1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,726 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2726
Reviews: 1327
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%


Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Mitchster on 12-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,726 | Reviews: 1,327 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ShrLSU
ShrLSU

Louisiana

3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall your traditional black color with tan halo around the rim. Leaves a touch of lacing as well. Not much of a nose honestly, maybe a touch of roasty malt and coffee. Taste is a slight dark fruitiness with coffee bitterness and a twinge of creaminess. Overll mouthfeel is light and airy for a stout. Not really all that wild about this. It doesn't seem to have the depth I thought it would. Just seems like another stout to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 03:43:48 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of chesapeakegoody
chesapeakegoody

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: BLACK, with a small dirty head

S: Def. coffee, with a hint of sweet vanilla

T: Bitter roast, chocolate, almost burnt espresso taste

M: Very nice smooth finish but bitter taste was a bit overwhelming. The creamy texture is probably the best part of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 22:33:08 | More by chesapeakegoody
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep brown, almost a black, color. It forms a thick brown head when swirled in my glass. The aroma is of a buttery roast malt. The butter seems to dominate the aroma. The butter component is in the taste as well. This beer is creamy in consistency. It has definite roast character as well, though befitting a cream stout, it is a soft roast flavor. The stout is fairly thick bodied, with notes of coffee and chocolate. The butter flavor seems to dissipate with time, though I could just be getting used to it. I am not sure if the butter character is supposed to be here (my guess is that it is not), but it is no so strong that it horribly detracts from this beer. It even helps to boost the perceived fullness of this beer. Though in the end this beer would be much better without the butter component.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 20:50:35 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The head falls fast, but leaves a good sticky lacing. The color is crisp black and inviting.

Sweet black fruit, molasses, chocolate and coffee flavors with a slight creamy feel in the smell.

Not thick, but watery with coffee and cream flavors with very little body and only a slight aftertaste.

Watery and unlike most stouts with a very little body.

Overall it was less than expected from Bell's, it would take a special case the next time I try this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 04:57:52 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque fudgy blackness with an enormous head despite an easy-handed pour. The head is bumpy and creamy, retaining very well. Thick lace forms a kind of honeycomb pattern on the glass. This looks, as the English say, "the business."

Aroma of sweet cream and milk chocolate shavings, also lightly fruity and a slight hint of mineral in back.

Flavor is somewhat of a letdown, if I'm comparing it with any other Bell's stout. Even for the style it seems merely okay. Watery chocolate, coffee bitterness, fruit zing, and the sweetness of fresh cream. Mineral rides through in the finish.

Heavily carbonated, and too much so. There's a smoothness in there, I can feel a nice velvety texture, but I found it too tingly. It's certainly not due to excessive coldness, as I'm drinking this just barely below room temperature.

Easily my least favorite Bell's beer so far (I've tried 14 to date). It's not at all bad--I don't think even the worst Bell's beer would be terrible--and it won't be a chore getting through the other 3 remaining from the 6-pack. But I probably won't return. And, yeah, we should review to style, and I believe I am, but this has never been my favorite style, so...

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 23:52:41 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle, batch 8273 (12/19/07). Pours black with no head. Aroma of raisin and sweet malt, light chocolate notes. Flavor is sweet and raisiny initially with a roasty finish. Unfortunately this is past it's prime, but I didn't realize how old it was when I purchased it. It's decent overall though.
6/4/7/3/14 (3.4/5)

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 01:16:52 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour is nearly opaque with a bit of dark brown around the edges. a thin band of dark tan lacing.
The aroma is roasty formost and really dark cacao.
Flavor wise there is a roast that is very espresso like in many ways, smooth and creamy with a tight refined roast. Very chocolate like, and some lactose flavors.
The mouthfeel is full for a stout this size, middle of the road carbination.

A solid stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 23:10:52 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of lunarbrew
lunarbrew

Wisconsin

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A- The beer poured a very dark black with little to no head or lacing. I wasn't blown away with the beer's color, and would have really liked a richer head with a cream stout. Still, the appearance was definitely one of the beers nicer features.

S- Wasn't a huge smell, but I did pick up some nice notes of roasted grains and red fruit. I was expecting a very sugary presence in a double cream stout, but the beer didn't smell very sweet

T- Nope, it doesn't taste that sweet at all. The beer didn't have the typical milkstout lactose flavor either (which I understand was the intention of the brewery). I was really expecting (and craving) a deep, rich, creamy beer. Unfortunately I didn't really get that with this beer. There was a bit of dry malt on the finish with a lingering taste of cherry, fig, and acidic coffee.

M- I was quite disappointed with the feel of this beer. One of my favorite characteristics of a cream stout is a rich, full-bodied, creamy texture. The texture of this cream stout was closer to a medium body and generally, it felt a little watered down. The creaminess just didn't follow through.

