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Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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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:
20.24%
 
 
Wants:
363
Gots:
457
For Trade:
27
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 2,173
Photo of mikul93
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Jaycase
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: copper. two finger foamy head. good lacing.

s: piney hops, some caramel

t: strong piney hops, some caramel, good amount of bitterness. hops, hops and more hops

m: medium body, medium carbonation. sticky hop resin clings through the end.

o: If you enjoy hoppy bitterness, this will be delightful. Fortunately I do and it was. My first from Pipeworks and surely won't be my last.

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Photo of MIA4IPA
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not only is this beer brewed right here in Chicago it is the BEST DIPA unfiltered I have ever had!!

A- dark orange with a huge cloud of white head

S- Very tropical daydreamed myself sitting on a beach. A touch of booziness.

T- out of this world very smooth the booziness scared me at first. A little bready with tangerine, ripe orange and citrus follows: Where is my hammock!!

Overall- The best DIPA UNFILTERED a guy can ask for! I wish I bought more!! Balanced with malt and hops taste and finish!!

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Photo of cooler4life
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another brew from a journey to Chicago - Batch #25.

A: Poured a clear copper orange color with a one finger head. Lacing and glass retention are great.

S: The nose is dominated by tropical fruits at first, then transitions to white wine and toasted malt.

T: Hop bomb without blowing you out of the chair. Strong pine, mango transitions to a dry saltine cracker. As the beer warms, the alcoholic burn becomes more pronounced, however it is not overbearing. Slightly sweet honey in the finish.

M: Leaves a fantastic bitter sweet coating of hop resin on the palate. Crisp and clean, with one of the better finishes I've had in a DIPA.

O: I was pleasantly surprised how good this DIPA turned out to be. Keep 'em coming Pipeworks!

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Photo of FosterJM
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1454th Review on BA
Bottle to Parra Tulip
22oz

Thanks to Dvelcich for this one

App- Top fading dark orange to light with yellow highlights. Huge puffy head with a semi- fast receding rate. Great cling like a merinque. Super creamy looking in the glass.

Smell- Big fat juicy nug hops with a strong booze and malty spicy note. Great aromatics and a fullness on the nose.

Taste- This is a very creamy DIPA. Hops stick out for days. The balance is incredible. Cery hoppy with a good malt balance. Earthy and flavors abound.

Mouth- A fuller medium body with a medium carbonation. Full hoppy creamy residual flavors.

Drink- Hot damn thats good. It could be dropped down a bit on the bitter to increase it up to an overall 4.5 but for a huge bitter hoppy DIPA. It gets the job done.

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Photo of beesy
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
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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Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors, most recent release - Batch 25, so it was bottled sometime mid-July.

Pours a semi-translucent dark golden/bronze color with a semi-large fluffy white to off-white head that recedes into a thin cap, thick collar with some splotchy lacing remaining.

Aromas begin with a hefty doses of citrus zest, tropical fruits, pine and a subtle amount of grassy hops as well. As it warms I get a hint of the malty backbone highlighted by a slightly sweet sugar cookie-like doughiness.

The tastes follow the nose with some lightly sugary and bready maltiness but then you are immediately greeted with the ripe orange and tangerine citrus hop flavors. As with most beers the tropical fruits and pineapple aren't as present in he taste with a more pine, resiny hop flavor. with less of the exotic tropical flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Previous batches had some low carbonation issues but this one is dialed in. There is a pleasantly slightly assertive dry finish; definitely on the more attenuated side of the double IPA scale, which I appreciate to avoid excess sugary sweetness that plagues some of this style.

Overall this is a super beer; my first from Pipeworks and I can say it won't be my last. It is a super dialed in recipe that has clearly been developed and perfected by the brewer and I can see why even though they have only bottled less than 30 total batches of beer they decided to make this one 6 times already. This is a really good beer. Highly recommended and well worth seeking out if you can get it fresh (like all DIPA).

