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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

1,909 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,909
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 440
Gots: 249 | FT: 14
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: 1,909 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. 9306 Batch number. (Packaged Aug. 28th '09). No info. Part four in the "Birthday Beer Extravaganza"

Thanks a TON to Sweemzander for two bottles of this glorious beer!

A - The color is an impressive clear golden honey yellow color with a moderate two-finger, slightly off-white head. I noticed right away I could see right through the bottle. The head had moderate retention and left some good, sticky lacing to the sides of the glass. A thick ring hung around to make it look taller than it was. That was followed by thick lacing down the glass as it started filling me with joy as it entered mah belleh!

S - The nose is immediately well-balanced and not overpowering as I expected. Tons of floral hops with a tiny bit of grapefruit and pine resin. A good lemony citrus splash follows with an impressive fruit medley; a big pineapple-mango juicy nose. The malts do a great job of staying in the back as support while providing a nice, low-level sweetness. One of the most perfect DIPAs I've had the pleasure of smelling.

T - Holy Shit. This, with in sips, could be one of my favorite DIPAs, if not beers, ever. The hops overpower the malts but in all the right ways. The hops give off a lot of fruitiness. Like the aroma, it's got pineapple, mango, a drop of lemon, and a kiss of grapefruit bitterness. There is also a pine resin that pops in and lingers through the finish with a dry, almost astringency to it. The malts let the hops do all the work being there only as moral support. Much less balances than the aroma, but rightfully so. The pale malts provide a low sweet background with a slight dab of honey on a thinly sliced wafer of toast.

M - Smooth and creamy with a great carbonation feel that just blends in, it's a superb feeling beer that lacks only in being a bit too dry and resiny on the finish. Great level of bitterness and sweetness that play well together. A very nicely balanced body that teet-or-totters between medium and full bodied. Also very crisp and refreshing.

D - Wow. I think this has to be my favorite DIPA to date. Nothing has rocked my socks this hard or inspired such a long review out of me since my first encounter with the Pumking. It's an absolutely fantastic beer that's brewed to near perfection. The fruit bouquet is absolutely delicious and blends so well with the hop and malt flavors. Almost in the same way the simple yet ornate label can enjoyed in layers. The alcohol isn't even noticeable in this beer at all, not even in small traces.

I can't say enough thanks to my friend Sweem for hooking me up with two bottles of this outrageously good beer!

BeerFMAndy, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4.45/5  rDev +6%

12oz bottle with an imprint on the label of 9306.

Poured into my new Bell's Brewing glass, compliments of TATTORSO, I see an attractive hazy orange ale with about a finger head of foam. Nice lacing is part of this package deal.

Taking a few whiffs, the hoppiliciousness is something to be admired. Lots of tropical fruit goodness with mangos and pineapples being dominant...like standing in the fresh produce dept at my local grocers. I *could* just sit here and keep on smelling the damn beer but on to bigger and better things like...drinking it!

First sip and whoah, baby. This puppy tastes just like the smell with the grapefruit and mango but a nice tasty taste of oranges joins the party and I'm loving it. Being supremely satisfied with what the hops are doing, I'm now searching for the malt.

There *are* some nice sweetish notes buried way back in the background here that could be coming from the fruity hoppiness but I'm not going to dwell over it. The hops rule this DIPA and that's all I have to say about that!

This is close to full bodied with lightish carbonation and is near perfection for the mouthfeel.

Drinkability? It's a no slouch DIPA weighing in at 10.4%abv but I cannot honestly say the alcohol is all that noticeable in the taste or during the swallow...just some warming after the swallow and a general feeling of all is right in the world. ;^)

This was a tough beer to find but the effort was worth it! Thanks, Bell's!!

Bitterbill, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

chippo33, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an orange color and a slightly hazy texture. There was an inch and a half, foamy, fairly long-lasting head.

S: A pretty good aroma of hops, pine, and some malt, but mostly hops.

T: Like the smell, the taste had a big hops presence, but also some caramel, pine, and malt. Not a bad flavor, but the hops content is a bit overwhelming, leaving a powerful bitterness. Could have been taken down a notch.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a very bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an uneven beer, mainly due to the flavor. Not bad, but could have been better.

avalon07, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Cynic-ale, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

KAF, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -4.8%

atrocity, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

bluejacket74, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%

Not sure how "summer" the release is I just found a bottled on 8/09 at my local six pack shop for a $3.25 single. Long time tick for me since last year!

