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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

3,414 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,414
Reviews: 1,394
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 196
Gots: 363 | 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: 3,414 | Reviews: 1,394
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from treyrab in BeerSwap 3.0. thanks, Trey.

A: The pour is not very viscous at all. The beer is a fully opaque black that does no t produce any hues when held up to light. Additionally, there is no head to speak of. There are only wispy bubbles that swirl on the surface as I try to pour this beer aggressively to try to get anything out of it. Nothing. No lacing either...go figure, though.

S: Complex malt character of light roast, a malty creamy sweetness, and some grainy notes to round it out.

T: Roasted grains are the first thing you will notice. There is a sweetness that is not quite milky and not quite oatmeal. Compelling...it stays with me in the creamy and soft finish.

M/D: As stated before, creamy and smooth, especially towards the back of the palate. The consistency is light to medium, with a bit of carbonation (despite the completely flat pour) to add texture. Easy to drink and enjoyable, but this beer is just too sweet for me to drink more than one of...it's a good "every once in a while" beer, but not a go-to

Photo of fropones
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark reddish brown, nearly black, with a thin mocha head.

S - Smells of espresso and semi-sweet chocolate. Roasted malt with the faintest hint of vanilla.

T - More roasted malt and coffee. Some molasses, as well. A bit of hop bitterness. Nothing overwhelming, but still quite tasty. Hopefully more character will develop as this warms up. Some cherries in the aftertaste.

M - Very creamy (who would have thought?), very low carbonation, light-medium body.

D - Drinks well.

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Draught2012 for providing this to me..

When poured into my snifter a classic stout head forms and builds to a creamy thick tan head. Gravity immediately starts working on this and it collapse back into the beer leaving a ¼ inch thick foam top. The beer is almost totally opaque, but at the bottom I see some ruby notes coming through. Interesting.

Aroma is strong, of chocolate, sweet syrup and muddy earthy dark roasted malts. I get a bit of fruit as well.

Roasted grains, charcoal, molasses, chocolate are all in the flavor. In the swallow there is some fruit and then a chocolate lingering after taste. Dare I say chocolate milk.

The mouth feel is among the best parts of this beer. Silky smooth and velvet like.. Just a touch of grain in the feel.

Nicely drinkable and unassuming for a stout. One to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

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

Thanks Andrea!

I had a few of these last winter and now have a few more in my possession. If Bells were to distribute out here, this is the type of beer I would keep in my frig as a fall back/go to beer.

Pours black with a inch head. Decent amount of lacing.

Smooth with coffee roastiness. Highly drinkable. One of the beers I wish I could buy out here.

Next review!

Photo of Travlr
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black, admits no light. medium tan head, disappears quickly, leaves nice lacing. Aroma of cafe au lait with burnt edges. Taste begins with chocolate, then progresses to roasted coffee beans, then finally to burnt espresso. Very nice indeed. Laid down 6 bottles tonight, hopefully I can wait a year.

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, purchased at Heinens in my hood of Twinsburgh, Ohio. Great mocah head sits atop a deep black body.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, cream.

Great mocah flavor, roast, mild bitterness from bittering hops, amazing creamy smoothness to the finish.

Perfect carb, nice feel, could be thicker but approaching milkshake territory.

Not as heavy as you would think. OK, so it's not a traditional milk stout due to the roast and lack of super sweet lactose in the flavor, but this is a DAMN good and it's towards the top of the ABV range, so I'm sure the roast is necessary to avoid this tasting too hot. A great offering from Bells.

Photo of steve8robin
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one from an extra...

A: Very good look. Very dark with about a half inch off white colored head

S: Smells sweet. You can smell the cream. Pretty good.

T: Not too bad. A little sweet. The taste of the cream overrides this brew.

M: Good carbonation. Leaves a nice sticky flavor.

D: Pretty easy to drink. No problem going down.

All in all, this is a good brew if you're looking for something sweeter out of a stout.

Photo of wnh
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque reddish dark brown with a smallish and short-lived light tan head.

