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

1,380 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,380
Hads: 3,469
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 209
Gots: 381 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,380 | Hads: 3,469
Photo of falloutsnow
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From: Hyvee, Council Bluffs, IA
Date: Bottled 09/26/2012
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

I never thought I'd say "too much roasted malt" in a stout, but Bell's seems to have created a beer that pushes those elements to the limit I can tolerate. Perhaps it's the blend of malts used, too much black patent or black barley perhaps, but the acridness and ash that seem most prominent in the beer are not as appealing without some equally present sweetness, non-acrid roasted malt, and chocolate flavors to balance them out. One I would probably not seek out again.

Pours a 2cm head of dark tan foam, made up of small bubbles with above average retention, gradually fading to a thin ring around the glass' perimeter. Lacing is quite good, heavy foam sticks to all insides around the glass. The body of the beer is an opaque black color, with light bringing out only the slightest change in amber orange hues. Carbonation is not very active, a few struggling bubbles move upwards along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is of sharp, acrid roasted malts or black barley, with a bitter ester profile lingering in the background. I'm not detecting any coffee, and the only chocolate is burnt and somewhat ashen. There is not much apparent sweetness from malt contributions here. At times I'm reminded of the smell from a grocery store's imitation of an Oreo cookie - you know, the burnt chocolate with artificial sweetener-like aspect.

The overall flavor profile of the beer is heavy on the very roasted malts, such as black barley or highly roasted barley with its husks. While I enjoy roast and acrid quite a bit, there was something about the malt combination here that was not full enough for me, too heavy on char and ash and rather empty on the filling sweetness
Front of palate picks up raspberry-like fruit esters along with semi-sweet roasted-meets-base malt characters. Mid-palate has fairly intense charred malt flavor along with what comes across to me as extremely dense, sharp raspberries in equally sharp cacao nibs, and some black ash. That is to say, there is not much sweetness in the mid-palate. Back has dark cacao nibs, raspberry-like esters, and heavily charred (black) malts with moderate acridity; again, not much sweetness. Aftertaste is lingering char (black patent malt?), ash, roasted malt, mild roasted coffee bean, and cacao nibs.

Beer is medium-light in body, with medium-low carbonation. The resulting mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery, not particularly good for this style. Certainly smooth and creamy, but apparently at the expense of richness and fullness. Closes dry, with little residual stickiness across the palate. (2,648 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter (bottled on 9/8/14 B [13474])

A: Pitch black, with the lightest tan collar. No lacing either.
S: Definitely smells like espresso with hints of cocoa. A lot of acidic black coffee and roast.
T: Lots of roast and a bit of coffee. A bit thin but I think that works here to come across as espresso. I kind of wish this had been a milk/sweet stout. The title is misleading, it needs to be creamy and a bit sweeter.
M: It's carbonation is akin to when a waves washes up on the beach and there is the leading line that rushes up with a froth of foam and then recedes.
O: Good, but got nothing on Expedition or Black Note. I don't have much hope for Java Stout, considering how all of their regular stouts have tasted. (758 characters)

Photo of wingman14
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a dark tan head. Smell is sweet with some burnt characters, hints of chocolate and coffee. A moderately strong alcohol smell. Taste is similar, yet very weak for a stout. The taste was somewhat underwhelming. The aftertaste is subtle with the burnt flavor showing up most. The mouthfeel was not very smooth and had a good deal of carbonation. I really wanted to enjoy this beer, but didn't find much to rave about. A decent stout, worth checking out especially if you are a fan of bell's. (505 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Raul was lucky enough to acquire this random offering, so he'll do it like he does.

Like The Cheesecake Factory, you don't have to get dressed up to drink this thang. Throw on your $12 Tommy Polo from Tily's and call it a day. Simply aite, just aite. Raul is drinking it, and that's about it. No explosions, no oral fireworks...just aite down the line.

Peace! (361 characters)

Photo of dcloeren
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

shoutout to xxcarpxx for this extra

Poured a very thin black with brown edges with a finger and a half of khaki colored head.

The nose on this beer is chocolate, roasted malt and maybe a very slight touch of coffee. Definitely nothing special going on here...

