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Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

113 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 476
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 21.48%
Wants: 126
Gots: 63 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

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

Our Double IPA is loaded with Pacific Northwest hops blended with a light malt backbone. A bitter Valentine for you to love, how ever unrequited.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 113 | Hads: 476
Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (dated two weeks old) into a tulip
L: Orange to Amber color, west coasty, and a bit hazy. Slightly off white color bubbles making a finger of head.
S: West coast DIPA aroma, big grapefruit and citrus. Some sweet malt character and slight alcohol can also be detected.
T: Follows the nose with grapefruit, citrus, and some pineapple and pine. There is a nice sweet malt character to the beer. Very little bitterness and slight alcohol in the finish, not boozy but you get it. The lack of bitterness makes this one very easy to drink.
F: Creamy with good carbonation.
Overall: About exactly what I expect from AleWerks, a great west coast style DIPA and a beer I wouldn't hesitate to buy again.

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Photo of ooglek
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lot of differentiation here. Cloudy, burnt orange in color. Lots of citrus, bitter but not too bitter finish. Not sweet, especially for a 9% pour. I'd like more please.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep golden not quite orange color with one finger fluffy white head. Nose is oranges and tangerines on the rim with a touch of pine when I get my nose into the glass. Taste is grapefruit citrus on the front followed by a resin-y bitter finish. Pretty good balance between the malt and bitter hops. Medium light carb. Feel is smooth. Overall, a very good DIPA that doesn't punch you in the face with bitterness.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a growler filled from a fresh keg, pours a deep burnt-orange that's hazy--almost completely opaque in fact. Half-finger of off-white head fades leaving a pretty web of moderate lacing down the glass. Smell is on the muted side, but contains grapefruit, orange, pine and some savory onion. Taste follows--citrus and spicy, resiny hops. Medium feel. No alcohol detectable. I like this one.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque, orange-caramel coloring, with a low profile, clingy, white head. Aromas of lemon zest and lime, both sweet and tart, with subtle evergreen and piney notes. Subtle candi sugar and caramel backbone. Flavors are an outburst of citrus and tropical fruits forward, heavy on mango, apricot, grapefruit, lemon zest, lime, and orange rind. Hops profiles of pine tassel, dried grass, and rich evergreen. Subtle caramel backbone to support all of the fruit and hops characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a fruity and roasted aftertaste, still heavy on the citrus, both sweet and slightly acidic. The finish is smooth, light, and slightly dry. Very tasty, well balanced beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + honey highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium to large patch of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and stone fruit/peach hops over the top of moderate aromas of grainy + caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger than moderate flavor of grainy + caramel malts with a moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith, tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, and stone fruit/peach hops in descending order of strength. There is a moderate to strong amount of bitterness which slowly fades away.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Really nice combination of tropical, stone fruit, and citrus hops with a moderate amount of sweetness. Easy to drink with extremely well hidden alcohol. Definitely a really nice DIPA and especially great when fresh.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy gold, nice frothy white head forms but recedes quite quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Nose is citrus, juicy, hop bitter and barely any malt presence but nice floral notes present too. Not dank - floral and juicy is how I'd describe it overall.

Flavor is nice bright fruit forward, juicy but more citrus than tropical. Nice drying bitter from the hop with a solid enough malt backbone that in no way takes away from the show but brings a nice sweetness to offset the big bitter notes. This is a damn juicy DIPA that works as it warms.

Mouthfeel here is huge. This is a shining note for a lot of the Alewerks IPAs. Shorty Time and Secret Admirer come to mind, but where those have a slight watery feel in the finish there is none of that here. This is just a perfectly rounded, full, luscious dipa. Wonderful.

One thing I'd note - I have noticed in the past that this one tends to fall off quickly, not to be a snob but I remember there being a marked difference around the 3 week mark last year (if not kept cold, as most places don't). I'd take that into account with the dates on some reviews here - a person reviewing this 4 months after what I'd call its prime is not reviewing the same beer. I'd certainly give higher marks to a beer that retains all these traits for a longer time. This is just a beer that needs to be had fresh imho. More like fresh - 96. Months old - 80s.

Edit: I plan to have some of these a few weeks from now and see how it holds up.

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Photo of mabermud
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Deep amber body that appears unclear. Soft and creamy looking off-white head. Sticky lacing that slowly slides from the glass as I twirl the beer around the glass. Nice artwork left on the sides of the glass as the beer disappears.
Smell: Spicy hops at the forefront that smell dank and resiny. Candied oranges.
Taste: Some bitter hops up front. Citrus sweetness. Malt plays a supporting role.
Feel: Fuller body. Medium to low carbonation. Feels heavy in the mouth.

Overall - Not bad, but nothing special to write home about. Let's not forget I just spent three weeks in San Diego...

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Photo of themind
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very good brew, has a decent bitter bite on the back end. Slight malt backbone with decent hop flavor up front. Worth seeking out as this Valentines beer is unique.

Bottom Line: It's good, get some!

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Photo of cjgiant
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle, date not apparent, mark looks like 03 6 1:
(Originally gave this a straight 4.25, probably need to revisit to hone in my rating)
Look is hazy orange with nice line of fluffy white head.
Nose is lightly tropical with a hint of alcohol. There's a little candy sweetness as well as a floral ending in some whiffs.
Taste starts with pitted fruit sweet-tart (apricot, nectarine), with a little unspecific tropical background. The malt flavor sits back more than expected from the nose. Eventually a light medicinal alcohol bite come on but it is fleeting and acts as a gateway to a light grapefruit pith and pine bittering.