A - Well it settled a bit making for great lacing but I did get a 1+ inch foamy head atop of a rather bright clear orange brown colored beer.
S - Smell is interesting very resinous but showing citrus in nature. Like a weird but effective blend.
T - Ow wow this is seriously the most bitter beer I had all year. Deep dank resinous hop bite that shakes the tongue and burns the buds. Truthfully the first sip I choked a bit because of the surprise huge hop bite and massive ABV. Second a bit smoother but I don't think my palate would completely adjust. Such a bitter unforgivable beer.
M - Thankfully the body keeps this massive ABV at bay making for a more medium bodied drinking experience.

Overall the hype really made this beer seem as good as hopslam but all I got was a tongue peeling hop experience that cries for a better malt base. If anything I applaud the well hidden ABV so there is that...

DrDemento456, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

Batch #9901. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours red orange with a one finger off-white head that subsides quickly to a minimal amount. Maintains excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is comprised of sweet malt, grapefruit, slight citrus hops. The flavor is of sweet malt, citrus hops, earthy, and green onions. It has a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this is a pretty good DIPA. The green onion flavor is a little off-putting but is not that bad. It actually works quite well with the other flavors going on in this one. This brew has a nice balanced flavor and a good aroma to it. This is a must try for any hop-head out there.

thagr81us, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus hops. In the taste, dry orange citrus hops, with a nice malty backing, but huge in hops. A small hop bite, and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. WOW! Hides the 10%, big hops, great sweet to dry flavors of citrus.

OWSLEY069, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

A - Big burnt copper color with a nice white head that foamed up to about three finger. Soap left on the sides, huge sudsy sheeting that was too thick to be called lace.

S - Fantastic, one of the best IPAs I have ever smelled. Great hop profile including touches of pine and grass, little citrus. Bitter resin, but the think about this one that makes it great is a beautiful pineapple smell that comes through exceptionally strong once you start looking at it. Awesome.

T - Great taste, the pineapple is there alone with the usual hops suspects, little citrus, little pine. Bitter finish that lingers and turns sweet after it leaves the mouth. Get a good deal of alcohol burn on it, just a little too much for me to rate this a 5.

M - Medium bodied and fairly syrupy. This bottle was slightly old, which would explain the lack of carbonation. Still a good feel.

D - Good for 10%, although the burn begins to get to you after a while. Did one bottle fine, two might get to be a little bit of a chore.

AgentZero, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

"We can never see past the choices we don't understand." - The Oracle: Matrix Reloaded

I choose this beer to drink because I understand Bell's makes some good beer...

So with that: The Oracle pours a darker honey pale gold hue in a medium fogged body capped delicately with a small cap of ivory creamy foam. Plenty of lacing is sheeted about with a speckled spottyness.

Peachy tropics stand ripe and raw in the nose with a slender pineapple/melony core and caramel tow mushed into a soft pastry doughyness. Timidly schnappy warmth in bigger wiffs.

A smooth darkly sweetened, lightly candied, tropical ride on the taste buds with a nice mushy melange of peaches, oranges, green grapes, pineapple, apricot all blended together in a jam with a light toasted pastry doughyness. Malt is there only in check of the hops, which there is plenty of. Spread across its lentgh is a well placed touch to its beefy 10% that is nearly an afterthought until you get just past midway where it grows quickly with heat like a fruity Kamakazi shot. Leftover, after the heat resides, is a small burp of warm peach cobbler and dryish bittering hop fuzz.

Nicely bold, beefy, and quite forward nearly full body of rounded smoothness of malty creamyness with a nice buzzing fuzzyness of tropical hoppy bitterness that encompasses a whole bunch of peach and apricot skins. Warmth settles in very well and with a slow bruteness that takes control immediately. Making you slow down and really take this one in. As apposed to the HopSlam, which is much more slammable. Both Bell's brews are a dangerous tandum of hops to behold. I favor the HopSlam. But Oracle is no side show of a DIPA.
One that's a bit more of a sipper.

tavernjef, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Happy birthday, Dad, this one's for you. tangfoot was extremely generous, and gave me a couple of these for nothing. Thank you, Fred!

A very attractive pour, clear amber with a big, off-white head with great retention. Gorgeous lacework is left as the head gently recedes

Such a pungent hop aroma, I fear that a lightstruck version of this beer will smell like a skunk apocalypse. Rousing pine and grapefruit with a mild sweetness present. Candied orange

Wow. Opens with a strong bitterness with a resiny, piney, weed-like flavor. Mildly spicy, a touch of alcohol heat is noticeable. The hop flavor is pretty top notch, with a lot of pine and grapefruit. Sweetness, while present in form of a mild caramel-like character, is restrained and does it's fair bit in tempering the bitterness. The finish is fabulously bitter, like drinking pine sap. Medium-high in carbonation with a medium-light body and a fabulous finish, this is excellent on the palate.

