Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

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: 316 | Ratings: 2,128
Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a slight hazy golden yellow color with a 3 finger fluffy bright white head. Retention is excellent and there are a ton of hanging sheets of lacing. Smell is mango, grapefruit, tangerine, some pine and the slightest hint of sweet malt as it warms. Taste is the same with the fruit juiciness on the front with citrus pith and piney bitterness on the back end. Feel is medium, oily and resinous. Crazy drinkable for 8.0%. No alcohol detectable. Overall a very nice IPA. Hopefully this hits distro in my area, because I know it available in other parts of NY.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hazy straw yellow, effervescent, moderate white head, sheet of lace. Big juicy nose, lots of fleshy fruit, mild hay, mild raw grain. The flavor ups the ante, doubling down on the big exotic fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple, sugary candy fruit extract, strawberry, melon) without too much citrus, mild vanilla, grain hinting at oatmeal. Mild bitterness, dry. Body is drinkable, medium-light, crisp, refreshing, no telling how potent this thing is.
Newest admission to Yumtown. Hugely fruity, varied, gives the drinker some bitterness without pure hop resin flavor, and just enough malt to balance (and even the malt bill is interesting). Wonderful, gimme more.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours 2 quick fingers of thick eggshell foam, body is a glowing slightly hazy golden light amber, nice consistent carb rises through the body and retains a solid cap throughout. Broken foamy rings end each sip.

Smell - big nose of citrus sweet grapefruit, tangerine, and tropical notes of melon, pineapple, and a hint of semi-sweet pine, smells delicious

Taste - almost identical to the nose, juicy grapefruit a and tangelos accompanies by strong honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and a touch of kiwi. Citrus piths and melon rinds begin to assert into the finish, along with a hint of some herbal sweet basil. Not overly sweet and no alcohol whatsoever. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - this is about medium mouthfeel, the flavors are nearly bold but not over bearing. Carb is just below medium with tiny bubbles that lend a very smooth and somewhat light mouthfeel for a dipa, making this dangerously drinkable. Carb provides just enough scrub and tingle to allow this to finish slightly dry and bitter, leaving drops of cantaloupe in the mouth corners.

Overall - really an excellent dipa that doesn't drink like its 8% abv. Excellent mouthfeel and melon forward, with citrus complimenting nicely, and herbal hints at the finish. An excellent offering from Pipeworks, and pleasantly unique amongst so many others in this style. If you like cantaloupe and honeydew, this is a must - try it regardless.

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Photo of emount91
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy gold, it's beautiful. foamy head that dissipates quickly and leaves gorgeous lacing. smell is citrus and tropical, almost candy like: mangoes and peaches with some nice citrus, can't pin point which one. maybe all of them? anyway, taste is incredible. tropical tropical tropical: mangoes, pineapples, peaches, with a slightly sweet orange candy and a clean finish, very slight pine that is really enjoyable after the tropical notes. very little malt. feel is so good for a DIPA. I am going to hunt this beer whenever I can, it is incredible.

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Photo of Butznutz
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 16 oz can into a tulip glass. nice copper hue with a slight clean head. Beautiful aromas of sweet sugar, pineapple and pine needle. taste starts sweet then leads right to the hops and finishes with a slight bitterness. the feel was my only gripe..quite carbonated and not as creamy on the palate as some other similar IPAs. That said a solid beer would buy again and glad it was recommended by my local shop

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Photo of JJSquid
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased while vacationing in the wonderful Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, this beer delighted right out of the 16 oz can with an excellent golden color and a sour/sweet olfactory profile reminiscent of the finest Thai restaurants. Don't linger on the odd implication this asian cuisine reference hints at because the flavor is pure canned American freedom. Excellent beer poorly named that I would buy again without hesitation. Cheers!

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Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours hazy dark golden orange with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet sugary tropical fruit and piney resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet bready caramel malts and ripe tropical fruit with lots of resiny piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice DIPA. I remember it being more fruity on draft and liking it a bit more.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We have recently been discussing the merits of CANned beers in a thread that I began in the Beer Talk forum and one of the upsides to CANs is the beauty of the graphics as they appear directly on a 360-degree aluminum cylinder vice a paper label. I would definitely hold this up as an example! The separation begins with the ninja striking one of his swords vertically against the unicorn's horn while the unicorn holds the ninja's second sword horizontally in its mouth. The colors are striking & the whole thing just stands out beautifully!

