Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Bitter Valentine | AleWerks Brewing Company

124 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Viciousknishs on 02-18-2012

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 514
Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice break from the lighter end of the spectrum. Medium amber, slightly cloudy. Pretty mild for a DIPA. Body, aroma, taste, all right in the wheelhouse.

 154 characters

Photo of ctrudebusch
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful creamy head. Nice hazy color with visible sediment. Phenomenal fruity, piney flavor. Aleworks - make more of it, bottle it in cans, and ship it widely and it EASILY competes with Heady Topper and the other VT unfiltered VT greats

 242 characters

Photo of AdamAlway
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Mostly clear orange body with just the slightest haze. Originally a half inch, very thick white head. However, bubbles continue to rise long after the beer is poured causing the head to grow to an inch.

S: The "bitter" in the name certainly starts here with strong hops and malts. An addition of apricots, pineapple and grapefruit is a nice touch that isn't overly sweet.

T: Front loaded apricots, pine and perhaps a little peach. Leads into a nice malty middle. The finish is earthly with less bitterness in the aftertaste than expected, but that makes this much easier to enjoy multiple glasses.

F: Medium body with moderate to light carbonation. Smooth and light, but heavy enough to hold the flavors and not feel weak.

O: A pretty good DIPA. I definitely enjoyed the apricot and peach notes. Doesn't quite have the punch I'd like and leans more towards a standard IPA with some unique flavor balancing.

 913 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An excellent overall DIPA: there's a great balance of apricot, pineapple, and other tropical fruit, with some slightly bitter finish and grassy, hoppy aromas. Incredibly smooth and full-flavored, with excellent balance, this is in the same direction as Pliny and other juicy, East Coast-style DIPAs. Slightly high price tag on this one, but worth it if you get a nice, fresh one.

 381 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date is half cut off, but looks maybe like 01/26/16

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with a bit of fine sediment floating about. The head is off-white and peaks at just under a finger. Fair retention results in a thin, broken layer of suds across the surface. Decent amount of lacing, mostly in a broken, webbed pattern.

Smell - Orange, pine, pineapple and a light bready, biscuity sweetness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Juicy notes of orange, with lesser pine dankness and a trace of pineapple zing. Sweet bready malt undertone. Candied peach? Stone fruit pit nuttiness comes through toward the finish and joins the mild pithy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Goes down easy with a very, very dry finish.

Overall - Pretty good, though it doesn't break the mold for originality; i.e. I'm enjoying this, but nothing really stands out about it. A bit too dry for my thirsty tongue, but that's not a huge hindrance. I'm glad to have tried it, but it's missing that X factor for me.

 1,045 characters

Photo of hardysf
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid brew here. Reminds me of the classic midwest IPAs I am used to. Darker in color, almost clear but not quite. This beer has a great aroma. Lots of grapefruit and mango juiciness. The taste follows with some sweet malt notes. Nice bitterness with some malt and bread flavors. Good balance and a dry mouthfeel. Glad to have tried this one.

 349 characters

Photo of wedge
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 01 27 16

Deep hazy orange topped with a thick slab of bubbly cream. Pungent hop aroma...peach, pineapple, grapefruit, and spicy herbs. Big tropical fruit salad flavor. There's a decent malt sweetness throughout, but the oily hops cut through it no problem. Juicy pineapple, kiwi, mango, citrus, and stone fruit. Very smooth and vibrant - a bit heavy, but dry enough to not make it a chore. Good stuff...bright and sticky.

 441 characters

Photo of Mnolte32
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 26 days before consuming. The pour was a hazy burnt orange consistency with a mildly carbonated head. First reaction was surprisingly drinkable. Taste of bitter hops(pleasurable), mild fruit(peach/grapefruit) and a mild sweetness to cover the 8.3% ABV well. Overall, I recommend and plan to visit the Alewerks to sample on draft.

 337 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy sandy brew with ample head and lacing.

Do not pick up much in the nose. A bit tropical fruits.

Sweets malting merges with lemon, grapefruit, and some breadiness. Reminiscent of a lemon bar and at times a lemon drop. Hops are biting but ease the alcohol. Bit dry on the finish.

Easy drinking DIPA with plenty of hops. Somewhat one note in fruity hop appeal, yet that note produces a bountiful flavor.

 425 characters

Photo of 71ADub
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap at Aleworks, February 2015. Many beers into the session. Don't remember much about, but being pretty lit, I remember it was FANTASTIC!! Better than any DH IPAs, for sure. Just wicked smooth, good balance, not hot at all. Hoppy, not but over the top bitter. If you see it in a bar/pub/shelf, buy all that you see. It will be worth taking out a second mortage for...

 389 characters

Photo of AppaZappa
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 1/26/16 poured into a tulip glass. Comes out a rich and hazy orange. Can't see through this glass, but the head retracts nicely and settles on the sides of the glass. Smell is tangerine, pineapple, bitter hops, sweet pine. Taste is more on the bitter citrus side--grapefruit and tangerine--malted sugar, slight peach and hops. The finish is fairly dry and clean, but there's a slight bitter taste that lingers so as to keep it from being completely crisp. Mouth is moderate carbonation and spot on for the style. Its remarkably drinkable for the 9% abv.

A very nice offering and outstanding fresh. Will go grab another!

 632 characters

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 716 characters

Photo of ooglek
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 170 characters

Photo of LADaveBN
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 425 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 741 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 1,359 characters

Photo of oldn00b
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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 - 98. Months old - 80s.

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

 1,500 characters

Photo of mabermud
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
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...

 606 characters

Photo of themind
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

 201 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.93/5  rDev -6%
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.

 827 characters

Photo of Big_V
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

 300 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 293 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
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)

 774 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.