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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

723 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 723
Hads: 2,475
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 456
Gots: 355 | FT: 8
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 723 | Hads: 2,475
Photo of youngleo
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I actually bought a few bottles fall of 2009. I forgot to do a review at that time. When checking my fridge, I saw the Oracle hidden in the back of the fridge. So anyway, this brew poured a two fingered head that hung around a long time. Had lots of lacing that left rings with every swallow. Brew itself was copper in color. Also had lots of floaties. Smell of grapefruit was evident as soon as it was opened. Also had a wiff of alcohol and pine. Tasted of heavy pine, grapfruit, alcohol, and malt. Pine was more evident than all the rest. Had a bitter aftertaste. Also left some dry notes in the mouth. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was good. I had a buzz after drinking one. You couldnt make this a session beer. But it sure would be nice to be able to enjoy one every once in a while. I hope Bells comes out with the Oracle again in the fall.

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Photo of boomer31
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a single bottle less than a week ago and it's been staring me down since.

A - Golden, a touch of haze but thick white head that just sticks to the glass.

S - Some tropical fruit hops but not over the top. Actually get some malt in the nose. Not what I was expecting

T - This is a compelex hop bomb! Up front is mango and grapefuit, then some grass and finally pine in the aftertaste. I really enjoy this DIPA...it's range of flavors is camparable to a very hormonal teenage girl, all over the place (but in a good way).

M - Pretty rich and full, low carb

D - WOW, don't taste the 10%+ here at all! For being such a hop bomb the malt bill is just right. Fantastic...almost too drinkable?!?!

Overall I really enjoy this. A must try for hop lovers. I didn't think I could score one of these but snatched it up and am wishing I grabbed more.

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Photo of ahalloin
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I walked into my local good beer store today to pick up DFH Bitches Brew and the friendly beer-guy said he had nice surprise in addition to DFH BB. The distribution truck was being unloaded as I walked in with boxes of the aforementioned DFH and this most sought-after number. Since the store was only getting a case, he was limiting people to only one 12 oz. bottle. Fair enough. My mom taught me to share with the other children.

Batch 9901

Poured a dark yellowish hazy gold color with an affluent head of just slightly darker than off-white. The lacing remained all the way through the glass with "notches" (thanks Budweiser for that terminology!) A thick quaff of foam remained throughout my imbibing.

The smell isn't the most overpowering DIPA aroma I've smelled but it is nice and characteristic. Resiny, piney hops in the foreground with a freshness that makes me think of actual foliage and vines. A strong crystal malt backbone supports the hops. Somewhat on the sweet side of most DIPAs in the nose.

The flavor has a nice malty backbone of slight caramel and toffee with a citrus burst of hops that leads toward a very bitter finish. The bitter lingers for quite a while on the palette consuming the taste buds, making them tingle with glee (if you're a hophead) or cower with fear (if you're a girly-man). Notes of fresh cut grass, pine sap, and grapefruit come from the major hop additions.

Mouthfeel is medium large with a heftiness and creaminess.

The drinkability is a bit suspect for me. The taste goes through a rather wicked progression from caramelly sweet (at the front) to extraordinarily bitter which makes for an interesting beer, but I'm not so sure I would want more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of Keffa
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9901. Poured into my Hennepin glass.

A: Poured a hazy copper-ish burnt orange color, slightly off white head, not a large head, might have been due to my pour. Little puddle of head left on top, ring around the outside. Some oily lacing sticks to the glass in spots and refuses to let go. Nice looking beer, off to a good start.

S: Caramel malt, toffee, biscuits, spicy hop, a little orange peel, some pinecone, burnt sugar. Very sweet aroma, but the hops keep it in check. You know it's got hops in it, but the aroma is NOTHING like Hopslam. This one is a little decieving. Read on...

T: HOLY SHIT. I now know why this is such a highly regarded beer. Amazingly bitter, piney hops off the bat, with a slight malt sweetness keeping up, but just barely. Some citrusy notes show up, mainly orange and a tiny bit of grapefruit pith. Piney and spicy bitter hops dominate this one through the finish, though. The malt that does come through comes off as a biscuit or cracker with a caramel and slightly toasted sugar wafers. Very, very, very good beer. This is 10%? Really? Could have fooled me. Reminds me of Hopslam, if it were worked over with the refinement hammer. This one has a much better overall hop flavor, especially the piney, almost sappy flavor, and the bitterness is just perfect, IMO. The malt backbone in this one takes a backseat, where in Hopslam, the malt seems to be neck and neck with the hops. This is perfection in a DIPA for flavor, I think.

M: Oily, slick, and full, with nice carbonation. Pretty decent.

D: Oh yeah, very much so. Alcohol is so well hidden, at least to me, that I could put these away all night, and probably end up sloshed because they are that devilish.

