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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

694 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 694
Hads: 2,347
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 454
Gots: 321 | 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
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Reviews: 694 | Hads: 2,347
Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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. (976 characters)

Photo of Bogforce
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
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! (592 characters)

Photo of LI_PO12
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Hazy deep gold, nice white head (Packaged 8/8/2013)

Aroma- Big pine, citrus, dank hops, good maltbackone

Flavor- Very piney, earthy , and citric hops, strong bitterness but not overwhelming, slight boozyness, but is 10%

Mouthfeel-Medium, good carbonation, alcohol warmth

Overall- A very good DIPA. Big in your face hops, glad I got to try and will be getting more if possible. (393 characters)

Photo of cvaypai
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to 12 oz snifter. Thanks to Portia99 for this one.

Appearance - Beautiful golden orangey amber color, shines when held up to light. Poured with a 1 finger creamy almost head with some large bubbles in the middle. Leaves a thick beautiful lacing down the sides.

Smell - Very floral and citrusy head, this smells phenomenal. I get some pine and other earthy scents. The smell is oh so clean. Maybe a little bit of sweet candy malt on the end, could be due to it being a few months old by now.

Taste - Very resinous and piney but extremely clean and bitter. The bitter is harsh in no way though, this is definitely one of the most bitter beers I have had. It is not overpowering though, it all works out nice. A small amount of booze and caramel malt can be detected on the end but it works so well together. Not much citrus to speak of in the taste, maybe a small bit of grapefruit. This beer is so dry and bitter, amazing, the taste lasts in my mouth for minutes after a drink.

Mouthfeel - Feels right there for the stature of the beer. Not light by any means, in fact pretty viscous for the style. It is not a bad thing though, it ties together well almost with it. In deed a very nice feel on the tongue, perfect carbonation and bitter bite.

Drinkability - I could attempt 2 of these but it is a hell of a beer, a few would be enough for me I am sure. This glass will not last long, but with this bitterness and abv you have to be careful.

Another great Bell's beer. They make all my favorite IPA's. I hope they make this one again. (1,559 characters)

Photo of 33nickadams
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happy 25th Bells! Batch 9901

A- I like the appearance, but I had very little head and not much lacing. Yellowish orange and semi-transparent.

S- Surprisingly, I'm not smelling a high hop nose. It is a pleasant sweet malt and pineapple smell.

T- Sweet and hides the bitterness very well for a dipa. I might not have the finest pallate, but I'm tasting apple.

M- Very easy to drink for a dipa. Smooth.

D- My second of the night, thinking about another...

I love this beer, but still not as good as hopslam. I can't help but compare the two. I would say that oracle is hopslam's younger sister. (599 characters)

Photo of MagicJeff
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tropical grapefruit notes on the nose and taste. Pick up some green apple as well. Some sweet caramel/brown sugar backbone. This seems like a scaled back hopslam, and that's not a bad thing. (190 characters)

Photo of AshleyMiller
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to jmarsh123 for throwing in this great extra. poured into my stone cali-belgique tulip.

a- pours a darker, reddish amber with a two-finger head, and lots of lacing, good retention as well

s- a great mix of sweet and grapefruit-fragrant hops

t- nothing sweet, just bitter and the hops linger in the back of my throat long after swallowing, though not as strong as most ipas i've had. lots of grapefruit in this one

m- lighter-bodied with surprisingly not a lot of carbonation - i'd like to see a bit more to be honest

o- good, goes down easy and quickly though the bitterness lingers. i can't tease out the hops, nor am i overwhelmed by them. a good ipa but not a great one. glad i tried it, and paired great with some cabot pepperjack cheese (754 characters)

Photo of gibby
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Local trade with MGL, thanks Mike.

Appearance is a nice golden amber with a small white head, crystal clear. Smells very nice of citrus/piney hops, but not as strong as expected. Opened up more as it warmed. Delicious taste of massive hops but it did have a malt backbone thrown in there. Mouthfeel was good, a bit syrupy at times and you feel the heat for sure from the 10%. The abv can certainly lower the drinkability but 2 of these is certainly doable.

Overall I am very glad to try the oracle. It was very tasty and would be worth buying if available in pa. In the world of elite dipa's that I love so much, I do have to say the oracle ranks behind pliny, sculpin, dreanaught and bell's own hopslam. (707 characters)

Photo of rembrant
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour Amber,a bit cloudy,modest head that does not last long.

aroma Exceptional array of hoppy scents,a lot of citrus,a bit of pine,a bit of floral. Slightly sweet caramel background.

flavor Sweet caramel lead transitions to a citrus hops with some grapefruit to it,and on to a more woodsy bitter hop finish. A little caramel nut,and citrus do carry through to the finish. It's more a shift of balance. The clever shuffle of the caramel and citrus flavors is especially nice.

Very refreshing,not unlike a slightly more refined Two Hearted.

Mouth If you hold a sip,you do notice some alcohol. Otherwise,it's hidden. The malts bring good body,it seems to have more "weight" than a typical DIPA,whilr the flavors are pretty sparkly.

