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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

718 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 718
Hads: 2,444
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: 718 | Hads: 2,444
Photo of pkalix
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
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...

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Photo of McSmack
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Back with the Oracle review from Bell's. A couple days ago I reviewed the Planet Series "Mars". Both Mars and Oracle are DIPAs. Whereas Mars has a heavy malty profile that is light on the hops, the Oracle does a great job balancing the hops creating a great drinking beer. The Oracle does a good job of hiding the 10% abv. I prefer the Oracle style of DIPA over the Mars. But try them both to see for yourselves.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Slightly hazy yellow/orange body. Two finger off-white head that fades to a nice cap fairly quickly with bit of lacing.

The first aroma is tropical but it fades to a more pine - grassy note. Light amount of sweet malt aroma.

The flavor is very pine hop forward, opposite of my experience with the aroma. Sweet finish that features the tropical hop and malt flavors.

Medium thickness in the mouthfeel with only a slight notice of the alcohol. Rock solid DIPA that I'm glad to have finally tasted.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

appearance: slightly hazy amber. Nice thick, messy eggshell head and lacing.
smell: Deep, rich, citrusy with a hint of sweetness. Big redolent nose.
taste: Mostly dry, citrusy hops. Sharply bitter finish.
overall: Very nice indeed.

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Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A hazy orange yellow - the lazing as of yet is a unique bubbly film that completely consumes the entire surface area of the inch left of glass, save for the ver lip itself. The nose gets me excited, as it reminds me of the time I got to try Double Jack and Pliny... yet a more talented reviewer could go into more detail. The best I can do is that it's boozy and hoppy - maybe that's indicative of some less desireable traits - and I'll need to come forth and say outright that I did precede this glass with a glass of Mars, which I find to be superior - but this is still fantastic. Just a little less refined. On the tongue there is pine and citrus - but mostly it's boozy bitterness. I'm not complaining - I dig these characteristics - but it could be a little more balanced.

Overall this is a terrific beer. Worth the bucks, but if it were available year-round, I would rarely pick it up. On this rotating schedule though, I'll likely be picking up one six-pack per year.

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Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an orange color and a slightly hazy texture. There was an inch and a half, foamy, fairly long-lasting head.

S: A pretty good aroma of hops, pine, and some malt, but mostly hops.

T: Like the smell, the taste had a big hops presence, but also some caramel, pine, and malt. Not a bad flavor, but the hops content is a bit overwhelming, leaving a powerful bitterness. Could have been taken down a notch.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a very bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an uneven beer, mainly due to the flavor. Not bad, but could have been better.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a clear golden orange with a tight white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright, juicy hops.

Tastes of big, bright hops with a solid malt base. Hops lead off with notes of grapefruit, mango, and pineapple. Plenty of pine and bitterness as well. Malts come next with caramel sweetness and toasted bread. Enough sweetness to balance it out. Finishes with a bitter touch of pine hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty DIPA and stands up with some of the best out there.

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Photo of Wobbly
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%

I found this beer to be a bit too much, even for this style. It lakes the balance and nuance of other IPA's. I prefer Bell's new release, Mars, to this for sure. Still worth trying.

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Photo of Dwkasper
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Golden bronze, thick white head, good lacing, single tunnel of CO2 bubbles rising in the center of the glass, even a little nuts and oil

S: Not a strong aroma but woody, earthy, maybe just a hint of citrus and over ripe peach

T: Bitter up front, strong taste from the first sip until a few seconds after. Piney, bitter hops and oily. This is the 2nd time I've had this beer and the first that the tastes were this strong and pungent. Strong malt and syrupy after taste that sticks to the tong.

M: harder carbonation, chalkiness on the tong

O: Good beer. For some reason, the first time I had it was much easier to drink. 2nd time had more bitterness and malty syrup that I didn't like as much. Overall, I will pick up this beer when I can get it.

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Photo of scvance
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden to copper color with a thick, long lasting off white head. Smell is lots of resin and pine all the way through, with slight hint of caramel. Taste follows, very strong pine and slight citrus notes. Fades to a moderate sweetness and finishes with a long lasting bitter bite. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly higher than expected for the style. Overall very well done, very smooth for such a strong beer. Definitely can't taste the high alcohol, which could be dangerous. Will definitely have again if I can find it.

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Photo of djhowell
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Sweet caramel and bread malts, honey, pine & citrus hops, bitter grapefruit finish. Boozy. It's not unlike Hopslam but I prefer this by a wide margin.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 8/8/14 stamped on the label.

