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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

723 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 723
Hads: 2,476
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 19.62%
Wants: 456
Gots: 355 | 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: 723 | Hads: 2,476
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked the orange coloured body with a beige topping of foamy head. A decent DIPA with in your-face assertive hops so it hits the spot. Understated for the astringency it could have. Good drinkability, however I was not overwhelmed. I like a number of IPAs better than DIPAs, the case again here.

Had it on tap at the brewery 7 months later and it hit the spot. Hoppy aroma.Very drinkable though carbonation above average. Very good citrus hops.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kzoobrew for sending me this one!

Pours a clear light copper orange with a 1 inch off-white puffy head that fades to a thin cap. Thick rings of foam line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of floral and herbal hops that dominate over any other scents. Taste is of pineapple and grapefruit with a very bitter citrus zest and herbal finish. An assertive bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a light carbonation with a medium body and a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good DIPA with some aggressive hop aromas and flavors that bash the palate.

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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 Knapp85
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, it was one of the only beers from Bell's that I hadn't been able to find here in PA. The pour of the beer was a nice copper color. The head faded really quickly and didn't leave much lacing at all. The smell of the beer was wonderful, lots and lots of citrus on the nose. Not quite as good of an aroma as HopSlam but close. The taste was a citric pine tartness with a sweet dry aftertaste. The only problem I had with the beer was it's mouthfeel. It seemed to be just a bit watery for my liking. Other than that it was a damn good brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a golden tinged amber with a rocky, three-finger head that sticks clumps of lace to the pint glass

Smell: Resinous grapefruit with pineapple tones; the malts take a back seat

Taste: Just a hint of toasty bread up front and then the hops make an assault, with grapefruit, pineapple and lychee leading the way; after the swallow, the bitterness steps it up a notch beyond the fruity and the alcohol also makes its presence felt in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Another fine DIPA from the folks at Bell's; stands up to the best from the West Coast

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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 Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A bright golden apricot with plenty of white head and great lacing as it goes down. Plenty of carbonation visible throughout.

S: It's like smelling heaven--citrus fruits abound alongside plenty of floral notes and a tad bit of pine. Citrus notes--particularly tangerine and a bit of bitter grapefruit--completely dominate this one, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

T: Much like the nose. The bitterness slaps your palate around, but it's one of the finest beatings you've ever taken. 110 IBU's of pure bliss; Pythia prophesied greatness, and greatness was found in a little shop in Kalamazoo. I'd like to talk about the malt, but I can't. The simple fact is that I can't taste it, and I don't mind at all. Larry Bell wanted deliver a West Coast DIPA, and that is exactly what happened. Hopalicious indeed.

M: Moderate carbonation on a light-medium body. I'd like to know more about the mouthfeel, but I can't help but swallow more and more. It's a hoppy assault on every bud in my mouth, but goes down so smoothly. Fantastic.

D: Phenomenal. Simply phenomenal. Pliny the Roman, meet Pythia and the Oracle of the Greeks. Which is better? It's not my place to say, but place either on my lips and I'll never want to stop drinking.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a few bottles of this in a recent trade with Tyson. Thanks.

The Oracle pours a cloudy, hop-hazed and slightly turbid amber. A hard pour fills my tulip with dense, clinging foam. Head retention is outstanding.

The nose is tropical, fruity, resiny. A pine backbone supports mango, pineapple and grapefruit. I get a touch of biscuit-like malt, but no sweetness to speak of until it reaches warmer temperatures, and even then it's subtle.

The taste opens with a touch of malty sweetness - just a touch - before the aggressive hop flavor takes over. Resiny, rich and bitter with a tropical undercurrent, this has to be one of the ballsiest DIPAs I've ever had. Pineapple and mango fruitiness fades into deep resiny bitterness, with a lingering, borderline astringent finish that never seems to subside between sips. This is a bitter alcoholic beast, but it shows just enough restrain to remain pleasant and drinkable. I wouldn't call this an easily quaffable DIPA, but it's quality stuff. The polar opposite of Hopslam. I'm looking forward to drinking the rest of my bottles.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh as fresh can be, batch 9306 packaged August 28, 2009. Thanks d0b for the hookup! Review from notes.

