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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

1,938 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,938
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 439
Gots: 256 | 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: 1,938 | Reviews: 644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flyersfan900
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

flyersfan900, Wednesday at 11:26 PM
Photo of bevoduz
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%

bevoduz, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy orange, with a finger of light white head that laces well. Hop haze and alcohol feet are evident. The aroma is a good one, with predominant citrus and slight bitterness, with a nice malty, caramel aroma. But the taste is lacking...balance. The flavors do not flow well, but are more jagged and spiking. Very bitter, and lingering, but the linger leaves a bad taste. The citrus is nice, but the alcohol chimes in with an unpleasant burst. As it warms it becomes more palatable, but the lingering aftertaste is still not very enjoyable. The feel is nice and smooth, slightly creamy, and on the upper end of light. Carbonation is nice. Drinkability is decent, and while tasty in areas, the balance is just not there for me to drink multiples. If the ABV was a bit less, or wasn't as noticeable, I think that would make a big difference.

EgadBananas, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of levifunk
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

shared by klikger. reviewed from notes taken a while back.

a - cloudy red/orange. good size off-white head.

s - faint, almost non-existing nose. barely picking up citrus hops.

t - sweet malts. while there is a bitter finish, there is little actual hops flavor. Quite a bit of booze, but at 10% and fresh, its expected.

overall - somewhat of a disappointment. i won't be seeking this out as there are great DIPA for far less money.

levifunk, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of Juan611
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got this bad boy as an extra from in person trade. Have to say I was stoked. Being from SoCal, I have to say my taste is jaded. I love that piney, resin bite on the tongue but the strong malt presence is a bit of a let down. Pretty decent DIPA though.

Juan611, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of GOGRANDE
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this brew at a bottle shop in DC. It was in Dupont Circle with my cousin. Good times.

A: Hazy burnt/dark shade of orange. Decent white head with lots of oil stickiness lacing the glass. Looks good.

S: sweet and fruity grapefruit nose with a mild pine grass quality in the background.

T: hot... very powerful IPA. got a lot of booze burn right away. Not smooth. Starts nice with some sweet citrus flavors, then a significant dry grasslike finish with a good dose of burn. There is some sweet malt character in here too, right in the middle. Overall its really not smooth and has a harsh finish. Too sharp. Needs to be more balanced. The finish is all dry hop flavors and alcohol. It sits for a while soaking up your saliva.

M: full oil like with a super dry booze finish. very dry on the end.
feels smooth at first, then finishes very very dry.

O: Just not feeling this one, I guess if your shooting for a more abrasive dry big american IPA style then it would be understandable. But this is just does not have the complexity, balance, and mouth-feel that I think great DIPA's has. Its not really bad, just not enough balance for me. Maybe its just me.

GOGRANDE, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 ounce bottled, poured into a Duvel tulip (note- this was fresh, back in September 2010). Hazy amber body with a frothy off-white head, the retention of which is pretty impressive considering the ABV. A thick ring of lacing up top, with drippy streaks down below.

The nose is richly malty with plenty of citrus and especially pine fighting through the caramel. The flavor is more or less the same story. There's certainly no shortage of bitterness, and the pine simmers steadily, but all the hoppy goodness is somewhat blunted by the malt. Some citrus juiciness approaching the swallow. Medium-thick bodied, with the booze showing up basically in the finish only. Very impressive job of controlling the booziness and sweetness at this ABV. Tantalizingly close to excellence, but simply too malty to merit bumping up to the next tier of DIPAs.

PDXHops, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of denver10
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%

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, Today at 01:05 AM
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 ktrillionaire
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I dedicate this review, and all future Bell's reviews, to super-tasters from Kalamazoo and beyond.

A - It pours an ultra-deep hue of amber and has a large frothy caramel colored head.

S - It smells of alcohol, grassiness, vegetal, and perhaps catty and/or onion-y.

T - The bitterness is sufficient to overwhelm a significantly big maltiness. It seems mostly astringent and somewhat piney, as far as flavor goes. Not fantastic due to a lack of dynamic hop impression.

M - Big and sticky.

D - I don't care for this big crass beast of a beer. It is not terrible by any means, but it doesn't do it for me in any way either.

ktrillionaire, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of hopsbreath
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a snifter at 8 o'clock in the morning after working all night at the hospital. Big thanks goes out to Thorpe429 for including one of Larry Bell's hoppiest as an extra!

After a moderately hard pour, about a finger and a half of ivory head formed atop the orange-gold anti-freeze tinged body. The head recedes quickly and no cap is left. Minimal lacing shows up as well.

Very sweet smell contains lychee candy, passion fruit, and pineapple.

Of course the tendency is to compare this to Hopslam, and through the power of suggestion, it is similar. The obvious difference between the two comes out here at the taste. Oracle isn't near as sweet and malty as Hopslam but is way more bitter and dank.

Mouthfeel is semi-thin for how big of a beer this calculates out to. It is however pretty oily due to then reckless use of hops.

