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

Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout
Liked This Beer
3.96 w/ 3,814 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,814 |  Reviews: 1,448
Photo of sweett3k
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yummy Yums! The Bro's say Bell's beer taste too oxidized...too bad they do not live 20 miles from the brewery cuz mine is as fresh as the morning dew. This stout has a Dark rich brownish-black with a gorgeous creamy head pour. Complex notes of malts. I like my stouts to be more robust and less chocolaty. This one delivers nice and sweets with a smooth finish. My new favorite stout. Thanks again Michigan for making me smile with great beer.

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Photo of jera1350
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Soid black color with a thick cap of creamy dark tan foam. Nice retention.

Lighter smell of sweet and roasty malt. Maybe a touch of latte, but not much.

Lightly roasted dark malt. Some chocolate notes, cream-like sweetness. A nice taste, but not real complex at all. I guess I would like a little more flavor to come out.

Creamy smooth as expected from the cask. Medium bodied, but feels a little light.

A nice stout, but a bit underwhelming. I know everything doesn't have to be big, but with special in the name, I was hoping there would be something of the sort. Still, a nice and very drinkable beer.

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

Thanks to AwYeh for sending this brew as a part of our mail/IP trade last week.

Pours jet black with complete opacity and a one finger brown-sugar head that is cake-like in appearance and texture. Dissipates quickly for how thick it looks, but leaves solid lacing in the glass and on the sides.

The smell reminds me of NesQuik or Milo when you make those in cold milk. Touch of coffee is balanced and welcome. A tiny bit of roasted aroma comes out as well between the chocolate and coffee. Pleasant, restrained nose.

Taste follows the smell pretty much exactly: rich milk chocolate to start, char in the middle, and coffee with cream to finish. I can understand why they would specifically say there is no dairy in this - it's very milkshake like and creamy. Sweetness is quite nice and controlled, with the char and coffee doing a good job of holding it back.

Mouthfeel lives up to the beer's name: creamy, smooth, velvety texture is a great match for the milk chocolate flavors. Drinkability is high due to the smoothness of the beer, lower abv for the style, and softer flavors. I really like the balance this beer has and the fact that it isn't going for a world record in some chocolatey or coffee-like category - this is just a well made stout that doesn't do anything extraordinarily, but doesn't do anything really wrong either.

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

A: midnight black. completely opaque. frothy, rich tan head dies down pretty quickly but leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: milk chocolate, lactose. smells like chocolate milk. definitely on the milk rather than dark chocolate spectrum. a little roast from the chocolate, but not a deep smokey roast.

T: more roast than chocolate on the palate. interesting contradiction. solid dark chocolate notes, but an acidic roast takes the main stage. a little bit of alcohol in there, giving a bit of warming in the finish.

M: all in the name, this one is definitely creamy. medium carbonation on a medium/full body.

D: i really enjoyed the mouthfeel on this brew. im assuming oats were used and they definitely add that creaminess that is mentioned in the name.

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Photo of otto251068
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Batch #9986 means this beer is almost six months old.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown, not black, but its about as close as it can get. A dark tan bubbly head rises to about a quarter inch, then fades. After a dozen seconds all that is left is a few wisps. This beer lets some light through, especially around the edges, and the dark brown colors really look great.

Smell: The nose starts off with a smooth, toasted maltiness. Some definite sugary sweetness as well, a little vanilla. A touch of smokiness and dark chocolate rounds things out. A hint of coffee presents itself as the drink warms.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, the sweetness presents itself first. The toasted malts are really great, and with them comes that ideal level of roasting. The sweetness has some molasses and brown sugar qualities. A little more dark unsweetened chocolate and coffee at the finish. A bit of coffee bitterness remains after the swallow. The creamy sweetness comes out more as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a high carbonation level. The carbonation is very present (however it does diminish as the beer sits), and the body is smooth, creamy, and easy drinking.

Overall: Good flavors, but just a bit too much carbonation level for me. Very creamy and smooth despite the carbonation though, and the sugary sweetness matches the malts just right. For such a dark beer, the flavors are fairly mild. Nothing really overpowering as far as the flavors go, and they fit together nicely.

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

Pours straight black with a medium dark tan 1-finger head. No retention but decent lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate and medium roast coffee with sweet cream. Very nice and very rich.