It is a SHAME that this is a limited brew. It is FANTASTIC overall, and I think is a perfect counterbalance to Hopslam. Where Hopslam has the absolutely perfect aroma and well balanced malt/hop profile, this one has a more mediocre aroma but a much better overall hop flavor and less of the malt, allowing the bitterness and other flavors of the hops to shine. I'd have reversed the names if I were Larry. This one is more of a "hopslam" to the tastebuds.

Well done, and I'm glad I got 3 of them.


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Photo of jtingue
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Relaease. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Light amber in color. Pours with 2 fingers of head which dissipates to a half a finger which lingers for quite a while.

Smell. Nice citrus hop aromas with some pineyness as well.

Taste. Starts out with a slightly sweet citrus. This slowly transitions to a pretty heavy bitterness that is resinous, but not without a substantial amount of malty sweetness. Lots of hop flavors that is citric with lots of lemon. There is quite an alcoholic presence that is very reminiscent of bourbon whiskey. The finish is again bitter and resinous.

Mouthfeel. Nice thick creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Quite a nice mouthfeel for a dipa, right up my alley.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip from a bottle

A. Pours a hazy orange color with a white fluffy head. Nice lacing

S. A nice piney aroma with sweet caramel malts.

T. Again a nice piney flavor with sweet caramel malts.
Mild bitterness with a green leaf grassy note.

M. Medium body with nice carbonation.

O. A nice beer. Some good balance and feel. Enjoyable. Malt forward if you like that. Would drink again.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a big thank you to pochman who hooked me up with this bad boy. cheers man!

Appearance - a nice deep hazy copper/amber color with a nice fluffy white head that settled in leaving nice lacing on the edges.

Smell - dayum! piney hops, citrus hops, melon, and tangerine oh my. It's quite sweet with just a hint of malt. exceptional!

Taste - A touch of malt right at the beginning then boom! Lots of hops just flood your mouth, sweet, bitter, and piney all at once. An amalgamation of citrus tastes.

Mouthfeel - Dense as you would expect in a dipa. some oiliness to it as well

Drinkability - This is 10% abv yet I could sit back and smash a six pack. Honestly for a dipa it's extremely drinkable. Might need a little more bite and malt backbone overall but now i'm just nit picking. Exceptional overall!

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Wow was this a hop bomb. lots and lots of hops. oh and quite boozy, but delicious. wish it masked the ABV a bit more, but it was still a great beer.

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Photo of barhoc11
4/5  rDev -4.3%

A: Bright gold with a nice white head to it. The lacing on this beer is phenomenal.

S: Citrusy and fruity

T: Tastes a little more fruity than Hopslam and I am a little disappointed with the aftertaste.

M: Good and full

O: I think this is a good DIPA and I would recommend trying it yourself but this isn't something I would kill to have again

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Photo of JoePat
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a beautiful copper color with an off white head.

It has an awsome citrus aroma with some grapefruit, tangerine, and some lemon zest like notes. A little toasted, caramel sweetness that blends with the citrus notes.

It has a nice caramel sweetness along side some flowery and citrus hop flavors creating an explosion of flavor in my mouth.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slippery??? It just seems to slide over my tongue as the hops explode.

This is definately a sipping beer but I think I could easily see my self having more than one.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend in MI for the hookup. Color is kind of in between IPA and DIPA. Kind of dark but borders on wanting to be yellow. Pours with a well rounded head. Smell really reminds me Hopslam. Which still puts me in the mind of strawberry pie. Tangy but sweet tropical fruit with a sweet whipped cream smell. I can already tell I am going to love it. Really pick up on that sweet/tart tropical fruit right off but it sure does break into a exceptionally hard bitterness quickly. It really does linger after awhile too. Probably one of the more bitter DIPA's I have had. But also the sweeter. Either way this stuff is golden. Very oily mouthfeel while being quite drinkable. Please mass produce this time every year to tide us over til Hopslam again!

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8/8/13 - exactly 8 days ago.. Mega Fresh

A: Pours a dark orange, somewhat cloudy body. Appears heavily carbonated. Fizzy head builds up and leaves great lacing. Good retention of a thin, bubbly layer at the top of the glass.

S: Piney, dank, loads of mango, pineapple, and grapefruit citrus.

T: Pinecones and strong hops upfront. Grapefruit bitterness dominates the back end. Its very bitter and lingers. Not nearly any sweetness that the nose suggests. A hefty alcohol note warms you up as it goes into the stomach.

M: Fully body. Prickly. Boozy. Bitey.

