Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale | Uinta Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale
1,137 Ratings
Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black AleCrooked Line: Labyrinth 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,137 |  Reviews: 325
Photo of NickBeery
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Duffs3
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer pours like motor oil, both thick and black. Completely opaque, with a tall, frothy, dense, light tan head of a solid two inches. Aromas of roast and burning wood, molasses sweetness, booze character, and licorice. Smells rich and complex. Flavors are rich and warming, with a darkly sweet and rich molasses backbone, bittersweet chocolate highlights, and a subtle roast character highlighting. Very layered and dynamic. Well balanced. Decent lacing as you drink, and the beer has a creamy, smooth, rich body. Aftertaste is bitter and roasted, with a slight molasses linger. Very tasty. The finish is slick and lingering, with a bittersweet twist left behind. Great sipper. Well done brew.

 738 characters

Photo of freduardo
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of HumphreyLee
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jplopez21
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black color with an impressive thickness. The head is a three finger tan shade. Given its strength, I'm quite impressed with the retention of the head.

S: The nose features licorice, chocolate, vanilla, mocha coffee, and a bit of roasted barley. Rock solid, but could have used more barrel influence.

T: The opening sweetness is moderately high, with a strong chocolate/vanilla character. Some coffee and licorice notes gradually build near the finish to counteract the (strong) sugary tones. It makes for a great dessert stout, only lacking in barrel character.

M: Thick, creamy, rich, decadent...every trait I look for in an imperial stout. The booze is superbly hidden, as well. Only thing I can nitpick is the slightly-too-high finishing astringency.

O: Subjectively, I don't really like the licorice-forward tendencies this offers...but I can't deny this is a very well-made product loaded with sophistication and finesse. Still, it could have been a genuine BCBS killer if it featured stronger oak qualities.

 1,064 characters

Photo of mfrigon
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of boogercrack
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of BAsbill
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of cyrushire
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of laituegonflable
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-brown colour. Seriously, we need a scale to measure the darkness of beers like this. But this is up there in darkness, yet light gives a glimmer of brown. Head is ochre, just deliciously dense and retaining as stubbornly as opponents of gay marriage. Lace is amazing. This beer looks amazing.

Smell is quite delectable as well. Dark and roasty backbone but a hell of a lot of sweet booziness. Bourbony coconut notes, peanut and vanilla on there with a chocolatey, nutmeg edge to it. Hint of licorice and pepper as well. Good spicy dark notes but the sweet complexities overlying are just wonderful.

Taste is very pleasant, with dark notes that aren't quite as roasty as I'd like, kind of lightly toasted rye bread on there with dark caramel. Then big booziness comes to the fore, with vanilla pods and coconut and a fair sticky rye note, with a nutty edge like pecans for a hint of bitterness. Slightly buttery on the back. It's all very nice flavours but I feel like it's a bit straight-lace ultimately, and doesn't quite ram the flavour home in the way it could. It's like it's a bit afraid of its own strength.

Full and a bit bitey. Good body, but from the front to the back I get that sense of booze, which is unfortunate, but it's not hot enough to really mar it.

Good brew, lots to like. I feel maybe some more roasty bitterness would absolutely run this one up the flagpole for me. Still a great drop though.

 1,432 characters

Photo of imperiallibations
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of blakelive784
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pt 9.4 fl oz corked and caged brown glass bottle (bottled 1/24/12)served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours an opaque jet black color with four fingers of thick, creamy chocolate colored head. Retention is amazingly good at over 13% alcohol and there's sticky cream lacing when it finally recedes. Impressive.

S - Sweet rich chocolates, light toasty oak, cream, faint coffee, and sweet licorice. Caramel and toffee throughout. Restrained roasted malt. Prune and currant. On the sweet end. I get no alcohol on the nose. A touch of vanilla. Moderate strength.

T - The licorice is a dominate note. I wish it were more restrained. Light creamy milk chocolate and roasted malts buried under the heavy licorice. Bitter coffee towards the end. Underwhelming oak. A touch of alcohol warmth on the finish, but the ABV is remarkably well hidden. Surprisingly mild.

M - Full bodied, thick and smooth.

D - Incredible drinkability. Suffers a little bit from some flavors (oak, roast) being a bit too restrained. Could be great with a little work.

 1,048 characters

Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
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)

 2,139 characters

Photo of wyatt13
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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.


 3,873 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of gshak
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of RollTide7
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reccamended by a fellow BA enjoyed at a great beer bar in park city. The beer pors very dark. I honestly cant really tell the difference between this and a imperial stout except that hops are negligable here. Hides the alcohol extremely well at over 13%. Very smooth, tastes of chocolate, carmel. Very complex flavors show the beer was aged and overall a great beer.

 366 characters

Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 1,137 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.