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

very good
1,441 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 1,441 | Ratings: 3,777
Photo of frank4sail
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head on the pour looks like a black and white milk shake. Very thick and airy. Lasting as well.. Black opeque color and look in the pint glass. Roasty bitter cocoa nose with a touch of sweetness in the sinus. A little light upfront on the mouth then the finish has a touch of cream on the tongue. Dry cocoa and black malt intial taste then the finsh is of metalic (tin) sweetness. Wish it tasted how it looks... not bad though...

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A 16 ounce draft. Good foamy head mocha in color. Little lacing. Looks black in color with the carbonation making very pretty lines on the glass. Deep mocha smell. The heavy but smooth creamy mouthfeel I was hoping for. Strong malts with a bitter sweet end. Nice aftertaste.

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Photo of engagechad
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle as a single from World Market in Shortpump/Richmond, VA - poured into Victory Tulip glass

I fudged the pour. I usually have to pour hard to get a decent head on my stouts so I assumed this was the same.. boy was I wrong.. twas quite carbonated and it overflowed some

The head ended up beautiful though! It was VERY dense, it felt as though I was swirling oatmeal in my glass it was so thick. The beer itself was very dark with dark red edges, lacing was considerable.

Smelled faintly (very faintly) of chocolate and had mostly malt and grain aromas. Not a whole lot going on but it was pleasant

the beer tasted good, not spectacular but definitely a good stout, mostly bittery coffee flavors with the malt

Felt great, smooth and dense on the tongue with some sharp bitter notes

Overall I thought it was a good beer, but I enjoy "louder" stouts. This was mild and from what I understand I need to try the Expedition!

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Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to emacgee for the bottle and perhaps somebody else, I'm forgetting...
Pours black with a foamy tan head. Very subtle cream and roasty smell on the nose. Nice but too subtle. Some smoke in the nose and taste as it warms only. Fairly creamy body with light notes of coffee with cream or milk, and a roasty maltiness. Pretty smooth overall and easy drinking. Bittersweet creamy roast pretty much sums it up with some Kalamazoo-esque smokiness coming through as it warms. Nice beer.

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Photo of Franz4
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 9/22/11

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of minterro
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick notes from Oades in Lansing MI

A & S: caramels and milk chocolate. Good lacing. Pitch black. Light tan head that pour Like a sweet cereal flavor

T & M: bitter smooth. Likes of sweet milk chocolate. Thick bodied, low carbonation. Kinda sour in the really late after taste

O: Didn’t really impress me, especially for being bells.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass.

The beer has a very dark brown body. A small head of tan bubbles sits on top. Swirling the beer leaves some film and foam behind.

The aroma is slightly sweet, with a mixture of cocoa powder and chocolate.

The beer does have a nice creamy flavor, but also some good bitterness in the finish. Initially, I can taste some dark chocolate sweetness and a bitterness that reminds me medicinal roots. Creamy milk chocolate flavors are tasted in the finish.

This beer leaves a little bit of sticky film on my lips, but nothing too much. The coating in my mouth has some chocolate flavor to it.

This is an above average stout. I would certainly drink it again if I came across it, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to track a bottle down.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown body that looks a little bit cola, with a tan head that is pretty fizzy looking, but still manages to have some good retention. Solid pieces of lacing remain.

The aroma is pretty good. All kinds of malt aromas, dark fruits, anise, black malt, and a little bit of chocolate. Some alcohol, with a good bit of hops in there also.

I like the smell a little bit better than the tastes, but this smells fairly good too. The flavor has a slightly creamy taste to it that the aroma doesn't have, and it mixes with chocolate malt to make a milk chocolate flavor. I still notice anise and dark fruit, but only very small hints. A large roasted malt flavor does come through. The finish is a marriage of alcohol warmth (without flavor), and a solid hop-kick that brings a moderate amount of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is pretty good; big and smooth.

Stouts from Bell's and I haven't always gotten along so well, but Double Cream is solid.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spills like black milk into a pint glass. There is a nutty brown one finger head with average retention and no lacing.