Orange with a little touch of hop haze, sticky foam on top that produces sheets of lacing over time. Retention is strong, and there's a generous amount of head for the duration of the glass. Nose is funky and dank with fresh hops, green and oily. Lots of fruity dried apricot, with tropical and citrus notes that were hard to isolate. A musky element to the dankness, some might say cat pee. There's alot going on in each whiff. Rich toffee flavor, dry resiny citrus oils. Fruit roll up/leather impression. Intense bitterness verging on face-caving. A moderate level of alcohol is wrapped up in the rich layers of this DIPA. Definitely a slow sipper, although a couple of these wouldn't be out of the question. A palate destroyer/tongue bruiser/take no prisoners style hop bomb. Thanks again Dave for sharing!

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a clear, copper color with a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very piney with citrus aromas. It had a slight roasted malt aroma, too.

T - Fantastic. Big piney flavor with a citrus kick, nice spices and burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is outstanding. So glad I was able to try a pint on tap. Great beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"The ancient oracle said that I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing."


Luminescent tangerine when the glass is backlit with bright morning sunshine. Honey hued highlights can be seen along the edges and a beautiful crown of alabaster colored cream is perched on top. The foam looks even better as it melts and is beginning to lay down a ridiculous amount of sticky lace.

The aroma is everything I crave in a DIPA. Malt is essentially absent and American hops explode from the glass. Their tropical fruitiness almost certainly means that Simcoe (my current favorite) is in the house. Juicy pineapple is followed closely by grapefruit and orange. Prediction: this is going to be amazing beer.

When comparing the Bell's DIPAs... The Oracle isn't quite as good as HopSlam and is better than Big Head San Diego Style Ale. There's a huge amount of hoppiness in this sucker, but the alcohol isn't masked as completely as it could be. Waiting a little longer isn't a good idea because the hops for alcohol tradeoff isn't acceptable.

At least Larry didn't blur the flavor profile by adding much of the mid-range malts. There's a hint of toastedness that is easily ignored, mostly because it's quickly overwhelmed by hop flavor and alpha acids. Hopheads and big beer lovers will go crazy over this lupulin soaked beast. Those who think that balance is best... not so much.

The flavor profile is on the simple side. Then again, there's nothing complicated about a well-crafted DIPA. Sugared pale malts are rock-ribbed in their sturdiness. Even so, they barely hold up to the American hop assault that hits like a buzzsaw as soon as beer hits tongue. We're still looking at candied pineapple, chunks of white grapefruit and a wee splash of Stolichnaya Cristal.

The mouthfeel is sheer perfection. It's a dead solid perfect combination of fullness and silky smoothness. The alcohol cuts through like a sharp knife through butter, keeping the beer from being too sticky or thick. Does this thing go higher than 5.0?

The Oracle is yet another amazing beer from the amazing brewer that is Larry Bell. If you like balls-to-the-wall DIPAs, then you've come to the right place. HopSlam Ale is still my favorite, but this outstanding elixir isn't far behind. Two wildly enthusiastic thumbs up.

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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 mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Talk about intense, wow. I was thrilled to death to be able to land a bottle of this. Could be my favorite DIPA of all time after writing this. Served cold and poured into a large wine glass, this one was consumed on 09/29/2009.

Huge pour, with a deep, dark orange amber color and a huge head of white coming up and over the top. Majestic looking would be the right word here. Thick lacing up and down the sides of the glass throughout. Most pungent aroma I have come across in as long as I can remember. Thick dose of grapefruit and orange right up front. Huge sticky hops just dripping off of this one. Rich and sweet as I take the first sip. Grapefruit and sugar dipped prange just coating the tongue. Soo fresh it almost hurts. Even warming it brings no relief as the hops are soo thick and omnipresent that you are just taken a back and completely blown away. Long dry finish is coated with soo many flavors, again I am blown away.

