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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
BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
3,853 Ratings
Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#4,620
Reviews:
1,459
Ratings:
3,853
pDev:
10.61%
Bros Score:
3.66
 
 
Wants:
234
Gots:
514
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,853 |  Reviews: 1,459
Photo of Ego
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10151
packaged on January 25th, 2011.
thankfully I have an account in the Poconos that carries bell stuff.. and I do load up, better drink this before it goes bad!

eyes...
even on a soft pour the head comes running and gunning like an avalanche, or more like a volcano I suppose... anyway I got lucky and it stopped short of overflow, it did rise to a full 3 fingers before calming down, lacing is wonderful, a nice sheet of even microbubbles, this isn't exactly black but light is sure as hell not getting through, about half a head of foam decides to stick around while I write my trite little tome about this brew....

nose...
oh man... the nose is goddamn deliciousness wrapped in bacon shoved inside jessica alba (with her permission, I mean cmon...). pillowy coffee, the scent of cream as it hits said coffee, the aroma of sugar being stirred into said coffee, the kleenex I need now to clean up aisle ego... a burnty turnty roast with a waft of maple finish... ever have real vermont maple syrup in your morning coffee ? this is it... and damn this is good... as a coffee head this really reminds me of my fave cup, gorilla coffee in brooklyn with a shot of maple syrup... this is divine to me that this beer achieves such subtle but yet full aroma.

taste etc...
all the flavors suggested in the aroma are there but not as perfect. This drinks really smooth but has more of a slightly bitter dark chocolate finish than what I was expecting from the nose. The body is perfect, creamy to the bone and almost slammable. the nice burnt flavor does come through in the aftertaste as you sip downward into the spiral.

verdict?
really tasty, great beer, bell's scores again... damn I should have tried this months ago ! This should be a hit for coffee lovers.

music:
BOA - race of a thousand camels

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Photo of eclipse54
3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you! Bottled in January 2011, and poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with less than a centimeter of beige head. There’s some nice strands of bubbles that sift through the surface of the liquid, but there is little-to-no retention of the head itself. Tiny, scattered patches of bubbles remain as lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee grounds, caramel, and toasted/burned sugar. Some dark fruits come together in the rear. The taste is of dark fruit, molasses, a touch of milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a hoard of cane sugar. The sugar carries over into the mouth, where is leaves a very sticky, resinous finish to the seemingly thinner beer. Overall, a decent stout, but it seems to have an overpowering sugar sensation that is not quite balanced with the rest of the flavors.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Deschutes stem from a 12 ounce bottle.

A: Pours nearly black with a light tan head that quickly settles to a thin lace on the surface. Lacing runs slowly down the side of the glass, but leaves little in its tracks.

S: Mainly roasty notes on the nose, with some coffee and chocolate notes.

T: Much more going on than the aroma. Toast and espresso, along with a sweet note of cream and some toffee. Dark fruit lingers in the background, and the finish is rather dry and bitter.

Notes: This is one of my favorite stouts Bell's has to offer. Full-bodied, and rich in flavor, yet very well-balanced. It has superb drinkability, and pulls off a style of beer that normally calls for other ingredients to give it the flavor and mouthfeel it has.

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Photo of gdrydenc
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with highlights of auburn/red. There wasn't a ton of head in the pour, but what was there was creamy for a bottle pour.

S - Smells of dark malts. There is definitely the complexity that Bell's describes in this beer for the malts. There's more than just hte

T - Until I read Bell's description of this beer, I would have thought that it was a true lacto stout. The beer has the milky character of a cream stout, without the sickening sweetness that typically follows.

M - Creaminess is the main factor in the mouthfeel. The beer fills the mouth without being over-carbonated. I appreciate the mouthfeel of this beer, as it feels like a good milk stout, without actually being a milk stout.

Overall, this is a cool beer. Much like a chocolate stout that uses no chocolate, I like that this beer can achieve the aspects of a milk stout without anything added in. A great sitting beer and one that gets better as it warms.

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Photo of robboyd
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a gold rimmed tulip, the appearance is black with a slight almond colored head. It looks good and somewhat intimidating, like it's going to punch you in the face.

The smell was so-so. I get coffee, some bitter cocoa, just a little roasted note, and booze. There's a higher pitched scent in there as well that I can't put my finger on but is a nice hint.

The taste is great. I love this beer. It's malty and toasty. I'm really feeling some coffee with this beer, far more pronounced than the nose. Slight hints of chocolate and a really wonderful bitterness throughout.

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Photo of Franz4
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 9/22/11

A- pours a nice dark brown, nearly black. Light brown head that settles quickly.

