Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
317 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
pdubs.net

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
317
Ratings:
2,130
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
20.24%
 
 
Wants:
368
Gots:
442
For Trade:
27
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 317 | Ratings: 2,130
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.

 572 characters

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

 1,551 characters

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.

 681 characters

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.

 526 characters

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

 367 characters

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!

 960 characters

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

 405 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015-08-21
16oz can brought to me by my in-laws. I don't see any dates.

Pours pretty hazy golden with a medium white head, very creamy, slow fading. Moderate carbonation. Smell is very citrus, slightly tropical, with a shadow of pine.

Taste is citrus fruity up front, concentrated floral, then just plain old hops the rest of the way through. Moderate honey sweetness if you look for it.

Mouthfeel is grittily dry, resinous. Leaves that sticky sandpaper feeling all over your mouth. Overall, really nice beer.

 512 characters

Photo of mschantz
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling the bomber picked up in Chicago over Thanksgiving at about 30 days old. Light yellow orange cloudy beer with visual sediment. Slight light white head. Citrus fruit and grassy hops on the nose. Flavor is dominated by orange and finishes pretty bitter. Expected to love this beer and while solid I just I was a bit under whelmed. Perhaps not getting to this beer for 30 days didn't help.

 400 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, soft orange, slight finger of white head.

Aroma: citrus fruit, really juicy, sweet orange, pineapple, some flowers, pine.

Taste: big tropical fruits, orange, mango, pineapple, sweet caramel and bread.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, rich and creamy, nice carbonation.

Overall: not boozy, full without being heavy, great flavor and aroma profiles.

 361 characters

Photo of KMachHops
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can into tulip.
Look: Tons of fluffy head and amber.
Smell: Tropical.
Taste: Tropical with pines and eucalyptus.
Feel: More carbonation than I would like and does have some heat at the end.
Overall: Solid DIPA. It has that west coast style.

 240 characters

Photo of GuzzLah
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a fairly clear, solid gold with a very short head, no lacing and no bubbles.

S - big pine, grapefruit and a nice malty note for a gold beer. No cat pee, yay!

T - is like the aroma, plus some orange. Mild sweetness and a medium bitterness with a medium sustain. Not a palate wrecker and not a sissy beer either.

M - medium-full body with an oily texture and very soft carbonation.

O - a flawless DIPA. Somewhat conservative for the style, not the most complex DIPA, but these aren't negatives. It was a pleasure to drink and I'd be happy to drink it again.

 569 characters

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.

 281 characters

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

16oz can from IAmJacksHopTongue (many thanks!). No discernible canning date. Served in a goblet.

Pours a cloudy, pale gold with a little more than two fingers of pure white head. The pale froth gradually settles to a foamy collar and persistent surface haze, leaving some nice clumps of lace on the sides of my glass.

The aromas beckon as my nose nears the glass. Tangerines, peach, mango, pine and a subtle bready sweet smell. Arguably the best aspect of this all-around great double IPA.

Flavor is slightly more bready and bitter than the nose foretold. Grapefruit, mango, orange peel, peach skin, lemon, pine, cracker, pepper, mild bread and a faint boozey tickle as a reminder of the abv. The hops seem a tad muted but still add enough flavor to the bitter, bready base to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Slick, semi oily medium body with full carbonation. The resinous feel coats the palate to produce a lingering, bitter finish of citrus peel, tropical fruit and vague sweet malts.

Ninja Vs Unicorn is a great double IPA. Perhaps not quite enough to be a category topper for me but this is an outstanding beer. If I lived within the distribution are I imagine this would be a mainstay in my fridge.

 1,214 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours hazy dark golden orange with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet sugary tropical fruit and piney resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet bready caramel malts and ripe tropical fruit with lots of resiny piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice DIPA. I remember it being more fruity on draft and liking it a bit more.

 435 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot orange body with a bubbly beige head that sticks on the glass with each sip. There is a slow motion carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The green woody hops are full but a bit softer than in the taste.

T- The slightly pungent big woody green hops have some citrus notes to follow with a slight malt sweetness that tends to dry out as it opens in the finish. There is a green spicy hop note that lingers after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight little fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a nice full hop monster with some good depth to the woody and spicy hops supported by a lurking malt note but still drinks pretty fast.

 707 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to rmalinowski for the trade.

Pours a bright orange color with 1 finger of white head. Very strong pine and grapefruit flavor accented with a bit of sweet fruits like blood orange (that might be a combination of hop and malt flavors combining, not sure). On the palate it is assertively bitter, stronger than most DIPA's which is saying a lot. With that said, it has the hop flavor to stand up to the above average bitterness. Just dry enough to keep me coming back for more, this is extremely drinkable and I will definitely seek it out if I am in the area where it is distributed.

