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Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

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.

Added by MasterSki on 01-23-2012

View: Beers | Events
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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 2,075
Photo of zizouandyuki
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally got my hands on this! Pours deep gold in color with great head retention and lots of lacing as it works it way down the glass.

The smell is very apparent and fruity. I pick up orange, mango, and berries.

The most prominent flavor I pick up is... strawberries! There's a hint of resin and pine, but strawberries and citrus play the leading roles.

This beer has very little bitterness. The body is also much lighter than I anticipated @ 8% abv. Dangerously easy going down.

Lovely beer, that I'd happily seek out again. Cheers!

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Guinness glass.

Look is a hazy light yellow orange with a thick and frothy head.

Aroma is bright orange with a sweet honey blossom note.

The taste is absolutely amazing, A mix of herbal grassy hops with citrus orange hops. Aggressive but definitely balanced by a light honey malt.


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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just scooped up some Pipeworks while in Chicago, and brought it back to Boston. The can indicated it was less than 2 weeks old, so this was fresh.
Split 2 cans with Chris & Mike, who were bragging about this new beer they just had called 'Blue Moon'......so the bar was low for them enjoying this.
This poured a clearish orange color, and the smell was very citrusy. Hops hit you right away, but this isn't a crazy hop bomb....a solid DIPA. Only thing I didn't like is the can....looks like an acid trip. As I get older I like beer cans to just state their name, ABV, date made, and preferably their beer advocate rating. I think all cans should be as basic as Duff Beer labeling.
I have a feeling Pipeworks is going to be a lot more visible in the marketplace in the years ahead..........oh great, Chris is showing us his favorite cat videos. Ugh

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Photo of 98green
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a can to a plastic hotel water cup (not ideal service for sure, but on the road we make due). Look is medium orange, mostly clear. Smell is piles of dank and spicy hops. Taste is lots of piney hop bitterness, not a ton of malt. Feel is excellent, bitterness hangs in the aftertaste. ABV is well hidden. Overall an excellent double. Not a citrus bomb or a malt bomb, just solid all around

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tall boy canned 3/1, cracked open 3/26. Golden, slightly hazy pour; not turbid or opaque. Nice moderate pourus head. Aroma is citrus, pine and tea. Taste is pineapple, grapefruit, stone fruit and a touch of passion orange followed by a lightly toasted malt and rock-solid bitterness. Finishes pretty dry without any resiny aftertaste. Crisp, delicious with a little bit of heat that reminds you it's a DIPA. Outstanding beer.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a can dated 3/2/16. Nice golden color, looks filtered, or only very slightly hazy, leaves nice lacing but not head. Smells and tastes very fresh, tropical notes followed by some vegetal notes, and a little pine/mint at the end. As it warms, the fruit notes keep coming forward.
Very nice beer, glad it's now somewhat available ok NYC shelves

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Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

White head. Lace left. Golden yellow color.

Earthy and piney. Some citrus flavors. Mango. Bitter with some resin stickiness.

Decent but nothing I am crazy about.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden color, thin white head, I give it a plus for the coolest can art on the market. Smell is uber tropical and summer fruits strawberry, mango, melon. The taste is not as rich as the smell indicates but it bounces between hop resin and juicy fruit. Feel is dry and bitter finish, slightly sticky but not over the top. Excellent Double IPA

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Photo of Jaypeajus
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Holy cow the floral bouquet is more tropical than the Amazon. I get cuties, grapefruit, tongue numbingness of mango and warm fresh pineapple; plenty o stingy carbonation. Taste/smell ratio doesn't quite line up, but, for me the smell makes up for any lack of taste compared to smell. Lacing is forming its own continents, and head hangs out for a bit too. Mouthfeel has a pinecone minty-ness. Overall in my top 5

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Photo of zimm421
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy, golden orange with a thick and bubbly white head. The nose is fruity; pineapple, grapefruit, touches of malt and dank. The taste is slightly bitter grapefruit, followed by pineapple and bread. The finish is dank, citrus and slightly sticky. Overall, a great dangerously drinkable IIPA that I wish I had easy access to.

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Photo of AdamAlway
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Small white head with decent retention on top that leaves a see through film to the last drop. A hazy, golden body that changes from predominantly orange to yellow under brighter light. I am also giving credit here for awesome can art!

