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Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

829 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 829
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.71%

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:
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.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-23-2012)
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Ratings: 829 | Reviews: 137 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pkalix


4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark urine color, creamy white head on top. good lace. looks beautiful.
smells sweet and malty. lots of differences between the west coast and east coast... I just didn't know because I hadn't had any east coast ipa before....
taste is sweet. slight bitterness. expected way more for a double ipa. some candy taste. sweet biscuit and malt, though. very easy to drink. very tasty. very nice. very interesting to try the different styles around the country and world. someone mentioned there are some really good IPAs coming from brazil??

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 22:57:51 | More by pkalix
Photo of blankenhoney


4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber from batches 363-364. Poured into a teku glass.

Appearance is cloudy gold with very active carbonation and a 1-finger head. Smells delicious: lots of pineapple and straight pine; a candied/malty fruitiness; and some mangoes and citrus. Tastes just as good: sweet malts mixed with bitter citrus, tropical fruits, and nice piney bitter hops. The maltiness really held everything together for me. Mouthfeel was medium-carbed, smooth, creamy, and chewy. Overall, a must-try and one of my go-to DIPAs. Second only to Citra on the hop side of Pipeworks' catalog.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 01:11:28 | More by blankenhoney
Photo of KYGunner


3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 23:25:44 | More by KYGunner
Photo of darthvohn


4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass Used: Tulip

Appearance: The body is a vibrant honey-orange hue with some haze topped with a big bubbled foam that reduces down to a half inch, tightly packed cap. Lacing grips just a fraction above the surface.

Smell: Fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon and a mix of tropical island fruits with fresh pine which opens just as you finish your inhale. Sweet malt is there as a foundation.

Taste: Full blast of orange, lemon with some hints of the tropical fruits from the nose and piney hops on the back end. The ever pleasant hoppy bitterness lingers around for while before fading. A smidge of alcohol vapor on the breath when all is said and done. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Soft, crisp and dry. Refreshing DIPA.

Overall: If I lived within the distribution of Pipeworks, I would probably keep this one around as often as I could. Very nice orange and citrus flavors blend nicely with the piney hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 02:08:12 | More by darthvohn
Photo of Bosoxfan20


4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a pretty clean golden color with only slight haze. Nice off white head that creates a suffocating pillow. Terrific lacing.

S- Lemon grass, orange zest, and fresh cut pine. Sweet malty backbone. Aroma is very pleasant, but not overly pungent. Lots of florals to accompany.

T- What the nose lacked in robustness, the taste absolutely makes up for. Huge hop forward profile of citrus, floral, and pine. The balance steps up only in the sense that it doesn't make you cringe with bitterness in the finish. It lingers, but it never goes astringent.

M- Soft on the tongue. Probably not as crisp as I prefer my IPAs, but mid body performs well enough. Sticky and boozy.

O- Very impressed with this one. I know it is different, but I would probably prefer this one over Citra. Either way, it is clear that Pipeworks knows how to work the hops

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 18:44:49 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of Wolberjs


3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Unfiltered cloudy amber. Pours with a finger head that dissipates.

S - Not alot going on here. Some sour orangey citrus with some pine notes and malt.

T - Not alot going on here either. Some hoppy bitterness on the finish. Malty taste. Not bad, but not outstanding.

M - Good mouthfeel for an IPA. Silky smooth at first with a tingly finish.

O - Solid IPA but not a standout. Maybe my bottle was not fresh. Will review again if I have a chance.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 00:24:21 | More by Wolberjs
Photo of Rifugium


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

Bottle poured into a Pipeworks bell tulip. Attractive beer, hazy golden-amber color with a full inch of foamy, beige head that sank to a thick cap and left gobs of lace on the glass. I could smell the fresh hop goodness as soon as I cracked the cap on this one. Pithy citrus and pine, underripe tropical fruits, with a sugar cookie malt base. More of this in the taste, orange pith and zest, strong, oily bitterness, pine resin, green pineapple rind, sugary, bready malt backbone bringing in good balance, but still leaving the hop profile firmly in charge. Vegetal bitterness lasted right into the aftertaste. Medium body, unctuous mouthfeel, moderate and appropriate carbonation. This was a very nicely done DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 21:00:25 | More by Rifugium
Photo of notchucknorris


4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First Pipeworks! Thanks, Tyler!