Overall soo solid I am just beside myself. Better then nearly every other version of the style i have ever had. I would be thrilled to see this go up side by side against any of the west coast biggies any day

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Photo of oline73
3.37/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdan for hooking me up with a few bottles of this beer. I couldn't wait for it to arrive.

A: The Oracle pours a hazy copper color with a very fluffy white head and amazing lacing.

S: Can you say hops? I had very high hopes for this one and I was not let down. An absolute assault of pine and grapefruit hops followed by a slight malt sweetness.

T: Much as I would have expected from the nose. This is a very bitter beer. Very bitter (I felt the need to emphasize this). After the initial pine subsides, there is a very refreshing grapefruit flavor. The finish is resinous and bitter as well.

M: The carbonation is actually fairly low which gives the beer a very sticky mouthfeel.

D: You have to be an absolute hophead to enjoy this one. It is a very bitter hopbomb, and very different from Two Hearted and Hopslam. I am very pleased with this offering from Bell's, however. They rarely seem to disappoint.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lightly hazed, golden-amber body with a tall, white head. Spotty, patchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: An extensively hoppy scent simply brimming with a stern, resinous grassiness, fresh-cut tangerines, pineapple jelly, and tropical mango spritzed with a strong sweet mead.

Taste: Speedy introduction of biscuits sweetened with toffee and top-notch honey, then, an ardent grassiness touched with tropical fruits, and bitter orange extract represent the generous hopping. Deeply bitter. Throughout the taste, the malts remain completely secondary to the hops. Some heated alcohol leeching into the long, dry, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Mouthfeel features a tongue-coating smoothness.

Drinkability: A fierce DIPA buzzing with its high hopping that'll leave you reeling and buzzing from the alcohol and satisfaction.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerhan for this so I can finally try it. Packaged on 8/12/11 so not super fresh but not bad.

Pours a fluffy 1 finger head that fades fairly slowly with a nice sticky lacing over semi hazy golden nectar orange colored beer.

Nose has plenty of hops, but not super fresh hops. Candy hops, some citrus and a bit earthy, kinda like those jelly orange candies I used to have as a kid. There is a sweet rich malty base, some reddish caramel malts and almost chewy. Although the hops are fairly bright and slightly floral.

Taste comes on big, lots of malts and hops, quite bitter. A really strong spicy and earthy hop just inundates the palate like an IBU count higher than my weight. Tons of bittering hops, some earthy and spicy, and again more candy and some citrus hops. Again with the candy gummy orange flavors, and orange rind astringent bitterness. The sweet malts blanket everything as well, almost syrupy but not quite, with a bit reddish caramel malt flavor, like that reddish candy syrup and almost maple like sweetness. Then booze, some tingly and warming booze really smack me in the tongue and whole mouth area. it finishes super bitter and astringent as well as spicy hop flavors like I just chewed on a hop pellet, and some sweet sticky feel with a bit of booze.

Mouth is pretty big, thick but not really syrupy just wants to pretend to be, with decent carb and a decent booze kick, and ridiculous bitteringness (just made that word up, you wanna fight about it?!).

Overall interesting, but tough to swallow. Nice sort of balance of malts and hops, but just way over the top on both sides, much more like triple IPA with an IBU count that reaches the moon and back, and malts giving a big body and booze that anesthetizes a bit. Very slow drinking, but tasty. I could drink it again, but not very often.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks go to lurchingbeast for a few of these in trade. This review kind of slipped through the cracks on me, as I originally enjoyed this in early Oct. '09, still being fairly fresh at that point.