Drinkable Yess, to a point. Very zingy in a good way but a tad filling and I'm thinking the ABV and price may limiot drinkability.

I had a Lake Eire Monster today,and it's interesting how different these two beers are,and the Double Crooked Tree I recently enjoyed is a lot different from either. It used ti be most big DIPAs were quite similar. (1,080 characters)

Photo of kaips1
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 8/11/2011 into a brandy sniffer
You gotta love that it's less than a month old.
Ok on the pour this developed a nice one finger white thick head that subsided I a very thin almost non existent ring of bubbles. The color is a solid amber and very clear. The nose on this beer will make you think outdoors and camping trip, from the piney and mean piney smell of wonderful that attacks you at first whiff. There is a slight medicinal smell I pick up though. The taste of piney resin is encountered first and then this wired cough syrupy type burn that happens right when I go to swallow. The mouthfeel is a lively wet flow. Overall this is a good beer, little pricey and a little rough in the ending bit worth the shot once. (743 characters)

Photo of CruisaC
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pre-rating note/thought: I am new at this whole reviewing thing. I am finding that I only bother to review beers that are really impressive to me. This is the case with this beer for sure. I'm sure as I get more reviews under my belt I'll review some of the "meh" beers as well, to bring my overall average down a bit towards reality. And on to the review...

Poured from a bottle into my DFH glass.

Pours a pretty copper color with an inch of creamy tan head

Smell is amazing--this is where this beer really did it for me. Smells like a freshly opened can of diced pineapple, in a good way. I've gotten other citrusy notes from IPA/DIPAs, but this took the cake in the pineapple department. Given that it's one of my favorite fruits, that is a good thing.

Taste settles down a bit from the smell. I get some of the hoppiness coming through but also some sweet caramel notes and of course the pineapple again.

Mouthfeel is silkier than you get from a lot of IPA/DIPAs; again, a plus. There is a twinge of bitterness on the backend.

Drinkability--wow, this would become a regular in my rotation if I could ever find it. I just happened to come across two singles on the shelf at Jungle Jim's. As it was one I'd been wanting to try I snatched them up. I'd gladly pick up more if I can ever find them. (1,304 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

07/2015 bottle poured into IPA glass.

Pours a clear dark orange, nice pillowy head. Gorgeous DIPA.

Nose is muted hops and decent malt forward. Not what I expected.

Flavor on this seems off to me - huge amounts of malt and a really subdued hop profile. I feel like this must have spent days in the back of a hot truck. Malt forward and hops there but thinner than expected and not really all that pleasant.

Glad I got to try it but what I have definitely doesn't stand up to the hype. (493 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.27/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle courtesy of Hap drank on a bright early Spring day (February 13th, 2011).

Bright honey orange meet golden. A billowing, almost beligian-esque head crowns the Oracle. Head is brilliant white, almost bleach white and made up entirely of tight carbonation bubbles. Lacing plays all the way down. Straight from cellar temperature the aroma is a bit strange. A touch of malt sweetness but mostly piney hops and then a vegetative cooked corn smell. DMS? I don't think lager yeast was used here... Curious to where this smell is coming from. As the beer warms to room temperature, this DIPA gets strangely better. Citrus hops come out and it becomes much more peachy. Malts into the realm of DIPAs on my palette now. Bready. Biscuity. The Oracle fails to impress.

This seasonal from Bell's is, perhaps, like other seasonals: only great for a few weeks, good for several months and then just mediocre afterward. I will have to try to obtain this fresh next year as this bottle was not filled with the flavors I would expect from Bell's. (1,043 characters)

Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Appearance- Golden, well carbonated brew with a small head but good lacing

Smell- Cotton candy, pineapple

Taste- Massive grapefruit, lemon, mango, finishes very dry and slightly astringent. Cloying sweetness and a little pill bitterness. Biscuity malt profile that is barely detectable.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and tangy

Overall- Good but not my favorite. (353 characters)

Photo of ratedz
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange color from a 12oz bottle into a Bell's snifter. A thin white head leaves a fair amount of lacing down the glass.

Citrus is dominant in the nose. Grapefruit, maybe some orange, backed up by hints of sweet caramel. The blast of citrus reminded me of the first time I had Hopslam, yet it is a different variety of citrus notes.

Taste backs up the scents. A lot of juicy citrus hops followed by a sweet malty backbone. A slight bitterness is present, but it is fairly well balanced.

Mouth feel is smooth with mild carbonation. The Oracle was a very drinkable DIPA for 10.4%. I probably wouldn't have guessed the ABV to be as high as it is. I have a couple more bottles of it and might have to try it side-by-side with Hopslam sometime to compare the two. (775 characters)

Photo of brian44556
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into Stone Tulip. Packaged 8/12/11.

Pours a very hazy, amber color with a half-finger, frothy white head. Thick lacing left on the sides of the glass. Smell notes of orange peels, pineapples, grapefruit, and bready malts. Taste notes of grapefruit, orange peels, and sweet malts. This one is crazy bitter from the hops and somewhat balanced out by the sweet malt flavor. A hophead's dream! Mouthful is fine and beer is well carbonated. Overall a decent beer. I bought 14 singles of this and will not have a problem drinking them. A few steps behind its brother HopSlam, but nonetheless a decent DIPA. (623 characters)

Photo of Nachojon
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick foamy head, lace coats glass throughout.

