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Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

452 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 125
Gots: 59 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viciousknishs on 02-18-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 109
Reviews by Hamburgers:
Photo of Hamburgers
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear dark amber. One finger white head with heavy lacing. Aroma is piney, citrusy and a little sweet. Flavors of citrus fruit. More hoppy than malty. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Bitter finish. Alcohol well hidden. A very good west coast style DIPA. Better than most. Not very complex or different but SOLID...

More User Reviews:
Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real gorgeous crystal clear body color, some very slow rising carbonation barely comes up through red and orange bronze body. It's a beautiful color. Head forms nicely, off white to faint cream yellow, some sticky sheets of lace while drinking.

Nose is just a tad one dimensional, but boy it is big. Ripping hops on this sucker, mostly I get a more pine sense from it on first pour. Dry, earthy, then comes some faint citrus orange behind it, after going back from a few sips, faint malt barely.

On taste, huge. A sweet rush at first, mixing with a good creamy palate feel. Juicy, bursting, mellow citrus at first, some orange, soft bodied, oily finish on the swallow. Stinging needles rooftop hop on the mouth. Warms up, gets white grapefruit and sprinkled white sugar, hot hop bitter mix with it a bit. A real controlled hop blast, and also a neat just before you swallow feel on this that is hard to describe. Mouth sticking, teeth coating, resiny finish.

Overall not boozy, controlled but large. Nearing perfection but a unique one in the big DIPA realm. This one is a whole nother level. Killer brew.

Photo of Gregaroo
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served in a small snifter from the teet at Alewerks in Williamsburg. Was told the first batch was TOO bitter, so they went back to work. Smooth and refreshing. Clear brandy color with minimal head. 8.3% and the second serving has yet to catch up with me. Tasting room is busy after the 4:30 tour. Oh, the first batch has been stored in bourbon barrels -looking forward to that release!

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased at WFM Arlington

a: bomber into a wide bottomed chalice, the pour gives a decent head that quickly pulls back to a state of low retention, the beer itself a caramel amber in color

s: moderately sweet nose of a caramel and pale malt base with the pulpy aromatics of citrus and tropical hops, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, kiwi, a nice aroma with a firm hop dosing and supportive but somewhat uninteresting base malt

m: carbonation low but present on a medium-full body thickened with residual sugars

t: sugary caramel malts lay the groundwork for a hop profile that hits citrus and sweet tropical notes to include passionfruit, mango, and orange with a fully acidic grapefruit rind serving to bitter the finish - growing in strength with each sip

o: certainly a high quality ipa, but not as striking as the majority of reviews led me to expect (no idea if that’s a freshness issue, and whether this was a rolling or one time release, purchased mid May), in fact it seems fairly standard for the style- still some great hops here, and a worthwhile purchase

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to riotinmyskull (Reddit) for supplying this goody.

Pours a lighter fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, with some sticky lacing, over mostly clear golden tan honey colored beer.

Nose brings some nice hops, mostly citrus with some tangerine and hint of orange zest, light stone fruit like apricot and nectarine, hint of tropical fruit grapefruit and pineapple, etc, but none of the hop characters dominant. A sweet malty base comes through underneath with some candied orange aromas.

Taste starts with sweet malts, juicy sweet malts with a bit of reddish malt flavors and hint of caramel, before hops kick in quickly. Quite bitter with some earthy bittering hops, then citrus and orange rind, fruits both stone and tropical bring tangerine, nectarine, apricot, slight peach like, pineapple, etc. Some nice fruit flavors. in the back end a slight bitter resinous fresh hop flavor comes in, that teases on astringent but not much. The finish stays quite bitter, with a long lingering bitterness on the finish, hints of tropical and stone fruits remaining, with a light pine and resinous musty hop lingering as well, and hints of candy hop, and fairly dry.

Mouth is med bodied, hint of warming booze but not much, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, an almost staple version of what a DIPA should be, a nice bitterness that borders astringency but doesn't overpower, long lingering bitter finish, nice balance between bittering and flavor/aroma hops, and nice balance of malty sweetness to back up the bitterness with a touch of booze that barely comes into play. Tasty and well done DIPA that I would love to try on draft, and get a regular supply of.

Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another fresh hoppy gem shared by Kegatron, thanks man! Bomber poured into a snifter the brew appears a perfectly clear copper color. Some white spotty lace sticks to the glass while the white frothy cap fades.

This smells like straight up fresh hop pellets. A little grassy, rindy, zesty with a bit of fruity melon-like aspect. Across the back is a light touch of alcohol.

