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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
IlluminationIllumination

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

260 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 260
Hads: 863
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.68%
Wants: 93
Gots: 77 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 260 | Hads: 863
Reviews by THANAT0PSIS:
Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Central Waters Illumination

Appearance: Illumination pours a nice looking golden orange color with an off-white finger of tightly bubbled head. There is a good amount of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass, and there is definite sediment throughout the beer, which makes the beer a moderately opaque. The lacing is solid and there are a lot of alcohol legs. This looks like a pretty typical IIPA, but the sediment is a bit odd, though not unwelcome. Other unfiltered examples of the style are much clearer (except Heady Topper, which is so ugly it is gorgeous).

Aroma: Grapefruit, peaches, pineapple, mango, papaya, and other tropical citrus fruits stream violently out of the glass. The sheer resinous power of the hop aromas is very nice. There is also a nice combination of bready, sugary, and caramel sweetness, which combine together to make more of a honey aroma. This IIPA has quite an impressive level of complexity. There’s nothing really to dislike.

Taste: While the complexity remains in the taste, it does not quite come together as well. The absolute bouquet of tropical citrus flavors is almost entirely drowned out by resinous, piney bitterness; it is there, but muscled into a corner by the overly aggressive bitterness. The honey sweetness comes in the middle of the mouth, but it is not quite able to cut through the borderline overbearing rindy bitterness. Accompanying the sweetness is a second, slightly stronger wave of tropical fruit, but it too eventually gives way to a final, drying note of hoppy bitterness. There is a lot to like here, but the bitterness is just too much and forces the balance too far off the mark.

Mouthfeel: Unsurprisingly, given the immense, towering bitterness, there is a whole lot of astringency throughout every drink of this beer. The 9% ABV comes through heavy, with an awful lot of warming bordering on actual alcohol burn. Combined with the astringency, the alcohol creates an interesting mouthfeel. The jury is hung if “interesting” here is good or bad. The carbonation is on point, but it cannot serve its purpose of spreading flavors around because of the impenetrable wall of bitterness.

Overall: This is a perfectly passable IIPA that really excels in the nose, but just cannot cash the check that the aroma wrote. It is so incredibly bitter that the flavors just cannot flourish. This is easily as bitter as any IIPA I have had, and I love my bitterness, but something about this just does not work. Perhaps it is because the aroma was so promising and the taste so disappointing in comparison. Also, the price point is a bit high. I would not buy it again, but I am certainly glad I tried it. 16/20 (2,687 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of newk340
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: a golden hue with a thin head with moderate carbonation climbing from the depths of the 6oz sampler glass.

S: a strong citrus aroma that is very pleasing is omnipresent.

T: a very strong IPA that blasts citrusy hops onto the tastebuds, but quickly recedes leaving a hole in the palate craving more.

MF/D: a subtle buzz of carbonation compliments a smooth finish leaving the mouth 'illuminated.' (400 characters)

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from tap in a tulip.

The beer is a dark amber color, slightly cloudy and was served to me with about a one-finger foamy head.

The aroma is grapefruit and citrus with a hint of underlying bready malt.

The taste is big-time grapefruit with maybe a hit of pine resin and a bit of booziness. There is a lingering grapefruit pith bitterness that stays on the tongue for some time. It's quite a potent mouthful.

The beer is medium in mouthfeel and a bit sticky.

This is an excellent brew that I would happily drink again. A big IPA that delivers big flavor. (564 characters)

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 2011; consumed 8/17/11

A - pours clear orange with one finger of quickly dissipating off-white head. Head leaves some lacing.

S - Mostly grapefruit and caramel malts.

T - Strong bitter grapefruit and a bit of pine up front. Large caramel malt presence in the middle. Finish is very bitter. Good, but not very balanced. I like bitter DIPAs but this may be too much for me.

M - Medium mouthfeel, somewhat juicy before the very dry finish.

