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: 344 | Ratings: 2,226
Photo of reds2harleys
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent DIPA. Pipeworks is one of the Breweries I trust and this is another example of why. I love big hop forward IPA's with explosive flavor and this fits the bill perfectly. Being in Jersey I have to drive to get this but its worth the trip.

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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 wolfpac255
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The new recipe for the cans really lets the hops shine. Very good smooth IIPA with a now very distinct hop character. The can recipe is much better than the bottle IMO.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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 csparace
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into an oversized wine glass with a beautiful one finger head. a dull golden sheen to it with a huge amount of carbonation rising. the head fades within about a minute and is already lacing well. as I drink I notice the most attractive lacing. There's a tad bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle which moves through the glass like a beautiful slow smoke.

S - a really sharp hoppy smell right off the bat . not much else going on. giving it a 3.75 b/c i feel a tad congested and a friend has a candle down the hall.

T - huge mouthful of bitterness! real awesome initial lemon and pine bitterness. definite alcohol presence which I think is actually a little much for my taste. has a good second kick flavor after the initial impact that fades really nicely and takes its time. I find that the aftertaste is actually a little better than the initial experience. The pine really sticks around for a while!

Mmmm freshness. Batch 91 brewed a little over two weeks ago has a great carbonation to it. Its really satisfying. Maybe I should have had it a little colder, this is a definite post lawn mowing beer.

O - really good beer. If you're looking for a ton of bitterness and huge amount of hops this is a great beer for you. I'm a huge fan of the sharp beers and this one definitely delivers. A really pleasing experience!

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Photo of zizouandyuki
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally got my hands on this! Pours deep gold in color with great head retention and lots of lacing as it works it way down the glass.

The smell is very apparent and fruity. I pick up orange, mango, and berries.

The most prominent flavor I pick up is... strawberries! There's a hint of resin and pine, but strawberries and citrus play the leading roles.

This beer has very little bitterness. The body is also much lighter than I anticipated @ 8% abv. Dangerously easy going down.

Lovely beer, that I'd happily seek out again. Cheers!

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had this once before at a share so I didn't take notes for a review. So now my man SomethingClever sends me a can, now I'm here describing this brew to you. Well I had a lazy day at work, time to drink a brew! Here we go, this brew pours a very nice shade of Pale Blonde with haze...(I love unfiltered brews). She was crowned with a nice white bubbly clouds hanging around the top of the glass. Very surreal..

The aroma will be a chore I guess.. First this brew slams you with a Citric Slam of Grapefruit and mild Apricots. Nice dense Cedar notes in the background adding that "Clean IPA" touch. The malts are standard crackerish and sweet. Nice Earth tone aromas blanket the Fruity Hops adding a crisp and clean vibe which I dig. Pretty outstanding aroma actually.

Let's see how the flavor goes? Bam! The flavor starts off with malt sweetness that brings a deluge of fruit flavors to the palate. First hits with Grapefruit/Orange pith citrus vibe, then takes your palate to a more stone fruit nirvana. Picture Apricots and Mango dancing with each other on your tongue. Pretty picture if you're a Vegetarian! Then this brew punishes with Hop Resins toward the finish and still lingers in the aftertaste (ba ba baa BA baa, I'm lovin it!). This finishes clean with a subtle dryness and bitterness that you can feel the Alpha Acids popping on the sides of the palate. Lingering Cedar and Apricots in the aftertaste. This brew feels great on the tongue. It's light weight with a creamy texture (maybe oats in this brew?), Carbonation is poppin and helps to make the flavors explode on the tastebuds.

Overall: I dig this brew! I wish I could get easier access to this brew because I'd be killing this daily. This brew is worthy of high acclaim for its balanced and slaps the drinker with Hoppy Goodness and you can feel the Hop Resins just dancing on your tongue. It's Fruity, Resinous and too damn drinkable for its 8% ABV. I'd rather slam this than Heady. This brew is Recommended!

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Photo of AJacob81
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into New Belgium globelet.

A - Golden orange, a bit hazy, with a finger and a half of eggshell foam head that dissipates fairly quickly and is retained in a soapy ring and an island of bubbles in the center. Gorgeous legs.

