1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,731 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2731
Reviews: 1327
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Mitchster on 12-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,731 | Reviews: 1,327 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SupaCelt


3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stuff is black out of the gates with a chocolate milk like foamy head. Head sticks around for a hot minute or two. Some lacing produced. I like the darkness. I have hope.

The smell is of malt and souring milk with some coffee and baker's chocolate notes. Nothing that makes my mouth water. Not foul by any means, just not all that exciting. Quite a neutral aroma.

This is milk stout. Some milky taste that stirs up a feeling of coffee and cream. Low hops profile. The body is somewhat thick but in more of a dairy sense than an oily sense. Quite sweet and dairy like. I can't really perceive any carbonation on my tongue. This is not a repulsive brew by any stretch of the imagination, but I would most likely not try this again. This style seems to lack the things I love about stouts. The milk factor seems to really dull things out. Namely the bitterness and roasted feeling of stout brews. Bell's has much finer drinks available in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 05:09:44 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of iron78


3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

doesn't allow any light through. has a dark brown head that fades very fast.
the standard porter coffee and chocolate smell, but with a hind of tobacco maybe.
carries the coffee and chocolate into the flavor. the bitterness masked well by the cream, almostlike a latte.
very thick and creamy leaving the mouth feel coated.
very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 20:27:48 | More by iron78
Photo of ShrLSU


3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall your traditional black color with tan halo around the rim. Leaves a touch of lacing as well. Not much of a nose honestly, maybe a touch of roasty malt and coffee. Taste is a slight dark fruitiness with coffee bitterness and a twinge of creaminess. Overll mouthfeel is light and airy for a stout. Not really all that wild about this. It doesn't seem to have the depth I thought it would. Just seems like another stout to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 03:43:48 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of chesapeakegoody


3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: BLACK, with a small dirty head

S: Def. coffee, with a hint of sweet vanilla

T: Bitter roast, chocolate, almost burnt espresso taste

M: Very nice smooth finish but bitter taste was a bit overwhelming. The creamy texture is probably the best part of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 22:33:08 | More by chesapeakegoody
Photo of marvin213

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The serving is black. A thin layer of black-tinged foam dissipates gradually. Big bubbles make way for a thin trim o' foam. It's really black--opaque. I mean solid black.

It's a sweet stout--buttermilk sweet. It's basically a freshly churned blob of cow butter-cream.

The taste is a sweet carbonation. I really notice the malts now. I determine quite quickly that the malts are directly responsible for the blackness of this beer. I taste the malty blackness. In contrast to its smell, I feel like I could even add more cream to this malty concoction--it's that malty. It's like a liquid malted milkball...with alcohol. I'm not totally feelin' that. It tastes more like it looks than smells.

The mputhfeel, especially for such a malty beverage, is diappointing. Believe it or not, it's too malty. It's overly warm for 6.1. The carbonation seems ample, but there's nothing for it to feed. Maybe it's too many different malts as opposed to too many malts in general, but it's relatively unimpressive. +0.5 for somewhat of a sweet sensation.

Not very drinkable. I used to think this beer's relative rarity around my parts meant it was especially good and exclusive. Now I wonder if it's relative obscurity relates more to its quality.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 01:41:13 | More by marvin213
Photo of harrymel


3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Awalk1227 for this trade.
Batch 9985: 09/14/2010

Poured to NB globe.

A: Dark ale with limited translucency and little head. Only a centralized light peanut cap evidencing the carbonation in the beer. No lacing.

S: Nice, roasty scent. Malts with hints of figs, plums, raisin. These scents are, however, quite faint. Really expect more assertiveness on the nose with this type of beer.

T: Dry stout. Little resonance of the nose into the taste of the beer. Okay beer, prefer their kalamazoo stout.

M: medium body with high carbonation. Nothing too special here.

