Part Man, And Part Bull

Brewery and Country of Origin: Uinta Brewing Company of 1722 Fremont Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84104, USA

Date Reviewed: 3-09-15

In Greek Mythology, a story goes where King Minos of Crete (a son of Zeus and Europa) asks Poseidon for a bull to sacrifice, but after he is sent the bull (the very same Cretan Bull that Minos would ask Hercules to capture and get rid of), he decides to keep it for its beauty, thinking that Poseidon wouldn't care. Unfortunately, Poseidon was in fact very angry, and as punishment, the Sea God made Pasiphae, Minos' wife, fall in love with the bull. She would have a wooden hollow cow costume made by Daedalus and eventually mate with the bull to conceive the infamous Minotaur. Initially, Pasiphae tried raising the bull-man creature, but it proved impossible, and it began to grow more ferocious than she could handle. She then hired Daedalus again to make a giant labyrinth under Knossos, which is considered to be Europe's oldest city. The giant labyrinth would act as the Minotaur's prison, and as a penalty for the death of Minos' son, Androgeus at the hands of the Athenians, Minos required that seven young Athenian men and seven young women would be sent to the labyrinth every seven (or nine) years to be sacrificed and either killed by the Minotaur, or to get lost and starved in the labyrinth. The Minotaur was eventually killed when Theseus volunteered to join the third group of people to be sacrificed. The labyrinth itself was technically a maze. Contemporary scholars hold that a labyrinth has only one long, unicursal path from the beginning to the end in the middle, while a maze has many branches and paths. A maze also leads to many dead ends which are not the intended center. But despite the literal difference, it is agreed that the Cretan Labyrinth was actually a maze, which made escape extremely difficult (even its designer Deadalus, barely made it out). And though the path of a labyrinth may be long, the fact that there is only one path makes it relatively easy to navigate. Today, both terms are used to describe long, complex, and/or difficult routes, or as metaphors to challenging situations. Labyrinths can be found in various places around the world, especially near churches and cathedrals. Gardens may sometimes include turf mazes (which are usually ornate labyrinths) or hedge mazes for religious or decorative purposes. Labyrinths are also used as designs as their near symmetry and intricate appearance makes them an ideal choice for certain graphic or design applications. This particular strong beer, a limited run Uinta product (part of their Crooked Series), was perhaps given the name Labyrinth for its overly complex flavors and impressive scale, and features various labyrinth designs on its label.
Date Sampled: 12-12-14 (6-02-12 Original) At: 7 Priscilla Road, Brighton, Boston, MA 02135, USA
Beer Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 13.20%
Serving Type: 750 ml Bottle, 20 oz Mug Glass
Rating: 4.02


The Labyrinth has a smooth pour that comes with a medium amount of carbonation action, producing a full and thick, medium high density inch tall foam head with a dark tan/light brown color, a creamy and frothy texture, and a good retention. This beer has an opaque appearance with a very dark brownish black color, and a very dull ruby red glow in only bright light. This beer has no shine or visible sediment, and only a low effervescent effect with no settling. This beer displays a high amount of lacing on the glass.


This beer has a strong aroma overall, which comes out immediately with a dark roasted, bitter semi-sweet chocolate malt presence with a hint of licorice and some vanilla spice mixed in. There is also a subtle coffee secondary and a slight yeast note which comes with noticeable banana fruitiness. This is conveyed by a slightly oaky/smoke wood undertone. This beer's aroma does expectedly include some alcoholic tinge, but nothing overbearing or distracting from the intended experience. This malt heavy beer doesn't have any noticeable hops in the aroma.


This is a full bodied brew with a very thick viscosity and a matching, full weight. This beer also has a medium low amount of carbonation, which makes it quite a heavy and slow drinking beer which is better suited for the cold months of winter. This brew offers no crispness or refreshing aspects, is very smooth with a creamy, velvety texture, and contains a bit of alcohol induced warming after a slightly dry finish. This close lingers for a small amount of time, and despite a high alcohol content, there is no real alcohol bite. Overall, this dark beer has a large presence that is better enjoyed slowly.


Like all big stouts, this is an overly malty beer with robust roasted bittersweet flavors. Dark chocolate and deep roasted coffee flavors dominate the tastebuds, accompanied by a good amount of vanilla and some licorice secondaries. There is also a somewhat present alcohol bite as well as a small amount of subtle, but noticeable dull hops which offer very little to balance. Some yeast like clove notes are also present. There is a fairly strong oak wood-based earthy tones and a lingering malty aftertaste with the dry finish. There is a hint of alcohol bite in spite of a strong content level, but nothing that distracts from this beer's bold and complex flavor profile.

Our Take

This is an excellent strong and dark stout which makes good on the promise of complex flavors, a bold malty character, and a full, aromatic experience. Overall, this is a semisweet beer which emphasizes chocolate and vanilla notes which could be considered somewhat festive in a make shift sort of way. This, along with its elevated alcohol content of 13.20% ABV, make it a great beer for the winter time, or at least for the moments when a bit of warming is welcome. This is a big and strong beer which won't be enjoyable by most throughout the year, and more to the point, it's strong flavor and high alcohol content won't satiate the needs of all beer drinkers. This beer's lack of any prominent hoppy notes or refreshing qualities will keep it away from bitter lovers as well as the beaches and summer barbeques. But if you are looking for a special high quality imperial stout which actually doesn't come equipped with any overpowering aspects to it, you may have just found your ideal match. This oak barrel aged stout is also a cellarable beer which we been storing for a bit of additional time. As with any aged beer, you should make sure you drink a bottle when you first get it, and then compare your control notes with the characteristics of the aged one to tell which was better and how. This strong malty beer makes a great pairing option for sharp cheddars, aged provolone, duck, pork, London broil, filet mignon, and Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies.