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 Spica66
4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of pocwolf
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black in color with a large tan head that faded pretty quickly to a thin ring. Lacing all down the glass

S - Malt, coffee and cream

T - Like drinking a coffee with cream. I find it hard to believe there is no lactose in there. Super creamy and slightly sweet. Wish there was a touch more roasty but other than that perfect.

M - Thick and creamy

O - One of my favorite stouts. I have a hard time keeping it in my fridge. (427 characters)

Photo of Khazadum
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out majorly to Prufrock! He has made my first BIF the greatest time of my craft beer life.

12 ounce bottle poured into my favorite brandy snifter.

Vision
The first thing I notice is how temperamental this beer is going to be with me tonight. From the moment I popped the top and started this pour, it hurries away to stash away the secrets. The off-mocha head barely rises to half a finger before it scurries down the glass. I don't even think a minute passed before every bubble of foam was gone. Not a single bubble remains to cap the body.

The previous two nights were jet black in color, but I can't say that for this beer. Granted, light cannot pass through this, and it is incredibly dark. However, I see something different here. When the light catches it in different positions it is not just black but milk chocolate... violet... deep within it you can find an interesting palate to pick from. When staring for different shades I also noticed that this brew has very little in carbonation. The edges have a few bubbles that cause the faintest of rings to perk up from the glass, but not like most beers I've seen.

Bouquet
There is a powerful aroma wafting off this glass. I can detect a charred nature, but what really slaps me in the face is dark fruits. Grapes long dried in the sun... stewed blackberries... faintly blueberry... even a faint raspberry nature all tickle my nostrils. It is amazingly sweet but not nauseating. In the beginning the fruits were paired with an astringent medicinal smell that must have been the first waves of alcohol leaving the snifter. These have by now vanished and leave me with fantastic odors. Behind the fruity nature is the bitterness of dark chocolates. If I never opened my eyes I would think there was a cornucopia in front of me.

Flavor Profile
The first tentative sip leaves me speechless. What is this? The nose is so strong, but the flavors are tender... soft. The flavors as well as feel of it is absolutely velvety. There is no charred or burnt notes that may have been in the bouquet, but there is those great grape-like flavors just barely allowing categorization. It reminds me of drinking grape juice. Having too much causes a puckering of my lips and cheeks, which for me is pleasurable. Having not enough keeps me pleasantly satisfied. No matter what type of sip I take, it is a great brew.

The finish is very clean. The flavors come and go with the liquid, but on my lips there is a residue. I can't say that it is grape, but it reminds me of bitter fruit flavors. Perhaps this is those dark chocolate notes finally coming through. It really depends on how you taste it. The quick and dirty sip if I want to enjoy a basket of berries, the long embrace if I want to bite into a bar of dark chocolate.

I'm coming back after long drinking this beer to note that the finish metamorphosized. If I take sip after sip I find that my tongue gets lathered in the bitter nature of dark chocolate that refuses to leave. It reminds me of gorging on a dark chocolate orange ( minus the citrus ) of Christmas. I'm loving the dual nature of this beer!

Oral Sensations
Very smooth... unbelievably smooth. In fact, I will say it again, this beer is velvet on the tongue. It is the perfect thickness while maintaining a creamy nature. The carbonation can't even be found if I swish this around like mouthwash and I wouldn't have it any other way. As I noticed before, the more than acceptable body allows its flavors to sometimes linger on my lips for later enjoyment.

Conclusions
Welcome to the embodification ( is that even a word? ) of Two-Face. This dark and edgy beer seems to have a dual nature in many ways. The finish is both clean and dirty. The flavors are both bitter and sweet. The nose mirrors its flavors as both bitter and sweet. It is not like these two are one and the same either. It is not bittersweet, but two unique personas. I would drink this beer every night of the week. It has so little of an alcohol punch that I couldn't even note it anywhere minus the very beginning. I loved it. (4,079 characters)

Photo of frogships
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2 Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass and a Duvel tulip.

A: Very dark, nearly black - light does not get through. About a half finger of a head that dissipates rather quickly but is a very attractive burnt marshmallow color that contrasts beautifully with the pitch black below. Mild to moderate lacing.

