Blood Of The Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 643
Photo of WunderLlama
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into snifter

One finger off white foam cap , settles to a layer of bubbles , reddish brown liquid

Aroma of berry fruits

Malt taste , pine hop bitterness

Nice beer

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Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 2/6/17: Pours blood red color with active carbonation leading up to a solid 2 finger foamy khaki colored head that was packed with tiny bubbles, not moving for about a minute and then dissipating very, very slowly while leaving really good foamy lacing coating the sides and a foamy layer on top. Love it when an amber/red ale looks like a great DIPA.

Smells of grapefruit and fresh piney hops up front, followed by lemon zest, caramel, toffee, Ritz Crackers, toasted wheat bread, candy like Razzles and then more citrus notes. Smells more IPA than amber ale, but either way it's a fine nose.

Taste brings more malty sweetness and bready notes to counter the strong citrus from the nose. The hop flavor is dank and almost seems wet hopped with tobacco qualities, bringing out light spices like tea leaf, pepper and coriander. The piney notes are sharp and bitter, allowing the floral and earthy notes to almost balance the sweetness from the malts as the caramel and grains hold on to the lead position on center stage.

This is one of those beers I bought on a whim because I got a kick out of the can art and because Pipeworks makes some good stuff. I hoped it would be half as good as Lizard King APA, and it exceeded my expectations. This is complex, smooth and easy to drink. Any fan of Tröegs Nugget Nectar should give this a's not as hoppy, but tasty along those same lines.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A dark amber with a thick finger of tan head. It lingers for a while and leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Toasty caramel, some citrus.

T: Follows nose. A quality, classic amber with a little hop kick to it. Some pine bitterness on the finish.

F: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation.

O: A real nice amber. I'm glad I'm seeking more of these out.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can. Pours a clear ruby copper color with almost no head. Some lacing. The aroma is a blend of caramel malts, citrus and floral hops. Earthy and piney notes. The taste is caramel malts, piney hops and some citrus. Malty and a bit nutty but with a good amount of hops. Earthy, slightly floral finish. Creamy, dry mouthfeel. Drinkable with minimal alcohol heat. Overall, a very good hoppy Amber Ale I'd buy every so often.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

473ml (US Pint) can into a Spiegleau IPA glass. Paid £6.00 for a single.

Pours a dark, opaque, reddish-copper coloured body, that when held to the light allows some brighter orange tinges and plenty of fine, streaming carbonation to be observed. A light, bubbly, two-finger in height, ivory coloured head with excellent retention slowly reduces to a thin resilient cap, leaving behind plenty of sticky, soapy lace.

Pithy citric hops initially comprise the bulk of the simple, semi-sweet nose. Oily grapefruit peels dominate, with lesser notes of blood orange and pine faintly perceptible above hints of a lightly toasted caramel and red malt backbone. Taste roughly follows suit, deviating slightly to deliver small amounts of additional fruity hop profiles mid-palate. Upfront, pithy grapefruit and resinous pine are sweetened by hints of toasted grains and caramel malt. Mid-palate, grapefruit and pine remain in firm control, but suggestions of sweeter orange, pomegranate and a red berry-like tartness become very faintly perceptible underneath. Hints of bready malt trail closely behind, peaking in restraint sweetness before hop-driven bitterness begins to build towards the finish. In the mouth, a medium body paired with lively but not aggressive carbonation gives a full feel that starts slick, smooth and slightly oily. Towards the back-end, faintly woody pomegranate seeds and pith-like impressions join white grapefruit and pine to provide modest earthy, citric and resinous bitterness. After the swallow hints of residual caramel malt are fractionally outlasted by drying and lightly astringent hops to finish clean, crisp and bittersweet.

Overall this is a good but slightly underwhelming beer. Well-balanced, well-crafted and easy-drinking, but just a little bland. Granted, Red Ales are not my favourite style, but even so I found the sweet toasty malt profiles and punchy hop bills I’ve enjoyed in other examples both somewhat lacking here.

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Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a growler. Pours clear amber in color, with 1/2 inch head. Taste is toasted malt, blood orange, rye, and nut flavor. Medium-light bodied, slightly sweet, with moderate carbonation. Makes for a delicious and complex red ale. Could do several of these.

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Photo of beerguy04
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown with a fluffy white head. Strong piney hops smell. Taste is the same with a malty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light. Overall, a nice hopbomb.

