1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,384 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,384
Reviews: 1,389
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 193
Gots: 351 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,384 | Reviews: 1,389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AleWatcher
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark red. Only slightly translucent at the edges and in the legs. Caramel colored head rises up a solid finger but dissolves quickly leaving a thin film.

Smells comes in fast and furiously with black coffee and chocolate. Wow does that get me excited to try this one!!!

Tastes like a very pleasant blend of coffee, unsweetened choclate, cream, and a tastey raostiness.

Slightly less carbonation than I expected but it still works.

Highly enjoyable.

Photo of homebrew311
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brownish black, typical for stout, slight tan head forms

S: caramel, toffee, licorice, vanilla, chocolate, coffee... lots going on here, smells nice!

T: Pretty much just like the nose, a bit of a molasses character atop all of the chocolate and caramel flavors. Little to no hop character. This is all malts.. which is to be expected considering its use of 10 different malts. Very tasty and well balanced. It is sweet, but bitter chocolate and roasty characteristics give it a nice balance

MF: Thick, creamy, a little chewy, slightly viscous

D: This is very rich and complex or a cream stout. Definitely has more character than say Left Hand Milk Stout or FFF Moloko. There is a lot of caramel and toffee aspects which are quite nice. The drinkability is good, but takes a hit due to its intense richness.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark, dark brown, almost black, with three fingers of tan-brown head that subsides slowly. Tons of lacing. Great looking beer. It almost reminds me of a Guiness.

Smell: Bitter, burnt coffee, almost to the point of being astringent. Some sweetness in the background.

Taste: Coffee, some chocolate, and a chemical sweetness with the same astringency that there was in the smell. The overall taste is fairly mild and uncomplicated - an initial bite from the coffee flavors, but then there's a slightly unpleasant artificial sweetness. The finish is very smooth, and the coffee flavor does linger for quite some time. The artificial sweetness went away after a few sips, and was replaced by a sweetness more characteristic of a milk stout. I prefer this one over the other Java Stout which is also made by Bell's

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, and low carbonation. Makes it very drinkable, but it could stand to be a little more carbonated.

Drinkability: It was very easy to drink. The flavor is mild, and the low carbonation makes it easier to drink quickly. I wasn't getting the complexity a lot of people got out of this one. I think this is one of those beers where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - not my favorite beer, but solid in its own right.

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

Pours thick, with bubbles taking some time to push their way to the top but eventually forming a nice finger tall, tan head that eases its way back to a ring with a few chunky islands of head floating in the middle. Opaque black. Smells good but its very subtle. Admittedly the beer is a little cooler than it ought to be so this may be part of the problem. Taste initially suffers for the same reason, but as it warms up the flavor profile expands nicely. Nice roasted flavors that meld with a slight sweetness reminds me of burnt marshmallow. The mouthfeel is velvety and thick. Overall this is a really nice "sweet" stout. I put the sweet in quotations because it definitely does not play this side up as much as some of its peers. Its a stout first with just enough sweetness to balance out the bitterness nicely, leaving a very full character taste. I would definitely buy this beer again.

Photo of stakem
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a thick 2 finger head of tanned foam. Nose is hoppy upfront with the burnt grains filling out the middle an the finish is sweet and chocolate-like. Leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass. Taste is bitter with a mix of both hops an burnt grain. Bitter chocolate fills the mouth with a very pleasant taste that lingers. Medium feel. Very well balanced with the hops and bitterness keeping the chocolate in check.

Photo of trbergman
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Very dark brown beer with one finger of clinging tan head that leaves plenty of lace.

S - Subdued aromas of roast barley, coffee, and chocolate, with hints of molasses.

T - Rich milk chocolate mixes with coffee-and-cream. There's a slightly acrid roasted flavor lingering in the background that I don't entirely like, but it's mostly covered up by chocolate. Hop flavor is practically nonexistent, though the beer has significant level of hop bitterness for the style. It's good, but given the name, I was expecting a more straightforward sweet stout.

M - Full-bodied; rich and silky.

D - According to the bottle, Bell's Special Double Cream is "brewed with a blend of 10 different malts." To me, it felt like the brewery was trying to do too much with this beer, and a little restraint would go a long way. It wasn't altogether unenjoyable, but this isn't one that I'd go out of my way to get.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Captain Lawrence pint glass.

