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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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

3,410 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,410
Reviews: 1,393
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 195
Gots: 361 | 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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-30-2001

Double Cream Stout derives its name from its smooth, creamy texture, not the ingredients. Completely dairy-free, this stout blends ten different specialty malts to yield a remarkable depth of flavor. With only a touch of burnt notes, Double Cream Stout focuses on the softer, cocoa & espresso-like aspects of roasted malt.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,410 | Reviews: 1,393
Photo of Phelps
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks: a pervasive, deep brown-black, with a one-finger head of dull copper. The bubbles are large yet sticky, and the head only collapses to half its size before setting up camp and going nowhere. Full sheets of lace decorate the walls as I drink.

Smells: like a cup of Folger's. The coffee aroma reminds of instant granules, but there's also loads of dark chocolate, toasty bread, sweet cream and a tiny bit of tangy sour grain in the back.

Tastes: transitory. The first flavor that hits is roastiness, coffee-laden and dark. Some tanginess then takes hold, with light notes of plums and a flavor akin to bitter dark chocolate that's been left in the cupboard too long. Like a boomerang, the toasty malts come flying back in at the finish, leaving lingering hints of charred bread and dark espresso. As I make my way through the glass, that expired-chocolate tanginess becomes the only thing I can notice. It's rather distracting.

Feels: moderately carbonated and medium-light-bodied, the beer foams up a bit as it moves through the mouth. For a beer called Double Cream stout, I'd expect much more creaminess. The bittersweet tang is building now, leaving an unpleasant sharpness on the back sides of my tongue.

Drinks: like confusion. Not creamy enough and a little too tangy, Double Cream Stout isn't one I'll be seeking out again.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours black with some brown highlights, and a super creamy, off-white head with excellent lacing. Smells nutty and lightly roasty with some creaminess. Tastes delicious. Creamy and slightly sweet with a fresh cream, citrus hop, and a light roasty flavor and some toasted hazlenut and almonds. Creamy and with some sweetness in the mouth. A very nice beer.

Photo of domtronzero
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

And again, thanks to pwoody11 (man, he hooked it up!). Batch 9446.

A - Clear, very dark brown, almost opaque. Small, long-lasting tan head. Little lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, caramel. Clean.

F/M - Chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark dried fruits (prunes). Medium-low bitterness helps this beer stay smooth and the creamy mouthfeel really makes it full bodied yet clean in the finish. Medium-lite carbonation.

D - This is one easy-drinking "double cream" stout. Full bodied, creamy and rich, yet finishes clean and without a heavy lingering aftertaste.

Photo of chesapeakegoody
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: BLACK, with a small dirty head

S: Def. coffee, with a hint of sweet vanilla

T: Bitter roast, chocolate, almost burnt espresso taste

M: Very nice smooth finish but bitter taste was a bit overwhelming. The creamy texture is probably the best part of this beer.

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

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this one as a bonus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of beerwolf77
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my duvel tulip from a bottle.

A: pitch black with a huge three fingers of mocha hued head, great retention, thick webs of lace

S: super sweet vanilla with hints of coffee, chocolate and dark fruits, a touch of wet cardboard as it warms

T: bitter roast malt are what greet me out of the gate no where near what I was expecting after the nose, coffee and chocolate are modest with a light vanilla finish

M: medium body creamy body with light carbonation

D: Overall way more bitter than I had hoped. I had high hopes for this one, I need to stop having pre concieved notions about the beers I drink.

Photo of Bonis
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: Not sure how old this one is. Comes from batch 9513.

A - Black in the glass, One finger of thin mocha colored head settles to a thin layer after about 5 minutes.

S - Intense sweet cream. Rich roasted malts. A touch of milk chocolate, fairly sweet overall.

T - Very much follows the smell. Tastes sort of like a dark cream soda. I get some of the dark fruits as well. Not overly complex, but a beer of this style shouldn't be too complex. Pretty impressive overall.

M - Medium bodied, very smooth and creamy, a touch of chocolate bitterness lingers in the mouth.

D - If I could find this often, I'd be drinking it often. A good stout that everyone should try. This is my favorite milk/cream stout.

Photo of curly31989
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This is a jet black beer with a little brown head.

S - There is a lot of chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit coming off this beer. Everything tends to be on the sweeter side. More milk chocolate than dark chocolate.