Thoroughly drinkable, though my currently addled brain is swimming from a sleepless night halfway into this beer. Very highly recommended.

DefenCorps, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%

Bottled 8/12/11. Pours a nice clear deep amber/copper color with adequate soapy/bubbly eggshell head lacing nice sticky lacing.

Aromas are really pleasant but quite typical for the style. Lots of sticky pine and grapefruit resiny hops. Also getting some nice floral, earthy, vegetile hops as well; smells like Simcoe was used here in combination with Centennial hops. There is a nice sweet bready malt backbone with hints of caramel, almost toffee maltiness. Very east coast/mid-country DIPA. Alcohol becomes apparent as it warms to room temperature.

The tastes begin initially with a little sweet bready and light caramel maltiness but they are immediately overpowered by the pungent grapefruit, blood orange and resiny pine hops. As you further sample you get the earthy and floral, almost oniony hops flavors. Alcohol once again becomes apparent as it warms to room temperature.

The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with adequate carbonation for the style. The finish is sticky and resiny and the grapefruit and pine bitterness lingers on the palate, alcohol is also drying on the palate which invites you to sample more, which is dangerous when you have such a big ABV beer.

Overall this is a decent example of the style but not my favorite by a long shot. Too much in the grapefruit and pine hop department and not enough of the sweeter citrus or tropical fruit flavors. I could and would not want more than 1 or 2 of these in a sitting because of the apparent alcohol flavors that emerge and the rather generic intense hop bitterness and flavor profile. Worth a go if you can buy it by the single but a 6 pack is not for me.

claspada, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

WOLFGANG, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of Haybeerman
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%

A: Bright, burnt orange/copper color. Pours a 1 finger off-white head that dissipates to a thin skim. Laces in thin rings.

S: Big citrussy and floral hop bomb up front. As the beer warmed a bit and decanted, roasted malt and a little sugar well in the background.

T: Lots of citrus hops; orange rind, grapefruit. Resiny hops coat through the middle. Some unfermented sugar and a little toasted malt character. Huge bitter builds in the finish. This beer is a hop monster.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny and very bitter.

D: ABV is a bit daunting, but disguised well. A little rough to have more than one, but totally enjoyed it.

Haybeerman, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of ZAP
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%

Very excited to try this one...I love Hopslam and this is right up there in my book (although a little different).

A-Peach colored...light white lace..

S-Very impressive...a mix of herbalness and tropical fruits

T-Tropical fruits evident but not boisterous. Pineapple, mango, papaya and even a little coconut. Malt is sugary but subdued and not a big player in this....this has hop flavor but also a nice tight dry bitterness on the finish that compels me to keep picking up that glass.

M-Feels about right....not immense but definitely bigger than a regular IPA...creamy texture...nice balanced bitterness on the finish.

D-Top notch. I'd put this up there with the best of the best for DIPA's

ZAP, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Boone757, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of Duff27
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%

Duff27, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Axnjxn
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%

12oz bottle into a teku glass. 8/8/13 bottling date

Pours a darker orange with a 2 finger white head with superb lacing. The smell is very subdued on the hops but what i do detect i really like. The taste is very bitter up front. Very bitter. Good amount of malts too though. Grapefruit dominates the palate. The bitterness definitely lingers too. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. 10%ABV undetectable.

Overall not world class by any stretch of the imagination but very drinkable for 10%. Not very complex. Doesnt touch hopslam or even 2 hearted, so dont go out of your way for this one. Still, recommended.

Axnjxn, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

barnzy78, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of gford217
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%

Another great bottle from hoppymeal, poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright, hazy orange with tons of bubbles streaming up to the top, feeding a huge billowy white head that shows excellent retention and sheets of lacing. Beautiful looking beer.

Man, this beer smells fantastic, just full of juicy citrus fruits with oranges and tangerines coming through especially. But there's also some grassy hops and pine resin as well with a bit of bready malts hanging around. Mostly hops though and they smell great.

The taste is just as good, maybe better. There's a pithy citrus hop sweetness with a healthy dose of bitterness from grapefruit, tangerines, pineapples and oranges. There is enough bready malt to balance the hops a little bit, with a huge floral bitterness in the finish. This taste is about the hops - big, juicy, sweet, bitter - all together tasty.

The mouthfeel is basically perfect - good carbonation, medium to full bodied, tons of bitterness.

It took quite a bit of restraint to have this bottle last as long as it did. So drinkable, so bitter, so sweet, so tasty - this is one of the better DIPAs I've ever had, right up there with PtY and 16 Grit. World class.

gford217, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Lare453, Sep 08, 2014
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,909 ratings.