The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,720
Reviews:
786
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
10.58%
 
 
Wants:
455
Gots:
416
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,720 |  Reviews: 786
Photo of EB1
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bsp77
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold with thin white head and broken lacing.

Smell: Light citrus, light spiciness and light toasted malts - nice, but too mild for a DIPA. I hope the taste is better.

Taste: Yeah, the taste is better than the aroma, but this is still a very standard DIPA. Citrus and pine hops countered by lightly sweet toasted and caramel malts. Ends spicy and bitter, with a bit more pine.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, full body that oozes hop oils. Warming and dry. The feel is the best thing about the beer.

Drinkability: What's with the hype? This is a standard DIPA, and Hopslam is much better. In terms of more typical DIPAs, give me a Hercules any day. Still, I do like it quite a bit and it is very well made, despite the weaker aroma.

 815 characters

Photo of Beerlover
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Burkbom23
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BIG thanks to BuckeyeNation for this special bottle of Bell's. There are times I wish I still lived in Ohio. This would be one of those times.

Batch #9306, bottled 8/28/09.

Served chilled in an over-sized wine glass. I pour all but the final dregs into the glass and admire the radiant orange color. It's slightly hazy but that's to be expected with this style. It has a thin white head that settles leaving scattered lace on the glass.

Aroma is intensely hoppy with a definate citrus quality. Big grapefruit in the nose with more subtle tropical fruits.

Flavor takes some time to develop, perhaps because of the temperature. It seems sweet and innocent at first with some of that fruitiness up front. But, by the time it reaches the back of your mouth, look out! Huge hop bitterness and a burn that's either alcohol, alpha acids, or most likely both. Very bitter, almost tart and sour from the grapefruit-like hops, and just barely balanced out by a hint of sweetness. As it warms, it becomes more complex and enjoyable but my mouth is almost burned out from the experience.

Which brings me to mouthfeel. Medium body and lowish carbonation seems just about right for the style. It's far from balanced but it does have a nice wave of flavors and complexities from the hop profile.

Another amazing beer from Bell's. Now if they'd only distribute to Colorado...

 1,365 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
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 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.

 612 characters

Photo of thampel09
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of curlybird
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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

Photo of kidzord
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

 413 characters

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Devman171
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of apasternak
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of herman77
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/9/13
A: Clear light orange with a fairly creamy off white head for a big DIPA. Nice lacing and decent head retention.

S: Lots of citrus, orange, ripe grapefruit, mango and pineapple with a resinous under layer. Rich carmelly malts thrown into the mix as well. A bit of booziness as it warms.

T: Follows the nose pretty close. Tons of citrus, loads of grapefruit with a bit of mango and pineapple sweetness. A big heaping dose of carmel malt to keep all the hops in check. Excellent balance, just as balanced as Hopslam.

M: Fuller body for the style. Smooth and softer carbonation.

O: Dangerously drinkable, pretty much Hopslam level. ABV is hidden well, though you can tell its a DIPA. Kind of reminds me of a slightly sweeter, maltier double Two Hearted. A sweet, maltier double IPA, just my profile. Bells really knows how to brew big DIPAs.

 857 characters

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

12oz bottle from a box from Gopens44 that was mostly VA beers, but obviously with a couple MI beers as well. Bottled-on stamp is smudged-it was bottled on the 16th, this year, but what month is unclear. I've heard a lot of good things about this beer on NBS.

Poured into a Mad Bomber IPA glass, this was a chill-hazed, slightly sedimentary dark golden amber color, with a big, creamy white head that stuck around for a while and left all sorts of lace.

Piney and peppery nose to this. Also a big, caramelly malt backbone. I've read that Bell's calls this a Northwest style DIPA. While it smells good, I wouldn't characterize it as anything other than a Midwest style DIPA, with what I tend to think of as the bigger malt backbone that the latter entails.

Bitter, piney hop flavor up front. That aspect transitions to a big, malty backbone, without a whole lot of in between. This strikes me more as a Midwest/ East Coast IPA that's been shorn of more citrusy hop flavor. It's good, but rather one dimensional. The high level of alcohol does not come through in the taste at all.

