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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,384 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,384
Hads: 3,496
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 17.09%
Wants: 214
Gots: 392 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-30-2001

Double Cream Stout derives its name from its smooth, creamy texture, not the ingredients. Completely dairy-free, this stout blends ten different specialty malts to yield a remarkable depth of flavor. With only a touch of burnt notes, Double Cream Stout focuses on the softer, cocoa & espresso-like aspects of roasted malt.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,384 | Hads: 3,496
Photo of femmebiere
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It had a very creamy smell with a most unique taste. The only taste that I could relate it to is going to come across as very negative. Not the initial taste or even on the swallow, but on the lips afterward, you are left with a sour cream taste. It is very peculiar to have a beer tart and creamy, and this beer definitely did it.
It is not my favorite beer, and I can recommend many more before this one. However, in no way is it a bad beer with its dark color and hearty stout taste.

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Photo of techfed87
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a big, mocha head to it. Smell is very much spicier than what I would have imagined.

Taste is of dark roasted malts. Mouthful is average, with the feel and consistency that you would expect from a beer with an ABV that this one holds.

Taste is initially sourly bitter, but mellows off as the aftertaste hits you, pointing towards the effect the cream is having on the overall flavor. It's a pleasant add on to what could have been a much rougher stout.

For not being an Imperial Stout, this one holds its own surprisingly well. A nice winter warmer indeed.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Would like to thank BigErn again for this brew. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass. Poured a very deep, dull black with a two-finger creamy tan head. Little head retention , but, left a generous amount of tan lace on my glass. Faint burnt rubber, creamy milk chocolate, and coffee bean nose. Nothing too overwhelming here. Tasted of freshly roasted ingredients , short blasts of espresso, with maybe a touch of alcohol. Very little carbonation. Has a somewhat thick almost milky feeling in the mouth. Didn't think it was anything spectacular , but it was pretty good.

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Photo of champ103
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Crane Ally in Urbana, IL

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan head forms and sticks throughout. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Big roasted malt up front and center. Coffee, cereal grains, light chocolate. Then comes a metallic and almost acidic twang. That pretty much takes over in the finish.
T: Follows the nose with a big roasted malt, coffee, and cereal grain flavor. Finishes very metallic and acidic.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Just a bit on the thin side. Not hard to drink, but just not a fan of the metallic finish. Not something I am coming back to often.

Not a bad stout. It would be great if not for the metallic and acidic finish. I will probably try this a few more times because I have had wildly different experiences with different stout batches from Bell's.

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Photo of Plenum
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Expected more out of this one. Especially with Bell's on the label. Didn't have the depth I was expecting. Was more tart than I thought a cream stout should be. Color was dark, little lacing left on the glass. Thinner than I thought it should be. Run of the mill stout. Good, but not worth searching all over for.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

someone gave me a bottle of this, thanks, but i sampled it at market ave. wine bar in cleveland, oh. cellar temp, 12oz.

black body with a nice tan head.. pours rather thick and murky into a wine glass. scent is heavy on wood and vanilla, nothing too offensive or overpowering. taste mildly reflects the wooden oak aroma and brings out a true roasted nutty flavor along with some fudge notes. tart finish sneaks up on you, more than likely a bit of freshness in a beer that might need a couple months to sit. a decent beer but surprisingly light on the 'sweet and creamy' for style.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Double Cream Stout pours out dark brown with a medium sized head. The aroma is grain with some creamy sweetness. There's some roastiness, but it's not as roasty as I expected. Sweet malty flavor. Sour oakiness. Maybe a bit of chocolate. Bitterness comes in just at the end, but this is mainly a sweet beer. The sour flavor is a little too strong. Medium mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty good. There are some good flavors in this beer, but some off flavors too.

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Photo of ryrust5301
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A standard dark black color with a tan head. Smell is a little on the light side. A touch of bittersweet chocolate in the nose mixed in with a coffee scent. Taste has a little bit of a metallic bite to it. Cream taste definitely leaves it's fingerprint on this one. It combines with the bitter coffee and semi-sweet chocolate very well. A little on the thin side in the feel, and not as robust as it should be. A rare miss for Bell's. It's a little bit of a downer but not horrible.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. Very dark and opaque with virtually no head from an aggressive pour and minimal lacing.

The smell is of roasted sweet malt, coffee and more malt.

Taste closely follows the smell - the malt is the overriding note with lot's of sweet coffee. Not cloying but definitely sweeter than anything I would normally pick up.

Mouthfeel is slick and a little oily. Not bad.

Drinkability is ok, although this is certainly no session beer.

Overall a little out of my standard range but I enjoyed it. Certainly a good effort from Bell's.

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Photo of kajerm
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours super-dark and opaque, with one-finger tan head with huge lacing-- looks like a foamy milkshake.

Bell's says there are something like ten billion different malts in here, but I smell two, and they smell like cream soda and coffee.

