Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bells The Oracle Double IPA - Craft Beer Review #142

Here is what the Brewer says:
Our take on the West Coast-style Double India Pale Ale, The Oracle places hop intensity first & foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt & balance. The fireworks start with the floral aromatic punch of two separate dry-hop sessions with Amarillo and NZ Pacific Jade. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise. 10%ABV Shelf Life: 6 months, Dates Available: Late summer seasonal
I had the pleasure of drinking this brew at Lizardville recently during a Bell's tapping.  Two local reps from Bells were in house that night to talk with us while we enjoyed The Oracle Double IPA.  They told us this was only the 2nd time this beer has ever been tapped in Ohio!  With that being said, I was delighted to have a chance to try this brew!
My Thoughts:
This beer poured a transparent dark yellow/orange with a slight white head that didn't remain around very long.  The smell was that of a citrus and tropical fruit hop bomb with a piney resin and a slight pale malt note. The smell was very pleasing and exactly what I was hoping for in this aggressively hopped brew.  The flavor didn't disappoint either.  Citrus and grapefruit are with you very strongly beginning and mid-drink and start to dry out your palate just a bit, but in the end it turns into a wonderful lingering bitterness.  I attribute this to the malt that kicks in at the end which helps mellow out this strong DIPA.   The taste of this beer was very fresh and I didn't get any hop oiliness like a few friends of mine noted.  This could be because this was on tap and very fresh, where in the bottle the hops could mellow and possibly get oily.  (I hope to get a bottle sometime to see the difference.)  The body on this beer was mild with slightly above average carbonation levels which lead to a very pleasing mouthfeel considering the strength of this beer.   Online this is rated at 10%ABV, but at Lizardville they had it pegged at 10.4%...Either way this strong DIPA is an easy drinker that goes down very easy.  So easy that a few craft beer community members who joined me there that night had a few of these with me!  If you ever do come across this on tap and you enjoy hops you have to try it.  If you see it in bottles, please let me know!
Serving Type: 12oz draft
My Rating: Overall 95/100
Look:4.75 | Smell:4.75 | Taste:4.75 | MouthFeel:4.75 | Drinkability:4.75

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