Ninja Vs. Unicorn
Pipeworks Brewing Company

Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #119
Ranked #939
4.29 | pDev: 7.46%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 2,782 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 9/7/21. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours golden with nice clarity and transparency; fluffy white head that falls leaving nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have some mosaic hops coming through. Some tropical fruit. Some crackers and breads. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More mosaic hop flavors. Some pineapple and grapefruit. Subtle hints of coconut in the mix. Hints of caramel. Some fresh grass in the mix. Soft sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Malts do their thing. Finishes dry. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid DIPA. Nice hop flavors. It's simply enjoyable.

Sep 27, 2021
Photo of VALIS666
VALIS666 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy golden pour with a lot of lacing. Smells of a lot of things at once and in a good balance -- pine, mango, pineapple, cut grass. A medium bitter taste of pine, dry hops, with sweeter pineapple following and a sticky pine resin aftertaste. Medium carbonation.

Personally I'm bigger on the "hazy, juicy" end of the IPAs, but it's nice to have a classic pine bomb once in a while as well. But this isn't really a bomb, it's well balanced and refreshing. Nice art on the can (especially the unicorn) but the concept of ninja vs. unicorn (or pirate, shark, gorilla, Chuck Norris, etc.) is so worn out already.

Jun 24, 2021
Photo of maxpower
maxpower from Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can pours a clear golden color with a average off white head of large bubbles, leaves some lacing in my glass. Fresh grapefruit and pine aromas, hoppy citrus and pine flavors. Medium bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable for 8% abv

May 08, 2021
Photo of scotorum
scotorum from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Colorful chrome can art to go with the fantastical name. Another midwest brewery whose products are only recently available in my state. Poured from the 16 oz. can into an English nonick.

a: Nearly clear orange with an inch thick white head which receded slowly to a quarter inch thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dank tropical fruit.

t: Follows the nose with a moderate hope bite and dry finish,

m: medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: An excellent west coast style DIPA, flavorful and easy drinking for an 8%.

Apr 28, 2021
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Tomahock from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First thing that stands out is the creamy head. And it lingers. Next is the mouthfeel... it's silky. Nose is very mild. Pours quite pale so the thick head is sort of surprising. Very balanced taste. No attempts to impress you with anything in particular. Just good, solid, balanced taste. Slight bitterness in finish. Nice. I'm usually a NE IPA guy, but this is a really nice West Coast.

Apr 16, 2021
Photo of SABERG
SABERG from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 1/16/21 into the test glass.
A - Really nice clarity, steady carbonation, thin white cap, but fantastic lacing.
S - Pine apple, melon rime, cut grass, Sweet malt, some honey and white pepper
T - Again with a pineapple start, white grape skin, lots of tropical fruit, with a pine thread holing things in check.
M - Big on the palate, semi sweet start then wham, bold bittering hops. A wonderful feel all bold.
O - A great reminder that all IIPA's need not be juicy and cloudy, this is a big IIPA with great feel and flavors

Mar 12, 2021
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint can - dated 04/13/20 (I've held onto this far too long) poured into a based Willi Becher at 42°F.

Pours a very clear light golden hue, topped with a finger of loose off-white head with poor retention. No lacing. Some visible effervescence.

Nose: Clean pale malts with a touch of crystal malt lends a very light bready note, some graininess, and some subtle toast. Very West-Coast inspired. The hops are pungent and juicy, but not in a late-hopped New England way. This is all tangerine, orange, and grapefruit, with a touch of fresh grass, just a whisper of white grape and melon rind, and an even fainter whisper of raspberry. Definitely hopped with Citra. Maybe even only Citra. Only just a hint of stale yeast from its age, and maybe some dulling in the hops. Not rating to reflect that. I can see the beer beneath it.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with that grainy pale malt, which is so clean and dry, you wouldn't believe it's an 8% ABV beer. Some pilsner malt shows as well. The flavour profile is fully in-line with the aroma, delivering plenty of tangerine, orange, grapefruit, some lemon, a bit of grassiness, and just a touch of melon rind. There is an impressive minerality I generally only see in lagers and wild ales. The hops lend a moderate bitterness which is grassy and resinous in nature, finishing dry, bitter, and lingers with hop resin.

Mouthfeel/Body: I was expecting a big murky juicebomb, so the fact that this is so clean and crisp is a nice surprise. Drinks with almost as much ease as a Maine Beer Company DIPA. No sticky malt, so weight to fight, and delightfully dry for the ABV. Effervescence is perfectly lively, and that minerality adds a nice spritzy touch. Drying, resinous finish.

Overall: A very nice change of pace in a hazy, hazy world. It's nice to see beers like this not only being produced, but getting recognised and respected. Really the perfect next step if you love your IPAs, but you're getting burned out on haze. A great hybrid-style DIPA. Stands up to cold age like a damn champ too.

Oct 07, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.52/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review of what seemed like their only format back in the day: the $10 bomber (of ipa).

Standard golden pour with respectable amount of clarity to it on a 1/2" white head. Its about the industry standard. Big hop aroma of bittering hops.