Opens up great, tastes just like it smells. There's one fault that really brings this beer down-- a coiny aftertaste that gets strong with each sip. I've heard this is a common issue in some Bell's beers; it's a shame.

It's still a solid brew, but it could be great.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8273

A - pours a dark black that no light could penetrate with little foam to speak of

S - roasted malt, cocoa and coffee aromas

T - similar to the aromas, roasted malts with a cocoa flavor in the finish

M/D - not alot of flavor with this one, interesting zest in the finish that wasn't expected. I guess I'd have to try it again to see what a different day would bring.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - maybe a little over a finger of light tan head on a deep black body. Requires less than 5mm to see through. Some good lacing. Bubbles of all sizes.

S - A lot of chocolate. Bitterness from some hops. Mellow. Some vanilla as well. Simple.

T - Again just a little too sour for me on the flavor. Like a sour milk sour which is not good. There are some stouty flavors such as chocolate and vanilla.

M - Not really all that creamy to me. Medium body and moderate carbonation make this not bad, but they say it will be double creamy.

O - Pretty pedestrian to me. Sure, overall it is pretty good, but nothing stands out and makes me want to go get more.

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Photo of Jason
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a code of the back label that could be possibly be some sort of freshness date.

Appearance: Super foamy but not gushing, the froth had no problem at all sticking on every inch of the glass. Black with evident brown hues on the edges.

Smell: Smells pungent of cream soda extract with a vague roasted malt in the back.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slick and creamy mouth feel off of a heavy body, smooth crispness. Sweet up front, you would swear they put a bucket of cream soda extract in this brew. The sweetness soon gets hit by some hops bitterness and a straight-up roasted grain flavor. A bite from the alcohol hits the palate with a spiciness. Slightly astringent finish and on the dry side as well.

Notes: Big and bold with jabs of complexity, this is certainly not for a weak palate. An above average sweet stout … nothing close to some of the imported or Island sweet stouts.

Thanks to sakaroo for the sample.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade. With a fluffy texture and decent retention, it has plenty of aesthetic appeal. A consistent ring of lacing is left on the glass. (3.75)

Smell: This one has a really nice roasted characteristic. Much like the description states, the roastiness is relatively soft and chocolate-laden. There are also notes of coffee and licorice. It isn't as complex as I expected (given it has 10 different malts), but it's a rock-solid roast vessel. (3.5)

Taste: Wow, that's roasty. I think I'm picking up wisps of licorice and dark fruit here and there. All told, though, it's a pretty simple brew: it's just roast (nice roast, mind you) and a slightly sweet aftertaste. Still, I love roast, so this beer is solid in my book. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Despite how roasty it is, it still manages to be soft and creamy on the palate. Consider the labeling lived up to. Of course, because it's so roasty, it starts off finishing pretty dry. Sweetness does build on the tongue, however. Carbonation seems strong at first, but it fades very quickly. Overall drinkability is decent. (3.5)

Overall: It is what it is - a roast bomb. It's not complex, it just brings a nice roasted presence to the taste buds. Still, the relative softness makes it more palatable to roast haters. Cripes, I've said the word 'roast' way too many times in this review...but hey, it fits this beer perfectly. (3.5)

3.51/5: Roast roast roast roast roast roast roast roast

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*liked it, would buy it*

app: not black and mysterious, not brown and beautiful, just in the middle and blah.nice big head!

smell: smells like a babies diper that needs changing. but with a sweet backdrop, of nice black malts.

taste: much better than the smell. refreshing water then toasty black malt goodness. really nice MILD stout, i usually like em big n bold, this is nice and refreshing but still yummy and full of flavor.

mf: for how weak and refreshing it is the thin un stout like mf actually matches, i like this thin water mouthfeel with the light refreshing stout. good job!

drinkable?: INDEED! bottoms up!

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Photo of midaszero
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Opaque black with 2 fingers of tan head and okay lacing

S - coffee beans and chocolate plus an odd hard to place smell

T - roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts. creamy espresso and marshmallows

M - light medium body with light medium carbonation

D - enjoyable and interesting. not a main stay and not to strong. the unrecognizable smell is distracting

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Photo of Ivegotmule
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Bell's Special Double Cream Stout. Poured relatively hard into my Stone Smoked Porter pint glass. Bottled 8/22/13 and denoted "a" which mean best within 3 months of that date. Strange for a stout as Expedition is a "c"o, or 12+ month shelf life. So this is being consumed on the very last day to still be within best but date. I paid 2.39 for a single at Stella Brew in Winston-Salem.

A 3.75. Looks like an American stout should, but the head was a tad light and vanished before I even got a picture.
S 3.25. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice, but nothing special.
T 3.75. Best part of the beer (which is most inportant). Coffee leads for me with layers of sophisticated malts. Roasty and chocolate aftertaste. I swear I am getting mint in my nose and roof of my mouth as I breathe out. (Don't know if that makes sense).
M. 3. Just too thin and the carbonation slightly off for me.

