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The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
2,724 Ratings
The OracleThe Oracle
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,388
Reviews:
787
Ratings:
2,724
pDev:
10.58%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
452
Gots:
418
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,724 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of Sabtos
2.71/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Light copper with a thin khaki ring.

Aromas of pungent, almost catty hops, with hot grapefruit pith, and a grainy malt background.

Taste is real hot and spicy hops and booze, yet softened by frothy grapefruit rind and zest, and pine.

Devil Dancer light, if that's anywhere remotely possible as a thing.

 305 characters

Photo of rpstevens
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of rand
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle to tulip glass

Gorgeous copper-tan appearance, a big fluffy head never fully recedes and completely coats the glass with lacing.

Big, bold, sharp aromas. Notes of ripe citrus, orange rind and pine resin up against a giant malt backbone - sugary and grainy. All ushered by ample alcohol volatiles.

Aggressively hop-forward on the palate. Sharp, bitter, rough. After an onslaught of astringent hops, treacly malt syrup rolls in upon a vain attempt to balance. Lots of earthy tea-like residuals linger, along with hot booze. Finishes with a long close, and a coating of bitter residual between sips. The brew is a chore to drink.

A West Coast IPA this is not. Not even close. This is a hoppy barleywine, and not very good one at that. This confirms my suspicion of East Coast bias (or east of the West Coast bias) on this site - this beer has higher scores than a lot of local IPA's that blow this out of the water on every level.

 956 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, dated 8/12/11, courtesy of Memyselfandi. Thanks Mike!

The Oracle pours a dark amber color with a finger of white head. The foam dissipates leaving sticky lacing and a thick coaster. The nose is citrus hops and caramel malt. Taste mirrors the nose with big orange and grapefruit up front. Hoppy bitterness is followed by a wave of sweet caramel malt. The hops never quite make a comeback and as a result the finish is sweet and boozy. Feel is thick and sticky with a low level of carbonation. Overall I found The Oracle to be a bit too malty, boozy and sweet. Almost in barleywine territory in my opinion. Glad I had the opportunity.

 646 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of RyanPoff
2.83/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up from Whole Foods.

A: A hazy apricot glow with about two fingers of off white head and excellent retention. Awesome.

S: Floral hops and quite a bit of sweetness/sugar. Almost like cotton candy or bubble gum. Could use a little more in your face hops at the front.

T: A lot of piney and citrus hops. A weird candy, gum taste with a weird astringency and sour aftertaste. i couldn't finish it.

M: Nothing was bad about it, but I hated the test.

I wouldn't buy this again. Maybe I got a bad bottle or something, but this just didn't do it for me at all.

 565 characters

Photo of Jaywalsh20
2.9/5  rDev -30.3%

Photo of ajm5108
2.91/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Not much head / carbonation on the pour. Aroma has lots of floral & citrus hops, with a little dry Mosaic undernote. This one is a bit too aggressive for me, there isn't any balance of flavors, just an overload of grapefruit / pine resin, with a piquant stab of fusel alchohol on the end. As IPAs have evolved over the past couple of years plenty of beers have shown there graceful ways to present that classic hop bitterness without assaulting the drinker. This beer has all the grace of an elephant on ice skates. If one-note "hop bombs" are your thing, drink away, but this one is a pass for me.

 598 characters

Photo of Nichols33
2.92/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Shafaegalo
2.94/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Cresant
2.96/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Batch 9901. 12 oz. brown bottle. The body was deep golden body and had a creamy two fingers of yellowy head. Lightly hazy body topped with a film of head that stayed throughout.

The smell was fresh bread and oranges. Piney, even slightly cat piss like. Sweet and spicy. Grapefruit pith and marmalade. Alcohol was evident.

The taste was citrusy and had a long oily bitter finish. Alcohol was a bit too evident. I did not like this one at all the first time time I had it, but enjoyed it more the second time.

The mouthfeel was heavy to full. Slightly under-carbonated.

 604 characters

Photo of 7ways
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear orange amber with a dish soap head. The color is pretty brilliant. No head retention, which kept it from being a 5.

The aroma is just as good. Big leafy oranges, sweet grass, mint, mellow malt in the background. This is the kind of aroma that brings back childhood memories.

And then the taste slams me back into the present. There's a sense of loss because it doesn't taste nearly as good as it smells. The orange has become bitter orange peels and sap. Fusel alcohol pretty much dominates. I think that with some age this will become a pretty good barleywine.

Oily, heavy, and undercarboated.

Hopslam is a 10% beer I can hang with. This is not.

 664 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
2.99/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottled 7/10/15

Look - Awesome honey color, hazed
Smell - Floral, herbal, malty, dank
Taste - Overly floral/herbal. A little dank. Crazy bitter and astringent. Almost hard to drink.
Feel - Slightly creamy. Sticky and dry

Overall - This beer was a huge disappointment for me. Maybe I got to it past it's prime. It was kept cool though and figured the 10%ABV would make it hold up a little longer. Who knows. This one was tough to finish. Not my cup of tea.

 460 characters

Photo of gspeicher
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of nograz
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of RandyJ
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Anonymous1
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of LodiRigglesbee
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Luk13
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of irv2424
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of cardinals22
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of dsalmons
3/5  rDev -27.9%

2014 release

Super boozy and sharp finish. Undesirable overall. Perhaps it could age a bit and mellow out.

107 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of olliegaff
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of james582
3/5  rDev -27.9%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,724 ratings
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