The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle

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

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

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Reviews: 786 | Ratings: 2,714
Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 bottle into a stem glass. Packaged on 8/08/15.

LOOK: Cloudy golden orange with a thin white head.

SMELL: Grapefruit, orange, apricot, pine, caramel, toast, and booze.

TASTE: Thick, interestingly balanced, warm. Nice grapefruit, orange, lemon, apricot, and pine hops flavors balanced against sweet malt notes of caramel, toast, and honey. The alcohol is quite noticeable, too. Warm on the swallow.

FEEL: Full-bodied. Creamy carbonation. Nice and thick for an IPA, almost as thick as stout. Sticky hoppy aftertaste of grapefruit, orange peel, and pine.

TASTE: While I have had better double/triple IPAs, this is pretty damn tasty. Worth buying, for certain.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap in a tulip, the beer is a hazy, caramel orange coloring with a tall, foamy, bubbly, off white head. Aromas of orange rind, pine resin, grapefruit, pineapple, subtle caramel, and a grassy highlight. Flavors are tart and bitter forward, heavy on grapefruit and tropical fruit, with a resinous pine pitch and bitter mossy undertone. Very balanced on a full, robust, dry body. Aftertaste is very dry and bitter, with a tropical fruit sweet blending with all the hops notes. Smooth and dry finish, with a resinous linger.

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Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, yellow-brown in color, with amazing one inch head. Wow what a hops assault. Bells is not fooling around here. Get pine and grapefruit hops with a bit of lemon. There might be a tad bit of malt, but there is not much to speak of. This is the definition of a sipper. Really good and hoppy beer. Could only do one in a session, but will get this again if I want a super hoppy beer.

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Photo of jooler
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Initial smell is of cigarettes and initial taste is sweet but extremely alcoholic. It is a good balance of hops an malts but the alcoholic boozy taste ruins it for me

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Photo of morimech
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

07/10/15 Bottle date so getting a little old.

Hazy orange color with two fingers of head that settled to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass during consumption. Sure is a looker.

Good hoppy aroma of citrus. Notes of orange, grapefruit, and possibly pineapple. There is a malty component that gives a bit of a toffee note.

The hops are strong in the flavor. I get a lot of orange, little bit of grapefruit, pineapple, tropical fruit like mango or passion fruit. Enough malt sweetness is present to not make this a punishing bitter DIPA and one dimensional.

Lovely body and carbonation. Full body and luscious texture.

Very enjoyable DIPA that I find harder and harder to enjoy. I liked the hop choices and the little bit of malt that dampens the massive bitterness.

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Photo of mabermud
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Opaque, dark orange body. Fine, puffy, white head. Stickier lacing than most. The sun does not penetrate this fine beverage. Extremely attractive.
Smell: Sweetened and balanced tropical fruit with citrus, plus a good dose of pine.
Taste: Some sharp orange and grapefruit hops. Nice and balanced flavor. For me, this has a longer finish.
Feel: Sincere. Silky or creamy? Chewy ending. I like it.

Overall - Nice hop foundation. This beer looks awesome and also has a nice chewy and smooth fell in the mouth. This is one I would have again. Not bad at all.

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Photo of ARoman
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The aroma is a bright toffee, tropical, floral citrus blend with an undertones of light woody, alcohol, and burnt molasses; not too similar from a fresh barleywine. It pours a murky pale orange with a white, small suds, filmy head that has good retention and lace. It's highly bitter with a medium citrus sweet, but the bitterness dampens with warmth. The texture is chewy, sticky, and a bit syrupy with a fuzzy carbonation and a full body. The palate contains a strong grain character with a burnt quality as well as bitter citrus, wax, floral, and a strengthening caramel note late. The finish is initially crisp zippy with a bread crust quality although it loses this edge with warnth and turns smooth and syrupy. There's a resinous and waxy, cloying aftertaste with notes of bitter cough medicine and a strong bitter floral; overall it's aftertaste is prominent and lingering. This definitely qualifies as a west coast palate wrecker, and best served at cellar temp.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle (bottled 7/10) into a Bell's snifter

a: golden apricot with a little haze and a nice 1 finger creamy that sticks around alright. great lacing.
s: some clovery floral notes, sweet mandarin oranges, caramel & honey, little edge of pine. fairly sweet (which I don't usually like, but this I like a lot)
t & m: like the nose, but more towards the floral and pine side of things than the juicy fruit. This is potent and a little boozy, very warming. really nice bitterness that lingers and is a very pleaseant complement to how sweet everything seems initially.

i prefer this one to love the label

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip and consumed around 58-60° F.

