Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,382 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,382
Hads: 3,475
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 209
Gots: 386 | 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: 1,382 | Hads: 3,475
Photo of Khazadum
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out majorly to Prufrock! He has made my first BIF the greatest time of my craft beer life.

12 ounce bottle poured into my favorite brandy snifter.

Vision
The first thing I notice is how temperamental this beer is going to be with me tonight. From the moment I popped the top and started this pour, it hurries away to stash away the secrets. The off-mocha head barely rises to half a finger before it scurries down the glass. I don't even think a minute passed before every bubble of foam was gone. Not a single bubble remains to cap the body.

The previous two nights were jet black in color, but I can't say that for this beer. Granted, light cannot pass through this, and it is incredibly dark. However, I see something different here. When the light catches it in different positions it is not just black but milk chocolate... violet... deep within it you can find an interesting palate to pick from. When staring for different shades I also noticed that this brew has very little in carbonation. The edges have a few bubbles that cause the faintest of rings to perk up from the glass, but not like most beers I've seen.

Bouquet
There is a powerful aroma wafting off this glass. I can detect a charred nature, but what really slaps me in the face is dark fruits. Grapes long dried in the sun... stewed blackberries... faintly blueberry... even a faint raspberry nature all tickle my nostrils. It is amazingly sweet but not nauseating. In the beginning the fruits were paired with an astringent medicinal smell that must have been the first waves of alcohol leaving the snifter. These have by now vanished and leave me with fantastic odors. Behind the fruity nature is the bitterness of dark chocolates. If I never opened my eyes I would think there was a cornucopia in front of me.

Flavor Profile
The first tentative sip leaves me speechless. What is this? The nose is so strong, but the flavors are tender... soft. The flavors as well as feel of it is absolutely velvety. There is no charred or burnt notes that may have been in the bouquet, but there is those great grape-like flavors just barely allowing categorization. It reminds me of drinking grape juice. Having too much causes a puckering of my lips and cheeks, which for me is pleasurable. Having not enough keeps me pleasantly satisfied. No matter what type of sip I take, it is a great brew.

The finish is very clean. The flavors come and go with the liquid, but on my lips there is a residue. I can't say that it is grape, but it reminds me of bitter fruit flavors. Perhaps this is those dark chocolate notes finally coming through. It really depends on how you taste it. The quick and dirty sip if I want to enjoy a basket of berries, the long embrace if I want to bite into a bar of dark chocolate.

I'm coming back after long drinking this beer to note that the finish metamorphosized. If I take sip after sip I find that my tongue gets lathered in the bitter nature of dark chocolate that refuses to leave. It reminds me of gorging on a dark chocolate orange ( minus the citrus ) of Christmas. I'm loving the dual nature of this beer!

Oral Sensations
Very smooth... unbelievably smooth. In fact, I will say it again, this beer is velvet on the tongue. It is the perfect thickness while maintaining a creamy nature. The carbonation can't even be found if I swish this around like mouthwash and I wouldn't have it any other way. As I noticed before, the more than acceptable body allows its flavors to sometimes linger on my lips for later enjoyment.

Conclusions
Welcome to the embodification ( is that even a word? ) of Two-Face. This dark and edgy beer seems to have a dual nature in many ways. The finish is both clean and dirty. The flavors are both bitter and sweet. The nose mirrors its flavors as both bitter and sweet. It is not like these two are one and the same either. It is not bittersweet, but two unique personas. I would drink this beer every night of the week. It has so little of an alcohol punch that I couldn't even note it anywhere minus the very beginning. I loved it. (4,079 characters)

Photo of frogships
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2 Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass and a Duvel tulip.

A: Very dark, nearly black - light does not get through. About a half finger of a head that dissipates rather quickly but is a very attractive burnt marshmallow color that contrasts beautifully with the pitch black below. Mild to moderate lacing.

S: Creamy chocolate; roasted malt; light roasted coffee, hint of vanilla and cream; fresh espresso like feel in the nose. Very nice.

T: Creamy chocolate, light roasted coffee, hints of toffee as it goes down. Absolutely fantastic balance with all the tastes. Every sip tastes great, I can hardly wait to take the next one. Everything I would be looking for in a double cream stout or american stout.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Again, absolutely terrific balance. finishes almost like an espresso feel on the tongue. Absolutely silky smooth.

