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The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle
2,725 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
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Ratings: 2,725 |  Reviews: 787
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 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 EB1
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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 MacStinson
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of warrendietrich2001
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of nickd717
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle very generously shared by largadeer on BA. Let's just say it would not surprise me to see this beer break into the Top 100 soon. It is awesome.

A - Pours hazy golden-amber with a one-finger creamy white head.

S - Awesomely intense pine and grapefruit hops as well as a hint of sweet malt.

T - Some sweet malt but mostly an incredible blast of sharp citrus and pine hops as well as light tropical fruits. The hops stay with you for a long time. Just a tiny bit maltier than a top west coast IPA like Pliny or Sculpin.

M - Palate is awesome, medium bodied with a massive hop bite and ridiculous lingering bitterness. This is about as much of a palate wrecker as you can get.

D - Well the crazy IBU level hurts this category a bit, but it still keeps you wanting more. Overall this is a hell of a DIPA.

 811 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear bright copper with one finger of dense creamy foam; spray of lace down the glass. Smell: ripening melon, orange peel, spicy and slightly resinous. Majorly underpowered. Taste: a pop of grapefruit peel, then quite spicy with pine needles galore, fading into a very tea-like back. Residual orange marmalade. Medium bodied; oily hop and booze really undercut the otherwise stellar creamy feel, finish tries to dry out but is still oily and quite bitter. It's alright. There are at least a dozen better wide distribution DIPAs for far less scratch.

 558 characters

Photo of Inglewood
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of polloenfuego
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Devman171
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Total Wine in Dunedin. Bottled date of 8/11/11. Poured into a snifter. Nice clear orange color with an amazing thick white heading. Left tightly bubbled rings throughout the tasting around the glass.

Right out of the gate crazy hoppy aroma. Nice secondary of some tropical fruit and decent sweet malty background. Just an overwhelming floral aroma though takes the cake.

Taste starts out a little fruity nothing insane just a jab of this and then wham a heavy hoppy intrusion invades the palate and shreds it to pieces. It is prolonged by a heavy sugary hot alcohol that just sits on the palate and scolds it.

Mouth is medium bodied, excellent carbonation, thick and sugary on the palate but is smooth.

All and all a great IIPA but it did leave a hot boozey feeling the stomach and on the palate. Hopslam is still king here but this isn't a bad second.

 866 characters

Photo of Nat1975
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of apasternak
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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 lanciloti
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HoistinBrews
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Mersh
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,725 ratings
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