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: 128 | Ratings: 542
Photo of oline73
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of smooth, off white head. The head fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Bready malt is surprisingly prevalent with some citrus peel and pine hops. The pine notes are very faint. There is a sweetness from the malt here as well.

Taste: Like a west coast DIPA but there is a lot more malt backbone. Quite bitter, but the bitterness is smooth, not too biting. Pine and citrus peel hops throughout, but the finish is especially bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with very mild carbonation and a dry finish. Could use a bit more carbonation.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. The balance is very nice, the malt doesn't allow the hops to dominate too much, but they're still the star.

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Photo of themind
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very good brew, has a decent bitter bite on the back end. Slight malt backbone with decent hop flavor up front. Worth seeking out as this Valentines beer is unique.

Bottom Line: It's good, get some!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Thorpe429 for the random hookup. Shared with the Chicago hags after Night of the Living Ales. Continued to use my taster glass at Chris' place.

A - Transparent golden body is topped by a finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thick collar, some wisps, but minimal lacework.

S - Extremely zesty, with citrus rind, chives, perhaps a touch of onion, pine, some mild dankness, and tropical fruits. Malt character is pretty understated, with some candied citrus. Potent and enjoyable stuff.

T - Malt character shines through a bit more in the flavor, with some sugar cookie and brown sugar flavors supporting the citrus, tropical fruits, pine, and zest. Again, I get a slight chive note that I generally associate with Summit or Citra hops - thankfully I like that flavor.

M - Medium body, with soft lower carbonation, no obvious alcohol, and a juicy texture. Finishes fairly dry. I could actually go for a few more bubbles here, but otherwise this is how I like them.

D - This is a very nice double IPA, and tastes far more like something you'd find in California than in Virginia. Doesn't raise the bar on the broadest scale, but for part of country that traditionally under-serviced this is probably a huge breath of fresh air. Highly enjoyable stuff - thanks Mike!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 22oz dated 2/10/14 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours a golden amber color. Finger and half of a off-white head fades away into a thin ring. Leaves decent lacing.

S-Aromas of dank hops, floral notes, grapefruit citrus, a bit of orange.

T-Tasting notes of grapefruit citrus, pine, floral notes, caramel, light orange.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body with a semi-dry finish. Semi-dry mouthfeel like bitter in its name. Very good carbonation.

O-My first beer from Alewerks, definitely one of my top East Coast DIPAs.

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Photo of Mnolte32
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, bottled 8/12/14, poured into a teku glass

A- pours a deep amber color with a ruby hue, foamy off-white one-finger head reduces to a film on top, leaving some short lasting lace behind

S- lots of tropical fruity hop aromas up front with notes of pineapple & mango, piney and spicy floral notes kick in, followed by some sugary and slightly bready malt to close it out

T- lots of piney hop notes up front with an orange/citrus zest kicking in. Sugary malt with some bready notes in the mid-palate, more citrus with a bit of spicy bite at the end, grapefruit linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly creamy, dry finish

O- a nice blend of hop varieties with a sugary malt base, well done and easy to drink

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Photo of uvachief
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Draft. Pours the traditional IPA colors with a soapy white head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of pine and citrus. Guessing grapefruit and something else like mango maybe. You taste hops, pine and citrus with very little malt. Not as bitter as the name suggests. Balanced. Could use a bit more malt flavor but smooth for a strong IPA. Taste more pine as the glass warms up. Solid effort.

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Photo of Riff
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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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 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 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 wedge
4.22/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle split with a friend. Served slightly chilled into a Sam Adams pint glass. Big thanks to Centennial for getting me a bottle of this.

Appearance: Copper orange in color with a nice cloudy, two finger light colored head. Some nice retention as well.

Aroma: Big citrus and mango notes from the hops upfront. Definitely more on the tropical fruit side in the nose. A touch of breadiness as well.

Taste: An initial burst of tropical fruit that subsides into really bitter grapefruit and pine. The hop are definitely more on the bitter side and that bitterness lingers throughout each sip. Really flavorful. A touch of breadiness and biscuit notes to round out the flavor. Nice and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a fuller body for an IPA. Still plenty of carbonation to keep it nice and light.

Overall, a really nice IPA and definitely my favorite that I have had from that part of the country. A really nice combination of fruit and brutal bitterness. I would definitely get this more if it were available locally. Well done.

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Photo of AppaZappa
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had really high hopes of trying this one when I saw it on the draft list. This beer poured out as a nice looking golden copper color with a white head on top... The lacing was sticky and had a good retention to it. The smell of the beer was floral and citrusy, just like a good IPA should be. The taste was lively and had a great bitterness to it. The mouthfeel was drinkable with a good carbonation to it. Overall this beer was good, I'm always happy to try the beers that Williamsburg puts out.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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 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 UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to JustXBeer for sharing this one at mrbubbler's tasting.

Bottled 8/12/14.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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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 Sean9689
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Alex. Bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Poured a orange/amber color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Tropical citrus sweetness, orange peel, grapefruit, light pine. A pretty even mix of bitter and sweet notes, very well-balanced and enjoyable.

T - Nice level of bitterness mixed with excellent citrus grapefruit, lemon peel, oranges, mango, and light malty sweetness in there as well. Obviously, way more bitter then sweet, but both are there and work nicely together.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - A very enjoyable DIPA that I was overly impressed with. After not even knowing about this beer before trying it, I would defiantly try and locate another bottle. Good stuff!

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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 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 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 metter98
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 542 ratings.
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