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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

695 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 695
Hads: 2,352
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 454
Gots: 323 | FT: 8
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: 695 | Hads: 2,352
Photo of hophead247
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a one and a half finger thick off white head that settled slowly. Thick lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, and pine and floral hops. Flavor is full of piny hops and toasted malt. A well balanced IIPA. Scary drinkability at over 10%. Medium to full body. Nice beer...thanks Brandon... (309 characters)

Photo of boralyl
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Batch 9901. It pours a small quarter inch of white head that recedes fairly quickly leaving a ring of lace. The beer has a clear, medium golden-orange appearance.

S - There is a pretty strong grapefruit aroma with hints of pine. There is also a pineapple aroma present. Light alcohol can be detected.

M - Medium-full in body with good carbonation. The beer coats the inside of your mouth with sticky sweetness and oily hops.

T - The taste reminds me of Founder's Devil Dancer which is another huge imperial IPA. Piny, bitter hops hit the taste buds first followed by light citrus. A plum like flavor paired with a malty sweetness pick up in the middle and continue into the grapefruit like finish. It finishes fairly bitter with traces of warm alcohol.

While an excellent beer, it almost seems more like a hoppy American Barleywine. It's just a barrage of malts and hops packing a nice alcohol heat. This one is a sipper for sure. (938 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy copper tinted orange with frothy head and lace ring down glass. The aroma is intense, bursting with dry and citric hop aromas and very little else. Soapy, spicy, citric hops in a medium body that somehow is creamy at times yet coats the tongue with tastebud nuking hoppy goodness. A pleasant sipper that is must for a hophead (and a must avoid for any non-IPA drinkers). (389 characters)

Photo of mochaguy
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: 8/10/12

Specs: 12oz bottle, 10%, ?? IBU

Glassware: Ommegang Fluted Tulip

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a medium-tall cream colored head.

Smell: Notes of citrus, bread and floral.

Taste: Slightly sweet citrus, orange marmalade, earthy, long medium pithy finish.

Mouth Feel: Mild+ carbonation, slightly creamy with a medium-full body.

Overall: This is my second tasting. First tasting one month ago was more fresh/citrusy, sweeter and more delicate. Very soild but recommend drinking within the first two months of bottling. (539 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange color with a small white head, good carbonation. Nose smells of big citrus; apricot, peaches and greapefruit, hops are pretty subdued as to a West Coast IIPA. Mouthfeel is tart, hops, bittering and citrus, even couaght a few floral notes.Good IIPA and very drinkable. Not as hot as I expected either. (317 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= The pour is a nice crystal clear copper color with a decent looking finger high perfect white head that holds some really nice retention as well as some super lacing.

S= Very aromatic with a lot of pine and pineapple. Loads of citrus in there as well making itself present.

T= Very good flavor. Not the candly like sweetness hopslam presents but more of a brutally bitter hop flavor in the finish. There is a nice grapefuit flavor at first. The grapefruit is washes away quickly by bitter pine flavor. The finish is perticularly bitter.

M= Nice medium carbonation to it with a clean finish.

D= Pretty good DIPA. I've been drinkless for a few weeks now and I had to drink this beer right away. Worth checking out. I loved every little sip of this one. Worth seeking out but maybe not worth the hype. (805 characters)

Photo of alkemy
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to buschbeer for this one. Just shy of two fingers of slightly off-white head. Light haziness in the golden/bronze color. The first smell I got was pineapple...and not just by a little. The pine and grapefruit were more of an afterthought for me. There's a slight hint of some burnt sweet malts. This is pretty good, but I was really expecting more. I'm not sure what it is, but other than Two Hearted, Bell's just doesn't do it for me. (443 characters)

Photo of SaucyA
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of the 10 that I bought. Figured I'd get a review of it in. Obviously I already think it's pretty good.

A - Poured into my St. Feuillien balloon. I know I know, but I like it. Clear copper body with a nice little jet of bubbles shooting up from the nucleation site in the glass. The head, a 1 finger white cap of foam, sticks around for a little bit, and laces the glass the whole way down.