A: Pours a glowing orange color with just a touch of chill haze. Beautiful one finger cream colored head leaves nice lace with each sip. The slightest swirl brings the head right back up again.

S: Mango, peach and caramel with a touch of pine in the background. It's a bit faint, but I get some grapefruit as well. Not the strongest smell, but it's pretty inviting.

T: Opens with some nice sweet citrus hops and smooth biscuity malt. Pink grapefruit, tangerine and light peach slowly turn to peppery pine and resin near the middle. Finish brings a touch of cracked black pepper and some nice grapefruit pith. Everything is remarkably well balanced by the malt in here, which lends just a hint of caramel. Mouthfeel is lush and full without ever becoming heavy. Prickly carbonation breaks things up nicely. A fantastic and insanely drinkable DIPA. I would love to be able to drink this on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 04:26:59 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Bowers-Brew


4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 328/39/40

A - Nice light orange body - tight & bright white 1.5 - 2" head - lots of lacing

S - Citrus hops dominate with slightly mango notes. Sweet/Malt + earth/pine in background

T - Citrus hops and caramel malt followed by sweet and sour mango and a slightly bitter/dry finish. Alcohol content not discernible.

M - Tiny bubbles tingle the tongue. Thin going down.

O - Very good DIPA. If you aren't able to get a bottle of Pipeworks Citra Ninja, give Ninja Vs. Unicorn a try. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 22:04:22 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of lanciloti


4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber into a snifter glass. (batch #309 1/23/14)

Appearance: Straight Copper, bone white puffy head.

Smell: Peppery dankness, also get some pine and citrus.

Taste: Resin and hoppy dank notes right away followed by some nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy on pallet but finishes dry.

Overall: Peppery vs. Sweet, Dank vs. Citrus, the Ninja vs. Unicorn is awesome. Not sure who wins but I don't care. Good job Pipeworks. Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 01:42:17 | More by lanciloti
Photo of koutkid41


4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Orange/copper with a nice head that lingers a bit, some nice lacing as well.

S: Really nice dank citrus notes upfront with some orange and pine. Really amazing smell.

T: Same as the smell a lot of citrus, pine, and some dankness . An easy to drink beer that I could drink all the time.

M: A perfect amount of carbonation. Slight alcohol taste but not overpowering, and not overly sweet like I like it.

O: Really enjoy this beer, have had it a few times now and always enjoy it. Love all the DIPA's.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 03:54:09 | More by koutkid41
Photo of PSUDREW


3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 02:15:12 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of bmwats


4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a DH IPA glass.

A: Bright, golden hue. Pours 1 2 finger, frothy, white head. Pervasive rising effervescence. Settles very slowly leaving dry sticky residue in its wake. Blanket of foam persists throughout. Dry spiderweb lacing.

S: Pine cone and pine resin.

T: Hoppy pine. A little tea leaf. Pine cone. Slight sweet pine resin.

M: Thick and syrupy. Bitter, but not too much so, aftertaste.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is excellent. Great persistent head, lots of effervescence, and persisting lacing. Nose is piney and a little sweet. Hops prevail, with a balance of sweet resin. Syrupy, no off putting aftertaste, deceptive alcohol presence. Overall this is a great quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 05:06:45 | More by bmwats
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch # 289 90 91, which according to the Pipeworks website means it was packaged 1/03/14.

The aggressive pour of this IPA reaches an easy three-finger's width of bone white, puffy foam. The cap is overrun by tiny bubbles, rising in an asymmetrical pile. The creamy pillow deflates slowly, leaving behind thick, webbed lacing. Ninja vs. Unicorn sports a glowing amber body clashing with more honeyed highlights.

