1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,139 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,139
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 280
Gots: 118 | FT: 9
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,139 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

djrn2, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Thorpe429, May 29, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

zestar, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

acurtis, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with three fingers of foam; the persistance is excellent, leaving squiggles of lace behind on the pint glass

Smell: Very piney, but there is also an unusual green onion and sage tone

Taste: A hint of sugar cookie malt and then the hops take over very aggressively; piney to an extreme, but there are other elements that are harder to define, as well - I'll put them in the green onion and sage category for lack of a more precise descriptor; this unusual flavor dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation but mouth-puckering dryness, in the aftertaste

Overall: I don't think I have ever had my mouth dry out from the hops quite like this before; in the hop profile, others are finding tropical flavors but that doesn't capture what is happening on my palate; I'm really curious about the hops that were used but cannot find any reference to that anywhere; I wonder whether the name of the beer offers a clue; perhaps Ninja refers to West Coast "C" hops and the Unicorn refers to European Noble hops battling it out

Thanks to hoppymeal for making this possible

brentk56, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy beige color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of floral hops with a mix between some citrus hops with resinous notes is quite exquisite. Taste is a super great mix between huge floral notes of citrus hops with some resinous notes with a good malt backbone with just enough sweetness to sustain the hops presence. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Huge hops bomb with more floral then bitter notes.

Phyl21ca, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So, what part of the beer is Ninja and what part is Unicorn? The duel that takes place on the taste buds favor a deep and drying bitterness while its finesse fruit tones takes sides with the sweeter malt impressions.

As the oddly curios beer pours, it quickly separates as its golden lush body sinks and its frothy white cap rises. Surprisingly clear in its appearance it's relatively void of any hop-derived haze. Retaining mercifully, the ale only lightly speckles the glass with lace. Aside from its timid lacing patterns, Ninja vs Unicorn has a very stately appearance.

Vibrant and juicy aromas captivate the nose with a ton of citrus and tropical fruits- everything from red grapefruit, lemon and tangerine- to pineapple, mango and apricot are all well represented and in good balance. Supporting caramel aromas give a light biscuit, bread and honeyed character that makes the fruit impressions seem ripe, juicy and vibrant. After the ale settles a bit, other notes of spicy alcohol, apple and buttered popcorn unfold from the mix.

The light honey and caramel sweetness greet the taste buds first; just ahead of the citrus and tropical fruit flavors. But once those arrive, the ale takes on a spicier and earthier tone with pine, sharp herbal and grassy bitterness until it grows into a full-out resiny-dry finish. Lightly buttery- this taste along side of the spicy and bitter alcohol taste add more to the beer's complexity instead of detracting from it.

Medium-dry throughout, the ale easily sheds its early sweetness and creamy carbonation and quickly favors drier and more bitter taste from the middle on. Its spicy acetone prickle seems higher than its 8.5% would suggest but is highlighted by the beer's malty-dry finish and resinous bitterness.

Ninja vs. Unicorn is a magical and inquisitive ale that's terrific with all its glory and a few of its worts (no pun intended). Though not the cleanest IPA in its arsenal, the ale's keen hop-forward delivery easily carries the beer from its initial sip to its fleeting finish.

BEERchitect, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Texasfan549, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.3%

kjkinsey, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

GRG1313, May 15, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.3%

ygtbsm94, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
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.

kylehay2004, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -18%

westcoastbeerlvr, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Finally getting a chance to try out some beer from this much-ballyhoo'ed new brewery. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger or so of bone foam. The nose comprises mandarin orange, light mango, a sprig of background-dwelling leek, and a nice, smooth mixture of of honey and sweet caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a twinge of pineapple and a small bite of both spearmint and pine resin. The balance at work is really quite nice. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta sticky finish. Overall, a pretty tasty DIPA, one that showcases both a pleasantly fruity hoppiness and a solid balance. Good times.

TMoney2591, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glad to see Pipeworks' first beer from the brewery out into the world...

Into a tulip glass it pours a bright saturated golden orange. Plenty of lacing all around the glass forming drippy irregular patterns.

Eucalyptus and light citrus aromas, initial blast of resinous hops, slight pale malt sweetness bleeds through eventually.

Citrus rind, grapefruit and tangerine, a moderate bitterness, and an exceptionally light feel for an 8.5% DIPA. Crisp and clean, finishes with lots of hoppy nuance to keep you interested. Some vegetal bitterness lingers alongside pleasant citrus notes. Very tasty and a solid first entry into the market.

emerge077, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.3%

SocalKicks, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

nickfl, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Binny's - Marcy St. Served in a Darkness glass.

A - Two fingers of creamy white foam that settle to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotchy lace. Transparent bronze body.

S - Hefty doses of citrus zest, tropical fruits, pine, and perhaps a touch of sugar cookie malt in the background. Definitely on the more attenuated side of the double IPA scale, which I appreciate.

T - Taste is solid, but not quite as defined as the aroma. More on the ripe orange and tangerine citrus side of things, with less of the exotic tropical flavors. Perhaps a tad more in the way of malt balance - some lightly sugary and bready flavors - but still pretty hop-forward. The last 6oz are pretty palate-bruising - *almost* too much.

M - Carbonation is on the lower side of things, and the body is a tad thin, which combines to make this feel a touch watery. Otherwise it's a nice smooth medium body, with an exceptionally dry finish. Perhaps a touch of alcohol warmth, but not out of line for 8.5%.

D - This is a really good beer. I've never been particularly impressed with Pipeworks' test batches so this is a pleasant surprise, and also bodes well for the future. I hope this becomes a rotating offering as I'd intersperse my Dreadnaught and Maharajah purchases with this beer. Drank the whole bomber on my own with no problem whatsoever.

MasterSki, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Creamy fizzy 1/2 finger head fades slowly with light lacing over hazy mango orange colored beer. Head keeps building and not fading, good for the abv and ibu count.

Nose fresh tropical fruit, light grapefruit, hint of musty resins, guava, even hint of pineapple but no real orange citrus, and a light fluffy wheat malt.

Taste starts fluffy, nice creamy malts, light sweetness. Then hops, bitterness builds and ramps quite a bit, nice tropical fruit but not as much as the nose, light pineapple, grapefruit, guava, etc. the hops turn slightly piny and spicy. No resin or orange citrus. Light candy flavored though. Finish is dry and quite biter, spicy hops mostly with a hint of tropical fruits, etc, and slightly oily.

Moth is med bodied, good carb, slight oily hop.

Overall nice, good hops really nice tropical fruit but weird that it's without the orange citrus, light resin, booze is hidden well tasty and goes down easy.

jlindros, May 26, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

oline73, May 30, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -4%
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.

Rifugium, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

mendvicdog, May 30, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Rochefort10nh, May 18, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,139 ratings.