Overall. 3.5. In the grand picture, this is a really good beer. But an establishment that can put out Expedition, Black Note, Two Hearted, Hopslam (my #1 overall beer), the Oracle, and then a great second tier; java, Oberon, oarsman, etc. This beer just doesn't hold up to Bell's usual standards. IMO, obviously. They are still a top 5 brewery for me.

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Photo of roughsax
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ CAH. Served in a small (12-14oz) tumbler.

A: Black/opaque. Big tan head, faded to a thin layer.

S: Cream, coffee, chocolate.

T: Sweet, creamy/frothy, chocolate milk, roasted finish.

M: Creamy (again), lighter, nice finish.

D: Very drinkable. Having a few would not be a problem, until sweetness overload and a full belly set in. Alcohol was not evident. A nice way to warm up with some creamy goodness.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired for $2.59 at the Four Firkins. 12 oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Bell's pilsner glass in me sister's gaff in low altitude Minneapolis, Minnesota. Expectations are high given this brewery's reputation. Reviewed live. Bottled 10/01/12.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger tan colour head of nice cream and thickness, and decent retention for the fairly high ABV. Colour is a solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Dark malts, cream, a hint of roast, java/coffee, and even a hint of vanilla. A good balanced aroma for the style. Average to mild in strength.

T: Cream, dark malts, cinnabon, chocolate malt, and light subtle coffee/java. Quite tasty. Decently balanced and built. A solid stout, but not particularly complex or subtle.

Mf: Carbonation is a bit overdone. A bit too thick, but nice nevertheless. Creamy, smooth, wet and tasty. Suits the flavours well.

Dr: A drinkable, solid all around stout. I'd love to try it on nitro. A good stout from Bell's, but not exceptional.


12/02/13: Truncated additional notes (freeform).

Appearance is solid for a stout: sleek opaque black. Nice head.

The finish has a kiss of bitterness, which may be from the dark chocolate and isn't ideal. I like the cream. I could use far more roast than it offers.

It's got a nice sleek smooth mouthfeel but isn't as creamy as it should be. Aptly thick and medium-bodied. Well-carbonated.

Quite drinkable for a stout. I'd definitely have it again. A solid brew from Bell's. Well worth trying. As good as I remember.


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Photo of KalH
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have to admit this is the first milk stout I've ever had and was not sure what to expect. I had purchased this at a local wine and beer store and thought I'd give it a shot being a Bell's fan.

So this beer poured just like I expected it to - a black milkshake. It had a one finger brownish ruby head and smelled of mocha, dried fruit, chocolate, and earth.
The taste was creamy and malty with a slight bitter aftertaste from the roasted coffee/mocha flavoring that was ever present from start to finish. Mouthfeel was not what I expected but okay.
I would probably try this again, but stouts are not really my thing. For what it was though, I thought it was a good beer and something I'd recommend to anyone into that style.

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Photo of Slynger
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark, brownly black with a lid of fuzzy-creamy tan foam.

The smell is of sweet dark chocolate and cream with darkly roasty toasty malts and some black coffee beans.

Full-medium body with softly fuzzy and moderately creamy carbonation. Flavors bring the same cream diluted dark chocolatey sweetness, along with a darkly roasty, toasty malt base, and some ground black coffee beans.

Eh, not as impressed by this one as most Bell's offerings, but it's still a decent beer.

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Photo of neckbracesub
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of Bell’s weakest stouts, in my opinion, but it still is a solid go-to for the value in price in the stout category.

Compared to the Java Stout or even Kalamazoo by Bell’s, this one is a little more on the extra-bite side. The initial taste is spoiled a bit by the lingering after taste. With all of that being said, this is still a quality beer that has a lot going for it.

Pours a nice dark head and has decent aromas of chocolate and caramel.

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Photo of hophugger
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

beautiful , no see through ebony color. Aroma is of sweet milk, interesting. Taste is smooth malty, milky goodness, well balanced and awesome in taste. This is one of the most creamy stouts I have had and the taste is awesome and the aftertatste is mellow with a hint of coffee and burnet sugar. Nice job, very drinkable in multiples, love it

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Photo of ajm5108
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent stout, very smooth mouthfeel, muted flavor up front (might be the cream) but finishes with some roasted malt and medium espresso. A little bit of a boozey finish.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you! Bottled in January 2011, and poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with less than a centimeter of beige head. There’s some nice strands of bubbles that sift through the surface of the liquid, but there is little-to-no retention of the head itself. Tiny, scattered patches of bubbles remain as lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee grounds, caramel, and toasted/burned sugar. Some dark fruits come together in the rear. The taste is of dark fruit, molasses, a touch of milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a hoard of cane sugar. The sugar carries over into the mouth, where is leaves a very sticky, resinous finish to the seemingly thinner beer. Overall, a decent stout, but it seems to have an overpowering sugar sensation that is not quite balanced with the rest of the flavors.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,384 ratings.