Secret Admirer
Alewerks Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #409
Ranked #2,826
4.22 | pDev: 7.82%
Alewerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Secret AdmirerSecret Admirer
Notes: You do not expect this Double IPA; it finds you. You open with excited trepidation, swooning over the sweet perfume of citrus & mango. Your mind races clumsily only to return to a constant locus of adulation. The tempting aroma lingers, invading your senses while keenly awaiting your return. Kind, not bitter, and content only to love you from afar.
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 117 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JayQue
JayQue from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good DIPA. Poured from a 16 oz. can into a pint glass. A hazy honey yellow color with a medium size white head. Filmy lacing with a few solid bands on the glass. Aroma is strong, piney hops, some grapefruit and a little floral too. Good stuff!!!! Flavor is even better. Nicely bitter, citrus and resiny piney hops and some bready malt in the background. This is a strong beer without much in the way of alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is crisp and bitter. No off-putting booziness, just a nice hoppy experience. Great beer. Not a big surprise coming from the brewers of Bitter Valentine!!!!

Sep 12, 2018
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lovemesumipa from Washington

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 16 oz. can, purchased through Tavour, and poured into a chilled glass. This is what a great DIPA should taste like. Fantastic in all respects, from first pour to final sip.
My only regret is that I didn't order more!

Jul 20, 2018
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snaotheus from Washington

4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can served in a pint glass. I don't see a date. I think it was a gift from @mr-jj.

Pours moderately hazy golden bronze with a very big head whose gradual descent is fascinating to watch. Leaving nice lacing along the side of the glass. Smell is hop resin and malt.

Taste is solid, straightforward IPA. Pine and grapefruit rind, a little booziness. Maybe something that reminds me of mango peel.

Mouthfeel is thick and satisfying. Overall, nice beer.

Jul 08, 2018
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with coppery notes and a fine, one finger white head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus hops, orange and lemon, lightly spicy; smells good. Flavor is caramel malt, citrus and piney hops, orange, grapefruit, lemon, hints of dried light stone fruit and summer herbs. Nice balanced caramel with citrus and piney hop finish. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. A very well made classic imperial IPA, with a profile that leans to the West Coast with the mixture of pine and citrus. That sits right at the heart of my IPA enjoyment spectrum, and I liked this quite a bit. It's a pleasant diversion to get this style IPA from the East Coast. Well done and I'll be back to sample this brewery if the opportunity presents itself.

Jun 17, 2018
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can from Hair of the DoG Bottle Shop (Williamsburg, VA). 4.99. Canned 5/16/18. Served in an Alewerks snifter. Enjoyed 6/11/18.

Pours golden orange with a finger and a half cap of white head. Retention galore. A nearly full sheet, a fluffy collar and several huge clumpy cakes of lacing.

Smells floral, herbal and slightly citrusy. Flower greens, pine, mint, orange and some bready malt. Some mango-like tropical notes creep in as it warms.

Tastes fairly bitter with orange peel, petals, pine, an earthy herbaceous quality, peach fuzz, mint, a subtle malt sweetness and an occasional bite of alcohol. More tropical fruit is present as the chill subsides. Pretty easy to drink for it’s strength.

Medium body, slightly slick with fuzzy carbonation. Bitter, lingering aftertaste of citrus peel, pine and floral notes.

A solid DIPA from Alewerks. I’m glad that I took my time with the can because I found it to be considerably better as it warmed a bit.

Jun 12, 2018
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Pencible from Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a cloudy light copper with some white head.
S: It smelled like candied apricots and honey, with some orange and faint papaya.
T: It tasted like sugary apricots and cream, with some honey and orange. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a decent brew that seemed like an attempt at a NE IPA, but the hops were faded and the malt was too pronounced, especially in the finish. The scent and taste were still good but not great. The body was solid and the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Not bad but nothing special. I'd take Bitter Valentine over this any day!

Feb 01, 2018
Photo of RyanPoff
RyanPoff from Tennessee

4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at A Mellow Mushroom.

A: hazy gold with a finger or so of creamy white head. Excellent retention.

S: resinous pine hops, grass, booze.

T: surprisingly an easy drinker for an 8.3%. Bitter pine hops and honey/grass notes. Well balanced for a big drinker.

M: medium bodied fresh and popping.

Dec 09, 2017
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Cavanaghty from Maine

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with a thin white head.

Smell: Pine and citrus notes.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter pine notes with sweeter citrus.

Overall: Excellent IPA. Glad I tried the first batch they made of this this!

Jun 10, 2017
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opieo from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful color, goldish-orange cloudy unfiltered. Heavy hops smell. Hops smack you in the face up front. Hops linger forever. Fresh, crisp, clean, refreshing. All you hop heads unite!

Jan 27, 2017
Photo of KomodoDragon
KomodoDragon from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Orange and hazy - with sinking particals, enormous head , some lacing.

