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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

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 39
Gots: 26 | FT: 2
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: 167 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vonerichs
4.08/5  rDev +1%

Hazed and rusty reddish brown body with a sizable light tan-yellow head.

The aroma has a sharp pine hop bite, resin, and orange juice. Malt is sweet.

No doubt, it's a hoppy one. Primarily pine and to a lesser extent, citrus. The malt is brown sugar. It has a long, boozy finish.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly smooth and creamy with ample carbonation.

Another fantastic beer by Pipeworks. They're just cranking out good beer after good beer.

Vonerichs, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of TonyTalon
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

TonyTalon, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

jaasen64, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of inlimbo77
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%

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 Granahan57
4/5  rDev -1%

Granahan57, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of KFBR392
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%

Appearance: A very dark amber color. Super dark when its all collectively in the glass. Thick lacing that crept down the glass. A pleasant head that was present the entire time drinking.

Smell: A sticky syrupy caramel smell is a sweet treat for the nose. There are a lot of hops and booze in this aroma as well. The aromas don't seem to mix very well, each kind of stands off by itself.

Taste: The front is some pronounced alcohol flavors and strong hops. The body has some of the sweet caramel and barley but not as much as I would have hoped. The huge hop presence cleans off the palette and leaves a very dry feeling behind.

Mouthfeel: Like I said above, a real punisher for the palette. Stinging hops bring the drinker to attention. A dry tacky feeling over a more sweetness oriented dryness you'd get from an elite IPA.

Overall: I was really thrown off by this brew. The bottle reads a barley wine but really comes off as an imperial IPA. It does state this in the description on the back but I felt like it should be labeled differently. Still a very solid brew but I probably wouldn't buy this again.

KFBR392, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Jaycase
4/5  rDev -1%

Batch 79

a: darkcopper. thin head. lacing fades rather quicky

s: carmel malts, light booze, piney hops, toffee,

t: sweet caramel maltiness pervades. Some pine hops but definitely more muted here than as the aroma. Finishes with a bit of spiciness.

m: Heavy mouthfeel. sticky, low to medium carbonation. slightly dry

o: Overall a nice barleywine. Very drinkable. Not sure what some age would do here but I'm glad I chose fresh.

Jaycase, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of NSK79
4/5  rDev -1%

NSK79, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

spycow, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of cnbrown313
4/5  rDev -1%

cnbrown313, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of WillCarrera
4.24/5  rDev +5%

22 oz bottle, batch number 79, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep ruby red color, topped with a finger of creamy tan head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Lots of citric and piney hops, fruit, caramel malt and light booze in the background.

T- Really exemplifies the hoppy-US-barleywine style, with lots of citrusy and piney hops, lots of orange, grapefruit and resin. Followed by some malty caramel sweetness and fruity, woody alcohol flavors.

M- Medium to full bodied, has a smooth, creamy feel, the booze is pretty invisible, I really wouldn't guess it's 10%.

O- A really nice American barleywine, it's very hop forward so drink this one now.

WillCarrera, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of BillHilly
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

BillHilly, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of DonFrap
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

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

Auror, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of mcc1654
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

mcc1654, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of Orlando
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Orlando, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of ctronco
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

ctronco, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

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 StoneTSR
4.16/5  rDev +3%

Batch #64

APPEARANCE: A darker shade of mahogany than many other Barleywines, it has a slight haze and an eighth of an inch of head when it is poured. That head slips away within 30 seconds, leaving behind a patch of big bubbles covering about 20% of the surface. Some lighter brown lights come through the murky beer when held up to the light. Lacing is nearly nonexistent.

SMELL: Banana bread stands out upon first sniff. A little spice dances around the bread while some of the bigger malt flavors that are typical of a Barleywine linger in the background. There is not as much of the brown sugary smell that I typically get. Instead, there seems to be more hop aroma in the form of grapefruit and pine.

TASTE: Deer God there are a lot of hops in here. While some malt leads the way an absolute hop explosion occurs somewhere in the middle and finishes strong. The hops are piney, grassy and citrusy with grapefruit standing out. Seriously, this is a real hoppy beer. The finish also seems to have some good strong rye flavors to it. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but that is what I am getting. Obviously, the hops were the featured ingredient here, but the malt does provide some balance, particularly up front. Caramel and a touch of the banana bread from the nose serve to keep this beer somewhere within a stone’s throw of a true Barleywine.

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and creamy, yet still very dry for a Barleywine. The hops are so strong towards the back end that the first few sips might be accompanied by a little pucker. That said, there is enough balance to prevent this beer from going off the deep end. The carbonation provides a light tickle and when that it combined with the dry finish it feels like someone is rubbing a wet hop cone on your tongue.

OVERALL: Santa vs. Unicorn is certainly a hop lovers Barleywine, however, it seems to somehow be at the other end of the hoppy Barleywine spectrum from Avery’s Hog Heaven (granted, that is a pretty narrow spectrum). It is richer, more full and of course, much more red. I will be very curious to see how this drink a year or two from now. It may be amazing, or it may have simply lost what made it so good when fresh.

StoneTSR, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of mishtif
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

mishtif, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of langchops
4/5  rDev -1%

langchops, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of BeerOps
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

BeerOps, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

WolfsbaneBloom, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of thewimperoo
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

thewimperoo, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

BeerThursdays, Jan 08, 2013
Santa Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.