Illumination | Central Waters Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
263 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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 draheim
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled Feb/Mar) poured into a tulip - thanks MammothBrew!

Hazy bright orange color with a sudsy 2-finger head. Some fine wisps of sediment suspended in the brew.

Aroma is tropical fruit, citrus, pine, and a little alcohol. Another dry-hopped delicacy with that great DIPA smell.

Taste is more boozy than expected, but at 9% ABV maybe not such a surprise.

As it warms, more caramel flavor shows through and the overall sweetness gets stronger. Because this beer is 4-5 months old, I suspect that the hops may have faded enough that they no longer mask the high ABV as the brewer intended.

The flavor is good but not great and the balance seems off.

 666 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-11-23 in Columbia, PA

A - Hzy amber-orange with a 2-finger white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Pineapple, mango, sweet orange flesh and a dank basement smell that reminds me of the wooden keg we used to make hard cider.

T - Initially it reminds me of grainy candy corn with a burst of orange creamcicle sweetness; then some orange peel bitterness wakes up the taste buds and calms the initial sweetness. There's a raw/dank/stale and minty pine flavor I hadn't noticed in the aroma that compliments the rest of the flavors nicely and helps add depth to the aftertaste.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Raw, prickly, resinous.

O - I enjoyed this brew but didn't feel like having another one right away. The flavors and aroma were interesting to me. I liked it so I must be a fan of raw/dank/stale, citrus and minty pine :>)

 881 characters

Photo of samie85
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-A very vigorous pour yields a golden amber color with an off white, three finger head that leaves thick lacing.

S-Smells of pineapple and mango and some light malt noted with a bit of pine.

T-Bitter and dry pine upfront with some very ripe pineapple and a little bit of alcohol and light malt

M-Pretty drying in the mouth with light body and a medium to high amount of prickly carbonation.

D-Not bad, but I feel like the drying qualities would get to me after awhile as would the alcohol notes that seem to become more prevalent as it warms.

 548 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden, slightly orange, straw yellow, with a thin whitish head that leaves decent lacing. Looks quite appealing, dark and full enough in color that it looks like it's got something good in there.

Smell is dominated by citrus, resiny, and piney hops, with a nice balancing sweetness. They meld to form a very smooth, well-rounded aroma that I think is the highlight of the beer.

Wow, the bitterness of the hops is front-and-center. The piney hops are much more prevalent than they are in the smell. They're followed by a bit of citrus, and underlain by enough sweetness to fill in the flavor somewhat. But I want more than a smack upside the head with a bitter mallot, and that's mostly what I get with this beer. Some citrus flavor comes through a bit later, but it's not as multi-dimensional as the better DIPAs.

Mouthfeel is good, medium-light. Starts out a bit high in the carbonation, smooths out as those early bubbles disappear.

I'll readily admit that DIPAs aren't my favorite style. But I've tried, and enjoyed, some of the best examples, and they go beyond simple powerful hop bitterness. For me, this one doesn't. It's not really bad, but I definitely won't seek it out again.

 1,199 characters

Photo of CurtisLoew
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at discount in milwaukee - thanks for the recommendation Wisconsinality!

A - This is a great looking beer. A dark yellow/light orange color, with white lacing around the glass. Cloudy and inviting.

S - Smell of citrus and floral hops. Pretty muted compared to other double IPA's.

T - Very good taste. Balanced IPA, and a great dose of hops.

M - Perfect Carbonation, and very clean mouthful.

D - Great drinkability. I could drink these all day. Very smooth and easy to put down for the style.

 514 characters

Photo of Bobby12many
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, nearly opaque golden straw color with a nice frothy head that sticks around. Abundant spotty, clumped lacing. Overall a great looking DIPA.

S - Hoppy with a zesty lemon note. Very nice aroma.

T- Bright flowery Hops up front with a nice tangy citrus note on the back end. Very bitter and somewhat one-dimensional, but the freshness and crisp zest of this make it quite enjoyable.

M - Medium bodied without feeling too dry and sticky.

D - I can certainly imaging buying this one again, if for anything to share it with some hop head friends. It is local, fresh, and inexpensive when compared to others of this style. Certainly not the most complex or intriguing IPA I have ever tried, but very far from the worst.

 726 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Fluffy white/yellow foamyness sit on top of iced tea looking brew. Moderate lacing.

Mango and pineapple dominate. Lots of sugary malt.

Hot, heavy, sugary, buttery, missing over amounts of bitterness, sweetness is nearly overpowering, lots of apple, orange, and bread. Wet and enjoyable. Carbonation is Medium and sits well.

