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: 2,246
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 454
Gots: 265 | 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: 2,246
Photo of smm
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle picked up while on a trip through Michigan to Isle Royale.

Color is a hearty orangish-red, very cloudy.

Fruity smell with a touch of citrus.

Initial reaction is that it feels quite heavy but on second sip goes feels a little smoother.

Has the floral taste similar to other Bells IPA's. The bitterness stands out higher than sweetness I've come to expect from a IIPA. It also stays with you and hits you in the back of the throat.

Quite drinkable for a IIPA as well.

Overall not my favorite... I'll wait for the HopSlam. (546 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks go out to mymrnngjckt for this treat. You are very kind, sir.

Pours a slightly hazed burnt orange color with a dense two inches of light beige head.

Smell is full of resiny, oily, sticky pine and grapefruity hops, with juicy citrus as well as a bitter pithy quality. It's very fresh and floral, and I love the juiciness of the hops. There is a honey-like sweetness here too. Some alcohol does start to creep in as it warms.

Taste starts off...boozy as hell. Holy shit. And then comes the hop bitterness, which is substantial. I feel like I blinked and the hop flavor passed me by. Where is all the juicy, floral, resiny goodness from the nose? I do get some resiny pine, earthy and herbal flavor and some very bitter grapefruit pith, but the bitterness is absolutely immense and the hot alcohol just throws it entirely out of balance. The juicy, sweet citrus never has a chance to come through. It's a hop bomb, and worse, it's a boozy hop bomb.

Mouthfeel is quite oily and slick, and if it weren't for the immense bitterness and hot alcohol I think this one would be very nice on the palate.

I'm very disappointed by this brew, and I think it certainly fits the bill as a hype beer that just did not deliver. The best DIPAs in my book stress hop flavor over bitterness and have enough malt backbone to complement, even if they don't truly balance, the hops. I'm not a huge fans of unabated hop bombs, but I can enjoy one of those every once in awhile as well. This, however, is not only a hop bomb but a totally unbalanced, boozy hop bomb. That's a deadly combination and does not result in a pleasant, drinkable brew. Once is enough. (1,652 characters)

Photo of abar22
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a DFH Signature Glass

Bell's The Oracle. A freebie by way of my brother-in-law. In all honesty I couldn't wait to open this thing but waited almost a week because I knew that it would probably be my first and last.
I half expected some revolutionary beer to come pouring out of the bottle but in the end it was a generally standard DIPA. Bronze-like with gold hues when held to the light. A bit lighter than some other DIPAs I've had recently. A foamy off white head settled into a thin cap. Minimal lacing makes it way around the glass.
Beautiful nose on this one. Great bouquet of fruity hops: grapefruit and peaches predominately. Pine is also present along with a tinge of alcohol. This meets my high expectations for this beer.
Wow. The first sip hits me like a ton of hops. Lots of citrus, grapefruit again being dominant. In fact, I even get different types of grapefruit; ruby red, white, and pink. Dry in the finish and piney in the aftertaste. I absolutely love this beer and shudder to think it may be the only one I ever drink.
Well carbonated, solid body leaves me wanting another drink.
More or less as drinkable as any good DIPA. This one gets the nod simply because it tastes so damn good. Bell's would do well to make this a yearly release as it appears to be the best DIPA this side of the California border.
F the red or blue pill: where's another Oracle? (1,395 characters)

Photo of fakedelight
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light amber color with a good stable head.

The smell is very complex with alot of fruity aromas. My wife says canned peaches. I didn't get that, but I did get a huge citrus-like hop aroma, Probably from Cascade hops. There is also alot more going on that I couldn't really decipher.

Taste is very hoppy and pleasing. All I really taste is hops at first. A strong malt backbone is noticably present, but is drowned out by all the hops. Also, a strong alcohol taste is there, but the hops do a nice job masking that as well.

Overall, if you like double IPA's, this is a nice in-your-face DIPA. The only negative thing I can think of is as this beer warms, the alcohol becames more noticable and harsh. Being over 10%, this sucker is probably going to warm quite a bit before you finish. (800 characters)

Photo of Casey10
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow received this a extra from Heliossphan and couldn't be more happy.

A - pours a nice head with a golden hazy body.

S - Faint malts some citrus.

T - It's all there, grapefruit, lemon, malt so nice.

M - nice feel nothing spectacular.

