Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

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106 Reviews
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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 CliffBrake
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Headyhops81 for the chance to try this - super fresh.

Bright copper color with a modest off-white head that leaves decent lacing and a slick of bubbles on the surface.

Light aroma of orange peel and caramel on toast. Grapefruit and bitter orange peel. Nice round hop profile on a light malt backbone. Very elegant and dry, kind of in the style of an Alpine DIPA.

Highly recommended. (398 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of smooth, off white head. The head fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Bready malt is surprisingly prevalent with some citrus peel and pine hops. The pine notes are very faint. There is a sweetness from the malt here as well.

Taste: Like a west coast DIPA but there is a lot more malt backbone. Quite bitter, but the bitterness is smooth, not too biting. Pine and citrus peel hops throughout, but the finish is especially bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with very mild carbonation and a dry finish. Could use a bit more carbonation.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. The balance is very nice, the malt doesn't allow the hops to dominate too much, but they're still the star. (839 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle.

It pours a clear amber with a foamy white head.

Luckily though it is decently old (for an IPA) the smell is still there. It is definitely hinting more malty though. There is some sweet tropical notes and some citrus rind. The malt is sweet smelling with some bread and caramel.

The flavor is nice. Good hop flavors with a biting bitterness, it has no shortness of that. But I think the hops could be a bit better, more of a slap of citrus. This one is more of a pine one which I like, but it isn't really complex. The malt isn't as prevalent in the flavor but leaves a bit of a balancing sweetness.

I have some chili john's cooking, this is going to be a perfect pair. (687 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. No bottle date, but I believe this was released in February 2012. Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

A: Very pretty clear orange amber color. Some chill haze. Quarter finger of off white head. Turns into soapy bubbles around the glass in a ring. Seems to be nicely carbonated.

S: Lots of sweet tropical fruity hop aromas. I get lots of overripe peach, mango, and pineapple. Really just a sweet hop bomb. Maybe some lesser grains hidden there.

T: Nice sweet fruity and piney hop bite on the front of the tongue. I get that mango and peach that I smelled. You do get some nice mild malt balance in the middle of the mouth, but it's still out of whack towards the hop side. The finish is crisp and dry and bitter. Leaves you wanting another sip. The alcohol is hidden amazingly!

M: Medium bodied. Mouth coating of delicious hop bitterness.

O: A for me. Blend of West Coast and East Coast. Definitely ranks up there pretty high for me and wish I could get another to compare to the big IPA and DIPA players. (1,029 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden amber color with a white hed and good lacing

S-floral and citrus notes with hints of bitterness

T-citrus and pine with some foral notes and nice bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth rich mouth feel

O- a solid DIPA with good flavr and overall balance (291 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA
This review is for a bottle acquired also at Pinocchio's, Media, PA.

I typically don't do separate reviews for beer I've had in bottles and on tap, unless they're significantly different, and I feel that was the case with Bitter Valentine. While still a great beer overall, I definitely liked the taste much better when I had it fresh and on tap. Seems natural. On the other hand, the bottle pour had a much more attractive look to it, so it was really a different experience overall.

Poured into a Deschutes snifter, honey-amber with a fluffy, rocky, white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma rich with citrusy hops and toasted bread. Big hop taste up front, quite more bitter than its on-tap counterpart, mix of orange pith and zest, and some pine notes, with a toasty malt base. Also not much of the tropical fruit flavors I got on tap either. Still very solid and enjoyable. Bitterness detracted a little from the mouthfeel, but still, medium bodied and easily drinkable. Nice beer overall. (Better fresh and on tap.) (1,100 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,057 characters)

Photo of JayQue
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW!!! Kevin saved me one of these at Grape and Gourmet and said I had to try it. This is one AWESOME DIPA. The last local beer I got excited over (Legend DIPA) I wound up buying a case. I won't have that opportunity with this beer but it is worth it!!!!

Pours a clear light copper color with a medium white head that fades fast unless you give it a hard pour. Good lacing on the glass. Pretty good hoppy aroma.