S - This is actually deteriorating a bit since the last bottle I had. What once was almost pure hoppy pineappley goodness, is now slightly vegetal and wet-grassy. However the more it opens up, the more it smells like it originally did... a fruity melange of hop aromas and an underlying malty sweetness.

T - While the hops have diminished slightly since the release, there is a definite kick in the mouth from the alpha acids. This is basically a hop bomb with the only balance being from a light malt base and a decent amount of residual sweetness. It's quite bitter, but totally works. In terms of an American DIPA, it's spot on, with it's only rivals being other Bell's and Short's brews, and west coast hop monsters.

M - Nice thickness, nice oily mouthfeel on the backend, and great carbonation. Solid beer.

D - I normally don't think of DIPA's as a go to beer, but if this was available, I'd buy it all the time. One of the better DIPA's out of Michigan recently. (1,370 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4/5  rDev -4.8%

12oz bottle, dated 08/08/2014, poured into SA glass.

Hazy, golden-honey elixir, one-finger white head dissipates to thin rim. Scant lacing.

Heavy pine, citrus, subtle spice and earth tones.

Citrus, mangoes, spice, pine. Alcohol after taste brings this one down a bit.

Medium body, alcohol presence.

Good not great DIPA. (328 characters)

Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Appearance- Golden, well carbonated brew with a small head but good lacing

Smell- Cotton candy, pineapple

Taste- Massive grapefruit, lemon, mango, finishes very dry and slightly astringent. Cloying sweetness and a little pill bitterness. Biscuity malt profile that is barely detectable.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and tangy

Overall- Good but not my favorite. (353 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a deep copper with a slight brownish haze. An eggshell colored head raises to an average two-fingers, but leaves tons of lacing and sticks around for minutes.

not as hoppy an aroma as I expected (this bottle was brewed about 6 weeks ago, so not extremely fresh, but should still be young) some butterscotch, caramel and slightly toasty breads are more dominant in the nose. Though not over-the-top hoppy, it still smells pretty nice.

sweet caramel and definite toasty malts with some toffee, molasses, and honey sweetness. citrus, floral, and tropical fruit hops are present throughout and finally take over with a bit of sweetness and some bitterness on the back end. booze on the swallow as well.

oily medium bodied with just a touch of carbonation and a relatively dry finish (no resin left behind) some lingering alcohol heat.

drinks ok. definitely different from HopSlam, which is more my style of DIPA, but tasty in its own way. Alcohol is there and a tad harsh at times. (981 characters)

Photo of joeblackasnite
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy burnt auburn

S: Orange peel, white flowers, pine tree

T: Peaches & honey with floral hop notes, dried herb tones and ginger on the back end

M: Well balanced for a DIPA, not too sweet and dry, bitter hops linger

D: Quite good. Not entusiastic about the pricetag on the beer, plenty of IPA's out there that do the job for less but a nice beer nonetheless. (365 characters)

Photo of joeworrall
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is the second time I have had this beer... impressed both times, but more so tonight after trying Sam Adams Third Voyage Imperial IPA and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid IPA

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large tulip glass, we got a nice head that settled down to about 1/4 inch thick. Pale amber color, slightly cloudy.

the aroma on this beer is outstanding - very citrus/floral. Flavor is intense with hops.... No effort to balance the malted barley here. Sweet & slightly bitter... It's all good.

Top 20 IPA for sure.... Not sure today whether this is in my top 10 IPA's, but it is definitely worth coming back for again! (626 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, I can honestly say that this is a well crafted beer. However, I may have just grown tired of big powerful dipa's. This beer pours a beautiful glowing orange and has very pleasant nose as well. The feel is spot on for the style for a beer that clocks in at 10% abv. But I Found it to be just too sweet and sugary for my liking. I even found it hard to finish the bottle. Like I said . . . I think Bell's has brewed a nice beer with Oracle but for me it's just too much. (477 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Kite & Key in Philadelphia. Served in a chalice.

A - Deep golden, slightly orange body with a nice white head and great lacing.

S - Strong citrus hops and caramel malts. Those flavors are great, but I get a lot of booze.