S- Lots of roast comes through, some slight straw scent in the background

T- roasted malts come through, with a slight cream flavor

M- feel seems to match the beer perfectly, it's not too thick, not to thin, carbonation is right.

O- Another solid offering from Bell's. A nice stout that hasn't been imperialized, just a nice brew. Very drinkable, a good stout to intro someone to the style.

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

Appearance is dark, very dark. Poured from a bottle there's almost no head, and later a thin rapidly sinking lacing. Smells of vanilla, nutmeg, raisin, molasses, fruit, red licorice, black licorice. Taste is bold with spicy raisin and coffee up front. Quickly gives a blast of cocoa and roasted malt. The licorice notes aren't far behind. Extremely creamy mouthfeel, very light prickly carbonation. A bit too syrupy and sugary for me, but I suppose that's the idea of a double cream stout. Still, I wish there was something to counterbalance the sweetness and gummy residue. Taste is complex and very interesting. For fans of the style this is not to be missed.

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Photo of abraxel
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark mahogany topped with about a finger of dense foam. This is a good looking stout.

S - A fair amount of coffee roastiness and some bittersweet cocoa. Not bad, but could be better.

T - Similar coffee and bittersweet cocoa as was on the nose, but now it's backed up by a good amount of slightly fruity dark malt. The flavors don't work together as well as they could, but I'm being picky. This is a good stout, but not great.

M - The mouthfeel is quite good, though. Super creamy and smooth, with the tiniest prickle of carbonation. The name is quite apt.

Overall, I've never been truly disappointed by Bell's, and this is no exception. It's a very good beer, though not a great beer.

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Photo of langm12
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Thick black pour creates a nice finger of coffee colored head. Great lacing.

S - Coffee and Chocolate

T - Sweet cream and chocolate followed by roasted grains and coffee. A touch of hop bitterness and alcohol on the back end adds a subtle spiciness.

M - Heavy and creamy. This one stays on the tongue.

O - Not a bad cream stout, but not in elite territory.

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Photo of bluHatter
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick, creamy, milky. Deep cobalt black with a modest brown bit of head.

S: Smells like freshly crushed coffee beans. None of that muddled coffee-like smell... this smells just exactly like fresh beans. Very nice and crisp. Wow.

T: Like a nice espresso - without the caffeine. Surprisingly the flavors are not overwhelming like one might expect from the thick creamy pour. I'm impressed. This is very well balanced.

M: Thick and rich and smooth... like cream, or Bailey's ... in fact, this would go really good with a shot of Bailey's. A Bell's Car Bomb, anyone?

O: Impressive stout, to say the least. They just one-upped a whole lot of stouts in the world.

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Photo of Sweetmambyjamby
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A pretty brown black color. A khaki mocha head about one finger, but it goes away quickly. Lacing though is in the glass.

S- Smells like espresso, chocolate, barley, and hops.

T- Very complex taste. There is a depth of malt flavor here that you wouldn't come to expect from a stout. The barley flavor is there, dark chocolate flavors. Crystal malt sweetness. Super deep flavor profile. There is of course a slight coffee flavor, it's not as strong as one would think based off of smell alone.

M- Creamy and oily thick.

O-It's good. I'd drink this many times again.

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Photo of Bmuncy
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark, nearly black with slightly reddish/brownish hue. Ruby red on the very edges of the glass. Poured into a half finger mocha head, resembling that of a chocolate milkshake. Definitely looks as creamy as the name suggests. Unfortunately, the small head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing on the glass but it doesn't stick around for too long, either.

Smell: Nothing too surprising in here. Coffee, lots of malt and a touch of sweetness that I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps milk chocolate, as opposed to the often found dark chocolates. As it warms, a little more of the sweetness comes out.

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee, sweetness. The sweetness comes out a bit more as the beer warms, just as in the nose. Very pleasant, though nothing new ventured in the taste department. Overall, quite solid.

Mouthfeel: It's a medium-full body that's velvety smooth and creamy. Not much in the way of carbonation, but cream stouts SHOULD be smooth and creamy. High marks, in this regard.

Overall: Very tasty and appealing brew. Mouthfeel and taste slightly outshine the other qualities. It's somewhat standard but also of tremendous quality. I'm definitely a fan of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout.

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Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter, dated 9/6/11.

A - Inviting. Opaque but not oily black. Thin head of mocha bubbles which ends up rimming it. No noticeable residue on the glass.

S - Very good. Light roasted coffee. Fair amount of bitter to bittersweet chocolate. A bit of dark cherries? No booze to speak of. It's fairly understated, though - doesn't leap out and punch you in the nose.

