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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

725 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 725
Hads: 2,490
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 454
Gots: 358 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 725 | Hads: 2,490
Photo of ratedz
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange color from a 12oz bottle into a Bell's snifter. A thin white head leaves a fair amount of lacing down the glass.

Citrus is dominant in the nose. Grapefruit, maybe some orange, backed up by hints of sweet caramel. The blast of citrus reminded me of the first time I had Hopslam, yet it is a different variety of citrus notes.

Taste backs up the scents. A lot of juicy citrus hops followed by a sweet malty backbone. A slight bitterness is present, but it is fairly well balanced.

Mouth feel is smooth with mild carbonation. The Oracle was a very drinkable DIPA for 10.4%. I probably wouldn't have guessed the ABV to be as high as it is. I have a couple more bottles of it and might have to try it side-by-side with Hopslam sometime to compare the two.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Biernutz for this one. Batch 9901. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

A: Pours a 1 finger semi coarse, white head with decent retention. Beer is a clear orange that reveals ample carbonation. Lacing is thick and layered like a ruler measuring my sips. Great stick.

S: Very fragrant and exactly what I'd expect out of a powerful, DIPA. Strong brown sugar, pine, evergreen, resine, and citrus hops abound. This one's just a giant bouquet of flavor.

T: Sweet and rich upfront with notes of ruby red and other citrus fruits that are quickly taken over by piney hop bitterness that latches on and refuses to let go of my taste buds. This is one DELICIOUS ride. Hops just get more and more bitter as the experience goes on, elevating to enamel peeling levels just before the finish. Aftertaste is bitter and resiny and holds firmly to the inside of the cheek.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. This one is a little too lively but at least it serves to aggravate the hop bitterness. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers a long while.

D: Bell's seemingly can do no wrong in the IPA/DIPA department, Two Hearted, Hopslam, now Oracle, all are leaders in their style in my book. An amazingly well crafted beer.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very slight hazy copper color with a thin white head. Head has good retention and covers the top of the brew. Leaves some very nice layered lacing.

S- Smells is sweet caramel malts, a bit of bread, spicy hops, citrus hops, piney, and a bit of sugar. Pretty complex but hops are here for sure.

T- Hops are everywhere here with a bit of malts in here too, but not much. Citrus hops are here orange and pineapple but the pine is everywhere.

M- Medium in body and nice carbonation.

D- Very easy to drink for sure. Alcohol is hidden nicely. I'd love to have a side by side with this and Hopslam. Excellent brew.

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 08/29/10

A:Pours a hazy orange color with a fingers worth of fluffy white head leaving awesome lacing as it is drank down

S:Big grapefruit, tangerine, & floral hop aroma. Very inviting and exciting, maybe a
little hint of honey in there as well

T:Just as the nose detects loads of awesome hops attack the senses then fall back
leaving a nice oily resin on the palate begging for another hit of the intenseness

M:Very nice body for easy drinkability with good carbonation

D:How I wish this was available all the time to make up for my Hopslam desires through
out the year. Big hop profile, easy to drink for being 10%, and crazy good all around.
Hops expolding in your mouth like a bomb in the middle east, next stop is the arrival
of Hopslam this winter.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to biglobo8971 for this sweet extra - 12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass

A - Somewhat hazed golden orange. A smaller head fades to a filmy layer with a smaller amount of streaky lacing.

S - Slightly sweet bitter hops and a dash of fruit with malty caramel.

T - Plenty of bitter, juicy hops which explode onto the palate. A somewhat sweeter fruit center dotted with honey peeks through before the malt backbone rises up, delivering a different, darker sweetness. The hops return during the finish with more popping bite, along with a touch of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied, slightly creamy, avoids becoming too dry while remaining balanced.

D - For a boozier DIPA, this goes down way easier than some of its contemporaries.

Superbly delicious beer, I just wish there was a bit more excitement in the nose.

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Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of kylehayworth
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I should be thankfull I even got to try this, apparently very limited in the Indy area.

A: Dark burnt orange in color, with a few light reddish orange highlights. The head is moderate with dancing carbonation under it.

S: It has a good hop smell, orange tangerine piney hops with a backdrop of sweetness. The sweetness smells of honey/honeysuckle.

T: Starts off sublimey sweet and malty, then turns hoppy/bitter. The hop profile seems somewhat underwhelmed from the malty profile and alcohol tinge.

M/D: The texture was very nice. It was very creamy and full. This is a good brew but not what I thought given the difficulty to obtain as well as the price.

