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Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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94
outstanding
330 Reviews
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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:
330
Ratings:
2,173
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
7.76%
 
 
Wants:
363
Gots:
457
For Trade:
27
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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 2,173
Photo of koutkid41
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Orange/copper with a nice head that lingers a bit, some nice lacing as well.

S: Really nice dank citrus notes upfront with some orange and pine. Really amazing smell.

T: Same as the smell a lot of citrus, pine, and some dankness . An easy to drink beer that I could drink all the time.

M: A perfect amount of carbonation. Slight alcohol taste but not overpowering, and not overly sweet like I like it.

O: Really enjoy this beer, have had it a few times now and always enjoy it. Love all the DIPA's.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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 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 Pintofbrown
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch # 289 90 91, which according to the Pipeworks website means it was packaged 1/03/14.

The aggressive pour of this IPA reaches an easy three-finger's width of bone white, puffy foam. The cap is overrun by tiny bubbles, rising in an asymmetrical pile. The creamy pillow deflates slowly, leaving behind thick, webbed lacing. Ninja vs. Unicorn sports a glowing amber body clashing with more honeyed highlights.

I could smell this beer as soon as I capped it. The aromas will not be quelled by this puny snifter! The scents burst forth in waves of citrus hops like orange and starfruit. After a few sniffs, a dank, garlic note cozies up with a peppery kick, it adds complexity to this juicy nose. Yeah, that's enough, this beer is begging to be quaffed.

The dank and peppery quality of the hops strike first! Slowly countering, citrus-y hits attack the palate: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon. A musty quality resembling peppercorns and melon really builds in the finish with an enormous resin hop note. Trying to hide from this epic confrontation, the meager cracker malt peeks out every few sips. Really nice building bitterness in the finish, this battle continues to rage well after the drink has been swallowed.

NvU dries up the palate significantly, almost like sucking down charcoal. NICE! Hard to say what a battle between a feudal Japanese assassin and a mythical creature looks like, but apparently, it is really dry. The beer has a nice medium body and runs creamily over the tongue.

Ninja vs. Unicorn is a battle of the citrus and the dank, the peppery and the sweet. In the end, it really does not matter who wins; the beer drinker is the true victor. Be careful, the 8.5% ABV is hardly noticeable, watching this uncanny clash could result in the bystander being the victim. What a beer!

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Photo of sully11277
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour into my snifter Batch # 289 90 91

A- A very bright orange with a very light white head.

S- This beer smells amazing it hits you with just citrus goodness. You smell orange, citrus, pineapple, and mango.

T- A lot like it smells, a lot of citrus, mango, and pineapple. You get that sweet citrus taste then a little piney and ends with a nice but not overpowering bitter taste.

M- very little carbonation which is okay for the style. you taste the alcohol but it is not much of a burn it is balanced will with the hops.

O- This is an amazing DIPA. I wish I would of bought more then just the one. I thought this was going to be just a really bitter DIPA but it is complete different very sweet.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

was i n chicago yesterday, picked this up the day before that...enjoyed from pipeworks snifter as fresh as i could.

batch 289 90 91 picked up at clybourn binny's on my way to GI.

a - brew is classic IIPA...rich semi-transparent orange yellow with a generous frothy ipa head that left behind big chunks of lacing on the glass.

s - nose is divine. all those people who start threads asking what "dank" is...get this beer fresh and smell it...THAT, my friend, is not only dank, it is the diggity dank. thick rich sweaty syrupy pine cone hoppy. more citric than resinous, but it is so thick that it is definitely resinous. orange, tangerine, happiness.

t - with a nose like that, typically the taste falls off, but not this beer. tastes JUST like it smells. the only thing the nose doesn't advertise is the heat. the booze is evident here...but not in a bad way, you can just tell it is boozy.

m - strong beer and it tastes like it, but the body is great. carb is spot on and the flavor is rich.

o - overall, this is a solid IIPA. seek it out. nuff said.

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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 cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a snifter. Canned on date 2/17/2016 printed on bottom of can. The taste and aroma features nice citrusy and piney hops with a good amount of sweetness in the tate.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Half finger head with nice lacing on a golden and burnt orange murky body. Aroma of wet socks, citrus mostly orange, pineapple, club soda, pine, herbal hops and lots of candy sugar. Flavor is fairly tart due to the citrus which again is mostly orange and white pineapple, pine and toasted malts. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very good IPA. Balanced, anomalous and very drinkable.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pale orange with a little haze. Nice frothy head with hints of the beers color in it. Settles in to solid lacing.
Smell: Spice, citrus rind, tropical fruit.
Taste: A reflection of it's scent. Spicy pepper and citrus. Little mango perhaps.
Feel: Slightly carbonated. Enjoyable.
Overall: Bomber or can, this is an amazing DIPA.

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Photo of dar482
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a hazy deep amber.

The aroma has smacks of kiwi, passionfruit, nectarine nectar, mango.

The beer follows with passionfruit, mango, sweet ruby grapefruit, a candy sweetness, a chewy bready malt, onto a stiff piney bitterness and lingering earthiness. The bitterness hits full on and stays.

