The Oracle
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
IPA - Imperial
4.16 | pDev: 10.58%
Mar 31, 2020
Sep 05, 2009
Notes: Our take on the West Coast-style Double India Pale Ale, The Oracle places hop intensity first and foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt and balance.

The fireworks start with the aromatic punch of dry-hop sessions with hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise.
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Ratings by BEERchitect:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BEERchitect from Kentucky

It's about time that we have a non-West Double IPA that emphasizes extreme bitterness and abandoning the heavily caramelized grains.

The Oracle starts with a medium copper/medium amber color with a subtle russet hue. A rich head formation of eggshell white foam reduces to a sticky sheet and laces in rings as the beer fades away. A very gentlemanly appearance and has all the hallmarks of great IPA's.

Resiny hops lead the aromatic way with pine, fresh cut grasses, and sharp citrus notes. With all the attention on the hop invasion, the crisp graham cracker malts show timidly up front and is everso fleeting from it's initial impression on- just the way a hop-forward beer should. No esters, no harsh alcohols.

Again in flavor, the malts give a suble caramel base, but that is soon swallowed by intense hop flavor and bitterness- this beer is simply not about the malts. Sharp pine, grassy, and resiny flavors are bold, bright, and command attention at all points in the beer's flavor. Once the malt/hop heirarchy is established in flavor, the bitterness kicks in even more and provides the dry crisp and bitter finish that is rarely found even in the greatest IPA's.

Moderately full and creamy early but those textures are quickly thrown to the wind in favor of a quick transition to dry, hoppy, and crispness. Bitter and resiny til the long, lingering end.

A very refreshing Double IPA because it's rare that these big hoppy beers truely exhibit the intense bitterness and dry character throughout that we see here. It's definately a swift kick to the taste buds.

Thanks a ton Cheezdawg!

May 30, 2010
More User Ratings:
Photo of Jrami26
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Jrami26 from New York

This west coast IPA is hoppy for sure. I also could taste a strong malt presence.

Mar 31, 2020
4.16 by BosDen07 from Delaware on Mar 24, 2020
4.02 by Blogjackets from Ohio on Mar 14, 2020
4.24 by Seal4676 from Michigan on Jan 01, 2020
4.25 by GreatStoutman from Texas on Oct 23, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

Bottled 7/20/15; drank 8/1/15 @ the Family Compound.

Murky dull orange appearance.

HUGE eggnog head (careful pouring!); a frothy curtain of lace.

Mango, orange citrus & honey notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Mango & orange citrus flavors up front; a bitter bite on the finish.

Fruity & sweet but too bitter at the end for me to truly love.

Jun 26, 2019
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Has a mixture of a peach/amber color, quite cloudy/hazy yet deep. Steady carbonation and head retention. Good lacing.

Aroma is both sweet and hoppy. Strong citrus notes like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons. Sweet notes like honey, caramel, and overall strong malty backbone. Other notes are obvious pine, some faint pineapple, apricots, and alcohol. All around floral, minty, hoppy, and sweet.

Perfumey-like taste with dank bitter hops. Citrus and sweet notes are really upfront on the palette, whilst the bitter hops sort of surround them and makes the beer complete. Grapefruit peel and strong alcohol is heavily noticeable in the aftertaste. The other notes mentioned in the aroma take the backseat but are still present. Medium-bodied.

Jun 21, 2019
4.25 by Wrigfen from South Carolina on Jun 12, 2019
4 by Griffith from Connecticut on Jun 07, 2019
3.95 by mhe1931 from Michigan on Mar 14, 2019
Photo of rudiecantfail
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Hazy, burnt orange color. Thick, slightly off white head with very good retention and very good lacing.

S---Sweet & hoppy. Mostly citrus (orange/grapefruit/lemon), but some floral notes as well. Seems to promise a malt backbone in excess of what is advertised.

T---Definitely hop forward, as advertised. Strong citrus, as in the nose. A bit boozy, but with 10% ABV, no surprise. More malt & balance than advertised, which I find to be a good thing, not a problem. I know I'm imagining things, but I swear there's some chocolate in there at the finish.

F---A little astringent from the booziness/ABV. Very well carbonated. Very full mouthfeel. It definitely feels like something to take seriously.

O---This is a damn good beer. Full bodied and complexly flavored. I'll keep an eye out for this one in the future.

Jan 11, 2019
4.25 by jwat from Pennsylvania on Jan 07, 2019
Photo of OompaMentor
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by OompaMentor from Georgia

12/21/2018 (LF)

Jan 04, 2019
4.33 by kinmundy77 from Illinois on Jan 02, 2019
Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Red5StandingBy from Maryland


Dec 31, 2018
4.06 by MTKATL from Georgia on Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Marco188
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Marco188 from California

12oz single purchased bottle poured into a Mission Brewing IPA glass. Peach to Amber color with good head and great lace. You can smell the hops right away with hints of citrus as well. Taste is a mixture of bitter, peppery, malty, with a hit of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is smooth with medium to high carbonation for a DIPA. The high ABV gives a warm feel between an ordinary IPA and a barrel aged, yet maintains a good dryness and piney aftertaste. Overall this is a good IPA and well worth the price. Recommend trying it to whoever is on the fence.

Dec 04, 2018
4.38 by ju53o8nyg9 from Colorado on Dec 02, 2018
Photo of beersampler6
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by beersampler6 from Michigan

Not bad at all but just a tad too bitter for me, and I expected a little more juiciness to the hops. Pours a great dark golden-yellow color with abundant white foamy head and some nice spotty lingering lacing. Smells faintly of herbal hops, surprisingly not much else. Tastes strongly of some bitter grapefruit zest and a little lemon and pineapple. There’s also some faint herbal hops along with caramel, vanilla and a much weaker malt backbone. Smooth thin mouthfeel and great carbonation. Just wish it were more balanced and juicier, and that there wasn’t so much warming alcohol with the high ABV.

Nov 19, 2018
3.7 by Latarnik from New Jersey on Nov 09, 2018
Photo of GoBearsWalter34
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

Pores a hazy Peach with a very thin, white head. Leaves wonderful lacing throughout. Not much carbonation.
A wonderful smell of dankness, peach Orange grapefruit and other citrus. Also caramel malt, Oak. slight Cherry licorice, and Carmel malt.
Great hop bite up front with candied citrus fruit. Carmel malt and a pine finish with much resin.
Full bodies DIPA.

Nov 06, 2018
4.21 by ItsBeer4Me from Pennsylvania on Oct 24, 2018
3.54 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Oct 24, 2018
4.65 by corywalston from North Dakota on Oct 22, 2018
4.6 by CDBeerDisappear from Ohio on Oct 21, 2018
3.92 by fermentedbarley from New Hampshire on Oct 19, 2018
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(12 oz bottle, PKG 07/12/2018; purchased warm on singles shelf... left out of fridge for 55 min before pouring into a snifter)

L: peach-amber colored liquid, incredibly cloudy... tall, two-finger head on pour; cottony-plush, slow to recede... waited momentarily and poured in remaining 1-2 oz... laces like a true champion, but point off for this haze nonsense

S: candied lemon/lime, hint of spicy grapefruit, hint of spearmint... perfumy; berry-brandy booze... hint of pine peaking over the horizon in the back... strong intensity overall; aromas shot out upon crown removal... still loud volume after 3 months

T: dense, citrus-nectar-juicy up front; intensely citrus-pith and green tea tannic bitterness swelling up in the finish, long lasting through the aftertaste - almost has a fresh wormwood, menthol quality and intensity... while the bitterness holds firm, the malts and subtle decay of hops emerge forward and come into focus and a mild peppery note latches to the back of the palate, but beyond that point rather dry

F: ultra-smooth, blanket-soft, resinous wrap around what's at its core a relatively light body... the bitterness stings so good, snapping down on the tongue like a gator's bite... f'n spiked, resin-soaked malt nectar, very nice

O: purchased single bottle, impulse buy; seemingly at the end of its peak flavors?... is it supposed to be this cloudy?... loved its fantastically-aggressive bitterness and otherwise sedate, resinous goodness... very curious now about how a fresh bottle comes across, but either way this is right up my alley as far as IPAs go - wish I would've jumped on it sooner; still not used to Bell's being available in NJ...

