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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

1,938 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,938
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 439
Gots: 256 | 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: 1,938 | Reviews: 644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9901, 12 oz bottle.

It's been awhile since I've had a new beer from Bells that excited me; now I have again. First, the appearance and mouthfeel are perfect by my standards for the style. Color is a deep, glowing cloudy golden tangerine with a massive, dense tiny bubbled khaki head. The head never fades to less than a finger thick and covers the glass in sheets of dry lacing. The aroma is the biggest disappointment for me as it is rather mild and restrained compared to the rest of the experience with this beer. Mild grapefruit and other sweet citrus with a light sugary bubblegum note. Not much of a malt presence or even particularly fresh hop bite to the aroma. Flavor on the other hand is very strong and lacking much nuance, but that doesn't really bother me when it nails what I want from the style so well. From the onset the flavor is smooth, potent citrus and tropical fruit hoppy and amino acid blend with a strong warming alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is perfect; thick, smooth, creamy and a long lasting citrus rind and biting hop finish. Not quite a perfect DIPA or as "transcentdental" as Hopslam but still an exceptional beer.

yourefragile, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of orangesol
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's.

A - Pours hazy golden orange with a nice one finger tall white head leaving thin, spotty, lace down the glass.

S - Smells of grassy and citric hops, fresh cut pine, citric fruits; mostly grapefruit and tangerine; and some light sweet caramel malt.

T - Starts off with a big dose of grassy hop bitterness quickly giving way to a mix of citric fruits and hops, light caramel sweetness, and some sticky pine resin. The finish is a mix of bitter hops and light dryness, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Bitter, slightly sweet, feel that becomes a little dry at the end of each sip.

O - Not too bad. After drinking all those hoppy Hill Farmstead beers this one was a bit of a letdown but I still enjoyed it. I wouldn't turn one down in the future.

orangesol, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange color with a small white head, good carbonation. Nose smells of big citrus; apricot, peaches and greapefruit, hops are pretty subdued as to a West Coast IIPA. Mouthfeel is tart, hops, bittering and citrus, even couaght a few floral notes.Good IIPA and very drinkable. Not as hot as I expected either.

barleywinefiend, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of stakem
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Timmi for providing me with the opportunity to try this due to a prearranged in-person trade at DLD.

Batch 9306 poured from a brown bottle into a snifter. The oracle appears a slightly hazy orange color with 2 fingers of yellow stained creamy head that receeds slowly leaving legs of lace all about the glassware as it receeds. While sipping, lacing appears in patches all over the glass. By the end of the experience, there is still a layer of lupulin infused/stained head still sitting atop the brew. The aroma of this beer is magnificant; smelling of sweet hop goodness primarily pineapple with some hints of orange and some other fruity goodness hanging out in the background. Some minor notes of caramelized sugar comes through in the back of the nose as well with a minor sting of alcohol. Taste is bitter piney hops upfront that are very resine-like in the way the bitterness wraps itself around your tongue and just stays. Other flavors of the hops come off as being slightly herbal and earthy with some slight citrus flavor that just outright dominates the minor malt sweetness that attemps to balance out this bitter hop monster. There is a lingering flavor of hops left in the mouth long after each sip tasting both herbal and piney. Medium feel with a modest level of carbonation. As the oracle warms, the alcohol becomes increasingly evident and exaggerates the already exceedingly prounounced hop character. This beer is phenominal, Bell's needs to brew this again!

stakem, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden apricot in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some golden yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to half finger tall thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of hops - citrus/grapefruit, tropical/pineapple, and pine. There is also a light aroma of sweet caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit, tropical/pineapple, and pine hops in descending order of intensity. Moderate to strong amounts of bitterness are present and linger for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy upfront and slightly sticky in the finish.

