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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
IlluminationIllumination

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

835 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 835
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 93
Gots: 65 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 835 | Reviews: 262
Reviews by yokken:
More User Reviews:
Photo of newk340
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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.'

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of MidwestPv
4.94/5  rDev +21.7%
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!

Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.29/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of daveytheformer
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of richkrull
4.71/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of joeseppy
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful cascading copper rush pour effect with a generous one inch fluffy white head.

Aroma a bit of a letdown--not much for me except muted tropical fruit.

Taste is very one dimensional. All bitter white grapefruit with mediocre malt filling. Nothing even remotely sweet for balance.

Medium body and decent carbonation. Bitterness lingers.

Taste and smell are everything and this is average at best. This should not be touted in 4 pks almost as if its an exclusive find. Store I purchased this from has always been fair in pricing, but this comes in @ $11/4PK...overpriced IMO. I could only drink one and then move on. I will not purchase again.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mnbearsfan for the opportunity!

A: Pours a hazy golden/orange with a white head on top, moderate retention, leaving a solid cap on top. Thin lacing forms all around the glass.

S: Lots of juicy citrus, grapefruit, orange, orange zest, and a little bit of grass. There is a little bit of bready/caramel malt on the back end.

T: More citrus fruits, similar to the aroma with orange zest and grapefruit. Very faint bready malt undertones reel this one in a bit. There is a little bit of grass on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks smooth and easy for 9%.

O: A pretty good DIPA. Not as exciting as I was hoping, but still very good, nothing wrong with it Would be happy to drink it again.

Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A thick, messy, mesa of stained ivory sits on top of the lightly hazed bronze-orange liquid. The head erodes over time, but leaves scree-slopes of lace all the way down.
The nose is all about pineapple, muskmelon, and lime. But the closer one's nose gets to the surface, the more variety of fruit is teased out. Apricot, tangerine, kiwi, lemon, orange, papaya....but those first three do the heavy lifting. Some toffee and breadiness add balance, but stay in the background. As does the alcohol. It's there, and it's not.
Taste-wise, it's re-shuffled a bit. All those same things are here, but in a different order, and with some newcomers.
Maltiness makes some elbow room with caramel, burnt toffee, and dates. All that ebbs as the hops force their way in, and malt takes up a breadier, backing role. Hopping is much more piney and abrasive than it was on the nose. Fruit is pushed down, though melon and pineapple and mango still are still integral. The strength of the hops rest on pine sap and resinous bitterness. The former forward fruitiness is now auxiliary. Earthier and danker now, but the booze is still barely noticeable.
Fleecy, full bodied, given perk and bubble by the steady, low-level carbonation. It's heavy, but it's not heavy. And that's how good DIPAs go.
There is a world class DIPA in here somewhere. It's got everything it needs. And while very good, with a small tweak or two this could be off-the-charts.
In reality, that's all nitpicking, and only because I really like it. I'll gladly hope for and anticipate it's return, as is, every year.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Riley's. Pours a golden cloudy body with abundant creamy head and creamy lace. Some hop and malt aromas. Above average delivery of a DIPA. The alpha bitterness is right there in a malt sandawich. Very balanced and drinkable. Good craftmanship.

Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to northyorksammy for the box of Wisconsin goodies. Poured fro a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Cloudy amber-tinged Princeton Orange liquid topped by an offwhite pearling head and lasting thin collar. The bottle conditioning is evident, as the lees remain visible though dissolve easily. Nice sandy lacing and glimmering broken panes of tears. Decent retention.

Dank, minty, pine-laden aromatics with a touch of orange peel and vanilla as well.

Malty dry palate entry with light peppery phenols from yeast - these give way rapidly to a moderate faintly abrasive bitterness. Hop flavors are dusty and herbaceous with a low aftertaste of scallion and a punch of orange or grapefruit. Dry earthy finish with hints of wet wood as well.

Medium-full bodied, creamy, but somewhat chalky. Well carbonated.

A different take on the style, with a well integrated ABV and unusual hop profile.

Photo of Snow81
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light glowing orange

Head: Thick white head

Smell: Big floral hops with a light malty grassiness, light citric

Taste: Light citric, little floral and a maltyness that is very low

Weight: Medium to light body

Finish: Sticky on the lips with big floral hops and sweet grass

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Bruges tulip. March 2011 release

A: A nice hazy golden body. With a nice head formation and retention. The lacing is in thick frothy swaths.

S: The aroma is piny and has good levels American citrus hops. The pours projects great aroma. A very low level of malt is detected.

T/M: The medium levels of bitterness, are well balanced with the malt body. There is no tropical hop flavors, but a nice smooth IIPA.

O: Well balanced IIPA, nothing to go crazy over, but not to disappoint.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter. The label is different now than what is posted.

Elevated pour yields a .5 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear dark peach. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little stick. Average.

Nose belies the flavor profile and immediately, I know that this is the piney, sappy IPA style that I'm not a huge fan of. Notes of tree sap, resin, caramel and papaya. Moderately aromatic.

