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Ninja Vs. Unicorn - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.

226 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 226
Hads: 1,707
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 328
Gots: 281 | FT: 21
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: 226 | Hads: 1,707
Photo of prior2two
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a great Double IPA, and as far as I'm concerned one of the best bang for your buck you can buy in the Midwest, IPA wise.

Super Citrusy and Piney with, yet with a great hop nose. While I didn't drink it very often, I felt that the pre-canning version was a little sweeter, while it's now allowed the hop bitterness to come through a bit more.

Either way, it's a great beer, and I'd put it up against any other brewey's standard IPA/DIPA.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just as good in a can as it ever was in a bottle. Great hoppy pipeworks offering. Tons of citrusy hops on the front and back side. Love this stuff!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz, canned 073115
A - ivory head tops a mildly hazed golden colored body
S - huge plume of aromatic hops with orange, lemon, pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit
T - hop forward and very bitter with hop notes of grapefruit & lemon zest, pine, passion fruit, mango with some light caramel for malt but it's hardly a backbone compared to the hop bitterness
M - medium body, feels a bit thinner than I'd like, finishes bitter and semi-dry with lingering pine and grapefruit pungency
O - pretty good DIPA, but it falls short of my expectations. I'm still very excited to see Pipeworks start to can their beer. I look forward to trying another one very soon!

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Photo of laketang
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

golden coloration with a half inch white (I wouod say) head

I can detect grapefruit orange and a hint of pineapple and evergreen leaf

that tart grapefruit dominates,smooth edges from pineapple maybe, orangy for sure

mouthful is sticky and has a bit of a bitter second wave,(alright by me)

I will stack this one with alpha king and dirt wolf for sure

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Photo of Hootie159
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale clear gold. Solid 2 inch head that plays for keeps. The battle begins. Combo of dank and crisp hops. Nice blend of hops, but not perfectly balanced. If you like bitter, you'll like this beer but it overwhelms the fruitier new school hops. Carbonation present. Not sure how else to describe the feel other than sharp and smooth at the same time. The bitterness tingles to the back of the jaw. Whichever Deadliest Warrior picks, everybody wins.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden color sans haze. Thick head that lingers some, decent lacing on the glass as it drinks down. Smells of both dank and tropical hops on the nose, nice combo. Definitely pick up some mosaic in the taste. Another solid double IPA from the Pipeworks folks

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Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer many times since its first batch, I am currently reviewing the new 16 oz can format. Pour is a golden with moderate clarity, foamy white head, sticky foam hangs around on the glass. The nose starts with a deep earthy and resinous pine followed up by stone fruit, lemon, pine wood, and grapefruit. The hops come through in the flavor nicely with notes of grass, resin, and pine. The interesting thing here is I expect these notes to bring on a strong bitterness, however they do not. The malt balances very nicely with the hop profile and the finish is crisp and clean. Pipeworks certainly dialed in the recipe for the can release which makes for a dangerously drinkable and refreshing 8% brew. I hope Pipeworks continues to apply this approach to their can releases and really dial in their line up. Considering the value and the drinkability this is a brew I will come back to routinely.

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Photo of Fatalsin
4.98/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got this 22oz bomber as an extra in a trade and i was surprised. pours nice clear golden amber with a nice foamy head and lacing. Aroma is awesome, full of pine, citrus and hints of lemon. This unfiltered double ipa is just hop forward for all the hop lovers out there. definitely recommend this !!!!

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Photo of paco1029384756
2.81/5  rDev -33.4%
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.

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Photo of bigwinner
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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Photo of Roguer
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerBrose
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

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Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.43/5  rDev +5%
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

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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~

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
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


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!

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Photo of Big_V
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of wolfpac255
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Mike_Honcho1
4.64/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of aleigator
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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

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Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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

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Photo of huysmans
2.71/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.