Taste is a bitter west coast ipa with pale, dry toasted two row and maybe honey malt. Carbonation is where it should be, slightly elevated. Not much in the way of hop flavor, the usual rind and pine show. Does hide the alcohol decently. Not really getting anything along the lines of sweet citrus or tropical fruit flavorings. I think the appearance and the mouth feel are the high spots for this. I love me some Midwest beers, but man, their hoppy offerings just don't measure up to the coastal elite. A 4.29 rating for this is a bit surprising, even though it had no off flavors, I think there are some breweries with 30 hoppy beers better than this. Or more. I guess they can now so maybe their formats are more price condusive.

Sep 01, 2020
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive, tasty DIPA. Somewhat hazy gold pour, not much head present when it was served. Strong, in your face pine and citrus hop flavor, not a subtle ale at all. But solid, refreshing, enjoyable.

Aug 23, 2020
Photo of Pinz412
Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Golden yellow with a slight cloudiness and a one finger white head.
Smell - Pine and orange citrus are the dominant notes that I detect.
Taste - A nice balance of sweet and bitter hops that also provide a blend of resiny pine and bright citrus. The malt gives it a nice richness without getting in the way of the shine of the hops.
Feel - Light bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall - Fantastic beer. Easy drinking for an 8% DIPA and one I'll definitely seek out in the future.

Aug 09, 2020
Photo of cjeep
cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is one mighty tasty brew. very happy to have found it. packaged 5/19/20.
L: drinking from the can. It is a VERY cool can. props for that...
S: oh, yeah, very nice. getting a lot of pine but with sweetness. then citrus. nice.
T: oh yeah, oh yeah! totally delivers. pine, citrus. nice combo of both sweet and bitter. this is really good.
F: mouthfeel is fine but not the star of the show.
O: I like it alot. Interesting that some recent reviews are pretty low. Not so sure what that is about - getting it fresh? something else? but count me among the believers.

Aug 04, 2020
Photo of AshBlackstone
AshBlackstone from Florida

4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought four 16 ounce cans on Tavour. Wish I had more of this.

Pours a beautiful hazy gold color. Smells of tropical and citrus. Mouth follows the nose. Light to medium happiness to go with it.

Medium bodied double IPA that is honestly the best non-dark beer I’ve ever tasted. Really impressed.

Jul 28, 2020
Photo of dzni
dzni from Virginia

3.69/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden, slight head
Bubblegum, sticky sweet smell, strawberries and guava
Pine, hops dominate, maybe some slight citrus or tropical fruit
Medium bodied, well carbonated
More west coast IPA to me with hops dominating and a little sweetness for balance. Generally balanced, nice beer, but probably not one I'll seek out again.

Jul 26, 2020
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pounder can into a Dogfish Head tulip. Cool goofy can artwork.

L: Faintly hazed light golden pour with big fluffy white head. Great lacing.

S: Fruity hops... citrus and bubblegum.

T.F: Semi-sweet... crackery grains and fruity hops. Grapefruit/citrus, pineapple, and a bit of rind. I still pick up some bubblegum and melon. Medium bodied... well carbonated. Modest bitterness.

O: Enjoyable, but was expecting more given the reviews. Tasty and drinkable, but I can't say that I thought this was a standout. Maybe if I'd had it a few years ago.

Jul 25, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The looks can be deceiving axiom applies here. A yellowish and slightly cloudy liquid brings little and almost no head nor lacing. It's hoppy aroma brings some redemption. The taste turns every impression around. There is a significant hop flavor atop a smooth malt background. The balance is laudable. 8% ABV, no way. This is a superb credit to its class.

Jul 17, 2020
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82 from Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical pour seen nowadays in a hazy IPA. Body was amber in color, moderately cloudy, and formed a two finger thick head. The smell was modestly hoppy, providing aromas of pineapple, peach, and melon. The taste was tangy and tropical and the first flavor that came to mind was melons. The bitterness was quite low, and the finish acidic. The body was medium thick, and the mouthfeel was slick. Pretty hyped beer per the reviews, but I fail to see many major distinguishing characteristics.

Jul 13, 2020
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

L---Hazy, rich golden color. Thick, rocky head with very good retention and very good lacing. A real looker.

S---Very hoppy aroma. Tropical & citrus aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon and orange.

T---Hoppy, like the nose. The fruitiness carries over from the nose as well.

F---Medium/full mouthfeel. No alcohol burn. Well carbonated.

O---An excellent offering by Pipeworks. I'll keep my eye out for this one again.

Jun 25, 2020
Photo of VoxRationis
VoxRationis from New York

4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Decanted from a 16 oz (473 ml) can into a Captain Lawrence muffin top taster; canned 04/29/20.
A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden color with a two finger, white head, rim and cap retention, and tons of broad, foamy lacing.
S: Fruitiness then comes forth with aromas of white grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and caramel with a pine note.
T: Semisweet. Palate follows nose closely with what I characterize as a Pixie Stix element. Bitterness solid but evident throughout and balancing sweetness elements nicely.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very, very easy drinking.
O: This is a dangerous DIPA (AIIPA if you prefer): it drinks so easy and seems so low ABV, you need to be careful, mi amigo/a. That said, overall, NvU is super, super drinkable, complex yet simple, and fun. ¡Espléndido!

