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The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

726 Reviews
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The OracleThe Oracle

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 726 | Ratings: 2,504
Photo of Gtreid
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle curteous of mothman. Thanks again Ben.

A: Hazy burnt orange color. The pour produces one finger of eggshell white head, that recesses to a thin rim and leaves some spotty lace.

A: Big citrus. Grapefruit, orange, and mango. The crystal malt give it a suprising balance.

T: Again, big citrus. Everything I got in the nose. This is just a sweet, citrusy monster of a brew. It finishes super dry with a very pronounced alcohol heat.

M: heavy body, aggressive carbonation. This one coats the palate with a resinous sweetness.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is somewhat subdued due to the high abv, but not bad. Overall, a good brew that I would have no problem taking down again. Skal.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

BOD 8/8/14. Pours a clear light amber with a touch of dark ruby making it a bit darker than golden. Very nice head with exceptional lacing and retention. Very nice nose of pine, grapefruit, tropical and a somewhat dank hop note over a caramel sweetness that also has a hint of spice. Medium body with a rich oily slick texture. Above average carbonation with a nice effervescent finish. The flavor profile is complex and fairly well balanced given the 10% alcohol content. It begins as a blend of hop flavors, mostly dank with grapefruit and pine notes, that slowly yield to the tropicals as a blended biscuit/caramel sweetness sneaks in. The sweetness fades into a mild bitterness which has a dank and slightly spicy note. As the bitterness fades, alcohol is noted, but not excessively so. The finish is slightly sweet with a nice alcohol burn on the back of the throat. Better than the Mars offering which lacks balance and fails to cover the alcohol well.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow-peach color has a beautiful glow to it. A thumb of head looked nice at its peak, and fell at an accelerated pace with limited stickage.

Powerful malt presence in the nose without it being too sweet or to toasty. In retrospect, it doesn't take away from an even piney/citrusy hop. Notes of caramelized peach, soft pine, dank resinous citrus, and a floral air.

Dank citrus, pine, and stone fruits with a caramelly barleywine malt smack. Big alcohol presence that never crashes, just feels big. It's like it should be, in other words. Hoppiness is okay, not huge like I would've expected. Could pass for a hoppy barleywine, but I like the hop profile.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly lighter-bodied, which allows a squeal of alcohol to leak through, but the threshold is at the brink of tolerable in such a way that is exceeding of expectations. Carbonation has some gusto, but stays backways. I like this kind of a DIPA in the feel category.

Love holding this sixer after years of waiting to try it. It's not 'outta-this-world' good, just really good. I approve.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass at Woodlands Tavern on 9/12/11

Faded, pale tobacco burst; pretty color. Poured a thin, smooth layer of foam. Wispy, sure, but it holds. Sporadic strands of lace up top, but builds mid-glass.

Hoppy aromatics are outstanding and flush with tropical and citrus notes. Grapefruit, peach, tangerine and some mango. It's absolutely bursting with white grapefruit and peach, though. It's fruit cocktail of hop excellence. smells a bit oily with sparse hints of pine resin. Malts are nearly absent, save a faint graininess. Not boozy. I could smell this all day.

Tastes of pine resin, offering a low-slung bitterness. The downside here is that the bitterness finishes a tad astringent. Citrus isn't as expressive as the nose; zest accents are buried in the pine. Toned down malts - grains and biscuit. Faint sugar cookie sweetness at times.

Medium-full feel due to heavy slickness. Alcohol is appreciable but not too hot, just warming. Carbonation if fluffy but fairly soft.

While the taste doesn't live up to the aroma, the latter alone is worth $5 a pint.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Kite and Key for an event. Been looking for this since it's been out. Is there anything this city cant procure.

The Oracle came to me in the glass a dark gold color with spots of a orange with red as well. Not the brightest DIPA. A nice amount of frothy white foam on top that left spraypaint lace. Smell was very piney with a underlining citrus fruit appeal. Apparently dry hopped with god knows what. The smallest amount of malt once the glass is almost done and room temp is reached. Sipping this I was floored by the flavor. This is a DIPA with mad hop presence and not so much of the extra malt found in doubles. This leads to a very bitter pine taste up front in the middle with some citrus afterwards when everything is said and done. The pine sap is bursting out of here. Feel is a strong medium with a very resinous feel down the gullet. It's carbed up nicely but bitter and lasting almost forever. The Oracle is no joke, a DIPA in every sense of the word yet a bit unbalanced and not insanely drinkable. I wanted another one but it would of wrecked my palate into oblivion.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mikereaser sent this one to me. Thanks Mike.