Overall an ok beer. While it was fun to try, I would prefer more depth and creaminess in a double cream stout. I did appreciate some of the roasted subtleties here, but I doubt I'll be buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 13:11:25 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of skrib09
skrib09

Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

nicely cascading, tan colored head.

really dark appearance which invites you to smell and sample it.

smells roasty, complex, sweet.

surprisingly roasty taste. a slight finish of sweet coffee. good taste.

good mouthfeel, average drinkability for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 22:54:59 | More by skrib09
Photo of JEngler
JEngler

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pouring aggressively resulted in a tiny head. It was almost midnight black after the pour.

S - It had a gentle aroma of burnt malts and caramel.

T - This was a complex taste but the malts and hints of caramel in the background we there at each drink. It was surprisingly smooth, despite it's think and dark appearance.

M - I found this to be lightly carbonated and lighter tasting then I anticipated.

D - I think this was pretty good for a stout but was expecting a bit more richness.

I enjoy most of the product's by Bell's and this is also very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 22:54:58 | More by JEngler
Photo of 88blkiroc
88blkiroc

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a thin tan head that disapates quickly. No light gets through this bad boy. Leaves some slight lacing on the glass with each sip.

Smell: Not what I was expecting, I smell soy sauce. Very salty smelling. Also a slight smokey peat smell like a good single malt scotch.

Taste: Good carbonation, smooth and salty tasting. A faint sweetness to it but I can't really call it chocolate tasting. There is definitly a creamy feel to it though. The saltiness is somewhat off putting.

Being a WMU grad I feel it my duty to get my hands on all the Bell's products I can. I have a love hate with Bells in that everyone I talk to loves it but I really cant say any of their beers have been life changing for me. I really want to love them but I haven't found anything that rocks my boat yet. This one is another "eh" beer, I could take it or leave it.

P.S. This beer is rated at 6.1% ABV on the bottle, not 7.5% like it states above.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 23:52:46 | More by 88blkiroc
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours almost black, only hints of brown around the edges. A short-lived one finger foamy head that laces decently.

S- Lots of deep roast scents. Hints of sweetness are also present. Somewhat faint and less pronounced than other stouts.

T- Can't say anything really sticks out here. Typical American stout. Big roasted malts right up front. Only a little sweetness for the double cream claim. Ends cleanly with a small bite form the heavier malts.

M- High carbonation, but thick and creamy otherwise. Weight is fairly light, but not out of the stout range. Could sit down and have a few of these.

Overall, I love sweet stouts, but this one left me pining for more in the sweet and vanilla flavor regions. If you look really hard, there might be a little vanilla sweetness, but otherwise, this is just a solid American stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 01:38:38 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had to bump this guy's appearance because the bottle is so good looking. It reminds me of some really great pen and ink drawings of loney oak trees where I grew up. The beer pours a dark brown (not black) and has a inch head with some really nice retention. It stuck around.

The smell is oh so sweet. Double cream? You bet. Sweet milky sugars and cake batter crawl out. Light choco but not exactly.

Taste is good. There's an ease with drinking this, and it goes away pretty fast. Very sweet aftertaste. Creamy for sure. Tiny roast notes in the aftertaste. If there are hops, they didn't send me the memo. Here's a metaphor: I like my coffee black. This reminds me of when someone goes out to get coffees for everyone and fucks up and brings mine back with 2 creamers and sugar in it. It's rich and sweet, but that's really not the way I take it. The depth of the alcohol is so hidden though, it needs props for the mystery they've created in that department.

Mouthfeel: Ok. Not real thick, nor should it be. Nice weight and minimal cloying after the sip.

Drinkability: Again, just ok. Beers like this let the taste dictate their drinkability. There's nothing wrong with it, maybe a little heavy in the gut afterwards, but it goes down easy and is satisfying. I just think I'd keep myself to one a night, or a year. Try it, at least it's different.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2004 07:46:11 | More by 99bottles
Photo of enfield249
enfield249

Michigan

3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark black, light tan ring of foam. Looks thick, but doesn't cling to glass.

S - Sweet smelling, chocolate up front, and then some coffee.

T - Strong coffee flavor, some sweetness, bitter roastiness.

M - Full, astringent. Drys out the middle of my tongue.

D - Pretty good, a nice cream stout, but tastes at lot more like a coffee stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 00:15:55 | More by enfield249
Photo of righthereisay
righthereisay

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Little lacing on this very dark beer.

It had some coffee flavor, but I would say it tasted more like a milk stout than expected. This is probably why the smell wasn't as good as expected either.

With the name, I expected a more creamier stout. So I was a little dissappointed.

I thought it had a little too much carbonation, and thought it had a medium body at best. Again, expectations were a full body creamy stout.

Obviously it didn't meet my expectations but it was still a good beer. I probably wouldn't spend a night drinking these..

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 21:59:11 | More by righthereisay
Photo of AdamMY
AdamMY

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is black, with only the slightest hint of transparency around the rims.

It poured a nice sustaining head which was slightly dirty . The aroma is great, lots of coffee and chocolate malt. The aroma also has a slight hint of a burnt popcorn like aroma.

The taste is definitely "Interesting". It has Its like a smooth and creamy coffee with chocolate undertone. The Burnt popcorn comes out in the finish. But there is an overwhelming bitterness and sourness to it that I notice as I drink it more and more.