D - I got two, drank one and may way want to drink the other (300 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to kzoobrew for this great extra from trading. Cheers buddy!

Appearance - Pours a beautiful hazy copper/dark amber color with over a finger of white fluffy head. As the foam slowly dissipates, it leaves great looking lacing. I'm pretty excited to try this.

Smell - Wow, amazing. Passion fruit, tangerines, and oranges. It smells amazing. This is followed by a mellow yet strong (oxymoron?) hop and piney aroma. Holy cow my mouth is watering in anticipation.

Taste - A bit malty up front followed by some bitter hop taste and ending on an extremely smooth note. I taste grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, etc. This honestly has an utterly amazing flavor and smell to it. I keep sniffing it then taking a nice long sip. I am enjoying this to its fullest.

Mouthfeel - Moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation. It feels thick, oily, and overall dense...which is a good thing.

Drinkability - I can't believe this is a 10+ abv beer. I feel I may have had this beer a bit after the "crazy" hoppiness as some have described (or maybe I'm just use to West Coast hoppy beers) but this was not a massive hop bomb by any means. This was an extremely balance, utterly amazing smelling and tasting DIPA. This is a DAMN good DIPA. I am thoroughly enjoying this right now and will most definitely search for these when I am in the Midwest. Bravo. (1,348 characters)

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

Thanks to Deuane for sparing a bottle.

A: The DIPA is well-carbonated. I filled my glass to the 2/3 mark and watched the head slowly well up and cascade down the sides, making a mess. With a washcloth in place under the ale, the head still sits majestically in the glass. Slow to recede, the craggy foam leaves thick patches of lace. Underneath the morass, the ale is a pale amber color, an orange-yellow combo that could pass for the color of some of the trees outside. Translucent, the ale looks big.

S: The nose is pretty darn big, full of sweet orange and grapefruit, peach and mango. A nose that could easily be that of Sculpin. Very inviting. I want to ignore the hype but this nose makes it difficult.

T: A tropical fruit flavor, very close to pineapple juice, greets me on first sip. The drawback is that a blast of booze comes with it. The hops are a sweet, sugary wonderland, I can't deny that. Underneath the peach flavors, a caramel malt flavor stands out amongst the big hops. If not for the alcohol heat, I'd rave on this one. In smaller sips, the heat is minimized, so that may be the trick to really enjoying this one. I do like the sweet citrus fruits that linger in my mouth.

M: A decadent ale, the sweetness is mighty impressive. It more than makes up for the abundant boozy heat. A little restraint often goes a long way (don't get me wrong, it is good).

D: It's good but far too big to be enjoyed in excess. I do like it more than HopSlam (even if the rating doesn't reflect it). (1,505 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey for sharing this one at La Bella this past Tuesday night.

Pours a light amber hue with an inch of foam that leaves some lacing on the sides.

Instantly I'm greeted with tropical citrus fruits, mango, soft orange, peach, and hints of caramel malts in the background. A bit of a sweet orange candy-like aroma is noticeable from time to time. Nice hop profile.

On first sip I get a citrus hoppiness flavor upfront with caramel notes following close-by. The flavor continues with some bitter toast mid-palate and a mellowing bitterness in the end. Tastes a tad grassy and earthy in the finish. The carbonation is on the high side with this one but it's very creamy and with a nice dryness in the finish. Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable, could hardly tell this was such a high abv. beer. (806 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Floydster for sending one of these my way. I realize this is not optimally fresh, but it should still be ok.

Pours a very seductive murky orange with a stark white pillowy head that retains extraordinarily well and leaves optimal lacing.

Nose is full of west coast hop resin, grapefruit, citrus, pine, with a lingering malt sweetness lurking in the background.

Hmmm. I don't know if this is just slightly too old or what, but it tastes like it has just a touch more age on it than i thought. There is still some nice bitter hop presence, and the resinous hop flavor is trying hard to hang on, but the malt sweetness quickly becomes slightly dominant. Sweet bready malt profile. The finish brings alot of bitterness, but again the hop flavor is more subdued than it should be to balance out the malt sweetness. The aftertaste lingers with some really dry hop bitterness and malt stick.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but it is a tiny touch thick, but still quite dry. Carbonation is about where you'd want it, maybe just a tiny tad low.

