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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: 94 | Ratings: 600
Photo of jzlyo
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is pine, dank hops and slightly sweet citrus/fruit. The flavor is tropical fruit, hops/mild hop resin, malts, slightly sweet citrus/fruit and a bitter/slightly tart finish.

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Photo of brewskis
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark amber/brown color with a finger of a tan head.

Aroma is what I expected given Pipeworks' love of hops. Big amounts of dank, fruity hops. Get grapefruit juice and zest, orange, mango, peach, pine, and lots of dankness. Get a slight amount of carmel sweetness, but that's about it from the malt. Smells like a red IPA.

Taste starts with light carmel sweetness along with grapefruit juice and dankness. Middle brings more of the aforementioned flavors, as well as peach and mango from the hops. Finish brings a wonderful dryness to wipe out some of the carmel sweetness. A decent pine resin bitterness sets in, along with grapefruit peel and more peach and dank. I'm sure there are other malt flavors going on from the amber malts, but the hops are too fresh and vibrant to decipher.

Medium body. Smooth carbonation and creamy. A very slight oily and sticky finish. Too smooth.

This beer sort of blurs the boundaries between a "red IPA" and an american amber, but I like it. This beer stays hop forward throughout, but the light carmel sweetness (and other malt qualities that are overshadowed by the hops) are there just enough to keep everything in check. Nicely done and more enjoyable than it's earlier, imperialized version.

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Photo of stompilator
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz. can into a snifter.

A - Pours blood red, one-finger beige head.

S - Mango, apricot, cherry, caramel, toffee.

T - A wonderful, cirtus character blooms out from the front-palate, notes of mango, apricot, and pineapple. A piney, resiny flavor evolves out of that, but never eclipses it. Sweet, caramelly malt flavor hangs just in the background, with the malt sweetness giving the tropical hops a juicy character.Ultimately, the dank and fruity hops settle into the aftertaste in equal form.

M - Medium body, appropriately lively carbonation. Mild residual bitterness.

O - A hop-dominated beer, but benefits wonderfully from the malt profile. A perfect example of what the "Red IPA" should be.

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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.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One more beer from Kevinpitts! Into my tulip out of ye olde bottle.
A – Hazy raspberry idea tea looking on the pour. Quick finger of frothy tan head that stuck around and left spotty lacing.
S – Nice hoppy smell. Citrus.
T – Piney and hoppy attack the palate right away. Grapefruit and lemon. Resinous. Malt punch. Finishes off with just a tiny touch of sweetness.
M – Lively on the palate with good carbonation. Touch of slickness. Medium bodied.
O – Right after imperial stouts, reds are my next favorite and this one is tasty. This is very easy to drink. Nice balanced red with a great hoppy flavor. Pipeworks strikes again and Kevin hooked me up again!

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can. Pours deep amber with some fuzzy soapy bubbles that leave a bubbly coating on the top. Smells super tropical and piney atop rich caramelized grainy malts, brown sugar. Taste is caramelly with a nice fruity hop bitter at the finish. Awesome canned brew. Pipeworks knows how to do it with hops.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of snowmageddon
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: coppery red with a fluffy, off-white head that trails nice lacing
S: pine, stone fruit hop notes dominate the nose
T: assertive resinous hops with a nice citrus and melon finish. Biscuity malt is present as well.
M: a medium-light body with asomewhat light carbonation
O: this is an aggressively hoppy red, but its not a one-trick...unicorn. The malt flavor is noticeable, and the melon finish keeps it interesting. Glad to have tried it.

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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.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a vibrant, darker, hazy, dark-red with a two-finger white head with some creamyness to it. As head dissipates, I can already see lacing and it continues heavy lacing throughout. Smells of citrus, piney hops with some maltiness. Piney resin is stronger than the citrus, though it comes through. Maltiness does come through, but the bitter hops is allowed to win the battle. This tastes great! It's my first Pipeworks, and its usually an afterthought when I run through Chicago. I need to visit.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 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.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
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 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

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Photo of mmahanna41
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much darker in color than expected, with a slight red tint. However pretty light feel, tastes pretty amazing. I'm not sure who to thank for this amazing beer.... The Unicorn who's blood I'm drinking or did the Ninja draw the blood to allow the consumption of this beer? The world may never know.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I really like this one- starts out really bright and floral/citrusy and as it warms becomes like a dry as bones barleywine. Dark mahogany in color with plenty of tan head and lacing. Moderately well carbonated and a great medium full bodied feel. I'd definitely recommend this one.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: predictably dark amber and relatively opaque... into a pint I center-poured and got a big fat head - so let's just say you'll get as big a head as ya want... some lace trailed behind

S: sweet potato and pine resin - caramelly malts and red grains - allusions to fruits, probably moldering, and hearty grains in syrup

T: rich and fruity and piney at the same time - resins and dark fruits register at the same time; bittering and woody favors persist

F: solid medium-weights fits just right on the tongue; ample carbonation creates soft fuzz as the bitterness registers on the palate

O: I was delighted by this brew - an infrequent drinker of American amber/reds, my favorite has always been Nugget Nectar - but this Imperial red is just so solid that I know I would chose it over NN if I had to - really top-notch Imperial amber/red action

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark and hazy rusty amber orange with a fair bit of bubbly carbonation.

Big tropical fruit aroma with a noticeable caramel sweetness, some melon and citrus to note as well.

Toasted caramel malt, melon, guava, pineapple, citrus, and resiny pine.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, tropical sweetness, big and chewy.

Overall, the flavor could use a bit more oomph, but the big sweet aroma and chewy mouthfeel are an excellent take on this style. Very good.

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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.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz poured into Can Glass

A: darkest amber color I've ever seen on an amber beer looks almost ruby red and absolute perfect clarity

S: some toffee and burnt sugar smell with some piney hops

T: lots of maltiness and some hops very bitter on the finish a touch sweet

M: it's not bad nothing extraordinary

O: It's a pretty good amber surprising amount of bitterness

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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 MarkLikesBeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

A: Pours a cloudy dark copper/brown with 2 fingers of light tan head that faded to a small ring

S: Citrus and tangerine in the nose. Very fruity with great hop aroma

T: Maltier than I expected, alcohol taste very well hidden in a strong malt profile. Great hop finish with just a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste

M: Very heavy liquid, fitting for the imperial style. Surprisingly sweet with little carbonization.

O: Fantastic beer. Surprisingly sessionable , I didn't want to put it down between sips because every taste left me wanting more. Beautiful lacing down the entire glass. Well done, Pipeworks I love this brew

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Blood Of The Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 600 ratings.
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