Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale | Uinta Brewing Company

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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

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Ratings: 1,130 |  Reviews: 320
Photo of Caterwaul
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Jwale73
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottling (can't make out the month on the label). 750ml corked & caged format served in my KTG snifter. A vigorous pour down the center of the glass reveals a color one shade shy of black with a dense, one-inch mocha-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid, 1/8th inch skim with swaths of lacing evident after each tilt. Nose expresses roast, a vinous quality and cocoa nibs. Taste consistent with nose; however, much richer and bolder than suggested by the flavor profile. The vinous dark fruit nicely breaks up the rich malt and chocolate I have to say. There's also a little bit of oxidation that lingers at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body, with a pleasant, even carbonation and a light oiliness to the texture. This is a fantastic example of the style and a regular release to boot. I can't believe I waited this long to try this. Very reasonable at $11.99. Alcohol is dangerously well-hidden as well. If you like big stouts and haven't tried this one, you should.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle. Purchased in Park City, Utah. Bottled 11/8/12.

A: Pours motor oil black. Thick pour, with no head at first. After a few quick seconds, a thick, fluffy, dark tan head billows up and builds up really quickly - like a volcanic eruption. Head sticks around for several minutes and eventually settles into a nice 1/2 finger ring. Leaves a nice lacing.

S: Strong oaky nose. Chocolate. Mocha coffee, vanilla, and some sort of fruits - definitely the licorice.

T: More chocolate than anything else. The oakiness almost comes off as bourbon tasting. Pretty high bitter taste - probably from chocolate. Licorice taste comes out very sweet.

M: Moderate carbonation. Full body. Sweet and creamy.

O: Pleasant little surprise after a great day of hitting the slopes. Shared and enjoyed with my Brother, Jeff. Great balance of oak and sweetness. Not super malty but a great level of complexity.

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Photo of jlindsey
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Charlie_Hoss
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of tsco7
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of magnusdave
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Slatetank
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Giant, enjoyed chilled in a cervoise and tulip and allowed to gradually warm to cellar temp.
The color is piano black with no light passing through the liquid, very dense rich look with thick tan cap like espresso crema just lays and holds for a while with ultra fine bead. The smell is a blend of dark malty scents with a fruity raisin-like yeast ester mixed with a complimentary pine and slight citrus hop note there is slight cocoa with a mild coffee-like tinge but generally rich and brownie batter with dark sugar's molasses hint in there.
The mouthfeel is great the roasted quality stands out but is not too sharp with a sweetness that is not cloying from the malt body. There is a full feel yet balanced without an exceptionally high bitterness and subtle grain astringency with mild alcohol for the abv.

The taste is lush with prune and pepper with cocoa mixed with roasted coffee and the brownie batter sweetness with some light pine hoppiness which comes forward more as it warms with light tinge of vanilla smoothness in the middle. I get a mild citrus note from the hops too but it blends well with the dark malt flavors and is a nice contrast to the dark caramel element which is the core of this stout. Overall a pretty remarkable ale - a little on the sweet side, but that is okay for this style and welcomed actually. I think this is a truly great beer and it is a stealth stout in the way that it seems much smaller in abv than 13%!

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Photo of Mangstarr
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of templar316
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Here's one that deserves more conversation! Pours deep ebony with mocha head. There's NONE more black! As advertised; a Black ale indeed... On the nose black licorace fades into cinnamon, notes of figs, vanilla and leather. The dark chocolate taste disolves into candied dates but the alcohol isn't evidenced anywhere... There's a syrupy heaviness to the body that warns you to take this slow allthough the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Bottled in August of this year...

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Photo of joeseppy
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a mocha thin head. Syrupy texture that clings.

Aromas of bourbon, coffee grounds, herbal hop, licorice, toasted marshmellow and a smokiness.

Taste dark roasty malts, bittersweet oak, vanilla, dark cocoa and some smoky haze. Alcohol for sure but not distracting.

Full bodied and roasty.

Better sipped at cool temps. Wish this sold in smaller options. Big brew for one person. Nice to sip and share with some great BAs. This is my second Uinta and I am liking these guys. Look forward to their other offerings.

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Photo of fivetime
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of skaboom420
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 2/7/2013 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, licorice, chocolate, coffee and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of chocolate, dark fruit and licorice. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in along with some oak essence in the background. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good big stout to drink for a long time.

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Photo of emyers
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Founders tulip.

Appearance: Jet black with a thin dark brown head.

Smell: Bourbon and dark fruits lead off the nose with cocoa, licorice, oak and vanilla close behind. Definitely not as in-your-face as, say a BCBS, but very complex and still extremely balanced.

