Tasting: November 1, 2011
Style: Black Ale – Since its won awards as a stout — I’ll call it a Stout.
A labyrinth is a puzzle that dates back to the ancient Greeks. It is different from a maze in that a maze has multiple hallways and directional choices, where a labyrinth has one path. Labyrinths exist in ancient ruins and in rock paths recreated for millennia. In Greek mythology, a labyrinth was designed for King Minos to capture the Minotaur– a creature half-man, half-bull. A look at the label, there are no Minotaurs – just a cartoon man overlaying a three-dimensional labyrinth. They describe this stout as being multi-dimensional and complex — like — you guessed it a labyrinth. This label (like other Uinta Crooked series labels) was created by a local (Utah) artist – Trent Call. As you can see the presentation of this ale is quite nice with the champagne cork/wire and the heavy bomber-sized bottle.
It is brewed with licorice sticks and aged in oak barrels. Funny, I just read a report this morning that people with heart problems should avoid overdosing on black licorice as it can reduce potassium to dangerously low levels. These low levels can cause the heart to fluctuate and blood pressure to rise. I don’t think you have anything to worry about – at a whopping 13.2% alcohol — you’d pass out from the buzz before the licorice can place its hex on your ticker. The price might cause your heart more stress — $12.99.
Pours as black as night. Looks very thick. Aroma is of cocoa powder. My first few sips leaves me with a few impressions – this is a thick creamy stout that easily coats the mouth and gives you sticky lips in very little time. Flavors of dark chocolate, burnt toast and that black licorice race by…leaving some serious alcohol burn. Digging a little deeper, it has an earthy quality — possibly from the oak barrels. Some stouts have high IBU (International Bittering Units) — this one isn’t all that bitter. I’d put it in the 50 – 60 range. If I have any criticism, it would be with the alcohol burn. This might benefit from a little age — but that’s not how I roll. I buy it, I drink it – I give it 92 points.