Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,435 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: 1,435 | Ratings: 3,752
Photo of glass_house
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very solid, easy-drinking stout. Body is just dense enough to give it a slightly creamy feel. The balance of lightly roasted dark malts, semisweet chocolate and faint black coffee make it a smooth, satisfying stout with just enough depth to keep it interesting.

 261 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Poured into a Nonic pint glass. Very dark brown. Lots of small bubbles rising when held up to the light and more brown than ruby. One finger of tan head that lasts a while and leaves a nice thick layer on top. Nice bit of lacing down the glass.
AROMA: A little floral, coffee, chocolate, Dark roasted quality but not burnt.
TASTE: Sweet and malt up front, turns into a roasted coffee-chocolate bitterness. Very balanced between sweet and bitter.
FEEL: Medium thin body, like a porter. A little sticky and then finishes dry. Mild carbonation. Not especially creamy on the feel.
OVERALL: Very tasty. In between Bell's porter and Kalamazoo stout. Nice flavors, a little thin maybe. Roasty, nice coffe and chocolate. Would buy again.

 743 characters

Photo of 88caprice
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

OVERALL: Very nice. A nice amount of sweetness that is more palatable than a milk stout, not too bitter.

LOOK: Pitch black, barely some dark brown noticeable at the edge. Pours thick, dense head.
SMELL: sweet, espresso and darkness, hint of vanilla.
TASTE: sweet espresso and chocolate, very roasty, slightly burnt, hint of iron, wood ash and musty finish. not very bitter.
FEEL: Crazy creamy mouthfeel.

 445 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 11/18/15. Pours hazy brownish-red with a below average sized khaki head. Smells of complex roasted malt, medium roast coffee, and some cocoa; below average intensity. The taste follows closely with lots of flavorful malt with some coffee, cocoa, earthy hops, and cream. Some mild bitterness in the finish. Below average carbonation and thinner body. Overall, it has a pretty complex taste, but in needs a better mouthfeel.

 447 characters

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

Had on-tap at Gigi's in State College, PA. Poured into a pint glass.

L: Pours dark... nearly black with thick tannish head that lasted awhile. Impressive lacing.

S: Vanilla and roasted malts... coffee and nutmeg.

T/F: This beer is made with 10 different malts... and it shows. Sweet roasted malts up front... coffee and just a hint of chocolate. Very smooth and creamy in mouthfeel. A little spice... cinnamon and nutmeg. Clean at the finish.

O: A very nice malty stout... could easily be confused with a milk stout, and that would have been my guess had it not come with the 'no dairy' disclaimer. Very drinkable, creamy, and for me falls into the 'dessert' category. A nice change of pace for sure.

 716 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 6.1% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark brown/red with a two finger tan head that dissipates fast; lots of lacing. Opaque.

Smell- Cocoa, toffee, a bit of caramel.

Taste- Grainy sweet malt with a healthy hit of chocolate. Smoky flavor follows. Minimal hints of expresso on the back end, retaining the chocolate and smoked tones. Slightly bitter, dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- Well balanced between flavors. Well rounded beer that was easy to drink. Very chocolate like and the smokiness paired well with it.

 586 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a pillowy toasted khaki colored head. A bit light in the color for a stout. Lovely lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of caramel and buttery toffee. Some mild roasted notes as well as some brown bread. A bit too buttery for my liking.

The taste has a lactose type flavor to it. Big caramel notes as well as that buttery note. Not has pronounced as in the aroma. Light roast and anise. Toasted to burnt bread. Some char and wet wood.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Light for a stout. Sweet and bitter notes on the palate. A tad sticky in the finish.

Its an ok stout, not something I would seek out again. Not a fan on the buttery notes and not enough stout characteristics.

 725 characters

Photo of psycHOPathy
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Oil black body with one finger oak head
Smells of coffee, cocoa, woodsmoke. A little metal and raisin
Tastes of chocolate, bitter malt, wood
Creamy medium-heavy feel with minimal carbonation
Not a very complex stout, but no big complaints

 238 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Clear 14.75-oz. porter/stout glass
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.69
Purchased: Jan. 13, 2016
Consumed: Jan. 16, 2016
Misc.: Packaged on Nov. 10, 2015

Really looking forward to this one. I like Bells and I like stouts. I think their six-packs are a bit overpriced out here, but I like the idea of just getting a chance to try it. Prediction is between a 3.90 and 4.00 range.

