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Illumination | Central Waters Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
263 Reviews
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IlluminationIllumination
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
263
Ratings:
905
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
86
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 905
Photo of infinitebruner
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

August 29, 2014

Tulip, 12 oz bottle

A – Pours deep golden to orange amber, slight haze after the pour. I can see a lot of bubbles and carbonation in the beer. Moderate foam head that sticks around for a minute or so, about a cm of froth sitting on top after a couple minutes.

S – Resin, tropical fruit, maybe some guava or something similar that I can’t quite identify. Some pine in the background. Smells like it’s going to be a pretty bitter beer, the hops are definitely there over the malt.

T – The hops are very fruity and bitter, but there’s a surprising amount of maltiness here as well. Much more balanced in the taste than in the aroma. Still getting the resin and the pine, but still some tropical or passion fruit there. Again, much more balanced then I was expecting. There also seems to be some alcohol heat that I wouldn’t expect with it being “just” 9% alcohol—comparable to what I taste with a 120 Minute.

M – Very bitter, but the maltiness comes in to balance it out. A pretty thick feeling beer, but the carbonation washes it away quite nicely. The bitterness does stay in the finish and the aftertaste, a little more so than I prefer. Again, getting some heat from the alcohol, but pretty mild.

O – A lot of Double IPAs try to hit you over the head with the hop bitterness, and with the aroma profile I thought this would be similar. However, the maltiness provides some really nice balance across the senses, especially with the flavor and the mouthfeel. It has a lot of qualities I would expect from a more English IPA. I really like this beer, and think it stands out amongst Double IPAs.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

A - Pours an orange amber with a finger of light tan head. Good retention, fantastic lacing

S - Grapefruit and orange mostly. An incy bincy bit resinous, maybe a hint of booze as well.

T - Very nice. Big dry bitterness but the citrusy grapefruit and orange do a solid job holding up to it. Big boozy and bitter mainly but enough balance in here to make it quite enjoyable. I'm thinking if maharajah was actually balanced it would maybe taste something close to this.

M - Medium bodied+, solid carbonation. The boozyness makes it a little bit of a sipper but still an enjoyable drinking big bitter dipa

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from tap in a tulip.

The beer is a dark amber color, slightly cloudy and was served to me with about a one-finger foamy head.

The aroma is grapefruit and citrus with a hint of underlying bready malt.

The taste is big-time grapefruit with maybe a hit of pine resin and a bit of booziness. There is a lingering grapefruit pith bitterness that stays on the tongue for some time. It's quite a potent mouthful.

The beer is medium in mouthfeel and a bit sticky.

This is an excellent brew that I would happily drink again. A big IPA that delivers big flavor.

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Photo of Tone
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant orange-amber color, with a big foamy head. A little murky. Leaves a good deal of lacing.

Burst of citrus in the aroma. Lots of oranges and grapefruit. Pretty hoppy. A little bready malt.

Lots of grapefruit in the taste. A little lemon zest. Pine hops. Not as bitter as the IBUs indicated. Alcohol is masked pretty well. Could benefit from a little but more maltiness.

Medium bodied. Good carbonation. A tiny bit more syrupy than it needed to be (in my opinion).

A solid DIPA. At the same time, it's nothing out of the ordinary. I'm trying to give Central Waters another chance. It was one of the breweries I started with when I started with craft beer, and, as such, I don't think I gave it the respect it deserved. In closing, I would say this is a good entry-level DIPA (if there ever was such a thing, heh).

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: slight haze; burnt orange in color; 1 finger white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: ripe pineapple with grapefruit in the background;

T: all pineapple - like drinking pineapple soda; no bitterness until the very end of the finish; some booziness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O; somewhat one note, but that note is pretty good; I would have liked more bitterness and some more complexity in the flavor;

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

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Photo of kkleu357
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%

From notes on 10/31/13

Pours with not much head. Lots of flowery hoppy smell. Great full body flavor. What sticks out to me is there is more to it than bitter hops. Can’t explain it, but my whole tongue was hit worth flavors, not just the sides.

Also, on tap this beer really shines. Huge grapefruit notes and a big punch of bitterness.

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Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed amber with an off-white, lasting head. Plenty of lacing sticks.

The smell is hoppy - citric and tropical fruits greet the nose in a robust way. A hint of biscuit mixes in. Very pleasant!

The taste is of citric and tropical fruits with a hint of pine/resin. Hops supported by a firm, caramel-ish malty backbone. It has a spicy, refreshingly dry finish.