Pours a light amber color with a light white head. Beautiful lacing is visible all around the glass. Smells of citrusy hops and a nice malty backbone. Tastes a bit sweet on the tongue from the nice malt profile and finishes with a bitter, dry, sticky, hoppy finish. Beautifully balanced DIPA! Very drinkable despite the 10% abv. This one will sneak up on you because it drinks like a 6.5% IPA. Very hard to find but if you do, be sure to share!


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Photo of jwerner23
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

I think this beer has potential but isn't quite there. It is a little too hot right now, maybe with a couple more weeks of aging it will mellow the alcohol flavor out a little. I think it is a good beer don't get me wrong but just a little too much alcohol flavor right now. The weird thing though was the first couple drinks were very good, but then the hotness of the alcohol started showing up. I will come back to this in a couple weeks when I let a couple bottles age a little.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%

Straight pour from a pry-off 12oz bottle to an oversized wineglass (JK stemware). There’s a bottling date of August 8, 2014 printed in black ink near the bottom-right corner of the back label (“13357 PKGD 8/08/14 A”), making this beer four weeks old exactly at the time of consumption.

Appearance (4.5): A finger and a half of dense, ivory-colored foam rise off of the pour, capping a nearly clear, rich orange, honey-colored body. The head dies down at a slower than average pace, leaving a clumpy, fuzzy film on the surface of the beer and a thicker collar at the edge. As the body dies down, it leaves some gorgeous lacing, in the form of scattered suds on the near side, wide, foamy splotches on the far side, and a few crooked legs occupy the sides. Beautiful body, nice head, and gorgeous lacing.

Smell (4.0): This certainly has a nice, bright aroma that’s got an oily, pungent grapefruit peel acidity backed by some resinous heat, underlaid by a slightly garlicky, dank, weedy scent. A little malt base is present, showing honey and rustic white bread. As it opens up, it moves further toward the garlicky-dank aroma, but still retains a light orangey, citrus character.

Taste (4.25): Really packs a punch on the palate: strong citrus zest (grapefruit peel, orange pith), spicy, resinous heat, toasted country bread, limoncello, and a little toffee . . . wet, grassy bitterness and a little vegetal character pick up on the back end and carry through to a long, surprisingly smooth and dry, pithy finish. Some warm white bread, a little honey, and grapefruit zest come out more as the beer warms up a little, but grassy bitterness, resinous heat, and just a little honeyed bread still dominate. There’s a bit of heat here, for sure, but it’s almost completely hidden behind grassy, resinous hops.

Mouthfeel (4.5): So smooth and rich—the carbonation is fine and velvety, the body is smooth and on the full- side of medium-weight, bordering on syrupy at first but lightening up quickly to a smooth finish that immediately dissipates into some gaseous, alcoholic warmth. And yet, it’s not hot. It’s just smooth, fine, rich, but not heavy, syrupy, or prickly.

Overall (4.25): This is a beautiful DIPA. It’s not quite as bombastic as some, and maybe not as rich as others, but as you’d expect from Bell’s this beer is well-crafted, very refined, and it integrates all of its different elements seamlessly. In terms of its hops profile, it trends toward dank and grassy, but definitely retains some citrusy character. It’s not lopsidedly hoppy like most DIPAs today, nor is it too malty, but it still doesn’t come off as “balanced” so much as it comes off as nuanced. The hops/malt balance is subtle and refined, and the way it hides its booze is telling—it’s just a refined, well-crafted DIPA. Great job.

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Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A: Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is clear golden-orange with a small white head. Nice lace left behind. 4.25.

S: Sugar-cookie dough malt foundation is followed up by tropical fruity hops.

T: Light malt foundation - again, I think of sugar-cookie dough - is overrun by the hops: tropical fruit salad and pine at the finish. Lingering raw pine needles on the palate in the aftertaste. Heat from ABV is noted on the back end of the sip and in the belly.

M: Medium in heft with a slightly gritty feel to it - perhaps that overly-bitter pine needle sensation creates that feeling. Still quite nice though.

O: A very good DIPA. Lingering piney hop bitterness let's you know this one is a hop bomb.

O: Real nice

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange/apricot color with a thick frothy cap of about two fingers, and lacing that lasts throughout the beer. Aroma has a bit of caramel in the front along with some floral hop notes. The taste starts with a touch of bread and light citrus, mainly orange. The beer finishes incredibly bitter, there is a huge amount of pine and floral taste in the finish.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%

2014 Vintage
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Golden amber with a short wispy head that dissipates quickly. Slightly hazy with medium-light carbonation.