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Photo of beergoot
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottom of can info: BLOODIEST 12/27/16

Dark copper hued body; very thick, fluffy and sticky head; globs of foam along the glass. Low-key malt aroma; old fruit. Malt-forward flavor with a soothing hop bitterness riding atop things; nutty. Heavy body; sticky sponginess on the tongue.

Seems almost like a lightweight brown ale or perhaps an English mild ale but with more hop bitterness overall. Very satisfying...

A tip of the beer cap to @LongTaco15 for this beer...

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Photo of Emersonio
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

POUR: Poured out of a pint can into an nonic pint glass. APPEARANCE: Deep brown with hints of ruby red. dark enough to not be able to see through. No real bubbles or effervescence to report. Poured out with a real thin off white head. Small amounts of glass lacing present. AROMA: Nice balance of hoppy notes and more malty and caramel like aromas. Somewhat earthy qualities show up as well. TASTE: Hoppy at first with some nice citrus qualities. Good base of malt and caramel. Interesting to note that there is some dark berry characteristics as well. Somewhat cherry-like in flavor. AFTERTASTE: The malty character follows through to the end with the dark cherry and caramel as well. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a bit of bitterness. NOTES: Nice balanced style. Could have been better without the bitter qualities towards the end. Result/Rating: Good/ 3.49 out of 5.

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Photo of JamFuel
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown, with a great head.

The arome is malty, with a bit of sweetness and a got helping of blood orange.

The tast is also malty, with quite a bit of blood orange and a nice, balanced bitterness. I was excpecting more hops, to be honest.

The liquid is soft, slightly sticky, and with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall, this strikes me as a more mellow and rounded version of Alesmith's Winter Yulesmith. Nice red ale!

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Photo of BSiegs
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep red in color, great clarity. Two fingers of off white head with excellent retention. The aroma is hop forward with pine, dank, tropical fruit, slight citrus. Sweet malt and toastiness of the nose as well. The taste follows with pine and bitterness popping on the finish. Resinous. Medium body, moderate carbonation, silky. Balanced, bitter finish. Very nice red.

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Photo of Schrai
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours gorgeously with a deep, murky red and an inch's worth of head that leaves a lacy trail as it recedes. I was almost content to just look at it as it sat in my glass. Smells immediately of fruit; particularly, red fruit, in the vein of strawberry and raspberry, twinged tastefully with hops. Hops and grapefruit on the tongue as you taste, and as it goes down, it leaves a subtle touch of malt and biscuit; characteristic of a red ale; it finishes quite dry, with a lingering bitterness that stays long after I drink. Although the more robust flavors aren't as emphasized as I would like them to be, it would be a lie if I said it didn't taste great. Feel is medium and coats the mouth quite nicely, with a carbonated bite that meshes well with the beer's hoppy bitterness.

All in all, not entirely what I was expecting, but I'm glad to have tasted it regardless.

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Photo of EMH73
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany color with an inch and a half beige head that left rings of lacing. Smells of bready malts, pine and a slight fruit sweetness. Tastes first of bready malts, caramel, and toffee followed by piney hops and sweet fruits and just a hint of orange pith. Very well carbonated, almost too much carbonation. Smooth mouth feel, medium bodied. Extremely drinkable, very complex flavors.

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Photo of Biggtriksta
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: I see why they refer to it as blood. This beer is very dark amber color. Only some light coming through the bottom of the glass. It poured a pretty thin, light brown head.

S: Candy sweetness and hops. Not too strong of an aroma. Maybe a bit of a cherry cough drop scent.

T: Very similar to how it smells. It's sweet and flavorful. Tastes like a standard red ale with some added hoppiness at the back end. I still get a bit of cherry cough drop in the taste, but it's not overwhelming.

M: Not too heavily carbonated and it's mid-range in terms of mouth feel. It's not too light and not too heavy. The sweetness hits first and is followed by some hoppiness at the back of the mouth.

O: I enjoy this beer. For a red ale, it's on par with most I've had and the added hops balance well with the sweetness.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned summer 2015; drank 8/24/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the can into a glass.

Murky red rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE eggnog head; frothy lace.

Orange citrus & dry rye notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mild notes of orange citrus up front; caramel & dry grapefruit bite on the finish. Not a ton of flavor & pretty bitter; not a good combination for me.