How drinkable can a 10% DIPA palate destroying hop bomb be? It comes right down to "do I want another"? The answer is no. I'm glad I got the chance to try it, but won't be seeking it out again. Give this a try if the chance presents itself but don't go out of your way to track it down. Track down Hopslam instead come early next year.

hopsbreath, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of oline73
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the Eccentric Cafe as a part of my sampler.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a finger of off white head. This beer has amazing head retention with a solid layer of head remaining throughout the pour.

Smell: Really mild, which I would not expect from a 10 percent double IPA. Some malt and mild citrus hops. I expected more.

Taste: Better than the smell. Bitter citrus peel hops throughout. Some malt, but it is overwhelmed by the bitterness. The finish is really bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Really bitter. I expected more body given the abv. I probably won't have another given all the other DIPA options.

oline73, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of chicano4craft
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper witha slight amber highlight in my tulip. Thick three finger head that sticks around for a long time. Amazing lacing to the end.

The nose is really balanced. It's a sweet citrus from the hops and malt. Reminds me of lemon bread.

The first sip is quite bitter. The balance in the nose doesn't show up. It's not the "good" bitter flavors you might expect from hops...grapefruit,citrus,resin. I think the alcohal has dulled down the flavor. A little disappointing.

The mouthfeel is decent but the high ABV brings down the drinkability. This was just an okay IIPA. I was hoping for a little more. I have a few more bottles and will revisit this soon. I feel my taste buds have been off a little lately.

chicano4craft, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of chefbigjon
3.44/5  rDev -18.1%

chefbigjon, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of codewarrior
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a trade into a Chalice (Bottle says 9901)

Picked this up in a trade with 7ways. Utterly disappointing (he warned me ...).

A: Deep amber. A finger or so of head, dissipates quickly, little to no lacing.

S: Hoppy and sweet. But more sweet than hoppy. Lots of fruits in this. Unexpected for a DIPA.

T: Sweet up front, in the severe, then massive hops in the back. Pineapple notes, and caramel in the middle. Lingering bitterness.

F: Creamy, heavier than expected.

D: Ok. Disappointing from Bell's, especially for a style from which I expect so much.

codewarrior, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/12/11. Pours a nice clear deep amber/copper color with adequate soapy/bubbly eggshell head lacing nice sticky lacing.

Aromas are really pleasant but quite typical for the style. Lots of sticky pine and grapefruit resiny hops. Also getting some nice floral, earthy, vegetile hops as well; smells like Simcoe was used here in combination with Centennial hops. There is a nice sweet bready malt backbone with hints of caramel, almost toffee maltiness. Very east coast/mid-country DIPA. Alcohol becomes apparent as it warms to room temperature.

The tastes begin initially with a little sweet bready and light caramel maltiness but they are immediately overpowered by the pungent grapefruit, blood orange and resiny pine hops. As you further sample you get the earthy and floral, almost oniony hops flavors. Alcohol once again becomes apparent as it warms to room temperature.

The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with adequate carbonation for the style. The finish is sticky and resiny and the grapefruit and pine bitterness lingers on the palate, alcohol is also drying on the palate which invites you to sample more, which is dangerous when you have such a big ABV beer.

Overall this is a decent example of the style but not my favorite by a long shot. Too much in the grapefruit and pine hop department and not enough of the sweeter citrus or tropical fruit flavors. I could and would not want more than 1 or 2 of these in a sitting because of the apparent alcohol flavors that emerge and the rather generic intense hop bitterness and flavor profile. Worth a go if you can buy it by the single but a 6 pack is not for me.

claspada, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although I had a bit of this one at a recent tasting, I believe that I forgot to review it. Having recently received a bottle as an extra in a trade, I figured the time was right.

First off, this doesn't remind me of a DIPA (at least in the West Coast sense of things with which I have grown accustomed), but rather an IPA with a bit too much sweetness.

Golden amber color with a decent white head. Big bubblegummy hops seem to dominate, then sweetness, before reaching a somewhat bitter finish. Not bad by any means, but Bell's has done better.

emmasdad, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of rhinos00
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to pecorasc for sharing this one. Poured into a wine glass. Bottled 08.29.09.

A- Pours a very dull amber. Semi-clear with a fingers width of white head...had a very soapy appearance. Some lacing as consumed.

S- Mix of citrus and tropical fruit with a sweet malt backbone. Decent amount of alcohol in there as well.

T- The high level of bitterness and alcohol really masked the nuances of this beer. Upfront bittering hop oil numb the palate. Following is mixture of sweet malts and mango, pineapples, oranges. Finished with a piney bitterness and a hefty amount alcohol.

M- Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Some sticky residue was left on the palate.

D- This was only 10% abv? Felt more like 13% or so. Heavy hitter that was a little hard to put down because of the high bitterness and alcohol.

Overall, I know this isn't fresh, but even so, I think Bell's missed the mark with this one. I'm honestly quite surprised with the positive reviews...especially the most recent ones as those probably had a bit of age on them as well. I'll stick to Hopslam instead. This is just way too big of beer to be enjoyed.

rhinos00, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of seavercm
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

seavercm, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Tyrus
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Tyrus, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of markcp
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

markcp, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of jereb33
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

jereb33, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

FUwolfpacker, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of kenzilka007
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

kenzilka007, Aug 29, 2014
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,938 ratings.