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Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,446 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,446
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 308
Gots: 202 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-23-2012

Ninja vs. Unicorn celebrates the epic battle between two of the biggest hop-heads of lore. Brewed with over five pounds of hops per barrel, this unfiltered double IPA is sure to please the most discerning hop lover. Whether you’re rooting for the mythical horned horse or the deadly assassin of the east, we hope you’ll enjoy Ninja vs. Unicorn.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,446 | Reviews: 179
Photo of Mike_Honcho1
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Poured a tangerine/orange color into my snifter. Nice quickly dissipating eggshell colored rocky head leaving behind awesome lacing in the glass.

S: Smells of apricot, mango, pineapple and slight orange peel. Lots of hop resin coming through as well, nice and hop forward.

T: Apricot, Pineapple, mango and biscuity/cracker from the malts. Nice bitterness to the finish,

F: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation for a 9%.

O: One of my favorite DIPAs, I can't even taste the 9% abv. Would be worth trading for if you don't live in the distribution area. Excellent brew from Pipeworks. Can't wait until they start putting these in pint sized cans.

Photo of aleigator
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slighty cloudy, orange color, with a small, soon disappearing head.

The aromas, just as pipeworks citra ninja, reveals glazed, juicy peach, heading into a ripe fruit hop direction. Big chunks of lime mingle together with tropical fruits, carried by bready malts. Citrus enriches the nose big times by adding a crisp, bitter counterpart to the the stone fruits. Finds an intriguing balance between grassy bitterness and sun ripened, honeyed peach pulp.

Tastes of bready, soft malts with peach, blood orange and lots of lime, coming to the palate at the same time as honey does. While the brew begins very malty, bitter lime adds a generous bitterness to the hops, turning more dominant than the maltiness. Honey provides a luscious sweet, ripe aspect to the fruits, accentuating the peach and tangerine impression. The beer tastes sonehow similar to hopslam, while finishing a tad dryer, with more citrussy bitterness on the tongue. Still it balances perfectly between the malty biscuits with sugared peach on top and zesty, dry but rich lemon. Although the beer finishes fairly dry, it preserves a slick, fruity sweetness, which gives even the a aftertaste some sort of enjoyable balance.

Photo of HOP_KING
3.06/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

What happened to this beer. Have had it twice now in last week. On draft and in a bomber at home and it's not near as good as it used to be.

Photo of kplooki
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite, go to IIPAs.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: light amber color light pour so not much head

S: smells of cream and light toffee mixed with candied citrus

T: nice citrusy and Caramel sweetness a little bitterness

M: very creamy nice mouthfeel

O: this beer is worth the price of admission it's hugely citrus but with a very nice caramel sweet backbone and a creamy full mouthfeel. Get this you won't be disappointed

Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, batch 575-576, poured into tulip glass

A- pours a thick and murky golden orange color with a massive foamy and frothy white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some sticky lacing behind

S- lush tropical hop aroma with notes of mango, passionfruit, pineapple & tangerine. Guava and mango nectar sweetness mixes with some light doughy malt, peach and lemon-grass close it out

T- tropical nectar flavors follow the nose with sharp fruity hop bitterness mixes with sweet nectar, highlights of tangerine, passionfruit & peach, sweet and bready malt undertones, pine and grassy finish

M- medium-viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety finish

O- loved the tropical hoppy notes, quite drinkable as well

Photo of huysmans
2.71/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from late December consumed during the Superbowl, so approximately a month old. My cousin picked this up for me on a roadtrip to Chicago. It was warm for about two weeks and then in the fridge for two weeks before drinking. I let it sit out about 30 minutes before opening/pouring and then another 15 minutes after pouring. It had very little fizz when I popped the cap. It poured with almost no head. Color was deep and somewhat cloudy. It had a nice grapefruit smell, which was encouraging. The taste was very mild. It was very malty, but a certain stale/"where have the hops gone" maltiness that I find unappealing. It was quite boozy, but not hot. Very little bitterness. Very little hop presence - basically none. Low carbonation with a more syrupy mouthfeel. There was some decent lacing on the glass, but hardly consolation. I was very excited to try and share this. In the end, I was disappointed and embarrassed to have shared. Pipeworks and this beer in particular are often lauded, so I had high hopes. I don't deem a month a ridiculous amount of time to let an IPA sit. For reference, Enjoy By and Zombie Dust are both incredible at the 4 week mark - to name two beers I have had recently at a similar age point. Perhaps this is a great beer when very fresh, but it was not a great beer last night.

