Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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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:
353
Ratings:
2,262
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
7.75%
 
 
Wants:
367
Gots:
479
For Trade:
29
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 353 | Ratings: 2,262
Photo of jashiu
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
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 C20Percent
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Just bought in Chicago from Binny's -- no freshness date.

A: Pours a pale gold with a small white bubbly head. I poured hard and still got little head. Semi-hazy -- no issues there. Lacing is sparse. Just above average overall.

S: Nice blend of pine and citrus sweetness. Caramel malts. Bits of tropical notes in the aroma as well. Some resin.

T: Taste malt forward to me. Slightly boozy finish in the beginning, which disappears in the beer-drinking experience. Not especially bitter. Not a huge flavor profile. I would say this is a rather mild DIPA.

M: Worst part of the brew. Carbonation is butt. Body is forgettable. Slightly biting at first -- smooths out over time. This should have been much better.

O: Just above an average DIPA. My expectations were expectedly high for this Pipeworks brew, and they were not met. This is the second underwhelming Pipeworks beer I've had. Again, there is no freshness date on the bottle, so this could be an age issue. I don't know. I want a bigger flavor profile and it's just not here. I guess it doesn't help that I've been drinking On the Wings nonstop since early May. I would wager this would be better on draft.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to djcorrao for the bottle.

Appearance: A slight haze on a deep orange with copper leanings colored beer. Head is white and bubbly. Drops to a wispy cap and small loose collar. Some spots of lacing.

Smell: Flowers and pine needles. Loads of backing citrus, mostly grapefruit. Resinous pine. Some pith and mint. Hints of marmalade sweetness. Almost sugary sweet in the back. Malts are big enough to handle the hop assault. Big bready malts with some underlying caramel malt. Cooked and caramelized sugars.

Taste: Pithy bitterness gives way to oily pine. Grapefruit flesh and rind. Nice malt backbone. Pushes some undercooked bread dough. Caramel sweetness. Rich, caramelized sugars. Some lingering mint in the back. Some herbal elements in the back. Huge floral hit. Feel like I ate some flower petals/perfume. Tangerine candy. Fruity. Nicely balanced...somehow.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavier than medium body. Carbonation in moderate. Starts of wet and smooth, but as it warms it dries out a bit.

Overall: I choose you Pikachu!

In the battle of Ninja vs. Unicorn, this time, I win. A decidedly aggressive yet balanced take. A lot going on, but it mellows a bit as it warms. Not something I would drink all day every day, but I'll definitely be seeking it out again.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can from $11 4-pack

A: Pale golden yellow, translucent, possible hop haze
S: Grapefruit, sweet tangerine, peach, tropical, very light alcohol
T: Sugar coated tangerine, bitter grapefruit, very light malt backbone, lingering bitter piney hops, light berry
M: Medium mouthfeel, sometimes light and sometimes kind of syrupy
O: Very happy to see this in cans at a decent price. Somewhere between those easy drinking deceptive IIPA's and the more malty IIPA's

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Photo of BrewerB
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew arrived courtesy of mcc1654 along with some other gems in a recent trade. Cheers, Mike! I look forward to future deals.

Pouring into this year's SF Beer Week tulip. the beer pours an ever-so-slightly hazed medium orange with great off-white foam formation and retention. Label proclaims this to be unfiltered but it still has good clarity.

Prominent resiny hop aromas in addition to a mandarin-sweet citrus fruit. Hint of toasted malt but mostly clean. Slight esters.

Herbal and dank mix of hop flavors. Bitterness is moderately-high and lingers alongside pine needles in the medium-dry finish. Malt backbone mostly clean but firm enough to support the bitterness. Slightly off-putting grassy flavors.

Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth warming sensation.

Overall this is well-balanced and drinkable while putting up big hop character and bitterness. Would like to see the grassy flavors dialed back slightly. Lacking some of the intangibles of the great styles examples but still a delicious brew.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Batch 33

A - Pours a hazy amber color with puffy, 2 finger off white head. Dissipates slowly with lots of lacing along the side.

S - Smell is a little muted. Fruity citrus. A little yeasty.

T - Honestly more malty than hoppy, malt profile reminds me of a barleywine. Hops are bitter, not entirely fruity.

M - A bit dry, but smooth.

Overall - I didn't think this was outstanding. It was missing a lot of what makes a DIPA that good--a lot of hops. It was drinkable, and actually tasty, just seemed like a miss.

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Photo of DmouthCaliBrewz
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First hoppy pipeworks brew!!! Batch #158

A: pale hazy orange, with a beautiful head and heavy lacing.

