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Blood Of The Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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85 Reviews
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Blood Of The UnicornBlood Of The Unicorn

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
One of our original hop beasts of burden makes its whimsically triumphant return. Blood of the Unicorn is Pipeworks Ninja vs Unicorn's hot redheaded sister. Loaded with fruity and piney American hops this rouge equine always delivers.

Added by MasterSki on 05-29-2012

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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 552
Photo of huntley101888
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Poured from 16oz can into Spiegalau IPA glass. Two finger off-white head mounding above the top of the glass. Opaque red hue for the beer, as it should be.

S- Roasty with piney resin. Aroma does not knock your socks off, but it is there.

T - Before I taste this, I will say that my gold standard for this category is Lagunitas Imperial Red IPA and Troeg's Nugget Nectar. Both are delicious in their own way. I am anxious to see what this tastes like. Bitterness as it hits the front of the tongue that then lingers a while after. Sweetness is a close second on the tongue. The taste is underwhelming with no dominant flavors that I can pick out. As you breathe out after your sip, the roastiness travels out your nostrils. It's definitely not bad, but it's not in the realm of the two beers I mentioned.

F - Nice carbonation level. Somewhat slick mouthfeel with a dry, almost bitter chocolate finish that leaves you thirsty.

O - I constantly strive to find competitors to Lagunitas and Troegs, so I'm glad I found this beer. I'm not super excited about the cost for the one can, but that's not the beer's fault. That being said, I will likely not buy this again unless I forget that I've already had it. Overall it's a solid beer, but the price point puts it far down on the list as far as repeat purchases.

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Photo of akolb
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is hop-forward, with tropical fruits, caramel, and toffee.
Taste: the hops come out really nicely: piney and resinous. Caramel and bready flavors bring things down to earth, and there is surprising bitterness that lingers. Very dry.
An awesome beer. Looks like a red ale, drinks like an IPA. Showcases magnificent hops as well as malts.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red-orange with a beige-grey, foamy, moderate-sized head that recedes to spotty lily pads.

Smells wonderfully hoppy first, with caramel coming in second, as opposed to many other reds that are the other way around. I'm getting some grape aromas, and a little minty dankness too.

Tastes of spicy pine up front. There's a surprising roastiness here for a red, nearing porter territory in that regard. Some of that grape from the aroma creeps in to the flavor as well.

Toasty with a dry finish.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can served in a pint glass. Date on the bottom is 4/15/16.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a medium sized tan head. Head fades slowly, supported by medium to high level of carbonation. Smell is very caramelly, a little toasty, some tropical juiciness. Maybe some pineapple.

Taste is very nice hoppy red, rich roasty caramels, slight hint of smoke or char, bright hoppy fruitiness, strong roast bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, moderately light, a little bit gritty. Overall, very tasty beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, "4/18/16 Drink Ur Blood" printed on the bottom

Pours hazed, glowing ruby reddish darker amber, lasting luxorious dark khaki cap, leaves low sheeting, strands and spots of lacing.

Malted up nose with piney hops

Big and bold, with more dense malt notes, pine and resiny hops mostly on the back end and in the finish. Balanced and flavorful. Sweet malts in charge here, but enough hops to lend character and build interest. Well worth a try.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a mason jar.

Nice deep red color with a off white head that leaves some lacing around the glass as it diminishes.

Herbal hops and caramel malt. A bit weak in the nose.

Taste of herbal hops, a tad of spice and caramel malt. This has a really nice balance.

Easy drinking and smooth.

A nice offering here. Nothing mind blowing but this beer is balanced and approachable. Would have again and recommend trying if you run across it.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft.

Look is a dark brown red.

Aroma is a slight molasses herbal hoppy.

Taste is roasted malt and bitter earthy hops. Really nice balance.

Delicious beer.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can. Pours dirty amber, deep red hues. Thick off white bubbly head, rings of lace. Taste is toasted malt with some piney hops that fade off. A little peppery spice in the finish which could be attributed to the high carbonation. Thin mouthfeel which was disappointing.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the 16oz can with no visible freshness date into a pint glass last night. Comes out a light brown with ruby highlights, slight bit of floaties in the liquid. Small white head dies down to a ring and leaves some lacing.