T - Initially I get hit with roasted malts followed up by sweet chocolate and vanilla. There is a tad hint of coffee but not much.

M - Medium/Heavy body. This feels like milk in your mouth and beckons me to eat it with ice cream. A bowl of vanilla and a pint of this make a great pair. I really enjoy one of these, but I can't see myself drinking more than 1 in a night. Its just a little too sweet for me.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a half finger tan bubbly head. Head retention is good, lacing is too.

S - Very sweet smelling, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits reminiscent of a quad, roasted malts. There's just so much going on in the aroma.

T - Just as sweet as the aroma initially, the fruits are the main component as soon as it hits your tongue. The roasted malts quickly come to the forefront, but the fruits stay there for the rest of the taste. Despite the roasted malt flavor being the forefront, it isn't a bitter roasted taste, it is still extremely sweet. Chocolate and vanilla also make an appearance.

M - Heavy body, but closer to the medium side. Very creamy mouthfeel. This beer just slides down your throat. Finish is all sweet fruits.

D - Extremely drinkable. This definitely wouldn't be a session beer, but there's so much going on with it that you just have to constantly go back for more to see what the next sip will bring.

Photo of Khazadum
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out majorly to Prufrock! He has made my first BIF the greatest time of my craft beer life.

12 ounce bottle poured into my favorite brandy snifter.

Vision
The first thing I notice is how temperamental this beer is going to be with me tonight. From the moment I popped the top and started this pour, it hurries away to stash away the secrets. The off-mocha head barely rises to half a finger before it scurries down the glass. I don't even think a minute passed before every bubble of foam was gone. Not a single bubble remains to cap the body.

The previous two nights were jet black in color, but I can't say that for this beer. Granted, light cannot pass through this, and it is incredibly dark. However, I see something different here. When the light catches it in different positions it is not just black but milk chocolate... violet... deep within it you can find an interesting palate to pick from. When staring for different shades I also noticed that this brew has very little in carbonation. The edges have a few bubbles that cause the faintest of rings to perk up from the glass, but not like most beers I've seen.

Bouquet
There is a powerful aroma wafting off this glass. I can detect a charred nature, but what really slaps me in the face is dark fruits. Grapes long dried in the sun... stewed blackberries... faintly blueberry... even a faint raspberry nature all tickle my nostrils. It is amazingly sweet but not nauseating. In the beginning the fruits were paired with an astringent medicinal smell that must have been the first waves of alcohol leaving the snifter. These have by now vanished and leave me with fantastic odors. Behind the fruity nature is the bitterness of dark chocolates. If I never opened my eyes I would think there was a cornucopia in front of me.

Flavor Profile
The first tentative sip leaves me speechless. What is this? The nose is so strong, but the flavors are tender... soft. The flavors as well as feel of it is absolutely velvety. There is no charred or burnt notes that may have been in the bouquet, but there is those great grape-like flavors just barely allowing categorization. It reminds me of drinking grape juice. Having too much causes a puckering of my lips and cheeks, which for me is pleasurable. Having not enough keeps me pleasantly satisfied. No matter what type of sip I take, it is a great brew.

The finish is very clean. The flavors come and go with the liquid, but on my lips there is a residue. I can't say that it is grape, but it reminds me of bitter fruit flavors. Perhaps this is those dark chocolate notes finally coming through. It really depends on how you taste it. The quick and dirty sip if I want to enjoy a basket of berries, the long embrace if I want to bite into a bar of dark chocolate.

I'm coming back after long drinking this beer to note that the finish metamorphosized. If I take sip after sip I find that my tongue gets lathered in the bitter nature of dark chocolate that refuses to leave. It reminds me of gorging on a dark chocolate orange ( minus the citrus ) of Christmas. I'm loving the dual nature of this beer!

Oral Sensations
Very smooth... unbelievably smooth. In fact, I will say it again, this beer is velvet on the tongue. It is the perfect thickness while maintaining a creamy nature. The carbonation can't even be found if I swish this around like mouthwash and I wouldn't have it any other way. As I noticed before, the more than acceptable body allows its flavors to sometimes linger on my lips for later enjoyment.

