The Oracle - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 1,611 | Reviews: 607 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +9.7%
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.
01-12-2010 08:43:25 | More by JohnGalt1
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
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.
07-14-2011 13:07:26 | More by glid02
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
09-18-2009 05:53:07 | More by HopHead84
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-24-2011 23:19:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.43/5 rDev +5%
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.
09-16-2009 04:33:41 | More by TurdFurgison
4.33/5 rDev +2.6%
on-tap, maduro, pre-great taste party
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
08-23-2010 19:10:20 | More by dirtylou
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
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?
08-21-2014 01:11:08 | More by tobelerone
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
09-20-2010 02:36:53 | More by xnicknj
3.98/5 rDev -5.7%
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.
08-05-2011 13:40:56 | More by Alieniloquium
4.93/5 rDev +16.8%
12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. 9306 Batch number. (Packaged Aug. 28th '09). No info. Part four in the "Birthday Beer Extravaganza"
Thanks a TON to Sweemzander for two bottles of this glorious beer!
A - The color is an impressive clear golden honey yellow color with a moderate two-finger, slightly off-white head. I noticed right away I could see right through the bottle. The head had moderate retention and left some good, sticky lacing to the sides of the glass. A thick ring hung around to make it look taller than it was. That was followed by thick lacing down the glass as it started filling me with joy as it entered mah belleh!
S - The nose is immediately well-balanced and not overpowering as I expected. Tons of floral hops with a tiny bit of grapefruit and pine resin. A good lemony citrus splash follows with an impressive fruit medley; a big pineapple-mango juicy nose. The malts do a great job of staying in the back as support while providing a nice, low-level sweetness. One of the most perfect DIPAs I've had the pleasure of smelling.
T - Holy Shit. This, with in sips, could be one of my favorite DIPAs, if not beers, ever. The hops overpower the malts but in all the right ways. The hops give off a lot of fruitiness. Like the aroma, it's got pineapple, mango, a drop of lemon, and a kiss of grapefruit bitterness. There is also a pine resin that pops in and lingers through the finish with a dry, almost astringency to it. The malts let the hops do all the work being there only as moral support. Much less balances than the aroma, but rightfully so. The pale malts provide a low sweet background with a slight dab of honey on a thinly sliced wafer of toast.
M - Smooth and creamy with a great carbonation feel that just blends in, it's a superb feeling beer that lacks only in being a bit too dry and resiny on the finish. Great level of bitterness and sweetness that play well together. A very nicely balanced body that teet-or-totters between medium and full bodied. Also very crisp and refreshing.
D - Wow. I think this has to be my favorite DIPA to date. Nothing has rocked my socks this hard or inspired such a long review out of me since my first encounter with the Pumking. It's an absolutely fantastic beer that's brewed to near perfection. The fruit bouquet is absolutely delicious and blends so well with the hop and malt flavors. Almost in the same way the simple yet ornate label can enjoyed in layers. The alcohol isn't even noticeable in this beer at all, not even in small traces.
I can't say enough thanks to my friend Sweem for hooking me up with two bottles of this outrageously good beer!
12-01-2009 04:21:12 | More by BeerFMAndy
District of Columbia
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
From 12oz bottle to Jackie O's stemmed tulip on 8/29/11
-- 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.
09-03-2011 22:26:40 | More by Rhettroactive
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
10-11-2009 22:23:56 | More by jrallen34
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
12oz bottle with an imprint on the label of 9306.
Poured into my new Bell's Brewing glass, compliments of TATTORSO, I see an attractive hazy orange ale with about a finger head of foam. Nice lacing is part of this package deal.
Taking a few whiffs, the hoppiliciousness is something to be admired. Lots of tropical fruit goodness with mangos and pineapples being dominant...like standing in the fresh produce dept at my local grocers. I *could* just sit here and keep on smelling the damn beer but on to bigger and better things like...drinking it!
First sip and whoah, baby. This puppy tastes just like the smell with the grapefruit and mango but a nice tasty taste of oranges joins the party and I'm loving it. Being supremely satisfied with what the hops are doing, I'm now searching for the malt.
There *are* some nice sweetish notes buried way back in the background here that could be coming from the fruity hoppiness but I'm not going to dwell over it. The hops rule this DIPA and that's all I have to say about that!
This is close to full bodied with lightish carbonation and is near perfection for the mouthfeel.
Drinkability? It's a no slouch DIPA weighing in at 10.4%abv but I cannot honestly say the alcohol is all that noticeable in the taste or during the swallow...just some warming after the swallow and a general feeling of all is right in the world. ;^)
This was a tough beer to find but the effort was worth it! Thanks, Bell's!!
03-26-2010 22:00:25 | More by Bitterbill
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
Batch #9901. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours red orange with a one finger off-white head that subsides quickly to a minimal amount. Maintains excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is comprised of sweet malt, grapefruit, slight citrus hops. The flavor is of sweet malt, citrus hops, earthy, and green onions. It has a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this is a pretty good DIPA. The green onion flavor is a little off-putting but is not that bad. It actually works quite well with the other flavors going on in this one. This brew has a nice balanced flavor and a good aroma to it. This is a must try for any hop-head out there.
12-04-2010 02:33:25 | More by thagr81us
3.96/5 rDev -6.2%
Not sure how "summer" the release is I just found a bottled on 8/09 at my local six pack shop for a $3.25 single. Long time tick for me since last year!
A - Well it settled a bit making for great lacing but I did get a 1+ inch foamy head atop of a rather bright clear orange brown colored beer.
S - Smell is interesting very resinous but showing citrus in nature. Like a weird but effective blend.
T - Ow wow this is seriously the most bitter beer I had all year. Deep dank resinous hop bite that shakes the tongue and burns the buds. Truthfully the first sip I choked a bit because of the surprise huge hop bite and massive ABV. Second a bit smoother but I don't think my palate would completely adjust. Such a bitter unforgivable beer.
M - Thankfully the body keeps this massive ABV at bay making for a more medium bodied drinking experience.
Overall the hype really made this beer seem as good as hopslam but all I got was a tongue peeling hop experience that cries for a better malt base. If anything I applaud the well hidden ABV so there is that...
09-12-2013 03:11:12 | More by DrDemento456
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 1,611 ratings.