A: Pours a gentle light reddish brown creamy head with good retention. Brew itself is opaque blood red/black. Lacing is excellent, layered and web-like.

S: Nose is roasted coffee and fresh whole milk with a twinge of sweet sugar.

T: Opens spicy, malty chocolate, transitions into milk, and roasted coffee, ends a bit alcoholic with a sour black coffee and sugary finish. Milk sugar becomes more and more prominent as this one warms, masking the other flavors.

M: Medium bodied. Starts off coarse but smooths out nicely. Silky and a bit oily mouthfeel. Finishes wet and messy, leaving a noticeable aftertaste.

D: Very highly drinkable. Body is great for its style though it's not as malty as I expected. Kind of like Mackeson XXX stout but not as sweet with a more robust body. Definitely recommended.

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

A- Poured into a 16oz nucleated tumbler... nice full somewhat creamy head. Great retention, some lacing. Beer is black, with absolutely no light shining through when held up to the light

S- Smells like coffee with cream and a tiny bit of sugar

T- A perfect combination of sweet and toasted malts mesh perfectly from start to finish... nice coffee flavor in the finish

M- Smooth. Light carbonation, full bodied though its not chewy

D- Delicious. I will definately look into buying more of this... a great beer for once the weather starts to cool

CHEERS!!

Photo of ffejherb
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Al's of Hampden on 11/6/09.

A - Smooth black onyx color with deep ruby highlights and one-finger creamy tan cap that receded to a thin veil and deposited strands of sticky lace around the glass.

S - I'm a little stuffy today, but I am able to pull out sweet lactic/milky notes, chocolate and some roasted malt, as well as a hint of coffee.

T - Bitter chocolate abounds with a sweet backing of milky notes. Finishes with a bit of earthy hop bitterness and a robust roasted malt character.

M - Medium bodied and surprisingly a tad coarse and prickly, yet still displays a fairly thick and oily mouthfeel overall. Finishes somewhat sticky with moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - Double Cream is a good stout overall, and I found it to be a bit more bitter than I was anticipating. Tasty, but not overly complex, as I tend to like my stouts.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark, dark brown, almost black, with three fingers of tan-brown head that subsides slowly. Tons of lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Bitter, burnt coffee, almost to the point of being astringent. Some sweetness in the background.

Taste: Coffee, some chocolate, and a chemical sweetness with the same astringency that there was in the smell. The overall taste is fairly mild and uncomplicated - an initial bite from the coffee flavors, but then there's a slightly unpleasant artificial sweetness. The finish is very smooth, and the coffee flavor does linger for quite some time. The artificial sweetness went away after a few sips, and was replaced by a sweetness more characteristic of a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, and low carbonation. Makes it very drinkable, but it could stand to be a little more carbonated.

Drinkability: It was very easy to drink. The flavor is mild, and the low carbonation makes it easier to drink quickly. I wasn't getting the complexity a lot of people got out of this one. I think this is one of those beers where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - not my favorite beer, but solid in its own right.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from trade with jnn4v.

12oz bottle. batch 8842. tasted in early june 2009.

black, nearly opaque, some reddish brown translucency on the edges. 1.5-finger beige head, fades to wisps and ring. splotchy lacing here and there.

aroma: carob, cocoa and hint of vanilla, w tart plum, and then figs and cherry, as the caramel, brown sugar, molasses and malt then comes out, plus roast notes and hint of coffee. faint earthy hop grassiness in back.

taste: similar interplay of flavors, though the roast and mash comes out slightly more. moderate bitterness, but smoothed out by pleasant maltiness. vanilla, cocoa, carob and touch of fruity esters. off-dry finish w lingering trace acidity.

syrupy feel, creamy and smooth, w gentle acidity and astringency in finish. mild to moderate carbonation helps with both bringing out flavor and giving a fluffy creaminess.

the combination of dessert-like qualities actually cuts down all-night drinkability however.

Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Opaque black with thick light brown head and major lacing lines.

Smell: Rich roasted aroma, highlighting coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted barley, with semi-sweet undertones of molasses.

Taste: Starts off slightly sweet (molasses and dark fruit) but quickly becomes dominated by roasted flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The taste of cream is persistent throughout and then ends just slightly bitter.

Feel: Low carbonation, rich full body, ridiculously smooth and creamy, somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: Fantastic English-style stout. Lots of flavor yet very easy to drink. However, I am strangely not compelled to seek it out again, as I would rather have the Kalamazoo Stout.

Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at The Stable for Firkin Friday's.
Poured into nonic.

A - Pours black, no head, just a few large bubbles on top. Very slick and smooth, no lacing or head retention to speak of.

S - Milk chocolate, roasted nuts, whipped cream.

T - Similar to nose. Like drinking chocolate milk with more roasted characteristics to it. Some coffee in there as well, which shows up as the bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, no carbonation.

D - A very good milk/sweet stout. Had a couple of these during the night but was ready to move on to something else after a bit.

Photo of Mavajo
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Terrific soul-penetrating black pour with a moderate tan head. Decent retention, good lacing. Head eventually settles into a thin foam across the top.

Nose is pleasant, but a good too subtle. Coffee, roasted nuts, sweet. Taste is sweet, with notes of coffee, roasted nuts, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Not much bitterness. Mouthfeel is good - smooth with medium to heavy carbonation. Creamy. Medium to full body.

Drinkability is very good, particularly for a stout. I burned through my glass quite quickly. Fairly filling.

Definitely intend to purchase again. One of my favorite stouts to date.

Photo of kbutler1
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Brewed with a blend of 10 malts, Double Cream is an incredibly rich stout composed of dark, sweet and smooth tones intermingled with a soft, toasty finish" - so sayth the bottle

Ahh, Bell's, so many good beers, here's to hoping this one is good as well.
Poured from a bottle (batch 9357) into my favorite tulip glass.

A: Dark brown almost black appearance with a thin tan head
S: Chocolate, sweetness, slight soft cofee notes
T: Bitterswet chocolate taste with a very smooth long finish with a slight bitterness. Chocolate coffee milk for grown ups!
M: Honestly, felt a little lighter in the mouth than expected. Would have liked a little heavier feel
D: Indeed

Photo of BronYrAur
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Jet black with a nice dark tan head...decent staying power and I imagine a bit more lace if I weren't drinking out of this pint glass. Very nice.

S. Generous chocolaty, coffee aroma is evident immediately upon pouring, really nice nose that just pops as soon as the bottle is cracked.

T. Nice restrained coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes initially that become quickly covered by a very dark, roasted malt overload that characterizes all of Bell's stouts. Not sure I really get enough initial sweetness to really see "sweet" or "milk stout," though. The strong roastiness overpowers these elements just a bit too much for my taste.

F. Initially the carbonation seems a bit bright, but this quickly fades as the beer warms a bit. Nice silky, moderately creamy mouthfeel that could probably be a bit more full.

D. This isn't really intended to be a session beer but it definitely goes down easier than, say, Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. This has a silkier, softer finish that, while still a bit thicker on the roastiness than I would like for the style, allows this brew to go down very smoothly.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$14.99 / 6 pk.

S: Roasted coffee, and a bit of chocolate. Excellent.

A: Big loose brown head that has some definite staying power. Covers and laces nicely. Opaque dark brown to black body.

T: Very nice stout. Roasted nuts, coffee, and just a little chocolate. A little more chocolate would rock, but I can't complain.

M: Medium body and low to medium carbonation and very smooth. A bit heavier body would be nice, but again, I can't complain.

D: Stout isn't normally my thing, but I could easily do this all night. Goes down easy and tastes great!

O: Awesome beer! I'll be buying more to share with friends and family.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown that is almost impenetrable by light. Faint reddish brown hues lighten up around the edges when held up to a light source. Foam is rather thin and quickly fades to a thin raing around the glass. Almost no lacing left behind.

S - Light lacto-sweetness in the nose mixed with a nice roasted grain aroma. Hints of dark chocolate mixed in as well.

T - Light milk chocolate sweetness up front with a nice roasty bitterness backing it. Both flacors play off each other through the entire drink without one becoming more dominant than the other. Hints of vanilla mixed in towards the end.

M/D - Medium bodied and very creamy fee. Carbonation gives a lightly fizzy feel on the tongue in the finish. Very easy drinking.

Photo of capra12
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with speedwayjim and steph seved out of a chalice.

Appearance: 11/2 fingers of light brown head. Jet blakc with no lacing.

Smell: slightly metallic but there is a dark malt and lactose that breaks through the metallic.

Taste:opens with a dark roasted malt and dark chocolate as the lactose comes through in the middle to the finish leaving a malty and lactose aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied at most and medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I would have this again and would definitely recommend this to someone who seeks a dark malt character supported by a subtle coffee as a lactose come in at the end.

Photo of FernMaster
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap, poured into a snifter.

When the server brought this to me there was easily two fingers worth of head on this beer. The head was a dark caramel color that stayed around for two minutes or so before subsiding. Then after the head subsided it left a prolific amount of lacing on the glass. For the pure aesthetics of appearance, this easily earned a five, just wow. It looks just like a stout should and the head was prevalent and pleasing to look at. The smell was faint, it was there but subtle. I was able to make out hints of vanilla and coffee notes. The taste was really something else. My first impression was that it was a bit watery, but as I continued to drink and as it continued to warm, Bell's Special Double Cream Stout became something truly wonderful. The cream was definitely present, but not overpowering, there was some roasted malts and I think I picked up hazelnut, not sure if that's in there but it had that impression on my tongue. The coffee notes and vanilla balanced so well together that it created a truly unique taste and mouthfeel, that I've at least never had before - it was like drinking a licorice yogurt. For real. The mouthfeel was thick enough and the balance of the ingredients created a yogurt like texture. This became more prevalent as it continued to warm, but I was enamored. I ordered another beer before I finished this one and I didn't want to stop drinking the Special Double Cream Stout! Pick this up, buy it on tap, whatever, just try this beer.

Photo of hosehead83
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine goblet(I was too lazy to wash a proper pint glass)
Dark brown/black in color with a thin but sturdyhalf-inch tan head of foam
Aroma-Caramel malt and coffee notes
Taste-Super smooth and creamy, rich, roasted coffee and toasted malts-A rather dry, black coffee finish.

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let it sit for 20min before really getting into it. It pours complete with a healthy biscuit colored head into my snifter, reaching a finger in height and sitting frozen for a considerable period of time. Eventually this fades into a slight ring. The lace is an interesting mix of sticky webbing and viscous legging. The beer itself is the color of chocolate, edged with ruby highlights. I am transfixed by the perfect balance of opacity and translucence. I can see into the very core of the beer but no further. An alluring appearance for sure.

the nose is laced by an ashen, smoky character. Ashtray isn't an unfair description of what I pick up foremost... but this subsides and is enlivened into a round roasted maltiness. Some tobacco leaf and hop finish it out. It's not a 'bright' nose, and not completely to my liking...

The taste starts out with a nice chewy blend of coffeee and sweetish malts. It stays subdued & true through the middle until the finish, where enough malty complexity opens up to resemble a breaded, smoked, candied culinary treat. Sweet tobacco and cocoa show up as well at the top of my mouth. Only a hint of lactic sweetness towards the very end, which turns quickly (I love when a beer changes direction on a dime) into a surprisingly bold, bitter hop finish. The medium body finds its way into all crevices and deposits the leaf-like bitterness of the hops. Did I say unexpected? I thought sweet stouts favor round malted milkiness instead of sharp flavors, and at first I am ready to deduct points... But then again...the chewy and well-carbonated mouthfeel helps keep extremely tight reigns on the beer, and combined with the smoky dryness, this is a restrained affair. The first several sips, I was not a big fan. Now the glass is empty and I wish I had another to give this a fresh look... That is a compliment. Again I am allured.

Photo of rfgetz
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kite and Key...

Pours a deep dark brown with thin yet fluffy khaki head. Smell is brown sugar forward with a nice roasted matl backbone. Taste is very sweet up front... the malts give a chocolate, carmel and molasses taste to the middle and hints of dark fruit, smoke and earth on the back end. Presence of bittering hops noted. Full bodied yet creamy. The heavy body and the super-sweet taste keep this otherwise yummy brew from being top notch.

Photo of PretzelCity
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to EricWo for sending this one. Poured an inky black with a big billowing creamy tan head that left lacing all the way down my glass. This is one good looking beer. The smell is good, roasted malt and hints of chocolate but nothing too overwhelming or overpowering. The taste is sweet, with a taste of roasted malt and a little chocolate that coats your tongue. Very easy to drink with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. Really a well rounded beer. Excellent balance. An excellent example of one of my favorite styles.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout poured black with no head.

There was very little good or bad in the smell and taste of this stout. There was no real aroma of which to speak and the flavor was non-discript roasty and sweet. On the other hand, it was exceptionally creamy and smooth.

Bell's Special Double Cream is a nice, smooth, unremarkable, and safe stout.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,384 ratings.