Pours a beautiful looking clear copper, topped with 2 rigid fingers of foamy head (with a slight off look to it). Retains with a sturdy 1/2 finger of froth that hangs tough, slathering the sides of the glass with thick swathes of lacing. Just a nice look here. The aroma is VERY sweet overall and robust in the nose, with tropical citrus and toasted bread, staying pretty even with the more floral, herbal, and spicy character of the hops. I like the flavors involved here a lot but this just lacks a certain intense pop to it, which would really help put this over the top.

The taste starts with aggressive hop character that strikes the tongue with a biting spicy and resinous bitterness. That initial blast of hops is quickly tempered by the sweetness of the tropical fruits and toasty bready malts. A flush of bitterness returns quickly in the backend, with the quite the aggressive dry, pithy, and peppery finish on this, along with some residual stickiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and I'll be damned if this carbonation isn't as silky and easy as can be, just moving effortlessly. This has a definite warming nature to it (which cuts down the drinkibility just a tad) but that 10% ABV is nicely hidden here, with only a touch showing in the finish and even there, it plays second finish to those lingering flavors.

This was really good but not quite worthy of all the praise that this has been getting. The taste and body were great but the nose was a bit lacking and how it handled it's big ABV fell in line somewhere between the Big Head (decent) and Hopslam (great) in the pantheon of their hefty DIPAs. Still definitely worth a try if you happen to come across it.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Beer Bistro North.

Finally getting to lay my tastebuds on this elusive DIPA. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, pine needles, honey, and sickly-sweet caramel. The taste pretty much brings in more of the same, but now everything is more powerful: The grapefruit is heavier, the pine is sharper, the caramel is sweeter. It's all a bit much, especially when the sweetness and the pine mix together to form a mild menthol kind of character in the finish. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thick feel. Overall, a solid DIPA, but one that seems to be too big for its own britches. I'd drink another, if only to figure out where the fanfare for this beer comes from, especially when a slightly more refined version can be more easily obtained (at least, in these parts) in the form of HopSlam.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.26/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Appealing classy label art. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Brewed 08/08/14 - well within Bell's 6 month timeframe. Expectations are high; this is currently #20 on the Top 50 Michigan list. 10% ABV. Served cold into a Jester King goblet. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed live as a DIPA per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: One finger wide. White colour. Nice creaminess. Good frothiness. Nice thickness. Has an appealing smooth, even consistency and a soft complexion. Leaves light consistent lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Retention: average - about 2 minutes.

BODY: Murky orange-copper of average vibrance. Translucent and glowing. Nontransparent. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a nice looking imperial IPA but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Fruity. Peach, apricot, ripened fruit, pale malts, floral hop character, more tropical pineapple hop character (a note I've never liked in beer), citrusy zest, and some tropical mango. Hints of grapefruit are present, but I don't get grapefruit's signature dominance or punch. Tangerine. A kiss of pine. Grassiness. Caramalts. Mild resinous character.

Overall, it's a fresh ripe fruity aroma with plenty of interesting hop character, but it could be juicier, and the tropical leanings have me worried...I usually prefer a more citrusy, piney, resinous hop character. Nevertheless, it's pleasant and inviting. Above average in strength, with no overt booziness. Critically, the hop bitterness seems well tamed by the pale malts. I hope the taste is as balanced as the aroma.

No yeast character or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Loads of hop character: floral hops, some pine, tangerine citrus and accompanying zest, mango, peach, boozy orange, and hints of grapefruit. To balance the bitterness from all those hops, it employs a bit too much caramalt, which makes it overly sweet and lends it a boozy undercurrent. The pale malt foundation gets lost in the mix. I do pick up on the dreaded pineapple hop note, unfortunately. I'd like a juicier more resinous and more citrusy hop emphasis, but this isn't bad.

While I do find it fundamentally imbalanced, I think it's decently built. Nice depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity for the style. It boasts plenty of complexity, but it's not enough to truly compete the big dogs in the style. And there isn't much nuance or subtlety here; it commits to a lot of big flavours without regard for fine-tuning or intricacy.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth, wet, creamy, soft enough, and fairly refreshing. But the booziness holds it back, and it does have a thick heavy feel on the palate, with a somewhat overbearing presence. Full-bodied. Coating.

