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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

1,382 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,382
Hads: 3,491
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 17.09%
Wants: 214
Gots: 391 | 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: 3,491
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 Tupperwolf
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an inky dark brown with zero head. At the very end of the pour a few bubbles form a tiny ring of tan foam around the glass, but otherwise no head is to be found from my particular bottle (11 months from the date on the label). Held up to the light, this brew is completely opaque, with some light only showing on the dark brown edges.

The nose is dark chocolate with both sweet vanilla and slightly bitter notes, and when swirled there's a slight earthy sourness that compliments the sweet malt. A tiny amount of alcohol can be detected as it warms.

The flavors are pretty straightforward - cocoa, espresso, grassiness from the hops, mild alcohol. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. This beer is called a cream stout due to its mouthfeel, and I concur. It has a heavy, smooth mouthfeel with little carbonation.

Overall a fine beer, very smooth and tasty.

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Photo of Moss
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a nice brownish tan head. Two fingers worth of head which left nice lacing on the glass. As I drank lacing continued to be left on the glass. Perfect look for a stout.

S - The smell is of dark chocolate and hops. I can really smell the grassy hops which reminds me of the smell when boiling the hops in. Other then that I don't smell much else.

T - A little sweet upfront but really covered up with the bitterness of the beer. As it warms up I taste the cream a little more along with coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Overall a good combination.

M - Good medium to heavy mouth feel with just enough carbonation.

O - Good beer but not one of my favorites. Just a little too hoppy in the smell and taste for me.

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Photo of mooseo
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Pitch black with a thick creamy tan head.

S - Milk chocolate, caramel, wood, roasted malt.

T - Sweet roasted malt, light chocolate, and black coffee. Earthy hops lend balance. Hints of vanilla and burnt malt in the finish.

M - Very smooth and creamy. Light body, dry finish.

O - A pleasant easy drinking stout. Not complex by any means, but the overall flavor is nice. I only wish the mouthfeel wasn't so thin.

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: solid black, with a thick two finger head

Smell: Smells of sweet milk suggar and lightly roasted malts. A light, but satisfying smell.

Taste: A lot of grassy hops up front, with a nice light roast after taste and the very late aftertaste is pure espresso

Mouthfeel: Thick on the mouth, with a nice grainy texture

Overall: a pretty decent, though thoroughly not creamy stout. I would recommend it for something different and a decent smooth stout

I still believe that X2 stout is a superior cream stout, but this is fine

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Photo of Beer_Runner
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 09/26/12. Aged about six weeks before opening.

A: A fairly aggressive pour into a standard pint glass did not produce a head. The brew is deep, deep, deep black.

S: The aroma is strong and pleasant, and consists of grain and toasted grain along with sweet malt and coffee.

T: The taste is very roasty and grainy with just a touch of char along with sweet malt and coffee. It has a very good balance of bitterness offset by the malt sweetness and complimented by grain.

M: The body is on the heavier side of medium and very smooth and even a bit creamy with a clean finish.

O: This is a solid stout. It is a very good example of the style. It does not have any surprises or variations or twists on the style. It is simply a very good stout that stays true to the style and is very well crafted.

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Photo of BB1313
3.09/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, black ink in color with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Lacing is basically non-existent. Nose picks up nothing but huge amounts of roasted malts - bittersweet chocolate and some sweet coffee. Toasted barley in the background brings everything together. Taste contains traces of black licorice with lots of super bitter chocolate, deep notes of strong, black coffee, molasses, slight nutty tones, heavy wood chips on the back of the tongue. Ending contains quite a bit of hop flavor - leafy and herbal in character, notes of tobacco and leather. Bitterness fads into the aftertaste and balances nicely with the sweetness of the malt. This beer tastes like it could be a porter but it's got the body of a stout. Mouth is left with some cocoa notes and faint herbal bitterness. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, medium body, maybe a little thinner than expected, with medium-high carbonation.

Had this beer a long time ago and was blown away. This time around, it didn't impress quite as much. But it's still an excellent beer - definitely one to try if you're a fan of Bell's.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into modified tulip.

