Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

187 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 187
Hads: 1,552
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 321
Gots: 235 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

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.
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Reviews: 187 | Hads: 1,552
Photo of PSUDREW
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice orange-y color, with a cream colored head
Smells citrusy & some fresh cut grass
Head sticks around for a while and laces
Kind a sweet on my first taste, but the hop sharpness follows right away. there is a grassiness too that sort blends with that citrus again. It all mixes together nicely, but there is a slightly mustiness too it. It's not overpowering, but just something I noticed.
Mouthfeel is normal for an IPA, not heavy, but a slight stickiness after you swallow
Cool beer. Different from a lots of DIPA/IPAs that I've had that go to far one way or another . I like the balance
Thanks to Chickenl3reast for an awesome box, glad I had to try this (667 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was super clean in appearance with a crystal clear golden color and a light white fizzy and alive head.

The nose holds an array of unusual partners as I smell pineapple, butter, honey, pine oil and a lupilin resin.

The flavor continues as the scent but the pineapple is a touch overwhelmed by a buttery taste. I get a nice honey sweetness that helps drive through the piney oil and resin bitterness.

The feel is light, sprite and a tad bitter but not astringent.

This is a maybe a bit off due to the butter I get but otherwise this is quite delicious. (560 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received in trade from brewnstrong, thanks for the opportunity Justin! Pours a slightly hazy medium gold color with a smallish creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smells of pine, citrus, earth with a fair amount of lightly fruity bready caramel. The flavor is more pine and and resin than earth and citrus. Moderate amount of caramel malt to back it up with a light pomme fruit flavor and solid shot of hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice beer, I’m glad I got to try it. Seems a bit more drinkable and less harsh than the revenge. (599 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1454th Review on BA
Bottle to Parra Tulip
22oz

Thanks to Dvelcich for this one

App- Top fading dark orange to light with yellow highlights. Huge puffy head with a semi- fast receding rate. Great cling like a merinque. Super creamy looking in the glass.

Smell- Big fat juicy nug hops with a strong booze and malty spicy note. Great aromatics and a fullness on the nose.

Taste- This is a very creamy DIPA. Hops stick out for days. The balance is incredible. Cery hoppy with a good malt balance. Earthy and flavors abound.

Mouth- A fuller medium body with a medium carbonation. Full hoppy creamy residual flavors.

Drink- Hot damn thats good. It could be dropped down a bit on the bitter to increase it up to an overall 4.5 but for a huge bitter hoppy DIPA. It gets the job done. (781 characters)

Photo of gkunkle
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent golden orange hue. Head is about 1/2 inch tall an is cream colored. Smells strongly of pine and citric hops, this definitely appeals to my west coast tastes. Taste comes in with a strong citric bitterness, then I get some mellow malt notes followed by a hit of citrus again as it crests the tongue. The finish is crisp and clean with a pine aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just right for this type of beer, not too thick with enough carbonation to lighten the body. This is a great beer, it drinks a lot like the great west coast IPAs, it's brewed in the same style as Pliny and the likes. (602 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not quite at its peak freshness. about 6-7 weeks old now, but still should be a decent beer. Definitely on team Ninja.

very, very slight haze on a golden copper with a nice-sized pure white head that lasts for a while and laces okay.

bitter herbal hops with plenty of bitter citrus following. some tropical fruits and some slightly sticky sweet malts back that up.

bitter floral/herbal/spicy hops with a huge dose of citrus rind. tropical fruits behind that and contribute to a sweetness to balance the bitterness along with the underlying malt presence.

medium bodied, decent carbonation, lingering sticky bitterness, pretty spot on for the style.

yah, I like it. definite "in-your-face" hop flavor. no alcohol harshness. great beer that is totally off-the-radar. (770 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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). (1,268 characters)

Photo of timmersthemagician
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle has a great graffic that fortells a really nice beer. Nice rocky white head and dark golden color. Nice citrus american hop nose. Good balance of citrus,piney and resinous hop flavor with a good malt sweetness. Drys well with and has good bitterness residual. Substantial body and nice warmth throughout. (315 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (1,353 characters)

Photo of bifrost17
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Batch number 48, I really love that 48 is hand written on the label, nice touch.

A: Typical DIPA, dark orange. Filtered, but not quite see through, nice carbonation bubbles running up the glass. Really good looking 2 finger white head. Leaves some nice thick lacing on the glass.

S: I'm not getting much on the nose. Hoppiness, as expected. Citrus notes, faint alcohol....vanilla?

T: Wow, awesome. Citrus bomb, lots of orange up front, in the middle I almost taste an orange creamsicle, definite hints of vanilla, relatively bitter at the end, like a bitter grapefruit. The aftertaste I get is so weird, orange creamsicle, awesome, never tasted that flavor in a DIPA before.

