Bitter Valentine
Alewerks Brewing Company

Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #164
Ranked #1,241
4.26 | pDev: 9.62%
Alewerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine
Notes: A poured glass of Bitter Valentine is full of intentions and optimistic expectations. An empty glass of Bitter Valentine is getting dumped on February 13th, left to wonder if you will ever love again. Not especially challenging as the name implies, the flavor is exceptionally balanced and smooth with notes of citrus and pine from Pacific Northwest hops.
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 558 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the can, it pours a slightly hazy amber with a large white, long lasting, head that leaves lacing as you enjoy it. In the nose, it is piney with a touch of malt. In the mouth, you are hit with light hop bitterness, followed by a nice malt.

May 10, 2020
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Hazy golden/yellow with a thick frothy white head that sticks around and leaves some lacing behind
S - Bitter piney hops and malt dominate the nose
T - Follows the nose - bitter, piney hops up front and throughout along with some floral notes and a malt backbone - slightly grassy and earthy.
F - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth, crisp, but a little creamy
O - A really solid IPA that does absolutely nothing wrong, but doesn't really stand out from the pack - except that this is an exceptional beer in AleWerks portfolio.

Feb 15, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a burnt orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, pretty long-lasting head. Solid lacing.

S: A good aroma of hops, light fruit, malt, and some pine.

T: Tasted of a hint of malt, a lot of hops (not overbearing), a little bit of citrus fruit (orange), a grassy quality, some light pine notes, and an earthy quality. A very much rock solid flavor. The hops a very much in evidence, but well mixed with the fruit and pine. Generally tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a well made beer. It has some minor flaws, but they're easy to overlook.

Oct 08, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy burnt glossy orange with an ample amount of ruddy brown coloring. Soft stringy carbonation rides to the top in a moderate pace. Barely any head softens to some light bubbles riding the top of the glass. A light film of lacing sticks to the sides and gently falls. The smell had a sweet to bitter blend citrus hops with a soft crisp apple arranging itself nicely in the mix. The taste took the bitterness and the sweet to combine. A sticky sweet citrus aftertaste starts and lingers into a wet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. A rapid bitterness wraps itself around my tongue to pound into submission. Overall, I say this was a really nice DIPA. I liked that initial apple aroma that blended nicely. I’d say a unique DIPA that I would have again.

Jun 10, 2017
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FBarber from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright orange color. Very effervescent at first but less so later on. Thick white sudsy head dissipates leaving a thin residual white head with tons of lacing along the glass.

Smell has notes of orange, grapefruit, pine, dank herbs, touch of malt on the back end. Very mild aroma, a bit too subtle.

Taste follows the nose with a nice blend of piney bitterness, dank herbs, earthy hops, orange and grapefruit notes, and some lemongrass notes. Malt backbone is present but takes a back seat to the hops. Even though its quite bitter, there is still a balance between the hops and malts. Lingering dry bitterness on the back end.

Feel is on the fuller side. Sticky and sappy. Medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice DIPA - certainly lives up to its name on the bitterness front. Really well crafted and surprisngly balanced.

Mar 01, 2017
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snaotheus from Washington

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a large tulip. Bottled on 01-27-2017.

Pours slightly hazy bronze-gold with a medium to small head and a lot of fine carbonation. Smell is a little bit fruity and a little bit pine. Surprisingly muted.

Taste is a splash of citrus followed by a bit of pine. Bitterness comes out more with the second sip, builds slowly to something like a lemon skin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, but surprisingly fizzy. Overall, nice beer.

Feb 19, 2017
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Riff from Virginia

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

Pours a slightly cloudy, yellow orange color with about two fingers of white head, dissipates with some lacing left on the glass. Smells of tropical fruits and citrus, mango, pineapple, and bready malts. Nice balance of pine and fruit hops finishing into a little earthiness. Bitterness is light at first, shows up towards the end and lingers afterwards but isn't overpowering. Creamy and satisfying. Very solid DIPA.

