Bitter Valentine | AleWerks Brewing Company

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Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

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

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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 533
Photo of cosmicevan
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of ncaudle
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into snifter. less than 1 week old.

pours deep copper/amber with big thick off white head. sticky lacing left around glass. gorgeous.

this is a huge pine bomb with citrus and floral accents. solid malt base. dry.

medium mouthfeel with good carbonation levels. crisp.

a very, very good take on the west coast DIPA style. if just a tiniest bit sweeter this would be waaay up there.

(edited review after having a second bottle - something was just a touch off in the first...)

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Photo of ChefHopMeister
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Williamsburg Alewerks does it again!

This is the first DIPA produced by W'burg Alewerks. I picked up a few of these bombers fresh off the bottling line on Feb 14, 2012.

My first taste/bottle was on Feb 14, 2nd bottle was Feb 18 and my 3rd bottle was today, Feb 21. This review is a combination of tasting after being only hours "old" thru my current one week "old' experience with Bitter Valentine.

Poured aggressively into a rinsed pint glass. About a finger sized head each time with limited retention. A nice burnt orange color, not cloudy. Some lacing down sides of the glass.

Nose: The 2/14 bottle was tight. Did not open up much but with each subsequent bottle, the smells really matured nicely and became more pronounced. Scents of oranges, mango, pineapple, citrus one would smell when peeling a grapefruit.

Palate: Big splash of citrus in those hops, fruity, malty background which was more predominate with the 2/14 bottle. Seems like the malt and hops have become more in balance as time in the bottle moves forward. Tastes of grapefruit, pine resin, rye. Just right carbonation level.

Finish: Slightly sweet malt fading into a bitter citrus peel, spicy, dry tail. Really a nice, almost west coast DIPA type finish. That spice on the tongue lingers which I like.

Overall a very nice DIPA and good to have easy access to. This was a helluva good DIPA for Williamsburg Alewerks first batch of DIPA. A little more malt in the background would, for my taste, make this even better but now I'm picking nits. A dandy DIPA for those of us who enjoy this style.

I'm looking forward to trying a few more bottles of BV as a little more age settles in and see if the balancing act continues.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/24/12 notes. Bottled shared by BigSexy410; thanks man, excited to try it. 22 oz. bomber into a Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent orange-amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, oranges, fruits malts, and light tropical fruits. Nose is awesome, very fresh and a ton of pine, citrus, and fruit. Loving it.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, oranges, lemons, fruity malts, tropical fruits, and light floral hops. Taste is quite bitter. Very nice again, but not as great as the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, with a decent amount of bitterness.

o - Overall this is the best beer of all time.

All kidding aside and trying to eliminate some homerism, this is a very good DIPA. The nose is amazing, just full of fresh hops and fruits, and the taste is really good too. Some bitterness to the taste, but really nice. The night before having this I had a bottle of Lunch, White Rajah, and 1.5 month old Hopslam and I honestly think I liked this better then all of them. Really hoping they start brewing this one on a consistent basis.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Michael for bringing over this one. Hype machine!!!

Pours a dark gold color with a thin white head and minimal lacing. Smell is a fantastic mix of pine and citrus, really nice. Taste isn't quite as impressive, but follows suit pretty nicely, very citrusy, with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a little sticky. Overall this is shockingly impressive from a brewery like Williamsburg that doesn't usually do it for me. It's kind of a baby version of Abrasive and/or Double Sunshine, not quite on that level, but probably the best local DIPA I've had.

Update: Super fresh batch 2 bottle: taste was better than the first one. Upgrading the score from 4 to 4.5

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. No bottle date, but I believe this was released in February 2012. Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

A: Very pretty clear orange amber color. Some chill haze. Quarter finger of off white head. Turns into soapy bubbles around the glass in a ring. Seems to be nicely carbonated.

S: Lots of sweet tropical fruity hop aromas. I get lots of overripe peach, mango, and pineapple. Really just a sweet hop bomb. Maybe some lesser grains hidden there.

T: Nice sweet fruity and piney hop bite on the front of the tongue. I get that mango and peach that I smelled. You do get some nice mild malt balance in the middle of the mouth, but it's still out of whack towards the hop side. The finish is crisp and dry and bitter. Leaves you wanting another sip. The alcohol is hidden amazingly!

M: Medium bodied. Mouth coating of delicious hop bitterness.

O: A for me. Blend of West Coast and East Coast. Definitely ranks up there pretty high for me and wish I could get another to compare to the big IPA and DIPA players.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was surprisingly good, it has a nice lighter and very bitter character to it which is nice in a DIPA, has a very west coast like flavor to it.

The beer pours a nice amber color, that is clearer the I would have expected in a Double. A ring of head with some lacing, pretty good overall but not stunning in any way.

