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

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Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout
Very Good
3,872 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,872 |  Reviews: 1,460
Photo of jwal
4.08/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MonkeyStain
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FernMaster
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap, poured into a snifter.

When the server brought this to me there was easily two fingers worth of head on this beer. The head was a dark caramel color that stayed around for two minutes or so before subsiding. Then after the head subsided it left a prolific amount of lacing on the glass. For the pure aesthetics of appearance, this easily earned a five, just wow. It looks just like a stout should and the head was prevalent and pleasing to look at. The smell was faint, it was there but subtle. I was able to make out hints of vanilla and coffee notes. The taste was really something else. My first impression was that it was a bit watery, but as I continued to drink and as it continued to warm, Bell's Special Double Cream Stout became something truly wonderful. The cream was definitely present, but not overpowering, there was some roasted malts and I think I picked up hazelnut, not sure if that's in there but it had that impression on my tongue. The coffee notes and vanilla balanced so well together that it created a truly unique taste and mouthfeel, that I've at least never had before - it was like drinking a licorice yogurt. For real. The mouthfeel was thick enough and the balance of the ingredients created a yogurt like texture. This became more prevalent as it continued to warm, but I was enamored. I ordered another beer before I finished this one and I didn't want to stop drinking the Special Double Cream Stout! Pick this up, buy it on tap, whatever, just try this beer.

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Photo of dbossman
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a brown, small head that dissipates to a thin film

S: Sweet roasted malts; chocolate and vanilla with hints of bourbon sitting through the heavily malted quality; I can't put my finger on everything going on here though--it is a complex smelling beer and I can't wait to taste it

T: Not as complex as the aroma would indicate but the layers of malts are quite satisfying; subtle coffee and chocolate as well as vanilla permeate and this beer isn't as sweet as the aromas would let you believe

F: A bit thin and the beer quickly moves through the mouth with not as much sticking to the tongue ad I would like

D: A great start but the richness of the malts makes it difficult to drink this for too long. All in all, though, this is a nice offering from Bell's

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark walnut with a fairly large, creamy, frothy, sticky, light khaki head. Decent retention with a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - Plenty of roasted malt with a lot of coffee and vanilla aromas. Also a fair amount of bittersweet chocolate. Some creamy lactose aroma as well. Maybe a touch of licorice and cinnamon/nutmeg spice as well. Dominated by a nice coffee, vanilla, and cream aroma.

T - Similar to the nose with strong coffee, vanilla, and cream/lactose flavors being the strongest flavors. Some roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate comes out as well. A bit of an earthy flavor mid sip as well. Hints of spice in the background, but not a lot. A little bitter, especially for a sweet stout.

M - Medium body with a good level of carbonation. Pretty smooth, and a little thin.

D - Not too sweet for a Milk Stout and a nice balance. Enjoy the coffee, vanilla, cream mix, although it could be a bit much after maybe two in the night.

Notes: A nice Sweet Stout with a nice mix of flavors. Just a hint of bitterness keeps the sweetness in check. A little on the thin side, and I probably wouldn't want to drink a number of these in a night, but it was definitely a nice treat.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A: Pours a pretty black with a creamy white head.

S: Milk chocolate through and through, smells great!

T: Chocolate, heavy whipping cream and dark roasted malts.

D: Drinkable but not crisp by any means. It is heavy on the tongue and creamy.

Overall: A tasty beer. It is a tad overcarbonated, but the flavours are strong and rich. It doesn't hold a candle to Moloko Plus, but it is still an exceptional brew from Bell's.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark Brown/Black with quarter finger head, little lacing.

S: Coffee dominates, followed by chocolate, roasted malts, I think I get a bit of bourbon oak smell for some reason.

T: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Taste disappears rather quickly. Not sure why this beer is called double cream stout. I don't taste any milk chocolate... it's not much sweet either.

M: Medium body, with medium level of carbonation

O: Very solid. I would drink this often if it was available nearby.

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Photo of Swill5786
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured almost opaque black with one finger tan head. Nose of a good stout: malty, chocolatey, coffee. Taste is medium carbonation and sweet malt start, coffeelike bitterness at the back, bittersweet chocolate and smoke in the aftertaste. Leans toward the taste of an imperial stout. Medium heavy mouthfeel. Decent drinkability.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip

Pours a proper black (well, super-dark brown, but you know) with a beige head that wasn't any larger than one finger at its peak. Lacing happens, but is spotty. This is pretty basic looking though well-executed.