Taste is strong chocolate malt. Nice roast hit, turns a little sweeter midway through, and finishes very dark and chocolaty. The chocolate really lingers.

Body is so close to perfect. very nice. Very rich body for a beer this low in alcohol.

easy to drink andvery well balanced !

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Photo of djbreezy
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - dark brown/black with graceful tan head, amazing retention, strong lacing

smell - roasty, malty and chocolatey

taste - carefully roasted chocolate malts, grain, marshmallow, some coffee-like notes

mouthfeel - exceptionally creamy (as advertised!), light-medium body, slightly viscous

drinkability - full flavored and quite tasty, gorgeous in the glass

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

Got the chance try a pint on tap.

Nice dark black appearance. Cream like tan head. Lace was thick enough to maintain and lace fair.

Aroma was dark roasted malts, cocoa and coffee.

Taste and mouth is sweet coffee with cream, dark cocoa, roasted malts, dark earthy notes of barral and pine.

Drinkable, very much so, would order another.

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Photo of timherremans
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a very deep black with slightly frothy creme colored head. CO2 action is sparse. Appearance is fairly thick. Average pint glass.

S - Aroma is of heavy use of malts. Roasty. There are scents of dark cocoa . And a light scent of coffee. Could be more pronounced perhaps but it's about the taste and finish.

T - Wow. I love this stout. Very malty. Definitely heavy use of malts. Great flavor and balance. A hint of cocoa and coffee are there but not pronounced. The roasty malt is the standout and slightly smokey. The finish is really smooth and roasty.

M - A good balance of CO2 at work here. Not to much, but a nice low amount for a stout, leaving the mouthfeel slightly thick & heavy and not watery. It has a good creamy & smooth finish that gives the beer it's name.

D - 5/5. Easy to drink because of the great malt flavors and smooth creamy finish. This is a good stout. I could easy drink quite a few of these in one night. It only grows on me. This is not the first time I have bought Double Cream Stout.

Highly regarded and recommended.

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Photo of zrab11
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark color with a nice 2 finger espresso head

S-Has a really nice malty coffee smell with some hints of cocoa

T-Has a nice bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors.

M-Medium bodied with nice carbonation

D- THis is a great beer! this has great balance and i would get this beer again anytime!

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Photo of Allpe45
3.19/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with 2 fingers of thick tan creamy head. It dissipates quite slowly, leaving thick layers of lacing.

Rich roasted malts, coffee, some earthiness and a metallic smell (oxidation?)

Roasted malts and some burnt flavor. Not very robust.

Medium bodied, low carbonation, fairly creamy. Quite smooth.

I wouldn't make this a go-to stout

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a chalice. For some reason, I thought this was one of Bell's stronger brews when I chose my glassware. Oh well.

Pours a very deep brown with ruby highlights. Wisps of cappuccino coloured head dance around the glass. Lacing is very nice looking. The aroma is nice, although rather standard for the style. Smooth roasted malts, hints of coffee and cocoa. The taste is quite nice, this is one of those brews where the taste and the mouthfeel almost go hand-in-hand. This goes down super smooth with the roasted malts, then as the creaminess of the mouthfeel subsides, some nice bitter chocolate and coffee fade in for a superb aftertaste.

The mouthfeel? It's creamy, as said above, also is fairly thick. Delicious. the drinkability is quite good, it does drink like it's a bit higher in ABV though. A great stout, I'm glad I picked up the last single at a local bottle shop. Recommended.

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Photo of Preismj
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a: pours darker than I thought it would with about a half inch expresso head that slowly shrinks. light lacing remains. head was a bit uneven.

s: roasted malts for sure. smells a bit like a red ale with cocoa and coffee. very rich scent.

t: burnt coffee in the mix. hints of bittersweet chocolate and a lot of malty goodness. very nice flavor profile and and the taste or roasted malt gives off a nutty flavor when it all hits you at the end.

m: very good, very creamy...nice and smooth. It is a tad bit thick for my liking but in the end, the taste and smoothness combined make this a good brew.

d: I don't need another. It tastes quite good and the roasted flavor is a big hit with my tastebuds, but the thickness would get to me after a while. One is plenty. I would consider buying again at some point, but I have a few other stouts with this flavor that aren't as heavy and more my type.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep dark brown almost black in color. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention. Streaks of lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts in the front with some light bitter chocolate undertones. Coffee and caramel malt also show up around mid-aroma. Hints of roast once again with a light raisin notes and a hint of cream.

