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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,213 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,213
Reviews: 669
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 446
Gots: 263 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,213 | Reviews: 669 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of taospowder
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, active, pale golden/orange, modest white head fades gradually and leaves thick lacing. Gorgeous and inviting.

SMELL Wow! Peach and citrus hop notes prominent initially. Rich malty sweetness backs well but stays in the background. Booze is almost completely absent.

TASTE Piny bitterness is asserive but not obnoxious. Peachy and citrus hop influences balanced expertly, through the middle anyhow, by toasty caramel malty sweetness. The hops win the battle, ultimately, but it's a good fight for a spell. Just a bit of booze is noticeable.

FEEL rich, full body and luxurious viscous texture. Slight dryness in the finish, and a kinda harsh lingering bitterness.

OVERALL I am so very grateful (thank you BuckeyeNation!) for the opportunity to try this. Hop heads would be foolish to forego this one, and may even want to actively seek it out. Ranks right up there with the best of the style.

Photo of antoines15
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from Marc, much thanks. Batch 10588 packaged August 12th, poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours sunset orange with touches of copper, minimal haze, and a fluffy white head with tight white bubbles that leaves soapy, wispy lace all over the glass.

S: Suprisingly sweet with tropical fruit overtones; blood orange, papaya, apricot, pineapple, sweet hoppy pine, caramel malt, even honey. Smells hoppy, but sweet and fruity, with a little alcohol underneath.

T: Lots of bitterness, upfront and middle of the tongue. Pine flavors and grapefruit bitterness, and a small amount of alcohol burn. Dry and biscuity in the malt department. Very bitter.

MF: Pretty light-to-medium, sharp crisp mouthfeel with a lot of dryness.

O: Impressed. For a DIPA brewed/bottled in mid-August the bitter flavors and fruit hoppy aromas have held up beautifully.

Photo of NateMac13
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%

Photo of cfrances33
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Mark in South Bend, IN on 8/23/12. Served in a tulip.

Pour: Deep amber orange with a finger of tanner head. Recedes to a rim, not much lacing.

Smell: Lots of pine and grapefruit, with some lemon mixed in as well. Clear caramel sweetness.

Taste: Follows the nose with pine and grapefruit, with a fantastic balance. I was amazed at the balance this beer exuded, especially with the reputation of a "west coast style dipa." Like a slightly maltier Pliny.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light and drinkable given the huge body.

Overall: Great, and pretty tasty. Wish Bell's put this on rotation.

Photo of BB1313
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #: 9901. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a very pretty hazy golden color with a nice white head that sticks around w/ sticky lacing. Nice looking beer! The aromas aren't bad, lots of orange and pine. I pick those up in the taste, along with alot of resin. There are slight hints of caramel and toffee, slight. Finishes juicy, but hot. This one's pretty sweet and malty. Tastes pretty sticky as well. Mouthfeel is nice, rich, smooth, creamy; full-bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, alcohol is slightly noticeable, but drinks pretty well.

Pretty enjoyable, I'll have to seek it fresher next time. Although I liked it, I'll take a HopSlam over this any day of the week.. no disrespect to The Oracle.

Photo of dheldman
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of Justdoit1234
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another thanks to Harrymel for being the most generous trader I've ever come across on BA in my 2 and 1/2 years on this site. Can't wait to meet you Brutha! Bottled 8/12/11 so for a "T" IPA it should still be holding up fine I'd assume.

A - Blood orange in the Tulip I poured it in. Excellent lacing and solid head retention. Activation still there. Very inviting!

S - Holy hops and Malt! Equal amounts of both! Big DIPA here...HEYO!!! Candied caramel oranges and grapefruit...malty sweet.

T - Juicy upfront and dry in the finish...pretty drinkable for 10% but a sipper at the same time. BIG beer here. the 10% is felt. Not boozy but you know it's there. Not as masked as it could be. Candied Oranges, sweet and malty as much as it is big on the hops. Best description - A MUCH BETTER DONE DEVIL DANCER. Nuff said.

M - Although it's juicy upfront and dry in the finish, the heavy dose of malts backing this beer up makes a pretty heavy body. It's not a sessionable 10%+ DIPA like a Pliny the Younger or Terrapin Side project 12 Hopzilla. However, it works for this beer. Hard to explain.

O - everything about this beer is good. I recommend it, but it is not a DIPA or "T"IPA that will blow away your expectations. Very fortunate to have had it though...I am thankful.

Photo of ovaltine
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

1.75/5  rDev -58.1%

Photo of bamadog
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quite pleased to luckily come across a bottle of this as my usual haunts sold out pretty quickly. Review is from notes taken on 9/7/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a near perfect honey/copper color; starts with a big billowy 2 finger off-white head that becomes softly pock marked as it slowly fades; body is slightly clouded and hazy and shows moderately strong carbonation; a pretty thick coating of lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Holy shizznit -- tons of hops of the pine, grapefruit and sweeter pineapple varieties; a definite presence of thick syrupy maltiness lingers in the nose to provide some balance to the huge bitter blast; slight presence of alcohol in the nose as well, but at 10.4%, more than expected. I really appreciate and enjoy the super robust nature of the nose here.

