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: 353 | Ratings: 2,268
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 dbrauneis
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow + honey colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical/melon, citrus/grapefruit, and pine hops over the top of moderate aromas of caramel malts with a touch of honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are slightly heavier than moderate flavors of caramel + grainy malts with a moderate amount of caramel + honey sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of hops - tropical/melon, citrus/grapefruit, and pine. The hops contribute a moderate amount of aggressive bitterness which leaves a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially crisp with light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: One of the easiest drinking DIPAs that I have enjoyed in quite a while - not overly sweet, well hidden alcohol, and not overly bitter in the lingering finish. Very easy to drink and definitely one that I will have again.

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Photo of amano_h
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter @ Craftheads (Tokyo, JP)

The nose is a somewhat confusing cocktail of grass, caramel malts, grapefruits, pine, and wheat. The caramel malts part of the cocktail actually comes on pretty strong which made me worry about the condition / age of the keg, to which the beertender told me it's only been a "few months" since this thing was kegged from the source. All right then.

All my fears were dispelled as soon as I took the first sip; a gargantuan pine prologue is quickly followed by chapters of dank dry grass, bitter grapefruit peel, light lemon zest, and sweet creamy caramel. The bitterness lingers ever so briefly on your tongue before leaving behind nothing but a refreshing dry sensation on the back of your tongue; for a beer that packs quite a hop-infused punch, this is superbly balanced.

Medium-light bodied with a slick oily mouthfeel; gentle simmering carbonation with a pleasantly dry finish.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smell: tons of pineapple and orange along with sweet peachs mango grapefruit zest and a faint hint of danknes
Taste: upfront your hit with Fair amount of biterness middle of the mouth pineapple orange mango sweet bready malts finishes with a fresh cut grass grapefruit biterness and a fruity sweetness lingers in the aftertaste along with the biterness.
Feel: full body chewy pretty creamy on the tongue.
Overall: a very good job mixing a west coast IPA with a east coast IPA. The fruitiness is there along with a good amount of biterness. An outstanding beer worth trying!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. This beer was a great balance of fresh squeezed juiciness with a little west coast hoppy bite that was very well balanced.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Time to see what the hype is all about.

Ninja Vs. Unicorn pours a hazy, slightly juicy mango juice colored body, with a firm, fuzzy 2 finger head in my tulip. Lace is left vehemently behind, just utterly leaving a path of destruction of the battle that was just fought by the can vs. glass.

Nose is of peach, mangoes, melon, sweat sock, and pizza dough/sauce. A little bit of onion creeps in there, too. A nose to the can makes me chuckle aloud. Pure sweat sock. Haha.

Wow, this really incorporates all of the elements of a good IPA. It starts with a piney bitterness that gives way to pine pricked cantaloupe, then fresh canteloupe, then an herbal tang, then outright dankness, finally to an herb-twitched malt profile and lingering spruce tips.

Feel is thick, juicy, resinous, I'm drunk.

The hype is real, guys. I love this IPA. Not quite as good as Todd The Axeman, that's the king of mid USA...but still super solid. Hoping to bump this one up to "World-Class".

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Photo of Peepskp
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What an absolute flavor bomb! Mango, pineapple, watermelon, lime, sweet bubblegum, and hops. What a crazy beer. Pipeworks is really on another level. I want to try them all.

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Photo of pinyin
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served 38F from the 16 ounce can into a 16 ounce goblet. Illegible/smeared dating matrix on the bottom of the can.

Orange copper translucent. Slightly cloudy and hazy. Fined and maybe seemingly filtered in a brite tank, maybe some oat flour in the grain bed. Enough so to give it some attributes of a NEIPA.

Citric and piney, dank and resinous. I'm guessing simcoe and citra (Ninja VS. Unicorn).

A really nice balanced flavor profile between the tropical citrus notes and the resiny hoppy bitterness . A dense malty backbone bringing it all together. Smooth drinking, but high ibu's. Very high quality for a nationally distributed DIPA. Much more refined than your typical Stone, DFH, Ithaca, Great Lakes DIPA's.

