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Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

260 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 260
Hads: 1,885
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 338
Gots: 359 | FT: 22
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.
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Reviews: 260 | Hads: 1,885
Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great trader, Bertram, for this! Some of the coolest bottle art I have seen.

A. Pours a slightly cloudy marigold with a thick three finger eggshell, thick, foamy head. Excellent lacing.

S. Mmmm, really really nice. Lots of tropical fruit, including mango, tangerine, and pineapple. Some mild pine resin yields to a luscious, soft honeycomb finish.

T. Pineapple, tangerine, candied orange slices, pine needles, freshly cut grass, honey drizzle, and caramel. Leans more toward the sweet, savory side rather than the hop bomb side. And that is a-ok by me. Just a nice big tropical candy profile here with a crisp hop kick. Very nice.

M. Pretty full bodied for a DIPA, very sweet. Crisp with a moderate-high carb level.

O. I was very impressed with this offering from Pipeworks. It's my first experience with them, and I welcome more of their brews (wink, wink Jason). DIPAs tend to be a little too harsh for me, but this has a lovely, easygoing flavor profile that retains complexity and punch without bowling you over with brashness. A top-notch DIPA.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recieved in a trade, many thanks! Batch 13. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Wow, nice DIPA here. Nice slightly hazy golden orange yellowy pour, more on the yellow than orange with a nice big almost three finger head that is is sudsy and leaved big thick clumpy side lacing and a nice thick blanket.

S - Wow, this is pretty freakin solid. Great citrusy tropical hops with oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and light papaya. Slight sweetness from malts.

T - Wow, this is tasty too. Not quite what I was expecting based off the nose but nice nevertheless. This is a bit more piney and grapefruit peel than tropical, which is unfortunate. Still nice and tasty with just the faintest of tropics on the end. Quite bitter on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice, the carbonation keeps this feelin abit lighter but the alcohol is clear and forward. Wish it was hidden a bit more. Nice and bitter.

O - Overall this was a very enjoyable beer. Glad I got to try it and would definitely consider trading for it again. With the tropics came across more on the flavour though.

S -

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Photo of ChiPool
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 22 oz bomber into Duvel tulip.

My habit is to smell the can/bottle immediately after opening. N vs U: you had me at hello! NVU pours an opaque pumkin colored orange, with plenty of cream-colored head. The smell immeadiately reminds me of my first Dreadnaught experience: weed & citrus. The mouthfeel is almost perfect for the style: not too thick or thin...just right. Down the hatch, I'm getting an array of citrus & tropical fruit: orange peel, grapefruit, maybe a bit of apricot or mango. I was expecying a sweet finish, but it actually finishes quite nicely: dry, with a lingering bitterness.

Overall, two thumbs up for my first Pipeworks experience. They are 2 blks from me, so I hope they open a bottle shop soon! I'd be curious to do a blind taste test with Dready: these taste quite similar to me.

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Photo of Holland
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 13, drank as quickly as possible. Thanks to Treebs for the heads up. Grabbed the last bottle on the shelf.

A: straw orange with a slight haze and a great head and lacing that stay for a long time.

S: big pine and fruity smell. The fruits go from pineapple to some other tropical fruits like starfruit or something I can't put my finger on. A bit of sweetness and no alcohol I can detect.

T: very bitter, piney, full of hops. I get earthy flavors and a very mild sweetness. Strong hop taste, and quite complex, but the taste is a bit muddled for me by all of the different flavors. A few tropical fruit flavors carry through from the smell.

M: well carbonated and medium bodied. Quite crisp

O: there are no flaws to this beer to my senses. I see why Pipeworks has been hyped by the Chicago beer crowd. Should have purchased some of their other beers while I was at Binny's.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #8 bottle courtesy of Treebs. Poured into a snifter on 5/4/12.

Appearance: Orange amber color with a big fluffy head that persists for a while. Great lacing.

Smell: Big hop notes. Heavy pine and fruity hops. Citrus aromas became bolder as it warmed.

Taste: Initial hop bitterness is quickly complimented by pale sweet malts. Finishes with a lingering bitterness that is assertive with the piney hops. Very bold, but not too big.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, sticky, with a bit a big of alcohol warmth.

Overall: Very impressive. Hops burst all over the palate and leaves perfect bitterness. This stands up to plenty of top notch DIPAs.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden body with a short but persistent white head.

Smells like tropical fruit- a little pineapple, a little papaya and mango. There's also hints of pine and a little mint.

It's pleasantly bitter with those same tropical fruit and pine notes. It has a very fresh and clean taste to it and it's all well pronounced.

Clean and dry mouthfeel with good carbonation.

This was a very, very good DIPA. I hope this one becomes more accessible.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber (Batch #008 brewed 3/21/12 bottled 4/9/12) into a dimple mug. Pours a beautiful deep golden amber with orange hues along a bright white head which leaves gorgeous lacing throughout. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon notes with piney undertones in the nose. Flavors of resin, floral and citrus notes dominate upfront-orange peel. Transitions into a slight sweetness and a touch of malt. Finishes with a crisp, sharp hop bite with pine undertones that gradually relents into smooth silk. Medium body that is very appropriate and completely adequate for a DIPA. Medium to lower carbonation, enough to gentle tickle the tongue and roof of the mouth beckoning you to partake in another mouthful. Silky smooth mouthfeel. Excellent DIPA from Pipeworks. Thanks funkyaudio for this beer!

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Photo of BrewerB
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew arrived courtesy of mcc1654 along with some other gems in a recent trade. Cheers, Mike! I look forward to future deals.

