Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.

258 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 258
Hads: 1,879
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 21.7%
Wants: 339
Gots: 352 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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.
View: Beers (138) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 258 | Hads: 1,879
Photo of JJSquid
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased while vacationing in the wonderful Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, this beer delighted right out of the 16 oz can with an excellent golden color and a sour/sweet olfactory profile reminiscent of the finest Thai restaurants. Don't linger on the odd implication this asian cuisine reference hints at because the flavor is pure canned American freedom. Excellent beer poorly named that I would buy again without hesitation. Cheers!

 443 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours hazy dark golden orange with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet sugary tropical fruit and piney resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet bready caramel malts and ripe tropical fruit with lots of resiny piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice DIPA. I remember it being more fruity on draft and liking it a bit more.

 435 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We have recently been discussing the merits of CANned beers in a thread that I began in the Beer Talk forum and one of the upsides to CANs is the beauty of the graphics as they appear directly on a 360-degree aluminum cylinder vice a paper label. I would definitely hold this up as an example! The separation begins with the ninja striking one of his swords vertically against the unicorn's horn while the unicorn holds the ninja's second sword horizontally in its mouth. The colors are striking & the whole thing just stands out beautifully!

From the CAN: "Brewed in Chicago, IL"; "CAN Art by Jason Burke at Ink & Lead Designs".

I used the Unicorn's horn to help me to Crack! the CAN open, declining the Ninja's swords which would have irreparably damaged the CAN. Once acCANplished, the Ninja made me CANduct an inverted Glug which raised two fingers of dense, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with decent retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) & as such, the Gelt Gang declined even so much as a taste. They really prefer purity in their gold, apparently. Nose was magical, as though derived from a ChANce enCANter between a ninja & a unicorn! Actually, it was more like a hybridization of a pine tree & a grapefruit tree. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was all ninja/unicorn with the former slashing and thrusting and the latter just trampling my poor tongue into submission. The taste was likewise magical, evincing a very cool, minty flavor initially before the crazy citrus flavors began to take 'hold. Finish was cool, dry & slightly citrusy, almost like a pop. I CAN drink this all day, or perhaps not, at 8% ABV. CAN you imagine this in the cooler at the beach? It would be CANtastic with everyone wanting to see what you are drinking.

 1,769 characters

Photo of cfalls
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a fresh growler into a tulip

L - golden yellow body, slight haze, thin head

S - strawberries! passion fruit, mango, pineapple

T - follows the nose, with slight sweetness, and some grassy and piney notes in the background

F - light bodied, medium to high carbonation, no hint of the abv

O - underrated, will definitely get this any time I see it

 361 characters

Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: bright orange with no translucence. Just a little bit of foam at the surface.

Smell: tropical fruits with big notes of mango and some grapefruit.

Taste: fresh tropical fruits with some citrus. Some mango and kiwi. Very juicy and flavors just explode in your mouth. Herbal bitterness intermingled though-out the sweet fruit notes. The hop profile really shines through!

Mouthfeel: very refreshing with a light to medium bodied mouthfeel

Overall: love the fruits. It's so juicy and flavorful. I definitely recommend it and would love to try it again.

 568 characters

Photo of Karnivool1
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on a 4 pack, and this one did not disappoint. The smoothest DIPA I have had to date. I definitely get pineapple and grapefruit among the many fruit notes. As long as this is available, this will be a staple in my rotation. Reasonably priced at $12 for a 4 pk of 16 oz cans.

 298 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at Eataly, enjoyed chilled from the can in a cervoise.

The color is deeply hazed amber with 2 fingers of off white cream for head with fine bead and thick waves of lace stick. The smell is great with lovely tropical hop aroma with slight citrus and mild grapefruit with a pleasant floral aroma and mild pineapple scent with gentle pith/grassy quality.
The feel is great -lots of resinous body with lively bitter texture and medium high carbonation with low sweetness and mostly dry with almost no alcohol noticeable and semi-spicy lasting effect on the palate.

The taste is very good with tangy and fruity tropical quality of golden grapefruit with slight pine and zesty citrus continuing with mild spicy aspect with mango and apricot flavor and hint of grass with slight peppery hop and pineapple combination that also has a dank herbal flavor with so much spicy/tropical hops brimming out. This is wonderfully hoppy yet sneaky drinkable with a nice amount of hop flavor and fruity spicy quality with dank and juicy flavors that last with mild malt support and not overly sweet as some double Ipa's tend to get 1/2 way through.

 1,151 characters

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a can into a pint glass. No date on the can.
L: Pale, hazy yellow. Half finger of head which persists. Good lacing with bubbles sticking to the glass.
S: Tropical hop aroma with a mix of pineapple and mango. In addition, there are some green pepper and herbal aromas mixed in.
T: Follows the nose with tropical fruit, mostly papaya, pineapple, and mango. I also get cotton candy and candied fruits. The finish is dry with medium bitterness.
F: The finish is medium plus. Mouth coating but not thick.
Overall I am pleasantly surprised with this one. I figured it would be an OK DIPA, but as I drink it I could see buying it consistently. It has great hop flavor and it very drinkable.

