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: 3,754
Photo of Avagadro
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Extremely dark with a chocolate colored head. This beer definitely looks drinkable

S: Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and coffee are very present and very pleasing.

T: All of the previous flavors present, but they unfold one by one on your palette. It is sweeter than most stouts, but what do you expect from milk stout. To me it is the paragon of this style.

M: So thick you almost need to chew it. Mouthfeel is definitely one of the highlights of this brew.

D: One of the many great brews from Bell's. Absolutely worth trying. Whenever I'm in Michigan I make sure to pick up atleast one bottle of this.

 622 characters

Photo of Braudog
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Taphouse on Queensway in Hampton. This is solidly black with a thin tan head. The aroma is whiskey-laced and smoky; the beer has a big stick-to-your-ribs consistency. As I drink I get more bourbon character, dark cherry fruit. Don’t get the "cream" with this one, but this is an excellent stout. I had a couple. (#2743, 3/10/2007)

 341 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on tap in Denver (its a secret tap).
Poured black and slick looking.Medium brown head billowed up nicely and stayed around, some chunks.
Coffee and chocolate, hint of sour milk and dried hops in the nose.
Mix of coffee and chocolate, sweet in the middle and finished dry, nutty aftertaste. The sourness of the aroma is still there, but blends in well with the other flavors. A bit creamy, makes drinking it a bit easy.

 433 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Complimentary bottle from West Lakeview Liquors, saved from their Bell's tasting.

Pours an inky black into a snifter, nice chocolaty foam rises and settles on the inside of the glass.

Slight lactic aroma, mild roasty malt. After the first taste, the huge flavor blasts the aromas into submission. Mouthfeel is velvety, big roasty milk chocolate coats the palate. Very tasty, bigger than the Kalamazooo Stout, but not as monstrous or rich as the Expedition. Creamy overall feel, exceptional balance and drinkability.

Come back to IL, please!!

 552 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The first time I ever had this brew, I don't remember
being that impressed with it. Since then, I've quit
smoking and there's been a definite shift in my
palate. Or my perception of my palate. Whatever.

Anyway, somebody recommended I take another
look at this brew and I'm glad I did!

My bottle of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, according to
the code on the label, was put up on December 16, 2004. It's
only two years and two months old, and it's about to die...

Poured out it has a nice thick chocolate colored head over a
black brew. Carbonation is pretty active, and the nose is dark
malt and dark fruit. The flavor is very smooth- chocolate with a
bit of hazelnut and coffee with the tiniest bit of bitterness in the
finish. Mouthfeel is also smooth, round and surprisingly clean for
such a thick brew. Also surprising for a stout, there is no real
aftertaste except a very slight echo of the nut flavor I noticed
sipping it. This brew is incredibly smooth and flavorful, which
you need to keep in mind since the alcohol by volume is about
6%- you do not need to be slamming it! Bells has a good, strong
stable of stouts, and their Double Cream reminds me why. Like a
lot of other boozy beers, this one can only improve over a couple
more years of cellaring. Too bad I don't have the space.

 1,328 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of JohnnyM2002.

Pours jet black with not much of a head.

This stout smells great. Lots of malty sweetness. Dark chocolate, sweet coffee, and roasted malts.

First thing I notice upon tasting this, is the big thick mouthfeel. This beer has a very full sweet dark roasted malt character. This is a bit sweet, has some toasty sugary quality, there is also some dark cocoa flavors as well. Interesting beer...

This is an enjoyable stout. A bit different than I expected. It's sweet, but not overdone. I liked this one, and would drink another.

 567 characters

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

Pours an opaque dark black with a dark tan head that fades slowly.

Smells rich and roast malt and coffee.

A medium heavy mouth feel with a nice amount of carbonation and complexity from hops.

The taste is semi-sweet and very creamy. Slightly dry finish with a bit of lingering coffee after taste. I'm not tasting the 7.5%.

I could go for another.

 358 characters

Photo of roughsax
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ CAH. Served in a small (12-14oz) tumbler.

A: Black/opaque. Big tan head, faded to a thin layer.

S: Cream, coffee, chocolate.

T: Sweet, creamy/frothy, chocolate milk, roasted finish.

M: Creamy (again), lighter, nice finish.

D: Very drinkable. Having a few would not be a problem, until sweetness overload and a full belly set in. Alcohol was not evident. A nice way to warm up with some creamy goodness.

 426 characters

Photo of Winter
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick and creamy tan head the rises to about 2 fingers. Aroma consists of coffee, cream, roasted barley, malt, cocoa and sweet chocolate. The mouthfeel full-bodied and thick, with pleasant carbonation along the sides of the tongue. Malty and roasted barley upfront. Layers of chocolate and coffee follow. A mild hop dryness emerges in the middle. Some of that 7.5% alcohol can be detected in the finish.

