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Bitter Valentine - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

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

106 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 465
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 4.05%
Wants: 125
Gots: 58 | 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: 465
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)

Photo of mhaugo
4.24/5  rDev +1%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (1,063 characters)

Photo of Hamburgers
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear dark amber. One finger white head with heavy lacing. Aroma is piney, citrusy and a little sweet. Flavors of citrus fruit. More hoppy than malty. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Bitter finish. Alcohol well hidden. A very good west coast style DIPA. Better than most. Not very complex or different but SOLID... (335 characters)

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

Enjoyed this bomber bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a light copper hue with a thick, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates leaving a perfect trail down the glass ending in a semi-wispy lace.

S: Dominant hoppy aroma with a mild malty background.

T: Nice an hoppy flavor blended with malt nicely to balance it out. There is a tart middle and finishes on the hoppy side of dry.

M: Very strong and boozy. Thick body and medium carbonation.

O: Impressive Double IPA. Great flavor and aroma and excellent balance between hops and malt. (554 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, no bottled-on date but this was bottled in late January, 2013, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a clear orange copper color with an inch of off-white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Really nice aroma, packed with tropical fruits like mango and papaya as well as vibrant orange and grapefruit, also some pine and a mild dank earthy hop aroma.

T- Hop flavor is just as great as in the aroma, loads of tropical fruit and citrus again. Also there's a solid amount of pine and earthy hop flavors, also a bit of onion but nothing overpowering. Just the right amount of cookie-like malt shows through before a nice bitter, resinous finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel with moderate carbonation, dry finish.

O- This is a great DIPA, one of the single best West Coast style DIPA's I've found out East, I demolished this bomber very, very easily too. Delicious stuff. (878 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours dark copper with a 2 finger off-white head. Thick walls and leopard spotting of lacing remains on the glass.

S- caramel, biscuit, very light citrus, some spice and nice pine aroma

T- someone caramel, light toasted malts, not much citrus to be found, and big pine bitterness at the end.

M- medium body and carbonation. Smooth and crisp with semi-dry finish.

O- good dipa. Citrus was lacking for my taste but had some sweetness from the malt to balance the big pine bitterness. (540 characters)

Photo of jasoncheb
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App- Had a very deep orange color. Very little head even with a slightly vigorous pour.

Smell- Excellent pine smell with hints of grapefruit, excellent hoppy aroma when first opening the bottle.

Taste- Granted, this beer came in line after the Heady Topper at a tasting, however, this beer really stood out as a great DIPA with strong notes of pine and citrus. Very little grain after the inital "hop kick".

Mouth- Medium-bodied feel, with a slightly viscous ending.

Drink- Very tasty DIPA. I generally like a little more citrus in my DIPAs, but this definitely stacks up against some of the better DIPAs on the east coast.

Serving type: bottle (651 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Thanks to the Pittsburgh gang for sending this to the Cali gang!

Clear dark orange with a very small off-white head that only leaves minimal stick down the glass.

Very nice aroma, mainly focused on citrus and tropical notes, along with a mild hint of pine. I dig it.

Straightforward, though very tasty DIPA, with good amounts of tropical fruits and citrus butting up against a fairly high level of bitterness, along with just a hint of caramel malt backbone. Very nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Very nice, though, drinking "other" good D/IPAs just reminds me how good I have it everyday in San Diego. (637 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1457th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
22oz

No bottle date
CA Gang Bang BIF

App- Had a very deep orange color with a lighter center. A little bit of yellows in the glass with a good clarity. 0 head or cling. Very flat on the pour.

Smell- It openened with a small tropical note and then progressed into a smaller pine with a good amount of hops to it.

Taste- This is a big DIPA. The 9% isnt messing around. Had a small creamy flavor behind it with a thicker pine flavor and was flavorful if not one dimensional.

Mouth- A lighter medium body which I thought was odd. A medium carbonation level. Gave the feel a thicker mode to it.

Drink- It was tasty, like I said, just one dimensional. Needed more citrus balance to tame the pine. (732 characters)

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

Thanks goes out to richardflyr for the in person trade when he visited Utah.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, nice touch of malts, with some citrus, and pine notes. The taste is very nice, a little hop bomb, with just enough malts to balance it out, nice citrus and pine to round things out. Medium body, with a slight dry/bitter finish. Overall this one really surprised me, glad to have a chance to try it. Thanks Dick! (562 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad I finally got to try this one, though I suspect this bottle is past its prime. No dating makes it hard to be sure but my understanding is the most recent bottling was in April, making this bottle close to three months old.

Pours nearly clear, gold, with a small, quickly settling white head and patchy lacing.

Resinous, herbal, “weedy” aroma with noticeable caramel maltiness; smells both bitter and honey-sweet. Some tropical fruit notes.

The flavor is primarily hoppy and bitter, as the name implies, but has moderate sweetness that emerges more and more into a clear honey flavor as the beer warms a bit. Either way the malt has a substantial presence. Citrus fruit and piney, resinous hop notes. Lingering bitterness; sweetish finish. Booziness is also increasing noticeable as you work your way through the glass.

Medium bodied and carbonated, smooth and slightly sticky mouthfeel. A good DIPA but for me wasn’t anything to get too worked up over. Maltier, sweeter, and generally heavier feeling than most of my favorites of this style. Good enough hop character but the particular blend chosen wasn’t knocking me out. Again, no bottle dating, which seems inexcusable at this point. I’d like to try a fresher bottle sometime but won’t be springing for another if it’s unclear when it’s from. (1,323 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (722 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had during the 2nd Annual Redneck Racin’ & Tastin’ while tailgating at the dirt track race! Big thanks goes out to cmrillo’s wife (who is on BA but won't tell me her userhandle) for this one! Served from bottle into a NoDa snifter. Poured red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, earth, spice, citrus, earth hop, and floral hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, earth, earth hop, citrus, and floral hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The standout point on this brew was definitely the floral hop character which I am a real big fan of. However, nothing else on this one really stood out to me which was rather unfortunate. It was easy drinking out in the sun that evening, but definitely not a stand out in the style. Worth trying if you get the chance. (920 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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! (1,771 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,671 characters)

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