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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

1,382 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,382
Hads: 3,487
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 17.09%
Wants: 212
Gots: 388 | 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.
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Reviews: 1,382 | Hads: 3,487
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.29/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This big, dark stout pours a tar pitch black with a smallish tan head and some trails of sticky, webby lace. Little bits of unfiltered yeast and proteins make one aware of the anticipated healthy benefits. The aroma isn't at all what one normally expects with this depth of darkness and body. Fresh cut hay predominates, while smells of coffee, chocolate and a faint alcohol fuminess can be noticed with some concentration. The full rich malt body is fairly sweet. Espresso, dark bittersweet chocolate, toffee, biscuits and a rich smokiness remain strong throughout the glass. The hops provide a sharp-edged bite of both citrus bitterness and a mild metallic tang.
Sakaroo was kind enough to provide me with this very interesting Bell's offering (my first). When you see him, give him beer! He's a wonderful human being and a true BA!

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Photo of maxpower
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Midnight black with caramel brown notes edging through on the edges when held to the light nice full tan head leaves thick collar of lacing continues the same pattern throughout the session. Aroma: An airy sweet cream scent with hints of wood chips slipping through, dark chocolate and coffee notes round out the scent. Taste: Deliciously creamy just awesome mouth full of whipped cream blended with chocolate what a dessert beer, very rich with some bitterness coming through from the dark roasted malts bringing chocolate and coffee to the table maginficant. Mouthfeel: Full bodied cream stout just a big brew when it comes down to it, nice even sturdy carbonation. Drinkability: These would ware on you but it would also blend so well with vanilla ice cream as a topping, awesome well done tip my hat to the brewer's at Bell's great stuff.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is very dark brown, with a nice tan head. The smell is a slight sweetness. The taste is bittersweet, the creamy sweetness mixing quite well with the roasted malt bitterness, and the aftertaste is quite sweet. Mouthfeel is creamy. Drinkability-wise, definitely could have a few.

Another solid Bell's offering. A nice mix of sweetness and bitterness that keeps both in the forefront. A good stout, and absolutely one I'd have again.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double cream stout is everything the title conjures up. A sweet, dark brown stout. Good head with espresso flavors. As it warms there's a hint of root beer. It's a lot better warm than cold. Great with a meal. Another fine offering from the folks at Bell's!

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Photo of frank4sail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head on the pour looks like a black and white milk shake. Very thick and airy. Lasting as well.. Black opeque color and look in the pint glass. Roasty bitter cocoa nose with a touch of sweetness in the sinus. A little light upfront on the mouth then the finish has a touch of cream on the tongue. Dry cocoa and black malt intial taste then the finsh is of metalic (tin) sweetness. Wish it tasted how it looks... not bad though...

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Photo of stoutman
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours well with a thick cocoa head that stayed nearly the whole glass. Has a sweet/chocolate flavor, almost a mild (dark) flavor of chocolate covered cherries. It's a medium bodied, with a finish of medium roast coffee flavor. I enjoy K-zoos dark beers and their lighter ones are only so-so for me.. It must be the common wateror hops in the recipe they use.

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Photo of BierReise
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a tinge of dark caramel at the edges. Head is small and dense. Aroma is of strong black coffee and charred malts. On the dry side and medium bodied but smooth. Flavor is strong bitter coffee. Not as sweet as I'd like. Overall pretty good though

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black in color with a tan head that left lace.
Aroma of chocolate and heavily roasted, bitter malt.

Taste is heavy on the dark, roasty malt which provides a good amount of bitterness. Coffee notes and hops are there. Touch of sourness (typical of what I'm accustomed to from Bell's yeast).

Lots of body and some creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Tastey and enjoyable, but the bitterness and slight sourness knock down the drinkability in my book.

Overall, a good stout.

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Photo of BrianJ
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in a sixer for $8.99. Not cheap, but Bell's hasn't disappointed me yet. I had no idea what the ABV was when I bought it, so it could be considered a bargain I suppose. The carton had a fairly decent description of the beer which is unusual for Bell's.

Poured a nice opaque brown with a creamy tan colored head that dissipated fairly quickly. Left a little lacing where the head was, but not much as I drank it. Nice looking, but typical of stouts.

This wasn't a strong smelling brew. Had a hint of must much like Bell's Best Brown and a bit of sweet caramel, but overall not very fragrant.

Taste was sweet and mild. Bell's Stout and Porter have strong coffee tastes, but this one was certainly more laid back. Smooth and malty, I think I could convince people afraid of "dark beer" to give one of these a shot. Yet, it's complex enough for enthusiasts to enjoy. I catch caramel, whole milk and a hint of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is simply superb. It feels creamy and thick on the tongue and yet not overbearing or mouth coating. I find myself holding this one in my mouth longer than most just to feel it roll around on my tongue.