Nose is big on the grain, somewhere between deeply toasted and lightly roasted. Lacks the burnt grain character found in many stouts. Sweet burnt caramel backbone. And unless it's merely the power of suggestion, I get a hint of milkiness.

Very smooth on the palate, showing the roasted malt up front but not exactly showcasing it. Turns toward burnt caramel and bitter chocolate in the middle, before rounding out and fading into a long, smooth finish. Mouthfeel is, again, smooth, but lacks the body for me to consider it exactly "creamy." Very quaffable, and were it not for the alcohol content would be a great session beer. Indeed, if it were up to me I'd leave a few more fermentable sugars in this brew, thickening the mouthfeel while dropping the ABV. A very good beer, regardless.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown hue with a large and creamy tan colored head. Lacing is miminal, but the head retains very well--there's a solid dollop of foam on top from start to finish.

S: Bold and roasty, showcasing black malt, roasted coffee beans, baker's chocolate, and hints of cream (like the milky presence in lightly creamed coffee). Very well done.

T&M: Licorice, unsweeted dark fruits, and a faint hoppiness give way to a deeper chicory roast, dark chocolate, and dry coffee. A sweetness The finish is long, featuring a roasted, bitter flavor. It's not as sweet as a typical milk stout--there's a bit too much roast--but it's still a solid beer. Body is medium/heavy with an oily feel.

D: This is also distinguishable from your typical milk stout by the fact that it lacks the drinkability the finest examples of the style possess. It's more of a sipper than a gulper. Another enjoyable beer by Bell's, though.

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

A- A pitch black beer with a one finger khaki head, but it does not last long. Some spotty lacing though.

S- I get a slight hint of coffee, some roasted malt with a bit of sweet chocolate malt.

T- A roasted bitterness is heavy and mixed with some good sweet cocoa. None of the metallic twang that last years batch had. This year's batch has a boozy taste as well.

M- Hmm, it's got some creaminess to it, but still a bit thin, imo.

D- I love stouts and I find this one to be very drinkable.

Side Thoughts- The 2009 batch is better then the 2008 imo. This year's batch is sweeter and is not suffering from that metallic after taste. This is a decent brew, but I find the $15.99 price tag on a sixer to be way too high for the product.

Photo of womencantsail
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to pick one of these up recently and I've been waiting for a good time to crack it open. Tonight seemed like a good one.

A: The pour is just about black. Very little highlights, if any, that I can see. A nice tan/mocha colored head perches itself on top.

S: The nose is full of roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate.

T: A very interesting flavor profile. A light roasted malt flavor with a very sweet finish. There is quite a bit of chocolate coupled with a mild bitterness.

M: A very creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The body is medium, and there's a moderate level of carbonation.

D: The Milk/Sweet stout is a style that's beginning to grow on me. Generally I am more of an RIS fan, but the sweetness is quite a welcomed change of pace. A great beer, and I'm glad I have another.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-deep black color with a thick two fingers of coffee colored head that lingers for some time and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-light nose that consists of roasted malt, hint of chocolate cake batter, and some light citrus sweetness

T-a roasted malt hits first followed by some bitter sweet chocolate, cake batter, touches of coffee, dark fruits, some raisin and prune that gives it a sweetness at the finish

M-very smooth and creamy as the name would indicate, medium body with a fair bit of carbonation.

D-this is a solid tasting beer with a great mouthfeel and robust creamy flavors. I could drink this beer quite frequently.

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12oz at Capones to finally give this a whirl. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Opaque black color, pours pretty thick. Tannish brown head that only hangs around for a while, and then is completely gone. Little to no lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark malts. A sweet creaminess. Somewhat of a woody aroma. Hint of chocolate.

Taste: A rich creaminess that is also sweet. Dark roasted malts combined with some wood and earthy tones. Some chocolate once the milk/cream flavor subsides. Fairly well balanced, not overly sweet or milky.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light carbonation. Not much bitterness. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Good balance, but one is enough for me. No hint of alcohol until it warms considerably, however.

Not bad. Could have been better, could have been worse.

