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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: 2,679
Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a deep transparent amber color with a dirty off white head.

S-the aroma is a hop explosion, a strong caramel and brown sugary malt foundation have a good presence up front but the hops dominate the nose. Tons of pine citrusy hops with a good bit of grapefruit and appricot in the back.

T-the taste is slighlty more balanced but still a hop focussed brew. the caramel and brown sugar are up front showing the true size of this beer as the malt foundation can still show under a hop blanket. Resinous piney hops take over, lots of bitterness setting in. the back end brings the sweet citrus with tons of grapefruit and the bitterness keeps hitting, its moderate in strength but long in duration lingering for some time.

M-the body is syrupy and a little grainy on the palate, falls off a little in the back making it slick on the throat.

D-huge beer, lots of balance but definitely a hoppy brew. there is definitely a nice tropical fruity sweetness in the back but the caramel, brown sugar and pine work together to transition the malts and hops. tasty stuff!

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Photo of Pencible
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark gold with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like mango and pineapple with some grapefruit and honey, and a bit of peppercorn.
T: It tasted like sugary sweet honeydew melon and mango, with pineapple and grapefruit. The aftertaste started sweet, then became very bitter and lasting.
M: It was slick and oily with moderate carbonation.
D: This was a phenomenal IPA with wonderful tropical scent and taste, along with a smooth body. The alcohol was hidden very well also, so it was too easy to drink. But delightful to sip and savor. Instantly one of my favorite IPAs ever. Boo yah!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

here's one that i thought deserved a re-review as this one is bottled 8/10 (just about 3 weeks ago) and my original review was from a really old bottle. thank you to genuinedisciple for the fresh taste!!! enjoyed from my bell's tulip.

a - same gorgeous classic ipa orange with a generous frothy head (no change in score)

s - fairly even ipa. some vanilla and orange peel. good soft piny hop presence. (upgrade to a 4.0)

t - nice bouquet of hops and grapefruit. balanced and even not too hoppy, but still resiny and piny. just a solid IPA (upgrade to a 4.0)

m - feel is fairly light for a beer like this. ABV is invisible. not bittery, but cooling. (no change in score)

o - overall, this is a different animal fresh. it is no hopslam, but it never set out to be hopslam. this is like a gateway DIPA. the hopping is subtle, but there. soft grapefruit flavors...really nice and balanced (upgrade to a 4.5).

*** ** * ** ***
Original Review from 1/25/2012
*** ** * ** ***
4.5 - 3.5 - 2.5 - 3.5 - 3.0

massive thank you to Marti403 for sending this one my way. bottled 8/12...so bear that in mind.

a - cracked the bottle and filled my urthel tulip. mild explosion upon opening. brew poured a deep orange red with a super frothy ipa head. lacing was chunky and milkshake like.

s - nice subtle vanilla and caramel hop. smooth with a good malt presence. seems like time has faded the citric burst on this one :( still nice, but more barleywine like for sure.

t - sadly the hops are long gone in this one. strong grapefruit and what all the others see, just no hop.

m - pretty bitter, no hop bite. boozy tingle.

o - overall...don't age them iipas. time will morph to barleywine maltiness, but the hop character is what makes a great iipa. i promise to re-review this one fresh, but for now...here's what a 4.5 month old one tastes like.

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

Pours a golden yellow color, looks very thick, lacy white head that is easy to rejuvenate with a little swirl of the glass. Smells of deep hop oils, spices, alcohol, with a tad of grapefruit and pine tree. The taste is right behind it, tasting of lots and lots and LOTS of hops, resin, pine, with just a bit of grapefruit sweetness. Lots of spice and alcohol, especially in the aftertaste. It has a bit of malt in the finish as well. Very, very high bitterness with low carbonation. Very heavy on the mouth and leaves a very sticky feeling.

Somewhat similar to Bell's Hopslam with a bit more of hops and grapefruit, sans the honey induced sweetness. A very good brew, but definitely one you have to sip.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly murky copper color. The head is a finger high, and off-white in shade. Retention is excellent, and the head manages to leave behind thick webs of lacing.

Compared to a lot of new-school DIPAs running around these days, this beer's aroma is classically old-school. A hefty backbone of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee is not only backed by an assertive pine bitterness, but also by some fruity ale esters and a touch of alcohol. It's a throwback, but is that bad? Everything seems to come together nicely, and that's what counts.

Tasting it, the malt comes across heavily like a barleywine - as does the finishing bitterness. It starts with plenty of crystal malts, meaning lots of caramel and toffee appears. Piny, grassy hops slowly build near the back end. Quite a bit of alcohol comes through at first. For better or worse, it's a textbook old-school DIPA - it isn't as delicately balanced as the nose suggested, either.