Pouring into this year's SF Beer Week tulip. the beer pours an ever-so-slightly hazed medium orange with great off-white foam formation and retention. Label proclaims this to be unfiltered but it still has good clarity.

Prominent resiny hop aromas in addition to a mandarin-sweet citrus fruit. Hint of toasted malt but mostly clean. Slight esters.

Herbal and dank mix of hop flavors. Bitterness is moderately-high and lingers alongside pine needles in the medium-dry finish. Malt backbone mostly clean but firm enough to support the bitterness. Slightly off-putting grassy flavors.

Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth warming sensation.

Overall this is well-balanced and drinkable while putting up big hop character and bitterness. Would like to see the grassy flavors dialed back slightly. Lacking some of the intangibles of the great styles examples but still a delicious brew.

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Photo of silentjay
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in a Southern Tier Tulip glass. Four finger head with rings of lacing around the sides of the tulip. Crystal clear golden color.

Strong fruity and floral hop aroma characteristic of a IIPA and pale malt in the background. Terrific smell.

Taste is less tropical than in the nose with citrus rind, mango and heavy dry hop resiny pine. Like a West Coast/Midwest blend DIPA. Pine defeats citrus. Pale malts provide the base layer.

Mouthfeel leaves slick hops on the tongue and a dry finish.

A solid offering for Pipework's initial foray into the Midwest brewing scene. The label art is outstanding.

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Photo of Ninjabrew
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I had to weigh in on this one and let me tell you first that the Ninja won this epic battle!!! Though if any (SF) unicorns want a redo I'm game ;)

A very solid hop blast of a IIPA with American Hops. Aroma is magnificient very fruity and floraly. Taste is very good but could not match the smell as this is an awesome smelling beer. Overall this is a top 5 DIPA anyway you "slice" it.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A good simple off white head is produced with lots of staying power. Foamy, mish mash of bubble sizes, sitting on top of what looks like an unfiltered frozen amber orange body.

Nose is a fairly nice hop blast sort of one dimensional, but gets into faint apricot and zesty orange. A dry biscuit aroma creeps out later.

Palate doesn't come with much richness, but a controlled slightly wet sense. Mouthfeel seems to hint at a little bit of fizz, but luckily not very much present. Orange hop bitter sense creeps in mid way, but loses a bit on the finish. Dry pine action comes in with a nice astringency, but is almost medicinal. Sugar malt bent or hit of biscuit from the nose is non existent on the palate.

Overall it's not bad, fairly drinkable with something to enjoy but can't say I am really drawn to this one.

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Photo of timmersthemagician
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, batch no. 8, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a nice orange golden color, slightly hazy, topped with a finger of fluffy white head that settles down to a ring around the edge of the glass, leaves very good lacing.

S- Oh man, this is one juicy DIPA, seriously one of the most delicious fruit aromas I've found on an DIPA in a while. Loads of tropical mango and pineapple. Also lots of resinous pine and bready malts.

T- Big aggressive hop flavor, very juicy and fruity. Big notes of mango and pineapple, with a powerful pine resin bitterness. A good amount of lightly bready malts.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, dry finish.

O- Hop heads will love this, this is a really tasty and highly drinkable beer. Also, unicorn, totally, I mean just look at it.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
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

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Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of KDawg
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bomber into a pint glass. Pours a clear pale gold with a small head

very well balanced with really good aromas of hops, citrus, oranges and tropical citrus

very good full body feel with bursting flavors of hops, florals, tropical citrus notes, and some oranges

This was a very impressive debut by pipeworks. I only wish I had gotten more bottles

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Photo of AgentZero
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Kan (I believe) at Hunaphu's Day.

A - A nice looking amber colored beer with a small white head that had nice retention and left some good lace.

S - Lots of tropical fruit, particularly in the pineapple and mango vein, with some good resin and a touch of pine to break it up. Pretty aromatic. The malt backbone seems appropriately present without being overpowering.

T - Very well done. Some nice resin and bitterness in the front that is quickly mellowed out by some nice tropical fruit and malt sweetness. Good example of the style.

M - Medium bodied, a little sticky, good carbonation.

O - A very fine offering and a very promising first release. I was pleasantly surprised. Can't go wrong drinking this beer, and it's worth trying for those who like DIPA's.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy light golden amber in color. Forms a small, but dense bright white head that has some pretty good staying power. Moderate lacing.

S: Very aromatic with notes of tropical fruit, orange, and mango. Lots of citrus hops and some lesser caramel malts.

T: Starts off with a bit of a biscuit maltiness. Then lots of pine and pine resin with some citrus hops as well. Tropical fruit to a lesser extent - much less than the nose would suggest. Finishes with a strong dry bitterness.

M: Medium bodied and dry with a carbonation level that is bit higher than it should be. Strong, lingering bitterness.

O: This is a great DIPA. Very clean flavors with a very aggressive bitterness. Would have preferred more of the tropical aromas of the nose carried over to the taste, but it is was it is. Very nice beer - can't wait until this becomes more readily available.

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

(poured into a snifter)
This beer pours a beautiful golden straw color with very little head. At first, all the little bubbles wanted to hang out on the side of the glass which looked rad but seemed strange; couldn't decide if it was my glassware or some veteran homebrewers getting used to forced carbonation. The aroma brings on strong notes of gummy fruits with a hint of hops. A super smooth front greets you with a nice amount of hops. Really crisp. A nice hoppy finish but it ends very smooth. A super interesting mix for a double IPA; not that malty and not super hoppy. Well done boys.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.