The nose on this milk stout is far more complex than other offerings of the style that I've had. Lightly roasted malts are up front, but they don't particularly swing one way or the other towards coffee or chocolate. Playing off of that skeleton are two distinct scents. The first is black licorice. The second is Amaretto. That sweet almond liquer scent develops further as the beer warms, becoming more buttery, more like a Werther's Original candy. Very nice.

The roast character on the tongue is like the nose in that it isn't really chocolate or coffee but very lightly is both. There is a dairy sweetness, as expected, that informs the malt and fattens up the flavors. That Amaretto thing carries over to the taste, too. Its almond on some quaffs, more of a hazelnut on others. Either way its good. I was concerned with diacetyl after smelling a buttery quality but I didn't taste any. The aftertaste is slightly bitter from roast but there's also an interesting woodsy note to it, as if you had placed a twig on your tongue.

Bell's Special Double Cream has a nice, medium body. A thicker body would have been my preference but what's here is good enough for carrying the flavors throughout the mouth. I may be scoring the drinkability a little bit higher than I should be, but I can't help but notice 1.) how frequently I keep coming back to take more sips of this beer and 2.) how I've never done that with any milk stout before, ever.

I came to this beer as a believer in the quality of Bell's varied and many stouts, but also after just having had a rare misstep from them in their Rye Stout (if average, competent beer can be called a "misstep"). Full disclosure: I have not previously been a fan of milk stouts. I've been thoroughly unimpressed with each milk/sweet/cream stout I've had before trying Bell's offering. Finally, I've found a beer of the style that manages to speak to me. This is good in every way and would be a fine accompaniment to dessert. Screw Southern Tier's candy stouts -- this is the sweet double stout to reach for. I now look forward to replicating the famed Special Double Cream/Expedition Stout blend at home.

*Special mention must be made about the label. Its stark image of a dark, skinny tree amidst a snowy white background looks like an Agalloch album cover.*

 2,556 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think this beer is really unique in terms of being pretty reserved, delicate, and easy drinking - but also providing layers of rich malty flavor. has some creamy milkyness to it, as well as sweet chocolate, hints of espresso, roasty malts, tobacco, leather, hints of dark fruit. mouthfeel is light/medium but maintains that nice creamy aspect that i enjoy in stouts. overall very impressive in its drinkability and flavor, nice job!!

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Photo of Jcarriglio
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of homebrew311
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brownish black, typical for stout, slight tan head forms

S: caramel, toffee, licorice, vanilla, chocolate, coffee... lots going on here, smells nice!

T: Pretty much just like the nose, a bit of a molasses character atop all of the chocolate and caramel flavors. Little to no hop character. This is all malts.. which is to be expected considering its use of 10 different malts. Very tasty and well balanced. It is sweet, but bitter chocolate and roasty characteristics give it a nice balance

MF: Thick, creamy, a little chewy, slightly viscous

D: This is very rich and complex or a cream stout. Definitely has more character than say Left Hand Milk Stout or FFF Moloko. There is a lot of caramel and toffee aspects which are quite nice. The drinkability is good, but takes a hit due to its intense richness.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours jet black, with a two-finger creamy head of brown foam. Head has excellent retention. Big patches of clumpy lacing.

S - Oh wow. Big, rich aroma of roasted oats, chocolate, and coffee. Smells divine.

T - Great tasting blend of barely burnt grains, espresso, vanilla, and bakers chocolate. Some earthy hops bring bitterness, but "roast" is the star here. More grainy and bitter than sweet. Flavors are rich, and it suprises me how much flavor is packed in here without rolling over into "burnt/charred" territory. A little metallic oxidation in the finish.

M - Medium-bodied with aggressive, prickly carbonation. Slight overcarbonation winds up highlighting some grainy elements where it could be more creamy, and is a minor flaw in an otherwise perfect presentation.

O - A really solid stout, and as close as you can get to a coffee stout with actually having coffee added. Big aromas and flavors in a (relatively) small abv package. Really enjoyed it, and will buy again.

 1,029 characters

Photo of loren01
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark black color, small head that dissipated very quickly, no lacing.
S: Smell is chocolatey, also slightly smokey
T: Same as smell, smokey with chocolatey flavors. Very flavorfull.
M: Creamy mouthfeel, thick and kind of syrupy. Goes down very easily
D: Awesome tasting, very smooth drinking beer.

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Photo of Swedgin_Wu
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Black with a decent sized tan/khaki head. Fairly nice to look at but nothing spectacular

S- faint smell, not overpowering. mostly pick up malts..hint of dark fruit

T- Burnt/Roasted Malt is prominent. Nice finish is laced with the dark fruit i mentioned. Some chocolate in the middle. there's a lot of going on with the taste. Very complex, i enjoy the transition on the tongue. Taste some toffee in there too. Little bit of bitterness there as well.

