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

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89
very good
1,419 Reviews
THE BROS
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good
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Bell's Special Double Cream StoutBell's Special Double Cream Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
Reviews:
1,419
Ratings:
3,689
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
17.09%
 
 
Wants:
220
Gots:
470
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,419 | Ratings: 3,689
Photo of fisherman34
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black in colour with a small off white head. The aroma is dominated by sweet chocolate (think chocolate chips), with more subtle notes of espresso, roasted malt, and a fruit element that I can’t quite identify (perhaps plum?). Upon drinking, the chocolate becomes a little less sweet, and takes on more of a powedered cocoa flavor. There’s also a bit of a yeasty note with a bit of leafy hop bitterness at the end. The sweetness is a little less than I expected, but well within stylistic guidelines. I had hoped for a bit more body too, but again, it’s not as if it’s thin. I tend to want sweet stouts to completely bowl me over with sweetness and thick mouthfeel. I found this one to be a bit on the tame side, but still a quality beer.

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Photo of mjc410
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

@ Cobblestone's in York, PA

Direct from notes, but I expected this to fall into a cream stout category, not milk.

The pour into the pint raised a tan head that fizzed away quickly. It left some sparse, slick lacing, and had an opaque black body. Not too special here.

The nose was characterized by molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and seemed kind of milk-stouty, and mellow.

The taste was indeed very much like a milk stout, but also a bit toasty and acidic. Started sweet, ended dry.

The mouth was thick, but with good carbonation.

A relaxing and easy beer.

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Photo of crstemple
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served perhaps too aggressively out of the bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass. I should preface this by saying that I am most generally a milk/sweet stout enthusiast, and tend to advocate this style in almost any circumstance. That being said, this is most CERTAINLY a dessert drink, and should never be reviewed under the influence of more than 2.

That being said, I have had 5. Here is my review:

APPEARANCE: If I was affluent enough to know what it looked like, I would maybe call it mahogany brown. Mahogany is a deep, near-to-black brown with a nice, bone-off-white frothy head, right? Asking for a friend.

SMELL: All there is cream, chocolate malt and a slight touch of alcohol. Reminded of mom/breast feeding.

TASTE: See SMELL, only slightly more grandiose and memorable.

MOUTHFEEL: See SMELL, only WAY MORE EVERYTHING OH GOD CREAM, MOMMY.

Overall: S'okay. Have a few after a steak an' you good.

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Photo of bfflo
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Opaque chestnut brown-black, nice tanned head but it fell fast.

Smell: Very bready; cream notes; roasted. Grainy/spicy. A little odd, or musty-ish; something in the scent makes me think of an old carpet, a slight turn-off. Maybe a slight note of alcohol heat, too, like you might expect of a Russian Imperial, which surprises me as it's not very high ABV.

Taste: Warm, cola-like sweetness up front, followed by a buttery mouthfeel and a drier-than-anticipated finish. The creaminess here is more in the body and mouthfeel, and only one of many aspects of the taste. There are some low, dark fruit notes in the background of this one, and the dry finish has a grainy, coffee-like feel. I'm not sure all the elements here add up as ideally as desired, for me, though at least it's interesting. The cola-feel contrasts a little strangely with the buttery cream notes, and the fruit notes a little strangely against the coffee finish. It's a decent enough sipper, not one I'd turn away by any means; but it's not an absolute home run either. Unlike the Bros., I noticed zero lacing and poor head retention in my glass.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16 oz tulip, way passed its prime. Pours a very dark brown, with a light tan head that leaves plenty of lace. Smell is chocolate, biscuit, vanilla, and smoke. Taste is all of that, but not as nice. Body is thin to medium, enough carbonation, a little dry, and strong drinkability. This is o k, but it is several months past its prime.

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Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a thin head that eventually disppears, leaving a ring that leaves lacing on the glass.

The smell is of bittersweet, roasted coffee with a lactose fragrance.

The taste is of roasted, bittersweet coffee with milk becoming ever--more present. Some hints of cocoa powder. Sweet, becoming more balanced with bitterness as it progresses. Alcohol very well-covered. The only "gripe" I have with the taste is the odd aftertaste - can't quite put my finger on it (metallic?)

It's lighter in body than I would expect for the style, especially a "double". But, it is very smooth and has some creaminess to it.

Easy to drink - alcohol well-covered. Can't say it's among the best I've had in this style, but a decent brew never-the-less.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours deep deep brown. Head is tan and lasts fairly well.
S- The aroma is sweet, milk chocolate, and a bit of a maple syrup type aroma.
T- Cocoa, milk chocolate, vanilla, and a caramel presence as well. The finish has kind of a funny sweet maple flavor.
M- Very smooth and creamy. Roughly medium weight to it. Lingers a long time in the mouth.
O- Worth trying just for the nice mouthfeel. The flavors are only slightly above average, but in it's totality it's a good stout.

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Photo of david131
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black liquid. A sizable brown head floats atop and maintains itself for quite some time. Eventually it settles to a ring around the outside. Leaves some decent lacing.

S- Some chocolate and coffee, but it seems too restrained. Good, but not really a lot going on here.