Smell is somewhat malty and caramel but it's got a piney and herbal hop backbone in there, too. Flavor wise it starts off pretty malty and sweet. Caramel and fruit notes in the middle with a bit of grain. Finishes somewhat bitter but not in a crazy way, nice herbal notes here from the hops.

Overall it's a very drinkable beer, the malts are never too crazy to make a heavy body and the hops lay in the back to provide a little zing. Overall it's a very nice structured amber ale for the cooler months that border winter.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2016-03-11 in Columbia, PA from a 16oz can.

A - Partially clear mahogany with a 1-finger light tan head and mild lace.

S - Regular and blood orange flesh. Pungent hop oils on the dank side. Cinnamon toast.

T - Red grapefruit flesh, brown sugar, pine, toast. Plenty of spicy bitterness in the finish, complimented with some citrus tartness. An appealing blend of flavors that is somewhat like a Deschutes Red Chair.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. There's some resin and prickle but it also comes across as creamy. Fairly dry.

O - A fine example of a Red Ale that I quite enjoyed.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

how fantastically delicious is this?! so glad pint cans and some draft have hit the state here. its one of the better red india pales i can think of, and it reminds me a lot of the alesmith bloody valentine, dank and resinous hoppy, bitter enough to more than cover up for the sweeter red malt base, and rather layered and attitudinal for the style. frothy and awesome looking, all of their beer seems to have the appearance aspect dialed in. its mellow but creamy, an interesting look and feel for a hop driven beer to have, but it flatters it too. the malt base is interesting. at times it reminds me of a german winter bock, at times a vienna lager, at other times a california amber ale, but the sweetness is flavorful and then tamed right down. brown sugar and baked pie crust give way to pine hops and resin, and you almost forget its a red beer. fuller bodied too, but not too strong on the booze. i think they really have this one dialed, and while its a style that wont appeal to everyone, it certainly works for me. affordable pint cans is pretty rad too!!!

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Photo of zimm421
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head. The nose is pine and dank, with a good caramel malt base. The taste yields a good malt base with caramel sweetness up front, followed by a touch of fruitiness and then quickly overwhelmed by pine throughout the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and a touch light. Overall, a good hoppy red ale that goes down nicely.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours reddish amber with a big off white meringue head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with lots of fruity resiny piney dank hops.

The flavor is sweet nutty caramel malt with lots of fruity resiny piney hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a very nice hoppy red.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. Can
Canned On: 2/8/16

Pours a very nice dark amber color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some very nice malt notes, citrusy. The taste is hoppy, malty, citrusy. Medium body, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very tasty Amber Ale, surprised me. Recommended!

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from a four pack that I think cost me $10. Dark and cloudy red color, lost of lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma is sort of bready with some pine cones thrown in there. Flavor is more pine, good maltiness, pretty nice red ale but I sort of wish I'd only bought one can.

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Photo of GregA135
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an amber/ brown red color with a finger of white head
Smelled fruit, citrus, almost a caramel sweetness and hops
Tasted the sweet fruit and caramel flavors, hops for the bite and definitely got malt character to it
A nice smooth red ale.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is pine, dank hops and slightly sweet citrus/fruit. The flavor is tropical fruit, hops/mild hop resin, malts, slightly sweet citrus/fruit and a bitter/slightly tart finish.

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Photo of brewskis
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark amber/brown color with a finger of a tan head.

Aroma is what I expected given Pipeworks' love of hops. Big amounts of dank, fruity hops. Get grapefruit juice and zest, orange, mango, peach, pine, and lots of dankness. Get a slight amount of carmel sweetness, but that's about it from the malt. Smells like a red IPA.

Taste starts with light carmel sweetness along with grapefruit juice and dankness. Middle brings more of the aforementioned flavors, as well as peach and mango from the hops. Finish brings a wonderful dryness to wipe out some of the carmel sweetness. A decent pine resin bitterness sets in, along with grapefruit peel and more peach and dank. I'm sure there are other malt flavors going on from the amber malts, but the hops are too fresh and vibrant to decipher.