O: I was shocked how much I liked this beer. It is a fantastic stout. I love the taste as it is a festival of flavors but in a calm and elegant delivery and each one balanced perfectly with the next. Officially one of my absolute favorite beers and if it's on tap, I'm getting it. (1,153 characters)

Photo of samccoy
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle, it appears as a nice dark-chocolate color with more of a milk-chocolate head.

S: It smells of marshmellows and cream. Absolutely amazing.

T: It tastes as good as it smells. There are hints of dark and chocolate malts as well as the cream flavor and marshmellow overtones. It is extremely sweet, best paired with some sort of meal to balance the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is extremely silky and smooth. It feels just and good and smooth as it tastes.

D: Due to the sweetness of this beer, it is very difficult to drink more than a beer or two at a time. It should be paired with a hearty meal in order to fully enjoy every aspect of this awesome brew. (682 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours straight black with a medium dark tan 1-finger head. No retention but decent lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate and medium roast coffee with sweet cream. Very nice and very rich.

Taste is strong chocolate malt. Nice roast hit, turns a little sweeter midway through, and finishes very dark and chocolaty. The chocolate really lingers.

Body is so close to perfect. Just a mite on the thinner side of what I would want, but very nice. Very rich body for a beer this low in alcohol.

Exceedingly easy drink and goes down very fast. (532 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

20 ounce pint glass, served from cask at The Pub, Columbus, OH (Polaris). Pours a dark brown color with about a bit more than an inch off-white/tan head. It almost looked like a nitro-tap Guinness when it was brought to me. Lacing and head retention were both excellent. The aroma was chocolate, coffee, cream and roasted malt. The taste is the same as the aroma, it's good and sweet but also has a nice slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's very creamy and velvety with low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's very smooth and creamy and extremely easy to drink. I'd drink this all the time if I could, I've had the beer from the bottle before and I like it a lot, but it's just excellent on cask. Recommended. (748 characters)

Photo of timherremans
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a very deep black with slightly frothy creme colored head. CO2 action is sparse. Appearance is fairly thick. Average pint glass.

S - Aroma is of heavy use of malts. Roasty. There are scents of dark cocoa . And a light scent of coffee. Could be more pronounced perhaps but it's about the taste and finish.

T - Wow. I love this stout. Very malty. Definitely heavy use of malts. Great flavor and balance. A hint of cocoa and coffee are there but not pronounced. The roasty malt is the standout and slightly smokey. The finish is really smooth and roasty.

M - A good balance of CO2 at work here. Not to much, but a nice low amount for a stout, leaving the mouthfeel slightly thick & heavy and not watery. It has a good creamy & smooth finish that gives the beer it's name.

D - 5/5. Easy to drink because of the great malt flavors and smooth creamy finish. This is a good stout. I could easy drink quite a few of these in one night. It only grows on me. This is not the first time I have bought Double Cream Stout.

Highly regarded and recommended. (1,058 characters)

Photo of Spica66
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. I am from Kalamazoo and this beer has never disappointed. It has a big, creamy, amber-colored head and an even creamier mouthfeel. In fact, I would say that this is the creamiest mouthfeel I have ever had in a beer. It pours very dark brown going in and looks nearly black in the stout glass. It has a complex taste that finishes just a little bit tart with a definite black patent aftertaste. This bottle has the code 9446 on the back. The label has changed from red lettering to tan lettering outlined in black. (547 characters)

Photo of grynder33
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mocha aroma, distinct but not heavy, small head, strong but mellow cream coffee taste, almost like a cappacino, like a fine malted Starbucks concoction, and just as expensive as one. Wonderful brew. One of my favorite new beers and the third Bell's brew I've had in the last month, that I'm very impressed with.. (312 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger brown head that subsides to a thin layer and ring with okay retention. Slightly better retention please. Liquid is very dark brown, not quite opaque.
S: Chocolate, roastiness, red wine, fruiy, cream, bread and butter. Only negative is too much alcohol upon warming.
T: Tasty. Great roasted maltiness with bitterness keeping it under control. Tiny, enjoyable alcohol twinge grows to just too much to enjoy.
M: Smooth and creamy - Double creamy? ;-) Yeah, actually maybe it is! Ideal.
D: High quality. I like this beer a lot and would order another and buy a six pack of it. (632 characters)

Photo of Strix
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm quite impressed with this.

Pours thick out of the bottle, with a dark head. Nearly opaque with reddish-brown edges.

Smells delicious, roasted and burnt notes, with coffee, vanilla, and ashy wood

Burnt notes on dark malts, with dark chocolate, coffee, woody notes, a hint of vanilla, and a slow fading slighly hoppy bitterness. Not overly bitter or roasty though, and comes off as quite refreshing.