O: Overall a very solid beer. The hops are really present and there is loads of pine and citrusy bitterness. The nose had me thinking it would be a bit more complex on the palate. I'm not disappointed, but I wouldn't be far off to say that I potentially expected a bit more from this one - partially because of the extreme limited amount distributed out and the hype surrounding it, which ultimately led to a crazy chase. It's a really solid brew, and I'd love to have a fresh one every season, but it didn't stick out enough for me to drive all around town trying to find a single 12oz bottle again. All that said, it's worth trying for sure ;)

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Photo of Freethyhops
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

good ole' batch finder lets me know this batch 9901 is just over a month old. maybe too old for those obsessive Cali folks, but plenty fresh IMO.

a- pours a translucent light orange color. a sticky, lacy snow white head with average retention. really can't knock a 10% brew for that, though. this one lights up with some beautiful tones when held to light.

s- really nice hop bouquet on this one. much more West Coast in comparison to Hopslam. very pine centered, with good grapefruit and orange citrus notes. a bit grassy and boozy after the initial hop burst. obviously bitter even on the nose.

t- bitter bitter pine. really hits a soft spot in my IPA heart. again grapefruit is the main citrus component. a bit of biscuit in the bready drying finish. the maltiness is mostly caramel and soft spicy alcohol. this beast really gets exceptionally bitter as it warms. really one of the more bitter DIPAs I've had. good ole' palate assault.

m- a real big bodied ale here. the bitterness and high-moderate carbonation really adds to that fullness. everything is working in sync here.

d- as much as I love the bitterness. a big bold brew like this really isn't something I can drink a lot of; it just wears on me after a few. I will most certainly return to this one, at an even fresher date next time it comes around. a bonafide hop bomb

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

The Oracle was released in Rochester, Minnesota in very limited quanities. While I was able to pick up 2 bottles for myself, a few were available at Whistle Binkies Ye Olde Pub.

A - A nice amber hue, golden when held up to the light. Light foam head which dissipates into a thick foam ring around the edges. Slight lace retention.

S - This was my favorite part of the beer! Freshly cut pineapple, huge pleasant citrus notes. Quite sweet smelling with a hint of bitter. Very, very nice smell. Perfect for a DIPA.

T - Nice citrus fruit notes, slight melon and lots of pineapple and lemon. Its sweet and fruity in the beginning, but toward the middle the bitterness starts to kick in and only gets more and more bitter toward the end. Bitter hop bite.

M - Nicely carbonated, soft and smooth up front but in the middle there is a bitter feeling that only gets stronger as you finish. It slightly drys the mouth. Slightly thick and coating, syrupy. Very nice for a DIPA with 10%.

D - Awesome DIPA! Exactly what I'm looking for. 10% is covered well in this one. Perfect drink for anytime, but more so after a long day.


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Photo of Meerkey
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, tawny copper. Lots of bubbles.

S: Lots of grapefruit and hops. Nice, but rather unimpressive.

T: Bitter hops and pine resin with some citrus. Balanced with some nice malts. Quite good.

M: Creamy, full, and smooth with a little bit of a kick. Really nice.

O: I like it a lot. Recommended; would have again.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poors a nice nearly glowing copper with huge 3 fingers+ of head that lingers well and left behind thick sheets of lacing.

S- Very strong hop resin with some nice piney notes. There is a nice notes of tropical fruit and grapefruit.

T- some sweetness upfront, grapefruit and mango taste mix well with very powerful hops. Leaves some nice resin and finishes rather dry and boozy.

MF- Smooth and leaves thinck resin in mouth, very creamy.

O: My bottle may have been a little past its prime but still was a very good DIPA. Will be looking for this one again!

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A cloudy dark orange, almost rust. Finger and a half of fluffy white head

S - Strong citric hops; oranges and grapefruits galore. I think there might be a touch of malt in there somewhere. Mouthwatering.

T - Astringent bitterness right up front, but strangely not as unpleasant as it sounds. The citrus is definitely there, however now I taste grassy earth and pine as the predominant hop characteristics.

M - Thick and creamy, coats the inside of your mouth with a resinous layer that tingles a bit.

D - Goes down very easy for the amount of hops and alcohol in this brew. Not my favorite but I am glad I got to try this rare beer.

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Photo of a74gent
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 9901

A - a nice medium amber color with beautiful moderate head and sticky lacing.

S - A nice hoppy nose, but nothing distinctive. Just standard good grapefruit nose.

T - The taste is full, but a little too bitter hoppy for me. I'll rate it very high for the style, but not to my liking.

M - A very full mouthfeel with moderate stickiness.

D - If you like the bitter hop, this one is very well done without being just a hop bomb. A nicely refined, bitter hop glass. I'm not sure how you could drink very many of these though.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect golden cooper color with a rich fantastic aroma. Taste is about as good as it gets for an ipa. Hopslam and Oracle are at the game when it comes to dipas. There might be a few better but not many.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wherefore The Oracle??

First off, I know it's ultimately insignificant, but how stupid is the "DoubleIndiaPaleAle Ale" label.


pours nice. enough head. DIPA appearances as expected.