Perfect texture and carb for an 8 percenter. Slightly syrupy on the top of the pour. Thinner and cloudier on the bottom of the can.

Pipeworks can do no wrong in my book. always clean flavors, fermentation and sanitization with tried and tested recipes.
The only thing that irks me slightly is lack of canning dates. This product is in high enough demand and sells out quick enough that canning dates can do no harm to the product placement. Unless you sell to underhanded and or untrained distributors.

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Photo of spacemanspiff13
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of barczar
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three weeks old, so fairly fresh. As soon as the can is opened, dank, piney, grassy notes emerge. Big citrus notes of grapefruit and tangerine meld with caramel malt sweetness to add candied tropical fruit depth.

Flavor is more resiny throughout, grassy, with a fairly bitter, piney finish. The initial sharp citrus and mango fades to slight caramel sweetness, finishing very dry. There's a touch of vegetal character throughout that's a little offputting.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this in line a few times at Other Half but finally got around to trading for this not too long ago. The date and words on the bottom of the can were warped so I had no idea how fresh this was or what the accompanying message was. Regardless, this was an immensely crushable Double/Imperial IPA that had all the booze to go with it, without any typical hop burn, as this was very nicely balanced!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a hazy apricot hue, tons of head with large bubbles in it, and a good solid first ring of lacing that slid down the back of my pint glass. Lots of apricot, mango, papaya, and booze in the nose with even more in the taste. The malt bordered between a caramel stickiness and filling dough as it balanced out the fruit flavors quite nicely, with the mouthfeel being that of pine, resin, and underlying dankness. Great warming effect to this beer as the alcohol quietly kicked in throughout my session and the finish was quite dry for something this potent, as the balanced nature of this beer really shone through in the end.

Sure, this was strong but with all of this going down so easily, it was hard to notice until I finished off the can. Love the art but even more love to the outside of this beer matching the inside. Like Sip of Sunshine or Heady Topper, this was one of those brews that needs to be on everyone's "must-try" list. Suds like these are why Pipeworks is worth going into New York for, as the one can I had here in Jersey didn't last that long. Slick in every way from start to finish!

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Photo of Myotus
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 51°F from a 16oz can (no date) into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Consumed on 06Jul16.
SMELL: Huge waves of caramel, pineapple, mango, papaya, peach, and apricot are supported by subtle aromas of earthy hops, salted crackers, and lemon zest along with hints of alcohol.
TASTE: A strong sweetness instantly strikes the palate with flavors of caramel, pineapple, papaya, peach, mango, and apricot. Mild flavors of earthy hops quickly follow to bring balance as caramel flavors grow slightly stronger while the fruit flavors fade somewhat. A further balance is established as subtle flavors of salted crackers, lemon zest, and hints of alcohol close off the taste profile as all previous flavors persist.
NOTE: I say with confidence that this beer is more than just hype. I was blessed to finally have an opportunity to try this. I loved how the caramel flavors, which usually play in the background with this style, where just as a grand as the tropical, fruity goodness. The whispers of alcohol is always a welcoming aspect from a beer for me. The fact that this is a shelf beer makes this a clear winner in this category. If only they could distribute to Texas.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7/4...pours pale cloudy bronze yellow below, darker atop. With 1/4 inch white foam on top. Strong pine grassy nose. Taste opens full bitter. Light citrus trickles through, and closes with lemons. Chewy malt. Slightly soapy. The IPA bitter holds throughout. Packed with flavor but drinkable. Really nice double.

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Photo of nerdboy19
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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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Photo of Beric
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Can into pint
Served: 14 July 2016

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy orange color crowned with a soft white head. Didn't leave a ton of lacing and the head dissipated quickly as well. Even at 8%, I would have expected it to pour a bit better than it did.

Smell: Tons of hops, of course, with an underlying caramel sweetness. Hops verge from resinous to citric. Clean nose.

