I’m just going to come right out and say it. I was feeling indecisive in the store and bought this based on the name and artwork alone. I think I’d heard of it in passing at some point, but it was the branding that got me. Come to think of it, this is the second time in recent months that a Chicago brewery has lured me in this way.
Beer Name: Ninja vs. Unicorn
Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company (Chicago, IL)
Description: There wasn’t much on the official site about this release, though a few other sources have this listed an unfiltered DIPA brewed with over 5 pounds of hops per barrel. I don’t remember exactly, but I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-13 for a 4-pack of 16 oz. cans.
Appearance: Cloudy, dark straw yellow body with a thin layer of white foam on top.
Smell: Sweet, mostly tropical, fruits with a touch of resinous pine sap in the background.
Taste: Keeping in line with the smell there was a lot of fruity sweetness upfront, mainly pineapple, tangerine, and mango. It finished with a dry, crackery malt base joining forces with mix of earthy and piney hop bitterness. The initial sweetness lingered on through to the finish as well, culminating in a slightly hot aftertaste that lessened in intensity as the beer went on.
Mouthfeel: Fluffy, medium-plus body with pretty much the typical moderate carbonation you would expect for the style.
Hype: I was excited for this one. Pipeworks in upping their distribution in my area so I was curious to try them out. I also really wanted this beer to live up to the awesomeness on the label.
Overall: Definitely a quality DIPA. I wish the finish was just a bit more tame, otherwise this would have been a smash hit for me. Still a great beer though. If I ever need a ninja or unicorn themed brew (which all things considered is actually pretty likely for me) I’ll be picking this up again.