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

2,726 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2726
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: 2,726 | Reviews: 1,327 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of benmiliron


3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double cream stout is everything the title conjures up. A sweet, dark brown stout. Good head with espresso flavors. As it warms there's a hint of root beer. It's a lot better warm than cold. Great with a meal. Another fine offering from the folks at Bell's!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 01:39:14 | More by benmiliron
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head on the pour looks like a black and white milk shake. Very thick and airy. Lasting as well.. Black opeque color and look in the pint glass. Roasty bitter cocoa nose with a touch of sweetness in the sinus. A little light upfront on the mouth then the finish has a touch of cream on the tongue. Dry cocoa and black malt intial taste then the finsh is of metalic (tin) sweetness. Wish it tasted how it looks... not bad though...

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2003 02:36:47 | More by frank4sail
Photo of stoutman


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours well with a thick cocoa head that stayed nearly the whole glass. Has a sweet/chocolate flavor, almost a mild (dark) flavor of chocolate covered cherries. It's a medium bodied, with a finish of medium roast coffee flavor. I enjoy K-zoos dark beers and their lighter ones are only so-so for me.. It must be the common wateror hops in the recipe they use.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2003 04:06:27 | More by stoutman
Photo of BierReise


3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a tinge of dark caramel at the edges. Head is small and dense. Aroma is of strong black coffee and charred malts. On the dry side and medium bodied but smooth. Flavor is strong bitter coffee. Not as sweet as I'd like. Overall pretty good though

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 02:09:21 | More by BierReise
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black in color with a tan head that left lace.
Aroma of chocolate and heavily roasted, bitter malt.

Taste is heavy on the dark, roasty malt which provides a good amount of bitterness. Coffee notes and hops are there. Touch of sourness (typical of what I'm accustomed to from Bell's yeast).

Lots of body and some creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Tastey and enjoyable, but the bitterness and slight sourness knock down the drinkability in my book.

Overall, a good stout.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2003 01:40:47 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of BrianJ


4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in a sixer for $8.99. Not cheap, but Bell's hasn't disappointed me yet. I had no idea what the ABV was when I bought it, so it could be considered a bargain I suppose. The carton had a fairly decent description of the beer which is unusual for Bell's.

Poured a nice opaque brown with a creamy tan colored head that dissipated fairly quickly. Left a little lacing where the head was, but not much as I drank it. Nice looking, but typical of stouts.

This wasn't a strong smelling brew. Had a hint of must much like Bell's Best Brown and a bit of sweet caramel, but overall not very fragrant.

Taste was sweet and mild. Bell's Stout and Porter have strong coffee tastes, but this one was certainly more laid back. Smooth and malty, I think I could convince people afraid of "dark beer" to give one of these a shot. Yet, it's complex enough for enthusiasts to enjoy. I catch caramel, whole milk and a hint of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is simply superb. It feels creamy and thick on the tongue and yet not overbearing or mouth coating. I find myself holding this one in my mouth longer than most just to feel it roll around on my tongue.

For a beer with this big an ABV and for this style they simply don't get any more drinkable. Somebody who didn't know the ABV could get themselves in a lot trouble as these go down sooo easy. Unlike some of the other big beers, the Belgians in particular, this one doesn't give me a headache or leave me feeling woozy.

Overall this, as with most of Bell's, is one that shouldn't be missed. It's a big beer with the drinkability of a session beer. It's a complex beer that I could give to a Bud drinker. It's not going to be a beer that you'll remember as the greatest you ever tasted, it'll be the one that you stock you fridge with in the winter and look forward to in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2003 03:57:10 | More by BrianJ
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Kalamazoo Brewing Co. find during a great beer shopping experience in Indianapolis. Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle, this beer had me baffled as to what to expect. The beer poured a nearly solid black color, the exception being the ruby-tinged edges. A modest mocha colored head shriveled down to a tiny skim but left behind some pretty good patterns of lace.
The smell was a pretty straightforward blend of roasted malt, some bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and a faint nutty aroma. The taste was a complex mix of roasted dark malt, some coffee notes, molasses, baker’s chocolate, and some dark fruits. The finish was moderately bitter which offset the richly sweet flavors tasted earlier. The feel was medium-bodied, rich and smooth, with a slightly dry finish.
Overall, this was a really well-designed beer whose taste outshines its aroma. Initially, I didn’t care too much for the smell but I grew to appreciate it more with each sip and smell. Special Double Cream Stout has a carefully hidden alcohol content that can waylay the unprepared. A delicious, well-crafted stout. Glad I packed one home with me.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 21:40:47 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of nomad


4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a thick head built by a classic stout reverse cascade – a tasty looking tan head. Its pasty stain sticks wherever it can get a foothold, leaving a repeating pattern of line then lattice. Lace was painfully slow, thick and soft. I got impressively similar results with every pour from every bottle.

Smells of all types of things: nuts, butter, chocolate, roasted scents, coffee, with a thin layer of smoke wafting about. Tastes of a thin but tasty profile: light coffee flavors, nutty, some roasted malt but equal amounts black malts, a handful to deal with in this bottle.