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Photo of dpodratsky3
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into tulip glass

A: Hazy, unfiltered, tanish orange, awesome dense frothy head, slight off-white in color

S: Hop bomb, unique aroma, fruity but not citrusy, like tropical fruit with a hint of resiny hops

T: Not quite kill your palate bitter, balance of sweet, but not crazy caramel sweet like some DIPA's, bread malt presence, alcohol definitely comes through as it warms, hops are still the star for sure, more piney in flavor than it was in aroma but still has that distinct fruity aspect, begins to get a little harsh towards the middle and end of the glass since you cannot drink it fast, the alcohol and lingering hop bitterness combine with that slowly sweetening caramel to give it a lightly hard to finish flavor

M: Not super dry, stays pretty high, almost don't notice

O: A very solid DIPA, good balance for most of the tasting, however as it warms it does skew slightly towards being too caramel and boozy for me, definitely a sipper

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Photo of crossovert
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

It pours what I would call a peach-ish gold with a frothy white head.

The smell is sweet with some tropical mango and a hint of caramel.

Taste is a bit of caramel, marmalade, some citrus notes, not too much barley or caramel like the nose. Very clean fruit flavor with some basic sugary sweetness. Medium bitterness. Love the flavor.

It is a good fruit-forward ipa. I had it just about a month old so take that for what it is worth. An extra kick off bitterness and hop aroma would've done this beer wonders.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pipeworks Brewing Co.
Ninja vs. Unicorn
22oz, batch 18, 6/18/12
Victory tulip

A: Pours a hazy, dark orange color.  Typical DIPA.  Two fingers of bright white head.  Tons of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass, and coming up sides.  I see this has some alcohol feet and assume lacing is gonna be left.

S: Lots of tropical fruits: mango, papaya, maybe some pineapple, etc.  Lots of hops, but there is some sweet maltiness in there too.

T: Right up front, nice hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue.  Really pleasant and not overly aggressive.  You get those fruity hops that you smelled.  Definitely pulling some papaya and peach and slight pineapple.  In the middle of the mouth, you get those sweet malts to help cut through the bitterness.  Still very hop forward though.  The close is very dry and slightly bitter.  Leaves you wanting more!

M: Medium bodied.  Great carbonation.

O: A- leading to A for me.  Really surprised and pleasantly happy.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to kawilliams for bringing this to share! Thanks kent!

Reviewed from notes taken 7/4/12.

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: clear yellow bodied beer with huge white head. Drops down to a solid cap that remains while drinking the entire beer.

Small: juicy grapefruits and resinous pine. Some tropical fruits and a bready almost sweet malt.

Taste: On the high end of moderately bitter hop bite. Big grapefruit and pine. Oranges and tropical fruits. Malts taste biscuity just like the nose. Pretty hop forward with the malts offering decent balance, but there isnt much taming that going to tame those aggressive hops!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer finishes a little dry with a bitter snap. No booze noted in this one at all!

Overall: Really great DIPA. This is a wonderful local offering from chicago! Powerhouse hop profile for all those hop heads out there!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to emerge for sharing this one.

A - Somewhat clear golden orange with an eggshell thick white head and spotty lacing.

S - Tropical fruit, mango pineapple, tangerine, papaya, light hint of pine and soft caramel malt.

T - Juicy ripe tropical fruit, mango, tangerine some grapefruit and more pine than was noticeable in aroma. Candied oranges and honey. Nicely balanced, on the sweeter side for a DIPA but more in a candied fruit way and than caramel/crystal malt way.

M - Medium body and juicy. Lingering hop resin.

D - Very smooth and well balanced. Excellent DIPA.

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Photo of draheim
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (batch #18) into a tulip. Pours a hazy coppery orange w/ a frothy head, decent lacing, moderate carb.

Aroma is about equal parts pine, grapefruit, and mango. A hint of booze emerges too.

Taste is super-dry pale malt backed up by plenty of hops. Typical citrus and pine with a slightly earthier tropical twist. A really nice sharp bitter bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, about what's expected. Dry but with a lingering finish.

