Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
IlluminationIllumination

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

845 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 845
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 93
Gots: 69 | 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: 845 | Reviews: 262
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 metter98
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of piney hops are present in the nose along with notes of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the citrusy hop flavors seem to be a little more balanced with the pine resin hops. There is a strong amount of bitterness and this lingers through the finish. Hints of underlying caramel malts are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an "in your face" IPA that delivers big aromas and flavors of hops along with a strong dose of associated bitterness. It's not overly difficult to drink if you can get past the hops and bitterness as the alcohol is very well masked from the taste.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for sending this out as an extra.

Pours a light apricot color with nice lacing as it goes down. Pretty hefty hop profile dominated by citrus and flora notes. Tastes very nice with a good hop blend, although not nearly as strong as the nose suggested or is common amongst the style. Somewhat dry in the finish with good carbonation. Fairly sessionable for a DIPA and hard to believe that it is 9%.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An intensely bitter Double IPA with all the flavor, malt backbone, and alcohol complexities to balance and round the beer. A beautiful hop demonstration all the way around.

A golden-copper color shows a modest haze (typical of dry-hopping). Froathy white foam tops the beer and settles into a light blanket of consistent foam. Great lacing and retainage throughout.

Juicy and intense aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, pine resins, and sharp grasses. A supportive malt character gives the light impression of caramel and cinnamon spice. Light on fruity esters, phenols, and with a modest alcohol scent, this beer is all about the hops.

Strong hop flavor of citrus fruits (ruby reds, tangerines, and pineapple) dominate the flavor with only a background showing of graham cracker maltiness for a modest attempt to balance the flavor. Pine, lemon grass, and fresh cut herbs give an earthy bitterness to the beer and take the flavors from the citrusy start and into an aggressively bitter and drying finish. Chinook hops (or similar) seem to be the driving force for hop flavor and bitterness.

Full and creamy early, the beer smoothens into a moderate malty feel through the first impression. But then the subtle flavors of malt and hops taper off, allowing the intense bitterness to lead into a drying and minty/alcoholic finish.

I like the early malt rebuttal against the showcase of flavoring and bittering hops, and then proceeds to allow for a growing hop intensity into the finish and aftertaste but without completely loosing it's malt flavor or feel- this is what separates the IPA's from Double IPA's. Still, this beer doesn't try to balance either, such as Avery's Maharaja and Bell's Hopslam. True to fashion, but I need a more vibrant and juicy hop flavor with less aggression to set this one apart.

Thanks once again Shango42!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a bright light orangey color ale with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of citrus notes with some bitter hops. Taste is not as bitter as expected with some citrus notes and a sweeter then expected caramelized malt base. Body is quite with a nice creamy texture and good carbonation. Well brewed though not as floral or bitter as I would have expected.

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a murky orange color. The head is thin and leaves a light lacing down the glass. The smell of the beer to me is hoppy but is also had some minor aromas going on that were that appealing to me. The taste of the beer is hoppy for sure, it's got quite the bitter taste. Not much in way of citrus really it's more of an earthy hop flavor. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and has a medium body. Overall it's not a terrible IIPA but it doesn't compete with others out there that are much better in my opinion.

Revisit On Tap: 7-27-11.
The aroma has a ton of citrus, the flavor has a lot of pine and grapefruit, the who beer overall I feel is much better on tap. Leaves a wonderful lacing and just a lot more impressive all around.

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

had the pleasure to enjoy this one at my hotel the other night with dinner. served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/12/2011.

nice pour with a lightly hazed over orange amber that really held its own. thick head of white that reached a height of around two inches before settling down really dropped some nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

aroma is very big. lots of grapefruit and pungent citrus notes. really very big with a huge alcohol note present in it as well. crisp and clean with a tongue shredding ibu presence this was a monster ipa. medium feel with adequate carbonation there was no doubt this was huge with tons of grapefruit and almost lemon like notes just tearing the taste buds apart. nice ry and smooth finish with a hint of warming in the belly as it passes.

overall not bad at all. it was a little hot, but defintely a nice addition.

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tapered pint, it has a fluffy cap that rises above the lip of the glass momentarily. The surface is riddled with dimples much like an english muffin. It's very sturdy and has a creamy texture, also leaving puffy lacing in its wake.

Candied orange, passion fruit, and grapefruit in the nose. Resiny and a little bit spicy. Tastes rich and chock full of resiny grapefruit rind, spicy pine, and oranges. Full bodied and malty in the background. Pleasantly dry and bitter aftertaste, true to style. Firmly bitter with a bigger quaff, it really sticks with you. Very smooth and creamy, full bodied without being heavy. Tons of citrus. Enjoyable and tasty DIPA from Wisconsin... you don't see many of those! To me, O'so's Lupulin Maximus slightly edges this one out for the WI DIPA crown.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for sending this one my way.

A: The beer pours orange in color with a big, fizzy, off-white head.

