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Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

106 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 466
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 124
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 106 | Hads: 466
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 mhaugo
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bomber. Decanted into an imperial pint glass.
Appearance: Almost perfectly clear copper color. Thin head that barely holds together. Slight haze.
Smell: Sharp resin and pine. Sweetness followed by a hint of mint.
Taste: Citrus pith bite. Lingering bitterness, but not unpleasant. In fact, it is very nice. But it’s followed by a faint, odd sulfur aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and rounded.
Overall: Certainly a big double IPA, but very palatable. Not over the top in any regard. I like it a lot.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz courtesy of ygbtsm94. Thanks!

A: Semi-opaque dark-orange body with a resting white foam on top. Some decent legs. Get some good head retention on this.

N: Tons of mandarin oranges, clementines, grapefruit, and mango. A little bit of peach. Some pine and there's plenty of that sweet crystalized sugar. Very well dry hopped - very impressed.

T: Very well balanced. Plenty of bitterness mixed up with a sweet undertone. The citrus flavors shine through quite well. Perhaps not as strong or as bitter as some of the others in the style, but this fits my palate very well.

M: Very dry, resinous, and medium bodied.

O: Definitely up there with the best DIPAs for me. I'll definitely finish this entire bottle and enjoy every sip. Every sip reveals a changing dimension

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Memorial Day 2012. A toast to soldiers & veterans for their service & sacrifice... 22 oz. bottle poured to my Adnams imperial pint glass after 3 hours of yardwork. I 'earned' it!

A 'Brewers Choice' beer (brew date was 4/26/12, according to Rifugium, who kindly sent this one); label depicts a grumpy-looking little cupid.

A: Shiny copper pour, quite clear with relatively little carbonation. Head almost 'white', kinda on the short side. It's creamy -yes- but can't quite reach a finger-high, then drops pretty quickly. A gauzy skim does hold well and the patchy lacing holds nicely.

S: Maybe I'm a little stuffed up from the weed-pulling and hedge-trimming, but this aroma really doesn't do much for me. There's citrus that skews sweeter and slightly tropical, maybe tangerine or pineapple. Strength is fine, although I really couldn't sense it until I stuck my nose right in the glass.

T: Early sips I found to be exceedingly bitter, but with gradual warming comes much more balance. Lots of sappy pine and pithy orange, grassy herbs and a certainly mineral tanginess to finish. Interwoven are a vague nutty doughiness and fairly strong caramel. The end result is on the dry side and the bitterness, as represented by the name, is a drawn-out conclusion.

M: Big and warming, without being 'hot'. A very smooth carbonation and coating mouthfeel. Hop oils coat my mouth and bitterness lasts an eternity. Damn.

O: I am (generally) not a huge 'hophead', though I can enjoy and appreciate hoppy beers when they are well-done. This is well-done. Gigantic flavors with adequate balance and a memorable finish. high-level bitterness in (D)IPAs is generally something I dislike, but I'm feeling this one today. I'm glad to have a chance to try this one - thank you, Derek!

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle split with a friend. Served slightly chilled into a Sam Adams pint glass. Big thanks to Centennial for getting me a bottle of this.

Appearance: Copper orange in color with a nice cloudy, two finger light colored head. Some nice retention as well.

Aroma: Big citrus and mango notes from the hops upfront. Definitely more on the tropical fruit side in the nose. A touch of breadiness as well.

Taste: An initial burst of tropical fruit that subsides into really bitter grapefruit and pine. The hop are definitely more on the bitter side and that bitterness lingers throughout each sip. Really flavorful. A touch of breadiness and biscuit notes to round out the flavor. Nice and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a fuller body for an IPA. Still plenty of carbonation to keep it nice and light.

Overall, a really nice IPA and definitely my favorite that I have had from that part of the country. A really nice combination of fruit and brutal bitterness. I would definitely get this more if it were available locally. Well done.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had really high hopes of trying this one when I saw it on the draft list. This beer poured out as a nice looking golden copper color with a white head on top... The lacing was sticky and had a good retention to it. The smell of the beer was floral and citrusy, just like a good IPA should be. The taste was lively and had a great bitterness to it. The mouthfeel was drinkable with a good carbonation to it. Overall this beer was good, I'm always happy to try the beers that Williamsburg puts out.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Although this is by no means my favorite style, I found Bitter Valentine to be delicious and quite easy to drink with milder hops than I feared. This beer grows on you even if you prefer lower bitterness. Great complexity of flavors and just the right mouthfeel for the taste and abv. So far, this is my favorite of the style. While others might be hop bombs, I prefer this milder example. I will drink this again as soon as I can.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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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 alpinebryant
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a healthy creamy white head and sticky lacing around my White Birch tulip.

S: Aroma of peachy hop nectar. Sticky citrus, sweet caramel crystal malts, pine resin and nectarines.

T: Sticky hop resin along with a pleasant citrus pine twang. Caramel and Crystal 120L are strong here, along with a nice pronounced sweetness all around. Plenty of malt in this beer to round off the hops pouring out of the glass and make it very smooth going down. The end bite is slightly tannic and earthy with dirt flavors but just about everything else in this is very good.

M: Dry and medium carbonation. Slightly light for a DIPA in body.

O: A very good DIPA, a few minor flaws, but otherwise very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Alex. Bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Poured a orange/amber color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Tropical citrus sweetness, orange peel, grapefruit, light pine. A pretty even mix of bitter and sweet notes, very well-balanced and enjoyable.

