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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
IlluminationIllumination

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

762 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 762
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 86
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
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: 762 | Reviews: 252 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Thick(!) near two-finger foam that lasts quite awhile. Pleasant lacing down all sides of the glass. Copper/light red color. Beautiful.

S- Hoppy, makes my nose happy. Citrus.

T- More bitter citrus hoppiness...just one of the things I love most about DIPAs. Some alcohol in the aftertaste but that's just to remind you that you shouldn't be drinking these all afternoon long.

M- Smooth. Medium carbonation.

D/O- As with any imperial style beer, the drinkability suffers a tad when you can only drink so much before your taste buds are shot and you don't taste anything anyways. Overall, a solid solid performance by Central Waters. This is the third or fourth brew I've had from them and they still deserve my attention.

Duff27, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

drabmuh, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Spica66
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this an extra from Alexander. Thank you Alex!

Poured from bottle into glass.

A: Slightly syrupy looking pour. Copper/golden color. Good head formation and carbonation.

S: Not a punch-you-in-your-face-look-how-much-hops-I-can-put-in-a-beer smell. Mostly deep malt smell with a bit of citrus hops.

T: Very malt-forward. The hops must have been mostly bittering hops, because they fight hard with the malt on your tongue to see whose boss. This is the maltiest DIPA I have ever had.

M: Super creamy and very well carbonated.

D: Couldn't tell the 9% at all. Very drinkable.

Spica66, Aug 13, 2010
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!

BEERchitect, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of SykDoc
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear straw color forming a 1/8 inch off-white head with nice retention and a full lacing. Carbonation visible and no sediment.

The aroma is as expected with a vibrant citrus hops and a sweet malty backbone. A hint of alcohol.

The taste is a pleasant malt sweetness followed by a balancing citrus hops. Some bread and pine notes with a little more alcohol.

The mouthfeel is full/medium bodied. Carbonation is solid. The hops gives it a leathery texture with a nice dry finish.

This is a very good beer and worthy of getting your hands on if possible. If you like DIPAs and hops, this is a great option as it has the abv and flavors, but not overwhelming.

SykDoc, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by largadeer. Thanks, Chris.

From notes jotted after I got home.

A: Pours a clear amber body. Sudsy head with good retention for the style. Some lace.

S: Malt-forward. Caramel, some biscuit, and (interestingly) brown sugar. Hops are a citrus variety with some candied orange and a touch of grass. Some booze on the nose (bizarre).

T: Malt-forward here, as well. It seems to have used a lot of bittering hops, as the clash between brown sugar/caramel and earth/grass sets the stage for most of the taste. Some hop flavors come through (candied grapefruit, as noted in the nose). It's boozy on the finish. After I have some fish and chips, all I can taste are the bitterness and booze.

M: Overcarbonated, and boozy. Malty.

D: Maybe I'm just spoiled, coming from the West Coast. But this isn't a very good DIPA.

Arbitrator, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Frankenbrew.

Pours a brilliant clear golden amber with a soapy white head thate recedes to a wispy cap and leaves some streaks of lacing.

The aroma is wonderful with pithy citrus hops paired with resinous floral hops. Grapefruits, lemons and pine trees all rolled into one. Light bready malts in the background.

The taste also has the sweet but slightly bitter citrus, grapefruits coming out a little more. The backbone is lightly toasted malts and a big, bitter finish just full of sticky pine resin and a little alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky with hops. The carbonation is moderate but the beer just sticks on my tongue after each sip.

This is a fantastic beer. One of the best IPAs I remember tasting. I'm starting to wonder if Central Waters is my favorite brewery. The hits just keep on coming...

gford217, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +3%
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.

cokes, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of boomer31
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love all of CW 4 pack releases and have heard this compared to Hopslam?!?!

A - Golden and transparent. Little head that leaves quickly.

S - I get some sweet hop fruitiness here but more malt than hops. This is interesting but nice. I hope the 100+ IBUs come forward in the taste.

T - Here are the hops. Grassy hops. A deninite double IPA up front with sweet malt and bitterness only in the back. I can see where some may taste a bit of hopslam in this but it doesn't live up to it. The bitterness lingers but not overwhelming. Also a touch of alcohol which fits nicely in this beer.

M - Nice low carbonation and residual sweetness.

D - This is very smooth, sweet and drinkable.