A fairly vigorous pour of Bell's The Oracle produces a good looking beer. The boxy is a hazy copper color with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. The head is nearly three fingers tall, white colored, and immediately begins to leave lacing on my glass. It is also comprised of very large bubbles.

A big malt backbone jumps out at me, but it is quickly followed by a load of bitterness in the form of pine resin and grapefruit. A little bit of booze creeps into my nostrils as well.

The aroma might have fooled me a little bit with a burst of malt, but The Oracle is definitely all about hops, hop flavor, and hop burn. The hops lead off with a big citrus flavor that is absolutely packed with bitterness. The attack on my tongue waged by the bitterness continues, but with big, resiny flavors. The middle of the beer has a noticeable kick of alcohol, and the back end has a bit of pale malt, but just enough. The malt that is there is clean and understated. The finish supplies another burst of hops, and the aftertaste is a powerful combination of resin and grapefruit, with the grapefruit flavor being a little stronger. The aftertaste is really what stands out about The Oracle, it's the best part.

The mouthfeel is oily, but the body is surprisingly light.

I like The Oracle. Even though is has an edge of alcohol, it is a small one considering the ABV. One of the better IIPAs I've had in a while, especially considering they all start to taste pretty similar.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 8/08/14, batch 13367, 10% ABV. This is one I've wanted to try for a few years, but never put in any sort of effort to find it.
A 4.75 - hazy and golden in color, frothy off-white head holds good retention leaving thick lacing on the glass
S 3.75 - citric, grassy, tropical - nothing overly spectacular
T 4 - big and bold, pungently bitter with pine and grapefruit rind punishing the palate, biscuity grain with caramel, bread, grass, faintly tropical
M 4.25 - full body, ample carbonation, quite boozy, it's dry and bitter with the pine and grapefruit zest riding out the finish
O 4 - not as balanced as some other notable Bell's DIPAs. I'm not complaining, but I don't think I'd seek it out again. I'll just wait until January for some Hopslam.

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Photo of barhoc11
4/5  rDev -4.3%

A: Bright gold with a nice white head to it. The lacing on this beer is phenomenal.

S: Citrusy and fruity

T: Tastes a little more fruity than Hopslam and I am a little disappointed with the aftertaste.

M: Good and full

O: I think this is a good DIPA and I would recommend trying it yourself but this isn't something I would kill to have again

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Wow was this a hop bomb. lots and lots of hops. oh and quite boozy, but delicious. wish it masked the ABV a bit more, but it was still a great beer.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another thanks to Harrymel for being the most generous trader I've ever come across on BA in my 2 and 1/2 years on this site. Can't wait to meet you Brutha! Bottled 8/12/11 so for a "T" IPA it should still be holding up fine I'd assume.

A - Blood orange in the Tulip I poured it in. Excellent lacing and solid head retention. Activation still there. Very inviting!

S - Holy hops and Malt! Equal amounts of both! Big DIPA here...HEYO!!! Candied caramel oranges and grapefruit...malty sweet.

T - Juicy upfront and dry in the finish...pretty drinkable for 10% but a sipper at the same time. BIG beer here. the 10% is felt. Not boozy but you know it's there. Not as masked as it could be. Candied Oranges, sweet and malty as much as it is big on the hops. Best description - A MUCH BETTER DONE DEVIL DANCER. Nuff said.

M - Although it's juicy upfront and dry in the finish, the heavy dose of malts backing this beer up makes a pretty heavy body. It's not a sessionable 10%+ DIPA like a Pliny the Younger or Terrapin Side project 12 Hopzilla. However, it works for this beer. Hard to explain.

O - everything about this beer is good. I recommend it, but it is not a DIPA or "T"IPA that will blow away your expectations. Very fortunate to have had it though...I am thankful.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz bottle from 2014 poured into 16oz snifter

A- Hazy copper color with thin white head, lots of lacing
S- Subtle sweetness, a bit of dank hops, but not too big of a nose here
T- Sweetness, then big citrus peel-bitter- hops. Like limon and orange peel in almost too bitter of a way. Leaves me with a bitter, almost metalic taste.
M- Medium, leave the mouth sticky with saliva

O- Good, but not great to me. The bitter citrus peel that pushes its way to metalic is holds it back for me. But just one man's opinion.

