1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout

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

2,929 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,929
Reviews: 1,335
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 172
Gots: 208 | 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:
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,929 | Reviews: 1,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheDM
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

This brew had a very strong coffee and chocolate aroma. It poured with no head and a very dark black opaque body. It actually had a very mild coffee taste with an otherwise OK flavor. There was no after bite which allowed it to go down very smoothly.

TheDM, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of BigHead
4.13/5  rDev +4%

Oh a nice creamy milk chocolate aroma with a hint of caramel. A milk like consistency with a roasted malt back flavor. A chocolate roast flavor dominates. Creamy, sweet, malt flavor and a nutty flavor builds at the back of the mouth. Coffee flavors intensify with each sip as well. It feels a little syrupy at the end, which would not make this a beer you could drink a lot of. It's a dark black beer with a tan head, the thick head lasts throughout. Some yeast residue rests on the top of the head, looks like cinnamon on a cafe mocha. Would make a great dessert beer.

BigHead, May 21, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this one. This beer pours a very dark color with a small head and moderate lacing on the glass. It smells sweet and has a creamy, marshmallow, and chocolate thing going on. The taste was all chocolate and marshmallows. This is definitely deserving of the name stout. Super thick mouthfeel and very smooth. Great brew here.

clvand0, May 19, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
12 oz brown bottle, no date.

This stout poured very dark brown/black, opaque, with creamy, light brown foam that coated the sides of the glass. There was some sediment in the bottle. The smell was a strong, sweet, roasted malted barley aroma, with oatmeal, caramel, raisins, yeast, bread, and hazelnut in the mix. The taste was a pungent, tart, dark roasted malt flavor, with some hops at the back of the tongue, and with hints of chocolate and chicory. The mouthfeel was full bodied with medium carbonation. It was smooth and creamy with a bit of astringency. The drinkability was very good, and was much better nearer room temperature than when very cold.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this bottle!

UncleJimbo, May 08, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

I originally sampled this at the Barrelhouse Brewfest, but a 2 ounce plastic cup does not do this one justice, I could tell that much at once. So I waited until I bought some of this for myself.

It has a deep dark color, a beautiful head that just kept building on the pour, 2 fingers plus in thickness, subsiding to a creamy tan one-finger head with kind of a thick creamy plug in the middle.

Nice chocolate, coffeeish smell. A dark and rich flavor, chocolate malts prevailing at the colder climes. There is a short-lived hoppiness/sourness, that yields to a dark-roast coffee, charcoal aftertaste.

As this warms up, the alcohol presence comes through a little more, the malt is a little smoother on delivery, probably because the beer tastes smoother when it's warmer.

Pretty darn drinkable, but at 7.5% I don't know how many I could handle before I lose the capacity to enjoy, 3 at most.

brewdlyhooked13, May 05, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours black with a light brown head that leaves excellent lacing when sipped down. The aroma is chocolatey, roasty with coffee notes. The flavor is of burnt roasted malts, coffee, and a burnt roast bitterness. It is a full-bodied beer; very enjoyable.

BeerBuilder, Apr 25, 2003
Photo of marburg
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%

Remember the Wendy's commercials? "WHERE'S THE BEEF!?!?"

Well, "where's the cream!?!?"

This isn't a bad beer by any means; it's pretty tasty. But when I think cream or milk stouts, I think of Mackeson's or other similarly sweet and milky beverages. This really fit more into a baby Imperial mold as far as I'm concerned. Anyhow, onward and upward...

Pours very dark with a little tan head. Considering the lack of head, the aroma is very impressive. Chocolate, coffee, and cough syrup. Very interesting. It was better when served very cold. When I resampled at a warmer temp, the flavor got a little too jarring. Tastes as it smells except with a big roasted bitterness finish. I'd drink this again for sure. Very flavorful -- almost too much so because you almost begin to lose any subtleties that might be in there.

marburg, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%

3/31/03-re-rate....I obviously had one of those "bad" Bell's beers the first time because I apparently have a good one in my glass right now that tastes nowhere near sour..this is a dandy..one of the best tasting cream stouts I've had..I'm upgrading myratings accordingly, but keep in my the inconsistencies with their beers...I have had numerous bad, sour Bell's beer in the past year or so...my bro came up with some two hearted...I had some on hand as well...his was off-tasting...mine was delicious...for the $$ you pay for this beer, I feel like I'm playing the lottery..will it be good?? If so their beers rock...or will it be sour and off-tasting...