A nice beer for CW. I would buy this again but won't seek it out. There is some sweetness but I'd like to increase hops in the nose.

boomer31, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of glazeman
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A: The most orange beer I have ever seen, with a tad bit of amber in there. This has a a one finger creamy off-white head that has moderate head retention and phenomenal lacing. This is a great looking beer.

S: Illumination is pretty good smelling beer. It has a nice floral and tangerines with a little bit of alcohol in there as well.

T: Almost all hops. There's a tiny bit of malt in the finish, but this is definitely a hop lovers beer. The main flavors I noticed were pine, bitterness, and some alcohol burn.

M: A bit overcarbonated for my liking. The aftertaste is not all that pleasant as some alcohol heat comes through at the finish.

D: This beer definitely exceeded my expectations, but was not quite as balanced and well rounded as some of the top DIPAs. It is definitely worth a try if you are in the Midwest and can get a hold of it though. I thought it was a nice drink and would have it again.

glazeman, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into my La Choffe tulip

Pale orange pour is quite clear when hold to the light. Head sinks to a whispy quasar along the surface as a ring settles around the edges. I tend to enjoy the look of an orange-y IPA and this nearly fits my visceral visual enjoyment.

Initial scent of candied orange is short lived, followed closely with some grass and a healthy amount of brown sugar. It's pretty nice, but doesn't stick around long enough to make this particularly memorable.

Bitterness rules the Illumination. With a tongue battering bitterness throughout, this beer's a bit like what I would imagine eating the forest floor might taste like. So hungry from hiking, so famished, near death, need food or drink...must...eat...the ....forest floor. Before you consume nature and have the Sierra Cub all up your business, I have a beer for you that will satisfy your needs. Crisis averted, we can breathe easy and return to the review. When aggressively swirled, some of the brief citrus from the initial nose returns, but similarly, doesn't last.

The palate has been assaulted. Each sips seems to launch an unprovoked bombardment of my tongual region. I did not notice until now that the bottle has warned me that such debauchery would result in my opening this bottle. Shame on my lack of reading.

BarrytheBear, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to glazeman for getting this one on his day trip to Wisconsin.

A - Thick, hazy, cloudy, dirty, dark orange with a one finger head with nice retention and great lacing. A nice looking DIPA.

S - Not a whole lot here - a bit disappointing. Some mild, stale smelling hops and booze. That's all.

T - Interesting tasting DIPA. Sharp, bitter, piney hop bite through out, particularly in the finish. Very little malts. The bitter hops are most prominent as they bubble against my epiglottis on route to my belly. What makes this one interesting is the finish. Although it is definitely bitter, it is also accompanied by a nutty, wheaty, light pilsner profile. Sort of bizarre, but I like it.

M - Both very thick and very carbonated. I like thick DIPAs, but something's got to go - either the carbonation or the chewiness. Having both around is a bit too much.

D - Overall, this was a tasty and interesting beer. However, the bitterness, lack of malts, and overly intense mouthfeel make 12oz of this beer just the right amount for me.

airohead2001, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Clouded deep orange color....little head

S-Bright citrus....Mandarin oranges, tangerines, clementines..along with a tropical malibu rum like aroma....very intriguing...

T-Sweet, bright citrus again....same fruits...good hop flavors and a mild bitterness on the finish...not jagged or abrasive at all..

M-Full bodied...this is a sipper...carbonation is about perfect....drying bitterness on the finish.

D-Very interesting and enjoyable. I love the hop flavors. Prettty unique taste to this....I'd like to hear how they hopped this to get these dimensions.

ZAP, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of blackhawks87
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. This is my first review.

A- Opaque, orange, honey like color. Poured gently producing a white ~1cm head. Lacing on the glass the entire way down. Nice head remains around the edge of the glass, patches of foam are scattered about the middle of the surface of the beer as well.

S- Strong citrus hops invade my nostrils. Also can smell something honey-like, and a malty breadiness comes through as the beer gets warmer. Also can smell peppery hops at the end.

T- Heavily dominated by hops, like I would expect from the smell. I can taste grapefruit and oranges in between lots of hops at the start and a strong peppery finish. As the beer gets warmer I can start to taste white bread and slightly taste alcohol before I swallow.

M- The mouthfeel is what I imagine biting into the hop nugget on the bottle label would feel like. Hop bitterness spreads across my entire mouth immediately, nearly dominating any other inklings of flavor. Carbonation is good. Mouthfeel score suffers slightly because of the hop bitterness, but the bottle warns you it is a palate wrecker.

