Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

187 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 187
Hads: 1,557
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 320
Gots: 239 | 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: 1,557
Photo of paco1029384756
2.81/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Scent of sugar, pine, sap and some caramel. Flavors of sugar, a little bit of citrus, caramel, pine and resin. A bit of alcohol becomes apparent as it warms. It smells and tastes expired, but it's fresh. (203 characters)

Photo of bigwinner
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one in 4 pack cans at local Binnys. Had a 1 case limit, so I figured it must be good. Was not disappointed.

Poured a golden to copper color with a moderate, quickly fading head and sticky lace.

Smell is amazing...bright, sweet grapefruit (almost pineapple?) attacks your nose.

Drinks (dangerously) easy for 8%+. 16oz gone too fast as my mouth wanted more, more, more. No overt alcohol bite, though a warm, full mouth feel on finish.

Should have limited out on this one. My new favorite Summer DIPA (519 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge fluffy snow-white head atop a pale golden, hazy brew. Good retention, leaving tons of thick lacing behind.

Incredible aroma; it smells like pineapple from feet away. Huge tropical notes, laced with dank herbs. Pale malt grains lurk close behind. This hop-forward brew's reputation as a hop bomb precedes it, and it lives up to it on the nose.

Flavor follows. Dank herbs are present, but not particularly dominant, really allowing the juicy tropical notes to shine. Second half brings waves of more hops, back to herbal, green, and earthy, and then right back to fruity and floral. Sweet pale malt profile; a touch of biscuit, a touch of grain, and a touch of sugar.

Fairly smooth and lively; quite drinkable. A touch of chest heat, but no indication of the ABV on the palate. Flirts with being the slightest bit syrupy, but manages to dodge that trap. Nice bitter grapefruit peel hugs the mouth on a semi-dry finish.

This is an exceptional DIPA, well worth both the hype and seeking out. This is a brew that would feel right at home in the heart of Vermont. (1,066 characters)

Photo of BeerBrose
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 16oz can into a miniature snifter.

Look: Golden and clear, easy to see through with a frothy white head. sticky lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Pine and floral grapefruit, slight sweet malt.

Taste: Pine, Grapefruit, Rind, and a slight malt sweetness.

Feel: Medium bodied, and a very real lingering biterness & alcohol bite.

Overall: Very solid Double IPA and all the more worth our time now that its in 4pk Cans. (434 characters)

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tweaked recipe means the decreased malt bill allows the hops shine a little brighter which is good news IMO. Great value too now that PW is distro-ing in cans. (162 characters)

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am a fan of the new formulation. Hoppier but also more sessionable at the same time. Not to mention the cans are pretty sick. This one's a keeper and a friend. (161 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy deep gold with a full head of off-white foam that left messy lace behind

S: deep fruits including citric notes nestled amid resinous pine

T: biscuity, warm malts full of chewy grain are the platform for a big hop wallop of chewy fruits, pale and orchard, with some moments of citric pith; a dank resin enrobes the palate with damp pine and darker notes

F: medium weight, soft and plush, smooth but for the fuzziness of ample carbonation

O: an excellent DIPA, and highly recommended (493 characters)

Photo of BrewUSA
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pipework's Ninja vs Unicorn

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 92/100

Summery: real nice creamy rich DIPA. Only had a few Pipeworks brews. They have all been great. Def worth seeking and grabbing~ (332 characters)

Photo of BeerZombies1
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ninja Vs. Unicorn – Pipeworks Brewing

American double IPA , DIPA

8.5% ABV

1AROMA:50 IBU

APPEARANCE: I imagine if a ninja’s sword where to chop the head of a Unicorn, he would wipe his blade clean on his ninja pajamas. The color on his ninja costume would be reminiscent of the way this lovely beer poured. A beautiful golden amber, with sparkling highlights that really hypnotize you when you stair into it. Produced a nice big loose white head that lingering cap.



AROMA: Drinking this out in the forest has intensified the pine aromas, all around me the pine cones are falling. Getting tons of sticky pine and huge resinous piney hops coming off the pour. Fresh sliced juicy grapefruit, like the ones on “fruit ninja” game from my iPhone. Followed by some over ripe orange and tangerines. There is a wonderful maltiness that translate into toasted bread and sugar cookies. The nose on this beer is amazing. I imagine this is what a unicorn fart would smell like!

TASTE: After the ninja chopped the head off of this mythical beast, the blood spilled and filled bottle upon bottle of this beer. Usually when a beer has such an outstanding nose the taste doesn’t live up. Not in this case, the flavor layers are all right there in line with the aroma. For a beer that claims 10 ibu it inst a palate wrecker at all, Its actually very easy drinking. The piney hops come flying at you like a ninja star. Super dank that’s followed up with a big bursting citrus flavor. The sweet malts do make an appearance like a piece of toast with a grapefruit/orange marmalade. There is a some heat on this beer, which is odd with the abv coming in at 8.5%.



MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. there is a very pleasant syrupy creaminess that makes this a really smooth drinking ipa. Lots of that resiouness pine comes through on the mouthfeel, really coating the entire mouth. Leaves the mouth with a long lasting lingering finish.



OVERALL: Not sure if Ninja Vs.Unicorn is a the name it should have. Its so balanced that it should be called Ninja Sex Unicorn. Huge fan of every aspect of this beer, including the little heat that comes out i’m assuming from the battle. Speaking of battles I think the real winner was me! I just saw that they are going to start canning this beer, when that happens I will be trading for a case at a time. Truly everything I would want and ask for out of a dipa.



RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads! (2,459 characters)

Photo of Big_V
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour into my snifter glass. Not much head. Aroma was apricot, pears and tangerines. This was juicy and hoppy all in one. What you expect from a world class brew. The finish was a dry bitterness that left a aftertaste. For only 8.5% this left me a really nice buzz. (269 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This continues to be one of my favorite DIPA's. I really enjoy the balance between citrus and bitterness. Another great thing is this beer is regularly available in Chicago. (175 characters)

Photo of wolfpac255
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The new recipe for the cans really lets the hops shine. Very good smooth IIPA with a now very distinct hop character. The can recipe is much better than the bottle IMO. (168 characters)

Photo of Mike_Honcho1
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
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 (377 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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 (785 characters)

Photo of huysmans
2.71/5  rDev -35.3%
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. (1,318 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (1,329 characters)

Photo of HoppyDrinker
4.4/5  rDev +5%
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. (453 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (811 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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%. (195 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 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 FrancisSmooth
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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 (520 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)

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