S: Before I could even pour the sweet pine and hops hit my nose. Once poured, the tropical fruits are more prominent. On tap, the fruit was even more obvious.

T: Hits upfront with slight bitterness from the hops with malt and a dash of pine. The mango and pineapple hit nicely in the middle and spreads softly over the tongue. The hops and malt pop back up on the back of the tongue leaving a gentle bitter finish. Again, on tap it was sweeter with more fruit flavors that really popped in the middle.

F: Medium to heavy body that really compliments the mixture and balance of flavors. Just the right amount of carbonation that makes this very drinkable.

O: Easily one of my new favorites. Too bad we only get them in every few weeks with only 1 can allowed at a time. Thankfully it is on tap at a local bar and unsurprising is better on tap, but I'll take the can any day.

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Photo of FBarber
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden with a nice thick white head. Very pleasant aromas of citrus and pine. Taste matches the aromas and ends with the bitter hop flavor.

Overall an excellent, easy drinking DIPA from Pipeworks. Definitely going to be added to the regular rotation.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, deep gold pour with two fingers of white foam. The retention and lacing are good. The nose is very nice, with grapefruit, dank, pineapple, tropical fruit, sweetness. The taste follows exactly, with loads of tropical fruit. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. A bitter, balanced finished. Overall, an excellent DIPA from Pipeworks.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. Can
Canned On: 2/16/16

Pours a slightly cloudy dark golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger white head, which leaves some pretty nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some very nice citrus/pine notes. The taste is hoppy, with some very nice citrus/pine notes. Medium body, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, another very nice brew from Pipeworks, and a few of them are showing up in GJ.

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Photo of dprice
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 2/3/16 poured into a regular pint glass golden color with little carbonation, Mango citrus on the nose, Taste bold hops upfront alcohol is hidden well. This very smooth easy drinking. Overall this could be a regular in my rotation if i could get this regularly. This is a great beer and i would love to have more.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy golden color. Aromas of peach, mango tropical fruits, pineapple. Taste has a really nice hop presence that doesn't linger on and on in the back end. A bit more mango in the taste rather than the other fruit flavors. Not over carbonated. This is nicely done. Really deceptive on the ABV as well. It is a pretty quick drinking beer. Almost a sessionable quality to it. Also the artwork on the can is pretty spectacular. I know that doesn't matter as far as rating the liquid, but well done Pipeworks. Favorite packaging.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: a wee tad on the dark side of golden with a long lasting snow-white 1-finger head. There is a slight bit of chill haze.

Aroma: honey-suckle and sweet, but the hop aroma is very restrained.

Flavor: very good! Very well balanced. The malt is present but plays second fiddle to the hops. The hops are restrained for being a 2X IPA. Blindfolded, this is more a standard IPA than a double. Hop flavors lean toward melon and honey suckle with perhaps the slightest hint of pineapple. The malt is detectable but very light: sweet and bready.

Mouthfeel: On the lightest side of medium. You could drink several of these with no problem.

Overall: Very drinkable. The body is light enough to drink several - affordable too ($3.19/ 16 oz can). Not a hop bomb as I expected. Well balanced. Nothing out of place, no off flavors. Damn solid.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a slight hazy golden yellow color with a 3 finger fluffy bright white head. Retention is excellent and there are a ton of hanging sheets of lacing. Smell is mango, grapefruit, tangerine, some pine and the slightest hint of sweet malt as it warms. Taste is the same with the fruit juiciness on the front with citrus pith and piney bitterness on the back end. Feel is medium, oily and resinous. Crazy drinkable for 8.0%. No alcohol detectable. Overall a very nice IPA. Hopefully this hits distro in my area, because I know it available in other parts of NY.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hazy straw yellow, effervescent, moderate white head, sheet of lace. Big juicy nose, lots of fleshy fruit, mild hay, mild raw grain. The flavor ups the ante, doubling down on the big exotic fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple, sugary candy fruit extract, strawberry, melon) without too much citrus, mild vanilla, grain hinting at oatmeal. Mild bitterness, dry. Body is drinkable, medium-light, crisp, refreshing, no telling how potent this thing is.
Newest admission to Yumtown. Hugely fruity, varied, gives the drinker some bitterness without pure hop resin flavor, and just enough malt to balance (and even the malt bill is interesting). Wonderful, gimme more.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours 2 quick fingers of thick eggshell foam, body is a glowing slightly hazy golden light amber, nice consistent carb rises through the body and retains a solid cap throughout. Broken foamy rings end each sip.