Taste: Awesome. Similar profile to the aroma, but seems a little more intense. Bourbon, oak, and rich dark chocolate lead the way followed up by dark fruits and licorice. Bittering hops kick in to provide a bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, smooth, appropriately low carbonation. Bittering hops on the finish dry the palate leaving you craving another sip.

Overall: Really a great beer. I feel like this doesn't get the attention it deserves (which may have something to do with it being labeled as a black ale as opposed to a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout). It's better than a lot of BBA stouts that get a whole lot more hype. Great balance and flavor complexity.

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Photo of Tittles
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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 calcnerd
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really liked this beer at tastings, and bought a few bottles, but never got around to drinking it, weird. Bottled on 03/31/10.

An aggressive pour yields a decent looking dark cocoa colored creamy rich 1/2 finger head, fades at a med pace with some decent lacing too, not bad for a 13% beer, thick legs on teh sides of the glass as well, over a pitch black beer, no light coming from that puppy.

Nose brings plenty of big dark malts, black malt right off the bat as well as roasted malt, a roast that seems like it would have been over powering fresh, but has some nice softness with almost 3 years on it. Big fluffy nougat like aroma, with some candy, caramel, etc, and some dark chocolate coming through. That all brings a light booze aroma too, and some slight earthy hops. Oak is in the background, just a touch of vanilla and light toasty barrel like. A big dark nose for a big dark beer.

Taste starts with big malts again, some black malt, and roast again, but as expected not overpowering burnt roast as the age seems to have really softened it. Chewy malts, the roast brings a light burnt coffee grinds though, with a bitter black malt flavor and some tannins from all that even. Fluffy nougat in the middle again, candy like too, but not a lot of sweetness, touch of caramel and light cocoa and biscuity cocoa pebbles like. The chocolate is there but not big chocolate, more like a touch of baker's chocolate and the chocolate cereal flavors. Bitterness comes a bit from the roasty malts, as well as light earthy hops in the background. The barrel is practically an after thought, as it infuses a hint of vanilla, although a light dusty wood shelf comes out a little as it warms. Booze is there, with a light booze taste and plenty of warmth, touch of tingle, but not nearly 13%. Chewy creamy almost oats like, fairly thick and lush. Finish is semi sweet still, mouth coating, light tingly booze lingering as it coats the mouth, lingering dark malts, hint cocoa and cereal again, light roast and black malt all lingering.

Mouth is thick and rich, slightly creamy but full bodied, lighter but decent carb, plenty of warming slight tingly booze.

Overall a big beer, great. Not sure why they call it a black ale, as yes it's black but it's not what you'd expect for a black ale which is typically referring to black IPA style. There are not many hops in this but don't need them as the malts really take the show. Big dark malts that don't get overbearing, burnt or too roasty, etc, and a few years of age on it adds a nice softness and drinkability. I'm gonna try to finish this whole thing by myself before the superbowl, so we'll see how I'm feeling during the superbowl, probably pretty good.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Corked bottle...poured in Corsendonk chalice.
Tight cork, slight poof.
Pours deep Mohagany with brown head layer, brown lace on glass.
Aroma of rich chocolate, Mexican chocolate, mixed spices, cocoa, alcohol.
Significant and bold...oh mommy!
Flavors of dark chocolate, Mexican chocolate, mango rind, cinnamon, Hungarian paprika, melon rind...oh mommy...this is a big boy. This is not for picky, timid drinkers, including some beer geeks. This is like a statement saying "We in Utah can make some Kick-butt beer you won't soon forget." me lord!
Fortunately I have someone to share this with because drinking this whole baby by oneself would be comparable to abuse, excuse my beer language-ookie-ookie...booyang! While less alcohol than say, an Avery Czar, this stands out greater in's an assault in the mouth, not close to smooth, but intriguing and tasty if you want a strong one!
2/18/2013 - I'm trying a bottle dated 6/8/11. I don't know what my previous bottle was dated, but I'm guessing it was younger, and that has made a big difference. Yep...aging has mellowed out the rough alcohol and mouth assaulting characteristics. This is damn tasty...big chocolate malts, some rich tropical dried fruit, raisins, prune, carob, significant alcohol, bitter chocolate, slight paprika, caramel, toffee...slight liquorice and oak as the label says, but not the biggest flavors...and there are other bitter flavors. Challenging but inviting if you're looking for a big beer. Ayieee!!

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Photo of Jemonster
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of ElCommodoro
2.47/5  rDev -41.1%
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.

 2,067 characters

Photo of DesertRat
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The licorice flavors were nice. Unique taste with the malts, which were unexpected. I loved the thick texture, but I expected something similar to Oskar Blues "Ten Fidy". I loved the balance, but was expecting something bolder. It was a safe brew, for something I anticipated to be a little more larger than life. Great beer, but for the cost, I would not buy again.

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Crooked Line: Labyrinth Black Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,130 ratings.
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