I wish the bittercame on a little stronger. The light tart flavor from the opening does seem to linger throughout the taste, which helps. Not too sweet for a DIPA, but not overly bitter, either.

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Photo of Big_V
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 3/6/15. Golden orange with 1 finger head. Smells grassy, sweet bread, biscuits, piney. Hoppy. Bitter on the backend. Incredibly smooth. I could drink this all day. Not a juicy DIPA, however easily in my top 5. This is a must try. Unlike anything I've had before. So glad I got 2 bottles.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Label says 03 23 15.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a tiny center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Pungent hop nose with a good amount of sweet malt backing.

T- Cereal grain malt sweetness is noticed first and then the bitterness comes in. Noticeable booze presence and the sweet malt provides a burnt sugar note. Piney aftertaste. Touch of grapefruit.

M- Somewhat sharp and slick with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- A good take on the DIPA style. The bitter/sweet duality is nice though I would've liked to see some more marriage of the flavors. Still, recommended.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of Resuin
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a willibecher. This was bottled on 02/19/2015, less than a month ago.

Appearance: Pours a transparent tea-brown color and leaves a fairly dense finger of off-white head that slowly fades to a layer atop the beer. Pretty beer. (4.5)

Smell: Bitter citrus rinds, caramel malts, some nice floral hops, hint of mango/tropical. Nice pleasant, balanced aroma. (4.25)

Taste: Big citrus rinds, citrus, caramel malts, hints of tropical hops, finishes with some light roasted malts. Very nice and well balanced. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: Fairly thick, heavy body - almost slightly sticky with a low to medium carb. Finishes bitter but pretty crisp. (4.5)

Overall: This is a very well done, nice and balanced DIPA. Very drinkable but with a lot of flavor. (4.25)

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

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Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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Photo of uvachief
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Draft. Pours the traditional IPA colors with a soapy white head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of pine and citrus. Guessing grapefruit and something else like mango maybe. You taste hops, pine and citrus with very little malt. Not as bitter as the name suggests. Balanced. Could use a bit more malt flavor but smooth for a strong IPA. Taste more pine as the glass warms up. Solid effort.

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Photo of teromous
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle has a faded stamp of "8 12 14" 12 AUG 2014? Just under two months old if this is the case.

Appearance: Fairly short white head that looks somewhat creamy with some larger bubbles in it. The body is a hazy orange and bronze color.

Aroma: I get a fresh cut grapefruit scent, a bit of a grassy aroma, and slightly catty. There is a bit of mango that peeps in every now and then too.

Taste: There is a rustic bread crust flavor right up front, followed by an earthy woody flavor. There is a bit of pine in the aftertaste. As the beer warms up a bit in he glass that pine character starts to dominate a lot more and becomes the primary flavor.

Palate: It has good bitterness without being overwhelming or difficult to drink. It sits in the medium body range with a good amount of malt backbone without feeling overly sweet. It does a very good job of highlighting hop bitterness but balancing (not equalizing) the malt character.

Overall: The beer was nice but it wasn't fantastic. There wasn't a whole lot of hop flavor presence in comparison to the overall bitterness of the beer. Perhaps that was the goal of the beer, given the name "Bitter Valentine." It's not a beer that will be on my radar in the future.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

not sure what the bottling date is...aroma is a blast of grapefruit. appearence is a light amber. taste is grapefruit/citrus, some sweet maltiness also. seems about on par with most IIPAs ive had. doesnt stand out too much as its not unique in taste. medium bodied, nice-drinkin' IPA. good offering from a small brewery here in SE VA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

Thanks to JustXBeer for sharing this one at mrbubbler's tasting.

Bottled 8/12/14.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of dar482
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

The beer comes in a dark amber.

The aroma is very muted, despite a 2 week old bottle. Sweet hop candy, piney and resiny.

The flavor follows with sweet grapefruit candy in the front. Resin, spicy hops. A huge middle malt backbone onto a very little bitterness of woody hops.

Almost like an American barleywine, this is very disappointing.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. Bottle dated 5/22/14.

Appearance: rich golden hue with a tiny bit of haze and a light effervescence. Head pours a finger of frothy ivory foam and dissipates somewhat quickly but leaving a good lace. What a great color, though.

Smell: slightly sweet with a roundly complex hop aroma with a fruity and spicy character. Quite good.

Taste: rich, sweet malt provides a good backdrop to the piney, floral, and spicy hops. The flavor is a different character than the aroma. I think it works beautifully.

Mouthfeel: plenty of body, although carbonation is light. Not too bad.

Overall: dangerously drinkable for a beer of this strength. A great quaff.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Tastesalot
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: clear orange pour, fluffy off-white head

S: Juicy Fruit scent

T: pink grapefruit, oranges, slight sweetness, bready, toasty, lingering bitterness

M: medium to full

O: The bomber being reviewed here is 24-days-old. Serving poured into a tulip. While I think Hardywood Park The Great Return is the best IPA in Virginia, this is easily takes the top spot for the best Double IPA brewed in the Commonwealth. Highly recommended!

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.