Medium body. Smooth carbonation and creamy. A very slight oily and sticky finish. Too smooth.

This beer sort of blurs the boundaries between a "red IPA" and an american amber, but I like it. This beer stays hop forward throughout, but the light carmel sweetness (and other malt qualities that are overshadowed by the hops) are there just enough to keep everything in check. Nicely done and more enjoyable than it's earlier, imperialized version.

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Photo of stompilator
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz. can into a snifter.

A - Pours blood red, one-finger beige head.

S - Mango, apricot, cherry, caramel, toffee.

T - A wonderful, cirtus character blooms out from the front-palate, notes of mango, apricot, and pineapple. A piney, resiny flavor evolves out of that, but never eclipses it. Sweet, caramelly malt flavor hangs just in the background, with the malt sweetness giving the tropical hops a juicy character.Ultimately, the dank and fruity hops settle into the aftertaste in equal form.

M - Medium body, appropriately lively carbonation. Mild residual bitterness.

O - A hop-dominated beer, but benefits wonderfully from the malt profile. A perfect example of what the "Red IPA" should be.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are not a lot of tasty red ales out there, so I can forgive Pipeworks for what seems like another miss, but this was simply a beer poured for the tick. Very average.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One more beer from Kevinpitts! Into my tulip out of ye olde bottle.
A – Hazy raspberry idea tea looking on the pour. Quick finger of frothy tan head that stuck around and left spotty lacing.
S – Nice hoppy smell. Citrus.
T – Piney and hoppy attack the palate right away. Grapefruit and lemon. Resinous. Malt punch. Finishes off with just a tiny touch of sweetness.
M – Lively on the palate with good carbonation. Touch of slickness. Medium bodied.
O – Right after imperial stouts, reds are my next favorite and this one is tasty. This is very easy to drink. Nice balanced red with a great hoppy flavor. Pipeworks strikes again and Kevin hooked me up again!

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can. Pours deep amber with some fuzzy soapy bubbles that leave a bubbly coating on the top. Smells super tropical and piney atop rich caramelized grainy malts, brown sugar. Taste is caramelly with a nice fruity hop bitter at the finish. Awesome canned brew. Pipeworks knows how to do it with hops.

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Photo of kevanb
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from the inaugural release poured into a Pipeworks teku glass.

The beer pours a cloudy amber color, hues of copper, but also garnet and ruby when hit by the light, not necessarily opaque, but definitely a bit hazy with a bone colored head, rises about a finger or so high, low retention and spotted lace. The aroma is decent, earthy and grassy hops, grapefruit peel, muddy earthiness, amber malts. The flavors are more of the same, dirty, earthy hops, bitter, resinous, sticky, chewy amber and caramel malts, boisterous and bold, intense lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice, coating, gentle but with lively carbonation that finishes with a dry kick.

Verdict: A decent hoppy amber ale from Pipeworks. The cans are certainly an upgrade from the bottles and the reduced ABV definitely makes this a more palatable beer, nice hoppiness balanced by an assertive amber malt profile.

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Photo of Qbdoo
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber with touches of orange and a nice frothy head. Taste is woody, and the texture, especially in the finish is super dry, almost to the point of making this distasteful. Though you can detect a slight citrusy hop presence in the nose, this doesn't come through enough in the taste. The beer could use some sweetening up. I love Pipeworks and was thrilled to see their products in cans, but this is my first real disappointment with their beer.

Update: it took me a while to get through the 4-pack but things improved as I went along. The extreme dryness waned (though it's a really dry beer) which brought out more complexity in the malts. I don't know if my palate was out of wack or the beer just needs a bit of time, but the final beer was a lot tastier than the first.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange red with a decent head and adquate lacing. Smell is sweetly malty, touch of caramel, slightly woody hop note, a bit of citrus, an undertone of alcohol. Taste follows. It's solid, but ultimately undynamic and indistinct. From an amber I'd love something interesting going on with the malt. Not really happening here. Nor is the hop bill really distinct. Lagunitas still several superior options. But, hey, the can is dope.

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Blood Of The Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.