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 aleigator
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
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 Sabtos
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bright golden yellow, with a large foamy white head. At first, it's crystal clear, which is totally unexpected when taking the smell and taste into account, although it does seem to get hazier as it sits.

This is beautifully aromatic, with pineapple and sticky dankness wafting off powerfully. Some spicy pine, green peppercorn, and a touch of orange candy come shortly after. The dankness only increases over time, which is a big plus. I find that sticky, fresh herbal green to be a totally mesmerizing aroma, particularly when it omits that pungent skunk element.

All of this very wonderfully transitions to the taste, with piney peach and very tropical flavors coming forward.

While refreshing, there is a little kick of aspirin-like bitterness to prevent you from gulping it down too quickly. It is well carbonated and a little spicy as well.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 48 poured into a tulip glass. Hazy orange and pours really big with creamy head and a lot of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very Michigan IPA style. Some sweet breads and malts with caramel and orange rind, dried pineapple with balanced piney hop aroma.

The taste is very much like it smells with a creamy, sweet, breads start with hop bitterness throughout. Not as complex versus some of the DIPAs I've had but a very well balanced profile. The hops lingers throughout as opposed to steep intro into at first sip.

Mouthfeel is medium yet very drinkable, soft feeling, not as clean finishing. Excellent.

Overall a really nice beer. More balanced with a complex malt profile as opposed to presenting the hops. Very similar in taste to a 2 Hearted Ale with some kick. I tend to like more base malt with a lot of west coast late boil hops but I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Pipeworks bell tulip. Attractive beer, hazy golden-amber color with a full inch of foamy, beige head that sank to a thick cap and left gobs of lace on the glass. I could smell the fresh hop goodness as soon as I cracked the cap on this one. Pithy citrus and pine, underripe tropical fruits, with a sugar cookie malt base. More of this in the taste, orange pith and zest, strong, oily bitterness, pine resin, green pineapple rind, sugary, bready malt backbone bringing in good balance, but still leaving the hop profile firmly in charge. Vegetal bitterness lasted right into the aftertaste. Medium body, unctuous mouthfeel, moderate and appropriate carbonation. This was a very nicely done DIPA.

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Photo of Auracom
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bottle purchased from West Lakeview. 8 oz. into a FFF Rastal on March 11th, 2013.

A - Straw, golden scotch coloring. Semi-clear with a huge three finger billowy, puffy head. good lacing and retention.

S - It has that "zing" that I normally associate with all non-malty FFF beers. Tangerines, mint, slight rye, pine bark, sriracha, and tomato juice.

T - Largely piney and sappy, mildly dank. Concentrated grapefruit juice, parsley, and citrus peel.

M - Medium body, heavier than the ABV would suggest. Appropriate carbonation, dry finish.

D - It falls somewhere in tier #2 of the best DIPA's from the midwest although leaving more towards the west. Still an easy recommendation and revisit from this one.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a cloudy golden-orange with a 2 finger off-white head. Small blotches and strings of lacing remain.

S- sweet malts, honey, lots of citrus (orange and grapefruit)

T- sweet honey malt, orange, bitter grapefruit rind, and bitter pine hops.

M- medium body and carbonation. Fairly easy to drink with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

O- good dipa that is more bitter than most. Looking forward to the next batch in a month or two.

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Photo of bmwats
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a DH IPA glass.

A: Bright, golden hue. Pours 1 2 finger, frothy, white head. Pervasive rising effervescence. Settles very slowly leaving dry sticky residue in its wake. Blanket of foam persists throughout. Dry spiderweb lacing.

S: Pine cone and pine resin.

T: Hoppy pine. A little tea leaf. Pine cone. Slight sweet pine resin.

M: Thick and syrupy. Bitter, but not too much so, aftertaste.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is excellent. Great persistent head, lots of effervescence, and persisting lacing. Nose is piney and a little sweet. Hops prevail, with a balance of sweet resin. Syrupy, no off putting aftertaste, deceptive alcohol presence. Overall this is a great quaff.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Finally getting a chance to try out some beer from this much-ballyhoo'ed new brewery. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger or so of bone foam. The nose comprises mandarin orange, light mango, a sprig of background-dwelling leek, and a nice, smooth mixture of of honey and sweet caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a twinge of pineapple and a small bite of both spearmint and pine resin. The balance at work is really quite nice. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta sticky finish. Overall, a pretty tasty DIPA, one that showcases both a pleasantly fruity hoppiness and a solid balance. Good times.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 8.27.13

A -Pours a cloudy darker orange with a one inch tan head with great retention.

S - Citrusy, orange, some honey dew melon.

T - Very tropical, oranges, mango, papaya.