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.98/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Favorite IPA out there. I have had all the big dogs, alpine, Floyd's, heady topper. Ninja vs unicorn is my favorite. It's good every damn time. So floral! I think the nose is my favorite part. I know they switch the hops a little but it is outstanding! I drink it anytime I can.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ninja vs Unicorn in a snifter glass. Mucky dark orange to auburn color with a silky foam topper. Has that unfiltered appeal.

Spiny pineapple, white grapefruit, donut peaches, light caramel malts, with some assorted citrus. Sweeping fruit notes and the grace of faint woody pine. Aromatic and a little dank. I gather there's Simcoe here.

Grapefruit and grapefruit pith with the character of unripe peach, and some dank Simcoe pine/citrus notes. Aftershock of caramel malt never breaches the word semi-dry. Decently bitter with a happy hoppiness that seems fresh, yet languid. Remarkably light and approachable for a DIPA. Carbonation is dialed up. Excellent feel.

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Photo of MCain04
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, batch 235-237, poured into a Speigelau tulip. This is the batch that was presumably "double hopped" according to the PW crew when purchased.

A: yellow amber color with hazy appearance and 2 finger off-white head, good retention and lacing.

S: Intensely aromatic! Heavy citrus flavors with grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, and other tropical fruits, also a heavy dosing of pine needles. This was indeed hopped more than the previous batches.

T: Heavy on the citrus hops with pine present as well, very true to the nose. Bitterness throughout with a good malt balance. A little sweet and definitely cloying.

M: Medium body, solid carbonation, sticky throughout, dry finish.

O: A fantastic DIPA, much much better than I previously remember. I hope they do this recipie for all future NVU offerings, it is absolutely fantastic. Citra ninja-level good.

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another one from Vonerichs. Cheers!

22 oz into a 6 oz wine glass. Man Torst has really brainwashed me. Open beer, pour in wine glass. Repeat.

A: Dirty copper. Brite. Missing something on the top but otherwise very nice.

S: The only aspect of this beer that is lacking. EDIT: I originally had this as a 3.5 but as this warmed in the glass a bit the aroma took over the experience. White pepper, lawn clippings, citrus with just a little dirty dishwater floating in the background.

T: Nice, light IPA taste. Considering I've been on a Heady kick for a week+ this may just be confirmation bias, but this is a more mild, gentler IPA. Doesn't take anything away from the depth and complexity, and it doesn't punish your tongue.

M: Damn fine. The smooth, slightly oiling mouthfeel is only upset by a very 'ack ack' bitter aftertaste.

This was exceptionally enjoyable and something I'd love to see on the shelves. For now I'd settle for a bottle or two every once in a while finding their way into a box.

(213th)

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Photo of MacQ32
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 211/12/13 (9.9.13)

A - Pours a fantastic bright yet hazy orange color with a finger of dense light tan head. Retention is phenomenal, as is lacing. If the flavor holds up to the appearance I'm in for a treat!

S - Oh man, that's how I want my IPAs to smell. Lots of grapefruit, orange and pineapple. Mouth watering sweetness with a very subtle underlying resinous quality. Smells damn near perfect.

T - Some bitter hops and hefty resin up front quickly transform into grapefruit, orange and pineapple sweet citrusy flavors. Sweetness sets in with the bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is very citrusy/juicy fruit sweet.

M - Great, a little low on the carbonation but still within an acceptable range, medium bodied, quite drinkable. Very refreshing and satisfying to drink.

O - Pretty fantastic, would have liked a little more sweetness from the pineapple/orange but its very good. Glad I finally got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.57/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Bright hazy orange body. Nice white head. Some lacing.

Smell - Orange hop aroma. Deep toasty malt. Some booze.

Taste - Orange and grapefruit. Toasty malt again. Pithy bitterness. Harsh bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - There's an abrasive character about all Pipeworks DIPAs. This is no exception. Better than some of the other Ninjas, though. Mediu. Body. Boozy, although that seems ridiculous.

Overall - I don't get why people love this brewery. This is one of the better ones I've had from them, but still not great.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A truly delicious DIPA, one of the best I've tasted for the first time in quite a while. Pours a cloudy orange. Truly appetizing in appearance. Strong aromas of citrus, particularly grapefruit. Taste is similar, slightly fruity with a modest malt backbone. The mouthfeel is incredible. Lighter than most DIPAs but delicate and pleasing. The artwork and the name led me to expect a big, bite your face off DIPA, but this is much more nuanced than I expected. I live in Chicago and have been wanting to try Pipeworks for a while. I'm glad I did, but my one criticism is this: $12 for a bomber. It's great but...I won't spring for this too often. Bring it under $10 and I'm your man.

Update: now in a can, with a slightly different recipe and lower abv. Still an excellent beer but the aroma and taste are somewhat scaled back. Not quite as big but now a highly drinkable double.

November 2016: the most recent batch is phenomenal. Juicy and incredibly smooth. Can't tell what makes the difference but whatever it is, keep it up.

