The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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93
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786 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
786
Ratings:
2,714
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
10.58%
 
 
Wants:
453
Gots:
415
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 786 | Ratings: 2,714
Photo of alkemy
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to buschbeer for this one. Just shy of two fingers of slightly off-white head. Light haziness in the golden/bronze color. The first smell I got was pineapple...and not just by a little. The pine and grapefruit were more of an afterthought for me. There's a slight hint of some burnt sweet malts. This is pretty good, but I was really expecting more. I'm not sure what it is, but other than Two Hearted, Bell's just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a nice mildly hazy copper color and forms a 1.5 inch off-white head that slowly reduces to a nice lacing. Carbonation visible and no sediment.

The aroma is a great blend of a caramel malt backbone and some very nice citrusy hops components. Bitter smelling, yet sweet.

The taste is as the aroma. A nice blend of malty backbone with a pineapple sweetness and a nice citrus bite and pine with just a bit of herbal presence. Some alcohol presence as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a unique thickness/texture that makes it seem full bodied. Evenly balanced carbonation and a nice dry finish.

This is a great beer. The only thing that keeps from giving it a 5 overall is the alcohol and texture which leave your palate sufficiently satisfied after one.

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Photo of KDawg
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this on tap and it poured a dark orange color with a decent sized foamy head

Very aromatic with richer tones of hops, citrus and some florals as well

Medium/full feel that is really plush and smooth. It is a bit slight bit boozy though

While the alcohol was a bit noticeable, this was a really good DIPA. It was on the richer side but with a freshness to it as well

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Photo of blackcompg
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a very fresh case of Oracle from Bell's Brewery on 8/14/11, reviewing on 8/15/11, poured from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz beer glass...been waiting for this all year long!

Appearance - Pours a quick finger of off white-eggshell head, color is a glowing lite copper orange, slightest bit of haze, nearly clear. Keeps a solid cap for the session. Smooth laced stripes coat the glass from top to bottom at the end of the session.

Smell - Big citrusy hops, grapefruit juice and pineapple, touch of pine in the back, little bit of hard candy sweetness, no alcohol in the nose.

Taste - OMG!!! This could not be a fresher Oracle, and the taste is Incredible, SO GOOD! Semi-sweet yellow grapefruit, under-ripe pineapple, tangering peel and ruby red grapefruit...all of this rides along a slightly sweet malty backbone...all the while there are floral hops. After ths sip a nice bitterness of grapefruit rind and pine assert themselves long into the finish, but there are still pockets of citrus and candied semi-sweetness throughout the mouth...this is not like a salvo of punches at all, this is a perfectly orchestrated symphony! There is no evidence of the 10% ABV, never have I seen (not seen?) an ABV like this hidden so well...there is a slight warmth that develops a little over halfway thru the session.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, so smooth, carb is light and tingly, with all of the different hoppy citrus notes there is some juicyness here, yet there is some bitter dryness in the finish - just enough to beg the next sip - perfection.

Overall - I LOVE this beer, my only complaint is that this is a seasonal release. Find it, trade for it, go to Bell's in Kalamazoo and get some if you must - this to me is the best tasting DIPA I've had so far. Two thumbs up, way up!

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a really cool lost abbey glass, The Oracle Dipa has a golden amber color with some glow, and a bit of hop haze. Head is sticky and lacy, but it has some large bubbles.

The aroma is too mild for a DIPA, as I expect a ton of hops in mine. While the aroma doesn't carry the most in-your-face hop punch, it's quite interesting. At first I was getting a candy character, like a grape or cherry jolly rancher. Now I'm getting candied orange minus any citric aroma. As it warms, more apricot comes through. I just wish this beer had more strength in the hops.

The taste is super bitter, with some pine flavor running along with it. I'm getting some burnt sugar, and I assume they use some sugar in the beer. Again, I'm getting that orange character without the citrusy aspect. This is a nice, burning, bitter tasting DIPA.

The mouthfeel is really nice, it feels like bitter, oily hop juice. There is a bit too much of an afterburn on the palate. This was a nice DIPA, and I'd like to try some more beers from this brewery.

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Photo of fiver29
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Josh with a group of other beer lovers. Thanks Josh! Pours orange with off white head. Aroma is citrus grapefruit simcoe hops. I said I thought the aroma reminded me of hopslam without the honey. Opulent mouthfeel. Flavor follows the nose and has a great citrus hop blast from grapefruit or orange and finishes semi dry with slight alcohol. Someone else suggested it was like their big head. Either way a great IIPA and was a pleasure to try. Thanks!

