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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,471 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1471
Reviews: 598
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%


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: 1,471 | Reviews: 598 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium clear gold with a medium white head and retention. Not much retention.

The aroma is the best part of this very with a very pleasant sense of fruit, mostly grapefruit and strawberries. You get a little hops.

The taste is kind of let down, because it strays so far from the aroma. Its not sweet at all, the beginning and middled are light flavorless, but it has a very very bitter and strong finish which almost makes up for it.

The mouthfeel is average, and you can drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 22:23:56 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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

Thanks Ineedabeerhere!

Pours a bright golden orange. Large sudsy white foam head. Glows with a mild haziness when to the light. Very attractive brew.

Smells ... whoa ... smells bitter. Almost like an ESB taken to the ninth degree. Pine, some bitter grapefruit, and a toasted grain aroma.

This is, off the top of my head, the most bitter member of the IPA family tree I have ever had. Just palate wrenchingly bitter and hoppy. I never thought I would come across a beer that was too bitter, but this might be it. The pine-y, earthy, blast furnace nature is all encompassing. There's a hint, just a hint mind you, of sweeter grapefruit, orange, and maybe pineapple, but it's struggling for air.

Great syrupy, resin-y mouthfeel. I have to admit, 12 oz. was plenty.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 09:52:01 | More by Overlord
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch no. 9306; packed 8/28/09

A Pours a nice hazy golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves tons of lacing behind.

S: Smells quite strongly of hops; pineapple, grapefruit, grass, pineyness, a bit of maltyness, and slight hint of alcohol.

T: Taste is again dominated by hops; citrus, lemon and grapefruit, a nice malt backbone to balance and a dry, bitter lingering aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is great, a good amount of carbonation and a great creamy texture.

D: For the style I would say this beer has great drinkability, alas at $2.99 I can only afford to drink one.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 03:40:38 | More by spartanfan
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big nod to ThirstyBird, who met me for an in-person hook-up. Thanks!!!! My first Bell's beer, totally unexpected, wholly appreciated.

Going into this beer, I had no idea what to expect. I've only had a handful of midwest DIPAs.

A- Pours a nice orangey copper with a moderate head, eggshell-white, pretty complex structure. Not the biggest but not going anywhere, either. Scratch that, 3-4 mins has left the head all but gone, with significant lacing.

S- Complex. Deep hop essence, aromas, oils, resins... Almost peppery. I know I've used peppery as a hop descriptor before, but never has it had as much meaning as it does now. These hops are intense. Almost a medicinal quality, although in a good way. Really resinous.

T- Follows the nose. A completely unique DIPA. Taste is deep, resinous, peppery, intense, yet not overpowering. This passes my test for a great DIPA- the hops were blended in a precise fashion, not 'kitchen-sink-hopped' like SO many DIPAs are. I cannot get over the raw hop power of this beer.

M- Drying, a bit hot, peppery (for a third time, I've used that word)... fantastic. Good carbonation, enough malt to give it some heft yet without the cloying sweetness that's oh too familiar. Amazing.

D- For me, an admitted hop junkie? 5/5. Your mileage may vary. Doubt I'll see much more of this soon, but this beer will forever be ingraned in my taste memory books as an amazing, outstanding, unique, and fantastic beer.

My first Bells, couldn't have been a better experience.

I'd rank this in my top 5 DIPAs easily. While hard to compare to Pliny, Squall/90 min, or Hop Rod, it certainly can hold its own. I am blown away by this one.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 00:04:11 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours rusty orange with a rough and clingy white head. The nose make the think of dried powdered citrus fruits, a bucket of heavily diluted Pine Sol, and tree bark. Lots of big hoppy bitter flavors, but they are not as juicy as I think IIPAs typically are. The malt character is also like dry caramel. Bitter as all hell, for sure. Dry as an old chicken bone. This is a sipping beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 22:43:37 | More by tjthresh
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of brewdan - many thanks! Batch 9306 (8/28/2009) into a Portsmouth snifter...

Classic DIPA look - a 2/3 finger head (which in a Portsmouth snifter is pretty solid). Retention isn't that spectacular but it'll play. Pretty clear even mix between honey and bourbon. Borderline crystal-clear.

OK, we're about 6 weeks into this deal, and it still is a hop bomb. Slight bit of weirdness on the hop profile...wondering about a smidge of oxidation at first, then maybe some sulphur, but all told, it's a more malty DIPA - not sure if it's from hop age or if the malt quotient is that strong. Caramel/brown sugar with hop citrus in the background. Rind and a little grass round it out.

The hop profile on the taste buds resembles a slight bit of grapefruit pulp but more than that, a bit of rind. Maybe it's 'cause I'm looking at a bottle of Cigar City Guava Grove but I actually got a hint of guava here - the power of suggestion! There's a little bit of astringent booze, a honey butterscotch malt quotient and a slight bit of hop age. It's very solid at the moment.

