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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Ratings: 2,723 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Tawny colored with a good haze that makes it opaque. Fine-bubbled white head retains well. Thin sheets of lacing lazily slide back into the liquid.

S: Strong bouquet of pine. Pithy citrus fruits including grapefruit, pomelo, and blood orange. Apricot too. Sturdy bread and caramel malt base.

T: Pine and pine sap up front. Intense clamping bitterness. Ruby red grapefruit, blood orange, apricot. Perhaps some red fruits too. Bitterness spikes hard in the middle, where it meets a stiff alcohol presence. Toast, crust, and caramel malt flavors struggle to keep up, but do just enough to balance adequately. Long and bitter finish of bracing hop oils.

M: Big and thick in the mouth. Chewy and creamy-smooth. Stiff blast of fine carbonation.

O: This breed of double IPA is starting to become more scarce now that the less bitter Southern Hemisphere hop strains are all the rage, and now that malt profiles in IPAs are largely shrinking. Here we have an intense but controlled onslaught of American hops in all their bombastic, bitter, pine-and-citrus glory. The malt backbone is necessarily hefty to support the hopping, and it is unabashedly big and even a bit boozy. Loud, bold, and brawny. There's nothing small about it, and that's exactly what you should love about it. It's like a 70s muscle car. There will always be a place in a beer geek's heart for a brew like this.

 1,415 characters

Photo of taospowder
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$4.00 single from Abe's.

Bright shiny copper body, plenty of chill haze, topped by four fingers of bubbly just-off-white foam. Good lacing.

Huge enticing, inviting, assertive aroma mixing pine and big citrus is evident as soon as the cap pops, and only improves with the pour.

Strong sturdy semi-sweet malt foundation. Plenty of juicy fruit. Sample of pine. Big blast of long lingering bitterness.

Good medium plus mouthfeel carries it all aggressively across the tongue and approaches chewy.

A must try DIPA when available for all IPA fans. And a wonderful reminder that HopSlam is coming.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass bottled on 7/26/16. Pours a very dark orange with a 2 finger off white head, that clings to the glass.

Smell is apricot, tangerine, pine, and grapefruit rind.

Taste is much more aggressive, add some dankie marijuana flavor I didn't really get from the nose and man this thing is really awesome! Pine and grapefruit are really big and maybe a little alcohol lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is almost large for the style, the perfect amount of life, maybe a touch dry, and for 10% ABV this drinks far to easy. Excellent beer, thanks @jzeilinger for sharing one of these.

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Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of lemmy187
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Mersh
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of babaracas
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear bright copper with one finger of dense creamy foam; spray of lace down the glass. Smell: ripening melon, orange peel, spicy and slightly resinous. Majorly underpowered. Taste: a pop of grapefruit peel, then quite spicy with pine needles galore, fading into a very tea-like back. Residual orange marmalade. Medium bodied; oily hop and booze really undercut the otherwise stellar creamy feel, finish tries to dry out but is still oily and quite bitter. It's alright. There are at least a dozen better wide distribution DIPAs for far less scratch.

 558 characters

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

Photo of atsprings
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was worried that I had missed my opportunity to try this beer this year. The few stores in my area that got some in sold out almost immediately. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Flying Saucer had got some bottles of it as well. 12oz bottle into a tulip glass pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin khaki head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is nice fragrant floral citrus hops in front of caramel malts. The taste is loads of citrus hops alongside a nice amount of sweet caramel malts. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with a slight dryness smoothing things out. This is a very enjoyable DIPA, one I was very glad to get to try and one I will certainly have again.

 726 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a trade with TasteTester - thanks for the hookup!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bell's Pint Glass.

A - golden orange. Really looks nice but nothing insane. Small white head that sticks around, probably stuck to the hop oils ;)

S - smells of spicy hops, a bit of citrus (I've had more citrus-y beers), but mostly a nice dank hoppy spice. Not too pine-y - I've had a few beers that exhibit the same smells, but this puts them all together really well!!

T - WOAH! Two sips totally destroyed my palette. Seriously dank, hoppy, bitter, and ruinous. I like DIPA's all day, but I must admit I tend to like just a little more balance - this is waaay bitter and lingers on and on. I would like this more if they had chosen going one of two ways, with the decision between a sweeter malt or a slightly more citrus-y sweet hop (this is more spicey to me than others have described). Finishes a bit too hot for my tastes, but gets much more tolerable when paired with a salty snack.

M - Mouthfeel is exceptional, like Hopslam - these little bubbles won't quit. Carb is perfect, just perfect mouth on a DIPA. Bells is king of this.

D - Drinkability is hard to rate honestly. I could drink many more, but would I taste them? Above average but not A material IMO.

I was lucky enough to score a 6 pack, so I'll need to give it another shot or 5. Good, but not legendary - I'd take Hopslam 1,000,000x's over this, but glad to have tried it. This is for those who like their hops spicey, bold, and unforgiving. All in all, glad to see Bell's still pushing new flavors. This just isn't anything monumental to me.

 1,616 characters

Photo of Inglewood
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of _morandi_
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of gregcordle
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hallertau
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of pisano
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drbenderdo
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MacStinson
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of lackenhauser
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy and fuzzy orange color. Nice head on top. Big citrusy aroma though is somewhat sweaty like. Big hop bitterness right upfront. Tongue stripping hop goodness with a very solid malt backbone. A tad boozey and faintly sweet. Love the mouthfeel-very solid, almost syrupy which I love, and the puckering of the hops just does it for me. A damn fine beer all around. While it is a bit boozey that comes into play across the board and makes for quite an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of logicalparadox
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Total Wine in Dunedin. Bottled date of 8/11/11. Poured into a snifter. Nice clear orange color with an amazing thick white heading. Left tightly bubbled rings throughout the tasting around the glass.

Right out of the gate crazy hoppy aroma. Nice secondary of some tropical fruit and decent sweet malty background. Just an overwhelming floral aroma though takes the cake.

Taste starts out a little fruity nothing insane just a jab of this and then wham a heavy hoppy intrusion invades the palate and shreds it to pieces. It is prolonged by a heavy sugary hot alcohol that just sits on the palate and scolds it.

Mouth is medium bodied, excellent carbonation, thick and sugary on the palate but is smooth.

All and all a great IIPA but it did leave a hot boozey feeling the stomach and on the palate. Hopslam is still king here but this isn't a bad second.

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