T- About the same as the smell, but with a little more oomph. Still, it leaves me wanting more. Very well hidden alcohol.

M- Nice, creamy and thick. Not too dry or bitter, very pleasant on the palate.

D- With no noticeable alcohol and a good mouthfeel I was surprised how not drawn to this beer I was. There is something missing for me. It is a quality brew, but I wish I could put my finger on what else I wanted in this.

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised to see this on tap, but wasn't slow to order one. I wasn't disappointed.

Appears dark black/brown in the glass, with a creamy foam head which clung to the edges of my mug.

It smells like roasted cocoa....yum...rich, malty aroma as well.

The flavor is VERY smooth, roasted malt flavors, creamy milk chocolate taste- balanced by a rich bitter aftertaste which stops by and says "hey mouth- want some flavor today?"

Very medium-bodied beer, not heavy as you might think on first look. As others before have said- like velvet.

I'm glad this is on tap here.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

as soon as I poured this bell's special cream stout, I knew it meant business. tit pours black as pitch with a golden caramel head. The smell is slighter that I would expect. The taste is a robust blackness. It is blackened and chocolaty. It's a good cold evening beer. You don't pound this beer, it pounds you.... With flavor lulz.

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep caramel black darkness with a dark tan, brown head.

S: A cream roasted coffee with perhaps some caramel and chocolate scents hanging in the back.

T: The beer has a brief bitter intro with coffee flavoring that quickly moves to a milky cream.

M: Medium body (though lighter than anticipated) with low carbonation.

D: Smooth with a small bite at the start.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter, batch 9376. I've been sitting on this for a while (for the style anyways)

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of dense tan foam. Head recedes slowly to a film, good retention.

S: Milk chocolate, caramel, and malted milk balls. Oxidation is apparent, but not unpleasant.

T: Similar to aroma, milk chocolate, caramel, and malted milk balls dominate. I get some roasted malts and dark chocolate in the background. Slightly oxidized, but not terribly so.

M: Medium to light mouthfeel with creamy carbonation.

O: A nice mix of chocolate, roast, and caramel. Easy to drink, yet quite flavorful.

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Photo of dafizzif
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very opaque typical stout black (very dark brown). Outline is deep ruby. Thin light brown head that dissipates very quickly.

Smell: Chocolate. It evens has that tangy tinge that chocolate sometimes has. Also good amount of coffee. Also roasted malts.

Taste: Pretty generic roasted malt taste up front. Bit of creaminess and loads of bitterness on the back end, almost like it is burnt, which is unique but not very pleasant to me. Also a bit tangy.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin though creamy, especially upon the lips. Low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Average but nothing spectacular at all. Definitely expect more from Bell's but certainly not a bad beer by any measure.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Packaged September 6th 2011.

A very small one finger head, of dark coffee and cocoa color is presented, sitting on a somewhat very dark red, almost deep red brown body color. Head seems to fall and disappear fairly quickly, collar recedes as well too. Some just barely visible tiny rising carbonation is noticeable.

Nose is a simple berry fruit, some cherry but also a nice simple roast character, browning cooked and roasted malt. Nice mix of fruit barleywine character and stout.

For the style even slightly wet, but also fairly good flavors on the palate. Taste rolls to a mild flattened coffee and even a big soft roast character on the palate. Finish is a little watery, and almost like flattened club soda.

Overall though I really like the nose on this beer and it's the most impresssive thing about it, so I don't seem to mind ramming my shnoze in the glass and having another sip.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kite and Key...

Pours a deep dark brown with thin yet fluffy khaki head. Smell is brown sugar forward with a nice roasted matl backbone. Taste is very sweet up front... the malts give a chocolate, carmel and molasses taste to the middle and hints of dark fruit, smoke and earth on the back end. Presence of bittering hops noted. Full bodied yet creamy. The heavy body and the super-sweet taste keep this otherwise yummy brew from being top notch.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Doble cream is a very very dark brown that might as well be called black, it practically is. A nice semi full off white vanilla head stayed a float but did not manage to leave any lace. Smell up front is dark malt and chocolate, warming up some of vanilla creeps in with toasted nuts, further warming reveals coffee beans. The taste is pretty much in the same order. A bit of caramel malt sweetness but the cream seems to be lacking. A lot of coffee with warming that i was not expecting. I dont see why they call this a double. The feel is a bumpy ride and a bit rugged. Not as easy going down as other's in the style, perhaps this would be best off a nitro, hopefully one day i'll find it. Bell's needs to take double out of the name or add double the amount of cream next batch.

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Photo of johnd513
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a thick black oily color with a small off white head that quickly disappears. Smells of dark chocolate and coffee, somewhat similar to Bell's Java. Tastes sweet with roasted malt and bitter coffee flavors. The mouthfeel has medium body and is creamy. Overall a solid offering from Bells. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Pours black with a finger and a half of tan head.

Nose is sweet and creamy, its not unlike a milk stout. Hints of chocolate and roasted coffee.

Taste follows the smell. Lots of chocolate and coffee, almost burnt flavor with a definite creaminess. Sweet up front and smoky at the end.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with medium/low carbonation. Leaves the palate dry.