S: A bit sweeter than I was expecting. Caramel and toffee with a bit of bread. Still a pretty good hop character to it. Piney and grapefruit hops with a little bit of orange peel.

T: Like with the nose, a bit too sweet, but still nice hops. Toffee and bread, but plenty of grass and citrus. Pine bitterness as well as a hint of pineapple as the beer warms up.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I was expecting a bit more from Central Waters, but this wasn't bad.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lancaster shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Florida9 for sharing this bottle!

Second DIPA of the day, this time a Wisconsinite instead of a New Yorker. Right on. It pours a clear amber-brass topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, mandarin orange, and caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some lemon zest and a touch of pineapple. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sticky-ish feel. Overall, a pretty nice DIPA, one of the better beers I've had from Central Waters. Makes me think I should keep giving them chances in the future...

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.

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

Bottled in March so not super fresh, so i'll have to try this again when very fresh.

Pours a nice fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with a decent lacing, over super hazy nectar orange colored beer.

Nose has that typical aged IPA candy hop aroma, earthy hops, citrus and a bit of tropical fruit, almost chewy hops as well, with some sweet malts, reddish caramel and nougat like malt aromas, and a hint of booze.

Taste is nice, lots of bitter hops hit right away, plenty of bitterness with a big IBU count. Hops bring tons of earthy almost spicy flavors, chewy and candy like aged DIPA flavors, and again citrus with a bit of tangerine and bit of orange rind. A really nice soft malt flavor with some reddish caramel and candy malt flavors, nice rich almost syrupy but not quite. A bit of a booze kick but not much as well, more warmth. Finish is even more bitter as it dries and gets spicy and earthy hop kick, with a bit more sweet reddish malts. The hops get astringent and salty/briny even, tons of earthy hops way on the finish.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, and a bit of warming booze.

Overall nice, gets a bit astringent and briny, big sweet malt base with a touch of booze, nice hop flavors that I bet would be a whole lot better fresh.

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

This beer has a very thick malt base to it. Which meshes pretty well with all of the hops. And the hops seem very earthy and rustic. Pine and resin abound. Minimal saltiness. Pretty nice. I have a feeling this would be better fresher, but it's pretty good now. A nice enough one.

Photo of Slatetank
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz purchased at Quick 6 Mt Rose, enjoyed from a tulip. No date marked even though there is a freshness date place on the label.

The color is a peachy golden with rosy hues. The head is rocky cream and measures about 1/2 inch with a tight bead. The lace attaches in a wavy pattern. the smell is floral at first but has a subtle pine odor with slight hints of fruitwith mild caramel malt scent. The feel is highly carbonated with a slightly high bitterness up front and mild caramel sweetness with gentle acidity and subtle dry tinges. The alcohol is mild in the feel as it finishes semi-dry.

The taste has a good hop quality up front with more bitterness than hop flavor with slight candy like malt sweetness echoing as the malt fades quickly into a spicy and slight piney hop transition which leads to a mostly dry finish w/ slight fruitiness from the yeast lingering. This is more spicy in flavor than any of the other hop descriptors with more of the malt presence than I prefer, but this bottle was good. I just wish I would have known how old it was, but the freshness dating was not marked. I still recommend this and think it probably just wasn't as vibrant as it could have been.

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 Rifugium
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, a bright, somewhat hazy, golden orange color with a thin white head, minimal lacing. I really loved the aroma on this one: lots of fresh, citrusy hops, pineapple sweetness, orange, biscuity malts in the background. Another nice blast of juicy hops in the taste, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, honeysuckle, subdued bready malts. Some grassy and piney bitterness in the finish with a good drying effect. Smooth, medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable overall.

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

Picked this up at Woodman's in Kenosha. Was sort of surprised to see a hoppy brew out of Wisconsin, but figured I might as well give it a shot. Label is notched in May, but the first reviews started trickling in after June 1st, so this is probably six weeks old now. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours with two fingers of orange-tinged foam that slowly dissipate to a thick, chunky, cap. Nice splotchy lacing is left behind. The body is a hazed light amber color, with tiny bubbles racing up the center of the glass.

S - Lots of citrus zest, tropical fruits, and a hint of pine and grass. Malt character is present, but imparts mostly sugar cookie and a touch of brown sugar as well. Not much in the way of obvious alcohol.

T - Taste is a little less complex, with lots of grapefruit rind and potent bitterness that lingers well past the post. There's a glimmer of tropical fruits at the tip of the tongue, but blink and you'll miss them. There's actually less malt here than in the nose.

M - Tingly carbonation, exceptional dryness, and some definite resinous residual qualities. A touch warming after a half-glass. Body is medium in weight.

D - The bitterness gets somewhat oppressive here. I'm OK with palate-bruising beers, but I tend to need a little more flavor to make it session-worthy. Still, it was pretty enjoyable and I'd be glad to have another bottle down the road.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Central Waters Illumination Double I.P.A. India Pale Ale. "Can you say palate wrecker? This double IPA comes in at 108 IBUs as hoppy as it gets with a mouthful of citrus flavors. Grab one today and illuminate your senses." 9% ALC./VOL. Brewed in Amherst, WI.

