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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

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

1,561 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,561
Reviews: 602
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 426
Gots: 141 | 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: 1,561 | Reviews: 602 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mplsbrew
Mplsbrew

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -5.2%

01-31-2014 00:46:16 | More by Mplsbrew
Photo of EGolfer4
EGolfer4

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.2%

08-31-2013 23:28:52 | More by EGolfer4
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.2%

01-09-2012 00:45:49 | More by imperialking
Photo of mjaggers
mjaggers

Virginia

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-02-2012 13:27:46 | More by mjaggers
Photo of joeblackasnite
joeblackasnite

Michigan

4/5  rDev -5.2%

A: Hazy burnt auburn

S: Orange peel, white flowers, pine tree

T: Peaches & honey with floral hop notes, dried herb tones and ginger on the back end

M: Well balanced for a DIPA, not too sweet and dry, bitter hops linger

D: Quite good. Not entusiastic about the pricetag on the beer, plenty of IPA's out there that do the job for less but a nice beer nonetheless.

09-09-2010 00:11:31 | More by joeblackasnite
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard

Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev -5%

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. bottled on date was 8/8/13, so about 6 weeks old.

Poured an orange-coppery body with about 2 fingers of white fluffy head. Very good carbonation. Head retained well, leaving some very interesting lacing.

Smell was citrus fruit, and some hops.

Taste was as expected from the smell. The hops and grapefruit did battle in the mouth with no clear winner emerging. Lets call it balance shall we?

Mouth was between medium and full, leaving a nice tingling grapefruit taste all around the mouth. Later there was some drying.

All in all, a pretty good offering, something I would enjoy again. The only warning I would give was that a 6 weeks old, there was none of the alcohol burn you might expect from a 10.0abv DIPA. So you might forget about that as you are enjoying this one, is does go down quite well.

Right up until the point you try to stand up, that is.

09-21-2013 02:14:25 | More by MikeWard
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

10-21-2009 01:00:43 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of camil1mj
camil1mj

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Fresh batch. Poured at fridge temperature into my Bell's tulip glass.

A: Reddish/gold hue with foamy white head. Good lacing.

S: Wonderful hoppy overtones.

T: Bitter hops gives way to citrus and floral notes.

M: Medium body with a refreshing amount of carbonation.

O: This one is among the elite. If the folks in Cali had access to this they would see it can compete with any of the big dogs.

08-26-2011 00:10:00 | More by camil1mj
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

pours a beautiful peach/amber color with a staying 1 finger head it has a beige ring and head with clinging lacing..its perfect..smell is tropical fruit with malts and citrus hops it permeates the palate..taste is the same as smell.. it mango,grapefruit,citrus and hops all put into a delicious dipa..mouth feel is medium very good 10% abv hidden with all aspects of a good dipa present , but this is alas a top 2nd tier dipa its very good but not great.. its lacking in the tropical and hops explosion that puts it in the A+ range ..oh its good but again it takes backseat to one of its own..hopslam,,still it is a must try and a very good one..highly recommended

09-05-2010 22:22:41 | More by gatornation
Photo of Justin_Neff
Justin_Neff

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

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

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

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

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

M: Fully body. Prickly. Boozy. Bitey.

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

08-17-2013 00:59:32 | More by Justin_Neff
Photo of kbeals
kbeals

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A- 12 oz. bottle decanted into a pint glass unveils a bright, exceptionally clear copper colored brew. Two fingers of eggshell white head sit atop leaving behind thick sheets of lacing. Good head retention.

S- A mixture of floral and citrusy hops. There's even *gasp* a hint of caramel malts. Very strange for a DIPA. It's actually quite well balanced, and the alcohol doesn't really show up either.

T- Very well balanced also. Good mix of citrusy hops and caramel and toffee malts. I'm not really sure if it's supposed tob e balanced though. This is actually the most malt-centric DIPA I've ever had.

M- Smooth, good carbonation, medium body. A bit oily.

D- Pretty good. Gladly, the alcohol doesn't really show up and makes it an easy drinker. I think HopSlam is a better DIPA from Bell's, but this one is good in it's own way.

09-26-2010 18:04:16 | More by kbeals
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Served on-tap at Capone's.

A - Pours hazy golden orange with a nice one finger tall white head leaving thin, spotty, lace down the glass.

S - Smells of grassy and citric hops, fresh cut pine, citric fruits; mostly grapefruit and tangerine; and some light sweet caramel malt.

T - Starts off with a big dose of grassy hop bitterness quickly giving way to a mix of citric fruits and hops, light caramel sweetness, and some sticky pine resin. The finish is a mix of bitter hops and light dryness, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Bitter, slightly sweet, feel that becomes a little dry at the end of each sip.

O - Not too bad. After drinking all those hoppy Hill Farmstead beers this one was a bit of a letdown but I still enjoyed it. I wouldn't turn one down in the future.

