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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Ratings: 2,723 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of Mikeypnh
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Big Hunt in DC. Poured into a snifter glass. The Oracle places hop intensity first and foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt & balance. The fireworks start with the floral aromatic punch of two separate dry-hop sessions with Amarillo and NZ Pacific Jade. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise. What a great DIPA!

 432 characters

Photo of Soneast
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BT_Bobandy
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although I had a bit of this one at a recent tasting, I believe that I forgot to review it. Having recently received a bottle as an extra in a trade, I figured the time was right.

First off, this doesn't remind me of a DIPA (at least in the West Coast sense of things with which I have grown accustomed), but rather an IPA with a bit too much sweetness.

Golden amber color with a decent white head. Big bubblegummy hops seem to dominate, then sweetness, before reaching a somewhat bitter finish. Not bad by any means, but Bell's has done better.

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Photo of jsanford
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 9306, poured into my New Belgium Globe.

A - Hazy orange-amber with a foamy white head that quickly dissipates to a cloudy pillow. Leaves a soapy "sheen" on the side of the glass.

S - I really like the nose on this! Really sweet pineapple, canned mandarin oranges and pine resin with a moderate caramel malt backbone.

T - More pineapple, hops, pine and mandarin oranges. Very well balanced despite the huge tropical flavors. Bit of a bitter finish, along with a definite warming from the ABV. Still, very nice.

M - Medium bodied, bit on the syrupy side. Nice prickly carbonation.

D - Overall an extremely solid beer, well crafted and balanced despite being so "big". The ABV does get to me a bit, so I can't see having more then one. Really wish I could have tried this fresh, it could have been one of my favorites of all time. Still, a great example of what Bells can do, would love to see this added to the seasonal rotation!

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Photo of kidzord
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of JohnK17
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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

This is my kind of IPA. Delicious hop bomb with some malt to balance it out. Pours a nice clear honey color. Not quite a one finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. Great lacing sticks to the glass. Smells very citrusy and resiny. The malt I'd rather hidden in the aroma. A hint of grassiness that ties it all together. Actually quite grassy as it warms. Great fresh citrus flavor. Bitter pine. Lemons possibly. Nice malt comes through in the finish without being sweet. Mouthfeel is full but nicely carbonated. Overall, damn this is a delicious IPA. Wasn't sure what to expect, but wow. Hop bomb meets nice malt balance meets superb drinkability. The 10% ABV is nicely hidden.

 681 characters

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

Photo of kristougher
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of loganburgh
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Beerlover
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of AndyEdgar
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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

 162 characters

Photo of deereless
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PHBoiler
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into Bell's tulip glass

One finger white head with a very golden hue that is translucent through the beer with no cloudiness.

Nose was bright with some pine and light citrus. Very clean nose that wasn't overpowering but very in balance and inviting for a DIPA.

Taste is crisp and balanced. Some pine, light fruitiness, and light malt/body that allows the hops to shine while providing just enough balance. Not slick at all. Very smooth mouthfeel and easier drinking than I expected at the ABV. Very well balanced DIPA in a world of hop bombs, oily mouthfeels, or malt disasters. This one is worth seeking out, and the price point falls below many DIPA bombers as well. This beer is a clean, well made DIPA that should appeal to anyone who enjoys the range of brews that fall under the DIPA/IIPA umbrella.

 821 characters

Photo of Magery
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kzoobrew for this bottle.

Poured from a 12oz. bottled marked "9306" into a Red Stripe pint glass.

A: Golden nugget amber that is translucent (until you get to the end of the bottle where all the good stuff is) and pours with a roaring white head that sits atop the beer the whole way through. Lacing is noticeable, especially with this beer.

S: A little hop character still kickin' here but mostly sticky tree sap. And you know what else? Baklava. Weird, I know.

T: Roasted chestnuts, honey, and a bitter hop finish. Reminds me of the taste of Honeycomb cereal. Bitter aftertaste too.

M: Sticky mcgee. Not necessarily creamy, but makes your teeth gravitate towards one another as you swallow. This makes the beer in my opinion.

D: 10.4%? I don't think so. I don't sense any booze for this ABV and it is medium-bodied at most.

Overall, a nice beer and another one to check off my Bell's list. Wish I could have tried a fresh bottle of this.

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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 Beejay
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice medium amber, a bit hazy with a nice looking white head on top. Decent lacing.

S: Beautifully sweet, malty with caramel and syrup. The hops are sweet and fruity with pineapple and tropical fruit notes.

T: Some serious malt in the front. Creamy smooth with tons of caramel. Next come the hops; bitter, fruity, and lingering. The finish is a lasting bitterness and a shot of booze to top it off.

M: Almost a creamy, velvety texture, nice carbonation. The flavor really lingers.

D: Very good and tasty, butter, sweet and bold. The taste is just a touch boozy for me, but all in all a pretty fine beer.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mikereaser sent this one to me. Thanks Mike.

A fairly vigorous pour of Bell's The Oracle produces a good looking beer. The boxy is a hazy copper color with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. The head is nearly three fingers tall, white colored, and immediately begins to leave lacing on my glass. It is also comprised of very large bubbles.

A big malt backbone jumps out at me, but it is quickly followed by a load of bitterness in the form of pine resin and grapefruit. A little bit of booze creeps into my nostrils as well.

The aroma might have fooled me a little bit with a burst of malt, but The Oracle is definitely all about hops, hop flavor, and hop burn. The hops lead off with a big citrus flavor that is absolutely packed with bitterness. The attack on my tongue waged by the bitterness continues, but with big, resiny flavors. The middle of the beer has a noticeable kick of alcohol, and the back end has a bit of pale malt, but just enough. The malt that is there is clean and understated. The finish supplies another burst of hops, and the aftertaste is a powerful combination of resin and grapefruit, with the grapefruit flavor being a little stronger. The aftertaste is really what stands out about The Oracle, it's the best part.

The mouthfeel is oily, but the body is surprisingly light.

I like The Oracle. Even though is has an edge of alcohol, it is a small one considering the ABV. One of the better IIPAs I've had in a while, especially considering they all start to taste pretty similar.

 1,517 characters

Photo of byronic
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,723 ratings.
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