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

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1,426 Reviews
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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:
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Reviews: 1,426 | Ratings: 3,724
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | 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.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my duvel tulip from a bottle.

A: pitch black with a huge three fingers of mocha hued head, great retention, thick webs of lace

S: super sweet vanilla with hints of coffee, chocolate and dark fruits, a touch of wet cardboard as it warms

T: bitter roast malt are what greet me out of the gate no where near what I was expecting after the nose, coffee and chocolate are modest with a light vanilla finish

M: medium body creamy body with light carbonation

D: Overall way more bitter than I had hoped. I had high hopes for this one, I need to stop having pre concieved notions about the beers I drink.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
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 libbekat
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am hosting a beer dinner this week, our theme this month is sweet, cream and Imperial stouts. I have imperial and sweet stouts covered, in desperate need of a cream stout. With spring upon us, even locating a seasonal is becoming more difficult.
I attended a beer and wine tent sale this weekend, low and behold I found the Bell's Double Cream stout. The store I purchased from allows you to buy from a six pack and taste in store before purchasing the full six pack. I didn't have a glass to pour in so I am really guessing on the appearance.
It tastes like a Cream soda! Very creamy but not chokingly creamy.There are strong hints of toffee. I coudn't pick out what exactly this one flavor was but it reminded me of apricots or some other dried fruit, maybe fig.
I didn't find it to be too sweet, something I was concerned with. In fact, I know it is supposed to go well with chocolate but I have a different idea. I am serving it with a flat bread pizza, with gorgonzola, pear and figs.

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Photo of mchegash
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.5/5
A very dark brown-red, cannot see through. A finger or so of dark-tan colored head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Chocolate and coffee are the predominant aromas, cannot detect much else.

Taste - 3.5/5
Some sweet earthy malt taste, the chocolate and coffee is still present, but very subtle (whereas they were very pronounced in the smell). The beer is slighty smoky, slightly roasty, slighty hoppy, slightly earthy, and a tiny bit chocolate/coffee. I would have liked for this stout to be more chocolatey, and less smoky/hoppy/earthy.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Very smooth and creamy, which is to be expected for this "double cream" stout. There is a light to moderate amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

Overall - 3.5/5
This was an okay beer. From it's label and name, I was expecting more of a chocolately kind of taste, or something in that realm. But this stout had a surprising strong earthy taste. It wasn't bad, just wasn't quite what I was looking for in this beer. Overall, an okay choice.

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Photo of jera1350
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Soid black color with a thick cap of creamy dark tan foam. Nice retention.

Lighter smell of sweet and roasty malt. Maybe a touch of latte, but not much.

Lightly roasted dark malt. Some chocolate notes, cream-like sweetness. A nice taste, but not real complex at all. I guess I would like a little more flavor to come out.

Creamy smooth as expected from the cask. Medium bodied, but feels a little light.

A nice stout, but a bit underwhelming. I know everything doesn't have to be big, but with special in the name, I was hoping there would be something of the sort. Still, a nice and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, and slight roasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, roasted malt, and cream on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall the flavor on this one was kind of watered-down in my opinion. The aroma on this one isn't overly great either, but decent. Just seemed to be lacking in intensity in both aspects. With that said however, it is worth trying at least once. I could imagine this being mixed with Expedition and being QUITE good. Mouthfeel on this one was kind of thin as well for my taste. While this helps the drinkability of the brew, it also hurts it overall.

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Photo of jbone78
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thought was expensive. We will see how good it is...

A- Poured nearly Black, little visibility. Nearly no head. light lace.
S- Normal nothing to get excited about.
T- very nice malt character. The label says there is ten different malts and they are blended well. Not a bad flavor! Being a cream stout, you can also taste the lactose in there.
M- Sweet, not overbearing, flavor and not too sugary.
D- I would not pay the price for this one again.


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Photo of pheurton
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

seriously black in color with slight ruby highlights when held to the light. creamy full tan head of foam that subsides for the most part, but still manages to stick around. aromas of roasted oats and a dariy-like sweet cream aroma. interesting. rich and full bodied, lightly carbonated. nice roasted barley in the beginning followed by a big dollop of sweetness. the sweetness is pronounced, but not cloying in any way. finishes with more of a long burnt flavor and just a touch of leafy flavor. i don't have much experience with sweet stouts, but this one seems pretty solid. one was enough for me, however, the sweetness did sort of get to me in the end. worth a shot for sure though.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Magic duels. Pleasant smooth brew, without nothing standing out but nothing bad either. On the mild side without being flat.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours opaque black, with a thin light brown head.

Nose is coffeeish, but smooth. Notes of baking chocolate, some roasty espresso. Light.

