Ninja Vs. Unicorn
Pipeworks Brewing Company

Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #106
ABV:
8%
Score:
95
Ranked #873
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 7.69%
Reviews:
470
Ratings:
2,752
From:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  370
Gots
  628
SCORE
95
World-Class
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: 470 | Ratings: 2,752 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SierraNevallagash
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
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AshBlackstone from Florida

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | 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
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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
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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 New York

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
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
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Slightly hazy yellow color, two finger white head, messy lacing, light carbonation. Not the best looking DIPA in the world but ok.

S: Tropical fruits, hops.

T: Tropical fruits, hops, smooth as silk. Bitter on the back end. Now we're talkin'.

F: Medium bodied, full flavored. Super drinkable and smooth.

O: Very good DIPA. Would happily drink on any occasion.

Dec 23, 2019
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

10/02/19 on edge of can bottom

Hazy amber with respectable 1-finger frothy off-white head with good retention and copious lacing

Mostly floral and orange-grapefruit hop notes which are subdued in the rundown of this style. Malty low-medium crystal presence.

Nov 27, 2019
Photo of Shanex
Shanex from France

4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a neutral Guinness Pint.

Leaving a two inches white head fading fast.

On the nose and palate: grapefruit and orange very quaffable for such a big can and the ABV.

I Loved the balance on this one. Dank bitterness up front followed by sweet fruit and a clean hop finish.

Overall: An outstanding American Imperial IPA worth every of your pennies. Cheers !

Nov 20, 2019
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PSanger from Connecticut

3.56/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nothing more than your run of the mill IPA. You can find this Level beer at any grocery store and was not worthy of this high review rating in my opinion.

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons from Pennsylvania

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

16 oz can poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Lightly hazy gold. 1 finger of creamy white head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose
Mango, papaya, grapefruit, pine, lemon, and candy sugar.

Taste
Grapefruit zest, pine needles, and light dank. Mango, papaya, and lemon zest. Candy sugar sweetness with some touches of dried biscuit. Zest lingers.

Mouthfeel
Medium-plus bodied, crisp, oily, and moderately bitter.

Overall
Very West Coast DIPA. Refreshingly zippy and easy drinking.

Nov 08, 2019
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usechopstix4soup from New York

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

Had on draft.

Smell: Grapefruit, Citrus zest, pith, pine, spice
Taste: Not as juicy as I thought it would be. Very piney, zesty, pithy but malty, bready backbone balances it out. Drinks like a West Coast IPA. Hops are the center point
Mouthfeel: Medium body

A solid West Coast IPA, perfect for anyone who likes that style of brew

Aug 07, 2019
Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 2752 ratings