1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,467 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1467
Reviews: 598
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%

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

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,467 | Reviews: 598 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WillCarrera


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Churchkey, served in a stange/pint glass thing.

A- A clear orange color, topped with a finger of creamy off-white head, nice lacing.

S- Really wonderful aroma, packed with citrus, especially grapefruit and orange, but also some mango and tropical fruit, also a nice dose of pine resin and some sweet malt in the background.

T- Similar to the aroma with a huge onslaught of grapefruit, orange, mango and pine resin, it's very, very bitter, with moderate caramel and toasted malt in the background, this would have scored a bit higher but there's a considerable booziness on the back that I think detracts from the overall flavor.

M- Medium to full bodied, has a smooth feel with, as in the flavor, a pretty noticeable boozy kick at the finish.

O- A very solid beer, one of the better West-Coast style DIPA's I've had coming out of the Midwest, the hop flavors are massive and quite tasty, although I think that it could have done with just a bit less boozy, sweet alcohol, it's still a tasty beer and worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2013 22:23:38 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Keyportnick


4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a bells snifter

A- gloden clear with a slight touch of amber. Pure white creamy head.

S- deep orange and pineapple. Deep citrus fruits with a hop resin finish.

T-dull grapefruit and pineapple. Deep rish hops and oily resins coat the mouth. Amazong finish thats very clean but pronouned.

M-light body and light carbonation. Flavors fill and the hops coat your mouth.

O-This is another prefect example of an american iipa. One of my favorites by far. I could take a few of these down on the prefect summer night.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2012 00:03:45 | More by Keyportnick
Photo of Phelps


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

Enjoyed in a snifter at World of Beer.

Color and clarity of honey. One inch of super sticky, spider web foam is light tan.

Like a face slap of vodka-soaked grass. Tangerine, sticky alcohol, touch of dank, a little honey, orange blossom.

More booze in the flavor. Vodka-grass, funky dank weed, big tangerine peel. Alcohol flavor is big, but it blends well with the other stuff.

Moderate to high, pinching carbonation. Smooth medium body. Heavy.

Bright, funky, grassy. Lacks the sweetness of Hopslam, but has more fresh hop flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2012 17:36:20 | More by Phelps
Photo of homebrew311


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

Appears clear gold, minimal head. The nose is full of deep flowery hops, heavy pine, caramel, molasses, and a touch of honey. Taste is malty and sweet initially followed by heavy pine and floral character. Finish is bitter and sticky. Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy with moderate carbonation. Overall, a nice malty IPA with tons of floral hops.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 00:11:52 | More by homebrew311
Photo of TMoney2591


3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Beer Bistro North.

Finally getting to lay my tastebuds on this elusive DIPA. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, pine needles, honey, and sickly-sweet caramel. The taste pretty much brings in more of the same, but now everything is more powerful: The grapefruit is heavier, the pine is sharper, the caramel is sweeter. It's all a bit much, especially when the sweetness and the pine mix together to form a mild menthol kind of character in the finish. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thick feel. Overall, a solid DIPA, but one that seems to be too big for its own britches. I'd drink another, if only to figure out where the fanfare for this beer comes from, especially when a slightly more refined version can be more easily obtained (at least, in these parts) in the form of HopSlam.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2012 16:05:45 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a clear, copper color with a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very piney with citrus aromas. It had a slight roasted malt aroma, too.

T - Fantastic. Big piney flavor with a citrus kick, nice spices and burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is outstanding. So glad I was able to try a pint on tap. Great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2012 01:33:00 | More by zeff80
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2012 16:12:18 | More by beer2day
Photo of jtd1969

North Carolina

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

had it in a 10oz pour from a bar in Raleigh, NC

A - Orange/golden color in the glass

N - Lot's of grapefruit and pine. Smelled so good

T - Carbonation is crisp. Tastes like a tropical citrus paradise with lots of hops(Front end), that turns smooth still ringing with hops(back end). Such a complex beer. The sweet malt yet powerful hop taste does a really great job at keeping the 10.4 % hidden as well. Definitely a must for all Imperial IPA drinkers.

M - malty with a pleasant sweetness that makes way for the hop explosion. So good.