The taste is fruity and zesty with rind-like bitterness. It has plenty of herbal character as well. It is somewhat bitey with the amount of hops almost borderline vegetative but in a good way.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is easy drinking with little alcohol impact for 9%. The hops almost seemed like the character of pelletized hops concentrated in a bag that was just opened right in your face. Exceptionally fresh and enjoyable.

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out with a clear amber color and a two inch head of foam; plenty of streaky lacing is left behind

Smell: Tropical fruit salad (tangerine, mango, kiwi and a hint of peach) underpinned by a very bitter pithy aspect

Taste: The sugar cookie base is quickly overtaken by the hop bill, with the tropical fruit salad from the aroma making an early impression; sugary sweetness builds a bit, mid-palate, but after the swallow, the bitter pith flavors jut forward and linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A slightly different twist on a West coast style DIPA and, while I prefer a bit more citrus, this is quite good

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity

Photo of yourefragile
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a you have to be kidding me how is this beer as good as it is and finally AleWerks has lived up the potential hinted at by beers like their BB Porter and Pumpkin Ale which were sort of good but not quite great.

So after 900+ reviews that are completely irrelevant and no one cares about I decided that Lawson's Double Sunshine was my favorite beer and worthy of being bumped up to a 5.0 across the board. My first impression upon smelling and tasting this was that this is 90% as good as that beer (and only 25% of that is homerism). Which is insane, because A+ hoppy beers from the Maryland, DC, Virginia area are unfortunately these days...rare.

Beer pours a nearly clear, dark copper with an off white head and it looks like a double IPA so whatever.

Aroma is damn near perfect. Dank and tropical, with pine and citrus hops, faint malt and stronger citrus rind. Boom.

Flavor isn't quite as perfect as the nose or as rich as Double Sunshine, but very juicy, sweaty, and heavy on tropical hops. Mildly bitter and trace amounts of alcohol for the ABV. Very similar to Double Sunshine in body and balance of hops to malt, though hop profile isn't a direct comp.

$6.99/22 oz bottle and available in Total Wine and Whole Foods? Alewerks, please make this again and soon, not next Valentine's Day (I've already looked into registering www.alewerksmakemorebittervalentinenoworelse.com).

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bottle shared with Gillagorilla, Thank You!

Let's get down to the brew. My first time having this, I've seen this before yet not at my local liquor store. Ok down to the brew, this poured Meduim-light amber body with a big soapy white head. Looks very outstanding. The aroma is that classic PNW hops. Grapefruit citrus with a resinous backend. The malts are there to help push the hops to your nostrils to make it like hop candy. The taste up front is malt sweetness that breaks through citric hop resin. Finishes dry with a lingering citric bitterness. The feel is medium body with tight carbonation.

Overall: I'm glad to taste this and it is good. The hop and malt balance is outstanding. This brew is like drinking hop candy or Grapefruit juice. I like what it offers and it's very enjoyable. This brew is recommended.

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Thorpe429 for the random hookup. Shared with the Chicago hags after Night of the Living Ales. Continued to use my taster glass at Chris' place.

A - Transparent golden body is topped by a finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thick collar, some wisps, but minimal lacework.

S - Extremely zesty, with citrus rind, chives, perhaps a touch of onion, pine, some mild dankness, and tropical fruits. Malt character is pretty understated, with some candied citrus. Potent and enjoyable stuff.

T - Malt character shines through a bit more in the flavor, with some sugar cookie and brown sugar flavors supporting the citrus, tropical fruits, pine, and zest. Again, I get a slight chive note that I generally associate with Summit or Citra hops - thankfully I like that flavor.

M - Medium body, with soft lower carbonation, no obvious alcohol, and a juicy texture. Finishes fairly dry. I could actually go for a few more bubbles here, but otherwise this is how I like them.

D - This is a very nice double IPA, and tastes far more like something you'd find in California than in Virginia. Doesn't raise the bar on the broadest scale, but for part of country that traditionally under-serviced this is probably a huge breath of fresh air. Highly enjoyable stuff - thanks Mike!

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an impy nonic a clear brass color with an almost full one finger white head atop.Pithy citrus rind and caramel malts in the nose,some lighter floral notes come thru as well.Citric and somewhat piney on the palate with a big sweet dough base coming into play like alot of the style.

Photo of ehammond1
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Thanks to the Pittsburgh gang for sending this to the Cali gang!

Clear dark orange with a very small off-white head that only leaves minimal stick down the glass.

Very nice aroma, mainly focused on citrus and tropical notes, along with a mild hint of pine. I dig it.