Recommended for a try, couldn't use as go to DIPA. Good brew, solid, but not amazing or anything to "hunt".

 435 characters

Photo of vic21234
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle has a bottled on date of March 2012.

A- Pours a cloudy orange with a half finger of white head. Once the head fades some lacing is noticeable along the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet hop notes, some citrus along with some caramel is noted.

T- Starts off with some sweet caramel-like malt notes before giving way to all hop. The hops seem to be mostly piney in flavor. The citrus I noted in the smell is not apparent to me in the taste.

M- Nicely carbonated, medium-bodied, very bitter on the backend of the sip. The alcohol is noticeable but not bad.

A decent DIPA. A nice offering from Central Waters but nothing I would buy again.

 678 characters

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.

 487 characters

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;

 448 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tuliip

A- pours a clear amber color with some orange and ruby hues, small creamy white head reduces to a thin film and ring around the edge

S- Piney and resinous hop with a hint of citrus and melon, sweet malty undertone gives off hints of caramel

T- strong piney and grassy hop bitterness up front, followed by lighter notes of citrus. Earthy and caramel malt add a bit of balance, before finishing with a resinous finish and lingers of pine and citrus

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy thick mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- very bitter and aggressive, the underlying malt seems to control it a bit

 675 characters

Photo of yamar68
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dull, hazy tangerine with a dense white head. No real beading yet. The aroma hops in this are intense: huge citrus like grapefruit, clementine, pineapple, plus some very floral, sprucey bits. You can’t really dissect the flavor without mentioning a perfect milky consistency that forces you to pace yourself. It has a bit of bite, maybe more so than you’d expect at 9% ABV... the flavors at work though are well incorporated - big hot hops and an understated malty backbone.

 486 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am not sure how old this one was, whether it came from a local trader or out of my cellar. As such, I employed a very gentle pour so as not to disturb any lees that may have been present. I got no head as a result, but it had NE-quality clarity in its light-amber color. Nose smelled of pineapple and caramel, again causing me to question its freshness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was of minty hops, caramel malt and HEAT! Holy alcohol burn, Batman! This held up really well and could have sat even longer. Jesus, I was openly sweating after my first mouthfeel. I wonder what this might be like young. After a couple of swigs, I began to settle into the spearmint/peppermint-like hops and the caramel sweetness underlying the hops. The heat began to subside, but it remained a big beer. Finish was literally breath-taking. Phew!

 838 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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 BarrytheBear
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into my La Choffe tulip

Pale orange pour is quite clear when hold to the light. Head sinks to a whispy quasar along the surface as a ring settles around the edges. I tend to enjoy the look of an orange-y IPA and this nearly fits my visceral visual enjoyment.

Initial scent of candied orange is short lived, followed closely with some grass and a healthy amount of brown sugar. It's pretty nice, but doesn't stick around long enough to make this particularly memorable.

Bitterness rules the Illumination. With a tongue battering bitterness throughout, this beer's a bit like what I would imagine eating the forest floor might taste like. So hungry from hiking, so famished, near death, need food or drink...must...eat...the ....forest floor. Before you consume nature and have the Sierra Cub all up your business, I have a beer for you that will satisfy your needs. Crisis averted, we can breathe easy and return to the review. When aggressively swirled, some of the brief citrus from the initial nose returns, but similarly, doesn't last.

The palate has been assaulted. Each sips seems to launch an unprovoked bombardment of my tongual region. I did not notice until now that the bottle has warned me that such debauchery would result in my opening this bottle. Shame on my lack of reading.

 1,307 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a weyerbacher tulip glass on the late late.

A slight hiss when the cap is popped CWIDIPA pours a bright orange color with a golden glaze within. Some sediment towards the end of the bottle makes it a shade darker. A small cap leading to a small island, no stick.

Smelling the hops from the bottle, in the tulip this just screams HOPS and lots of them. Citrus over malt, in fact I cant really detect any malt in the nose. Some grapefruit and a bail of pine. A splash of alcohol. Pretty one demensional.

This is a hop bomb in every sense of the word. Hop juice with citrus including alot of grapefruit. That's about it for the citrus, not a melange of tropics like the west coast runners. Pine is big and there is some alcohol in the back end. I cant make out any malt.

The hop juice sticks to the mouth and does not quit, long after taste of astringent grapefruit and pine needles. Swish this around a bit in the mouth and watch lupulus take hold. Barely any relief in the end with no bisquit malt or the like to even things out. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, just different. Body is medium and is carbed up nice like. Bitter as all hell.

