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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,556 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,556
Reviews: 601
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 425
Gots: 136 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,556 | Reviews: 601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waltonc


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Thanks to timmi for hooking me up with several of these. Pours beautiful hazy dark gold with just under an inch of white head. Smells very refreshing - grapefruit hops. Taste is a grapefruit bomb - am I drinking grapefruit juice with breakfast or an IPA in before bed here? Flavor is backed by ample malt reinforcement. Body is fairly thick, almost too much so for my taste, but not quite. High carbonation. If I were an IPA fan, I could drink plenty of these. Great job on this beer - one of the best I've had, up there with Hop Slam and PtY.

09-30-2009 03:11:20 | More by waltonc
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +16.5%

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

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


4.4/5  rDev +4%

Batch 9306 packaged on August 28.

Hazy orange pour with a solid finger of near white head. Frothy with some nice bubbles. Clean with some very fine hop molecules.

Aroma of hot pine sappy grapefruit rind. Some sweet fruit too...peaches maybe cantaloupe.

Hits you in the back of the throat immediately upon impact. Hop vapor explosion. Floral hoppy to bitchin' hot in a second. Chewy piney grapefruit. Phenol felt in the mouthfeel surrounded by hop power. Faint taste of sourdough pretzels. Very tart and chewy in the middle...grapefruit rind x 10.

Wicked lacing up and down the glass. Very intense and very good.

09-29-2009 19:53:10 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of womencantsail


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

09-29-2009 07:06:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of claminat420


3.03/5  rDev -28.4%

A- alil cloudy golden color. nice white two finger head with medium lacing.

S- hoppy and sweet

T- god i don't even know. alil malty, alil sweet, alil hoppy

M- sturdy medium body. good carbonation.

D- could drink one or two.

Overall- i'm not trying to be a d#ck here and just slam bell's but lookout!!! they put out a special...everyone jumps on it... nothing to special. to me founder's double trouble buried this in a heartbeat.

09-29-2009 05:41:04 | More by claminat420
Photo of gibby


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Local trade with MGL, thanks Mike.

Appearance is a nice golden amber with a small white head, crystal clear. Smells very nice of citrus/piney hops, but not as strong as expected. Opened up more as it warmed. Delicious taste of massive hops but it did have a malt backbone thrown in there. Mouthfeel was good, a bit syrupy at times and you feel the heat for sure from the 10%. The abv can certainly lower the drinkability but 2 of these is certainly doable.

Overall I am very glad to try the oracle. It was very tasty and would be worth buying if available in pa. In the world of elite dipa's that I love so much, I do have to say the oracle ranks behind pliny, sculpin, dreanaught and bell's own hopslam.

09-29-2009 02:44:28 | More by gibby
Photo of PerzentRizen


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured into a Duvel glass this is the second time I've had this beer in the past week thanks to brewdan. I still have one more and I think I'll enjoy that tomorrow night..first I'll have to consult the Oracle. This beer is just too good to put down. The color is a glowing copper and the head is nothing more than some collected bubbes as an island in the vast sea of heavenly nectar.

The aroma is piney hops, sweet malt, and white peppery notes. This beer tends to really open up around 45 degrees; much below that and the aromas really are sealed in.

The taste is intensely bitter hops followed by a chewed asprin twang then to a more balanced intensely sweet malt then back to a floral hop flavor. It's almost as if this beer ate hopslam and shat it out but in a good way. The intense honey sweetness is no where in site but you can just about find everthing else you like about hopslam.

The mouthfeel is chewy and perfect for the style. This is much like Moylan hopsickle in mouthfeel. Oracle almost seems like syrup until you start to swallow then it gives in a great way. The intense flavors coat the tongue and the hop resins make the mouth smack while the texture is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is tough. You want to drink six of these but know you can't. This beer has to be around 9-12% abv. Also the price and rarity will stop you if you can't help yourself. At $4 a bottle and harder to find than a virgin college sophomore this beer is on everyone's want list...the Oracle told me.

09-29-2009 00:44:49 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of Telix


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams Sensory glass.