D: Drinkable, but there are better cream stouts out there. Get the feeling this one is rated well because it's Bell's, not because it's great.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 08:45:01 | More by harrymel
Photo of Allpe45


3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with 2 fingers of thick tan creamy head. It dissipates quite slowly, leaving thick layers of lacing.

Rich roasted malts, coffee, some earthiness and a metallic smell (oxidation?)

Roasted malts and some burnt flavor. Not very robust.

Medium bodied, low carbonation, fairly creamy. Quite smooth.

I wouldn't make this a go-to stout

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 23:20:37 | More by Allpe45
Photo of Ricochet


3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured black, good head that lasted, looked like a milkshake, no light came through. Check. Smelled like burnt malts, coffee , with a winey note at the end. Check. Creamy mouth, mild bitterness, with heavy coffee aftertaste and dry. Check.

It went astray in the taste department. Yes, it was heavy on the coffee flavors and sweet like a milk stout, but seemed a little thin , with burnt malt flavor seeming to take away from rather than adding too. Still a good stout, but price/taste means I can get better/cheaper. This was 2.50 for 12oz-- Maybe $7 for a 6 would be better.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2006 04:00:12 | More by Ricochet
Photo of gonzo46and2


3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black abyss like you'd expect from a heavily malted stout. A nice head forms and sticks around for a while.

Aroma was a little off. The usual suspects were here but something wasn't quite right. I found it hard to pick out the tastes and smells on this one. I knew that I really didn't dig the harsh bitterness in this stout and I like hoppy beers. The harshness was more from a burnt wort or burnt grain taste than from hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 03:08:40 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of Phelps


3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks: a pervasive, deep brown-black, with a one-finger head of dull copper. The bubbles are large yet sticky, and the head only collapses to half its size before setting up camp and going nowhere. Full sheets of lace decorate the walls as I drink.

Smells: like a cup of Folger's. The coffee aroma reminds of instant granules, but there's also loads of dark chocolate, toasty bread, sweet cream and a tiny bit of tangy sour grain in the back.

Tastes: transitory. The first flavor that hits is roastiness, coffee-laden and dark. Some tanginess then takes hold, with light notes of plums and a flavor akin to bitter dark chocolate that's been left in the cupboard too long. Like a boomerang, the toasty malts come flying back in at the finish, leaving lingering hints of charred bread and dark espresso. As I make my way through the glass, that expired-chocolate tanginess becomes the only thing I can notice. It's rather distracting.

Feels: moderately carbonated and medium-light-bodied, the beer foams up a bit as it moves through the mouth. For a beer called Double Cream stout, I'd expect much more creaminess. The bittersweet tang is building now, leaving an unpleasant sharpness on the back sides of my tongue.

Drinks: like confusion. Not creamy enough and a little too tangy, Double Cream Stout isn't one I'll be seeking out again.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 18:49:53 | More by Phelps
Photo of tayner


3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured dark but clear with a 1 inch tan head that was foamy on top but tiny bubbles nearer the beer

it smelled of roasted malt mostly, but smells were very subdued.

As i am more of a malt head this brew was right up my alley. It has a big roasted malt profile with a smoothness to it. There are some dark, sweet fruity undertones which for me are hard to pick out, fig maybe? there is definitely some milk chocolate and coffee going on in there as well. The finish was smooth which was expected being a cream/sweet stout, sort of lactose sweet at the end. the finish was surprisingly dry as well.

the mouthfeel was good, not as heavy as a RIS, but certainly bigger than a porter and respectable for a sweet stout for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 01:48:41 | More by tayner
Photo of LittleBreeze

New York

3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasting Bell's Ball - Double Cream Stout

Two finger head with very decent retention. The usual suspects were present. Chocolate, malt, hint of vanilla, dark sugar.
Taste was good. Just good. I expected...more. I also expected creamier.

This one was a let down for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 04:31:37 | More by LittleBreeze
Photo of sonicdescent


3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Thick, black color with Light brown head, surprisingly not creamy and minimal retention. What was left however left some decent lace.