 594 characters

Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Batch #13

A: Pours a beautiful deep brass with a huge white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Lots of pine, citrus, and tropical notes. Cotton candy, clementines, pineapple, fresh grass.

T: Big bitter pine followed by a smooth bready malt presence. Palpable but tolerable alcohol. A bit of fruity sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, tingly carbonation. Nice mouthfeel for a DIPA.

O: This one's very piney - I would like a little more fruitiness from the hops but it's clear that it's well-made.

 530 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love pipework's art. Love the can. Prefect harmony. That is just the packaging... The beer is excellent. Nice murky amber color with large head, looked awesome. Starts with a huge citrus, grapefruit and orange. Taste starts with the boss, followed by that same citrus profile. Very smooth. Get you some!

 303 characters

Photo of mikul93
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Clear amber-orange with a very fluffy 2 finger head. Nice lacing.

S Pineapple, Citrus notes, sweetness and hops. A nice fragrant DIPA

T Bitter hops is the first thing that hits your tongue, followed by that caramel backbone, grapefruit & Pineapple finishes it off with a bitter finish.

M Medium bodied beer. Nice carbonation. Flavors sit on the tongue for a while. Bitterness lingers.

O Very pleased with this brew from Pipeworks. Picked up a bottle while on a trip to Chicago and wish I had grabbed a couple more. Cheers!

 531 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can ~$3. Orange-yellow in color, huge fluffy head. Aroma is tropical fruits, heavy hops. Flavor is bitter, shoppy, tropical fruits, not too much alcohol, a really solid double IPA but not as good as Mosaic in my opinion. Worth the money.

 242 characters

Photo of JohnnieB71
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty juice bomb. The tropical fruit smell and tastes are very nice with very little bitterness. Overall a very approachable IIPA that won't turn a non IPA lover away. I prefer mine a bit more piney and resinous but I would certainly drink this again.

 258 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex (Masterski) for sending this beer along.

There is a place on the label for "Bottled on" date, but it's blank. I know it's fresh, as Alex wouldn't send it otherwise, but it's interesting the brewery didn't mark it.

A finger of fizzy off white head quickly settles to a cap of foam. A slightly hazy orange/brown/amber color with a decent amount of escaping carbonation. Sheet of lace on one side of my glass.

The aroma seems fresh at first, then clicks over to a buttery note. Lots of fruit and some tropical notes here.

The buttery sense is evident in the flavor as well. Some pine up front, lots of fruit and the buttery notes. As I work through the glass and I become accustomed to the buttery sense, there is more pine and green hop flavors coming through. I like the amount of sweetness, it heightens some of the fruit flavors but does not get in the way. What’s interesting is that it’s growing on me and the tropical notes are coming forward. Some tangerine and even a touch of mango.

Not astringent, but almost powdery dry on your tongue. Not too much, just the opposite of oily. This seems to accentuate the bitterness towards the end.

At first I wasn’t sure, but this grew on me. Nice.

Thanks Alex.

 1,234 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big juicy yummy fruit notes from citrus to light maraschino cherries. It almost smells like ice cream sundae toppings with orange-zested-whipped-cream. Nothing is overpowering, and it is well balanced.

Appearance is that of a dark lemon, slightly hazy, and an eggshell white head that laces well enough.

At first sip I get a nice burst of juicy sweetness followed by another burst of bitterness. The beer is very well balanced between sweet and bitter. The flavors are sharp. I get peach, apricot, and tangerine. It has a moderate body and low-moderate carbonation. It leaves me wanting more.

 594 characters

Photo of bifrost17
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Batch number 48, I really love that 48 is hand written on the label, nice touch.

A: Typical DIPA, dark orange. Filtered, but not quite see through, nice carbonation bubbles running up the glass. Really good looking 2 finger white head. Leaves some nice thick lacing on the glass.

S: I'm not getting much on the nose. Hoppiness, as expected. Citrus notes, faint alcohol....vanilla?

T: Wow, awesome. Citrus bomb, lots of orange up front, in the middle I almost taste an orange creamsicle, definite hints of vanilla, relatively bitter at the end, like a bitter grapefruit. The aftertaste I get is so weird, orange creamsicle, awesome, never tasted that flavor in a DIPA before.

M: Mouthfeel is perfect, creamy, smooth, moderate carbonation, medium side of full bodied. Really drinkable for the 8.5%.

O: Totally surprised here. I saw the high marks this beer had from other reviews, but the only other Pipeworks beer that I've had was their smoked porter, and I was not a fan, but Ninja vs Unicorn is really damn good. Chicago is really stepping up its game as far as hoppy beers go, Daisy Cutter, Double Daisy Cutter, and Anti Hero IPA are some of my favorites, but Ninja vs Unicorn has to be my favorite by far. Seek this beer out, try it, worship it. What a treat. Big thanks to my friend Nick out in the Chicago area for sending this my way.

 1,390 characters

Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 2,130 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!