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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,958 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,958
Reviews: 1,338
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 173
Gots: 214 | FT: 2
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
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Ratings: 2,958 | Reviews: 1,338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 liter growler filled by nitrotap into a pint glass.

A- pours a very dark brown, nearly black, with a beautiful tannish/mocha looking one finger thick head. The head takes awhile to fade, and when it does, leaves some beautiful lacing...looking at the side of the glass, it doesn't even look like the head faded all that much. Absolutely beautiful.

S- very smoky. Chocolate and coffee notes dominate. Its what a good standard stout should smell like.

T- there is a decent bit of sweetness from the milk, but not the overwhelming kind of sweetness you get in the Southern Tier imperial line. Hints of chocolate and coffee, but mostly that dull sweetness from the milk. So good. Best balance I've gotten from a milk stout ever.

M- its not syrupy thick like some stouts can be, but its not thin either...there's a thickness there that makes this beer awesome.

D- very drinkable. The alcohol, which at 6% is high for a non-imperial stout, is not noticeable at all. It tastes like...well, it tastes like that awesomeness you get from a good stout. Its like Guinness, but with a lot more flavor.

bigfnjoe, May 13, 2010
Photo of bierenutz
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a glass a brownish-black color with mocha head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing.
S-Nice aroma of chocolates and coffee, with sweet molasses and malt notes.
T-Roasted, almost burnt, malt flavor infused with coffee, chocolate and molasses. Very earthy afternotes and no alcohol flavor detected.
M-Thinner than I would have expected. This brew was somewhat creamy in texture but less than I would have liked, and with almost no carbonation. The finnish was dry and a bit bitter.
D-I thought this beer was good, but not great. Definitely worth getting again, though, as I think it's the type that grows on you, IMO.

bierenutz, May 11, 2010
2.23/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle to pint glass. Batch #9513.

A: Pours with a large medium dark 2 finger creamy head with large bubbles that create small pockets as they burst. Excellent retention becomes a sudsy film. The body is dark brown if not black and so opaque that light doesn't even penetrate the beer along the edge of the glass. No lacing.

S: This brew is harshly malted (apparently 10 different malts!), all roasted and dark: chocolate, grain, molasses and light coffee. The hops are light, herbal and piney. Earthy, musty and meaty yeast notes contribute to the aroma.

T: Flavors of burnt brown sugar, vanilla with light Sarsaparilla, anise and sour milk. While the lactic qualities are high, residual sugars remain low opening the gates for an unwanted bitterness and sourness. The flavors have a short duration. Lightly sweet and moderately bitter.

M: Medium body but, even so, much lighter than expected. Semi thin and gritty. The carbonation is fine and fizzy but maybe a little too lively for a milk stout. Effervescence is reminiscent of week old soda.

D: A rare miss by Bell's. With a 6.1% ABV, I'm not sure cellaring would have made any improvements, but I can't help but wonder if I drank this one a little too early.

FeDUBBELFIST, May 08, 2010
Photo of AdamMY
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is black, with only the slightest hint of transparency around the rims.

It poured a nice sustaining head which was slightly dirty . The aroma is great, lots of coffee and chocolate malt. The aroma also has a slight hint of a burnt popcorn like aroma.

The taste is definitely "Interesting". It has Its like a smooth and creamy coffee with chocolate undertone. The Burnt popcorn comes out in the finish. But there is an overwhelming bitterness and sourness to it that I notice as I drink it more and more.

The drink-ability is only moderate, as it is enjoyable but I do not know if I could drink these one after another all that easily, especially with the sour aspect to it.

Batch #9513

Acquired from a PA Store.

AdamMY, May 06, 2010
Photo of Dubber55
2.5/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Nice dark black pour, tan/mocha 1 cm head, good retention. Smells like sour milk, coffee, and chocolate. Initially tastes like sour milk. Then I am getting some hop bitterness followed by roasted malts. Tastes mostly like coffee. Has a slick mouthfeel. I might be wrong but I thought this was supposed to sweet?

