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The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
726 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
726
Ratings:
2,503
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
454
Gots:
355
For Trade:
7
The OracleThe Oracle
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 726 | Ratings: 2,503
Photo of SuperNova777
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 08/29/10

A:Pours a hazy orange color with a fingers worth of fluffy white head leaving awesome lacing as it is drank down

S:Big grapefruit, tangerine, & floral hop aroma. Very inviting and exciting, maybe a
little hint of honey in there as well

T:Just as the nose detects loads of awesome hops attack the senses then fall back
leaving a nice oily resin on the palate begging for another hit of the intenseness

M:Very nice body for easy drinkability with good carbonation

D:How I wish this was available all the time to make up for my Hopslam desires through
out the year. Big hop profile, easy to drink for being 10%, and crazy good all around.
Hops expolding in your mouth like a bomb in the middle east, next stop is the arrival
of Hopslam this winter.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Oracle, bottled on 8-12-11 and consumed on 9-1-11

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours clear gold with big, off-white head that shows great retention and leaves sheets of foam clinging to glass. Light effervescence. 

S: Tea, pine, tropical fruits, especially grapefruit, and white grapes. The hops smell quite pungent and fresh. Alcohol is detectable but does not detract from smell.

T: Malty sweetness leads off, stronger than I remember. Transitions to pine and aforementioned fruits. Spiciness zips across palate. High bitterness peaks on palate, sits there for a long, long time and then slowly dwindles as the beer's finish. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel and warming. Drying toward finish. 

O: This year's The Oracle is a little too sweet up front for me, but it is still a great DIPA. Ambitious in its breadth and meticulous in its brewing. Recommended. 

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Photo of SummitVA
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brilliant orange pour with a light frothy head. Carbonation is strong and steady.

S - Big pine and citrus hops, with grapefruit standing out especially. Caramel sweetness and alcohol heat.

T - Huge hops flavor washes over the palate. Pine more so than the citrus, with that wonderfully resiny taste, and bitterness, lingering on the palate. Sweetness from malt and alcohol stand up to the hop character well. Heat apparent from the first sip, but this is not unpleasant.

M - Steady carbonation gives this full-bodied brew a lighter feel. Goes down plenty easy.

O - A lot of sweetness here that edges out the hops just a bit to one side of "perfect balance" for me, but for a 10% DIPA it's to be expected. Had a not-so-fresh bottles years ago, and I'm very happy to have had a fresh one to clean that taste from my memory. Another great beer from Bells.

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Photo of hophead247
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a one and a half finger thick off white head that settled slowly. Thick lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, and pine and floral hops. Flavor is full of piny hops and toasted malt. A well balanced IIPA. Scary drinkability at over 10%. Medium to full body. Nice beer...thanks Brandon...

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch# 9306. Slightly cloudy, amber colored pour with a small, dense, white head. Luscious resiny pine and citrus aroma with notes of mango, orange, red apples, honey and caramel. Intensely bitter with loads of pine resin, balanced by dry earthy malt, pepper, mango, ruby red grapefruit, clover honey, honeysuckle, orange zest and a very floral finish. The body is full and creamy with soft carbonation and a sticky, resiny finish.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a slightly hazy,golden/amber color with a thick, sticky white head.Lots of lacing.

S_Citrus bomb. Grapefruit,pineapple,piny hops.Some alcohol heat.

T_Follows the nos. Intense citrus. Lots of pine. Lots of spruce in the finish.Alcohol burn. Awesome beer.

M_Thick,sticks to your lips. I cant stop lip smacking. So delicious.

D_Very drinkable for such a bad ass beer. Two or three and you're well on your way.

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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 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.

Kef

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 bottle into a stem glass. Packaged on 8/08/15.

LOOK: Cloudy golden orange with a thin white head.

SMELL: Grapefruit, orange, apricot, pine, caramel, toast, and booze.

TASTE: Thick, interestingly balanced, warm. Nice grapefruit, orange, lemon, apricot, and pine hops flavors balanced against sweet malt notes of caramel, toast, and honey. The alcohol is quite noticeable, too. Warm on the swallow.

FEEL: Full-bodied. Creamy carbonation. Nice and thick for an IPA, almost as thick as stout. Sticky hoppy aftertaste of grapefruit, orange peel, and pine.

TASTE: While I have had better double/triple IPAs, this is pretty damn tasty. Worth buying, for certain.

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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 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 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 carlborch
4.68/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of brian44556
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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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.

4.5/5/4/5/4.5

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Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

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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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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.