Poured a black color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy, tan head. Below average, spotty, wet lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled a pleasant whiff of chocolate, cocoa, chocolate malt, roasty malts, some coffee malts, Whoppers candy and chocolate milk. Very nice. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste followed the nose nicely, although not quite as good. Got fresh chocolate brownies, sugary chocolate malt, smoky fire, char wood, bitter roasted coffee malts, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, milky cream and Cinnabon. (Taste - 4.00)

Full body. Creamy-to-chewy texture. Average carbonation. Long finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Really liked this beer, especially for the style. Definitely some artificial stuff in there, but it works. Special Double Cream Stout is perfect for the name. (Overall - 4.00)

4.09 | 91 | A-

 1,267 characters

Photo of Marraybay
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Look: Black pour: +1 fingers of beige foam on top.

Smell: Cola-ish; Coffee

Taste: Searching for those layers of malty sweetness that are advertised, but just not
finding them: Instead, getting a roasty-smokey tartness that transitions into
a coffee bitterness that builds and lingers on the palate: (Yuck).

Feel: Fairly carbonated; reasonable full-creamy

Overall: Another that reads far better than it drinks. Nothing special here;
Just a dry-bitter coffee stout. Can't seem to line-up on anything from Bell.
Would not revisit or recommend.

 547 characters

Photo of ccg
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

 1,099 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fairly average looking stout. Smell steps up some. Has really nice coffee and slight chocolate notes. The flavor is really balanced and wonderful. Nicely crafted and balanced coffee and chocolate. Light in ABV yet chewy and robust in flavor. Not sure for a standard American stout why this one isn't rated higher. Its one of the best non-imperial / non barrel aged stouts out there IMO. Highly recommend.

 412 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice and creamy light brown head that dissipates quickly. The head isn't something usually talked about but it's very nice for this beer. The beer itself is a black, dark, and opaque color because it is a dark stout and dark things are normally hard, if not impossible, to see through.

The beer has a very nice smell and certainly is different from other stouts including the Kalamazoo stout. The smell has a nice dairy cream smell to it in addition to the smoother chocolate notes. There isn't much roasted malt (which is pretty light and hard to detect when it's cold) in this beer smell but that isn't a problem since the cream adds something else to it. The roast starts to come out a little bit when it warms but it isn't as strong as the other notes. In fact, it's a fairly balanced beer. There is also a very light and almost undetectable hop smell. Overall, the chocolate and cream smell mix very well.

The taste is just as good as the smell. The taste has a fairly strong sweet chocolate and cream flavor with a slight hop note underneath all of it and some roast. The roast and hop notes aren't very strong with the roast notes being slightly stronger because it balances the sweetness and cream taste a little bit. It's a nice and sweet stout.

The feel is just fantastic. It's still a heavy bodied beer but the feel is incredibly creamy, which makes it a little bit more lighter than you would expect. The carbonation is also very light to nonexistent so that it doesn't interrupt the creamy feel.

Overall, a very good stout for those cold winter months. It's definitely unique and different from traditional stouts but the cream notes make it worth getting. Go for it.

 1,703 characters

Photo of carlborch
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark, oily, rich, brown to mahogany brown, and forms a 1.75 inch tan, creamy head, which persists. The nose suggests chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, and cream. The body is medium full and enveloping; carbonation appears to be modest. Malty, chocolaty, coffee, and vanilla land gently and persists. Rich and unctuous. Nice Belgian lace! Very appealing. Definitely moreish. Makes me think of dessert, ice-cream sundaes and chocolate brownies. This is a perfect dessert or after-dinner drink, although it i a nice fire-side sipper as well. The ABV is not evident on the palate. Definitely worthy a repurchase!

 630 characters

Photo of Gajo74
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown nearly black with a slight hint of ruby towards the end. Tan creamy head and sticky lace.
Aroma has roasted malt, coffee and hops.
Sweet, creamy, roasted malts, tangy on the side, moderate low bittering hops and hops flavor in finish.
Incredibly smooth and creamy, medium bodied, lighter for a stout, very drinkable.

 336 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Brewery, Inc. - Bell's Special Double Cream Stout. 6.1% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a stout glass. Packaged on 11/04/15

Look: Pours and settles a viscous jet black, with a modest half finger head of mocha colored foam, that does not dissipate.

Smell: Roast coffee notes, accompanied by dark malts, vanilla, caramel, and some sweet cream.

Feel: Medium bodied, and creamy, along with some moderate carbonation.

Taste: Bitter roast coffee, and dark malts up front. Some sweet vanilla and cream appearing on the middle to the back end, leaving a sweet aftertaste to balance out the bitterness of the coffee.

Overall: A rich and creamy stout, with qualities of a Milk Stout, combining bitter coffee with sweet vanilla and cream. Very nice.