T - Tastiness. Very smooth - smooth as cream but without any lactose. Leads with a light chocolate and hint of coffee, primarily roasty toasty malts. Not getting the fruit/cherry as much as in the smell. Starts fairly sweet and evolves into a lingering roasted coffee that lasts for a while. Blurs the line between a sipper and a quaffer.

M - Quality. Appropriate carb level - in the background. Don't notice the carb unless trying to. A bit on the thicker side but nothing like a Ten Fidy etc. Good for this beer.

Overall, a very good beer. One of my favorites in the fall/winter. Low enough in abv to drink several, but tasty. This isn't a study in subtle layers of flavor, but a study of how to make a very tasty non-imperial stout. Another great Bells fall/winter offering...like all of them.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.
Bottle code says "100800", but the Bell's Batch Finder appears to be defunct, so unable to decipher the code.

Aroma: Vanilla, chocolate milkshake, cocoa, roasted malt, and a light mineral note.

Appearance: 1 finger of light tan head slowly dissipates to a thin layer. Body is dark espresso brown/black. A sheet of fine tan bubble washes over the inside of the glass as I swirl the beer around the glass.

Flavor: Sweet coffee up front, excellent balance between the dark malty sweetness and the underlying bitterness. Malted milk balls through the middle. Mild, non-bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. A tad bit thinner than, though, than I ideally prefer for this style. Carbonation is medium-low, but a surprising bite appears from time to time.

Overall: Smooth, malty, sessionable goodness. Definitely recommend this one. No real flaws. It lives up to be the type of solid milk stout that one would expect from Bell's.

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Photo of abeerlovr
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass at a local pub. As usual the stout was served well below optimal temperature so I drank slowly to see how the taste developed as the beer warmed.

A: typical dark, pitch black stout color with a minimal head that dissipated quickly.

S: smelled some cocoa, malts, raisins and a hit of hops

T: more hop bitterness that I would have thought this beer would have, some cocoa flavor, java notes and has the beer warmed more of the java flavor came forward. Not creamy as the name would suggest.

M: nicely carbonated, light feel on the tongue, I expected a thicker creamier beer but it was light similar to an Irish dry stout.

Overall: nice beer, I enjoyed it but it was not as creamy as I thought it would be, more of a dry stout in my opinion, but good.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a stange. No date.

Appearance - Big brtown head with medium-high retention. Black body.

Smell - Coffee. Chocolate. Soy sauce.

Taste - Strong coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately some more soy sauce. Creamer.

Mouthfeel - Creamy head. Medium bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Enjoyable. Some of the soy sauce charater dissipates over time and with each sip, which is great because it's a big flaw otherwise.4

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another highlight of the 2011 Brass Hat Brewing Brew Fest in Watertown, CT last weekend, this Bell's beauty shows an opaque brown-black with a thin but solid light brown head. Lacing follows suit and coats nicely. The aroma leads heavily with prominent coffee like a classic "milky" regular. Undercurrents of light chocolate and sweet seaweed round it out interestingly. The flavor really nails my remembrances of good old fashioned cream soda with plenty of vanilla and light coffee mixed in, along with a sweet dose of chocolate milk. A bit of a treat, perhaps on the dessert side of the beer world but not terribly so. Although it had a somewhat milky feel, I didn't find it perfectly creamy. It was actually a bit aqueous and a little thinner than I anticipated, medium-light bodied to my tastes, especially after a few imperial stouts! It was fairly drinkable for the style, especially if you have a fondness of soda-like brews and sweet treats. I liked it fine though i probably expected a little more guts from a Bell's brew.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a dark brown and lets no light through. Medium sized bubbles coalesce into a mocha, tan hued head and dissipate shortly thereafter.

S: Aroma is malty with caramel and chocolate bitterness along with hints of vanilla, a conventional stout with just a touch of decadence.

T/M: It quickly coats the mouth with a thicker than normal consistency and a medium amount of carbonation. Chocolate and roasted malts bring up the front with a fizzy bitterness and clean vanilla finish at the end.

It's not exactly a "double" in the imperial sense, like a double IPA is a double, nor is it as sweet as a milk stout since it does not incorporate lactose, as the "cream" part of the name might imply, but the mouthfeel is really nice and the smooth texture make it worthwhile. A well balanced and worthy stout, even if it is misleading.

TheBeerAlmanac.com

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

Pours the blackest of black with a thin head that quickly recedes. Very coffee/chocolate forward nose. Taste heavily leans towards chocolate and burnt malt. A hint of vanilla and cherry in the background. The mouthfeel is the only real ding. I don't get the smooth and creamy here. It's much more on the astringent side of things, although I've had worse in that regard. Overall, it's a pretty decent stout. Not one I'd run around looking for, but I wouldn't shy away from it were it offered to me.