T - Much like the aroma. Nice citrusy hops. Grapefruit and orange hops. Good bitterness in the back, but, again, lots of booze.

M - Surprisingly not thick. Maybe even a bit dry. The booze comes out the most, though.

O - It would be spectacular if it weren't so boozy. That really just kills it. (534 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure how "summer" the release is I just found a bottled on 8/09 at my local six pack shop for a $3.25 single. Long time tick for me since last year!

A - Well it settled a bit making for great lacing but I did get a 1+ inch foamy head atop of a rather bright clear orange brown colored beer.
S - Smell is interesting very resinous but showing citrus in nature. Like a weird but effective blend.
T - Ow wow this is seriously the most bitter beer I had all year. Deep dank resinous hop bite that shakes the tongue and burns the buds. Truthfully the first sip I choked a bit because of the surprise huge hop bite and massive ABV. Second a bit smoother but I don't think my palate would completely adjust. Such a bitter unforgivable beer.
M - Thankfully the body keeps this massive ABV at bay making for a more medium bodied drinking experience.

Overall the hype really made this beer seem as good as hopslam but all I got was a tongue peeling hop experience that cries for a better malt base. If anything I applaud the well hidden ABV so there is that... (1,057 characters)

Photo of Freethyhops
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

good ole' batch finder lets me know this batch 9901 is just over a month old. maybe too old for those obsessive Cali folks, but plenty fresh IMO.

a- pours a translucent light orange color. a sticky, lacy snow white head with average retention. really can't knock a 10% brew for that, though. this one lights up with some beautiful tones when held to light.

s- really nice hop bouquet on this one. much more West Coast in comparison to Hopslam. very pine centered, with good grapefruit and orange citrus notes. a bit grassy and boozy after the initial hop burst. obviously bitter even on the nose.

t- bitter bitter pine. really hits a soft spot in my IPA heart. again grapefruit is the main citrus component. a bit of biscuit in the bready drying finish. the maltiness is mostly caramel and soft spicy alcohol. this beast really gets exceptionally bitter as it warms. really one of the more bitter DIPAs I've had. good ole' palate assault.

m- a real big bodied ale here. the bitterness and high-moderate carbonation really adds to that fullness. everything is working in sync here.

d- as much as I love the bitterness. a big bold brew like this really isn't something I can drink a lot of; it just wears on me after a few. I will most certainly return to this one, at an even fresher date next time it comes around. a bonafide hop bomb (1,340 characters)

Photo of Spiekerbox
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep amber-orange color with a thin head that takes force to make. Head lingers for a while after the pour and sticks to the glass.

S- Hoppy, Hoppy with a floral citrus aroma. A little malt there, but pretty hidden by the hops.

T- Very bitter and hoppy at the start. A nice sweet maltyness in there and a finish that is strong and bitter. Strong alcohol warmth with the finish as well

M- Thicker than I would have expected but would say it is medium-high in body with moderate carbonation. Very sticky which leaves to a long aftertaste.

O- Good beer, definitely not a quick drink and pretty complex. Wouldn't want to drink more than a couple in a night but I dont think I would be able to anyway. Quite an enjoyable beer :) (730 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled at the end of August 2009. Pours a slightly hazed orange with one finger foam forming at the top of the duvel glass. The first mouthful is packed with a bitter grapefruit hop bite, following with a very slight tingle on the tongue of the alc %. Boy, this is a big bad beer. Its quite drinkable actually, but you have to respect the abv %. Found this one at the very end of a beer haul, so glad I got to try it. Would have been nice to find a fresher bottle though. (477 characters)

Photo of youngleo
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I actually bought a few bottles fall of 2009. I forgot to do a review at that time. When checking my fridge, I saw the Oracle hidden in the back of the fridge. So anyway, this brew poured a two fingered head that hung around a long time. Had lots of lacing that left rings with every swallow. Brew itself was copper in color. Also had lots of floaties. Smell of grapefruit was evident as soon as it was opened. Also had a wiff of alcohol and pine. Tasted of heavy pine, grapfruit, alcohol, and malt. Pine was more evident than all the rest. Had a bitter aftertaste. Also left some dry notes in the mouth. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was good. I had a buzz after drinking one. You couldnt make this a session beer. But it sure would be nice to be able to enjoy one every once in a while. I hope Bells comes out with the Oracle again in the fall. (852 characters)