Taste follows the nose. Chocolate up front, roasted malt, a hint of coffee and maybe a little bit of dark chocolate to finish it off. Just like the nose... pretty straight forward with not alot going on.

The mouthfeel had to be one of the most disappointing things about this beer. For a beer named Double Cream Stout I was expecting this luscious, full bodied, creamy stout. Instead I have this medium to light in body with a semi high amount of carbonation. Very thin, it does have a little bit of a creaminess to it but I would say that this is more like a smoothness than creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, this was just a very average beer. Decent nose on it, a good stout taste but nothing special. Dont get me started on the mouthfeel.... I would have loved to have the nose and flavor of this beer on a Double Cream Stout body and not such a thin body. Very easy drinking and if I were wanting to have multiple stouts, this would be one to go for. I know I'm hitting this one a little hard, but I'm still very appreciative of this extra. But outside of Hopslam, Bell's continues to underwhelm me. (1,362 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bobhits for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a huge 3 inch khaki head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, chocolate caramel, and aromas of dark fruit. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark fruit with subdued coffee and cocoa flavors on the finish. Very mild bitterness on the palate quickly fades. This beer has a low almost flat level of carbonation making it thick and chewy in the mouth. Overall, this is a pretty good stout that apparently uses 10 different malts. I am glad I got to try this one but I wouldn't get it again most likely. (643 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Two-finger head, tan-chocolate foamy head. Brew is thin black color.

Tons of camp-fire smoke. Silky roasty nuts too. But, much too smoked.

Milky, smokey, nutty, and chocolatey. Dry, thin, slight dryness, and near brutal bitterness for a cream stout. Nice smooth carbonation.

Recommended brew, but there's nothing double or exciting about it, other then bitter-thiness. It was missing sweetness and depth and was over smoked thin nuttyness. (445 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near black and I am having difficulty getting any light to pierce the beer. Dark brown head resting on top that never quite gave way. Nose was very subtle with some slight mocha notes.

Flavor is full of mocha and cocoa. Slight hints of coffee and licorice as well. Full mouthfeel that just thickens as it warms too. slihgtly dry but not quite. Aftertaste is full of candies--chcolate, licorice and caramel. Kind of a creamy flavor too. (445 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

beautiful , no see through ebony color. Aroma is of sweet milk, interesting. Taste is smooth malty, milky goodness, well balanced and awesome in taste. This is one of the most creamy stouts I have had and the taste is awesome and the aftertatste is mellow with a hint of coffee and burnet sugar. Nice job, very drinkable in multiples, love it (342 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent stout, very smooth mouthfeel, muted flavor up front (might be the cream) but finishes with some roasted malt and medium espresso. A little bit of a boozey finish. (170 characters)

Photo of eclipse54
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you! Bottled in January 2011, and poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with less than a centimeter of beige head. There’s some nice strands of bubbles that sift through the surface of the liquid, but there is little-to-no retention of the head itself. Tiny, scattered patches of bubbles remain as lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee grounds, caramel, and toasted/burned sugar. Some dark fruits come together in the rear. The taste is of dark fruit, molasses, a touch of milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a hoard of cane sugar. The sugar carries over into the mouth, where is leaves a very sticky, resinous finish to the seemingly thinner beer. Overall, a decent stout, but it seems to have an overpowering sugar sensation that is not quite balanced with the rest of the flavors. (887 characters)

Photo of roughsax
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ CAH. Served in a small (12-14oz) tumbler.

A: Black/opaque. Big tan head, faded to a thin layer.

S: Cream, coffee, chocolate.

T: Sweet, creamy/frothy, chocolate milk, roasted finish.

M: Creamy (again), lighter, nice finish.

D: Very drinkable. Having a few would not be a problem, until sweetness overload and a full belly set in. Alcohol was not evident. A nice way to warm up with some creamy goodness. (426 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired for $2.59 at the Four Firkins. 12 oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Bell's pilsner glass in me sister's gaff in low altitude Minneapolis, Minnesota. Expectations are high given this brewery's reputation. Reviewed live. Bottled 10/01/12.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger tan colour head of nice cream and thickness, and decent retention for the fairly high ABV. Colour is a solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Dark malts, cream, a hint of roast, java/coffee, and even a hint of vanilla. A good balanced aroma for the style. Average to mild in strength.

