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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

3,463 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,463
Reviews: 1,405
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 204
Gots: 379 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,463 | Reviews: 1,405
Photo of trbergman
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Very dark brown beer with one finger of clinging tan head that leaves plenty of lace.

S - Subdued aromas of roast barley, coffee, and chocolate, with hints of molasses.

T - Rich milk chocolate mixes with coffee-and-cream. There's a slightly acrid roasted flavor lingering in the background that I don't entirely like, but it's mostly covered up by chocolate. Hop flavor is practically nonexistent, though the beer has significant level of hop bitterness for the style. It's good, but given the name, I was expecting a more straightforward sweet stout.

M - Full-bodied; rich and silky.

D - According to the bottle, Bell's Special Double Cream is "brewed with a blend of 10 different malts." To me, it felt like the brewery was trying to do too much with this beer, and a little restraint would go a long way. It wasn't altogether unenjoyable, but this isn't one that I'd go out of my way to get.

Photo of drpimento
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Odd duck. Seems to vary a little in its characteristics. This time, I don't think I'm imagining it and don't know how it could be possible - but it seems to me like the "cream" qualities, i.e. the lactose, is spoiled. I pick up some sour milk aroma and flavor. Other than that part the flavor is spot on and ditto aroma. Body is creamy and is, for me, one of my favorite kinds of beer: milk/cream stout. So easy drinking. Don't pick up any alcohol in this at all, so it's a sneaky one. Carbonation is perfect. Head is tan, fine and medium size. Nice lace. I'd give it much better rating except for the sour thing. And, admittadly my sensory apparatus is defective, soooo... I leave it there.

Photo of dwren89
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pitch black and opaque with dark tan head that disappeared quickly

Aroma: chocolately, a little bittersweet, not a very potent aroma

Taste: bittersweet chocolate, slightly silky with a little lactose character, smooth finish

Mouthfeel: silky but not overly so, medium-full body, great balance

Overall: a good but not great milk stout. Bittersweet chocolate with a silky mouthfeel make for a good cold weather sipper

Photo of robwestcott
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

in a word - very sweet... well, that was two words i guess.

a very very dark brown / to black? - poured into a dogfish head signature glass with an almost imperceptible beige head that may have lasted a few seconds or so.

very sweet, almost cloying upon the first drink with a sour finish. however, i soon realized it had been served much too cold. after sitting for 15min or so, more of the flavor opened up and the sweetness receded (though only slightly).

no bitterness to note, maltiness is way up front. i should note that the longer this one lived in the glass and the closer it came to room temp, the more enjoyable it became.

Photo of rel
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hands: Bottle

Eyes: Pitch black with a very little tan head, no retention and decent lacing.

Nose: Lots of sweet malts, some roasted notes and vanilla.

Tongue: Little hops, lots of roasted malts, and a lingering sweetness accompanied by some coffee-like bitterness.

Mouth: Its quite creamy...maybe even double creamy. Appropriate carbonation.

Mind: A nice stout. Other than a slightly higher than normal creaminess out of a bottle, pretty standard, but well executed.

Photo of JRed
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and bubbly in body with light tan head that sticks around. Hefty aroma of butterscotch, cream, light cocoa, and vague hop presence. Tastes of smooth milk chocolate, cream, light butter, cola, roast comes in towards the finish along with a hop bitterness and leaves a faint tobacco finish. Pretty heavy carbonation in the mouthfeel and medium bodied. The flavors are welcomed but the carbonation turns me off. Wish it wasn't as fizzy on the palate and thicker in body.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown color, with 1 finger of creamy tan head, leaving some slight lacing. Not a whole lot in the smell, some hints of chocolate and roasted malts is about it. The taste is similar to the smell, but there is also some tartness to this stout - maybe some dark fruits? Not exactly what I was expecting, just cant get over the tartness of this sweet stout. This is my 2nd time giving this Bell's offering a chance, and I don't think I would seek it out again unfortunately (definitely prefer their other stouts)

Photo of mcallister
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this cask conditioned and must say I like it better bottled or just regular draft.

A beautiful pour. Good half inch of a slightly tan head. Jet brown color? Well very dark brown to say the least. Thick sweet aromas of choclate and vanilla, also some espresso.

Because of the cask it seems there is a sour component in the beer I'm not to fond of. Main tastes are burnt dark fruits, vanilla, espresso, cocoa and that sour taste.

Besides the sourness the brew is almost too smooth. Very easy to drink despite the sour tannins. Makes this beer less than perfect.

Photo of billshmeinke
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pitch black with some ruby highlights. Three fingers of off white head that dies down to a layer of foam on top. Good lacing left behind.

Smells of chocolate, cream and caramel. Not much else.

Taste follows smell. Chocolate, caramel, roasty char. The finish is bitter smokey and roasty. It gets a little overwhelmingly bitter.

The mouthfeel is full, rich not well carbonated, and creamy.

