Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
729 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
The OracleThe Oracle
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
729
Ratings:
2,510
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
19.86%
 
 
Wants:
456
Gots:
358
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 729 | Ratings: 2,510
Photo of tpd975
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fogdog for sharing this one.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a tall foamy head. Nice retention and a good smattering of lace.

S: Lots of bright bitter grapefruit rind with notes of caramel, and candy sugar.

T: Nice tasting beer. Wonderful candy like sweetness with notes of candy sugar, biscuit malt, and toffee. The hop profile is nice. Lots of tart grapefruit juice, with lighter resinous pine notes. There is a hint of herbal grass as well. Darn good.

M: On the fuller side of medium rather full for the style. Smooth feel with just enough hop bite to really carry the flavors.

D: Nice for the style. Larry Bell's knows what he's doing no doubt!

 663 characters

Photo of grub
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OHLRangers hooked me up with this one in Secret Santa '09. thanks ed!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 12/2010.

pours crystal clear deep dark orange, not quite red, with a small dense cream coloured head. the head drops quickly and leaves spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is great. bright orange and tangerine, big and juicy. caramel. grapefruit and pine. light alcohol. slightly powdery. white bread and cracker. bit of biscuit.

taste is great. grapefruit and a bit of pine. big orange and tangerine, but a little less juicy than in the aroma. slightly boozy alcohol. caramel. bit of toffee. lightly toasted white bread. cracker. hint of biscuit. medium-high bitterness level. as it warms, the sweetness and malty character comes out a little more, lending it a little more of a barleywine character. i also start to pick up a bit of a spicy/peppery aspect too.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body, but with a fairly drying finish from the hops. medium-low very fine carbonation.

drinkability is great. you get flashes of boozy alcohol, but the assertive bitterness balances it out pretty well, and as it warms the body fills out and it really comes together.

 1,157 characters

Photo of WakeandBake
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy copper color pour with a big fluffy long lasting off white head , leaving streeks of sticky lacing behind , light carbonation. Aroma of sweet pink grapefruit, pineapple , spicy resin and an earthy malt note maybe rye. Flavor is grapefruit up front with a rush of spicy earthy bitter hops , dry toasty grainy malt , and finishing with a slightly alcoholic fruitpunch flavor, like rye . nice warning effect , long bitter finish . slick slightly oily mouthfeel at first till the hops dry it back out and you need another sip , full body , very drinkable but I would not call it sessionable , this stuff will kick you in the nuts. I bet this would be a bit better fresh but it still kicks ass ,I had high hopes for this and was not disappointed thank you bells , and I love you Larry xoxoxoxo

 804 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of notCreative - great trader, many thanks! Poured in to a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy rusted persimmon, replete with some of the finest and slowest carbonation you're going to see in a brew. The natural comparison point for any Bell's Double/Imperial IPA is, of course, HopSlam, so I'll say that this one is far, far darker than HopSlam, suggesting at the very least the presence of some roasted malts in this one's base. The head is, of course, perfection, a dense alabaster cap about one finger tall with fantastic retention. The density is impressive, with only a few faint stray airly bubbles interrupting an otherwise moisture-pregnant crown. The lacing is near complete - that is, it nearly completely coats the sides of the glass, a uniform, gapless sheet of thin and sticky , and slightly thinner but still beautiful on the sip side, adopting that hazed glassy look where it's about 50% legs and 50% interstitial space but everything's so finely detailed and so close together that it's ... well, it's just a treat to look at.

Aroma: Sticky sweet caramel malts intermingle with heavy citrus to suggest tropical fruits, but ... not really. That is, the caramelized sugars are largely independent from the fruit notes, which are really fainter than I suggest above, but it's not like you can have "caramelized tobacco." Because that would be ... insane. But it's near what you have here, with saccharine brown sugar and heavy toffee wrapped up in spearmint, tobacco, thyme, and licorice. It's a little too faint for my liking, perhaps, but what you do get out of it is very nice.

