Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,724 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of sweett3k
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love IPAs. The Oracle from Bell's brewery. Is a classic one. Smell of flowers, citrus, and pine. Very sour taste and alcohol. Not Bell's best IPA but good. THE SOUR TASTE, PINE, AND CITRUS TASTE TYPICAL IPA. SOUR SOUR SOUR. NICE AFTER BITE. FIRST BEER ON MY PUB CRAWL so good to start off with a 10% beer. Better slow it down. Good drink. Sorry wrote this on my smart phone.

 376 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KurtE
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bell's

Somewhere between two hearted and hopslam... smells like a divine blend of hops and floral goodness! The taste leaves something to be desired however. Its not quite up to snuff sadly. Lacking in a way but can't put a finger on what is missing. The mouthfeel is solid and its very drinkable but not quite what I had hoped

 338 characters

Photo of tmcelvain
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Faint sweet hoppiness.
T: Crisp, bitter hop flavor with a bit of sweet cherry backgrouind. This is a great balance between hop bitterness and a creamy jam-like sweetness. Very little alcohol on the taste.
M: nicely carbonated, though the feel is where the high ABV shows through. Dry, bitter aftertaste is fairly strong. Not a bad feel on the mouth, but it definitely feels like a big DIPA.
D: well balanced flavors, and does not taste too strongly of alcohol, which could lead to a full sessioin of this strong ale if you have a palette for hop bitterness.

Overall Impression: I really like this beer - it seems to be a bigger version of Two-Hearted - the same cloudiness and hop-forward flavor. A well made beer infused with noteworthy Bell's character.

 759 characters

Photo of Poloplaya
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bell's The Oracle DIPA Ale

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a CBS snifter. Served chilled...

A) Nice amber with a little haze initially. A finger of soapy head. This settles to a wispy dusting. Some sticky lacing.

S) Juicy tropical fruit aroma, a little peach syrup, with just a kiss of pine, and a little alcohol.

T) A good amount of pine, resinous bitter hops engulf the taste buds, a bit of malty sweetness, and some booze.

M) Near full bodied, with lighter carbonation. Pretty sticky... Definitely a mouth coater. Bitter hops lingers about, with just a little alcohol heat.

O) This is Hoppier than Hopfuck in my opinion. Definitely worth a try...

 658 characters

Photo of Fantific
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a twelve ounce bottle dated 7/18/2016 into a sniffer. Medium color with a small head that faded quickly. Smells of mild citrus and floral, also picked up some wood chips. Tastes like a very well balanced DIPA, lots of hops but similar to Hopslam well balanced. It was very smooth at first and as it lingered in my mouth I picked up the high alcohol along with a mild bitterness. Overall, pretty impressive for a 10% beer, the only drawback was the boozy/bitter taste at the end. Perhaps at 8% it would be better.8

 527 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of otto251068
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: Dark copper. Absolutely beautiful color. After the pour the already thin, but bubbly head quickly dissipates into a light lacing floating in the middle of the glass. Eggshell colored head, no lacing.

Smell: Very clean and crisp. Strong hop presence, but not overpowering. Also plenty of pine. Some citrus, mainly orange with some grapefruit.

Taste: Sweetness right off the bat, some malts too for just a second, but that doesn't last long. Immediately the citrus hits, mostly grapefruit, a little piney flavor, then the hops. The hop flavor dominates this beer, but it is never overpowering (if that makes sense)

Mouthfeel: The carbonation feels great on the tongue, and seems to grow before the swallow. The beer feels syrupy, but also finishes fairly clean, with a little bitterness staying in the back of the throat.

Overall: Very good, well balanced DIPA, not a "hopbomb." This is a very well balanced beer. Usually for me it's "one and done" when it comes to 10.0% ABV DIPAs, but I could drink a few of these back to back.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Rako
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Traumaqueen666
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of delta490
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep orange with a golden tint, it has a thick cap of foamy white head with great retention. It has mostly soapy lacing. The aroma is light but still packs in some nice citrus and pine hops with a little malt sweetness. The taste is a little more emphatic and offers the same as the aroma. It is medium bodied, with a little carbonation and just a little dry on the finish.

