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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

772 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 772
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 85
Gots: 60 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 772 | Reviews: 252 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seefeldt
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Seefeldt, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of Coldsnack
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Coldsnack, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of jreindl
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

jreindl, Apr 20, 2013
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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

THANAT0PSIS, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of DaveAnderson
4/5  rDev -1.2%

DaveAnderson, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade. Poured into my Southern Tier tulip.

Pours a golden hazy copper amber color. 2 inch head forms, good lacing down the glass.

Smells like sharp dank pine needles, grapefruit, pineapple, and orange.

Similar taste. Palate shredding bitterness here from the pine and grapefruit- large amounts of both. A little bit of an alcohol burn on the mouth with each sip. No real malt character that I can detect.

Full bodied, crisp dry mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

A great IPA, and a great extra to receive in a trade. Loved it.

GreesyFizeek, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

atone315, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of millercheg
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

millercheg, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of TheSSG
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, soapy, resiny head that laces slightly. Big notes of grapefruit dominate the nose. Hazy, burnt umber-straw color. Starts off with an intensely bitter hoppiness that is dominated by grapefruit and citrus rind. Builds into a high bitterness that becomes very citric, then the malt comes through a little bit as the bitterness lingers and lingers.

Overall, this isn't bad. I tend not to go for the grapefruit/citrus rind IPA's, but this one works well. I like it. I would buy this again, and I definitely recommend it. Again, not my hop profile preference, so if you DO like that, add a point to the overall.

TheSSG, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of Docrock
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Docrock, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of Petcha
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Petcha, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of mobius387
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

poured into snifter, march bottle date

appearance: rich golden/bronze in color, frothy white head about 1", little to no carbonation bubbles noticed. the coolest part is you can see some sediment floating around, which is a nice touch

aroma: molasses, pine tree, honey, nutty, a little musty, and some malty background

palate: bitter, boozy, and biting. not great, but at least it satisfies the hop head in me

taste: it starts out nice, some pine and some sweet flavors, but then just ends really resinous. kinda a bad aftertaste, like mouthwash, the booze is definitely loud in this one

overall: not a bad beer, but not up to par with other dipas in the MW, and definitely not any where near CW's BA beers. a nice offering, worth a taste

mobius387, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of Hallertau
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Hallertau, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of Ri0
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours into mysnifter a hazy copper/ orange color with nice 2 finger white head. It dissipates moderately and a ring lingers around the glass with lacing noticeable along the sides of the glass.

S- Bitter and slight floral hop notes with a very faint earthiness and maybe citrus. I can smell the sweetness of the malts.

T- The beginning for me is strong bitter pine hops followed by a touch of sweet caramel from the malts. The finish is very piney with a lingering earthy and very faint citrus.

M- Nice carbonation and a slightly resinous mouth-feel. Kinda sticky and dry afterwards.

O- One of the better IIPA's available in WI and CW does not disappoint. I prefer the New Glarus IIPA as it is not quite as bitter. If you are a bitter hop lover this would be one to try.

2014 bottle
I had to bump the taste up to 4.75 because it has massive tropical notes this year. Wow! Was there a recipe tweak along with the label change?

Ri0, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of atomicskier1889
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

atomicskier1889, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of adamcarlson28
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

adamcarlson28, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of marlow
5/5  rDev +23.5%

marlow, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  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.

MattyG85, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of TonyTalon
4/5  rDev -1.2%

TonyTalon, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of AndyH
4/5  rDev -1.2%

AndyH, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -1.2%

roostor07, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of Gotti311
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Gotti311, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Sparky44, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

UWBadgerFan4Life, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of rjvanston
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

rjvanston, Mar 22, 2013
Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 772 ratings.