Oct 16, 2018
4.39 by GlennWB from West Virginia on Oct 15, 2018
Photo of VoodooBear
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

Presentation: Draft, served in a snifter.

Appearance: It develops a one finger head that goes down into a foam layer that stays around until the end. It leaves some great lacing that covers the entire glass. Clear, Amber gold color.

Smell: Really hoppy with strong citrus peel and floral, perfume-like aromas up front with some malty notes in the background.

Taste: Very hop forward, which shows in the bitterness and citrus character. There are orange, tangerine and grapefruit notes with a boozy blanket over it all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. It goes down smooth.

Overall: It doesn't have your run-of-the-mill hoppy character. It's strong but subtle at the same time and the aromas and flavors are very pleasant. Even thought it's quite bitter and high in ABV, the fruit character keeps it drinkable.

Oct 13, 2018
Photo of haines710
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by haines710 from Delaware

I was hoping for something different. This beer is super bitter and dry and malty. I didn’t notice much citrus and found the after taste to be like cough syrup.

I picked up a single bottle at the supermarket and had high hopes in trying it. Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Nice head and great lacing. Taste is disappointing. Very malty on initial taste and then finishes very dry and bitter. I will pass on this. Have had much better DIPAs.

Oct 11, 2018
4.04 by blissfulNemo from Michigan on Oct 08, 2018
Photo of SaltofOH
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by SaltofOH from Ohio

Bottle dated 7/12/18. Michigan stout pint.

A: pours a hazy orange with1/4 finger sandy head, streaming carb. Retains that thin head all the way down, but little lacing to speak of.

S: fresh out of the fridge and the hops are screaming out of the glass: bright sweet citrus and pine with a pineapple or, date I say it, coconut, edge. As it warms develops floral, lavender, herbal, sweet tones. Smell is reminiscent of some highland single malt scotches.

T: sweet, thick, malty arrival. Bitter, tropical hop mid-palate. Again, something coconutty. Bold pine bitterness at the end. Lingering medicinal finish.

M:heftier side of mid weight, but high carbonation makes it feel light, and despite lingering medicinal hop bite, it is remarkably clean.

O: It’s a DIPA, all right. I know I like Bodhi better, but it is totally different. This is like Resin or LEM, and I think I like those better. This is fruitier (thank you Bell’s yeast) but less sweet. That coconut taste is really unique and interesting.

Oct 07, 2018
Photo of Jamhut1
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Jamhut1 from New Jersey

I have nothing but praise for this MASTERBREW. YUM!!!

Oct 03, 2018
4 by billbeers from Pennsylvania on Sep 30, 2018
4 by DougT from Ohio on Sep 29, 2018
Photo of Burgy
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Burgy from Minnesota

Poured into a pint glass; half-inch head. Has a hazy orange color.

I didn't love this beer, which is disappointing because I'm a big fan of Bell's, and DIPAs are right in my wheelhouse. The bottle says "intensely hopped" but it's more malty than anything. Not bad if that's how you like your IPAs, but it's not to my liking. Good mouthfeel, but otherwise unremarkable. Bell's does many things well, but I don't think I'll have this one again.

Sep 26, 2018
4 by Manthon from Pennsylvania on Sep 22, 2018
4.34 by wmcgar01 from Pennsylvania on Sep 21, 2018
The Oracle from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 2838 ratings