Taste: The comparison with HopSlam careens off the tracks here. While HopSlam is faintly sweet, overwhelmingly citrusy and spicy, Oracle chooses to emphasize the yin to HopSlam's yang, bubbling in pretty much every circle on the hop census form that HopSlam leaves blank. The one overlapping bubble? "Bitter." Oracle does have quite a intense and lingering bite, perhaps slightly less than Slammer, though that might only be perception, given the heavier presence of the base beer here. So what's different? First, the base beer on Oracle is far more caramelized than the simple, light sweetness of the Slam, showcasing light toffee, dry but toasted cracker-like malts, caramel, and faint molasses. Second, the hops are a true collection of east coast notes. Spicy anise is huge, mingling with rosemary and tarragon, wintergreen, tobacco, and pine tar. Sure, a few faintly fruity notes are present - ruby red grapefruit, strawberries, blood oranges - but this one has no illusions about from whence it came. Any ideas the alcohol content (admittedly high) had about bearing its teeth are quickly laid to rest by the aforementioned huge biting bitterness, too, making this flavor profile as flawless as you can hope for.

Mouthfeel: As creamy and even a DIPA as you can imagine, which is what happens when you get a beer this thick and chewy with this much fine carbonation. Given the higher sugar content and the roasty overtones, I think that suits this beer well.

Drinkability: East coast REPRESENT. One thing I've always thought about HopSlam was that - while it had east coast tendencies, showcasing mint, some herbal notes, a few leafy overtones - it was really a hybrid in many ways, also showcasing pineapple, grapefruit, pine, and a lot of light notes. Oracle, on the other hand, knows to dance with the one who brung it. A heavy, thick, biting, and savory alternative to the fruity tooty grapefruit and "If you're going to San Fransisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair" floral bombs, this one trends to fresh barleywine, and that's a good thing. We need more DIPAs like this, even if the 10.4% abv limits the drinkability. Please Bell's, make this an annual release. It also paired fantastically with some sharp cheddar cheese. If anything, the cheese got its ass kicked.

 3,917 characters

Photo of teovaldi
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to score a single 12 oz...didn't even have the option to purchase a 6 pack.

Pours a slightly hazy, almost rust orange color with a lovely 2 finger head.

Smell is of strong citrus hops that jump out and grab you.

Taste is citrus hops of juicy PINEAPPLE, grapefruit and orange. Even more hops than the nose would lead you to believe.

Full bodied with a slight dry finish and almost "harsh" biterness, which I LOVE.

The drinkablity of this definitely suffers from the 10.4% and the bitterness...most definitely a sipper.

Tasting notes from early August

 575 characters

Photo of rhinos00
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to pecorasc for sharing this one. Poured into a wine glass. Bottled 08.29.09.

A- Pours a very dull amber. Semi-clear with a fingers width of white head...had a very soapy appearance. Some lacing as consumed.

S- Mix of citrus and tropical fruit with a sweet malt backbone. Decent amount of alcohol in there as well.

T- The high level of bitterness and alcohol really masked the nuances of this beer. Upfront bittering hop oil numb the palate. Following is mixture of sweet malts and mango, pineapples, oranges. Finished with a piney bitterness and a hefty amount alcohol.

M- Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Some sticky residue was left on the palate.

D- This was only 10% abv? Felt more like 13% or so. Heavy hitter that was a little hard to put down because of the high bitterness and alcohol.

Overall, I know this isn't fresh, but even so, I think Bell's missed the mark with this one. I'm honestly quite surprised with the positive reviews...especially the most recent ones as those probably had a bit of age on them as well. I'll stick to Hopslam instead. This is just way too big of beer to be enjoyed.

 1,149 characters

Photo of Pecorasc
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"A double IPA that is sure to make you as all-knowing as Pythia. It's just a matter of interpretation."

12oz bottle split two ways into wine glasses. Bellsbeer.com tells me that this bottle was packaged on August 28, 2009.

A- Pours a hazy deep orange that blends to a brighter yellow near the stem of the wine glass. A swirl leaves some suds and sediment on the sides of the glass. A near perfect white foam collects itself into an irregular collar; the remainder is covered in a thin white film. No noticeable carbonation other than a single line of beads.

S- Smells like a fruit bowl that is served with breakfast: musk-melon, honeydew, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and grapes. These fruity flavors are separated from the bitterness in the aroma. Alcohol is present, but is not overpowering. Very unique aroma!