 689 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can ~$3. Orange-yellow in color, huge fluffy head. Aroma is tropical fruits, heavy hops. Flavor is bitter, shoppy, tropical fruits, not too much alcohol, a really solid double IPA but not as good as Mosaic in my opinion. Worth the money.

 242 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs, CO

Clear, golden body; respectable one-finger thick head. Very fruity and pine resin aroma; pineapple and mango. Fruity, bitter flavors; orange rind. Medium body; very crisp and dry.

A very crisp, dry IPA with a nice fruit smell and taste offset. The hop character dominates things yet this is a fine, slow sipping IPA for any occasion. Very pleasant and rather unique...

 417 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

November 8, 2015

16 oz can, tulip

A – Medium-gold, somewhat hazy, with a half-inch white foam top. Moderate-short head retention.

S – Pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of peppercorn, melon and papaya. Crackery malt. Hop bitterness is apparent on the nose.

T – Pineapple and grapefruit, along with spicy mango and papaya. All hops, all the time. Some nectarine and melon notes follow. All very fresh, prominent. Malt presene is crackery, mostly hidden. Bitterness is strong but seems moderate, balanced, only really lending a bite on the finish.

M – Medium-bodied with a lot of sweetness up front. Moderate to moderate-high carbonation brings dryness with it. Hop bitterness builds and becomes moderate-high to high, but all very well-balanced.

O – Excellent, fairly balanced DIPA with a lot of fresh hop flavor.

 836 characters

Photo of Dan_K
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a golden copper color, with a slight haze. 2 fingers of white bubbles linger for a while, then lace the glass.
S: Smells fantastic, pineapple, orange, grass, slight maltiness
T: Tastes of tropical and citrus fruit, grass, a little grapefruit, slightly spicy.
F: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, coating the mouth with flavors.
O: This is a nice double IPA with great aromatics, a solid body, and good flavor. While not the best DIPA I've had, it's good and flavorful. It's not particularly expensive, so it offers a decent value. I enjoy drinking this beer.

 568 characters

Photo of svenness
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canning stamp difficult to decipher, it might say 11/10/15

L: Gold/orange, hazy, persistent white head
S: Orange, pineapple, mango, bread
T: Fruity, tropical, pine, resin, very little alcohol
F: Medium body, fairly dry, lingering bitterness
O: This one went down really fast, hides the 8% ABV very well, nice hops aroma/flavor complexity. A bit too bitter in the aftertaste for my personal preference, but it is a DIPA after all.

 432 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce can poured into a DFH IPA glass.

a: A vibrant, matte gold body. A bit hazy. 3 finger white soapy head. Very nice looking beer.

s: Citrus rind and a floral grassiness. Faint malts up front.

t: Crisp malts, citrus rind, grapefruit, floral grassiness, with a spicy bitter hop finish.

mf: Medium light body with good carbonation. Nice crispness and balancing bitter finish.

o: Ninja vs Unicorn was very nice and extremely drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden.

 469 characters

Photo of BltByKrmn
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/27/15, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Solid IPA but not necessarily living up to the hype for me. Classic citra/simcoe taste, but I think it could be a little bigger. Very similar to Barrier Money but Money has additional layers that this lacks. Very cool that this is now a regular in NY, if you can't get the super rare stuff this is a nice fall back.

 369 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can, with dating on the bottom, Best Before/canning date? Hopefully it the later...

Pours clouded and dull tangarine...lasting fluffy lite khaki cap, leaving ample thicker lace all over the glass.

Pungent citric and tropical fruit nose.

Big and bold. Fresh and flavorful. Crushing and complex. Tropical, citric, heavily hopped, utterly delicious. Glad this high quality brew is now distributed in NY state. The beer scene just gets better and better.

 471 characters

Photo of GregA135
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BOOM! This DIPA hits you in the face with awesome taste!
Got this beer through The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
Poured a nice golden color with a white head, slightly hazy appearance
Smelled of citrus fruit notes and hops.
What I loved about this beer was how balanced it was. I loved the little sweet after taste.
Great beer Pipeworks! I'll be getting some more Ninja vs. Unicorn!

 380 characters

Photo of reds2harleys
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent DIPA. Pipeworks is one of the Breweries I trust and this is another example of why. I love big hop forward IPA's with explosive flavor and this fits the bill perfectly. Being in Jersey I have to drive to get this but its worth the trip.