Conclusions
Welcome to the embodification ( is that even a word? ) of Two-Face. This dark and edgy beer seems to have a dual nature in many ways. The finish is both clean and dirty. The flavors are both bitter and sweet. The nose mirrors its flavors as both bitter and sweet. It is not like these two are one and the same either. It is not bittersweet, but two unique personas. I would drink this beer every night of the week. It has so little of an alcohol punch that I couldn't even note it anywhere minus the very beginning. I loved it.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bells cream stout poured black with a small tan head. it smelt sweet with choclate. it tasted very sweet and a bit harsh on the palette. it had strong flavors and wasnt the easist to drink. overall different and not bad but not the best. iam sure i would get this one again bells other stouts are much better

Photo of Augustiner719
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

Pours a deep dark rich black color with a huge huge foamy head that almost went over the glass. Smell is really bitter dark chocolate, sour cherries and a hint of cocoa powder. Taste is way off. i think its infected. really has a bitter, tart, sour cherry flavor goign on. has nothing like a cream stout should have going on. Really this might be infected otherwise its just not good. Mouthfeel is decent, a bit over carbonated for my liking on a stout. Drinkability is average despite the sourness in this beer. I will have to get another sample just to verify if this is what the beer is really like.

Photo of SuperSpy
2.21/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date but "9566" is printed on the back label.

A - Black. Ruby edges when held to the light. A decent brown head that dies too quickly with no lacing left behind. Lots of apparent carbonation even though the head has died away.

S - Sweet dark malts and a hint of coffee and burnt sugar. Overall the aroma is fairly weak, but it does have some layers of complexity that I can appreciate.

T/M - I'm immediately taken aback by some intense acidic sourness that I was not expecting. It's sour like a geuze and the roasted malt that you would expect from a stout is more of a burnt flavor. There is also a metallic oxidation in the finish. I'm starting to wonder if this is infected. There is definitely something wrong with this beer. On the upside, the mouth feel is phenomenal. Definitely what a milk/cream stout should be! To bad it's infected and oxidized.

D - The acidity and oxidation make this undrinkable.

Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Bruery snifter. Beer is black and forms a thin brown head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Even though the beer is black, the carbonation levels are obvious and moderate. New head of medium and small bubbles are forming at the edges of the glass.

Aroma has an almost burnt sugar / caramel-ness about it. Overall its a little weak.

Beer is medium body, the roast is in the aftertaste only. The forward is moderately thin in flavor with some sweetness followed by the burned sugar taste. Its a little tangy too. Interesting, but I'm not super impressed. It tastes fine but I've had better stouts.

Photo of CaptYellow
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a small dark brown head. Poured into a Perfect Pint so the head lasted.

S: Dark Chocolate.

T: Espresso, dark chocolate, dates.

M: Creamy.

D: Yum! The flavor is strong, so it's a sipper for me.

O: Buy again? Definitely. Recommend? Highly. Search out? Yes. Worth the price? For the alcohol and strength of flavor, yes (something like a dollar fifty a bottle).

Photo of mroberts1204
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle marked 9446 indicating that it was packaged November 9, 2009.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a tan colored head that lingers throughout the entire beer. Some floaties visible.

Smell: Big roastiness jumps out with pleasant notes of dark chocolate/cocoa rounded out by some grassy hops. By far the beers best trait.

Taste: The roasted malt flavors dominate as indicated by the smell. Roast malt initially followed by chocolate and grassy hops. Not a whole lot of sweetness--you get some upfront but its quickly overtaken by mild hop bitterness. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Lacking in mouthfeel considering this is a cream stout! I expected a hearty mouthfeel and it just falls short. Not viscous enough and its compounded by prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink a lot of these considering the great balance. Another great beer from Bell's, but this falls short of what I have come to expect from a cream stout.

Photo of DioS
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black with barely noticeable brown tint. Dense medium sized head. Smells soothingly roasty with light espresso and chocolate. A big and creamy mouthfeel. The beer tastes buttery, smooth, with just the right amount of lactic sweetness balanced by roasted dryness and bitter chocolate, very low hop. The beer is tremendously satisfying, well balanced, and gives me a nourished feeling every time. One of my favorite winter beers.

Photo of BigIrishman
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a little bit of ruby highlights and a nice creamy tan head.

Smell: Very sweet. A big roasted character that is equally balanced by vanilla/caramel backbone. There are hints of dark fruit and maybe a light espresso undertone.

