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The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The OracleThe Oracle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,953 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,953
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 441
Gots: 257 | FT: 13
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: 1,953 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Infestaxion for this one.

Poured somewhat hazy amber color into my tulip glass. Poured with a nice foamy white head that laced very nicely down the glass. Smell is dominated by the hops, a lot of citrus coming through. Good tasting DIPA, a lot of bitterness with some piney hops flavors and some alcohol coming through as well as a strong malt profile. Very happy I got to try this one, probably not the best DIPA I've ever had but very good none the less.

billab914, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Kelp, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

sendbeer, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, HUGE thanks to the ever generous hoppymeal for the hookup. He is a star.

Pours a hazy orange, some amber highlights, big and thick off white head forms, slowly settles to a huge layer and ring, tons of lace sticks to the glass. Looks pretty nice.

Smell is wicked hoppy, huge pineapple and grapefruit notes, lemon rind, caramel, pine, tons of fruit and citrus, biscuit, massive hops in this one, pretty intense.

Taste is similar, big pineapple and tropical fruit, caramel sweetness, good malty middle, citrus and orange, pine, huge grapefruit hoppiness, biscuit, a bit buttery, really intense and herbal bitterness, but still balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Hugely hoppy but still balanced, alcohol is non existant, this is much too drinkable for a 10%+ ABV brew. Great stuff, thanks again Derek!

Viggo, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed copper body. Thin beige head. Good amounts of lace throughout. This one smells deeply juicy and resinous....and fruity. Great aroma. Flavor follows suit nicely with more alcohol evident. It's got some of that spiked punch feel to it with the booziness and tropical fruit tones from the hops. Pineapple and mango come to mind. Resinous hop tones and leafy cannabis. But the overriding characteristic here is the booze. Just too much booze flavor to make this an exceptional beer. Good though.

Bighuge, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep orange color, like a sunset in your glass, ploughy head, chunky. Aroma was very sweet, tropical citrus and some alcohol warmth.

The first few sips come off wo much alcohol, possibly the most pineapple I've ever tasted in a beer, this one is far less piney and way more tropical citrus, mango, papaya and pineapple feel to it. One of these would be way cooler in a Corona on the beach commercial. Good amount of hops to it, but not a super crisp blast, enough to pair well with a 10.4 beer, thats for sure. Reminiscient of Odell's India Barleywine.

Should be interested to visit the rest of the 6 pack throughout the year. The three I've had thus far were all enjoyable, but the one I had on a weeknight was a little much to get down. This is a good beer to throw down at the end of a tasting session on a weekend, too dangerous during the week.

EDIT: Drink this back to back with Hopsoulution. Same beer almost, different strengths, makes the Oracle seem much lower in ABV when you drink it after a Hopsoulution.

Beerandraiderfan, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Slow's in Detroit. Orange with a thick cap of light beige foam. Lots of fine bubbles coated the sides of the glass, with rings indicating each sip. Great aroma, tons of citrusy and resinous hops, grapefruit and oranges, pineapple and tropical fruit character. Great flavour too, sugary malts balance out the big, citrusy hop profile (basically the same as in the aroma) and kept the sturdy bitterness in check. A bit of alcohol warmth rounded things out. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, very smooth texture. Overall, an excellent beer and one of my favourite big IPAs in recent memory.

DrJay, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Zaphog, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier provided this at a tasting a while back... Big thanks Eric!! Another that I wanted to try and trade for, but was too broke when it was out in circulation... reviewed from paper notes.

White head.. great lacing.. pale hazy golden/orange.

Aroma is fantastic.. Nose hair coating American hops... huge pine and only slightly less citrus zest.

The Oracle begins and ends with huge bitterness ... in between there is a mild toasty maltiness that is crushed by pithy citrus hops and resinous pine... Near perfect body and carbonation... Simply verging on perfection.... I must try this as soon as it is released next time... The short time from the release to my palate was too long.

Thanks again Eric... Remarkable DIPA that I never would have guessed came from any place other than the West Coast.