Overall this is a good DIPA but falls just short of really good. There's something different about it that I can't quite put my finger on, maybe it's an attempt to merge the maltier East Coast and hoppier West Coast IPA styles? Seems to have characteristics of both.

Imperial Two Hearted maybe? Whatever the case, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.08/5  rDev -4%
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 cnbrown313
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my 5th bottle of Ninja Vs. Unicorn, so I decided it was time to write a review. First of all, the bottle art and the name is pretty cool off the bat, but beyond that, this is an awesome DIPA.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Duvel glass.

A - Medium golden color, with a nice 2 finger head and some quality lacing as the head retreats.

S - Citrus! Mango! Maybe papaya? The fruity hoppy smell hits you right away.

T - As expected, there is a huge citrus and mango hop flavor right away. But there is a nice malty sweetness that balances it out. This is a tasty beer for sure.

M - It has a nice "not too heavy, not too light" mouth feel. But, the carbonation is very nice.

O - Overall, if you live in Chicago or has a friend that does, grab a bottle of this. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Hjammer
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt, 6 fl. oz bottle (with AWESOME artwork I might add) poured into a Great River Brewery pint glass. Batch #18

A: Golden in color, but a bit hazy. Bubbly, white head. Retains nicely.

S: One item comes to mind - bubblegum. Artificial sweetness. Some alcohol. Possibly a bit of grain or wheat in there as well.

T: Little bits of citrusy sweetness, bubblegum, but the major taste is BITTERNESS. There is enough time and space for the contrast between the sweet beginning and the bitter end, but the bitterness is very present. If you like hops, you will go nuts!

M: Nice and full. Whatever the opposite of watery is...

O: A nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. Maybe a tad bit bitter for my tastes. I love the smell though of this guy. This is my second bottle of NvsU and it was completely worth it. Hope Pipeworks continues to brew this one for a long time.

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Batch #13

A: Pours a beautiful deep brass with a huge white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Lots of pine, citrus, and tropical notes. Cotton candy, clementines, pineapple, fresh grass.

T: Big bitter pine followed by a smooth bready malt presence. Palpable but tolerable alcohol. A bit of fruity sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, tingly carbonation. Nice mouthfeel for a DIPA.

O: This one's very piney - I would like a little more fruitiness from the hops but it's clear that it's well-made.

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Photo of egrace84
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ninja Vs. Unicorn. Cool artwork on the label. bomber popped and poured into a Duvel snifter. A- good looking DIPA with a nice creamy head. S- Lovi'n the smell of this, dank, citrusy,pineapple. T- Taste follows the nose pretty well, piney/grapefruit w/ some nice lil malty notes and the bitterness settles right in on the back end of the tongue. M- nice carbonation and kind of a slick little mouthfeel. O- was glad to get my hands on this one, its a great DIPA thats definately not to tough to make light work of and take down by yourself... Yummy.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, DLFarris!

Unfiltered golden orange with a large, moonscape near-white head that lasts and lasts, eventually leaving some irregular lacing down the glass.

A sweet and somewhat simple aroma, and probably this beer's weak spot, if it has one. There's mild citrus and simple syrup aromas combining pleasantly.

Moderately bitter, decent pine and citrus presence, orange syrup, and just a hint of alcohol presence.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering citrus flavor. Very nice.

Very nice, though it was better at colder temperatures.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had during the 2nd Annual Redneck Racin’ & Tastin’ while tailgating at the dirt track race! Big thanks goes out to marine1975 for this one! Served from bottle into a NoDa snifter. Poured a golden yellow half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, citrus, citrus hop, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, fruit, earth, and spice. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I went into this one really wanting to be wowed, but found it to be a little bit of a letdown. It was just a little too middle of the row for this style. The citrus aspect was definitely welcomed as it kept it out of the middle of the pack slightly, but I would have loved to see something completely different to make it stand out from the rest.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great trader, Bertram, for this! Some of the coolest bottle art I have seen.