Flavor is licorice and coffee with a bit of cream, sweet but roasty finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, but light, with light but crisp carbonation.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with a fairly weak off-white head. Nose is roasted malt, light coffee, some very mild dried fruit. Very nice nose, which doesn't quite come through in the flavor. More straight forward roasted malt, with milder fruit and chocolate in there. Body is a little weak, possibly because it's a cask brew. Overall, this one didn't really do it for me like it did in the bottle. A little simple.

Church Key/$6/16 oz

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Photo of PDXHops
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a shaker pint. Oily black body with hints of brown highlights and a modest tan head that disappears in short order, leaving scattered sticky lacing.

I was interested to try this on tap after having a teeth-rottingly sweet bottle. Interest turns to confusion right away, as this smells like an entirely different beer. Rather strong roasted fresh coffee aroma with chocolate milk lingering underneath (compared to Snickers sweetness from the bottled version).

Upon first sip, confusion continues to reign. This is a much drier and roastier beer than the overwhelmingly sweet brew I had from the bottle. In fact, a hefty bitterness plus a burnt/dark roasted/tangy malt combo beat down the sweetness. Tastes pretty good, but somewhat lacking in the sweetness of a top-notch milk stout (unlike the bottled version, which was way too sweet even by the style's standards). Lingering burnt finish with the somewhat tart sweetness of chocolate chips. Lacking the residual sweetness typical of the stle.

Overall impression: Color me confused. The bottled version was crazy sweet, but the tap version is (for the style) not sweet enough. Either this beer is an entirely different animal on tap, or it was mistakenly served under this label, and was in fact a different beer altogether (maybe Kalamazoo?). It's somewhat of a puzzle rating this serving; it's certainly enjoyable, yet fails to fully satisfy the requirements of the style.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a generous mocha head over a black body. Head recedes leaving chunky lace gripping the glass. Aromas of faint roasted malt and is that a bit of lactose?… it is “double cream stout” but hard to say if that is what I’m smelling. The flavor is rather subdued. There is mild coffee character, a bit of roasted malt, a light sweetness and perhaps a very faint trace of vinous fruit as well. The hop bitterness is similarly mild. Very full-bodied, smooth in the mouth and lightly carbonated. The finish is fairly clean with very little residual flavor or dryness.

Not my favorite beer from Bell’s. This is a fairly bland stout that isn’t necessarily bad, it just isn’t very exciting. I expected much more sweetness, but I guess if I wanted that I should have grabed a K-zoo stout (oh, right that was all gone).

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a khaki head, about 3/4 inch. Rocky and glimmery with some nice lacing remaining.

Smells like what chocolate covered raisons taste like. Good. And doesn't seem entirely unhealthy. Also good.

Malted milk ball, with an underlying roasted flavor. Lactose sweet, but a nice bittering. Whether from the hops or the roasted barley, I haven't the foggiest, but it's well rounded. No hop flavor, per se, but balanced and tasty. The raisons from the nose are more plum-like in the flavor. On further examination, some bright citrusy hop flavor comes through, albeit modestly. Scant lacing remains in the glass.

Mouthfeel is solid. Full, robust, silky smooth.

Overall, a good beer. Maybe not the big brother to the K'zoo stout, but more like it's cool cousin. The one who would buy you your first beer, and it would be this one. Maybe. Still, good solid choice for a tasty beverage.

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Photo of JAA
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says 6.1% ABV. I don't know why they wouldn't just call this ''Bell's special cream stout''.

Pours very very black. Big two and a half finger head. The light brown head dissipates rather quickly leaving a thin layer on top of a black ocean of goodness.

OK, here's the one thing that turns me off about this beer: it smells terrible. The odor is of wet flour or some god awful white bread dough.

Moving on...

Tastes great. Big roasted coffee flavor with subtle chocolate malts in the background. Smooth taste. Nice to drink when it's still fairly cold.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice. The 6.1% alcohol is perfect for this brew, allowing you to fully enjoy the complex roasted and coffee malt flavors.

Now, if it only smelled better...

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Photo of trumick
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with very little head.
Scent is of sweet dark malts, coffee and slight alcohol.
Taste is like the smell, sweet roasted malts with a nice dry bitter coffee finish nice, however the sweetness does tend to stick around after the bitterness.
Mouthfeel has a nice velvety, lightly carbonated feel.
This is a bit too sweet for me to drink very many, maybe one or two.

I like this beer over all, but it is a bit sweet and the sweetness sticks with you for a while. That is the only thing that really turned me off about this beer. I like their Kzoo Stout better.

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Photo of cvm4
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pretty black with a tan two finger head.

S - Loads of roasted malts. May'be some faint coffee notes. Not much else going on here.

T - Nothing really discernible about this beer. It's definitely creamy as the roasted malts meld into the somewhat sweetness.

M - Not as thick as I expected but it's got heavy enough body.

O - It's pretty much an enjoyable easy drinker.

