The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

The OracleThe Oracle
2,724 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,724 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of AlexChillton
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StrongAleSkeptic
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm stoked this has finally arrived in AZ!
A - Pours a light amber hue with abundant head of various sized bubbles. Settles nicely but retains a thick film of head, lacing heavily on the glass of the tulip.
S - Complex bouquet of floral and piny hops. Citrus and pine resins dominate the aroma character with a subtle light roasted malt backbone. Clean light grain notes interspersed.
T - Soft and warm bitterness intensifies into a complexity of hops. There a touch of citrus, mango, stone fruit mingled with a resiny pine and earthy tone. Domineering residual bitterness is slow to fade after the sip, with a spiciness that lingers on the palate. Very well balanced against the final gravity. Tinge of sweetness that is whisked away in wonderful hop nectar.
M - Warm, wet mouthfeel with a heavier-medium body. Still quite quaffable. Smooth as can be with just a faint hint at the attenuation capacity in the warmth.
O - I have been waiting quite some time to try this after finally falling in love with hopslam five-ish years ago. I had the pleasure of working with a few people from Michigan who couldn't stop raving about this offering. I can finally say it did not disappoint and exceeded expectation. Warm and smooth all around with an intense hop backbone that is still able to tip the scales at such a high gravity.

 1,325 characters

Photo of st9647v3
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of McAndrew
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StoutSeth
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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

12oz. bottle with a label that looks like a cover of a book. On this label is the name of the beer in gold lettering and the silhouette of a person reading a book. All of this is surrounded by a gold border. The neck label simply has a gold "O" in it. The back label has all the mandatory US info, a very brief description of the beer, and a packaged date. My bottle was packaged on 8/9/2013. This beer is too special for an ordinary pint glass. So I poured it into a Peg's Cantina Snifter instead.

From behind the book cover, came a Double IPA that was a nice tangerine orange with a sprinkle of copper toward the bottom. I've had a few Double IPAs in the past that were extremely hazy. The haziness level on this one was very moderate. You could still see through this beer. There weren't any hop particles floating around in the beer. On top of this beer was a somewhat fluffy cotton white head of foam. Not egg shell white. Pure white in color. This head of foam had great retention that left behind a big fat string of white rings and numerous small blots and streaks of lace. Overall, it had a nice solid clear appearance. No complaints here.

Ok! Who's the wise guy who put Pixie Sticks into my DIPA? When it was first poured, I got a strong whiff of candi sugar and not much else. I was a little disappointed by that at first. When the beer settled down, the Candi Sugar aroma had decreased and there was a blend of tropical fruits and citrus fruits along with citrus hops waiting for my nose to smell. For the fruit punch, I was able to pick out pineapple, a pinch of mango, plenty of grapefruit, and a splash of lemon zest. Quickly following the fruits was the strong aroma of dry and bitter citrus hops. The hoppy aroma lingers on for some time before it lets through a subtle whiff of toasted malts. Even though the hop aroma was on the strong side, it wasn't an over zealous hoppy aroma.

This is one of those beers that tasted almost like it smelled. Those two weren't too far off. This beer almost tasted like the second wave aroma to be exact. There was no strong Candi Sugar presence in the taste. It was hard for my tastebuds to tell where the fruits started and the hops ended. It tasted like it rolled everything into one big fruity/hoppy taste. This big jumble of a taste included a big dried citrus hop bite, tart grapefruit, a pinch of pineapple, a drop of mango, a splash of lemon zest, and a subtle taste of pine. Pine? Where did that come from? That came out of nowhere. It must have arrived with the hops. There was no malt in the taste. If there was, the hops covered them up.

10% ABV? Really? I thought it tasted more like it was in the 8% range. Well anyway, this beer had the typical DIPA mouthfeel. That means it had a good amount of carbonation and a strong hoppy aftertaste. Once this beer really warms up, you'll have a hard time trying to get rid of the strong hoppy aftertaste in the back of your mouth.