S: Creamy chocolate; roasted malt; light roasted coffee, hint of vanilla and cream; fresh espresso like feel in the nose. Very nice.

T: Creamy chocolate, light roasted coffee, hints of toffee as it goes down. Absolutely fantastic balance with all the tastes. Every sip tastes great, I can hardly wait to take the next one. Everything I would be looking for in a double cream stout or american stout.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Again, absolutely terrific balance. finishes almost like an espresso feel on the tongue. Absolutely silky smooth.

O: I was shocked how much I liked this beer. It is a fantastic stout. I love the taste as it is a festival of flavors but in a calm and elegant delivery and each one balanced perfectly with the next. Officially one of my absolute favorite beers and if it's on tap, I'm getting it. (1,153 characters)

Photo of samccoy
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle, it appears as a nice dark-chocolate color with more of a milk-chocolate head.

S: It smells of marshmellows and cream. Absolutely amazing.

T: It tastes as good as it smells. There are hints of dark and chocolate malts as well as the cream flavor and marshmellow overtones. It is extremely sweet, best paired with some sort of meal to balance the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is extremely silky and smooth. It feels just and good and smooth as it tastes.

D: Due to the sweetness of this beer, it is very difficult to drink more than a beer or two at a time. It should be paired with a hearty meal in order to fully enjoy every aspect of this awesome brew. (682 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours straight black with a medium dark tan 1-finger head. No retention but decent lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate and medium roast coffee with sweet cream. Very nice and very rich.

Taste is strong chocolate malt. Nice roast hit, turns a little sweeter midway through, and finishes very dark and chocolaty. The chocolate really lingers.

Body is so close to perfect. Just a mite on the thinner side of what I would want, but very nice. Very rich body for a beer this low in alcohol.

Exceedingly easy drink and goes down very fast. (532 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (1,110 characters)

Photo of nicktay
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Pours an opaque dark brown/black like espresso. The head retention is good and the head itself is a chocolate color. After the foam settles a thin dark brown lacing remains on the top. Beautiful!

Smell:
This stout smells of chocolate and espresso. The malts overpower the hops, but the malts are the accent of this style. If I had to say, I would say the hops were floral smelling. The beer has a pungency, almost sour smelling.

Taste:
The taste is very interesting. It tastes of smoked, malt or patent black malt which gives it a charred flavor--delightful!--and has a robust roasted flavor. In all the beer presents a very round, complex flavor, and on top of that, it is well carbonated, giving it a nice bite and added dimension.

Mouthfeel:
The mouthfeel is thick, very thick and complements the thick flavor. Just what I would expect from a highly malty beer style. THe way it is supposed to be brewed!

Drinkability:
In conclusion, I like this one a lot. A little heavy for more than one in a sitting, but this is to be expected from such a robust beer. I will definitely buy this one again, and I would have to say, I think it was better than most of the other Bell's beers I have tried. (1,209 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark very nearly black beer with a big tawny colored head that lingers on for quite awhile. It appears to be well carbonated.
Aroma is that of sweet roasted malts also chocolate and coffee.
Definitily has a sweet roasted malt character to it. I get a nice complex roasted malt flavor upfront. then turns mellow and sweet.
A very nice mouth feel with a smooth soft mellowness and a dry finish.
Nice lacing from the sticky foam head.
I taste tasted this beer waiting for my kids to come home from school. It was a cool blustery day with clouds in the sky.
My flag was waving in the breeze in front of a brillant red maple turning quickly in the autumn sky.
That was a good beer.
Drink well my friends (703 characters)

Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a nice and large, frothy, khaki head. Leaves superb lacing. Beautiful.

S: Smells roasty, milk chocolaty, sweet, slight bit of coffee on the back end. It smells creamy.

T: Just like the smell, I get all the components of a good stout. It has equal portions of sweet and roasted malt goodness. It does carry an appropriate bitterness to help balance it out.