 247 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Golden color, slight haze, good amount of carbonation
Smell - Floral notes, sweetness, orange, hints of citrus, slight tropical notes
Taste - Floral, spice, slight tropicalness, dank, pine, pithy, grapefruit type bitterness, malt sweetness, some slight hints of citrus but definitely overshadowed by everything else
Feel - Medium body, dry/sticky finish

Overall - A good DIPA but not the best Pipeworks has to offer.

 426 characters

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. tallboy can, pretty fresh.

I had this beer a couple years ago from a bomber and was less than impressed. Got a can of this from a buddy in Chicago, so I gave it another chance. Finally, I can see why this beer is sought after. Tons of delicious hop flavor. Creamy mouthfeel. Outstanding.

 300 characters

Photo of eppCOS
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer has substance and you can tell from the dense haze in the glass, light golden with some sea-monkey density to it.

S: The smell is knock-your-grassy-socks off a citrus tree good.

T: For a DIPA, this has great balance between the expected malt richness and the hop-bite you'd expect from this brewer and the IPA back-end. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Why it stays as a DIPA impression, rather than an Imperial IPA (which tend to strike me as sweeter).

M: Well carbonated, not overly so, great balance, a little resin in the back. Wonderful.

O: This is such a great beer, and DIPAs are not usually my thing. Seek it out, especially if you see in on tap. But it does a great impression of itself in a can as well. Had it first at Publican (Chicago), then miraculously on tap at Brewer's Republic in Colorado Springs (CO).

 835 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a nice blend of grassy hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel that are very quickly followed by a nice strong floral hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates an excellent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this is a 2IPA worth drinking for a very long time.

 791 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured hard into a speigeleu from a 9/15 stamped 16 oz. can.

It is a hazy golden yellow. The soapy egg shell white head never really goes away. Looks like a layer of sea foam on top.

Smells like mango from 2 feet away. Up close it is stanky. Some dank body odor.

You really taste that sweat too, and it's awesome. Starts a little crisp and sweet, with some zesty fruit rind from grapefruit and orange, followed by mango and some other fruit. Then it turns bitter and dankalicious. Piney with a decent amount of resin. Slightly herbal, but just a hint. At first it doesn't seem overly bitter, bit it really works you over like Rocky does a half a beef. Some malts get into the fight late and balance it all out.

This is just an outstanding DIPA across the board.

 769 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/13/15. Golden honey, slightly hazy body with big carbonation bubbles streaming up towards a white, fluffy head. Smell has a lot of citrus, resinous pine, and some tropical fruit. Sweet grapefruit, candied orange, peach, apricot, mango, and clean biscuit malts. This one hits the palate just right, very well balanced and nicely carbonated. No alcohol whatsoever. Tastes like a beer I've already had many times though. Very typical west coast IPA, skillfully brewed. Taste is bitter grapefruit, apricot, honey, peach, lots of resin, sweet bready malts, mango, tangerine zest, orange, and pine. It's a DIPA that can definitely hold its own but with the emergence of some of these new generation New England IPAs, brews like this seem to be a dying breed.

 771 characters

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had this once before at a share so I didn't take notes for a review. So now my man SomethingClever sends me a can, now I'm here describing this brew to you. Well I had a lazy day at work, time to drink a brew! Here we go, this brew pours a very nice shade of Pale Blonde with haze...(I love unfiltered brews). She was crowned with a nice white bubbly clouds hanging around the top of the glass. Very surreal..

The aroma will be a chore I guess.. First this brew slams you with a Citric Slam of Grapefruit and mild Apricots. Nice dense Cedar notes in the background adding that "Clean IPA" touch. The malts are standard crackerish and sweet. Nice Earth tone aromas blanket the Fruity Hops adding a crisp and clean vibe which I dig. Pretty outstanding aroma actually.

Let's see how the flavor goes? Bam! The flavor starts off with malt sweetness that brings a deluge of fruit flavors to the palate. First hits with Grapefruit/Orange pith citrus vibe, then takes your palate to a more stone fruit nirvana. Picture Apricots and Mango dancing with each other on your tongue. Pretty picture if you're a Vegetarian! Then this brew punishes with Hop Resins toward the finish and still lingers in the aftertaste (ba ba baa BA baa, I'm lovin it!). This finishes clean with a subtle dryness and bitterness that you can feel the Alpha Acids popping on the sides of the palate. Lingering Cedar and Apricots in the aftertaste. This brew feels great on the tongue. It's light weight with a creamy texture (maybe oats in this brew?), Carbonation is poppin and helps to make the flavors explode on the tastebuds.

Overall: I dig this brew! I wish I could get easier access to this brew because I'd be killing this daily. This brew is worthy of high acclaim for its balanced and slaps the drinker with Hoppy Goodness and you can feel the Hop Resins just dancing on your tongue. It's Fruity, Resinous and too damn drinkable for its 8% ABV. I'd rather slam this than Heady. This brew is Recommended!

 1,988 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.