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Bitter Valentine | AleWerks Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
125 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Double IPA is loaded with Pacific Northwest hops blended with a light malt backbone. A bitter Valentine for you to love, how ever unrequited.

Added by Viciousknishs on 02-18-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
518
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
20.81%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
69
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 518
Photo of Matthewbeerlover
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

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Photo of Big_V
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 3/6/15. Golden orange with 1 finger head. Smells grassy, sweet bread, biscuits, piney. Hoppy. Bitter on the backend. Incredibly smooth. I could drink this all day. Not a juicy DIPA, however easily in my top 5. This is a must try. Unlike anything I've had before. So glad I got 2 bottles.

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Photo of homedepot1111
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I piced up a bottle at the cheese place in Williamsburg. I found this on a whim and boy am I happy I did.
The pour is A clear orange with tight carbonation head giving way to long lasting lass on the glass
The smell is tropical orange and mango with a bit of clementine. Superb smell. It's a bouquet of tropic goodness

The taste is impact up front with pine and hop smacking tongue drying bite. The malt plays second fiddle to this. It's a superb double ipa. Geof has been dialing in that system and putting out perfect beers. This one isn't perfect but it's damn close. And it's sure tastes like its a double ipa from the west coast not the east.
I'm proud to call them my local brewery.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
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 this...buy many. I'm pretty sure Williamsburg sold its soul to the Devil.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Feb 14th! Fresh as hell!

A- pours a copper orange amber color with a finger of tight bubbled off white head. Decent head retention with good lacing.

S- sweet juicy citrus hop aromas explode out of the glass with notes of ruby red grapefruit, mango orange peel and pineapple. Dank resiny hop oils and leafy aromas blend in the middle. The faintest hint of balancing malt and a touch of honey on the finish.

T- I put this up against any world class west coast DIPA. Starts out with rediculous juicy tropical fruit hop flavor of mango, pineapple and orange marmalade. Sticky resiny hop oils and pine sap coalesce in the middle. Great smooth assertive bitterness hits the palate with balancing malt that drowns under the monstrous hops! Finishes very dry with a lingering pithy grapefruit peel hop flavor.

MF- ultra creamy smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and soft caressing carbonation.

D- incredible drinkability.

Overall a world class DIPA!!! Alewerks hits another home run with this one. Complex and a finish that lingers forever!

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Photo of Tastesalot
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
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!

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Photo of bmanning
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Rustico in Alexandria. Reviewing this beer because it's so damn good and deserving of the top 100.

Appearance is typical for an IPA, but a bit on the amber side of the spectum. White thin head with very good lacing.

Aroma is citrusy with a great pine and tropical fruit on the nose.

Taste is amazingly balanced between the grapefruit and pineapple hops and the honey like malts. This is like a better version of Hopslam. Also very creamy on the palate.

Overall this is up there with Hill Farmstead and Lawsons IPAs and is a new favorite.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a you have to be kidding me how is this beer as good as it is and finally AleWerks has lived up the potential hinted at by beers like their BB Porter and Pumpkin Ale which were sort of good but not quite great.

So after 900+ reviews that are completely irrelevant and no one cares about I decided that Lawson's Double Sunshine was my favorite beer and worthy of being bumped up to a 5.0 across the board. My first impression upon smelling and tasting this was that this is 90% as good as that beer (and only 25% of that is homerism). Which is insane, because A+ hoppy beers from the Maryland, DC, Virginia area are unfortunately these days...rare.

Beer pours a nearly clear, dark copper with an off white head and it looks like a double IPA so whatever.

Aroma is damn near perfect. Dank and tropical, with pine and citrus hops, faint malt and stronger citrus rind. Boom.

Flavor isn't quite as perfect as the nose or as rich as Double Sunshine, but very juicy, sweaty, and heavy on tropical hops. Mildly bitter and trace amounts of alcohol for the ABV. Very similar to Double Sunshine in body and balance of hops to malt, though hop profile isn't a direct comp.

$6.99/22 oz bottle and available in Total Wine and Whole Foods? Alewerks, please make this again and soon, not next Valentine's Day (I've already looked into registering www.alewerksmakemorebittervalentinenoworelse.com).

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Photo of
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This exciting beverage emerged from the bottle with an attractive orange copper colour to it. A decent head of dusty white billowed early but fell to a layer of spitty skim in short time. Gobs of lace cling in the aftermath. The carbonation is moderate and persistent. This looks like a good one. Clear and clean as well.

The nose is rife with green hoppy aromatics. It reminds me of a couple of my favorites, but this one also carries with it a peculiar fruitiness that is hard for me to pin down. It could be apricot. It could be pear juice. It could be pink grapefruit. At any rate the nose is succulent. Grassy and herbal. Fruity. Pines. Resin. Sap. You can almost smell the dryness.