For a beer with this big an ABV and for this style they simply don't get any more drinkable. Somebody who didn't know the ABV could get themselves in a lot trouble as these go down sooo easy. Unlike some of the other big beers, the Belgians in particular, this one doesn't give me a headache or leave me feeling woozy.

Overall this, as with most of Bell's, is one that shouldn't be missed. It's a big beer with the drinkability of a session beer. It's a complex beer that I could give to a Bud drinker. It's not going to be a beer that you'll remember as the greatest you ever tasted, it'll be the one that you stock you fridge with in the winter and look forward to in the summer.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Kalamazoo Brewing Co. find during a great beer shopping experience in Indianapolis. Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle, this beer had me baffled as to what to expect. The beer poured a nearly solid black color, the exception being the ruby-tinged edges. A modest mocha colored head shriveled down to a tiny skim but left behind some pretty good patterns of lace.
The smell was a pretty straightforward blend of roasted malt, some bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and a faint nutty aroma. The taste was a complex mix of roasted dark malt, some coffee notes, molasses, baker’s chocolate, and some dark fruits. The finish was moderately bitter which offset the richly sweet flavors tasted earlier. The feel was medium-bodied, rich and smooth, with a slightly dry finish.
Overall, this was a really well-designed beer whose taste outshines its aroma. Initially, I didn’t care too much for the smell but I grew to appreciate it more with each sip and smell. Special Double Cream Stout has a carefully hidden alcohol content that can waylay the unprepared. A delicious, well-crafted stout. Glad I packed one home with me.

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Photo of nomad
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a thick head built by a classic stout reverse cascade – a tasty looking tan head. Its pasty stain sticks wherever it can get a foothold, leaving a repeating pattern of line then lattice. Lace was painfully slow, thick and soft. I got impressively similar results with every pour from every bottle.

Smells of all types of things: nuts, butter, chocolate, roasted scents, coffee, with a thin layer of smoke wafting about. Tastes of a thin but tasty profile: light coffee flavors, nutty, some roasted malt but equal amounts black malts, a handful to deal with in this bottle.

A bit much to handle, great to ponder one, hard to stomach more, the ten different malts used create a multitude smells and flavors. An interesting and a well-made stout.

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Photo of Realale
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black. Thick, extremely fine 2" mocha head settles slowly to a solid 1/3" leaving nice lacing.

Extremely complex nose. Bitter chocolate leads the way, but there is a real malty richness just underneath. Lots of dark candied fruit notes as well. Very nice.

Rich and malty in the mouth. Tons of brown bready malt supported amply by chocolate and fruit notes, and a touch of bitterness. A nice acidic backbone keeps it all balanced. Finish is very long turning just a touch bitter on the death.

Mouthfeel is outstanding thanks to the bottle conditioning. Very fine and supple. Keeps the beer from being ponderous, but provides a real caress to the palate as it passes. Very drinkable for what it is.

Purchased Nov., 2002 at the brewery. Cellared since as experience has taught me I like this one with about a year of age on it.

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Photo of granger10
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black color with almost no head. Carbonation was lackin a bit. Nice ring of lacing though stayed the whole time. Lots of malt in the smell, mainly chocolate/coffee mix and some vanilla. The taste was not what I expected but it was still good. Not really sweet at all. Bittersweet chocolate was there. The main flavor seemed to be coffee. Tart fruit was also apparent. It seemed like there was a solid hop presence also. The body was a little on the thin side, but all in all a good beer.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely the most bitter tasting sweet stout I can remember. Almost like Shakespeare or other examples of micro-stouts. I thouroughly enjoyed this one, although it was different than what I expected. No Mackeson's or Young's luxury here. Hops are quite evident, but the finish is not overly dry. Nice appearance, smooth mouthfeel. This is an excellent stout.

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Photo of Gusler
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a midnight black color with a monstrous light chocolate head that creamy in its consistency and the left over lace a fine satiny sheet to meld with the glass. Rich chocolate malt sweet nose, coffee, roasted grain and just a treasure to sniff, front is ambrosial, full and rich as is the full bodied top. Finish is bittersweet, mildly acidic, bone dry and a real pleasing beer.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I made the mistake of serving this cold. Not much in the way of a head, but I suspect it would have been better at cellar temp. When cold, the dull nose compliments a dominant chocolate maltiness along the path of Expedition, but miles and miles behind it. The lactose is also very evident and gives this beer a mocha quality. After letting it warm for a while, the other ten malts begin to come out and reveal a mild, very pleasant caramel that marries wonderfully with the cream (think Rollo candy). There's much more to this than a mocha. While I'm reminded, at first, of Goose Island Oatmeal Stout and its intense (and unpleasant) mocha characteristics, when served properly Bell's Special Double Cream has a great deal of character. There's a rind-like drying finish that I suspect are from the light bittering addition. Perhaps some hops are added in the top third of the boil because there is an interesting but very light hoppy note in the background. Lots of cream on the finish, too.