Despite the fairly full, heavy feel, it finishes quite dry. There is a mild burn, however. Nonetheless, the drinkability is surprisingly good for 10% (aided by gently rolling carbonation)

Hrm. I definitely don't think it's worth it's exorbitant price or mild rarity, but it's a fine DIPA taken in a vacuum. However, there are many superior examples of the style available locally (to me), and that makes this hard to return to at the end of the day.

3.21/5: I've heard your wisdom plenty of times before, Mr. Oracle

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Photo of jera1350
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Holiday1072 for this outstanding brew.

Pours a foggy golden burnt orange into a snifter. Nice fluffy head with lots of tiny cascading bubbles adding to the mix. Lacing all over the place.

Outstanding smell. Like a bushel of extremely ripe pineapples just split open. Sweet and juicy, I can't wait to taste it!

Wow, this is packed with flavor. Huge and sweet, the bitter hops catch the attention right off the bat. Plenty of sweet malt to add backbone. Good amount of alcohol is present. Lots of citrus and pineapple. Grapefruit finishes it off.

Medium bodied, smooth with plenty of tiny bubbles in the carbonation the keep flavors rolling on the palate. Very juicy feel.

I call this an Imperial HopSlam. Simply amazing. A must have for every hophead. Bell's knows how to use hops probably better than any other brewery. Great beer!

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Photo of warnerry
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/12/11

A - Pours a clear deep copper with one finger of off-white head. Head doesn't have great retention, but leaves a sheet of lacing.

S - Big aroma of pine and grapefruit hops, along with some candied fruit. Nice amount of caramel malt and a faint alcohol presence.

T - Big grapefruit pith and resinous pine hops up front. A bit of sweetness, but bitterness predominates. Also some orange pulp and caramel malt. Very nice .

M - Medium resinous mouthfeel. A but sweet in the middle but finishes dry and bitter.

O - A very good DIPA and a nice contrast to Hopslam. I look forward to this one every year.

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

The Oracle is a thick burnt gold-orange color, technically translucent but very nearly opaque. On top rests a head that's one finger tall and shows incredible strength, heaviness and thickness. This thing looks almost solid. It immediately leaves a ring of lacing, even before it's possible to really anything has settled. It eases up on the heaviness, but continues to cling almost to the bottom of the glass.
The aroma pops out of the bottle even before it begins to pour, and it's all orange and grapefruit with some tropical fruits as well, pithy and zesty with a supporting juicy sweetness. Malts provide a bit of support, but there's a whole lot of bitterness here.
I've rarely been hit with bitterness like my palate does with this beer. The tropical fruits and citrus are here, but the first slap is pine, leaf and raw pith all the way. There's a complex texturing of flavors as the juiciness comes out and the various aspects of the malts lightly support but are strongly overshadowed by the hops. It's all resinous after that, going into a lingering bitter and dry finish.
It has a soft crispness in its medium body, and a little creaminess to start, but it goes pretty quickly to the dryness that pulls it into the finish. It does remain smooth for the duration.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear, deep golden orange with a tight, creamy white head.

S: Aromas of pine, citrus, biscuits, brown sugar, and alcohol are present on the nose. This smells a little boozier than I would like.

T: Notes of brown sugar, biscuits, sage, pine, mint, bitter orange, kumquat, lemon, and grapefruit assault the palate. The finish is bitter and fruity with lemon, grapefruit, bitter orange, and alcohol notes.

M: Full-bodied and sticky. Carbonation is firm and prickly. There is a slight alcohol presence in the mouth, but it isn't too overbearing.

O: As is, this is a very solid American DIPA, but if the alcohol presence were masked a bit better, it would be truly outstanding.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Bell's The Oracle a couple weeks ago for $3.59 at The Lager Mill. This is one of the only seasonal I haven't had from Bell's before so I'm ready to see what I've been missing out on, so lets how it goes. Bottled on August 10 2012. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- I like the label on this beer it's simple but classy looking. It poured a slightly hazy darker gold color that took on a really nice orange hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of creamy slightly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice sticky lacing. This is a great looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma is all about the hops and it starts out with lots of citrus hops that imparts a tropical fruit aroma with some grapefruit sticking out the most. Next comes a resinous and piney aroma that is followed by some floral hop aromas that show up towards the end. This is a great smelling beer, the topical fruit aromas work nicely with the pine and floral aromas. I like it a lot.