Taste: Oh my - all bitter hops right up front and they piney and grassy -- really none of the sweetness from the pineapple-like scents that were picked up in the nose; hops are so prevalent that they're even spicy; there is an ever-so-slight taste of maltiness, but it too is swallowed by yet more hops; definite presence of alcohol as well. I really feel that this beer would be better with some age for especially bitter presence to mellow a bit and allow some of the malts to shine through for balance.

Mouthfeel: Mouth is creamy and smooth with a body that is medium in weight; carbonation is present, but soft and fitting of the body; a thick sticky coating is left all over the mouth and the gums are left tingly and the belly is left especially warm.

Drinkability: Moderate at best -- the bitterness is a bit extreme, even for me, and could use some time to find some balance; the alcohol is also considerably high and would need to be drank in strong moderation.

Photo of JVan
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of craytonic
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Sun drenched honey-tangerine head. Nice head and lacing, I was looking forward to this after I got it open. Thoughts of Pliny came to mind.

Smell: Big hops, malt, grapefruit, pineapple, orange.

Taste: Big hops, with pineapple, grapefruit, orange, pine sap, etc all in play. Alcohol is there as well, they did not quite mask it.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not as smooth as I expected.

Drinkability: If I hadn't had Pliny the younger and elder, I would love this one.

Photo of Beertracker
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's The Oracle (DIPA Ale) [Batch #9306] pours up with a soapy, off-white head that persists above the slightly hazy, orangish-amber colored body. The hop accenuated aroma is mildly pungent with fresh citrusy Pacific Northwest hops. The overall character is quite fruity (apricot, grapefruit, pineapple) with some spicy piney undertones. There's a sweet underlying graininess with hints of biscuits, crackers & clover honey. The flavor starts off very cloying with lots of caramel & honey sweetness followed by some complimentary toasted character that's eventually underscored by a marked bitterness. The finish is bold, fruity & noticeably warming. This full-bodied DIPA is a bit syrupy with a touch of grassy hop astringency which are really the only minor detractors. My interpretation is that The Oracle delivers a plethora of flavor and she's certainly worth seeking coucil with. Here's to crew from Kalamazoo & their all knowing Oracle!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Thanks to thehand for the opportunity!

Photo of jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber tinted pale peach color with a HUGE almost stiff white foamy head that resists fading, leaving sheets of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is great; aggressive sweet fruity tangerine and piny resin. The mouth feel is lightly carbonated full bodied, bright hops balanced by the creamy thickness with a tang and slight warmth of the alcohol...really compliments the drinkability. The piny resin lingers appropriately. The nicely balanced characteristics of the nose and mouth through the full fruity tangerine pineapple grassy pine and sweet malty flavors. This one is outta there...where did it go???? One really fine drinker!! Highly recommended. Many thanks Pops!

Photo of pwoods
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steve for sharing this bottle.

12oz. Brown bottle into a snifter.

A: Hazy golden orange. Moderate head with a bit of retention. Decent sticky lacing.

S: Lots of stinky, resinous hops. Somewhat catty. Plenty of citrus with enough malt.

T/M: Bitterness isn't huge and niether is the citrus. Plenty of the sticky stinky hop resin. Lots of malts, deep and rich. Pleasant spiciness in the back. Body is nearly full with good carbo. Sticky feel.

D: Drinks ok and pretty interesting.

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

Batch 9901, bottled Aug. 23, 2010. I'm drinking it on Nov. 24, 2010.

Pours a medium amber/orange in color with a big sticky head that reduces to about a quarter-inch in my glass, leaving lots of lacing.

Hoppy aroma of tropical fruit like pineapple.

Big alcoholic burn and flavor with the first sips. Mildly bitter, with big resinous hop flavors. Bell's says this is their take on a West Coast Double IPA, and I think they've hit the mark.

Oily body, but what else would you expect with 10 percent alcohol?

Overall this is a fine Double IPA. However, Bell's HopSlam is even better.

Even though Bell's website says this has a shelf life of six months, I'm willing to bet that -- like HopSlam -- the hop notes fade rapidly. I look forward to having this beer again when it's even fresher.

Photo of PDXHops
3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 ounce bottled, poured into a Duvel tulip (note- this was fresh, back in September 2010). Hazy amber body with a frothy off-white head, the retention of which is pretty impressive considering the ABV. A thick ring of lacing up top, with drippy streaks down below.

The nose is richly malty with plenty of citrus and especially pine fighting through the caramel. The flavor is more or less the same story. There's certainly no shortage of bitterness, and the pine simmers steadily, but all the hoppy goodness is somewhat blunted by the malt. Some citrus juiciness approaching the swallow. Medium-thick bodied, with the booze showing up basically in the finish only. Very impressive job of controlling the booziness and sweetness at this ABV. Tantalizingly close to excellence, but simply too malty to merit bumping up to the next tier of DIPAs.

Photo of drbenderdo
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ChrisMon02
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of cp45
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of zrab11
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a orange color with a nice 1 finger head. Great lacing all the way down.

S- Has a nice citrus aroma , also get some hints of carmel and pine.. with some hop aroma as well

T- Starts off with a nice citrus carmel flavor followed by a grapefruit middle and a strong piney bitter finish.

M- Medium body with good carbonation

D- Overall it was a nice ipa. Im not a big fan of overpowering grapefruit flavors in DIPA and this one had it. So its not my cup of tea but many of you will prob like it.

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 2,213 ratings.