Taste: The balanced roasted/vanilla flavors are now heavily swaying toward roasted malts. The smokiness has engulfed a lot of those light intangibles are seemingly lost. They slightly came back as the beer warmed up but I feel this lacks the complex sweet stout characteristics that you find in a Sam Adams Cream Stout or Left hand Milk Stout.

Mouthfeel: Slick and a bit slimy and carries a medium to heavy body.

Drinkability: This beer isn't necessarily bad, it just lacks a balance between sweetness and roastiness. I will definitely enjoy the sixer I bought and have no problem grabbing one of these if it's available or at a party. However I think I'll stick with the cream stout when looking for a sweet creamy alternative to the big stouts.

Photo of stimulus
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle.

A: Pours a deep brown with beige lacing.

S: Smells very sugary like molasses with some chocolate notes

T: Heavy dark chocolate with a strong malty profile.

M: A bit sticky with too much carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable for the most part.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.31/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark black with one finger of bubbly light brown head.

S - Roasted malts with a sweet molasses smell. I also detect somewhat sour licorice/anise smell, similar to that in Bell's Porter, which is not a welcome smell.

T - Roasted malts with a definite burst of brewers licorice up front, very similar to the Bell's porter. The licorice taste overpowers the beer and ruins it for me. Was really looking forward to this one.

M - Medium body, more carbonation that usual for a stout.

D - A below average beer. Disappointing.

Photo of jpittman80
1.95/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Opaque black with a finger of tan head.

S - Prunes, chocolate and roast malt. No hint of a problem so far...

T - I have to have a bad bottle. There's no flavor whatsoever besides a strong tartness and bitterness. I'm guessing it's the lactic acid that took over the whole thing.

M - Super thin bodied, probably as a result of whatever ruined the bottle.

D - Poured it out.

Didn't expect vinegar. I'm pretty disappointed because I was looking forward to this one, and I can't get it in my hometown. Oh well.

Photo of Kaiser81
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No idea where this bottle came from, but thanks to whomever sent it to me.

A - Pours the darkest brown a color can be without being black. A finger width of mocha head sits lightly on top of the beer leaving nice lacing on my glass.

S - Smells of roast, coffee, cream, decent amount of vanilla.

T - Tastes of roast, mild amounts of a non bitter espresso, some vanilla and cream, and maybe a slight astringent taste on the finish. There's a roastiness in the aftertaste as well. I may not have stored this one properly, so maybe that's why the astringent taste is coming. I have another bottle, and will revisit this score if I find a better taste.

M - Carbonation is a bit high. There is some prickliness on my tongue. Body is medium bodied.

D - Not bad. It's a lighter stout. Definitely different prominent tastes in this stout, not really what I go for.

Photo of thain709
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very black body with a thin light brown cap...the cap stayed pretty thin and there was some lacing left

S - A standard nose compiled of chocolate, coffee, malts, and a nice sweet addition from the cream

T - The flavors work together nicely...the chocolate and other malts stand out at the front...they are deeply roasted but never come across as being burnt...again as the nose suggests there's that added sweetness from the cream which I found to be nice...it wasn't a harsh lactic flavor...the coffee presence is tasted at the end and helps with that deep roasted bitter finish

M - Medium bodied...creamy from the nitro...not a huge lingering lactic flavor...solid roastiness

D - For being a sweet stout I really enjoyed this one...it was a lot better than their Expedition Stout...the cream never became overly sweet and the malts really lasted throughout...another solid beer from Bell's

Photo of bennetj17
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black, slightly viscous, half-inch of brown foam with decent retention. Aroma of dark roasted malt and faint chocolate.

Nice roastiness in the flavor, also with a touch of chocolate and a slight peppery fruit character. Finishes clean and semi-dry with a decent bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit chewy and the carbonation has a nice potency.

A nicely drinkable stout, although more suited for colder weather perhaps. If it ever makes it to Tucson I will probably pick up a sixer come winter time...

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #9566 bottled on 2/2/2010 tasted on 5/4/2010

Aroma - Roasted malts with a underlying sweetness and a definite hop undertone with hints of hard water

Appearance - Poured a very dark color with a half inch tan head that stuck around for sometime

Taste - Roasty and sweet and smooth. Not a big stout but very much along the lines of what a stout should taste like.

Notes - Good mouthfeel

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,410 ratings.