Mocha pour, rich color. Tan, thin bubbles with a sweet lactic aroma.

Aroma is a particular highlight for this brew and certainly lives up to the name. The flavor and mouthfeel both reflect the 'creamy' aspect of the title but the underlying maltynes isn't lost, but muted enough to damage/limit any complexity in the flavor; not to my taste. Comparing this to other Bell's offerings, it is in line with the crispness that I've come to expect but the nature of this one mutes even that finish.

There is a pleasant 'bite' but the palate is coated and the aftertaste is all cream. If you're expecting a stout I believe you have the right to feel aggrieved. If you're expecting the carpet to match the drapes - you're in the right spot.


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Photo of BeerBuckeye
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown with 2 finger mocha colored head. Good amount of frothy lacing

S- Sweet cocoa, roasted malt, hint of vanilla and dark fruit

T- Taste is robust, cocoa, burnt coffee, vanilla, and raisins. Very good.

M- Creamy, full, well carbonated

Overall- Superb American Stout. Very delicious

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Photo of JamesMN
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque and hazy very dark brown. Thin light brown head. Looks like it will lace nicely.

Aroma: Sweet roasted malt. Creamy chocolate and caramel.

Taste: Says on the bottle they use ten different types of malts and it actually shows well in the complexity on the palate. Starts creamy and sweet then you get toffee and a nutty character about halfway through. The finish slowly goes from roasted chocolate to a black coffee bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite complex for 6.1% ABV but not overly so. No hop presence but I attribute the bit of bitterness right at the beginning to whatever hop addition(s) was made. The roasted malt and bitter aftertaste does a good job of balancing an otherwise sweet flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but feels more viscous. Real nice creamy feel before the finish. Easy drinkability but complex enough to warrant a slower enjoyment. My only gripe is that it's a little over carbonated.

Final Thoughts: I've been anticipating this beer's seasonal release but without incredibly high expectations. In the end it has left me satisfied with making the purchase of a sixer. Would I drink it again? Yep. Given the season and limited availability I'll be sure to ration them throughout the long winter and probably buy it again next year.

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Photo of Optifron
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours viscous black/dark brown, with a creamy, light brown head.

Aroma: Smooth, gentle roasted coffee, dark chocolate

Taste: Starts with the taste of sweet cream, balanced with some roasted bitter, finishing with a bit stronger bitter roast. Dark chocolate bitter lingers

Mouthfeel: Wet, sweet, very light carbonation. Very nice and smooth. Creamy.

Overall: Really great winter beer. Fantastic mouthfeel, nice, full-bodied and rich sweetness, all packed into fairly low ABV.

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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 AmitC
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my snifter glass.

Pitch black in the glass and extremely dark brown color while pouting. More than a finger thick head of tan color that soon withers off into a ring. Decent lacing.

Aroma is very subdued. Toasted and burnt malts. Toffee and slight caramel with some hint of bitter hops. No alcohol presence.

Taste: Again is very much the nose and well balanced with nothing standing out. Dark chocolate, burnt malts and caramel. No hint of coffee. No creamy feel. Sweetness is countered well by the hops.

Mouth feel : Medium bodied with somewhat lighter tones. Smooth, easy to drink. Moderate to high carbonation but without any astringency of any sort. Dry finish with no lingering effect.

Like a few others have noted - there is nothing extraordinary about it. Plain stout.

Style rate: 3.75
Personal Rate: 3.5

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, deep tan head. Good lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Aromas of sweet chocolate coated coffee beans. On the palate these flavors meld incredibly well and balance each other out fabulously. Hop/Yeast characters are overshadowed - non existent.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, there is a touch of roasted malt astringency keeping me from giving this a 4.5, but it's pretty awesome still.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Dark brown with three-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a long time. Really nice lacing.

S: Chocolate and roasted malt. Good but mild.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Nutty with milk flavors. Slightly bitter roasted malt flavors are stronger in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is a good stout, but the nose is mild, and nothing about the taste sticks out to me. Above average, but not exceptional.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a three finger mocha head. Left nice lacing. Spot on for a stout.

S - Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt. Pretty weak actually.