A. Pours a slightly cloudy marigold with a thick three finger eggshell, thick, foamy head. Excellent lacing.

S. Mmmm, really really nice. Lots of tropical fruit, including mango, tangerine, and pineapple. Some mild pine resin yields to a luscious, soft honeycomb finish.

T. Pineapple, tangerine, candied orange slices, pine needles, freshly cut grass, honey drizzle, and caramel. Leans more toward the sweet, savory side rather than the hop bomb side. And that is a-ok by me. Just a nice big tropical candy profile here with a crisp hop kick. Very nice.

M. Pretty full bodied for a DIPA, very sweet. Crisp with a moderate-high carb level.

O. I was very impressed with this offering from Pipeworks. It's my first experience with them, and I welcome more of their brews (wink, wink Jason). DIPAs tend to be a little too harsh for me, but this has a lovely, easygoing flavor profile that retains complexity and punch without bowling you over with brashness. A top-notch DIPA.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to CBS snifter. Thanks to robbiemoy13 for this one. Batch #13: Bottled 5/15/12 (only about 3 weeks old!)

A - Medium hazy orange with a golden glow along the bottom. Half a finger of off-white head formed and reduced to a thin layer.

S - Big grapefruit and tangerine aromas up front accompany a fairly assertive bitterness. A slightly sweet malt backbone adds a touch of balance. A very fresh nose, as expected.

T - A huge bitterness up front with big grapefruit, pine and orange zest flavours. The malt backbone definitely plays a secondary role but is evident, adding some caramel.

M - Medium body with a really big chew. Full of resinous hop oils. Light carbonation.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent golden orange hue. Head is about 1/2 inch tall an is cream colored. Smells strongly of pine and citric hops, this definitely appeals to my west coast tastes. Taste comes in with a strong citric bitterness, then I get some mellow malt notes followed by a hit of citrus again as it crests the tongue. The finish is crisp and clean with a pine aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just right for this type of beer, not too thick with enough carbonation to lighten the body. This is a great beer, it drinks a lot like the great west coast IPAs, it's brewed in the same style as Pliny and the likes.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Creamy fizzy 1/2 finger head fades slowly with light lacing over hazy mango orange colored beer. Head keeps building and not fading, good for the abv and ibu count.

Nose fresh tropical fruit, light grapefruit, hint of musty resins, guava, even hint of pineapple but no real orange citrus, and a light fluffy wheat malt.

Taste starts fluffy, nice creamy malts, light sweetness. Then hops, bitterness builds and ramps quite a bit, nice tropical fruit but not as much as the nose, light pineapple, grapefruit, guava, etc. the hops turn slightly piny and spicy. No resin or orange citrus. Light candy flavored though. Finish is dry and quite biter, spicy hops mostly with a hint of tropical fruits, etc, and slightly oily.

Moth is med bodied, good carb, slight oily hop.

Overall nice, good hops really nice tropical fruit but weird that it's without the orange citrus, light resin, booze is hidden well tasty and goes down easy.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recieved in a trade, many thanks! Batch 13. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Wow, nice DIPA here. Nice slightly hazy golden orange yellowy pour, more on the yellow than orange with a nice big almost three finger head that is is sudsy and leaved big thick clumpy side lacing and a nice thick blanket.

S - Wow, this is pretty freakin solid. Great citrusy tropical hops with oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and light papaya. Slight sweetness from malts.

T - Wow, this is tasty too. Not quite what I was expecting based off the nose but nice nevertheless. This is a bit more piney and grapefruit peel than tropical, which is unfortunate. Still nice and tasty with just the faintest of tropics on the end. Quite bitter on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice, the carbonation keeps this feelin abit lighter but the alcohol is clear and forward. Wish it was hidden a bit more. Nice and bitter.

O - Overall this was a very enjoyable beer. Glad I got to try it and would definitely consider trading for it again. With the tropics came across more on the flavour though.

S -

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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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