O: This one is truly for the hopheads, definitely not one for the person that is not a huge fan of hop flavors and bitterness. I enjoyed this one but I can definitely appreciate but the hops are extremely aggressive.

dbrauneis, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub during their recent anniversary celebration. I love this beer. When a double IPA is done right, then for me it's a thing of beauty, and this example is hitting on all cylinders for my taste buds. Pours a nice dark orange amber with a nice head that fades to a thin cap. Very nice lacing with distinct bands of lace down the glass as you drink. The aromas are a nice blend of hops, starting with what smells like Summit and others layered on. Good herbaceous notes with a touch of green onion, dill, and even lactic notes- which is all hop driven. These notes develop more into the direction of pine and pepper with some clean, pure malt underneath as a base, and some tropical fruit right at the end. I always like multi-note hop presence, particularly a layered experience like this. The taste, if anything, is even better. Beautifully balanced hops with pine, bitter citrus, and herbal flavors that are particularly strong on dill and tanginess. There are also developing tastes of more pine, spice, earth, and very firm malt. Overall, you get a blast of hops with a fla vor progression starting with citrus and cycling through pine, herbs, spice, earth, and a late pine finish and long bitterness throughout. Very full and flavorful, but not hot in the least and very drinkable. Fantastic beer, but I will say that if you're not a fan of the more herbaceous styles of hops, you might not find it quite as enjoyable as I did.

Georgiabeer, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

drewone, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for sparing a bottle.

A: The DIPA is well-carbonated. I filled my glass to the 2/3 mark and watched the head slowly well up and cascade down the sides, making a mess. With a washcloth in place under the ale, the head still sits majestically in the glass. Slow to recede, the craggy foam leaves thick patches of lace. Underneath the morass, the ale is a pale amber color, an orange-yellow combo that could pass for the color of some of the trees outside. Translucent, the ale looks big.

S: The nose is pretty darn big, full of sweet orange and grapefruit, peach and mango. A nose that could easily be that of Sculpin. Very inviting. I want to ignore the hype but this nose makes it difficult.

T: A tropical fruit flavor, very close to pineapple juice, greets me on first sip. The drawback is that a blast of booze comes with it. The hops are a sweet, sugary wonderland, I can't deny that. Underneath the peach flavors, a caramel malt flavor stands out amongst the big hops. If not for the alcohol heat, I'd rave on this one. In smaller sips, the heat is minimized, so that may be the trick to really enjoying this one. I do like the sweet citrus fruits that linger in my mouth.

M: A decadent ale, the sweetness is mighty impressive. It more than makes up for the abundant boozy heat. A little restraint often goes a long way (don't get me wrong, it is good).

D: It's good but far too big to be enjoyed in excess. I do like it more than HopSlam (even if the rating doesn't reflect it).

akorsak, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

duceswild, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

ejimhof, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #9306

Pours almost 2 fingers of beige head that is hinted light orange. Fades down a bit, but leaves great lace. Color is a hazy bright golden orange.

Aroma: Delicious. Grapes, grapefruit, floral hops, citrus zest. Very fruity and hoppy. Very good.

Taste: Awesome! Massive floral hops, grapefruits, oranges, citrus with zest. Has a lot of the similar characteristics of other DIPAs, but everything blends together here so well. Bready malts and sugar as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but not as big of a bite as I was expecting. Smooth with a little booze coming through. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a boozy, floral hp flavored aftertaste.

Overall, a really nice beer. I would give this a 4.5 but the abv sticks out a little to much, but this beer is tasty. Bells really knows how to make some great ipas and doubles. A ton of flavors mixed together very well.

EDIT: If I were to review batch 9901, it wouldn't score near as high. The second batch was much maltier and it wasn't as hoppy.

mothman, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Kite and Key for an event. Been looking for this since it's been out. Is there anything this city cant procure.

The Oracle came to me in the glass a dark gold color with spots of a orange with red as well. Not the brightest DIPA. A nice amount of frothy white foam on top that left spraypaint lace. Smell was very piney with a underlining citrus fruit appeal. Apparently dry hopped with god knows what. The smallest amount of malt once the glass is almost done and room temp is reached. Sipping this I was floored by the flavor. This is a DIPA with mad hop presence and not so much of the extra malt found in doubles. This leads to a very bitter pine taste up front in the middle with some citrus afterwards when everything is said and done. The pine sap is bursting out of here. Feel is a strong medium with a very resinous feel down the gullet. It's carbed up nicely but bitter and lasting almost forever. The Oracle is no joke, a DIPA in every sense of the word yet a bit unbalanced and not insanely drinkable. I wanted another one but it would of wrecked my palate into oblivion.

BARFLYB, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/8/2014. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head, with incredible retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pinapple, lemon/orange zest, citrus rind, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a moderately slick/sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity and balance of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and fairly smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to gford217 for this brew.

