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Blood Of The Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blood Of The UnicornBlood Of The Unicorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

65 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 65
Hads: 446
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 23.82%
Wants: 65
Gots: 58 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-29-2012

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.
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 446
Photo of KFBR392
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: on the brighter side of a red amber imperial ale. Thin head with some very light lacing throughout. Slightly below average carbonation.

Smell: smoked malt and a thick caramel aroma. A crispy hop presence.

Taste: the front is a smooth thickness of caramel and molasses. Some sweet sugar accents really kiss well on the front end. The body get overridden by very bitter hops which stand out too much. Not as much of a dry finish as I expected aftertaste after the body.

Mouthfeel:I the freshness of this beer creates a very clean mouthfeel.

Overall: a little disappointed by this brew. I thought the red ale aspects of this beer got a little lost overall.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
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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Photo of spointon
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a brown bomber bottle into a 32 oz glass mug.

A= This ale poured a super cloudy reddish brown color with about 1" of off white head. Seriously, the clarity of this beer, or lack thereof, is a tagedy. The head retention was excellent.

S= Smelled like rich malts, toffee, alcohol, and a nice mix of piney and citrusy American hops.

T= Started off with a nice rich malt base, fairly sweet but with nice complexity, followed by a big pop of alcohol and a firm bitterness. Hop character was all American in nature, with the pine staying just in front of the citrus. Finished boozy and dry.

MF= Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a fairly dry feel.

D= The overall drinkability of this beer is ok, but the look is pretty mediocre.

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Photo of Keyportnick
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is great with a nice copper/amber color

Smell- biscuit and Suttble pine/citrus hops

Taste-biscut and strong pine bitter hops

Mouthfeel- nice medium body good slightly stronger carbonation.

Overall- nice overall red ale. Lots of hops and great malt body


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Photo of Qbdoo
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
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 2beerdogs
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks @Kevinpitts
This one didn't grab me as much as some of the other hoppy offerings from Pipeworks. Poured very leathery brown swirling cloud with a hint of ruby. Tan head, not too densely packed. Aroma is a bit earthy bitter and and piney. Taste is a very earthy bitterness. Pine barely peaks through. Malt is there but doesn't quite find a balance with the bitterness. Finish is much the same.
Overall, I liked the aroma best, the piney came through more there than it did in the flavor. Pretty good, but I won't trade anything big for this one to get a repeat.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a large off white head that settles to a calm rocky froth and retains that state for some time. Scent of caramel, pine, sugar and grass. Flavors of earth, citrus, pine, some caramel and resin. Finishes dry and bitter with more resin.

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Photo of kevanb
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
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 JohnnyHopps
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - For a red, this is not exactly red. I supposed it could be the blood of a unicorn that has started to dry. Enough with the semantics!

Smell - The grassy hops get my attention most immediately. I do not really detect the malt in the aroma.

Taste - The beer itself is very hop forward. There is some sweet citrus to the hops, but the sweetness from the malt stays masked. There is some biscuit texture and even a note or two of dark fruit. Mildly resiny hops are present in the aftertaste and actually linger quite nicely. This red does not really fit the style, even for an imperial.

Mouthfeel - The beer is thick enough to linger, which allows the hops to tickle the tongue a little longer. Modest carbonation is present.

Overall - I have had better imperial reds than this one. After waiting patiently to try this one, I am mildly disappointed.

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Photo of Grohnke
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, deep copper. With the mix of browns and reds, it actually looks like a snifter full of blood. Persistent and creamy egg-nog colored head. Light lacing forms on the glass

Nose is bursting with pine and tropical fruit like citrus. Massively hopped. A sharp caramel note supports the hops. Light bready/biscuit malt is buried beneath. Light trace of alcohol.

The sharp caramel note that was in the nose comes out a bit stronger in taste and carried by an onslaught of bright, resiny citrus and pine hops. There is a surprisingly great balance of bready malt, caramel sweetness and hop resin that come together very well on the palate. Hop bitterness is strong, but not overbearing. The finish is moderately dry . The aftertaste is long and reverts back to the balance of the nose, where the hops are in the forefront with subtle caramel sweetness in the background.

