Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Bell's Special Double Cream Stout

Hey, beer aficionados! It's been a hot minute since I've posted a straight-up review, what with all the fun events and bars I've been to recently. So here I am bringing you a review of a nice stout I picked up.

It's full-on stout season, and while I love a big burly ol' monster of a stout, I also like the more sessionable flavorful ones. The latest offering we've received from Michigan-based Bell's Brewery is their other winter offering, the Special Double Cream Stout. I've liked the other two seasonal offerings from Bell's, their Best Brown Ale and the Winter White Ale (which is a wheat beer of all things). This particular bottle of SDCS was bottled on October 16th, so it's about halfway through its shelf-life. Not bad. I've poured my stout into a snifter and am about ready to dive into this review!

Appearance: 3.5/5

SDCS pours a rich black color. It's not overly thick, but it is handsome. The head is a medium tan and I got about a finger-and-a-half worth of it. It sticks around for the most part and leaves some very nice lacing behind. 

Nose: 3.75/5

I pick up notes of coffee and caramel first. Some roasty malts follow close on the heels of the coffee. There are even hints of sweet chocolate in there. As far as stout aromas go, this is pretty standard stuff, but I love how strong the scent is. It's very easy to discern what you're smelling, which I quite like. I'd say the nose is pleasant, overall.

Taste: 3.75/5

The taste is pretty much the same as the nose. The roasty malts and the coffee notes blend together quite well to form a deep, roasted flavor. The chocolate does its part to add some sweetness to the backbone of the flavor. 

Mouthfeel: 3/5

SDCS sports a full body that, while very enjoyable, isn't too much to handle. It's very easy to sip on. There is a creamy feel to the beer as well.

Finish: 3/5

The coffee sticks around after each swallow, and a hint of bitterness too. It's a nice, clean, yet roasty finish.

Total Score: 71.75/100

Bell's Special Double Cream, while being very tasty and sessionable too, doesn't quite "wow" me. It covers the basics of a stout, and covers them well. By all means, it's enjoyable, but it's not groundbreaking, either. Pick up a sixer for yourself and try it out as the weather gets chillier!

Until next time, cheers!


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