The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle

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666 Reviews
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Reviews: 666
Hads: 2,254
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 456
Gots: 271 | 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: 666 | Hads: 2,254
Photo of BBP
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Burnt orange with great carbonation and a thin, yet resilient head which lasted the length of the drink.

S- Hops, citrus, some malts, and some booziness.

T- Hops are very upfront, and balanced incredibly by the malt. Grapefruit is all over this one, and really shines in the aftertaste. Some pine notes as well and as some caramel notes. I love how much they could cram into the flavor while maintaining balance between everything.

M- Full bodied, and quite creamy while at the same time being just a little bit sticky and dry.

D- This is an DIPA which has a lot of taste too it, but is very easy to drink at the same time. Somewhat scary how easy it is to drink this. I almost felt like my review had a countdown on it because I wanted another sip right after the last.

The alcohol sadly was slightly noticable though, I got little hints of it after some sips, and on one hand I'm glad it's there, to slow me down a bit from chugging this delicious brew back, but on the other hand it took away from the taste slightly. Removing that would have probably secured a "5" in the taste catergory. I think it's acceptable for all the taste they fit in.

Prime example of a DIPA, and I will have it again if I can. (1,219 characters)

Photo of nandemo1
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold with a giant cascading white head, definitely 2+ fingers. Head settled out over time and left a lot of sticky lacing.

Smells heavily of piney hops with some sweet citrus notes. Taste is also very piney but not overly bitter. Alcohol is present me up as I get through the glass.

Feels medium bodied with decent carbonation. Very smooth but a little hot at times. (382 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-pours a hazy yellow with minimum head.
S-more malt than hops. It is slowly fading with age
T-very malty the hops have faded alot and only a faint resemblaNce of what it was.
M-kind of dry and not very good.
D-down quickly. Not bad

This stuff was world class on top of its game. Now with a little bit of age on it. My ratings are from notes while the actual review is from the aged bottle. Do not age it. (407 characters)

Photo of webmanspidey
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into small chalice... a dark golden color with a solid inch or two of head. Aroma is a nice mix of hops and honey, slight pine. Taste is filled with intense hops.. this is one of the most bitter beers you'll try. This has a fairly high alcohol presence. The ABV is not on the bottle and hasn't been listed here yet but I'd guess it's got to be around 10%. Medium to full mouthfeel, but this is not one of those thick, heavy on the malt type IPAs. Pure hops here, and I'd say this is pretty comparable to HopSlam.

EDIT: Tried another after trying fresh HopSlam and I definitely think this is by far the better of the two. (635 characters)

Photo of K-Dog
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect golden cooper color with a rich fantastic aroma. Taste is about as good as it gets for an ipa. Hopslam and Oracle are at the game when it comes to dipas. There might be a few better but not many. (205 characters)

Photo of Spica66
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Light amber with excellent head formation and retention. Lots of lacing.

S: Wonderful Centennial hops are the star of the show. The malt is there, but only in a supporting role.

T: Bready malt at first, then the hops take over in a huge way! This tastes like Two Hearted's giant brother!! Really citrusy and slightly piney. The only DIPA I have had that tasted more balanced is Pliny the Elder.

M: Full-bodied and very smooth and round. the alcohol warms the chest. You know you are drinking a big beer.

D: My hangover the next day was testament to the easy way these went down the hatch! (595 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%

Review after initial rating (fall, 2013:4.25 straight rating). Bottle date 08/08/2014:
I had this about a year ago and really enjoyed it. I was still experiencing the cast array of good craft beers, was more of a ticker, and figured I'd be able to get it more often (I had yet to really understand seasonal brews). I can't believe I turned down a chance back then to get more of it.

A: almost perfect translucent-to-hazy golden orange. Beautiful foamy head grows nicely and sticks around. The lacing is copious on this one. (5)

S: nose is a tad grainy, but sweetness is honey in nature. I actually expected more hops in the nose, but maybe it's a bit list after 2 months. What I get is more floral than fruity, more meadow than farm, but distinguishing the scents is hard (3.75)

T: classic grapefruit rind and pine IPA to me. Bitter from the get go, even for a DIPA. There is an underlying sweetness that I usually like more up front, but works for me in this beer just fine. The sweetness is more raw sugar-based to me than any beer I've had before, but again, isn't the focus of the taste. This is more dry hop-bomb, west coast-ish in nature. The combination maybe brings some tropical hints, but I feel I am stretching a bit on this. (4.25-4.5)

M: very smooth, carbonation obvious in appearance is just there to enhance otherwise dry feel. Body is medium, alcohol is pretty well hidden (4.75)

O: this did live up to my anticipation even if it didn't exceed it. Given how that usually works, that's a win. A bit more bitterness than I expected (I really didn't recall the taste profile, just that I liked it), but well done to me as I have grown away from this profile over the year. (4.5) (1,711 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright hazy golden orange with a beautiful dense, clinging, retention crazy head. The aroma is not incredibly pungent, but there are some great things going on - great example of no coast DIPA - astringent overripe pineapple, lemon zest, sharp orange citrus and a great malt backbone - sweet bready malts. Taste is huge! Very bitter and astringent. Coats the mouth completely - full bodied for the style and very smooth. Pungent overripe citrus and tropical fruits play off a sweat biscuit malt base. Fantastic midwest IPA! (531 characters)