S: Piney and dank hops, with a subtle floral component and minimal citrus.

T: Heavy pine and dankness, with some onions and helbal notes. Only a subtle hint of citrus and a slight bit of malt sweetness. Finishes with a grassy and herbal bite. Very good.

M: Pretty spot on for the style. Good carbo, and niceness all around.

O: This was a very enjoyable DIPA but by no means world class. I have had a lot worse, and a handfull better. Would thoroughly enjoy drinking again at any opportunity, but not the best I have had in any way, shape, or form. High B+ or A-. Would drink again.

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Photo of fvernon
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #48 poured from a 22oz bottle into a Lawson's balloon snifter (should be pretty dang fresh).

Pours out THICK! There is an off-white head, sort of pearl, that leaves decent lacing and settles fast. This is the color of wild honey, a bit cloudy/hazy, and wafting out a nice strong aroma of pineapple and fresh cut pine. Leaning in, though, a distinctly heavy and creamy sweetness is there as well - candied oranges is a pretty close description. The pine sort of takes a back seat when trying to get a good sniff.

Up front on the taste is that creamy candied orange, lemon zest, and a sweet, malt-pine exhale with just a hint of alcohol. This beer is pretty thick and sticky, although not exactly cloying - more like a sappy viscosity. It's different, I'll give it that - the creaminess and thick mouthfeel are two of the things that set this apart from standard DIPA fare. Overall a nice brew; I may grab another bottle or two if I'm in chicago and am in the mood for a sweetly hoppy drink.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice orange-y color, with a cream colored head
Smells citrusy & some fresh cut grass
Head sticks around for a while and laces
Kind a sweet on my first taste, but the hop sharpness follows right away. there is a grassiness too that sort blends with that citrus again. It all mixes together nicely, but there is a slightly mustiness too it. It's not overpowering, but just something I noticed.
Mouthfeel is normal for an IPA, not heavy, but a slight stickiness after you swallow
Cool beer. Different from a lots of DIPA/IPAs that I've had that go to far one way or another . I like the balance
Thanks to Chickenl3reast for an awesome box, glad I had to try this

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Photo of KYGunner
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was super clean in appearance with a crystal clear golden color and a light white fizzy and alive head.

The nose holds an array of unusual partners as I smell pineapple, butter, honey, pine oil and a lupilin resin.

The flavor continues as the scent but the pineapple is a touch overwhelmed by a buttery taste. I get a nice honey sweetness that helps drive through the piney oil and resin bitterness.

The feel is light, sprite and a tad bitter but not astringent.

This is a maybe a bit off due to the butter I get but otherwise this is quite delicious.

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Photo of beergoot
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs, CO

Clear, golden body; respectable one-finger thick head. Very fruity and pine resin aroma; pineapple and mango. Fruity, bitter flavors; orange rind. Medium body; very crisp and dry.

A very crisp, dry IPA with a nice fruit smell and taste offset. The hop character dominates things yet this is a fine, slow sipping IPA for any occasion. Very pleasant and rather unique...

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Photo of spoony
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 16 oz can (dated March 29, 2016) to a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces a tall white head. Retention is OK and the foam leaves chunks of lace on the glass as I drink. It is nearly clear, just a chill haze and some lazy carbonation to break things up. The color is lighter than many IPAs (or IIPAs).

S-The aroma is a nice, citrusy-tropical blend that suggests orange, pineapple, cantaloupe, and lemon drop. The malts are very light with just a hint of toast and some sweetness that reminds me honey suckle. There is a bit of medicinal alcohol heat in there too.

T-The taste is not quite as tropical as the smell. I get a more bitter orange pith flavor with the tropical, floral notes mainly lurking in the background. Despite some significant sweetness and candy sugar notes, the beer has a bit of graininess in the malt. Kinda odd.

M-The body is light to medium in heft with a little sweet, syrupy stickiness on the finish. Carbonation is pretty mild. Easy to drink.

O-I don't have a ton of experience with Pipeworks beers, but this one seems to fit the mold of others I have tried. It packs a powerful hop punch with some decent tropical flavors, but the sweetness seems to hold it back a bit and the taste was strangely bitter compared to the aroma. Above-average, but not a world beater.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received in trade from brewnstrong, thanks for the opportunity Justin! Pours a slightly hazy medium gold color with a smallish creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smells of pine, citrus, earth with a fair amount of lightly fruity bready caramel. The flavor is more pine and and resin than earth and citrus. Moderate amount of caramel malt to back it up with a light pomme fruit flavor and solid shot of hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice beer, I’m glad I got to try it. Seems a bit more drinkable and less harsh than the revenge.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1454th Review on BA
Bottle to Parra Tulip
22oz

Thanks to Dvelcich for this one

App- Top fading dark orange to light with yellow highlights. Huge puffy head with a semi- fast receding rate. Great cling like a merinque. Super creamy looking in the glass.