T- Wow this is one intense tasting beer, it starts off with the hops right up front and hitting me with a pretty intense bitterness that is for sure on the high side and is pretty constant throughout the taste. First come some nice tropical and citrus fruit flavors followed by a very resinous pine flavor and lighter floral hop flavor. The malts impart a higher amount of medium sweetness, and very slight bready flavor that was quickly overpowered by the hops. Towards the end a get a little bit of alcohol that is a slightly warming and it had a floral and piney aftertaste. This was a great tasting Double IPA, it was full of aggressive and bitter hops, just what i expect and want from this style.

M- Smooth when cold, but it's isn't that smooth when it warms a little, crisp, a little sticky, on the lighter side of being full bodied, with a nice medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a great beer and a great example of the style, it had everything I want in the style, it was one palate wrecking Double IPA. This beer isn't the most drinkable, one bottle is pretty much all I would want, I think it would start to be too intense after the first one. What I liked most about this beer was just about everything, it smelled great, tasted great, and looked great. What I liked least about this beer was the drinkability, it was just a little to intense and one 12oz bottle is just enough. I would buy this beer again next time it's release, but I think I would only buy 1 or 2, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys big and intense Double IPA's. All in all I was glad I finally got to try this beer and it lived up to my expectations, it was a big and intense Double IPA that just wrecked my palate, good job Bell's this beer is like Hop slams angrier and bitterer older brother.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #9901. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours red orange with a one finger off-white head that subsides quickly to a minimal amount. Maintains excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is comprised of sweet malt, grapefruit, slight citrus hops. The flavor is of sweet malt, citrus hops, earthy, and green onions. It has a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this is a pretty good DIPA. The green onion flavor is a little off-putting but is not that bad. It actually works quite well with the other flavors going on in this one. This brew has a nice balanced flavor and a good aroma to it. This is a must try for any hop-head out there.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Big thanks to jbck109 for the trade.

A: Dark glowing golden with a couple fingers of oily khaki colored head that faded into a greasy film that left big rings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Big piney hop scent that is very resinous and oily smelling. Notes of tropic fruits and citrus as well.
T: Notes of dominant pine and citrus. Malt is overshadowed by the huge hop profile. Finish has a pretty powerful bitter punch with light, lingering alcohol. Tobbacco and fresh cigar in the aftertaste.
M: Medium-full body with a viscous and thick mouthfeel. The alcohol is masked extremely well but the thick mouthfeel let you know it's there. Low, even carbonation.
D: This isn't a DIPA for the faint of heart. Powerful flavors with a big bitterness and big alcohol. Not an everyday beer but one to seek out. Thanks again Jay for the awesome brew!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus hops. In the taste, dry orange citrus hops, with a nice malty backing, but huge in hops. A small hop bite, and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. WOW! Hides the 10%, big hops, great sweet to dry flavors of citrus.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Big burnt copper color with a nice white head that foamed up to about three finger. Soap left on the sides, huge sudsy sheeting that was too thick to be called lace.

S - Fantastic, one of the best IPAs I have ever smelled. Great hop profile including touches of pine and grass, little citrus. Bitter resin, but the think about this one that makes it great is a beautiful pineapple smell that comes through exceptionally strong once you start looking at it. Awesome.

T - Great taste, the pineapple is there alone with the usual hops suspects, little citrus, little pine. Bitter finish that lingers and turns sweet after it leaves the mouth. Get a good deal of alcohol burn on it, just a little too much for me to rate this a 5.

M - Medium bodied and fairly syrupy. This bottle was slightly old, which would explain the lack of carbonation. Still a good feel.

D - Good for 10%, although the burn begins to get to you after a while. Did one bottle fine, two might get to be a little bit of a chore.

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

"We can never see past the choices we don't understand." - The Oracle: Matrix Reloaded

I choose this beer to drink because I understand Bell's makes some good beer...

So with that: The Oracle pours a darker honey pale gold hue in a medium fogged body capped delicately with a small cap of ivory creamy foam. Plenty of lacing is sheeted about with a speckled spottyness.

Peachy tropics stand ripe and raw in the nose with a slender pineapple/melony core and caramel tow mushed into a soft pastry doughyness. Timidly schnappy warmth in bigger wiffs.

A smooth darkly sweetened, lightly candied, tropical ride on the taste buds with a nice mushy melange of peaches, oranges, green grapes, pineapple, apricot all blended together in a jam with a light toasted pastry doughyness. Malt is there only in check of the hops, which there is plenty of. Spread across its lentgh is a well placed touch to its beefy 10% that is nearly an afterthought until you get just past midway where it grows quickly with heat like a fruity Kamakazi shot. Leftover, after the heat resides, is a small burp of warm peach cobbler and dryish bittering hop fuzz.