O - A pretty good DIPA but doesn't really stand above the crowd. (520 characters)

Photo of MidwestPv
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious. Incredible to have a double IPA that still has a nice hop bitterness to it rather than a malty sweetness! (116 characters)

Photo of cincysig
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of fenlop54
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Brewed in March, 2011 according to the label notch. Fresh!

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold with foamy sustained head and great lacing.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of tangerine, pine, mango, pineapple and some light toasted malts. Sweet, dry and almost tart all at once. I hope this tastes as good as it smells.

Taste: Onslaught of fruity, tropical hops. Some caramel and toasted malt backbone, but it is kept to a minimum. Finish is spicy, bitter and pine-like with some lingering tartness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium smooth body, extremely dry finish. A little bit of a warming feeling after each sip.

Overall: Just a fantastic DIPA - one of the best I have had. I love that it is so dry and hoppy that it is borderline tart. I had only had Central Waters Glacial IPA before (which was somewhat disappointing) but I may need to try more from them after this beauty. (930 characters)

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From taste notes. Appearance: Smell: Rich, hoppy grapefruit rind nose Taste: Starts malty with some caramel and they gives way to a very pleasant lingering citrus rind bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium body, rich and creamy, fine soft carbonation, smooth. Overall: Very easy to drink for such a big beer. (300 characters)

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ehammond1
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, DLFarris!

Hazy orange and light copper in color with an off-white head that lasts forever and eventually leaves messy stick all the way down the glass.

Mild aroma, with some light citrus, bread, and caramel.

Bready flavor, with some mild citrus, somewhat high bitterness, and some sweetness. Relatively well balanced, but unexciting.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Just ok. (430 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Label indicates bottling in March.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big hop forward mix of citrus, pine, and earthy hops with a caramel malt background. Citrus hops upfront with hints of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, tangerine, mango, and lemon. Also in the hop mix are some hints of spicy pine, grass, and herbal hops. Solid bready malt backing with hints of sweet caramel, biscuit, toffee, and grain. Very hop forward with a good mix of fruit and spice esters. Solid aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a sharp and bitter hop forward taste with a good mix of citrus and earthy pine. Big ripe citrus fruit upfront with notes of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, tangerine, and lemon zest. Also a big presence of spicy pine resin. Floral, grass, and herbal hop hints as well. Solid malt background behind the big hops. Notes of caramel, biscuit, grain, and toffee. Overall very hoppy with a nice sharp dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy and somewhat oily. Very drying and nicely bitter. Alcohol heat is fairly tame with the heavy hops.

Overall: A really good Double IPA. Nice sharp biting mix of hops with a solid caramel backing. (1,440 characters)

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of daveytheformer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass.

Appearance is a hazy golden honey or light burnt copper. Tiny off white head that fades to some moderate lacing.

Smells like grapefruit, lemon zest, pine, lots of grassy hops and a slight malt backbone.

Taste is noticeably more malty than the aroma would give off with a present bitter aftertaste. Lots of grapefruit citrus, pine and an ever so slight alcohol burn on the finish. Very nice indeed.

Mouthfeel is medium with really nice carbonation. Spot On.

Overall is great! Had this on tap at Bazil's in Appleton, WI and immediately went to the liquor store and grabbed a 4 pack. Best Central Waters brew I've had yet. (662 characters)

Photo of cmwilliq
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sgttibbs
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of richkrull
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a very nice cloudy golden color with quite a bit of fluffy slightly off-white head on it. Great lacing on this beer as well. Heavy hop aroma with maybe a hint of caramel coming through. Flavor is definitely hoppy with quite a bit of citrus and pine coming through. It's a good tasting beer. No alcohol flavor at all despite being 9% ABV. Mouthfeel is light but the presence is known. Very smooth drinking beer. Overall a great tasting DIPA. I'm glad it's a Wisconsin beer. (479 characters)

Photo of Bingja18
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 07GTFan
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.