Palate feel works very nicely. Light for its weight class and creates a nice, tight hop pucker on the back end with enough viscosity to keep a little balance. Some Beautiful Chemistry may help this one out a bit, but it's pretty damn good take if I say so.

My thought is that Oracle has a similar half life to HopSlam. And, to a certain extent, Sculpin. Get it fresh and knock it down. There are defined hints of greatness in this deal that are still prominent. It drinks very well...and quickly. I have to wonder what a growler from the brewery would taste like...

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 22:28:41 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a hazy amber/copper color with a fingers worth of off-white frothy head which quickly disipitates. A very thin layer of head remains on the top of the beer with an off-white ring of head along the edge. There's some sticky lacing left behind when the glass is tilted.

S - Sweet tangerines, mangos, oranges are the first notes I get from this one. Not really a lot of hoppy characteristics or bitterness on this one, mostly a sweet citrus. A nice malty backbone on this one as well which compliments itself to the sweet citrus notes.

T - A nice meld of hops and malts mixed in with some floral notes. Although I couldn't detect much bitterness from the nose, the palate is much different. Huge bitterness which turns into a bit of malty sweetness and finishes with some more bitterness...it comes back for me, I guess you could say.

M - Light bodied, not overly fizzy carbonation but enough to let you know that it's there. An oily finish.

D - A wonderful DIPA by Bell's...I'm really digging this one. Better then HopSlam? I say yes.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 21:55:24 | More by Sean9689
Photo of fiver29
fiver29

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Josh with a group of other beer lovers. Thanks Josh! Pours orange with off white head. Aroma is citrus grapefruit simcoe hops. I said I thought the aroma reminded me of hopslam without the honey. Opulent mouthfeel. Flavor follows the nose and has a great citrus hop blast from grapefruit or orange and finishes semi dry with slight alcohol. Someone else suggested it was like their big head. Either way a great IIPA and was a pleasure to try. Thanks!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 04:23:00 | More by fiver29
Photo of Dalem
Dalem

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early autumn cooper in with a substantial head that melts away to a heavy lace and a cap that sticks through to the end of the glass.
The aroma is quite fruity. Strawberries and peaches come to mind. Much different than the earthy pines and citrus scents that usually come from a DIPA.
The scents show up big time in the flavors in this full bodied ale. The strawberry nuances are in the introduction. Woodsy and sweet tart. The snap of peaches take over in the middle til towards the end when a black peppery bite from the hops take it to the finish. Quite complex and though an alcohol hotness does kick up in the end the 10.4% abv is masked pretty well.
The aftertaste is a bit sticky but doesn't hang around to the point where you're searching for a couple huge swallows of water to clean the palate and wash out the back of the throat after a glass full of it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2009 05:14:52 | More by Dalem
Photo of raninator84
raninator84

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nickwin for the awesome trade!

Poured from bottle in Duvel Tulip.

HOP-tastic!! Great color pours a darker golden haze, with smooth clinging lacing. Smells: citrus, pounds of hops, with a hint of banana and clove. Tastes: Hops hit the tongue with pleasantly brute force and mold with a hint of the citrus in the smell. Hops control the ride, very great brew. Let them burn and linger, minutes after the first sip the hop burn is still there but the clove and hints of tropical fruit coat the tongue. A very good DIPA. Not the best I've had, but solid!! Get to drinking this one!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 22:45:08 | More by raninator84
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Tyson and iceicebaby for hooking me up with bottles of this limited brew.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange with some light golden ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off-white head that slowly settles after a bit into a lasting ring that leaves nice sporadic rings of lacing.

Very floral hop aroma with a nice amount of citrus peel as well as some dank, piny resinous hop oil. The malt backbone also contributes to the sweetness. The citrus peel and grapefruit are very prominent, blending well with the earthy hops.

Chewy resinous mouthfeel that is very dry and hop forward. Lots of sweet citrus notes provide an excellent balance to the dry piny bitter hops. Lots of lemon peel and grapefruit sweetness along with the subtle malt backbone provide a nice balance to the massive dry hop explosion that lingers over everything into a long bone dry finish with some slight alcohol heat. The ABV is very well masked, making this dangerously drinkable.

This is one of the most dry, hoppy beers I've ever had. I'm glad I got to try this fresh when the hops still dominate. Everyone who considers themselves a hophead should seek this out immediately.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 02:49:09 | More by corby112
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange color with one finger of white head.

Scent of bitter piny hops, spice, citrus, alcohol, and ripe juicy fruit. A strong hop presence, but balanced out well.

Taste of bitter juicy hops, caramel, citrus, grapefruit and pineapple. Finishes dry and bitter. This has the most natural grapefruit flavor I can recall from and Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with a fairly strong carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2009 15:51:01 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks chipped in the direction of notCreative for smuggling a few bottles out of Michigan & dropping them with me here in the Cities. Thanks Matt.