Big thanks to fellow BA mnbuffalo for hooking me up with this winner. This is one Bell's beer that I've wanted to try for some time. This beer really doesn't kick off until it really warms up. Would I drink it again? I sure would if given the opportunity again.

 3,210 characters

Photo of fatboy91
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of hooliganlife
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

pours a golden yellow with huge thick creamy fluffy head. sticky lacing. big retention.

faint citrus. lots of tropical fruit when poured but once it sat for a few, nose is barely there. searching hard, i fond some booze and hops

mostly bitter pine and resin. a bit one dimensional. intense with the malts and booze. decent but nothing pops out at me that is grabbing my attention. some grapefruit in the finish.

nice chewy body and moderate carbonation.

expected more from this, it was good. maybe its because i waited like 2-3 years to try this.

 552 characters

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of jhillwastaken
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of ToddThompson
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of DWolf
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Rutager
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steasy66 for this and all the other great beers!

Appearance. Pours a hazy orange-gold with over a finger of thick off white head - great retention and nice lacing.

Smell. Honey, brown sugar and caramel, yellow grapefruits, grass and floral hops, some pineapple, oranges and cedar.

Taste. Caramel and grass, yellow grapefruit, oranges and pineapple, honey and floral hops. Good bitterness in the finish with a lightly herbal, almost licorice root note.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, low carbonation.

Overall. No shortage of hops here with a big base to back them up. Good stuff.

 591 characters

Photo of Nick_RobertsM3
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of smogfood
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StArnoldFan
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Zonian1
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of MNishCT77
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at Connecticut Ave. Wine & Liquors in NW D.C., bottled on 8/9/13, poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 9/20/13 over a half-hour.

A: 3/3 - deep orange-golden coloration, minimal clarity (can't see or read through), initial soapy white head dissipates into subtle glass lacing, big time alcohol legs, which is to be expected for 10%!

S: 10/12 - mostly citrus fruit aroma - grapefruit, pineapple and apricot - and, as expected, some malt breadiness and lots of booze; it smells great but I wish that the aroma was more intense

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there is an intense slap of citrus-like bitterness; it the middle of the mouth, the bitterness continues to linger with some malt balance (marmalade and honey flavors) and alcohol; although it finishes dry, the worst aspect of the taste, in my opinion, is the lingering bitterness, which was super unpleasant on the first sip but attenuated over time (sloughing off taste buds)

M: 4/5 - super-bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, the alcohol is present but doesn't taste like a 10%er to me; impressively high carbonation for a 10% imperial IPA that does not detract from the flavor profile

O: 8/10 - after a really negative experience with Hopslam in early 2013, I was expected another overly bitter and poorly balanced DIPA; even though there was a huge slap of bitterness on the first sip that lingering, it muted over time; the flavor/aroma profile is solid, but, for me, doesn't stand up to some of the more intense imperial IPAs on the market like Surly's Abrasive and Founder's Double Trouble; however, I would recommend this one to anyone who likes Hopslam and doesn't mind a bitter, boozy imperial IPA that finishes dry

TOTAL = 40/50

 1,742 characters

Photo of Fargrow
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Herky21
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

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

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. bottled on date was 8/8/13, so about 6 weeks old.

Poured an orange-coppery body with about 2 fingers of white fluffy head. Very good carbonation. Head retained well, leaving some very interesting lacing.

Smell was citrus fruit, and some hops.

Taste was as expected from the smell. The hops and grapefruit did battle in the mouth with no clear winner emerging. Lets call it balance shall we?

Mouth was between medium and full, leaving a nice tingling grapefruit taste all around the mouth. Later there was some drying.

All in all, a pretty good offering, something I would enjoy again. The only warning I would give was that a 6 weeks old, there was none of the alcohol burn you might expect from a 10.0abv DIPA. So you might forget about that as you are enjoying this one, is does go down quite well.

Right up until the point you try to stand up, that is.

 911 characters

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,724 ratings
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