The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
3.96/5 rDev -6.2%
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...
09-12-2013 03:11:12 | More by DrDemento456
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
09-11-2010 23:05:27 | More by bluejacket74
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
01-14-2011 13:39:31 | More by OWSLEY069
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
06-22-2010 02:00:20 | More by AgentZero
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
"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.
10-20-2010 00:34:53 | More by tavernjef
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
10-01-2009 23:54:54 | More by DefenCorps
3.48/5 rDev -17.5%
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.
09-20-2011 22:59:54 | More by claspada
4.88/5 rDev +15.6%
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
10-23-2010 05:06:12 | More by ZAP
3.89/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
08-27-2013 19:09:30 | More by Axnjxn
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
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.
09-17-2009 02:59:26 | More by gford217
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
10-05-2010 15:45:39 | More by Haybeerman
4.43/5 rDev +5%
cloudy amber brew
smell of hops too
let's go pop
taste is biscuit
plenty of citrus
not too coating
this is fly!
Indeed it is
another solid one
from those kalamazoo kids
02-17-2010 03:42:47 | More by francisweizen
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
A: Pours a clear, deep golden orange with a tight, creamy white head.
S: Aromas of pine, citrus, biscuits, brown sugar, and alcohol are present on the nose. This smells a little boozier than I would like.
T: Notes of brown sugar, biscuits, sage, pine, mint, bitter orange, kumquat, lemon, and grapefruit assault the palate. The finish is bitter and fruity with lemon, grapefruit, bitter orange, and alcohol notes.
M: Full-bodied and sticky. Carbonation is firm and prickly. There is a slight alcohol presence in the mouth, but it isn't too overbearing.
O: As is, this is a very solid American DIPA, but if the alcohol presence were masked a bit better, it would be truly outstanding.
01-11-2012 15:45:21 | More by mrfrancis
4.46/5 rDev +5.7%
The Oracle is a thick burnt gold-orange color, technically translucent but very nearly opaque. On top rests a head that's one finger tall and shows incredible strength, heaviness and thickness. This thing looks almost solid. It immediately leaves a ring of lacing, even before it's possible to really anything has settled. It eases up on the heaviness, but continues to cling almost to the bottom of the glass.
The aroma pops out of the bottle even before it begins to pour, and it's all orange and grapefruit with some tropical fruits as well, pithy and zesty with a supporting juicy sweetness. Malts provide a bit of support, but there's a whole lot of bitterness here.
I've rarely been hit with bitterness like my palate does with this beer. The tropical fruits and citrus are here, but the first slap is pine, leaf and raw pith all the way. There's a complex texturing of flavors as the juiciness comes out and the various aspects of the malts lightly support but are strongly overshadowed by the hops. It's all resinous after that, going into a lingering bitter and dry finish.
It has a soft crispness in its medium body, and a little creaminess to start, but it goes pretty quickly to the dryness that pulls it into the finish. It does remain smooth for the duration.
09-17-2013 13:03:51 | More by Brenden
3.68/5 rDev -12.8%
Courtesy of 2BDChicago. 10588 PKGD 8/12/11 indicated on the back label. Served in a tulip at 51 degrees. Pours a brownish-orange hue with a mostly translucent clarity; just a slight haze. Head is a quarter inch, frothy and off-white and eventually settles into a broken slick and a bubbly band around the shoulders. Thick, cascading bands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose primarily expresses light toasted malts, a suggestion of ethanol and a piny/citrusy/earthy character; however, there's also a trace of tropical fruit in the foreground. Taste reveals an earthy/piny bitterness, as well as caramel and a buttery character along a malty backbone. That said, the considerable alcohol presence makes it difficult to parse out the nuances of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a slightly oily consistency and a prickly carbonation. There's also a light acidity and some residual alcohol heat. Overall, I think this beer could use a little more time in the cellar. Alcohol is a bit too over the top and really muddles the flavors. It's not bad, but I prefer a little more balance and sweetness in my DIPAs.
01-06-2012 01:25:49 | More by Jwale73
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Batch #9306.
(A)- Pours an orange amber color that produced an off-white to light yellow colored foamy head that has some good retention to it. Some evident patches of lacing here and there.
(S)- Nice citrus of grapefruit and lime with peaches and apricots too. A little woody pine funk that is slightly mineral-like.
(T)- An interesting variation with the peach/apricot fruits combined with grapefruit and lime citrus; it gives it a sweet yet sour character. Good hop bitterness with the slightest of malt background coming through like honey, but more like a butterscotch thing.
(M)- Definitely an interesting play in fruit complexities that provides an interesting balance with the obvious hop bite. Minimal malt influence, but great fruits within. Great carbonation level.
(D)- An interesting DIPA that has a unique fruit profile. Has good balance and is well made. Another winner from Bells brewery. Seek this one out if you can, even in MI it was kinda hard to find.
On a side note, alot of people are comparing this to Hopslam. . . . . this is a totally different beer that is excellent, but I think that Hopslam is better in my opinion. If you try this expecting a beer like or better than Hopslam, you might be dissapointed; Try this with an open mind without assuming anything like I did and you will enjoy it more.
09-27-2009 22:55:04 | More by sweemzander
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
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Pours a golden yellow color, looks very thick, lacy white head that is easy to rejuvenate with a little swirl of the glass. Smells of deep hop oils, spices, alcohol, with a tad of grapefruit and pine tree. The taste is right behind it, tasting of lots and lots and LOTS of hops, resin, pine, with just a bit of grapefruit sweetness. Lots of spice and alcohol, especially in the aftertaste. It has a bit of malt in the finish as well. Very, very high bitterness with low carbonation. Very heavy on the mouth and leaves a very sticky feeling.
Somewhat similar to Bell's Hopslam with a bit more of hops and grapefruit, sans the honey induced sweetness. A very good brew, but definitely one you have to sip.
09-29-2012 21:51:44 | More by tectactoe
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.