From the CAN: "Brewed in Chicago, IL"; "CAN Art by Jason Burke at Ink & Lead Designs".

I used the Unicorn's horn to help me to Crack! the CAN open, declining the Ninja's swords which would have irreparably damaged the CAN. Once acCANplished, the Ninja made me CANduct an inverted Glug which raised two fingers of dense, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with decent retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) & as such, the Gelt Gang declined even so much as a taste. They really prefer purity in their gold, apparently. Nose was magical, as though derived from a ChANce enCANter between a ninja & a unicorn! Actually, it was more like a hybridization of a pine tree & a grapefruit tree. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was all ninja/unicorn with the former slashing and thrusting and the latter just trampling my poor tongue into submission. The taste was likewise magical, evincing a very cool, minty flavor initially before the crazy citrus flavors began to take 'hold. Finish was cool, dry & slightly citrusy, almost like a pop. I CAN drink this all day, or perhaps not, at 8% ABV. CAN you imagine this in the cooler at the beach? It would be CANtastic with everyone wanting to see what you are drinking.

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Photo of cfalls
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a fresh growler into a tulip

L - golden yellow body, slight haze, thin head

S - strawberries! passion fruit, mango, pineapple

T - follows the nose, with slight sweetness, and some grassy and piney notes in the background

F - light bodied, medium to high carbonation, no hint of the abv

O - underrated, will definitely get this any time I see it

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Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: bright orange with no translucence. Just a little bit of foam at the surface.

Smell: tropical fruits with big notes of mango and some grapefruit.

Taste: fresh tropical fruits with some citrus. Some mango and kiwi. Very juicy and flavors just explode in your mouth. Herbal bitterness intermingled though-out the sweet fruit notes. The hop profile really shines through!

Mouthfeel: very refreshing with a light to medium bodied mouthfeel

Overall: love the fruits. It's so juicy and flavorful. I definitely recommend it and would love to try it again.

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Photo of Karnivool1
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on a 4 pack, and this one did not disappoint. The smoothest DIPA I have had to date. I definitely get pineapple and grapefruit among the many fruit notes. As long as this is available, this will be a staple in my rotation. Reasonably priced at $12 for a 4 pk of 16 oz cans.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at Eataly, enjoyed chilled from the can in a cervoise.

The color is deeply hazed amber with 2 fingers of off white cream for head with fine bead and thick waves of lace stick. The smell is great with lovely tropical hop aroma with slight citrus and mild grapefruit with a pleasant floral aroma and mild pineapple scent with gentle pith/grassy quality.
The feel is great -lots of resinous body with lively bitter texture and medium high carbonation with low sweetness and mostly dry with almost no alcohol noticeable and semi-spicy lasting effect on the palate.

The taste is very good with tangy and fruity tropical quality of golden grapefruit with slight pine and zesty citrus continuing with mild spicy aspect with mango and apricot flavor and hint of grass with slight peppery hop and pineapple combination that also has a dank herbal flavor with so much spicy/tropical hops brimming out. This is wonderfully hoppy yet sneaky drinkable with a nice amount of hop flavor and fruity spicy quality with dank and juicy flavors that last with mild malt support and not overly sweet as some double Ipa's tend to get 1/2 way through.

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

From a can into a pint glass. No date on the can.
L: Pale, hazy yellow. Half finger of head which persists. Good lacing with bubbles sticking to the glass.
S: Tropical hop aroma with a mix of pineapple and mango. In addition, there are some green pepper and herbal aromas mixed in.
T: Follows the nose with tropical fruit, mostly papaya, pineapple, and mango. I also get cotton candy and candied fruits. The finish is dry with medium bitterness.
F: The finish is medium plus. Mouth coating but not thick.
Overall I am pleasantly surprised with this one. I figured it would be an OK DIPA, but as I drink it I could see buying it consistently. It has great hop flavor and it very drinkable.

