Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,516 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,516
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 315
Gots: 223 | FT: 16
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:
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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Ratings: 1,516 | Reviews: 187
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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).

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass.
Beer is a lovely orange with an almost fluffy head that leaves lots of lacing.
Aroma is great. Lots of citrus, a bit of pine, a hint of candy and pineapple.
What a wonderful; tasting beer!. Loads of grapefruit, some pine and orange as well. Less bitter than I was expecting and beautifully balanced. Nice and bright.
The mouth feel is extraordinary! So smooth and nearly creamy. It has a wonderful, velvety and quenching finish.
Overall, just top-notch. I want another.

Photo of hophugger
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amazingly clear golden amber with a nice fizzy head and lacing. Aroma is awesome, full of pine resin and some citrus. The resin of the hops is some of the most amazing aromas I have had from any IPA. The taste hits hard with bitter hops, grapefruit rind and yet is still extremely balanced. As the drinking proceeds, the hop bitterness and grapefruit continue strongly interchanging turns with the fresh piney, woody resin. Awesome. Mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation and mouthfeel. Definitely not a session beer but one that I want to revisit over and over again !!!

Photo of kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange body with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Big hop pine aroma. Lots of resin hop pine flavors. Not much sweetness or alcohol taste. Excellent beer.

Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Bright, juicy hop aroma bursting with citrus notes like peach, pineapple and grapefruit. Some booze fume.

T- Actually on the lower end of the bitterness scale, there's just a pronounced citrusy hop flavor without the usual accompanying bite. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the smoothness.

M- Tangy and bright with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- I would recommend this to someone who's looking for a high gravity IPA with more hop flavor rather than hop bitterness. Hits on all the right notes without wearing out your palate.

Photo of McSmack
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

My first beer from Pipeworks and it is excellent! Pours hazy golden. Good balance of hops and maltyness.

Photo of vishneda
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Quite awesome. Just a tad on the sweet side for my taste but that's also a differentiator. Can be hard to find, but it's worth a purchase when you do find it.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%

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.

Photo of Flight317
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Got this in a trade after requesting Pipeworks as a local choice. I assumed I would get the stout selection because I've heard good things. The beer smells nice and hoppy like it might be a kick in the mouth. Much to my surprise the hops go extremely well with all of the flavors. It has a nice sweet balance to even out the hops and make it an almost creamy mouthfeel. I think this beer is the perfect ABV. Staying away from seeking out a 10% ABV double IPA did this beer well. Pipeworks continues to impress. Cant wait to try some more from them!

Photo of indurTheB
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

For a Double IPA, I found this to be very subtle. The smell would have led me to believe that I was going to get hit in the face by a heavyweight prize fighter, but it was much more mellow. Maybe I'm a sadist, but I like getting slapped around by hopes every now and then. Very good beer overall.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to DLeep for hooking me up with this. Label art is ridiculous and awesome.

the beer is orange with an inch of white head. Aromas of fresh hops, tropical fruit, citrus, pine. Great flavor. It gets better as the beer warms a tad and opens up. Big on the palate, with some noticeable alcohol, but hop character is certainly the feature. Mango, pineapple, pine resin. Very good.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

We pour a bomber, bottled 06/03/14, into our oversized tasting snifters. It pours a tangerine orange, showing thick haze and wispy, galactic waves of sediment throughout. A two finger tall head of soapy, creamy, eggnog colored foam is produced, and it retains like a champion. The nose, well, it smells exactly like Hopslam. Truly clones of one another, except this is a little less boozy when it’s at full room temperature. It speaks of beautiful citric, herbal, and resinously piney hops, angel food cake, tropical fruitiness of pineapple and passion fruit, white sugar sweetness, dense bamboo leafiness, heavy creamer, white gloss paper, intensely sweet bubblegum esters, toasty pale malts and wet straw, pesticide sting, fusel booziness, metallics, grapefruit peel, and plastic potpourri spiciness. The taste breathes of home squeezed orange juice, mead and honey booziness, parsley and cilantro leafiness, thick hops of bitter herbals, oily and skinny citric peel, and perfumed florals, fresh ginger, souring lemon juice and lime peel, sweeter and juicer bubblegum esters, coppery metallics, white flour and pale malt base, wet paper towels, and honeydew and cantaloupe melon fruitiness. The feel is boisterous and creamy, with nice froth, mustache, glug, flow, and pop. The mouth is left highly dried of astringency, and decently puckered to boot. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks back nicely.