T- Roasted malts with chocolate once again comes in the front of the beer like the aroma. There is some light darker fruits this time that show up a little earlier than the aroma would have it seem. There seems to be a burnt flavor as well coming from what I would say is some grain. Light bitterness in the backend with the alcohol comes from a late hopping which helps to semi-balance this beer out.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Tons of roast malts left on the palate with hints of chocolate, darker fruit, and bitterness. Aftertaste is a lot of alcohol (medicinal at times), chocolate, roasted malts, and hints of raisins. Medium alcohol drying on the palate. Flavors are well blended for the style with the bitterness in the ending making up for some of the malty flavors. No off flavors were present when I was drinking this beer.

D- A nice drinking beer for a colder night. A little bit higher ABV will keep you warm but also overall limits the beer in terms of pint after pint drinking. A nice stout like usual from Bell's. Always look forward to this one coming out.

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Photo of Justin23060
2.52/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Wow that's dark... Black as a matter of fact. Head is brown stiff and sticky. First smell is yeasty roasty and slight metallic. There's something unpleasant in the smell that I can't place (barnyard, wet leather?) Taste has that same unpleasantness. It got a little better as it burned off during warming. Dispite this distration I do get some nice chocolate with a pretty nice dry finish that not to puckering. Mouthfeel is leaning toward creamy with a body surprisingly lighter than expected but not watery by any means. Still that being said I'll finish this one but probably won't seek it out again. Sorry Bell's.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is an opaque black; zero light passed through when I held it to a lamp. Two fingers of dense, tan head developed and dissipated to leave a spotted and bubbly lacing, and a ring around the edge.

Smell: Roasted dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, coffee, and there is a hint of black licorice.

Taste: Smooth like an oatmeal stout, but it has a slightly bitter edge from the roasted characters. It mostly mirrors the smell: roasted dark chocolate, caramel, and a little coffee. Thankfully, the black licorice did not come through in the taste. I hate that stuff.

Drinkability: Pretty good. I like the fact the roasted malts do not dominate, but it is still a solid stout. It just tastes like a Bell's stout.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Bruery tulip... Good looking beer, black, with a big medium tan head, great retention and lacing... The aroma reminds me of an oatmeal stout, a little sweet and super creamy, cocoa, a hint of chocolate, smells great... The taste loses a lot of the creaminess and relies mostly on the cocoa notes, a bit of bitter chocolate. While's it good, just didn't live up to what I was expecting. Some interesting prune notes come out, a touch too much alcohol on the finish... The feel is a bit too hot, could be more full too.

This was pretty darn good, frankly I'm surprised. I'd gladly have this again.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very nice dark brown, almost black color with some faint ruby highlights around the sides and edges. A nice, full, creamy, fluffy, smooth khaki colored head with very nice retention and real nice lacing.

Smell - A nice malty tone in the aroma. Some roasty aspects. A bit of coffee. A bit of chocolate. Neither aroma is very robust. Might be picking up a bit of raisin and a small note of the oatmeal and/or cream. Seems to be balanced pretty well though.

Taste - The taste had a lot of the proper characteristics of a Stout. Some roasted coffee and chocolate, but like the smell, not real pronounced or robust. A minor hint of bitterness and maybe even a hint of some dark or burnt grain.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Rather smooth and mostly creamy. Did a nice job of leaving flavor on the palate. Mostly dry, but not too dry.

Drinkability - I've had better, more robust, complex Stouts, but this one is solid enough to be considered a good example. Very easy to drink and worth a shot if you see it. Nothing over complicated. More than anything a no-nonsence, pretty enjoyable Stout.

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Photo of andrewsporter
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer. Bought a 6 pack of this and poured it into a pint glass.

Appearance - looks absolutely delicious, heavy, dark. The head is a burnt brown that's fairly resilient. It's fun to spin it around in the glass since the beer is has so much weight to it.

Smell - Smells wonderful

Taste - Good. I let it warm up a bit which really brought out a more pronounced hoppy bite than I remember. Lingering burnt chococatey aftertaste

Mouthfeel - very thick, slides down with a little effort

Drinkability - these things really fill you up. I probably wont be able to finish more than 2 in a sitting, but delicious nonetheless.