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Photo of rel
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hands: Bottle

Eyes: Pitch black with a very little tan head, no retention and decent lacing.

Nose: Lots of sweet malts, some roasted notes and vanilla.

Tongue: Little hops, lots of roasted malts, and a lingering sweetness accompanied by some coffee-like bitterness.

Mouth: Its quite creamy...maybe even double creamy. Appropriate carbonation.

Mind: A nice stout. Other than a slightly higher than normal creaminess out of a bottle, pretty standard, but well executed.

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Photo of agomega
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours an inky black with a large tan head. Good lacing.

Smell: Lots of roasted malts, some chocolate, and a slight hint of fruitiness.

Taste: Heavy roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. The finish is sweet and ever so slightly fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is a tasty stout, but it isn't quite as creamy as I was hoping. All things considered I am still happy to have five more in my fridge, but I was just expecting something slightly different.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, purchased at Jimmie Garant's in Alpena, MI. Bottled September 28, 2010 (Bells lists the shelf life as 12 months). The pour yields two fingers of mocha-colored head. The head is foamy and retention is moderate. The brew is dark cola colored with only the slightest bit of translucence.

The aroma is surprisingly boozy for a 6.1% ABV stout with nearly a year of age on it. Other aromas include: licorice, chocolate, coffee roasted malts and the faintest hint of tart cherries. It smells like a nice big stouty stout.

The flavor is a somewhat different story. Alcohol is indeed forward on the tongue but not in a hot way. How they pulled that off is beyond me. The bulk of the middle is watery. Finally, on the back end this stout shows some signs of life. Mild coffee blends into some nice roasted malts and cocoa. Trace amounts of cooked veggie flavors manifest. The pleasant earthy impression of oats lingers on the tongue and in the nose. There are some really positive things going on here, but the balance is way out of whack. My tongue is confused.

Bell's website claims that this brew was dubbed Special Double Cream due to its smooth, creamy texture. Though it does have a decent oatmeal stout texture, the title "Double Cream" is certainly a misnomer. The body is medium, as is the carbonation level. It's not bad, but it certainly doesn't stand out among other oatmeal stouts.

Overall, this stout has a lot of potential but it winds up being pretty middle of the road. Granted, this example is near the end of its shelf life. Perhaps I will revisit this beer when it is released fresh this year. As far as this example is concerned, there are better stouts for the price.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I give a Schlitz about this stout.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not much head at all but decent lacing. Very dark, opaque appearance. Aromas slightly muted; roasty and vaguely metallic. Excellent flavor. Roasty, complex, malty, balanced, just the right amount of bitterness. Medium long finish, lingering nicely without a bitter aftertaste. Not a hoppy stout, which I like. Good mouthfeel with creamy, tongue-coating quality. Not too thick. Another superb Bell's offering. The roasted malt dominates, with the standard chocolate and coffee notes well in the background for a change. Nicely malty but only slightly sweet.

I really liked this one!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger head. Black. Some lace.

S: mild roast. Touch of dark chocolate

T: sweet, mild roast start and very nice dark chocolate/cocoa finish. The cream is also evident.

M: moderate carbonation and full but not thick body.

Overall: bells doesn't disappoint. Drinkable, flavorful and complex taste.

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color with a fairly substantial beige head that recedes fairly quickly.

Aromas begin with roasted malts highlighted by slightly smokey, bittersweet dark chocolate, baker's cocoa and espresso. Nice so far.

The tastes begin with roasted malts highlighted by dark coffee and dark chocolate with a semi-soft sweetness. This beer leans toward the roasty end of the flavor spectrum but not as much as I expected which I enjoyed. Definitely a stout and thankfully stays away from that hazy overly roasted borderline porter flavor profile. It's nice and creamy, yet at the same time dry. Not getting too much lactic flavors although it's kind of creamy. Like a dark bean coffee with a tiny splash of milk; def not cream, if that makes sense.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Light roastiness in the finish that lingers ever so slightly leaving a nice dry crisp finish despite the fact that this is a full bodied stout. It's nice and creamy, yet at the same time dry.

Overall I enjoyed this beer much more so than I expected because I have been really displeased with the majority of Bells offerings that I have sampled to date. I had this following Dieu Du Ciel Aphrodisiaque and although it was no where as good, it held it's own in the flavor department. Not a beer I will turn away if offered and I would have it again. Glad I sampled it for sure.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,853 ratings
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