I could smell this beer as soon as I capped it. The aromas will not be quelled by this puny snifter! The scents burst forth in waves of citrus hops like orange and starfruit. After a few sniffs, a dank, garlic note cozies up with a peppery kick, it adds complexity to this juicy nose. Yeah, that's enough, this beer is begging to be quaffed.

The dank and peppery quality of the hops strike first! Slowly countering, citrus-y hits attack the palate: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. A musty quality resembling peppercorns and melon really builds in the finish with an enormous resin hop note. Trying to hide from this epic confrontation, the meager cracker malt peeks out every few sips. Really nice building bitterness in the finish, this battle continues to rage well after the drink has been swallowed.

NvU dries up the palate significantly, almost like sucking down charcoal. NICE! Hard to say what a battle between a feudal Japanese assassin and a mythical creature looks like, but apparently, it is really dry. The beer has a nice medium body and runs creamily over the tongue.

Ninja vs. Unicorn is a battle of the citrus and the dank, the peppery and the sweet. In the end, it really does not matter who wins; the beer drinker is the true victor. Be careful, the 8.5% ABV is hardly noticeable, watching this uncanny clash could result in the bystander being the victim. What a beer!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 09:09:20 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of sully11277


4.86/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour into my snifter Batch # 289 90 91

A- A very bright orange with a very light white head.

S- This beer smells amazing it hits you with just citrus goodness. You smell orange, citrus, pineapple, and mango.

T- A lot like it smells, a lot of citrus, mango, and pineapple. You get that sweet citrus taste then a little piney and ends with a nice but not overpowering bitter taste.

M- very little carbonation which is okay for the style. you taste the alcohol but it is not much of a burn it is balanced will with the hops.

O- This is an amazing DIPA. I wish I would of bought more then just the one. I thought this was going to be just a really bitter DIPA but it is complete different very sweet.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 19:19:57 | More by sully11277
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

was i n chicago yesterday, picked this up the day before that...enjoyed from pipeworks snifter as fresh as i could.

batch 289 90 91 picked up at clybourn binny's on my way to GI.

a - brew is classic IIPA...rich semi-transparent orange yellow with a generous frothy ipa head that left behind big chunks of lacing on the glass.

s - nose is divine. all those people who start threads asking what "dank" is...get this beer fresh and smell it...THAT, my friend, is not only dank, it is the diggity dank. thick rich sweaty syrupy pine cone hoppy. more citric than resinous, but it is so thick that it is definitely resinous. orange, tangerine, happiness.

t - with a nose like that, typically the taste falls off, but not this beer. tastes JUST like it smells. the only thing the nose doesn't advertise is the heat. the booze is evident here...but not in a bad way, you can just tell it is boozy.

m - strong beer and it tastes like it, but the body is great. carb is spot on and the flavor is rich.

o - overall, this is a solid IIPA. seek it out. nuff said.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 04:58:50 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of MNishCT77

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 23:07:55 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of kylehay2004


4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Half finger head with nice lacing on a golden and burnt orange murky body. Aroma of wet socks, citrus mostly orange, pineapple, club soda, pine, herbal hops and lots of candy sugar. Flavor is fairly tart due to the citrus which again is mostly orange and white pineapple, pine and toasted malts. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very good IPA. Balanced, anomalous and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 03:17:30 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of dar482

New York

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a hazy orange color.

The aroma has tons of citrus, pine, orange, grapefruit.

The flavor follows with a bit of grapefruit and orange, but is dominated with pine bitterness throughout with a bit of a caramel malt balance.

A smooth drinking DIPA that is quite well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 03:31:16 | More by dar482
Photo of vinny21bal


4.98/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Favorite IPA out there. I have had all the big dogs, alpine, Floyd's, heady topper. Ninja vs unicorn is my favorite. It's good every damn time. So floral! I think the nose is my favorite part. I know they switch the hops a little but it is outstanding! I drink it anytime I can.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 05:12:09 | More by vinny21bal
Photo of thecheapies


4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ninja vs Unicorn in a snifter glass. Mucky dark orange to auburn color with a silky foam topper. Has that unfiltered appeal.