S- Smooth caramel. Some hops and lemon peel.

T- MADNESS. Almost medicinal, bandaid piney hops and warm booze with a brown sugar finish. Like no IPA i have ever tasted.

M- Sticky but not unpleasant. Smooth and dense at the same time.

O- I don't know if one pour does this thing justice, would love to try again. (365 characters)

Photo of chicano4craft
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper witha slight amber highlight in my tulip. Thick three finger head that sticks around for a long time. Amazing lacing to the end.

The nose is really balanced. It's a sweet citrus from the hops and malt. Reminds me of lemon bread.

The first sip is quite bitter. The balance in the nose doesn't show up. It's not the "good" bitter flavors you might expect from hops...grapefruit,citrus,resin. I think the alcohal has dulled down the flavor. A little disappointing.

The mouthfeel is decent but the high ABV brings down the drinkability. This was just an okay IIPA. I was hoping for a little more. I have a few more bottles and will revisit this soon. I feel my taste buds have been off a little lately. (722 characters)

Photo of waltersrj
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Dark, golden yellow with hints of brown and a quickly dissipating white head.

Nose: Pine, dank hops, slight citrus (grapefruit and lemon), alcohol and sort of a cardboard smell but not in an oxidative way.

Taste: Slightly sweet hop oils, slight cardboard, hot alcohol, pine, slight citrus and a caramel backing.

Mouthfeel: A little heavier than I'd like but not too heavy or out of whack for the style.

Overall: Moderate for the style. Definitely too much unhidden alcohol and only a slight citrus bite. Decent but not really what I love in a IIPA. (558 characters)

Photo of K-Dog
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (205 characters)

Photo of carlborch
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful 2-inch, creamy, off-white head that persists. Eventually settled to 1/4-inch. Golden, amber color, with moderate carbonation. Medium-full body with wallops of hop flavor and hop bitterness. The hop notes linger extensively. Resin in nose and on the palate. Muted malt. This is a hop-heads delight - and it is moreish to boot. Well-developed Belgian lace. The ABV is noticeable, although hiding a bit behind the hop notes. Sweet, warming, bitter, deliciousness. May age well. Wonderful with food - particularly rich foods. Cuts, cleanses, lifts, and brightens. I will seek to find some more. (600 characters)

Photo of Dalem
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early autumn cooper in with a substantial head that melts away to a heavy lace and a cap that sticks through to the end of the glass.
The aroma is quite fruity. Strawberries and peaches come to mind. Much different than the earthy pines and citrus scents that usually come from a DIPA.
The scents show up big time in the flavors in this full bodied ale. The strawberry nuances are in the introduction. Woodsy and sweet tart. The snap of peaches take over in the middle til towards the end when a black peppery bite from the hops take it to the finish. Quite complex and though an alcohol hotness does kick up in the end the 10.4% abv is masked pretty well.
The aftertaste is a bit sticky but doesn't hang around to the point where you're searching for a couple huge swallows of water to clean the palate and wash out the back of the throat after a glass full of it. (865 characters)

Photo of spartanfan
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch no. 9306; packed 8/28/09

A Pours a nice hazy golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves tons of lacing behind.

S: Smells quite strongly of hops; pineapple, grapefruit, grass, pineyness, a bit of maltyness, and slight hint of alcohol.

T: Taste is again dominated by hops; citrus, lemon and grapefruit, a nice malt backbone to balance and a dry, bitter lingering aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is great, a good amount of carbonation and a great creamy texture.

D: For the style I would say this beer has great drinkability, alas at $2.99 I can only afford to drink one. (579 characters)

Photo of kylehayworth
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I should be thankfull I even got to try this, apparently very limited in the Indy area.

A: Dark burnt orange in color, with a few light reddish orange highlights. The head is moderate with dancing carbonation under it.

S: It has a good hop smell, orange tangerine piney hops with a backdrop of sweetness. The sweetness smells of honey/honeysuckle.

T: Starts off sublimey sweet and malty, then turns hoppy/bitter. The hop profile seems somewhat underwhelmed from the malty profile and alcohol tinge.

M/D: The texture was very nice. It was very creamy and full. This is a good brew but not what I thought given the difficulty to obtain as well as the price. (662 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had it in a 10oz pour from a bar in Raleigh, NC

A - Orange/golden color in the glass

N - Lot's of grapefruit and pine. Smelled so good

T - Carbonation is crisp. Tastes like a tropical citrus paradise with lots of hops(Front end), that turns smooth still ringing with hops(back end). Such a complex beer. The sweet malt yet powerful hop taste does a really great job at keeping the 10.4 % hidden as well. Definitely a must for all Imperial IPA drinkers.

M - malty with a pleasant sweetness that makes way for the hop explosion. So good.

Overall, a very delicious beer. Being that it was beer week in Raleigh the 60+tap bar had 10 different "rare beers" on tap, however I still had to order another one of these... (717 characters)

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.