Photo of brewtus
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured 12 oz into teku. Bottled 8/8/13

A-pours pretty clear orange, single finger white head
S- breads, pine resin, lots of citrus, some bubblegum, some herb that I can't put my finger on
T- honey, deep piney hops, grapefruit, lemon, tastes so fresh, almost no malt caricature. Bitter hop finish
M- as expected, slightly thicker than your usual ipa
O- very very good, piney and citrusy just like I love my dipas. Great west past style, and way different then hopslam and not worth comparing. If you can find it grab a couple bottles. Glad I lucked into this single, the smell is just amazing (593 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a mostly clear golden amber body with a tall and creamy offwhite head. Retention is excellent and leaves a cap all the way to the finish. Lavish sticky lacing decorates the glass.

Aroma pounds the olfactory senses with a sledge hammer of hops. Grassy, earthy, leafy, citrusy, minty, and hempy notes all make their presence known. Not quite the cat urine hint that I got from Hopslam, but close. Softer notes of florals and ripe plums are underneath and betray a kinship with Two Hearted.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium, with a smooth carbonation and some hop resins.

Taste is all about the hops. Sharp citrus, grassiness, leafy, floral, minty, earthy, with some pine sap underneath. A nectar like hint of honey sweetness struggles to balance the massive assault of muti-hop bitterness. Finishes with a lasting earthy and leafy bitterness. Alcohol is cleverly concealed except for some warmth at the end.

Superb effort. Seems to blend the better attributes of its kindred, Hopslam and Two Hearted, into a unique identiy of it own. A challenging DIPA that is rewarding and satisying. (1,110 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.62/5  rDev +10%
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! (995 characters)

Photo of biggred1
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Jo from WCB for hooking me up with this sample bottle.

Hazed honey amber with a creamy eggshell cap that leaves sheets of sticky lace behind on the glass. This beer smells about as good as any I've ever encountered. Pineapple and citrus fruity hops with pine sap and caramel malt all in perfect harmony. This beer tastes ridiculously good as well, maybe even as good as fresh hopslam with resinous and potent hops up front with a smooth caramel malty backbone. Alcohol is well hidden for such a big beer. Medium full bodied and hop oily feeling with smooth carbonation. This beer is dangerously drinkable at 10+ ABV. A beer that is truly as good as advertised. Fantastic. (687 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 8/12/11. Served at 52 degrees, should've been just a bit colder.

This beer is beautiful. Dark golden color, surprisingly there is very little head.
The smell is fantastic, if just a tiny bit muted. Piney, with a bit of citrusy fruit. It smells great, but seems a little subdued, if that makes sense.
Deliciously bitter upfront, followed by a smooth malty, citrusy finish
I'm feeling this is prety thick as far as DIPAs go. Not overly so, but definately on the chewier side.
Overall, I'm digging it! Does Bell's make a bad beer?? If so I haven't found it yet, BM me if you find one. Cheers! (608 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open a bottle of the Oracle for the start of football season today. Go Eagles! Thanks to iii9ix3 for the trade.

A: Hazy burnt orange-amber body. Thick creamy off-white head which quickly receded to a nice skim. Sheet like lacing up and down the glass.

S: Dank, pine and grapefruit centered hops. Pungent and inviting. Could smell the hops from arms-length when I popped the bottle cap off. Sweet candi-malts do not hide themselves.

T: Refreshingly bitter. The hops in this brew are incredibly fresh and concentrated. The grapefruit-citrus notes take the forefront as the pine and floral notes pick up towards the back of each sip. The phenomenal element of this beer is the massive malt taste which manages to not detract from the hops one bit, but instead, serves them up on silver platter to be savored. I think this is what every "balanced" east coast double IPA would like to be. Massive, yet refined.

M: Smooth. Medium bodied. Nice carbonation levels out of the bottle. The finish has a nice bite and is very crisp. The bitterness lingers on the tongue as it is quite resinous.

D: Superb. A little thicker than most dIPAs of this caliber and the ABV feels somewhat high. Otherwise it would easily be a 5. (1,222 characters)

Photo of Pedro07
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a single seeing as limited a brew this is.

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

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

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

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

D: Yeah, I could have a few of these. High five Larry and team!! (858 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was worried that I had missed my opportunity to try this beer this year. The few stores in my area that got some in sold out almost immediately. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Flying Saucer had got some bottles of it as well. 12oz bottle into a tulip glass pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin khaki head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is nice fragrant floral citrus hops in front of caramel malts. The taste is loads of citrus hops alongside a nice amount of sweet caramel malts. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with a slight dryness smoothing things out. This is a very enjoyable DIPA, one I was very glad to get to try and one I will certainly have again. (726 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

A: Deep copper color with two fingers of white head after the pour. The head settling down had lacing. Really sticky lacing. Perfect pour for a DIPA.