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Photo of Meyers1023
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a very deep amber color with a tan head. The smell is malty with bread and toffee before you get some very good hoppy pine notes. The flavor starts with toffee and dough before grapefruit and pine jump out at you balancing everything out. The feel is medium with decent carbonation. This is an outstanding amber ale, great interplay and complexity in the flavor.

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Photo of Kendo
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the pint-sized can into a Duvel tulip. Body is an interesting color: mahogany-amber with a half-finger of light-tan head on top. When backlit it's more ruby/mahogany, while it's more brown when sitting without so much light nearby.

S: Good nose for the style, with caramel malt and toffee for foundation, followed by modest earthy, piney hops. Also something more fruity.

T: First impression is more about the mouthfeel than the taste - it's watery and the carbonation is too much. As for the taste. . . once I get past the detracting mouthfeel, I like. More so with each sip. Good foundation of caramel malt is followed by fruit (black cherries come to mind, though my mind may be thinking that because of the color) and modest citrusy hops with a touch of raspberry tartness. Some earthiness and pine is there too. Lingering bitterness on the palate. Different, that's for sure, and good - though I can't help thinking it could've (should've?) been better.

M: As noted above, not impressed with the feel here. Too thin in feel and the carbonation is a bit too much fizz.

O: I'd recommend this beer; it's good. . . just different.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a ruby Amber color with a creamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves an inch on top, fingers of lacing all around the glass.

S: Orange and grapefruit mixed with lots of pine,sweet Bready malt underneath.

T: Grapefruit rind, orange and a little bit of berry, a strong Piney bitterness balanced out by a sweet malt.

F: Full body, and creamy carbonation

O: A very nice red ipa

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Photo of Buck89
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Moderately hazy dark copper-red color with a 2-finger foamy off-white head. The foam reluctantly settled into a nice thick cap. I got the malt on the first whiff, slightly sweet like zucchini bread, followed by orange, pine needles, and earth tones. The taste was the reverse, with grapefruit rind leading to pine and resin, all with a balanced but prominent malty backbone. Not overly sweet and quite hoppy. Medium-bodied with a slightly sticky finish.

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Photo of pinyin
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served 38F from the 16 ounce can into 16 ounce tumbler. No canning date.

Dark red, hazy with an off white head. Looks great in the glass and very unique.

Malty, grassy, piney with very slight notes of citrus.

Hop forward ale. Well crafted. Resin, bread malts and some bitter orange rinds. Not too much a fan of the bittering hop used here, or perhaps the bittering hop was used in over abundance. It is very piney and abrasive and overpowers the other subtle flavors (biscuit malts, blood oranges) lingering in the background. Still, the fermentation tastes very clean as does the sanitization. Very solid for an amber ale, although it's nothing like a top tier amber such as Nugget Nectar.

Carbonation is heavier for a crafted ale, but not out of proportion. Mouthfeel is very smooth, which seems to be a trademark of Pipeworks.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.73/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving bits of lacing on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of earthy yeast and citrusy and piney hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste starts off with flavors of citrusy and tropical fruit hops and finishes with notes of piney hops, the latter of which lingers into the finish. Slight hints of underlying caramel malts are noticeable. There is a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is packed with lots of "juicy" flavors from the hops.

Serving type: can

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Photo of thepenguin
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of huntley101888
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Poured from 16oz can into Spiegalau IPA glass. Two finger off-white head mounding above the top of the glass. Opaque red hue for the beer, as it should be.

S- Roasty with piney resin. Aroma does not knock your socks off, but it is there.

T - Before I taste this, I will say that my gold standard for this category is Lagunitas Imperial Red IPA and Troeg's Nugget Nectar. Both are delicious in their own way. I am anxious to see what this tastes like. Bitterness as it hits the front of the tongue that then lingers a while after. Sweetness is a close second on the tongue. The taste is underwhelming with no dominant flavors that I can pick out. As you breathe out after your sip, the roastiness travels out your nostrils. It's definitely not bad, but it's not in the realm of the two beers I mentioned.

F - Nice carbonation level. Somewhat slick mouthfeel with a dry, almost bitter chocolate finish that leaves you thirsty.

O - I constantly strive to find competitors to Lagunitas and Troegs, so I'm glad I found this beer. I'm not super excited about the cost for the one can, but that's not the beer's fault. That being said, I will likely not buy this again unless I forget that I've already had it. Overall it's a solid beer, but the price point puts it far down on the list as far as repeat purchases.

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Blood Of The Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 643 ratings.
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