A: The beer pours an opaque apricot, and my mildly aggressive pour left a thin head that quickly dissipated. A nice level of carbonation is exhibited. Noting spectacular in the looks department but an attractive color.

S: A great nose on this - some peach, some citrus, some resinous hops, some slightly sour funk going on. Very fragrant and inviting.

T: A truly interesting beer. I'm reminded of Port Brewing's Hop 15 (or at least what I remember of that) - extremely thick, with a high level of syrupy, effervescent fruitiness. A sharp sour green apple bites through the initial sweetness for a bit, then is drowned with a clover honey finish that eventually gives way to that always unpleasant alkaline baking soda sensation on the tongue due to the IBUs.

M: I love a thick beer with a rich, creamy mouthfeel, so I'm all about The Oracle. The carbonation is quite good, and it's a nice mouthful of beer without being syrupy.

D: I never really understood "drinkability" and feel that mouthfeel is worth far more than it. I like it, therefore it's drinkable. I don't look for "sessionable" beer, but I doubt you would want to pound a sixer of this.

Overall, it's a darn good beer. It's going to rate outstanding and exceptional due to it's rarity, but honestly I think I prefer the similar, and better, Hop Slam. The alkaline finish is just distasteful to me and keeps it from being a truly great beer. I'd give it an A-/B+

09-29-2009 00:43:01 | More by Telix
Photo of jcdgoad


4.93/5  rDev +16.5%

Wow is all I can say. This is one fantastic DIPA. This beer smells citrussy with hints of pineapple, peaches and funk. It has a more complex taste than Hopslam with less grapefruit. Seek this one out if you can get it while it's fresh. In my opinion it is superior to Hopslam.

09-28-2009 21:53:35 | More by jcdgoad
Photo of sweemzander


4.72/5  rDev +11.6%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Batch #9306.

(A)- Pours an orange amber color that produced an off-white to light yellow colored foamy head that has some good retention to it. Some evident patches of lacing here and there.

(S)- Nice citrus of grapefruit and lime with peaches and apricots too. A little woody pine funk that is slightly mineral-like.

(T)- An interesting variation with the peach/apricot fruits combined with grapefruit and lime citrus; it gives it a sweet yet sour character. Good hop bitterness with the slightest of malt background coming through like honey, but more like a butterscotch thing.

(M)- Definitely an interesting play in fruit complexities that provides an interesting balance with the obvious hop bite. Minimal malt influence, but great fruits within. Great carbonation level.

(D)- An interesting DIPA that has a unique fruit profile. Has good balance and is well made. Another winner from Bells brewery. Seek this one out if you can, even in MI it was kinda hard to find.
On a side note, alot of people are comparing this to Hopslam. . . . . this is a totally different beer that is excellent, but I think that Hopslam is better in my opinion. If you try this expecting a beer like or better than Hopslam, you might be dissapointed; Try this with an open mind without assuming anything like I did and you will enjoy it more.

09-27-2009 22:55:04 | More by sweemzander
Photo of CosmoHopHead


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

A: Dark golden orange with a two finger off white head.

S: spicy, citrus hops. Grapefruit, pineapple maybe? Smells like Hopslam

T: wow, tastes like Hopslam minus the honey on the backend which makes the bitterness all the more powerful (and that's ok with me)

M: good carbonation with lots of bubbles. blends well with the bite

D: well, I drank 3 of these in one sitting so I'd say pretty drinkable. Although, it really puts your tongue through a workout. Would love to know the abv

Very delicious DIPA overall. I think I like Hopslam a little more but this is still a fantastic DIPA. Another amazing beer from Bell's. Very much recommend every hop lover try if you can get your hands on it.

09-27-2009 21:31:19 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of alleykatking


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazy golden orange with a hint of a reddish tint to it. Nice 2 finger dirty white..almost light tannish head stays for a good long while. Massive sticky lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

S- You could smell this beer right as soon as you pryed the bottlecap off. Big earthy and floral hop smell with this one. I mean huge. It takes over all other aroma that your nose picks up. Citrus hoppy (pineapple and grapefruit)undertones to this as well. As it sits there and warms a little the sweeter malts also come through a bit more although still covered pretty clean by the musty hop smell.

