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The Oracle | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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The OracleThe Oracle
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
2,724 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#1,384
Reviews:
787
Ratings:
2,724
pDev:
10.58%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
453
Gots:
418
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,724 |  Reviews: 787
Photo of Cramerican
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of cd34
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of JasonR1975
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Omnium
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Sensory PIls glass
A - Pours a very nice gold color 1 finger of a fizzy head, nice thick lacing on the sides.
S - Big juicy hops, pineapple, mango, citrus, pine, rye, pepper, caramel and toffee malts. There's also a strong alcohol presence.
T - Big lime and grapefruit flavors, those are definitely the dominant qualities in this, then you get some overly ripe tropical fruits, kinda like fruit cocktail, the mid way through you get some caramel and toffee kinda sweet malts, a little pepper and rye underneath, some pine bitterness that sneaks up then really gets you. Some alcohol burn on the end.
M - Thick, chewy, lots of abrasive bitterness, cloying flavor.
O - This does get better as it warms up, it reminds me a lot of Great Lakes' Lake Erie Monster with the abundance of ripe fruit flavor, but the alcohol burn and smell is too much, and there's a weird rye peppery aftertaste thats just making it disappointing.

 933 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle - batch # 9306. Poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The IIPA appears a hazed rich apricot color with about an inch of dense light rust colored head. The head leaves a thin lace on the inside of my glass with each sip. Nose and flavor consist of white grapefruit juice, some resinous pine, mild hints of tropical fruit such as pineapple, herbal, caramelized malt notes, but not as sweet as I was expecting. Finish is quite dry and bitter, with the alcohol coming through as it warms. Tasty stuff.

 519 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bottle shared by largadeer at a BA tasting. Even though we shared 3 very strong beers before this one, it was so strong that I feel confident I managed to experience its full range of flavors. As Chris put it: "this is a palate-raping beer."

A: Pours a cloudy, effervescent amber body. A vigorous pour filled the glass with substantial foam for even the small sample size; it receded slowly and left some lacing behind. Nice.

S: Pineapple and assorted tropical fruit (I swear I pick up lychee, but then I am craving lychees). Tangerine, orange. A touch of biscuit. Great aroma.

T: Wow, tongue-bruising and palate-raping. Tons of pineapple citrus, but it's almost like drinking pineapple juice, which reminds you of that small cut on your tongue. Enamel-peeling and harsh. Mango / grapefruit / tangerine blend. I get the biscuit malt I smelled in the nose, but it's very subtle and easy to miss on most of the sips. The beer finishes hugely bitter. It's similar to HopSlam in some respects, but not as enjoyable.

M: Wayyy more bitter than I enjoy; I like a clean flavor. Noticeable booze. Medium-bodied, medium carbonation.

D: Points for extreme flavor, but this is a beer that throws balance by the wayside and kicks it while it's down. I'm not sure if I'd go out of my way to trade for this, but if it were shared again, I wouldn't turn it down. An enjoyable beer, just not something I'd use as an ideal representation of the style.

 1,445 characters

Photo of robgage
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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 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 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.

Wow...is 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 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 CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of IpeeA
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CraftFan5
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of dannycohen62
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jegross2
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Tracker83
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

The Oracle from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,724 ratings
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