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Photo of Pencible
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark gold with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like mango and pineapple with some grapefruit and honey, and a bit of peppercorn.
T: It tasted like sugary sweet honeydew melon and mango, with pineapple and grapefruit. The aftertaste started sweet, then became very bitter and lasting.
M: It was slick and oily with moderate carbonation.
D: This was a phenomenal IPA with wonderful tropical scent and taste, along with a smooth body. The alcohol was hidden very well also, so it was too easy to drink. But delightful to sip and savor. Instantly one of my favorite IPAs ever. Boo yah!

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Photo of Randalld
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Murky golden orange. Good carbonation. Half finger head that thins into a nice bubbly film. Small islands of lacing around the class.

S- Honey, mango, pineapple, apricot's, oranges, pine cones, grapefruits.

T- Lot's of complexity here. Starts out with an assortment of tropical fruits. Pineapple, bittersweet grapefruits, orange zest, fresh hops, mango, honey.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D-This is really a fantastic DIPA. Top five in my book. For having 10% alcohol it's scary how easy this beer goes down.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "9901" stamped on back label. Thanks to Franz4 for snapping one of these up for me.

A- Amber, and slightly hazy. Pours with ~1 1/2 fingers of light tan head, which fades gradually to a thin cap.

S- Pineapple and citrus hop aroma with a backing of sweet malty notes.

T- Piney / grapefruit bitterness hop-wallop. Quite a resinous, coating, lingering bitterness. Solid malt sweetness provides a semblance of balance.

M- Moderate carbonation, with a medium-full feel. Slightly syrupy.

D- Good. If you enjoy the occasional hop-assault, it's solidly pleasing on all fronts, and despite the steep ABV, drinks fairly easy.

Future outlook: It might not be Hopslam, but another Bell's limited seasonal that I'd be happy to have again when available.

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Photo of thetomG
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Above average appearance (but a little more clear than I prefer) - orangeish color, very nice ring of dense foam left around the glass after the initial head diminishes leaving behind a ton of sticky lacing. . Nice piney hop-filled aroma with a slight hint of citrusy fruit. Flavor is a good blend of bitter hop and malty flavors that try (but fail) to balance things out - the bitterness clearly wins out here, which takes away from the drinkability.

Good beer, but given the limited availability and my preference for other more readily available DIPAs, I'm not too likely to seek this one out all too often.

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Photo of vtfan77
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a bit surprised to see this at the local Total Wine, as I had apparently missed it at the other beer stores I frequent. I grabbed what appeared to be the last two bottles.

A- Clear golden orange with about a half inch of head. The head goes down fairly quickly and a ring of lace persists for the duration of the beer's life.

S- Quite sweet; citrusy hops melding with caramelly malts. A cotton candy/ marzipan-like sweetness rides under the hops.

T- Not as sweet as the smell would suggest. The hops take over with a piney, earthy character. The malt backs the hops up, but doesn't really assert itself except to add a bit of sweetness. Alcohol comes through pretty strongly on the finish, along with a moderate bitterness.

M- Rather thick and almost a little syrupy. The carbonation is decent and does its part to balance the mouthfeel out.

D- Not too bad for the style, but the alcohol and the thick mouthfeel hamper it a bit. I might have another, but one is probably plenty for a sitting.

Not a bad DIPA, but not amazing either. Perhaps I'm getting it a bit past its prime. The hops aren't particularly vibrant, and I have a feeling that they might have been much stronger a couple weeks ago. At any rate, a nice DIPA, although I definitely prefer hopslam.

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Photo of Mdog
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber, good head.

Smell: Lots of citrus, some sweetness in there too.

Taste: Surprisingly balanced, moderate sweetness like sugar on pink grapefruit before a long lasting bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating, slick feel.

Drinkability: Hard to find, expensive, but tasty so I might return to this someday.

Picked up a single as the beer store was rationing them. Not as good as Hopslam and a more coating feel than that beer. A more lasting bitter finish than Hopslam. Very good stuff.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was really a monster - fantastic DIPA that absolutely dominated the 2XIPA from Southern Tier I tasted it against. Pours a deep amber color with a solid head on top. Aromas and flavors are surprisingly well balanced - nothing thin or one-sided here. Big fruity hops go along with a very noticeably caramel molasses bready malt flavor. This one was just a big, full beer. As close to liquid bread as an IPA gets. Phenomenal.

