Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

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

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Reviews: 338 | Ratings: 2,208
Photo of jvgoor3786
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint can dated 1/5/17. It pours a golden amber with one finger of white head, which lingers nicely leaving excellent lacing. The first smell is that typical DIPA pine resin followed immediately by very strong orange I could smell from two feet away. The taste follows almost exactly with a strong resin hit to the palate followed by citrus that's mostly orange. The mouthfeel is medium body, smooth and highly carbonated. Overall this is an impressive beer with great balance between a bitter resin bite and citrus hops. I wish I could get this regularly.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - faintly hazy but mostly clear. Lemon drop with a thick fine-bubbled head. Classy-looking.

S - dank hops and lemon. Sweet orange candy and mixed berries.

T - fresh grassy orange pith and orange slice candy. If I had to o g a variety of orange, I'd say mandarin. It's sweet and dank and earthy. Gritty. Pine is out in full force with an exacting bitterness that is quick and to the point. Is that the ninja? Clean and fresh is the name of the game.

F - very drinkable for a dipper. The flavors are sharp, but have an irresistible draw when combined which makes me want to keep sipping to figure this beer out. Low carbonation and medium body.

O - so the ninja is the piney biting bitterness and the unicorn is the sweet mandarin orange candy? I dunno, the unicorn looks pretty angry, I'm sure there's more to the story. Until next time!

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear yellow to amber color with a fluffy white head that sticks well. Smells of tropical fruits and citrus and pine goodness. Tastes like a great blend of orange, lemon zest, pine, a touch of sweetness and fresh grain. Feel is wonderfully crisp and thirst quenching, low to medium body, and a good amound of bitterness. Overall, this is one of the best IPAs reminding me of a world class West Coast style, coming from...not the west coast! Cheers!

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

Pours hazy golden yellow with a white head. Hangs on snifter as it fades. Nice lacing. Aroma is pine, garlic and peach. Taste orange, pineapple, grapefruit, peach and earthy tones. Very light bitter finish. Very well made and complex.

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

Deep orange, almost amber, pours clear with minimal head. Smell is citrus and earthy and dank. Noticeable bitterness and a nice sweetness from the malt, piney and fruity. More bitterness than flavor. Smooth drinking with a wet finish.

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Photo of 1Beer2Beers3BeersFloor
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer. I don't really like fruity beers, but the minimal fruity taste combined with the hoppy nature of an ipa makes this one worthy of being in your refrigerator alongside your other favorite brews.

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Photo of ludachris
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a golden copper with a bit of haze. The carbonation is slow to move up. A finger's worth of white head has got nice retention. A collar of sticky lace stays behind.

Heaps of fuzzy peaches and mandarin orange come through effortlessly. Fresh garlicy dankness mixes in well. A bready character that's light on its feet rounds it out.

A big smack of West Coast piney, resinous dryness starts things off. Mandarin and boozy peach come through as well. A bit sappy as the bitterness lingers.

Medium to heavy and a bit syrupy. The 8% cuts cleanly through that and balances it out nicely. It finishes dry with a resin filled lingering bitterness.

A double IPA true to its form, packing a hop heavy kick of bitterness. At the same time it's clean and rounded. Two of these would be a good start to a night.

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Photo of gopens44
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice enough looking with all this haziness and such under such a nice frothy and white head. Nose brings that dank, garlic, onion, earthy vegetable thing before a nose clearing slightly boozy grapefruit creeps in.

Taste mimics the nose to a tee, save for a peppery cracker thing before a pungent earthy finish. There's some touch of heat at first that goes away for the most part and only leaves behind an alcohol induced dryness that sets up only a slightly bitter aftertaste in this mostly medium bodied beer.

Pretty nice beer, plenty of complexity. Would have enjoyed a bit more malt depth but overall very good.

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

Poured cold from 16-ounce can into Spiegelau IPA glass. Really nice burst of pine and citrus upon opening the can. Very attractive appearance, a cloudy amber color with a substantial snowy white head that left some sticky lacing. On first blush, it didn't seem like anything special. There wasn't the overpowering hop burst I was expecting, and the finish was crisp without much lingering bitterness or hop character. As it moved toward cellar temperature, though, it got quite interesting. The aromas of citrus and pine started to open up, and some floral notes began to come through. The flavors became more intense and the bitterness began to linger on the aftertaste. Overall, this is an outstanding beer, insanely drinkable with a well-hidden 8.0% ABV.

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Photo of ajm5108
2.94/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Optics are expected, though it's a bit lite on the head. Aroma was rather soft in my opinion, there is some dry mosaic notes and a bit of citrus, but it is very faint. It is a very citrus heavy beer, lots of grapefruit rind and some orange notes. That said, there is a lot of diacetyl in this beer, both on the nose and flavor. Movie theater popcorn butter style. Dissapointing given it's reputation.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.47/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nothing mind blowing here but solid nonetheless. Decent amount of grapefruit in the nose and on the palate. Not abrasively bitter and a decent malt body to balance it out. Overall, easy to drink and this one is super fresh so it's all the better.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer beer before but did not review it so I'm happy to get my hands on it again to do this review.