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Photo of drxandy
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a bottle of the first bottling and thought i reviewed it, apparently not - this batch around, here we go

12oz to tulip glass, pours a peachy shade, creamy head retains excellently

smells of hops and more hops, biscuity malt

taste is nice and dry, sweetness in the middle, bitter lingering delicious hops. good finish

mouthfeel is bitter and creamy

overall a very nice dipa, very drinkable, good weight for alc content and excellent balance.

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Photo of MIbeer27
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, dated 07/10/15.

Bottle pours a hazy golden orange with a one-finger, white head that recedes but never fully fades. Lacing was outstanding.

Big aroma of pineapple, orange, and apricot. Notes of pine needles are also there, along with a light malt presence.

Taste starts with a balance of the pineapple/orange/apricot notes from the hops and appropriate malt sweetness. This quickly shifts to a rush of pine and resounding, drying bitterness that linger on the tongue for quite some time. Alcohol is noticeable, but expected and subtle.

Mouthfeel is resinous with moderate, prickly at times carbonation. Warming from the alcohol is noticeable all the way to my stomach.

Overall, The Oracle is almost exactly what I look for in a Double IPA. That is, huge punches of hops that don't get overshadowed by the malt sweetness. That being said, I wish the taste stuck with the extremely fruity aroma throughout. Bitterness is also about as high as I can take it. My palette still favors Hopslam, but this is a great offering from Bell's.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 3-week-old bottle, pours a clear orange with a finger of foam. Decent lacing for a beer this big. Smell is a bit muted, but I get some generic fruit and pine followed by malt.

Taste is a lot bigger than the smell, with prickly pine needles and fruit with some definite booziness joining in the proceedings. Malt is vying with the hops here, and almost winning, but it's more hop-forward. Honestly, this beer is so well integrated it's almost hard to pick apart the individual elements. Never tasted anything exactly like it.

Feel is a thickish medium. Overall, a good and unique take on a IIPA (one that's approaching IIIPA status).

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled July 10, 2015 brought back from Indiana to Ohio and enjoyed August 11, 2015.

Look - Bright but matte orange. Less than finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Lacing from the get go where head was more apparent. Fine to medium bubbles.

Smell - Dank hop. Grapefruit. Pine. Pineapple. Lemon.

Taste - Malt and pine. Light grapefruit. Caramel and booze on back end.

Feel - Thick carbonation. Medium to heavy feel. Rips away at my tongue.

Overall - I like it. Compares to I Hardcore You, Double Crooked Tree, Devil Dancer, and other malt heavy double IPAs. I thought it wasn't coming to Ohio so got it in Indiana and it showed up today.

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

Batch 9306 packaged on August 28.

Hazy orange pour with a solid finger of near white head. Frothy with some nice bubbles. Clean with some very fine hop molecules.

Aroma of hot pine sappy grapefruit rind. Some sweet fruit too...peaches maybe cantaloupe.

Hits you in the back of the throat immediately upon impact. Hop vapor explosion. Floral hoppy to bitchin' hot in a second. Chewy piney grapefruit. Phenol felt in the mouthfeel surrounded by hop power. Faint taste of sourdough pretzels. Very tart and chewy in the middle...grapefruit rind x 10.

Wicked lacing up and down the glass. Very intense and very good.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to biglobo8971 who sent this for the winnings from the Sunday Night Football Squares LIF week 4. I'm enjoying this watching Game 5 of the ALDS cheering for the Rangers!!!!

Poured into a tulip glass a golden orange with a two finger foam white head. Great lacing and retention. My allergies are a PIA this time of year, and all I can find in the scent is some alcohol. But that's my noises fault. The taste has some piny hop notes with a slight citric sweetness that morphs into a carmel flavor and hoppy bitter aftertaste. Very complex. The mouthfeel isn't too thick or too thin, just right for the style. And the alcohol is well masked making this a very drinkable IIPA.

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Photo of cwguy5
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Brawley's for this one!

A - deep golden, orange color with one finger, bubbly head; faded to nice a covering cap with enormous amounts of lacing
S - aromatic hops, then malt and bread, then pine
T - bitter in front followed by brief pineapple then huge piney, bitterness at end
M - velvety smooth; medium carbonation with fine, foamy bubbles
D - drinkability for me is low here; not sure if this is from the bitterness or the lack of much fruit or anything beyond pine oil; just not my favorite palate for a big ipa

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
Bottle dated 8/12/2011. (Gotta love a 9-day old DIPA!)

