The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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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

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Reviews: 778 | Ratings: 2,678
Photo of Taybeh
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle (bottled 7/10) into a Bell's snifter

a: golden apricot with a little haze and a nice 1 finger creamy that sticks around alright. great lacing.
s: some clovery floral notes, sweet mandarin oranges, caramel & honey, little edge of pine. fairly sweet (which I don't usually like, but this I like a lot)
t & m: like the nose, but more towards the floral and pine side of things than the juicy fruit. This is potent and a little boozy, very warming. really nice bitterness that lingers and is a very pleaseant complement to how sweet everything seems initially.

i prefer this one to love the label

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip and consumed around 58-60° F.

Appetizing in appearance, with a nice fluffy and persistent white head, and lacing that easily lasts the time it takes to consume the beer.

Smell is a blast of roses, hibiscus, tangerines, grass, hints of pine, white and black pepper, seven-grain crackers, and a whiff of honey and caramel.

Upfront, the taste is a war between flowery, piney, peppery, and tangerine-kissed hops and those aforementioned cracker-esque malts. A whiff of booziness appears on the mid-palate, along with more pepper, pine and juniper, and a dry, toasty malt flavor reminiscent of sprouted-grain bread. Finish is fairly dry, with herbal, evergreen hop flavors leading, if slightly, malty notes of toasted walnuts, wheat bread, and buckwheat honey. Let this beer warm well before serving, sip slowly, and revel in delightfully old-school flavors done very well, indeed.

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Photo of Jchavez111
3.12/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

The initial taste is everything you would expect from a boozy double IPA from Bells. It has a very satisfying bitterness and full-flavored kick at the beginning but what kills it for me is the aftertaste. The bitterness lingers for a much longer time than preferred. I wouldn't buy this beer again solely due to the ever-lasting aftertaste.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 fl oz. bottle with a bottling date of 10 July 2015.

The off-white head is exceptionally creamy, holds up well, and leaves plenty of sticky lacing on the glass. The body is hazy amber-copper.

Aroma: Chiefly fruity hops with some faint floral notes but no sign of malt. Misleadingly suggests a sweet and tart flavor. Gets more complex upon warming.

Taste: loads of hops, including citrus, floral and pine notes. A bit boozy with hints of tangerine peel, apricots and oranges. Moderate-high bitterness but with some sweetness and without a complete overload of bitter grapefruit peel in the aftertaste.

Overall: fine example of the DIPA style.

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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

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Nice, thick and rich soapy head appears and stays, leaving tick amounts of lacing behind. The aroma is of a freshly opened can of mandarin oranges in heavy syrup poured over freshly cut grass. More sweet than floral. Taste is smooth and the ABV is well hidden, although there is some warmth. A bite of pine resin, with a honey smoothness in taste and feel. One to have again and again.

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Photo of GlassOfHops
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this beer is frickin awesome.

Beautiful beer a slightly hazy orange with a pillowy white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing.

Smell isnt anything extraordinary but some nice citrus coming through.

Taste is an abrasive grapefruit hoppyness that i love. A little bit of booze comes through but not overwhelming.

Nice mouthfeel to it not too thick not too oily slick.

Well done bells. Will be buying more while its around.

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Photo of Hoppity1
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is a miss in my book. I love most Bells beer that I've had. This looked very good, smelled ok but the taste was a major letdown. All I got was piney bitter with hardly any change in the aftertaste. I like bitter, but I want it to go somewhere else from the initial taste through the aftertaste, and it didn't. It reminded me of 1492, the only TG beer that I didn't like.

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3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pillow like tan head jumps to three inches with a moderate pour. Head retention is very good and turns to lumpy biscuit dough looking foam in my glass as it slowly fades. Lots of lace is left behind. Body is a murky orange amber in tone. Nose has notes of orange peel and fresh opened mandarine oranges with a hint of fresh cut greens. With first sip you get a blast of piney resin and sharp bitter balanced alcohol bite on the front of the tongue. The real standout flavor on subsequent sips is the bitter hop resins that lay like a hop blanket on the palate. Very dry and bitter and it almost lacks the malt balance that you get with most DIPA's that reach this alcohol level. This is not a bad beer at all but it is brutally bitter.

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

This is a monster of a beer! Wow, extremely hoppy. Hoppy but in a positive way. This might be one of the most extreme DIPA's out there and at 10% be careful! 4.00

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Photo of richj1970
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle dated 7/10/2015 into snifter.

A: Golden yellow with two finger white head that lasts forever and leaves heavy lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pineapple, and oranges.

T: Citrus hops mixed with a balanced malt backbone. Grapefruit and pineapple with some slight honey sweetness.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Some hop resins lingering on the tongue.

O: Very nice beer. Just wished I could have landed more than one single bottle.

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Photo of TooGood
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lighter golden with excellent lacing. Smell is hop heavy with sweet overtones. Taste is sweet up front with a bitter back end, but no bitter aftertaste. Feel is very creamy and the beer really coats your tongue.

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Photo of Beer-vortex
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/10/15. 12oz.

After very good smoke it pours a wonderful hazy tangerine orange color with a 1 finger head that fades slowly. The nose is strong, sweet citrus, with hops, and caramel in there, as well. The taste is also very much sweet citrus, with some very nice pine in there, too. That’s up front. On the back end, some solid hop bitterness; much more than some of the other Bell's IPA's I have tried. It does back off a bit as the beer warms.

I am getting some alcohol but it’s 10% ABV so there. Excellent carbonation. World class lacing.