Look: Beer comes in a medium golden color with a medium plus haze. Not much head but the few millimeters of foam that is there lingers with a nice creaminess.

Smell: Aroma is very much of tropical fruit; super ripe Mango and Papaya. A faint yeastiness on the back end. A little dankness as well but nothing offensive.

Taste: Flavor is nothing like the aroma. Lots of citrus; Orange and Grapefruit leads on the palate. Nice and juicy with just enough bitterness on the finish to keep the beer from tasting syrupy.

Mouthfeel: Awesome mouth-feel here. Coats the tongue nicely but doesn't leave any drying bitterness on the back end.

Overall(Style Points): Awesome beer from Chi Town! Although, it's not quite as good as the best stuff coming out of NE It has all of the characteristics that I look for in a DIPA. 97 Points!

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Photo of jashiu
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I guess the review will be flawed by the can age but that's the problem with some beers that reach Europe. This one was 4 months old and I can only guess how hoppy it was in the beginning.

Pours hazy yellow with a moderate creamy white head that stays a while and leaves medium amount of lacing.

The first aromas are citrus and resin but after a couple of seconds the smell is dominated by pine, and a bit of caramel with grapefruit and citrus scents pushed to the background.

Taste is malty and fruity (mostly mango) with a strong hoppy bitter punch. Feels creamy for a IIPA, carbonation is rather low.

Overall I did enjoy this one very much, though I would love to drink it fresh. I guess the first extremely citrus scents could then have lasted a while longer than the first seconds...

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow + honey colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical/melon, citrus/grapefruit, and pine hops over the top of moderate aromas of caramel malts with a touch of honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are slightly heavier than moderate flavors of caramel + grainy malts with a moderate amount of caramel + honey sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of hops - tropical/melon, citrus/grapefruit, and pine. The hops contribute a moderate amount of aggressive bitterness which leaves a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially crisp with light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: One of the easiest drinking DIPAs that I have enjoyed in quite a while - not overly sweet, well hidden alcohol, and not overly bitter in the lingering finish. Very easy to drink and definitely one that I will have again.

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

Poured into a snifter @ Craftheads (Tokyo, JP)

The nose is a somewhat confusing cocktail of grass, caramel malts, grapefruits, pine, and wheat. The caramel malts part of the cocktail actually comes on pretty strong which made me worry about the condition / age of the keg, to which the beertender told me it's only been a "few months" since this thing was kegged from the source. All right then.

All my fears were dispelled as soon as I took the first sip; a gargantuan pine prologue is quickly followed by chapters of dank dry grass, bitter grapefruit peel, light lemon zest, and sweet creamy caramel. The bitterness lingers ever so briefly on your tongue before leaving behind nothing but a refreshing dry sensation on the back of your tongue; for a beer that packs quite a hop-infused punch, this is superbly balanced.

Medium-light bodied with a slick oily mouthfeel; gentle simmering carbonation with a pleasantly dry finish.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smell: tons of pineapple and orange along with sweet peachs mango grapefruit zest and a faint hint of danknes
Taste: upfront your hit with Fair amount of biterness middle of the mouth pineapple orange mango sweet bready malts finishes with a fresh cut grass grapefruit biterness and a fruity sweetness lingers in the aftertaste along with the biterness.
Feel: full body chewy pretty creamy on the tongue.
Overall: a very good job mixing a west coast IPA with a east coast IPA. The fruitiness is there along with a good amount of biterness. An outstanding beer worth trying!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. This beer was a great balance of fresh squeezed juiciness with a little west coast hoppy bite that was very well balanced.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time to see what the hype is all about.

Ninja Vs. Unicorn pours a hazy, slightly juicy mango juice colored body, with a firm, fuzzy 2 finger head in my tulip. Lace is left vehemently behind, just utterly leaving a path of destruction of the battle that was just fought by the can vs. glass.

Nose is of peach, mangoes, melon, sweat sock, and pizza dough/sauce. A little bit of onion creeps in there, too. A nose to the can makes me chuckle aloud. Pure sweat sock. Haha.

Wow, this really incorporates all of the elements of a good IPA. It starts with a piney bitterness that gives way to pine pricked cantaloupe, then fresh canteloupe, then an herbal tang, then outright dankness, finally to an herb-twitched malt profile and lingering spruce tips.

Feel is thick, juicy, resinous, I'm drunk.

The hype is real, guys. I love this IPA. Not quite as good as Todd The Axeman, that's the king of mid USA...but still super solid. Hoping to bump this one up to "World-Class".