The two things that stand our are the its thick mouthfeel and the stunning visual appearance.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - very dark brown/black, with about 2 fingers of dark tan colored of foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - malty, chocolaty notes, somewhat of a roasted hint too.

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely malty. Roasted chocolaty tones...with emphasis on the roasted quality. Texture not as creamy as I was expecting, but still a good level of creaminess.

Drinkability - very good brew. The combination of all of the malts makes an interesting taste. Nice and complex.

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Photo of henryd30
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Typical stoutish look - dark brown in color, with thinner than expected head for double cream.

S: Nice carmelly roasty smell. Almost a hint of bourbon scent to it.

T: Smooth all the way through, can definitely taste the roasty sweetness, and it is consistent from start to finish.

M: A little more carbonated and watery than expected, but not unappealing at all.

D: Quite drinkable do to it's smoothness, not as filling as one might expect from a double cream either.

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Photo of milkbaby9
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle (batch 10106) poured into Duvel tulip. A 1 finger mocha head flees quickly leaving a skin of bubbles floating on top. As it's drunk, it leaves a few tiny spots of foam on the glass, and seems to have some long legs as the liquid gently crawls back down the glass. Inky black color with brown edges, though this was more brown-black pouring out of the bottle.

Aromas of mocha espresso, dark chocolate, toast, sweetish liquorice... a hint of plums and dates?

Initial taste is dominated by roast coffee bean with a hint of acidity, and then cola root flavors come through along with a taste of milk chocolate. Finishes sweet with almost a hint of grape juice and a smoky burnt toast note that is pleasant.

Bitterness is there and makes itself known but it nicely harmonizes with the other flavors and gives this stout just enough of an edge that's enjoyable.

Carbonation doesn't seem high but the bubbles make this feel a bit crisp on the tongue. Smooth creamy mouthfeel otherwise but not syrupy or overtly heavy. Nice long finish that is roasty and sweet -- very nice! Excellent brew, great drinking!

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Photo of scottfrie
2.72/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I can't remember who sent these to me, or even if they came from the same person (I think both were extras), but I came across two bottles of these tucked away in my stash. The first one I opened tonight smelled strongly of burnt caramel and butterscotch (uh-oh). Upon tasting it I almost spit it out it was so gross. The sour-cherry taste coupled with the butterscotch smell screamed some kind of infection. The batch number printed on this bottle was 9566. Luckily my second bottle was from a different batch. Review is as follows:

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch number 9357.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with a thin light brown head that quickly fizzed away into pretty much nothing. The infected bottle had a much more impressive head.
S: Very roasted smelling with slight notes of chocolate and caramel.
T: Extremely malty, in more of a brown ale type of way rather than a stout, with some roasted notes in the aftertaste and a hint of coffee in the finish. Pretty sweet overall.
M: Mouthfeel is decently creamy as promised, but the carbonation is pretty tingly and tad sharp at the end. Body is on the lighter side of full, but it's not bad.
D: There is almost too much malt to this brew. If that's your thing, then you may love it. To me, this didn't really taste like a stout, it tasted like a more 'brown' style of beer.

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Photo of mpcrump
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a very thick opaque black. I was suprised by a fair amount of carbonation. Thick brownish head that hung around for a while.

S: Roasted malts. Coffee. Chocolate. Vanilla.

T: Starts with roasted malts. Then it moves into chocolate with some caramel and cocoa. I sense the coffee at the finish.

M: Very creamy with a sticky sweet finish.

D: Decent ABV coupled with a very interesting taste range and creaminess. I'm not a huge fan of stouts like this but this is a great beer for certain occasions.

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

From notes, November 2010. Pours a deep brown, almost black, with minimal head that remains as a bit of foam on the surface. Smell is of roasted malt with a bit of hop bitterness following it. Mouthfeel is very good - smooth, rich, about medium for a stout, with that odd creamy coating feeling that milk stouts often have. Taste is good and well-balanced, with a strong sweet roasted malt flavor up front that's complemented by just the right amount of hops. A very solid stout, though the flavor could be more complex.

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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 81% out of 100 with 3,814 ratings
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