Smell- Big fat juicy nug hops with a strong booze and malty spicy note. Great aromatics and a fullness on the nose.

Taste- This is a very creamy DIPA. Hops stick out for days. The balance is incredible. Cery hoppy with a good malt balance. Earthy and flavors abound.

Mouth- A fuller medium body with a medium carbonation. Full hoppy creamy residual flavors.

Drink- Hot damn thats good. It could be dropped down a bit on the bitter to increase it up to an overall 4.5 but for a huge bitter hoppy DIPA. It gets the job done.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent golden orange hue. Head is about 1/2 inch tall an is cream colored. Smells strongly of pine and citric hops, this definitely appeals to my west coast tastes. Taste comes in with a strong citric bitterness, then I get some mellow malt notes followed by a hit of citrus again as it crests the tongue. The finish is crisp and clean with a pine aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just right for this type of beer, not too thick with enough carbonation to lighten the body. This is a great beer, it drinks a lot like the great west coast IPAs, it's brewed in the same style as Pliny and the likes.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz, canned 073115
A - ivory head tops a mildly hazed golden colored body
S - huge plume of aromatic hops with orange, lemon, pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit
T - hop forward and very bitter with hop notes of grapefruit & lemon zest, pine, passion fruit, mango with some light caramel for malt but it's hardly a backbone compared to the hop bitterness
M - medium body, feels a bit thinner than I'd like, finishes bitter and semi-dry with lingering pine and grapefruit pungency
O - pretty good DIPA, but it falls short of my expectations. I'm still very excited to see Pipeworks start to can their beer. I look forward to trying another one very soon!

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Photo of silentjay
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

not quite at its peak freshness. about 6-7 weeks old now, but still should be a decent beer. Definitely on team Ninja.

very, very slight haze on a golden copper with a nice-sized pure white head that lasts for a while and laces okay.

bitter herbal hops with plenty of bitter citrus following. some tropical fruits and some slightly sticky sweet malts back that up.

bitter floral/herbal/spicy hops with a huge dose of citrus rind. tropical fruits behind that and contribute to a sweetness to balance the bitterness along with the underlying malt presence.

medium bodied, decent carbonation, lingering sticky bitterness, pretty spot on for the style.

yah, I like it. definite "in-your-face" hop flavor. no alcohol harshness. great beer that is totally off-the-radar.

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Photo of dprice
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 2/3/16 poured into a regular pint glass golden color with little carbonation, Mango citrus on the nose, Taste bold hops upfront alcohol is hidden well. This very smooth easy drinking. Overall this could be a regular in my rotation if i could get this regularly. This is a great beer and i would love to have more.

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Photo of timmersthemagician
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle has a great graffic that fortells a really nice beer. Nice rocky white head and dark golden color. Nice citrus american hop nose. Good balance of citrus,piney and resinous hop flavor with a good malt sweetness. Drys well with and has good bitterness residual. Substantial body and nice warmth throughout.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent golden amber color with a moderate head of off-white froth. Attractive patches of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer recedes. Complex aroma smells of pine resin, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and bubblegum. A sweetness akin to brown sugar also lurks beneath the fruitier elements.

The first two thoughts to cross my mind after the initial sip are body, and balance. This is superiorly balanced for an IPA, and the body is plenty robust. Bready malt and bubblegum afford all the sweetness one could ask for to offset the mondo bitterness of a DIPA. In fact, the bitterness does not come across nearly as aggressively as I would have anticipated. There is plenty of pine resin, to be sure, but it’s not abrasive in this context. Alcohol is well integrated and unobtrusive. I can’t emphasize enough how impressively balanced this beer is from front to back--it walks a tightrope all the way through, never collapsing toward sweet or bitter, straight through to the finish. The tingling carbonation is just right, facilitating a smooth, full, velvety mouthfeel.

Overall, this may very well be my new favorite IPA (and I say this as a staunch avoider of IPAs). The balance, mouthfeel, and presentation are all excellent, and the bitterness is not obnoxious. An admirable offering from Pipeworks.

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Photo of bifrost17
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,262 ratings.
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