S - Citric fruits and some pine, w a bit of bready sweet malt in support. Overall, not an overwhelming nose, but hits the expected notes.

T - Blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit, and fresh pineapple entwined with hints of burnt sugar and caramel. Grassy, delightfully bitter hops in a balanced finish. This must be fresh, because the flavors just pop.

M - Creamy, resiny, and crisp, sits fairly heavy on the palate. The hops resin provides a sticky viscocity throughout that coats and masks a slight alcohol burn.

This is just a phenomenal DIPA. Between this and Haymarket's Matthias, Chicago is finally producing some world-class hop bombs. Great time to be a hophead in the Windy City.

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Photo of jokemon
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

ninja vs unicorn heeeyaaa!!!

Personally I think the ninja would win in this fight but you never know the unicorn is a magical being so it may have some tricks up it's sleeve, or hoof, or whatever....

Anyway on to the beer

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Small amounts of foam What is there is bright white and forms some cool soapy bubbles.

The smell is very hoppy and sweet. It smells like bubblegum candy to me.

Taste is hoppy as expected. The first taste I notice is again the sweetness, I would say that it is a malty sweetness. Next up is the hops, not as overpowering as I though they would be. I don't get much else except a grapefruit taste.

Overall a decent beer, I kind of like the sweetness its growing on me.

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

Pours a hazy golden color. Aromas of peach, mango tropical fruits, pineapple. Taste has a really nice hop presence that doesn't linger on and on in the back end. A bit more mango in the taste rather than the other fruit flavors. Not over carbonated. This is nicely done. Really deceptive on the ABV as well. It is a pretty quick drinking beer. Almost a sessionable quality to it. Also the artwork on the can is pretty spectacular. I know that doesn't matter as far as rating the liquid, but well done Pipeworks. Favorite packaging.

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Photo of Dan_K
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a golden copper color, with a slight haze. 2 fingers of white bubbles linger for a while, then lace the glass.
S: Smells fantastic, pineapple, orange, grass, slight maltiness
T: Tastes of tropical and citrus fruit, grass, a little grapefruit, slightly spicy.
F: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, coating the mouth with flavors.
O: This is a nice double IPA with great aromatics, a solid body, and good flavor. While not the best DIPA I've had, it's good and flavorful. It's not particularly expensive, so it offers a decent value. I enjoy drinking this beer.

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

A: Cloudy, gold in color with a two finger white, soapy head. It dissipates slowly into a sticky white lacing.
S: Dank, tropical citrus, grapefruit, hint of alcohol, hint of sweetness.
T: Grapefruit bitterness, tropical notes, dank/sticky hops, hint of sweetness.
M: Moderate carbonation, hops prickly to the tongue, dry/bitter finish.
O: Solid double IPA!! Glad I finally got to try Pipeworks!!

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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 Czarkazm
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/13/15. Golden honey, slightly hazy body with big carbonation bubbles streaming up towards a white, fluffy head. Smell has a lot of citrus, resinous pine, and some tropical fruit. Sweet grapefruit, candied orange, peach, apricot, mango, and clean biscuit malts. This one hits the palate just right, very well balanced and nicely carbonated. No alcohol whatsoever. Tastes like a beer I've already had many times though. Very typical west coast IPA, skillfully brewed. Taste is bitter grapefruit, apricot, honey, peach, lots of resin, sweet bready malts, mango, tangerine zest, orange, and pine. It's a DIPA that can definitely hold its own but with the emergence of some of these new generation New England IPAs, brews like this seem to be a dying breed.

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Photo of sbxx
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear golden yellow. I hate to say it, but it looks just like piss, haha. But ironically, that's a good thing in this case! Nice, clear, golden honey color. One finger of head. Nice lacing. Very inviting.

Smell - Bready, citrusy hops.

Taste - Boom! Big bitter hop flavor with a solid backbone. Some background pine. A bit of alcohol vapor on the breath. As it gets warmer, it gets harder to swallow. Alcohol bite, Hello.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very light carbonation, almost like the bare minimum. Clean, wet finish.

