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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,417 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,417
Ratings:
3,677
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
17.09%
 
 
Wants:
219
Gots:
467
For Trade:
4
Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

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.

Added by Mitchster on 12-30-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,417 | Ratings: 3,677
Photo of falloutsnow
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From: Hyvee, Council Bluffs, IA
Date: Bottled 09/26/2012
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

I never thought I'd say "too much roasted malt" in a stout, but Bell's seems to have created a beer that pushes those elements to the limit I can tolerate. Perhaps it's the blend of malts used, too much black patent or black barley perhaps, but the acridness and ash that seem most prominent in the beer are not as appealing without some equally present sweetness, non-acrid roasted malt, and chocolate flavors to balance them out. One I would probably not seek out again.

Pours a 2cm head of dark tan foam, made up of small bubbles with above average retention, gradually fading to a thin ring around the glass' perimeter. Lacing is quite good, heavy foam sticks to all insides around the glass. The body of the beer is an opaque black color, with light bringing out only the slightest change in amber orange hues. Carbonation is not very active, a few struggling bubbles move upwards along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is of sharp, acrid roasted malts or black barley, with a bitter ester profile lingering in the background. I'm not detecting any coffee, and the only chocolate is burnt and somewhat ashen. There is not much apparent sweetness from malt contributions here. At times I'm reminded of the smell from a grocery store's imitation of an Oreo cookie - you know, the burnt chocolate with artificial sweetener-like aspect.

The overall flavor profile of the beer is heavy on the very roasted malts, such as black barley or highly roasted barley with its husks. While I enjoy roast and acrid quite a bit, there was something about the malt combination here that was not full enough for me, too heavy on char and ash and rather empty on the filling sweetness
Front of palate picks up raspberry-like fruit esters along with semi-sweet roasted-meets-base malt characters. Mid-palate has fairly intense charred malt flavor along with what comes across to me as extremely dense, sharp raspberries in equally sharp cacao nibs, and some black ash. That is to say, there is not much sweetness in the mid-palate. Back has dark cacao nibs, raspberry-like esters, and heavily charred (black) malts with moderate acridity; again, not much sweetness. Aftertaste is lingering char (black patent malt?), ash, roasted malt, mild roasted coffee bean, and cacao nibs.

Beer is medium-light in body, with medium-low carbonation. The resulting mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery, not particularly good for this style. Certainly smooth and creamy, but apparently at the expense of richness and fullness. Closes dry, with little residual stickiness across the palate.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle ~6months old

Almost black, red-brown color. Mocha head with good retention/lacing if you're into that. Smell is hard to pick up, dark malt scents far away. Truly creamy medium feel, highlight of the beer. Taste isn't bad either: malted grain with semi-sweet chocolate.

Liquid Cocoa Pebbles cereal.

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Photo of Swedgin_Wu
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Black with a decent sized tan/khaki head. Fairly nice to look at but nothing spectacular

S- faint smell, not overpowering. mostly pick up malts..hint of dark fruit

T- Burnt/Roasted Malt is prominent. Nice finish is laced with the dark fruit i mentioned. Some chocolate in the middle. there's a lot of going on with the taste. Very complex, i enjoy the transition on the tongue. Taste some toffee in there too. Little bit of bitterness there as well.

M- I disagree with some other reviewers that the mouthfeel is watery. The Left Hand Milk stout to me is more of a watery stout mouthfeel, but this is pretty smooth..not overly thick but not thin. Moderate carbonation. very drinkable

O- As of right now this is considered an "exceptional" beer. I think it's a good stout...not a session stout because of it's complex flavors, but probably something i'd buy again just to pick up on the different flavors.

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Photo of RickS95
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

There's usually some tiny reason I can find for not giving great looking beers a perfect 5...but I can't find fault with this. It's completely black on the bottom. Up top, it's got a huge head of medium brown bubbles in all different sizes. It looks like a cushion with frothy foam on top. Major staying power, when it finally does decide to go, the glass is splashed with a thick brown lace.

It's a malt bomb, as you'd expect. It even smells brown. Lots of roasty flavors, with some smoke and a slight bit of coffee.

For no dairy, it's got a milk stout taste to it. The roasty notes are more subtle in flavor than in smell. There's a variety of malts that all stand out...caramel being the leader of the pack. Caramel, coffee, chocolate, it's pretty stellar.

Got smooth? This beer does. And creamy. And sweetness with just enough bitter for balance and not to destroy either your palate or the good thing it's got going on. The finish is wet, but it still leaves you wanting more.

Extremely easy to drink. Lots of good flavor and only moderate alcohol. All bitterness is kept in check so you don't have to sip, you can chug it. Sad I've only got a six pack.

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Photo of lunarbrew
3.29/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A- The beer poured a very dark black with little to no head or lacing. I wasn't blown away with the beer's color, and would have really liked a richer head with a cream stout. Still, the appearance was definitely one of the beers nicer features.

