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

very good
1,441 Reviews
Read the review
Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

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.

Added by Mitchster on 12-30-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,441 | Ratings: 3,777
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout poured black with no head.

There was very little good or bad in the smell and taste of this stout. There was no real aroma of which to speak and the flavor was non-discript roasty and sweet. On the other hand, it was exceptionally creamy and smooth.

Bell's Special Double Cream is a nice, smooth, unremarkable, and safe stout.

 363 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Inky black pour with brown edges, and a nice tall 2 finger caramel head. Light lace left on the snifter.

Strongest note in the aroma is coffee, followed by half and half, and then some melted chocolate. Some roast barley also follows.

Both coffee and half & half are equally strongest here, followed by some lingering acidity, and semi-sweet bitter chocolate chips. The finish is heavy on burnt barley and light smoke.

Wet to start, then creamy, and dries out considerably. Roasted, dry finish.

Overall, Bell's Double Cream Stout was heavier on coffee than I thought, lending forth too much acidity and burnt notes. I wished for more chocolate, more cream, more sweetness. Alas it was not here. I probably won't purchase this six pack next year.

 752 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness glass

A- Dark roast coffee with a deep garnet on the edges. An aggressive pour yielded a high medium brown head that slowly dissipated to a thin layer that stayed. More carbonation then I was expecting.

S- Medium dark roasts and a slight roast acidity coming through

T- Bigger than the nose with the roast notes and the acidity lingers on the tongue.

M- Not as "creamy" as I was expecting given the name. Medium viscosity.

O- Thought this was going to be a sweet milk stout by the name but even so a solid stout from a place known for great stouts. I think I will do a 50/50 mix with Expedition and get a taste of a non-BA Black Note.

 682 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown. Tan/cola colored head, not especially fine/thick/convincing. Good persistence though.

Smell is a bit... average. Definite hints of lager in the bouquet, which puts me off as I bring the glass to my mouth.

Flavor is intensely malty and bitter. "Interesting" more than "great." Also some notes of smoke, cocoa.

*Exceptionally* nice mouthfeel. Rich, intense. Wouldn't mind a bit more carbonation; what there is, is very fine. Once it's past my nose, drinking this just makes me smile.

Long, extra-bitter finish, black licorice. Not super intense.

Hard to think of another beer with such a range of strengths and flaws. I'll finish the four-pack I bought, but probably will not re-purchase.

 711 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9/6/11

A - Pours very deep brown, black, though not completely opaque. Only half a finger of tan head that dissipated pretty quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S - Smells a bit like coffee with cream. While it does smell quite creamy, there is a significant roasted element as well.

T - Similar to smell, quite creamy but nice a nice roasted taste to prevent the creaminess form becoming overwhelming.

M - Medium full mouthfeel is very creamy and finishes with a lingering sweetness.

O - A good stout, but not one that I would return to too often.

 557 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. Back label says PKGD 10/10/11.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with some light shining through the edges but only yields an 1/8 inch of light brown head that quickly passes away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Decent lacing that adheres to the glass fairly well.

S- Dark chocolate nose with some caramel in the back. Mild roast notes.

T- Quite neutral for a beer that has such a long name. Faint notes of dark chocolate, lightly roasted coffee...and not much else. Not necessarily bitter, not necessarily sweet. Just a tame amount of roast. On the positive side of the coin, the alcohol isn't detected much.

M- Certainly creamy and plenty smooth. Medium-low carbonation and a robust body.

O- I remember this being better last year, but who's to say? After all, taste is subjective. Only paid $3.99 for a six-pack at Total Wine & More since it's technically out of season, so I'm not complaining!

 980 characters

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12oz at Capones to finally give this a whirl. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Opaque black color, pours pretty thick. Tannish brown head that only hangs around for a while, and then is completely gone. Little to no lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark malts. A sweet creaminess. Somewhat of a woody aroma. Hint of chocolate.

Taste: A rich creaminess that is also sweet. Dark roasted malts combined with some wood and earthy tones. Some chocolate once the milk/cream flavor subsides. Fairly well balanced, not overly sweet or milky.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light carbonation. Not much bitterness. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Good balance, but one is enough for me. No hint of alcohol until it warms considerably, however.

Not bad. Could have been better, could have been worse.

 795 characters

Photo of HumanParaquat
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter a deep, dark brown color with ruby and purple highlights on the edges when held under the light. Two fingers of tan foam that leaves good lacing.

A nice aroma of espresso and roasted malts. A bit oaky with some dark chocolate, cherry and vanilla notes.

Taste is lightly spicy up front, leading into suggestions of sweet molasses, prunes, chocolate malts and coffee. Some astringent flavors creep in as it rounds out with a long, dry finish. Tastes much boozier than the ABV.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but very creamy and smooth. Higher level of carbonation than expected.

Not outstanding, but overall a pretty solid stout with complexity.

