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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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795 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 795
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 92
Gots: 58 | 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:
Beer added by: CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 795 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Cloudy amber with heavy bubbles. White head that rose to maybe 1/2" off the body. Looks absolutely delish.

Smell: Bland citrus smell, feels like grapefruit but could definitely be a little more potent.

Taste: Strong bitterness, I mean seriously potent and it the hops on full throttle. This all depends on your palate...I like the citrus feel which most certainly makes up for the scent.

Mouth: Heavy body, heavy carbonation...sticky enough to still remember the fruit feel that comes off a bit like toasted bread.

Overall: Good beer, actually very good beer...not as complex as I like some DIPAs but I can definitely recommend to everyone. For the price it's an absolute steal. Salud!

Photo of Brez07
3.92/5  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

Photo of Etan
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

A: Pours a brassy orange with a soft white head. Head recedes quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.

S: Weak aroma of orange, marshmallow, with a hint of bitterness behind.

T: Oh boy, this is a grapefruit bomb. Big juicy grapefruit hits the palate, intermingling with a nice dose of bitterness, malty sweetness, and a bit of peppery alcohol. Malt is quite vanilla-like. Notes of vanilla, peppercorn, raw hop leaf, grapefruit, some orange, flowers, tobacco.

M: Finely carbonated with a good body.

O: A little weak in the aroma, but the taste delivers.

Photo of alexgash
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on Feb. 2013.

Light haze in a medium copper body. Pinkie finger of gauzy, light beige head. Good lacing. Rummy fruit malts, caramel, and toffee aromas underneath an umbrella of pine and resin hops.

Toasted malt quickly gives way to rummy fruits, spicy alcohol, and sweetish caramel. Herbal, piny bitterness surges. Prickly, peppery, spicy bitterness goes well with the toffee-ish, caramel-rich malt. Decent balance. Dryer finish with lingering fruit, caramel, and resinous bitterness. Medium-full body with a slightly syrupy feel. Tasty and warming.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Well hazed orange amber color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is about average and lots of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Big citrusy hoppiness with orange leading the pack. Pineapple and grapefruit to follow. Clean malts with a light crystal malt vibe.

4.0 T: Like the nose, this is clean and drinkable. It's not too sweet or too bitter. It's just right. Citrusy hops again - orange, pineapple, grapefruit. Some pine as well. Light crystal maltiness with a moderate sweetness.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, but good enough here.

4.0 D: Solid DIPA. Easy to drink and with good flavors.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a crystal clear orangish golden with a big two and a half finger head. The head dies down slowly and leaves great lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big mixture of pine and citrus hops. I pick up a little bit of the malt base and some nice biscuit. Also seems to be a little orange peel.

T- Midwest hop heads rejoice. Huge amounts of bitter hops punch your tongue right away. The malt is almost nearly no existent. This is not your typical Midwest DIPA. Just a slight biscuit finish.

M- Nice bitterness that you don't usually see from Midwest DIPA's. Medium bodied with great carbonation and is very dry on the finish.

D- The 9% abv is pretty well hidden but this is a pretty intense beer so I wouldn't really want more than 1 or 2 at a time except for my bachelor party in which case I had 6.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap at Central Waters Brewing Company's Tap House on 5-29-10 and presented in an 8 oz. snifter.

Pours a light copper color with a billowy white head. Spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

Aromas of pineapple, pine needles and mango. Opens sweet with blasts of tropical fruits, primarily pineapple and mango. Citrus hops move in and provide a moderate bittering effect. Taste shifts to pine sharpness, before cycling back to citrus hops and pineapple.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

Although I appreciated the fact that this wasn't a typical palate-numbing hop bomb, I expect more bitterness from an American DIPA. That said, the well-balanced nature of this offering made it remarkably refreshing and exceptionally drinkable.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange-yellow with a thin white head that fades gradually. Little bit of lacing.
Smell is malty with some hops that have some spicy, piney, and tropical fruity aspects. Pineapple and citrus.
Taste is again malty up front, with hops that have faint spicey tomato and very slight fruity aspects (pineapple, citrus fruits). Some bitterness on the back end.
Mouthfeel is fairly thick and sticky. Moderate-to-low level of carbonation.
Drinkability is good. Alcohol is fairly well-concealed, but it catches up towards the end of the bottle.

Photo of hawks10
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - Bottled May 2010 - Poured into my Central Waters pint glass...

Pours a fairly clear, golden amber color with two fingers of soft white head which sticks around for a long time, leaving lots of lacing behind...

A strong citrus hop aroma outweighs a decent amount of sweet caramel malt. Pretty straightforward IPA aroma, was worried the hops would have faded a ton in the 4 months since this beer was bottled, based on the aroma, I think they are still fairly prevalent...

A decent amount of bitter hops with a citrus twist hits you at first. They do seem a bit faded but still fairly tasty. The malt adds a bit of sweetness in the middle but really fails to take hold as the bitterness and dryness come back hard and linger well into the finish...

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Very bitter and dry aftertaste...

Would like to try this again, knowing it is fresh...