D - Good carbonation with a light body. A bit of heat in the finish.

O - Tropical IPA - very solid and drinkable.

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Photo of Omnium
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Hazed orange gold with a finger of soapy white head medium lacing.
S - Tons of sweet peach, grape, papaya, slightly astringent, some dankness, sweet malt too.
T - Very very sweet malt, kinda boozy, lots of fruit flavor, peach and mango, sweet pineapple, a little melon.
M - Clingy sweet, bitter, very full, a little burn.
O - Very good aroma, flavor gets too abrasive as it warms up.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold in color with a light haziness. There's a solid inch of densely packed bright white. Heavy lacing. I smell very floral and earthy floral hops and light malt. I taste plenty of floral, earthy mosaic hops and light, crackery malt. The mouth is very dry and surprisingly light, crisp, and refreshing.

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Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-hazy golden orange color with a fingers worth of white head that sticks to the glass

S-lots of pine and citrus and tropical fruits, very nice aroma

T-light malts, pine hops and citrus, light tropical fruit, pretty tart finish

M-medium body, crisp carbonation

Overall a pretty good DIPA, but I think the smell is better than the taste

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Photo of svenness
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canning stamp difficult to decipher, it might say 11/10/15

L: Gold/orange, hazy, persistent white head
S: Orange, pineapple, mango, bread
T: Fruity, tropical, pine, resin, very little alcohol
F: Medium body, fairly dry, lingering bitterness
O: This one went down really fast, hides the 8% ABV very well, nice hops aroma/flavor complexity. A bit too bitter in the aftertaste for my personal preference, but it is a DIPA after all.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev -4%

22 oz. bottle, with Batch #497/498 printed on the label; somehow I have yet to review this beer, probably the closest thing Pipeworks has to a flagship beer. 9.00% abv printed on the label.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a nice golden burnt sienna orange colored body with two fingers of thick creamy off-white head. Thick, creamy, and fresh in appearance. Murky and juicy looking. 4.5

S - The aroma is typical of the Pipeworks IPA aromas that I'm used to - lots of pine, grapefruit, lemons, orange, citrus, and some bready malt to balance things out. It smells, big, bitter, and fresh. 4

T - Taste follows the nose - big and bitter with lots of resinous pine, orange, and grapefruit. Caramel malt to balance things out. Lightly sweet. 4

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Medium-bodied with good carbonation; easy drinking for the 9.00% abv. Resinous, hoppy, and sticky on the finish. Very drinkable for the high abv. 4.5

Overall, a nice flagship imperial IPA from Pipeworks. After having nearly 80 beers from this brewery, however, I'm not as impressed as I might once have been. Definitely recommended for newcomers and fans alike, in any case.

Pipeworks Ninja Vs. Unicorn -----4/5.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from bottle into Three Floyds Imp. Pint. Nice Golden color, no haze like other IIPAs, this one is clear. Very thin head that dissipated quickly.

S- Not overly aromatic. Does give off a nice aroma of grapefruit and some hop warmth but it doesn't hit you the way I might have expected.

T- Peppery at the start and then moves into the fruit, some grapefruit and tangerine then the grass and finishing out with a nice hop flavor. Very pleasant flavor.

M- I read all the "palette wrecker" reviews and was hoping for the experience, however it isn't quite up to that level. The mouthfeel is crisp and pleasant but there isn't the burn I was hoping for.

O- A very good beer, my first experience with Pipeworks and I have to say I will continue to sample their offerings, I started off with my favorite style and I am not sure I would go out and buy it when compared to my other favorite IIPAs.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper orange with huge frothy white head. Nice retention and exceptional lacing.

S - Big floral bouquet, citrus, zest, rind, bread dough, malts, brown sugar, alcohol.

T - Hop forward - citrus, tropical fruit, resinous. Big malt bomb tries to match the hops, but it is overpowered in the end with a drying bitter finish.

O - Really solid DIPA with a unique blend of hops / malts.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a hazy copper colour that comes through with orange under the light. Decent head with nice retention.

Smells like sweet, sticky hops and tropical fruit. The scent overall is somewhat faint, doesn't exactly pop out at you but the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Notes of sweet melons, tangerine, pineapple.

The taste is similar to the scent, with the sweet malt backbone coming more forward. Sweet citrus and grapefruit-like flavours begin to play off the caramel malt before a dry, resinous finish.
The medium body is still refreshingly carbonated with bit of alcohol on the end adding to the dryness.

Overall a well-made, flavourful DIPA, but a little more dry and resinous in taste than I might like it to be, or expected.