 663 characters

Photo of Brewbro000
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to OregonKnowsBest for this tasty extra-

A very dark pour that yields a on finger khaki brown head that recedes very quickly into a thin ring around the edges with minimal lacing. Smell of dark roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is of sweet toasted malts/chocolate and caramel that finishes dry despite how sweet it begins. Each sip is better than the rest as it warms and the carbonation mellows the creamy smoothness this bottle claims begins to come through. I would easily drink a few of these as the booze is low.

 526 characters

Photo of BeaBeerWife
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

yaaay cask! Campaign it up for real ales!

nice n dark n dark n black thickness. No head, prolly cuz cask style.

A: Jet black at first, but when back lit there is a burgandy hint to it. Minimal head that leaves next to no lace. If I remember correctly anyway. Seemed a bit too wet and not so sticky. I dug it, but need to try this winter to try to re dig it.

 360 characters

Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- Dark brown with a caremel like head to it that seemed to stay forever.

s- Smelled like straight coffee and chocolate. Almost like a mocha.

t- This beer had a little less taste than I would have liked. You can obviously taste the beer in the aftertaste, but while you are drinking it, it almost seems as if the beer tastes like water.

m- This beer has a pretty good mouthfeel to it. Not to highly carbonated and definately not to creamy.

o- Overall I think that this beer could definately use something else in the flavor. It is not that this beer is bad, but more like it is "lacking something".

 602 characters

Photo of shippos
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured with barely a skim of a head on a thick dark black body. smelled when it's cold - muted notes of cold coffee/esspresso and dark fudge, heavy roasted flavors with a thick slightly sweet body with a dry roasty finish
smelled wthen it's warm - rich aroma of mocha and a mix of sweet sugar and tosted grain, mouthfeeel is a bit on the thin side at first and follows with a dry finish.

 389 characters

Photo of jhu1995
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a dark tan head that dissipates rapidly. Roasted aromas dominate with some chocolatey overtones. Taste is roasted, slightly sweet with some chocolate flavors. Thick, creamy and rich mouthfeel - the best part of this beer. Easy drinking beer. Overall, a good brew.

 287 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin, clear dark brown with very little cascading head and absolutely no lacing. Mouthfeel is decent, but not nearly as creamy as I expected. The aroma however has very nice lactose sweetness; creamy and full of roasted and toasted (smoked?) malts as well. Flavours are well balanced and smooth, with definite cream and caramelized malt sugars followed by a nicely dry hop finish.

I expected "spectacular" and was disappointed, but like anything Bell's, still believe this to be better than most...

 507 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light tan head on a dark black coffee liquid. Some of the bubbles appear to almost be ruby colored although the beer is definitely darker than these bubbles.

Smells like strong chocolate , some raisin and roasted malts

Tastes sweet at first, then chalk strangely comes into the palate, with a dark roasted malt. Finishes surprisingly refreshing for a stout. Tastes light / refreshing as the sweetness overcomes the dark malt and wins the battle

There is a pretty thick mouthfeel to this beer at first, but as you hold onto it, it feels surprisingly thin probably due to the chalky sweetness. This beer is pretty strongly carbonated.

Drinkable beer, the sweetness really changes the moutfeel of the beer. Good stuff

 721 characters

Photo of jimdkc
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark, opaque brown with a thick foamy brown head that, unfortunately didn't last too long. Smell was roasted malt with hints of honey and fruit. Taste initially was strong burnt malt.. maybe a bit too burnt... but, more complex flavors then emerged. Slightly sweet, notes of raisins and plums, followed by more earthy and woody flavors. Alcohol flavor emerges as the beer warms. Finish was dry and maybe a little astringent. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a light carbonation. A pretty tasty stout.

 501 characters

Photo of klewis
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7684

A: Pours pitch black with a two-finger bubbly head. Moderate lacing.

S: Big malty smell with aromas of chocolate and vanilla.

T: Sweet with an earthy coffee flavor. A bit astringent in the finish.

M: The texture is odd; soft and creamy, yet bubbly with lots of carbonation. Medium-bodied.

D: Not bad, but I'll take a Mackeson's over this any day. Worth a try.

 385 characters

Photo of icetraxx
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a two finger extra creamy head into my Guinness tulip. Extra dark and black as the night, with a slight ruby hue if you force light through this one. The head slowly dissipates to a one finger head after a minute or two, clinging to the glass. Massive lacing. The head sticks around, looks like a stout should.

S: I'm pretty sure I served this too cold as the aroma was lost, especially true as I just finished eating spicy food. Even though I let myself cool off and the beer warm, there was only a hint of caramel, molasses, and sweet malt, all very faint.

