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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

1,518 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,518
Reviews: 598
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 417
Gots: 108 | FT: 5
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: 1,518 | Reviews: 598 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2011 00:17:40 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

08-22-2012 00:23:33 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 03:37:23 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 03:24:10 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
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."

--Socrates

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 15:17:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 21:03:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

12-09-2011 23:29:56 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 00:42:08 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 07:09:47 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 07:06:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-30-2012 08:15:18 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

09-15-2012 15:04:51 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 16:47:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

08-27-2013 01:37:25 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

11-08-2013 23:33:14 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

01-12-2013 19:22:30 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 13:21:39 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-09-2013 22:38:56 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 23:29:38 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2012 16:05:45 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2012 01:33:00 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 16:46:28 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

11-14-2011 22:02:11 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 22:45:30 | More by largadeer
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 03:03:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,518 ratings.