The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,184 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,184
Reviews: 664
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 437
Gots: 268 | 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: 2,184 | Reviews: 664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of orangesol
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | 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!

Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

I am supposed to be getting out of the bottled beer business, but I saw a notification come across that these were (briefly) locally available and since I am unemployed and disengaged, I hied right over and bought one.

From the bottle: "A double IPA that is sure to make you as all-knowing as Pythia. It's just a matter of interpretation."

From my past: I will NEVER forget teaching Summer (2004) School and one of the students pronounced it as "Thee Oh-Rack-Uhl" and soon, the entire class began to pronounce it that way, despite my attempts to correct them.

Enough looking backwards into the past! I Pop!ped the cap, began an aggro pour and sat back as a pseudo-cascade morphed into three fingers of dense, rocky, eggnog-colored head with frightening retention. I had already angered The Oracle and I had no one to blame but myself, since #TheOldLady has repeatedly voiced her displeasure with regard to how I pour beer (among other things). I watched in awe as it settled, producing sticky lacing that only one of Zeus' thunderbolts would be capable of removing. Color was solid Gold (SRM = 5) with NE-quality clarity, but since we were going Greek today, only Midas and Croesus appeared before me. Usually, I discount their nonsense, but I was also in the presence of The Oracle and I did not want to incur her wrath. I fell to my knees and held the chalice out to them from the position of a humble supplicant. As I did so, I caught a whiff of its nose, a majestic smell, like an entire pine forest had been felled and jammed into the bottle. It was actually NE-plus clarity because this time, The Oracle was going to look into my future! I felt faint. I began to fall backwards when Croesus reached out and grabbed me, bringing the chalice to my lips that I might also partake. I suddenly realized that they respected me, which is why they routinely showed up in my kitchen. I had been mocking them, wrongheadedly, and I vowed to embrace each of them on their next visit. The mouthfeel was a thick and viscous as honey. There was an initial burn on my tongue, followed by a glorious wash of hops and my eyes opened wide. The Oracle was somehow in my psyche and I saw my entire future laid out before me and I understood why mortals should not dabble in such arcane arts! I wanted to forget everything that I had seen, but there was no turning back. I was to become a King Midas of hops. Everything that I would touch after a certain point would become laced with hops! My tongue fell from between my lips and lolled around, overwhelmed by the intensity of the hops inherent in this beer. It was not meant for mortal consumption and yet The Oracle, Midas and Croesus had seen fit to confer me with some of it. The finish was as dry as the desert islands of Alonissos and as my throat constricted, I fell back, into Midas' arms only to awake on my living room couch. Was it all just a dream-like vision or did I really drink this beer? Only Pythia knows for sure!

Photo of corby112
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Tyson and iceicebaby for hooking me up with bottles of this limited brew.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange with some light golden ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off-white head that slowly settles after a bit into a lasting ring that leaves nice sporadic rings of lacing.

Very floral hop aroma with a nice amount of citrus peel as well as some dank, piny resinous hop oil. The malt backbone also contributes to the sweetness. The citrus peel and grapefruit are very prominent, blending well with the earthy hops.

Chewy resinous mouthfeel that is very dry and hop forward. Lots of sweet citrus notes provide an excellent balance to the dry piny bitter hops. Lots of lemon peel and grapefruit sweetness along with the subtle malt backbone provide a nice balance to the massive dry hop explosion that lingers over everything into a long bone dry finish with some slight alcohol heat. The ABV is very well masked, making this dangerously drinkable.

This is one of the most dry, hoppy beers I've ever had. I'm glad I got to try this fresh when the hops still dominate. Everyone who considers themselves a hophead should seek this out immediately.

Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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).

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 2,184 ratings.