Photo of Brez07
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing from last months notes. Batch 9306. Thanks to heliosphann for sending this one my way. Poured into a snifter

A: Orange/ruby pour that leaves a 1/2 finger white head. Not much lacing in the glass

S: A blend of hops, sweet fruit and alcohol. Malt is fairly present. Seems like this will be a well balanced beer

T: Good amount of hops, but somewhat faded, adding a bitter quality. There is some sweetness from the fruit trying to break through. Malty finish

M: Medium bodied, pretty smooth and creamy. Good carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste

D: Fairly good. Great beer, but I would stop at one. Alcohol is hidden well, but it creeps up on you with each sip. One of the better balanced DIPA out there (714 characters)

Photo of otto251068
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: Dark copper. Absolutely beautiful color. After the pour the already thin, but bubbly head quickly dissipates into a light lacing floating in the middle of the glass. Eggshell colored head, no lacing.

Smell: Very clean and crisp. Strong hop presence, but not overpowering. Also plenty of pine. Some citrus, mainly orange with some grapefruit.

Taste: Sweetness right off the bat, some malts too for just a second, but that doesn't last long. Immediately the citrus hits, mostly grapefruit, a little piney flavor, then the hops. The hop flavor dominates this beer, but it is never overpowering (if that makes sense)

Mouthfeel: The carbonation feels great on the tongue, and seems to grow before the swallow. The beer feels syrupy, but also finishes fairly clean, with a little bitterness staying in the back of the throat.

Overall: Very good, well balanced DIPA, not a "hopbomb." This is a very well balanced beer. Usually for me it's "one and done" when it comes to 10.0% ABV DIPAs, but I could drink a few of these back to back. (1,094 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with an off-white head, decently sized and with good retention for the style. Lacing is of the sheeting variety.
Smell is weak though notes of malt, citrus and hops are discernible, if just barely.
Taste is malty, grapefruit hops, grass, a touch of wood. Balance is very good.
Exceedingly dry from the instant it touches your lips, warming, too. As smooth as you could expect of a DIPA. Lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. Well worth the search. (474 characters)

Photo of pkalix
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

there is no smell or aroma that I can detect....
glad it's a 12oz'er....... so tired of these "bombers" I have to finish even after they are warm.
lots o' malt, biscuit, honey. lots o' bitterness.... typical 10% IPA... I believe I have met the best and there is nothing to get better. this one is pretty good. nothing other than that which is "special" to report... Bell's has done better... (391 characters)

Photo of dc55110
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's tulip. Bottled date 8/12/11.

A vigorous pour yields a 1/2 to 3/4 inch foamy head, it dissipates slowly to a nice froth, which in turn leaves a nice ring of lacing around the glass. The liquid is a nice deep copper color. A steady stream of carbonation bubbles work their way up from the bottom.

The aroma is very full of citrus fruits; Pineapple, grapefruit, a little mango? At the very back of there is also hints pine. Only on the deepest in inhalations do I detect a sweet malty aroma.

I'm a bit taken back by the initial flavors. The pine and malts which were nearly drowned out by the citrus aromas are front and center on the tongue... The fruity hops are there but not as present as the nose let on. The 10% ABV which was hidden quite well during the sniff test, is not quite as elusive on the way down the gullet. As it warms the pine and booze become more assertive.

The body of this is every bit IIPA. Clean, crips and finishes without too much malty sweetness. The carbonation is spot on.

While this is fine example of a IIPA, I wouldn't go out of my way to grab it again, especially at the hwy robbery price I paid ($4.99). It isn't a malty syrupy mess like Double Crooked Tree or hop bomb like Devil Dancer. At the same time it isn't nearly as well developed as Exponential Hoppiness or Abrasive. Is it a really good Imperial IPA? Yeah! (1,388 characters)

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 695 ratings.