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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

3,388 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,388
Reviews: 1,390
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 193
Gots: 353 | 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: 3,388 | Reviews: 1,390 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

5-18-10 - Poured from a 1-liter growler into a Guinness Extra Stout pint glass - purchased at Al's of Hampden in Enola, PA.

Appearance: Pours black with a huge, creamy, tan head that eventually fades to a slender ring. Leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, dark toast, and espresso with a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Roasted malt carries notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and vanilla to the tongue. A fairly spicy finish with some hops providing a distinct bitterness. This beer is very creamy because of the nitrogen tap.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Presents a good balance as it flows over the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and has great balance for a sweet milk stout.

Comments: I am a big fan of Bell's Brewery, and I also really enjoy the milk stout style. Accordingly, it is no surprise that this beer impresses me. As my review indicates, balance is key with this one.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. Received as an extra from HonusWagner. Thanks man!

A: Pours pitch black with a mild (half finger), short-lived beige head. There is a thin collar on the brew when all is said and done, and it leaves no lacing.

S: Roasted malt. Milk chocolate (I assume this is the cream and chocolate together, but I can't separate the two), coffee, toast.

T: Dark, not milk, chocolate, working in concert with an initial coffee blast. The cream component comes into play in the mid-taste, which is sweet and lightly sour (lactic). The finish is simultaneously ashy and spicy. Coffee pulls into the finish for a slightly roasty flavor.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation. A nice lactic presence, but it's restrained and it allows the other flavors to come through nicely. It's fairly dry. Good balance.

D: This seems pretty solid, but I'm not well-versed in the milk stout style, so I can't judge it all that well. Certainly I'd revisit this one.

Photo of Spica66
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. I am from Kalamazoo and this beer has never disappointed. It has a big, creamy, amber-colored head and an even creamier mouthfeel. In fact, I would say that this is the creamiest mouthfeel I have ever had in a beer. It pours very dark brown going in and looks nearly black in the stout glass. It has a complex taste that finishes just a little bit tart with a definite black patent aftertaste. This bottle has the code 9446 on the back. The label has changed from red lettering to tan lettering outlined in black.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of bierenutz
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

2.35/5  rDev -40.7%
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.

Photo of AdamMY
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of Dubber55
2.56/5  rDev -35.4%
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?

Photo of dbossman
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Photo of Samichlaus
1.57/5  rDev -60.4%
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.

Photo of robwestcott
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.92/5  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.

Photo of speter
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of klikger
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of righthereisay
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
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..

Photo of meatyard
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of semibaked
2.34/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

Photo of ncfranklin
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of FishGetter
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of dudecandle
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,388 ratings.