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Photo of HosP
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Took some time off from drinking... great welcome back; The Oracle. Hopefully saw something good in my future!

A - Poured very nice amber color. Nice one finger off white head with nice lacing on the glass. Slight haze to it. Very good looking beer.

S - Very hopped up smell. Nice citrus notes, with pineapple standing out the most. Some pine hints mixed with caramel at the end.

T - Great flavors that contrast but balance each other out very well. Lots of hops upfront. Big bitterness with the pine and citrus flavors. Quickly turns sweet though with caramel malts. Bitterness lingers a bit, but malts help mellow out at the end.

M - Lighter body. Moderate carbonation. With the bitterness upfront still goes down smooth. Get some alcohol taste as it goes down the more it warms.

D - Couldn't wait to try this big DIPA. Didn't let me down. Wasn't really my favorite DIPA out there, as I can think of 3 or 4 that are better. However the contrast of flavors is done very well. Gives you an interesting and satisfying drink!

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Steve's (Madison, WI)
Batch 9901 (August 23, 2010)

Appearance: The pour is an amber and burnt orange with not even a finger of head produced. The high alcohol is likely the culprit of the low head. A few swirls in the glass reveals small dots of lace across the glass; there's no thick sheets from the sticky malt. Again, I think I know the culprit. The beer is slightly effervescent, and what do you know, the little head there was has found a better home.

Smell: Alcohol shines through on the nose quite noticeably, but to be honest I'm not finding it unpleasant. Tonight I'm in the mood for something a little stronger. Working in IT puts strain on the body! ;) Sticky caramel malt is definitely there, but the alcohol and hops blast through. The hops bring in grass, grapefruit and orange peel.

Taste: Alcohol and some darker caramel malt start things off. The malt is a bit more dark on the palate than I was expecting, but, as luck would have it, the malt doesn't last long. The abundance of hops start to pull their weight, both in bitterness and in flavor. They bring herbal flavors like grass and pine, and then finish the tasting off with more grapefruit and orange.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was pretty damn close to being perfect, I did let it sit for a brief period to let some of the carbonation die down. The body is medium to full.

Drinkability: This really is a fantastic beer, but, *but*, after having so many different IPA's and IIPA's, I feel like it does get lost in the mix. I love Bell's, and I'm glad they added another IPA to their collection, but there are many beers like it. Nonetheless, this will end up in my crate again because let's face it, an IIPA is just what you need sometimes.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a quarter finger cream colored head. A good amount of lacing sticks on the side from agitation.

The smell shows plenty of tropical hoppy fruits such as pineapple and mango with some orange as well.

There are all kinds of fruits in the taste; Orange, lemon, grapefruit, mango, pineapple. The end of the taste shows some piney bitterness. There is also a barrel aged like mellowness on the tongue.

The mouthfeel has a full and heavy feel to it with minimum carbonation. It feels almost like there is some mercury weighting the mouthfeel on the tongue.

The bitterness and mouthfeel are the only clues that this is a heavy hitter. With Hopslam and The Oracle, it is clearly seen that Bell's makes some of the best DIPA's around.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a slightly hazy,golden/amber color with a thick, sticky white head.Lots of lacing.

S_Citrus bomb. Grapefruit,pineapple,piny hops.Some alcohol heat.

T_Follows the nos. Intense citrus. Lots of pine. Lots of spruce in the finish.Alcohol burn. Awesome beer.

M_Thick,sticks to your lips. I cant stop lip smacking. So delicious.

D_Very drinkable for such a bad ass beer. Two or three and you're well on your way.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, Batch 9901 (Bottled on 8/23/2010). Served in a snifter, the beer pours an amber/orange color with an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is mostly citrusy (orange/grapefruit/tropical fruit) and pine hops, along with a little bit of bready malt. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, the citrusy hops flavors are the strongest, but the pine hops and bready malt flavors are noticable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy, oily and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's quite smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Dunkle
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden-orange with an inch of off-white head, which unfortunately dissipated relatively quickly. Nice lacing. A profound thick white half-circle is left on the glass (I doubt water by itself will remove it).

S: Hops in the nose, but not as strong as most IIPAs. The malts do not slip through the cracks here. It actually smells quite sweet.

T: Wow, the head is creamy and delicious. The next thing I taste is the hops. There is some citrus fruit hiding in there as well (maybe tangerine or orange?). Pine hops carry through to the aftertaste as well as the alcohol.

