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: 1,057
Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

Pours a near black with dense creamy medium brown head, settles to a half inch, rings halfway down the glass. Smell: caramel, dark chocolate, toast, black plum, mild oak and earth. Taste: chocolate cake batter, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, caramel, mild earth and plums skin help to balance. Medium-plus bodied, creamy, pillowy carbonation. Finishes with licorice, char, vanilla-ish. At 13.2% abv it's pretty well balanced, not a booze nor a sugar bomb. And not overboard on the licorice, nice! 4/14 bottling.

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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 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 ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a teku. This bottle has a date of 3/29/13.

I love the dark khaki-colored head on this. The appearance of this foamy head over the pitch-black body looks very much like a serving of espresso. A thick layer of lace settles over the body and splotches remain around the glass.

The nose is just huge on this. Potent as all hell. Big oak flavors, chocolate, a hint of red wine, vanilla, and a tiny bit of alcohol.

Not to be outdone, the flavors on this brew are intense and in your face. Huge roasted malt flavors add a new element, but the oak, red wine and other aromas find their way to my tongue. Baker's chocolate lingers with a hint of spicy bourbon flavor.

Well, for being 13.2% ABV, this beer drinks smoothly. It's thick-bodied and malty, viscous, and only minorly hot from the alcohol. There's a touch of hop bitterness at the finish as well as some dryness.

This is an excellent beer. Rich in flavor, smooth to drink, and actually pretty reasonably priced.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11/8/12 Bottling poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a black color with a rich, dense, red/brown head. The head dissipates to a relatively long lasting lacing.
S - Smells of hops, malt, slight char, some oak and a hint of licorice.
T - Taste is similar to the smell with a little chocolate thrown in.
M - A very rich, thick mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - Pretty good for a licorice infused ale. Fans of Deschutes' Abyss will appreciate this ale.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Uinta's Labyrinth, barrel aged quadruple black ale, brewed with licorice sticks; from their Crooked Line series. 13.2% ABV.

Man, that cork was on tight!

A: A full two fingers of solid, chocolate milk-brown head. Very slow dissipation. Utterly black in the glass, with extremely dark brown in the dimple, and just the slimmest dark-golden brown glow in the very bottom. Good lacing, that hold completely steady. Foam slides around the top of the beer in a very pleasing way; slow and deliberate. The bubbles above the beer sparkle against the side of the glass.

S: I smell black licorice right away, once the cork is popped. Up close to my nose, the licorice is still quite present, but a rich bittersweet chocolate is taking over. Some darker oaky caramels, and toasted oak notes. Just a touch of coffee, in the background.

T/MF: As expected, the beer has a nice, soft, almost pillow-y feel on the tongue. The flavor is a pretty decent amount of cocoa cereal, with sweeter black licorice taste that overpowers it just the right amount. A bit of sweeter coffee, rounds it out. A slight char note rides the back end. Finish is long and low, and mostly the sweeter licorice, with a touch of char.

It still amazes me that, while I can't stand licorice candy, I seem to enjoy it most times as a flavor in beer.

While, I wouldn't put it quite up there with some of the better whiskey barrel-aged beers, it is quite good!

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of tviz33
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big ass bottle in to a Duvel tulip.

A- This looks like straight Hershey's syrup which erupts in to a big luscious dark brown head if poured quickly enough.

S- The smell is magical. Barrel up front, chocolate and coffee following. Rich, rich, rich.

T- As with an big stout, the flavor really comes alive as it warms. Cocoa, licorice, and coffee grounds, followed by the slightest alcohol burn. As I keep sipping, dark fruits become very apparent and mildly tart.

M- Huge full feel and medium-light carbonation.

O- I'm a big fan of this beer. Glad I finally gave it a go.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml corked and caged bottle courtesy of and shared with beastmaster. Pours pitch black with a massive creamy dark brown head. Aroma of sweet dark fruits, smokey roast, anise/black licorice, some strong chocolate coming through, char maybe from barrels. Smells pretty rich. Flavor is sweet and smokey molasses, chocolate, oak, booze, raisins. Medium plus plus body, medium to low carbonation, and very smooth. Warming. Very sticky here. Sort of like smoked chocolate covered licorice sticks. Jury is still out but a nice dessert in small quantities. Drinkability on the low side but overall nice.