Photo of pdoran10
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beer pours out a deep, thick dark golden color with nearly a full finger of lovely sticky head. smell is mango and citrus with resin. really pungent and exciting. taste is a bit of a let down compared to the smell. i get resin and a hint of pine strong up front with slight grapefruit as an afterthought. taste doesnt seem to follow the smell. mouthfeel is thick but good for a double ipa. drinkablity is good, but will assault your palette with hops the hop flavor isnt good enough to overcome this.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My father in law picked this up more or less on accident for me near the brewery. The man doesn't even drink, so this was a pleasant surprise.

A: Lighter than most IPAs but a nice three finger head on the first pour that goes down to a one finger. Golden orange with great active carbonation and rather clear. The head really maintains a nice texture. It do with a bigger head though to release some more aroma.

S: Very citrusy aroma, almost lime like. There's a little sweetness to it, but it isn't particularly strong. Latter in the glass I get a little funky cheese aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, but a bite less sweet and a more biting bitter. It's actually quite bitter. (My wife says something about reminding her of eating the kernals that didn't pop in popcorn). I get a little bit of a carmelly or roasted grain, very little, and it's hidden behind the hops. I think I would call this more of a double hopped IPA rather than an all around Double IPA.

M: Lighter and smoother than many IPAs which is nice, a lot more quaffable than say Hopslam or Gemini.

D: Drinkable if you like a strightforward bitterness, otherwise less so.

Photo of mcallister
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great looking beer. Looks like carbonated orange juice or maybe a mimosa. Pours with a large, pillowy head that mushrooms over the edges of my tulip yet holds enough weight to not ooze down the sides. Beers don't look much better than this.

Juicy citrus aromas with some stone and tropical fruit esters as well. Fresh squeezed grapefruit, peach, flint, light lemon and apricot. Light bready malts lie underneath the resiny hop aromas.

Nice hop forward DIPA here. Major flaw is in the finish where the hop bitterness gets a little astringent and out of whack leaving a chalky, filmy residue on the palate. Again the bread driven malts show some toffee notes in the middle are balanced by high alpha hops leaving a resiny citrus burst throughout. Grapefruit and lemon, with some hints of orange, peach, pineapple, and other fruity flavors. If not for the finish this would have been spectacular.

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first Central Waters beer and it does not disappoint. Pours a light bright pinkish/gold hue. It tasted like a nice blend of tropical citrus and honey with a pine hop flavor at the finish. Supremely bitter and warming. A bit dry but sweet on the lips.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into bells tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque mix of straw gold and orangeish colored body. Thick white head with fine bubbles.

Smell: Pine dominates the nose. Bready smell with hints of citris in the background.

Taste: Smells like it tastes pine dominance, but citrus flavors are stronger than the smell. Grapefruit, orange peel and even some pineapple. This is a fairly bitter IPA, but it is still tastey. The bitterness imparted by the hops is impressive and strong, but does not numb your tongue with bitterness. Malts do balance this beer nicely, but the sweetness is subtle.

Mouthfeel: Dry mouthfeel that is also slightly sticky. The dryness from this beer really makes the hop flavor pop out at you. Medium bodied DIPA with moderate carbonation.

Overall: I expected a good beer and got a really tasty DIPA. Its taste reminds me of Founders Double Trouble, and it is a quality beer. Another fine example of a great wisconsin beer! Central Waters continues to impress me with every beer that i try!

Photo of Stevedore
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle of the recent 2014 seasonal release.

A- clear, slightly hazy light straw yellow body, one finger white head with good retention and solid lacing.

S- Pineapples galore, sweet bready pale malt, some citrus. Smells great.

F- More bready than hoppy in flavour, fairly bitter pine finish. The pineapples do not come out very strong on the palate, but you can taste the typical hop resin oils quite easily.

M- Medium bodied, resinous, slick and coats the palate in a quite strong piney bitter finish. Dry.

O- Very piney and bitter DIPA that smells like tropical fruit and pineapple, comes in inexpensive six packs. Not bad.

Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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 wagenvolks
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle sent from MilwaukeeCrusher. Bottled Feb'11 and poured into a Duvel tulip.

Illumination pours with a vibrant, glowing orange body with just the right amount of yeast haze that allows one to see the streams of carbonation in the middle of the glass, but not entirely through to the other side. The custard head is tall, creamy, and slow to recede--good lacing to boot. Vibrant applies to the aroma, too, perhaps a bit of a surprise since this is a >4 month old IIPA. Big notes of sugary citrus peel, mint, and tropical fruit with a healthy backing of pale malts. Hop candy!

The flavor piles on the bitterness without overriding the hop flavor too much, but I wish Illumination was a little more restrained in its tongue-lashing. Still, it's a decent flavor profile as piny, raw hop cones coat the back of the tongue with a tinge of booze and bready malts. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, but the bubbles are tiny within the medium body. Dry and bitter linger together on the finish. To sum, this IIPA is a grade below top notch, but I'm assuming it tastes even better at the peak of its freshness. Give it a try.

3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
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

Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of fenlop54
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of weonfire
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of AndyH
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 795 ratings.