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

3,459 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,459
Reviews: 1,405
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 203
Gots: 380 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,459 | Reviews: 1,405
Photo of Boppar
2.81/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

I really had high hopes for this one.

A: poured a gorgeous black with a sizeable head.

S: Mmm... interesting. Sweet, malty coffee goodness, with something I can't pin down.

T: the first sip or three were quite enjoyable. Malty sweetness, good coffee taste, and a milky, almost Bailey's-esque taste in the background. But then the aftertaste kicked in. This beer would've owned pretty hard if the aftertaste had not smacked of pennies.

M: gorgoeus mouthfeel: thick, fluffy, chewy. In short, everything one could want from a stout.

D: the pennies just killed it for me. I may try another bottle a ways down the road to see if this was a fluke/fault.

Sorry Bell's, not your best.

Photo of nlmartin
2.87/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: Midnight blackness with a finger width copper white head. The head quickly resolves itself into a copper white film. The foam clings to the side of the glass.

Smell: For me the smell was the best part of this beer. Very sweet malty smell. There is a spicy sweet combintation in play in this beer with a slight astringency about it.

Taste: This beer has a very thickly sweet buttery coffee and malty taste. It is frankly to sweet for my own taste. I not sure but this could possibly stand a bigger hop profile. In short I dont like it.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: Well frankly again, this one is just to dam sickeningly sweet. It has a hell of a full bodied buttery taste but way to sweet. Pass this one up and buy something else.

Photo of nickfl
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - One and a half fingers of medium brown foam resting on a black body with just a hint of amber light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves moderate lace in its wake.

S - A moderate roasted malt note with a little bit of chocolate sweetness. A little bit of caramel and toffee but not much else.

T - Sweet, caramel malt up front with a strong, cola-like note. Some sour chocolate notes and black coffee character in the middle. Finishes with a bit more roast and lots of sweet, lactic caramel malt. Lingering cola and caramel character with coffee in background.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet, syrupy finish.

D - This is a very odd beer. The aroma is quite subdued, but the flavor is robust (just not in a good way). This may be because the primary flavor component is sticky, cloying sweetness. This excessive sweetness is accompanied by an odd, cola like note of artificial caramel flavoring and some strange sourness. The only thing I can find to like about it is the pleasant, dark roasted coffee note that is always lingering in the background. I really didn't care for this beer, it is strange, one dimensional, and overly sweet and I definitely won't be drinking it again.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark licorice brown with half an inch of tan foam. Aroma of toasted malt. Taste was appropriate for the style but was rather unremarkable to my taste, not sweet enough for a sweet stout. Mouthfeel was good and the carbonation was nice. But I probably won’t drink this one again, not because it was bad but because they are many others that are better at the same price.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to a dark coffee color, with a dark brown foamy head that held it's own and stuck around for quite a while. Not much of a scent to note, but odors of coffee and dark chocolate were present. Label states that smoothness is from the 10 different malts used in the brewing process, and I will give them that, this brew is smooth. Overtones of chocolate, malt, sweetness are prevailant, with a touch of a mellow bitterness aftertaste. Very creamy mouthfeel, but I must admit that this brew was far too heavy for my taste. It made me feel like I had a friggin' brick in my stomach. Maybe good with a steak or burger, but overall, was too rich for me. None the less a decent brew, worthy of a try if you are looking for a good example of a smooth stout.

Photo of Vierenner
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 2011: Ordinary. I'm sure the brewery put forth a great deal of effort to make it ... quality ingredients, careful process control, etc ... and compared to a lackluster stout it would stand out. But when the competition, and perhaps even Bell's, is brewing much more flavorful and interesting beer this particular label doesn't get a prize.
Nov 2011: Forgot I previously reviewed this one. Looking back on my old review I still feel the same. Style is along the lines of beer I favor, but overall it's quite an ordinary brew. There are roasted flavors throughout, and a slight hop bitterness, but fairly blah.

Photo of semihobo
3.01/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 ozer, batch 8733, purchased recently at the general store in Kalamazoo.

Body is a thick black, can't see anything going on in the glass. Head is mostly composed of very fine bubbles, with a few big ones in the middle, like cooking pancakes. A very dark color on the head. Quite pretty.

Smell is complex, not so sweet. Toffee, decomposing wood, tobacco, smoke, very earthy.

Taste is drier than expected, with a sour acidic bite on the finish. A more prominent roasted note than on the nose, still earthy. Add black walnuts to the list of tastes and smells... I believe the label when it says "10 different malts." Baker's chocolate and coffee. A small hint of minty sweetness toward the finish before it is overtaken by a bitter finish, fairly astringent. Earthy hops on the finish.

Nice body, very thick, lots of dextrins. Lush carbonation.

I kept tasting and smelling a familiar smell and it hit me toward the end of the beer... the compost pile my parents kept when I was growing up. Not exactly what I dream of in a beer.

Drinkability would be down for the fact that I just don't like this beer that much, but it stays at average due to the complexity of this beer... I could keep finding new things well into a six pack, I suspect.

