The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle

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665 Reviews
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Reviews: 665
Hads: 2,249
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 454
Gots: 267 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 665 | Hads: 2,249
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Jas45678 for the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy burnt amber/orange. Head is white, clumpy, and loose. Drops to a small clumpy cap and rocky collar. Sheets and super sticky lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Bread laced with pine and alcohol. Nicely floral with some.grapefruit lodged in the back. Malts are slightly sweet, loaded with biscuity toasted bread. Very slight push of orange zest and oily. Backing bitterness builds as it warms. Marmalade and mint. Dank. Loaded with grapefruit and floral elements. Alcohol and hop spice.

Taste: Straight up bitter and oily pine. Resin, dank hints of weed, and massively floral. Hop spiciness rounds it out. Grapefruit flesh and zest with a big herbal component. Slightly toasted with a caramel malt sweetness. Bready with some undercooked dough. Warming pushes even more bitterness, with a lingering flower petal. Alcohol on the back.

Mouthfeel: Medium body moving toward full. Smooth. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry on the finish thanks to the alcohol.

Overall: Mere glimpses of the future.

Aggressive and bitter. Big malts barely counter the hop assault. Still, it's a beast and it's delicious. (1,166 characters)

Photo of stvanderwoude
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is a very enticing hazy golden orange. Nice white frothy head. Bubbly carbonation.

Aroma suggests serious dry hopping. Mouthwatering sweet grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, ripe melon. This smells amazing. This is one for the tropical hopheads.

Taste follows through on the nose's promise. Sweet, luscious citrus fruit, red grapefruit, sour orange and a dry, mildly bitter, peppery finish. Caramel malts are in the background but support the hops nicely. This is no palate destroying IBU monster. Medium carbonation and smooth mouthfeel for the style. Fragrantly bittersweet, refreshing and incredibly drinkable. Wouldn't know this is 10% ABV.

Overall - This is a top tier DIPA. Better than Hopslam? A case could be made. (736 characters)

Photo of herman77
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/9/13
A: Clear light orange with a fairly creamy off white head for a big DIPA. Nice lacing and decent head retention.

S: Lots of citrus, orange, ripe grapefruit, mango and pineapple with a resinous under layer. Rich carmelly malts thrown into the mix as well. A bit of booziness as it warms.

T: Follows the nose pretty close. Tons of citrus, loads of grapefruit with a bit of mango and pineapple sweetness. A big heaping dose of carmel malt to keep all the hops in check. Excellent balance, just as balanced as Hopslam.

M: Fuller body for the style. Smooth and softer carbonation.

O: Dangerously drinkable, pretty much Hopslam level. ABV is hidden well, though you can tell its a DIPA. Kind of reminds me of a slightly sweeter, maltier double Two Hearted. A sweet, maltier double IPA, just my profile. Bells really knows how to brew big DIPAs. (857 characters)

Photo of brewskis
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8 days old! Pours a beautiful cloudy sunset orange with about a half finger of an off white head that goes away quick. Sticky lacing. Smells like a huge double ipa. Lots of dank, bitter citrus fruits (grapefruit, tangerine, lime, mango) and pine on the nose with a hint of sweetness. They aren’t lying when they say this is a west coast style ipa. Taste starts with lots of dankness, grapefruit, mango, tangerine. Middle brings a nice sweetness and just the tiniest bit of breadiness. The hops just overshadow the malt. Finish is tons of resinous pine, lots of grapefruit, some tangerine, lemon, booze. Warming sensation as it goes down. Definitely a hop forward beer, but there is a slight breadiness and carmel note in it from the malt. Full body with a creamy and oily mouthfeel. A hophead’s dream. (805 characters)

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8/8/13 - exactly 8 days ago.. Mega Fresh

A: Pours a dark orange, somewhat cloudy body. Appears heavily carbonated. Fizzy head builds up and leaves great lacing. Good retention of a thin, bubbly layer at the top of the glass.

S: Piney, dank, loads of mango, pineapple, and grapefruit citrus.

T: Pinecones and strong hops upfront. Grapefruit bitterness dominates the back end. Its very bitter and lingers. Not nearly any sweetness that the nose suggests. A hefty alcohol note warms you up as it goes into the stomach.