Peach, grapefruit pulp, bready aroma.

Light caramel malt, with a twist of tartiness. Smooth dry finish. Grapefruit, tangerine, What I especially appreciate is the creaminess and light carbonation that provided a full mouthful that bring forth the complex flavors. Long hoppy finish and ridiculously drinkable. Tartness increases as it warms, but its warming only cause its a bomber as this is one that makes your thirst for more with each sip.

Well crafted, complex brew, DIPA with something to offer beyond bitter.

Oct 07, 2016
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woemad from Washington

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber. Unlike the name of this beer my admiration for Gopens44 for sending it to me is out in the open. Looks like the label is stamped June 15, 2016.

Poured into a Jones Radiator (sniff) mug, this was a hazy orange-amber color, with a good-sized head somewhere between off-white and beige in color. Lots of lace left on the sides of the glass.
Grapefruity and orangey citrusy hop nose to this.

Citrusy hop flavor combined with a fairly mellow bitterness, but without a terribly assertive malt backbone, unlike the majority of IPAs I've had from this part of the country. There's still a little bit of a bready maltiness on the back end, but it's restrained, letting the not exactly showstopping but nevertheless quite pleasant hoppiness enjoy it's moment in the spotlight without any competition. Nice medium dry zap to the palate at the swallow. No sign of the relatively high abv in the taste, by the way.

Medium bodied, with a somewhat slick, oily mouthfeel.

This is a DIPA that delivers a highly enjoyable drinking experience without trying to reinvent the wheel. With a hop character that isn't palate-busting or some supertaster's riot of flavors, but a highly enjoyable moderately bitter citrus character, this is something I could see having two or three of in a session, provided I wasn't driving anywhere. If this were local, I'd hit it regularly. Thanks, Gopens44!

Sep 30, 2016
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BeerBenny from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Hazy. The first time I saw this was just on the cusp of New England IPA's becoming de rigueur, and at that time I thought it was too hazy; however, after getting acquainted with the style I'm way pleased with the hazy but not too thick golden color. Looks like I'm in for a juice bomb, at least a little.

S: It's actually kind of yeasty with oranges and booze, but as if the orange citrus was dulled a bit.

T: Orange peel citrus, bright apricot, a bit of bitter orange pith. The second sip tastes like a mimosa with fresh OJ and an extra pour of vodka, plus a splash of club soda or tonic that I wasn't picking up at first.

F: Smooth at first, and fizzier on the finish. Full but not overwhelmingly thick.

O: I really like this beer. It is maybe a little bit too boozy as I get deep into this beer, but otherwise it is very well balanced, and I am in to the juiciness of this beer. If you can get your hands on it, definitely grab it up!

Sep 25, 2016
Photo of Parmesan
Parmesan from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Hazy copper gold color with a creamy white head and fingers of lacing up and down the glass.

S: Mango and lots of citrus, notes of berry and a light bready toasted malt. An inviting tropical smelling double IPA.

T: Lots of mango, citrus, and tropical fruit, with notes of berries and a toasted bread malt with quite a bit of fruit sweetness. For a double IPA this isn't overly bitter, and the alcohol is not very noticeable.

F: Lighter body and pretty easy drinking. A little light for a double IPA.

O: Not a bad beer but it seems a little light for a double IPA.

Aug 27, 2016
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Hazed out golden orange with 1-plus fingers of creamy head.

Mango, peach, tangerine, candy sugar, and passion fruit.

Apricot, peach, and mango juices. Tangerine and hints of passion fruit. Light candy sugar maltiness with touches of breadiness. Lightly dank with a resiny pine bite on the finish.

Medium bodied, crisp, juicy, and oily with a medium-light bitterness.

Lots of stone and tropical fruit juiciness. An overall great DIPA from AleWerks!

Aug 22, 2016
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass. stamped 6/15/16, so guessing bottled date and therefore 2 months old.

to be honest, this is a pretty ugly looking beer body. extremely murky, with some major floaties. however, it has a huge fluffy white head, decent carbonation, and leaves very good lacing. here goes....

aah, now that's pretty tasty. citrusy taste with a nice hop bite. slightly sour bitterness to it. slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat, which was surprising.

close to full on the mouth.

overall, a pretty good DIPA. appreciate the 8.0abv, which made it east to get through a bomber by meself.

Aug 21, 2016
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Revisited 7/3/18

A-Pours an orange amber hazy color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has very nice hop hints
T-The taste follows the aroma with a very nice subdued hop flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very nice well balanced DIPA

Jul 20, 2016
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hoppytobehere from District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber, dated 06 15 2016

$10.99 a bomber, and very rarely is a hoppy beer worth it at that price. But, this is one of those beers. Reminded me a little of Enjoy By Unfiltered. Simply put, one of the best IIPAs I've grabbed off the shelf in a long time.

