True Vine Unicorn’s Revenge Is A Beer Best Served Cold.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on True Vine Brewing Company‘s Unicorn’s Revenge.


Fast Facts on True Vine Brewing Company’s Unicorn’s Revenge.
Style: Blonde Ale (with hibiscus).
ABV: 6.5 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 50.
Color: Deep Gold.
Availability: Kegs, limited.

True Vine Brewing Company is located just West of downtown Tyler, Texas. Wait, Tyler isn’t in Dallas! So why focus on a brewery that’s technically in East Texas? Well, two reasons — one, because I want to, and two, because if we go so far as to review beers from Revolver in Granbury, then surely we can stretch a little bit farther in the other direction of town and go east.

Have you heard of True Vine? I hadn’t heard of this brewery until this week — shame on me. True Vine was founded in 2011, but didn’t sell its first commercial keg until January 2014. So, in beer terms, and in the specific terms of North Texas beers, this is one of the newer kids on the block. But now the beer is available in Dallas, so let’s do this damn thing!


Background on Blonde Ale.
Everyone loves blondes. OK, seriously, I’m just kidding. Let’s not go all sexist with this review and come off like an uber-douche. Blonde ales are oftentimes the style that gets a macro drinker to make the move to craft beer; they’re the gateway beers that get people hooked. People taste with their eyes, and blonde ales provide that balance between deep, rich malts and lighter foundation base malts. Blondes have low to medium bitterness — a balance, again. See where this is heading? Blonde ales are all about balance! It’s easy to brew a blonde ale, and it’s also easy to totally bomb it if you try to get too crazy with it.

Unicorn’s Revenge is dead-on for the blonde ale style. Its deep gold color is inviting to both craft and macro drinker alike. A thin head remains all the way down the glass, and so does its beautiful, moderate lacing.

I get a whiff of honey malt right from the start. It’s a sweet aroma, with accompanying warming biscuity notes, too. Unicorn’s Revenge is supposed to have hibiscus added to the brew, but I don’t get too much hibiscus on the nose. I wonder if the hibiscus addition is a late boil addition, a flameout addition or added later like dry-hopping. There isn’t much hop character present in the aroma department here, either. But that’s also OK for the blonde style.


This beer is all about the malt. The malt plays the biggest role in this beer, followed by a medium bitterness. So, yes, this is more bitter than your average and disappointing macro beer. But no, this beer isn’t going to turn off the people who aren’t hop heads. A medium bitterness remains post-swallow, and I like this clean aftertaste. Maybe that’s where the hibiscus comes in? I’m trying to give the hibiscus a landing space on my palate, but I still can’t quite figure it out.

Unicorn’s Revenge excels in the mouthfeel department. The carbonation stays around all the way down the glass, and there’s a rich, creamy character to this beer. This is a medium-bodied beer, and it’s on point for the style.


Overall Impression.
Unicorn’s Revenge is a good beer. It’s not totally knocking my socks off or anything, but that’s not what a blonde ale is supposed to do. Just being frank here, but there isn’t really a blonde ale anywhere that knocks my socks off. But, as my first beer from True Vine, this one has made a great first impression. Good on you, True Vine! I look forward to trying some of your other beers.

Oh, and on the subject of True Vine: The brewery has a huge bash coming up on November 7 called Hoptoberfest that you might want to check out.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give True Vine Brewing Company’s Unicorn’s Revenge a 7.5.


What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, November 6-15. North Texas Beer Week.
• Saturday, November 7. Operation Bravo Homebrew Competition at Shannon Brewing Co.
• Saturday, November 7. Untapped Dallas at Fair Park.
• Wednesdasy, November 11. Fourth Anniversary Extravaganza at Deep Ellum Beer Co.
• Thursday, November 12. The Ticket Tap Takeover at Old Chicago.
• Thursday, November 12. Birds and Brew at Trinity River Audubon Center.
• Thursday, November 12. Oskar Blues 6 Course Beer Dinner at Chimera Brewing Company.
• Friday, November 13. 2nd Annual Brewer’s Ball at Renaissance Dallas Hotel.
• Saturday, November 14. Brew Mile at Globe Life Park.
• Sunday, November 15. Fort Worth Weekly’s Homebrew Throwdown at Panther Island Pavilion.
• Saturday, November 21. Festicle at BrainDead Brewing.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Tupps’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.


















































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