Smell leaves scets of caramel and roasted coffee, and a very sweet smelling milk scent. Very appetizing.

Initial taste is oddly very vacant as my palate struggles to get past the overcarbonation. Aftertaste thankfully has some style with a nice milky coffee flavor. The hints of flavor come out more with each sip but never manages to overcome the bubbles.

Mouthfeel is poor, I wanted thick and smooth but the carbonation created the opposite effect. Way too thin for something I expect to coat the mouth.

While this brew goes down way too easy, why even bother? I had high hopes for this one coming in but will likely not be purchasing it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 22:08:06 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of Cresant


3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a Duvel glass. Batch 9961 packaged on Sept. 14, 2010. The body was deep brown and supported one finger of tan head which settled to a thin ring.

The smell was brown sugar and cottage cheese. Bready.

The taste was tangy. and malty. Not too sweet. Actually kind of bland.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation. Not one of my favorite Bell's beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 04:21:46 | More by Cresant
Photo of teromous


3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: It's a black colored beer with a very very tiny sliver of tan head forming a ring around the glass.

S: I get some burnt scents, like a dark coffee brewing.

T: I get a lot of the burnt charcoal, roasted grains. It has a very dark character to it. It's mildly sweet with malt. I don't get any cream-like flavor or sensation from this beer, despite the "double" implication. After tasting I visited the website and it mentions that the beer contains no dairy and the cream title refers to its texture. That's more for mouthfeel...

M: It does have a slightly slick mouthfeel. I wouldn't call it creamy. The carbonation is good, the body is a solid medium body with a good roasted bitterness.

O: Overall I think it's a good stout, but very average. I think the title led me to some expectations I didn't arrive at...so I am disappointed with that. It says "special" and the beer really tastes like a good stout but I don't see anything special. It says "double" but I didn't get much of anything to double...probably the 6%abv...then the "cream" which wasn't any more creamy than a normal stout. It tastes good but I don't think it's any better than the average stout.

I Had another bottle of this on 26 NOV 2012 and it left me with the same impressions. This time the beer actually finished drier than previously, which was a greater disappointment. While this is a wonderful stout, it does not feel creamy.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 22:08:48 | More by teromous
Photo of BB1313


3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch# 11540; bottled on 10/18/12. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours pitch black with a mocha head that eventually fades and leaves decent lacing and retention. The aromas are pretty subtle. Lots of sweet cream and cocoa powder. There's some chocolate malts in the mix as well. The flavors are pretty straight forward and not as interesting as I recall. There's a nice roastiness to this one with a touch of expresso and hints of vanilla. This is a pretty rich beer, but it's just not as intense as I once remembered. There's also some dark fruits in the mix. Finishes somewhat bitter. The mouthfeel is phenomenal. It's extremely creamy, fluffy, smooth, light, and has moderate carbonation. This is a very smooth, easy drinking beer. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Of all Bell's stouts, this was always my least favorite, but I remember liking it alot more. Besides the mouthfeel, it's not too memorable. Maybe it's not Bell's best work, but it's still a well crafted beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 22:00:07 | More by BB1313
Photo of atigerlife


3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a dark brown creamy head. Very nice beer to look at.

Aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste is bitter. A burnt taste to it. Some grape in the background. Not really pleasant. Has an old sock sort of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry. Not as creamy as I was expecting for the style.

Overall, a decent brew, but not one I will search out.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2008 23:55:35 | More by atigerlife
Photo of FourBetter


3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with barely any head which clings to the glass only slightly.

OK aroma of roasted malt.

Mildly sweet when at first sip, some bitterness hiding in the background. A smoky malt flavor remains behind on the back of your tongue.

Fine to sip on a cold night, but not overly rememberable.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 06:17:17 | More by FourBetter
Photo of Jammies


3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- ours a brownish black with a thin layer of foam that quickly retreats

S- chocolaty odor

T - a light, smoky, chocolate flavor. seems a bit bland

M- light and watery on the palate. A little coarse on the way down.

