The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,718 Ratings
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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:
2,718
Reviews:
786
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
10.58%
 
 
Wants:
454
Gots:
416
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,718 |  Reviews: 786
Photo of NateMac13
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of mpayne5
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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 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

Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of needMIbeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of coz
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

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

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy orange with finger white head, good retention and coating lace. Candy-like malt aroma. Big bold flavors colliding here, sweet sugary pale and caramel malts met by massive piney reding hops, with grassy floral notes lasting well beyond the sip. The bitterness definitely wins out, wow this is bitter, but I like it. Medium soft feel, dry finish. Big bitter sipper.

 394 characters

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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 FaradayUncaged
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of sholland119
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Bell's 31 beer tapping at City Tap House, 6/7/10.

A-Pours a slightly hazy honey amber with a generous amount of foamy white head. Nice lacing.

S-You want hops? We got hops! Mostly citrus, with lots of grapefruit bitterness and some nice pineapple, but some nice piney hop notes as well. Excellent.

T-Really outstanding and one of the best of the style I have ever tried. A solid, understated malt backbone with lots of sweet pineapple and orange on the front, some pine sap and then a really nice long bitter grapefruit finish.

M-Medium bodied and somewhat dry. Not at all tiring to drink.

D-Really excellent. Could only have one on this night but would love to run across this one again.

HV

 709 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 robgage
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of hooliganlife
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

pours a golden yellow with huge thick creamy fluffy head. sticky lacing. big retention.

faint citrus. lots of tropical fruit when poured but once it sat for a few, nose is barely there. searching hard, i fond some booze and hops

mostly bitter pine and resin. a bit one dimensional. intense with the malts and booze. decent but nothing pops out at me that is grabbing my attention. some grapefruit in the finish.

nice chewy body and moderate carbonation.

expected more from this, it was good. maybe its because i waited like 2-3 years to try this.

 552 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of CSO
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of cultclassic89
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This would probably be better fresh. Almost five months old now.

64 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%

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

Photo of TheBrewo
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We crack a pair, pouring a brew of golden pumpkin orange into our Founders snifters, throwing faint amber hues when it catches a ray just right. It produces a quickly building three finger head of soapy tan colored bubbles, showing excellent retention. This creamy and goopy crown slowly bubbles away, leaving thick sheets of honeycomb lacing all around our glasses. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be on the lighter side of moderate. The aroma is both richly malty and sticky with hops, giving notes of sweet pale, lightly caramel, and rye maltiness, spiciness of booze, dried cucumber skin, and fresh ferns, and big hoppiness of nectary, lightly citric, and piney varietals. Complexity works in with warmth, riding on sweet vanilla extract, rubber tree, lactic warmth, lime juice, passion fruit, black pepper and far-off gingerbread breadiness, tannic leafy teas, soft bubblegum, perfumed florals, and sugary sweet hits of citric hop goodness. Our first impression is that the hops are quite bitter, mixing with the fusel nature of the booze for an explosively surprising beginning. As we sip, the taste opens with black pepper, lemon zest, metallic amber and pale malts, chemical rubber bite, bitterly herbal and sweetly nectary hops, sap resins, hints of honey sweetness, and sweet fusel alcohol. The middle peaks with red cherry sweetness, hibiscus and honeysuckle florals, whole black peppercorn, sesame seed, chalked yeast, freshly picked parsley, citric and herbal hops, light caramel sugars, and a bittered, steely rye type of maltiness. The end hits with cleaner pales, warm cornbread, drippy butters, vodka booze, plant greens, biting tree bark, mineral water, citric, grassy, and herbal hops, mango fruitiness, gravel, aluminum, eucalyptus, grape seeds, coconut husk, and water chestnuts. The aftertaste breathes of hugely fusel booze, piney hop resins, distant raisin sugars, pencil shavings, gravel, dirty yeast, black pepper, pseudo-woody astringency, black raspberry seediness, wet moss, nickel, and echoes of those bitter herbal hops. The body is full, and the carbonation is medium but subdued. Each sip gives nice cream and froth, decent slurp and smack, and clean finishing pop. The mouth is initially coated fully, but this quickly drips into intense boozy pucker and tannic astringency. The abv is up there for a 12oz. bottle, and it drinks as such.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its nose. Really, all the aromatic goodness presented here came with warmth. It started a bit hot and overly malty, much like the flavoring, but it took a turn with warmth, where the hops were allowed to flourish into their natural, sticky, floral, and piney state. This gave a sweet air to it, helping to contrast nicely with the grain and the fusel booziness. We found the taste, however, to be a bit cumbersome. Here we found extreme hotness of ethanol, overly bittered hops, and biting, metallic yeast, mixing for a rather heavy puck and chalked astringent on the feel. This was not helped by the fact that the body was sturdy and thick, adding to the burden of drinking it. Perhaps it was the hype that killed this one for us, but unfortunately we found The Oracle to be overly boozed, deceptively unbalanced, and more of a chore than an absolute pleasure.

 3,310 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 9306. Pours. Hazy bright orange to copper color. Thick, fluffy white head. Great head retention. Nice patches of lace coating the sides of the glass.

Bursting with hop aroma. I can smell it from the other side of the room. Loads of grapefruit, pine, and a variety of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. You can get a whiff of sweet malt. Or perhaps that is wishful thinking. Bold and juicy aroma, hard to imagine it could be any better.

Things begin with a good dose of sweet malt. Not much caramel, but there is some depth. Bitter grapefruit comes next. Things dry out a bit in the middle with some tropical fruit and an aspirin edge. Bitterness lingers forever on the palate. A ghost-like second wave of tropical fruit comes and goes like a flash. Or is it my tongue dying?

Medium body, carbonation seems good. Maybe a hint of warming alcohol, but not much. This was very drinkable, even with the full assault of hops. Another great one from bells. Very enjoyable!

 995 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange/apricot color with a thick frothy cap of about two fingers, and lacing that lasts throughout the beer. Aroma has a bit of caramel in the front along with some floral hop notes. The taste starts with a touch of bread and light citrus, mainly orange. The beer finishes incredibly bitter, there is a huge amount of pine and floral taste in the finish.

 360 characters

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,718 ratings.
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