M: I understand why they call this one double cream stout, because it does, in fact, carry a beautifully creamy mouthfeel that is achieved amazingly without the addition of flaked oats or lactose (and it is "only" 6.1% alcohol to boot). It is velvety smooth and it has a full body. Perfect (low) carbonation.

I can't believe it took me so long to get this beer. This is an exceptional example of a near perfect stout. I can point out no faults and can give only praise to this glorious stout. (875 characters)

Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black with a creamy tan head that sloooowly dissipates. Heavy lacing too. Definitely a good looking beer. 5.0

S - Strong scent of espresso, cocoa, vanilla, and malt. Very slight hint of charcoal and smoke, which adds a nice edge. 4.5

T - Very creamy and smooth flavor. Malty sweetness is nicely counterbalanced by the smokey aftertaste. In fact, the aftertaste is exactly like a REALLY dark roasted coffee. How did they combine creaminess and smokiness so well??? Craziness. Just craziness. There's a slight sharpness in the middle of the taste that I hadn't noticed the last few times I've had it. 4.5

M - Creamy and smooth. Not too thick and syrupy, but not watery and bland. 5.0

O - Man, this is an amazing stout. This might even be better than the BBC's Bourbon Barrel Stout. The flavor isn't quite as evolved and complex as I remember it, which might just be from this particular bottle (maybe light struck?) or batch. Either way, it's still a great beer. 4.5 (979 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 1/3/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Pours close (if not) a pitch black in color with a thin beige head. Sheets of lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of cocoa, dark roasted malts and espresso. Bit more going on with the taste with some caramel and sweet cream in the mix also. Very smooth and goes down easy with no bitter or harsh after taste at all. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. One of the finest for this style of brew. (521 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite as oily, inky dark as Expedition, but plenty dark nonetheless. Capped by a solid, medium-sized, dark khaki head. Bell's stouts always look great to me. Aroma consists of sweetish roasted malt, with a hint of sweet cream, and light metal coffee thermos. Roasty, peaty, and bitter coffee up front. Roasted notes swell along with oak, and a creamy, lacto sweetness. Finish is dry, acidic, coffee and bitter, with smoky, roasted sweetness hanging around. Very nice. Full-bodied, creamy feel. Another absolute winner from Bell's. (534 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

There's usually some tiny reason I can find for not giving great looking beers a perfect 5...but I can't find fault with this. It's completely black on the bottom. Up top, it's got a huge head of medium brown bubbles in all different sizes. It looks like a cushion with frothy foam on top. Major staying power, when it finally does decide to go, the glass is splashed with a thick brown lace.

It's a malt bomb, as you'd expect. It even smells brown. Lots of roasty flavors, with some smoke and a slight bit of coffee.

For no dairy, it's got a milk stout taste to it. The roasty notes are more subtle in flavor than in smell. There's a variety of malts that all stand out...caramel being the leader of the pack. Caramel, coffee, chocolate, it's pretty stellar.

Got smooth? This beer does. And creamy. And sweetness with just enough bitter for balance and not to destroy either your palate or the good thing it's got going on. The finish is wet, but it still leaves you wanting more.

Extremely easy to drink. Lots of good flavor and only moderate alcohol. All bitterness is kept in check so you don't have to sip, you can chug it. Sad I've only got a six pack. (1,163 characters)

Photo of cadizkyguy
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had a hopslam within the hour, so this is a nice change of pace beer. Batch 8842. Purchased at Delock's Liquors in Munster, IN where they have a wide selection of Bell's brews.

Great appearance though there's little head. Just some lacing on the glass after a minute. Looks like motor oil but smells so wonderful. Like the back label says, "Brewed with a blend of 10 different malts, Double Cream is an incredibly rich stout composed dark, sweet and smooth tones intermingled with a soft, roasty finish." I couldn't have said it better myself.

I like this better than Hopslam, but not quite as good as Two Hearted Ale. It's a betweener.

I'm adding this last paragraph about two hours after the initial pour. This beer just tastes better and better the longer it sits and warms up. Exceptional brew. (806 characters)

Photo of GarrettMD
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a half finger tan bubbly head. Head retention is good, lacing is too.

S - Very sweet smelling, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits reminiscent of a quad, roasted malts. There's just so much going on in the aroma.