Well, I've already grabbed, so let's start illuminating. Clouded, apricot-ish hue, smallish head. Looking okay, I'm ready to go.

Oooo! Deep and dank hop bitterness all up in the nose. A massive attack of citrus and pine, grapefruit, orange and lime. Small sweet notes, amid the big, bad bitterness.

Tasting it: Boom, boom, boom. Bitter hop attack spread all over the palate. Slamalamadingdong. Getting tropical now, some pineapple-ish elements emerge, still with a unrelenting hop smack-up.

I like this. Good, if not great. Enjoyable, if not "the best."

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a golden color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of citrus fruits and hops, tropical fruits, and earthy malts.

t - tastes of grapefruit, other citrus hops, and tropical fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A nice IPA. Lots of nice citrus hops to it. Would like to have again.

Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a bruery tulip glass. Beer is amber and slightly hazy. Forms a big head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass but the overall carbonation level is low.

Beer smells slightly piny hoppy and quite malty. There is almost a wheat edge to it.

The beer is medium bodied and quite malty but the malt is not the star. There is great hop character on the mid and late palate of this beer and overall the malt does well to balance it out. I'm not one of those guys that wants a balanced IPA usually, I'm looking for hops hops and more hops, but the maltiness of this one made it more drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed amber with an off-white, lasting head. Plenty of lacing sticks.

The smell is hoppy - citric and tropical fruits greet the nose in a robust way. A hint of biscuit mixes in. Very pleasant!

The taste is of citric and tropical fruits with a hint of pine/resin. Hops supported by a firm, caramel-ish malty backbone. It has a spicy, refreshingly dry finish.

Very smooth. Medium-to-full-bodied, the alcohol is dangerously well-hidden.

A wonderfully hoppy DIPA. Great interpretation of the style! Also, it comes in a very reasonably priced 6-pack! Certainly recommended!

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 mothman
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this the other night side by side with PtE, but not decided to review it so I don't mess up any tastes.

Poured into Bruery glass.

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Pretty decent retention leaving some sticky lace rings. Color is a hazed golden bronze.

Aroma:Very similar to pliny. Big hop bite right up front. Lots of floral and pine notes. Tons of citrus fruit flavors. Just a touch of bready malts show. A very nice aroma.

Taste: More bready malts show here than the aroma. A very big chewy taste to it. A strong floral hop profile with an instant rush of grapefruit citrus. Also has some orange notes in there.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter, but also creamy. This was one of the biggest differences when comparing the beers. Pliny didn't have this creamy feel to it. A fairly big body with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a massive amount of hops in the aftertaste.

Overall, I was really shocked with this beer. It is a great dipa and something I would have a hard time believing came out of the midwest (despite the malts showing through a bit). It is pretty drinkable at 9%. Hats off to central waters for this one.

Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am not sure how old this one was, whether it came from a local trader or out of my cellar. As such, I employed a very gentle pour so as not to disturb any lees that may have been present. I got no head as a result, but it had NE-quality clarity in its light-amber color. Nose smelled of pineapple and caramel, again causing me to question its freshness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was of minty hops, caramel malt and HEAT! Holy alcohol burn, Batman! This held up really well and could have sat even longer. Jesus, I was openly sweating after my first mouthfeel. I wonder what this might be like young. After a couple of swigs, I began to settle into the spearmint/peppermint-like hops and the caramel sweetness underlying the hops. The heat began to subside, but it remained a big beer. Finish was literally breath-taking. Phew!

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a weyerbacher tulip glass on the late late.

A slight hiss when the cap is popped CWIDIPA pours a bright orange color with a golden glaze within. Some sediment towards the end of the bottle makes it a shade darker. A small cap leading to a small island, no stick.

Smelling the hops from the bottle, in the tulip this just screams HOPS and lots of them. Citrus over malt, in fact I cant really detect any malt in the nose. Some grapefruit and a bail of pine. A splash of alcohol. Pretty one demensional.

This is a hop bomb in every sense of the word. Hop juice with citrus including alot of grapefruit. That's about it for the citrus, not a melange of tropics like the west coast runners. Pine is big and there is some alcohol in the back end. I cant make out any malt.

The hop juice sticks to the mouth and does not quit, long after taste of astringent grapefruit and pine needles. Swish this around a bit in the mouth and watch lupulus take hold. Barely any relief in the end with no bisquit malt or the like to even things out. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, just different. Body is medium and is carbed up nice like. Bitter as all hell.

At 109 IBU's I expected this to scorch the mouth and boy did it. All in all it's a double I that could use a layer or two more of different flavor. One sided, astringent, alcohol on the tounge. Some malt might help. Even though it's a bit unbalanced, I appriciate the biggness of it and I say to myself 'it is what it is'. Two steps away from being a total palate wrecker.

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.