Medium body, medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy. Theres a residual stickiness that lingers on my lips that feels equal parts residual sugars and hop resin. Light trace of alcohol warmth.

Although on first sniff this beer seems like its going to be massively dry, and hop-centered, it turns, the malt profile was ample enough to level things out and make a wonderfully balanced imperial red.

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Photo of pagriley
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can into tulip

L - clear mid Amber with a good 1 inch head. Recedes to thin lacing
S - pine and not much else.
T - harshly bitter with a lack of sweetness to balance. Some tropical notes to finish with a touch of malt but a savage bite EDIT - re-visiting a week later and this has settled down alot. Still a rough daddy, but much improved with a bit of can time
F - medium to full.

Overall an okay beer, but not a patch on ninja v unicorn

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Photo of cnbrown313
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To start, Pipeworks has some of my favorite bottle art, and this one was no exception. I wish there was a picture up, but there is a unicorn skull on a black label that looks very dark and ominous.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass

A - This was my favorite part of the beer. It pours almost like a blood red, with a straw colored 2 finger head and nice lacing. Looks beautiful in the glass.

S - Smells a little bready and hoppy. Maybe a little pine smell too.

T - This was not my favorite part of the beer. I am all about hoppy beers, but it was too bitter for me without enough sweetness to balance it out. You get that piney hop taste, but it kind of lingers on the palate for a long time, and not in a pleasant way.

M - The mouth feel was nice. As usual with Pipeworks, the carbonation was perfect.

O - Overall, I would definitely give this beer a try. But it wasn't my favorite from Pipeworks.

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Photo of koutkid41
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A : Beautifully clear and reddish brown color with a nice white head with a lingering head.

S: Faint smells of citrus with some toffee and pine with some caramel toasty bready notes on the backend. Smell doesn't blow you away in intensity but what I can get smells great.

T: You get some citrus upfront with some piney notes, but for the most part it has a dark caramel raisin flavor with some sweetness.

M: Nice mouthfeel, however pretty sweet.

O: Overall, I like it. With amber ales they can be overly sweet and way too caramel forward but with this one you a nice balance with it and a slight hoppy flavor upfront.

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Photo of vic21234
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter, Batch #42.

A- Pours a hazy mahogany color with a half to full finger of an off-white head. The head leaves a thin film along the top with some sticky lacing along the sides.

S- Great hop presence in the smell. The aroma is very fruity and citrusy, with grapefruit and mango notes dominant.

T- This one surprised me with the amount of hop kick to it. The hops overwhelm in this one. Tons of pine and citrus hops. The taste of sweet malts are there slightly, but drowned out by the hops.

M- Medium bodied, well carbonated, bitter, very dry finish.

This one drinks like a DIPA in my opinion. Good stuff, just more hoppy than I would have thought for a red.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch # 70.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Dave_Treat
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Blood of the unicorn! Awesome name. Awesome artwork. Had in a 16 oz can.

Pours a nice red ale with medium head. Hit right away with the pine hop notes, with a slight citrus. Taste follows. Bitter hop up front and in follow through, maybe a bit much as it over powers the rest. Very a tiny bit of citrus, maybe melon at the end. Nicely carbonated. Overall a decent, very hop forward red ale.

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Photo of Jaycase
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 42

a: very dark caramel. insane khaki frothy head.

s: caramel and bready. piney hops.

t: combination of caramel maltiness crossed with piney hops. The malts quickly fade leaving the piney hops to remain. finishes with some good bitterness which seems to last as long as sound emitting from a cymbal does after being hit with a drum stick.

m: thickish mouthfeel. carbonation seems spot on. finishes very dry.

o: a good functional brew from Pipeworks. Alcohol does not hide itself. In their unicorn series, I definitely prefer Ninja vs Unicorn but glad I had a chance to try this.

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Photo of csparace
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smell (4.00) – Super hoppy. Light hop smell – citrus and pines. Something sweet hidden in there.