Photo of kevanb
3.66/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, batch #599-600, poured into a Pipeworks Brewing Ninja teku. 9.0% ABV listed on the bottle.

The beer pours a fairly clear amber color, hues of orange and copper that is essentially lifeless though a nice two fingers of soapy white head rises from the beer that has excellent retention and yields some swatches of soapy lace. The aroma is pungent, plenty of piney and grassy hops, some pineapple and mango juiciness with assertive grapefruit peel though an aggressive caramel malt profile adds some richness and sweetness while the 9.0% abv also pokes its nose out. The flavors are in line, pleasant fruity hoppiness, juicy tropical fruits with bitter grapefruit peel with earthy and grassy hop notes as well but again the malt profile is really prominent, amber and caramel malts that are sticky, sweet and sugary though the alcohol is well hidden relative to the nose. The mouthfeel is sticky, a bit juicy, full bodied and rich with lower carbonation that has just enough liveliness and a dry finish.

Verdict: A decent DIPA from Pipeworks, but a bit too aggressive on all fronts for me, assertive malts with a bit of a darker and earthier hop bill just doesn't really excite my taste buds. Balance is left by the wayside for this, and while the two components fight for supremacy, I don't think anyone is winning.

Photo of HoppyDrinker
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a pint bottle. Pour was a rich golden tone, light white head that boarders the rim, the smell was a beautiful fresh hop smell, like when you rub a nugget of hops in your hands. The taste was easy; hoppy, citrusy, with a good amount of bitter but felt calming with a burst of hops at the start and the aftertaste bitter not long lasting and the citra hop aromas remaining. The alcohol content did not overwhelm the beer.
Good beer my new favorite.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pretty, pretty transparent orange, persistently bubbly with carbonation, and a big nearly white head that fades slowly to a thin layer over the top. Lacing is full and extensive.

S - Hopness. Smash in the nose citrus and pine. More tangerine and lemon, with a bit of spruce.

T - Follows the nose, with big hop fruit and strong pine, but with a malty underpinning of bread and honey that keeps the bitterness down until the close, where it bursts free and runs roughshod.

M - The visible carbonation is helpful, because the bitter close is partially scrubbed. Still, this is a crunchy hop experience, with hop oils that coat the tongue and build over time.

O - The five pounds show up in every sip, every swig. I big, fat hop fest of the first order. Recommended, for the true hophead in your life.

Photo of Kraj30
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

cant wait till this is in cans to drink everyday!

Photo of ffshore545
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 599- 600 5 words ok please

Photo of Barnoloid
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An outstanding DIPA. Juicy, tropical hoppy notes dominate here, with ripe mango and papaya coming through amongst a sweet, almost honeyed feel. A hophead’s delight. Dangerously drinkable at 9%.

Photo of MaximalC
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent golden amber color with a moderate head of off-white froth. Attractive patches of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer recedes. Complex aroma smells of pine resin, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and bubblegum. A sweetness akin to brown sugar also lurks beneath the fruitier elements.

The first two thoughts to cross my mind after the initial sip are body, and balance. This is superiorly balanced for an IPA, and the body is plenty robust. Bready malt and bubblegum afford all the sweetness one could ask for to offset the mondo bitterness of a DIPA. In fact, the bitterness does not come across nearly as aggressively as I would have anticipated. There is plenty of pine resin, to be sure, but it’s not abrasive in this context. Alcohol is well integrated and unobtrusive. I can’t emphasize enough how impressively balanced this beer is from front to back--it walks a tightrope all the way through, never collapsing toward sweet or bitter, straight through to the finish. The tingling carbonation is just right, facilitating a smooth, full, velvety mouthfeel.

Overall, this may very well be my new favorite IPA (and I say this as a staunch avoider of IPAs). The balance, mouthfeel, and presentation are all excellent, and the bitterness is not obnoxious. An admirable offering from Pipeworks.

Photo of mschantz
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling the bomber picked up in Chicago over Thanksgiving at about 30 days old. Light yellow orange cloudy beer with visual sediment. Slight light white head. Citrus fruit and grassy hops on the nose. Flavor is dominated by orange and finishes pretty bitter. Expected to love this beer and while solid I just I was a bit under whelmed. Perhaps not getting to this beer for 30 days didn't help.

Photo of Jaxbrew
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was really nice. Malt battled the hops pretty well. Hops one in the end.