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Photo of rangerman21
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with a dark brown head

Smell: Boozey with chocolate/fruit/sweet and a hint of oak.

Taste- Smooth, boozy woody and some liquorice. Roasted malt shows through.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, smooth finish.

Overall: Tasty, lots of different flavors going on. Booze doesn't overwhelm despite being pronounced in the nose. Sipping it definitely gives a warming sensation.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a robust 1-2 finger head. Smell is sweet, with an alcohol punch to it. Caught hints of vanilla, black licorice, and oak. Taste was complex, with a sweet licorice up front and a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. Excellent mouthfeel, substantial and creamy. Overall this was an interesting beer but it was a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours like motor oil, jet black with an impressive dark tan head. Huge head for a 13% beer. Really good lacing too.

Bourbon note hits first, and hard. Vanilla soon follows, quite oaky, Chocolate, booze, rye bread, and a bit of caramel.

Oh wow, truly surprising. Big chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and some licorice is present. Very bready, dark breads like rye or pumpernickel. Not much booze which is really impressive for such a big brew.

Full, sweetly slick and rich. Warming going down, not harsh at all. Very nice.

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Can get into trouble with the ABV, because that can fool you.

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Photo of spoony
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle (dated June 6, 2013) into a wine glass.

A-The brew is quite dark and nearly black as the name suggests. A thin brown head fades pretty quickly, which isn't surprising given the ABV and the style. The head leaves some sporadic bits of lace on my glass.

S-Although labeled as a quadruple ale, this beer is obviously not a Westy. I get assertive dark chocolate aromas, licorice, a bourbon-like boozy aroma of oak and caramel. I also get a bit of creamy richness. The aroma is concentrated and intense.

T-The taste is also big and bold with dark chocolate, lots of black licorice/anise, overripe fruit, a bit of spicy alcohol and some nice caramelized/roasted malts. For a beer packing 13% ABV, the alcohol is relatively mild, or at least it is well-integrated into the licorice-heavy body of the beer.

M-The feel is substantial with a good heft on the palate and lower than average carbonation.

O-If you like black licorice, this beer should be on your list. The licorice is very strong, but it never overpowers the other flavors, like the dark chocolate and caramelized malts, which makes for a delicious and intense glass of beer. Finishing a 750 ml bottle would be a job well-done, but this makes for a delicious glass or glass-and-a-half to sip for dessert.

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Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A year and a half old, bottled 9/12.

The beer comes in a dark black with a bit of brown coming through in the light, with a light colored brown head.

The aroma is wonderful of smooth and sweet vanilla, coffee, bitter chocolate, sweet caramel, hint of a smokey char barrel character, dark fruits.

The flavor follows of sweet caramel and toffee, hints of vanilla, some roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate throughout, and then some bitter licorice, drying oak, and rye notes on the finish.

A smooth and full mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden.

A very different barrel aged brew without the aggressively roasted. Big notes of caramel and toffee sweetness dominate as the barrel and licorice add complexity on the finish.

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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 GOBLIN
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a terrific stout ! I still don't cre what the guys at Uinta say . . . this is not 13.2 % !!! At least it doesn't drink that way. So tasty and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle to the dome, purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a scary dark black. Small head lingers for a decent amount of time. Nice spidery lacing all the way down.

Smells very roasty and boozy, in a good way. A bit of rye whiskey spiciness, too.

Tastes incredible. The rye whiskey barrel aging is subtle- comes through in some spicy, grassy flavors, mixed with woodiness, oak, and vanilla. Some licorice throughout, with added chocolate, roasty malts, Pretty boozy, however- the booziness only amplified as the beer warmed. Only thing keeping the score from a dazzling 5.

The mouthfeel was very full, not the thickest stout I've ever had, but certainly up there. Drinks exactly like the ABV purports.

Overall, a nice pick up. Didn't know Uinta could run in the BA game like this.