The taste is very nice. It is dry from the jump. Citrus flavours abound. I would surely say there is some grapefruit impression here, but the aforementioned fruit that I am so hard pressed to identify lends its presence to the mix as well. This is rather splendid. You have a profound dryness that is antagonized by this bizarre juiciness, and a bitterness that is totally deceptive and quite pleasant. This feels nearly anesthetic to my oropharynx and I think even my limbs are tingling with lupulin inluence as well. Hops are a drug. No doubt about it. The alcohol is almost completely obscured and it works so well in tandem with the hop properties. Anyone who says this style is boring and is lacking in complexity should try this beer. Every sip I taste flips the script on me. It is amazing. It's like a baby hopslam! Or a really refined lagunitas sucks!

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Photo of Chaney
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip.

A: It poured a beautiful, caramel-orange color, with a really dense, foamy, creamy white head that just didn't want to quit ticking.

S: Holy hell! I started to smell this thing before the cap even made it off. A huge floral bouquet with quite the citrus bite that slashed my nose to bits.

T: I think the fruit component will totally go unappreciated, and that's a damn shame, because THAT is the star here. This is sort of like an imperial version of Lagunitas' "Holiday Sucks." Yep... it tastes every bit that good.

M: It had very much the texture of pure honey, with the hop bite of some of the great West Coasters. However, I got more fruit lingering in place of bitterness on the finish. The lacing was splotchy.

O: I really dig both Alewerks' Pumpkin Ale and Bourbon Barrel Porter, but I believe firmly that this is their crowning achievement. I'm speechless...

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Photo of robwestcott
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
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 (?)

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Photo of oldn00b
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very hazy gold, nice frothy white head forms but recedes quite quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Nose is citrus, juicy, hop bitter and barely any malt presence but nice floral notes present too. Not dank - floral and juicy is how I'd describe it overall.

Flavor is nice bright fruit forward, juicy but more citrus than tropical. Nice drying bitter from the hop with a solid enough malt backbone that in no way takes away from the show but brings a nice sweetness to offset the big bitter notes. This is a damn juicy DIPA that works as it warms.

Mouthfeel here is huge. This is a shining note for a lot of the Alewerks IPAs. Shorty Time and Secret Admirer come to mind, but where those have a slight watery feel in the finish there is none of that here. This is just a perfectly rounded, full, luscious dipa. Wonderful.

One thing I'd note - I have noticed in the past that this one tends to fall off quickly, not to be a snob but I remember there being a marked difference around the 3 week mark last year (if not kept cold, as most places don't). I'd take that into account with the dates on some reviews here - a person reviewing this 4 months after what I'd call its prime is not reviewing the same beer. I'd certainly give higher marks to a beer that retains all these traits for a longer time. This is just a beer that needs to be had fresh imho. More like fresh - 98. Months old - 80s.

Edit: I plan to have some of these a few weeks from now and see how it holds up.

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Photo of theformula
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Insanely fresh bottle, 2/14/12 coincidentally enough...thanks to ViciousKnishs for the bottle!

I can't start without saying this is highly anticipated. We've been expecting a DIPA from Geoff & co. for some time now. FINALLY.

Pours a brilliantly clear rust-orange color with a couple fingers of head, decent retention with good lacing.

When I put my face in this thing, WHOA. Motha russia hops explode out of the glass. I didn't even have to put my nose near it before I noticed. Vibrant notes of sweet, juicy citrus pulp, everything from clementine, mango to pineapple and pine. It's like a fresh squeezed juice-hop cocktail.
Malt presence is there, bready and slightly toasted but very subtle and just enough to prop up the hops.

Taste thankfully backs up the nose on this one. Beautiful hop flavor and complex at that, keeps you going for another sip. Alcohol is fantastically hidden. Surprisingly balanced for such a hop bomb. Bitter? Yes. The hop oils and resins stick forever and finishes bone dry. I love 'em bitter so it works for me. For some, maybe too bitter.

I'm beyond pleased with this. Bottom line: one of the best DIPA's being brewed as far as I'm concerned. Alewerks has killed it with this one.

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Photo of kevinv
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a globe. No bottle dating, but seems that the first bottling was on 2/14 based on these other reviews.

A - Pours a beautiful iridescent orange-ish copper color, nearly clear. Pours with a 1-2 finger fluffy off white head. Nice sticky lacing remains on the glass.

S - Extremely intoxicating smell. Tons of piney and citrusy hop aromas just continuously flow out of the glass. Quite the assortment of citrusy fruits come through with oranges, pineapples, and mangoes. Slight alcohol presence. I just want to bury my nose in here.

