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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: 324 | Ratings: 2,152
Photo of PiffJames
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is going to become huge.

Pipeworks in general keeps expanding but this beer will be known. This beer has quickly infiltrated the Chicagoland area and everyone is in love with it. You will find Lizard King and Ninja vs Unicorn everywhere around here - in bars on tap or in cans, in grocery stores, in local and giant liquor stores.

This is a great beer. Full bodied and full of flavor. Beautiful to look at and pleasant to smell. This is everything you want in a double IPA.

I've had it a couple days fresh in cans and on tap.

Best double IPA I've ever had, hands down.

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fairly clear pale-for-a-DIPA gold. OK, finally a DIPA that really hits me in the face with a nose of grapefruit, mangoes, pineapple and resiny pine. Actually tastes quite a bit like a scaled-up Lizard King but with much more piney dankness. The aroma reminds me of a time when I snuck off with some friends into a storm cellar and they (not me!) smoked some weed and that funky, earthy dankness is still in my brain. This is not an overly bitter beer, but it's not too sweet either. Very nice balance with the dry hops being the main attraction of the show. Great beer!

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had from a can poured into a 16oz pint @ Jerry's Chicago. Right off the nose you can tell you have an excellent fruity scent leading into a full out citrus flavor in your mouth. After you sit back and allow those hoppy citrus notes to blast your palate you will get a mild bitter aftertaste. I really enjoy this DIPA. As DIPA are my favorite beers. Will pick up again as always.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold in color with a light haziness. There's a solid inch of densely packed bright white. Heavy lacing. I smell very floral and earthy floral hops and light malt. I taste plenty of floral, earthy mosaic hops and light, crackery malt. The mouth is very dry and surprisingly light, crisp, and refreshing.

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Photo of BWED
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into a Spiegelau wheat glass.

A- Semi-hazed golden in color. Head is just off white and foamy. Great retention and lacing.

S- Tropical fruit, grapefruit, passionfruit and mango/pine.

T- Piney, citrus pith, with a light toasty backbone.

M- Medium full body. Relatively smooth for a hop bomb. Dull linger of pine and pith.

O- I'm impressed with this brewery. First Lizard King, now this. Really good brews. This is a great hop bomb, that isn't too provocative. Fairly smooth as well.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome beer. Has great piney, earthy, resinous characterists throughout with a tropical note that helps keep it balanced. The Abv is nowhere to be found.

The only problem I have with this beer is that it is too light in the body. I have noticed this with other pipeworks IPAs; they taste like hop water. This almost reaches that territory. It could use a bump in the malt bill to make this world class, because it almost tastes like a session beer at this point.

Still very tasty though.

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Photo of Dirtyhands
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely fantastic. Aroma of dank simcoe type hops, grassy and dank all at the same time. Taste follows up with the similar simcoe/Amarillo type flavors. Clearly dry hopped heavily with a slightly opaque appearance. This beer is outstanding.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice clear golden color with white head that sticks and leaves nice lacing, not looking unfiltered which I heard was the case but I don't mind!
S - big dank mango, papaya, orange zest, cantaloupe, melon,grapefruit, ganja, garlic/onion, def some mosaic profile here
T- nice bitter grapefruit and orange peel with dank ganja flavors in there. Background is mango, papaya, passionfruit, melon, cantelope, garlic/onion.
M - medium mothfeel, bitter, alcohol covered, aftertaste is bitter citrus peel
O - damn fine ipa. Very tasty. Kind of a more readily available but less intense version of TG Sosus.

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Photo of Bloodbuzz99
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Smells so good you don't have to drink. Super citrus, grapefruit notes - bitter, stays on the pallet but not overwhelming. Can't stop smelling this beer. Very little malt sweetness on the backend- just a super fresh hoppy double ipa

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is somewhat hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that gradually died down, leaving some specks of lacing on the surface, a thin collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of cantaloupe are present in the nose along with some notes of citrusy and piney hops. The pine becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste follows the smell and starts off with flavors of melons—cantaloupe seems to stand out in particular along with some notes of citrusy hops and hints of piney hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of visible carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of aromas and flavors, particularly with the cantaloupe melon. It's rather drinkable for an Imperial IPA and hides any traces of alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Sabtos
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bright golden yellow, with a large foamy white head. At first, it's crystal clear, which is totally unexpected when taking the smell and taste into account, although it does seem to get hazier as it sits.

This is beautifully aromatic, with pineapple and sticky dankness wafting off powerfully. Some spicy pine, green peppercorn, and a touch of orange candy come shortly after. The dankness only increases over time, which is a big plus. I find that sticky, fresh herbal green to be a totally mesmerizing aroma, particularly when it omits that pungent skunk element.

All of this very wonderfully transitions to the taste, with piney peach and very tropical flavors coming forward.

While refreshing, there is a little kick of aspirin-like bitterness to prevent you from gulping it down too quickly. It is well carbonated and a little spicy as well.

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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 ONovoMexicano
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pounder into an oversized tulip. 3/15/16 canned date.

Looking good on the appearance. Hazy golden liquid although not anywhere near the NE haze. Tons of suds and foam. Lace aplenty. Good persistence to the head.