Mouthfeel smooth as silk, with a nice substantial consitency.

This was a pleasure to drink. I'm truly sad I only had one. (528 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...Great beer. I feel like I should put that upfront. Pours a dark brown, lets just a few rays of light through to alter its color. Has a slight head that leaves a mild lacing around the beer. Aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and sweet cream. Taste is basically the same, but the sweet cream comes out in the finish of the beer to leave a sweet tang in the back of your throat. This is the first beer I’ve rated a beer with a perfect 5 in Mouthfeel. Its amazing. After the first it just wants to make me drink another. (535 characters)

Photo of AudioGilz
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Being a new fan of Kalamazoo stout, I looked forward to this Double Cream Stout. It's very similar in appearance to the Kalamazoo. Double cream means just that, extra creamy. And that's how the mouthfeel is. It's very smooth chocolate, coffee, slight hops, and sweetness. I'm strongly impressed. It has amazing drinkability and a perfect roasty flavor. I was surprised to see that the ABV is 7.5%.....no hint of that whatsoever, just smooth roasty greatness. (458 characters)

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a half inch frothy tan head. There was a small amount of lacing all the way down.

S: The only aromas I could pick up were roasted malt and just a hint of chocolate.

T: Hints of coffee and chocolate, but neither dominate the flavor like some others in this style. This one has a very smooth taste when compared to similar stouts with coffee and chocolate flavors. For my tastes, it was the perfect blend of sweet and bitter in a stout.

M: Very thick which makes it enjoyable to roll around in the mouth. It also has the perfect amount of in mouth carbonation.

D: The slight bitterness makes you slow down a little as you drink it. However, since it is so balanced with the sweet in mouth flavor it is pretty easy to drink down. (762 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black color. An aggressive pour yields a creamy but surprisingly small light brown head.

Super malty nose as one would expect from a beer brewed with 10 kinds of malt. Somehow manages to be sweet AND roasty smelling. Smells like a milk chocolate shake and vanilla coffee beans.

Wow! That is smoooth. Alot of different flavors here. Most intriguing to me is the ability of this beer to be both chocolaty sweet, have plenty of roasty bitterness and still have a clean dry finish.

Fantastic stout, very easy to consume mass quantities. One of the best tasting stouts I have had. (585 characters)

Photo of Arenbeer
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to DarkMonk

A- Pours solid black with a thin 1 finger khaki head that doesn't stick around.

S- To say the least this beer smells absolutely amazing. Tons of molasses, toffee and smoke. Notes of coffee and dark chocolate come out in back end. Can really smell the complexity of all the different malts used.

T- Unlike the aroma the roasted burnt coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate come through up front with a nice sweetness in the background from the molasses, toffee, and smoke. So complex but yet so simple!

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

Overall for a regular stout this beer packs the punch of an imperial. Tons of complex flavors from all the different malts and so amazingly drinkable. Bell's hit a home run with this one.

SkÅL! (804 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one has been sitting in the fridge for the last few weeks waiting for the weather to turn cold and I've had to warm the Buick up early in the morning before going to work (at the ungodly hour of 6:35 each day I might add).

Maybe not enough of a vigorous pour as the head is almost nonexistent on top of the nearly jet black and completely opaque body. The nose, however makes up for it with deep, delicious malty milk chocolate and plenty of it. It's not overly sweet, and stills like beer, but it's really good.

Absolute velvet in my mouth. The chocolate and coffee tones are powerful but still manage to be elegant. A late kick of oats and roasted nuts. A little more carbonation than I need in a milk stout, or any stout for that matter. All together it's pretty close to a symphony and an excellent choice for first stout of the season. (848 characters)

Photo of drewba
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - jet black, very little head. A millimeter head ring hangs around for awhile.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee and tons of roasty malt.

T - The usual suspects are here - dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee grounds, smoke and dark/roasty malts. The cocoa and coffee are adding a nice level of bitter, but the milky - lactoseyness of this beer is keeping it sweet and creating an amazing balance. The back of the bottle says that 10 malts were used, and I'm glad because these malts are unbelievable - dark, roasty, nutty, bready. I detect a tiny, unusual cherry (or something similar) is hanging around at the end of the flavor. It isn't predominant in any way, but it's there.

M - Perfect mouthfeel. Reminds me a KBS - rich and thick mouthfeel that has just enough carbonation to keep it crisp, yet smooth and creamy.

