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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

2,181 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,181
Reviews: 663
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 438
Gots: 269 | FT: 10
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: 2,181 | Reviews: 663 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of glid02
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with large amounts of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops. Also present is some underlying herbal notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly dry pale malts up front are joined almost immediately by large citrus and tropical fruit hops – pineapple, grapefruit, and papaya. Midway through herbal hops turn the flavor profile slightly more bitter, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall this beer did not disappoint – it’s just a touch away from the Plinys of the world. Well worth a shot.

Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up these bottles at Holiday Market in Royal Oak for $3.99 each. I'm totally stoked to try this new creation from Bell's: The beer could not look better, it's hazy translucent - goldenrod color with a thick frothy foam that lasts the duration of the drink and laces in thick sheets. The first sniff brings Hopslam to mind, strong hop aromatics and a hint of honey, this is pungent with grapefruit and other acidic citrus. The taste confirms that this is among the hoppiest beers I've ever tried. There's a lot of sweetness but not the cloying type you get from crap like 120 minute. This is a master craft beer that pushes about as far as possible in the IPA direction without losing it's critical essence of drinkability. Not even close to balanced with the malts, no fear of the barley-wine boundary (at least while fresh).

If I had to sub-categorize this I'd call it a west-coast DIPA, possibly similar to Pliny the Younger. But it's been a while since I've had Younger, and in any case this beer seems definitive enough itself. I'm glad I had the chance to try it and I'm glad I have more bottles. Completely recommended to hop heads.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

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

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!!

Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, maduro, pre-great taste party

cellphone notes

appearance: pretty dark for a dipa - rich garnet-amber body, foamy tan head

smell: strong malt body, grapefruit peel, bitter citrus, lots of pine

taste: oracle comes through a bit boozier than hopslam with a bigger malt punch - pine is rather intense along with bitter grapefruit.

mouthfeel: relatively large body, high bitterness, alcohol present in the finish

drinkability; good

Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of xnicknj
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of IPAchris
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jrallen34
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium clear gold with a medium white head and retention. Not much retention.

The aroma is the best part of this very with a very pleasant sense of fruit, mostly grapefruit and strawberries. You get a little hops.

The taste is kind of let down, because it strays so far from the aroma. Its not sweet at all, the beginning and middled are light flavorless, but it has a very very bitter and strong finish which almost makes up for it.

The mouthfeel is average, and you can drink a lot of this.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

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

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.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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...

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.

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.

Photo of Duff27
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Axnjxn
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 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.

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of tectactoe
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 2,181 ratings.