At 109 IBU's I expected this to scorch the mouth and boy did it. All in all it's a double I that could use a layer or two more of different flavor. One sided, astringent, alcohol on the tounge. Some malt might help. Even though it's a bit unbalanced, I appriciate the biggness of it and I say to myself 'it is what it is'. Two steps away from being a total palate wrecker.

 1,546 characters

Photo of Azurescens
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with bottled on punch taken out of label between March and April, poured into snifter, reviewed on 4/6/11.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden hue with off-white head that quickly fades to a thin film, some lacing left on glass.

S: Pleasant citrus hop aroma with some sweet malt and alcohol in the background.

T: Nice hop bitterness up front that is balanced nicely with a sweet caramel malt backbone. The bitter hops and sweet malt come together in complete harmony leaving my tastebuds thirsty for another sip. Finishes sweet and smooth.

M: Nice medium body and carbonation, nothing to complain about here.

O: Nice well balanced imperial IPA, not world class but well above average, very drinkable for its 9% ABV.

 728 characters

Photo of mobius387
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

poured into snifter, march bottle date

appearance: rich golden/bronze in color, frothy white head about 1", little to no carbonation bubbles noticed. the coolest part is you can see some sediment floating around, which is a nice touch

aroma: molasses, pine tree, honey, nutty, a little musty, and some malty background

palate: bitter, boozy, and biting. not great, but at least it satisfies the hop head in me

taste: it starts out nice, some pine and some sweet flavors, but then just ends really resinous. kinda a bad aftertaste, like mouthwash, the booze is definitely loud in this one

overall: not a bad beer, but not up to par with other dipas in the MW, and definitely not any where near CW's BA beers. a nice offering, worth a taste

 743 characters

Photo of Spica66
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this an extra from Alexander. Thank you Alex!

Poured from bottle into glass.

A: Slightly syrupy looking pour. Copper/golden color. Good head formation and carbonation.

S: Not a punch-you-in-your-face-look-how-much-hops-I-can-put-in-a-beer smell. Mostly deep malt smell with a bit of citrus hops.

T: Very malt-forward. The hops must have been mostly bittering hops, because they fight hard with the malt on your tongue to see whose boss. This is the maltiest DIPA I have ever had.

M: Super creamy and very well carbonated.

D: Couldn't tell the 9% at all. Very drinkable.

 579 characters

Photo of corby112
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Capone's.

Pours a hazy dark golden range color with golden yellowish tangerines hues when held to a light and a one finger creamy white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a thin lasting ring that leaves sporadic chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Earthy and floral aroma with resinous oily pine notes as well as some sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes. Hints of tangerine, orange peel and dry soily hops. Subtle malt backbone but the nose is all hops.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry earthy pine bitterness that lingers throughout over the sweeter notes and malt backbone into a long dry finish. Lots of earthy pine and sticky dank hops balanced by grapefruit and orange peel. Slightly watered down with a decent malt backbone with hints of biscuit and toast. Nice dry finish.

 796 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Riley's. Pours a golden cloudy body with abundant creamy head and creamy lace. Some hop and malt aromas. Above average delivery of a DIPA. The alpha bitterness is right there in a malt sandawich. Very balanced and drinkable. Good craftmanship.

 255 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lancaster shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Florida9 for sharing this bottle!

Second DIPA of the day, this time a Wisconsinite instead of a New Yorker. Right on. It pours a clear amber-brass topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, mandarin orange, and caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some lemon zest and a touch of pineapple. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sticky-ish feel. Overall, a pretty nice DIPA, one of the better beers I've had from Central Waters. Makes me think I should keep giving them chances in the future...

 625 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a very thick malt base to it. Which meshes pretty well with all of the hops. And the hops seem very earthy and rustic. Pine and resin abound. Minimal saltiness. Pretty nice. I have a feeling this would be better fresher, but it's pretty good now. A nice enough one.

 279 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 707 characters

Photo of azdback
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Surly pint glass. Dark, burnt orange color. Very bubbly, bright white head. Retention is great. Lace is not existent.

Oops I dipped my shnazz in the cream. The smell is of light citrus hos and bready yeast.

The taste is much better. Sweet malts meet my tongue first. Followed by the bitter taste of a tangerine or some other sweet bitter citrus fruit. Leafy tasting... The alcohol is present but well hidden.

The mouth is a bit under the average. Carbonation is a bit high.

Overall I enjoyed this. And recommend to pick up what ever you can.

 562 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe