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

very good
3,795 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,795 |  Reviews: 1,442
Photo of Chiefbrutus
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a 12 oz bottle just about 2 months old.
A very Niice pour with a nice head at the top.
Very drinkable and not too heavy for a stout.
Good roasted flavor with a hint of chocolate.
Carbonation just right, it goes down very smooth and very
Pleasant on the palate.
Scary how think can easy become a session beer.

 313 characters

Photo of mbusster88
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle batch 10080.

A: Pours black with red/brown on the edges. No seen carbonation. Brown head is rather thick and sticks around well.

S: Very toasted aroma and some creamy notes. Very good malt backbone that really stands out.

T/M: Taste is very creamy and roasty. Malts are fantastic and really well done. Great balance and richness make this a great tasting beer. Love the mouth feel, great lactic feel that lets you know there is something to this beer.

D: Easy drinker and great character, a must try.

 528 characters

Photo of zoso493
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH signature glass.

Appearance: This brew pours an exceedingly dark and opaque near-black color that looks pretty thick for a milk stout. A tame pour only a produces a wafer thin bubbly head that retreats quickly to the edges of the glass almost immediately.

Smell: Bell's SDCS smells pretty typical for a milk stout. Up front there is a big smell of malts that refrains from taking on a darker character and consists mainly of oatmeal and bready notes. Somewhere in the background there is a hint of coffee, but this is overpowered by the softer malts.

Taste: The taste remains much the same as the smell, save for the roasted coffee being more pronounced. Still, the softer malts are the bigger player and counter the bitter coffee with some sweet tastes of oatmeal and dark fruit. SDCS is not an overpowering beer, or a particularly complex one, but it is nicely put together.

Mouthfeel: This is definitely on the lighter side of things for a stout, but what it lacks in body it makes up for in crispness. This is a pretty highly carbonated brew, which might contribute a bit to its thinness, so it makes for a pretty dry and drinkable stout.

Drinkability: While this brew is pushing the limits, definitionally, of a session beer, this is definitely one that you'd like to have a couple of. It's light-bodied, highly carbonated and tasty enough to savor, so this definitely a beer to enjoy in multitudes, though the price of a six pack might prevent one (me) from doing so.

Overall, Bell's SDCS is a good stout for what it is. It's not going to blast your taste buds, but it is sufficiently complex to be enjoyable and could be drank in earnest. I'm glad I got the chance to try this one and I would happily have another.

 1,772 characters

Photo of clarkm04
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Midnight black, tan head retention

Smell - Very faint but complex. Licorice dominates the nose but there also seems to be chocolate and a couple roasted notes.

Taste - Very tasty. A lot of malty sweetness up front that descends to a nice sweet nutty finish. Lots of complexity with a nice sweet and smooth flavor profile and a slight smokey aftertaste. Very balanced and delicious and impressive given the 6% ABV.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth on the palate

Drinkability- Very high

Overall- I'm very impressed with this beer. It's tasty and unique and recommend others to try this.

 592 characters

Photo of deebo
2.24/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A-Very dark with thick tan head-Guinness like
S-Dark roasted malts with heavy smoky character
T-Upfront nice dark malt flavor that is overpowered with a heavy smoke note that also has a strong black pepper flavor that is too strong and makes this unpleasant
M-Medium to heavy bodied
D-Hard to drink a pint of this unless you like smoky/peppery style beers

 355 characters

Photo of nihiloexnihil
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into oversized, stemless wineglass.

A. Jet black. Mocha colored head lasts for 30 seconds then dissipates.

S. There's a hint of chocolate, followed swiftly by a sweet rancio, I can't think of another way to describe it. Maybe roasted coffee, with a little too much milk in it.

T. Milky sweetness. The attack is mellow, the body is strong and the finish is fairly short but warm. There isn't much roasted bitterness. It's mostly composed of a soft, hazelnut taste. Fairly unique for a stout.

M. Fizzes as it goes down, fills the mouth. Creamy, smooth.

D. Not nearly as imposing as I thought it would be, which actually lends itself to drinkability. It really is creamy.

 693 characters

Photo of hangh
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty dark black with a hint of ruby. Ruby/tan head that is about 1" or so and dissapates quickly leaving small islands with a bit of lacing. Smell is rich in malty overtones. Very sweet smelling. Strong vanilla, chocolate, and toffee flavors among the "10 malts" that are used. Smell is excellent for a beer and one of the best points. Taste is definitely creamy and milky along with the aforementioned malts. It's a delectable stout. The finish is some toasted bitter coffee and kind of brings a nice clean finish to the sweet malty beginning. Gets better with every taste. Well brewed and crafted. Medium bodied with light carbonation. I will definitely seek this one out again.

 682 characters

Photo of cratez
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased by my girlfriend at Wolverine Market in Port Huron, MI. Pours a dense black with ruby highlights, one finger of mocha froth, and speckles of lacing on the tulip. Smell is toasty roasted malts, licorice, faint chocolate note, baking sugar, black currants, and floral hops. Taste is dark chocolate, burnt grains, espresso, table cream, spicy and resiny hops, and some cocoa powder on the cough. Mouthfeel is rich, velvety, fuller than medium, silky middle, flash of spice gives way to a chalky, parched palate. Long, bone dry finish. Overall, this is a straight forward yet satisfying stout that nails the style. I could drink a few of these in an evening.

 676 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BSDCS pours close to pitch black with a one and a half finger mocha head into my snifter. I am surprised at just how dark the head is, but the film that is left after the froth recedes is a touch lighter. From what I can see of the carbonation, it looks bountiful and excitable. The lacing left behind on the sides of my snifter has the classic and cherished snow-capped mountain look.

The aroma of this beverage is delectable. When agitated with an aggressive swirl, the roasted malts really make their presence known, and carry with them a peanut presence. At rest, a milk chocolate and vanilla smell combo emerges. I know that this beer does not contain any dairy, but holy cow, I swear that I smell some creamy lactose in this calf. I like how this aroma is versatile from swirl to rest.

At first sip, the taste of the beer is of roasted malts that tend toward a nutty taste. After that initial roasted flavor, a mild mix of milk chocolate, vanilla, and cream mellow out my palate. The finish has just a slightly bitter nip to it, which I would guess comes from the hops in the brew. This finish cleanses my palate nicely and leaves just a little bit of residual roastyness on my tongue.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy and about medium-bodied for a single stout. I do wonder how they got this to be so creamy without any dairy and with such a low a.b.v. I am impressed. The finish balances the creaminess of mid-sip nicely with its drying quality.

This is an enjoyable beer to drink and is a stout of which I could knock back a few. I really enjoy its pronounced creaminess, as well as the nutty roasted malts. This is definitely another winner from Bells.

 1,667 characters

Photo of gfsufb
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark dark black, smell is good but not the best of any stout. Mouthfeel is impressive and you can taste a multitude of flavors in each sip. Overall not the best stout i have had but it is well above average. I really enjoy bells brews in general and this one didn't disappoint.

 295 characters

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The pour is jet black, thinish white head, light lacing. The aroma is heavy on burnt coffee, esspresso, chocolate. The coffee and chocolate flavors meld well, it finishes with a slight burnt coffee. The body is medium, well carbonated, and I did not feel like it was exceptionally creamy. A good stout.

 362 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Flying Saucer Charlotte served in a standard pint glass a deep opaque black with a nice frothy khaki head that lasts and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is some mild roasted malts and not much else. The taste is a wonderfully smooth kick of roasted malts with nice subtle cocoa that leaves a wonderful finish. The beer is quite light, crisp and smooth with nice carbonation. This is a great stout, one I've been overlooking for a few years.

 458 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours into a generic tulip with a dark chocolate brown color. Only a half finger of tan head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates quickly leaving slight lacing.

Smell - Honestly, not much in the smell but cocoa.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, though more roasted malt, coffee, slight vanilla, and some hazelnut.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability - A one and done beer, but decent nonetheless. Not one I'd buy in the future to be honest.

 498 characters

Photo of velosuds
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Had this on Christmas day. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours an almost black hue with a one + finger, creamy tan head with modest retention and lacing.

S-I find the aroma too subdued for style. What's there are some roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and brown sugar. Good, all. Just not enough.

T-Taste is satisfying, just not spectacular given the effort and lengths Bell's seemed to go to produce this beer. The dark roasted malts provide a very pleasing chocolate, coffee, and vanilla complexion, but, again, not robust enough.

M-Just a tad too light and thin.

D-This is not a bad beer, but I am not disappointed this is not available to me in the PNW. My sister-in-law brought this out from Ohio when she visited for Christmas.

 776 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was at the local beer store the other day and was told they just got this years batch of special double cream stout in, I have always been a big fan of this brew so of course I had to get a six pack to see how this years is. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This beer poured a nice straight black color with two fingers worth of mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring. There was also some nice lacing that I wasn't expecting.

S- The aroma starts off with straight up roasted malts that leads to lots of sweet milk chocolate and a touch of coffee.

T- Just like the smell the roasted malts show up first with the coffee and milk chocolate not far behind. This stout ends up tasting pretty sweet, normally I don't like sweet stouts, but the sweetness work really well with the milk chocolate and espresso flavors.

M- Medium thick bodied with perfect carbonation. The creamyness is what really shines through, this beer stays true to it's name.

D- Drinkability is pretty good, the flavors are really well blended and the alcohol is hidden very nicely. I would have no problem drinking three or four of these.

Overall this is one damn good stout, all the typical stout flavors that we know and love are there but they are mixed perfectly with sweet roasted malts and a super creamy mouthfeel that really makes this beer stand out from the mainstream. Bell's broke the mold with this one and I hope they continue to blow my mind with their crazy good brews.

 1,500 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours a pitch black with two-fingers of dark khaki head. Retention is decent, lasting for a few minutes. Lacing is fantastic as it leaves almost an entire curtain around the glass.

S - Smell is of slightly roasted malts, but not to the extent of other stouts out there. This seems a bit more balanced, carefully blending milk chocolate, espresso, and an edge of sweetness. Something smells a bit... off in the back-end of the nose but I can't place it...

