The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

The OracleThe Oracle
Liked This Beer
4.16 w/ 2,724 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,724 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of robgage
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of CSO
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of portia99
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in the Artistic Label BIF from sproser. Thanks Shawn! Poured into a Bruery tulip. Bell's batch #9306.

A - Pours a mostly clear, bright orangey copper color. A thin head tries to form but gives way immediately and settles to a collar of loose bubbles.

S - Bright and citrusy. Oranges and grapefruits mostly. Some resiny pine combines in here with a touch of alcohol in the nose. Some tropical fruits - mangos, pineapple, and maybe a touch of spice (unidentifiable to me). Small amount of malt, mostly sweet, sugary in aroma.

T - Grapefruit, sweet sugary malt, alcohol hit me up front on the first swallow. Also gets some pine flavor that goes well with the moderate impression of bitterness. Bitterness is crisp and smooth, not at all harsh. The malt level balances this out quite nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is on the full side. Viscosity is noticed on the tongue. Thick and resiny. Carbonation is medium to low, but just right for this style.

D - For a 10.4% beer this is a pretty drinkable beer. Somewhere between a sipper and an easy drinker. Alcohol is noticeable on every sip, especially on the inhale - not overpowering, but easily noticeable. This, to me, is quite a good double IPA, think this would go nicely with a good steak and mashed potatoes...seems like it would complement nicely.

 1,316 characters

Photo of Evan
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Yellolab2010
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.49/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Filtered watered down orange juice to me peepers. Oily legs stand atop some bubbly suds that sit along the outer edges. I'm a sucker for a nice orange colored IPA.

Somewhat of an effort to pull much of a smell from what I anticipated to be quite a delicious smelling beer. Soapy orange, touch of pine, and a boozy quality that isn't quite anticipatory. Surprised at the lack of depth and complexity, especially considering this should be fresh. this hot...and not in a good way. This tastes like vodka with a faint twist of citrus. The herbal bitterness that follows overwhelms the back end of leaves nearly no sense of any citric hop presence. I am at a loss here.

Oily and nearly flat due to the low carbonation and heavy body.

Drinkability? Don't talk about drinkability? Drinkability? For the price of this beer and the pedigree of Bell's Two Hearted and HopSlam, both delicious beers, this is a messy, messy, messy beer. Swing and a miss.

 957 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Deep orange/amber in color, with a short, off white head of foam.
Aroma-Sweet malt and citrus hop notes
Taste-One-two punch of sweet malt and citrus hop bite. Big malt backbone, hints of pineapple and pine, omnipresent hop bitterness. Nicely done.

 294 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to kzoobrew for this great extra from trading. Cheers buddy!

Appearance - Pours a beautiful hazy copper/dark amber color with over a finger of white fluffy head. As the foam slowly dissipates, it leaves great looking lacing. I'm pretty excited to try this.

Smell - Wow, amazing. Passion fruit, tangerines, and oranges. It smells amazing. This is followed by a mellow yet strong (oxymoron?) hop and piney aroma. Holy cow my mouth is watering in anticipation.

Taste - A bit malty up front followed by some bitter hop taste and ending on an extremely smooth note. I taste grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, etc. This honestly has an utterly amazing flavor and smell to it. I keep sniffing it then taking a nice long sip. I am enjoying this to its fullest.

Mouthfeel - Moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation. It feels thick, oily, and overall dense...which is a good thing.

Drinkability - I can't believe this is a 10+ abv beer. I feel I may have had this beer a bit after the "crazy" hoppiness as some have described (or maybe I'm just use to West Coast hoppy beers) but this was not a massive hop bomb by any means. This was an extremely balance, utterly amazing smelling and tasting DIPA. This is a DAMN good DIPA. I am thoroughly enjoying this right now and will most definitely search for these when I am in the Midwest. Bravo.

 1,348 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I dedicate this review, and all future Bell's reviews, to super-tasters from Kalamazoo and beyond.

A - It pours an ultra-deep hue of amber and has a large frothy caramel colored head.

S - It smells of alcohol, grassiness, vegetal, and perhaps catty and/or onion-y.

T - The bitterness is sufficient to overwhelm a significantly big maltiness. It seems mostly astringent and somewhat piney, as far as flavor goes. Not fantastic due to a lack of dynamic hop impression.

M - Big and sticky.

D - I don't care for this big crass beast of a beer. It is not terrible by any means, but it doesn't do it for me in any way either.

 624 characters

Photo of IpeeA
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of cd34
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Ri0
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

poured 12oz bottle into snifter.

A -Hazy orange with some amber and a 2 finger white head. Fades to a ring and leaves loads of lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet bread drenched in caramel. Hops bring pineapple, some citrus, and pine. Smell is very pleasant and more of a citrus/tropical IIPA.

T - Starts off with some sweet bread and caramel. Then the hops assault your palate viciously. Pine and pineapple take the first hit, then come some citrus of orange and grapefruit rind. Finish is quite bitter and there is some booze to it.

M -Medium body with nice carbonation. Alcohol is warming and noticeable.

O - A nice big IIPA from Bells that seeks balance, but really brings the hops, more so than Hopslam IMO.

 715 characters

Photo of rye726
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Up for review is a 12oz bottle of The Oracle from Bells poured into a pint glass at room temp. Nice cedar color, lacy tan head. Nice blend of hops and malts. This sample seems a bit stale, but it still has a nice bitter hop presence. Medium body well carbonated. Nice bitter finish.

 282 characters

Photo of crbnfbr
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of DonFrap
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Batch 10588, bottled on 8/12/11. Welp, nearly four months old...hope it's been stored properly

A- pours a slightly cloudy shade of orange with a thick, one finger offwhite head. Lacing is magnificent, all the way around the glass. Looks gorgeous

S- oranges. Yummy, but a little muted

T- nice sweet burst of citrus, with a tad bit of bitterness at the end. It's slightly muted because of the age, but not overly so

M- pretty thick bodied...close to being syrupy

O- would like to try it fresh, don't think I got the FULL experience....but it wasn't bad

 592 characters

Photo of NateMac13
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of mtbdonn
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mpayne5
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of far333
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orangey amber with a low head of off-white foam that settles out quickly. Legs of lace reach up the glass as I sip.

Fresh and inviting aroma of citrusy hops and cinnamon, some toffee and pear.

Fresh hop flavors upfront, tangerine and orange, plus red grapefruit. Moves quickly to orange rind pith and piney notes. Firm bitterness, but hop flavors are big and juicy. Underscored by a honey malt backbone full of toffee and ripe fruit. ABV is surprisingly hidden.

Full mouthfeel, even carbonation, slight ABV warming up the cheeks. Very tasty and drinkable beer despite the strength. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for passing this one my way.

 643 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange color with a two finger off white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is amazing. Grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, and mango. This should be really good.

It is really good. Sweetness and hop bitterness combine to make a very nice beer, with grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, and mango.

Medium to full bodied, perfect carbonation, smooth, creamy, easy to drink, and the alcohol is well hidden. I could drink this again and again.

 452 characters

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 89.4% out of 100 with 2,724 ratings
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