T: Cream, dark malts, cinnabon, chocolate malt, and light subtle coffee/java. Quite tasty. Decently balanced and built. A solid stout, but not particularly complex or subtle.

Mf: Carbonation is a bit overdone. A bit too thick, but nice nevertheless. Creamy, smooth, wet and tasty. Suits the flavours well.

Dr: A drinkable, solid all around stout. I'd love to try it on nitro. A good stout from Bell's, but not exceptional.

B-

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12/02/13: Truncated additional notes (freeform).

Appearance is solid for a stout: sleek opaque black. Nice head.

The finish has a kiss of bitterness, which may be from the dark chocolate and isn't ideal. I like the cream. I could use far more roast than it offers.

It's got a nice sleek smooth mouthfeel but isn't as creamy as it should be. Aptly thick and medium-bodied. Well-carbonated.

Quite drinkable for a stout. I'd definitely have it again. A solid brew from Bell's. Well worth trying. As good as I remember.

(1,692 characters)

Photo of KalH
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have to admit this is the first milk stout I've ever had and was not sure what to expect. I had purchased this at a local wine and beer store and thought I'd give it a shot being a Bell's fan.

So this beer poured just like I expected it to - a black milkshake. It had a one finger brownish ruby head and smelled of mocha, dried fruit, chocolate, and earth.
The taste was creamy and malty with a slight bitter aftertaste from the roasted coffee/mocha flavoring that was ever present from start to finish. Mouthfeel was not what I expected but okay.
I would probably try this again, but stouts are not really my thing. For what it was though, I thought it was a good beer and something I'd recommend to anyone into that style. (729 characters)

Photo of Slynger
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark, brownly black with a lid of fuzzy-creamy tan foam.

The smell is of sweet dark chocolate and cream with darkly roasty toasty malts and some black coffee beans.

Full-medium body with softly fuzzy and moderately creamy carbonation. Flavors bring the same cream diluted dark chocolatey sweetness, along with a darkly roasty, toasty malt base, and some ground black coffee beans.

Eh, not as impressed by this one as most Bell's offerings, but it's still a decent beer. (479 characters)

Photo of neckbracesub
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of Bell’s weakest stouts, in my opinion, but it still is a solid go-to for the value in price in the stout category.

Compared to the Java Stout or even Kalamazoo by Bell’s, this one is a little more on the extra-bite side. The initial taste is spoiled a bit by the lingering after taste. With all of that being said, this is still a quality beer that has a lot going for it.

Pours a nice dark head and has decent aromas of chocolate and caramel. (465 characters)

Photo of midaszero
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Opaque black with 2 fingers of tan head and okay lacing

S - coffee beans and chocolate plus an odd hard to place smell

T - roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts. creamy espresso and marshmallows

M - light medium body with light medium carbonation

D - enjoyable and interesting. not a main stay and not to strong. the unrecognizable smell is distracting (361 characters)

Photo of Ivegotmule
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Bell's Special Double Cream Stout. Poured relatively hard into my Stone Smoked Porter pint glass. Bottled 8/22/13 and denoted "a" which mean best within 3 months of that date. Strange for a stout as Expedition is a "c"o, or 12+ month shelf life. So this is being consumed on the very last day to still be within best but date. I paid 2.39 for a single at Stella Brew in Winston-Salem.

A 3.75. Looks like an American stout should, but the head was a tad light and vanished before I even got a picture.
S 3.25. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice, but nothing special.
T 3.75. Best part of the beer (which is most inportant). Coffee leads for me with layers of sophisticated malts. Roasty and chocolate aftertaste. I swear I am getting mint in my nose and roof of my mouth as I breathe out. (Don't know if that makes sense).
M. 3. Just too thin and the carbonation slightly off for me.

Overall. 3.5. In the grand picture, this is a really good beer. But an establishment that can put out Expedition, Black Note, Two Hearted, Hopslam (my #1 overall beer), the Oracle, and then a great second tier; java, Oberon, oarsman, etc. This beer just doesn't hold up to Bell's usual standards. IMO, obviously. They are still a top 5 brewery for me. (1,253 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a code of the back label that could be possibly be some sort of freshness date.