A bit much to handle, great to ponder one, hard to stomach more, the ten different malts used create a multitude smells and flavors. An interesting and a well-made stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 16:39:41 | More by nomad
Photo of Realale


4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black. Thick, extremely fine 2" mocha head settles slowly to a solid 1/3" leaving nice lacing.

Extremely complex nose. Bitter chocolate leads the way, but there is a real malty richness just underneath. Lots of dark candied fruit notes as well. Very nice.

Rich and malty in the mouth. Tons of brown bready malt supported amply by chocolate and fruit notes, and a touch of bitterness. A nice acidic backbone keeps it all balanced. Finish is very long turning just a touch bitter on the death.

Mouthfeel is outstanding thanks to the bottle conditioning. Very fine and supple. Keeps the beer from being ponderous, but provides a real caress to the palate as it passes. Very drinkable for what it is.

Purchased Nov., 2002 at the brewery. Cellared since as experience has taught me I like this one with about a year of age on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 19:15:49 | More by Realale
Photo of granger10


3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black color with almost no head. Carbonation was lackin a bit. Nice ring of lacing though stayed the whole time. Lots of malt in the smell, mainly chocolate/coffee mix and some vanilla. The taste was not what I expected but it was still good. Not really sweet at all. Bittersweet chocolate was there. The main flavor seemed to be coffee. Tart fruit was also apparent. It seemed like there was a solid hop presence also. The body was a little on the thin side, but all in all a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 16:55:14 | More by granger10
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely the most bitter tasting sweet stout I can remember. Almost like Shakespeare or other examples of micro-stouts. I thouroughly enjoyed this one, although it was different than what I expected. No Mackeson's or Young's luxury here. Hops are quite evident, but the finish is not overly dry. Nice appearance, smooth mouthfeel. This is an excellent stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 04:56:24 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Gusler


4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 16:43:28 | More by Gusler
Photo of ngandhi


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I made the mistake of serving this cold. Not much in the way of a head, but I suspect it would have been better at cellar temp. When cold, the dull nose compliments a dominant chocolate maltiness along the path of Expedition, but miles and miles behind it. The lactose is also very evident and gives this beer a mocha quality. After letting it warm for a while, the other ten malts begin to come out and reveal a mild, very pleasant caramel that marries wonderfully with the cream (think Rollo candy). There's much more to this than a mocha. While I'm reminded, at first, of Goose Island Oatmeal Stout and its intense (and unpleasant) mocha characteristics, when served properly Bell's Special Double Cream has a great deal of character. There's a rind-like drying finish that I suspect are from the light bittering addition. Perhaps some hops are added in the top third of the boil because there is an interesting but very light hoppy note in the background. Lots of cream on the finish, too.

Well integrated, this isn't bad at all. There seems to be a good deal of Crystal (caramel) malt in this brew and yet it doesn't go the way of brown ales (raisiny and, in my opinion, quite poor). It even picks up a good amount of esters either from the yeast or the hops. Not much of a sit-back beer, but perhaps a nice one with a meal (went very well with my fettucine and eggplant parmesan) or over a smoke.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 22:20:44 | More by ngandhi
Photo of ManekiNeko


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served chilled at a Bell's tasting at the Brickskellar.

Appearance: Dark black with a dark brown head. Head recedes to a layer and leaves little bits of lace.

Smell: Chocolate and mocha aromas dominate. I get the impression this will be sweet, not bitter.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, and smoked malt flavors. Nummy, nummy, nummy.

Mouthfeel: Nice, thick, and creamy.

Drinkability: Yes! Yes! Oh, God, Yes! Oh so good.. I want more...

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 03:45:51 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really liked this stout on tap in the Toledo area. The nice dark body was capped by a reasonable tan head and this laced nicely in the early stages, weakening as the head faded.

The nose was better than I expected it would be and gave off some nice hints of roasted malts and coffee aromas. The flavor likewise was quite substantive and provided nice roasted coffee notes with plenty of malt base. These flavors strengthened as the glass warmed a bit.

The mouthfeel was very good, being both full and creamy with a bit of a dry finish. There was even some hints of strong hopping, ala Storm King, as the brew finished. Very nice, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2003 02:54:34 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of francisweizen


4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

new bootling line 2003 Edition: this has less lactic notes, and a great after-taste. The mouthfeel is also thick and exquisite. New ratings reflect these changes, and the 2003 version!

This stout from Bell's is quite nice, but not as good as I expected it to be. I had a bottle kicking around and after we talked about this one a lot at the BBQ last Saturday I finally broke out my last 2002 bottle of this stuff. This pours a nice dark black colour with a dark brown head. The aromas are like that of a kalamazoo stout that has been mixed with a milk stout. I can smell some lactic notes besides the usual roasty, toasty, malty, coffee flavors of the K-Zoo. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but good overall, and the drinkability is good except for the very astringent, lactic after-taste that this brew leaves in its wake. Think of it as a half and half of K-Zoo stout and Hitachino Sweet-Milk Stout.

Good, but not great!