4.5/4.5/5/4.5/4

JohnGalt1, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton to Masterski for sending this to me. I owe you one. Batch 9306 consumed on 9/17/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer is slightly hazy and vibrant golden in my glass. The white head rises an inch above the nectar and recedes very slowly, eventually devolving into a small lingering bubbly froth. Some lacing clings to the sides of my glass.

My nose is greeted by notes of tangerine, peach, orange, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, and some grapefruit. The citrus is lively and some floral character is evident, as well as lesser notes of pine resin. There's a honey-like sweetness that fits very well with the hop notes. This is a sweeter than a San Diego Pale Ale, but man is it good. The malt profile is caramel and a nice foundation is laid for the hops. Alcohol is noticeable. The aroma is outstanding.

The flavor is immediately bitter at a high level with more pine resin than there was in the nose. The cornucopia of fruit is back in the flavor with prominent peach and orange pith. The sweetness is honey-like and complements the hops and caramel malt nicely. Bitterness remains at a fairly high level throughout and the alcohol seems strong. The flavor is good, but it didn't quite live up to the aroma. I found the alcohol to be a bit distracting and overshadowing. The finish is bitter citrus alcohol.

The beer is light medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel. A light body Double IPA with a killer fruit aroma and an aggressive flavor that's on the sweeter side.

HopHead84, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

liamt07, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of ShanePB
3.15/5  rDev -25%

ShanePB, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of glid02
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with large amounts of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops. Also present is some underlying herbal notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly dry pale malts up front are joined almost immediately by large citrus and tropical fruit hops – pineapple, grapefruit, and papaya. Midway through herbal hops turn the flavor profile slightly more bitter, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall this beer did not disappoint – it’s just a touch away from the Plinys of the world. Well worth a shot.

glid02, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Orange, with a touch of reddness. Tan head that lingers forever.

S- Citrus overload, very strong, but I love it.

T- Very mellow sweet citrus flavors.

D- Creamy and mellow.

O- With a bottle code of 9901, this was bottled on 8-23-2010. I am afraid it is past it's prime and has lost some of the hop bitterness, but it is still a nice drinking beer. I can't wait to try it fresh.

HuskyinPDX, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

iL0VEbeer, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Kite & Key in Philadelphia. Served in a chalice.

A - Deep golden, slightly orange body with a nice white head and great lacing.

S - Strong citrus hops and caramel malts. Those flavors are great, but I get a lot of booze.

T - Much like the aroma. Nice citrusy hops. Grapefruit and orange hops. Good bitterness in the back, but, again, lots of booze.

M - Surprisingly not thick. Maybe even a bit dry. The booze comes out the most, though.

O - It would be spectacular if it weren't so boozy. That really just kills it.

Alieniloquium, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -16%

12oz bottle into pint glass. This beer was bottled 12 days prior to drinking.

Very slightly clouded dark gold body. Excuse my saying so but the color and clarity put me in mind of urine when one is dehydrated. And now we resume the review.

Impressive off-white head that has great retention. Lacing is quite sticky.

I'm surprised at how mild the aroma is. I get some caramel and breadiness from the malt, floral and almost soapy aromas from the hops. Barely perceptible hint of alcohol.

Interesting flavor. There is a high degree of bitterness, definite aspirin quality here, as well as a soapy note - I didn't just imagine that from the aroma. Alcohol is again present but subtle. Very resinous, plus lots of grapefruit pith and rind. I'm surprised at how dry this is; there is a near total lack of balancing sweetness, the malt character is obliterated by alpha acids, and one is left with a long lasting aftertaste that could be duplicated simply by dissolving an advil on the tongue. By the time one reaches the end of the glass and things have warmed up a bit, there is a very subtle emergence of the malt, bringing a faintly honeyed note, but it's too little, too late and fails to truly salvage the experience.

Medium to slightly full body and medium-lowish carbonation.

