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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 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 brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 22

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a three fingered head that leaves quite a few shards behind; terrific retention, too (other reviewers have noted a ruby red color which may have been true in the earlier batch but not in this one)

Smell: Crusty brown bread and caramel, with a very unusual hop profile that includes pine, raspberry and pomegranate (another reviewer noted the pomegranate flavor and that hit the nail on the head)

Taste: Brown bread and caramel, up front, but the hops quickly take over, bringing pine, tart raspberry and pomegranate elements; the flavors balance each other out after the swallow and there is also a distinct earthy character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I was fully prepared to rate this beer's taste below a 4.0 until midway through the bottle; while I am still not an enthusiast, it is different enough and, appealing in its own right, to merit a higher score; definitely work a look for those who are intrigued with the flavors a brewer can coax out of the ingredient mix

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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 emerge077
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper brown, when backlit it has a reddish glint. Pouring in the last bit it becomes even darker. Lasting light tan foam, heavy on

Earthy and lightly fruity aroma, bready malt figures largely.
Tea leaves, eucalyptus, and sandalwood.

Big caramel and crystal malt flavors, bready with plenty of spicy, bitter hops to back up the malt bill. Resiny, full bodied, packed with intense flavor. Pine needles, caramel, herbal tea. Slick, lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall pretty burly and solid, as if Alpha King and Bigfoot had a love child.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

Okay, this is a damn badass label... Anyway, the beer behind it pours a dark, somewhat hazy ruby topped by over a finger of dirty, pale khaki foam. So this is what unicorn blood looks like... The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit zest, sweet caramel, pine resin, and a tiny touch of leek. The taste holds notes of grapefruit rind, pine resin, cilantro, and light biscuit. A strong bitterness pervades, though it's not enough to detract too far from good thoughts. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a very nice red, easily one of the best I've had in a long time. Good times.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in the matching Pipeworks snifter.

A - Two fingers of orange-tinged tan foam that settles to a thick, creamy cap, leaving behind sheets of lace. Dark, lightly hazed, ruby-brown body - really dark for the style.

S - Tons of piney and earthy hops here, with a touch of grapefruit rind and dankness. Very hop-forward, with only some mild bready and sugary cookie malts popping up in the periphery.

T - Malt shows up a little heavier here, with crystalline sugar, toasted grains, and red fruits supporting the earthy and spicy hop flavors. There's a vaguely European vibe to the hop bill, but with restrained bitterness.

M - Slightly grainy, medium-full body, pleasant medium-low carbonation, and an oily and resinous finish. Alcohol is quite well-hidden - I get a touch of warmth after most of a glass, but that's about it.

D - A really nice Imperial Red. The Pipeworks guys said they were going for an 'Imperial' 5 AM Saint, but I think this is much superior (although it's really tough to get fresh Brewdog here). I prefer Ninja vs. Unicorn by a small margin, but this is also quite enjoyable.

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

Can shared by RussianDragon. Thanks man.

Amber body with a frothy off-white cap. Hop, pine, bread. Robust malt body with piney hop character. Solid.

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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 rhoadsrage
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
Batch 16
A- This beer pours a dense clear glowing red body with a wall of microbubbles sliding up the side of the glass. There is a thick light beige head that sticks to the glass in sheets.

S- The full vibrant woody green citrus hops have some pineapple weed aromas that linger with a slight minty hue coming through as it warms.

T- The full green hops have a green citrus flavor with some green spice notes to it. There is a soft toasted malt sweetness underneath with some alcohol taste coming through on the exhale.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a full scrubbing fizz that boost the hop flavor in the finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a big deep hop flavor that has good malt hints but the fizz starts to get a bit too big as it opens. This is a nice hop monster but no hop bitterness makes this very drinkable.

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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 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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 16 poured into duvel Tulip.

Thanks to kawilliams81 for pickn this beer up for me! Thanks kent!

Appearance: a medium amber almost crimson red bodied beer with easy 2 fingers of head. The head has some great staying power. Leaving some nice curtians behind on the glass.

Smell: This is a big & robust red ale. Malts smell of sweet carmel and are fairly bready. Lots of pine and citrus hops that smell like that balance and might even overpower the malts. Also getting pineapple and hints of other tropical fruits in the nose!

Taste: This beer has a really a dank hoppiness. I would say its on the high end of moderately bitter. The hops taste of mostly of pine and grass with hints of tropical fruits and citrus. Almost on the edge of being too bitter for my liking. The malt profile tastes like it smells a touch of sweet caramel and the breadiness is a bit heavier, but it is overtaken by the hops with its carrying bitterness. The malts seem to resurface in the middle of the beer and adds a touch of malty sweetness that helps balance those big dank hops! The beer finishes with a lingering bitterness that tastes like citrus and grapefruit that has a touch of astrigency to it. The beer also seems to be better balance as it warms to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer is well carbonated and I am enjoying the way this drinks. It just a tad heavier than a summer beer that you would slam on a really hot day, but you could still call it pretty drinkable. Just a touch of alcohol is found in the beer.

