Sep 17, 2010

Uinta Brewing Labyrinth Black Ale

I hadn’t heard of Uinta Brewing before picking up two of their beers on a recent trip to Total Wine a month or so ago. I now know, however, that they are based out of Utah, they’ve won a slew of awards for their various beers and Labyrinth Black Ale (part of their limited release Crooked Line Series) is pretty damned good.

I couldn’t find too much more information on this particular beer, other than it’s a one-off release that was brewed with licorice sticks and aged for an unknown amount of time in oak barrels. Beyond that, it’s been categorized as an American Strong Ale at both Beeradvocate and Ratebeer, but recently won Gold at the 2010 North American Brewers Association Awards in the Imperial Stout category.

So… you’re guess is as good as mine.


After popping the cork off this 13.2% ABV brew, I poured it into a couple of Belgian tulip glasses for the wife and myself. It certainly pours like an Imperial Stout — syrupy, black as night and capped by a small, dark brown head.


Labyrinth has a rich nose with components of chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, licorice and oak combining with a mild sweetness. It’s definitely got a woody character, but not too much of a presence from the higher alcohol.


Hmmm… for an American Strong Ale, it certainly has some stout like qualities. Labyrinth carries rich, bittersweet chocolates, espresso roast, oak and a good bit of alcohol with a pretty viscous mouthfeel. The finish on the beer is on the dry side with a hint of bitterness. There’s a touch of licorice in the finish, as well, but it’s not nearly as present as it was on the nose. This is a big beer.


I liked this beer a great deal, regardless of style categorization. It’s rich, warming and full flavored. I wish I had grabbed another bottle to put away for a bit longer as I think this one would do well with some aging.

Rating: 4/5

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