Aroma: Green pine needles and herbal hops, sweet tea, red delicious apple, and nice peach aroma sets in after a while.

Appearance: Golden-copper, crystal clear body. Thick, two-finger, persistent off-white head. Nice, foamy lacing sticks to inside of glass.

Flavor: Deceptive honey-like sweetness and medicinal hop up front. Pine resin quickly follows. Strong bitterness then ramps up as sweetness subsides. Bitterness then ramps up, and increases well through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. Alcohol is warming in the throat after swallowing.

Overall: Lots of great things going on here. From the fantastic aroma, to the appearance, to the roller coaster ride of flavors. I will say-- the bitterness that shows up after I swallowed each sip was almost enough to make me cry uncle! If you have a taste for some powerful bitterness, and can get a hold of this one, I highly recommend it!

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Photo of Mavajo
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Buckeyenation for throwing this in as an extra - generous guy.

Pours an amber orange color with a huge, frothy white head. Beautiful sticky lacing - although the lacing continued throughout the experience, the upper part of my glass was especially plastered. Wonderful. My only knock on the appearance would be the haze in the body - a little more clarity would have knocked this up to a perfect score.

Nose is a generous hop punch; citrus and fruity, with notes of pine/grass. The taste follows suit with liberal amounts of hops and bitterness. Where HopSlam is hoppy but very sweet, The Oracle switches it around - the hops and bitterness are jacked up, while the sweetness takes more of a backseat. Either way, both beers make for an absolutely excellent taste. Hot damn does Bell's know how to make a tasty brew. The alcohol is completely hidden.

The mouthfeel is very good. Appropriate carbonation, and fairly smooth - medium bodied. I would have liked it if the body were a bit fuller or creamier, but I'm undoubtedly picking nits at this point.

Another phenomenal DIPA from Bell's. I must confess, this beer wasn't even on my radar - huge thanks to Buckeyenation for solving that problem! Very glad I had the opportunity to try this. I'm amazed at how well this had held up with age - I can only imagine what it must have been liked fresh.

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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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Photo of MartzMimic
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a light copper with about a finger of head. It dissipates quickly, leaving a small layer of foam on top. Not much of an aroma, just a bit of malt and caramel. Malt is definitely the first thing you taste, then vanilla, caramel, turning to citrus then - Wham! - the hops and booze kick in. Lots of piney bitterness coats the tongue. And plenty of burn. Medium mouth that's a touch oily. Definitely not your typical DIPA, but it's pretty good.

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Photo of krisandajt
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very tasty treat courtesy of mymrnngjckt. You, sir, are the man.

Appearance: An easy pour yields a thick, clear copper colored beverage with a small amount of thin bubbly head. Though there isn't much head, what is there hangs out for a while and there is plenty of thick, sticky, soapy lacing.

Smell: Delicious hops. A nice, moderate hit of citrusy, bitter grapefruity hops. Not overpowering or offensive, but certainly not lacking either.

Taste: Wow. An initial hit of sweet that is immediately followed by the delicious bitter hops that were hinted at in the nose. It's amazing how clearly defined these two contrasting flavors are, and how well they compliment each other.

Mouthfeel: A full-bodied, smooth textured, viscous bit of grog. It almost feels like you need to chew this bad boy.

Drinkability: Hands down one of the best IPA's I have ever had. Definitely one of the brews worthy of the hype it has received. It's a fantastic blend of sweet and bitter, has a great mouthfeel, and it just down right good. Please sir...can I have some more?

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks pretty damn good in my Sam Adams pint glass. Beautiful deep orange with some slight touches of amber. Moderate carbonation feeds a lasting, just off-white head that seems to last quite a while. There is a ton of lace that follows down the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of nice aromas here. Strong fruitiness w/ pineapple jumping out at me. This is followed by a strong orange/tangerine aroma. Hints of pine round out the hop aromas. The malts are definitely here to play too with some rich caramel notes present. I do get a slight hit of booze in the end, but it isn't off-putting.

T: At first I get a ton of that fruity hop character that was noted in the nose. Plenty of pineapple, orange and tangerine in the flavor, but not quite as much as the aroma made it out to be. This is quickly followed by a strong, caramel flavor. Not toffee, but caramel. A significant sweetness from the malts is there, but it isn't too cloying. This is promptly followed by a strong piney, grapefruit rind bitterness. The beer does finish with some alcohol in the end. It isn't terrible, but definitely there. Overall very flavorful and hop forward with a significant caramel malt backbone. Definitely maltier than Hopslam. The booze comes out a little more too.

