Yes, this is more like it. After a thankless experience that I’d rather forget with Viru, Bell’s knows how to treat me right. Their special double cream stout is holding down a 90 on Beer Advocate … and it’s well earned.
I’m naturally a bit biased when it comes to Bell’s because they make amazing beers and the double cream stout is no exception. My bottle had very little carbonation, but poured oh-so pretty. On the nose, it’s very easy to pick up thick smells of roasted malt and some chocolate.
The taste is a bit dry, but great. What surprises me most about the beer is that Bell’s doesn’t use any lactose, but obtains the “cream” aspect through sheer brew science. (pretty cool) Whatever they do to the malt, it really smooths the beer out wonderfully, which eases the dryness quite a bit into a chocolate/coffee flavor. Maybe some vanilla, too. I haven’t had an actual cup of coffee in some time, but it does faintly remind me of drinking a cold espresso. While there isn’t a ton of sweetness, there is enough to cut that dryness. Again, pretty cool since this was accomplished without milk sugar.
I couldn’t find specifics except for a few reviews, but this beer apparently has about 10 different kinds of malts, which helps to explain the manipulation Bell’s is able to accomplish to get this kind of flavor and mouthfeel. As always, kudos to the brewery on this. You can never go wrong with Bell’s.