 747 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 4.5 - nice dark brown beer with a tan head that sticks and leaves great lacing
S 3.75 - oats, chocolate, roasted malts
T 4 - oats, chocolate, roasted malts, burnt flavors, little bit of smoke, minimal coffee
M 4 - okay medium to heavy mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is roasted malt, oats
O 4 - good stout, would not buy again individually as a six pack it's just not substantial enough for me

 398 characters

Photo of do_ob
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a pint glass. Medium brown pour, slightly watery in appearance. Dark brown in the glass with very little clarity when held to light. Lots of carbonation bubbles, but only produced about 1/2 a finger of head - tan in color, and fairly dense. Strong notes of vanilla on the nose coupled with roasted coffee, malt, milk chocolate, and lactose. Despite the thin appearance, this beer is actually quite dense for the style. It's almost got an oatmeal stout quality in terms of smoothness and weight. Not an overpowering taste, but I get notes of roasted coffee, caramel malt, vanilla extract, sweet cream, and a lot of sweet chocolate on the back end and aftertaste. Seems a little over-carbonated to me, but it's not bad. Very sweet, milky aftertaste, which is the best part in my opinion.

Overall, not bad at all for the style. If you like beers with a lot of vanilla and lactose, this one should sit right with you. Glad I got to try it.

 948 characters

Photo of dpgoblejr
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown color, minimal whitish head, and not much lacing. Aroma of some cream, chocolate, and roast does come through the smell but seems rather subdued. Taste consists of cocoa, smoke, roast, and coffee. Easy drinking and an overall good cream stout.

 263 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with decent caramel head, not much lacing head dissipates not much left.
Smell coffee oak notes little cream and chocolate you can smell the roasted malts
Taste i drank this around 49 degrees good creamy taste some chocolate and malt flavors maybe a slight coffee flavor
Feel is very smooth and thick goes down very easy and coats the lounge
Overall a great stout I would have again.

 399 characters

Photo of Barnoloid
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A smooth creamy stout which benefits from the mouthfeel but doesn't necessarily have as much in terms of the taste profile as other, higher ABV offerings from Bells. Easy drinking, drip coffee and milky notes. Decent enough.

 224 characters

Photo of Patric65
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have to admit up front that I went to the store planning on buying a six pack of Expedition Stout. They were temportarily out, which allowed me to sample this one.

Bottled 11/18/15, served cold in a pint glass. Excellent head and lacing. Excellent color, deep rich brown.

Sweet aroma, hinting of chocolate and figs.

Nice stout flavor with a slightly sweet start followed by a slightly bitter finish. It actually has a tangy mouth feel which is most notable on finish. This is a well balanced beer with a very light feel to it. As noted by others, a stout you can drink more than one of at a time and enjoy. I found this beer to be very enjoyable. Will definitely buy it again, a very nice low gravity alternative to Expedition.

 740 characters

Photo of classixIII
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice dark color with slight tan foam. The cocoa and coffee aromas are prevalent but not overwhelming. This carries through on taste where the malts show up to enhance the overall flavor. This stuff is amazingly smooth and creamy! I want to try this with a big bowel of French Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum!!

 300 characters

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/04/15: Pours black looking with the beer looking reddish at the edges where light hits the glass, leading up to a massive thick 2-3 finger tan colored head that was full of small bubbles and dissipated very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing coating the sides and foamy rings as it went down. The head was so thick I ran my finger through it before it went down.

Smells of bakers chocolate, grains, toasted grains, oats and all things earthy and barley-like. There are herbal or floral notes, charred accents, cocoa powder and piney hops mixed in, but as it warms it becomes more cocoa and coffee grinds. Nice basic stout nose that has hints of chocolate sneaking through.

Tastes of coffee grinds, toffee or molasses, burnt grains, chocolate milk and charred wood or s'mores up front, with secondary flavors of metallic yeast, bitter burnt coffee, cocoa powder, baker's chocolate or a Hershey's Dark chocolate bar, peat moss, oats, light piney hops and more very smoked malts. Oh it's malty, but there are enough herbal hoppy and mild fruity notes to add balance. The finish is bitter and milky with a graham cracker or cookie sweetness jumping in the mix while remaining malt dominant with a lot of char.

Mouthfeel is really creamy, smooth and thin like chocolate milk. It has the milk stout characteristics as it slides down with almost no carbonation, a medium to thick weight, and a nice bitterness that allows the malts to bring out a variety of toasted, chocolate, coffee and earthy notes in the finish.

Overall it was very smooth and easy to drink, completely hiding the 6.1% ABV. The bottle says it was made with 10 different malts, which certainly added to it's complexity. I'd definitely have this again.

 1,734 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark black in the glass with a thick foamy tan head that left nice spotty lacing. The smell is mainly roasty malt sweetness with notes of cocoa, coffee and vanilla. The taste is amazing cocoa and chocolate with a super creamy mouthfeel. I swear I am reminded of pancakes when I drink this for some reason. Another great beer from Bell's.

 337 characters

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,752 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!