Nose has that trademark Bells scent....sourish, but also some good chocolate mixed into it as well....the best thing about this beer is its body and mouthfeel...very creamy, smooth, and thick....feels like a good stout but the taste is only OK...some nice sweet cocoa...also some fruitiness like cherries probably from the yeast....that tartness is a little out of place in this beer but not unbearable...this is jet black in color and has a nice tan lace on top....has a real tartness on the long finish....a good beer, but the more of their stouts I drink, the more I find that sourness out of place...

ZAP, Mar 31, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

This is one smooth and yummy stout! Nice black color with dark brown highlights, large tannish head that really faded fast leading to just some small bubbles along the edge. Nice aroma of roasted malt and sweet hops with a chocolate tone and vanilla notes. Super smooth taste of well balanced roasted barley, sweet chocolate and hops, with a hint of vanilla. Well done. It reminded me of a warm chocolate shake with out the thickness. Good medium stout body, sort of heavy but the smoothness really keeps it from getting any heavier. Nice sweet vanilla tang in the mouth at the finish with hints of roasty a chocolate sweetness. Very drinkalbe stout! Ranks up there with Mackeson xxx for one of my tops. Recommendation is high.

tavernjef, Mar 21, 2003
Photo of jreitman
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Poured a jet black with a nice amount of head. Aroma was of coffee with a subtle chocolate undertones. Something was seriously off with this beers flavor with some metallicy, sour taste in there. Coffee and chocolate struggled to overcome the off flavor. I would love to try another bottle, but unfortunately it is not really an option.

jreitman, Mar 12, 2003
Photo of Sixpack595
4.13/5  rDev +4%

Aroma is chocolate with a bit of fruit, quite good really. Pour was muddy black, with very little head (there was almost 3 1/2 inches of head space, could account for fairly low carbonation). Roasted malt leads with bittering hops fading away. Chocolate, just a bit on the sweet side, but not nearly as sweet as I expected.

Sixpack595, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of Dantes
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%

Package: 12oz. brown bottle. Simple, elegant cream-colored label depicting a naked branch. No date or ABV info.

Cost: From Sidabeef7who priced it @ $11.99 a 6-pack

Presentation: Imperial pint at 50º

Appearance: Poured nicely, generating a reasonably dense, dark-brown head studded with some larger bubbles, which did not last very long. Dark body, but not the darkest I’ve seen. Not as attractive as Brooklyn's BCS, but a nice bottle-poured stout.

Smell: Rich, subtle aroma. Definitely some sweet toasted malt; with hints of caramel and coffee. Swirling produced some fruity, port-like aromas.

Taste: Surprising. This wasn't overtly sweet as I expected (in my experience; sweet, cream, or milk stouts are typically sweet on the tongue). Instead, this delivered the tastes of Viennese coffee mit schlag; rich, dark, velvety, chocolatey flavors with hints of cinnamon and clove and some spirit-like warmth. Well-balanced, with no dominating hops or alcohol. I don't think this has lactose in it; maybe some oatmeal for a hint of sweetness. None of the sourness some have noted in Bell’s beers, but with enough tang to be engaging. Nice long finish.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and a bit viscous. A satisfying medium to full-bodied stout. The fine, steady, medium carbonation persisted throughout the beer.

Drinkability: A great session stout that falls somewhere between dry/export stouts and imperials. Not as strongly alcoholic or hoppy as Brooklyn BCS, Expedition, or Storm King; nor as bland as a Guinness or Beamish. More like Sam Smith's Imperial.

Don’t be fooled by its name or current category. This is by no means a sweet stout in the sense of a Sam Adams Cream Stout or Mackeson’s XXX. Rather, this is a refined, smooth, and yes, creamy stout that gives up nothing in flavor or impact. I haven't tried the Kalamazoo Stout; but I think this lies somewhere between that and its big brother, Expedition Stout (which I've tried). If you’re looking for a stout that is not looking to break the hops-bank or spirit-safe, this may be the one for you.