The nose is built up on a big foundation of rich roasted malts. Ranging from bittersweet burnt chocolate to mildy sweet caramel notes this beer's scent runs the gamut of stout scents and implements them in full force.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
I'm drinking this beer on the warmer side of the spectrum and I'm finding it to be slightly more bland then the name suggests. It drinks with the same consistancy of milk but with a bittered variety of ovaltine taste. I'm left with a bittersweet chocolate aftertaste. This beer tastes good and better than a lot of stouts, but with a name like "Special Double Cream Sout" I have to admit I went in to this with high hopes and I'm left a little dissapointed.

It's dark and pretty high ABV so I find it a little difficult to justify extended drinking of this beer. It's pretty good and I could definitely throw one back from time to time or with a meal, but it's not a six pack beer for me.

Bottom Line:
Don't be fooled by the name, this beer is a pretty standard above average stout if that's not an oxy moron. Not to say you shouldn't try it but it's not going to rock your world like I was hoping.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before opening and pouring into a beer snifter. The beer poured out jet black with a rocky dark tan 2 finger head that did not cling well. I didn't detect much of a nose from this beer. Perhaps just a hint of molasses.

I thought this beer tasted really sweet without much bitterness at all. It's very malty and chocolaty with a hint of hazelnut. I didn't detect any of the coffee flavors common in stouts. Also, it is worth noting that this has perhaps the creamiest mouth feel I've ever experienced in a beer.

Because of its sweet character, this beer probably won't appeal to everyone. However, if you're into creamy, chocolaty, easy-drinking stouts you'll feel right at home. Personally, I really enjoyed it and had a difficult time setting the glass down!

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: There was one finger of slightly darker tan head that did leave a tiny bit of lacing. The beer itself was jet black in color.

Smell: There is a great deal of chocolate in the nose, which is evenly balanced with the coffee. Both of these are backed nicely by roasted malt. There is a bit of sweetness, molasses like, aroma as well.

Taste: The sweetness was the initial and final flavor that I tasted, but there was a nice roasty bitterness battling it. Just like with the smell, I wish there was more complexity. When I think bell's stout I think badass beers, and this is more of just a daily drinker.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium to full bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation making it drinkable. It did feel a little bit chalky, but the finish is rather clean except for a little bit of sugar on the tail end.

Drinkability: This beer was rather drinkable, especially due to the finish. The carbonation was not too much to affect the drinkability. There was a certain smoothness that was nice, and the nice light, even though not crisp finish, was rather enjoyable. I liked the big flavor for the smaller abv, I just wish it was a bit cheaper (as I do with quite a few of bell's beers).

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Photo of beckje01
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Black color with a brown head and some activity.

S- Light sweet malt not a lot in the nose, rather lacking.

T- Light malt flavor and well balanced a slight hint of chocolate malt but faint very tasty overall.

M- Creamy feel with nice activity.

D- Very drinkable and very enjoyable.

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3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Found a single 12 oz at a very nice beer store in Norristown, PA. Has a date of 11/29/11 on the bottle along with a "PKGD" #10830.

Appearance: Not much in the area of head, though the lace is present and holds to the glass. Color is a deep black with a bit of brown on the exterior.

Smell: Chocolate with a hint of fresh coffee.

Taste: Mouthfeel was creamy, really creamy. By far the creamiest beer i have come across. Chocolate was upfront along with the alcohol. The finish finds a good bit of hops though finished dry.

Overall: Not a good beer for my second review, should have chose another but I need to jump into the deep end and get busy. I like the beer, though it seemed lacking. The first beer I have had from Bells, looking forward to the next brew from Comstock.

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Photo of katan
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

undated bottle - labeled batch 8733. Lower ABV that advertised here.

A - Pours a very dark used motor oil like appearance. Very thick. Head is very quick to appear and is mocha in color. Stronger carbonation is apparent.

S - A combination of chocolate, caramel, and more strongly roasted/smoked malts. Not overly potent.