Taste: Sweet malts interplay nicely with the somewhat sharper resinous/piney hops. Rounded out by citric fruit notes, a pinch of fresh black pepper, and some tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel: High body with medium carbonation. Works well.

Overall: A very good beer and definitely recommended.

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Photo of frozyn
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Pours a clear golden color with a thick, frothy white head on a fairly aggressive pour.

S -- Very good fruity aroma, not with a very specific note to me. I quite like that. There's also a good note of pine/resin, but not overly powerful. A little later mango starts to hold prominence, but only slightly.

T -- Sweet pineapple, cotton candy, resin and a nice malty sweetness come through.

F -- Medium feel, even carbonation.

O -- There's nothing that stands out about this, which is perhaps why a shorter review than normal, but I feel like it all comes together to create something better than the individual parts.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Golden color with some haze and a small head but great lacing. Fruity hop soaked assertive aroma. Notes of dank, citrus peel, grapefruit pulp, and light honey sweetness. Medium feel, no abv, crisp, and slightly dry. Classic DIPA flavors done amazingly. Nice citrus punch with restrained bitterness and big hoppy flavor. This one was fantastic.

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Photo of DraftyBrew
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a can from my local liquor stores here in San Diego. Artwork on the can caught my eye. Poured from a can into a chilled glass. First thing I noticed was the high carbonation and bright gold color. The smell is very aromatic and fruity. The taste is very interesting: it is full of bitter hop and fruit flavors, but incredibly smooth with almost no bite that you would expect from a double IPA. Mouth feel is very nice and the high bubble content is very refreshing. Over all one of the best IPAs, if not beers, I've ever had.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a snifter

A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a one-inch, paper white, foamy head that lingers for a while. Small amounts of thin white lacing.

S: Aromas consist mostly of fruity tropical notes with some citrus as well, mango, peach, pineapple, and tangerine. Slightly sweet and biscuity malt undertones. Very mild dank hop notes.

T: Taste aligns with the aromas fairly well. Mostly tropical fruit and citrus notes accompanied by nice, mild, piney hoppy flavors. Mild sweet and cracker malt notes come through as well.

F: Light-medium bodied, smooth, with good carbonation throughout.

O: Overall, I'd say this is a great DIPA. Love the fruitiness of this one, and I'm usually not a fan of the more fruity DIPA's but they blended it well with the hop bitterness. Wish this one was available in the Twin Cities, I would definitely make it a regular.

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Photo of thebeers
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
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 Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really nice hazy yellow color with white head. Aroma pops with huge tropical hops. Dank hops, chives, peach and tangerines. Taste follows with dank/herbal hops, fruits in the middle and resiny bitter finish and aftertaste. Medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a really good DIPA, one that can compete with a lot of the more hyped ones.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange-yellow with a thin white head. Smells is dank and tropical. Lots of pineapple and mango with some citrus. Taste is even more pronounced with dank and tropical hops. Slight onion taste and citrus on the back end. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with medium carbonation. Bitterness is subdued and lets the hop aroma shine. Overall, a fantastic DIPA.

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Photo of JohnnieB71
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outrageous 16oz. can into a Surly teku.

Aromas of citrus, pineapple, grass fields and spring days. Sweet, floral and aromatic. Great! Notes of pine, pineapple, citrus fruit and papaya upfront. A soft bitterness settles in, in the middle evoking some grassiness as well more pine and bark. Finishes grapefruit and hop bitterness. Delicious! Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation that entices the palate. Prickly and lively going down with a dry finish that keeps me going back for more.

This is certainly up there with some of the better IIPAs that I've had. Certainly worth trying and I'm glad I'm able to get this on shelves now.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a creamy white head. The head leaves tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is orange peel, grapefruit & piney hops.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Grapefruit, orange peel, sweet malts with piney resinous hops shining in the finish. The finish has a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

O - A really nice DIPA. Good blend of citrus and resinous hops. Crushable for 8%.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,268 ratings.
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