Medium bodied, with an oily, resiny mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer, but a a bit limiting, flavor-wise.

 1,181 characters

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

$4.00 single from Abe's.

Bright shiny copper body, plenty of chill haze, topped by four fingers of bubbly just-off-white foam. Good lacing.

Huge enticing, inviting, assertive aroma mixing pine and big citrus is evident as soon as the cap pops, and only improves with the pour.

Strong sturdy semi-sweet malt foundation. Plenty of juicy fruit. Sample of pine. Big blast of long lingering bitterness.

Good medium plus mouthfeel carries it all aggressively across the tongue and approaches chewy.

A must try DIPA when available for all IPA fans. And a wonderful reminder that HopSlam is coming.

 595 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Tawny colored with a good haze that makes it opaque. Fine-bubbled white head retains well. Thin sheets of lacing lazily slide back into the liquid.

S: Strong bouquet of pine. Pithy citrus fruits including grapefruit, pomelo, and blood orange. Apricot too. Sturdy bread and caramel malt base.

T: Pine and pine sap up front. Intense clamping bitterness. Ruby red grapefruit, blood orange, apricot. Perhaps some red fruits too. Bitterness spikes hard in the middle, where it meets a stiff alcohol presence. Toast, crust, and caramel malt flavors struggle to keep up, but do just enough to balance adequately. Long and bitter finish of bracing hop oils.

M: Big and thick in the mouth. Chewy and creamy-smooth. Stiff blast of fine carbonation.

O: This breed of double IPA is starting to become more scarce now that the less bitter Southern Hemisphere hop strains are all the rage, and now that malt profiles in IPAs are largely shrinking. Here we have an intense but controlled onslaught of American hops in all their bombastic, bitter, pine-and-citrus glory. The malt backbone is necessarily hefty to support the hopping, and it is unabashedly big and even a bit boozy. Loud, bold, and brawny. There's nothing small about it, and that's exactly what you should love about it. It's like a 70s muscle car. There will always be a place in a beer geek's heart for a brew like this.

 1,415 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is not a purchase I had intended to make. To be honest, I didn’t even know Bell’s made a DIPA. But the amazing Dave (backfat) of Village Bottle Shoppe #2 let me in on the secret stash. Thanks dude!

I love a fresh IPA: this one was bottled about a month before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 8/12/11”).

A: Perfect, in every single way. The body is an incredible, shining burnt-orange; I’ve seen stained glass less vibrant than this. Adorning the top of this body is an off-white head, super-bubbly with silky cream beneath. Lacing runs webs of foam over ever part of my glass. Just superb.

S: Great pungent hoppiness, but not without a warm malt balance. Mango, grapefruit and a resin flower scent, telltale signs of Amarillo hops, pour over the body. There’s an aroma of sugary orange candy, mingling through the nose with the hoppy tones; it’s especially sweet, but still probably a product of the hops. Malts come out in an earthy, spiced, and bready way – a pumpkin-esque smell. This nose is bold, sugary, and just downright juicy! Very nice!

T: Powerful, but in a…different way. There’s an underlying richness of caramel malts and a savory spiciness that’s ever-present, but they’re easily trumped by the hopsplosion that is the rest of the palate. With a prickly intensity, fresh, fruity bitters make their way across my tongue; spiced apple, pine, and ruby red grapefruit all burst onto the scene with a mouth-puckering explosion. I would really only be able to explain the intensity of these hops to someone who has had fresh Ruination – so bitter it takes you by surprise, even with a DIPA. The aftertaste is, as expected, an incredibly dry experience, with a hint of booze that’s most apparent in your nose (like horseradish). I think I’d like this beer with a few months on it…give the palate some time to calm down a bit.

M: Very light for a beer with high (10%) alcohol content. The astringency is indeed palpable, but not uninvitingly so.

O: Damn, this beer is strong! I don’t think I’ve ever come across a brewery that could put this much flavor into a 10% ABV brew. And though I do like the flavors, the pungency of the whole thing just puts me off sometimes. It’s great beer, though, and I’m so glad Dave gave me a heads-up. Time to get another bottle to put some age on!

 2,339 characters

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Mersh
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,720 ratings.
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