Smell is pineapple. whoa. some orange, but mostly pineapple.

Tates are tropical hops. alcohol. decent balancing malts. A tropical fruit DIPA, but the bar has been set high for Bells here. And this is simply OK. Not much fresh, juicy zest. A bit thick. Flavors not bouncing around at all. Boozier than I wanted, didn't help the profile.

More carbonation and lighter mouthfeel would have helped.

An OK pineapple forward DIPA. But it's not as good as hopslam or 2hearted, and I don't see much reason for its existence. Not sure what Bells is doing here.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a perfect brew for my one hundredth review.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a hazy deep golden orange with two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is borderline insane as it lingers for quite awhile. Lacing is extravagant and insanely plentiful. Incredibly beautiful and inviting, it has one of the most beautiful pours I've seen.

S: Aromas of citrus, sweet malts, and pine/grass like hops initially. Then you get some honey, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, and peach. Also has a slight boozy quality.

T: Sweet malts, caramel, honey, and pine up front. In the middle you find some citrus, most notably orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Finishes grassy, bitter, and slightly boozy. Leaves a resiny pine like aftertaste. Very intense onslaught of flavors, this beer is phenomenal but not for the faint of heart (and/or palate).

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has high levels of pleasant astringency. Smooth and bitterly crisp, finishes dry and bitter with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Definitely a sipper but still very pleasant to drink.

O: Honestly Bell's has been leaving me at a loss for words lately. Most of the Planet Series absolutely blew my f***ing mind... the rest left favorable impressions. Hopslam, Two Hearted, Third Coast Old Ale, and Expedtion Stout all hold a special place in my heart. And Black Note Stout is easily one of my top ten brews. I really enjoyed this brew last year (my first time trying it) but I feel that it's true greatness was somehow lost to me... until now. This brew is a world class example of true brewing prowess. I give Bell's yet another giant metaphorical tip of the f***ing hat. This is a true whale that as far as I can tell doesn't get even close to the credit it deserves. I truly wish I could do a (fresh) side by side of this and Hopslam because honestly I don't know which is better... and on a random note Mars might have been better then both. Sorry for the rant everyone but this brews greatness has turned my mind to pudding. Overall this is a must try for any DIPA fan, in the endless ocean of brews I've been trying lately this one stands out as a true beacon of hope.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bells. Reviewed 6-18-11 from notes.

Pours a very nice tangerine orange with a nearly white head that hung out for a good time and left plenty of lacing.

Various citrus hops dominate the nose and it is good. Orange, pineapple and grapefruit are the distinguishable aromas I am picking up.

Strait citrus hops in the flavor. Plenty of them and they destroy all other flavors. Malt is present for just a brief second and then the hops swing into full effect and entertain the tongue into the aftertaste.

Full body and completely smooth.

Delicious brew! Glad I could enjoy this on tap and I recommend you do the same.

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Photo of 7ways
2.97/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear orange amber with a dish soap head. The color is pretty brilliant. No head retention, which kept it from being a 5.

The aroma is just as good. Big leafy oranges, sweet grass, mint, mellow malt in the background. This is the kind of aroma that brings back childhood memories.

And then the taste slams me back into the present. There's a sense of loss because it doesn't taste nearly as good as it smells. The orange has become bitter orange peels and sap. Fusel alcohol pretty much dominates. I think that with some age this will become a pretty good barleywine.

Oily, heavy, and undercarboated.

Hopslam is a 10% beer I can hang with. This is not.

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Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A hazy orange yellow - the lazing as of yet is a unique bubbly film that completely consumes the entire surface area of the inch left of glass, save for the ver lip itself. The nose gets me excited, as it reminds me of the time I got to try Double Jack and Pliny... yet a more talented reviewer could go into more detail. The best I can do is that it's boozy and hoppy - maybe that's indicative of some less desireable traits - and I'll need to come forth and say outright that I did precede this glass with a glass of Mars, which I find to be superior - but this is still fantastic. Just a little less refined. On the tongue there is pine and citrus - but mostly it's boozy bitterness. I'm not complaining - I dig these characteristics - but it could be a little more balanced.

Overall this is a terrific beer. Worth the bucks, but if it were available year-round, I would rarely pick it up. On this rotating schedule though, I'll likely be picking up one six-pack per year.

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Photo of Bogforce
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hi, nice to meet you Hopslam's brother...

A: Pours an interesting color, orangish pink color. A head that sticks around for a little while and some lacing.

S: Hops! Getting a lot of dank pine smell in this. It's a good smell, small amount of malt.

T: This reminds me a lot of Devil Dancer, has the same pine taste as the smell. More malt than I expected but it is a DIPA.

M: Leaves the dry bitterness I like on the tongue. Just pretty good.

O: This is a very good beer, Bells seems to know how to make the best DIPAs. This an Hopslam are very different takes on the style but both great!

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.