The taste is awesome....piney hops predominate but there is a floral presence and a hint of citrus hops. Easily as good as the best West Coast IPAs. Nice and bitter, very inviting.

Mouthfeel is awesome too. Handles the 9% brilliantly, crisp, light and smooth. Carbonated just right, bitterness is perfect!!!

This is a fantastic DIPA. (749 characters)

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (907 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours amber with golden highlights. Has one finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and low carbonation. A layer of film coats the glass along with spotty lacing.

N: Big beautiful orange citrus, tangerine, papaya, mango, caramel, lemon juice and hints of pineapple. I could ask for more.

T: Upfront boasts tangerine, navel orange, lemon juice and papaya while some caramel makes its first appearance. The sugary caramel creates an artful balancing act mid-palate along with notes of mango, pineapple and honeydew melon. Finishes with pine sap, grapefruit pith, lemon rind, florals and perhaps some grass.

M: Medium-full bodied, juicy, smooth and sticky. The finish is dry and moderately bitter.

O: Rich with orange citrus and tropical fruits. The sugary caramel notes balance the massive amounts of hops extremely well. The 9% abv is expertly hidden. Incredibly easy to drink. East coast FTW! SCREW YOU PLINY! If you see many. I'm pretty sure Williamsburg sold its soul to the Devil. (1,053 characters)

Photo of TechTriumph
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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! (1,576 characters)

Photo of B33R501
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ok i get it the popularity of this beer and beers of this type in general. doesnt surprise me to see it overall rated right next to lagunitas sucks. of course this style will never be my favorite, i prefer maltier, more balanced ipas, celebration the perfect example. on the good side, this was my second bottle, it certainly had no annoying flavors, and the bomber dissapeared quickly enough, its drinkable.

nice pour, more of a darker amber hue, nice head, retension and lace. sure is pretty. smells the best part of this beer, lots of citrus fruity hops and a little alcohol, which i dont mind at all. tastes starts off the same, but i think gets a little muddled towards the middle / end of the bomber. personally, i dont need to get this again. however ...

great brewery that i think is starting to get more (well deserved) recognition. their bourbon barrel porter is so great, on my favorites list, and their barleywine was also top notch. (947 characters)

Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Very clear orange-amber with thick, rocky 2-finger beige head which sinks away quickly and leaves a few dots of lace around the glass.

S: A very herbal profile overall with plant shoots and onion aromas coupled with floral and tropical fruit mango and pineapple. The malt is pale with a touch of lighter crystal malt.

T: I liked the flavor with plenty of pineapple, pine, resin, and floral character. I thought that the oniony herbal qualities did get stronger through the bomber and did detract from the overall flavor profile. Very bitter throughout.

M: Smooth and very dry - the Williamsburg crew did a great job with the drinkability. Body is medium-full with relatively low carbonation.

O: Pretty good but not great DIPA with more herbal plant notes but still packs big flavor and bitterness. (942 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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! (707 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured clear and amber orange in color. A thin white head barely covered the top of the beer and clung to the edges of the glass. Great color to it.

The aroma has a very bright and juicy hoppiness to it. I get a very nice tropical fruit component to it with some pineapple, peach and mango all coming out. Great aroma to it, I love the juicier, tropical fruit notes.

The taste has the juicy, tropical notes but it shows a little more of a dry, grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness in the finish. I get a little more of a sweeter maltiness showing through as well. Again though, the juicy, fruity, hop flavors really steal the show though for me.

The mouthfeel is medium bodies with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a great beer. I loved the juicy, tropical fruit like hoppiness to it. Very flavorful and drinkable. Williamsburg has a real winner with this one, I hope they make it more often. (977 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is clear and orange hued with a small, white head. Plenty of sticky lacing coats the pint glass. The aroma is quite nice, offering grapefruit, misc. citrus, fresh hops. The flavor follows suit. Gotta love a fresh, citrusy DIPA. A touch of honey sweetness in the back. Lingering hop bitterness. Alcohol content well disguised. Highly drinkable, it was just too easy to drink the bomber unaided. I wish I had more. This is easily the best DIPA to emerge from the DC/Maryland/Virginia area so far. (503 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.32/5  rDev -21%
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. (1,191 characters)