M- I disagree with some other reviewers that the mouthfeel is watery. The Left Hand Milk stout to me is more of a watery stout mouthfeel, but this is pretty smooth..not overly thick but not thin. Moderate carbonation. very drinkable

O- As of right now this is considered an "exceptional" beer. I think it's a good stout...not a session stout because of it's complex flavors, but probably something i'd buy again just to pick up on the different flavors.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Brewed with a blend of 10 malts, Double Cream is an incredibly rich stout composed of dark, sweet and smooth tones intermingled with a soft, toasty finish" - so sayth the bottle

Ahh, Bell's, so many good beers, here's to hoping this one is good as well.
Poured from a bottle (batch 9357) into my favorite tulip glass.

A: Dark brown almost black appearance with a thin tan head
S: Chocolate, sweetness, slight soft cofee notes
T: Bitterswet chocolate taste with a very smooth long finish with a slight bitterness. Chocolate coffee milk for grown ups!
M: Honestly, felt a little lighter in the mouth than expected. Would have liked a little heavier feel
D: Indeed

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
A - Pours a super dark reddish brown with a tan head that fall to a ring. Some nice lacing.
S - Roasted malts, maybe some coffee.
T - Bitter chocolate, Roasted malt and a bitter coffee aftertaste.
MF - Super smooth - like velvet going down. This is the type of mouthfeel that I long for and rarely find.
D - It is a touch too bitter for my taste but the mouthfeel is so wonderful that I find myself wanting another sip and another!

 477 characters

Photo of dtivp
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a very slight ruby highlite, half of a finger dark tan head that fades slowly into a ring with moderate lacing.

Aroma of chocolate, dark coffee and hints of sweet caramel.

Taste follows the nose with dark chocolate, black coffee, roasted malt and a slight caramel sweetness.

Mouth Feel is medium body with light carbonation, creamy smooth with a slight bitter after taste.

Overall a very a good stout, nice flavor and enjoyable.

 456 characters

Photo of Ben4881
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Thank you drxandy, another quality brew from M!CH!GAN.

This stout is as black as it gets, opaque and impenetrable to light. A decent tan head with good retention emerges and slowly fades to a ring of foam around the outside with a few snowflakes inside. Spotty lacing clings to the glass and the beer departs.

Roasty, toasty, sweet malty goodness comes in a rush to the nose. A very slight waft of espresso and a touch of marshmallow accompany a slight suggestion of alcohol. This brew has a nice, complex, and enjoyable aroma.

Sweet and sour alcohol flavors tickle the tip of the tongue on first contact. This poignant flavor is followed by a rich and creamy malt flavor. Next, is a transitional finish containing the flavors of delightful coffee bitterness with a touch of alcohol. The aftertaste is the transition completed. It is a little on the dry side with great subtle flavors of coffee and dark chocolate.

The mouthfeel can be described as nice and heavy, creamy and smooth. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation detectable, but it will foam up nicely with agitation.

Bitter aftertaste and hefty body keep this brew in the ranks of an admirable sipper.

 1,275 characters

Photo of saburky
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of abrand
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from bacth #9357 poured into the SN tumbler.

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a fairly thin tan head that sits that settles atop. You can smell the creamy milk characteristics of this beer. Very refreshing smell with some hints of roasted coffee beans. Taste is similar to the nose with some added taste of coffee and the milk/cream really dominate the quaff. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy while refreshing. Very solid milk stout. Alcohol is masked really well by the complexity and sweetness of the taste. Very sessionable in my opinion.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of martyl1000
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this not long ago, also in bottle form, and rated it much higher then (4.75). Not sure if it's what I've eaten recently, or the other beer I've already had toinght, and maybe my taste buds are just tired and receptors all used up. But this seemed disappointingly bland. Almost no aroma. Beautiful rocky tan head. And smooth in the mouth. But where'd it go?

After it warmed up, the aroma came out nicely. Too bad it was all gone by that point.

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Photo of ahking
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this nice stout into a pint. Looks good going in and tastes good going down. Obviously dark, not quite pure black, thick but not "motor oil" thick in the glass. Slight tan head that quickly retreats to the edge of the glass. Bit o' yeast in the bottom of the bottle that I gladly swirled around and emptied into the glass (gotta have my vitamin B for the day). Aroma better than good. Nice roasted malt aroma, a step back from being "burnt." Sweet smelling, milk chocolate, cakey. Flavor is pleasantly mild and slightly tangy. Rich, caramel, milk chocolate, roasty, slight hop tang in the finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth and full bodied.

 645 characters

Photo of cyber_phoenix
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,872 ratings
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