M: Extraordinarily smooth for the style. Full-bodied yet creamy. Impressive!

D: The 10% ABV is definitely noticeable. I may have to stop after one, although two wouldn't be far-fetched.

It's hard not to compare two IIPAs made by the same brewer. This is not nearly as good as the gem that is HopSlam, but it does stand out as one of the better IIPAs that I've had. Distinct taste and well made.

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Photo of fear025
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:I get some nice sweet malt in the aroma, and a little bit of grapefruity hops.

Appearance:Amber in color, nice white head, great retention.

Taste:On first sip, the hops in this beer hit me in the face hard! After a few more sips, I can start to differentiate some different flavors. I can taste some peach and nectarine in the hops, also a little pine. Some nice hope sweetness provides a good backbone to this one. The fruity flavors linger pleasantly on my tongue well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:This beer has a medium body, and some nice alcohol warmth. It's also kind of creamy.

Drinkability:Once you get past the initial hop bomb, this is a very enjoyable beer. It's hard not to compare this to HopSlam though, which I think is a little better.

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Photo of chaz410
3.17/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at Common Market.
Pours a beautiful orange tinted amber body with a half finger width white head.
Smells of grapefruit, pine and grassy hops with a very heavy caramel and toasted malt character.
Taste more like an imperial pale ale than an imperial IPA. It has a very smooth orange and caramel blend character with lots of hints of pine, pineapple, apple, and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth.
It is very easy to drink dispite the ABV and the syle

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Photo of bamadog
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quite pleased to luckily come across a bottle of this as my usual haunts sold out pretty quickly. Review is from notes taken on 9/7/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a near perfect honey/copper color; starts with a big billowy 2 finger off-white head that becomes softly pock marked as it slowly fades; body is slightly clouded and hazy and shows moderately strong carbonation; a pretty thick coating of lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Holy shizznit -- tons of hops of the pine, grapefruit and sweeter pineapple varieties; a definite presence of thick syrupy maltiness lingers in the nose to provide some balance to the huge bitter blast; slight presence of alcohol in the nose as well, but at 10.4%, more than expected. I really appreciate and enjoy the super robust nature of the nose here.

Taste: Oh my - all bitter hops right up front and they piney and grassy -- really none of the sweetness from the pineapple-like scents that were picked up in the nose; hops are so prevalent that they're even spicy; there is an ever-so-slight taste of maltiness, but it too is swallowed by yet more hops; definite presence of alcohol as well. I really feel that this beer would be better with some age for especially bitter presence to mellow a bit and allow some of the malts to shine through for balance.

Mouthfeel: Mouth is creamy and smooth with a body that is medium in weight; carbonation is present, but soft and fitting of the body; a thick sticky coating is left all over the mouth and the gums are left tingly and the belly is left especially warm.

Drinkability: Moderate at best -- the bitterness is a bit extreme, even for me, and could use some time to find some balance; the alcohol is also considerably high and would need to be drank in strong moderation.

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Photo of 33nickadams
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happy 25th Bells! Batch 9901

A- I like the appearance, but I had very little head and not much lacing. Yellowish orange and semi-transparent.

S- Surprisingly, I'm not smelling a high hop nose. It is a pleasant sweet malt and pineapple smell.

T- Sweet and hides the bitterness very well for a dipa. I might not have the finest pallate, but I'm tasting apple.

M- Very easy to drink for a dipa. Smooth.

D- My second of the night, thinking about another...

I love this beer, but still not as good as hopslam. I can't help but compare the two. I would say that oracle is hopslam's younger sister.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to lurchingbeast for throwing this in as an extra!!

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour an impressive opaque golden yellow orange with a fluffy pillow like head leaving lace like no other! Perfect for an IPA.

S: The aroma is simply perfection. Fruity, hearty, sweet hops complemented a an apparent malt sweetness. Pineapples and other tropical fruit are present.

T: Flavor profile is excellent, but could improve. Much less hoppy then Hopslam, this is a very refined and balanced IPA. A large, sweet malt background complements the bitterness of the hops. The finish of the hop bite lingers comfortably for minutes after each sip.

MF: Mouthfeel is perfect. Thick creamy. The carbonation is perfect and aids in the flavor perception of this brew.

D: Drink can improve with a more hidden ABV.

Overall, The Oracle blew my mind. Look, smell, and mouthfeel this brew is perfect. Every single DIPA should take note. Flavorwise, PTE and Hopslam are still superior, but not by much. This brew is definitely not over-hyped.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.