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Photo of brewskis
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 211/12/13. Pours a hazy dark orange color with a finger head that goes away slowly. Smells of resinous pine, pineapple, dank, tropical fruits, mango, carmel, butterscotch, and breadiness. Taste starts with tons of resinous pine and tropical fruits, very dry to start. Then get a buttery biscuit taste, as well as candy-like sweetness, pineapple, guava. Really surprising malt backbone. Then the finish is tons of pineapple and guava, mango, orange peel, a resinous pine or grass quality, buttery biscuit, more sugary sweetness. Very dry finish. Almost like a fruit salad. High medium body with an oily, creamy, and crisp mouthfeel. This is a ridiculously balanced and delicious double ipa. The hop profile is intense and complex and the malts and sugars complement the hops very well. Outstanding beer when it’s fresh.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So, what part of the beer is Ninja and what part is Unicorn? The duel that takes place on the taste buds favor a deep and drying bitterness while its finesse fruit tones takes sides with the sweeter malt impressions.

As the oddly curios beer pours, it quickly separates as its golden lush body sinks and its frothy white cap rises. Surprisingly clear in its appearance it's relatively void of any hop-derived haze. Retaining mercifully, the ale only lightly speckles the glass with lace. Aside from its timid lacing patterns, Ninja vs Unicorn has a very stately appearance.

Vibrant and juicy aromas captivate the nose with a ton of citrus and tropical fruits- everything from red grapefruit, lemon and tangerine- to pineapple, mango and apricot are all well represented and in good balance. Supporting caramel aromas give a light biscuit, bread and honeyed character that makes the fruit impressions seem ripe, juicy and vibrant. After the ale settles a bit, other notes of spicy alcohol, apple and buttered popcorn unfold from the mix.

The light honey and caramel sweetness greet the taste buds first; just ahead of the citrus and tropical fruit flavors. But once those arrive, the ale takes on a spicier and earthier tone with pine, sharp herbal and grassy bitterness until it grows into a full-out resiny-dry finish. Lightly buttery- this taste along side of the spicy and bitter alcohol taste add more to the beer's complexity instead of detracting from it.

Medium-dry throughout, the ale easily sheds its early sweetness and creamy carbonation and quickly favors drier and more bitter taste from the middle on. Its spicy acetone prickle seems higher than its 8.5% would suggest but is highlighted by the beer's malty-dry finish and resinous bitterness.

Ninja vs. Unicorn is a magical and inquisitive ale that's terrific with all its glory and a few of its worts (no pun intended). Though not the cleanest IPA in its arsenal, the ale's keen hop-forward delivery easily carries the beer from its initial sip to its fleeting finish.

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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 nataku00
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear orange with two fingers of white head, mostly small tightly packed bubbles. Decent head retention, lasts for a few minutes before leaving some lacing as it recedes to a layer of foam across the surface. Decent amount of tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose leads with fruity hops, peach, mango, orange, grapefruit, with a good caramel malt presence. A little bit of resinous dank pine as it warms.

Taking a sip, good amount of citrus peel bitterness, mellowing to sweeter orange, peach and tropical fruit flavors. Just a little bit of caramel malt and dank resinous pine, and alcohol on the finish.

Medium body, with decent carbonation that hits the tongue sharply before it starts getting a bit syrupy.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 Pint 6 FL OZ bottle
Popped the cherry of my Teku glass
Batch #185 (8.9.13)

A - It is a hazy amber with three inches of off-white head.

S - I could smell the grapefruit as I poured it. I get some other citrus aromas and even a little caramel malt.

T - This beer has a lot of grapefruit flavor. It is not quite as bitter as the real thing, but the grapefruit taste and bitterness is quite apparent. Delicious!

M - Moderate and pretty smooth. It is not overly carbonated.

O - After Citra Ninja I was worried about another letdown. This beer is not a letdown and is hands down better than the aforementioned beer. If you like grapefruit seek this beer.

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Photo of Rope
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-
An orange haze, with a tinge of red. Quickly dissipating white head.

Smell-
Brought a smile to my face. The hops take center.... all stage with citrus, to tropical, to piney. This is what a ADIPA should smell like.

Taste-
Gotta be two or three different hops in here all (fittingly) competing for flavor. The bitter end is pleasant, and disappears quickly. Just begging you to drink more.

Mouthfeel-
Not as much carbonation as I would have thought, but leaves a wonderful coating of oily flavor across the mouth.

Overall-
A powerhouse entry leaving little to be desired, but I would go Citra Ninja over this with choice.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks treebs

Hazed orange pour with golden hues, topped by a creamy cap of bone white head, patchy lacing littered around the glass while drinking. Juicy, bitter, fruit-forward hops in the nose with a silky sweet lacing and toasted, grainy malts. Grapefruit, pineapple and citrus peel laps against the tongue up front. Juicy and bitter throughout with a slightly higher sweetness level. Caramel and honey, toasted bread crust. Warm, hoppy finish. Medium body, nicely carbonated, sticky and lingering on the tongue.

Super solid DIPA, it seems these guys are onto something here. Since they make so many of them, I'm hoping to try more down the line.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 2,173 ratings.
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