S- Wasn't a huge smell, but I did pick up some nice notes of roasted grains and red fruit. I was expecting a very sugary presence in a double cream stout, but the beer didn't smell very sweet

T- Nope, it doesn't taste that sweet at all. The beer didn't have the typical milkstout lactose flavor either (which I understand was the intention of the brewery). I was really expecting (and craving) a deep, rich, creamy beer. Unfortunately I didn't really get that with this beer. There was a bit of dry malt on the finish with a lingering taste of cherry, fig, and acidic coffee.

M- I was quite disappointed with the feel of this beer. One of my favorite characteristics of a cream stout is a rich, full-bodied, creamy texture. The texture of this cream stout was closer to a medium body and generally, it felt a little watered down. The creaminess just didn't follow through.

Overall an ok beer. While it was fun to try, I would prefer more depth and creaminess in a double cream stout. I did appreciate some of the roasted subtleties here, but I doubt I'll be buying this one again.

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Photo of screamking
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance-pours black with a small khaki head which doesn't stick around very long. Small amount of lacing on glass. 3.75

Aroma-fresh baked milk chocolate, some very faint coffee notes, brown sugar, walnut, slight hint of toffee. Very slight sweet smells. 3.5

Taste-Much like the name the first thing that comes to mind when you take the sip is creamy. Roasted chocolate malts are all over this one, surprisingly sweet with a bitter kick in the end. I'm also getting a little bit of an oak flavor as well. 4

Feel-very light in feel, coats palate very well, very drinkable, could use a thicker feel. 3.5

Overall-this beer is kind of a mixed bag for me, while I love the flavor everything else kinda falls flat. I wouldn't drink this beer regularly, but it is a nice detour from other stouts. ***On a side note I would love to know the ratio Bells mixes this with expedition stout for aging in barrels to make black note.*** 3.75

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Photo of riored4v
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured in to a tulip with a thin, tan colored head. Nice pitch black body.

Smell was roasty, with some coffee and chocolate notes. Mild hints of raisin and a burnt caramel. Nice and malty.

Taste had a light earthy bitterness upfront followed by lots of chocolate and roast. Good amounts of coffee and burnt caramel. Some mellow sweetness with a bit of raisin and dark fruits. Mellow bitterness in the finish that was bit earthy as well. Overall it reflected the aroma closely.

Mouthfeel was medium body, medium carb and a crisp finish.

Overall, a nice stout. Was hoping for more of a creamy or sweet characteristic, but the stout itself was tasty.

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Photo of shredder83
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Note: this was bottles 6 months prior to my trying it.

Pours black with a light brown head that had very good retention, no lacing to speak of but this one pours and looks great.

Smells of roasty burnt malts, a slight sweet scent, hints of coffee, vanilla and cocoa

Sweet roasted malts, bitter with a hint of coffee, no vanilla as the nose suggested and a slight chocolate note. A mildly bitter finish.

Slighly creamy but notably light when compared with other milk/sweet stouts I've had.

Overall this was not a bad beer, not an exceptional example of this type of stout either. Creamy mouthfeel was not as creamy as "double cream" would suggest but creamy none the less. I wish I would've been able to try this one fresher as it was a month from Bell's suggested shelf life but I will give it another shot fresh next year.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- This is an opaque black color and looks very solid. The head looks very creamy, is a cappuccino color and has moderate retention in my opinion....settles down to a thin layer a little quicker than I'd like. The lacing, while decent, is less fulfilling than I was expecting, but nothing to really complain about. Overall, a fine....perhaps slightly underwhelming looking stout, but that is not what makes the beer....onward....

S- There is a medley of fine aromas happening here...I find a milky quality about the aroma first off....to me it has a soft chocolate milk smell initially, followed by mild aromas of roasted coffee, cream, and dare I even say a hint of canned black olive?!....yes I did! The finish has some smooth bitterness happening....very mild and very inviting!

T- Oh this is a delightfully creamy tasting beer! This is chalk full of mild, yet robust flavors of bitter chocolate, mild roast coffee, sweet caramelized molasses/golden brown sugar, and toasty malted barley. The finish has a bitterness, but not of the hop variety, but rather just the right amount of burnt grain kernels...reminds me slightly of an oat stout in this regard. My only qualm is right after the swallow, there is the slightest bit of an alcohol spice, which takes away from the smoothness, but again, nothing to really get excited over.

M- I am willing to bet that this is one of the creamiest stouts in the world! Full mouthfeel, and I really enjoy the rich softness of the beer....almost like some heavy cream was added to this but I fully realize that this is dairy free....it's just that smooth! The carbonation is soft and stays in the background where it belongs....just wonderful!

