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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.


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547 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 547
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.59%

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: 547 | Reviews: 228 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bobby12many


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 01:31:42 | More by Bobby12many
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- double ipa. reported 100 ibus. bottled apr. consumed sept.

A: Murky cadmium orange in the vessel is topped off by a thick, frothy, tan head. Slow rising carbonation builds the head, lacing is speckled band with a moderate rate of retention. Covering is skim til the end.

S: Fresh citrus, pine of average strength, grapefruity toasted grains.

T: Flavor was grapefruit flower and toasted grains. Nice level of bitterness, some fresh citrusy flavor, spicy, toasted grassiness with everything blending nicely together. Woodsy toasted pine, the malting is very well done here.

M: Creamy malty, lush mouthful, tight tingly carbonationdry with a flowery citrus coating teasing the tongue. Spicy pine bite afterwards.

O: The nose could of used some more backing, but the balance of malts and hops flavor/bitterness wise made amends. The mouthful was decent. Consumed 5 months past bottling this still held up and showed a strong hoppiness with little fade. Nice balance of lightly dry bitterness mingles with some wet hoppiness with no aging effects. Maybe even better when fresh. worthy a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 22:53:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of samie85


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

A-A very vigorous pour yields a golden amber color with an off white, three finger head that leaves thick lacing.

S-Smells of pineapple and mango and some light malt noted with a bit of pine.

T-Bitter and dry pine upfront with some very ripe pineapple and a little bit of alcohol and light malt

M-Pretty drying in the mouth with light body and a medium to high amount of prickly carbonation.

D-Not bad, but I feel like the drying qualities would get to me after awhile as would the alcohol notes that seem to become more prevalent as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 03:44:27 | More by samie85
Photo of Tucquan


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

Had this on 2011-11-23 in Columbia, PA

A - Hzy amber-orange with a 2-finger white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Pineapple, mango, sweet orange flesh and a dank basement smell that reminds me of the wooden keg we used to make hard cider.

T - Initially it reminds me of grainy candy corn with a burst of orange creamcicle sweetness; then some orange peel bitterness wakes up the taste buds and calms the initial sweetness. There's a raw/dank/stale and minty pine flavor I hadn't noticed in the aroma that compliments the rest of the flavors nicely and helps add depth to the aftertaste.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Raw, prickly, resinous.

O - I enjoyed this brew but didn't feel like having another one right away. The flavors and aroma were interesting to me. I liked it so I must be a fan of raw/dank/stale, citrus and minty pine :>)

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 20:59:31 | More by Tucquan
Photo of vic21234


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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle has a bottled on date of March 2012.

A- Pours a cloudy orange with a half finger of white head. Once the head fades some lacing is noticeable along the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet hop notes, some citrus along with some caramel is noted.

T- Starts off with some sweet caramel-like malt notes before giving way to all hop. The hops seem to be mostly piney in flavor. The citrus I noted in the smell is not apparent to me in the taste.

M- Nicely carbonated, medium-bodied, very bitter on the backend of the sip. The alcohol is noticeable but not bad.

A decent DIPA. A nice offering from Central Waters but nothing I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 19:25:55 | More by vic21234
Photo of chugalug06


3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Fluffy white/yellow foamyness sit on top of iced tea looking brew. Moderate lacing.

Mango and pineapple dominate. Lots of sugary malt.

Hot, heavy, sugary, buttery, missing over amounts of bitterness, sweetness is nearly overpowering, lots of apple, orange, and bread. Wet and enjoyable. Carbonation is Medium and sits well.

Recommended for a try, couldn't use as go to DIPA. Good brew, solid, but not amazing or anything to "hunt".

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 02:23:55 | More by chugalug06
Photo of yamar68


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dull, hazy tangerine with a dense white head. No real beading yet. The aroma hops in this are intense: huge citrus like grapefruit, clementine, pineapple, plus some very floral, sprucey bits. You can’t really dissect the flavor without mentioning a perfect milky consistency that forces you to pace yourself. It has a bit of bite, maybe more so than you’d expect at 9% ABV... the flavors at work though are well incorporated - big hot hops and an understated malty backbone.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 03:29:36 | More by yamar68
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 13:25:54 | More by Spica66
Photo of CurtisLoew


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at discount in milwaukee - thanks for the recommendation Wisconsinality!

A - This is a great looking beer. A dark yellow/light orange color, with white lacing around the glass. Cloudy and inviting.

S - Smell of citrus and floral hops. Pretty muted compared to other double IPA's.

T - Very good taste. Balanced IPA, and a great dose of hops.

M - Perfect Carbonation, and very clean mouthful.

D - Great drinkability. I could drink these all day. Very smooth and easy to put down for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 15:53:09 | More by CurtisLoew
Photo of mobius387


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 22:03:16 | More by mobius387
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 22:45:08 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Azurescens


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with bottled on punch taken out of label between March and April, poured into snifter, reviewed on 4/6/11.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden hue with off-white head that quickly fades to a thin film, some lacing left on glass.

S: Pleasant citrus hop aroma with some sweet malt and alcohol in the background.

T: Nice hop bitterness up front that is balanced nicely with a sweet caramel malt backbone. The bitter hops and sweet malt come together in complete harmony leaving my tastebuds thirsty for another sip. Finishes sweet and smooth.

M: Nice medium body and carbonation, nothing to complain about here.