This is like an art piece by a well-regarded contemporary artist you don't really like... I don't enjoy it, but I appreciate that it has complexity and value to someone else.

Photo of emmasdad
3.01/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Pours a jet black color, shot through with ruby highlights, and capped off with a medium brown head. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and heavy cream. Flavors of bitter, burnt coffee, dark chocolate and milk. Creamy and full bodied, but not for me.

Photo of taylor714914
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe it was due to this following the blacknote, but I found this to be thin and lacking. a mediocre stout that didn't seem to have much going on, other than the typical dark chocolate, coffee, and fig flavors found in stouts. OK, but nothing I'd revisit again. The mouthfeel was even mediocre.

Perhaps in the future if it is on tap I'll try a sample to see if it still is the same, but this experience left me wanting more.

Photo of Jeffo
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mom and dad picked this one up in Michigan for me a while back. Cheers guys!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 7 November 2013

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark brown pour yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with excellent retention. Clear black body with lots of active carbonation. Head fades to a full cap leaving sheets of lacing down the top of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end with lots of lacing left on the glass as it empties. Nice looking head, though it’s a little too brown for the style.

SMELL: Cream, light cocoa powder and some roasted and burnt malts on the nose. Medium strength.

TASTE: Sweet cream and caramel up front. Sweet and roasted finish is bold and lingering, with flavors up light cocoa powder, caramel and vanilla sweetness, and some slightly burnt malts as well. A little lack luster, really. Not all that much character.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little prickly perhaps, goes down fine and finishes a bit mouth coating.

OVERALL: Okay, but not all that special. A bit burnt and a decent amount of sweet flavors, but this is a little one dimensional and not all that interesting. Besides black note, I hate to say that I haven’t found much to enjoy in Bells’ stout beer. This certainly is nothing worth writing home about.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

Pours a deep dark rich black color with a huge huge foamy head that almost went over the glass. Smell is really bitter dark chocolate, sour cherries and a hint of cocoa powder. Taste is way off. i think its infected. really has a bitter, tart, sour cherry flavor goign on. has nothing like a cream stout should have going on. Really this might be infected otherwise its just not good. Mouthfeel is decent, a bit over carbonated for my liking on a stout. Drinkability is average despite the sourness in this beer. I will have to get another sample just to verify if this is what the beer is really like.

Photo of FourBetter
3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with barely any head which clings to the glass only slightly.

OK aroma of roasted malt.

Mildly sweet when at first sip, some bitterness hiding in the background. A smoky malt flavor remains behind on the back of your tongue.

Fine to sip on a cold night, but not overly rememberable.

Photo of maxson924
3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Not as creamy as I was hoping and probably a bit strong on the alcohol taste, but still a fine beer.

Photo of Jammies
3.07/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- ours a brownish black with a thin layer of foam that quickly retreats

S- chocolaty odor

T - a light, smoky, chocolate flavor. seems a bit bland

M- light and watery on the palate. A little coarse on the way down.

O- not my favorite. Nothing really special about this one!

Photo of BB1313
3.09/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch# 11540; bottled on 10/18/12. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours pitch black with a mocha head that eventually fades and leaves decent lacing and retention. The aromas are pretty subtle. Lots of sweet cream and cocoa powder. There's some chocolate malts in the mix as well. The flavors are pretty straight forward and not as interesting as I recall. There's a nice roastiness to this one with a touch of expresso and hints of vanilla. This is a pretty rich beer, but it's just not as intense as I once remembered. There's also some dark fruits in the mix. Finishes somewhat bitter. The mouthfeel is phenomenal. It's extremely creamy, fluffy, smooth, light, and has moderate carbonation. This is a very smooth, easy drinking beer. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Of all Bell's stouts, this was always my least favorite, but I remember liking it alot more. Besides the mouthfeel, it's not too memorable. Maybe it's not Bell's best work, but it's still a well crafted beer.

Photo of Cresant
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a Duvel glass. Batch 9961 packaged on Sept. 14, 2010. The body was deep brown and supported one finger of tan head which settled to a thin ring.

The smell was brown sugar and cottage cheese. Bready.

The taste was tangy. and malty. Not too sweet. Actually kind of bland.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation. Not one of my favorite Bell's beers.

Photo of teromous
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: It's a black colored beer with a very very tiny sliver of tan head forming a ring around the glass.

S: I get some burnt scents, like a dark coffee brewing.

T: I get a lot of the burnt charcoal, roasted grains. It has a very dark character to it. It's mildly sweet with malt. I don't get any cream-like flavor or sensation from this beer, despite the "double" implication. After tasting I visited the website and it mentions that the beer contains no dairy and the cream title refers to its texture. That's more for mouthfeel...

M: It does have a slightly slick mouthfeel. I wouldn't call it creamy. The carbonation is good, the body is a solid medium body with a good roasted bitterness.