Pour is a nearly opaque orange with little head, but what exists is clingy as a bad girlfriend. Smell is a psychic kick of citrus & grapefruit, with something strange & dank lurking underneath. Odd.

Comparisons with HopSlam are perhaps inevitable, as Bell's makes another legendary DIPA that's one of my all-time favorites. This is more aggressive than HS IMHO. Hops are front, center, back, under, sideways, & sucking liberally on my tonsils. I hate to say this, but it's borderline bitter overload; that's not an experience I've ever had before. The grapefruit & pine are so hot they overload the senses & make me start sweating like a jalapeno sandwich. Couldn't drink more than one of these in a sitting.

Well. Very good beer, but I've finally hit my hophead wall. Too much. Really enjoying it, but give me some HopSlam any day!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 02:21:22 | More by maximum12
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of OHLRangers. Thanks Ed!

Pours a clear dark gold in color. There's a very nice inch of white head that forms on the pour. This quickly recedes to a frothy film after a few minutes.
Smell is beautiful, pungent, juicy hops. There's some subtle light malts behind it, but make no mistake this is a hop forward beer.
Taste is huge, juicy, citrusy hops. I could get lost in this beer. Absolutely beautiful in almost every aspect. Incredibly bitter in the mouthfeel. This is a full on assault on your mouth. No sign of the abv until you finish the bottle. I could get ridiculous with this beer.
This is an incredible beer. If I wanted to be picky, I would prefer a more chewy mouthfeel. But that is absolutely splitting hairs. This beer is outstanding. Hopefully this comes back again, because when my last bottle is gone, I may just shed a tear.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 01:24:53 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 9306. Pours. Hazy bright orange to copper color. Thick, fluffy white head. Great head retention. Nice patches of lace coating the sides of the glass.

Bursting with hop aroma. I can smell it from the other side of the room. Loads of grapefruit, pine, and a variety of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. You can get a whiff of sweet malt. Or perhaps that is wishful thinking. Bold and juicy aroma, hard to imagine it could be any better.

Things begin with a good dose of sweet malt. Not much caramel, but there is some depth. Bitter grapefruit comes next. Things dry out a bit in the middle with some tropical fruit and an aspirin edge. Bitterness lingers forever on the palate. A ghost-like second wave of tropical fruit comes and goes like a flash. Or is it my tongue dying?

Medium body, carbonation seems good. Maybe a hint of warming alcohol, but not much. This was very drinkable, even with the full assault of hops. Another great one from bells. Very enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 00:33:14 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy birthday, Dad, this one's for you. tangfoot was extremely generous, and gave me a couple of these for nothing. Thank you, Fred!

A very attractive pour, clear amber with a big, off-white head with great retention. Gorgeous lacework is left as the head gently recedes

Such a pungent hop aroma, I fear that a lightstruck version of this beer will smell like a skunk apocalypse. Rousing pine and grapefruit with a mild sweetness present. Candied orange

Wow. Opens with a strong bitterness with a resiny, piney, weed-like flavor. Mildly spicy, a touch of alcohol heat is noticeable. The hop flavor is pretty top notch, with a lot of pine and grapefruit. Sweetness, while present in form of a mild caramel-like character, is restrained and does it's fair bit in tempering the bitterness. The finish is fabulously bitter, like drinking pine sap. Medium-high in carbonation with a medium-light body and a fabulous finish, this is excellent on the palate.

Thoroughly drinkable, though my currently addled brain is swimming from a sleepless night halfway into this beer. Very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 23:54:54 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade...thanks Frank. 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Part of Batch 9306 and was packaged on 8/28/09. No abv info is given.

A-Really nice looking DIPA. It is a semi clear amber that has a hefty dose of orange glow to it. When poured it did not have too large of a white head. The film and bubbly middle did stick around for the entirety of the session. It leaves nice streaky patches of lacing in between sips.

S-Smells of uber fresh hops. The malt stays in the background and lets the hops dominate the aroma. I pick up on lots of ripe citrus such as pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. There is also a lot of piney hops used. Could easily be mistaken for a WC IPA.

T-Like the nose, there is a massivve amount of hops that jump out during each sip. The piney hops are the strongest at the start. Mid sip there is a tad bit of sweet malt that bows down to a massive amount of bitter grapefruit. The bitter grapefruit flavor is long lasting. There is some detectable booze in between sips that was not distracting but lets you know this is a big beer.

M-This is a big beer and it has a thick and chewy mouthfeel. The carbonation level was perfect.

D-The alcohol and massive grapefruit bitterness limit the drinkability. Best served as the last beer of the night.

This is one of the most bitter grapefruit beers that I have tried. Those who like "balance" in their beers probably won't dig on this one. I'm excited I have a few left and a few more on the way. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 04:05:59 | More by mjl21
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
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 RustyDiamond
RustyDiamond

Georgia

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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 claminat420
claminat420

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Mississippi

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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+

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 00:43:01 | More by Telix
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,471 ratings.