Backwash: A velvet hammer. If I could get it every day (especially on draught), it would be my session stout.

NB: Tasted the Kalamazoo, which was thinner, more heavily carbonated, less complex, and less satisfying (but hoppier). I can't see choosing it instead, unless the 1% ABV difference matters. Checked with Bell's, who confirmed that there is NO lactose OR oats; but some flaked barley for a creamy, grainy element.

Dantes, Feb 26, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Fully dark in color, a deep, deep black, and a sturdy cocoa-y brown head. Aroma is rich and roasty, toasty, but still rather light. Perhaps that's where the cream comes in, I'd guess, though it's on the subtle side. Mouthfeel gets a great initial hop blitz , that mellows soon after., but not before giving off blasts of cherryish sweetness. Slight bitterness continues with every swallow, but is ultimately subsided. All in all, a very tasty, unique stout, soothing and delicious.

feloniousmonk, Feb 23, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%

Being a new fan of Kalamazoo stout, I looked forward to this Double Cream Stout. It's very similar in appearance to the Kalamazoo. Double cream means just that, extra creamy. And that's how the mouthfeel is. It's very smooth chocolate, coffee, slight hops, and sweetness. I'm strongly impressed. It has amazing drinkability and a perfect roasty flavor. I was surprised to see that the ABV is 7.5%.....no hint of that whatsoever, just smooth roasty greatness.

AudioGilz, Feb 12, 2003
Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%

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.

jtw5877, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
4.93/5  rDev +24.2%

OG=1.075, 7.5% ABV, brewed with 10 different malts.

Jet-black oily brew forms a thick dark tan head which looks like a bubbling pancake, leaving an impressive tenacious collarette of suds with each sip. Head sits atop medium sized bubbles, and is moderate in carbonation. Aroma is of espresso, dark roasted malts, dark bakers chocolate, caramel, fresh lightly-roasted grains, sourdough bread just out of the oven, and the immortal Bell's yeast "oomph". Quite a knockout aroma. Taste, mouthfeel and finish are somewhere between a Susie's Sweet Stout and the Expedition Stout. It has a thick, chewy mouthfeel with an oily sheen on the tongue. There is a big initial impression of fresh hops, dark-roasted malt sweetness and acidity, coffee and cocoa powder. The finish is amazing, and possibly the best of Bell's brews. It starts with a bright acidity with a perceptable and enjoyable sourness, gives way to a perfectly balanced spicy hop note, and ends in a long caramel sweet finish with a bright clean mouthfeel.

Rich, amazingly complex, incredibly satisfying, and highly drinkable despite the moderately-high ABV. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I don't give 5.0's very often, but this is truly one of the very best stouts available. Pure Heaven in a bottle.

Re-review 12-07-04: Very different beer here at the new Comstock facilities...the aroma is intense with black walnut compared to prior versions. Medium-dense body but not as thick as remembered. Alcohol is perceptable in aroma. The slight sourness and unique Kzoo yeast funk are all but missing, and replaced with a chalky roasted malt sweetness. Alcohol is evident in the finish. This is still a good beer, but it's a far cry from what I used to drink years ago. It's sad seeing my favorite beers disappear, as the Bell's lineup doesn't even taste like the beers I've loved for so long.
L=4.5, A=4.5, T=4.5, MF=4.0, D=4.0

Mitchster, Jan 27, 2003
Photo of Wildman
4.13/5  rDev +4%

This beer poured a very dark, almost black color and formed huge medium tan bubby head much like a Guiness, leaving some nice lace. An aroma of malt, coffee and chocolate. A flavor of malt, coffee and dark chocolate. A slight burnt aspect to the finish. Another November Stout down, only 4 more to go(I think). Hopefully some of these will see longer rotation.

