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:
454
Gots:
417
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,723 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of JohnG190
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, dark gold with a medium white head. Decent lacing. Aroma of pine resin gives way to grapefruit and toasted malts. Hop bitterness followed by apricot and grapefruit zest finish with pine and herbal notes at the back of the palate. Finishes dry and bitter. Full bodied with good carbonation. Overall, a well crafted DIPA.

 335 characters

Photo of Chiefilliniwek
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bells Oracle

Appearance: The “other” DIPA from Bells pours a beautifully rich, slightly hazy golden orange of a ridiculously effervescent quality. It is crowned with an utterly perfect two fingers of cream-colored head that is as dense as homemade whipped cream; it flatly refuses to dissipate, almost to a fault, and, when it eventually does dissipate (which required drinking some first), it leaves heaps of lacing all over the glass. This beer looks absolutely magnificent and ranks among the best looking beers out there. 5/5

Aroma: Oracle explodes out of the glass with a blast of extremely dank pine resin, intense lemon and grapefruit rind (but not a hint of the sweeter flesh of either fruit), grassiness, and perhaps the tiniest suggestion of orange and pineapple. The malt bill is very clean and somewhat weak but does impart a slight twinge of sweetness. The alcohol is really the only detectable sweetness in the beer. This is outrageously intense to the point of being overwhelming. Imagine Hopslam on steroids minus the balancing quality of the honey sweetener. 4/5

Taste: If possible, the taste takes the aroma up yet another notch in bitterness. This Bells offering is ludicrously bitter, and this fact cannot be stressed enough. Despite the sweet alcohol and the minimal malt bill noted in the nose, have no illusions: this is not even close to balanced. It is nothing but a piney, grassy, rind-y assault so over the top that no other flavors are even detectable, other than an exceedingly mild sweetness in the back end that ends up feeling like five-minute rain shower in the Sahara. It is strange, but the bitterness in this beer is a bit herby and vegetal, almost like really fresh kale (without the taste of kale) or chewing a mouthful of fresh cut grass. There is not much depth or balance here. In a word: intense. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: The viscosity is very moderate, exactly where one would want it in a beer like this. Unsurprisingly, the astringency scorches the tongue and mouth nearly to the point of unpleasantness, which also makes the finish insanely dry. Carbonation is perfect, and the beer is surprisingly drinkable (or would be if it were not so impossibly bitter). Each sip leaves a nice stickiness on the lips. The mouthfeel is exactly where it should be if it were not for the overdone astringency. 4/5

Overall: Wow. Just wow. I did not know what to expect coming into this beer, but Hopslam this is not. This is without a doubt the most bitter beer I have ever drank, and I’ve had Palate Wrecker, Ruination, Abrasive, Arctic Panzer Wolf, Double Sunshine, Resin, etc. Mark this down as the only beer I have ever had trouble finishing alone due only to the bitterness. I would say that this is the hop-lover’s dream, but I am a hop lover, and this was still too much. With a more assertive malt bill, Oracle could really shine; it need not be totally balanced or anything, but some semblance or hint of balance has got to make itself known. The beer is top notch in craftsmanship and to style (if ultra-bitter DIPA is a style), but when I have trouble finishing a 12 oz. of this and can put down bombers of Arctic Panzer Wolf with no trouble, well, there might be a problem. Looking at other reviews, I feel like there must be a lot of bottle variation with this beer, since I got almost nothing but resin, but others note ample tropical fruit. Regardless, in summation, seek this out if you are a masochist. 16.5/20

 3,463 characters

Photo of caponeduke
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of bob_d_j
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of TerrapinX
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of hopswap1
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of cestlavie
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of t8dd
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of oN3xM
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of thecheapies
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow-peach color has a beautiful glow to it. A thumb of head looked nice at its peak, and fell at an accelerated pace with limited stickage.

Powerful malt presence in the nose without it being too sweet or to toasty. In retrospect, it doesn't take away from an even piney/citrusy hop. Notes of caramelized peach, soft pine, dank resinous citrus, and a floral air.

Dank citrus, pine, and stone fruits with a caramelly barleywine malt smack. Big alcohol presence that never crashes, just feels big. It's like it should be, in other words. Hoppiness is okay, not huge like I would've expected. Could pass for a hoppy barleywine, but I like the hop profile.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly lighter-bodied, which allows a squeal of alcohol to leak through, but the threshold is at the brink of tolerable in such a way that is exceeding of expectations. Carbonation has some gusto, but stays backways. I like this kind of a DIPA in the feel category.

Love holding this sixer after years of waiting to try it. It's not 'outta-this-world' good, just really good. I approve.

 1,074 characters

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Barhoppin13
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of McHenry
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of dar482
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(2016)
The beer comes in a medium hazy deep gold.

The aroma is a touch muted. Sweet grapefruit, hints of caramel, sweet fresh bread, onto dank, onion, chive, garlic, earthy, resin.

The beer hints of lots of resin and huge piney bitterness throughout, full on. There's some grapefruit marmalade upfront and caramel and bready, only hidden by an almost abrasive and sticky bitterness of earthy, resin, dank.

(2014)
The aroma has juicy citrus and grapefruit, floral, resinous pine, and some caramel malt.

The flavor follows with a pop of big sweetness on the front. Lots of malt on this beer with a bit of grapefruit peel and lots of leafy green pine on the back.

 665 characters

Photo of davemathews68
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Oliversarmy1085
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Reappropriated
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of weonfire
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of FrankHammer
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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.