Spiny pineapple, white grapefruit, donut peaches, light caramel malts, with some assorted citrus. Sweeping fruit notes and the grace of faint woody pine. Aromatic and a little dank. I gather there's Simcoe here.

Grapefruit and grapefruit pith with the character of unripe peach, and some dank Simcoe pine/citrus notes. Aftershock of caramel malt never breaches the word semi-dry. Decently bitter with a happy hoppiness that seems fresh, yet languid. Remarkably light and approachable for a DIPA. Carbonation is dialed up. Excellent feel.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 16:29:56 | More by thecheapies
Photo of MCain04


4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, batch 235-237, poured into a Speigelau tulip. This is the batch that was presumably "double hopped" according to the PW crew when purchased.

A: yellow amber color with hazy appearance and 2 finger off-white head, good retention and lacing.

S: Intensely aromatic! Heavy citrus flavors with grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, and other tropical fruits, also a heavy dosing of pine needles. This was indeed hopped more than the previous batches.

T: Heavy on the citrus hops with pine present as well, very true to the nose. Bitterness throughout with a good malt balance. A little sweet and definitely cloying.

M: Medium body, solid carbonation, sticky throughout, dry finish.

O: A fantastic DIPA, much much better than I previously remember. I hope they do this recipie for all future NVU offerings, it is absolutely fantastic. Citra ninja-level good.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 01:23:38 | More by MCain04
Photo of CooperEllis

New York

4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another one from Vonerichs. Cheers!

22 oz into a 6 oz wine glass. Man Torst has really brainwashed me. Open beer, pour in wine glass. Repeat.

A: Dirty copper. Brite. Missing something on the top but otherwise very nice.

S: The only aspect of this beer that is lacking. EDIT: I originally had this as a 3.5 but as this warmed in the glass a bit the aroma took over the experience. White pepper, lawn clippings, citrus with just a little dirty dishwater floating in the background.

T: Nice, light IPA taste. Considering I've been on a Heady kick for a week+ this may just be confirmation bias, but this is a more mild, gentler IPA. Doesn't take anything away from the depth and complexity, and it doesn't punish your tongue.

M: Damn fine. The smooth, slightly oiling mouthfeel is only upset by a very 'ack ack' bitter aftertaste.

This was exceptionally enjoyable and something I'd love to see on the shelves. For now I'd settle for a bottle or two every once in a while finding their way into a box.


Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 01:03:09 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 211/12/13 (9.9.13)

A - Pours a fantastic bright yet hazy orange color with a finger of dense light tan head. Retention is phenomenal, as is lacing. If the flavor holds up to the appearance I'm in for a treat!

S - Oh man, that's how I want my IPAs to smell. Lots of grapefruit, orange and pineapple. Mouth watering sweetness with a very subtle underlying resinous quality. Smells damn near perfect.

T - Some bitter hops and hefty resin up front quickly transform into grapefruit, orange and pineapple sweet citrusy flavors. Sweetness sets in with the bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is very citrusy/juicy fruit sweet.

M - Great, a little low on the carbonation but still within an acceptable range, medium bodied, quite drinkable. Very refreshing and satisfying to drink.

O - Pretty fantastic, would have liked a little more sweetness from the pineapple/orange but its very good. Glad I finally got a chance to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 23:46:50 | More by MacQ32
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Bright hazy orange body. Nice white head. Some lacing.

Smell - Orange hop aroma. Deep toasty malt. Some booze.

Taste - Orange and grapefruit. Toasty malt again. Pithy bitterness. Harsh bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - There's an abrasive character about all Pipeworks DIPAs. This is no exception. Better than some of the other Ninjas, though. Mediu. Body. Boozy, although that seems ridiculous.

Overall - I don't get why people love this brewery. This is one of the better ones I've had from them, but still not great.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 17:29:10 | More by Alieniloquium
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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 829 ratings.