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

Poured from bomber into pint glass. Pours a clear reddish-orange amber with a small to medium off-white head. Aroma is very citrus-hoppy- a lot of orange, grapefruit, and some lemon. Aroma is sweet as well as hints of grass, pepper, and pineapple. There is a somewhat bitter flavor, lots of citrus (again: grapefruit, lemon, some orange) and perhaps some pepper. Medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated. Fairly astringent mouthfeel. Sweetness is mild and only present for an instant up front before the bitterness takes over; and a hint of sweetness peaks its head in the finish before long bitter aftertaste. Alcohol comes through just a little. It’s good, a little ones-sided on the citrus-hops, but it does that part well. There is no reason to be bitter on Valentine’s day with this one! (800 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear light amber with a frothy off white head and good stickiness.

S-Herbal and resinous with some floral notes. Lots of hops and some nice malt.

T-Following the nose, a very resinous hop flavor dominates. Plenty of hops, nice malt, a moderate booziness. I prefer a juicy, citrus hoppiness in my DIPA but this is very nice.

M-Medium bodied, nice driness, moderate carbonation.

O-A very nice DIPA. Does not really match the hype but very good nonetheless.

HV (474 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber into tulip.

A: brilliantly clear copper. head is white, rich, and has good retention/lacing.

S: sticky weed. grapefruits, piney, resinous. vanilla/malt notes for balance. however this aroma is mostly a blast of fresh american hops.

T: the malt is really quite pleasant. biscotti notes that keep it sweet and balanced. otherwise, bitter and very fruity. finish is bready and sweet.

M: moderate amount of carbonation on a full body.

D: a really tasty DIPA here. the aroma is super american and super fresh. enough grain to provide balance. well done williamsburg aleworks. im looking forward to trying more brews from these guys. (642 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
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! (1,287 characters)

Photo of Matthewbeerlover
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow !! Impressive beer.
Not quite as over the top as I was expecting, but this one did not dissapoint. The beer was a golden color with a great head that was very thick and fluffy. The smell was very floral and full of citrus. The taste was extremly balanced and went down very smoothe. Flavors of sweet malt and spicey hops mixed perfectly to create a true joy to drink. One of the best DIPA's I've had. (405 characters)

Photo of boralyl
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thorpe429 for the bottle.

A - Pours an inch of creamy white head with good retention. It leaves a ton of sticky lace as it settles. The beer is clear and has a medium golden-orange hue.

S - The aroma has a huge hope presence. I get a lot of orange and citrus combined with a pleasant caramel sweetness.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly creamy.

T - There is a light caramel backbone throughout. The hop-aroma is also present in the taste, starting with orange and citrus. Then there is a grapefruit bitterness along with some alcohol heat. The finish is a little harsh.

I enjoyed this beer, I just wish the alcohol presence in the finish weren't so harsh. (705 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/23/12
*From notes

-- Bottled on February 14th, 2012 --

A: Clean, glowing orange. A good pour yields a white two finger head. Killer retention, lacing and a thick collar remains as I quaff this delicious beer.

S: Big, fresh tropical hops, like it just arrived on the red eye from San Diego. Just spectacular stuff.

T: Wow. Like a fresh can of surly Abrasive with a bit less aggression. There's a massive wave of hop oil that just wrecks my palate. A touch of onion bite rears it's ugly head on the mid, but it's a momentary lapse, and passes with ease. As it warms, the hops just melt in my mouth. Simply marvelous.

M: Not the thickest beer in the fridge, but it'll do. A bit more weight and depth on the palate would be nice, but I really can't complain as it is.

O: With a name like Bitter Valentine, I doubt this sees year-round distro. Which is an utter sin, as Williamsburg AleWerks have created a masterful offering to the hop gods. They continue to impress, and I look forward to when I can again put this angel in my mouth.

Believe the hype, folks. Highly recommended. (1,127 characters)

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