D- I have to agree with the bottle that this will destroy your palate. I could probably enjoy only 2 of these 12 ounce bottles maximum in one sitting. The alcohol is hardly noticeable, even as the beer gets closer to room temperature. If you could handle the strong hop bitterness you could take these down no problem. Overall I like this beer and I could see myself getting it again, if I'm okay with not being able to use my taste buds for the next ten days.

blackhawks87, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of NealVsBeer
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A beautiful golden-orange color with a one-finger head and good retention

S - Smells of citrus and hops

T - Citrus up front. Pineapple really stands out. Hops and malts to finish

M - Medium-bodied and smooth

D - Overall a very impressive DIPA. This is a must try.

NealVsBeer, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of Brez07
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz pour into a Portsmouth tulip. Bottled May 2010

A: Tangerine orange hue. Leaves a one finger white head which recedes to a ring not long after the pour. Some spotted lacing

S: Starts with a good amount of fruit - pineapple, grapefruit - followed by some pine and a good amount of malt

T: Very similar to the nose. Fruit hits the palate first, but then the malt comes crashing down. Finishes bitter

M: Medium bodied. Slightly creamy. Bitter, dry finish. Hop tingle stays on the tongue for a while

D: Another hop filled DIPA that hides the alcohol all to well. That being said, it doesn't stand out for me. Definitely worth a shot, but there are a bunch that I'd grab before this

Brez07, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy orange amber with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S - Candied fruits, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Resiny hops with a touch of caramel beneath.

T - Spicy pine, resiny grapefruit and citrus hops with a strong malty, caramel backbone.

M - Full body with a dry hoppy aftertaste.

D - Tasty DIPA but a little too much on the malt side for me.

brewcrew76, Jul 19, 2010
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.

tempest, Jul 18, 2010
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.

mdfb79, Jul 17, 2010
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.

emerge077, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Color is a dark orange with hints of amber. Pours with a 3/4 inch slightly off white head that gradually fades, leaving some splotchy lacing.

S: Ahh, very nice. Greeted with huge hop aromas, pleasant combination of citrus and tropical fruits. Orange, grapefruit, pinapple, mango, etc. Some pine, earthy, almost grassy notes as well.

T: Taste does not disappoint. Hop flavors hit your taste buds early. Along with the citrus and tropical hops, I get more piney hop flavors mid-taste. Some bready notes appears mid-taste as well, providing some balance to the huge hop flavors. A light caramal sweetness is present as well, with some light honey notes creeping as well. Finish is pleasantly bitter and just a light warming affect from the alcohol.

M: Medium to medium-big body, moderate carbonation.

D: Wow, this was incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. Compared to some west coast styles, I thought there was a touch more malt presence in the mid-taste that distracted from some of the hoppy flavors lingering into the finish. But overall, this was very easy (almost too easy) and enjoyable to drink.

oregonskibum, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of e11a627
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sampler glass from Between the Bluffs beer festival in La Crosse, WI.

A: Gold, orange, hint of canary yellow.

S: This beer is holding a great multitude of hops. Smells so divine. Fresh grapefruit aroma.

T: Instant hop once it hits your tongue but a very smooth, almost strange, finish which was not verry hoppy towards the end.

M: Nice hoppiness. The finish gives a strange/unique taste almost like plastic - Could be the ABV.

D: Delish but not a session beer. Most enjoyable if you want to just have 1.

e11a627, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of hu5om
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split 12oz in 2 6oz tasters with newk340
a- fairly clear, golden orange. slight white head that becomes a ring of foam leaving excellent lacing.

s- bitter hoppy orange and grapefruit

t- big hops. peace out, palate. BITTER orange and grapefruit. linger on the palate, but in a good way. light pine taste as well.

m- sharp burst covers the mouth before fading away. average carbonation

d- delic. can't drink too many, but it's got that big hop punch that i love. well done Central Waters. I see the light!

hu5om, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of newk340
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
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.'

newk340, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking body of orange/copper. Thin dirty white head on top. Lacing is quite full. Balanced out aroma that isn't too forward in any specific area. There's pine, but also citrus. Hop resin and also fruitiness, with tangerine and orange providing the underlying fruit aromas. Flavor is quite good and quite balanced as well. Malt base is crystal based and the hops provide a little of everything...subtly. Grassiness, bitterness, fruitiness, smokiness....good stuff all together. The bitterness is not scathing at all. It's there, don't get me wrong, but not too abrasive. This is a well done DIPA. Wouldn't expect anything else form these guys.

Bighuge, Jul 13, 2010
Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 762 ratings.