The drink-ability is only moderate, as it is enjoyable but I do not know if I could drink these one after another all that easily, especially with the sour aspect to it.

Batch #9513

Acquired from a PA Store.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 19:54:33 | More by AdamMY
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this cask conditioned and must say I like it better bottled or just regular draft.

A beautiful pour. Good half inch of a slightly tan head. Jet brown color? Well very dark brown to say the least. Thick sweet aromas of choclate and vanilla, also some espresso.

Because of the cask it seems there is a sour component in the beer I'm not to fond of. Main tastes are burnt dark fruits, vanilla, espresso, cocoa and that sour taste.

Besides the sourness the brew is almost too smooth. Very easy to drink despite the sour tannins. Makes this beer less than perfect.

Serving type: cask

04-08-2006 12:20:16 | More by mcallister
Photo of jpkoch1962
jpkoch1962

Indiana

3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While I want to give this famed stout a higher score, I just couldn't. This stout has a lot of pluses. A very nice deep ebony presentation -deep red hues can be seen if held against the light. The head was a dirty brown and long lasting. However, the aroma was somewhat muted. Could only detect slight hints of roasted barley. The taste was dominated by dark roasted malts -very little complexity. I was expecting something a bit more diverse. Perhaps more chocolate, carmel, and crystal malts would have added character to this stout.

While I plan on drinking this again, I was expecting a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 21:42:30 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of swizzlenuts
swizzlenuts

Wisconsin

3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and a small head. There is a slight roasty smell to it, but not much else. The beer has a slight sweetness with a lot of roastiness. There isn't much much flavour in this beer, which is disappointing. The beer is roasty and slightly sweet, but nothing much else. The mouth feel is good, and it's drinkable. I'm quite disappointing with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 04:07:05 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1/2" light brown head above a dark, dark brown/black brew. Long-lasting head that laced excellently. Aroma is sweetly of dark malts, perhaps to a fault, with no balancing bitterness seemling present at all. Taste follows the nose, with sweetness dominant, to a fault, and ends up with a tinge of bitterness, but almost too little, too late. Mouthfeel is nowhere near as smooth as one would expect from a cream stout, kind of disappointing, and drinkability is a bit better, but one could certainly find a more desirable lot from Bell's stable.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 01:20:08 | More by ppoitras
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 04:50:14 | More by trbergman
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

in a word - very sweet... well, that was two words i guess.

a very very dark brown / to black? - poured into a dogfish head signature glass with an almost imperceptible beige head that may have lasted a few seconds or so.

very sweet, almost cloying upon the first drink with a sour finish. however, i soon realized it had been served much too cold. after sitting for 15min or so, more of the flavor opened up and the sweetness receded (though only slightly).

no bitterness to note, maltiness is way up front. i should note that the longer this one lived in the glass and the closer it came to room temp, the more enjoyable it became.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 14:21:39 | More by robwestcott
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this one as a bonus!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Batch code equates to being packaged Dec 18, 2009. Bell's is my new favorite brewery for having a proprietary code but having the Batch Finder right on the top of every page of their website. Kudos!

Appearance: Pours a slick black with cappuccino-like head that fades in under a minute with no lacing.

Nose: Lots of roasty coffee notes and some creaminess too. Smells like a rich, full Irish nitro stout.

Palate: Big and full up front but snapping drastically sharp with some acidity. Coffee-like flavors and bitterness, some smoky cream. But man, there's some acid there. Weird. Like coffee left on the burner too long. No sweetness or body that other reviewers talked about.

Notes: After tasting and re-tasting this beer, I'm not so sure about it. The acidity level is way too high for what I would expect from a Double Cream Stout. Wonder if it isn't holding up well, or if this was an off bottle. Bummer. Should try again.

Edit: Tried a bottle of Batch 10151 (aka 01/25/11) on 8/27/11 and there's no acidity at all. Just smooth and creamy. Score for taste and mouthfeel reflect this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 04:09:48 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pitch black with some ruby highlights. Three fingers of off white head that dies down to a layer of foam on top. Good lacing left behind.

Smells of chocolate, cream and caramel. Not much else.

Taste follows smell. Chocolate, caramel, roasty char. The finish is bitter smokey and roasty. It gets a little overwhelmingly bitter.

The mouthfeel is full, rich not well carbonated, and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 15:39:31 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottled 10/10/11.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is about average or slightly better and a touch of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Mild roastiness. Layer after layer of sweet milk chocolate and cocoa. Light coffee aspect with light vanilla. Very subtle burntness and acridity (if that's a word).

3.0 T: The last time I had this I remembered it to be a lot different. This time, it is severly lacking in intensity with an undeveloped flavor profile. All of the pieces found in the nose are here, but are way more mild.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy, but not as creamy as I thought this was.

3.5 D: I don't know if this batch is a bit off or if my bottle is, but this doesn't seem to be the brew I remember it to be. Oh well, I'll re-review if necessary.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 21:51:47 | More by DavoleBomb
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 2,726 ratings.