Illumination | Central Waters Brewing Co.

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935 Ratings

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Can you say palate wrecker? This double India pale ale is our version of a mouthful of hops. Full of Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe hops, it is as hoppy as a beer gets.

Added by CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 935 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of qcghost
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dafla67
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NappyB
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RoadLizard
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Great looking beer right out of the bottle. Nice initial head that creates a perfect lacing down the glass. Smells of citrus, orange, some pine and a little grapefruit too. Hazy orange color. This is exactly what a strong IPA should taste like IMO. Its clean, refreshing and has a perfect citrus bite without that "dirty" hop flavor that too many beers end up having. There is a slight maltiness at the back that just tones things down a tad & makes it practically balanced. Its delicious. Period. Great mouthfeel too. I cant find much wrong with this beer. Its going to be in heavy rotation in my fridge, thats for sure. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beergoot
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear, orange body; fine carbonation bubbles; creamy, sticky white head; sheets of foam clinging to the inside of the glass. A very nice citrus and pine aroma. Nice malt base provides a solid foundation for a robust hop bitterness; some citrus rind flavors; kind of peppery. Medium body; coarse and tingly on the tongue; mostly dry finish.

This beer delivers the goods for a powerfully hopped beer. Well-rounded and quite drinkable even with the 9% ABV. Good stuff.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You know Central Waters makes several world class barrel aged beers. But one aspect of their game seems decidedly underwhelming, and that would be their contributions to the hoppy world of beers. Will this one be any different?

Pours a hearty orange color familiar to those who remember the ibu and crystal malt arms race of the last decade. 1/3" barely off white head. Aroma isn't huge, not much dry hopping going on, and what there is or might be, seems to be of the bittering hop variety as opposed to an aroma or finishing hop.

Taste is a mostly bitter and malty ipa, without much in the way of flavor beyond the normative caramel, pine and grapefruit discussions. Hides the alcohol pretty decently. This is pretty much exactly what you would expect from this book when you judge it by the cover. There are no off flavors or whatnot. Just another sticky dense malty ipa with a ton of IBUs moreso than citrus or tropical flavors or smells.

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Photo of LarrysDeerGut
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of scream
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is pretty solid. It will not blow one away if you are looking for a hop bomb. It's just a really well done example of a traditional IIPA. If you are looking for a NEIPA it is not for you. I like it

 203 characters

Photo of TheGent
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GreenBayBA
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Czequershuus
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bright, clear orange with an average head. The aroma features pine, caramel, grapefruit, orange, and mango. The flavor is very bitter and quite sweet, with orange and grapefruit peel, dry caramel, and a strong pine finish. The mouthfeel is very full and rich upfront, with a dry finish. Overall this is a classic big double IPA - lots of booze, lots of bitterness, lots of caramel malt - tasty and classic.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- pours a brilliant, hazy, golden Orange. It has a one finger, White, foamy head. Just a little carbonation.
S- smells of candied orange and pineapple as well as other citrus fruits. Very sweet smell.
T- The Taste follows the nose in which the malt makes this a very balanced Dipa. The candied Citrus hop is a very nice experience very juicy Citrus hops. The bitterness does come to the party and resonates for a while but does not dominate The Taste. Also a little pine on the back end and is part of the finish.
F- the alcohol is nearly undetectable. A very balanced mouthfeel with a light to medium bodied the IPA.
O- one of the most balanced dip Asif had. The candied Citrus hops with a bitter finish is very well done. A wonderful example of the Dipa.

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Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Krusader
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of craigbelly
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is mild, and I'm not knocking it, it's fantastic. But don't be fooled, this is all hop. It's alot to take in, but as you work your way through this one you start breaking it down. Its a big bold hoppy DIPA.

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Photo of Cfred371
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Illumination pours a beautiful, translucent, orange gold. A head of a finger or so rises up top, and carbonation bubbles stream North.

Smell: Waves of dank notes hit the nose. Pine, resin, some hay notes, but stirring leads to more resin.

Taste: Hops are really the main show here. Pine, resin, some tropical flavors, though not terribly dominant. A nice example of an old school IPA.

Feel: Illumination is definitely well carbonated. and presents a medium body. There's some bitterness and drying in the finish, but I've experienced more intense bitterness.

Overall: This is a nice west coast IPA that's worth checking out. The dankness isn't overwhelming to the point that it detracts, but it is certainly the main show.

 736 characters

Photo of Dharmelink
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of A_Rad
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JeffSK
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Benish
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hazy, juicy appearance, but it doesn't form much of a head. A thin wispy ring is floating on top. 100% opaque but light illuminates (ha), the sides.

Caramel, butterscotch, and toffee come out front in a very sweet way, with brown sugar, some onion and pine.

Pine and grapefruit pith begin the journey, with burnt brown sugar and rotten caramel notes following. Onion and old citrus finish out the profile.

Feel is not exactly palate wrecking, but it is rather juicy and medium bodied. Dry, scraping finish.

Overall, maybe it would be better fresh from the tap, but this one was a miss for me. Nothing inherently wrong, it's just totally overboard with all the wrong qualities that ruin an IPA for me. I'll pass forever and always.

 738 characters

Photo of JeffKowalek
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An intense but balanced take on the style here, big for sure, but it's not just all hops through the whole thing, there is a sturdy biscuity crystal malt base that balances nicely, adds a ton of body, and gives it some legs and depth. The hops are piney and dank, resinous and sticky feeling, bitter for sure, but even a little sweet in the flavor, west coast type, pungent and classic to me, northwestern varietals, high dose, spruce, even juniper and orange here. Lots of body, even for a double, and lots of high alpha hops pushing through it, bitter in the end as sweet as it is to start. Long lasting sticky sappy hops on the palate well after the swallow. I like this one a lot, but it definitely seems wintery to me with all the pine going on in it, Christmas tree, and enough booze cutting in to be very holiday appropriate. It feels like a lot to me in warmer weather, but I really like it still. Definitely one of the better hoppy beers I have had from these guys so far. Starting to seem like they do everything pretty darn well...

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 935 ratings