11-11-2011 20:09:40 | More by orangesol
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Hazy and fuzzy orange color. Nice head on top. Big citrusy aroma though is somewhat sweaty like. Big hop bitterness right upfront. Tongue stripping hop goodness with a very solid malt backbone. A tad boozey and faintly sweet. Love the mouthfeel-very solid, almost syrupy which I love, and the puckering of the hops just does it for me. A damn fine beer all around. While it is a bit boozey that comes into play across the board and makes for quite an enjoyable brew.

01-09-2011 02:35:54 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -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.

10-29-2010 01:54:13 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Sampled December 2009; Batch 9306
A solid, but not overly aggressive pour causes my 25cl tulip glass to foam over. I end up with three-fingers of lightly tan / amber colored head. The beer is a rich, copper - amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep copper color when held up to the light. The head is thick with hops and has quite a bit of staying powerr and leaves a nice thick layer of lace on the sides of my glass. Sticky up fron malt notes are framed by a solid, enticing, biscuit-like maltiness. Candied grapefruit zest, tangelo and nice lychee, lemon and even something that is a touch like urea aromatics play a prominent role, but the malt plays a fairly large role here as well (at least it does after a couple months of sitting in the bottle). This has quite an enjoyable nose, and I really like the clean, expressive malt character that is noticeable underneath the hop notes.

As this hits my tongue it is creamy feeling with a hint of diacetyl that is not really distracting in my first sip. A firm, gripping, herbal bitterness becomes more and more noticeable as the beer moves across my tongue. An herbal, essential-hemp oil flavor mixes what I thought was diacetyl, but really seems to be a hop derived flavor. In fact this definitely has a dank quality to it. The herbal hop notes play the lead role, but lots of fragrant citrus / fruit hop notes are found here as well; tangelo oil mixes with grapefruit zest, lychee and piquant tropical fruit notes are all quite noticeable. The malt plays a clearly supporting role here (even more so than in the nose), but still provides a structured biscuit like maltiness, some clean caramelized malt sugars, and a nice whole grain bread like sweetness. This has perhaps just a touch too much body to strike the perfect quaffability I prefer in a DIPA, but it is close enough; light enough to be drinkable, but it does have some sticky palate heft to it. The hop character provides a nice spiciness to this beer that is at times peppery, definitely a touch earthy, but really mostly nicely herbal.

This is quite a nicely "balanced" DIPA at this point. I like the mix of "hemp"-like and fruity hop notes found in this beer. The biting bitterness and bright malt character serve as a perfect anchor for the dominant hop character found in this beer. This is really quite nice at this moment in time. I am curious how this tastes when newly released, but I don't know if it would actually be better than it is right now.

03-07-2010 16:32:02 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of a74gent
a74gent

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Batch 9901

A - a nice medium amber color with beautiful moderate head and sticky lacing.

S - A nice hoppy nose, but nothing distinctive. Just standard good grapefruit nose.

T - The taste is full, but a little too bitter hoppy for me. I'll rate it very high for the style, but not to my liking.

M - A very full mouthfeel with moderate stickiness.

D - If you like the bitter hop, this one is very well done without being just a hop bomb. A nicely refined, bitter hop glass. I'm not sure how you could drink very many of these though.

09-03-2010 22:44:01 | More by a74gent
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

From batch #9901. I've been drinking a lot of DIPA's lately, of the top quality variety, and I have to say that this tastes like the rest. I wish I could say I see the reason why Oedipus is going to poke out his eyes or something. But it's just... normal. Normal for great, that is.

Appearance is a murky amber, low head on initial pour, but impressive lacing throughout the drink. The smell is great - piney, floral, bit of citrus and caramel. Taste is solid. Hops forward and strong, bit of malts there, boozy finish that takes away from its strengths.

Mouthfeel is great with a medium body and a little carbonation, but the drinkability is a bit low for me. Too boozy. Even for when I have homework due.

11-23-2010 04:48:36 | More by afksports
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

10-07-2013 03:15:01 | More by thecheapies
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Deep gold, with almost an orange hue. Fairly hazy appearance. Half-inch thick foam that holds up exceptionally, leaving a clingy lace once it finally settles. Bright pine and citrus grace the aroma with a doughy, caramel malt balance and some notes of alcohol layered underneath. Smells like this one will be a pretty big Double.

Indeed the citrus hops are massively intense, but they still strike a balance with a hefty malt sweetness. The finish carries a robust and lasting bitterness, and the alcohol is warming but not overly excessive. Medium body with a touch of syrupy slickness, the carbonation is appropriate.

I've waited a long time to try this beer, and while it wasn't a unique revelation, it certainly ranks up there as a great DIPA. The intensity is much like Hop Slam, with perhaps an even greater degree of balance. I would prefer my IPA's more on the single side, but those who like them strong will enjoy this immensely.

09-27-2013 05:29:23 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Stu_Grimson
Stu_Grimson

Michigan

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

08-22-2014 02:22:19 | More by Stu_Grimson
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -4%

Batch # 9306, poured into my New Belgium Globe.

A - Hazy orange-amber with a foamy white head that quickly dissipates to a cloudy pillow. Leaves a soapy "sheen" on the side of the glass.