Photo of billab914
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Pours a dark brown color with a one finger tan head. The head settled to form a ring around the glass but had pretty good lacing on the glass.

Aroma has some sweet chocolate along with a little coffee and roasted flavor.

Taste is sweet at first with some chocolate and coffee notes and it finishes with moderate bitterness to help balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice drinking stout that I can have a few of in a sitting.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Double Cream Stout, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a substantial light brown head. Nice webbed lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is soft, just a hint of chocolate and sweet loaf.

Taste is chocolatey and malty. Hops are there adding to the bitterness. Suggestions of lactose sugar. A full roasted flavor, reminiscent of coffee.

Full bodied mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation throughout. Semi dry bitter chocolate finish.

A nice beer from Bells here. Good balance and though its a bit strong its still quite good.

Photo of Reaper16
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip

Pours a proper black (well, super-dark brown, but you know) with a beige head that wasn't any larger than one finger at its peak. Lacing happens, but is spotty. This is pretty basic looking though well-executed.

The nose on this milk stout is far more complex than other offerings of the style that I've had. Lightly roasted malts are up front, but they don't particularly swing one way or the other towards coffee or chocolate. Playing off of that skeleton are two distinct scents. The first is black licorice. The second is Amaretto. That sweet almond liquer scent develops further as the beer warms, becoming more buttery, more like a Werther's Original candy. Very nice.

The roast character on the tongue is like the nose in that it isn't really chocolate or coffee but very lightly is both. There is a dairy sweetness, as expected, that informs the malt and fattens up the flavors. That Amaretto thing carries over to the taste, too. Its almond on some quaffs, more of a hazelnut on others. Either way its good. I was concerned with diacetyl after smelling a buttery quality but I didn't taste any. The aftertaste is slightly bitter from roast but there's also an interesting woodsy note to it, as if you had placed a twig on your tongue.

Bell's Special Double Cream has a nice, medium body. A thicker body would have been my preference but what's here is good enough for carrying the flavors throughout the mouth. I may be scoring the drinkability a little bit higher than I should be, but I can't help but notice 1.) how frequently I keep coming back to take more sips of this beer and 2.) how I've never done that with any milk stout before, ever.

I came to this beer as a believer in the quality of Bell's varied and many stouts, but also after just having had a rare misstep from them in their Rye Stout (if average, competent beer can be called a "misstep"). Full disclosure: I have not previously been a fan of milk stouts. I've been thoroughly unimpressed with each milk/sweet/cream stout I've had before trying Bell's offering. Finally, I've found a beer of the style that manages to speak to me. This is good in every way and would be a fine accompaniment to dessert. Screw Southern Tier's candy stouts -- this is the sweet double stout to reach for. I now look forward to replicating the famed Special Double Cream/Expedition Stout blend at home.

*Special mention must be made about the label. Its stark image of a dark, skinny tree amidst a snowy white background looks like an Agalloch album cover.*

Photo of samie85
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A heavy pour yields a pitch black beer with a two and a half finger dark khaki head.

S- I'm getting a lot of coffee/roasted malt with a bit of sweet chocolate malt and a fruity hop character.

T- A roasty bitterness is the predominant note I'm getting with some sweet chocolate to balance it. A hint of sweet alcohol as well.

M- While it's creamy it's also a little thin feeling. Medium carbonation.

D- Honestly, I really like this beer, but I find I have a hard time drinking it as a session beer. I find it to be a really filling beer. Two of these is pretty much the limit for me.

Photo of dpasotti
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark, translucent brown with a hefty crown of rich beige color. Aroma is mostly earthy malt tones, coffee, and vanilla.

The taste follows suit, with coffee becoming dominant. The malt balance is awesome; The sweetness and roasty bitterness compliment each other well, with the sweetness in front. Solid hop presence merges with the slight malt bitterness on the finish. The creamy, silky mouthfeel and great balance contribute to the high drinkability score.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

A: A thick jet black color with no light filtering and a half finger light brown head. A few stickies, but not many.

S: Sweet with roasted malts and a slight earthy woody smell.