T - Huge bitter bomb hits the palate first. The citrusy and tropical notes from the hops are king here, but backed up by a very subtle slightly sweet malt. The finish is dry and has a nice lingering bitter grapefruit taste. Alcohol is well hidden, but comes through a little more as the beer warms.

M - Very full and creamy mouthfeel from this DIPA. Way more so than I expected. Moderate carbonation with a nice crisp bite.

O - Overall, this was an extremely solid beer and a great example of the style. I hate to be the guy who "hype's" a local beer, but this one is well deserving. I only wish more people would get to taste this.

Wonderful job, Williamsburg Alewerks, you guys hit a home run with this one.

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Photo of jasoncheb
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
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

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Photo of ooglek
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria. Served in a goblet.

Alcohol is listed as 9.0%.

A: Pours a clear light copper color with a nice tall off-white head with loads of lacing and great retention. I think I got those colors right; it's always so damn dark in this place.

S: My initial impression is loads of tropical fruits with a bit of citrus rind in the background. There may be a bit of malt, but I'm not getting any here. Mango and papaya abound. A bit of tangerine in there as well.

T: The flavor does not let me down either. Great continuation from the nose with prominent tropical and citrus fruits giving way to a fairly-heavy bitterness. Just a touch of warming alcohol. Load of fruity hope smack my tongue around.

M: Light-medium body with crisp carbonation. The feel is dominated by a fantastic bouquet of hops. Dry an bitter through and through.

O: A very, very solid offering. This is something that I am extremely proud to say came from Virginia. Now, please make more as I didn't hear about this beer until all the bottles were already gone.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of ckollias
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of C20Percent
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden copper with amber hues and a big bubbly head of egg shell color foam on top. Very clear body. A few bubbles that stay consistent throughout the beer drinking experience. But, frankly -- nothing too special. Nothing I haven't seen before. Nothing really standing out. Good, though.

A: Strong sweet malt and heavy citrus aroma. Definitely some earthiness to it. Very complex. Wife says she gets a candied apple aroma. Lots of different specific aromas jumping at me. Super quality stuff.

T: Lots of different flavors hitting the tongue. Like splashes of hoppy fruit dancing in your mouth. Sweet citrus and caramel malt dominate the taste. Leaves behind a nice bitter finish that beckons for another sip. Comparisons to Pliny the Elder are fair. This beer, however, is a tad bit sweeter, and malt is preferred here.

M: Almost perfect in every way. This is how an IPA should feel. Reminds me of Sculpin here. Medium body brew that coats the mouth in a crisp bitter hoppy syrup. Chewiness brings out the malt. Lubricates the lips. Top notch. Feels great.

O: Amazing brew. One of the best I've probably had. And, definitely the best I've had out of VA. If not for the appearance, this beer would have a terrific score. But, honestly, I just think the look is par for the course. Everything else about this beer is amazing.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint...

A: Pours an exquisitely clear, golden orange color with just a tinge of darker copper to it. When I say clear, I mean crystal. Huge, pillowy white head of about two and a half fingers that settles to a quarter finger. Super thick lacing. Holy cow, this is one of the best looking beers I have seen.

S: Very tropical, sweet and smooth. Loads of pineapple, orange zest, mango, and tangerine. Just a little bit of pine needle on the finish and some creamy, biscuity malt. Excellent.

T: Ok, this is where it earns its namesake. Tropical fruit flavors take a back seat to some very bitter hops, pine resin, and some herbal, grassy notes. This is a very malty brew, however, and the malt stands up to the hops nicely and rounds the edges on this one to make it a bit smoother. I like my IPAs a little more citrusy and light, this one is a touch bruising, with a finish that is perhaps a touch too drying.

M: Very good. Flavors are well balanced and evolve nicely. Carbonation is spot on.

O: An excellent DIPA, especially considering it is Williamsburg's first attempt at the style. I thought the flavor profile excellent, would have liked just a little more tropical fruit but I'm not complaining. Very impressed by this one. Williamsburg should be very proud of this brew.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden honey color. Maybe slightly coppery. Seems it was filtered, since it's translucent and transparent with no sediment or haze.

S: Peach, mango, pineapple, pine, and herbal resin. Basically a beautiful bouquet of hops. Not as intense as some I've smelled, but abundantly complex hop scent blend. Not overpowering or cloying.

T: Very clean bitterness. West coast style pine from start to finish (and especially in the aftertaste) but has a nice burst of tropical fruit hops up front. Moderate malt flavor. It's amazing to have a 9% ABV DIPA with this high a hop to malt flavor ratio.

M: Good mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated overall. Not syrupy at all, especially for a DIPA.

O: One of the most "IPA-like" DIPAs I've ever had. Great blend of west-coast and east coast flavor profiles (think Green Flash WC IPA meets Bells Oracle).

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.
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