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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
93
outstanding

2,084 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,084
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 437
Gots: 260 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,084 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jakep2021
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Jakep2021, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of LP_Tyler
3/5  rDev -28.4%

LP_Tyler, Dec 31, 2013
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3/5  rDev -28.4%

I2uss, Nov 18, 2011
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3/5  rDev -28.4%

Kyrojack, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of tykechandler
3/5  rDev -28.4%

tykechandler, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of bullywee
3/5  rDev -28.4%

bullywee, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of claminat420
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- alil cloudy golden color. nice white two finger head with medium lacing.

S- hoppy and sweet

T- god i don't even know. alil malty, alil sweet, alil hoppy

M- sturdy medium body. good carbonation.

D- could drink one or two.

Overall- i'm not trying to be a d#ck here and just slam bell's but lookout!!! they put out a special...everyone jumps on it... nothing to special. to me founder's double trouble buried this in a heartbeat.

claminat420, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of zhanson88
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very clear copper color with low carbonation. About 1/2" of slightly off-white head forms, which has good lacing and decent retention. 4

Smell: Lots of caramel malts on the nose, sweetness, citrus, and pine resin. A bit different than most DIPAs as far as balance goes, but decent.

Taste: Big caramel malts up front, followed by heavy pine resin. The combo is very sweet, even cloying. Following that is some citrus, with resinous bitterness on the finish. Maltiness is okay but not necessarily my preference in a DIPA, with sweetness that is too cloying.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium bodied, with low carbonation. Smooth drinking all in all. Overall, I thought this was an interesting take on a DIPA and even a nice change of pace. Not my favorite though.

zhanson88, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%

ShanePB, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of denver10
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%

Pours gold with a white head. Aroma of some biscuit, honey and alcohol hit first, grapefruit, its rind, and pine follows. Flavor follows suit but with a mellow sweetness I did not detect from the aroma. As someone who is not a fan of alcohol showing itself in his hoppy beers, not excited at the heat display here. A crisp, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, the heat to this one really holds me back from being able to get too into this but it also wasn't enough to totally ruin it for me either. Not one I would revisit.

denver10, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of chaz410
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at Common Market.
Pours a beautiful orange tinted amber body with a half finger width white head.
Smells of grapefruit, pine and grassy hops with a very heavy caramel and toasted malt character.
Taste more like an imperial pale ale than an imperial IPA. It has a very smooth orange and caramel blend character with lots of hints of pine, pineapple, apple, and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth.
It is very easy to drink dispite the ABV and the syle

chaz410, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of caskstrength
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wherefore The Oracle??

First off, I know it's ultimately insignificant, but how stupid is the "DoubleIndiaPaleAle Ale" label.

anyway....

pours nice. enough head. DIPA appearances as expected.

Smell is pineapple. whoa. some orange, but mostly pineapple.

Tates are tropical hops. alcohol. decent balancing malts. A tropical fruit DIPA, but the bar has been set high for Bells here. And this is simply OK. Not much fresh, juicy zest. A bit thick. Flavors not bouncing around at all. Boozier than I wanted, didn't help the profile.

More carbonation and lighter mouthfeel would have helped.

An OK pineapple forward DIPA. But it's not as good as hopslam or 2hearted, and I don't see much reason for its existence. Not sure what Bells is doing here.

caskstrength, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of Roguer
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazy, just enough to keep it from transparency. Orange amber brew topped by a nice flat white head with decent retention, and very nice lacing.

Huge caramel malt and brown sugar aroma, with a slight hint of stale cardboard sneaking in. Bottled 48 days ago, so freshness really shouldn't be that big a factor.

Flavor follows: big, malty DIPA, with a huge emphasis on caramel (and pale) malts, a touch of brown sugar, straw, and grainy bread. Beer is hugely bitter with little in the way of hop flavor. Pine definitely stands out, and some non-specific citric acid. It doesn't really hit as stale; it hits as drily malty.