Straightforward, though very tasty DIPA, with good amounts of tropical fruits and citrus butting up against a fairly high level of bitterness, along with just a hint of caramel malt backbone. Very nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Very nice, though, drinking "other" good D/IPAs just reminds me how good I have it everyday in San Diego.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A half finger of white head and a pale gold body.

Nose is potent leafy hops, North American style.

Impressive spicy hop character, quite leafy and rather bitter. Unbalanced, as many bitter DIPAs are, by honey, this somehow manages to find some measure of balance on its own. Grapefruit character.

Very smooth, light mouthfeel.

Even as a professed hop-hater, I can appreciate this. Another outstanding AleWerks beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Sam for this one. 22oz. bottle into a Founders snifter.

Pours a creamy 1 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear orange-goldenrod. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. Real nice looking beer.

Nose is sweet citrus, pine sap hoppiness, cane sugar, pineapple and other tropical fruits. Aromatic and very enticing. Good balance too.

Opens sweet citrus, mango and passion fruit. Grapefruit hop bitterness balanced with a robust cane sugar malt backbone at the middle. Ends slightly tart citrus and very, very dry. Sappy hop finish with a lingering, bittersweet and just a touch of caramel aftertaste. Really tasty.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Quenching and smooth in the mouth and goes down dry and puckering. Finishes dry with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Appropriate for the style. Real drinkable.

Another above-average offering from Williamsberg Alewerks. The flavor here is complex and balanced and the aroma and feel are spot on. Quite the looker too. Definitely a beer to seek out.

Photo of Damian74Shensky
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer, will have again.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 2/10/2014, so this isn't very fresh.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Small white head with a medium collar.

Smell - Grapefruit and orange. Toasty malt. Some pithy grapefruit aromas. Caramel malt is substantial.

Taste - Grapefruit hops. Some brighter orange hops before a caramel malt and toasty bready malt kick in. Pithy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium heavy. Kinda sweet, but not syrupy. Moderate bitterness.

Overall - Had this after Pure Happiness. That didn't help, nor does the age, but it's still a good beer.

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
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 cmrillo’s wife (who is on BA but won't tell me her userhandle) for this one! Served from bottle into a NoDa snifter. Poured red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, earth, spice, citrus, earth hop, and floral hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, earth, earth hop, citrus, and floral hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The standout point on this brew was definitely the floral hop character which I am a real big fan of. However, nothing else on this one really stood out to me which was rather unfortunate. It was easy drinking out in the sun that evening, but definitely not a stand out in the style. Worth trying if you get the chance.

Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, bottled 8/12/14, poured into a teku glass

A- pours a deep amber color with a ruby hue, foamy off-white one-finger head reduces to a film on top, leaving some short lasting lace behind

S- lots of tropical fruity hop aromas up front with notes of pineapple & mango, piney and spicy floral notes kick in, followed by some sugary and slightly bready malt to close it out

T- lots of piney hop notes up front with an orange/citrus zest kicking in. Sugary malt with some bready notes in the mid-palate, more citrus with a bit of spicy bite at the end, grapefruit linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly creamy, dry finish

O- a nice blend of hop varieties with a sugary malt base, well done and easy to drink

Photo of dvmin98
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with a friend. Nice golden color. Limited head with mild lacing. Smell is fairly hoppy, but not overly. Flavor is rich hoppy flavor with aftertaste of onion, though not too much. Similar to the way Sculpin tastes to me. Not overly carbonated. A solid DIPA. Had better, had much worse. For the most part, enjoyed it.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing Shane!

Pours a medium coppery color. Head was a dark tan. Aroma was not very pronounced. As it warmed, there was some citrus notes to pair with a smidge of caramel malts.

The taste was a different kind of monster. Sweet citrus notes, light pine, with an assertive hop bite and linger.

Medium bodied, slick, almost creamy.

The aroma was average, but taste was great. I can see this being a sleeper.

Photo of
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This exciting beverage emerged from the bottle with an attractive orange copper colour to it. A decent head of dusty white billowed early but fell to a layer of spitty skim in short time. Gobs of lace cling in the aftermath. The carbonation is moderate and persistent. This looks like a good one. Clear and clean as well.

The nose is rife with green hoppy aromatics. It reminds me of a couple of my favorites, but this one also carries with it a peculiar fruitiness that is hard for me to pin down. It could be apricot. It could be pear juice. It could be pink grapefruit. At any rate the nose is succulent. Grassy and herbal. Fruity. Pines. Resin. Sap. You can almost smell the dryness.

