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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

1,510 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,510
Reviews: 598
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 415
Gots: 110 | FT: 5
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: 1,510 | Reviews: 598 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 05:06:12 | More by ZAP
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

08-29-2013 23:56:43 | More by chippo33
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 22:59:54 | More by claspada
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 02:59:26 | More by gford217
Photo of iL0VEbeer
iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

10-23-2013 17:30:41 | More by iL0VEbeer
Photo of Cynic-ale
Cynic-ale

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

08-29-2013 23:29:05 | More by Cynic-ale
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

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

cloudy amber brew
smell of hops too

bracing grapefruit
let's go pop

taste is biscuit
hoppy fun
plenty of citrus
for everyone

mouthfeel bracing
fizzy, dry
not too coating
this is fly!

Drinkable?
Indeed it is
another solid one
from those kalamazoo kids

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 03:42:47 | More by francisweizen
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 15:45:21 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of Haybeerman
Haybeerman

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 15:45:39 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

4/5  rDev -5.2%

09-30-2013 22:35:07 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

01-27-2013 07:47:01 | More by popery
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

09-12-2013 07:10:43 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

4/5  rDev -5.2%

11-15-2011 02:23:38 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 01:25:49 | More by Jwale73
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: standard pint, medium amber in color, nice head

s: malty caramel nose with a strong pine and citric hop presence, dark musty pine, some yeast, nice

m: medium full body, moderate carbonation

t: caramel malt back holds up an assertive pine hop flavor, dark green and sappy, strongly bitter, tropical fruits, a real hop monster

d: good stuff, still prefer hopslam but glad to have had the chance

Maduro, Bell's Great Taste pre-party

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2010 17:45:56 | More by blackie
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a trade with kstrickler into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful, clear copper body underneath an inch of creamy white head. Strong retention and tons of fine, spidery lace. Perfectly gorgeous DIPA

S: Nice hop-forward aroma that showcases pine, along with some tropical fruit, caramel malts, and some alcohol. Very smooth and creamy aroma, but it's pretty clear that the hops have faded significantly in the months since this was bottled. Still, pretty nice.

T: Lots of pine, some grapefruit and mango, and mildly sweet malts toward the end. It's truly delicious up to the finish, but here a massive wave of overwhelming booze. It's really quite a disappointing end to a stunningly tasty beer.

M: Smooth medium body with light, swelling carbonation that ends things beautifully. Very nice.

D: I guess it's hard to complain too much about a 10.4% beer being hot, but this one is far, far harder to drink than the similarly strong Hopslam.

Notes: I can't get enough of how good this beer is at first, but the aftertaste is just off-putting enough to keep this from being one of my favorite DIPAs. Thanks to kstrickler for giving me the chance to try it. I'll have to seek out a fresh one the next time it's released to see whether more dominant hops will outweigh the booze. Here's hoping.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 02:16:21 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 13:03:51 | More by Brenden
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 03:42:27 | More by aasher
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to Rusty Diamond, appreciate it! I split this with two friends and they both liked it and said it was good whereas I was disappointed. Nice orange color, smells liek a lot of hops alcohol and malt but very muddled. I almost wish I knew how old this beer was. The taste was like a very malty DIPA, I guess I was expecting something closer to Hopslam. Overall, I would take Hopslam over this beer every single time. In fact, I'm not sure why they felt the need to brew this since hopslam is so damn good.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 01:43:00 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of wrightst
wrightst

Maryland

3/5  rDev -28.9%

06-13-2014 21:06:47 | More by wrightst
Photo of pathman
pathman

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

08-22-2013 01:02:20 | More by pathman
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

744th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
12oz
Bottled 8/12/11

Thanks to @Kzoobrew

App- A very dark orange with some amber and yellow highlights. A gigantic two finger head. A nice little wall of cling.

Smell- A monster of a nose on this beer. Huge malty beer with deep citrus notes. Orange and nectarines all over the place on this one. A paired hop bitter on this one as well.

Taste- Wow, this was a big ol punch in the face of flavor. Malty, citrusy and a nice bitter hops. This has a nice alcohol bite to it. Not ABV just a wallop of booze.

Mouth- A medium bodied DIPA with a matching carbonation level. Huge hoppy deep citrus notes.

Drink- Damn this was tasty. Big, hot, heavy citrus and it was very tasty. Thanks again to Kzoobrew again for this one. A very nice beer. One of the best I've had from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 23:07:58 | More by FosterJM
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fogdog for sharing this one.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a tall foamy head. Nice retention and a good smattering of lace.

S: Lots of bright bitter grapefruit rind with notes of caramel, and candy sugar.

T: Nice tasting beer. Wonderful candy like sweetness with notes of candy sugar, biscuit malt, and toffee. The hop profile is nice. Lots of tart grapefruit juice, with lighter resinous pine notes. There is a hint of herbal grass as well. Darn good.

M: On the fuller side of medium rather full for the style. Smooth feel with just enough hop bite to really carry the flavors.

D: Nice for the style. Larry Bell's knows what he's doing no doubt!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 15:55:10 | More by tpd975
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks chipped in the direction of notCreative for smuggling a few bottles out of Michigan & dropping them with me here in the Cities. Thanks Matt.

Pour is a nearly opaque orange with little head, but what exists is clingy as a bad girlfriend. Smell is a psychic kick of citrus & grapefruit, with something strange & dank lurking underneath. Odd.

Comparisons with HopSlam are perhaps inevitable, as Bell's makes another legendary DIPA that's one of my all-time favorites. This is more aggressive than HS IMHO. Hops are front, center, back, under, sideways, & sucking liberally on my tonsils. I hate to say this, but it's borderline bitter overload; that's not an experience I've ever had before. The grapefruit & pine are so hot they overload the senses & make me start sweating like a jalapeno sandwich. Couldn't drink more than one of these in a sitting.

Well. Very good beer, but I've finally hit my hophead wall. Too much. Really enjoying it, but give me some HopSlam any day!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 02:21:22 | More by maximum12
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 22:55:04 | More by sweemzander
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,510 ratings.