Overall, the warmth of the mouthfeel coupled with the tropical fruit from the taste lends this brew a booze-soaked fruit vibe which isn't all that pleasant. This texture is a decent companion to the taste, but fails to elevate the beer.


Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, harsh, or rough.

OVERALL: It's too boozy to be all that drinkable, but I'll enjoy working my way through it. With a myriad of superior beers in the style available on shelves, I wouldn't pick up The Oracle again, but I'm glad I tried it once. Bell's own Hopslam is a much better (and even more balanced) brew, and this veers too far into tropical hop territory for my personal tastes. The boozy pineapple really turns me off to this, and the overdone caramalt sweetness is equally problematic.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle!

High C+

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #9306, acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, piney hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with strong bite of hops bitterness that gets followed quickly by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The sweetness fades and which allows the hops bitterness to come back in full force. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. There's also a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a good strong hop bomb that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to tenderbranson69 for sharing this gem by way of FooFaa- poured chilled from the 12oz into a flared pint

A - A very hazed appearance -like fruit nectar with frothed creamy white foam which clings well in web-like patterns

S - A sweet tangerine + floral hop aroma w/ mild candy-like malt scent. There is a slight grapefruit element in the aroma w/ mellow lemony aspect but only mild nutty and spiced tinges accent the nose

M - The feel is very crisp, dry and bitter w/ citrusy acidity and mildly sweet finish w/ lingering bitter bite and a alcoholic finish

T - The flavor while juicy at first leads to a light pithy and gentle sweet malt flavor w/ bitter grassy hop flavors that combine w/ slightly alcoholic taste. There is mild grapefruit peel notes which give an astringent aspect to the ale and an almost medicinal taste w/ midl grainy tinge in the back

D - The Oracle is very bitter, a hop bomb if you will- the effect is that more than 1 would not be pleasant. The astringent pucker inducing nature makes the palate dry and comes off almost salty after 1/2 a bottle. I think palate fatigue would set in fast for me, but the aroma and taste were very good overall-it just lacks a taste more than 'bitter

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Photo of russpowell
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is from imperialking, cheers Jeff!

Pours a semi hazed amber with 2 fingers of rocky sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness & grapefruit with some biscuitty malt hanging in the background, plus leafy hops once warm

T: Grapefruit, dryness, pineyness, honey malt hiding behind some boozey breadyness up front. Grapefruit takes a pithy front seat as this warms, along with herbal & piney hops. Finishes with herbal & woody hops, plus a ton of grapefruit & a bit of booze tinge, plus dryness & biscuitty malt

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & fantastic balance

Drinks too damn easy for the ABV & IBUs. Hopheads need to seek this one out, would love to have a fresh hopslam for comparative purposes right now. We get a lot of the flagship Bells across the state line; just a damn shame this didn't make it this far south/west!

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/8/2014. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head, with incredible retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pinapple, lemon/orange zest, citrus rind, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a moderately slick/sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity and balance of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and fairly smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Still smelling extremely fresh bottle on date is 8/12/11, I've been waiting to try this DIPA for quite some time, or at least since it's been released. Pours a deep copper color with a bright slightly off white head leaves fine even bands of lacing. Sorry Hopslam fans no honey additions in this one, but the nose is full of citrus fruit and mild pine and bark. Sugar coated hops come about with each sniff this is some serious hop candy. Flavor dawns me with a spicy mild herbal bitter dank citrus fruit peel tone. Hints of bright caramel for a second followed by a candied hop garden, kissed with warming alcohol while the beer is still pretty chilled. Mouthfeel has warming alcohol, with a touch of hop oils going smooth with even carbonation. Overall I'm loving the hops in this one I could use this with less alcohol and the same hop profile sweetness is ample not over played a pretty balanced midwest hop monster.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.