M: Mouthfeel is perfect, creamy, smooth, moderate carbonation, medium side of full bodied. Really drinkable for the 8.5%.

O: Totally surprised here. I saw the high marks this beer had from other reviews, but the only other Pipeworks beer that I've had was their smoked porter, and I was not a fan, but Ninja vs Unicorn is really damn good. Chicago is really stepping up its game as far as hoppy beers go, Daisy Cutter, Double Daisy Cutter, and Anti Hero IPA are some of my favorites, but Ninja vs Unicorn has to be my favorite by far. Seek this beer out, try it, worship it. What a treat. Big thanks to my friend Nick out in the Chicago area for sending this my way. (1,390 characters)

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot orange body with a bubbly beige head that sticks on the glass with each sip. There is a slow motion carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The green woody hops are full but a bit softer than in the taste.

T- The slightly pungent big woody green hops have some citrus notes to follow with a slight malt sweetness that tends to dry out as it opens in the finish. There is a green spicy hop note that lingers after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight little fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a nice full hop monster with some good depth to the woody and spicy hops supported by a lurking malt note but still drinks pretty fast. (707 characters)

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

big thanks to rmalinowski for the trade.

Pours a bright orange color with 1 finger of white head. Very strong pine and grapefruit flavor accented with a bit of sweet fruits like blood orange (that might be a combination of hop and malt flavors combining, not sure). On the palate it is assertively bitter, stronger than most DIPA's which is saying a lot. With that said, it has the hop flavor to stand up to the above average bitterness. Just dry enough to keep me coming back for more, this is extremely drinkable and I will definitely seek it out if I am in the area where it is distributed. (594 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes. Batch #13

A: Pours a beautiful deep brass with a huge white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Lots of pine, citrus, and tropical notes. Cotton candy, clementines, pineapple, fresh grass.

T: Big bitter pine followed by a smooth bready malt presence. Palpable but tolerable alcohol. A bit of fruity sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, tingly carbonation. Nice mouthfeel for a DIPA.

O: This one's very piney - I would like a little more fruitiness from the hops but it's clear that it's well-made. (530 characters)

Photo of mikul93
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Clear amber-orange with a very fluffy 2 finger head. Nice lacing.

S Pineapple, Citrus notes, sweetness and hops. A nice fragrant DIPA

T Bitter hops is the first thing that hits your tongue, followed by that caramel backbone, grapefruit & Pineapple finishes it off with a bitter finish.

M Medium bodied beer. Nice carbonation. Flavors sit on the tongue for a while. Bitterness lingers.

O Very pleased with this brew from Pipeworks. Picked up a bottle while on a trip to Chicago and wish I had grabbed a couple more. Cheers! (531 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex (Masterski) for sending this beer along.

There is a place on the label for "Bottled on" date, but it's blank. I know it's fresh, as Alex wouldn't send it otherwise, but it's interesting the brewery didn't mark it.

A finger of fizzy off white head quickly settles to a cap of foam. A slightly hazy orange/brown/amber color with a decent amount of escaping carbonation. Sheet of lace on one side of my glass.

The aroma seems fresh at first, then clicks over to a buttery note. Lots of fruit and some tropical notes here.

The buttery sense is evident in the flavor as well. Some pine up front, lots of fruit and the buttery notes. As I work through the glass and I become accustomed to the buttery sense, there is more pine and green hop flavors coming through. I like the amount of sweetness, it heightens some of the fruit flavors but does not get in the way. What’s interesting is that it’s growing on me and the tropical notes are coming forward. Some tangerine and even a touch of mango.

Not astringent, but almost powdery dry on your tongue. Not too much, just the opposite of oily. This seems to accentuate the bitterness towards the end.

At first I wasn’t sure, but this grew on me. Nice.

Thanks Alex. (1,234 characters)

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

Big juicy yummy fruit notes from citrus to light maraschino cherries. It almost smells like ice cream sundae toppings with orange-zested-whipped-cream. Nothing is overpowering, and it is well balanced.

Appearance is that of a dark lemon, slightly hazy, and an eggshell white head that laces well enough.

At first sip I get a nice burst of juicy sweetness followed by another burst of bitterness. The beer is very well balanced between sweet and bitter. The flavors are sharp. I get peach, apricot, and tangerine. It has a moderate body and low-moderate carbonation. It leaves me wanting more. (594 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a fairly clear, solid gold with a very short head, no lacing and no bubbles.

S - big pine, grapefruit and a nice malty note for a gold beer. No cat pee, yay!

T - is like the aroma, plus some orange. Mild sweetness and a medium bitterness with a medium sustain. Not a palate wrecker and not a sissy beer either.

M - medium-full body with an oily texture and very soft carbonation.