O- This is a deadly stout that is very highly drinkable!! Oh boy, if this was available in my area, I would have a new go to for the style! Rich flavors & aromas, superbly smooth and full, without being overbearing on the palate or stomach, I give this one very high marks and highly recommend this one to anyone who appreciates a super high quality stout!

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Photo of centurian62
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was very excited to try the Double Cream Stout from Bell's. That excitement, unfortunately, faded on my first sip. It pours nicely and looks great, but the first smell was a bit burnt to me and it didn't lend itself well to the taste. I found this one to be a bit more burnt and bitter than I would expect from a cream stout. I was truly disappointed in it. I had extra bottles left over from the sixer I bought so I offered some friends a try and got the same response from them. Unfortunately, this is not one of the beers that will be gracing my home any time soon.

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Photo of PaterMorse
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very good pour. Tasty, creamy. A good option for those new to stouts.

A: Nice looking head, giving way to clusters of lacing and sandy striations. As it settles, looks like last glimpse of Maine sunset -- black but with notable orange/crimson ring on the edges. Suds stick to side of glass.

S: Sweet. Butterscotch. Java chip ice cream.

T: Smooth. Cocoa, espresso. Very mild bitterness. Roasted malts.

M: Soft, watery. Not necessarily a bad thing; but it's pretty flimsy.

O: Very easy to drink. Again, a good "starter stout." Not bitter, very smooth. Not necessarily a Hall of Fame beer, but truly is TOPS in look and aroma. But for weak body, an otherwise great blend of taste, look and smell that is enjoyable to drink.

Repeat? Sure. Although I don't yearn for another, I certainly would have it stocked on-hand for friends (particularly those new to stouts), and would happily imbibe with them.

Random Notes: Unlike many stouts, this one tastes better COLD

Two Words? Satisfying Sampler

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Photo of MudDrinker
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Opaque, jet black with a cream to very light tan colored head. Yep, it's a stout.

Smell - Sweet cream and malt chocolate. There's not much here to review.

Taste - Sweet cream upfront, as it warms dark chocolate, toast, and coffee flavors shine through. Fairly sweet throughout, but I could drink 3 or 4 in a row and not get sick of it. No alcohol presence whatsoever.

Mouthfeel - A little milky, decently thick. It's like drinking a liquid angelfood cake when mixed with the flavor. A little thin by most stout standards, though.

Overall - I guess there's not too much to this. It's not complicated by any means, but its a great straightforward sweet stout.

I think the name might lend some suggestion to the flavor, and it probably doesn't have a "sweet cream" flavor. I can definitely taste it, though, so maybe I'm just an idiot.

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Photo of JohnSnowNW
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep black with limited head and some lacing.

S - Roasted malts.

T - Semi-sweet, with roasted malts and a hint of vanilla. Very mild bitterness.

M - Smooth initially, but really falls apart. Double cream had me expecting a velvety texture, but instead you are left with a very thin body...almost watery.

O - It's tasty, though not as complicated as the bottle description would suggest. It's a very drinkable beer, but don't expect to be blown away.

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Photo of timn
2.39/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Really dark brown to black, with a small amount of head. Looks thin on pouring. Pretty average appearance.

S: I struggled with this. Very muddled smell. For a beer that bills itself as a Double Cream Stout, I expected some kind of creamy, maybe semi-sweet, or vanilla aromas. This didn't give me any of that. It barely smelled like a stout to me, which was odd.

T: Like with the smell, I had a heck of a time getting anything related to "Cream," let alone "Double Cream" out of the taste. The hints of malt taste that are there at first got dominated by a strong sour aftertaste that lingered with every sip. Tried drinking a gulp of water in between sips -- maybe it was something I ate. But nope, it was the beer. I don't know if there was a lot there even without the sourness, but the sour taste really killed this for me. It dominated everything and, frankly, was sort of nasty.

M: Thin with medium carbonation. Again, very disappointing. I expected something at least moderately thick and creamy, but there was nothing substantial here at all.

O: I was hugely disappointed with this. It tasted, smelled and felt to me like a below-average stout with something wrong with it. I may check the batch number and see. I drank it a few days after I bought it, but maybe it was sitting on the shelf in the store for a while. I'll update my review when / if I can find out.

Update: Mine was bottled a little under 4 months ago (10/17/2012). Should be well within drinkable time, barring improper storage.

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Photo of thomscottson
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle

Appearance: Very Dark, with minimal cream colored head. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Dark and Chocolatey

Taste: Very Smooth and dark. Chocolate and cream highlights.

Mouthfeel: Thick with a smooth finish. Definitely a stout but leaves your mouth with a clean feeling.

Overall: Definitely a great Stout. I would gladly try this again.

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Photo of Brager77
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pitch black with a ¼ inch tan head. Leaves a moderate to high amount of lacing behind. Overall not a huge fan of the appearance. Could have had more lacing and quite a bit bigger head.