T - Nice level of bitterness mixed with excellent citrus grapefruit, lemon peel, oranges, mango, and light malty sweetness in there as well. Obviously, way more bitter then sweet, but both are there and work nicely together.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - A very enjoyable DIPA that I was overly impressed with. After not even knowing about this beer before trying it, I would defiantly try and locate another bottle. Good stuff!

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Photo of mooseo
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into tulip.

A - Hazy orange-amber with a large bubbly white head.

S - Tropical fruits, mango, grapefruit, pine, sweet caramel.

T - A perfect balance of grapefruit, pine, mango, and sweet toasted malt. Starts out sweet but finishes bitter. Hints of orange juice and caramel. No alcohol evident.

M - Smooth, a bit chewy, medium-full body. Warming alcohol, dry finish.

O - This is an awesome double IPA. Easy to drink, balanced, and packed with flavor. Definitely above average, I wish it was available all the time.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark orange color with a super thin lacing ring and the only carbonation in the glass is due to it being a Duvel glass that it was poured into.

S - Fruit resins of oranges, grapefruit, and lemons with light caramel biscuity malt and a little bit of spicy rind in the aroma along with some pine.

T - A hop forward beer with grapefruit and lemon peel lead the bitterness followed with some oranges buried underneath the two. The malt mixes in and surfaces sometimes with the orange bitterness and then gets buried again. There's some pine bite in the bitterness along with a slight touch of earthy goodness.

M - Medium body and mellow carbonation on the tongue, finishes very dry.

O - Definitely worth trying, I want another one.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Ultra clear DIPA, a little darker in color than traditional beers of this style. Nice head that lasts.

S - A very deep earthy hop aroma is present at first. Hops have a slight citric "aftersmell" to them in the nose as well. Not the most pungent DIPA but the hops are definitely fresh and aromatic.

T - This one has a flavor to hang with the big boys. It's a very sticky sap-like flavor right from the beginning than transitions to a wonderful floral and slight citrus fruit flavor. Almost get the full gamut of hop flavors in this one. After taste is smooth and not super bittering. Very pleasant.

M/O - Medium body that might be just slightly undercarbed for my liking. The aftertaste isn't intrusive and has a subtle floral flavor to it. I was highly surprised by this one as I normally don't go for beers from this brewery but now I will seek out their big bottle series from now one. Great beer.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 03/05/12:
No freshness date; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white creamy head with pretty good retention; Light caramel/copper color that's pretty clear; Beautiful webs of lacing all down the glass

S - As soon as I poured the beer, I could smell the lovely, hoppy aroma; Notes of grapefruit, apricot, pineapple, a bouquet of flowers, a bit of underlying spice, and a touch of caramel

T - As the name suggests, there's a nice dose of bitterness that works well in the taste without being overpowering or unpleasant; Hop flavor is pretty different from the nose with lots of pine, pepper, and onion that goes toe-to-toe with the wave of bitterness; Some apricot and faint pineapple surface after the initial rush of pine; Very subtle undertones of toasty malts and sweetness manage to peek through mid-taste; I get a bit more sweet grapefruit and less bitter pine as the beer warms

M - Good amount of carbonation that's just above moderate; Medium bodied or just a tad less, which feels a little on the light side for a DIPA; Fairly dry, peppery finish with some warmth

O - I always enjoy getting to try new in-state IPA's and DIPA's in hopes of finding another gem, and this brew turned out to be quite the treat. My only complaint would be the mouthfeel that falls a bit on the lighter side for the style, but otherwise this is a tasty brew that packs quite a bit of piney/oniony hops and bitterness. I'm not sure if Williamsburg AleWerks intends to brew this DIPA every February, but for the sake of us hopheads, I hope they do!

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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 Pencible
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit and pine, with some citrus and mango and apricot.
T: It tasted like strong bitter pine and citrus zest, with waxy hops and grapefruit and unripe apricot. It had a lasting clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This beer had no balance. This hop bomb had a very bitter but complex profile, but no malt or other character. It had good body and well hidden alcohol, but it more of a sipper due to the bitterness. Not my favorite for the style, but impressive.

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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 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 brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of raveskdr
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review ever. LOOK OUT NOW, WORLD!

A - Prototypical caramel amber hue. Just beautiful with the perfect amount of carbonation.

S - Pine and citrus. Slight malt backing up the hops.

T - Sharp pine with hint of citrus, malty backbone with some lingering hops. Balanced so well for a double IPA.

M - Spot on. Slight resin with an ever so slight alcohol burn. Done just right.

O - Williamsburg does several things right, and this is one of them. Pumpkin and imperial stout also will count. If only my store had gotten more than a single case of this.


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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 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 AgentMunky
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: Not much head. Very clear. Scattered head and lacing. Light gold/amber.

S: Citrusy hops. A bit vegetal/earthy (Simcoe?).

T/M: I was super-excited by this beer -- I love DIPAs and I love everything AleWerks has done recently -- and I was only slightly let down. A very tasty, accessible IPA. Lots of fruit, primarily ruby grapefruit, and a light, spicy-sparkly mouthfeel make it very easy to drink. Hops are obvious, astringent, spicy, pervasive, and delicious. The aftertaste is clean, slightly bitter, and pleasantly long/dry.

O: Incredibly well-balanced. This beer really grows on me and highlights the artistry of AleWerks. Highly recommended; would drink again.

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.