Photo of phichifiji00
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown, subtle tan head, subtle lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malt, cream.

Taste: chocolate, malty, licorice.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, silky.

Overall: A tasty stout. well balanced. good drinkability.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottled 10/10/11.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is about average or slightly better and a touch of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Mild roastiness. Layer after layer of sweet milk chocolate and cocoa. Light coffee aspect with light vanilla. Very subtle burntness and acridity (if that's a word).

3.0 T: The last time I had this I remembered it to be a lot different. This time, it is severly lacking in intensity with an undeveloped flavor profile. All of the pieces found in the nose are here, but are way more mild.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy, but not as creamy as I thought this was.

3.5 D: I don't know if this batch is a bit off or if my bottle is, but this doesn't seem to be the brew I remember it to be. Oh well, I'll re-review if necessary.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice creamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of subtle chocolate and coffee. Taste is less pronounced then expected with some sweet chocolate malt and a very subtle coffee touch. No bitterness to speak of but a nice creamy well carbonated body. The finish is a bit too watery for my taste. Good but may be a bit overrated in my mind.

Photo of ppoitras
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1/2" light brown head above a dark, dark brown/black brew. Long-lasting head that laced excellently. Aroma is sweetly of dark malts, perhaps to a fault, with no balancing bitterness seemling present at all. Taste follows the nose, with sweetness dominant, to a fault, and ends up with a tinge of bitterness, but almost too little, too late. Mouthfeel is nowhere near as smooth as one would expect from a cream stout, kind of disappointing, and drinkability is a bit better, but one could certainly find a more desirable lot from Bell's stable.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'll admit I'm not a huge stout fan, but I'm working my way through as many Bell's beers as I can get my hands on and this was next in line.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a crystal mug.

A: Pitch black with a dark tan head of froth.

S: A sharp character with lots of roasted malt and ground coffee. Notes of scotch and tangy mashed grains.

T: Creamy, but not as milky as, say, Left Hand Milk Stout. Slightly bitter, malty and with a sour middle. Bitter malty finish. I'd like it to be a little sweeter.

D: Just a trial beer for me, I wouldn't get this in a sixer or anything.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: rich jet black and yields a generous fluffy mocha colored head. appears as a nice stout should, inviting and warm.
S: chocolate and roasted malt. little bit of coffee but really just plays background to the roast. mild overall but pleasing for sure.
T: the overload of roasted malts gives it plenty of solid flavor, and quite tasty. my initial response is that it is a milk stout because i
get some of those familiar lactose qualities, but alas ive been proven wrong.
M: pretty damn creamy and smooth. it actually gets a little light on the back end where the roastiness dissipates just a little bit, but overall quite nice. i had this with some lamb and spicy rice and it really made the meal a totally enjoyable experience.
D: close to room temp this really just goes down so easy and i could see a future with a few more. its a nice break from the huge viscous stouts ive been settling in with so far this winter.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Smooth fluffy tan head. Dark stout appearance.

S- Sweet and boozey.

T- Very sweet, bitter, and creamy all at the same time.

M- Creamy and smooth

D- Easy drink, however it just doesn't taste good enough to earn a high drinkability rating.

Overall it has a very nice mouthfeel, however at this price point I expect it to be a lot more balanced.

Photo of Bluesman2383
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I received this in a bottle from a Mix a Six pack at my local retailer.

It appeared with a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch head on top. It smelled very nice with hints of half & half cream (hence the name), malt, roasted barley, and coffee.

The taste was what one would expect from a decent midline priced stout from a microbrewery. Not underwhelming, not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel was creamy, cool and not real gritty. I was expecting a little bit more of a creamy texture but just received a typical stout taste.

Overall for price point, this one is a bit high. I've had better and far worse. This one is middle of the road for me. I wouldn't buy a whole pack but if offered to me, I wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty dark, pinky head with legs.

S- Kinda bland, not much going on here. Burnt toffee, caramels.

T- I was hoping for more of a creamy taste. Thin, and not much cream.

M- Thin. If you are a fan of Black Note, it appears that Expedition is carrying the load on that one.

O- I was really hoping for more with this beer considering that I like batch 1 750ml Black Note more than Batch 2 and the 12ozers.

Photo of Stigs
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, served in a DFH signature glass

A - pours about a finger worth of loose, bubbly and soapy dark khaki foam...falling and crackling slowly as it warms. the beer is quite dark, just a tinge of dark brown hue when held up to a bright light. spotty lacing throughout the drink.

S - adequate amounts of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, some fresh coffee...sweetness comes in as some vanilla, butterscotch. faint earthy hops round out at the end.

T - starts off a bit sweeter than the nose would indicate. bittering slightly watered down coffee kicks in after an initial kick of vanilla, lactose, brown sugar, cream. disappointingly kind of fades to nothing after the bitterness, just a slight bit of earthy hops.

