Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

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

106 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 464
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 127
Gots: 59 | 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
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 464
Photo of teromous
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (1,223 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (831 characters)

Photo of sierratwohearted
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

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. (335 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%

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. (629 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

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. (340 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (686 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (933 characters)

Photo of Tastesalot
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
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! (431 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with 2 fingers of dense cream colored head. Fantastic retention and lacing.

S - Resinous grapefruit, rinds, sweet tropical fruits (mango, maybe a hint of pineapple). Smells juicy and delicious

T - Surpsingly piney and bitter/dry up front! In a very good way, it transitions somewhat quickly to a sweeter fruity aroma and finishes on the citrusy end of the spectrum. Aftertaste is again quite dry and piney with hints of grapefruit rinds. Very very clean crisp finish.

M - Truly ideal, medium bodied yet crisp, carbonation holds up nicely to the body. Drinks fantastically.

O - Pretty awesome, love how you get a great transitional variety of hop profiles! (698 characters)

Photo of JFear
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Been drinking a lot of IPAs/IIPAs recently. This is an enjoyable one from a brewery I had not tried in the past. Definitely checking out their future releases. Bottle dated 5/20/14. Nice to know it's pretty fresh.

This beer has an appealing look to it in my New Belgium globe. Deep, slightly reddish amber, with a bright, white head that doesn't stick around too long, but doesn't dissipate immediately. Very clear. No sediment visible.

The aroma is rich. Very sweet tropical fruit smell, almost like a soda. Maybe mango? Specific tropical fruit references are slightly elusive, but there is a nice bit of grapefruit. Decent amount of alcohol on the nose, but it remains subtle, even as the beer warms. ABV is not listed on my bottle, curiously enough. The taste is classic double IPA. Citrus, such as the aforementioned grapefruit, that ties in with a lingering bitterness, and a decent amount of sweet malt that blends in nicely, but isn't enough to make your teeth stick together. The mouthfeel is pleasant enough. Hitting the Goldilocks mark with the carbonation: not too bubbly, not flat.

Overall, a good double IPA, and a nice entry in the Virginia beer market. Seems to sell out fast too. Good enough for me to check out some of their other beers. (1,257 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.44/5  rDev -18.1%
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. (582 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 22oz dated 2/10/14 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours a golden amber color. Finger and half of a off-white head fades away into a thin ring. Leaves decent lacing.

S-Aromas of dank hops, floral notes, grapefruit citrus, a bit of orange.

T-Tasting notes of grapefruit citrus, pine, floral notes, caramel, light orange.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body with a semi-dry finish. Semi-dry mouthfeel like bitter in its name. Very good carbonation.

O-My first beer from Alewerks, definitely one of my top East Coast DIPAs. (522 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (849 characters)

Photo of hops202
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz into tulip.

At first glance the beer is a clear amber with plenty of transparency. Definitely a great look. Smell is super citrus with the some sweetness and malt. Taste is sweet citrus. Almost like grapefruit covered in sugar with some mango, clementine and peach. This was a pleasant surprise and I will certainly be buying a few more tomorrow. (365 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a light creamy white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a dark amber and orange color with a shade of brown that obscures anything on the other side of the glass. The beer has a very strong and hoppy smell. The hops have a grapefruit and citrus smell. The grapefruit smell is stronger closer to the but the citrus smell seems to take over from a distance and very aromatic. Other fruity notes such as orange and a tiny hint of lemon also come out. The beer has a stronger grapefruit hop taste than any of the other hop flavors but orange and citrus also come out a little bit. The beer has a sweet malt backbone to balance out the hops. The beer has a smooth heavy body feel with very little if any carbonation. Overall, a fantastic beer and great to have on Valentine's Day. (804 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
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 (722 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger off-white shade with poor retention. It's disappointing how quickly the head fades; though on the positive side, it does manage to leave a bit of lacing behind.

S: Right from the start, it brings the dank, citrusy hops in a big way. Citrusy, mainly - in fact, there are some solid tropical fruit notes emanating. There's also some 'cat pee', which is never a bad thing in small doses. Maybe there's a bit more malt than I really prefer from the style, but this definitely succeeds as a 'total package'.

T: The slight malt sweetness that hits first quickly gives way to an onslaught of bitter grapefruit rind. Make no mistake, this is hella grapefruity. It becomes maltier during the finish, displaying notes of caramel, dough, toffee, and brown sugar. My problem is that there isn't much to tie together the big grapefruit with the malt backbone. It's just like cosmicevan said, this is a really sappy, syrupy kind of beer - and that's not what I want from the style.

M: Well carbonated, enough to poke through the thick body - in fact, enough to overpower the palate, even. One feature I really like: hop resins seem to accumulate on the palate, bringing more and more bitterness as more is imbibed. I'm torn between giving this a great score due to the hop resin or a poor score due to the rampant overcarbonation. Meh, I'll split the difference - it's a bit unpleasant feeling at first, but once the carbonation slows down, it develops a nice (if too sweet) texture.

O: I'm shocked this is a 95. SHOCKED I SAY! Okay, maybe not: this is a big ol' grapefruit bomb, which means if you like big ol' grapefruit bombs, you're going to really like this. Me, I only like them situationally (ie. Nugget Nectar), with my preference being leaner, less sweet DIPAs. As it stands, I'm still disappointed by this. Don't avoid this, just curb your expectations. (1,940 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

massive thanks to richardflyr for hooking up this longtime want UBER fresh...and the matching glassware set to go with. cheers good buddy!!!

bottled 11/21 (6 days ago!!!)

a - brew poured a tranpsarent, syrupy looking pinkish orange with subtle visible carbonation and a thin head that dissolved leaving stringy lacing and tiny patches of bubble islands on the surface of the beer.

s - YEEE HAW! that's what i am talking about. wonderful citric blast. crisp...tropical...sweet, but balanced.

t - way resinous compared to what the nose advertises. really rich...just a mouthful of hops. subtle bittering on the finish. very sapy and syrupy.

m - chewy. thick. lush. full bodied. resinous.

o - overall, paint me impressed (both that i got to try this beer within a week of bottling and how good it is). worth checking out. (824 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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 (1,071 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden copper with great head and everlasting lace on top of a strong citric and grapelike, even touches of tropical or sweet fruit, hop aroma and a decent chunk of caramel malt. Taste is more of the same as I enjoy the balance between the citric, grape hops, downright earthy and spicy at times, with the caramel sweetness and the breadiness of the beer makes it fuller bodied and easier to chug (not necessarily a good thing). The rare real hoppy DIPA that is sessionable and has no ABV effects at all, finishes clean and easy and is quite frankly a well-balanced, enjoyable ale. Not the most flavorful or eventful DIPA I've had but one of the most enjoyable and one of the few that is sessionable. (709 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.24/5  rDev +1%
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 (775 characters)

Photo of mooseo
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to SToneyBrew for this one.

Poured cold from the bottle a translucent deep copper to a dogfish head signature glass with a finger and a half foamy white head leaving a sheet of sticky lace to the rim.

Big aroma floral and grassy hops.

Big bodied, creamy smooth, hot going down, medium bitter, sweet hint of strawberries (?) (337 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (431 characters)

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