D - The bitter and sweet balance make this a drinkability winner. (880 characters)

Photo of MJR
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Dark brown body bordering on black. Clarity is irrelevant. Big and dense tan head with great staying power. Lots of soapy lacing. Aroma has roasted malt, bitter chocolate, subtle fruitiness, and hints of sesame seed oil and metallics. Flavor is rich and full, with some roasted malts, dark and bitter chocolate, sesame seed oil, and toasted malts. Barely a hint of lactose, but more of a well controlled sweetness. Passing suggestion of smoke shows up here and there. The metallic hint in the aroma shows up on the dry and bitter finish. Full bodied, with a creamy and oily mouthfeel. Absolutely stellar stout from the stout king. (640 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a midnight black color with a monstrous light chocolate head that creamy in its consistency and the left over lace a fine satiny sheet to meld with the glass. Rich chocolate malt sweet nose, coffee, roasted grain and just a treasure to sniff, front is ambrosial, full and rich as is the full bodied top. Finish is bittersweet, mildly acidic, bone dry and a real pleasing beer. (391 characters)

Photo of psuKinger
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New slim 1/4 barrel keg tapped last weekend. Draft poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark shade of brown with a big beautiful frothy tan head (2 fingers worth) on top of it.

S: Roasted malts with a touch of vanilla, all done at a moderate volume. I pick up on some cocoa as well. To style.

T: Wow. Thick, rich, velvety, creamy. These are some of the words that first pop into my mind. Vanilla and cream first appear, followed closely by notes of luscious cocoa. A dry, semi-sweet finish, full of "roasted malt flavors", really rounds the experience out for me and make this an excellent, highly drinkable, thoroughly enjoyable Stout.

M: Elite. It's thick, full, luscious, and creamy. Simultaneous "full" and yet "light". Frothy and creamy, with a great moderately dry finish.

D/O: Highly drinkable. Thoroughly enjoyable. Strongly recommend. This keg purchase was not a mistake. (897 characters)

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to GrizzlyAdams for this brew.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Pours a pitch black with about 1/2 of tan head.

S- Not a strong nose with notes of coffee and currants. Of course I am used to drinking these out of a sniffer so it may have a strong nose in that.

T- Sublime! Coffee, chocolate, dark dried fruits. Very roasty but not overpowering with flavor like the Exp. Stout. I like this beer a lot.

M- Another 5 from me. This is a very smooth beer and very creamy. Lowish cabonation but that is how you want it. I have got to try more Bell's brews.

D- Bring it on bartender! I could drink this until I was full. Because I think I would get full before drunk on this beer. Very good over all. Top 10 stouts for me! (752 characters)

Photo of Martin2D
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours pitch black with a tan head that fades quickly

S - Super roasty, malty goodness

T - Extremely roasted flavor. Creamy, with an almost dry finish that extremely rich and potent.

M - Low carbonation and medium-full in body

D - One of the best milk stouts I've had. Extremely good...I could drink a ton of these if I had them. (336 characters)

Photo of lsrose
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have drank a lot of this beer. It is one of my favorite stouts. It pours a nice thick head that sticks around quite well. The coffee smells really jump out when pouring it. It also has taste of toffee and chocolate and other malts as the 10 malt blend comes through. Some bite and hops come through late.

I really like this one and it is a great malty stout. (362 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes taken on 6/15/10. Poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A - Deep, dark brown (almost black) with a thick mocha colored head that eventually dissipates to a thin ring. Nice lacing.

S - Coffee, milk chocolate and sweet cream. I really love the smell of this beer, just so warming, like chocolate chip cookies and milk.

T - Roast coffee, vanilla and cream. Tastes like an alcoholic dark roasted latte from a coffee shop. Delicious!

M - Very creamy, with a medium body and sharp, prickly carbonation.

D - Quite drinkable, I could easily have 2-3 of these in a sitting. I really love this beer, definitely my favorite milk stout. Oh, and the label is cool, too! (675 characters)

Photo of gdfan47
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- is a nice dark brown with a little white head
S- milk , cream, malt, sugar, a little sweet
T- cream, malt, corn, not overly sweet, finishes with a touch of hops
M- this one was pretty cold, but it was cold out so it worked. Good carbonation, alot less sweet then the smell dictates
D- wow i thought this was like 5 or so, very well hidden abv

a very solid beer, im not usually a stout guy. This one really works, and the bar i was at was selling it for $3!!!!

cant wait to try it on draft (494 characters)

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,382 ratings.