Jul 20, 2016
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Beers-es from Virginia

4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a growler, pours a hazy dark orange. Two-plus fingers of off-white foam. Generous amounts of lacing. Fantastic looking beer.

Smell is grapefruit, orange, mango and pine. Taste is the same, with some spicy notes and pine resin in the moderately bitter finish. Feel is medium, substantial but super drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a superb IIPA, very well made and delicious.

Jul 18, 2016
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Bretribution from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden with orange hue. Moderate opacity. Aroma is subtle grapefruit, not a whole lot else going on in the aroma. Taste is lovely, citrus notes, mostly grapefruit with a mild apricot. Resinous hops linger on. Feel is very clean and smooth for a double. Will likely sneak up on you. Overall very delicious double pale!

Jul 06, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip, bottles 9/30/15

A- pours a murky golden orange with a massive creamy and foamy head that retains forever. Tons of floaties swimming around

S- tons of citrus hop aroma with notes of papaya, mango & citrus peel, sweet bready malt

T- juicy tropical hop explosion with flavors of orange juice, pineapple, mango, papaya, grapefruit. Pure juicy tropical hops.

M- medium body and carbonation leads too creamy mouthfeel that continues to the finish

O- pure juicy hop goodness, an outstanding IPA

Dec 27, 2015
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass tulip. No freshness date present. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Clear golden with 1-2 finger off-white head with decent retention and a thick stripe of craggy lacing.

S: Pineapple, grapefruit, floral, and guava layered on slightly sweetbread pale maltiness with no alcohol or yeast character.

T: Huge grapefruit, dank, lime, and pineapple flavors, a twin brother to new-gen Enjoy By, with pale Maltiness supporting in the background more than contributing flavor. Alcohol is well-disguised although this is a lighter ABV DIPA.

M: Dry and light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation,

O: It's a great DIPA with a little lighter profile than Stone Enjoy By which makes it more drinkable and a real pleasure to try. Another home run from W'burg Alewerks.

Dec 08, 2015
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First off, I wasn't a fan of Bitter Valentine. And this is brewed with Mosaic, which I don't always favor. Still, I'm up for this! The aroma works quite well - I get lots of vibrant tangerine and grapefruit with minimal (though not nonexistent) sweet onion. Even better, it doesn't seem quite as malty as BV. I'm initially tasting a lot of tangerine and grapefruit. At first I think I get sweet onion, but that's just my palate playing tricks on me. So Mosaic is shown off well...but not amazingly well. The hop flavors die off past the midtaste, leaving a lot of crackery malts to finish it off. Still, the general flavor profile is enjoyable. It features a spritzy yet not harsh mouthfeel, without a trace of lingering bitterness anywhere. I really like this a lot - I genuinely believe this would be a great DIPA had it been ultra-fresh. Ah well, it is what it is.

3.68/5: This is one love letter I don't mind

Nov 04, 2015
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Big_V from Maryland

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date 9/4/15
Semi aggressive pour into tulip. Beautiful orange/yellow color with white frothy head that coats the glass. Lovely aromas of passion fruit, pears, apricots. The taste is simply perfection. This is one juicy IPA with no trace of alcohol. Overall I think this one is over looked because it's not from a well known brewery, but this here, OMG! Debated on giving this a perfect score but yeah, it's worth it. Now off to find more

Oct 29, 2015
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teromous from Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The date on the bottle says 09 04 15

Appearance: The body is hazy with a light golden straw color under a short fluffy white head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma: It has a huge aroma that fills the room as soon as I pour from the bottle. It has a tangerine scent with a hint of spruce. It smells very fresh and absolutely fantastic. It is ridiculously good smelling.

Taste: It comes off as fairly catty right up front with a bit of an onion-like flavor. The middle has an apricot flavor and it finishes with a very bitter and strong grapefruit rind flavor.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice dry crisp mouthfeel with a very sharp bitter bite. It's just what I'd expect from a beer like this.

Overall: I highly recommend this beer. It did more than surprise me with its fantastic aroma, flavor, and presence in the mouth. If you don't mind or can't taste the catty flavor then it's a hands-down buy. If you can taste it...even if you don't like it, I would still recommend the beer. The "cattiness" fades a bit the more you drink it as the bitterness starts to overtake it.

Oct 25, 2015
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SlothB77 from Virginia

4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge grapefruit blast to start, like a hopped up Sculpin. Very potent and refreshing. Full bodied and syrupy with thick honey sweetness, like a Hopslam, but deeper flavor. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Sticky. Somewhere between a Sculpin and a Hopslam, but richer and more intense than either. Easily the best Alewerks offering I have had. This is a stunner.

Oct 24, 2015
Secret Admirer from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 117 ratings