O - a flawless DIPA. Somewhat conservative for the style, not the most complex DIPA, but these aren't negatives. It was a pleasure to drink and I'd be happy to drink it again. (569 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, soft orange, slight finger of white head.

Aroma: citrus fruit, really juicy, sweet orange, pineapple, some flowers, pine.

Taste: big tropical fruits, orange, mango, pineapple, sweet caramel and bread.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, rich and creamy, nice carbonation.

Overall: not boozy, full without being heavy, great flavor and aroma profiles. (361 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to CBS snifter. Thanks to robbiemoy13 for this one. Batch #13: Bottled 5/15/12 (only about 3 weeks old!)

A - Medium hazy orange with a golden glow along the bottom. Half a finger of off-white head formed and reduced to a thin layer.

S - Big grapefruit and tangerine aromas up front accompany a fairly assertive bitterness. A slightly sweet malt backbone adds a touch of balance. A very fresh nose, as expected.

T - A huge bitterness up front with big grapefruit, pine and orange zest flavours. The malt backbone definitely plays a secondary role but is evident, adding some caramel.

M - Medium body with a really big chew. Full of resinous hop oils. Light carbonation. (681 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

It pours what I would call a peach-ish gold with a frothy white head.

The smell is sweet with some tropical mango and a hint of caramel.

Taste is a bit of caramel, marmalade, some citrus notes, not too much barley or caramel like the nose. Very clean fruit flavor with some basic sugary sweetness. Medium bitterness. Love the flavor.

It is a good fruit-forward ipa. I had it just about a month old so take that for what it is worth. An extra kick off bitterness and hop aroma would've done this beer wonders. (526 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from WLV Liquors. Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a clear darker golden/slight orange color, white head that creates a think collar and wisps on top with some bubbles here and there.

S - Dank hoppy nose, big pine, light malty sweetness. The bitter hops hit you right away and the slight sweetness finishes things off nice and smooth. As it warms, the malts shine though a bit more, but there's always that pine hitting you again and again.

T - Smooth hoppy bitterness, some citrus peel, pine, malty sweetness. The booze is surprisingly there for 8.5% disappoints me a little bit, I was hoping it would be as smooth as the nose. Finish is huge bitter hops that attack the palate relentlessly.

M - Light body, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - Well, color me impressed with Pipeworks first official release. I like that fact it's 8.5% and not something like 12% where I can only have a glass. Gerrit & Beejay, good stuff guys, keep 'em coming! (960 characters)

Photo of mschantz
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL over Christmas week, unknown bottling date but Batch #"264 265"; poured into my FFF Teku glass and drank over 1-2 hours

A: 3/3 - orange-brown (erm, amber) coloration; low clarity (cannot read or see through) likely 2/2 unfiltered; initial frothy/soapy white head subdued into glass lacing with mild retention

S: 9/12 - dank hops battling citrus fruit (Ninja vs. Unicorn?!?) - pine, pineapple, onion, mandarin orange, etc.; slight toasty aroma with some caramel sweetness in the background; no detetctable alcohol on the nose

T: 17/20 - in the front of the tongue, the battle continues with minimal bittnerness - again, citrus fruit vs. dank/piney character; in the middle of the palate, these flavors evolve and are accompanied by slight caramel and toffee with some alcohol; there is residual sweetness for me but not cloying or unpleasant and retains high drinkability

M: 4/5 - moderate body - thick hop oil coating alcohol; like the other Pipeworks DIPAs that I've tasted recently, relatively low carbonation for style (interesting take)

O: 8/10 - an enjoyable beer that I'd put at a distant second behind Citra Ninja among the four Pipeworks DIPAs that I've sampled in the past week; this one reminds me more of Avery's Maharaja or Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum than the other offerings with big piney/dank aroma/flavor with some citrus qualities for balancing; if you can find it and like dank hops like CTZ, Chinook or Simcoe, I'd recommend this one; Happy New Year!

TOTAL - 41/50 (1,551 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

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. (1,205 characters)

Photo of Nachojon
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from bottle into Three Floyds Imp. Pint. Nice Golden color, no haze like other IIPAs, this one is clear. Very thin head that dissipated quickly.

S- Not overly aromatic. Does give off a nice aroma of grapefruit and some hop warmth but it doesn't hit you the way I might have expected.

T- Peppery at the start and then moves into the fruit, some grapefruit and tangerine then the grass and finishing out with a nice hop flavor. Very pleasant flavor.

M- I read all the "palette wrecker" reviews and was hoping for the experience, however it isn't quite up to that level. The mouthfeel is crisp and pleasant but there isn't the burn I was hoping for.

O- A very good beer, my first experience with Pipeworks and I have to say I will continue to sample their offerings, I started off with my favorite style and I am not sure I would go out and buy it when compared to my other favorite IIPAs. (904 characters)

Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.