Santa Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
253 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Santa Vs. UnicornSanta Vs. Unicorn
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
pdubs.net

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Father Christmas, Head Beardo, St. Nicholas Cage, a man of many names he may be, yet he has but one true foe... This Holiday Season, the Unicorn is back bearing his mantle of rainbowed chaos, and this time, it’s seasonal bitches. An Imperial Red Ale, American Style Barleywine or Red Double IPA call it what you will, grab one and get your Jollies while the holiday fight is on...

Added by emerge077 on 12-15-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
253
Reviews:
43
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
46
Gots:
48
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 253 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Sweffin
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of orangesol
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tappangordo
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Atlas1
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This bomber was a gift from my sister and her husband for Xmas. Thanks, guys. We don't get Pipeworks in TX so this is a treat.

Pours a beautiful light mahogany color with hues of golden amber and copper mixed in. The perfect color of fall. If Autumn was a beer, it would look like this. Two finger head leaves good lace. The nose is dense. Notes of herbal pine, cherry, fig, various spices. Nice enough, but not astounding. The taste is quite nice. High ABV beers are often too boozy in flavor, but this one is able to mask the alcohol content fairly well. Not completely, but well enough. Flavors of dark fruit, pine, mild citrus, apples. Finishes nice and hoppy. Mouthfeel is firm and slightly chewy.

I like this beer. A good holiday brew for sure. It has a ridiculous name and label, but I can appreciate that. So glad I got to try this one. Merry Christmas indeed.

 888 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
2.59/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle into tulip:

HEAD: 3 inches wide. Off-white colour.

BODY: Glowing amber. Nontransparent. No yeast is visible within.

Looks decent for a barleywine.

AROMA: Heavily hopped. Amber malts, bready malts, grapefruit, bitter rind, and light pine.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

Suggests an overhopped barleywine with no unique or special features.

TASTE: Candi, caramel, amber malts, bitter melon rind, grapefruit bite, floral notes, and pale malts. Imbalanced. Subpar build.

Not gestalt, nor very cohesive.

Its low quality and relative simplicity renders it difficult to elaborate on.

TEXTURE: Irritatingly coarse, medium to full-bodied, thick, and unrefreshing. Poor execution. Overcarbonated.

OVERALL: A disappointment coming from the well regarded Pipeworks Brewing. Not strong work, nor is it noteworthy. I'd caution against buying it.

C-

 859 characters

Photo of Hessian257
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hohnbaum
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dextermcgurk
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of novamat
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is criminally underrated (as of the date of this review). Bottled and bought within the last 30 days. Hop forward in the aroma and palette with very interesting notes, which altogether provide a very well balanced beer. Probably not a traditional barleywine in the strictest sense, but goddamn is this drinkable. Will definitely buy again.

 354 characters

Photo of mkrass
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Pours a dark brown color with very little head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is really hoppy, surprisingly. Lots of sweet citrus and pine. Caramel malts and sweet grapefruit. The taste is lots of caramel malts and piney hops. Earthy and sweet. Bread crust with piney and citrus hops. Dry mouthfeel with a medium amount of carbonation. This one tastes almost like a blend of an Imperial Red and a Barleywine. Weird beer, but I really dig it. Overall, I'd like to try this with some age on it but I think it'd work best fresh since it's so hoppy.

 554 characters

Photo of cathomae
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mschrei
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Pipeworks NvU snifter. Dirty brown, big time sediment. Get the usual Pipeworks ale smell and base taste, but much more malt than hop. Slight spice, full mouth tang,
Tasty beer.

 188 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness/vintage/bottling date info to be had...

Pours murky darker amber, limited cap, leaves a fine film, thin colar and minor fine lacing.

Caramel malted up nose

More caramel, toffee, malty goodness, some smoke and quite a dry hoppy finish....thick, richly flavorful and well worth a try. Quality winter night capper

 342 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle, I think it was $8.99. I have enjoyed the pipeworks beers I've had thus far and this was the first to disappoint. Dark red, not much head. Aroma was malty, hoppy, ok. Flavor had a slight tinge of buttered popcorn that bothered me enough that it distracted me from the rest of the beer. I would nto buy this one again.

 329 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of crobinso
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of THoffner
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jhfinn
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of EllePage
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

awesome review of this at tapIT
https://thestory575.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/pipeworks-brewing-santa-vs-unicorn/

113 characters

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

A: Pours a hazy mahogany in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate ruby red + cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit and pine hops with slightly lighter aromas of caramel + toasted malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted + caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit and pine hops which impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: I might classify this as a Hoppy Imperial Red IPA than an American Barleywine but it definitely has a very enjoyable hop aroma and flavor and lacks the cloying sweetness I associate with barleywines. Enjoyable and easy to drink with well hidden alcohol.

 1,140 characters

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy very dark amber in color (dark brown when viewed from afar). It poured with a short beige colored head that consistently remained on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of piney hops are present in the nose along with notes of caramel malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of pine resin hops along with notes of caramel malts and toffee. The hops lend a moderate amount of bitterness. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends some warming to the back end of the mouthfeel.
O: This beer is quite hoppy for a barleywine, and the bitterness really cuts through the underlying malts, masking any sweetness in the taste and stickiness in the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

 810 characters

Photo of Jaywalsh20
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Santa Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 253 ratings.
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