Opens resin, tree sap hop bitterness and a full bodied fruit malt body. Some more sap and resin hop presence in the middle balanced by caramel, coarse brown sugar and bark. Ends grass, sap and amber. Solid but I'm really just not a fan.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Foamy and bubbly in the mouth and goes down aggressive and coarse. Finishes accented with a resiny, sticky aftertaste. Decent.

There's big, bold hop flavor going on here but I'm just not a fan of the resiny, sappy hop profile type IPAs. This certainly leans towards that direction. Not a bad beer by any means, just not my style.

Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single - probably my 4th sampling of this new DIPA

appearance: tacky label featuring a bright green hop - bright orange-copper body with a nice foamy white cap and strong retention

smell: bright citrus hops - tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, pine, bready

taste: impressive DIPA from a brewery that has never really offered up a great hop-centric brew. Very fresh waves of citrus flavor - tangerine, grapefruit, orange, lemon peel, pineapple. What makes this one a little different is the spicy rye kick and rustic bready notes. I dig this one - keep the special releases coming CW

mouthfeel: big, moderate bitterness, smoothness from the abv, spicy

drinkability: good

Photo of Bobby12many
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, nearly opaque golden straw color with a nice frothy head that sticks around. Abundant spotty, clumped lacing. Overall a great looking DIPA.

S - Hoppy with a zesty lemon note. Very nice aroma.

T- Bright flowery Hops up front with a nice tangy citrus note on the back end. Very bitter and somewhat one-dimensional, but the freshness and crisp zest of this make it quite enjoyable.

M - Medium bodied without feeling too dry and sticky.

D - I can certainly imaging buying this one again, if for anything to share it with some hop head friends. It is local, fresh, and inexpensive when compared to others of this style. Certainly not the most complex or intriguing IPA I have ever tried, but very far from the worst.

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Label notch tells me this was bottled in May. The hop character is really fruity and not terribly bitter, reminding me a lot of the big-hops beers from Avery. Pineapple dominated the hops with just a little citrus and spice round the edges. There's also a smooth bready malt backbone providing a bit of balance, but I think it's too much.

Photo of plfahey
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Copper color with an orangeish hue and clear. Super fine bead voluminous beige head with great retention and nice lacing.

Aroma-Awesome hop aroma-mangos, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, and a bit of pine. Slight herbal notes and malt play in the background-some toasty and caramel aromas. Slight alcohol aroma.

Flavor-Smooth piney resiny hop flavors dominate the palate. Moderately high hop bitterness. Chewy caramel malt in the mid palate as the hop assault begins to fade. Hop bitterness, resin, and very light caramel malt lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderately high carbonation. Very low alcohol warmth.

A solid, easy drinking double IPA. The nose is great, but the flavor isn't as complex as some other examples of the style. Good, but not my favorite. Tasty.

Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared at a tasting thanks to chswimmer. Thanks for sharing, Ted!

Pours clear copper in color with a lasting one-finger white head and decent lacing.

Aroma is pretty nice. Citrusy and floral hops as well as some sweet malt.

Flavor is really solid. A sweet caramel and pale malt background along with loads of hops, grapefruity, resinous, and a little piney.

Pretty good palate, medium-light bodied with some hop resins. A surprisingly good DIPA from Wisconsin. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beertracker for this one, cheers Jeff! Bottled in May.

Pours an effervescent honey color with 3 fingers of rocky tan head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness & grapefruit, some breadyness. All aromas fade as this warms up

T: Grapefruit, breadyness & apricot up front, but mostly grapefruit, & some woody herbal bitterness. Woody hops, pineapple & slight boozeyness as this warms, plus dryness. Finishes with slight astringency, a bit of grapefruit, woody hops & dryness

MF: Chewy, firm carbonation & alright balance

Drinks pretty easy, ABV is well hidden, a good DIPA that works for me, but doesn't get me too pumped up. I would love to try fresher, I'm sure the DIPA aspects are more pronounced..

Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 1 ½ fingers of off-white head. This retains with a solid ½ finger cap that doesn't quit and leaves back some thick foam that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral with sharp notes of pine and spice and some earthy dankness. Some tropical fruits sit underneath the more bitter aspects of the nose, as does some tight grainy malt. The nose has an alcohol presence to it as well that fluctuates between warm and hot.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit, resins, and peppery spice which then trail off into notes of pithy citrus peel. Underlying fruit is sweet but not overly so and melds with the more herbal character that is present in the profile. Malts are toasted and grainy feeling the back, as the citric fruit flavors bring most of the balancing sweetness to this. This finishes bitter but not harsh, thanks to some residual sweetness that hangs around. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little heavier, with a light creaminess to the carbonation but this is mostly slick feeling in the mouth. The ABV unfortunately really shows itself as this warms, with a solvent like heat that stings the throat as you swallow.

Things to like (full hop flavors, decent balance) and things not to like (rampant ABV) having me giving this big DIPA from Central Waters a solid thumb in the middle. Maybe that alcohol is better hidden when this has a maximum freshness going on with it? I'd be willing to find out.

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 835 ratings.