Ninja vs. Unicorn is a Double IPA. Its name is meant to symbolize the two opposing approaches in brewing this style, where the West Coast method is pictured as a unicorn, and the East Coast is like a ninja. Aromas reveal sweet notes of butterscotch, biscuits and honey. Dank hops give suggestions of grass, candied grapefruit, and lemon. I’m also getting a hint of band-aid, or at least a faint medicinal quality imparted by the alcohol.
The palate begins in a honey-like sweetness with hops that taste a bit like unripened pineapple. Citrus highlights hit with ruby red grapefruit juice. A bitter undercurrent of herbal, grassy notes accumulate on the lower register, developing a mild spice. Sugary, buttery malts settle on the back-end in tasteful proportion to the accelerating oily bitterness, leaving faint grain complexities behind. Notes of orange and grapefruit zest continue to resonate. The mouthfeel is creamy smooth, then dries out near the end, departing with noticeable astringency. Heat sets in for the aftertaste.
Overall, I quite like the succession of sweet, sour, bitter elements. Hops certainly give a good thrashing, but leaves only a thin coating of oil behind. The bitterness is actually fairly accommodating to the sweetness, and the sour aspect lies somewhere in between. Ninja vs Unicorn is definitely high quality, but its taste is quite standard in most respects. I don’t find a truly unique flavor combination happening here, but it tastes exactly as it should, and nothing really appears out of place. It actually smells better than it tastes! Regardless, Pipeworks really know how to work those hops. I recommend it to all you heads out there.
Malts: 2-row, Munich, special roast, white wheat, acidulated malt
Hops: CTZ, Centennial, Falconner’s Flight, Zythos, Cascade, Chinook, Falconner’s 7Cs, Simcoe