M: Fully body. Prickly. Boozy. Bitey.

O: Overall a very solid beer. The hops are really present and there is loads of pine and citrusy bitterness. The nose had me thinking it would be a bit more complex on the palate. I'm not disappointed, but I wouldn't be far off to say that I potentially expected a bit more from this one - partially because of the extreme limited amount distributed out and the hype surrounding it, which ultimately led to a crazy chase. It's a really solid brew, and I'd love to have a fresh one every season, but it didn't stick out enough for me to drive all around town trying to find a single 12oz bottle again. All that said, it's worth trying for sure ;) (1,218 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a 2" thick off-white head. Big wall of lacing halfway up glass.

Huge grapefruit and pineapple nose with bread, spice and pine.

Quick initial blast of citrus that quickly fades to bitter citrus rind and dank pine.

Love that nose but the bitterness is more than expected at first sip. Thick and creamy feel. (381 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing color and head to this beer! Perfect golden amber with a touch of orange. Head is two full fingers high and has been staying for three full minutes so far. Aroma is wonderful as well. Tons of orange peel, lightly piney, with some mango notes as well. Five minutes and the head has a small dent in it. I haven't even taken a sip yet. First sip and I'm a bit let down from the aroma and appearance. Taste is overly hopped. Like Bell's was trying to go west coast with this beer. The sweet citrus in the aroma turns into piney sweet hops in the taste. Mouthfeel is great though, and the lacing has been wonderful. (618 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange straw color. Leaves really nice lacing.

Smells a bit floral, citrusy and tropical. Nice but a bit subdued for the style.

Brusingly bitter but pleasant. Citrusy in flavor marmalade malts.

Mouthfeel not too heavy. Medium carbonation.

Pretty excellent beer. (275 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Churchkey, served in a stange/pint glass thing.

A- A clear orange color, topped with a finger of creamy off-white head, nice lacing.

S- Really wonderful aroma, packed with citrus, especially grapefruit and orange, but also some mango and tropical fruit, also a nice dose of pine resin and some sweet malt in the background.

T- Similar to the aroma with a huge onslaught of grapefruit, orange, mango and pine resin, it's very, very bitter, with moderate caramel and toasted malt in the background, this would have scored a bit higher but there's a considerable booziness on the back that I think detracts from the overall flavor.

M- Medium to full bodied, has a smooth feel with, as in the flavor, a pretty noticeable boozy kick at the finish.

O- A very solid beer, one of the better West-Coast style DIPA's I've had coming out of the Midwest, the hop flavors are massive and quite tasty, although I think that it could have done with just a bit less boozy, sweet alcohol, it's still a tasty beer and worth trying. (1,028 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper brown with a half inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Caramel, toffee, booze, dates, figs, and plums form the initial aroma. Citrus, resin, and pine add hop character.

Grapefruit pith, grapefruit. tangerine, pine, resin, fresh cut grass, booze, and sweet caramel malt form the flavor profile. The finish is decidedly bitter.

Body is moderate to heavy, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Decidedly malt dominant and boozy, there's enough bitterness, resin, and muted citrus to balance in the extreme. (586 characters)

Photo of Keyportnick
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a bells snifter

A- gloden clear with a slight touch of amber. Pure white creamy head.

S- deep orange and pineapple. Deep citrus fruits with a hop resin finish.

T-dull grapefruit and pineapple. Deep rish hops and oily resins coat the mouth. Amazong finish thats very clean but pronouned.

M-light body and light carbonation. Flavors fill and the hops coat your mouth.

O-This is another prefect example of an american iipa. One of my favorites by far. I could take a few of these down on the prefect summer night. (527 characters)

Photo of mochaguy
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: 8/10/12

Specs: 12oz bottle, 10%, ?? IBU

Glassware: Ommegang Fluted Tulip

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a medium-tall cream colored head.

Smell: Notes of citrus, bread and floral.

Taste: Slightly sweet citrus, orange marmalade, earthy, long medium pithy finish.

Mouth Feel: Mild+ carbonation, slightly creamy with a medium-full body.