T- The fruit bowl in the aroma turns into a harsher fruit based alcohol on the palate. Intense bitterness, followed by a mild fruit character which eventually leads to a warming sensation from the alcohol. Every bit of this ABV is present and accounted for. Hidden beneath all this intensity is a pine and citrus hop flavor that is unfairly muted.

M- Highly carbonated with a medium mouthfeel. However, the bitterness and alcohol make it tough to trust my own judgment of the mouthfeel.

D- One 12oz bottle should be enough. A couple Hopslams would not be a problem, but the alcohol-forward intensity of The Oracle make it tough to drink more than a small amount. A rare DIPA sipper. Definitely worth the try, as Bell's tried pushing the limit on this one. Keep it up!

 1,589 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BATCH NUMBER: 9306 (Bottled on August 28, 2009)

The liquid in this glass is a hazy, golden, orange color with a light touch of burnt sienna. The off-white colored head of foam is somewhat thin and wispy, but it sticks around. The lacing is like a 'doily' on the inside of my glass, and rather sticky.

The hops, as expected, hit my olfactory sense first. Big citrus notes abound. Lots of grapefruit, along with some orange rind, lemons and the rest of the usual suspects. There is a good pineapple presence, at this level, which I like alot. A light drizzle of pine tar, also. Underneath all of that is a nice caramel malt presence. A good amount of yeastiness is also detected, along with some nice spiciness.

The citric hop notes hit the tongue first, which follow the nose quite well. The sweetness of the malts then comes in to level it all out. Just as the sweetness seems as if it may overpower the hoppiness, you get that nice kiss of bitterness in the finish.
This is very nicely balanced, overall. Everything plays well together.

This is on the high side of medium, or maybe even the low side of full bodied. It has a good medium level of carbonation, which lends a touch of creaminess to the otherwise very smooth mouthfeel.

If you are in the mood for a bit of hops, but don't mind some malts coming along for the ride, this is a nicely drinkable brew. I'd like to have several more of these. The 10.40%abv is also quite nicely hidden. It drinks like it's around the 5.0% area.

 1,541 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier provided this at a tasting a while back... Big thanks Eric!! Another that I wanted to try and trade for, but was too broke when it was out in circulation... reviewed from paper notes.

White head.. great lacing.. pale hazy golden/orange.

Aroma is fantastic.. Nose hair coating American hops... huge pine and only slightly less citrus zest.

The Oracle begins and ends with huge bitterness ... in between there is a mild toasty maltiness that is crushed by pithy citrus hops and resinous pine... Near perfect body and carbonation... Simply verging on perfection.... I must try this as soon as it is released next time... The short time from the release to my palate was too long.

Thanks again Eric... Remarkable DIPA that I never would have guessed came from any place other than the West Coast.

4.5/4.5/5/4.5/4

 821 characters

Photo of SaucyA
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of the 10 that I bought. Figured I'd get a review of it in. Obviously I already think it's pretty good.

A - Poured into my St. Feuillien balloon. I know I know, but I like it. Clear copper body with a nice little jet of bubbles shooting up from the nucleation site in the glass. The head, a 1 finger white cap of foam, sticks around for a little bit, and laces the glass the whole way down.

S - This is actually deteriorating a bit since the last bottle I had. What once was almost pure hoppy pineappley goodness, is now slightly vegetal and wet-grassy. However the more it opens up, the more it smells like it originally did... a fruity melange of hop aromas and an underlying malty sweetness.

T - While the hops have diminished slightly since the release, there is a definite kick in the mouth from the alpha acids. This is basically a hop bomb with the only balance being from a light malt base and a decent amount of residual sweetness. It's quite bitter, but totally works. In terms of an American DIPA, it's spot on, with it's only rivals being other Bell's and Short's brews, and west coast hop monsters.

M - Nice thickness, nice oily mouthfeel on the backend, and great carbonation. Solid beer.

D - I normally don't think of DIPA's as a go to beer, but if this was available, I'd buy it all the time. One of the better DIPA's out of Michigan recently.

 1,370 characters

Photo of HopOverdose
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nothing bad to say here about Bell's mystery brew called The Oracle. I heard rumors that it was a nice DIPA similar to Hopslam without the honey. Well I'm here to tell you this is a brew all on it's own and should never be compared to Hopslam.