Overall - For $10 a bomber, I'm gonna pass on this one next time. It started off great while cold, but as it warmed, the taste lost a whole rating point, maybe more, in my opinion. Not something I like to see. Overall, I think this is a decent brew, but I will personally be sticking with other IPAs/DIPAs.

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Photo of laketang
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

golden coloration with a half inch white (I wouod say) head

I can detect grapefruit orange and a hint of pineapple and evergreen leaf

that tart grapefruit dominates,smooth edges from pineapple maybe, orangy for sure

mouthful is sticky and has a bit of a bitter second wave,(alright by me)

I will stack this one with alpha king and dirt wolf for sure

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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 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 mfavoino
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #8 bottle courtesy of Treebs. Poured into a snifter on 5/4/12.

Appearance: Orange amber color with a big fluffy head that persists for a while. Great lacing.

Smell: Big hop notes. Heavy pine and fruity hops. Citrus aromas became bolder as it warmed.

Taste: Initial hop bitterness is quickly complimented by pale sweet malts. Finishes with a lingering bitterness that is assertive with the piney hops. Very bold, but not too big.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, sticky, with a bit a big of alcohol warmth.

Overall: Very impressive. Hops burst all over the palate and leaves perfect bitterness. This stands up to plenty of top notch DIPAs.

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Photo of Chris912
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cans are great! Hop aroma and the malty mouthfeel are pleasant on this IIPA. The bitterness is there, but not overpowering. One of my favorite of all thime, that is if I can find it. I've had the bomber, which is a bit higher ABV, but I honestly think the can outperforms the glass.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark hazy orange color. Nice head that ends quickly. Wow is this smell great. Amazing tropical fruit smell. Pineapple, mango, with a hint of malts. Taste is quite flavorful with lots of citrus and malts on the end. Rich malty flavor stays behind after drinking and makes you enjoy the next tasting even more. Great beer!

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Photo of Justin_Neff
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber labeled batch #87 into a boulevard smokestack glass.

A: Pours a dark 24 karat gold that almost appears as amber at initial pour. The bright white head gushes to the top of the glass and retains amazingly, all while sticking to the glass and slowly fading.

S: Definitely hop forward. Some sweet malts underlying wafts of mangos and sweet orange juice. Doesn't smell overly complex.

T: Strong pine and citrus bitterness. A pretty hefty malt character actually outshines the hop profile. Sweetness that comes off almost like grapefruit juice or orange juice.

M: Medium-Full body. Oily. High carbonation. A little boozy.

O: Not my favorite from Pipeworks. The sweet malty character outshined the hops a little too much. Definitely not a bad brew, just not on the same playing field as some of the others.

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Photo of jws6w7
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

awesome beer! there are just so many good ipas out there these days but this ninja vs unicorns is right up there with the top ipas. citrusy, dank, delicious

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Photo of mikul93
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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!

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Photo of beesy
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Batch #18 bottled 6/18/12. Thanks Colt for sending this one.

A - pours a pale orange with a two finger dirty white head. A very mousse like head holds on for the entire glass, leaving a fair amount of lacing.

S - hoppy. more citrus than tropical. sweet. full. alcohol. maybe a fuzz of oxidation.

T - the hoppy nose leads into the flavor. Not as floral/fragrant as the Heady I drank last night, however the alcohol is way more suppressed than in Heady, but you can tell it's there. A somewhat coarse bitterness lingers, especially after larger samples. I think this has a fuzz of oxidation as the hop flavor seems diminished and a tad stale half way through the palate. Resiny. A little malt resides on the back end if you can dig through the IBU's to get it.

M - medium bodied.

D - surprisingly easy to drink.

Overall, a very nice IIPA. The alcohol is mellow compared to a lot of other IIPA's I've had in recent months. I think it might have gotten a little beat up a tad getting shipped in the 96 degree heat from Chicago, but still think it was in pretty good shape only being a month old and having spent a week in the fridge. Would love to re-review this if I could find it on tap when on a trip to Chicago.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,226 ratings.
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