Overall: This is my second tasting. First tasting one month ago was more fresh/citrusy, sweeter and more delicate. Very soild but recommend drinking within the first two months of bottling. (539 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter at World of Beer.

Color and clarity of honey. One inch of super sticky, spider web foam is light tan.

Like a face slap of vodka-soaked grass. Tangerine, sticky alcohol, touch of dank, a little honey, orange blossom.

More booze in the flavor. Vodka-grass, funky dank weed, big tangerine peel. Alcohol flavor is big, but it blends well with the other stuff.

Moderate to high, pinching carbonation. Smooth medium body. Heavy.

Bright, funky, grassy. Lacks the sweetness of Hopslam, but has more fresh hop flavor. (537 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears clear gold, minimal head. The nose is full of deep flowery hops, heavy pine, caramel, molasses, and a touch of honey. Taste is malty and sweet initially followed by heavy pine and floral character. Finish is bitter and sticky. Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy with moderate carbonation. Overall, a nice malty IPA with tons of floral hops. (341 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (914 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). Bottled 8/10/12. Served in a Souther Tier snifter.

Pours clear deep amber with two finger of fluffy head that leaves small patches of lace.

Smell of pine, citrus peel, grapefruit and raisin bread.

Taste is a big bitter grapefruit hop bomb! Those grapefruity hops lead the assault on the palate, followed by the pine, rind, fresh cut grass, biscuits and mellow peppery spice. There's a bit of booze kick, but the 10% is well hidden in the bitter malange of grapefruit.

Medium full feel with mild to medium carbonation. Long dry bitter grapefruit finish.

Outstanding double IPA. One of the best I've had. I can't really compare it to Hopslam because they are two totally different things but this is just as good in it's own way. I really wish I could have bought at least a six pack but I'm really glad to have finally gotten to try this. (903 characters)

Photo of fields336
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SN tulip, 8./10/12 date

A: golden, light amber, honey color with a huge collar or thick off white yellowish head on top. lacing is phenominal, carbonation looks great

S: grapefruit, citrus, tropical fruit, slight pine/floral, sweet malt backbone, with a touch of booziness in the background

T: sweet is my first impression then a huge wave of piney, grapefruit, citrus, peach, pineapple comes through and finishes on a nice balanced dry bitter/malty finish, the best of both flavors. touch of booziness but i expect it at 10%

M: not too thick, but still you can tell its a DIPA, the carbonation is spot on imo

O; not as good as hopslam, but still a delicious beer (668 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden yellow color, looks very thick, lacy white head that is easy to rejuvenate with a little swirl of the glass. Smells of deep hop oils, spices, alcohol, with a tad of grapefruit and pine tree. The taste is right behind it, tasting of lots and lots and LOTS of hops, resin, pine, with just a bit of grapefruit sweetness. Lots of spice and alcohol, especially in the aftertaste. It has a bit of malt in the finish as well. Very, very high bitterness with low carbonation. Very heavy on the mouth and leaves a very sticky feeling.

Somewhat similar to Bell's Hopslam with a bit more of hops and grapefruit, sans the honey induced sweetness. A very good brew, but definitely one you have to sip. (704 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Bell's The Oracle a couple weeks ago for $3.59 at The Lager Mill. This is one of the only seasonal I haven't had from Bell's before so I'm ready to see what I've been missing out on, so lets how it goes. Bottled on August 10 2012. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- I like the label on this beer it's simple but classy looking. It poured a slightly hazy darker gold color that took on a really nice orange hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of creamy slightly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice sticky lacing. This is a great looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma is all about the hops and it starts out with lots of citrus hops that imparts a tropical fruit aroma with some grapefruit sticking out the most. Next comes a resinous and piney aroma that is followed by some floral hop aromas that show up towards the end. This is a great smelling beer, the topical fruit aromas work nicely with the pine and floral aromas. I like it a lot.

T- Wow this is one intense tasting beer, it starts off with the hops right up front and hitting me with a pretty intense bitterness that is for sure on the high side and is pretty constant throughout the taste. First come some nice tropical and citrus fruit flavors followed by a very resinous pine flavor and lighter floral hop flavor. The malts impart a higher amount of medium sweetness, and very slight bready flavor that was quickly overpowered by the hops. Towards the end a get a little bit of alcohol that is a slightly warming and it had a floral and piney aftertaste. This was a great tasting Double IPA, it was full of aggressive and bitter hops, just what i expect and want from this style.

