Illumination | Central Waters Brewing Co.

924 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by CaptainIPA on 06-01-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 924 |  Reviews: 268
Photo of drpimento
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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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).

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Photo of Jeffrey2310
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Docrock
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of zapahoppa
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of tvoss99
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of HansumFilly
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Holland
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Bretttt
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of ManLoveBeer
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of garuda
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Brushkanna
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of alcstradamus
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a beautiful glowing copper/amber color with a finger and a half of fluffy head that leaves webby lacing down the glass.

The aroma is extremely tropical....lots of mango and pineapple. Not enormous or sinus cleansing or any other adjective such as that, but still absolutely fantastic.

The flavor is not quite the blast of hops I anticipated, but it is still nicely bitter and flavorful. The malt profile is light and bready and brings a balance to the bitter, piney hops. In the finish, quite a bit of alcohol heat (acetone-like) takes over. This brings down the overall flavor profile and drinkability quite a bit.

The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is perhaps a bit too prickly.

Overall this one had some promise, but that booziness sticks out like a sore thumb and makes this a beer that I won't be seeking out again. A good attempt I suppose.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful cascading copper rush pour effect with a generous one inch fluffy white head.

Aroma a bit of a letdown--not much for me except muted tropical fruit.

Taste is very one dimensional. All bitter white grapefruit with mediocre malt filling. Nothing even remotely sweet for balance.

Medium body and decent carbonation. Bitterness lingers.

Taste and smell are everything and this is average at best. This should not be touted in 4 pks almost as if its an exclusive find. Store I purchased this from has always been fair in pricing, but this comes in @ $11/4PK...overpriced IMO. I could only drink one and then move on. I will not purchase again.

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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 ehammond1
3.29/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, DLFarris!

Hazy orange and light copper in color with an off-white head that lasts forever and eventually leaves messy stick all the way down the glass.

Mild aroma, with some light citrus, bread, and caramel.

Bready flavor, with some mild citrus, somewhat high bitterness, and some sweetness. Relatively well balanced, but unexciting.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Just ok.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.


A: Huge rocky head over a bright dark straw body. Sediment visible on the bottom of the bottle. Excellent head retention, generous cover, and thick rocky cover.

S: Pineapples and pine needles. Slightly sweet, and somewhat aggressive, but pleasant.

T: Strong citrus flavor on the front end, pine immediately after and following through to the end. Lingering bitterness, and a very slight caramel sweetness.

M: Light to medium body and fairly high carbonation. Hop astringency is the overwhelming characteristic of the beer's mouth.

D: Great beer to drink one of over a meal. Not really a session style beer even if you disregard the 9% abv.

O: Good beer, but not great. Hop heads will love this beer, but I'm looking for something with a little better balance.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 1 ½ fingers of off-white head. This retains with a solid ½ finger cap that doesn't quit and leaves back some thick foam that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral with sharp notes of pine and spice and some earthy dankness. Some tropical fruits sit underneath the more bitter aspects of the nose, as does some tight grainy malt. The nose has an alcohol presence to it as well that fluctuates between warm and hot.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit, resins, and peppery spice which then trail off into notes of pithy citrus peel. Underlying fruit is sweet but not overly so and melds with the more herbal character that is present in the profile. Malts are toasted and grainy feeling the back, as the citric fruit flavors bring most of the balancing sweetness to this. This finishes bitter but not harsh, thanks to some residual sweetness that hangs around. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little heavier, with a light creaminess to the carbonation but this is mostly slick feeling in the mouth. The ABV unfortunately really shows itself as this warms, with a solvent like heat that stings the throat as you swallow.

Things to like (full hop flavors, decent balance) and things not to like (rampant ABV) having me giving this big DIPA from Central Waters a solid thumb in the middle. Maybe that alcohol is better hidden when this has a maximum freshness going on with it? I'd be willing to find out.