S - Sweet roasted malts with hints of vanilla, chocolate and perhaps some dried fruits.

T - Very sweet. Hints of the roasted malts come at first and is followed by a strong vanilla taste that stays with you.chocolate aftertaste.

M - Very smooth. Quite the easy drinker with the very mild amount of carbonation. Leaves behind a bit of a sticky after taste to the top of your mouth afterwards probably from the chocolate flavors.

O - Very impressed. I’m not a huge fan of stouts as I feel they tend to be very heavy on the roasted malts. This one gets it just right for me. Very glad I tried this.

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Photo of d1ckvanswype
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours jet black with a hefty three finger head with a mildly aggressive (read: drunken) pour. When held to the light just the tiniest hint of ruby-orange highlight shows. Pretty good lacing as well.

S: Sweet roasted malts, vanilla, milk chocolate, dried dark fruits. A mild roasted nut note comes out as it warms.

T: Sweet, yet mildly astringent, this shows the full gamut of complex malt characters, from roasted nuts to coffee and chocolate. Finishes with a rather black malt like finish.

M: Thick and rich, almost chewy, though as it warms the alcohol burn mixes with carbonation and black malt astringency.

O: This beer was only hamstrung by how tart and astringent it became as it got warmer.

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

From notes, 4/20/11. Black pour with dense, creamy brown foam atop. Aroma is roast, molasses, brown sugar, chocolate and a touch of tangy coffee. Velvety, creamy mouthfeel. Good malt sweetness with more cocoa, coffee and roast notes on the palate. An excellent sweet stout that packs a ton of flavor and a lush feel into a mere 6.1% abv.

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Photo of liamt07
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Siciliano's, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 11507, bottled September 26, 2012.

Black body with a creamy brown head, with almost a reddish tinge to it. Light retention and a bit of lace. Nose of sweet and dark chocolate, light roast and some vanilla. Some hazelnut as well. Taste has some roast, creamy/milk chocolate and dark malt character. Some metallic as well. Medium full body and carbonation was a bit high initially. I'm sure this would be delightful on nitro.

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Photo of nUgZ
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown/black color with a half finger head and light lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee.

T: Just like the smell.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Smooth but somewhat watered down.

O: Maybe I'm just spoiled by all the super flavorful stouts out there, but this just doesn't do it for me. Not bad, but not one I'd buy again.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2.50$

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a hugee size fizzy and frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and a hint of coffee. There are also some roasted/toasted nut flavours and a light smokiness. It ends with a chocolatey aftertaste with some light lingering bitterness.

Overall - Another winner from Bell's. There is a nice balance of flavours and it tastes like it was made with quality ingredients. Not my favourite style of beer, but something I'm glad I tried.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm allergic to lactose, and to enjoy beers like this one... I have to take a lactaid pill. This beer was worth taking a pill for.

In pouring this beer I had about a finger of tan foam. This is a very dark (black) beer.

I smell a lot of coffee from the top of this one. You can also get caramel and toffee. There was decent roastiness from this one. There was a clean, enjoyable smell from the Double Cream.

The flavor was clean and balanced. You get a lot of coffee and the cream hits on the back end.

This was a very tasty stout. I wish I was able to drink more of this one.

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Photo of rsenters29
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just the rich aroma's and dark compexity of Bell's Double Cream Stout,it' smooth creamy and sweet taste give this stout a 'A' in my book,the over all essence of the tones blend well with it as it is roasted,the malts that are used play a key role in finishing this wonderful stout on the palate soft!

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Photo of Mgm54
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 12oz bottle, review from memory and notes

A - Deep black with no light coming through, with a nice tan head

S - Malty sweetness, with some dark fruit and chocolate

T - Sweet cream up front, some burnt notes and dark fruits, and then ends with more sweetness. This tastes like what it is called.

M - smooth cream, the mouth feel of this is very surprising that this was accomplished without Nitro

O - Great beer, and tastes like the name. Very creamy, and just enough sweetness

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a nearly pitch black color with a fine, thin tan colored head. The head fades very fast to leave only a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is on the sweeter side with a good presence of chocolate and a nice sweet lactose/milk aroma. Mixed with these smells are notes of a light coffee smell as well.

Taste – The taste begins with some flavors of a sweet milk chocolate and a roasted malt flavor. While upfront there is a good sweet milky presence, as the taste advances the sweet loses some of its ground and the flavor becomes more bitter and darker in nature. While this occurs, some lighter earthy hop flavors start coming to the tongue. These, in the end, when combined with the more roasted, lightly sweet, and darker chocolate flavors create a very nice roasty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The thicker body was quite nice for the darker and roasted flavor of the brew and made it drink more like an 8-9 % abv brew as opposed to its 6.1 % abv nature.

Overall –Quite a tasty brew. It’s a “not too overly sweet” and fairly roasty cream stout. Well worth a try.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.