Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beer Review: Illumination Double IPA

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-plus 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.

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