The smell is nice, very hoppy and grassy. Light Brady notes with a touch of honey and some spicy slightly herbal notes as well, has what I can only describe as a hop forward aroma with just enough malt as a base- again very west coast. Nice stuff.

The taste follows the smell and has a very nice juiciness to the hop favors that just explode over the palate. Some weed in the taste as well and a bit of flowery ness, maybe some citrus fruit but not too intense for the hop characters. Some very nice sweet malty notes as well.

The feel is nice and slick, but I wish it had a bit more body. Nice stuff.

The beer is really good, very tasty! Nice work, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of ctrudebusch
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
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

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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 IdrinkGas
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little late for Valentines Day but I was assured this was fresh despite its lack of a bottling date.

Pours golden amber with a small amount of watery white head.

Smells of fresh hop cones, pineapple, mango and some pine.

Huge hop flavor. Grapefruit and lots of tropical flavors come through. Some sweetness on the back end but not much malt is present. And that's the way I like it. Alcohol is well hidden by the bitterness.

Medium carbonation and lighter mouthfeel than most DIPAs.

Williamsburg Alewerks continues to impress me with their great beer and very reasonable prices. Above average beer for $9 per bomber.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real gorgeous crystal clear body color, some very slow rising carbonation barely comes up through red and orange bronze body. It's a beautiful color. Head forms nicely, off white to faint cream yellow, some sticky sheets of lace while drinking.

Nose is just a tad one dimensional, but boy it is big. Ripping hops on this sucker, mostly I get a more pine sense from it on first pour. Dry, earthy, then comes some faint citrus orange behind it, after going back from a few sips, faint malt barely.

On taste, huge. A sweet rush at first, mixing with a good creamy palate feel. Juicy, bursting, mellow citrus at first, some orange, soft bodied, oily finish on the swallow. Stinging needles rooftop hop on the mouth. Warms up, gets white grapefruit and sprinkled white sugar, hot hop bitter mix with it a bit. A real controlled hop blast, and also a neat just before you swallow feel on this that is hard to describe. Mouth sticking, teeth coating, resiny finish.

Overall not boozy, controlled but large. Nearing perfection but a unique one in the big DIPA realm. This one is a whole nother level. Killer brew.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with 2 fingers of dense cream colored head. Fantastic retention and lacing.

S - Resinous grapefruit, rinds, sweet tropical fruits (mango, maybe a hint of pineapple). Smells juicy and delicious

T - Surpsingly piney and bitter/dry up front! In a very good way, it transitions somewhat quickly to a sweeter fruity aroma and finishes on the citrusy end of the spectrum. Aftertaste is again quite dry and piney with hints of grapefruit rinds. Very very clean crisp finish.

M - Truly ideal, medium bodied yet crisp, carbonation holds up nicely to the body. Drinks fantastically.

O - Pretty awesome, love how you get a great transitional variety of hop profiles!

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/23/12
*From notes

-- Bottled on February 14th, 2012 --

A: Clean, glowing orange. A good pour yields a white two finger head. Killer retention, lacing and a thick collar remains as I quaff this delicious beer.

S: Big, fresh tropical hops, like it just arrived on the red eye from San Diego. Just spectacular stuff.

T: Wow. Like a fresh can of surly Abrasive with a bit less aggression. There's a massive wave of hop oil that just wrecks my palate. A touch of onion bite rears it's ugly head on the mid, but it's a momentary lapse, and passes with ease. As it warms, the hops just melt in my mouth. Simply marvelous.

M: Not the thickest beer in the fridge, but it'll do. A bit more weight and depth on the palate would be nice, but I really can't complain as it is.

O: With a name like Bitter Valentine, I doubt this sees year-round distro. Which is an utter sin, as Williamsburg AleWerks have created a masterful offering to the hop gods. They continue to impress, and I look forward to when I can again put this angel in my mouth.

Believe the hype, folks. Highly recommended.

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Photo of JayQue
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW!!! Kevin saved me one of these at Grape and Gourmet and said I had to try it. This is one AWESOME DIPA. The last local beer I got excited over (Legend DIPA) I wound up buying a case. I won't have that opportunity with this beer but it is worth it!!!!

Pours a clear light copper color with a medium white head that fades fast unless you give it a hard pour. Good lacing on the glass. Pretty good hoppy aroma.

The taste is awesome....piney hops predominate but there is a floral presence and a hint of citrus hops. Easily as good as the best West Coast IPAs. Nice and bitter, very inviting.

Mouthfeel is awesome too. Handles the 9% brilliantly, crisp, light and smooth. Carbonated just right, bitterness is perfect!!!

This is a fantastic DIPA.

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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 CliffBrake
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Headyhops81 for the chance to try this - super fresh.

Bright copper color with a modest off-white head that leaves decent lacing and a slick of bubbles on the surface.

Light aroma of orange peel and caramel on toast. Grapefruit and bitter orange peel. Nice round hop profile on a light malt backbone. Very elegant and dry, kind of in the style of an Alpine DIPA.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of hops202
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz into tulip.

At first glance the beer is a clear amber with plenty of transparency. Definitely a great look. Smell is super citrus with the some sweetness and malt. Taste is sweet citrus. Almost like grapefruit covered in sugar with some mango, clementine and peach. This was a pleasant surprise and I will certainly be buying a few more tomorrow.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA
This review is for a bottle acquired also at Pinocchio's, Media, PA.

I typically don't do separate reviews for beer I've had in bottles and on tap, unless they're significantly different, and I feel that was the case with Bitter Valentine. While still a great beer overall, I definitely liked the taste much better when I had it fresh and on tap. Seems natural. On the other hand, the bottle pour had a much more attractive look to it, so it was really a different experience overall.

Poured into a Deschutes snifter, honey-amber with a fluffy, rocky, white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma rich with citrusy hops and toasted bread. Big hop taste up front, quite more bitter than its on-tap counterpart, mix of orange pith and zest, and some pine notes, with a toasty malt base. Also not much of the tropical fruit flavors I got on tap either. Still very solid and enjoyable. Bitterness detracted a little from the mouthfeel, but still, medium bodied and easily drinkable. Nice beer overall. (Better fresh and on tap.)

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale.

Bitter Valentine had a golden look to it, pretty and bright with some orange haze mized in with amber tones. A very sturdy inch of white foam that left some nice globs.

This certainly smells like one of those nice west coast style IPA's yo heard of. This has a big piney scent with some tropic fruits in the mix. A nice biscuit type malt nose in the background. Earthy after a bit of warming with some sweetness settling in. No alcohol in the scent.

And tasting this, the first sips scorches the tounge with bitter dank piney resinous hops that stick. Getting around that some juicy fruit tropic taste with grapefruit. The pine shines though. Sweetness with warming and towards the end of the glass, a bit of a bubblegum presence with some caramel. The hops are the spotlight though

Feel less than medium with some lively carb in appearance, yet this goes down a bit smooth and not bitey. It is bitey in the sense that the hops cling to the mouth making the bitter in Bitter Valentine a true statement. Oily with resinous aftertaste.

At 9%, one is great at the bar, if i had some bombers of this at the house I would take down one or two of them easy as the flavor profile here is on point. I would do it ASAP as the hops tend to fade fast on these East Coast IPA's. This one has some muster though, glad to have tried it. Probably my favorite offering from this brewery that I've tried yet.

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

A-golden amber color with a white hed and good lacing

S-floral and citrus notes with hints of bitterness

T-citrus and pine with some foral notes and nice bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth rich mouth feel

O- a solid DIPA with good flavr and overall balance

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile. I had to get on the Bitter Valentine train before it left town. A great IPA. Seriously a great IPA. Here's hoping for year round Bitter Valentine!!!

Served in a snifter. Beer is orange and clear. Moderate carbonation. Thin white head, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is like a tropical fruit salad. A little sweet. Some alcohol sneaks through but this is a hop bomb in the nose.

Drinks a lot like Lagunitas sucks but bigger. It is sweet up front and clean on the finish with a fair amount of bitterness and string floral and fruit flavors from the hops. Mangos and papaya with some citrus flavors in the background. I'd definitely have it again. I want this beer to be the mid-Atlantic Pliny or Heady. MAKE MORE!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + honey highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium to large patch of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and stone fruit/peach hops over the top of moderate aromas of grainy + caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger than moderate flavor of grainy + caramel malts with a moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith, tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, and stone fruit/peach hops in descending order of strength. There is a moderate to strong amount of bitterness which slowly fades away.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Really nice combination of tropical, stone fruit, and citrus hops with a moderate amount of sweetness. Easy to drink with extremely well hidden alcohol. Definitely a really nice DIPA and especially great when fresh.

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Photo of Resuin
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a willibecher. This was bottled on 02/19/2015, less than a month ago.

Appearance: Pours a transparent tea-brown color and leaves a fairly dense finger of off-white head that slowly fades to a layer atop the beer. Pretty beer. (4.5)

Smell: Bitter citrus rinds, caramel malts, some nice floral hops, hint of mango/tropical. Nice pleasant, balanced aroma. (4.25)

Taste: Big citrus rinds, citrus, caramel malts, hints of tropical hops, finishes with some light roasted malts. Very nice and well balanced. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: Fairly thick, heavy body - almost slightly sticky with a low to medium carb. Finishes bitter but pretty crisp. (4.5)

Overall: This is a very well done, nice and balanced DIPA. Very drinkable but with a lot of flavor. (4.25)

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 533 ratings.
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