Awesome double cream stout. Smooth and full-bodied. Rich with malty goodness. Nicely done and one of Bell's best!

 539 characters

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Batch 7733, poured into an oversized wine glass.
I was going to go with a pint glass, but with this beer's ABV at the higher end of the range for the style, at the bottom of the range for a double stout, I figured why not.

Pours a dark brown-black with a nice finger and a half of cocoa colored head. Some decent retention and slight lacing.

Smell is roasty and woody, as well as a little sweet and a little chocolatey, not a huge aroma.

Tastes of roasty malt along with a sweet creaminess, I don't get a lot of coffee flavor like others report, its almost more like a dark, bittersweet, chocolate milk. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is creamy, though to be honest, it seems a little light bodied.

Drinkability is good, the flavor on this isn't overwhelming to the senses, its an easy beer to drink. I'm not sure but I think the sweetness would start to get to me after a couple of these.

 912 characters

Photo of iowaero
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Wonderfull dark black with light coffee colored head.

S: Slight coffee and some roasted malt and chocolate smell.

T: Wonderfull taste - not too sweet but a great balance of bitter chocolate and sweet malts and slight coffee. None of the above overpowering - just a nice balance of them all

M: Very creamy wonderful mouthfeel. Finishes a little lighter than it starts.

D: A great beer for a cold winter night. I could drink far more of this beer than I honestly need. Probably one of the best stouts that I have ever had.

 535 characters

Photo of OStrungT
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours an inky black color, with a very tiny brown head. The head fades almost immediately, leaving a slight lacing.

This beer has a nice roasted malt aroma. I smell some caramel sweetness. It has a very subtle coffee aroma. The aroma is slightly booring.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Roasted malts and caramel sweetness are the main flavors. A very slight coffee flavor is present as well.

This beer is rather thin, with a sweet malty aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

This beer would probably be a good session beer, because it is not very aggressive. The alcohol content might be a problem after a while, but for the most part, this would be a good session beer.

Overall: Thanks HimerMan for this beer. Although it is not the best beer I have had from Bell's, it was pretty good. I would and will drink it again.

 850 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle
$10.99 6-Pack
Liquor Stop
Bottled 12/20/2006

Double Cream Stout poured glossy black with very minor black coffee colored edges when held to the light. A two finger drown head was produced on the pour. After some waiting and this typing it fell to a half-finger creaminess. Looks good.

Smell is strong of bitter coffee grounds. Swirls of cream are mixed in with the black coffee. Heavily roasted malts combine with the coffee notes to for a robust smelling stout.

The flavor is actually quite a bit different than I imagined from the smell. Big roasty flavors that show up in the front and again in the finish. A milky creamines comes through in the middle along with mild coffee ground bitterness that gets stronger until it meets with the roasted malts.

I really enjoy the mouthfeel on this beer. It's medium bodied but creamy like a heavier bodied beer. Somehow on the finish there's even a little frothiness. Very nice.

Drinkability is good for a bigger stout. I can drink a couple of these in the winter time but I have to be in the right mood. I have to be in the right mood for a lot of stouts though. When I enjoy them I really enjoy them. This one is very nice.

A good solid stout overall. I thought there would be more milk chocolatiness but I was clearly wrong about that. Very nice beer to have handy on a cold night like tonight.


 1,388 characters

Photo of gmfessen
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer looks a dark brown-amber color on the pour but in the glass it looks black. The beer is accompanied by a dense creme-brown head that leaves large gobs of lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet with chocolate, slightly of coffee and very slightly of alcohol. Taste is similar to the nose but well balanced, very smooth and has a dry finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy carbonation. This beer is pretty drinkable, I don't think I could drink a lot of these in one sitting but it would be good as a night cap.

 561 characters

Photo of jhicks12
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a good overall stout, the appearance was good, nice dark brown blackish color with a tan/white head. Had a nice sweet roasted smell with a slight hint in alcohol in the nose. I feel it had a nice taste overall, you can taste the sweetness from the cream and also the roasted coffee and chocalate, which a slight bitter coffee at the end. Mouth feel and drinkablility are good...maybe just a little too sweet but i would still bang a few back!!!

 453 characters

Photo of KingG
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recieved in a trade about 6 months ago.
12oz glass bottle
Sampled at cellar temperature
Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is above-average. Black as night. Mocha head develops but quickly fades away leaving only the abyss of dark liquid.

Smell is above-average. Roasted malts and a mild sweet aroma.

Taste is good. Not a huge flavor by any means but the roasted malts are well done in this brew. After-taste is creamy and mouth-watering.