T: Yes! A sweet stout that didn't make me gag from sweetness on the first sip. Roasted malt, a hint of bitter chocolate, earth, and a hint of sweetness. Not hoppy or very bitter, the flavor profile sort of reminds me of Guinness in a way (though much more hoppy and bitter compared to Guinness directly). The spicy food I ate is definitely masking some flavor here. The flavor is nearly balanced, though definitely more so on the malty-sweet side of things. The flavors seem right, but there isn't anything really popping out at me or all that complex. As the beer warms up there is definitely more bitterness, but no floral hops to be found. The flavor of the malts, without a cloying sweetness, is very nice with the hint of chocolate.

M: Best mouthfeel of any beer I've had 1-28-2010. Creamy and super light on your tongue, possibly creamer than cream, not oily or syrupy either. Perfectly carbonated, overall just a perfect mouthfeel.

D: I could drink this all night, though I may get a little bored after a couple due to a lack of any flavor pop.

O: The perfect pint of Guinness happens to be Bell's Special Double Cream Stout. Drink this one as fresh as possible as this one is already smooth and it's flavors are already on their way out.

 1,818 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decided to try this single while watching the NFL playoff's today.

12 ounce bottle, batch # 8733.

Pours an opaque, dark brown/black with a nice, creamy, sticky light mocha head with light lacing.

Smells of sweet, creamy lactose, caramel and coffee.

Semi-sweet lactose flavor mixed with a dry, heavily roasted coffee. Light vanilla notes picked up in the after taste. Big mouthfeel with higher carbonation. Medium-to-full body and flavor.

Finishes slighty dry and bitter. Nice example for a milk stout.

 506 characters

Photo of Vogie
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Sam Smith stout glass. Bottled 1/31/14.

Pour is dark with hints of brown when held to the light. 1 finger of java colored head gives way to some spotty lacing. Aromas of dark chocolate brownies, black coffee, roasted malts, maybe a hint of vanilla? Taste is creamy upfront followed by roasted dark chocolates, coffee beans, and a slight bitterness and earthy hop finish. As it warms it seems to get sweeter with hints of dark fruit. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium body, and slightly carbonated.

This beer was pretty "meh" for me. With thousands of stouts to choose from these days it might be easy to pass this one over.

 639 characters

Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black with dark brown head.

Aroma: Coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, and a slightly sweet smell like condensed milk. (Double Cream Stout is dairy free)

Taste & Mouthfeel: Straightforward stout here; roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate with a smooth mouthfeel, a bit of tingly carbonation, and a rich, dark chocolate bitterness on the finish. Texture is nice and smooth, but the carbonation seemed a bit high for the beer, as it distracted from the smooth texture and didn’t fit the dark flavors.

Final Word: A solid, drinkable, no frills stout. All of the flavors are very pleasant and balanced, but nothing here really surprises or innovates. This is the kind of stout you can rely on when you need something comfortable and drinkable, but will disappoint if you are looking for something to take you out of the ordinary. This is a double edged sword, as there is definitely something to be said for really nailing a rich stout, but it lacks that special something that could make it a favorite or make it stand out in your memory. Grab it when you want something very drinkable and smooth, or when you want to make a meal pairing, as its straightforward profile makes it perfect for that purpose!

 1,230 characters

Photo of marburg
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 826 characters

Photo of KevinBrewer
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Black with reddish brown edges when held up to the light. Tall rocky brown head that lasts forever, sticking heavily to the glass.

N- Not much of an aroma to be honest. A little roasted malt and grass, that's about it. Maybe a hint of chocolate.

T- Big, complex malt flavors up front. Lots of sweet creamy grain with a nice roasty husk. Not astringent at all. A touch of bitter chocolate and grassy hops compliment the sweetness. Nice dry roasty/grassy finish.

M- Surprisingly light-bodied. Very smooth and creamy, but more like milk than cream. Moderate carbonation.

D- Overall, a good light-bodied stout. Something I'd like to try on nitro.

 649 characters

Photo of Chiefbrutus
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a 12 oz bottle just about 2 months old.
A very Niice pour with a nice head at the top.
Very drinkable and not too heavy for a stout.
Good roasted flavor with a hint of chocolate.
Carbonation just right, it goes down very smooth and very
Pleasant on the palate.
Scary how think can easy become a session beer.

 313 characters

Photo of Kaiser81
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No idea where this bottle came from, but thanks to whomever sent it to me.

A - Pours the darkest brown a color can be without being black. A finger width of mocha head sits lightly on top of the beer leaving nice lacing on my glass.

S - Smells of roast, coffee, cream, decent amount of vanilla.

T - Tastes of roast, mild amounts of a non bitter espresso, some vanilla and cream, and maybe a slight astringent taste on the finish. There's a roastiness in the aftertaste as well. I may not have stored this one properly, so maybe that's why the astringent taste is coming. I have another bottle, and will revisit this score if I find a better taste.

M - Carbonation is a bit high. There is some prickliness on my tongue. Body is medium bodied.

D - Not bad. It's a lighter stout. Definitely different prominent tastes in this stout, not really what I go for.

 861 characters

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.97 out of 5 based on 3,777 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.