T - Starts off with a lightly chocolate flavored malt hit that is nicely balanced by bitterness. Some phenolic edges through the mid stream. Finishes with the smooth and sweet chocolate flavors. Aftertaste is not very pronounced.

M - Creamy and thick as the beer would suggest. Carbonation is probably higher and more stinging than others in this category. However, not overly so as to make it unpleasant.

D - Moderately drinkable due to the heavier body. It is filling/satisfying on the palette. ABV has not been a challenge to making this a relatively easy drinking beer.

Very solid and interesting stout. Flavors could be stronger, but well worth trying.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, pitch black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of roasted malt, which imparts some slight smokiness and coffee aromas.

Taste: Exactly like the aroma. Lots of roasted malt flavors accented with some subtle smokiness and coffee flavors. I get some caramel-like sweetness and some subtle hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and smooth, as there’s practically no carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 6.1%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good stout, but not a really good one. There’s some good roasty flavors balanced with some sweetness, but there’s something missing that is keeping this beer from being great. Unfortunately I don’t know what that is, I just know that this beer is missing it.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with tan head. Loads of retention and lacing. This is followed by raw coffee and caramel aromas. Mix of flavors that are expected, some chocolate, bitter coffee, and some light floral hops. The problem was that it came off muddled and not the cream/milk stout flavor or smoothness that I expected. Not bad, just not great.

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Photo of 57md
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in appearance with a finger head and no retention. There is a slight roasty smell that would be better if it were more upfront. The malt taste is a bit thin. There is a pleasant coffee finish, but this entire offering lacks the distinct roasted bite that would make it complete.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at bocktown

A- Body is a thick, deep, dark brown hue. Is served with a wonderful 1/2 finger cream colored head that eventually fades to a thin collar and leaves little lacing behind in the glass.

S- Roasted malt, vanilla, cream, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. The slightest presence of phenols as well.

T- The flavor is more typical imperial stout than imperial milk stout. Roasted coffee flavors come through first along with a smooth creamy sweetness. The finish is pretty much all roasted malt-but this doesn't get overpowering or intense in any way. A minimal roasted malt bitterness lingers on the palate.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a pretty smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The feel is great-but for the style it is a but hindered by a slight phenolic presence.

D- This is a good milk stout. Certainly a much better imperial cream stout than creme brulee. Its good-but not as good as sessionable beers of the same character. I still do like this one and will have it again.

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Photo of backfat
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark brown with a one finger light tan head. smells strong and robust. very tart yogurt like aromas. the taste is very tart and sour, but i like it. mouthfeel isn't very stouty, but you can actually taste some cream like qualities. very interesting.

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Photo of deapokid
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a deep and rich black with heaping brown head. As the head recedes, a thick wall of lacing coats the inside of the glass, giving the brew a stately look. Nice to look at.

A big chocolate bar smell is the first aroma to make itself known, followed by nuts, espresso and the warm creamy scent one would find in a Young's Double Chocolate.

As for flavor, a sweet, cakey dessert taste is most prevalent, accompanied by dry roasted elements and a hint of heavy cream. It seems to have a bit in common with imperial stouts, especially the anise liqueur backend and eggy richness. A bit sweeter than I bargained for, but still appealing and interesting.

Liquid leaves a thick coating of espresso abrasiveness on the tongue, which adds a bit of bite to this otherwise smooth endeavor. It is certainly a bit richer than expected.

ABV is low enough to have a few, but the syrupy richness and the in-your-face chocolate cake flavor may make this a one and done affair.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with adequate carbonation. Body is dark brown, near to black. Smell of dark, roasted malt. Hint of coffee.

Taste is pretty mild. Flavor isn't lacking, it is just understated. Mellow roasted malt, hint of sweetness in the middle, and a bitter finish. Thick mouthfeel, with the right amount of CO2. Very drinkable, but not something I would want to drink all night.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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 -8.3%
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 -8.3%
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.


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

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Photo of bfflo
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
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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Bell's Special Double Cream Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.97 out of 5 based on 3,777 ratings.
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