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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
3,868 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:
#4,683
Reviews:
1,460
Ratings:
3,868
pDev:
10.61%
Bros Score:
3.66
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
521
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,868 |  Reviews: 1,460
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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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.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to DarkMonk

A- Pours solid black with a thin 1 finger khaki head that doesn't stick around.

S- To say the least this beer smells absolutely amazing. Tons of molasses, toffee and smoke. Notes of coffee and dark chocolate come out in back end. Can really smell the complexity of all the different malts used.

T- Unlike the aroma the roasted burnt coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate come through up front with a nice sweetness in the background from the molasses, toffee, and smoke. So complex but yet so simple!

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

Overall for a regular stout this beer packs the punch of an imperial. Tons of complex flavors from all the different malts and so amazingly drinkable. Bell's hit a home run with this one.

SkÅL!

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

Appearance: An oak, dark brown color that seems to be inherent for a stout. The head is a little underwhelming, only about a finger or so of a tawny cap. And it’s not really that lacey. What is going on here?

Smell: It faults on the side of sweetness. A little bit of molasses here, some caramel and roasted malts there. The combo is very pleasant. Not much of a toasted or coffee flavor. It’s really all about the caramel malts and the sweetness.

Taste: The caramel malts come through first. A little bit of dark chocolate and then finally some ground coffee into the finish. I knew it had to be in here somewhere! Surprisingly enough, there is a little hop bitterness that was not evident in the nose, obviously here to contribute to the ever so slightly dry finish.

Mouth feel: It’s a very smooth drink. It is kind of chewy, but it is teetering near a medium body feel.

Overall: While it’s not that complex, and it certainly is dialed back a little from more other stouts on the market, it is extremely drinkable and has some good flavors kicking around in the bottle - another solid job by Bell’s. They had me scared there for a moment on this one.

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

A: Pours nearly black with just a hint of dark rust when held up to a light. Looks like...well...a stout! Thin head, no lacing.

S: Very sweet, maple candy aroma with a bit of toffee.

T: I was worried that this would be too sweet for my taste after smelling it, but it is a remarkably well-balanced beer with just a bit of hop character to balance out the sweet, roasted malts. Not super-strong or intense, but very drinkable. More of a dessert stout, but not cloying at all.

M: Homerun. Double-cream indeed! Thick foamy effervescence that when swished around leaves a wonderful long-lingering, slightly bitter "roasted" aftertaste.

O: Tasty. Stouts aren't my favorite style, but I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

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Photo of HumanParaquat
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter a deep, dark brown color with ruby and purple highlights on the edges when held under the light. Two fingers of tan foam that leaves good lacing.

A nice aroma of espresso and roasted malts. A bit oaky with some dark chocolate, cherry and vanilla notes.

Taste is lightly spicy up front, leading into suggestions of sweet molasses, prunes, chocolate malts and coffee. Some astringent flavors creep in as it rounds out with a long, dry finish. Tastes much boozier than the ABV.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but very creamy and smooth. Higher level of carbonation than expected.

Not outstanding, but overall a pretty solid stout with complexity.

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Photo of MBrausen
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from a 12oz bottle into a Town Hall sniffer.

A. The beer pours a pitch black. About 2mm of a tan head, that faded relatively quickly. Minimal to no lacing on the glass.

S. Smells of mild chocolate, toffee and smoke and light coffee.

T. Strong toffee/vanilla sweet taste. The sweetness never really fades from your mouth. Smooth, but almost a little bit bitter.

M. Full bodied, but a thin feeling on the tongue. It meets it claim, and is a creamy smooth tastes.

O. Overall it is a good beer. I wouldn't have a problem ordering this in a bar. However I wasn't blown away by the flavor. It seemed to be very one sided. The initial cream sweetness holds through, but not as many other flavors come out after. I feel like even with a year under it's belt, this beer might not round out.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to GCurlow for this one.

A: Completely black. One finger mocha colored head with pretty good retention. Some medium sized bubbles in the head. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Big roasted coffee/espresso aroma. A subtle smokiness. Very light chocolate and vanilla.

T: A creamy chocolate/vanilla sweetness upfront that never really fades. Nice roasted/smokey flavor throughout the rest of the mouth. Light coffee bitterness in the finish along with hints of vanilla.

M: Full bodied. Thick for being a Stout and not an Imperial. Very creamy. Subtle smokiness lingers in the after taste.

O: Great stout. Very reminiscent of Deschutes' Obsidian Stout. These beers could be brothers. Obsidian gets a slight edge in my book because of the bigger smokiness. Any East Coast lovers of this beer NEED to try Obsidian.

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

Pleasant rich dark ale. Quite nice roasted malt flavor. Caramel with a darker overtone. Distinct touch of cocoa. quite creamy in the mouth with a quick pour, but carbonation dissipates. Handsome dark reddish brown in the glass topped with a beige head. Good on drinkability. Only modest bitterness. Faint touch of sourness and a good dose of burnt malt along with the mellower flavors.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.

Dark beauty with a copper head. Just lovely. The coffee scent is incrediably lush tinged with malty sweet alcohol.

The initial rush of alcohol created coffee vanilla confusion to the point of distraction. Slight watery aftertaste reminded me this was not a British brew. Still a delicious pour & honorable stout from Michigan.
Grateful we have another three bottles to reevaluate this nice cream stout.

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Photo of lisomiso
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's beautiful, honestly, and it smells amazing just pouring from the bottle. A rich, espresso-like roastiness on the nose, though smokier on the palate. The mouthfeel is excellent, plush and silky. I think that's is the best part of this beer, though Walows thinks the taste is better. Dark, dark chocolate and not acidic in the least - and, you know, I agree with him. Well, ok, we'll split the difference. (And still, I can't get over this lovely mouthfeel; it feels GREAT on the palate.) This beer is seriously delicious and I want to keep drinking it but alas, my glass is empty.

Thanks, Urbancaver, for another great one, and thanks Walows for sharing it with me.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,868 ratings
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