Illumination | Central Waters Brewing Co.

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933 Ratings

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

Style: American Double / 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 933 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of jdhende
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on March/April served in a Bruery Tulip

A: Pours nice burnt orange with a finger white head and decent lacing on top.

S: Very fresh hop aroma's filled the air right away when I opened it. Also lots of sweet caramel notes.

T: Very sweet Malt opening followed by tangerine and orange. Finishes extremely bitter. Was an overkill in my book

M: Medium mouthful with medium carbonation. Finishes pretty dry.

O: Just an average DIPA and at $12 a 4 pack I will not be seeking this out again.

 498 characters

Photo of sliks96
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Davit
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Rifugium
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, a bright, somewhat hazy, golden orange color with a thin white head, minimal lacing. I really loved the aroma on this one: lots of fresh, citrusy hops, pineapple sweetness, orange, biscuity malts in the background. Another nice blast of juicy hops in the taste, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, honeysuckle, subdued bready malts. Some grassy and piney bitterness in the finish with a good drying effect. Smooth, medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable overall.

 515 characters

Photo of derkfromwi
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Half-inch white frothy head that thins to a thin layer with awesome retention (whole glass), slightly hazy golden orange color, lots of carbonation, very appealing lacing

S: Awesome smells, fresh hops, sweetness, grapefruit, orange peel, earthy, lemon

T: Bitterness (to be expected as it's 108 IBU's), grapefruit, earthiness, sweet orange, bitter palate wrecker is right

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, good carbonation, oily

O: Very good Double IPA, I look forward to this every year, I think it was a touch tastier on tap last week, but I'll have to do a review on that soon to be sure

 588 characters

Photo of jwat
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of chanokokoro
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 524 characters

Photo of pawpaw
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of B33R501
2.92/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

We'll have to call this "Tale of two beers".

Very disappointment considering this is on my favorites list from last year. But that was me drinking it from 6 - 10 months of age, when this beer had mellowed into a beautiful vanilla malted bright hoppy beer with a very nice bitterness. But that's a review for another day. Sometimes a hoppy beer needs time, at least for me.

The previous reviewer nailed it. Pretty gold to orange pour, great smelling citrus hops, but what happened to the taste. Way too bitter with a horrible, metallic finish.

Sometimes it's such a fine line between a great beer and a lousy one. The Port Mongo I enjoyed today is damn close to the perfect West Coast IPA. This needs alot of work. Then again I've said before when it comes to this double west coast ipa style you have the Plinys, Stone Ruination, Racer X, and Port Brewing.

So this remains a favorite from last year, this year I'll pass, at least until July or August.

 955 characters

Photo of wibrewer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of engberg88
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of GORUM
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of smurfbeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of assman79
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of jegross2
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Illumination Double IPA from Central Waters Brewing Company.
Score: 86

Bottled February/March 2012 (can't tell; the tick mark is dead center between the two months). Served in a Half Acre tulip glass and enjoyed on 03/03/12.

Appearance: Pours an orange color that falls between opaque and translucent with a slight brownish hue. Held up to light, an orange center is surrounded by a layer of yellow-orange glow. Three fingers of foamy off-white head at pour gradually settles into a foggy cap and clump of head floating in the center. Average lacing, average retention. 3.5/5

Smell: Fresh orange and grapefruit citrus. Orange peel, lemon zest, pine and fresh grass clippings. Some pineapple juice, some oily resin. There's a bit of red bell pepper in the aroma too. 4/5

Taste: Where's did all the citrus from the aroma go? There's really not a whole lot of any flavor going on here. Just an intensely earthy, slightly grassy, hoppy bitterness and bitter orange peel flavor throughout. There's some mellow grain malt too. This beer is decently refreshing and loaded with plenty of bitter, earthy hops, but there's no real midpalate flavor at all. Dare I say this is the Daisy Cutter of imperial IPA's? A little bit of juicy orange citrus comes out halfway through the glass. Lingering bitter finish. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation that really lets the bitterness of the beer sit heavy on the palate. Oily mouthfeel with a huge cotton-mouthing effect. Dry, bitter finish. 4/5

Overall: A hop heavy imperial IPA without too much flavor. Smells great, but virtually all of the citrus aroma is totally absent from the flavor. Would not buy this one again.

Recommendation: Hop haters beware! At $11.99 per four pack, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this beer. Certainly worth trying once if you can find a fresh $3.99 single bottle, but this is not one that needs to be consumed by any stretch of the imagination.

Pairings: Creamy pepper jack cheese.

Cost: $11.99 for a four pack.

 2,037 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this afternoon into a pint, I really like the way this one looks in the glass it is a beautiful orange with a good cloudy haze with no sediment.

It smells of orange, mango, pinapple, citrus all way it is a citrus bomb in the nose.

It tastes just like it smells oranges, mangos, pinapples an other citrus fruits all the way through to the end where a malt backbone and a good bitter bite really come through.

mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth. Very nice.

I really like this DIPA, this is the first year I have tried it but it will not be the last. I wish this was year round.

 587 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012-02-22 tasting notes when reviewing was disabled...

on a hunt in chicago found these...bottled Feb/March of this year and couldn't resist such freshness (that plus a helpful tip on the deliciousness from a Binny's employee - thanks mystery guy for the tip!)

a - popped the bottle and filled a plastic cup in my hotel room (classy, i know). has the classic ipa orange witha finger of white frothy ipa head.

s - as soon as i opened the bottle, fresh ipa smell filled the room. upon closer inspection, yep...maximum freshness. there is a strong hop presence, but i'm surprised to say that the malts are equally represented very caramel and almost even barleywine like. candy.

t - much like the nose suggests, this one is a very malt forward IIPA. some fruitiness and then a wash of bitterness. all-in-all, not really what i look for in a uber fresh IIPA. i'd say perhaps this is a year old, but i was told it *just* came in so must be fresh.

m - medium bodied, not as thick as i'd expect and the bitterness at the end is interesting, but not offputting.

o - overall, a double ipa...perhaps, but not along the lines of double ipas that are all the rage these days. too malt forward. i'd swear it was miscategorized, but the label says double ipa. not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to what's out there for the style, this is average at best. i'll happily drink the rest of my 4 pack, but not when i'm looking for an ipa. i am rather surprised by the high ratings on this one (mmm...unexplained high ratings from the locals - D'oh).

 1,565 characters

Photo of djschnabel
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of elec
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Mrpickles
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of zenwatts
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of vicsju1991
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 933 ratings