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Photo of i4ourgot
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bourbon dominates this beer in flavor and aroma. This beer is black coffee black with a dark brown head. The aroma is mostly bourbon with a slight coffee aroma. This beer is thick and the alcohol can be felt after a few sips with a warming in the stomach. Bourbon dominates the flavor especially in the start it was almost all I could taste. Then after a few sips some of the chocolate and coffee flavors become noticeable. There is some alcohol noticeable (not the bourbon). Not a beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this at Winooski Beverage Warehouse. Bottled 08/12/13.

A - Black pour. Really nice, creamy mocha head of about 3 fingers. Some carbonation coming up. Came outta the bottle thick. Good lace rings all around and a film of retention.

S - Licorice, leather, roast, chocolate. Dark bread. Very interesting. Sweet, dark fruit. Complex stuff. Very inviting.

T - Sweet, roasty, chocolate, leather, licorice. Intense stuff. Quite woody. Some alcohol to finish. Tasty.

M - Thick feeling. Mild to medium carbonation is appropriate. Barrel evident in finish with sweetness, wood, and alcohol. Nice.

O/D - This is definitely worth the hype. I think it was about $20 at the store, which is prohibitive for most, but worth it in my mind. Really complex and tasty. The barrel aging and complexity of the stout comine perfectly. A good sipper.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Label says Bottled On: 06/06/13

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before eventually lowering to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Very strong smell of booze, oak and dark roasted malt. Some spots of vanilla and chocolate try to make their way through but the alcohol and barrel reign supreme, mainly the barrel.

T- The flavor, on the other hand, has a very tasty balance of the aforementioned oak and dark roasted malt and leaves a big smack of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. The booze is definitely there and pretty heavy at first, but the oak brings in lovely notes of vanilla while the malt sends chocolate flavors which combine to make a lusciously delicious drink. As it warms, the hops become more noticeable which makes it more like a malty barleywine which is interesting.

M- Moderately creamy while also being chewy and thick. medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- This beer would be better if the aroma reflected the flavor but, in the end, taste is the important category. A slow sipper for sure. Perfect for a snowy night such as tonight.

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Photo of berkshire413
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

got this on a trade from Kelly's Package in Dalton, Ma. brought down a Tree House Brewery SnowTober for this. bottled on 6/6/13 drank on 2/5/14. bomber poured into a tulip.

A- black as the day is long here, nothing getting through even the very bottom reaches of the tulip give nothing when held to the light.

S-upon reading the label and knowing what i know about barrel aging and doubles and triples and quadruples.. i really expected something to sit me down and knock me back. but it was very subtle. first we had the usualy coffee cocoa notes with a middle that switched to deep cacao. then the chared swamp floor roasted malts came and sat down. im getting a lingering new england marsh field in the dead of fall with some light raisin and sugar.

T-ok so back to what i thought this beer was going to be. Scent really threw me a curveball, i swing i miss, but im still up to bat. Hazelnut Iced coffees wished they tasted like this. bang it hits you and opens your palate to a wide variety of coffee and chocolate masses with some carbon and charcoal dried bitterness with a salty soy sauce character that is very present. that is upfront and a bit surprising. the malt is burnt to shit and awesome, it comes riding along with the oak and molasses with is buddies rum raisen and heath bar. chocolate or should i said 99% cacoa jumps back infront right before the hop finish that is so drenched in oil and caralmel that it just adds to the left hand and right hand jabs of explosive enjoyment.

M-Creamy and salty, tons of tart and sweetness. seems like it can be an overwhelming beer, but its right up my ally. especially being smack dab in the middle of another New England winter. I taste this beer in July and i more than likely non-review.

O- overall this beer really got me amped up. I really loved the massivness of the chocolate and sugary liquorace that it boasts. its a true cold weather beer and is meant to be sipped and enjoyed over the course of a long evening. Respect Beer

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Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kenwood Liquors - Homer Glen, IL

Bottled: 9/13/13

Labyrinth simply looks dense pouring from the bottle with a gurgle. There's not a chance of seeing light through the density. The head grows with a cascade effect to two fingers in height. here's barely any settling but what does occur leaves solid sheet lacing that coats the glass. A mighty fine looking beer.

Anise galore in the nose. Big notes of moderate roast coffee follow close behind. This is a robust beer. Spicy rye and dark fruit also play roles. There doesn't seem to be a ton of sweetness which is impressive for a beer this large. Roasty grain, a swirl of vanilla, a tendril of smoke, and some dry oak add to the depth. With all the complexity I could see this beer easily getting muddled but surprisingly it seems in good proportion. Very nice.