T- This is what I thought it would be like when I first heard this was being made. Insane hop bitterness and slight citrus sweetness come through in the forefront of this beer. This mellows out a little bit in the middle where the malts come through with a slight sweetness. The hops are all bitter in the middle as well and stay that way till the ending which has a huge earthy bitter hop bite to it. I think the balance in this beer is good but I personally enjoy a nice bitter beer every once in a while and this pulls it off beautifully.

M- This has a nice medium mouthfeel to it. A little chewy I think but still good. Carbonation is dead on and lets the beer leave a trail of piney hop wreckage on the palate. Big hops resin left on everything. It's almost like I just ate a bunch of hops and just sucked on them. Nice bitter hop after taste. Makes you want to drink more and more if you like the earthy hops.

D- This is a very drinkable beer in my opinion. You have to like bitter hop beers to enjoy this one I think though. While I could easily drink a 6er of this I would want to savor each one. Another great DIPA from Bell's which to be honest I think can't really go wrong with making one in the first place.

09-27-2009 17:30:29 | More by alleykatking
Photo of bmanning

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +13.5%

Batch 9306. Shared with Thorpe429 at our tasting last night. The Oracle has the most complex smell and taste of any DIPA I've ever had - there's peaches, lemon, orange, pineapple, grapefruit (just a hint), floral hops, and a grassiness. I would have loved to try this fresh, because even now more than a few weeks after it's release it's amazing. This is an exceptional DIPA.

09-27-2009 17:13:47 | More by bmanning
Photo of infestaxion


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Hazy golden orange with a creamy orange-white head. Leaves a nice lacing.

S - Bigger malt presence than I expected. Big floral hops. Piny and slick.

T - Hmm. I thought this was going to be more of a west coast style IPA. The hops are huge but there is a malt presence as well. Citrus and earthy hops abound with caramel malt dancing all around it. A bit astringent in the finish.

M - Slick and medium bodied. Good carbonation.

D - Decent drinkablility but it is killing my palate.

I was expecting something more along the lines of Big Head but I was obviously lied to about that. It's good but I'd take a Hopslam over it any day.

09-26-2009 18:05:50 | More by infestaxion
Photo of GRPunk


4.88/5  rDev +15.4%

Bottle (batch #9306) poured into a tulip glass.

A- A normal pour produced about 2 fingers of pillowy, off-white to tan head. The head is sustained at about 1/2 a finger (until eventually falling to a full lace) and leaves all kinds of sticky, fluffy, rings and spots about the glass. The body is a neat combination of gold and peach tones that border on pink. There's a slight haze and light carbonation.

S- The intial aroma was full of hops, lots of earthy/flowery hops with some notes of citrus. It was like sniffing a hop bag. With a little warmth and another whiff or two, the sweeter malts come through. The strong hop aroma eventually comes off with a bit of a pleasant mustiness.

T- So nice. A great mix of bold hops and a sweet malt background. The hops hit up front, give way to the malts, and come back in the finish. You get the early hops in the form of citrus and earthy flavors, a nice sweetness through the middle, and a drying finish. Any notion of high ABV is well hidden.

M- Fairly thick without becoming syrupy. Carbonation is light and the head retention means you sip through some fluffy bubbles. There's a good bite from the hops and a clean, dry finish.

D- It tastes so good, I just want more. The alcohol is well hidden, but definitely makes a statement with a little light-headedness. I'd pick this one up again and put it just ahead of Hopslam as far as Bells' DIPAs go.

09-25-2009 22:50:27 | More by GRPunk
Photo of jampics2


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Bottle from a trade with TasteTester - thanks for the hookup!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bell's Pint Glass.

A - golden orange. Really looks nice but nothing insane. Small white head that sticks around, probably stuck to the hop oils ;)

S - smells of spicy hops, a bit of citrus (I've had more citrus-y beers), but mostly a nice dank hoppy spice. Not too pine-y - I've had a few beers that exhibit the same smells, but this puts them all together really well!!