The taste is very nice. It is dry from the jump. Citrus flavours abound. I would surely say there is some grapefruit impression here, but the aforementioned fruit that I am so hard pressed to identify lends its presence to the mix as well. This is rather splendid. You have a profound dryness that is antagonized by this bizarre juiciness, and a bitterness that is totally deceptive and quite pleasant. This feels nearly anesthetic to my oropharynx and I think even my limbs are tingling with lupulin inluence as well. Hops are a drug. No doubt about it. The alcohol is almost completely obscured and it works so well in tandem with the hop properties. Anyone who says this style is boring and is lacking in complexity should try this beer. Every sip I taste flips the script on me. It is amazing. It's like a baby hopslam! Or a really refined lagunitas sucks!

Photo of jegross2
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Bitter Valentine from Williamsburg AleWerks out of Virginia. This, like Pipework's Ninja vs. Unicorn, is a highly hyped and newer IPA on the market. Thank you ProperHops (Joseph) for sending me this treat!
Score: 84

No bottle date, which is never a good sign for an IPA bottle. Why do brewers even bother selling beer without bottled on date? Marginal revenue at the expense of bad customer experiences and quality control is never good marketing. Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 05/04/12.

Appearance: Pours a lighter, but translucent, orange-amber color with one-plus fingers of seafoam tan head at pour that settles to a thin foggy cap and bubbly ring around the glass. Average lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Malty orange citrus, dirty/earthy hops and a little lemon. Residual onion/horseradish. 3.5/5

Taste: Bitter orange rind and malty orange. A bit of sharp/spicy onion on the midpalate. Bitter earthy hops on the back of the tongue. You can tell this is not the freshest, but it's still pretty solid. Seems to get bitter/maltier as it layers, with less citrus flavor. Lingering hop bitterness. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter finish with a little residual intensity on the tongue. 3.5/5

Overall: You can tell there's potential here, but this beer was likely not the freshest. Williamsburg AleWerks really should bottle date their stuff. I would like to revisit this when a new batch is released.

Recommendation: A decent IIPA as is, but seek this one out fresh. Bitter/oniony hop haters and casual beer drinkers should probably avoid this beer.

Pairings: Grilled chicken.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz bottle.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.32/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to yourfragile for the bottle. Enjoying it while watching IU in the B10 tourney.

Pours cloudy bright orange with a small 1 finger off-white head with low to no retention and good spotty lacing. I like the color and lacing, but prefer some head retention.

Aroma contains some tropical scents. Mango, pineapple and citrus fruits and as it warmed a bit of onion. There is a touch of caramel malt here but it's drowned out by the onslaught of hops.

A lot more pine flavor than the nose would indicate. A little of the tropical flavors come through although there is an oniony presence throughout. Not nearly what I was expecting after the wonderful smell. A touch of brown sugar before it finishes very bitter and dry with strong pine and onion. Onion bitterness lingers on the tongue and came out more as it warmed becoming overpowering.

Medium mouthfeel. A touch sticky, but still feels light. Carbonation average for the style perhaps a shade below.

Didn't live up to the hype for me. Would have liked the flavor hop profile to be a bit more balanced. I love eating onions and don't mind some onion in the flavor profile, but this one is overdone and makes the beer very one-note.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from themeadhatter, and shared with stillmatic2232.

Pours a crimson amber, with a one inch head, and some good lacing.

Smells like citrus fruits, pine, caramel, and a slight bit of booze.

This is about a month old, so it should still be fresh. Tons of bitter pine flavor, along with grapefruit and orange pith, a little bit of pineapple, and a very strong malt backbone, slightly sweet, with strong toasty caramel flavors. Definitely a DIPA in both hop flavor and malt.

Medium bodied, crisp, mostly dry mouthfeel, with a medium amount of carbonation. Very drinkable. A slight bit of booze is noted in the aroma, as said above, but none is noted in the taste, making this very drinkable.

A great DIPA. Not precisely my style preference when it comes to DIPAs- I unashamedly like a brutal pine and citrus hop explosion with very little malt character, but these more balanced DIPAs have their place too.

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little late for Valentines Day but I was assured this was fresh despite its lack of a bottling date.

Pours golden amber with a small amount of watery white head.

Smells of fresh hop cones, pineapple, mango and some pine.

Huge hop flavor. Grapefruit and lots of tropical flavors come through. Some sweetness on the back end but not much malt is present. And that's the way I like it. Alcohol is well hidden by the bitterness.

Medium carbonation and lighter mouthfeel than most DIPAs.

Williamsburg Alewerks continues to impress me with their great beer and very reasonable prices. Above average beer for $9 per bomber.

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.