Bell's "The Oracle" Double IPA

Only one Bell's beer so far has fallen short of my "recommend" rating of 2.0-3.0. Anything higher is kind of a strong urge for others to try, and anything less is a suggestion to avoid. Better than that, they are one of the few brewers to score a perfect 5.0 with a beer, and that gives you a golden ticket to try whatever you want.

The copper-colored beer has a dense and patchy head that leaves lacing that reminds me of the thin veneer of sand that you get on your legs after walking along the beach on a breezy day. The aroma is more yeast than I expected, but that is supported by the caramel and toffee malt that has a pinch of bread about it that may just be me mixing the yeast with the malt. There's a hint of lemon, but it's not a citrus-heavy beer.

First sip is not the laid-back ease that I expect from a DIPA. It's yeasty, bitter, and it has the anger of an old man who is sure that the kids next door are screwing with his wi-fi, and he's not able to FaceTime with his grand kids because of connection issues that he is ill-equipped to troubleshoot. It's too aggressive for a DIPA. It has the anger of an IPA without the smoothness that the DIPA brings. But, a swig has rescued many beers.

Tip-in is carbonation burn with caramel malt highlighted by yeast and brown sugar. The middle rolls with even more untamed carbonation burn while the toffee rolls in and brings more yeast and some pine scraping the roof of the mouth. Bread finishes us off with another hit of yeast, but at least the carbonation runs away.

Bottom Line: A rare miss from the brewer from Michigan.



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