Smell - big nose of citrus sweet grapefruit, tangerine, and tropical notes of melon, pineapple, and a hint of semi-sweet pine, smells delicious

Taste - almost identical to the nose, juicy grapefruit a and tangelos accompanies by strong honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and a touch of kiwi. Citrus piths and melon rinds begin to assert into the finish, along with a hint of some herbal sweet basil. Not overly sweet and no alcohol whatsoever. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - this is about medium mouthfeel, the flavors are nearly bold but not over bearing. Carb is just below medium with tiny bubbles that lend a very smooth and somewhat light mouthfeel for a dipa, making this dangerously drinkable. Carb provides just enough scrub and tingle to allow this to finish slightly dry and bitter, leaving drops of cantaloupe in the mouth corners.

Overall - really an excellent dipa that doesn't drink like its 8% abv. Excellent mouthfeel and melon forward, with citrus complimenting nicely, and herbal hints at the finish. An excellent offering from Pipeworks, and pleasantly unique amongst so many others in this style. If you like cantaloupe and honeydew, this is a must - try it regardless.

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Photo of emount91
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy gold, it's beautiful. foamy head that dissipates quickly and leaves gorgeous lacing. smell is citrus and tropical, almost candy like: mangoes and peaches with some nice citrus, can't pin point which one. maybe all of them? anyway, taste is incredible. tropical tropical tropical: mangoes, pineapples, peaches, with a slightly sweet orange candy and a clean finish, very slight pine that is really enjoyable after the tropical notes. very little malt. feel is so good for a DIPA. I am going to hunt this beer whenever I can, it is incredible.

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Photo of Butznutz
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 16 oz can into a tulip glass. nice copper hue with a slight clean head. Beautiful aromas of sweet sugar, pineapple and pine needle. taste starts sweet then leads right to the hops and finishes with a slight bitterness. the feel was my only gripe..quite carbonated and not as creamy on the palate as some other similar IPAs. That said a solid beer would buy again and glad it was recommended by my local shop

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Photo of JJSquid
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased while vacationing in the wonderful Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, this beer delighted right out of the 16 oz can with an excellent golden color and a sour/sweet olfactory profile reminiscent of the finest Thai restaurants. Don't linger on the odd implication this asian cuisine reference hints at because the flavor is pure canned American freedom. Excellent beer poorly named that I would buy again without hesitation. Cheers!

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Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours hazy dark golden orange with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet sugary tropical fruit and piney resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet bready caramel malts and ripe tropical fruit with lots of resiny piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice DIPA. I remember it being more fruity on draft and liking it a bit more.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We have recently been discussing the merits of CANned beers in a thread that I began in the Beer Talk forum and one of the upsides to CANs is the beauty of the graphics as they appear directly on a 360-degree aluminum cylinder vice a paper label. I would definitely hold this up as an example! The separation begins with the ninja striking one of his swords vertically against the unicorn's horn while the unicorn holds the ninja's second sword horizontally in its mouth. The colors are striking & the whole thing just stands out beautifully!

From the CAN: "Brewed in Chicago, IL"; "CAN Art by Jason Burke at Ink & Lead Designs".

I used the Unicorn's horn to help me to Crack! the CAN open, declining the Ninja's swords which would have irreparably damaged the CAN. Once acCANplished, the Ninja made me CANduct an inverted Glug which raised two fingers of dense, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with decent retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) & as such, the Gelt Gang declined even so much as a taste. They really prefer purity in their gold, apparently. Nose was magical, as though derived from a ChANce enCANter between a ninja & a unicorn! Actually, it was more like a hybridization of a pine tree & a grapefruit tree. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was all ninja/unicorn with the former slashing and thrusting and the latter just trampling my poor tongue into submission. The taste was likewise magical, evincing a very cool, minty flavor initially before the crazy citrus flavors began to take 'hold. Finish was cool, dry & slightly citrusy, almost like a pop. I CAN drink this all day, or perhaps not, at 8% ABV. CAN you imagine this in the cooler at the beach? It would be CANtastic with everyone wanting to see what you are drinking.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.