S - I really like the nose on this! Really sweet pineapple, canned mandarin oranges and pine resin with a moderate caramel malt backbone.

T - More pineapple, hops, pine and mandarin oranges. Very well balanced despite the huge tropical flavors. Bit of a bitter finish, along with a definite warming from the ABV. Still, very nice.

M - Medium bodied, bit on the syrupy side. Nice prickly carbonation.

D - Overall an extremely solid beer, well crafted and balanced despite being so "big". The ABV does get to me a bit, so I can't see having more then one. Really wish I could have tried this fresh, it could have been one of my favorites of all time. Still, a great example of what Bells can do, would love to see this added to the seasonal rotation!

07-24-2010 04:44:45 | More by jsanford
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -4%

I poured my 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. I poured down the center of the glass and got a towering, offwhite, foamy head. Large deposits foam form beautiful lacing as I consume this ber. It is a deep amber color.

I smell citrus and pine.

I taste grapefruit with some alcohol burn followed by a bitter pine aftertaste.

I think the mouthfeel is perfect. It is medium bodied.

I'm not a huge IPA of DIPA fan, but this is exactly the change of pace that I look for when I stray from my porters and stouts. The aromas and flavors are wonderful.

Cheers!

12-10-2009 20:05:28 | More by buschbeer
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -4%

I poured this one into a New Belgium snifter. It poured auburn in color with a one inch white head and good carbonation. The smell was strong of floral hoppyness, similar to that of a wet hopped beer. The taste was pretty stellar. It wasn't too heavy in any particular direction. It had a nice balance of hops, sweetness, bitterness, and alcohol. It drank very well and much smoother than I expected. It smells more of the 10.4% than it tastes. Overall I'd say this is definitely worth trying. I tried an Arctic Panzerwolf yesterday and I actually liked this one more, if that provides a good enough comparison.

09-19-2010 03:42:27 | More by aasher
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -4%

Thanks to schro126 for the trade. Glad I get to try this super fresh.

Pours a nice amber color with a billowing 3 finger head when poured directly into my 16 oz. chalice. A nice web of lacing is left behind despite the fact that this glass had some residue on it before pouring.

The smell is huge, pungent hops. They are mainly of a floral variety, although notes of both pine and citrus do exist.

The taste is a smack in the face of bitter hops. Smack might not be the right word, this is a Mike Tyson knockout blow. Bitter as all hell, lots of pine invading all the senses. Bell's didn't mess around with this one. A hop heads dream, although personally I prefer a bit more citrus kick to really put it over the top.

Mouthfeel is medium to full and fairly oily, quite a bit of carbonation splashed this one throughout the mouth. This is a huge beer, and not for the faint of heart. My mouth tastes like I just ate pureed pine needles. I recommend this to any serious hop lover, but peronally I will stick to Hopslam. Still....highly recommended.

09-19-2009 03:09:07 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -4%

This is not a purchase I had intended to make. To be honest, I didn’t even know Bell’s made a DIPA. But the amazing Dave (backfat) of Village Bottle Shoppe #2 let me in on the secret stash. Thanks dude!

I love a fresh IPA: this one was bottled about a month before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 8/12/11”).

A: Perfect, in every single way. The body is an incredible, shining burnt-orange; I’ve seen stained glass less vibrant than this. Adorning the top of this body is an off-white head, super-bubbly with silky cream beneath. Lacing runs webs of foam over ever part of my glass. Just superb.

S: Great pungent hoppiness, but not without a warm malt balance. Mango, grapefruit and a resin flower scent, telltale signs of Amarillo hops, pour over the body. There’s an aroma of sugary orange candy, mingling through the nose with the hoppy tones; it’s especially sweet, but still probably a product of the hops. Malts come out in an earthy, spiced, and bready way – a pumpkin-esque smell. This nose is bold, sugary, and just downright juicy! Very nice!

T: Powerful, but in a…different way. There’s an underlying richness of caramel malts and a savory spiciness that’s ever-present, but they’re easily trumped by the hopsplosion that is the rest of the palate. With a prickly intensity, fresh, fruity bitters make their way across my tongue; spiced apple, pine, and ruby red grapefruit all burst onto the scene with a mouth-puckering explosion. I would really only be able to explain the intensity of these hops to someone who has had fresh Ruination – so bitter it takes you by surprise, even with a DIPA. The aftertaste is, as expected, an incredibly dry experience, with a hint of booze that’s most apparent in your nose (like horseradish). I think I’d like this beer with a few months on it…give the palate some time to calm down a bit.

M: Very light for a beer with high (10%) alcohol content. The astringency is indeed palpable, but not uninvitingly so.

O: Damn, this beer is strong! I don’t think I’ve ever come across a brewery that could put this much flavor into a 10% ABV brew. And though I do like the flavors, the pungency of the whole thing just puts me off sometimes. It’s great beer, though, and I’m so glad Dave gave me a heads-up. Time to get another bottle to put some age on!

09-11-2011 04:27:56 | More by BarryMFBurton
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,561 ratings.