Well integrated, this isn't bad at all. There seems to be a good deal of Crystal (caramel) malt in this brew and yet it doesn't go the way of brown ales (raisiny and, in my opinion, quite poor). It even picks up a good amount of esters either from the yeast or the hops. Not much of a sit-back beer, but perhaps a nice one with a meal (went very well with my fettucine and eggplant parmesan) or over a smoke.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served chilled at a Bell's tasting at the Brickskellar.

Appearance: Dark black with a dark brown head. Head recedes to a layer and leaves little bits of lace.

Smell: Chocolate and mocha aromas dominate. I get the impression this will be sweet, not bitter.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, and smoked malt flavors. Nummy, nummy, nummy.

Mouthfeel: Nice, thick, and creamy.

Drinkability: Yes! Yes! Oh, God, Yes! Oh so good.. I want more...

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really liked this stout on tap in the Toledo area. The nice dark body was capped by a reasonable tan head and this laced nicely in the early stages, weakening as the head faded.

The nose was better than I expected it would be and gave off some nice hints of roasted malts and coffee aromas. The flavor likewise was quite substantive and provided nice roasted coffee notes with plenty of malt base. These flavors strengthened as the glass warmed a bit.

The mouthfeel was very good, being both full and creamy with a bit of a dry finish. There was even some hints of strong hopping, ala Storm King, as the brew finished. Very nice, indeed.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

new bootling line 2003 Edition: this has less lactic notes, and a great after-taste. The mouthfeel is also thick and exquisite. New ratings reflect these changes, and the 2003 version!

This stout from Bell's is quite nice, but not as good as I expected it to be. I had a bottle kicking around and after we talked about this one a lot at the BBQ last Saturday I finally broke out my last 2002 bottle of this stuff. This pours a nice dark black colour with a dark brown head. The aromas are like that of a kalamazoo stout that has been mixed with a milk stout. I can smell some lactic notes besides the usual roasty, toasty, malty, coffee flavors of the K-Zoo. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but good overall, and the drinkability is good except for the very astringent, lactic after-taste that this brew leaves in its wake. Think of it as a half and half of K-Zoo stout and Hitachino Sweet-Milk Stout.

Good, but not great!


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Photo of Sudmissle
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bell's probably has one of the greatest catalogs of good stouts of any microbrew in America, and this is my favorite Bell's Stout. It has a very strong toasty, chocolate-laced coffee flavor to it. I find it to be sweeter than Kalamazoo Stout and it has a lingering mouthfeel. I suspect Bell's sells more Kzoo Stout, but this one is far more enjoyable due to the rich flavor and the molasses-like mounthfeel.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look couldn't have appetized me more - black with a big creamed-coffee head. The head was extra creamy with super retention.

Aroma was decent, but I expected more from a big flavorful beer. subdued coffee, chocolate, alcohol, yeast phenolics.

Bittersweet chocolate is big in the flavor. Its like you have to chew your way through the coffee-icecream head to get to the more chocolaty beer. The Bell's yeast character is big in this beer just like all of the other Bell's I have had, and it gets a tad tiring for me to be honest. I never thought I would say this, but I might like this beer better if it were filtered. It would be more drinkable that way. But a great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.4/5  rDev -39.7%
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.

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Photo of aaronh
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Virtually black beer pours with a perfect 2-finger dark tan head that fills my pint glass. After 5 minutes, the head has actually crowned above the top of the glass and begins to take on a rocky appearance. A small amount of sediment can be seen floating in the beer. Dark particles can be seen in the foam at this point. The aroma of sweet roasted malt is noticeable from two feet away. Up close, the sweetness is much stronger, with nice raisin and chocolate notes. With a small amount of trepidation, I contemplate taking a sip. This beer has been so wonderful to experience thus far that I'm afraid to tarnish the experience (considering K'zoo's recent quality issues). The taste is much more mellow than I expected! Sweet fruity notes up front are accented by a light cherry flavor, but quickly lead to a stronger chocolate and roasted malt taste. There is ample bitterness in the finish to offset the sweetness, and then coffee and dark, bitter chocolate sweep in for the lingering aftertaste. No graininess, no earthy overtones, no tartness (all the things I've come to fear in a Bell's beer). The mouthfeel is creamy, but not overly thick. The active carbonation maintains a thick head for the entire glass, but it doesn't force itself upon the tongue. The drinkability is phenomenal, as this goes down almost as easily as a Guinness draught with about twice the alcohol and a very enjoyable sensory experience. Looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good, drinks good. This is one of the better beers from K'zoo.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,382 ratings.