A - Pours smooth with a coppery amber tint. This beer has a nice 1-2 finger head on it that emits an aroma so perfectly. Small amounts of chunky sediment when twist poured into a tulip.

S - Very pungent on the nose with lots of sweet hints of grapefruity citrus. It hits the nose strong.

T - After a deep sip the grapefruit really pops out at you on the front with a nice bitter flowery hoppy taste throughout. Lots of citrus. It really packs a punch with the ABV. You can definitely feel the alcohol on this one. Definitely not as sweet as expected but also not too bitter as well.

M - This brew feels great in the mouth with the right amount of carbonation. Not too thick and not to thin which adds to the drinkability.

D - Easily consumed with a smile on my face. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone who loves the DIPA. I found this to go great with aged cheddar.

 1,126 characters

Photo of WeedKing4
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled at the end of August 2009. Pours a slightly hazed orange with one finger foam forming at the top of the duvel glass. The first mouthful is packed with a bitter grapefruit hop bite, following with a very slight tingle on the tongue of the alc %. Boy, this is a big bad beer. Its quite drinkable actually, but you have to respect the abv %. Found this one at the very end of a beer haul, so glad I got to try it. Would have been nice to find a fresher bottle though.

 477 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on my 'wants' for a while. Just did a trade with iceicebaby and he threw this in as an extra, holy balls in my mouth. Thanks dude!

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy rustic orange hue with a two finger off-white head. Thick, chunky lace holds on to the sides of the glass and it's probably gonna stick there for a while. Smell is dominated by dank grapefruit and brown sugar and lots of it. Underneath that is some spruce and a touch of bready malts...just a fantastic nose with this once. Taste is pretty similar to Hopslam minus the honey. Pink grapefruit up front with a biscuit undertone. Midway some pine and earth emerge on the tongue. Aftertaste is sweet with caramel and orange peel, yum city. Creamy and rich medium to full body with a beefy feel. Carbonation is nice and soft which fits perfectly. Uhhhh, just realized this was 10.4%...seriously? Probably a good thing I don't have another bottle of this in the fridge or I'd be drunk dialing tricks and hoes like a champ. Delicious and smooth, deadly combination. Another killer hop-bomb from Bell's.

 1,092 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored with a very frothy yellow head holding good retention and a very thin layer of lace around the glass.

Love the nose on this. Big biscuity bready malts are over ridden by thick citrus and pine aromas. Sweet tarts and a hint of berry. Hints of orange zest esters as well.

Nicely bitter with a much better malt prescence than hopslam in my opinion. Good alcohol bite and a big burn in the chest. Hoppy and bitter as hell which is a good thing. Finish is forever. Grapefruit and tangerine with pine flaor on the finish. Good carbonation gives it a very nice prickly mouthfeel that round this beers layers of flavor and complexity out nicely. Never ending flavors.

 676 characters

Photo of mikereaser
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 11/17/09

A - pours a slightly hazy rust orange with just a layer of fine bubbles on the surface

S - strong citrus hops dominate the malt base, it just jumps out at you, orange and lemon pineapple citrus

T - lemon & orange, grapefruit citrus up front, maltiness throughout with a strong hoppy bite in the finish

M - good carbonation, slightly dry, bitter finish

D - amazingly easy drinking DIPA, great flavor with a nice hoppy bite, these hops are amazing

 490 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from Viggo - dude's a generous fellow.

Pours a beautiful caramel orange with 2 fingers of bone white/yellow foam that dies and immediately leaves sticky lacing on the glass.

Nose is lush and fruity - pineapple abounds, hints of orange and grapefruit, a hint of mango, a little pine resin - behind all that you can tell there's a good amount of sweet caramel malt.

Ridiculously drinkable DIPA. Tropical fruits up front, loads of citrus in the middle and a hint of oily pine resin thrown in for good measure. Nice but not extreme bitterness from the middle on. A sweet caramel blends with a hint of pale roast to give a substantial malt backdrop - very balanced. Just a hint of booze in the finish.

Could easily drink this all night and it would kick your ass. Extremely well made. Thanks Eric!

 810 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Jo from WCB for hooking me up with this sample bottle.