Overall, a very delicious beer. Being that it was beer week in Raleigh the 60+tap bar had 10 different "rare beers" on tap, however I still had to order another one of these...

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 14:08:21 | More by jtd1969
Photo of cfrances33


4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Mark in South Bend, IN on 8/23/12. Served in a tulip.

Pour: Deep amber orange with a finger of tanner head. Recedes to a rim, not much lacing.

Smell: Lots of pine and grapefruit, with some lemon mixed in as well. Clear caramel sweetness.

Taste: Follows the nose with pine and grapefruit, with a fantastic balance. I was amazed at the balance this beer exuded, especially with the reputation of a "west coast style dipa." Like a slightly maltier Pliny.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light and drinkable given the huge body.

Overall: Great, and pretty tasty. Wish Bell's put this on rotation.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 04:05:46 | More by cfrances33
Photo of ChugginOil


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great beer enjoyed at The Bavarian Lodge.

Pours a transparent orange color and has an inch of of white head. Tons of fluffy, sticky lace clings to the glass.

The nose has earthy, herbal hop notes and some grapefruit. A bit of garlic smelling hops. Light booze.

The taste is bitter and sweet while working well with one another. The hops are consisting of citrus and light garlic while a rich caramel sweetness rounds it off.

The mouthfeel is creamy and bitter, leaving a dry finish. Medium bodied.

Overall, this was a memorable DIPA. Drinkable and damn tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2012 22:51:00 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of AgentMunky


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

Served in a pint glass at Beer Run in Charlottesville. From notes. Reviewed 1 February 2012 (last night).

A: Nice head fades fast. Clearish orange; great lace.

S: Lots of citrusy hops and fruity malts.

T: Fan-freaking-tastic. Huge, fruity flavours; loads of hops; bitter, tasty fruit. Indescribably good. Seriously, I'm not even going to flesh out my review of the taste because it wouldn't do it justice and I'd rather drink another glass than sit here reviewing it.

M: Excellent. Firm, malty, and delicious. The aftertaste is wet and full of fruit.

O: One of the all-time best beers I've ever drunk. I absolutely love it. Highly recommended. I will drink again and again wherever I can find it. If you choose not to...Heaven help you.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2012 01:42:03 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of DrJay


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

Enjoyed at Slow's in Detroit. Orange with a thick cap of light beige foam. Lots of fine bubbles coated the sides of the glass, with rings indicating each sip. Great aroma, tons of citrusy and resinous hops, grapefruit and oranges, pineapple and tropical fruit character. Great flavour too, sugary malts balance out the big, citrusy hop profile (basically the same as in the aroma) and kept the sturdy bitterness in check. A bit of alcohol warmth rounded things out. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, very smooth texture. Overall, an excellent beer and one of my favourite big IPAs in recent memory.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 02:02:17 | More by DrJay
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark straw. white head a nice carbonation.

It smells like Two-Hearted. The honey heavy malt bill is there, with a heavy dose a Centennial Hops, both dry-hoped and hops and added to the boil. All citric hops.

Smells and tastes like a double Two-Hearted.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 04:31:14 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of orangesol


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick foamy head, lace coats glass throughout.

S- Smooth caramel. Some hops and lemon peel.

T- MADNESS. Almost medicinal, bandaid piney hops and warm booze with a brown sugar finish. Like no IPA i have ever tasted.

M- Sticky but not unpleasant. Smooth and dense at the same time.

O- I don't know if one pour does this thing justice, would love to try again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2011 23:45:42 | More by Nachojon
Photo of BigMike


3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color. Almost apple juice like. A thin Khaki head of about one finger tops it off.

S: Very piney and tropical with a big alcohol presence.

T: I can sum this up in one word...HOPS. Huge tropical fruit notes. Dominated by pineapple. The alcohol is there big time as well. Lot's of burn on the finish and extremely bitter.

M: No complaints here. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall: Not the best DIPA i've had. In fact, it's not the best DIPA Bell's produces. (Hopslam) But it's decent and will punch you in the mouth with aggresive hops and alcohol. If you can get it, it's worth trying for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 19:36:30 | More by BigMike
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

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

Finally, I meet the Oracle. And an on-tap version too, at Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro, NC. Yahoo!