T: Nice sweet smooth chocolate flavors with a nice creamy sweetness offset by a darker roasted flavor with coffee and some woody tones. Earthy hops kick in on the finish to keep everything in check. Very nice and balance, pretty complex for a milk stout.

M: Smooth, creamy, soft, and no alcohol. Nice carbonation.

D: Very high, this is very enjoyable and drinkable with the great balance of sweet and dark.

Overall a great milk stout, a style which I am not normally a fan of. I really enjoyed the hell out of this beer, luckily I have one more bottle to enjoy.

Photo of vacax
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a one finger high cappucino colored head. Surprisingly bright fruity smell, I almost get strawberries along with a dry roasted coffee and a bit of vanilla. Definitely not the whiff of lactose sweetness I expected. Tastes of roasted barley and coffee with a nice accompanying malt sweetness that hits me with coconut and prunes. Finish is roasty to a spicy degree with a rich cookie dough ending with a hint of flora. Great blend of roast and sweet malts with dark fruits and coconuts. Medium to full body with a silky, almost chewy presence. Medium carbonation. Really far above average when it comes to sweet stouts. A treat. Damn you Bell's for making one of the better milk stouts I have had and I can't even think about buying your beers in California. Most of the style end up too sweet or too roasty, but this is just right.

Photo of Axic10
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Batch #9446.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a half an inch tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell: Sweet, toasted malts hit the nose right away. Very pleasant nose on this one.

Taste: Slightly smokey flavor initially followed up by sweet roasted malt flavor.

Drinkability: A very smooth beer, one that I could have many times in a session. No hint of alochol at all.

I would definitely go for this beer again. Another great stout by the fine folks at Bell's.

Photo of soupyman10
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with a fairly weak off-white head. Nose is roasted malt, light coffee, some very mild dried fruit. Very nice nose, which doesn't quite come through in the flavor. More straight forward roasted malt, with milder fruit and chocolate in there. Body is a little weak, possibly because it's a cask brew. Overall, this one didn't really do it for me like it did in the bottle. A little simple.

Church Key/$6/16 oz

Photo of jjanega08
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a blackout black color with some deep mahogany highlights when held up to the light. The head on this beer is small about a finger or half a finger and falls to a thick rim around the glass. The head is a nice mocha color and actually holds a pretty decent retention for what is there with some lacing that's just special. Looked really thick and delicious when I poured it.

S= sweet and milky. Not too roasted but there is some roast that is taken back by the sweetness of this beer. Toffee is very present in this one mostly due to the mix of sweet caramel malts some of the roasty malts and the sugary sweetness.

T= Really tries to push roasty but never quite makes it there due to the awesome sweetness. I would say it might finish a little smokey and coffeeish. Up front you can taste the roastyness try to make it in but is swallowed by the sweetness that lasts through the mid pallet. Like I mentioned the finish is a little smokey and has some coffee in it.

M= A little light for the appearance when I poured it but still a nice semi chewy beer. Smooth and delicious.

D= Great. This is one delicious sweet stout that doesn't push the sweetness too much and is quite balance when it comes to sweetness and roast in the taste. Improvements could be the head and the mouthfeel but you can't have everything sometimes. I'll be coming back to this one again. Bell's comes through.

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

Pours slighty oily, black with a cappucino head.

Somewhat coffee stoutish on the nose. Coffee with chocolate added, burnt cookies, with a certain lactose maltiness.

Flavor is mocha, a background of coffee and milky malt with a hoppy kiss in the finish and a wonderful chocolate fade. The body is medium-full, which the creaminess supports well.

Really well made year after year. This was my original go to breakfast stout and for that I give it props.

Photo of Brettster
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. Very nice tan head that faded fairly quickly to a fine tan lacing round the glass. Pours coffee black. Smells sweet and a hint of roasted malts and coffee. This beer is definitely a well balanced treat. This beer is thick and creamy. Definitely one of the creamier stouts that I have had. It starts off sweet with a very nice roasted finish. If you enjoy stouts, this is a must try.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,414 ratings.