Photo of FrancisSmooth
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Received from my good friend in Chi-town off a trade for some Cigar City - Jai Alai from my new stomping grounds

Poured from deuce deuce into pint glass (remainder chilled, not for long)

beautiful orange/gold color

initially soft, nice blend of hops, slight malt backing

caught hints of sweetness on the back, almost a vanilla

grapefruit finish

well crafted for the abv, soft and almost elegant going down, wouldnt have minded a little more carbonation but may have been lost in the shipment. Want more, phenomenal

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle sent to me by spinaltapped, thanks dude!

Pours a medium dark amber, clear and beautiful, with a one and half inch head, and lots of sticky lacing all over the place.

Smells like pine resin, pine cones, caramel, and sweet sugar cookie malt. I'm faily sure this is fresh, so it's clearly a maltier IPA than typical.

Despite the gimmicky packaging (which mind you, I still like), which would seem to indicate an unbalanced, hop heavy bomb- this is actually a bit more balanced. There's a formidable malt backbone, caramel and sugar cookie, slightly bready, with a big hop blast peeking over the top- sticky and dank, some pine, a bit of grapefruit, not a lot of the big sweet tropical citrus I tend to look for. It still tastes good, I just think it could have been done a little better. I like an IPA that has some malt, but I like it better when it props up the back of the beer and supports the hop flavors, rather than shares the stage with the hop flavors.

This is medium bodied, with a sticky, and fairly sweet mouthfeel, along with a moderate level of carbonation. It's very drinkable, despite my complaints above.

This was good, but not great. It does seem like an IPA that would appeal to a lot more people than the typical hop assault (that I love).

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass.
Beer is a lovely orange with an almost fluffy head that leaves lots of lacing.
Aroma is great. Lots of citrus, a bit of pine, a hint of candy and pineapple.
What a wonderful; tasting beer!. Loads of grapefruit, some pine and orange as well. Less bitter than I was expecting and beautifully balanced. Nice and bright.
The mouth feel is extraordinary! So smooth and nearly creamy. It has a wonderful, velvety and quenching finish.
Overall, just top-notch. I want another.

Photo of hophugger
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amazingly clear golden amber with a nice fizzy head and lacing. Aroma is awesome, full of pine resin and some citrus. The resin of the hops is some of the most amazing aromas I have had from any IPA. The taste hits hard with bitter hops, grapefruit rind and yet is still extremely balanced. As the drinking proceeds, the hop bitterness and grapefruit continue strongly interchanging turns with the fresh piney, woody resin. Awesome. Mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation and mouthfeel. Definitely not a session beer but one that I want to revisit over and over again !!!

Photo of kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange body with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Big hop pine aroma. Lots of resin hop pine flavors. Not much sweetness or alcohol taste. Excellent beer.

Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Bright, juicy hop aroma bursting with citrus notes like peach, pineapple and grapefruit. Some booze fume.

T- Actually on the lower end of the bitterness scale, there's just a pronounced citrusy hop flavor without the usual accompanying bite. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the smoothness.

M- Tangy and bright with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- I would recommend this to someone who's looking for a high gravity IPA with more hop flavor rather than hop bitterness. Hits on all the right notes without wearing out your palate.

Photo of McSmack
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

My first beer from Pipeworks and it is excellent! Pours hazy golden. Good balance of hops and maltyness.

Photo of vishneda
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Quite awesome. Just a tad on the sweet side for my taste but that's also a differentiator. Can be hard to find, but it's worth a purchase when you do find it.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%

22 oz. bottle, with Batch #497/498 printed on the label; somehow I have yet to review this beer, probably the closest thing Pipeworks has to a flagship beer. 9.00% abv printed on the label.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a nice golden burnt sienna orange colored body with two fingers of thick creamy off-white head. Thick, creamy, and fresh in appearance. Murky and juicy looking. 4.5

S - The aroma is typical of the Pipeworks IPA aromas that I'm used to - lots of pine, grapefruit, lemons, orange, citrus, and some bready malt to balance things out. It smells, big, bitter, and fresh. 4

T - Taste follows the nose - big and bitter with lots of resinous pine, orange, and grapefruit. Caramel malt to balance things out. Lightly sweet. 4

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Medium-bodied with good carbonation; easy drinking for the 9.00% abv. Resinous, hoppy, and sticky on the finish. Very drinkable for the high abv. 4.5

Overall, a nice flagship imperial IPA from Pipeworks. After having nearly 80 beers from this brewery, however, I'm not as impressed as I might once have been. Definitely recommended for newcomers and fans alike, in any case.

Pipeworks Ninja Vs. Unicorn -----4/5.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.