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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,923 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,923
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 439
Gots: 251 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,923 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by THANAT0PSIS:
Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bells Oracle

Appearance: The “other” DIPA from Bells pours a beautifully rich, slightly hazy golden orange of a ridiculously effervescent quality. It is crowned with an utterly perfect two fingers of cream-colored head that is as dense as homemade whipped cream; it flatly refuses to dissipate, almost to a fault, and, when it eventually does dissipate (which required drinking some first), it leaves heaps of lacing all over the glass. This beer looks absolutely magnificent and ranks among the best looking beers out there. 5/5

Aroma: Oracle explodes out of the glass with a blast of extremely dank pine resin, intense lemon and grapefruit rind (but not a hint of the sweeter flesh of either fruit), grassiness, and perhaps the tiniest suggestion of orange and pineapple. The malt bill is very clean and somewhat weak but does impart a slight twinge of sweetness. The alcohol is really the only detectable sweetness in the beer. This is outrageously intense to the point of being overwhelming. Imagine Hopslam on steroids minus the balancing quality of the honey sweetener. 4/5

Taste: If possible, the taste takes the aroma up yet another notch in bitterness. This Bells offering is ludicrously bitter, and this fact cannot be stressed enough. Despite the sweet alcohol and the minimal malt bill noted in the nose, have no illusions: this is not even close to balanced. It is nothing but a piney, grassy, rind-y assault so over the top that no other flavors are even detectable, other than an exceedingly mild sweetness in the back end that ends up feeling like five-minute rain shower in the Sahara. It is strange, but the bitterness in this beer is a bit herby and vegetal, almost like really fresh kale (without the taste of kale) or chewing a mouthful of fresh cut grass. There is not much depth or balance here. In a word: intense. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: The viscosity is very moderate, exactly where one would want it in a beer like this. Unsurprisingly, the astringency scorches the tongue and mouth nearly to the point of unpleasantness, which also makes the finish insanely dry. Carbonation is perfect, and the beer is surprisingly drinkable (or would be if it were not so impossibly bitter). Each sip leaves a nice stickiness on the lips. The mouthfeel is exactly where it should be if it were not for the overdone astringency. 4/5

Overall: Wow. Just wow. I did not know what to expect coming into this beer, but Hopslam this is not. This is without a doubt the most bitter beer I have ever drank, and I’ve had Palate Wrecker, Ruination, Abrasive, Arctic Panzer Wolf, Double Sunshine, Resin, etc. Mark this down as the only beer I have ever had trouble finishing alone due only to the bitterness. I would say that this is the hop-lover’s dream, but I am a hop lover, and this was still too much. With a more assertive malt bill, Oracle could really shine; it need not be totally balanced or anything, but some semblance or hint of balance has got to make itself known. The beer is top notch in craftsmanship and to style (if ultra-bitter DIPA is a style), but when I have trouble finishing a 12 oz. of this and can put down bombers of Arctic Panzer Wolf with no trouble, well, there might be a problem. Looking at other reviews, I feel like there must be a lot of bottle variation with this beer, since I got almost nothing but resin, but others note ample tropical fruit. Regardless, in summation, seek this out if you are a masochist. 16.5/20

THANAT0PSIS, Oct 11, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of macrosmatic
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Cyclone8 for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Pours quite hazy, bronze-ish gold, with a half-finger of white head and an average amount of small bubble visible carbonation.

S: Pine, caramel and biscuit malt sweetness, and bitter citrus. Not a huge aroma for a DIPA.

T: Caramel malts, a lot of bitterness, some pine and the bitterest of citrus rind hops, and quite a bit of boozy alcohol. As it warms, the booze and bitterness increases up front, then fades into some malt with caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation sensation. The alcohol it quite noticeable, but nothing like DFH 120 Minutes.

O: This embodies a lot of the characteristics I don't like in a DIPA. Big alcohol flavor, caramel, and bitterness without the underlying hop flavors to keep me interested. While not a drain-pour, this isn't anything that I'll go back to.

macrosmatic, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of KFBR392
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%

Appearance: pours with a glowing golden orange color. Finger worth of frothy white head. Active carbonation is a touch above average for the style but very fitting. Sticky rings of lacing left behind with each drink.

Smell: pine and oily hops jump out right away. Heavy saturated citrus with notes of grapefruit, tangerines, and ripe oranges. A potent malt backbone packs a semi-sweet punch of caramel and sour dough bread. Bitter hops give a welcome bite on the back end. Resinous pine and hop oils carry throughout and are felt on the finish.

Taste: Sweet malts and touches of booze immediately warm the palate. Potent saturated citrus quickly follows on the front. Joining force and evening out the potent hops is malts notes of bread, toffee, and molasses. Bright oily hops and some herbal pine notes bright this beer full circle.

Mouthfeel: Lots of hop oils. Bitterness and sweet malts play well off one another.

Overall: Lots of similar characteristics to Hopslam. Tasty but nothing I would really go out of my way for. So many DIPAs these days, this one is another face in the crowd.