O: Overall I think it's a good stout, but very average. I think the title led me to some expectations I didn't arrive at...so I am disappointed with that. It says "special" and the beer really tastes like a good stout but I don't see anything special. It says "double" but I didn't get much of anything to double...probably the 6%abv...then the "cream" which wasn't any more creamy than a normal stout. It tastes good but I don't think it's any better than the average stout.

I Had another bottle of this on 26 NOV 2012 and it left me with the same impressions. This time the beer actually finished drier than previously, which was a greater disappointment. While this is a wonderful stout, it does not feel creamy.

Photo of atigerlife
3.14/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a dark brown creamy head. Very nice beer to look at.

Aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste is bitter. A burnt taste to it. Some grape in the background. Not really pleasant. Has an old sock sort of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry. Not as creamy as I was expecting for the style.

Overall, a decent brew, but not one I will search out.

Photo of harrymel
3.14/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Awalk1227 for this trade.
Batch 9985: 09/14/2010

Poured to NB globe.

A: Dark ale with limited translucency and little head. Only a centralized light peanut cap evidencing the carbonation in the beer. No lacing.

S: Nice, roasty scent. Malts with hints of figs, plums, raisin. These scents are, however, quite faint. Really expect more assertiveness on the nose with this type of beer.

T: Dry stout. Little resonance of the nose into the taste of the beer. Okay beer, prefer their kalamazoo stout.

M: medium body with high carbonation. Nothing too special here.

D: Drinkable, but there are better cream stouts out there. Get the feeling this one is rated well because it's Bell's, not because it's great.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.14/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Thick, black color with Light brown head, surprisingly not creamy and minimal retention. What was left however left some decent lace.

Smell leaves scets of caramel and roasted coffee, and a very sweet smelling milk scent. Very appetizing.

Initial taste is oddly very vacant as my palate struggles to get past the overcarbonation. Aftertaste thankfully has some style with a nice milky coffee flavor. The hints of flavor come out more with each sip but never manages to overcome the bubbles.

Mouthfeel is poor, I wanted thick and smooth but the carbonation created the opposite effect. Way too thin for something I expect to coat the mouth.

While this brew goes down way too easy, why even bother? I had high hopes for this one coming in but will likely not be purchasing it again.

Photo of LittleBreeze
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasting Bell's Ball - Double Cream Stout

Two finger head with very decent retention. The usual suspects were present. Chocolate, malt, hint of vanilla, dark sugar.
Taste was good. Just good. I expected...more. I also expected creamier.

This one was a let down for me.

Photo of tayner
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured dark but clear with a 1 inch tan head that was foamy on top but tiny bubbles nearer the beer

it smelled of roasted malt mostly, but smells were very subdued.

As i am more of a malt head this brew was right up my alley. It has a big roasted malt profile with a smoothness to it. There are some dark, sweet fruity undertones which for me are hard to pick out, fig maybe? there is definitely some milk chocolate and coffee going on in there as well. The finish was smooth which was expected being a cream/sweet stout, sort of lactose sweet at the end. the finish was surprisingly dry as well.

the mouthfeel was good, not as heavy as a RIS, but certainly bigger than a porter and respectable for a sweet stout for sure.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black abyss like you'd expect from a heavily malted stout. A nice head forms and sticks around for a while.

Aroma was a little off. The usual suspects were here but something wasn't quite right. I found it hard to pick out the tastes and smells on this one. I knew that I really didn't dig the harsh bitterness in this stout and I like hoppy beers. The harshness was more from a burnt wort or burnt grain taste than from hops.

Photo of Phelps
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks: a pervasive, deep brown-black, with a one-finger head of dull copper. The bubbles are large yet sticky, and the head only collapses to half its size before setting up camp and going nowhere. Full sheets of lace decorate the walls as I drink.

Smells: like a cup of Folger's. The coffee aroma reminds of instant granules, but there's also loads of dark chocolate, toasty bread, sweet cream and a tiny bit of tangy sour grain in the back.

Tastes: transitory. The first flavor that hits is roastiness, coffee-laden and dark. Some tanginess then takes hold, with light notes of plums and a flavor akin to bitter dark chocolate that's been left in the cupboard too long. Like a boomerang, the toasty malts come flying back in at the finish, leaving lingering hints of charred bread and dark espresso. As I make my way through the glass, that expired-chocolate tanginess becomes the only thing I can notice. It's rather distracting.

Feels: moderately carbonated and medium-light-bodied, the beer foams up a bit as it moves through the mouth. For a beer called Double Cream stout, I'd expect much more creaminess. The bittersweet tang is building now, leaving an unpleasant sharpness on the back sides of my tongue.

Drinks: like confusion. Not creamy enough and a little too tangy, Double Cream Stout isn't one I'll be seeking out again.

Photo of Allpe45
3.19/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with 2 fingers of thick tan creamy head. It dissipates quite slowly, leaving thick layers of lacing.

Rich roasted malts, coffee, some earthiness and a metallic smell (oxidation?)

Roasted malts and some burnt flavor. Not very robust.

Medium bodied, low carbonation, fairly creamy. Quite smooth.

I wouldn't make this a go-to stout

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,459 ratings.