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Illumination - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

746 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 746
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 83
Gots: 59 | 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: 746 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tone


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, floral hops, sweet malt, hint of pine, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a strong bitterness level. Tastes of citrus hops, floral hops, sweet malt, strong pine, and alcohol. Overall, strong and fresh flavors, good appearance, aroma, and body.

07-17-2014 14:10:24 | More by Tone
Photo of wrightst


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

06-22-2014 01:43:12 | More by wrightst
Photo of HopHead84


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%


Another generous extra received in a trade with eyncognito, thanks Ian! Poured into a snifter, the beer is dark orange with a thick dirty white head, good retention, and scattered lacing.

In the nose I detect sweet and bitter grapefruit and a perfumey aromatic quality in addition to pine notes. There's also a bit of ripe orange with a little pith. The malt backbone is caramel in character and it creates an impression of a well balanced Double IPA, lending sweetness.

The flavor is bitter up front with notes of unripened grapefruit and orange, with balancing caramel malt sweetness. Alcohol is evident in the finish, but it's well integrated in the well balanced flavor. The finish is bitter citrus and sweet caramel malt. The beer is medium bodied with a soft, sticky mouthfeel and a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall, a well balanced, quality Double IPA that is definitely worth a try. I'm enjoying this take on the style quite a bit after drinking so many dry west coast style DIPAs lately. My only complaint is the ugly label.

07-09-2010 05:05:39 | More by HopHead84
Photo of rolltide8425


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

07-15-2013 01:15:00 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of dirtylou


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

12oz single - probably my 4th sampling of this new DIPA

appearance: tacky label featuring a bright green hop - bright orange-copper body with a nice foamy white cap and strong retention

smell: bright citrus hops - tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, pine, bready

taste: impressive DIPA from a brewery that has never really offered up a great hop-centric brew. Very fresh waves of citrus flavor - tangerine, grapefruit, orange, lemon peel, pineapple. What makes this one a little different is the spicy rye kick and rustic bready notes. I dig this one - keep the special releases coming CW

mouthfeel: big, moderate bitterness, smoothness from the abv, spicy

drinkability: good

06-22-2010 00:54:49 | More by dirtylou
Photo of drummermattie02


4/5  rDev -1.5%

04-30-2013 10:26:32 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of xnicknj


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

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


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters tulip.
9% ABV, Bottled On MAR notched on the label. (2012)

A - The sexy sound of the beer pouring into the glass is music to my ears. A densely packed cream head rises quietly and sticks around for a while. Thick, chunky lace coats the glass above a hazy goldenrod yellow-orange-colored beer.

S - Mounds of pine needle and sticky, sappy resin overthrow the inevitable grapefruit citrus nose which is nice for a change. Usually it's the other way around with the American hops, though this beer is certainly not without plenty of tropical fruit aroma. A hearty malty sweetness full of dense bread and caramel cube balances the hops well.

T - The taste reflects the nose quite well. A more powerful pine resin flavor opens up leading into a sweet malty backbone that immediately gives way to a tongue-bruising, teeth-hurting citrus bitter kick. Other nuances pull through after the initial shock of the hop-roundhouse kick to the face wears off. Notes of honey-drizzled toast and a slight spicy yeast component share a low-level spot-light with a very subtle alcohol sensation.

M - The alcohol is almost non-existent in this beer save for the miniscule warming finish and light solvent aroma passed through the olfactory upon retronasal breathing! The medium-full body and light, lively carbonation don't do much to mask the severe bitterness that carries through the finish but the balanced sweetness helps tone down the well-deserved hop-smack. I can't think of a thing I'd change here.

O - Illumination is a great beer from home-boys Central Waters. In sticking with their mantra of "balance, even with big hops" as it were, Illumination serves up plenty for the huge hop head but remains different enough to stand out in a sea of hop monsters. Delicious and drinkable, especially for the high alcohol content, Illumination is a double IPA from Wisconsin that makes me proud.

04-19-2012 22:29:20 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

07-22-2013 12:25:05 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Hopheadjeffery


4/5  rDev -1.5%

10-28-2013 00:01:32 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of tavernjef


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%

Tangerine gold with a pale-like glow. A creamy densely packed ivory foam sits on top with might at just over a finger high. Slowly sifted down to a heavy skim remaining the entire class through. Caked on lacing in very thick sheets and shelves coat the glass intently well.

Freshly buzzing hops are boldly set on the nose with a citric, tropical, floral front that has peach, mango, pineapple, and sweet pink grapefruit. The citrus dances around with a bit of floral freshness thats a bit weedy/cannibus tinted. Nice.

Taste is far more rounded and duller in sweetness of citrus. The citrus is there but mashed up into more of a darker aged marmalade. Very deep and darker peach, mango, and pineapple, mix together with a bit of pale and caramel malts. Then we come to finish, which totally turns it up big, full, and dryer, while being bittered with grapfruit peels and pithy citrusyness. Cheek parching grapefruity floralness sits last and remains there for quite a lengthy seat on the palate. Again, nice.

Clean, robust, creamy even, and a nearly full body that slips alot of citrusy action taking place all over the place. Excellent finish. Just bitter and drying enough to grab the palate but not pushy as to keep you from taking more sips. Complex hoppyness across the board. A favorably yummy Impy IPA form Central Waters!