This is a different offering than Hopslam or Two Hearted altogether. What separates it is the bitterness; way more pronounced than the other two. I like it. The bottled date was clearly printed on the label.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, bottled 7/ /15, poured into Hopslam snifter

A- pours a hazy golden-orange color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a think film floating on top, some lacing left behind

S- citrus & pine dominant aroma up front with notes of citrus peel & some subtle floral hops lingering. Underlying alcohol and sugary malt

T- lots of piney and citrus hops up front with some resin notes, big hit of sweet malts hits mid-palate, followed by some alcohol, more sweet malt on the linger with some piney hops poking through

M- heavy viscous body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a chewy finish with plenty of alcohol linger

O- super boozy, which tends to outweigh the hop bitterness a bit, definitely a sipper

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Photo of oldn00b
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

07/2015 bottle poured into IPA glass.

Pours a clear dark orange, nice pillowy head. Gorgeous DIPA.

Nose is muted hops and decent malt forward. Not what I expected.

Flavor on this seems off to me - huge amounts of malt and a really subdued hop profile. I feel like this must have spent days in the back of a hot truck. Malt forward and hops there but thinner than expected and not really all that pleasant.

Glad I got to try it but what I have definitely doesn't stand up to the hype.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

07/2015 bottle served in a pint glass.

Bright orange color with a thick and frothy head from the hard pour. Nose is piney, heavy citrus, grapefruit, oranges, dank and bold with spicy hop character. The taste is strong and follows the nose with the grapefruit and piney quality. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected and the 10% ABV is hidden well however not necessary. I liked this one. I was left impressed with the 2 bottle limit at one of my local bottle shops.

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Photo of jopezu
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

deep hazy orange, thick head settles quickly. nose; floral hops, orange peel, slight sticky sweet fruit (pineapple & light mango) and booze. the taste follows the nose, except a much juicier orange flavor and a slight sting from the 10% abv. massively bitter with a surprisingly small malt profile, which leaves the bitters, florals and fruit flavors to work their magic with each sip and without the frothy buildup that accompanies heavily malted double ipa's. finish is slightly dry and very bitter, with the sweet fruits still hanging around. this brew makes me imagine a bell's two-hearted with a shot in the arm (and a touch more orange juice). a definite winner for me!

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful orangish-gold hazy beer drank out of a snifter. Smell didn't overwhelm me. Tasted like pine, grass, and hops, but not an overwhelming hop bomb, the 10% ABV is well hidden. I didn't really get as much of the citris fruit flavors as some have mentioned, to me this was a very Earthy brew. Definitely satisfying. I sure wish I had bought more than one single when I had the chance.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass. Bottled on 07/05/15. Thanks to Belmont Party Supply in Dayton for one of the staff giving me this one as an exchange when I came by and they were out of what I was looking for. As always - a great bottle store!

Appearance: Cloudy orange-amber with a thin white head and lots of fine lacing all over the glass. The cloudiness glows a bit when held up the light.

Smell: When first poured - a lot of orange citrus. A few minutes after the pour, there is fresh cut grapefruit, citrus, tropical fruit, and just a hint of something floral. As it warmed up with a swirl I think I get a hint of Simcoe hops, but it is quick and fleeting - hard to say.

Taste: Nicely hoppy and bitter from start to finish, but with some nice malt to back everything. Hops are grapefruit citrus, pine, leafy bitterness. Malt is lightly caramelized and bready at the same time mixed up among the hops. The bitterness at the end is strongly lingering with more of the leafy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth and nicely thick. Just there carbonation. Quite sticky on the teeth with all the hop oils.

Overall / Drinkability: A slow sipping hop bomb of a beer. Did I discover all as the Oracle hinted? Well, no, but I did find a hop-forward DIPA worth enjoying. Because it is so strongly bitter, one is enough per evening for me.

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Photo of mozif
1.41/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

One of the most disgusting beers I've ever had. I gave this a second chance this year and it's a harsh many bomb. No hoppy flavors just a strong disgusting beer. Drain poor. Bell's is better than this....

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a murk orange with a good looking head.
Lots of citrus fruit in the smell. Malts are present as well
Tons of citrus flavors with a great combination of earthy hops and a little malt
Low carbonation with a heavy feel
A really good imperial IPA. I agree with everyone who said this competes with hopslam easily. Would definitely seek out in the future.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one's a strong winner. DIPA brings big flavors of fruit paired with big bitterness of chewy pine resin and caramel. Body is soft, ample, plush, but somehow maintains a fairly lean and clean presentation. In my opinion, exemplifies what is meant by a DIPA. You're not gonna mistake it for a barleywine, bringing massive hop bitterness to balance out the big body. I really enjoy DIPAs, and this was top-notch.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 7/10/15...poured into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a semi hazy orange with a one finger fluffy head. Lace retention is decent.

S - Grapefruit, citrus, sugary malts, some biscuit and mild heat.

T - Smack of piney and flowery hops, tropical fruit and orange notes, mid swig malts, and a bitter finish.

M - Carbonation is medium low, mouthfeel is somewhat heavy, it almost gets sticky/syrupy.

O - Well made and well balanced. A tad less heat would have sent this over the top.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tropical grapefruit notes on the nose and taste. Pick up some green apple as well. Some sweet caramel/brown sugar backbone. This seems like a scaled back hopslam, and that's not a bad thing.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a no-nonsense IPA. There's no citrus to it, and there's no pine to it. It's hops, front and center. There's also a strong alcohol feel to it.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,678 ratings.
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