Wildman, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of inebrius
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

Big nose of chocolate ice cream drizzled with caramel and espresso beans, a dash of roasted pecans and shaved chocolate. Starts off like one of those iced coffee drinks you get at the mall, but made with a double shot of French roast rather than some puny house blend. Roastiness gathers some steam on a frizzy carbonation, peaks, then slowly tapers off as a smooth malt back and a few traces of hop make an appearance. A nice beer that should probably accompany food, perhaps a bit too stout on its own.

inebrius, Jan 06, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

Absolutely opaque black in color... I couldn't find any highlights even when held directly to the light. A really creamy dark tan head holds quite well but eventually drops to a thin surface covering and very nice collar. The aroma is surprisingly complex with notes of sweet milk chocolate, creamy coffee, light cocoa, mild buttery biscuits, dark baker's chocolate and the very "burnt" roastiness of rich and oily coffee beans. Quite inviting, and engaging as well! The body is medium/full with a fine carbonation that foams up in the mouth giving it an even fuller mouthfeel. The flavor is equally impressive and just as complex as the aroma with notes of dark fruit (and apples) and sweet chocolate up-front, even sweeter creamy cocoa and caramel as it warms, a rising solid bitterness and deep roastiness as it enters the swallow with a touch of alcohol, followed by a dry finish that's loaded with lingering bitterness, dry coffee-like roastiness, and a light touch of mildy tart dark fruitiness. Quite rich and exciting! Well worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of BitteBier
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%

A black pour with hints of red at the edges and a thin bronze head. Even when well chilled, this stout has a substantial nose. Initial notes are sweet and creamy then more typified by alcohol dryness and some roasted notes. The taste is quite unique among the stouts I have had. Like the smell, it starts out rather sweet. Roasted grains and some dryness then join the party. This beer's creamy texture gives it a slightly clingy mouthfeel but also adds to its drinkability.

BitteBier, Dec 24, 2002
Photo of garymuchow
3.85/5  rDev -3%

Big and full tan colored head with some cascading effect. Very deep brown to black color. The head maintains quite well. Rich deep roast aroma. Really straight-forward. Taste is again a deep rich roasted malt without becoming too sweet. Dryness to the drink, with a hard water quality. Nice smoothness, but only a medium body. I was surprized that it didn't feeel heavier.
There is something missing. It's rich and tastey, but possibly lacking complexity. Yet, it is still somehow intriguing and worth trying.

garymuchow, Dec 11, 2002
Photo of MJR
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%


Dark brown body bordering on black. Clarity is irrelevant. Big and dense tan head with great staying power. Lots of soapy lacing. Aroma has roasted malt, bitter chocolate, subtle fruitiness, and hints of sesame seed oil and metallics. Flavor is rich and full, with some roasted malts, dark and bitter chocolate, sesame seed oil, and toasted malts. Barely a hint of lactose, but more of a well controlled sweetness. Passing suggestion of smoke shows up here and there. The metallic hint in the aroma shows up on the dry and bitter finish. Full bodied, with a creamy and oily mouthfeel. Absolutely stellar stout from the stout king.

MJR, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of Dogbrick
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. This is an excellent Stout, which I understand is par for the course with Bell's. I can't wait to try the entire line! Pours black as night with a thin bone-white head and good lacing. Great smooth creamy flavor that I could enjoy all night.

Dogbrick, Dec 02, 2002
Photo of zerk
3.93/5  rDev -1%

Black and opaque... with a decent tan head. Aroma of roasted barley, coffee, chocolate, and some dried fruit. Flavor is somewhat astringent, with coffee and chocolate flavors... some sweetness, and dried fruit flavors. Medium to full body, with low to medium carbonation. Very smooth as it warms. Another well done stout from Kalamazoo.

zerk, Nov 28, 2002
Photo of marc77
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%

Uniform, one fingered persistent dark tan head covers a virtually black brew. Trace hazy deep ruby when held to light. Sweet milk chocolate hits the nose at first, then is ensued by notes of buttery malt and deep caramel. Understated roasted barley adds a hint of coffee sharpness, but the aroma is sweet, mellow and inviting all around. A combination of roasted grain and hop bitterness in flavor immediately yields to a rounded, mild lactose sweetness and chocolate malt, which in turn is ceded by dark caramelized malt sweetness. Hints of tart fruity esters from Bell's yeast strain are subdued by the rich overall malt profile, but emerge as a pleasant mid palate undertone. Moderately bodied, w/ a firm, dextrinous mouthfeel conducive for excellent drinkability. Finishes w/ fading sweetness which allows the dark fruity tartness to linger pleasantly on the palate. Double Cream Stout is a delicious, unique and deceivingly smooth stout. Subtle, yet rich.

marc77, Nov 20, 2002
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 2,929 ratings.