04-10-2011 00:15:17 | More by tavernjef
Photo of DefenCorps


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

It's quite a surprise when you trade for 2 bottles of beer and find 10 that you weren't expecting. Joel, one of the finest of traders, blew me away with the box I received today. Among the gems in there, many of which were new to me, was this beer, one that I was quite looking forward to try.

Illumination is clear burnished copper capped with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and plenty of lacing. Apart from being darker, this is a very good looking DIPA. The nose (at least now), reminds me of the Moylans Hopsickle. With plenty of pine, candied grapefruit, pungently so, with some floral and perfume-like character as well. A moderate sweetness is present, but it works well with the hop profile, lending a little balance (which I usually do not like). Very good.

My palate is immediately bruised and assaulted by a copious amount of grapefruit, pith and all, along with a secondary attack of pine. Resiny, pungent and palate-coating, the hop oils are very prominent here, and the candied grapefruit i picked up on the nose is also present. This flavor works very well with the moderate sweetness that's present, quite caramel-like. The finish has a blend of a light sweetness and an intense bitterness with plenty of pine. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this feels quite excellent on the palate. As it warms up, the alcohol does get a little noticeable, but it does not detract or distract from the excellent beer that this is. I'd love to try this fresher. Very reminiscent of Brass Knuckle IMO.

09-03-2010 03:45:11 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of KAF


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

07-03-2014 02:21:43 | More by KAF
Photo of vfgccp

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%

A - Chunky haze in a dried apricot brown body. Nice, fine white head has good retention and lace.

S - Citrusy on the first pour, with more plant-forward notes as the beer sits. Pine, dandelion.

T - Bitter and herbal with cilantro and rosemary. Lemon zest and waxy resin bitters on the backend. Clean and light with a dry finish.

M - Crisp like body for the style. Par carbonation.

O - A really nice DIPA. Light and dry for the style, perfect for the summer.

05-29-2014 22:08:13 | More by vfgccp
Photo of ZAP


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

07-26-2010 02:13:33 | More by ZAP
Photo of Duff27


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

08-18-2010 02:32:36 | More by Duff27
Photo of gford217


4.6/5  rDev +13.3%

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...

07-31-2010 03:43:59 | More by gford217
Photo of barnzy78


4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-25-2011 04:22:43 | More by barnzy78
Photo of drpimento


3.18/5  rDev -21.7%

yeah, I can say Palate Wrecker as well as Tastebud Trasher. Just another crank the hops way up and there you are. Prefer a little more aesthetics m'self. Poured with a nice, white, foamy, frothy head and lots of lace. Color is a clear amber. Nose is HOPS, big grapefruit ( not my thang) with a some malt. Flavor's the same as aroma. Finish is the same as flavor plus alcohol and fairly long. Not a session.

06-30-2010 01:08:47 | More by drpimento
Photo of sweemzander


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled in May 2010. Thanks to beerwolf77 for yet another bottle!

(A)- Pours a clear orange color that produced a good fluffy white head with good retention.

(S)- A good dry piney citrus with lemon, lime, and pineapple.

(T)- A good dry piney dryness with the same citrus from the smell. Has a light creamy sweetness of pineapple/honey at the end.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Everything you should expect from the style. A good piney bitterness and citrus sweetness.

(D)- A solid DIPA with everything in the right place. A good drinker with a crisp and refreshing feel in a style that sometimes gets too malty. Chalk up another good brew from Central Waters.

06-29-2010 23:54:12 | More by sweemzander
Photo of cokes


4.18/5  rDev +3%

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.

07-30-2010 08:23:05 | More by cokes
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

01-01-2012 23:56:04 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of pathman


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

07-13-2013 17:02:28 | More by pathman
Photo of woosterbill


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

12oz bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. I got a couple of these in in-person trades on DLD, so if you gave me one, thanks!

A: Crystal clear pale amber under a finger of fine white foam. Fantastic retention and lacing - picture perfect DIPA.

S: Clean, thoroughly pleasant hoppy aroma. Citrus dominates with plenty of grapefruit pith and lemon. Some biscuity malt peeks through, but is acceptably understated. Nice.

T: Even mix of fruity, citrusy hops and clean, bready malt. Spicy, bitter, and slightly boozy finish. Good stuff.

M: Sticky, fairly full body with soft, velvety carbonation. Excellent.

O: Great beer. While I could have dealt with a little more complexity and a bit less booze, overall I was really, really happy with it. This is light-years better than their Glacial Trail IPA, and was even distinctly superior to New Glarus IIPA in a back-to-back comparison. Well done, Central Waters.


05-30-2011 17:04:05 | More by woosterbill
Photo of blackie


4.1/5  rDev +1%

a: new glarus pint, medium amber in color, average off-white head with some retention

s: very fruity hop aroma, vivid pineapple, passionfruit, mango, sweet orange, juicy fruits on an out-of-the-way caramel malt backing

m: medium-full body and carbonation around the light-medium range

t: sweetish caramel body with a big dose of fruity hop flavor, same set found on the nose but not as vibrant, sappy green pine, moderately bitter

d: drinks well given the pretty high abv

picked this single up at Riley's in Madison, consumed during an Isle Royale layover, notepad notes

09-03-2010 13:47:08 | More by blackie
Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 746 ratings.