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Santa Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Santa Vs. UnicornSanta Vs. Unicorn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

168 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 40
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 12-15-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

spycow, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1%

kjkinsey, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

ygtbsm94, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

An epic battle, indeed. This stuff pours a clear ruby topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises pine resin, caramelized toffee, ruby red grapefruit zest, and a touch of toasted biscuit. (On a side note, this stuff smelled goddamn fantastic when I dropped a different bottle (sorry, Vav), and even better somehow when some lemony cleaner was added to the mix.) The taste brings in more of the same, with the initial emphasis on some ruby red grapefruit zest, while the pine and toast come in shortly thereafter. And, boy-howdy, it's fairly strong-feeling as well. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a very nice b-wine, one that's strong and dangerously hoppy without going too far somehow. Color me impressed.

TMoney2591, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish tawny brown color, nice reverse cascading head initially, a finger or so of foam settles after a few minutes. A ring of bubbles cling to the edges and spotty sea spray sticks to the walls of the glass.

Melon rind, pine needles, sandalwood spice in the aroma. Slight whiff of alcohol as it warms, but still fairly subtle.

Light crystal malt sweetness up front, resiny hop bitterness follows quickly after, lingering long into the aftertaste. More pine and bitter citrus peel, earthy and dry in the finish. Smooth feel with light carbonation.

Rating overall/mouthfeel more as drinkability, as this is a very smooth BW with an expertly hidden 10% abv. Would drink this fresh to enjoy the hop character, wouldn't bother cellaring personally.

emerge077, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle appropriately shared on Christmas Day. Served in a wine glass.

A - Ample tan foam settles to a thick cap and splotchy lacework. Hazed brown body.

S - It's a hoppy barleywine! Big doses of citrus and caramel, as well as some pine and grapefruit zest as it warms up a bit. Perhaps a touch of floral hopping in the background as well. Hits the right balance for this style in my book, with well-concealed booze and not overly herbal hopping.

T - Taste is similar, with an onslaught of pine and citrus zest hops before yielding to a mix of brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and citrus flesh mid-palate. Moderate bitterness and minimal alcohol presence.

M - Smooth medium-full body, with pleasant lower carbonation. Some burnt sugars give a mixed dry and sticky finish. Again, not much in the way of alcohol burn.

D - I really enjoyed this one, as it hits my desired balance for this style dead on. One of Pipeworks' strongest beers and something that should develop nicely between now and next Christmas. Hope they make this one more than once a year.

MasterSki, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #64
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a deep dense brown body with a garnet red glow at the base. The sticky beige head last as a thin meniscus, sticking to the glass in sheets with each sip. There is a slow carbonation of bubbles working their way to the surface.

S- The big green slightly herbal pine hops is full from the time I pop the cap. There is some woody notes to the hops in the finish.

T- The dry toasted malt flavor has some toasted biscuit malt and pale malt flavors underneath. There is a green woody dry hops finish with a slightly spicy hops taste lingering after the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and an alcohol warmth that grows as he beer opens.

O- This is a very dry beer to the point of almost making the malt a bit harsh, and the hops are very dry aswell. The redeeming quality is that everything is very fresh and that gives the malt and hops a great taste. I don’t think it has any of the luscious malt flavors of a barleywine but it is a very nice red ale hop bomb.

rhoadsrage, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

ShanePB, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 1.27.14
Batch # 266 67 68 69

A - Pours a very dark amber red with a pretty bubble tan head that just sits atop.

S - Hoppy pine and citrus.

T - Hoppy pine and citrus, then a bitter sweet malt backbone.

D - Good carbonation with a nice medium body.

O - Hop forward with a big barley wine background. Decent.

HuskyinPDX, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Copper body. A bit of haze. Nice collar and surface foam.

Smell - Lots of grapefruit and lemon hops. A little bit of chemical. Strong malt. Strong caramel malt presence.

Taste - Hoppy. Grapefruit. A ton of malt. Kinda tastes like an old double IPA. Eh. Bitter finish with lingering citrus hop.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Bitter finish.

Overall - I'm so unenthused by this. Old IPA is a snifter an apt description.

Alieniloquium, May 28, 2013
Photo of Durge
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Durge, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -25.7%

smartassboiler, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Dicers
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Dicers, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of Florida9
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark red chestnut brown. Pours from the bottle with a visibly viscosity and obviously low carbonation. Forms a small, creamy, and fairly stable bit of off-white colored head that eventually reduces to a very thin surface coating. Leaves some light lacing.

S: Aroma is mostly caramel malts. Earthy with a bit of citrus and fusel spice.

T: Caramel malts, orange rind, slight note of pine, some resin, and a hint of brown sugar. Mild malty sweetness. Turns earthy, with a distinct woody flavor on the back end. A bit of alcoholic heat on the surprisingly short finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Incredibly smooth and voluptuous in the mouth. Mild bitterness. Lower carbonation.

O: I'll admit, this beer isn't much of a barleywine in the traditional sense, but the bottle describes it as a barleywine or an Imperial Red or whatever. And I've got to agree, it straddles the lines of many styles. But in the end, I still liked this beer for what it is. A hoppy strong ale with a very smooth body.

Florida9, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of thegerm87
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

thegerm87, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of thewimperoo
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

thewimperoo, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -1%

egrace84, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -1%

CRJMellor, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev -1%

Stinger80OH, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of DonFrap
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

DonFrap, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of mklisz
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

mklisz, May 19, 2014
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

CuriousMonk, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of inlimbo77
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz, Batch 79 (January '13)
Kennett Winterfest plastic cup

A: Pours a deep amber color. Light off white/tan head. Sticks around a while. Sticky lacing. Good carbonation it appears.

S: Piney hops. Lots of nuttiness. Caramel. Toasty malts. Good hop aroma though. Smells more like an imperial red ale than a barleywine.

T: Hop bitterness on tip of tongue. Pine and earth. Then that malt bill comes in. Nuttiness. Caramel. Finish is dry. Lingering hops.

M: Big medium. Sticky malts.

inlimbo77, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of mikeincharleston
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

mikeincharleston, Jul 14, 2014
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Santa Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.