Commercial description: In this epic battle, the Blood of the Unicorn has been shed by the sword of the deadly assassin of the east. One sip of this aggressively hopped red ale clearly reveals what drives these, the greatest of, hop heads of lore. Is this the end of the mythical horned horse? Or will he rise like the phoenix to fight another day?
Pours a dark, murky ruby red with some brown hues mixed in. A thick, light khaki head forms on the pour and sticks around for quite some time. It recedes very slowly to a thick cap and collar that leaves some sticky sheets of lace behind..
Lots of dank, herbal hops up front on the first whiff along with some spicy black pepper and earthly peat. Generous dried biscuit malts, some sweet caramel and berry fruitiness on the finish.
Follows the nose with loads of herbal hops, nice fruity flesh and citrus grapefruit are up front, but it gets really down and dirty with some earthy peat and subtle pine. The malt bill comes on strong at the finish with some nice caramel notes, dark spiced bread and a slight toasted bitterness. Finish has lingering bitterness with dank hops and spicy black pepper.
Medium bodied with a slight bit of oily slickness. The finish is sweet and creamy with a nice medium carbonation level. Semi-dry finish with a hint of booziness detected but is generally well-hidden.
OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)
These guys are definitely on my beer radar. A really nice Imperial Red. Drinks like a Brewdog 5 AM Saint on steroids. Although on first sniff this beer seems like it’s going to be massively dry and hop-centered, the malt profile was ample enough to level things out and make a wonderfully balanced imperial red. Another wonderful offering by Pipeworks!
FINAL SCORE (46/50)