Bitter Valentine | AleWerks Brewing Company

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93
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125 Reviews
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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:
10.29%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
68
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 518
Photo of Sarlacc83
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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Photo of mooseo
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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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 Beer-A-Lot
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of mhaugo
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Hamburgers
3.97/5  rDev -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...

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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 WillCarrera
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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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 ehammond1
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

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Photo of tobelerone
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into my DFH signature glass. I got this via trade from Hanzo (thanks bud) and I hear it was super fresh since it doesn't last on shelves long. No bottle date I could see.

A: A medium golden color with some amber hues. A big two finger white head sits atop. Lacing is ring like and full, but it doesn't last.

S: Tropical fruit couples with some grapefruit, orange and some slight herbal notes. Sweetness and malt is picked up with the alcohol. Real nice to smell.

T: I got tons of tropical fruit up front with mango, passion fruit, pineapple, orange, grapefruit and some floral herbal flavors. The sweetness is bready and doughy rather than caramel or sugar but the malt flavor is strong. The finish comes in with more herbal notes, slight resiny pine and more citrus with some slight bitterness. Slight alcohol is tasted on the finish, but not what you would think with this abv. The finish lingers but is not a bitter as I expected based on the name.

M: Medium, prickly, slightly bitter, lasting and some alcohol.

O: This is a fine, fine DIPA made on the east coast that is all west coast in style. The bomber went down easily and it was a joy to drink. I'd drink these puppies any day of the week. Nice.

Overall another Williamsburg beer that I really enjoyed. I'm totally impressed with their stuff I have tried so far. Hanzo also sent me a few other of their beers to try, I can't wait. Well done folks.

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Photo of Pencible
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit and pine, with some citrus and mango and apricot.
T: It tasted like strong bitter pine and citrus zest, with waxy hops and grapefruit and unripe apricot. It had a lasting clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This beer had no balance. This hop bomb had a very bitter but complex profile, but no malt or other character. It had good body and well hidden alcohol, but it more of a sipper due to the bitterness. Not my favorite for the style, but impressive.

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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 EgadBananas
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing Shane!

Pours a medium coppery color. Head was a dark tan. Aroma was not very pronounced. As it warmed, there was some citrus notes to pair with a smidge of caramel malts.

The taste was a different kind of monster. Sweet citrus notes, light pine, with an assertive hop bite and linger.

Medium bodied, slick, almost creamy.

The aroma was average, but taste was great. I can see this being a sleeper.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark orange color with a super thin lacing ring and the only carbonation in the glass is due to it being a Duvel glass that it was poured into.

S - Fruit resins of oranges, grapefruit, and lemons with light caramel biscuity malt and a little bit of spicy rind in the aroma along with some pine.

T - A hop forward beer with grapefruit and lemon peel lead the bitterness followed with some oranges buried underneath the two. The malt mixes in and surfaces sometimes with the orange bitterness and then gets buried again. There's some pine bite in the bitterness along with a slight touch of earthy goodness.

M - Medium body and mellow carbonation on the tongue, finishes very dry.

O - Definitely worth trying, I want another one.

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Photo of jegross2
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Bitter Valentine from Williamsburg AleWerks out of Virginia. This, like Pipework's Ninja vs. Unicorn, is a highly hyped and newer IPA on the market. Thank you ProperHops (Joseph) for sending me this treat!
Score: 84

No bottle date, which is never a good sign for an IPA bottle. Why do brewers even bother selling beer without bottled on date? Marginal revenue at the expense of bad customer experiences and quality control is never good marketing. Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 05/04/12.

Appearance: Pours a lighter, but translucent, orange-amber color with one-plus fingers of seafoam tan head at pour that settles to a thin foggy cap and bubbly ring around the glass. Average lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Malty orange citrus, dirty/earthy hops and a little lemon. Residual onion/horseradish. 3.5/5

Taste: Bitter orange rind and malty orange. A bit of sharp/spicy onion on the midpalate. Bitter earthy hops on the back of the tongue. You can tell this is not the freshest, but it's still pretty solid. Seems to get bitter/maltier as it layers, with less citrus flavor. Lingering hop bitterness. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter finish with a little residual intensity on the tongue. 3.5/5

Overall: You can tell there's potential here, but this beer was likely not the freshest. Williamsburg AleWerks really should bottle date their stuff. I would like to revisit this when a new batch is released.

Recommendation: A decent IIPA as is, but seek this one out fresh. Bitter/oniony hop haters and casual beer drinkers should probably avoid this beer.

Pairings: Grilled chicken.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz bottle.

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