The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 1,518 | Reviews: 598 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by THANAT0PSIS:
3.88/5 rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Serving type: bottle
10-11-2013 04:16:28 | More by THANAT0PSIS
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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,518 ratings.