T - Taste is a bit sweeter than many other stouts I've had and it lasts throughout the drink. Like in the nose, this beer doesn't lean too far toward too heavy in espresso or bittersweet chocolate, which is a nice compromise, but I feel it also leaves it in limbo. There's no defining taste here, but rather a mellow blend of malts. Some hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth. Finish is long and, for a change, surprisingly sweet.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are nice and balanced, but as mentioned before, don't pop out at me. It's a solid drink, but nothing I would actively seek out again.

 1,162 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, and slight roasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, roasted malt, and cream on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall the flavor on this one was kind of watered-down in my opinion. The aroma on this one isn't overly great either, but decent. Just seemed to be lacking in intensity in both aspects. With that said however, it is worth trying at least once. I could imagine this being mixed with Expedition and being QUITE good. Mouthfeel on this one was kind of thin as well for my taste. While this helps the drinkability of the brew, it also hurts it overall.

 797 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black body with a brown creamy head, nice retention and lacing

S- Chocolate, coffee, roasty

T- Nice roasty malts, molasses, chocolate, coffee and a bit of hops at the finish

M- Creamy, full-bodied and velvety smooth

D- Awesome mouthfeel and complex malts make it great!

 276 characters

Photo of WJVII
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew has an enormous milk chocolate brown head that finally settles to a frothy cap. This is a thick dark brown brew with a strong nose of coffee, slight burnt malts, a little nuttiness, and some dark fruits. The taste is a little sweeter than I might like. There are raisin and plum notes along with toffee and burnt malts. There is a lacking hop balance to this but the brews complexity and slick mouthfeel are solid. A nice brew but have had some better samples from Bells.

Thanks to Cdkrenz for this sample in a "secret santa" exchange.

 571 characters

Photo of king75
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark black ,with a tan cream colored head that is rocky and long lasting. Great lacing and head retention.

S-Pick up chocolate, a lot of malt, and even some smoky characteristics.

T- Man is this one creamy, chocolaty beer ! Can taste coffee, has a lot of malt flavors, and a little bit of a smoky taste. very complex.

M- This is a full bodied beer, has a very creamy heavy feel to it. extremely smooth across the palate and a nice bitter bite at the end.

D- Drinkability is solid, very rich, but could easily throw a few of these back.

Notes: I really liked this beer, it is a great stout, very complex in flavor and its relatively low ABV makes it very drinkable. I definitely recommend this beer.

 706 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a voluminous tan head atop its magnificent black with caramel highlights. a sight to see!
some chocolate and coffee with a slight bit of roast. Despite the appearance of the coffee tones, there is no sharp acridity. No burnt aroma.
The flavor is very similar, like very soft tissue paper on my bum, it washes down my palate with a silky chocolate and coffee flavor. It finishes very dry, but extremely pleasant. Nothing too big and bold here, just a magnificently crafted stout that is as easy drinking as they come.

 527 characters

Photo of rpardon7
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle oil black with an incredibly thick rocky tan head that took some time to recede and stuck to the side of the glass with lacing. Smell is semi sweet chocolate small amount of coffee and roasted grain. Taste is sweet upfront chocolate and sweet coffee that is followed with a small hop bit and roasted grain finish. Mouthfeel is full thick creamy great body to this beer. For such a full bodied beer, I could always have another. One of my winter time favorites.

 483 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out pretty black, but then I guess its a double stout, even if of the cream variety. Aroma is faint cocoa, very delicate, not overpowering.

The taste, rich, yet soft, very easy drinking, not big on the roast or chocolate, it keeps a velvet like average chewiness with that dallop of cocoa powder. Not heavy on the sweetness. Doesn't leave much of an aftertaste at all, ends dry for a milk stout or whatnot. A little twang with it. This beer offers a ton of different flavor profiles all under one cap, but none of them are really in your face. One of those stouts that you can use to convert someone to stouts, but isn't overly simplified, complex and enjoyable enough for everyone.

 689 characters

Photo of cjacobsen
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark, almost black, with a nice tan/brown head to it.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut.

Tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, hint of coffee, vanilla, hazelnut in the aftertaste. Pretty much how it smells.

This beer is super smooth and creamy.

BIG surprise. I hadn't ever had this before and it was a really good find. Definitely on my awesome list.

 358 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 10106

Apperance -- Pours a deep dark with one finger of stiff dark khaki head that soon thins out to a dirty fog and a brass ring.

Smell -- Not especially aromatic. Roast malt aromas of spent coffee grounds, bakers chocolate, and some mild toffee sweetness.

Taste -- Up front is some mild malt sweetness akin to toffee mingled with high-cacao dark chocolate and heavy cream. Soon the rich roast character develops with hints of espresso, burnt bread crust, and husky grain. Earthy hop character lend depth to the dark roast, not-quite-burnt flavor. Lingering taste of cocoa powder and dark toast.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-body with abundant soft-bubbled carbonation: voluminous and gentle. Nice.

Drinkability -- Brace yourself: Bell's made another well-rounded, quality stout. Hard to believe, I know. All jokes aside, this is a damn fine American Stout: no twist, no gimmicks, just quality crafting.

 906 characters

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.97 out of 5 based on 3,795 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.