Nicely bold, beefy, and quite forward nearly full body of rounded smoothness of malty creamyness with a nice buzzing fuzzyness of tropical hoppy bitterness that encompasses a whole bunch of peach and apricot skins. Warmth settles in very well and with a slow bruteness that takes control immediately. Making you slow down and really take this one in. As apposed to the HopSlam, which is much more slammable. Both Bell's brews are a dangerous tandum of hops to behold. I favor the HopSlam. But Oracle is no side show of a DIPA.
One that's a bit more of a sipper.

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Photo of morimech
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

07/10/15 Bottle date so getting a little old.

Hazy orange color with two fingers of head that settled to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass during consumption. Sure is a looker.

Good hoppy aroma of citrus. Notes of orange, grapefruit, and possibly pineapple. There is a malty component that gives a bit of a toffee note.

The hops are strong in the flavor. I get a lot of orange, little bit of grapefruit, pineapple, tropical fruit like mango or passion fruit. Enough malt sweetness is present to not make this a punishing bitter DIPA and one dimensional.

Lovely body and carbonation. Full body and luscious texture.

Very enjoyable DIPA that I find harder and harder to enjoy. I liked the hop choices and the little bit of malt that dampens the massive bitterness.

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Photo of n2185
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear honey-orange with two fingers of white head that recedes into a thin layer with a solid sheet of lacing.

S: lots of sweet pineapple and grapefuit aromas at first. Pine, rind, and resin aromas follow. It smells quite nice.

T: lots of grapefruit and rind flavors up front. A big blast of resiny pine flavors follows along with a pretty strong bitterness and a slight alcohol burn.

M: medium body and carbonation, this beer is pretty oily feeling from the strong hop bitterness.

O: a good DIPA, but it doesn't stand up to its Hopslam cousin. It smells wonderful, but the strong bitterness really detracts from the otherwise great flavor and feel.

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Photo of gford217
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle from hoppymeal, poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright, hazy orange with tons of bubbles streaming up to the top, feeding a huge billowy white head that shows excellent retention and sheets of lacing. Beautiful looking beer.

Man, this beer smells fantastic, just full of juicy citrus fruits with oranges and tangerines coming through especially. But there's also some grassy hops and pine resin as well with a bit of bready malts hanging around. Mostly hops though and they smell great.

The taste is just as good, maybe better. There's a pithy citrus hop sweetness with a healthy dose of bitterness from grapefruit, tangerines, pineapples and oranges. There is enough bready malt to balance the hops a little bit, with a huge floral bitterness in the finish. This taste is about the hops - big, juicy, sweet, bitter - all together tasty.

The mouthfeel is basically perfect - good carbonation, medium to full bodied, tons of bitterness.

It took quite a bit of restraint to have this bottle last as long as it did. So drinkable, so bitter, so sweet, so tasty - this is one of the better DIPAs I've ever had, right up there with PtY and 16 Grit. World class.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Hazed medium orange color. Two fingers of beige super creamy head with good retention and tons of lacing.

4.5 S: Smell is great! Reminds me of DFH 90 or something like that. I love hoppy DIPAs that also happen to have respectable malt components. Strongest aroma is pineapple with orange, lemon, and mango close behind. Malts are sweet with plum fruitiness and solid caramel and toffee components. Bready yeastiness. Very nice.

4.5 T: Tastes just like it smells. Pineapple is strongest again alongside papaya with the orange, lemon, and mango playing supporting roles again. Bready yeastiness without being too bready. Lots of toffee with a lesser amount of caramel and plum fruitiness again. Surprisingly low bitterness and only traces of alcohol.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Super creamy, smooth, and a bit chewy due to the yeast.

3.5 D: I find a lot of unfiltered IPA/DIPAs to be less drinkable than similarly flavored filtered varieties and this is no different. The bready yeastiness just becomes too much after a while. Still, this is an excellent beer and definitely worth an occasional bottle.

I don't know if I'm nuts or if the age of the bottle has made me think this isn't anything like a West Coast DIPA. There is a plenty of contribution from the malts and the yeasty breadiness distances this even more from a WCD. I'll have another bottle soon and adjust the review if necessary.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled on 8-12-11.

Appearance: Bright golden amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head with good retention and lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of citrus and piney hops. Good amount of grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and resin. Also a little orange and honey. Also a solid presence of bready caramel malts and toffee. Light hints of spice.