Mouthfeel is fine; beer is very lively, with little sting, and despite the very high ABV, there's only a tinge of heat on the very back-end.

I don't quite get the hype. It's impressively bitter, and some malt-forward DIPAs work out well, but this one doesn't have enough sweetness to carry that task.

Roguer, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of number1bum
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks go out to mymrnngjckt for this treat. You are very kind, sir.

Pours a slightly hazed burnt orange color with a dense two inches of light beige head.

Smell is full of resiny, oily, sticky pine and grapefruity hops, with juicy citrus as well as a bitter pithy quality. It's very fresh and floral, and I love the juiciness of the hops. There is a honey-like sweetness here too. Some alcohol does start to creep in as it warms.

Taste starts off...boozy as hell. Holy shit. And then comes the hop bitterness, which is substantial. I feel like I blinked and the hop flavor passed me by. Where is all the juicy, floral, resiny goodness from the nose? I do get some resiny pine, earthy and herbal flavor and some very bitter grapefruit pith, but the bitterness is absolutely immense and the hot alcohol just throws it entirely out of balance. The juicy, sweet citrus never has a chance to come through. It's a hop bomb, and worse, it's a boozy hop bomb.

Mouthfeel is quite oily and slick, and if it weren't for the immense bitterness and hot alcohol I think this one would be very nice on the palate.

I'm very disappointed by this brew, and I think it certainly fits the bill as a hype beer that just did not deliver. The best DIPAs in my book stress hop flavor over bitterness and have enough malt backbone to complement, even if they don't truly balance, the hops. I'm not a huge fans of unabated hop bombs, but I can enjoy one of those every once in awhile as well. This, however, is not only a hop bomb but a totally unbalanced, boozy hop bomb. That's a deadly combination and does not result in a pleasant, drinkable brew. Once is enough.

number1bum, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of seedsofchaos
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle courtesy of Hap drank on a bright early Spring day (February 13th, 2011).

Bright honey orange meet golden. A billowing, almost beligian-esque head crowns the Oracle. Head is brilliant white, almost bleach white and made up entirely of tight carbonation bubbles. Lacing plays all the way down. Straight from cellar temperature the aroma is a bit strange. A touch of malt sweetness but mostly piney hops and then a vegetative cooked corn smell. DMS? I don't think lager yeast was used here... Curious to where this smell is coming from. As the beer warms to room temperature, this DIPA gets strangely better. Citrus hops come out and it becomes much more peachy. Malts into the realm of DIPAs on my palette now. Bready. Biscuity. The Oracle fails to impress.

This seasonal from Bell's is, perhaps, like other seasonals: only great for a few weeks, good for several months and then just mediocre afterward. I will have to try to obtain this fresh next year as this bottle was not filled with the flavors I would expect from Bell's.

seedsofchaos, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of blatantlocalism
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

blatantlocalism, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

jegross2, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of hopkrid
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

hopkrid, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of ms333
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

ms333, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of cosmonick
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

cosmonick, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A big shout out to cmswoboda for hooking me up with this generous extra.

A- Pours a nice copper with just a slight haze to it. About one finger worth of head that recedes slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Some nice tropical hops and citrus. A pretty good amount of malt and a little bit of sweetness. A little bit of grassiness and a touch of orange rind.

T- Big piney hops burst onto your taste buds right away. Lots of hop oil just coat the tongue which dulls down the bitter. The malt is back there but it takes awhile to pick it up. There is a light grassiness like the nose on the tail end of the taste.

M- Medium to full body. It just seems to coat your tongue. Not too bitter but there is a touch of heat on the back of the throat.

D- Decent beer but nothing about it really stands out. It is not as in your face as some DIPA's. I think I prefer some of Bell's other offerings. Pretty average for drinkability, which is the story of this beer.

Wisconsinality, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of ChristopherBates
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

ChristopherBates, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Marco_Gtz, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of NuckleDragger
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

NuckleDragger, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

oldp0rt, Jan 04, 2013
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 2,084 ratings.