Dubber55, May 03, 2010
Photo of dbossman
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a brown, small head that dissipates to a thin film

S: Sweet roasted malts; chocolate and vanilla with hints of bourbon sitting through the heavily malted quality; I can't put my finger on everything going on here though--it is a complex smelling beer and I can't wait to taste it

T: Not as complex as the aroma would indicate but the layers of malts are quite satisfying; subtle coffee and chocolate as well as vanilla permeate and this beer isn't as sweet as the aromas would let you believe

F: A bit thin and the beer quickly moves through the mouth with not as much sticking to the tongue ad I would like

D: A great start but the richness of the malts makes it difficult to drink this for too long. All in all, though, this is a nice offering from Bell's

dbossman, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of Samichlaus
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Received in trade from StormKing47. Thanks Josh!
12oz poured into Allagash flute. Batch # 9513.

A: Pours a thick syrupy black with a thin dark tan head. Minimal lacing.

S: Sour milk, chocolaty malt sweetness, slight spicy hoppiness.

T: Sour milk up front then a blast of bitter roasted barley. Piny and herbal hop bitterness throughout. Finishes sticky and dry. Chocolate and coffee notes build as I drink. Not a whole lot of sweetness to me, unlike what others have mentioned.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Sticky, thick and dry.

D: Not something I would want to have again.

This one really sounded like it would be good. I guess you can't judge a book by it's cover... or, hundreds of good reviews. I don't think there was anything wrong with the beer in the way of spoilage or oxidation, but I don't understand where some people are coming from in their reviews. If I ever come across it again I will have to try it and see.

Samichlaus, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of robwestcott
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

robwestcott, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, with a little dark brown showing around the edges. Accompanied by a weak beige head that recedes to the edges of the glass.

S: Sweet dark malt and quite a bit of lactose with some sour twang.

T: Slightly bitter dark malts with a little sourness. Finish is heavy on the roasted coffee flavors. Sourness gives the flavor an almost crabapple-like character. Despite the very apparent lactose, it's not all that sweet by me.

M: Light, and heavily carbonated. But this seems to be a frequent issue for me with the style, so will not deduct much.

I thought this was smoother and maybe a little more full-bodied on draft. Still, enjoyable and one of the better milk stouts regularly available out there.

GeezLynn, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of speter
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly-opaque black with ample tan head that persists well. Good lacing.
S: Various levels of roast malt with a hint of sourness.
T: I'll be honest. If I had reviewed this beer based on my first sip, I would pan it. The initial taste is a kick in the mouth of sourness and roasted malt. It does grow on you with every sip, and now that I've had a couple of bottles (not all tonight), I do like the flavor, which develops over the course of a glass. The more you drink, the more the sourness fades away and lets the complex roast shine through.
M: The carbonation level is acceptable (albeit perhaps a tad high), but I am at a loss as to the "double cream" nature of the beer. This has little of the sweetness or rich mouthfeel I've come to expect from other milk stouts.
D: As I've said, the taste on this improves the more you drink, which is a great inducement to drink even more.

speter, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of klikger
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black, a bit thin, little head, nice lacing

S - Roasted malts, lactose, not much else

T - Upon hitting the tongue, this tastes milky, yet acidic at the same time, with faint hints of coffee coming through as the seconds pass. This isn't a very sweet "sweet stout", in my opinion. Hops are present, with a pleasant bitterness appearing near the end.

M - Thinner than most stouts and a decent number of porters. Not one-dimensional, but not exactly complex, either. Doesn't coat the mouth as much as other beers in this category.

D - Above-average drinkability -- I could down a couple of these and still have room for something else.

Overall, this is an enjoyable beer, but it doesn't knock my socks off. It's definitely worth trying, but there are other milk stouts which I'd rather drink for the $ (Lake Louie & Left Hand come to mind). That's not to say that I wouldn't love to try Black Note...I can see this pairing nicely with the Expedition Stout and bourbon barrel aging would certainly add a lot.

klikger, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of righthereisay
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Little lacing on this very dark beer.

It had some coffee flavor, but I would say it tasted more like a milk stout than expected. This is probably why the smell wasn't as good as expected either.

With the name, I expected a more creamier stout. So I was a little dissappointed.

I thought it had a little too much carbonation, and thought it had a medium body at best. Again, expectations were a full body creamy stout.

