolate, marshmallow, chocolate malt, dark malts, light coffee, anise/licorice/fennel, and very light buried oak; I wouldn't know it was rye/barrel aged just from the aroma if you gave it to me blind. Cream. Caramel. Light vine and buried fruit. Maybe hazelnut? Light hop presence - but it's still more noticeable than it is in most imperial stouts I've had. Hop character is generic floral. Grainy and appealing. Chocolate is the most forward note, but there's a lot going on here. I'm excited to try it. A surprisingly mild aroma. I don't get any yeast or alcohol off the aroma. Prune/dates? Some kind of dark or stone fruit; it isn't plum. A dash of vanilla; I guess that could be from the rye? It's appealing, if timid. It doesn't bring the bold complexity I look for in great examples of the style, but it's solid all around.

T: Nice milk chocolate. Chocolate malt. Dark malts. Light caramel. Cream. Decent roast. A light trace of coffee; it's certainly not a coffee heavy imperial stout. Vanilla. Malty sweetness is more prominent than I'd like, but it's not sickeningly sweet or cloying by any means - just a bit overdone, limiting drinkability. Alcohol is well disguised here. The licorice is there, but it kind of bothers me actually. It doesn't add a lot to the beer and seems to disrupt the balance. Minimal hop presence with generic floral character. I do get a touch of alcohol presence in the third act and finish. The balance isn't ideal, but it's pretty well done all around. It lacks the astounding complexity and depth of other better examples of the style, but I do like it. I want more roast from it. Also, the oak/rye whiskey is quite timid; I wish that came through more. Where's the delightful toasted oak I want in a great imperial stout?

Mf: Silky smooth and creamy up front, but it gives way to a coarser dryer texture that doesn't do it any favors. I wish it were smooth and creamy througout; it's a bit uneven. Carbonation is good if a biteen high. Good presence on the palate. Nicely soft.

Dr: I hate the bottle format; I'd like to see imperial stouts like this one move to a smaller bottle; finishing this alone is a tall order. It's a sipper; the alcohol does come through. But it's a pleasant sipper and I wouldn't dare call it hard to drink. It's just hard to drink quickly. I think my personal aversion to licorice may be bringing my opinion of this one down, but it's certainly not without other flaws. A good offering from Uinta, but there are better beers in the style and at or below this price point. (Not that price affects my reviews). For my money, I'd sooner grab Speedway Stout for $10.49, but I'm glad I tried this.

B-

 3,873 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A couple snifter pours in the back room at Maria's. Had to limit myself due to the high abv, which I was unaware of when ordering it.

Black, viscous, stouty appearance, with a froth of mocha foam. This stout has visual fortitude. Retention wasn't the greatest, but acceptable considering it was 13.5%. A few drops ran down the side of the glass and were as sticky as maple syrup.

Obvious bourbon barrel aroma, oak and vanilla sweetness laid over an intense roasted coffee and chocolate base. I'm having flashbacks to FoBAB already...

Rich, fudgy, syrupy elixir. There is a slight prickle from the abv, but it's edges are rounded by it's sweetness and full, smooth feel. Tobacco, oak, fudge, vanilla, coffee all surface at one time or another. A sipper for sure, and a bottle to share with friends. We split it 4 ways, which seemed about right.

 848 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Quite a scary pour, as the beer streams out like motor oil into the chalice, forming a modest tan head that leaves squiggles of lace behind

Smell: The rye barrel and brewer's licorice elements dominate the aroma, with undertones of dark chocolate and prune

Taste: Charred wood and dark chocolate, up front, with the brewer's licorice, hops and molasses flavors building by mid-palate; after the swallow, the rye barrel emerges, bringing along a boozy, charred character that dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a lot of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Tried two from the Crooked Line series today (for the first time) and really didn't enjoy either one of them; while this had an interesting range of flavors, it was ultimately too boozy and harsh on the tongue to be enjoyable; I am not familiar with the Utah laws but it is almost as if, having finally been freed up to brew high ABV beers, Uinta is unleashing the brewed equivalent of a testosterone-overloaded adolescent

 1,026 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, brown head of foam. It left sticky sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of rich roasted malt with chocolate, caramel, toffee and coffee-like aromas.

T - It had a boozy alcohol maltiness with a strong roasted malt. There was a nice coffee flavor, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a really good imperial stout. I like what I've had from Uinta.

 484 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of superspak
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/8/2011. Pours dense pitch black color with zero head or carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, licorice, oak, clove, vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, licorice, molasses, oak, clove, vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, oak, vanilla, licorice, clove, molasses, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel flavors; with huge robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Zero carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a really excellent imperial stout, despite being flat. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, licorice, and barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. I will definitely try and get a carbonated bottle in the future.

 1,341 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 1,135 ratings
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