Overall: Another wonderful offering by pipeworks! I prefer the Ninja vs. Unicorn, but this one is a really solid beer too. After trying my third beer from pipeworks, I am willing to say that this brewery is easily able to hold its own in a crowded chicago craft beer market. Pipeworks is legit! Save a few more bottles for me!

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Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 42

A - Pours deep amber with some crimson and almost three fingers of tan head. Head has nice retention and leaves lots of lacing.

S - Hops and malts battle for prevalence, but I think piney hops win out. Also a lot of caramel malt and a bit of biscuit. Some noticeable alcohol.

T - Similar to the smell there is a nice hop presence, mostly pine. Caramel malt provides some nice balance without becoming sweet. Also some biscuit taste. Very nice.

M - Very smooth medium mouthfeel with bitterness throughout and a lingering earthiness.

O - Another nice one from Pipeworks, and another example of how increasing the hop component can take a style I don't like and make it very enjoyable.

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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 rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep amber tow finger off white head that leaves some lacing.

S-Earthy dirt, good hop profile, some citrus that goes well with the caramel from the red ale base.

T-Starts with caramel and toffee. Then earthy notes with dirt and grass, mild citrus and bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with hop resins.

O-A decent hoppy red ale. Pipeworks hoppy beers are always worth a try.

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Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark red-tinted brown in color. Forms a fairly sizable tan head that has some decent sticking power. Leaves some moderate lacing on the way down.

S: The aroma is a strong blend of citrus and pine hops with a good dose of caramel malt.

T: The flavor is really nice. Not nearly as malty as either the color or the style would suggest, but it's certainly plenty hoppy. Starts off with a moderate sweetness with some moderate notes of caramel and some mild brown bread before turning aggressively hoppy with lots of citrus and pine and grapefruit to a lesser extent. Finishes is long and malty.

M: On the heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation and a moderate-to-strong bitterness.

O: Another successful beer from the Pipeworks gang, though I've got to admit I'm a bit biased as this beer certainly plays to my love of the hops.

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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 BeerLover99
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: crimson/dark brn body, finger khaki head,
splendid lacing

S: big fresh forest of pine, grapefruit, sugary candy
sweet biscuit/honey.

T: same as nose, solid firm malt flavor
long pine bitter finish

M: med body, smooth + oily
balanced mouth feel

O: Pipeworks continues to create phenomenal beer.
This is treat that must be revisited. Hopheads and
malt fans will agree this is a winner.


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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with Batch #540 printed on the label. Finally getting around to trying this one from Pipeworks, this one an imperial red ale.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark murky brownish-red with some slow carbonation streaming topside. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Leaves behind some good scattered spotty strands of lacing. Looks very nice.

S - The aroma is pleasant and fresh - creamy, with earthy red malt presence, and some bitter piney resinous hop presence.

T - Taste is pretty nicely balanced - malty, herbal, lightly bitter / resinous.

M - The feel is extremely smooth, creamy, and easy-drinking, especially considering the 9.00% abv. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, another excellent beer from the masters at Pipeworks; this one might be my favorite red ale of theirs that I've yet tried. Extremely smooth, and very well-balanced. Highly recommended.

Pipeworks Blood Of The Unicorn -----4/5.

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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 inlimbo77
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 3/12/13
Batch 102
HF wine glass

A: Pours a hazy orange, reddish amber color. Initially about a finger of off white head. Leaves some sticky lacing sheets as it fades into bubbles on the top of brew.

S: Earthy and piney hops for sure. Getting a really spicy aroma too. East coast/Mid-west IPA like nose. Some breadiness from the malts, but not as much caramel or nuttiness.

T: Bitterness on tip of tongue. Those crisp earthy piney hops are right there. Really delicious meshing of the malt bill mid-mouth. Works well with those spicy hops. The finish is dry with lingering bitterness.

M: Big medium bodied brew. Drinks more like IPA.

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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 WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, batch #16, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark, murky ruby color and produces a finger of creamy tan head, good retention, leaves very good lacing.

S- Lots of dank, herbal hops, spicy black pepper, peat, and also some sweet caramel.

T- Follows the nose with loads of herbal hops, a bit of pine resin, followed by sweet, grainy caramel malt and some earthy peat. A bit of booziness is detectable but is generally well-hidden. Finish has lingering bitterness with dank hops and spicy black pepper.

M- Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, has a smooth feel, semi-dry finish.

O- A really nice, hop-forward red ale, I drank a bomber on my own pretty easily, really great stuff.

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