Appetizing in appearance, with a nice fluffy and persistent white head, and lacing that easily lasts the time it takes to consume the beer.

Smell is a blast of roses, hibiscus, tangerines, grass, hints of pine, white and black pepper, seven-grain crackers, and a whiff of honey and caramel.

Upfront, the taste is a war between flowery, piney, peppery, and tangerine-kissed hops and those aforementioned cracker-esque malts. A whiff of booziness appears on the mid-palate, along with more pepper, pine and juniper, and a dry, toasty malt flavor reminiscent of sprouted-grain bread. Finish is fairly dry, with herbal, evergreen hop flavors leading, if slightly, malty notes of toasted walnuts, wheat bread, and buckwheat honey. Let this beer warm well before serving, sip slowly, and revel in delightfully old-school flavors done very well, indeed.

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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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 fl oz. bottle with a bottling date of 10 July 2015.

The off-white head is exceptionally creamy, holds up well, and leaves plenty of sticky lacing on the glass. The body is hazy amber-copper.

Aroma: Chiefly fruity hops with some faint floral notes but no sign of malt. Misleadingly suggests a sweet and tart flavor. Gets more complex upon warming.

Taste: loads of hops, including citrus, floral and pine notes. A bit boozy with hints of tangerine peel, apricots and oranges. Moderate-high bitterness but with some sweetness and without a complete overload of bitter grapefruit peel in the aftertaste.

Overall: fine example of the DIPA style.

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Photo of rudzud
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade, poured into my Duvel tulip. Fresh bottle

A - Pours a hazy golden orange hue with a nice one finger creamy white head that fades slowly to leave sticky lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of sweeter caramel malts, little bit of citrus rind and a little bit of pine resin.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Lots of bitter pine, loads of malts here along with some sweetness. The citrus is subdued as this is mostly a pine sap bomb. Fair amount of alcohol on the pallet too. Very reminiscent of DFH 120.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit sticky and hot from the ABV, but it still isn't that bad.

O - Overall, this certainly is how big DIPAs were 5+ years ago. Malty and straight up bitter. That being said with advancements in hops this flavour profile is really starting to be left behind in the dust of big fruity DIPAs. Still though, for what it is this isn't a bad beer.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Nice, thick and rich soapy head appears and stays, leaving tick amounts of lacing behind. The aroma is of a freshly opened can of mandarin oranges in heavy syrup poured over freshly cut grass. More sweet than floral. Taste is smooth and the ABV is well hidden, although there is some warmth. A bite of pine resin, with a honey smoothness in taste and feel. One to have again and again.

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Photo of GlassOfHops
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this beer is frickin awesome.

Beautiful beer a slightly hazy orange with a pillowy white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing.

Smell isnt anything extraordinary but some nice citrus coming through.

Taste is an abrasive grapefruit hoppyness that i love. A little bit of booze comes through but not overwhelming.

Nice mouthfeel to it not too thick not too oily slick.

Well done bells. Will be buying more while its around.

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Photo of Hoppity1
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is a miss in my book. I love most Bells beer that I've had. This looked very good, smelled ok but the taste was a major letdown. All I got was piney bitter with hardly any change in the aftertaste. I like bitter, but I want it to go somewhere else from the initial taste through the aftertaste, and it didn't. It reminded me of 1492, the only TG beer that I didn't like.

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3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pillow like tan head jumps to three inches with a moderate pour. Head retention is very good and turns to lumpy biscuit dough looking foam in my glass as it slowly fades. Lots of lace is left behind. Body is a murky orange amber in tone. Nose has notes of orange peel and fresh opened mandarine oranges with a hint of fresh cut greens. With first sip you get a blast of piney resin and sharp bitter balanced alcohol bite on the front of the tongue. The real standout flavor on subsequent sips is the bitter hop resins that lay like a hop blanket on the palate. Very dry and bitter and it almost lacks the malt balance that you get with most DIPA's that reach this alcohol level. This is not a bad beer at all but it is brutally bitter.