Mouthfeel is above-average. Quite thin in the mouth, was hoping for more. Silky/creamy texture. Carbonation is low.

Drinkability is good. Very easy to drink. Goes down almost too easy. I wouldn't want more than 2 of these in one sitting. The reason? Light, easy-drinking stouts just aren't my thing for a "session beer".

Overall: Nothing spectacular but a good offering from Bell's.

 844 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served into a nonic glass, from a 12oz. brown bottle long neck with crimped-on cap.

Opaque,black slight ruby red hue when held to light, 2" thick tan head, pillowy with good retention,lacing around the glass.

A solid moderate nose,very roasty,carmelly/toffee hints of vanallia,smokey and woody,a very enticing aroma.

Tastes very roasty,like coffee.toffee/carmell a great malty profile. woody,with hints of vanallia. A smooth,clean semi-sweet and bitter finish with a very pleasing quality.

A very creamy mouthfeel,feels light on the palate, a wee bit chewy,smooth throughout,very enjoyable and tasty and drinkable.
A very good stout,would love to drink this one again.
One of the best stouts i've had in a while.

 726 characters

Photo of beerphan
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
batch id #7733; according to the website, packaged on 11/21/06

Pours black with a thick tan head that settles quickly to creamy film and leaves pangea lace.

Nose: Roasted malts, some smoke, sweet malts

Taste: Sweet chocolate malt, molasses, and a burnt cocoa bitterness finish with some astrigency.

Mouthfeel is creamy, thick, and slick.

This would be an extremely drinkable beer, except for a slightly astrident aftertaste.

 473 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No Freshness date. Set of numbers at the bottom of the bottle on the label say 7733, whatever that means. Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Black beer with a creamy, mocha colored head. As the head dies down, it disperses across the top of the beer and leaves little pockets of bubbles that look like an atoll in the pacific somewhere (Bell's Island maybe?).Nice retention and some sporadic lacing as well.

Aroma is full of bittersweet chocolate and coffee grinds. Plenty of toasted malts as well as some nice breadiness. Chocolate fudge brownies and an espresso would be perfect with this.

Wonderful bittersweet chocolate flavor as well as some bitter coffee. Tons of toasted and burnt malts as well. Very chocolatey and very smooth.

A very nice stout. Doesnt really seem like a sweet or milk stout since there really isnt much sweetness; mostly bitter chocolate and burnt malts. Light to medium bodied. Could be a bit biggeer, but still is very nice. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. This is a wonderful drinking beer. A six pack could easily go down tonight.

 1,080 characters

Photo of klewis
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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 beermanbrian
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with a small brown creamy head that falls to a halo of creamy foam very quickly. Very little lacing. Smell and taste are chocolate malt with a nice roasted burnt malt background and a finishing bitterness. The bitterness gives it some real bite at the end but also serves to hide the high ABV. Another solid brew from Bell's as expected.

 358 characters

Photo of pbr85
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: amazing jet black with a frothy, coffee colored head. good lacing
s: dark chocolate, coffee, toasted barly
t: first impression: pretty amazing. no overwhelming flavors, coffee chocolate, delicious
m: perfect, slides down the throat, cream is certainly an appropriate title for the beer
d: one of the best beers i've ever had, go get some if you can

 356 characters

Photo of budsboy
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very deep reddish brown with a creamy thick splotchy tan head that fades surprisingly fast.

Very fragant beer. Has a sweet doughy, chocolate smell with hints of hops and alcohol.

A competition between very sweet and full-on roasted bitterness. Sweet wins by a nose, but in the fight I get hints of fruit, black coffee, vanilla, roasted grains, juicy berries and a lingering dry sweet roastiness. Very nice.

Medium to full bodied, smooth going down but a bit gritty on the finish.

Easy to drink with a lot to offer in the way of aroma and flavor. This may be one of those like-it-or-hate-it beers, and I like it. But then, I like all of Bell's stouts.

 670 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is dark, very dark but also very red, like dried blood, Ah in a good way. The head is nice, 2 fingers tan , some lace on the glass. Good!

The smell is sweet pungent fruit.

The taste is better dark and roasty but not very burnt. Hint of honey and molasses.

The mouthfeel is good but not real thick. Less then full body. Good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good. This stout is quite drinkable. I will buy more for sure. Prosit, MK

 503 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured beer into a tumble at 50 degrees. Noticed head not lasting long and what was there was very thin. Smell was burnt grain coffe like. Tast was pleasant and dark roasted coffee with peat taste intervening at the end. I thought it was a nice stout and yes it was creamy tasting even without the head.

 303 characters

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,754 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

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