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Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -4.3%

This pours with a glowing orange color and a stiff mound of bright white foam.

The nose is light, for the style, but I get earthy dankness, pithy citrus rinds, apricots, lemon and tea leaf.

At first the flavor really knocks you over with hops but just a few minutes it settles and opens up. Pine and bitterness are more prevalent but I get some grapefruit, apricot, honey, tea leaf, barley, caramel and cilantro. This is very bitter and astringent but has no alcohol bite.

Well crafted and very complex this is worth a try but not necessarily worth the $.35 an ounce price tag.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerhan for this so I can finally try it. Packaged on 8/12/11 so not super fresh but not bad.

Pours a fluffy 1 finger head that fades fairly slowly with a nice sticky lacing over semi hazy golden nectar orange colored beer.

Nose has plenty of hops, but not super fresh hops. Candy hops, some citrus and a bit earthy, kinda like those jelly orange candies I used to have as a kid. There is a sweet rich malty base, some reddish caramel malts and almost chewy. Although the hops are fairly bright and slightly floral.

Taste comes on big, lots of malts and hops, quite bitter. A really strong spicy and earthy hop just inundates the palate like an IBU count higher than my weight. Tons of bittering hops, some earthy and spicy, and again more candy and some citrus hops. Again with the candy gummy orange flavors, and orange rind astringent bitterness. The sweet malts blanket everything as well, almost syrupy but not quite, with a bit reddish caramel malt flavor, like that reddish candy syrup and almost maple like sweetness. Then booze, some tingly and warming booze really smack me in the tongue and whole mouth area. it finishes super bitter and astringent as well as spicy hop flavors like I just chewed on a hop pellet, and some sweet sticky feel with a bit of booze.

Mouth is pretty big, thick but not really syrupy just wants to pretend to be, with decent carb and a decent booze kick, and ridiculous bitteringness (just made that word up, you wanna fight about it?!).

Overall interesting, but tough to swallow. Nice sort of balance of malts and hops, but just way over the top on both sides, much more like triple IPA with an IBU count that reaches the moon and back, and malts giving a big body and booze that anesthetizes a bit. Very slow drinking, but tasty. I could drink it again, but not very often.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium copper color with a good two fingered billowing white head of foam that sticks to the glass like cotton candy when it starts to subside. Carbonation is very subtle.

S - Pineapple, oranges, red grapefruit rinds with some ppery spice, lightly moderate resin.

T - Even though the hop intensity has faded, there's enough there after (4) months to tell me this must have been one intense beer when it was freshly bottled. The tropical fruit is still there, not overly intense, but still enjoyable and detectable. The tongue is met with a blend of tropical fruit (oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple rinds), a floral bouquet, and seet caramel (which is still surprisingly subdued for its age). Around midway through, the malt resurfaces again, but briefly, following by an alcohol effervescence, some more tropical fruit, and then squashed by a bitter wave of pink grapefruit.

M - The bitterness is intensely lingering and leaves a peppery spice and a little metallic aftertaste that coats the mouth. Heavy medium body, light alcohol burn in the beginning, and some boozy effervesence.

O - I really can't recall many (if any) big IPA's that I can say I've enjoyed that much at 3-4 months out, this is one. It's intensely bitter and mildly fruity and resinous. Any sweet malt that is now coming through adds a complemented blend to the beer that still makes it enjoyable.

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Photo of jt31914
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!

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Photo of hophead247
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a one and a half finger thick off white head that settled slowly. Thick lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, and pine and floral hops. Flavor is full of piny hops and toasted malt. A well balanced IIPA. Scary drinkability at over 10%. Medium to full body. Nice beer...thanks Brandon...

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Photo of boralyl
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Batch 9901. It pours a small quarter inch of white head that recedes fairly quickly leaving a ring of lace. The beer has a clear, medium golden-orange appearance.

S - There is a pretty strong grapefruit aroma with hints of pine. There is also a pineapple aroma present. Light alcohol can be detected.