S: The nose is nothing short of scrumtrilescent. Huge blast of citrus. Pineapple. Mango. Just an in your face hop blast. You do actually get a nice bit of malt as well.

T: Wow. Tons of citrus. Very west coast in nature. Pineapple is leading the charge. Has that sweetness that comes from an insane amount of hope and a big ABV beer. A little bit of booze is detectable but that is ok by me.

M: Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Creamy. It is everything you want in a DIPA.

D: I split the 12oz bottle and am regretting it already. This is going down in record time. Stupid drinkability for the ABV. It is expensive but it is also good. I would grab this when I was feeling saucy and needed a serious hop fix. (894 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Holiday1072 for this outstanding brew.

Pours a foggy golden burnt orange into a snifter. Nice fluffy head with lots of tiny cascading bubbles adding to the mix. Lacing all over the place.

Outstanding smell. Like a bushel of extremely ripe pineapples just split open. Sweet and juicy, I can't wait to taste it!

Wow, this is packed with flavor. Huge and sweet, the bitter hops catch the attention right off the bat. Plenty of sweet malt to add backbone. Good amount of alcohol is present. Lots of citrus and pineapple. Grapefruit finishes it off.

Medium bodied, smooth with plenty of tiny bubbles in the carbonation the keep flavors rolling on the palate. Very juicy feel.

I call this an Imperial HopSlam. Simply amazing. A must have for every hophead. Bell's knows how to use hops probably better than any other brewery. Great beer! (846 characters)

Photo of Stokes_
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep golden color. 3+ finger head that hangs around for days, heavy lacing. Extremely fruity on the nose, I believe my cold is hindering me from picking up on the hops. Taste is amazing, fruit and hops aplenty. Wow. This is one of the better DIPA's I've tried. (268 characters)

Photo of tfleming09
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first review on here. Bottled on 8/12/11.

Poured on 8/2 into a Bell's tulip.

A - pours a slightly hazy amber color with a nice, creamy offwhite head that retains well and leaves some nice lacing.

S - pine, citrus, certainly a hop bomb typical smell

T - wow, this thing is really a west coast style DIPA. Big hop presence up front, grapefruit mostly, nice warming alcohol finish but it's well hidden at 10%. If there's any malt in this, I'm not tasting it.

M - nicely carbonated, full bodied, sticky and resiny.

O - this thing was tough to track down, but worth the effort. Nowhere near as balanced as Hopslam, but that isn't a bad thing. This is an excellent beer, but I couldn't drink a ton of it like I can with Hopslam. (733 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10oz snifter pour at the Saucer as part of Raleigh Beer week.

Dark orange-gold with 1/2 finger of standard cream head. Decent head retention with just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose is light. Resiny hops and a suggestion of pine are all I get.

The flavor is fantastic. Lots of hop resin with a oily sheen. Very nice pepper quality. Floral finish with a dry pine component. Very well done.

Body is stick and thick with hop oil. Perfect for a DIPA.

Just an excellent glass of beer. Only wish is for a slightly stronger nose. (544 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 GbVDave
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Batch # 9306

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

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

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

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

D: Not sure of the ABV but I'm sure it's pretty stout and this drinks like an APA/IPA around 5 1/2 - 6%. This goes to show that big beers CAN be refreshing and aren't necessarily a chore to drink. Consider me awestruck! (953 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%

2014 Vintage
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Golden amber with a short wispy head that dissipates quickly. Slightly hazy with medium-light carbonation.

Papaya, tangerine, peach, grapefruit, pine, and caramel.

Papaya, tangerine, and navel orange. Sweetened grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest. Nicely balanced caramel and honey maltiness. Pine sap, zesty green florals, and touches of onion. Slight suggestions of peach and honeydew melon rind.

Medium-plus bodied, semi-dry, smooth, and silky with a medium bitterness.

Always amaze-balls, Bells. I wish this stuff was easier to come by.


2013 Vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Golden orange with 1/2 a finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Hazy with low-moderate carbonation.

Navel orange, tangerine, papaya, mango, pineapple and candy sugar.

A lot of citrus and tropical fruits. Navel orange, tangerine, white grapefruit, papaya, mango and pineapple. Thin candy sugar backbone with notes of honey. Finishes with good amounts of pine resin, florals and dried grass.

Full bodied, juicy, crisp, oily, sticky and moderately bitter.

Yeah, it's a pretty freakin' good DIPA. (1,252 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's tap takeover at Yogi's out of a tulip.

Pours a bright orange with a white creamy head.

Smells typical of a West Coast DIPA. Loads of grapefruit and some citrus/pine as well.

Oh wow this is good. Very creamy and hits at first with a grapefruit wallop with just enough malt to balance this hop bomb a bit. Finishes with an INTENSE piney dry bitter finish. Covers up the alcohol very well as I wouldn't expect I was drinking something 10%.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with good carbonation levels.

I've heard good things about this one, but it still blew me away. I just wish it were a little more readily available. (622 characters)

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 666 ratings.