Very smooth. Medium-to-full-bodied, the alcohol is dangerously well-hidden.

A wonderfully hoppy DIPA. Great interpretation of the style! Also, it comes in a very reasonably priced 6-pack! Certainly recommended!

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Photo of guityler83
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A finger of off white head sits atop a moderately hazy copper colored beer. The head persisted for a minute before slowly sliding down into the glass leaving a ring around the edge and a coat of lacing on the side of the glass. The haziness is so prominent I cant see my hand on the other side of the snifter glass.

S: Fruit candy aroma, sweetarts and smarties. Strawberries and over ripe peaches, dank pine and and underlying grapefruit note. Lots of hop aroma layers going on. A considerable amount of alcohol in the nose. Toasty and cookie like malt notes come through but they are subtle.

T: Big and bold dark piney bitterness hits the back of the throat first and dominates your palette. Strong grapefruit and tea like hop flavors take over the next part followed by a nice dough and toast malt character. The malt flavors keep the beer from becoming hop tea and mellow out the alcohol flavors. The balance is on the hop side. The finish leaves off right where it started, dank pine and some dark fruit flavors.

M: Carbonation is mild to medium and keeps the sticky icky hop oil mouthfeel from becoming too much. Nice body not too dry, atypical for the style. A bit harsh in the bitterness but expected from the style I suppose.

O: A hop wolop of a beer with some booziness and malt character. I like the hop profile on this beer a lot and would love to see this in a smaller beer since this is a one and done beer for me. However, I would recommend it to any IPA/DIPA lover out there.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a amber orange with a two finger off white head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Grapefruit, citrus, and pine.
T: Grapefruit and tangerine with a light pine flavor.
M: Medium body, light carbonation, moderate bitterness.
O: A pretty solid DIPA for the warm weather.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of piney hops are present in the nose along with notes of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the citrusy hop flavors seem to be a little more balanced with the pine resin hops. There is a strong amount of bitterness and this lingers through the finish. Hints of underlying caramel malts are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an "in your face" IPA that delivers big aromas and flavors of hops along with a strong dose of associated bitterness. It's not overly difficult to drink if you can get past the hops and bitterness as the alcohol is very well masked from the taste.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a beautiful pink grape fruit color. Something not seen in IPAs.

The aroma has bitter grapefruit juice, a papaya, citrus peel, a light spicy herbal, a candy sweetness.

The beer in front has bitter pineapple, lots of grapefruit juice, onto a burst of perfumey floral, almost like drinking perfume. A light bready malt in the middle. The back has lots of resinous bitter pine, but not abrasive or too aggressive.

A clean drinking beer as the alcohol is absolutely hidden and this drinks a point or two below its ABV.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. The pour is fairly clear with a bit of haze. It's gold/apricot/burnt orange in color and sports two fingers of creamy white head that retains very well. The nose has lots of hoppy, citrus-like notes and an underlying bready sweetness. It smells like fresh toast with marmalade, grapefruit, and some pineapple. Very nice.

The flavor is medium-bodied and reflects the nose very accurately. The beer has a nice bready sweetness up front from a substantial malt bill and a well-balanced hoppy flavor thereafter. The bitterness starts out citrusy and gradually sharpens towards the back of the palate as the malt bids you farewell. The hops keep going, becoming resiny and lingering nicely on the finish. Nice firm, oily feel. No booziness. Very drinkable.

This is exactly the kind of beer I would have deemed unpalatable 2 or 3 years ago, but finally appreciate now. There's nothing not to like about this beer and the finish is very prolonged. It reminds me a little of FFF Arctic Panzer Wolf. If I had to nitpick I'd simply say I prefer citrusy bitterness to resiny bitterness. Other than that, this is a beer that any hophead would be fortunate to get their sticky hands on.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.61/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Color me Illuminated!!! Got this in a 16oz growler from Cable Beverage in NY, and poured it into my Gandhi-Bot snifter.

A lot of the properties of this beer remind me of Chillwave: color, smell, taste.

Nice mixture of mango and grapefruit on the tongue. Exceptionally delicious!!!

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Photo of EdwardK77
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper in color with a solid white head that holds up well and leaves nice bubbly lacing.

S- Not overpowering to me but pleasantly in the citrus spectrum.

T- I'm getting perfectly balanced sweet, bitter, citrusy, and caramel goodness.

M- Very smooth drinking, mild effervescence with some nice residual stickiness. The mouthfeel keeps you coming back for another sip.