T - WOAH! Two sips totally destroyed my palette. Seriously dank, hoppy, bitter, and ruinous. I like DIPA's all day, but I must admit I tend to like just a little more balance - this is waaay bitter and lingers on and on. I would like this more if they had chosen going one of two ways, with the decision between a sweeter malt or a slightly more citrus-y sweet hop (this is more spicey to me than others have described). Finishes a bit too hot for my tastes, but gets much more tolerable when paired with a salty snack.

M - Mouthfeel is exceptional, like Hopslam - these little bubbles won't quit. Carb is perfect, just perfect mouth on a DIPA. Bells is king of this.

D - Drinkability is hard to rate honestly. I could drink many more, but would I taste them? Above average but not A material IMO.

I was lucky enough to score a 6 pack, so I'll need to give it another shot or 5. Good, but not legendary - I'd take Hopslam 1,000,000x's over this, but glad to have tried it. This is for those who like their hops spicey, bold, and unforgiving. All in all, glad to see Bell's still pushing new flavors. This just isn't anything monumental to me.

09-25-2009 22:21:30 | More by jampics2
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Bottle (batch 9306) received as an extra in a trade with iceicebaby....sean you are one of my favorite traders on this site, you totally rock!

Appearance: Cloudy but radiant orange color body with a 1 finger white crown that shows a touch of retention and plenty of lace.

Smell: Oh mama this is citrus hop paradise. Loads of pineapple, grapefruit, a touch of malt, and some floral hop notes too.

Taste: same as the nose but a healthy dose of hop bitterness to boot. A touch too bitter IMHO but otherwise great.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a touch chewy, could possibly use a bit more carbonation.

Drinkability: Only thing holding it back from a better score is the hop bitterness.

When I poured and smelled it I was thinking "Is this Bell's Pliny Clone?" but upon tasting it I don't think that anymore. Not as well balanced as Pliny but a nice addition to the IIPA market!

09-25-2009 21:13:22 | More by koopa
Photo of orbitalr0x


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

Have been very excited for this one. Pours into my glass a brilliant reddish orange with a two finger head of creamy foam on top that leaves behind patchy lacing. Hops are there before I even bring the glass close! Huge resinous citrus, grapefruit, tropical and floral aromas burst up at you. Sweet malt backbone with candied accents. The hop oils are so bright it is like inhaling the perfume of a fresh handful of cones. Intoxicating.

First sip brings a wall of hops upfront with tropical citric tones, grapefruit along with some floral and pine notes. Flows down with sweet malts and a bit of an earthy character. Huge tongue wrenching bitterness throughout. Resinous hop oils linger on in the finish along with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dense, rich and creamy with good carbonation. A bit slick, but goes down pretty smooth. Overall, just another top notch DIPA from Bell's. I think I still might like Hopslam a bit better, but in the interim this is quite tasty. Thanks hoppymeal.

09-25-2009 02:00:53 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of pwoods


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Thanks to Steve for sharing this bottle.

12oz. Brown bottle into a snifter.

A: Hazy golden orange. Moderate head with a bit of retention. Decent sticky lacing.

S: Lots of stinky, resinous hops. Somewhat catty. Plenty of citrus with enough malt.

T/M: Bitterness isn't huge and niether is the citrus. Plenty of the sticky stinky hop resin. Lots of malts, deep and rich. Pleasant spiciness in the back. Body is nearly full with good carbo. Sticky feel.

D: Drinks ok and pretty interesting.

09-25-2009 01:21:18 | More by pwoods
Photo of BelgianAleSlut


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours bright orange with small white foam that quickly disappears.

Smells heavy of grapefruit and citrus, little maltiness.

Tastes as though grapefruit has been added. Low carbonation. Not getting much malt body through the bitterness of the hop. There is something in there though rounding off the corners.

I was expecting a bold DIPA/IIPA but it seems this beer has taken a little different course than double-double. However, its mellowness is kind of appreciated. Very nice, if muted, taste.

The beer is lazy in the glass but does react on the tongue when sipping. Mouthfeel is pretty good for a sipper of this type.

Drinkability is good assuming the known limit is 1-2.

Is this the future of DIPAs? I guess The Oracle would know.

09-25-2009 00:12:57 | More by BelgianAleSlut
Photo of Pedro07


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

Grabbed a single seeing as limited a brew this is.