 375 characters

Photo of petrusek23
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of elliott1184
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of PorterLambic
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with an off-white head, decently sized and with good retention for the style. Lacing is of the sheeting variety.
Smell is weak though notes of malt, citrus and hops are discernible, if just barely.
Taste is malty, grapefruit hops, grass, a touch of wood. Balance is very good.
Exceedingly dry from the instant it touches your lips, warming, too. As smooth as you could expect of a DIPA. Lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. Well worth the search.

 474 characters

Photo of pkalix
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

there is no smell or aroma that I can detect....
glad it's a 12oz'er....... so tired of these "bombers" I have to finish even after they are warm.
lots o' malt, biscuit, honey. lots o' bitterness.... typical 10% IPA... I believe I have met the best and there is nothing to get better. this one is pretty good. nothing other than that which is "special" to report... Bell's has done better...

 391 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated July 18, 2016. Paid $4.99 Poured into a chalice.

More malt bomb than hop bomb. But rather disappointing. Not a $30 per six pack beer. 3.75

A - Pours a clear golden with just a bit of cloudiness. An one-finger off- white head. 3.75

S - Floral, knock out roses, malty. 4

T - Slightly sweet with nice herbal bitterness. 4

MF - Medium bodied with a dry but not desert dry finish. 4.25

 399 characters

Photo of zacalabeer76
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of dannycohen62
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rudzud
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade, poured into my Duvel tulip. Fresh bottle

A - Pours a hazy golden orange hue with a nice one finger creamy white head that fades slowly to leave sticky lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of sweeter caramel malts, little bit of citrus rind and a little bit of pine resin.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Lots of bitter pine, loads of malts here along with some sweetness. The citrus is subdued as this is mostly a pine sap bomb. Fair amount of alcohol on the pallet too. Very reminiscent of DFH 120.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit sticky and hot from the ABV, but it still isn't that bad.

O - Overall, this certainly is how big DIPAs were 5+ years ago. Malty and straight up bitter. That being said with advancements in hops this flavour profile is really starting to be left behind in the dust of big fruity DIPAs. Still though, for what it is this isn't a bad beer.

Serving Type: Bottle

 943 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Meh! As a non-believer in the Church of the IPA, my skepticism remains intact. Looking to this cocoction as a redeemer due to the ABV (10.4%) I thought I'd found a kindered spirit. But alas, 'twas not to be.

Just another jacked up charlatan. Another "medicine show".

Sure, there's something there...but it all seems so forced. Thr term "beating a dead horse"...as poitically incorrect as it is in any context, is all I've got. THAT'S how desperate I feel.

What is this? Who think's it's grand? How am I?

I'm sure there are proponents & they have their due, but...as a big admirer of Bells's other edeavores, this escapes me.

 659 characters

Photo of Brez07
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing from last months notes. Batch 9306. Thanks to heliosphann for sending this one my way. Poured into a snifter

A: Orange/ruby pour that leaves a 1/2 finger white head. Not much lacing in the glass

S: A blend of hops, sweet fruit and alcohol. Malt is fairly present. Seems like this will be a well balanced beer

T: Good amount of hops, but somewhat faded, adding a bitter quality. There is some sweetness from the fruit trying to break through. Malty finish

M: Medium bodied, pretty smooth and creamy. Good carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste

D: Fairly good. Great beer, but I would stop at one. Alcohol is hidden well, but it creeps up on you with each sip. One of the better balanced DIPA out there

 714 characters

Photo of MizzouBeerNerd
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, yellow-brown in color, with amazing one inch head. Wow what a hops assault. Bells is not fooling around here. Get pine and grapefruit hops with a bit of lemon. There might be a tad bit of malt, but there is not much to speak of. This is the definition of a sipper. Really good and hoppy beer. Could only do one in a session, but will get this again if I want a super hoppy beer.

 397 characters

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