Overall, this is our first beer from Pipeworks. We’ve driven through Chicago several times now, and for some reason were always drawn to other locals than these, so have been inappropriately and disproportionally putting off drinking them. Tonight is the night, and we’ll kick off this relationship with a doozy. This is a great beer, but if you put this side-by-side with Hopslam, we would be hard pressed to tell them apart. If we must, this has a lighter air to it, generally speaking, with a sweeter hop component, and less harshness from the booze. This leads to an improved, quicker sippabillity and drinkability. This makes you want to share and talk about the beer, whereas Hopslam makes you want to sit out a snowstorm in solitude while you sip. We’re really not trying to draw as much a comparison as we are, but it is just uncanny. We are highly pleased with this offering, and are happy that Pipeworks has entered our lives.

Photo of Omnium
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Hazed orange gold with a finger of soapy white head medium lacing.
S - Tons of sweet peach, grape, papaya, slightly astringent, some dankness, sweet malt too.
T - Very very sweet malt, kinda boozy, lots of fruit flavor, peach and mango, sweet pineapple, a little melon.
M - Clingy sweet, bitter, very full, a little burn.
O - Very good aroma, flavor gets too abrasive as it warms up.

Photo of StoneTSR
4.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: I poured this beer three minutes ago and have not touched it. The head is still fully intact, about a finger’s worth. Some random big bubbles are lodged inside this otherwise creamy head. Below the head is a UT-style burnt orange colored beer with a bit of haze. The lacing is nearly perfect with a thicker ring around the top, but coverage of about 95% of the backside of the glass for the rest of it.

SMELL: I love this smell; orange, chalky and earthy. As the beer warms some more traditional grapefruit and pine aromas reach the nose.

TASTE: Piney, resinous and dank…oh wait, no, maybe this is big, juicy, freshly hopped and citrusy like a Double IPA should be…or maybe it’s both. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, mandarin, lemon, grass, dirty, anise, chalk, lemon, deliciousness. Motherf…er, this is a beautiful tasting beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Rich, creamy, yet still very smooth. These are not words that are typically heard in the description of a Double IPA, but they work. And this is most certainly a DIPA. The hop character is decidedly and bright and fresh even if it lacks the sparkle that typically compliments the Imperial IPA.

OVERALL: It doesn’t get much better than this. My three desert island beers only change once in a while, like maybe every 10 months or so…and I think this one just gained that status. I love this beer.

Photo of rlee1390
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Clear amber orange, not much carbonation, one finger head that tries to leave some lacing.

S- Grass, earthy, floral notes. Some citrus as well.

T-Same as the nose, grass and earthy. The finish has some pleasant bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, crisp and some hop resins.

O-Not as good as Unicorn Galaxy but still a very enjoyable IPA.

Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased during a recent visit to Chicago.

Golden and clear with a big white head that dissipated quickly but leaves a nice dusting. Aroma is tropical fruit, citrus and flowers with good depth. Flavor is citrus and tropical fruit with a firm bitterness and an alcohol punch. Feel is silky with a low carbonation after the initial evacuation of bubbles.

Great hops and a big punch. It's a little strong for me but very tasty.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

bomber into tulip glass

A- Deep redish brown with 1 finger white head
S- Hops, Sweet roasted malt
T- Not as hoppy as I thought it would be, but I loved the taste. Rich balance of malt and hops
M- Almost creamy

O- I freaking loved this beer. Not super hoppy, but an amazing balance of malt and hops with no bitterness. All sweet goodness. I can't wait to get more.

Photo of Ian_B
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a hazy copper colour that comes through with orange under the light. Decent head with nice retention.

Smells like sweet, sticky hops and tropical fruit. The scent overall is somewhat faint, doesn't exactly pop out at you but the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Notes of sweet melons, tangerine, pineapple.

The taste is similar to the scent, with the sweet malt backbone coming more forward. Sweet citrus and grapefruit-like flavours begin to play off the caramel malt before a dry, resinous finish.
The medium body is still refreshingly carbonated with bit of alcohol on the end adding to the dryness.

Overall a well-made, flavourful DIPA, but a little more dry and resinous in taste than I might like it to be, or expected.

Photo of corby112
3.14/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with bright golden orange edges and a one finger, frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Very good retention, taking a while to settle and leaving large streaks of soapy lacing on the way down.

Earthy floral hop aroma with fresh cut grass and a strong resinous pine needle character countered by a sweet malt backbone. Hints of spruce tip and earthy soil followed by caramel malt, toast, nut and toffee. Surprisingly one dimensional hop profile. Lacking in sweetness and has too strong of a malt presence in the nose for my preference.

Medium body with a blast of dry, earthy bitterness that lingers over a strong malt backbone into a very dry finish. Very earthy/soil-y with bitter, grassy hops and pine sap countered by sweet caramel malt, toffee, biscuit, toast and a touch of oak. There's some slight boozy sweetness toward the finish but the high ABV is well masked. Overall, this beer was a bit of a disappointment for me. The malt flavors are too prominent and the hop profile is very one dimensional. Not a bad beer, just boring.

Photo of larryi86
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bstyle for this!
22 oz bottle, bottled 5/16/14, poured into a teku

A bright hazy orange color with a three finger white head.

S- Big tropical fruits, mango, some pine and citrus, some sweet malts, just big sand in your face.

T- Big tropical fruits and mango upfront along with some citrus balanced by bitter piney/resin finish, fairly big caramel malt backbone, well balanced.

S- Smooth, medium body, nice carbonation.

O- An awesome DIPA that I am very happy I got to try. Very easy to drink.

Photo of popery
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright orange gold. It's quite hazy. The head is about medium sized and pure white. Seems fairly sticky. Aroma is big on tangerine rind and pine resin. It gets a touch acetone-ish, some sort of harsh hop note that comes up in DIPAs, at times. Pineapple, a bit floral. Mildly grassy. Just a touch of malt sweetness and booze. Unfortunately, the taste is harsher and loses a lot of what delicacy was present in the aroma. It's relatively dry - there's still a good dose of simple malt sweetness in there. Lots of pine resin and citrus rind. A dose of booze. The bitterness is pretty high and drowns out the hop flavor too much for my liking. Mouthfeel is fairly harsh. Pretty light for the abv. Some definite hop oiliness and body from the malt. It's a pretty good DIPA, but it feels somewhat dated. This beer doesn't have the massive wave of complex hoppiness in the taste, and while the aroma is enjoyable, it's still not juicy like the top examples of the style. There's nothing really wrong with the beer, given the abv, but I was expecting more. Still, I'm quite happy to try it.

Photo of andrewjraab
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper orange with huge frothy white head. Nice retention and exceptional lacing.

S - Big floral bouquet, citrus, zest, rind, bread dough, malts, brown sugar, alcohol.

T - Hop forward - citrus, tropical fruit, resinous. Big malt bomb tries to match the hops, but it is overpowered in the end with a drying bitter finish.

O - Really solid DIPA with a unique blend of hops / malts.

Photo of neurobot01
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber (courtesy of beardown2489) from 4/11/14 batch into an IPA glass at fridge temp.

Look: light orange-yellow, small head, active carbonation.

Smell: lots of citrusy tropical fruits.

Taste: follows the nose (mandarin orange, unripe banana, kiwi, mango), with a pretty strong herbal component that sneaks in later. Good balance of sweet and bitter—neither overwhelming. Some malt, but it melds so well with the hops that it doesn't read as malt (which is the way I like my IPAs).

Feel: surprisingly light given the abv (listed on the bottle as 9.0%, not 8.5%), good balance of prickly and smooth.

Overall: really good. This is right at the edge of "fresh" (~35 days), so I'd imagine the tropical flavors would've popped even more 3 weeks ago. Would definitely drink again given the chance.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Ninja vs Unicorn was an excellent DIPA! The beer poured a nice amber with thick white head that left a perfect ring of lacing all the way to the bottom. The scent carried fresh hops that leaned toward bitter fruit. The taste was a very well balance beer, but finished with a grapefruit flare. The mouthfeel was full in body with good carbonation. Overall this was a very easy drinking DIPA....very smooth....could session this big boy.

Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chickenI3rest for this bottle, which pleases the old DM in me. 22 oz. liquid container, said non-solids split with my wife.

The pour is clear to moderately muddy orange, with the refuse coming from the bottom third of the bottle. Carbonation is not notable, though I've now made a false statement. Nose is a spring field in full bloom - not that we in Minnesota would know what that smelled like - with a ditch full of pine & citrus. This pleases me.

Ninja vs. Unicorn sounds like a brew from the lost notes of Gary Gygax, may he rest in peace. Beer opens with a mythical slash of hop bitterness right in your face. Like, skin close. Pine cuttings fill the senses. Mid-tongue brings citrus, a gentler floral push than the nose, light white pepper. More bitterness. Finish is a touch of caramel which, frankly, seems a little scared. Then some more thick, tongue abrading bitterness. This is a rip-sipping beer, like, sips every 20 or 30 seconds.

Tickled. Bitterness plus tasty equals what you're supposed to do with a IIPA. Put it in a frame & put it next to IIPA on dictionary.com. Excellent, & I am going to cherish every drop.

Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,516 ratings.