Sunday, March 31, 2013

Willamsburg AleWerks - Bitter Valentine

Big thanks to BeerAdvocate member Hanzo for this one.  Got this in an Easter Basket!

From Willamsburg AleWerks:

"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. "

PNW hops?  Yeah, I'm OK with that.

I haven't had anything from these guys before but I am very much looking forward to this.  

Also, I apologize for the glass choice since you can't see the beer very well but I am trying to make use of the cool glasses I have received since my last review!

Here we go,

Out of the bottle it poured a very nice caramel, orange, rusty color and yielded a very big three finger head.  I probably poured it too aggressively but with a glass this large I figured "Why not?"  The head lasted for a decent amount of time and the head was a an off white that resembled frothed milk resting atop the beer.  Very nice looking head.  As it dissipated it left a frothy ring around the beer and a large dollop of that same looking white froth in the center of the beer.  Nice looking beer and very welcoming.

This is a pretty darn dank smelling beer.  Big citrus, peach and some tropical fruits mixed in the aroma.  A nice sweetness caramel aroma in there behind the big hop presence.  Awesome smelling beer.  There is also a very subtle oniony type of aroma which I don't mind at all as character in the beer as long as it doesn't overpower the aroma or taste.  In this case it is far from overpowering but instead lends just another layer of interesting and juicy aroma to the beer. A really great smelling beer and definitely a high note to start on from a brewery I have never had the opportunity of trying yet. Impressed.

Right at the front of the mouth I get some sweet tropical fruits and a small amount of bitterness.  As it glides to the middle of the palate I am hit with some sweet caramel, nice citrus with hints of bitterness showing itself and as it finished I get more sweet tropical fruit and citrus with a big hit of some nice peach and a very tiny bit of that onion-y character I was getting on the nose.  This is very enjoyable.  Not overly complex but packs a good amount of flavor and is definitely inviting for another drink.  The bitterness on the end is nice and helps cut the sweet fruit and peach and it lingers nicely without having too dry of a finish.  

This is really a nice beer and I am enjoying it very much.  Not sure if it is worthy of the 95 rating on BeerAdvocate but I would rate it just under that.  The mouthfeel on this, however, is perfect in my opinion. I am not a fan of thick feeling DIPAs and this is right in the middle of light and heavy so they hit the nail on the head there.  The lacing in the glass is very nice as well.  Great aroma, very good taste, amazing mouthfeel and just an all around great looking beer.  I would definitely drink this again in the future.

Happy Easter!

Cheers ladies and gentlemen!

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