Feb 14, 2017
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metter98 from New York

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy amber yellow in color—too hazy to see if there is any visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that took a long time to die down, gradually leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of citrus and tropical fruit hops are present in the nose—tangerines, pineapples, and mangos seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors are much stronger. It isn't very bitter at first, but once the beer warms up the bitterness intensifies and particularly lingers into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the aromas and flavors of hops in this IPA. It has a very good drinkability for an Imperial IPA and drinks more like a standard IPA as you don't get any of the alcohol in the taste and the body isn't as heavy as other Double IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

Jun 07, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice break from the lighter end of the spectrum. Medium amber, slightly cloudy. Pretty mild for a DIPA. Body, aroma, taste, all right in the wheelhouse.

May 30, 2016
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ctrudebusch from Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful creamy head. Nice hazy color with visible sediment. Phenomenal fruity, piney flavor. Aleworks - make more of it, bottle it in cans, and ship it widely and it EASILY competes with Heady Topper and the other VT unfiltered VT greats

May 04, 2016
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AdamAlway from Colorado

3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Mostly clear orange body with just the slightest haze. Originally a half inch, very thick white head. However, bubbles continue to rise long after the beer is poured causing the head to grow to an inch.

S: The "bitter" in the name certainly starts here with strong hops and malts. An addition of apricots, pineapple and grapefruit is a nice touch that isn't overly sweet.

T: Front loaded apricots, pine and perhaps a little peach. Leads into a nice malty middle. The finish is earthly with less bitterness in the aftertaste than expected, but that makes this much easier to enjoy multiple glasses.

F: Medium body with moderate to light carbonation. Smooth and light, but heavy enough to hold the flavors and not feel weak.

O: A pretty good DIPA. I definitely enjoyed the apricot and peach notes. Doesn't quite have the punch I'd like and leans more towards a standard IPA with some unique flavor balancing.

Apr 20, 2016
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jmasher85 from Maryland

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An excellent overall DIPA: there's a great balance of apricot, pineapple, and other tropical fruit, with some slightly bitter finish and grassy, hoppy aromas. Incredibly smooth and full-flavored, with excellent balance, this is in the same direction as Pliny and other juicy, East Coast-style DIPAs. Slightly high price tag on this one, but worth it if you get a nice, fresh one.

Mar 24, 2016
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TheSixthRing from California

3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date is half cut off, but looks maybe like 01/26/16

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with a bit of fine sediment floating about. The head is off-white and peaks at just under a finger. Fair retention results in a thin, broken layer of suds across the surface. Decent amount of lacing, mostly in a broken, webbed pattern.

Smell - Orange, pine, pineapple and a light bready, biscuity sweetness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Juicy notes of orange, with lesser pine dankness and a trace of pineapple zing. Sweet bready malt undertone. Candied peach? Stone fruit pit nuttiness comes through toward the finish and joins the mild pithy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Goes down easy with a very, very dry finish.

Overall - Pretty good, though it doesn't break the mold for originality; i.e. I'm enjoying this, but nothing really stands out about it. A bit too dry for my thirsty tongue, but that's not a huge hindrance. I'm glad to have tried it, but it's missing that X factor for me.

Mar 12, 2016
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hardysf from Michigan

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid brew here. Reminds me of the classic midwest IPAs I am used to. Darker in color, almost clear but not quite. This beer has a great aroma. Lots of grapefruit and mango juiciness. The taste follows with some sweet malt notes. Nice bitterness with some malt and bread flavors. Good balance and a dry mouthfeel. Glad to have tried this one.

Mar 04, 2016
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wedge from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 01 27 16

Deep hazy orange topped with a thick slab of bubbly cream. Pungent hop aroma...peach, pineapple, grapefruit, and spicy herbs. Big tropical fruit salad flavor. There's a decent malt sweetness throughout, but the oily hops cut through it no problem. Juicy pineapple, kiwi, mango, citrus, and stone fruit. Very smooth and vibrant - a bit heavy, but dry enough to not make it a chore. Good stuff...bright and sticky.

Feb 22, 2016
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Mnolte32 from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 26 days before consuming. The pour was a hazy burnt orange consistency with a mildly carbonated head. First reaction was surprisingly drinkable. Taste of bitter hops(pleasurable), mild fruit(peach/grapefruit) and a mild sweetness to cover the 8.3% ABV well. Overall, I recommend and plan to visit the Alewerks to sample on draft.

