Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Blood Of The Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
93 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Blood Of The UnicornBlood Of The Unicorn

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 593
Photo of KFBR392
3.26/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

 670 characters

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.

 171 characters

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.

 499 characters

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.

 428 characters

Photo of spointon
3.57/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

 764 characters

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.

 283 characters

Photo of Keyportnick
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
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


 277 characters

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.

 783 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

 569 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

 245 characters

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.

 894 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 863 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm not a fan of the style but the can was too epic for me to not take it home.
As for the beer itself (poured into a pint glass) it's not as pretty as many examples of red ales, which I find is usually the strong suit of the style. Smells are hoppy and beery with citrus notes. The flavor profile is that of a strongly hopped red ale which has me enjoying it more than I tend to enjoy red ales. There's still some of that sweet and bitter medicinal cookie thing going on that I find with most amber and red ales but the top notes of the citrus hops serves to mask some of the characteristics I don't dig.
The image on the can remains epic.

 641 characters

Photo of Grohnke
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 1,272 characters

Photo of pagriley
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
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

 445 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Nose is tree sap, resin, grass and bark. Like I've gone hiking in the forest and decided the lick the ground. Real fresh and aromatic. Beer opens with a surprisingly prominent malt body. Hints of citrus, grapefruit rind, cane sugar and grass. Big hop bite towards the end accents a brew that's mostly got great balance between citrus and resin. Real drinkable too. Light bodied with ample carbonation. Goes down easy with a dry, foamy finish.

Decent if not my favorite style.

 530 characters

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.

 279 characters

Photo of cnbrown313
3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

 913 characters

Photo of koutkid41
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 622 characters

Photo of vic21234
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 697 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 554 characters

Photo of thepenguin
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a very dark amber-brown with tinges of ruby around the edges – really quite dark for the style. Decent sized off-white head, and some fine lacing. Decidedly not very ‘blood-like’.

S: Intense ruby grapefruit and acidic citrusy hops dominate the aroma. There’s a bit of dark breadiness with hints of chocolate pralines and raisons.

T: More assertive grapefruit hoppyness with a good deal more malt than the aroma. Cracker/bread crust-like malt, reminiscent of pumpernickel, with hints of chocolate adds some complexity to this otherwise very hoppy beer. Finishes semi-dry with citrus-rind hops and medium bitterness.

F: Medium-plus body with slightly higher than average carbonation that comes off as a bit biting. Also a bit slick and chewy.

Thoughts: Pretty decent citrusy (very dark) red ale. Not the best in Pipeworks' lineup but far from a bad beer.

 873 characters

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.

 457 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of Jaycase
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 590 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Blood Of The Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 593 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!