M - Medium-full in body with good carbonation. The beer coats the inside of your mouth with sticky sweetness and oily hops.

T - The taste reminds me of Founder's Devil Dancer which is another huge imperial IPA. Piny, bitter hops hit the taste buds first followed by light citrus. A plum like flavor paired with a malty sweetness pick up in the middle and continue into the grapefruit like finish. It finishes fairly bitter with traces of warm alcohol.

While an excellent beer, it almost seems more like a hoppy American Barleywine. It's just a barrage of malts and hops packing a nice alcohol heat. This one is a sipper for sure.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy copper tinted orange with frothy head and lace ring down glass. The aroma is intense, bursting with dry and citric hop aromas and very little else. Soapy, spicy, citric hops in a medium body that somehow is creamy at times yet coats the tongue with tastebud nuking hoppy goodness. A pleasant sipper that is must for a hophead (and a must avoid for any non-IPA drinkers).

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Photo of mochaguy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange color with a small white head, good carbonation. Nose smells of big citrus; apricot, peaches and greapefruit, hops are pretty subdued as to a West Coast IIPA. Mouthfeel is tart, hops, bittering and citrus, even couaght a few floral notes.Good IIPA and very drinkable. Not as hot as I expected either.

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Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= The pour is a nice crystal clear copper color with a decent looking finger high perfect white head that holds some really nice retention as well as some super lacing.

S= Very aromatic with a lot of pine and pineapple. Loads of citrus in there as well making itself present.

T= Very good flavor. Not the candly like sweetness hopslam presents but more of a brutally bitter hop flavor in the finish. There is a nice grapefuit flavor at first. The grapefruit is washes away quickly by bitter pine flavor. The finish is perticularly bitter.

M= Nice medium carbonation to it with a clean finish.

D= Pretty good DIPA. I've been drinkless for a few weeks now and I had to drink this beer right away. Worth checking out. I loved every little sip of this one. Worth seeking out but maybe not worth the hype.

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Photo of alkemy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to buschbeer for this one. Just shy of two fingers of slightly off-white head. Light haziness in the golden/bronze color. The first smell I got was pineapple...and not just by a little. The pine and grapefruit were more of an afterthought for me. There's a slight hint of some burnt sweet malts. This is pretty good, but I was really expecting more. I'm not sure what it is, but other than Two Hearted, Bell's just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of SaucyA
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of the 10 that I bought. Figured I'd get a review of it in. Obviously I already think it's pretty good.

A - Poured into my St. Feuillien balloon. I know I know, but I like it. Clear copper body with a nice little jet of bubbles shooting up from the nucleation site in the glass. The head, a 1 finger white cap of foam, sticks around for a little bit, and laces the glass the whole way down.

S - This is actually deteriorating a bit since the last bottle I had. What once was almost pure hoppy pineappley goodness, is now slightly vegetal and wet-grassy. However the more it opens up, the more it smells like it originally did... a fruity melange of hop aromas and an underlying malty sweetness.

T - While the hops have diminished slightly since the release, there is a definite kick in the mouth from the alpha acids. This is basically a hop bomb with the only balance being from a light malt base and a decent amount of residual sweetness. It's quite bitter, but totally works. In terms of an American DIPA, it's spot on, with it's only rivals being other Bell's and Short's brews, and west coast hop monsters.

M - Nice thickness, nice oily mouthfeel on the backend, and great carbonation. Solid beer.

D - I normally don't think of DIPA's as a go to beer, but if this was available, I'd buy it all the time. One of the better DIPA's out of Michigan recently.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz bottle, dated 08/08/2014, poured into SA glass.

Hazy, golden-honey elixir, one-finger white head dissipates to thin rim. Scant lacing.

Heavy pine, citrus, subtle spice and earth tones.

Citrus, mangoes, spice, pine. Alcohol after taste brings this one down a bit.

Medium body, alcohol presence.

Good not great DIPA.

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Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Appearance- Golden, well carbonated brew with a small head but good lacing

Smell- Cotton candy, pineapple

Taste- Massive grapefruit, lemon, mango, finishes very dry and slightly astringent. Cloying sweetness and a little pill bitterness. Biscuity malt profile that is barely detectable.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and tangy

Overall- Good but not my favorite.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.