O: Nice well balanced imperial IPA, not world class but well above average, very drinkable for its 9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 02:50:27 | More by Azurescens
Photo of BARFLYB


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 01:35:19 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of chanokokoro


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a hazy light golden amber with a bright white two finger head with abundant lacing. The aroma is slightly citrus and floral accented with grassy hops. Mild grapefruit and citrus upfront, transitioning to grassy notes and a bit of very slightly sweet malt, and finally finishing with a very dry piney hop bitterness. A good deal of carbonation, lighter bodied when compared to many other DIPA's. Very enjoyable drier DIPA. A DIPA that is perfect for those that prefer dry to fruity.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 05:22:34 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of woodychandler


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 21:39:43 | More by woodychandler
Photo of seeswo


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden copper with a good head on it. Smells of juicy hops. Brings me in and makes me want more. Taste is a somewhat generic, somewhat piney bitterness. Pretty smooth, but maybe not super clean like some DIPAs. Good, not great. Mouth is medium, maybe a touch heavy with good carbonation. Good drinkability. A very solid, if not elite DIPA. Good work CW making a local IPA/DIPA that is actually good (exempting Lupulin Maximus, which is awesome for about the first week in the bottle).

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 04:39:59 | More by seeswo
Photo of corby112


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Capone's.

Pours a hazy dark golden range color with golden yellowish tangerines hues when held to a light and a one finger creamy white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a thin lasting ring that leaves sporadic chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Earthy and floral aroma with resinous oily pine notes as well as some sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes. Hints of tangerine, orange peel and dry soily hops. Subtle malt backbone but the nose is all hops.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry earthy pine bitterness that lingers throughout over the sweeter notes and malt backbone into a long dry finish. Lots of earthy pine and sticky dank hops balanced by grapefruit and orange peel. Slightly watered down with a decent malt backbone with hints of biscuit and toast. Nice dry finish.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2011 05:06:08 | More by corby112
Photo of Another6Pack


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Mid for sharing this one with me. March notched on the label for the bottling "date."

Pour is a murky yellow/gold with a big head that settled down into a nice, creamy cone. Couple floaters dancing around in the glass and some larger chunks sitting on the bottom. Lacing is thick and clingy. Nose immediately reminded me of Hopslam...sweet and hoppy and a little bit of pineapple. Good stuff.

First sip is sweet, but not over the top which would turn me away quickly. A little hop flavor in there at the finish, though certainly on the light side for a DIPA. Good carb to spice up the finish. Quite dry for an ale carrying this kind of ABV, which makes the drinkability fall in the goodness danger zone.

I don't pick up faded hops in this one, so I'll conclude that even if I tried this one when it was was younger it would not be that much hoppier. And truth be told, the nose told my tongue to expect Hopslam, and few DIPAs can deliver at that level.

Glad to have the chance to try this one. Worth a shot if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 20:30:57 | More by Another6Pack
Photo of pdoran10


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 00:10:47 | More by pdoran10
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 01:23:52 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of russpowell


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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..

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 02:46:42 | More by russpowell
Photo of azdback


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Surly pint glass. Dark, burnt orange color. Very bubbly, bright white head. Retention is great. Lace is not existent.

Oops I dipped my shnazz in the cream. The smell is of light citrus hos and bready yeast.

The taste is much better. Sweet malts meet my tongue first. Followed by the bitter taste of a tangerine or some other sweet bitter citrus fruit. Leafy tasting... The alcohol is present but well hidden.

The mouth is a bit under the average. Carbonation is a bit high.

Overall I enjoyed this. And recommend to pick up what ever you can.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 07:15:35 | More by azdback
Photo of xnicknj


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a hazed orange color with some golden yellow hues. Fluffy white head with filmy retention, rings and patches of lacing on the glass.

Really strong citrus, orange and grapefruit, heavy hop presence, bit of sweet caramel and honey as well to balance it out.

Nice bite of citrusy hops with grapefruit and rind up front. Very bitter, softer sweetness tempers it, bready caramel malt backbone with honey in the middle. Slight alcohol towards the finish, strong hop bitterness, a little dry and lingering on the tongue.

Medium body, nice carbonation, a little creamy and dry. Huge citrus, nice flavors and booze isn't out of control for 9%, would defintely drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2011 23:50:07 | More by xnicknj
Photo of ffejherb


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into special DFH glass on 5/9/11.

A – Hazy almost murky peach-colored liquid with solid two-finger crown of eggshell foam that diminished to a frothy patch and yielded swatches of sticky lacing.

S – Sweet juicy, fruity hops suggest pineapple, grapefruit and even peach paired with a strong resinous hop character and a fairly substantial alcohol presence. As the liquid reached room temperature, the alcohol only got stronger and more intense.

T – Alcohol presence is a bit obtrusive unfortunately, although the citrusy hop character battles for equal billing (although I think the alcohol wins out in the end). Malt character is sweet and biscuity. Finishes with a resinous hop sting and some citrus juiciness.

M – Medium bodied with a sticky, oily texture and modest carbonation. Finishes fairly dry with an aggressive hop bite and plenty of alcohol warmth on the palate.

D – Solid DIPA with plenty of hop flavor and bite, giving it an almost West Coast flair. However, the assertive alcohol presence hinders the drinkability a bit for me, making this otherwise excellent DIPA a bit of a chore to finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 01:40:54 | More by ffejherb
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Illumination is another beer sent to me by Mikesgroove. Thanks Mike; as usual, I am in your debt.

The pour reveals a hazy, copper colored body and a finger or so of off-white head. The retention is fairly good, lacing is spotty.

The aroma reveals a ton of citrus hops and just hints of malt.

The taste up front is all citrus flavors, with grapefruit playing the starring role. Next comes powerful pine flavors and bitterness. Hops dominate this beer, especially in the early going. The malt comes through toward the end, but it is only lightly sweet and it is inferior to the hop profile. Just a hint of warmth.

The bitterness is palpable in the mouthfeel, but the body still remains light and and well-carbonated.

I liked this one. Central Waters makes some good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 02:32:54 | More by Hojaminbag
Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.