Aroma is what it seems you're going to get out of any IPA these days, a tropical fruit blend. But there's a floral, melon-y aroma that I always love in brews and a light sweet malt presence. We're still looking damn good.

The flavor and feel don't quite deliver here. Flavor is more about that grapefruit life but in a tired sort of way. It becomes fainter the more I drink and becomes a bit of a lightly malty and sweet flavored-beer with a bitter and zesty finish. There's way more feel than flavor.

A bit of a dud for me and as it's only a month old, I guess I should drink this a fresh as possible to get the deliciousness others have experienced.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark golden. One finger of persistent foamy head. Smells of citrus, grapefruit. Tastes of citrus also, grapefruit and oranges, with plenty of bitterness. Taste lingers well. Feels creamy and rich. Overall excellent.

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Photo of KMachHops
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can into tulip.
Look: Tons of fluffy head and amber.
Smell: Tropical.
Taste: Tropical with pines and eucalyptus.
Feel: More carbonation than I would like and does have some heat at the end.
Overall: Solid DIPA. It has that west coast style.

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Photo of skeeterloveshops
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I received this an extra in a trade, and I had never had anything from Pipeworks before or even heard of them to be honest. I didn't know what to expect.
Can dated 3/15/16. Poured into a snifter 4/1/16. I am drinking this right after drinking a fresh Heady Topper, and I actually prefer this in every aspect besides aroma. What a fantastic surprise.
It pours a slightly hazy golden/orange. Aroma of mild hay, mild grain, and a touch of tropical fruit.
The flavor is sweet, bready, caramel malts and tropical fruit with lots of resiny pine at the end. Perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth, smooth, smooth carbonation!
The alcohol is nowhere to be seen, smelt, or tasted. This is an unbelievable Double IPA, and I cant imagine anybody not saying it is not world class. Hands down a world class brew! One of my top 5 Imperial IPAs. I cant wait to try more pipeworks.

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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 Eamonn-Cummings3
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Guinness glass.

Look is a hazy light yellow orange with a thick and frothy head.

Aroma is bright orange with a sweet honey blossom note.

The taste is absolutely amazing, A mix of herbal grassy hops with citrus orange hops. Aggressive but definitely balanced by a light honey malt.


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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just scooped up some Pipeworks while in Chicago, and brought it back to Boston. The can indicated it was less than 2 weeks old, so this was fresh.
Split 2 cans with Chris & Mike, who were bragging about this new beer they just had called 'Blue Moon'......so the bar was low for them enjoying this.
This poured a clearish orange color, and the smell was very citrusy. Hops hit you right away, but this isn't a crazy hop bomb....a solid DIPA. Only thing I didn't like is the can....looks like an acid trip. As I get older I like beer cans to just state their name, ABV, date made, and preferably their beer advocate rating. I think all cans should be as basic as Duff Beer labeling.
I have a feeling Pipeworks is going to be a lot more visible in the marketplace in the years ahead..........oh great, Chris is showing us his favorite cat videos. Ugh

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Photo of 98green
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a can to a plastic hotel water cup (not ideal service for sure, but on the road we make due). Look is medium orange, mostly clear. Smell is piles of dank and spicy hops. Taste is lots of piney hop bitterness, not a ton of malt. Feel is excellent, bitterness hangs in the aftertaste. ABV is well hidden. Overall an excellent double. Not a citrus bomb or a malt bomb, just solid all around

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tall boy canned 3/1, cracked open 3/26. Golden, slightly hazy pour; not turbid or opaque. Nice moderate pourus head. Aroma is citrus, pine and tea. Taste is pineapple, grapefruit, stone fruit and a touch of passion orange followed by a lightly toasted malt and rock-solid bitterness. Finishes pretty dry without any resiny aftertaste. Crisp, delicious with a little bit of heat that reminds you it's a DIPA. Outstanding beer.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a can dated 3/2/16. Nice golden color, looks filtered, or only very slightly hazy, leaves nice lacing but not head. Smells and tastes very fresh, tropical notes followed by some vegetal notes, and a little pine/mint at the end. As it warms, the fruit notes keep coming forward.
Very nice beer, glad it's now somewhat available ok NYC shelves

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Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

White head. Lace left. Golden yellow color.

Earthy and piney. Some citrus flavors. Mango. Bitter with some resin stickiness.

Decent but nothing I am crazy about.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden color, thin white head, I give it a plus for the coolest can art on the market. Smell is uber tropical and summer fruits strawberry, mango, melon. The taste is not as rich as the smell indicates but it bounces between hop resin and juicy fruit. Feel is dry and bitter finish, slightly sticky but not over the top. Excellent Double IPA

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Photo of Jaypeajus
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Holy cow the floral bouquet is more tropical than the Amazon. I get cuties, grapefruit, tongue numbingness of mango and warm fresh pineapple; plenty o stingy carbonation. Taste/smell ratio doesn't quite line up, but, for me the smell makes up for any lack of taste compared to smell. Lacing is forming its own continents, and head hangs out for a bit too. Mouthfeel has a pinecone minty-ness. Overall in my top 5

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,152 ratings.
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