Jun 18, 2020
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy but translucent bright yellow--capped with a creamy eggshell white head. Good retention and lacing.

Smells like lemon, pineapple, yellow grapefruit, perhaps a hint of blueberry, and some booze. Perhaps Mosaic hops?

The taste follows the nose. Big lemon peel and pith, yellow grapefruit zest, underripe blueberry and tart pineapple. Crisp, clean, cracker malt. Surprisingly warm for 8%, drinks more like 9%-10%. Some medium lingering lemon peel bitterness.

Medium feel, well carbonated, well carbonated. A bit slick upfront but dries out nicely; very crisp and clean.

A very solid DIPA. Would drink again.

Jun 09, 2020
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$ 4.00 (Including tax)/16 oz can ($ 0.250/oz). Purchased 5/4/20 at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 5/13/20
“4/13/20” stamped on bottom lip. In reefer at store. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 50 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.75.
First pour – Pale gold (SRM 4), clear.
Body – Deep gold (SRM 6), clear. When held to direct light, same, weak effervescence.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive center pour), white, dense with rocks, average retention, diminishing to an eight to twelve mm irregular crown fed by effervescence and thin rocky complete cap. Small chunks of foam hang on sides above the crown.
Lacing – Good. Wide band of tiny to small bubbles. See also above.
Aroma – 4 – Initially strong tropical fruit, tangerine, melon, no malt, no yeastiness.
Flavor – 3.75 - Begins with malt, followed by mango and pineapple, moderate hop bitterness, no yeast. No alcohol (8 % ABV as marked on the label) taste or aroma. No diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide. Ends with moderately bitter malt with a long hang time.
Palate – 3 – Medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation 4. Disconnect between aroma and flavor. Busy label with little information. One and done.

May 13, 2020
Photo of paltemose2303

3.35/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Kinda disappointed by this one. Probably due to the hype from my friends!

16 oz can poured into a traditional pint

L: Hazy light gold with about two fingers of white head that stuck around the whole time. Lacing was pretty solid too.

S: Lots of tropical fruit. Smelled the beer as soon as I opened the can. There were some more complex smells after pouring. Some melons and pine, but tropical fruits like mango and pineapple really came through the strongest.

T: Pretty out of balance. The beer was kind of sweet, but not sweet enough to offset the bitterness packed in this beer. I did check the canning date to be sure it wasn't old because it's not normally around my town. Canned at the end of March, drank on April 20. Bitterness was too much for my taste. Fruit flavors were good. Lots of tropical fruit like the aroma suggested, but the piney/resin hop bitterness was overpowering.

F: Big mouthfeel with too much bitterness that left my tongue feeling a little raw after finishing the beer.

Apr 21, 2020
Photo of crm871
crm871 from Utah

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Poured from 16 oz. can to pint glass - hazy yellow with a thick white head, just about a half inch. Took a while to fully dissipate

Smell: fruity aromas - pineapple, orange, lemon - very citrusy.

Taste: really nice balance of the fruit that comes with the aroma and the smack in the face hops to be expected of the style. Good touch of malt as well for good measure. Really well balanced flavor

Feel: goes down super easy, medium body. Just a superb beer with a lot of complexity to it.

Overall: World class DIPA, highly recommend

Apr 18, 2020
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DannyBoy15347 from Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass. Warm golden color with a nice balance of haze and clarity. Foam formed a big soft white head that really hangs around and leaves a nice lacing behind. Aroma isnt super strong but definitely picking up citrus and piney notes. From first sip I love the taste and complexity of this beer. Fruity and citrusy at first but then you get some of the malt/body of the beer midway through before it leaves a nice dry, bitter finish. The only thing that stopped me from giving it a 5 in taste was that the bitterness lingers just a little too long and makes the mouthfeel almost kind of harsh. All around though this is an awesome beer, glad I gave Pipeworks another shot; really a great brew

Apr 15, 2020
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16ox canned 12-4-19. Opened 2-9-20.
2 finger white head cresting over the rim of the glass. Bright, clean, golden DIPA. Excellent head retention. Sticky lace from the beginning.
Orange, tangerine, lime. Big hop bouquet full of ripe fruit aromas. Hint of caramelly sweetness and a clean minerality that's unique and welcome. Light pine/weediness midway through. Excellent.
Citrus and lime, hint of melon - so well balanced with wonderful bold hop flavors and enough of a malt base to carry it through - not hidden - and remain perfectly balanced.
Bright entry, medium body and medium carbonation. Medium length finish with an appealing bitterness.
Outstanding, close to a masterpiece as far as my palate is concerned.

Feb 09, 2020
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lightly hazed, bright golden hued, vast, lush white head, looking great.

In the nose: Brash, bold, fresh citrus-y aromatics. Beautiful.

In the mouth: More of that, and more. Bright and wonderfully bitter. Medium body, yeast-y, malty texture. Great play on the palate. Thoroughly enjoyable. World class double IPA, all the way. Abundantly excellent, I'll go through the whole cart of superlatives before I get tired. That good.

Feb 09, 2020
Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 2782 ratings