Batch 9306

Pours a nice hazy golden copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some very nice thick creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus aplenty, and some nice pine notes, and caramel. The taste is sweet, a very nice hoppy note, nice little maltyness, citrus, and pine notes, caramel. Medium body, the finish is bitter, and dry. Very Drinkable, this is a very nice DIPA. Been waiting a long time to try this one, thanks Grant!

Wasatch, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -28.6%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOOK: A very light orange colored brew, which is to say golden bronze, with a white foam cap. The glass is laced from the first several sips, as to be expected from any hop beast.

SMELL: Immense grapefruit and citrus pith overall. Some pine and lemongrass like aromas as well.

TASTE: Grapefruit, pineapple, and mango are equal parts in a tropical explosion. Nice bitterness but tempered by pale and biscuity malt base. Still, very juicy and drinks effortlessly. The hops cut what little alcohol flavor there is to almost nothing.

FEEL: Surprisingly light and crisp on the palate, with good complexity of bright juicy hop flavor and resinous bitterness to go along with a biscuity, almost toffee like malt profile.

OVERALL: This beer is fantastic. Great hop flavor, dangerously drinkable and quite light and quenching. A case of this would be a timely investment.

Stinkypuss, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. This beer kicked off our New Year's Eve session. Thanks Matt!

A: Very hazy yellowish-orange in color, with a dense inch of white head. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma consists of hops, citrus, grapefruit, malt, respectively.

T: Ooo...delicious double IPA. I already want more. Of all the IPAs and/or DIPAs that I would consider balanced (hop forward, but with a noticeable malt bill), this is the best one I have had. The beer has a wonderfully delicious citrus taste, particularly grapefruit. After the initial blast of tangy hops, the flavor is rounded out by a smooth, tasty malt component that ties the whole thing together. Really well done.

M: The Oracle really shines in terms of mouthfeel and palate. Tangy, lingering citrus flavors with masterfully hidden alcohol content.

D: This bottle was just over four months old, and still had plenty of hop flavor and freshness. I can only imagine how excellent this must be when enjoyed very fresh and/or on draft.

Huhzubendah, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dontcostnothin for this one! Poured into the DFH snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy orange with a nice one finger head with good staying power. Sheets of lacing down the side of the glass.

A: The initial reaction is piney hops, which gives way to some pineapple and other citrus fruits. There is a slight malt aroma on the back and some caramel, but overall dominated by the hops, as it should.

T: Lots of fruity hops up front, similar to the nose. Lots of pineapple as well as some orange. This transitioned to a caramel flavor. The finish is bitter and slightly sticky. There is also a slight alcohol presence at the end.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Leaves a bitter sticky flavor/feeling. Overall a very nice DIPA, well balanced and while there is a great hop presence I would not call it a hop bomb. The malts balance it out nicely.

mdaschaf, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

BillRoth, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

brandoman63, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at lake bryant bowl. Very glad to be able to find this on draft.

The beer pours the expected orange amber color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. On the nose....Yowszaa!!!! This beer smells great, with considerable orange citrus and a boatloald of pine. I get some light dank earth and some white pepper as well, but the pine and citrus really dominate in this. The flavor profile is every bit as impressive, and I found myself marveling at the talent of the brewer to make a beer like this. There is a sturdy malt component to this DIPA, which adds to the attractive sweet cirtus flavor. However, the beer is clearly dominated by the hop profile, leadiing to a dry, pine infused, intensely bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, pine infused, very bitter finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but still very well integrated into the flavor profile. This beer is not at all heavy or tiring, though I'm not sure I could handle more than one or two glasses of this impressive beer at a sitting (I ended up ordering two).

Excellent DIPA.... just what this hophead was in the mood for. Very well done.

John_M, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Churchkey DC into a tumbler. Listed as dry hopped with Amarillo and Pacific Jade.

A light copper/red amber body, almost bronze in appearance with a slight creamy head. Served small head but keeps a collar while drinking.

Nose is small, kind of pine like but mild also with a strange noticeable thick sense of alcohol haze.

Taste brings a thick pine and resin, with a very hot finish. Finish aftertaste ... is extremely dry, with a hop bitter grapefruit oil sense, and a small mild brown sugar. Texture is a good mix of mild carbonation and brittle dry bitterness.

Overall impressive, just wish the nose was a little bolder. Alcohol seems very noticeable as well overpowering some of the beers better qualities.

smakawhat, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.8%

DrBier, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

tdm168, Sep 14, 2014
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,938 ratings.