Obviously it didn't meet my expectations but it was still a good beer. I probably wouldn't spend a night drinking these..

righthereisay, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of meatyard
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's very dark with nothing showing through the edges, guess it's black. Poured it with about a 1", creamy, tan head that fell at a moderate pace without lacing.
The smell is some alcohol at first with cream and milk chocolate followed at the end by dark malt.
The taste is very sweet and creamy/milk followed by dark roasted malt, a light tanginess/sourness and lingering sweetness finishes.
Mouthfeel starts medium thick but then starts to feel thin with low carbonation.
Drinkability: If you like the style it fits though maybe at a more intense level and you could have a couple of these easily enough at 6.1% ABV. It seems like something that I would like given it's a stout and sweet but 1 is definitely enough for me. What I liked least was the peculiar tangy sourness in the middle.

meatyard, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of semibaked
2.3/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours into a Tulip glass. Batch 9513

A - Pours jet black with a big 2 fingers of towering brown foam and stays around for a while.

S - Roasted Malts, coffee, sugary sweetness and perhaps some oxidation or maybe some lactose, hard for me to tell.

T - A sourness like spoiled milk hit me up front, then roasted malts, coffee, but really no sweetness. Pretty off putting.

M - Medium bodied and some chewiness, I also get tartness and some slickness.

D - This is not very good to me. I am pretty sure this is a fresh bottle given the batch number, but this is like carbonated slightly sour milks with coffee and carbonation. I think I will pass on this in the future.

semibaked, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of ncfranklin
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A : Black. Black black. No hints of red. A good two finger brown head that settles to a gentle coating on top.

S : Creamy, coffee and chocolates, maybe even a bit of caramel.

T : Creamy and milky is powerful on the tastebuds, with the bits of coffee poking through. On the end, it twangs over with the lactose'y milk, and leaves the mouth dry. This isn't too sweet of a cream stout, a little weak for me, but possibly good for the usual doubter of this style.

M : Heavy. It is a stout afterall. But it settles well in the mouth, and doesn't sour.

D : It's a one glass drink for me. Makes for a good dessert brew, but doesn't draw me in.

ncfranklin, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a humongous beige head. Great retention and generous lacing.

S: Roasted malt, milk, cream

T: Very creamy and rich with a very noticeable lactose flavor. The milk aspect is present throughout the taste, with mild sourness. A tasty beer, though perhaps the lactic aspect is a bit overdone.

M: Smooth and easy to drink. Bitter aftertaste, with lactose overtones.

D: A really solid example of the style. Recommended.

Huhzubendah, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of FishGetter
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jaxon53 for this one on a trade. Pours jet black in a snifter with minimal head. Wow its black!
Aroma is of toasted grains, coffee, some soy, birch, and some sweetness.
Very smooth toasted grains, some black coffee notes too. Vary faint bitter chocolate flavors round it out. Some hop biterness flashes to finish it off.
Nice solid mouthfeel, between a medium and heavy. Very silkie and smooth.
Very drinkable stout. Not too complex and very smooth. Nice touch in not killing it with a high ABV. Great ballance on this one.

FishGetter, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an exceptionally dark shade of black with a nice tan head.

The smell on this one is great. Hints of chocolate, doffee, and a nice hit of vanilla abound. I could sniff this one all day.

The taste follows with the nice hit of vanilla and some light coffee. There is a slight metallic bitterness on the finish that keeps this one from getting a higher score. Freat on the front end, though.

The mouthfeel on this one is pretty good. It has a nice body with a decent about of carbonation for the style.

Again, if it wasn't for the metallis bite this one would be a bit better. Still, it's very drinkable and I will definitely buy it again.

RomaniIteDomum, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of dudecandle
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Near black body with creamy tan head.

S: Raisins, smoke and coffee primarily.

T: The milk shows up strong, adding a sweeter dimension to the already oatmeal raisin chocolate cookie-like flavors. Some slight herbal hop along the way. Smoke also lingers on the finish.

M: Creamy with a long finish.

D: Great balance of sweet and smokey with a smooth body. It's an easy drinker, full of flavor without being too big at all. The sweet comes from both the fruit and the milk, balancing the acidity on that end as well. Really pleasant.

dudecandle, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of BeerGodz
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Nearly black color, medium tan head with decent retention & lacing

Smell: Mild aromas of milk, milk chocolate

Taste: Up Front: Slightly sour, chocolate, cola. Finish: Chocolate; reminds me of a Charleston Chew - NICE!