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Photo of Peepskp
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What an absolute flavor bomb! Mango, pineapple, watermelon, lime, sweet bubblegum, and hops. What a crazy beer. Pipeworks is really on another level. I want to try them all.

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Photo of pinyin
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served 38F from the 16 ounce can into a 16 ounce goblet. Illegible/smeared dating matrix on the bottom of the can.

Orange copper translucent. Slightly cloudy and hazy. Fined and maybe seemingly filtered in a brite tank, maybe some oat flour in the grain bed. Enough so to give it some attributes of a NEIPA.

Citric and piney, dank and resinous. I'm guessing simcoe and citra (Ninja VS. Unicorn).

A really nice balanced flavor profile between the tropical citrus notes and the resiny hoppy bitterness . A dense malty backbone bringing it all together. Smooth drinking, but high ibu's. Very high quality for a nationally distributed DIPA. Much more refined than your typical Stone, DFH, Ithaca, Great Lakes DIPA's.

Perfect texture and carb for an 8 percenter. Slightly syrupy on the top of the pour. Thinner and cloudier on the bottom of the can.

Pipeworks can do no wrong in my book. always clean flavors, fermentation and sanitization with tried and tested recipes.
The only thing that irks me slightly is lack of canning dates. This product is in high enough demand and sells out quick enough that canning dates can do no harm to the product placement. Unless you sell to underhanded and or untrained distributors.

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Photo of spacemanspiff13
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a very good, aromatic DIPA with a solid mouthfeel and balance (though a bit on the sweet/malty side). The only issue is what I assume is the mosaic hop profile that gives this beer an almost sweet sticky caramelized onion flavor that really turns unpleasant as the beer warms.

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Photo of barczar
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three weeks old, so fairly fresh. As soon as the can is opened, dank, piney, grassy notes emerge. Big citrus notes of grapefruit and tangerine meld with caramel malt sweetness to add candied tropical fruit depth.

Flavor is more resiny throughout, grassy, with a fairly bitter, piney finish. The initial sharp citrus and mango fades to slight caramel sweetness, finishing very dry. There's a touch of vegetal character throughout that's a little offputting.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this in line a few times at Other Half but finally got around to trading for this not too long ago. The date and words on the bottom of the can were warped so I had no idea how fresh this was or what the accompanying message was. Regardless, this was an immensely crushable Double/Imperial IPA that had all the booze to go with it, without any typical hop burn, as this was very nicely balanced!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a hazy apricot hue, tons of head with large bubbles in it, and a good solid first ring of lacing that slid down the back of my pint glass. Lots of apricot, mango, papaya, and booze in the nose with even more in the taste. The malt bordered between a caramel stickiness and filling dough as it balanced out the fruit flavors quite nicely, with the mouthfeel being that of pine, resin, and underlying dankness. Great warming effect to this beer as the alcohol quietly kicked in throughout my session and the finish was quite dry for something this potent, as the balanced nature of this beer really shone through in the end.

Sure, this was strong but with all of this going down so easily, it was hard to notice until I finished off the can. Love the art but even more love to the outside of this beer matching the inside. Like Sip of Sunshine or Heady Topper, this was one of those brews that needs to be on everyone's "must-try" list. Suds like these are why Pipeworks is worth going into New York for, as the one can I had here in Jersey didn't last that long. Slick in every way from start to finish!

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Photo of Myotus
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 51°F from a 16oz can (no date) into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Consumed on 06Jul16.
SMELL: Huge waves of caramel, pineapple, mango, papaya, peach, and apricot are supported by subtle aromas of earthy hops, salted crackers, and lemon zest along with hints of alcohol.
TASTE: A strong sweetness instantly strikes the palate with flavors of caramel, pineapple, papaya, peach, mango, and apricot. Mild flavors of earthy hops quickly follow to bring balance as caramel flavors grow slightly stronger while the fruit flavors fade somewhat. A further balance is established as subtle flavors of salted crackers, lemon zest, and hints of alcohol close off the taste profile as all previous flavors persist.
NOTE: I say with confidence that this beer is more than just hype. I was blessed to finally have an opportunity to try this. I loved how the caramel flavors, which usually play in the background with this style, where just as a grand as the tropical, fruity goodness. The whispers of alcohol is always a welcoming aspect from a beer for me. The fact that this is a shelf beer makes this a clear winner in this category. If only they could distribute to Texas.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7/4...pours pale cloudy bronze yellow below, darker atop. With 1/4 inch white foam on top. Strong pine grassy nose. Taste opens full bitter. Light citrus trickles through, and closes with lemons. Chewy malt. Slightly soapy. The IPA bitter holds throughout. Packed with flavor but drinkable. Really nice double.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 2,208 ratings.
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