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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

719 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 719
Hads: 2,446
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 19.62%
Wants: 456
Gots: 345 | FT: 11
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 719 | Hads: 2,446
Reviews by WakeandBake:
Photo of WakeandBake
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy copper color pour with a big fluffy long lasting off white head , leaving streeks of sticky lacing behind , light carbonation. Aroma of sweet pink grapefruit, pineapple , spicy resin and an earthy malt note maybe rye. Flavor is grapefruit up front with a rush of spicy earthy bitter hops , dry toasty grainy malt , and finishing with a slightly alcoholic fruitpunch flavor, like rye . nice warning effect , long bitter finish . slick slightly oily mouthfeel at first till the hops dry it back out and you need another sip , full body , very drinkable but I would not call it sessionable , this stuff will kick you in the nuts. I bet this would be a bit better fresh but it still kicks ass ,I had high hopes for this and was not disappointed thank you bells , and I love you Larry xoxoxoxo

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More User Reviews:
Photo of macrosmatic
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What a perfect brew for my one hundredth review.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a hazy deep golden orange with two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is borderline insane as it lingers for quite awhile. Lacing is extravagant and insanely plentiful. Incredibly beautiful and inviting, it has one of the most beautiful pours I've seen.

S: Aromas of citrus, sweet malts, and pine/grass like hops initially. Then you get some honey, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, and peach. Also has a slight boozy quality.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, honey, and pine up front. In the middle you find some citrus, most notably orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Finishes grassy, bitter, and slightly boozy. Leaves a resiny pine like aftertaste. Very intense onslaught of flavors, this beer is phenomenal but not for the faint of heart (and/or palate).

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has high levels of pleasant astringency. Smooth and bitterly crisp, finishes dry and bitter with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Definitely a sipper but still very pleasant to drink.

O: Honestly Bell's has been leaving me at a loss for words lately. Most of the Planet Series absolutely blew my f***ing mind... the rest left favorable impressions. Hopslam, Two Hearted, Third Coast Old Ale, and Expedtion Stout all hold a special place in my heart. And Black Note Stout is easily one of my top ten brews. I really enjoyed this brew last year (my first time trying it) but I feel that it's true greatness was somehow lost to me... until now. This brew is a world class example of true brewing prowess. I give Bell's yet another giant metaphorical tip of the f***ing hat. This is a true whale that as far as I can tell doesn't get even close to the credit it deserves. I truly wish I could do a (fresh) side by side of this and Hopslam because honestly I don't know which is better... and on a random note Mars might have been better then both. Sorry for the rant everyone but this brews greatness has turned my mind to pudding. Overall this is a must try for any DIPA fan, in the endless ocean of brews I've been trying lately this one stands out as a true beacon of hope.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%

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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Churchkey DC into a tumbler. Listed as dry hopped with Amarillo and Pacific Jade.

A light copper/red amber body, almost bronze in appearance with a slight creamy head. Served small head but keeps a collar while drinking.

Nose is small, kind of pine like but mild also with a strange noticeable thick sense of alcohol haze.

Taste brings a thick pine and resin, with a very hot finish. Finish aftertaste ... is extremely dry, with a hop bitter grapefruit oil sense, and a small mild brown sugar. Texture is a good mix of mild carbonation and brittle dry bitterness.

Overall impressive, just wish the nose was a little bolder. Alcohol seems very noticeable as well overpowering some of the beers better qualities.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's about time that we have a non-West Double IPA that emphasizes extreme bitterness and abandoning the heavily caramelized grains.

The Oracle starts with a medium copper/medium amber color with a subtle russet hue. A rich head formation of eggshell white foam reduces to a sticky sheet and laces in rings as the beer fades away. A very gentlemanly appearance and has all the hallmarks of great IPA's.

Resiny hops lead the aromatic way with pine, fresh cut grasses, and sharp citrus notes. With all the attention on the hop invasion, the crisp graham cracker malts show timidly up front and is everso fleeting from it's initial impression on- just the way a hop-forward beer should. No esters, no harsh alcohols.

Again in flavor, the malts give a suble caramel base, but that is soon swallowed by intense hop flavor and bitterness- this beer is simply not about the malts. Sharp pine, grassy, and resiny flavors are bold, bright, and command attention at all points in the beer's flavor. Once the malt/hop heirarchy is established in flavor, the bitterness kicks in even more and provides the dry crisp and bitter finish that is rarely found even in the greatest IPA's.

Moderately full and creamy early but those textures are quickly thrown to the wind in favor of a quick transition to dry, hoppy, and crispness. Bitter and resiny til the long, lingering end.

A very refreshing Double IPA because it's rare that these big hoppy beers truely exhibit the intense bitterness and dry character throughout that we see here. It's definately a swift kick to the taste buds.

Thanks a ton Cheezdawg!

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Photo of humuloner22
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

This is a very nice offering from Bell's. Its not really like Hopslam, but it is very similar in respect to Two Hearted. I would say this is more like TH in that its malty, balanced, not overly sweet, but more boozy. Which you would expect from the abv.

Pours: Dark amber with some head in the aggressive pour, but it settles to virtually no lacing. Which based upon the abv and style is expected.

Aroma: Hoppy, boozy, some sweet maltiness. This is not a beer that is outstanding from the rest, but it is very solid. It might be confused with being too pedestrian, but I find it so well balanced that is why people would think in this regard.

Taste: Sweetness, piney, tropical and floral hops dominate ,but you get a good malt balance going on. Its very similar to Mars, I imagine they follow a similar recipe. My only complaint is that it does have a fair amount of alcohol in the taste. Not that this is a bad thing but its not one you can drink more than two of in a night.

Overall: I don't think this is a true west coast style DIPA, but I do think it is somewhat true to the style with a mid-west interpretation. Some have said its pretty mundane, but I think that is just people who have had too many Hop bombs this year. I felt this one was well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

neat double ipa, but i think its less distinct and unique than some of their others, and certainly less so than the best in the game, although its hard to fault this because its awesome. i like that it has a little lighter body than many, and that despite it, the booze isnt exposed. i also like how dramatic the hops are in the aroma, no grain weighing on them at all. its a well designed beer for that reason, but the taste to me, as fresh and tasty as it is, is nothing overly unique. its like a lot of good ones, but lacks the touch that sets the best ones apart. its the most like a west coast style of the several that they do i think, but its not as resinous. the hops are clean and only middle of the spectrum bitter. i love that. carbonation is high enough to cut through too, which helps it stay lighter. even as it warms it stays relatively easy. i think the packaging is some of the coolest out there too, and the beer is lovely, but it just doesnt stand out for me all that much from the top tier of big ipa. bells has no misses though, thats a fact.

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Photo of oberon
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  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.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.28/5  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.

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Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of wrycon
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Grinz12
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of ripocceschi
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.