O- This was my introduction to Central Waters and I am sure that we won't part company for too long. This is a top end well balanced DIPA.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: deep gold and clear, with a couple of fingers of off-white head that left smatterings of foam behind. A thin cap persisted to the end.

S: lots of dank grapefruit pith with bready biscuit malts beneath

T: the hop action is bitter and crisp and tight up front, barely smoothed out by the malt base's mildly sweet breadiness and chew. Impressions of washed out citrus and pale caramel sweetness.

M: light, tight, crisp, and clean; medium-bodied DIPA that leans toward IPA; nicely bittered and slightly dry

O: a class act in the DIPA genre - not a beer to pass up if you haven't had it yet, and probably not one you're gonna pass up once you've had it. Git some.

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Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-an orangish amber color with a fingers worth of white head

S-lots of citrus, especially grapefruit, caramel, and pineapple

T-caramel malt and some tropical fruits gives a lot of sweetness but the finish is full of pine and citrus

M-medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall this beer is heavy on the sweetness but still packs a lot of hops in it. The alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of Motozappa
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Poured from a growler served yesterday from a freshly tapped keg at Vista Beer and Beverage in Westchester, NY into a VIJF Duvel tulip glass (sil vous plait)

Appearance: When poured little white head developed which is a good thing really( :P ). The lacing was minimal, but what had developed was highly resinous so it stuck for ages. Notably was the cloudiness which a first I thought might be a frosty condensation, but upon whipping both sides of the glass, I knew the opaqueness was quite clearly non-transparent.

Smell: This is where things really get rolling even with my tree pollen alergies trying to stand in the way. To me it seems not all that complex, just straight up lightly florally hops, with a smooth pine aroma and a freshness that can not be compared to many others of the same style.

Taste: Now for a double or imperial IPA these suds are smooth as silk without any bite or a high alcohol blast. First it's hoppy upon the tongue, then mildly dry and lastly if you are paying attention, the persistent flavor lingers nicely on and and on...

Mouthfeel: This part is always hardest for me and no, it didn't feel like a ten thousand pound anchor was dropped upon my palette... I'll do my best: It's almost dry to the entire mouth especially the tongue yet only initially. Then it happens as I open my mouth the dryness dissipates quickly to a well rounded, smooth and sweet finish that is unobtrusive and very satisfying. Oh and it is mildly carbonated, but far from flat which I prefer with most ales.

If you've read this far, I thank you for reading and bearing with my excessive dribble. Enjoy good brews responsibly with good friends and family > goodwill, cheers and peace to all.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of JerUrbans
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage

Pours a hazy orange, with fluffy white head, very nice lacing.

Smell is very nice, grapefruit, hops, and pine.

Taste is excellent, much like the nose, alcohol is very well hidden. Some bitterness at the end but the flavors are very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy, with a nice little bitterness at the end. Nice bit of carbonation.

Overall, this is one I wait all year for. One of the best examples of the style. So glad this brewery is in my back yard.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(UPDATE: APRIL 9, 2015)
Man, that's good. Significantly better than the 4.05 I gave it a year ago. I wonder if the formula's changed. Probably not, or CW would've made a big deal of it, the way Sixpoint did of 2015 Hi-Res. (Or Classic Coke. That's defensive, damage-control PR.)

The aroma still underwhelms. As does the appearance, a cloudy, dull amber, like a cellar-aged beer.

Wife says it tastes cellar-aged, too. It does. It's an oxidized umami, that . . . I don't know how to finish that sentence. Something about pork.

In the mouth it's brilliant. The ripe-fruit sweetness--both sweet tangerine and tropical (as in papaya)--is totally pleasing. It really reminds one of Dirtwolf, only with more body and ethanol heat.

Uh, oh, hold on: the aftertaste is yucky. It's all white-grapefruit pith. Grapefruit that's been dosed in insecticide. No, that's overstating it. I'm sure many a hophead would appreciate it. But hear that? That's the sound of me sticking my tongue out. It's very West Coast, I guess.

So I was mostly right last year. Good on me.

It's perfect for the cellar!
-------------
Orig. score: 4.05 (Feb. 22, 2014). No review.

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Photo of ChrisFugiel
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In terms of taste the beer is exceptional. But watch out: the alcohol content is 9%. Not a beer to beer bong, or is it? Definitely worth a try. In fact, I will be grabbing this one again in the near future. Pricey, it is 9 bucks for a 4 pack -- so not a beer to share. Who would want to share this one anyway?

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.
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