Overall this is pretty drinkable. A lot of flavor and a very good mouthfeel. Not my favorite stout by any means, but I'll have another.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark, dark brown, almost black, with three fingers of tan-brown head that subsides slowly. Tons of lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Bitter, burnt coffee, almost to the point of being astringent. Some sweetness in the background.

Taste: Coffee, some chocolate, and a chemical sweetness with the same astringency that there was in the smell. The overall taste is fairly mild and uncomplicated - an initial bite from the coffee flavors, but then there's a slightly unpleasant artificial sweetness. The finish is very smooth, and the coffee flavor does linger for quite some time. The artificial sweetness went away after a few sips, and was replaced by a sweetness more characteristic of a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, and low carbonation. Makes it very drinkable, but it could stand to be a little more carbonated.

Drinkability: It was very easy to drink. The flavor is mild, and the low carbonation makes it easier to drink quickly. I wasn't getting the complexity a lot of people got out of this one. I think this is one of those beers where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - not my favorite beer, but solid in its own right.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/14/12
*From notes

A: Pretty rich and dark for a low ABV stout like this. A good pour yields a 1.25 finger head that doesn't stick around all too long, though the thick and creamy collar certainly will suffice.

S: Earthy green. Maybe a touch of coffee? Kind of muddled, as it's not all that expressive.

T: Quite mellow. It's certainly creamy. Less char here, more of a smooth vanilla quality to it.

M: It's not mind blowingly thick, but it'll do.

O: Not the world changer some find it to be, Bell's Double Cream Stout is still a pretty darn good beer. If you're looking for a lot of flavor in your stout with a lower ABV, look no further.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my duvel tulip from a bottle.

A: pitch black with a huge three fingers of mocha hued head, great retention, thick webs of lace

S: super sweet vanilla with hints of coffee, chocolate and dark fruits, a touch of wet cardboard as it warms

T: bitter roast malt are what greet me out of the gate no where near what I was expecting after the nose, coffee and chocolate are modest with a light vanilla finish

M: medium body creamy body with light carbonation

D: Overall way more bitter than I had hoped. I had high hopes for this one, I need to stop having pre concieved notions about the beers I drink.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I made the mistake of serving this cold. Not much in the way of a head, but I suspect it would have been better at cellar temp. When cold, the dull nose compliments a dominant chocolate maltiness along the path of Expedition, but miles and miles behind it. The lactose is also very evident and gives this beer a mocha quality. After letting it warm for a while, the other ten malts begin to come out and reveal a mild, very pleasant caramel that marries wonderfully with the cream (think Rollo candy). There's much more to this than a mocha. While I'm reminded, at first, of Goose Island Oatmeal Stout and its intense (and unpleasant) mocha characteristics, when served properly Bell's Special Double Cream has a great deal of character. There's a rind-like drying finish that I suspect are from the light bittering addition. Perhaps some hops are added in the top third of the boil because there is an interesting but very light hoppy note in the background. Lots of cream on the finish, too.

Well integrated, this isn't bad at all. There seems to be a good deal of Crystal (caramel) malt in this brew and yet it doesn't go the way of brown ales (raisiny and, in my opinion, quite poor). It even picks up a good amount of esters either from the yeast or the hops. Not much of a sit-back beer, but perhaps a nice one with a meal (went very well with my fettucine and eggplant parmesan) or over a smoke.

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Photo of libbekat
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am hosting a beer dinner this week, our theme this month is sweet, cream and Imperial stouts. I have imperial and sweet stouts covered, in desperate need of a cream stout. With spring upon us, even locating a seasonal is becoming more difficult.
I attended a beer and wine tent sale this weekend, low and behold I found the Bell's Double Cream stout. The store I purchased from allows you to buy from a six pack and taste in store before purchasing the full six pack. I didn't have a glass to pour in so I am really guessing on the appearance.
It tastes like a Cream soda! Very creamy but not chokingly creamy.There are strong hints of toffee. I coudn't pick out what exactly this one flavor was but it reminded me of apricots or some other dried fruit, maybe fig.
I didn't find it to be too sweet, something I was concerned with. In fact, I know it is supposed to go well with chocolate but I have a different idea. I am serving it with a flat bread pizza, with gorgonzola, pear and figs.

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Photo of mchegash
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.5/5
A very dark brown-red, cannot see through. A finger or so of dark-tan colored head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Chocolate and coffee are the predominant aromas, cannot detect much else.

Taste - 3.5/5
Some sweet earthy malt taste, the chocolate and coffee is still present, but very subtle (whereas they were very pronounced in the smell). The beer is slighty smoky, slightly roasty, slighty hoppy, slightly earthy, and a tiny bit chocolate/coffee. I would have liked for this stout to be more chocolatey, and less smoky/hoppy/earthy.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Very smooth and creamy, which is to be expected for this "double cream" stout. There is a light to moderate amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

Overall - 3.5/5
This was an okay beer. From it's label and name, I was expecting more of a chocolately kind of taste, or something in that realm. But this stout had a surprising strong earthy taste. It wasn't bad, just wasn't quite what I was looking for in this beer. Overall, an okay choice.

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Photo of jera1350
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
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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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.
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