M- Smooth when cold, but it's isn't that smooth when it warms a little, crisp, a little sticky, on the lighter side of being full bodied, with a nice medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a great beer and a great example of the style, it had everything I want in the style, it was one palate wrecking Double IPA. This beer isn't the most drinkable, one bottle is pretty much all I would want, I think it would start to be too intense after the first one. What I liked most about this beer was just about everything, it smelled great, tasted great, and looked great. What I liked least about this beer was the drinkability, it was just a little to intense and one 12oz bottle is just enough. I would buy this beer again next time it's release, but I think I would only buy 1 or 2, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys big and intense Double IPA's. All in all I was glad I finally got to try this beer and it lived up to my expectations, it was a big and intense Double IPA that just wrecked my palate, good job Bell's this beer is like Hop slams angrier and bitterer older brother. (2,947 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soft one-finger head easily flows from the bottle into my Burery tulip. Head is full of froth and come out plain white, yum.

Lots of big citrus and pine flow from scent. Sticky bubble gum comes to mind too. Mango and pineapple dominate.

Very bitter, much like a pine tree would be. Sticky and wet. carbonation is perfect and light. Bitterness is strong and robust, a bit offensive.

A very good beer indeed! Recommended, but not worth going crazy for. There's better DIPAs, but this one is top 20 forsure. (509 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a burn orange with a decent head that quickly disappears. A think layer of foam is present from start to finish. Nice webbing and stick throughout.

S - Vibrant citrus notes pop out, resinous smell, underlying floral scent.

T - As you would expect with a DIPA - a punch in the mouth of hops follwed by a nicely balanced smooth finish. Bitterness present throughout.

O - This is another solid offering from Bell's. I would say this is more drinkable than hop slam but mayble lacks a bit of hop slams character. I wonder if this is a one off from the two hearted recipe or if any inspiration came from two hearted as it has some of the same smell.

This is definitely a must try. Enjoyed it very much. (713 characters)

Photo of JDizzle
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep orange with a nice white head that falls rather quickly. Lacing is epic.
Smells like an Oracle should.... Brilliant with a citrusy fruits, resin, and a bit of sweet malt. I can tell this is a hop monster. Pretty one sided on the nose.
TOP 10 fo sho.... Straight blast of hops on the palate that is brutal. POW, this one is complex with citrusy fruits, resin, pine, and a little malt on the end to make it not so one sided; even though it is. Really hoppy with a crazy bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. Ultra bitter on the finish. Not boozy at all. This one hell of a beer.

Overall, this takes down Hopslam, and redefines the DIPA for me. It's only lacking on being a complete beer with so much bitterness, and not enough balance. A+ (758 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10oz snifter pour at the Saucer as part of Raleigh Beer week.

Dark orange-gold with 1/2 finger of standard cream head. Decent head retention with just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose is light. Resiny hops and a suggestion of pine are all I get.

The flavor is fantastic. Lots of hop resin with a oily sheen. Very nice pepper quality. Floral finish with a dry pine component. Very well done.

Body is stick and thick with hop oil. Perfect for a DIPA.

Just an excellent glass of beer. Only wish is for a slightly stronger nose. (544 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had it in a 10oz pour from a bar in Raleigh, NC

A - Orange/golden color in the glass

N - Lot's of grapefruit and pine. Smelled so good

T - Carbonation is crisp. Tastes like a tropical citrus paradise with lots of hops(Front end), that turns smooth still ringing with hops(back end). Such a complex beer. The sweet malt yet powerful hop taste does a really great job at keeping the 10.4 % hidden as well. Definitely a must for all Imperial IPA drinkers.

M - malty with a pleasant sweetness that makes way for the hop explosion. So good.

Overall, a very delicious beer. Being that it was beer week in Raleigh the 60+tap bar had 10 different "rare beers" on tap, however I still had to order another one of these... (717 characters)

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.