The Oracle | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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The OracleThe Oracle
2,732 Ratings
The OracleThe Oracle

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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: 2,732 |  Reviews: 788
Photo of hopkrid
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of johnsonni
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MWolverines66
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of brewdog444
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of lobos62
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of plinythederek
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of rangerred
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear light gold with a pretty thick one finger white head. Large chunks of lacing cling to the sides of the glass. A very good looking beer for this strength.

Aroma is chock full of tropical fruit along with pine. A very juicy aroma that is quite inviting and mouth-watering.

Lots of juicy citrus in the flavor as well with only the slightest hint of booziness. Nothing like what would be expected of a beer that is 10%. There are some layers of pine underneath the citrus along with a fairly strong bready malt backbone. Bitterness is quite high as is the dryness. The dry mouthfeel really impresses me and makes this beer quite drinkable.

Overall, an absolutely outstanding IIPA and one of the best I have had. Many beers like this are a sweet, boozy mess but this one manages to pack in the alcohol but not the sweetness withough sacrificing body. An awesome beer.

 908 characters

Photo of Kevin_Siqveland
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

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Photo of Chiefilliniwek
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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

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3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of hopswap1
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of t8dd
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

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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

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4/5  rDev -3.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,732 ratings