Drinkability is good, but would be better if the bitterness was kept in check by some good resinous flavor (which it may have been a month ago). As far as the abv, i dont know what it is so i can't really say, but it seems like about 9%

Overall, an enjoyable beverage, but a bit of a mess at this point. It is certainly still hanging on to its bitterness, but there is not enough hop flavor to make the bitterness worthwhile. The malt profile would be ideal if there was some resinous hop profile to balance it out, but as it sits it appears to strongly in the taste, but not by much. I would be willing to bet this is a shadow of its former self, and this is yet another Bell's DIPA that ages way too quickly. Maybe could have compared to the standard west coast offerings at one point, but as it sits now its just too messy. Hopslam remains my favorite bells hop bomb, assuming, like all Bell's (apparently), its less than 6 weeks old. A nice beer all the same. (2,010 characters)

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

Bottle shared by shigadeyo.

Poured hazy copper color with an average fizzy off-white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy sour citrus, earthy and barnyard aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and lively carbonation. Medium to heavy smooth bitter hop flavor with a medium to heavy bitter finish of moderate duration.

This is a good beer. (374 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to TurdFurgison for the opportunity to try this one. Much appreciated, Eric.

The Oracle pours a nice looking golden color with a strong orange tint. It's a tad hazy, but is far from opaque. A soft vanilla colored head caps it off. It's nearly two fingers deep. Retention was good. It receded to a surface covering relatively quickly, but took a while to completely disappear. A sticky web of lace lined the glass. Very nice looking DIPA. Great color.

The nose is a gem. As far as my preferences go, it's spot-on for a DIPA. It has a very strong west-coast vibe. It's very citrusy. Grapefruit and pineapple scents are strong initially. They're obviously attributable to the wealth of hops...and I do mean wealth. The hops smell absolutely delicious. They're primarily citric, but also have a piney quality. Whatever the profile is, it's great. Pale and caramel malts are noted, but they're background music here. Alcohol isn't noticeable. I'm unsure of the abv, but it's held in check well. These words don't truly describe how good this beer smells. It might not be the holy grail of DIPAs, but it's up there.

The flavor profile is damn good. I don't think it's quite as good as the nose, but it's not far behind at all. It kicks off with a citrusy sweet flavor. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are strong. There's a hint of candied sugar. The hop flavor is tremendous. It is very west coast. The citrus and pine flavors are excellent. It has a really nice bitter kick which seems to become more pronounced with each passing sip. Pale and caramel malts give it a nice backbone. However, they don't appear to have too much of a negative impact on the hops. Alcohol is mildly noticeable. It still doesn't seem too strong. I'd like to know the abv, but don't have that information. It finishes dry and little bitter.

The Oracle has a medium body that leans more toward thick as the temperature rises. It's very creamy and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down nicely. Drinkability is very, very high. This 12 oz. bottle is disappearing far too fast. I wish I had more. It's hard to tell what the abv impact might be, but it certainly doesn't seem scary.

Bell's is an astounding brewery. I didn't really know what to expect after my previous encounters with Hopslam and Big Head. Personally, I believe this one falls somewhere between the two. It's better than Big Head, but not quite as good as Hopslam. I believe the sweet honey aspect of Hopslam has an effect that's not present here. I recall Big Head having more of a malt presence. The Oracle does not and is an overall better success because of it. The hops shine more here. I hate that some of these Bell's releases are so limited. If you have the opportunity, do not pass it up. This stuff delivers. (2,776 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got 3 bottles of this in a trade with heliosphann this week. Cracking one open to give it a throw. Thanks Scott!

Pours a hazy orange golden color with a nice 2 finger white head. Great retention and excellent lacing. Very solid looking beer.

And thats about where my love for this brew ends. The nose is significantly more malty than I would have hoped. I can see that the past month has reaked havoc on the hops in this beer. I still get light grapefruit like hops with a piney bitterness, but the sweet malt backbone really shines through.

While my review may sound harsh, I must assure you I did enjoy this beer. I've just had many other IPA's that week that I liked much more. I'll have no problem drinking the 3 bottles I recieved, and I'll enjoy them all.

The taste is dominated by a piney spicey hop bitterness. Huge spicey kick, something I've never really experienced before in an IPA. Strong sweet malt backbone shines through. Tasty, for sure, but not the best it could be. I would be interested to know how this tasted fresh.

Maybe this is slightly overcarbonated, or maybe it's the big spicey kick, but something about the way this brew is sitting in my mouth just isn't doing it for me. Nice lingering bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is nice, I could easily do three of these in a night.