Papaya, tangerine, peach, grapefruit, pine, and caramel.

Papaya, tangerine, and navel orange. Sweetened grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest. Nicely balanced caramel and honey maltiness. Pine sap, zesty green florals, and touches of onion. Slight suggestions of peach and honeydew melon rind.

Medium-plus bodied, semi-dry, smooth, and silky with a medium bitterness.

Always amaze-balls, Bells. I wish this stuff was easier to come by.


2013 Vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Golden orange with 1/2 a finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Hazy with low-moderate carbonation.

Navel orange, tangerine, papaya, mango, pineapple and candy sugar.

A lot of citrus and tropical fruits. Navel orange, tangerine, white grapefruit, papaya, mango and pineapple. Thin candy sugar backbone with notes of honey. Finishes with good amounts of pine resin, florals and dried grass.

Full bodied, juicy, crisp, oily, sticky and moderately bitter.

Yeah, it's a pretty freakin' good DIPA.

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Photo of PVMT
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is pine, with hints of citrus and caramel. Taste is piney with a matching malt backbone, that gets increasingly bitter. The finish is bitter, bordering on unpleasant.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz bottle from 2014 poured into 16oz snifter

A- Hazy copper color with thin white head, lots of lacing
S- Subtle sweetness, a bit of dank hops, but not too big of a nose here
T- Sweetness, then big citrus peel-bitter- hops. Like limon and orange peel in almost too bitter of a way. Leaves me with a bitter, almost metalic taste.
M- Medium, leave the mouth sticky with saliva

O- Good, but not great to me. The bitter citrus peel that pushes its way to metalic is holds it back for me. But just one man's opinion.

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Photo of beerdedking
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%

Perhaps it was my much too high expectation of this that I was let down. I've had many examples of DIPAs, and The Oracle didn't live up to most.

The pour leaves me optimistic as it immediately appears like a glass of thick and chewy hops. Which it is. Brownish copper (like its label) in color with a two finger head, the hops come right at the nose, and I'm still thinking this will be awesome.
Ubiquitous hop flavors of pine and grapefruit are nice, but the bitterness kicks in too early before the hop complexity can get going.
Also this lacks the palate leveling quality of hop resin soaking into the taste buds. Bells, give us Hopslam twice/year, and take The Oracle back in for an overhaul...

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Photo of baldwinfamilyfarm
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

The Oracle smells of hops front to back with a little bit of booze mixed in. It pours a nice orange blossom honey color with a two finger head. Good lacing and carbonation. The taste is slightly boozy on the top but is covered well by the citrus hop that stays with you till midway though then the pine and booze finish it out. Feels lighter in the mouth than most dipas but still had a nice hop oil feel. Overall it was a solid beer. I am looking forward to seeing how well it ages. I would buy it again any day but won't spend a lot of time searching.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a deep orange amber with snow white lacing that looks mesmerizing.

Pine, citrus, earthy, fresh, spicy, and some cucumber(?).

This definitely packs a hop punch. Not much malt to speak of. Just very citrusy, resinous, and piney hops with very little malts, but are on the spicy end.

Mouthfeel is sticky and resinous, perfect for an (I)IPA.

Overall, not outstanding, but worth trying two maybe six times.

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Photo of wedge
4.14/5  rDev -1%

PKGD 8/08/14

Hazy orange with an attractively creamy head that sticks to the surface and leaves drippy sheets behind. Aroma certainly hints at a high ABV, but hides the booze fairly well behind a wall of orange, tangerine, lime, pineapple, and floral hops. Just a bit of caramel under it all. Flavor is hoppy and smooth...juicy citrus bitterness, pine resin stickiness, melon, peach, and apricot. Malt presence is low, contributing a touch of residual sweetness for balance. Creamy, bitter mouthfeel finishes dry and leaves a warming sensation in the throat. Pretty nice overall, I'm glad the residual sugars are held at bay.

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Photo of barhoc11
4/5  rDev -4.3%

A: Bright gold with a nice white head to it. The lacing on this beer is phenomenal.

S: Citrusy and fruity

T: Tastes a little more fruity than Hopslam and I am a little disappointed with the aftertaste.

M: Good and full

O: I think this is a good DIPA and I would recommend trying it yourself but this isn't something I would kill to have again

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.