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium/low carbonation, slightly sweet - on par with the style

Drinkability: Silky smooth, especially at cellar temperature

Overall Impression: This is a very mellow sweet stout. I really liked the chocolate finish. It was better previously at the POPE on cask, but that goes without saying. I never actually smelled milk in a beer before, and I've had many Milk/Sweet Stouts over the years. Regardless, I still liked it. This beer really did not come to life until it warmed up, more so than most other fine ales

BeerGodz, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of sisuspeed
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled December 2009.

Pours a dark, dark brown with about a finger of tan head. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

A touch of coffee bean and roasted malt on the nose, but the aroma is mostly dominated by a slightly sour lactose smell. Almost dairy like. Normally I wouldn't enjoy this kind of smell, but this is a cream stout, so it's pretty likely that lactose was used. Bits of vanilla linger as well.

Smooth, roasty malts on the tongue followed by a lactic tang. Bits of chocolate and coffee come through as well. A very milky stout. Lactose adds a sweet and slightly sour touch to the beer.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost velvety, but the body is light enough to notice the small, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. I like the well roasted malts and the touch of dark chocolate, but the lactic sourness cuts down on the drinkability for me.

Overall, this is a very interesting brew. Big roasty malts, a smooth body and tangy milkiness. I like sour beers, but I'm not sure if this pairing is really my thing. I think Bell's has done a good job with the style and if I had a fresher bottle maybe I wouldn't notice the lactic sourness as much. All in all though, this is still a tasty beer and one that I'd like to try again.

sisuspeed, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of abuliarose
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pouted into a fluted pint glass, revealing deep opaque brown body with a beige head of average density, some lacing. The smell is so confusing. Normally I would retch at the sour lactose notes, but in this case they're decently balanced by sweet and roasty malt. For a cream stout, I could not expect much better.

Tastes lightly malty with a solid lactose tang and roasted character. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel makes the small tickling carbonation and otherwise heavier body very palatable. Drinks easy. I just wish the milkness was more sweet and less, well, rancid-like in character. I don't know if I've ever had more lactose in a beer.

Overall it's interesting. I don't know if so much milk is my thing, but I'm glad I tried it.

abuliarose, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Riccymon
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep black with barely a quarter inch of craggy brown head. Within a few seconds, the beer is as lifeless as black coffee. Smell takes me a bit off guard, as a funky plum-coffee-chocolate malt-earth aroma wafts to the nose. To be honest, this smells to me a bit like a well-aged barleywine. Very complex and interesting.

Double Cream Stout tastes heavily of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and a nutty/dusty grain note. A complementary cherry note is well-integrated into the brew, reminding me of Bell's Cherry Stout. This is a pleasantly sweet beer, and it finishes rather dry and without much bitterness. Body is substantial, but it's not overdone for a milk stout.

I must have had my first bottle of Double Cream Stout a little too cold, but served at cellar temps, this beer is extremely well-done. A wonderful aroma and flavorful taste make this one of the best stouts I've had in a while.

Riccymon, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of pmcadamis
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Inky black with a tiny but persistent head.

S - Rich milk chocolate, and I do mean RICH... like half chocolate syrup and half milk. Reminds me of that white nougat stuff inside of a Charleston Chew.

T - Good balance of dark chocolate and sweeter milk chocolate notes with some heavily creamed and sweetened coffee (the way I like it).

M - Thick and milky. This one is solid and creamy, but hides it's strength well. I would have guessed that this was closer to 4% than 6%.

D - Good stuff, but not as mind boggling as some other Bell's brews (Two Hearted anyone?). I tried this at the good beer spot in town, and it may have been a little to chilled. I'd like to savor this in a snifter at room temp at home and give it another go.

pmcadamis, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 3/8/10 (yay I'm finally catching up on my backlog of reviews!)

A - Very dark brown with light tan 1.5" head in my Ommegang goblet. Nice lacing. 4.0

S - Overall, somewhat subdued. Sweet chocolate notes, light coffee, and a touch of citrusy hops. Caramel too. 4.0

T - A nice delicate blend of chocolate, mocha, and a touch of sweet cream with a long lasting bittersweet finish. Very slight citrus and earthiness of hops as well. 4.5

M - Rich and medium bodied, well carbonated and velvety smooth. 4.0

D - Exceptional. A very well made beer. 5.0

DmanGTR, Mar 17, 2010
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 2,958 ratings.