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

16oz can ~$3. Orange-yellow in color, huge fluffy head. Aroma is tropical fruits, heavy hops. Flavor is bitter, shoppy, tropical fruits, not too much alcohol, a really solid double IPA but not as good as Mosaic in my opinion. Worth the money.

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Photo of beergoot
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs, CO

Clear, golden body; respectable one-finger thick head. Very fruity and pine resin aroma; pineapple and mango. Fruity, bitter flavors; orange rind. Medium body; very crisp and dry.

A very crisp, dry IPA with a nice fruit smell and taste offset. The hop character dominates things yet this is a fine, slow sipping IPA for any occasion. Very pleasant and rather unique...

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

November 8, 2015

16 oz can, tulip

A – Medium-gold, somewhat hazy, with a half-inch white foam top. Moderate-short head retention.

S – Pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of peppercorn, melon and papaya. Crackery malt. Hop bitterness is apparent on the nose.

T – Pineapple and grapefruit, along with spicy mango and papaya. All hops, all the time. Some nectarine and melon notes follow. All very fresh, prominent. Malt presene is crackery, mostly hidden. Bitterness is strong but seems moderate, balanced, only really lending a bite on the finish.

M – Medium-bodied with a lot of sweetness up front. Moderate to moderate-high carbonation brings dryness with it. Hop bitterness builds and becomes moderate-high to high, but all very well-balanced.

O – Excellent, fairly balanced DIPA with a lot of fresh hop flavor.

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Photo of Dan_K
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
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 svenness
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canning stamp difficult to decipher, it might say 11/10/15

L: Gold/orange, hazy, persistent white head
S: Orange, pineapple, mango, bread
T: Fruity, tropical, pine, resin, very little alcohol
F: Medium body, fairly dry, lingering bitterness
O: This one went down really fast, hides the 8% ABV very well, nice hops aroma/flavor complexity. A bit too bitter in the aftertaste for my personal preference, but it is a DIPA after all.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce can poured into a DFH IPA glass.

a: A vibrant, matte gold body. A bit hazy. 3 finger white soapy head. Very nice looking beer.

s: Citrus rind and a floral grassiness. Faint malts up front.

t: Crisp malts, citrus rind, grapefruit, floral grassiness, with a spicy bitter hop finish.

mf: Medium light body with good carbonation. Nice crispness and balancing bitter finish.

o: Ninja vs Unicorn was very nice and extremely drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of BltByKrmn
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/27/15, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Solid IPA but not necessarily living up to the hype for me. Classic citra/simcoe taste, but I think it could be a little bigger. Very similar to Barrier Money but Money has additional layers that this lacks. Very cool that this is now a regular in NY, if you can't get the super rare stuff this is a nice fall back.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can, with dating on the bottom, Best Before/canning date? Hopefully it the later...

Pours clouded and dull tangarine...lasting fluffy lite khaki cap, leaving ample thicker lace all over the glass.

Pungent citric and tropical fruit nose.

Big and bold. Fresh and flavorful. Crushing and complex. Tropical, citric, heavily hopped, utterly delicious. Glad this high quality brew is now distributed in NY state. The beer scene just gets better and better.

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Photo of GregA135
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BOOM! This DIPA hits you in the face with awesome taste!
Got this beer through The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
Poured a nice golden color with a white head, slightly hazy appearance
Smelled of citrus fruit notes and hops.
What I loved about this beer was how balanced it was. I loved the little sweet after taste.
Great beer Pipeworks! I'll be getting some more Ninja vs. Unicorn!

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
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 Tonyjenlasc
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Golden color, slight haze, good amount of carbonation
Smell - Floral notes, sweetness, orange, hints of citrus, slight tropical notes
Taste - Floral, spice, slight tropicalness, dank, pine, pithy, grapefruit type bitterness, malt sweetness, some slight hints of citrus but definitely overshadowed by everything else
Feel - Medium body, dry/sticky finish

Overall - A good DIPA but not the best Pipeworks has to offer.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. tallboy can, pretty fresh.

I had this beer a couple years ago from a bomber and was less than impressed. Got a can of this from a buddy in Chicago, so I gave it another chance. Finally, I can see why this beer is sought after. Tons of delicious hop flavor. Creamy mouthfeel. Outstanding.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 2,128 ratings.
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