The flavor doesn't quite reach the heights of the nose but it's not far off either. Anise upfront followed quickly by roasty grains and heavily roasted coffee. Vanilla is present from the barrel but not as rich as the nose suggested. That tendril of smoke is back along with spicy rye and peppery oak. Again, there is good balance for considering the depth of flavor. There's slight alcohol warmth that I rather enjoy on the swallow.

Somehow the body, while dense, is silky smooth and easy to put away. There's a touch of stick immediately following the swallow but it dries up quickly from the mix of alcohol and roasty bitterness. The carbonation is medium and pushes the body through at a nice pace.

As large as this beer is it's seamlessly integrated and expertly barrel aged and blended. The licorice adds a nice touch without dominating, as a matter of fact all aspects add nice touches without dominating. The alcohol is noticeable but in a complimentary way as opposed to harsh or overpowering. Uinta has done a great job here. Will this beer be in my future? Magic 8 Ball says "It is decidedly so".

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which has really good retention. The head is a medium to dark beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate brown with the slightest hint of chestnut at the base when held up to the light. Lacing is tending toward sheeting at the moment.

Nose- I always get excited when the first note is coconut. This leads into caramel and toffee. Light instances of licorice. A tiny bit of chocolate. Even a little bit of cherries. Some vanilla. So far, the aroma suggests that this beer has held up well over the past two years. Swirling reveals some brown sugar, molasses, and a burnt caramel note.

Taste- Starts of with light coconut that transitions to caramel and toffee while a bitter chocolate hangs in the background. As many other reviewers, I also had concern about the licorice but this seems to flit around the background and works well with the more dominant notes of the flavor profile. There's some booze but it's fitting for a 13.2% beer. A little bit of straw? The licorice shows itself but it quickly turns to cherries and raisins which melt into chocolate. Slight oak, slight vanilla but maybe these flavors have faded. Some char, almost burnt toast. Roasted malts that hint at coffee but are eased by coconut and melanoidin flavors. A slight vinous character from the raisins, cherries, and licorice that makes me a pause a bit but this a good to really good beer, mostly really good. Glad I picked this up and I would like to compare it to a newer release. Some chalkiness on the finish. Bitter chocolate really hangs at the back of the throat. Booze mellows and flags this as a potentially dangerous beer. Some fudge as well. Some soy sauce that matches up with the slight hint of straw in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Almost heavy bodied with some syrup to the texture. Carbonation is pretty light. Pretty much what the body of an Imperial stout should be like.

Drinkability- As the booze mellows this becomes more and more dangerous. Not flaws, but some off-tastes that distract me a little bit. Definitely worth the 13 dollar price tag (especially since it had been aged for 2 years.)

Overall- Good to pretty much, just a really good beer. In no way a great beer but better than I expected. Ever since Odin's Tipple, I've been haunted by the notion of licorice in an Imperial stout. This beer assuaged those fears. Definitely worth a try and a beer I will be buying again.

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Photo of MattTastrophee
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 6/6/13, drank on 1/3/14. Served at 55 degrees in a large glass tankard.

Appearance: Big head from the pour. Had to let it settle out, as I was not hesitant. The head is somewhere between caramel and a light chocolate mousse in color. No light escapes this brew except at the crescent edge of the glass. Beautifully dark.

Smell: Soy Sauce and vaguely caramel and apple. Intriguing.

Taste: I get super rich licorice on the first sip, then dense malts and coffee. The oak melds right in along with the licorice. Enjoying taking each sip and feeling my way through this one, there's a lot of malty flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mouth coating with just a light amount of carbonation. Very appropriate.

Overall: I would buy this again. It's a big beer, but the alcohol has met its match with the licorice, the oak, and malt. Good balance, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of Silverpath6
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of t8dd
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Everything you'd expect from a world class porter. Dark as night with a thin mocha head that quickly dissipates. Rich and deep flavors of coffee, dark jammy fruits and roasted malt. Truly delightful. 13% abv but you'd never guess it. Enjoyed on a cold fall evening.

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Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,057 ratings.
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