Serving type: bottle

09-25-2003 01:34:07 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Sudmissle


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bell's probably has one of the greatest catalogs of good stouts of any microbrew in America, and this is my favorite Bell's Stout. It has a very strong toasty, chocolate-laced coffee flavor to it. I find it to be sweeter than Kalamazoo Stout and it has a lingering mouthfeel. I suspect Bell's sells more Kzoo Stout, but this one is far more enjoyable due to the rich flavor and the molasses-like mounthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2003 02:43:40 | More by Sudmissle
Photo of waughbrew


4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look couldn't have appetized me more - black with a big creamed-coffee head. The head was extra creamy with super retention.

Aroma was decent, but I expected more from a big flavorful beer. subdued coffee, chocolate, alcohol, yeast phenolics.

Bittersweet chocolate is big in the flavor. Its like you have to chew your way through the coffee-icecream head to get to the more chocolaty beer. The Bell's yeast character is big in this beer just like all of the other Bell's I have had, and it gets a tad tiring for me to be honest. I never thought I would say this, but I might like this beer better if it were filtered. It would be more drinkable that way. But a great beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2003 20:48:23 | More by waughbrew
Photo of jcalabre


2.35/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 6 November 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: It is black as an imperial,
Taste: This has a lactic (duh, it's a double cream stout) flavor. it's sort of an inbetween stout, not sweet, not dry. it doesn't quite do it for me. This is one of those beers that many will like, but I happen not to.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2003 03:44:17 | More by jcalabre
Photo of aaronh


4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Virtually black beer pours with a perfect 2-finger dark tan head that fills my pint glass. After 5 minutes, the head has actually crowned above the top of the glass and begins to take on a rocky appearance. A small amount of sediment can be seen floating in the beer. Dark particles can be seen in the foam at this point. The aroma of sweet roasted malt is noticeable from two feet away. Up close, the sweetness is much stronger, with nice raisin and chocolate notes. With a small amount of trepidation, I contemplate taking a sip. This beer has been so wonderful to experience thus far that I'm afraid to tarnish the experience (considering K'zoo's recent quality issues). The taste is much more mellow than I expected! Sweet fruity notes up front are accented by a light cherry flavor, but quickly lead to a stronger chocolate and roasted malt taste. There is ample bitterness in the finish to offset the sweetness, and then coffee and dark, bitter chocolate sweep in for the lingering aftertaste. No graininess, no earthy overtones, no tartness (all the things I've come to fear in a Bell's beer). The mouthfeel is creamy, but not overly thick. The active carbonation maintains a thick head for the entire glass, but it doesn't force itself upon the tongue. The drinkability is phenomenal, as this goes down almost as easily as a Guinness draught with about twice the alcohol and a very enjoyable sensory experience. Looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good, drinks good. This is one of the better beers from K'zoo.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2003 05:22:03 | More by aaronh
Photo of Brent


4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could actually smell this beer as it sat in the glass two feet away. Quite concentrated in both aroma and flavor. Sort of an imperial version of a sweet stout. Very dense flavor - maple syrup and brown sugar with some lighter chocolate and coffee notes. For all the sweetness, however, it was not at all cloying. Seems to be a style all of its own.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2003 17:21:22 | More by Brent
Photo of SheepNutz


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a dark brown, almost black, with 2 fingers of reddish-tan head. There is a fair amount of sticky lace left down the sides of the glass. The smell has a bit of roasted malt and chocolate, fairly sweet smelling. The taste hits hard with roasted coffee and caramel, then the sweeter malts come out toward the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, almost chewy in the mouth. The drinkability is just fair for the 7.5% alcohol. A nice sweet treat!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2003 19:30:50 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of kbub6f

New York

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The big, brown, dense head is noisy and leaves full, sticky, thin lacing. Garnet highlights show through the black beer. Sweet chocolate overshadows some toffee in the nose and front. The chewy middle is disturbed a little by a touch of chemical. The roasty, chocolate finish is only a little cloying. Coffee and some herbiness creep into the aftertaste.

This is a very good beer, but it's just a little sweet and chocolatey for me. Cheers to feloniousmonk!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2003 07:04:45 | More by kbub6f
Photo of TheDM


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This brew had a very strong coffee and chocolate aroma. It poured with no head and a very dark black opaque body. It actually had a very mild coffee taste with an otherwise OK flavor. There was no after bite which allowed it to go down very smoothly.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2003 09:08:48 | More by TheDM
Photo of BigHead


4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Oh a nice creamy milk chocolate aroma with a hint of caramel. A milk like consistency with a roasted malt back flavor. A chocolate roast flavor dominates. Creamy, sweet, malt flavor and a nutty flavor builds at the back of the mouth. Coffee flavors intensify with each sip as well. It feels a little syrupy at the end, which would not make this a beer you could drink a lot of. It's a dark black beer with a tan head, the thick head lasts throughout. Some yeast residue rests on the top of the head, looks like cinnamon on a cafe mocha. Would make a great dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2003 20:53:38 | More by BigHead
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 2,726 ratings.