Poured a glowing peachy orange color, with a super foamy and sticky head that left big gobs of lace clinging to the glass. A beaut.

Smelling it delivers a big dose of pine resin and citrus, with a considerable malt presence that gives it some candy-like sweetness. It was just a tad cold from the tap, so I let it warm before really trying to get a good whiff, but still, felt maybe it could've been even warmer to really bring out the aromatics.

Taste-wise it wasn't all that hurt by the serving temp, delivering big doses of what the aroma promised: fleshy citrus fruits, pine resin, and a generous dollop of caramel. Super-balanced, with just a hint of salt in there somewhere. Wasn't even all that hot, and for a 10% Double IPA, that's always an achievement. Delicious.

As it should be with this style, it's very round and creamy, sliding slickly down the throat, neither too heavy nor too thin. Just right.

Should I have expected any less? Bell's definitely knows what they're doing with their hops, and the Oracle is far from just another overhyped hop monster.

Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2011 22:22:55 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Big Hunt in DC. Poured into a snifter glass. The Oracle places hop intensity first and foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt & balance. The fireworks start with the floral aromatic punch of two separate dry-hop sessions with Amarillo and NZ Pacific Jade. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise. What a great DIPA!

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2011 16:35:31 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of Ryan011235


3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 01:15:12 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of Tucquan


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

Had this on 2011-10-15 at Capone's (from notes)

A - Clear amber with a 1/2-finger white head into a 5.5oz snifter. Little lacing.

S - Tropical fruit, orange, mild pine and floral hops. A little hard to get a good whiff out of the snifter.

T - Grapefruit, mild malt, lots of pine. Compared to Hopslam, this is less sweet and emphasizes the bright citrus flavor more. Dries pretty well.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Resinous. Not cloying. Crisper on-tap than bottled.

O - I was surprised how much more I liked this on-tap than bottled with the greater emphasis it gave to the citrus.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2011 11:56:58 | More by Tucquan
Photo of crossovert


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

On Tap during the Devin Townsend concert at Reggie's in Chicago.

It is a nice vibrant gold with a frothy white head.

The nose is citrus and pine with a hint of malt.

Flavor is super bitter, nice itter hop bomb, malt comes in as it cools. Big grapefruit.

Awesome beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2011 18:49:38 | More by crossovert
Photo of shivtim


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

Had on-tap during Hop Harvest at Brick Store. 12oz pour.

This is a beautiful deep murky copper brew, with lots of slow rising visible bubbles. Small head.
Nose is solid pine hops, sweet and slightly fruity.
Taste is a hop bomb balanced with some finishing malts. West coast, pine/grass.
Mouthfeel is foamy, sticky IPA goodness. Very solid IPA overall.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2011 20:44:49 | More by shivtim
Photo of zrab11


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a orange color with a nice 1 finger head. Great lacing all the way down.

S- Has a nice citrus aroma , also get some hints of carmel and pine.. with some hop aroma as well

T- Starts off with a nice citrus carmel flavor followed by a grapefruit middle and a strong piney bitter finish.

M- Medium body with good carbonation

D- Overall it was a nice ipa. Im not a big fan of overpowering grapefruit flavors in DIPA and this one had it. So its not my cup of tea but many of you will prob like it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2011 00:46:34 | More by zrab11
Photo of KDawg


3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this on tap and it poured a dark orange color with a decent sized foamy head

Very aromatic with richer tones of hops, citrus and some florals as well

Medium/full feel that is really plush and smooth. It is a bit slight bit boozy though

While the alcohol was a bit noticeable, this was a really good DIPA. It was on the richer side but with a freshness to it as well

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 03:13:19 | More by KDawg
Photo of Ninjaticker


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the pub recently.

A - medium clear gold, cloudy white head, good looking beer.
S - Very rounded aroma, grapefruit mostly, other citrus fruit, hops on the finish.
T - This is a very hoppy dipa, not alcoholic of chemical, but lots of pine, most of the malt is going, wish it was a touch more balanced.
M - Appropriate fee.
O - This is a solid dipa worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 23:07:46 | More by Ninjaticker
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.