M - drinks very thin, and carbonation is quite overdone and very distracting. adds an astringent prickly feel and not very pleasing (yet void?) aftertaste.

D - maybe i just dont enjoy this style very much, but this one just doesnt hold up very well for me. the flavors are there but fall off very quickly, succumbing to an unappealing mouthfeel. i was contemplating pouring this for a bit before i decided to suck it up...not an awful beer, just not for me.

Photo of mwilbur
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
A: Very dark brown. Little carbonation and almost no head.
S: Roast malt and subtle coffee and caramel notes. Fairly weak aroma.
T: Coffee, roast malts, and a hint of sweetness. There's also a bite that lingers thoughout. Not as robust a flavor as I was expecting, nor as smooth and sweet as is typical for a milk/cream stout.
M: Fairly smooth and light. Wish it was a little heavier.
D: Could have more than one, but I'd rather move onto a different milk/cream stout as there are several better representatives.
A decent brew, but not great.

Photo of kels
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at Fries Cafe in Clifton during BeerFest 08.

Appearance: Pours dark to medium chocolate brown with a very short tan head. The head fades quickly, leaving light rings of sticky lacing behind.

Smell: Smells first and foremost of burned coffee beans - not toasty, but burned. It's followed by a strong sweet smell somewhat like whipped cream or cake icing with some vanilla.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very strong and direct burned coffee taste, like drinking black coffee that was scorched in the carafe after sitting on the hotplate too long. It is tempered only slightly by the sweet cream taste I was expecting from the scent - I wish it was a little stronger in the mix to balance out the burned note. The carbonation is good, adding lightness and maybe contributing to the distinct bright, almost tart flavor that this beer leaves as I swallow. I almost have to say something lemony, which seems not to make any sense in this style. I try another drink - same thing. It's very strange, adn my mouth puckers a little each time I swallow as it only hits me as it's going down.

Drinkability: moderate to low - too many competing strong tastes make it hard to get through very quickly.

Photo of nhindian
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours a pitch black with two-fingers of dark khaki head. Retention is decent, lasting for a few minutes. Lacing is fantastic as it leaves almost an entire curtain around the glass.

S - Smell is of slightly roasted malts, but not to the extent of other stouts out there. This seems a bit more balanced, carefully blending milk chocolate, espresso, and an edge of sweetness. Something smells a bit... off in the back-end of the nose but I can't place it...

T - Taste is a bit sweeter than many other stouts I've had and it lasts throughout the drink. Like in the nose, this beer doesn't lean too far toward too heavy in espresso or bittersweet chocolate, which is a nice compromise, but I feel it also leaves it in limbo. There's no defining taste here, but rather a mellow blend of malts. Some hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth. Finish is long and, for a change, surprisingly sweet.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are nice and balanced, but as mentioned before, don't pop out at me. It's a solid drink, but nothing I would actively seek out again.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this one as a bonus!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Batch code equates to being packaged Dec 18, 2009. Bell's is my new favorite brewery for having a proprietary code but having the Batch Finder right on the top of every page of their website. Kudos!

Appearance: Pours a slick black with cappuccino-like head that fades in under a minute with no lacing.

Nose: Lots of roasty coffee notes and some creaminess too. Smells like a rich, full Irish nitro stout.

Palate: Big and full up front but snapping drastically sharp with some acidity. Coffee-like flavors and bitterness, some smoky cream. But man, there's some acid there. Weird. Like coffee left on the burner too long. No sweetness or body that other reviewers talked about.

Notes: After tasting and re-tasting this beer, I'm not so sure about it. The acidity level is way too high for what I would expect from a Double Cream Stout. Wonder if it isn't holding up well, or if this was an off bottle. Bummer. Should try again.

Edit: Tried a bottle of Batch 10151 (aka 01/25/11) on 8/27/11 and there's no acidity at all. Just smooth and creamy. Score for taste and mouthfeel reflect this bottle.

Photo of langm12
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Thick black pour creates a nice finger of coffee colored head. Great lacing.

S - Coffee and Chocolate

T - Sweet cream and chocolate followed by roasted grains and coffee. A touch of hop bitterness and alcohol on the back end adds a subtle spiciness.

M - Heavy and creamy. This one stays on the tongue.

O - Not a bad cream stout, but not in elite territory.

Photo of HimerMan
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams Chocolate Bock glass - as I am doing with all of my Bell's stouts (from a recent shipment). 12 oz bottle.

Minimal head, barely sticks to the glass. Not really much of a big smell - however, a sweet stout with low alcohol is clear from the smell and first sip.

Taste is good; but really not as stout-like as other - a little disapointing for what I was expecting.

Carbonation seems a bit high - alcohol is low, no question about it.

Very easy to drink, very smooth (the carbonation is short-lasting in the mouth) and flavor does linger a silky chocolate/cream.

Definitely worth a try, Top-notch brewery and easily drinkable.

Cheers.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,463 ratings.