Overall, a solid offering from Bell's. Not my favorite IPA. Does it deserve to be on the BA Top 100? I'm not really sure. My gut says no, but I haven't had this fresh so I'm not completely sure. Still a good brew, and something I wouldn't mind having again. (1,567 characters)

Photo of k3n
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Tangfoot. Thanks! Batch 9306.

Pours an inviting golden amber with a 1/4" dense head that fades
down to a ring of tiny bubbles and wispy trails of lace.

The nose is all floral hops. Grapefruit, pine, honey...mouthwatering!

The taste is an explosion of hop aromatics, big fruity esters with an underlying caramel/honey sweetness. The finish is big drying bitterness which prevents the sweetness from getting cloying. Mouthfeel is great, thick and sticky to start, then trailing off to a much cleaner finish. (526 characters)

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

Batch #9306

Pours almost 2 fingers of beige head that is hinted light orange. Fades down a bit, but leaves great lace. Color is a hazy bright golden orange.

Aroma: Delicious. Grapes, grapefruit, floral hops, citrus zest. Very fruity and hoppy. Very good.

Taste: Awesome! Massive floral hops, grapefruits, oranges, citrus with zest. Has a lot of the similar characteristics of other DIPAs, but everything blends together here so well. Bready malts and sugar as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but not as big of a bite as I was expecting. Smooth with a little booze coming through. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a boozy, floral hp flavored aftertaste.

Overall, a really nice beer. I would give this a 4.5 but the abv sticks out a little to much, but this beer is tasty. Bells really knows how to make some great ipas and doubles. A ton of flavors mixed together very well.

EDIT: If I were to review batch 9901, it wouldn't score near as high. The second batch was much maltier and it wasn't as hoppy. (1,028 characters)

Photo of david131
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nicely hazy toasted orange liquid with a thick and creamy white head that has amazing retention. Looks like serious business.

S- Pineapple, orange rind, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of Swiss cheese. Very nice, but doesn't have quite the magic that Hopslam does.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma, but much sweeter than you would expect- which isn't super enjoyable...

M- Bitter, oily, dry, but smooth. About what I look for in a nice double IPA.

D- This is very enjoyable and good, and maybe my standards are too high because of Bells' other DIPA, but c'mon... just make some more Hopslam... (599 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a really cool lost abbey glass, The Oracle Dipa has a golden amber color with some glow, and a bit of hop haze. Head is sticky and lacy, but it has some large bubbles.

The aroma is too mild for a DIPA, as I expect a ton of hops in mine. While the aroma doesn't carry the most in-your-face hop punch, it's quite interesting. At first I was getting a candy character, like a grape or cherry jolly rancher. Now I'm getting candied orange minus any citric aroma. As it warms, more apricot comes through. I just wish this beer had more strength in the hops.

The taste is super bitter, with some pine flavor running along with it. I'm getting some burnt sugar, and I assume they use some sugar in the beer. Again, I'm getting that orange character without the citrusy aspect. This is a nice, burning, bitter tasting DIPA.

The mouthfeel is really nice, it feels like bitter, oily hop juice. There is a bit too much of an afterburn on the palate. This was a nice DIPA, and I'd like to try some more beers from this brewery. (1,030 characters)

Photo of mikey711
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a few bottles in a trade with Nickwin. This is the second bottle I have had.

A: Golden and yellow mix, almost the color of caramel syrup with lots of carbonation racing up from the bottom of the glass. The head is white and started out with an inch of tightly packed bubbles that settle leaving half an inch of head. Lots of spiderweb lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

S: A big citrus and piney punch that hides much of the malt sweetness. Tropical melon and tangerine notes. Very good smelling but the aromas are just not as vibrant as some other hoppy beers.

T: Very strong grapefruit note upfront to the point were i felt I actually just bit into a grapefruit. It finishes into a pine note with some subtle caramel sweetness.

M: Very full bodied and it is like I am eating a fresh piece of grapefruit when I take a sip. It is also impressive how nicely the sweetness and hoppiness blend together yet there is no booziness

D: One is enough for a night. It is either a starter or a finisher (1,009 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of spartanfan
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (579 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
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 (1,684 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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... (1,640 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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 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. (1,089 characters)

Photo of fiver29
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
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! (467 characters)

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