A: Poured into a regular pint glass. Great look. Oberon-ish glowing color, slightly hazy color (love haze!). Wonderful head, rather light colored. Great clinging lace.

S: Wow, lots of citrus, not a whole load of grass but rather orange-rind. Good hops!

T: Mmmm, citrus. I shouldn't have read reviews on this one before trying it, but I did. Someone earlier described it as "Oberon on steroids"....YES. This beer's been in the gym for a while and I like it. It actually has a sweet citrus taste after it warms some! Moderate bitterness in the back/finish...enough to let you know it's been lifting "hop" iron.

M: Very pleasant. Actually smooth while being delightfully carbonated. As in most heavy pale's or IPA's, it's mouth coating.

D: Yeah, I could have a few of these. High five Larry and team!!

09-23-2009 00:07:50 | More by Pedro07
Photo of GbVDave


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Batch # 9306

A: Pours a hazy, glowing, apricot color with a gorgeous looking dallop of light orange/eggshell colored foam up top. Very bubbly and sticky. Retention is fantastic and a ton of lace is left behind.

S: Massive amount of pineapple in the nose. Pineapple mixed with fresh cut grass, dried wildflowers, floral hops, caramel, and toasty malt.

T: The tastes continues the theme started by the smell. Huge sweet pineapple, herbal/floral hops, a dash of pine, caramel, grass clippings, and toasted malt.

M: A perfect balance of sweet & juicy pineapple, peppery & herbal hops, and dry & astringent malt. Incredibly long lasting finish. This is what a DIPA should feel like!

D: Not sure of the ABV but I'm sure it's pretty stout and this drinks like an APA/IPA around 5 1/2 - 6%. This goes to show that big beers CAN be refreshing and aren't necessarily a chore to drink. Consider me awestruck!

09-21-2009 23:51:23 | More by GbVDave
Photo of jt31914


4/5  rDev -5.4%

A: One finger of head - hazy gold/amber color. The beer almost goes from light on the outside to amber in the center. Slightly darker for a form of an IPA - head disappeared quickly.

S: Very citrus type smell - specifically with orange. Also has a hint of hops.

T: Intense citrus/orange taste; it is hoppy as it goes down yet the aftertaste leaves orange in the mouth. The beer balances the citrus and bitterness phenomenally; the orange is the dominant flavor, but does not overtake the beer.

M: Bubbly and smooth. Very refreshing.

D: Highly drinkable - this smooth and refreshing beer is one I could easily down a six pack of.

The bitterness of this beer comes out as it warms, which only makes the whole drink better.

This beer is like Oberon on steroids!

09-21-2009 04:30:22 | More by jt31914
Photo of rudylaw


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%

12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal. Thanks Derek!

Pours an extremely bright orange with a huge white head that has plenty of lacing.

Smelly of juicy orange, tangerines, melon and pineapple. Not like any IPA I've ever had!

The taste is an explosion. Hoppy with pineapple stealing the show. Juicy, juicy pineapple. I'm not catching much of the orange and tangerine I originally smelled, but that's fine. There is a tiny hint of caramel balance present as well.

The mouthfeel is amazing! Perfect, medium carbonation. Unbelievably drinkable. Just an absolute frigging pleasure. Bell's continues to not be happy to just make beers, they're happy to crush styles into oblivion. One of the best DIPA's ever! Make this an annual and DISTRIBUTE!

09-21-2009 02:33:54 | More by rudylaw
Photo of kirok1999


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

I really didn't know much about this beer before one was offered to me so there were not too many expectations.
Pours a sticky and chunky hazy orange. Tons of head and super sticky lace. Want to know how many sips you took? Just look at the glass and count the rings.
Smells very sweet, lots of caramel and sweet fruits.
Taste is just massive! Very sweet and creamy, lots of caramel, bits of milk chocolate, and yet the brutal amount of hops brings all the sweetness down. This thing is a battle in a glass. The bitter hops and massive sweetness compete and no one loses.
Feels rich and creamy, well carbonated and very smooth. Very easy to drink but only if you sip slowly.

09-21-2009 02:25:01 | More by kirok1999
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,556 ratings.