Mar 22, 2012

Williamsburg Alewerks Bitter Valentine

Willamsburg Alewerks Bitter Valentine photo

First off, I love the dejected look on our little cherub buddy on the label of this brew from Williamsburg Alewerks — it fits the name of the brew perfectly. And as you might have guessed, with a name like Bitter Valentine, this is indeed an IPA and a big one at that.

This Imperial/Double IPA weighs in at 9% ABV and aside from a couple of their recent limited releases, just might be the best beer from the company I’ve had thus far. It’s a well balanced beer especially considering a brew of this nature is usually crazy potent in only one aspect while neglecting other. — overly hopped or crazy sweet. Bitter Valentine, however, sees the brewery concentrating on all aspects of the style, from the beer’s floral nose to it’s lingering bite.


Pouring bright, clear amber in color the beer sits with a large white head that faded slowly to decent lacing.


The nose on this beer is earthy and floral with loads of grapefruit, tangerine, pine and a touch of pineapple.


Just like the nose, there is a load of tropical citrus fruit within this beer’s hoppy depths. Orange peel, tangerine, grapefruit and pineapple all make an appearance as one point while a piney undertone joins in. The brew isn’t nearly as bitter as it’s name would have you believe, but it does have an assertive hop astringency that lingers a good bit. There’s a touch of malt sweetness and earthy honey in the mix as well. The carbonation level is of a moderate level which only accentuates the sticky and medium to full mouthfeel.


Like I said in the intro, this is probably the best beer from Williamsburg Alewerks that I’ve had thus far. It’s flavorful, layered, hoppy, bitter and smooth. With the last round of limited releases (Cafe Royale and Grand Illumination as examples), I do believe the brewery is finally starting to really hit it’s stride.


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