KFBR392, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of oberon
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now part of the bottle selection at the Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint glass a hazed deep burnt orange with a tight formed,well defined one finger white head that held well.A blast of grapefruit and tangerine aromas lets you know this is some seriuos hop juice comin at ya,a tinge of sweet caramel and alcohol comes into play as well.The mouthfeel is coating but not overly thick,just lush and somewhat oily.Serious hop juice on the palate,huge grapefruit,tangerines,and candied orange flavors,with a little pine resin,but the hop flavors are dominated by the citric hop qualities.Some sweetness imparted from the alcohol and a little caramel,are there as well.This is a bad ass DIPA here,true to what it should be in my mind,not overly sweet and HUGE hops!

oberon, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

DanGeo, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden yellow color, looks very thick, lacy white head that is easy to rejuvenate with a little swirl of the glass. Smells of deep hop oils, spices, alcohol, with a tad of grapefruit and pine tree. The taste is right behind it, tasting of lots and lots and LOTS of hops, resin, pine, with just a bit of grapefruit sweetness. Lots of spice and alcohol, especially in the aftertaste. It has a bit of malt in the finish as well. Very, very high bitterness with low carbonation. Very heavy on the mouth and leaves a very sticky feeling.

Somewhat similar to Bell's Hopslam with a bit more of hops and grapefruit, sans the honey induced sweetness. A very good brew, but definitely one you have to sip.

tectactoe, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 9/8/10.

A: Pours a dark orange and gold, bordering on amber, into my snifter. A slight head vanishes immediately, leaving a spongy white film on top. The carbonation looks to be moving at a slow to medium pace. The lacing is thin and fine, like delicate handwriting with a quill and ink.

S: A load of citrus hops (mainly grapefruit) with a little bit of pine hop smell jump into my nose upfront, balanced by just enough of a caramel malt presence. I also smell a fair amount of dry biscuit and a little bit of coppery tap water.

T: Wow, that is dry, earthy hopticism. The citrus hop notes definitely shine through (although more orange than grapefruit), but this is definitely one of the drier hop profiles I have tasted in a DIPA. Like in the smell, the caramelized malts stand up to the hops, but only for a second in the middle of the sip. After that, the hops blow the face off of the malt. The aftertaste is almost the exact lasting flavor I have had on my tongue when I have eaten hops in the past.

M: Oracle is medium bodied, with a very puckering finish. The creaminess of the sweet malts graces my palate for a very short time before the bitter, earthy hops dry my palate and leave their flowery, alpha-acid goodness all over my tongue.

D: This guy is big and bitter, but that is a pleasant departure from a lot of other DIPAs that I have had. I definitely will consume more of this treat, but with some beers in between so that I can enjoy this beast anew.

TCHopCraver, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

OhioBobcat, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -4.8%

CavemanRamblin, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Blaheath for organizing this trade.

A- It's hazy bright yellowish-orange.

S- The nose is packed with tropical citrus, orange sherbert, lemon zest, and becomes more floral as it warms.

T- Fruity up front, litter box, mandarin orange and pineapple.

M- Smooth at the start and finishes bitter, bitter, bitter...

D- Not all that drinkable in my opinion. Tastes great but it's an alpha bomb. I'm really glad I got to try it.

brownbeer, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Schlais, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

SanFranJake, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of wrycon
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

wrycon, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

BubalooBrewMaster, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have been very excited for this one. Pours into my glass a brilliant reddish orange with a two finger head of creamy foam on top that leaves behind patchy lacing. Hops are there before I even bring the glass close! Huge resinous citrus, grapefruit, tropical and floral aromas burst up at you. Sweet malt backbone with candied accents. The hop oils are so bright it is like inhaling the perfume of a fresh handful of cones. Intoxicating.

First sip brings a wall of hops upfront with tropical citric tones, grapefruit along with some floral and pine notes. Flows down with sweet malts and a bit of an earthy character. Huge tongue wrenching bitterness throughout. Resinous hop oils linger on in the finish along with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dense, rich and creamy with good carbonation. A bit slick, but goes down pretty smooth. Overall, just another top notch DIPA from Bell's. I think I still might like Hopslam a bit better, but in the interim this is quite tasty. Thanks hoppymeal.

orbitalr0x, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of ripocceschi
5/5  rDev +19%

ripocceschi, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

sabitu, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of supa0525
4/5  rDev -4.8%

supa0525, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of nickadams2
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a slightly hazy,golden/amber color with a thick, sticky white head.Lots of lacing.

S_Citrus bomb. Grapefruit,pineapple,piny hops.Some alcohol heat.

T_Follows the nos. Intense citrus. Lots of pine. Lots of spruce in the finish.Alcohol burn. Awesome beer.

M_Thick,sticks to your lips. I cant stop lip smacking. So delicious.

D_Very drinkable for such a bad ass beer. Two or three and you're well on your way.

nickadams2, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of LotzofHopz
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%

LotzofHopz, Tuesday at 09:32 PM
Photo of danthehopslamman
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

DaftPatrick, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/12/11

A - Pours a clear deep copper with one finger of off-white head. Head doesn't have great retention, but leaves a sheet of lacing.

S - Big aroma of pine and grapefruit hops, along with some candied fruit. Nice amount of caramel malt and a faint alcohol presence.

T - Big grapefruit pith and resinous pine hops up front. A bit of sweetness, but bitterness predominates. Also some orange pulp and caramel malt. Very nice .

M - Medium resinous mouthfeel. A but sweet in the middle but finishes dry and bitter.

O - A very good DIPA and a nice contrast to Hopslam. I look forward to this one every year.

warnerry, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Afroman
4.16/5  rDev -1%

Afroman, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of DWolf
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

DWolf, Sep 23, 2013
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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,923 ratings.