The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,723 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
2,723
Reviews:
787
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
10.58%
 
 
Wants:
453
Gots:
417
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,723 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of fehrminator
3.11/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of Jchavez111
3.12/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

The initial taste is everything you would expect from a boozy double IPA from Bells. It has a very satisfying bitterness and full-flavored kick at the beginning but what kills it for me is the aftertaste. The bitterness lingers for a much longer time than preferred. I wouldn't buy this beer again solely due to the ever-lasting aftertaste.

 340 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%

Photo of denver10
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%

Pours gold with a white head. Aroma of some biscuit, honey and alcohol hit first, grapefruit, its rind, and pine follows. Flavor follows suit but with a mellow sweetness I did not detect from the aroma. As someone who is not a fan of alcohol showing itself in his hoppy beers, not excited at the heat display here. A crisp, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, the heat to this one really holds me back from being able to get too into this but it also wasn't enough to totally ruin it for me either. Not one I would revisit.

 514 characters

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.16/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of chaz410
3.17/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at Common Market.
Pours a beautiful orange tinted amber body with a half finger width white head.
Smells of grapefruit, pine and grassy hops with a very heavy caramel and toasted malt character.
Taste more like an imperial pale ale than an imperial IPA. It has a very smooth orange and caramel blend character with lots of hints of pine, pineapple, apple, and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth.
It is very easy to drink dispite the ABV and the syle

 477 characters

Photo of lanciloti
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly murky copper color. The head is a finger high, and off-white in shade. Retention is excellent, and the head manages to leave behind thick webs of lacing.

Compared to a lot of new-school DIPAs running around these days, this beer's aroma is classically old-school. A hefty backbone of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee is not only backed by an assertive pine bitterness, but also by some fruity ale esters and a touch of alcohol. It's a throwback, but is that bad? Everything seems to come together nicely, and that's what counts.

Tasting it, the malt comes across heavily like a barleywine - as does the finishing bitterness. It starts with plenty of crystal malts, meaning lots of caramel and toffee appears. Piny, grassy hops slowly build near the back end. Quite a bit of alcohol comes through at first. For better or worse, it's a textbook old-school DIPA - it isn't as delicately balanced as the nose suggested, either.

Despite the fairly full, heavy feel, it finishes quite dry. There is a mild burn, however. Nonetheless, the drinkability is surprisingly good for 10% (aided by gently rolling carbonation)

Hrm. I definitely don't think it's worth it's exorbitant price or mild rarity, but it's a fine DIPA taken in a vacuum. However, there are many superior examples of the style available locally (to me), and that makes this hard to return to at the end of the day.

3.21/5: I've heard your wisdom plenty of times before, Mr. Oracle

 1,463 characters

Photo of Boilerup
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of caskstrength
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wherefore The Oracle??

First off, I know it's ultimately insignificant, but how stupid is the "DoubleIndiaPaleAle Ale" label.

anyway....

pours nice. enough head. DIPA appearances as expected.

Smell is pineapple. whoa. some orange, but mostly pineapple.

Tates are tropical hops. alcohol. decent balancing malts. A tropical fruit DIPA, but the bar has been set high for Bells here. And this is simply OK. Not much fresh, juicy zest. A bit thick. Flavors not bouncing around at all. Boozier than I wanted, didn't help the profile.

More carbonation and lighter mouthfeel would have helped.

An OK pineapple forward DIPA. But it's not as good as hopslam or 2hearted, and I don't see much reason for its existence. Not sure what Bells is doing here.

 754 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazy, just enough to keep it from transparency. Orange amber brew topped by a nice flat white head with decent retention, and very nice lacing.

Huge caramel malt and brown sugar aroma, with a slight hint of stale cardboard sneaking in. Bottled 48 days ago, so freshness really shouldn't be that big a factor.

Flavor follows: big, malty DIPA, with a huge emphasis on caramel (and pale) malts, a touch of brown sugar, straw, and grainy bread. Beer is hugely bitter with little in the way of hop flavor. Pine definitely stands out, and some non-specific citric acid. It doesn't really hit as stale; it hits as drily malty.

Mouthfeel is fine; beer is very lively, with little sting, and despite the very high ABV, there's only a tinge of heat on the very back-end.

I don't quite get the hype. It's impressively bitter, and some malt-forward DIPAs work out well, but this one doesn't have enough sweetness to carry that task.

 933 characters

Photo of blatantlocalism
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of hopkrid
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ms333
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of cosmonick
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ChristopherBates
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of NuckleDragger
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of crowbar540
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of gwiedman1
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of MisfitIK-9
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ToddThompson
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Envelopes
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,723 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.