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Photo of ricknelson
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChadQuest
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking non-hazy orange color with a thin stable cap.
aroma is full of crisp orange peels, by far the biggest note coming out. Some floral esters.
Solid citrus and grapefruit with some malts accents to speak of, the malt that is there is a dry biscuity compliment. faintly floral but with a more hardwood persona. "Tastes like Wisconson" Mouthfeel is a bit resiny and sticky, a bit heavy bodied, but not too much.

Above average.

 436 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Holy Smoke: Pours a cloudy honey gold with a cap of head that quickly settles to a collar. Smell off old socks... taste seems also off not quite medicinal.

 165 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with two fingers of diminishing off-white foam head that collapses to a lofty half-dollar-sized pad. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Sticky sweet and resinous, with interesting dark citrus that is more intense than the toffee, butterscotch, and carbon dioxide that are also present. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with piney hops and substantial caramel malt that features a woody flavor. Carbonic acid is unruly here, causing other flavors to seem diluted when they should be rich. The middle is faintly plant-like--reedy--entirely too thin compared to the smell and the early taste. Bitterness in the finish is bracing, tasting of resinous pine with lesser umami. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, acidity is felt fairly strongly on the palate--even in the teeth--with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a fair attempt at a DIPA, fairly malty but still balanced, that is undermined by the unappreciated effort of the acidity that is more tasted than felt. It redeems itself late, reminding the drinker that this is a DIPA with some appropriate and appealing qualities to showcase.

 1,200 characters

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Label notch tells me this was bottled in May. The hop character is really fruity and not terribly bitter, reminding me a lot of the big-hops beers from Avery. Pineapple dominated the hops with just a little citrus and spice round the edges. There's also a smooth bready malt backbone providing a bit of balance, but I think it's too much.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of BarrytheBear poured into my New Belgium globe(I'm getting deja vu.... hmmm)

Bright orange body with an eggshell colored head

Very big floral hop notes in the nose, some pine but really reminds me of sniffing a gardenia with a touch of sweetness in the end.

Taste falls in line with the aroma, floral hop flavors mingle with a noticeable pale malt backbone, a bit sweeter than I'd go for. Aftertaste is a little more of the floral hop notes, I dunno I'm not that big of a fan. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little stickiness.

A decent DIPA but not one that I would seek out again. I prefer more citrusy and tropical fruit flavors with a big bitterness but this one is a bit sweeter than I'd like an the hop flavor isn't what I'd prefer.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Traded to me by Kegatron. Bottle -> Tumbler around 45 degrees.

Pours a hazy tawny orange, with good sparkling carbonation and a pillowy light yellow 2 finger width head. Darker than many DIPAs I'm used to on the west coast. A thing ring of head persists for a long period of time, and the lacing it leaves behind is moderate.

Smells like a whole hell of a lot of pine and dark caramel. Definitely smells east coast in style, but I haven't had much luck with east coast IPAs lately so I'm hopeful for this guy based on the smell because it's quite good. Maybe not so complex, but good.

Pretty malty for an IPA. Lots of biscuit and caramel flavors along with a tongue twisting raw bitterness. Hops are there at the end, more pine like there was in the nose, and maybe some citrus here or there. I was hoping to get a bit more hop flavor instead of such a raw bitterness, but it's still tasting good overall. Lot of caramel/butterscotch flavor in the swallow/aftertaste and a bit of heat.

The feel seems pretty heavy and damp. This falls in line with a lot of other east coast IPAs and tends to be fuller than the west coast style, and even a bit chewy. I think I like the full body better, but it's less refreshing than wehn I think of most IPAs.

Overall I think this is pretty well crafted for what it is trying to achieve. Seems like there's quite a bit of Simcoe in there. I'm always up for trying these east coast style IPAs/DIPAs, but I generally find the west coast style much more appealing. The alcohol actually does get in the way a bit and negatively impacts the drinkability, as does the bitterness.

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Illumination from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 924 ratings
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