Hazed honey amber with a creamy eggshell cap that leaves sheets of sticky lace behind on the glass. This beer smells about as good as any I've ever encountered. Pineapple and citrus fruity hops with pine sap and caramel malt all in perfect harmony. This beer tastes ridiculously good as well, maybe even as good as fresh hopslam with resinous and potent hops up front with a smooth caramel malty backbone. Alcohol is well hidden for such a big beer. Medium full bodied and hop oily feeling with smooth carbonation. This beer is dangerously drinkable at 10+ ABV. A beer that is truly as good as advertised. Fantastic.

 687 characters

Photo of Beerzebub
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gn0sis for this nice extra!

Poured into a big wine glass at 48F.

Rich golden-orange color, hazy, with practically no head, but a bit of finely patterned lace.

Aromas of biscuit, toffee, honey, and tangerine/peach/grapefruit/pine/spice hops, fresh and delicious.

Tastes immensely hoppy, even more than the aroma lets on. Full, fresh, juicy tangerine-peach hop flavor, with subtler grapefruit, pine and spice, backed up by a heavy but clean dose of bitterness. Clean sweet grain balances the bitterness very well. The bitterness grows, and dominates. Bitter citrus rind lingers for a very long, dry finish.

Fine cushy carbonation, restrained enough to avoid fizziness. Great drinkability, due to balance and a dry finish.

Absolutely killer DIPA!

 759 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a wonderful hazed golden tangerine body with sticky whipping cream colored top. In addition, the head is a reasonable sized layer off fluff with a surprising amount of "clingy" properties. I find the presentation has very admirable features, very nice looking

S: well...gee, this is as close as you can come to liquified hops. A hint of sweetness basks in the grapefruit, orange, and tropical fruit goodness. Malts are non-existent in the nose, as far as I can tell. This is what DIPA's are all about...this thing smells banging

T: the mouth does not disappoint either. Luscious hops permeate in every sip and a small helping of toasted pale malts is not far behind. The most notable hop flavor is the tropical laced juicy pineapple. This is augmented with some oranges, lemons, and grapefruit and a light wisp of pine characters, I like! After a few sips I must say that the hops are in a friendly assault type of mode, this baby gets a bitter snap as it warms
From my memory, due I dare say, that it seems it is not as balanced as Hopslam, or as good. Yet, the Oracle is better than the majority of other DIPA's I have ever had. Amazing!!

M: well, here we have a solid beer with medium body with mild carbonation. The balance between sweet and bitter plays nice in the mouthfeel. What is great is that it is not overly sticky or clammy and retains a hearty bitterness that bites but never scars the palate. This beer is just all that I look for in a hop ladened brew. As a result this is one of the better, for the style, drinking brews I have had

D: this has jumbo hops and jumbo greatness. Am I surprised that this beer is incredible? Not really, it is from Bells what do you expect. If you can get a bottle, get two.
Thanks to the beer wizard midnite2sixman for the bottle and his uncanny knowledge and connoisseur mentality. Most wizards carry a staff into battle...he carries beer

 1,894 characters

Photo of farrago
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid finger of densely woven cream white foam with puddles of larger bubbles, good stickiness to the lacing and credible head retention. Strong cloudiness in the burnt orange to pumpkin colored liquid, for this sor of hue close to opaque, mild yellowing at the rims. The nose at first explodes almost purely with pink grapefruit and tangerine citrus, over time opens up room for mossy, wet herbal notes, pepper, pine resin softened by peach, mango, apricot fruit scents, the malts remain in the background, as it warms the hoppy earthiness grows in stature. Medium-bodied, the carbonation foams up a little too much at first, however, the power of the hops crush this swiftly. Sourness makes the grapefruit more white than pink, mandarin orange and a touch of lemon. Bitter herbs, grass and peat moss don't overplay their hand but keep the whole experience alert and erect, earthy and peppery. Lower dose of pine and flowers, pulls up the rear with the malts. The overall bite draws out more pineapple, papaya, green apple fruit than peach or apricot. As the bitterness recedes through the finish a touch of biscuit or cornmeal comes through. Makes a forceful statement but never raises its voice.

 1,206 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Sun drenched honey-tangerine head. Nice head and lacing, I was looking forward to this after I got it open. Thoughts of Pliny came to mind.