O- not my favorite. Nothing really special about this one!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 17:20:41 | More by Jammies
Photo of taylor714914


3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe it was due to this following the blacknote, but I found this to be thin and lacking. a mediocre stout that didn't seem to have much going on, other than the typical dark chocolate, coffee, and fig flavors found in stouts. OK, but nothing I'd revisit again. The mouthfeel was even mediocre.

Perhaps in the future if it is on tap I'll try a sample to see if it still is the same, but this experience left me wanting more.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2013 22:10:26 | More by taylor714914
Photo of Frozensoul327


3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to a dark coffee color, with a dark brown foamy head that held it's own and stuck around for quite a while. Not much of a scent to note, but odors of coffee and dark chocolate were present. Label states that smoothness is from the 10 different malts used in the brewing process, and I will give them that, this brew is smooth. Overtones of chocolate, malt, sweetness are prevailant, with a touch of a mellow bitterness aftertaste. Very creamy mouthfeel, but I must admit that this brew was far too heavy for my taste. It made me feel like I had a friggin' brick in my stomach. Maybe good with a steak or burger, but overall, was too rich for me. None the less a decent brew, worthy of a try if you are looking for a good example of a smooth stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 01:22:41 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of CDBeerDisappear


3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark licorice brown with half an inch of tan foam. Aroma of toasted malt. Taste was appropriate for the style but was rather unremarkable to my taste, not sweet enough for a sweet stout. Mouthfeel was good and the carbonation was nice. But I probably won’t drink this one again, not because it was bad but because they are many others that are better at the same price.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 23:37:17 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of emmasdad


3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Pours a jet black color, shot through with ruby highlights, and capped off with a medium brown head. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and heavy cream. Flavors of bitter, burnt coffee, dark chocolate and milk. Creamy and full bodied, but not for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 05:13:33 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Vierenner


3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 2011: Ordinary. I'm sure the brewery put forth a great deal of effort to make it ... quality ingredients, careful process control, etc ... and compared to a lackluster stout it would stand out. But when the competition, and perhaps even Bell's, is brewing much more flavorful and interesting beer this particular label doesn't get a prize.
Nov 2011: Forgot I previously reviewed this one. Looking back on my old review I still feel the same. Style is along the lines of beer I favor, but overall it's quite an ordinary brew. There are roasted flavors throughout, and a slight hop bitterness, but fairly blah.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 02:35:33 | More by Vierenner
Photo of semihobo


2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 ozer, batch 8733, purchased recently at the general store in Kalamazoo.

Body is a thick black, can't see anything going on in the glass. Head is mostly composed of very fine bubbles, with a few big ones in the middle, like cooking pancakes. A very dark color on the head. Quite pretty.

Smell is complex, not so sweet. Toffee, decomposing wood, tobacco, smoke, very earthy.

Taste is drier than expected, with a sour acidic bite on the finish. A more prominent roasted note than on the nose, still earthy. Add black walnuts to the list of tastes and smells... I believe the label when it says "10 different malts." Baker's chocolate and coffee. A small hint of minty sweetness toward the finish before it is overtaken by a bitter finish, fairly astringent. Earthy hops on the finish.

Nice body, very thick, lots of dextrins. Lush carbonation.

I kept tasting and smelling a familiar smell and it hit me toward the end of the beer... the compost pile my parents kept when I was growing up. Not exactly what I dream of in a beer.

Drinkability would be down for the fact that I just don't like this beer that much, but it stays at average due to the complexity of this beer... I could keep finding new things well into a six pack, I suspect.

This is like an art piece by a well-regarded contemporary artist you don't really like... I don't enjoy it, but I appreciate that it has complexity and value to someone else.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 04:05:08 | More by semihobo
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 2,731 ratings.