T - Chocolate, dark coffee, dark roasted malt, milk, molasses.

M - Light carbonation with a very light, extremely creamy body

O - Overall, this was a good stout, Though not as good as I expected. I would have again.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a very nice looking tan head which remains for a long time.

The smell is quite weak, coffee and dark malts.

The taste is better, nuts, milk and coffee.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with very little carbonation.

Overall very enjoyable, could easily drink a few of these.

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Photo of PorterIV
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very solid stout. Malty/Roasty aroma - you definitely get the roasted barley. Thick mouthfeel and very roasty. Excellent on a cold, rainy fall day. This is a winter seasonal beer and should be enjoyed seasonally. Overall, another solid offering form Bell's.

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Photo of tdm168
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a short-lived brown head

S - the nose is very faint with some subtle roasted malts coming through

T - coffee, burnt sugar, toffee, roasted malts, faint bitterness

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a nicely balanced, complex milk stout. The roasted malts are intense and the coffee flavors add a nice balanced bitterness. There's a nice creaminess and some toffee notes throughout. This is a very enjoyable beer. I'm not sure I would be able to have more than one of these at once, but I will definitely be having it again.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Bell's Double Cream Stout.

What a silky looking brew! Gluggy brown-black liquid with some visual viscosity sleeps under a hefty and rich beige head. The consistency of the head is creamy and foamy and it's just coating the walls of the glass completely.

Mega-roasty and dusty with cocoa. Acidic component from a roast coffee aroma really shines with brightness. Slight green cherry note offers a little more tartness. Major malt-ness pushes any glimpse of a hop whiff aside.

Roast coffee and a bit of chocolate pair with a light char. Not as sweet as you might expect, and with a light berry tartness. Notes of cocoa powder and cranberry layer out on the back of the tongue. Heavily malty with converted grain flavors that all categorize on the dark and delectable side.

Doubly creamy, for sure. Smooth and buttery on the tongue with a mousse-like carbonation that plays in the art of fine bubble creamery. Great feel.

Very nice stout with some potency. A great November/December beer. A Bell's beer I always indulge in.

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Photo of JWU
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Deep, dark. Pretty much black. A finger of creamed coffee colored head, which laces nicely.

S- Not much, some roasty malts are there.

T- Deep roasty malts with heavy notes of dark chocolate cake, coffee, slightly burnt, but not offputting. A very slight hint of booze. Hard to believe there is no lactose in here.

M- Creamy, creamy, creamy. Light to medium carbonation.

O- Very, very good stuff. The depth and complexity of flavor and mouthfeel at this ABV are impressive.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled last at brewery:

Appearance: darkest of the beers we tried, and that's saying a lot (darker than bourbon barrel stout, etc.) medium head; minimal lacing;

Smell: cocoa and malty nose

Taste: slightly bitter; faint hints of hops; easy-drinking stout with a creamy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: easy mouthfeel, very subtle

Solid overall.

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Photo of gtermi
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beer pours a nice dark black body with a nice thick tan head that quickly fades.

S: I am picking up a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toffee and a sweet malt.

T: There is a strong amount of roasted malt, some chocolate, coffee bitterness and as the beer lingers, it becomes much sweeter.

M: The beer is very easy to drink and has a tiny amount of crispness on the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat.

O: This is a very tasty beer and fits perfect with the season. Nothing better than a stout when it is cold outside.

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Photo of RWLawman
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours the color of coffee, with a thick creamy head that narrows as you drink, but still retains a half-inch head for the majority of the experience.

S - Mostly chocolate, a little roasted malt, and a slight hint of alcohol.

T - Follows the nose, mostly. I taste a lot of chocolate, light roasted malts, and cream. Though the cream is present, I expected a little more for a drink titled, "Double Cream" I'm sure it's better on a nitro-tap.

M - Smooth and creamy, but there is some carbonation in there.

O - For an out of the bottle cream stout, I thought this was pretty good. On nitro-tap, I think this beer would be a knock out. I would have also liked a little more decisiveness in the flavor...either more chocolate, or more cream. Since it's a cream stout, more cream would be great.

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