Appearance: Super foamy but not gushing, the froth had no problem at all sticking on every inch of the glass. Black with evident brown hues on the edges.

Smell: Smells pungent of cream soda extract with a vague roasted malt in the back.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slick and creamy mouth feel off of a heavy body, smooth crispness. Sweet up front, you would swear they put a bucket of cream soda extract in this brew. The sweetness soon gets hit by some hops bitterness and a straight-up roasted grain flavor. A bite from the alcohol hits the palate with a spiciness. Slightly astringent finish and on the dry side as well.

Notes: Big and bold with jabs of complexity, this is certainly not for a weak palate. An above average sweet stout … nothing close to some of the imported or Island sweet stouts.

Thanks to sakaroo for the sample. (962 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade. With a fluffy texture and decent retention, it has plenty of aesthetic appeal. A consistent ring of lacing is left on the glass. (3.75)

Smell: This one has a really nice roasted characteristic. Much like the description states, the roastiness is relatively soft and chocolate-laden. There are also notes of coffee and licorice. It isn't as complex as I expected (given it has 10 different malts), but it's a rock-solid roast vessel. (3.5)

Taste: Wow, that's roasty. I think I'm picking up wisps of licorice and dark fruit here and there. All told, though, it's a pretty simple brew: it's just roast (nice roast, mind you) and a slightly sweet aftertaste. Still, I love roast, so this beer is solid in my book. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Despite how roasty it is, it still manages to be soft and creamy on the palate. Consider the labeling lived up to. Of course, because it's so roasty, it starts off finishing pretty dry. Sweetness does build on the tongue, however. Carbonation seems strong at first, but it fades very quickly. Overall drinkability is decent. (3.5)

Overall: It is what it is - a roast bomb. It's not complex, it just brings a nice roasted presence to the taste buds. Still, the relative softness makes it more palatable to roast haters. Cripes, I've said the word 'roast' way too many times in this review...but hey, it fits this beer perfectly. (3.5)

3.51/5: Roast roast roast roast roast roast roast roast (1,548 characters)

Photo of AndoBrew
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*liked it, would buy it*

app: not black and mysterious, not brown and beautiful, just in the middle and blah.nice big head!

smell: smells like a babies diper that needs changing. but with a sweet backdrop, of nice black malts.

taste: much better than the smell. refreshing water then toasty black malt goodness. really nice MILD stout, i usually like em big n bold, this is nice and refreshing but still yummy and full of flavor.

mf: for how weak and refreshing it is the thin un stout like mf actually matches, i like this thin water mouthfeel with the light refreshing stout. good job!

drinkable?: INDEED! bottoms up! (624 characters)

Photo of zimm421
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottle is dated 10/10/11. Appears a nice dark brown, almost black, with a decent tan head. Head leaves no lacing.

Nose is pretty sweet, but not overpowering. Roasted malts and sweet chocolate is pretty much all I'm getting. Taste is also very sweet, but desirable. This finishes slightly bitter, but there's not much there. Again, lots of sweet roasted malts and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, average carbonation. Easy to drink. Overall, not bad, but not that impressive. I've had much better stouts, but this is something that can be enjoyed even by those who are just being introduced to the game. (653 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by coffee, some chocolate. Taste is the same, heavy with the coffee, some underlying notes of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer. (266 characters)

Photo of femmebiere
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It had a very creamy smell with a most unique taste. The only taste that I could relate it to is going to come across as very negative. Not the initial taste or even on the swallow, but on the lips afterward, you are left with a sour cream taste. It is very peculiar to have a beer tart and creamy, and this beer definitely did it.
It is not my favorite beer, and I can recommend many more before this one. However, in no way is it a bad beer with its dark color and hearty stout taste. (486 characters)

Photo of techfed87
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a big, mocha head to it. Smell is very much spicier than what I would have imagined.

Taste is of dark roasted malts. Mouthful is average, with the feel and consistency that you would expect from a beer with an ABV that this one holds.

Taste is initially sourly bitter, but mellows off as the aftertaste hits you, pointing towards the effect the cream is having on the overall flavor. It's a pleasant add on to what could have been a much rougher stout.

For not being an Imperial Stout, this one holds its own surprisingly well. A nice winter warmer indeed. (567 characters)

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,380 ratings.