I don't know, I much prefer Hopslam, and I don't even like that beer all that much. It's kind of the polar opposite of this, within the DIPA style. This, for me, isn't a very enjoyable beer to drink - it's just not DELICIOUS, and I don't want to drink beer that isn't delicious anymore. I love hoppy beer but the bar has been set a lot higher in recent years and the Oracle doesn't come up to it for me. There are brewers crafting high ABV DIPAs that have explosive hop flavors packed with appealing notes while bitterness is mitigated somewhat. A beer like that doesn't need a pronounced malt character because the hops are handled so artfully and can be left to shine. In this case, the malt backbone is sorely missed, and everything feels out of whack and a little...dated?

tobelerone, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up these bottles at Holiday Market in Royal Oak for $3.99 each. I'm totally stoked to try this new creation from Bell's: The beer could not look better, it's hazy translucent - goldenrod color with a thick frothy foam that lasts the duration of the drink and laces in thick sheets. The first sniff brings Hopslam to mind, strong hop aromatics and a hint of honey, this is pungent with grapefruit and other acidic citrus. The taste confirms that this is among the hoppiest beers I've ever tried. There's a lot of sweetness but not the cloying type you get from crap like 120 minute. This is a master craft beer that pushes about as far as possible in the IPA direction without losing it's critical essence of drinkability. Not even close to balanced with the malts, no fear of the barley-wine boundary (at least while fresh).

If I had to sub-categorize this I'd call it a west-coast DIPA, possibly similar to Pliny the Younger. But it's been a while since I've had Younger, and in any case this beer seems definitive enough itself. I'm glad I had the chance to try it and I'm glad I have more bottles. Completely recommended to hop heads.

TurdFurgison, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

THECPJ, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, maduro, pre-great taste party

cellphone notes

appearance: pretty dark for a dipa - rich garnet-amber body, foamy tan head

smell: strong malt body, grapefruit peel, bitter citrus, lots of pine

taste: oracle comes through a bit boozier than hopslam with a bigger malt punch - pine is rather intense along with bitter grapefruit.

mouthfeel: relatively large body, high bitterness, alcohol present in the finish

drinkability; good

dirtylou, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

drummermattie02, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Jackie O's stemmed tulip on 8/29/11
*From notes

-- Bottle purchased at The Anderson's General Store in Columbus, OH on 8/26/11 --

A: Brilliant dark amber. A forceful pour yields a 3.25 finger head and big league lacing.

S: Juicy. Really juicy. It reminds me a bit of Bell's Hopslam, sans the honey influence. It's fairly one-note, but might I say, it's a damn fine note.

T: Bitter up front, and as it opens up, so does the immense amount of tropical fruit juice. Just dripping with the stuff. The finish is pretty intense, with an odd twang of black coffee.

M: You know how Bell's does. This is a classy beer - the carbonation, weight and texture are all top shelf.

O: Bell's Oracle is a damn fine DIPA. Is it as good as Hopslam? No, but it certainly holds it's own. A beer I hope to return to, and recommend without hesitation.

Rhettroactive, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to biglobo8971 for this sweet extra - 12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass

A - Somewhat hazed golden orange. A smaller head fades to a filmy layer with a smaller amount of streaky lacing.

S - Slightly sweet bitter hops and a dash of fruit with malty caramel.

T - Plenty of bitter, juicy hops which explode onto the palate. A somewhat sweeter fruit center dotted with honey peeks through before the malt backbone rises up, delivering a different, darker sweetness. The hops return during the finish with more popping bite, along with a touch of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied, slightly creamy, avoids becoming too dry while remaining balanced.

D - For a boozier DIPA, this goes down way easier than some of its contemporaries.

Superbly delicious beer, I just wish there was a bit more excitement in the nose.

xnicknj, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

GraduatedCashew, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium clear gold with a medium white head and retention. Not much retention.

The aroma is the best part of this very with a very pleasant sense of fruit, mostly grapefruit and strawberries. You get a little hops.

The taste is kind of let down, because it strays so far from the aroma. Its not sweet at all, the beginning and middled are light flavorless, but it has a very very bitter and strong finish which almost makes up for it.

The mouthfeel is average, and you can drink a lot of this.

jrallen34, Oct 11, 2009
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,953 ratings.