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Photo of cherche
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: slightly hazy, yellow/orange with 3 fingers cotton white head. Good retention and lacing. Great looking beer.
S: fruity and bright. Tropical fruits and with a hint of pine
T: similar to smell with a hint of wheat some floral notes
M: average carbonation, slightly heavier than average
O: delightful IPA, very enjoyable. Fruity and bright would be the way I would sum it up.

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Photo of thebeers
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the lightest-looking DIPAs I've seen. It's a vibrant pale yellow-orange color with two fingers of frothy white head that lasts quite a while before leaving strong lacing. The somewhat muted aroma has a mix of pineapple and other tropical fruit, a little spiciness and white bread. Tasty, again with muted tropical fruits up front, pine resin and pepperiness mid-palate, and a nice hop bitterness, lingering residual sweetness and kiss of alcohol on the backend. Medium bodied, with a scraping carbonation that creates a sharpness in the mouthfeel. A solid brew.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL over Christmas week, unknown bottling date but Batch #"264 265"; poured into my FFF Teku glass and drank over 1-2 hours

A: 3/3 - orange-brown (erm, amber) coloration; low clarity (cannot read or see through) likely 2/2 unfiltered; initial frothy/soapy white head subdued into glass lacing with mild retention

S: 9/12 - dank hops battling citrus fruit (Ninja vs. Unicorn?!?) - pine, pineapple, onion, mandarin orange, etc.; slight toasty aroma with some caramel sweetness in the background; no detetctable alcohol on the nose

T: 17/20 - in the front of the tongue, the battle continues with minimal bittnerness - again, citrus fruit vs. dank/piney character; in the middle of the palate, these flavors evolve and are accompanied by slight caramel and toffee with some alcohol; there is residual sweetness for me but not cloying or unpleasant and retains high drinkability

M: 4/5 - moderate body - thick hop oil coating alcohol; like the other Pipeworks DIPAs that I've tasted recently, relatively low carbonation for style (interesting take)

O: 8/10 - an enjoyable beer that I'd put at a distant second behind Citra Ninja among the four Pipeworks DIPAs that I've sampled in the past week; this one reminds me more of Avery's Maharaja or Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum than the other offerings with big piney/dank aroma/flavor with some citrus qualities for balancing; if you can find it and like dank hops like CTZ, Chinook or Simcoe, I'd recommend this one; Happy New Year!

TOTAL - 41/50

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to CBS snifter. Thanks to robbiemoy13 for this one. Batch #13: Bottled 5/15/12 (only about 3 weeks old!)

A - Medium hazy orange with a golden glow along the bottom. Half a finger of off-white head formed and reduced to a thin layer.

S - Big grapefruit and tangerine aromas up front accompany a fairly assertive bitterness. A slightly sweet malt backbone adds a touch of balance. A very fresh nose, as expected.

T - A huge bitterness up front with big grapefruit, pine and orange zest flavours. The malt backbone definitely plays a secondary role but is evident, adding some caramel.

M - Medium body with a really big chew. Full of resinous hop oils. Light carbonation.

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Photo of crossovert
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

It pours what I would call a peach-ish gold with a frothy white head.

The smell is sweet with some tropical mango and a hint of caramel.

Taste is a bit of caramel, marmalade, some citrus notes, not too much barley or caramel like the nose. Very clean fruit flavor with some basic sugary sweetness. Medium bitterness. Love the flavor.

It is a good fruit-forward ipa. I had it just about a month old so take that for what it is worth. An extra kick off bitterness and hop aroma would've done this beer wonders.

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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 Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from WLV Liquors. Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a clear darker golden/slight orange color, white head that creates a think collar and wisps on top with some bubbles here and there.

S - Dank hoppy nose, big pine, light malty sweetness. The bitter hops hit you right away and the slight sweetness finishes things off nice and smooth. As it warms, the malts shine though a bit more, but there's always that pine hitting you again and again.

T - Smooth hoppy bitterness, some citrus peel, pine, malty sweetness. The booze is surprisingly there for 8.5% disappoints me a little bit, I was hoping it would be as smooth as the nose. Finish is huge bitter hops that attack the palate relentlessly.

M - Light body, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - Well, color me impressed with Pipeworks first official release. I like that fact it's 8.5% and not something like 12% where I can only have a glass. Gerrit & Beejay, good stuff guys, keep 'em coming!

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Photo of nerdboy19
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appear : Cloudy orange color, not much head - 4/5
Smell : Citrus, piney, the usual west coast ipa, but more fruity. Well balanced malt backbone. - 4/5
Mouthfeel : Medium-high carbonation, medium-light bodied. - 4.5/5
Flavor : Hop flavor in mouth, a little bit sweet but finishes dry, nice bitterness and small booze - 4/5
Overall : Great ipa, it's like west coast ipa but less malty and more fruity. - 4/5

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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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