Taste: Huge taste of fresh and lively citrus and pine hops. Fruity taste of grapefruit, pineapple, orange peel, and mango up front gives way to a bitter piney resin. Big backing of caramel and toffee malts give a nice balance to the hops. Light hints of spice and honey.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Thick and bitter but still fairly smooth and creamy.

Overall: Another great IPA from Bell's. Not quite on Hopslam's level but very good.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy amber brew
smell of hops too

bracing grapefruit
let's go pop

taste is biscuit
hoppy fun
plenty of citrus
for everyone

mouthfeel bracing
fizzy, dry
not too coating
this is fly!

Indeed it is
another solid one
from those kalamazoo kids

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Photo of argock
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Batch number 9901 on back label (August 23, 2010, bottling date). Single purchased at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.

A: Hazy orange-tangerine with 2-finger, off-white head with good retention for the ABV and a wide band of crusty lace.

S: Crisp, bright hefty West Coast hoppiness with pineapple, grapefruit, and pine resin mingling with light aromas of pale malts with a bit of toasted caramel malt as well. Not a balanced beer.

T: Hops, hops, and (thankfully) more hops with this very good brew which features big tropical fruit flavors cut with resinous bitterness and enough pale malt to hold it together. Bursting with pineapple, orange, resin, and pine, the only trouble spot is the not-so-well hidden alcohol which enhances the harshness of the hoppiness (not a problem) but does present some faint fusel qualities. All in all, though, The Oracle hits all the right notes for a big-time West Coast DIPA.

M: Full-bodied and it mixes just the right amount of stickiness and smoothness. Aftertaste is pineapple and resiny bitterness.

D: I really liked this brew a lot -- it is a lot less subtle than Hopslam or Hop Wallop, but the brashness of hoppiness it represents is done very well. A must-have for hopheads out there.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a trade with kstrickler into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful, clear copper body underneath an inch of creamy white head. Strong retention and tons of fine, spidery lace. Perfectly gorgeous DIPA

S: Nice hop-forward aroma that showcases pine, along with some tropical fruit, caramel malts, and some alcohol. Very smooth and creamy aroma, but it's pretty clear that the hops have faded significantly in the months since this was bottled. Still, pretty nice.

T: Lots of pine, some grapefruit and mango, and mildly sweet malts toward the end. It's truly delicious up to the finish, but here a massive wave of overwhelming booze. It's really quite a disappointing end to a stunningly tasty beer.

M: Smooth medium body with light, swelling carbonation that ends things beautifully. Very nice.

D: I guess it's hard to complain too much about a 10.4% beer being hot, but this one is far, far harder to drink than the similarly strong Hopslam.

Notes: I can't get enough of how good this beer is at first, but the aftertaste is just off-putting enough to keep this from being one of my favorite DIPAs. Thanks to kstrickler for giving me the chance to try it. I'll have to seek out a fresh one the next time it's released to see whether more dominant hops will outweigh the booze. Here's hoping.


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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 08/09/2013. Scored a single bottle from my local beer store for $3.99. Excited to have it, based on this beer's excellent ratings.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours three creamy sudsy fingers of off-white head on top of a beautiful bright burnt sienna orange body. Thin wispy rings of lace. Head retention is very nice considering the high alcohol content. Looks pretty damn nice.

S - Smell is of lots of bright citrusy tropical fruits: peaches, mango, papaya, pineapple. Caramel malt sweetness. Some soapiness. Some alcohol fumes. Smells fresh, most of all, which is great.

T - Taste follows the nose: tropical fruits, mango, papaya, pineapple, greapefruit. Some bready caramel malts holding everything in check. Quite a bit of spicy alcohol heat on the finish, which is only a little surprising. Juicy citric tartness lingering around on the finish also.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Some lingering alcohol heat on the finish, but otherwise it is remarkably well executed.

Overall, this is some smooth and easy drinking at 10.00% abv. Probably one of the bigger and better beers that I've had from Bell's. I've never tried Bell's Hopslam, but I look forward to trying it for the sake of comparison. There was a two bottle limit at my store, but I only bought one. An amazing beer; if you can get it, buy it.

Bell's The Oracle ---4.5/5

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: standard pint, medium amber in color, nice head

s: malty caramel nose with a strong pine and citric hop presence, dark musty pine, some yeast, nice

m: medium full body, moderate carbonation

t: caramel malt back holds up an assertive pine hop flavor, dark green and sappy, strongly bitter, tropical fruits, a real hop monster

d: good stuff, still prefer hopslam but glad to have had the chance

Maduro, Bell's Great Taste pre-party

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,679 ratings.
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