M: Medium to heavy bodied. A little heavier than some DIPAs. Feels smooth over the tongue. Carbonation is moderate at best. Maybe a little to sticky in the back of the throat at the end. The alcohol helps it dry out a little though.

D: This is a damn fine DIPA. The aroma is very nice, but for me the flavor didn't match up with it. The flavors were all nice (minus a little too much booze), but they were a little muted. I liked the balancing malts. They seemed to make the beer taste better in this cooler fall weather. I would definitely drink this again, but not over Hopslam or some other great DIPAs that are out.

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Photo of neorunner
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into Unibroue tulip glass. A cloudy tangerine color with 1/4 of light cream colored head. Almost no lacing with a small spotting of head left over at the end.

S- Mild floral aroma reminiscent of hopslam.

T- Slight hint of grain/malt hidden under the hops. Cream flavor gets cleaned off your pallet by the bitterness of the hops fairly quickly. Slight residual bitterness at the back of your tongue with the finish. Reminded me of a orange creamsicle / orange rind taste.

M- Body is light with a touch of cream, residual bitterness for a couple seconds after tasting.

D- I would drink another, but given the choice between this and a hopslam I would choose a hopslam.

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

A: Dark golden orange with a two finger off white head.

S: spicy, citrus hops. Grapefruit, pineapple maybe? Smells like Hopslam

T: wow, tastes like Hopslam minus the honey on the backend which makes the bitterness all the more powerful (and that's ok with me)

M: good carbonation with lots of bubbles. blends well with the bite

D: well, I drank 3 of these in one sitting so I'd say pretty drinkable. Although, it really puts your tongue through a workout. Would love to know the abv

Very delicious DIPA overall. I think I like Hopslam a little more but this is still a fantastic DIPA. Another amazing beer from Bell's. Very much recommend every hop lover try if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of glazeman
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Michigan Brewer's Guild tasting: reviewed from notes

A: Dark amber in color with an off white head that had excellent retention

S: This one smelled fairly medicinal to me, with the hop notes being some sort of mixture of floral grapes and a little bit of pine

T: The taste was a tad sweet to start and bitter at the finish. Not much citrus in this beer, but some pine was definitely noticeable. Not my favorite tasting DIPA.

M: A little above average for the category with a nice mouthfeel and appropriate level of carbonation.

D: Something about the taste, causes me to not really be attracted to this beer. It's somewhat plain and not as interesting as I would have liked. The flavors don't sit well enough on the tongue to have me wanting more. With all that said, it really isn't a bad beer though.

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Photo of thetomG
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Above average appearance (but a little more clear than I prefer) - orangeish color, very nice ring of dense foam left around the glass after the initial head diminishes leaving behind a ton of sticky lacing. . Nice piney hop-filled aroma with a slight hint of citrusy fruit. Flavor is a good blend of bitter hop and malty flavors that try (but fail) to balance things out - the bitterness clearly wins out here, which takes away from the drinkability.

Good beer, but given the limited availability and my preference for other more readily available DIPAs, I'm not too likely to seek this one out all too often.

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Photo of vic21234
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on date of 07/10/15. I was extremely surprised to come across the last six pack of this at a local shop, as I've never been able to get my hands on a single bottle.

A- Pours a very nice looking cloudy orange color with a fair amount of white head which hangs around awhile.

S- Not as aromatic as I would expect, but some decent hints of pine on the nose.

T- Tons of piney resin character on the initial taste. I really don't get much citrus that some other reviews note. The back end of the taste leaves some heavy notes of caramel malts.

M- Medium bodied, very hoppy and bitter, alcohol is noticeable at 10% ABV. Leaves a rather dry finish.

Very nice sipping DIPA, and pleased that I got to try it. A bit pricey, but expected at a higher ABV.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer's color is a clear, deep, orange-amber that lies beneath a big, frothy off-white head and leaves lasting sheets of white lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an almost-intoxicating blend of grapefruit, pine, and freshly cut grass. There's also some noticeable alcohol. Flavor is hoppy, resiny, with some finishing sweetness to balance the bitterness. Mouthfeel is very satisfying; medium-heavy with appropriate carbonation. Overall, I'm thankful this is a 12-oz bottle and can't imagine going through a 6 pack alone. A great example of the style, but the style is powerful and best in small doses.

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The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,714 ratings.
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