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Photo of KensWorld
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a monster of a beer! Wow, extremely hoppy. Hoppy but in a positive way. This might be one of the most extreme DIPA's out there and at 10% be careful! 4.00

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Photo of richj1970
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle dated 7/10/2015 into snifter.

A: Golden yellow with two finger white head that lasts forever and leaves heavy lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pineapple, and oranges.

T: Citrus hops mixed with a balanced malt backbone. Grapefruit and pineapple with some slight honey sweetness.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Some hop resins lingering on the tongue.

O: Very nice beer. Just wished I could have landed more than one single bottle.

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Photo of TooGood
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lighter golden with excellent lacing. Smell is hop heavy with sweet overtones. Taste is sweet up front with a bitter back end, but no bitter aftertaste. Feel is very creamy and the beer really coats your tongue.

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Photo of Beer-vortex
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/10/15. 12oz.

After very good smoke it pours a wonderful hazy tangerine orange color with a 1 finger head that fades slowly. The nose is strong, sweet citrus, with hops, and caramel in there, as well. The taste is also very much sweet citrus, with some very nice pine in there, too. That’s up front. On the back end, some solid hop bitterness; much more than some of the other Bell's IPA's I have tried. It does back off a bit as the beer warms.

I am getting some alcohol but it’s 10% ABV so there. Excellent carbonation. World class lacing.

This is a different offering than Hopslam or Two Hearted altogether. What separates it is the bitterness; way more pronounced than the other two. I like it. The bottled date was clearly printed on the label.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, bottled 7/ /15, poured into Hopslam snifter

A- pours a hazy golden-orange color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a think film floating on top, some lacing left behind

S- citrus & pine dominant aroma up front with notes of citrus peel & some subtle floral hops lingering. Underlying alcohol and sugary malt

T- lots of piney and citrus hops up front with some resin notes, big hit of sweet malts hits mid-palate, followed by some alcohol, more sweet malt on the linger with some piney hops poking through

M- heavy viscous body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a chewy finish with plenty of alcohol linger

O- super boozy, which tends to outweigh the hop bitterness a bit, definitely a sipper

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Photo of oldn00b
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

07/2015 bottle poured into IPA glass.

Pours a clear dark orange, nice pillowy head. Gorgeous DIPA.

Nose is muted hops and decent malt forward. Not what I expected.

Flavor on this seems off to me - huge amounts of malt and a really subdued hop profile. I feel like this must have spent days in the back of a hot truck. Malt forward and hops there but thinner than expected and not really all that pleasant.

Glad I got to try it but what I have definitely doesn't stand up to the hype.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

07/2015 bottle served in a pint glass.

Bright orange color with a thick and frothy head from the hard pour. Nose is piney, heavy citrus, grapefruit, oranges, dank and bold with spicy hop character. The taste is strong and follows the nose with the grapefruit and piney quality. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected and the 10% ABV is hidden well however not necessary. I liked this one. I was left impressed with the 2 bottle limit at one of my local bottle shops.

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Photo of jopezu
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

deep hazy orange, thick head settles quickly. nose; floral hops, orange peel, slight sticky sweet fruit (pineapple & light mango) and booze. the taste follows the nose, except a much juicier orange flavor and a slight sting from the 10% abv. massively bitter with a surprisingly small malt profile, which leaves the bitters, florals and fruit flavors to work their magic with each sip and without the frothy buildup that accompanies heavily malted double ipa's. finish is slightly dry and very bitter, with the sweet fruits still hanging around. this brew makes me imagine a bell's two-hearted with a shot in the arm (and a touch more orange juice). a definite winner for me!

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful orangish-gold hazy beer drank out of a snifter. Smell didn't overwhelm me. Tasted like pine, grass, and hops, but not an overwhelming hop bomb, the 10% ABV is well hidden. I didn't really get as much of the citris fruit flavors as some have mentioned, to me this was a very Earthy brew. Definitely satisfying. I sure wish I had bought more than one single when I had the chance.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,714 ratings.
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