Feb 21, 2016
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VABA from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisited 7/3/18

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

Feb 18, 2016
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KomodoDragon from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy sandy brew with ample head and lacing.

Do not pick up much in the nose. A bit tropical fruits.

Sweets malting merges with lemon, grapefruit, and some breadiness. Reminiscent of a lemon bar and at times a lemon drop. Hops are biting but ease the alcohol. Bit dry on the finish.

Easy drinking DIPA with plenty of hops. Somewhat one note in fruity hop appeal, yet that note produces a bountiful flavor.

Feb 15, 2016
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71ADub from Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap at Aleworks, February 2015. Many beers into the session. Don't remember much about, but being pretty lit, I remember it was FANTASTIC!! Better than any DH IPAs, for sure. Just wicked smooth, good balance, not hot at all. Hoppy, not but over the top bitter. If you see it in a bar/pub/shelf, buy all that you see. It will be worth taking out a second mortage for...

Feb 13, 2016
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AppaZappa from North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 1/26/16 poured into a tulip glass. Comes out a rich and hazy orange. Can't see through this glass, but the head retracts nicely and settles on the sides of the glass. Smell is tangerine, pineapple, bitter hops, sweet pine. Taste is more on the bitter citrus side--grapefruit and tangerine--malted sugar, slight peach and hops. The finish is fairly dry and clean, but there's a slight bitter taste that lingers so as to keep it from being completely crisp. Mouth is moderate carbonation and spot on for the style. Its remarkably drinkable for the 9% abv.

A very nice offering and outstanding fresh. Will go grab another!

Feb 11, 2016
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MyThoughtsExactly from Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (dated two weeks old) into a tulip
L: Orange to Amber color, west coasty, and a bit hazy. Slightly off white color bubbles making a finger of head.
S: West coast DIPA aroma, big grapefruit and citrus. Some sweet malt character and slight alcohol can also be detected.
T: Follows the nose with grapefruit, citrus, and some pineapple and pine. There is a nice sweet malt character to the beer. Very little bitterness and slight alcohol in the finish, not boozy but you get it. The lack of bitterness makes this one very easy to drink.
F: Creamy with good carbonation.
Overall: About exactly what I expect from AleWerks, a great west coast style DIPA and a beer I wouldn't hesitate to buy again.

Feb 09, 2016
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ooglek from Virginia

4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lot of differentiation here. Cloudy, burnt orange in color. Lots of citrus, bitter but not too bitter finish. Not sweet, especially for a 9% pour. I'd like more please.

Feb 08, 2016
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LADaveBN from California

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep golden not quite orange color with one finger fluffy white head. Nose is oranges and tangerines on the rim with a touch of pine when I get my nose into the glass. Taste is grapefruit citrus on the front followed by a resin-y bitter finish. Pretty good balance between the malt and bitter hops. Medium light carb. Feel is smooth. Overall, a very good DIPA that doesn't punch you in the face with bitterness.

Feb 08, 2016
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Beers-es from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a growler filled from a fresh keg, pours a deep burnt-orange that's hazy--almost completely opaque in fact. Half-finger of off-white head fades leaving a pretty web of moderate lacing down the glass. Smell is on the muted side, but contains grapefruit, orange, pine and some savory onion. Taste follows--citrus and spicy, resiny hops. Medium feel. No alcohol detectable. I like this one.

Feb 08, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque, orange-caramel coloring, with a low profile, clingy, white head. Aromas of lemon zest and lime, both sweet and tart, with subtle evergreen and piney notes. Subtle candi sugar and caramel backbone. Flavors are an outburst of citrus and tropical fruits forward, heavy on mango, apricot, grapefruit, lemon zest, lime, and orange rind. Hops profiles of pine tassel, dried grass, and rich evergreen. Subtle caramel backbone to support all of the fruit and hops characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a fruity and roasted aftertaste, still heavy on the citrus, both sweet and slightly acidic. The finish is smooth, light, and slightly dry. Very tasty, well balanced beer.

Feb 08, 2016
Bitter Valentine from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 558 ratings