Appearance (4.00) – Pours a hazy brown with a large caramel tinted head. Super even color throughout. No real carbonation rising to the top. No clarity through the glass.

Taste (3.75) – Lots of roasted malts up front. A real dark bitterness that lasts through the finish. Super dry bitterness that commands the entire taste. Seems like a really dark or roasted pine flavor. Something lemony faintly going on too.

Mouthfeel (3.75) – The tons of bitterness doesn't really translate into a super refreshing feel. Good carbonation levels.

Overall (4.00) – interesting flavor. I think this is quite successful as an imperial red but I may just not like the style. I heard that this was like an IPA but I can't really agree with that. The hop character is completely different. What I don't really like about it is the bitterness and how it corresponds with the mouthfeel.

Batch 141 in the new red bottle!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep red/brown color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and earthy hops is dominant with medium sweet caramelized malt notes. Taste is also dominated by earthy and citrus hops notes with some semi-sweet caramelized malt notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Nicely done with good hops punch and a solid malt bill.

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Photo of draheim
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz (batch 16) into a tulip. Pours a murky mahogany w/ a monster khaki head, great retention, lots of sticky lacing, moderate carb.

Aroma is really unique & wonderful. Somehow, it smells red. Ruby grapefruit, pomegranate. Has a tart, refreshing quality. As it warms, more floral hop aroma takes over.

Taste is heavily malty with a sharp hoppy bite. Caramel malt, sweet fruit, bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, luxurious but a little sticky.

Overall a solidly crafted imperial red.

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Photo of socon67
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch #22 cracked for the Superbowl.

A - Pours a dark amber with strong red hue. Lacing is nice as is the foam retention. Bubbly head pours high and settled slowly.

S - The initial smell from the glass is of earthy hops and similar to a DIPA. As it warmed there was more of a light malt and berry smell.

T - Some initial sweetness of light fruit that is balanced by a strong hop forward bitterness. This is very close to an IPA in an amber label. Very similar to Troegs Nugget Nectar in that the sugary flavors and malt profile is dominated by blended hops.

M - Feels lighter than it is and is lightly carbonated. I think one was enough however because of the strong hop forward body.

O - Fun beer and from an emerging brewery. If I lived in Chicagoland I'd take this fresh over Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of cvm4
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very cloudy copper with a very light tan head and okay lacing.

S - Malts at first, hoppy, grapefruit, caramel and pine.

T - A big helping of malts followed by a good dose of pine bitterness. It's really a good mesh of the two.

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

O - Enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

16oz can, no apparent freshness date, but super fresh on the store shelves. I've not had much from these guys due to their high price point on their bombers, but I am very excited to see some fairly priced cans!
A - creamy ivory head holds good retention atop a reddish-copper colored ale
S - big piny and fruity aroma fills the nose; grapefruit, orange, caramel, and some tropical notes present as well
T - unmistakably hop forward: grapefruit, orange, pine, mango; faint pineapple and passion fruit; bread crust, grain, and caramel provide some malt, but the hops dominate the palate
M - medium body, feels a touch thin, moderate carbonation, finishing quite dry and very bitter with a prickle on the tongue
O - a hop bomb with plenty of juicy, fruity, pungent flavor; it's good!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice hopped up red brew! The beer poured a clear amber with white head that left a nice lace. I poured the beer carefully out of the bottle as to avoid any sediment. The scent was hoppy with a pine/citrus flare. The taste was a great amber/malt base with adornments of pine and citrus. The mouthfeel was full body with decent carbonation. Overall this was an absolute solid offering and I would highly recommend it to those that enjoy hopped up reds!!!

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Photo of Vonerichs
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a nice, clear, rusty red-orange hue. Assertive head leaves no lacing.

It has a pleasant aroma of ruby red grapefruit covered with sugar, caramel, and brown sugar.

I'll be honest, most hoppy reds are indistinguishable to me. This is no different. It has a nice grapefruit hop bite backed by a strong caramel malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and clean.

Overall, a fine hoppy red but nothing that separates it from the pack of this style.

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Blood Of The Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.