Smell: Big hops, malt, grapefruit, pineapple, orange.

Taste: Big hops, with pineapple, grapefruit, orange, pine sap, etc all in play. Alcohol is there as well, they did not quite mask it.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not as smooth as I expected.

Drinkability: If I hadn't had Pliny the younger and elder, I would love this one.

 475 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, active, pale golden/orange, modest white head fades gradually and leaves thick lacing. Gorgeous and inviting.

SMELL Wow! Peach and citrus hop notes prominent initially. Rich malty sweetness backs well but stays in the background. Booze is almost completely absent.

TASTE Piny bitterness is asserive but not obnoxious. Peachy and citrus hop influences balanced expertly, through the middle anyhow, by toasty caramel malty sweetness. The hops win the battle, ultimately, but it's a good fight for a spell. Just a bit of booze is noticeable.

FEEL rich, full body and luxurious viscous texture. Slight dryness in the finish, and a kinda harsh lingering bitterness.

OVERALL I am so very grateful (thank you BuckeyeNation!) for the opportunity to try this. Hop heads would be foolish to forego this one, and may even want to actively seek it out. Ranks right up there with the best of the style.

 909 characters

Photo of oakbluff
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle- pours a muddy mandarin orange with a soapy white head. Nose- a fruit cocktail of guava, pineapple, mango, etc. Taste- similar hopping to hopslam in taste except more earthy bitterness. Reasonable amount of malt sweetness and body help to balance out this hop bruiser. Mouthfeel is slick with proper carbonation. Finish is dry dry dry- the hops suck all moisture from the mouth. This is a no holds barred dipa. I can only imagine what it was like fresh.

 469 characters

Photo of cvaypai
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to 12 oz snifter. Thanks to Portia99 for this one.

Appearance - Beautiful golden orangey amber color, shines when held up to light. Poured with a 1 finger creamy almost head with some large bubbles in the middle. Leaves a thick beautiful lacing down the sides.

Smell - Very floral and citrusy head, this smells phenomenal. I get some pine and other earthy scents. The smell is oh so clean. Maybe a little bit of sweet candy malt on the end, could be due to it being a few months old by now.

Taste - Very resinous and piney but extremely clean and bitter. The bitter is harsh in no way though, this is definitely one of the most bitter beers I have had. It is not overpowering though, it all works out nice. A small amount of booze and caramel malt can be detected on the end but it works so well together. Not much citrus to speak of in the taste, maybe a small bit of grapefruit. This beer is so dry and bitter, amazing, the taste lasts in my mouth for minutes after a drink.

Mouthfeel - Feels right there for the stature of the beer. Not light by any means, in fact pretty viscous for the style. It is not a bad thing though, it ties together well almost with it. In deed a very nice feel on the tongue, perfect carbonation and bitter bite.

Drinkability - I could attempt 2 of these but it is a hell of a beer, a few would be enough for me I am sure. This glass will not last long, but with this bitterness and abv you have to be careful.

Another great Bell's beer. They make all my favorite IPA's. I hope they make this one again.

 1,559 characters

Photo of RedHaze
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 14-Dec-09

12oz into bell's pint glass.

Pours a mildly cloudy orange, with a two finger head that settles to a nice cap. The lacing is very sticky, leaving a thick and chunky lacing behind.

Smell; tons of citric and tropical fruits going on here. Oranges, Tangerines, Mangoes, Pineapple...I'm not sure if the list is going to end. Underneath it all is a solid caramel and bread dough maltiness.

Taste; The fruity hops are even more pronounced in the flavor, but I can't figure out if they are more citric hoppy or or not. Orange peel, grapefruit, pineapple, mangoes and pine needles. Full lingering bitterness, coming close the crushing, but thankfully falling a touch shy of that.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; mouthfeel is full bodied and viscous, almost oily due to the hop resins. The hops hammer your taste buds, and then coax them back from the brink of the abyss just to pummel them a little bit more, and leave you asking for another bottle.

This is one outstanding beer, but I'm very happy it only comes in a 12oz bottle. Otherwise it my really show me who's in control. I've been on a bit of a hop hiatus lately, but this one may have just set me back on track again, WOW!

 1,193 characters

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe