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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

3,411 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,411
Reviews: 1,393
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 196
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: 3,411 | Reviews: 1,393
Photo of Nat1975
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of MillerMan16
1/5  rDev -74.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Did not like this at all.

Photo of Sponybrian
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of BradSchultz
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of scr1987
1.04/5  rDev -73.7%

Photo of imduffman
1.25/5  rDev -68.4%

Photo of PHBoiler
1.5/5  rDev -62.1%

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 MrMcGibblets
1.66/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A: black with a nice persistent dark tan head and lacing.
S: dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and dark sourish stone fruits.
T: wow...sourness dominates. Dark sour cherries overwhelm this beer. Sour, sour, sour. Dry and extremely puckering. Where is the creaminess? The rich malt sweetness? The rich roasty malt? Double cream stout my fucking ass. Heinz red wine vinegar is more like it.
M: nice level of carbonation but the sourness is killing this too.
D: this had to be an off batch, but I will review what I purchased. This was extremely disappointing with the dominating sourness. Hopefully this review doesn't get deleted like my review of thomas hardy's. This is just godawful, like drinking vinegar. I hate that this looks decent because it deserves a lower score. I would honestly rather have a bud light right now, but am masochistically punishing myself to finish it in order to have a legit review. I hate myself for opening this beer as my nightcap. The only beer I ever had which was more challenging to finish was the aforementioned thomas hardy's. Each sip is like acid eating away my entire digestive system.

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 ohiobeer29
2/5  rDev -49.5%

Photo of Beerboi1123
2/5  rDev -49.5%

Photo of hmbrewer336
2.19/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A: Deep brown if it were any darker it would be black. I actually had to lean it over to see the brown. Nice tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Not at all what I expected. Very grassy. Also picked up corn. Subtle roast and a hint of black licorice. Very low hop aroma. I was looking for coffee and chocolate with a double cream.

T: Again not what I'm looking for. Roasty and a hint of coffee. No chocolate. Quite grassy again. Very noble hop flavor.

M: This is bad. Absolutely piss poor mouth feel. I had to re-read the label. I don't get much creamy feel. Not very oily. Not very big or impressive in the mouth.

O: Overall very disappointed with this beer. The label is deceiving. I wanted sweeter and this was light with subtle roast and lacking the creamy body to support it. I also felt it was over carbonated for the style.

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 deebo
2.24/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A-Very dark with thick tan head-Guinness like
S-Dark roasted malts with heavy smoky character
T-Upfront nice dark malt flavor that is overpowered with a heavy smoke note that also has a strong black pepper flavor that is too strong and makes this unpleasant
M-Medium to heavy bodied
D-Hard to drink a pint of this unless you like smoky/peppery style beers

Photo of kp29
2.25/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of clfrost
2.25/5  rDev -43.2%

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 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.

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 augie
2.36/5  rDev -40.4%

Photo of russwbeck
2.36/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

*Upon contacting Bells, I learned this bottle came from December 2009, making it far past the recommended date. I knew something was off!*

A: Black pour without any head at all.

S: Alcohol, dark fruits. Smells really sweet. Something honestly seems a bit off here. It smells a lot like the infected Black Albert I had a few weeks ago.

T: Taste is also not quite what I remember last time I had it. Alcohol and dark fruits up front. Followed by some chocolate and roastiness. The taste really drops off afterward, and isn't very good.

MF: Heavy body without a lot of carbonation.

O: I think I got a bad bottle. Had this on tap before and liked it. This seems just...bad.

Photo of timn
2.39/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Really dark brown to black, with a small amount of head. Looks thin on pouring. Pretty average appearance.

S: I struggled with this. Very muddled smell. For a beer that bills itself as a Double Cream Stout, I expected some kind of creamy, maybe semi-sweet, or vanilla aromas. This didn't give me any of that. It barely smelled like a stout to me, which was odd.

T: Like with the smell, I had a heck of a time getting anything related to "Cream," let alone "Double Cream" out of the taste. The hints of malt taste that are there at first got dominated by a strong sour aftertaste that lingered with every sip. Tried drinking a gulp of water in between sips -- maybe it was something I ate. But nope, it was the beer. I don't know if there was a lot there even without the sourness, but the sour taste really killed this for me. It dominated everything and, frankly, was sort of nasty.

M: Thin with medium carbonation. Again, very disappointing. I expected something at least moderately thick and creamy, but there was nothing substantial here at all.

O: I was hugely disappointed with this. It tasted, smelled and felt to me like a below-average stout with something wrong with it. I may check the batch number and see. I drank it a few days after I bought it, but maybe it was sitting on the shelf in the store for a while. I'll update my review when / if I can find out.

Update: Mine was bottled a little under 4 months ago (10/17/2012). Should be well within drinkable time, barring improper storage.

Photo of jcalabre
2.4/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 6 November 2002. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: It is black as an imperial,
Taste: This has a lactic (duh, it's a double cream stout) flavor. it's sort of an inbetween stout, not sweet, not dry. it doesn't quite do it for me. This is one of those beers that many will like, but I happen not to.

Photo of sjohansen
2.4/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Black as the inside of a closet with the door closed so you can't see your hand in front of your face. Cream one finger head, disappears quick, leaving a handful of floating brown bubbles on top. Great sticky lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate and dark coffee. Dry oats. The notes are very rich, and the smell is great.

It's got a nice dry character, tastes roasty in the middle of the palate, but... something is off in the aftertaste. And by off, I mean nasty. Not as sweet as Special Double Cream would entail. It has a sour quality that quickly destroys the enjoyable characteristics.

Mouthfeel is like cough syrup. The first couple sips coated my mouth and ruined the rest of the beer.

There are plenty of stouts in the universe, this one is not too high on my list.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,411 ratings.