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:
350
Ratings:
2,257
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
7.75%
 
 
Wants:
368
Gots:
479
For Trade:
29
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 2,257
Photo of cosmicevan
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
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 -4.7%
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 -1.4%
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 +0.2%
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 +9.4%
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 -0.7%
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 +16.9%
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 -2.6%
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 +4.7%
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 +3.5%
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 +5.2%
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 -16.2%
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 +2.6%
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 +7.7%
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 -0.5%
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 -3.8%
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 -3.1%
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 +1.9%
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 +6.1%
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 -2.8%
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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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 superspak
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, batch 158 bottled 6/28/2013. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge mango, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, tangerine, floral, honey, light caramel, light pine, and floral earthiness. Insane aromas with huge complexity of tropical hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and big strength. Taste of big mango, peach, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, floral, pine, grass, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of big tropical fruits, tangerine, floral, pine, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of tropical hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, slick, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible DIPA! Huge complexity and balance of tropical hops with moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. An extremely delicious offering.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: tawny cloudy body, white finger head
flawless lacing

S: playful citrus dance, mild candy sugar
hint of earthy biscuit.

T: grapefruit, lemon peel, mild peach,
firm malt, grassy pine long bitter finish

M: med/heavy sticky/oily
smooth mouth blanket

O: Stealthy magic. Thrilled to see
this on the shelf so soon, may be a
regular local offering. Strong intro
to this fantastic Chicago new brewery.

AMAZING; TREAT YOURSELF!

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden in color with a slightly off white head that has great retention.

Nose has loads of tropical passion fruit pineapple and mango. Some earthy grassy notes are also noticeable near the end but are far dominated by tropical fruits.

Taste is great malty smoothness is mixed with tropical fruits that gives it a candy like feel. Really pleasant. Some bitterness midway through but not over done at all.

Mouthfeel is great also, smooth velvety feel with a crisp finish.

Overall yet another great ipa. Pipeworks has this style down.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

Pours a gorgeous hazy and cloudy light orange color. Muddled and murky with a nice half inch head. The head is dense and white but with little retention. The head recedes down to a thin ring around the glass.

Aroma is amazing. Starts off with very tropical fruit notes. Pineapple a plenty with some slight citrus note. So much pineapple in the nose. Then the citrus notes explode on the palette some more. Notes of tangerine and some grapefruit. Citrusy, citrusy goodness.

Flavor starts off with those tropical fruit notes that are found in the nose, especially the pineapple. Then there is nice citrusy hop juice notes. Some nice dank notes mixed in with some pine and obviously grapefruit notes. Very piney and citrusy. There is somewhat of a malt backbone with some sweetness but it gets muddled up in a barrage of piney and citrus. Simply a yummy hop bomb. Mouthfeel is typical. Nice and carbonated and somewhat dry and abrasive.

Overal, this is a good DIPA. Very yummy and flavorful and quite hoppy. If you are a hop head you will like this.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,257 ratings.
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