T - Just as sweet as the aroma initially, the fruits are the main component as soon as it hits your tongue. The roasted malts quickly come to the forefront, but the fruits stay there for the rest of the taste. Despite the roasted malt flavor being the forefront, it isn't a bitter roasted taste, it is still extremely sweet. Chocolate and vanilla also make an appearance.

M - Heavy body, but closer to the medium side. Very creamy mouthfeel. This beer just slides down your throat. Finish is all sweet fruits.

D - Extremely drinkable. This definitely wouldn't be a session beer, but there's so much going on with it that you just have to constantly go back for more to see what the next sip will bring. (936 characters)

Photo of Oktobergirl
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night at the bar, I have not had anything from Bell's that I have disliked so far. This one I truly appreciated, since it is a cream stout that does not contain dairy. Nice smooth mouth feel, delicious chocolate flavor. This stout is pleasing, without being thick and is very easy to drink. I recommend it highly. (327 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a black color with a small head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is great. There is a ton of creamyness in there, almost a marshmellow in hot chocolate smell. I like it. The flavor is really good on this one too. The chocolate is huge, but it is mellowed with a creamy marshmellow flavor that adds a ton to the experience. There is a nice bite on the back of my tonge as well. Woo hoo. Me likey. The feel is nice and thick. Drinkability is good on this as well. Overall this is a damn nice beer. (516 characters)

Photo of kasper
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Vigorous pour yields near pitch black body with multi-finger half creamy, half-foamy mocha head that leaves sheets of lacing around the glass as it slowly sinks, but never fades completely.

S: Great smell of roasted malts and milky, chocolaty sweetness, little bit of nuttiness.

T: More of the same, roasted malts predominately with a nice milky sweet backbone and some nutty creaminess. There's some bitterness in the finish but it's mild and barely noticeable. It just helps even out the sweetness.

M: Medium bodied and smooth and creamy as hell. Mild but ideal level of carbonation.

D: Nice sessionable sweet stout. If this really has 7.5% ABV, then I'm smitten. Not noticeable whatsoever. More like a 5% brew if that. Exceptional stout. (750 characters)

Photo of maxpower
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black color with a nice creamy brown head that leaves good lacing in my glass, roasty malty aromas. Taste like bitter sweet chocolate and rich coffee, full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel, finishes with a mild sweetness, alcohol is very well hidden, very drinkable and dangerous, this is a beautiful stout. (321 characters)

Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark brown, with a rich malty backbone which is coupled with a subtle creaminess. An excellent stout in my book. Strong malt yet smooth. Trademark Kalamazoo mouthfeel,body, etc. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys kalamazoo products, or stouts in general. (272 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this brew pours up black like thick oil with a nice brown head. the nose is chocolate, big heavy malts, fairly sweet, yeasty. the taste is basically the same as the aroma but with a slight hop crispness in the finish. full bodied, medium carbo. A nice sweet stout.

"Being sober kicks ass!" - Steve O (301 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I really loved this beer, and I'm not a particular fan of the milk stout style. A big fluffy beige head tops a very dark brown beer. Very inviting. Sitting around with a couple other people, we did not want to stop sniffing this beer. Rattling off flavors such as the obligatory coffee and chocolate but as diverse as peanut butter, raisins, and even rice milk was thrown out there. Complex in the flavor as well. Lots going on and it's all working. Big roasty notes, molasses, aforementioned coffee and a nice milk-chocolateyness. Almost like a cup of coco, but with out being too sweet. Still maintains a nice finish. Silky and creamy on the palate. Very impressive. Special double indeed. (696 characters)

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (1,326 characters)

Photo of NCoastWineBeer
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely one of my favorite stouts. Pours a pitch black with a beautiful dark brown muffin cap. This malt lovers paradise overindulges your taste buds with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and a nice roasted malt flavor. Definately a drink to have with a nice cigar, or steak dinner. Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth, not too thick, but thick enough to get the flavor. This stout is worth every penny and I encourage every stout lover to pick up a six pack this winter, especially since its seasonal!!! enjoy (508 characters)

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