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Photo of ccg
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a little bit watery looking, but it looks pitch black in the glass. Initially it looks over-carbed, with almost three fingers of foam rising up. It leaves behind some nice lacing and a respectable layer of tiny bubbles.
The smell is.. almost metallic. I actually poured the rest of the bottle into a second glass in case the first class wasn't clean (even though it had just been washed). In the second glass, it still smelled metallic, but also a bit more nutty. I haven't tasted it yet, but I'm already wondering if I got a bad bottle.
Fortunately, the taste is not metallic at all, though it definitely has a nuttiness to it, almost like peanut butter. Sweet creaminess for sure, and a bit of roasted malt. No bitterness, but also none of the coffee or chocolate notes you often get in a stout.
For the mouthfeel, you could call it creamy, but I'd say it's light and airy. A little thin, maybe, but soft and rounded.
Overall, it would be a nice stout, but that smell is off-putting. I might pick up another bottle if I can find one from a different batch and see if that makes a difference.

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Photo of tfp4268
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a creamy, two finger head that leaves a fine lace after a few minutes.

Smell is sweet and malty.

Taste is also sweet and malty, not really robust, decent hops balance, alcohol comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel is great...thick and creamy.

Pretty drinkable, especially for a 7.5% ABV. I'd definitely do it again.

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Photo of Schooly
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Black and opaque. Thin ring of foam around the glass. Leaves some lacing behind as I swirl.

S: Burnt malts and caramel. A slight hint of milkiness. Not too strong or overpovering, but inviting.

T: A bit of metallic at first sip (maybe that's due to having a clear palate) leaving me with the taste of roasted coffee beans and malt. Finishes somewhat dry. As my mouth warms up to it, I can taste a bit of fruitness and alcohol in the background letting me know to watch out or this stuff could sneak up on me.

M: Not too thick, not too thin. More creaminess than the others I've tried (maybe it's the milk :-). Lets you know there's something behind this one.

D: I could put away a few of these without realizing it. But by then it'll be too late...

I Haven't had too many of this style. Seems to taste like most other stouts but a little creamier. I would revisit this one.

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Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8842

Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Pours a 1.5 finger tan head. that dissipates to a thin layer. It left some nice lace rings down the side of the glass. Color is a deep deep brown, pretty much black.

The aroma is very robust. It reminded me a lot of Bell's porter: very smokey and malty with hints of carmel. Taste is very smokey and roasty. The beer is very malty. It seems as if the chocolate taste is burnt in this beer.

Mouthfeel is a little more bitter than I expected, after a few seconds it gets creamy and ends with a pretty clean aftertaste. Seems decently carbonated.

Overall, this is a decent beer, however I would rather get a different product for the price. I enjoyed expedition a lot more and hopslam is such a bomb. This is one of bell's more expensive products and I just don't like it enjoy to want to purchase it again. All-in-all, a great beer, just not my favorite.

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Photo of RWLawman
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours the color of coffee, with a thick creamy head that narrows as you drink, but still retains a half-inch head for the majority of the experience.

S - Mostly chocolate, a little roasted malt, and a slight hint of alcohol.

T - Follows the nose, mostly. I taste a lot of chocolate, light roasted malts, and cream. Though the cream is present, I expected a little more for a drink titled, "Double Cream" I'm sure it's better on a nitro-tap.

M - Smooth and creamy, but there is some carbonation in there.

O - For an out of the bottle cream stout, I thought this was pretty good. On nitro-tap, I think this beer would be a knock out. I would have also liked a little more decisiveness in the flavor...either more chocolate, or more cream. Since it's a cream stout, more cream would be great.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another oily, rich, dark brown brew from Bells. Alomst black in color. Head was very fine, tan and short. Thinned rapidly to a miniscule layer of bubbles, with most congregating around the edge of the glass. Nose was very roasty and coffeeish, with little suggestions of any hops. Smooth on the tongue, and had a medium body, but was still hoping/expecting more here. Quite roasty and very dry. Has some creamy, choco notes with a subtle but pleasant sweetness. Floral hops, though in the background, round things out. Fairly good, overall.


overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of macktbone
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from Dirk at the great Filet and Vine in Montgomery Alabama...a must stop if your in the area!

Love me some Bells so I figured I'd try this Stout.

A- Deep black color with a very thin head that only lingers along the edges in a light brown ring.

S- Vanilla, moss, and a bit of wet dog.

T- Mint, bitter chocolate, leather.

M- great mouthfeel, which for those who know me is one of my favorite aspects of a beer.

D- Good daily if it weren't for the distance and the price...12.50 a sixer is way high for this beer.

I thought the "double cream" stout would be related to the flavor not the mouthfeel, unfortunately not the case. The flavor is interesting but not what I had hoped for, however, the mouthfeel is worth giving it shot.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.97 out of 5 based on 3,724 ratings.
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