Bell's Special Double Cream Stout - Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo
Stouts are great. I often find that my one complaint with Stouts are that they are a little too dark, too roasted and just too bitter for my tastes. What I like about the Cream Stout and Milk Stout styles are is the added lactose sugar really mellows out the big harsh malts. Bell's Double Cream Stout sounds like it could be the best idea since Left Hand Milk Stout if it really is twice as sweet or twice as creamy as some of the other Cream Stouts I've had before. I'm a little apprehensive because it is possible to have too much of a good thing, I'm not looking for a dark chocolate beer... I still want there to be plenty of Stout in this Double Cream Stout.
This beer pours just as dark as you'd expect. It's pitch black and develops a nice sized tan head that hangs around for quite a while. There's a little lacing left behind as you drink through this beer but it's nothing extraordinary. The aroma of Bell's Double Cream Stout is much more in line with a traditional Stout than I was expecting. I was expecting a lot of chocolate and malted milk in the aroma but this beer smells just like a run of the mill Stout with a little smokiness added to it. There's a hint of chocolate in there but again, it's nothing extraordinary.
The flavor of this beer is great. I don't know if I'd call it a Double Cream Stout necessarily but it's a great Cream Stout... The first thing you notice when you take a sip is the rich malt character of this beer. It's definitely malt forward but it isn't just a malt bomb. The flavor is rich but not overpowering. There is a lot more chocolate that comes through in the flavor than in the aroma, and there is an underlying creaminess that ties it all together. This is definitely one of the most drinkable Stouts I've ever had.
I finished this beer up thinking that the Double Cream Stout name does this beer a bit of a disservice. I was expecting something much more sweet and much less Stout. I'm very happy with the beer that was in my glass but it just wasn't what I thought it'd be, which is probably for the best.