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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale - Thomas Creek Brewery

Not Rated.
Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream AleThomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale

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124 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 17.67%
Wants: 7
Gots: 4 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
23 IBU

(Beer added by: aracauna on 04-26-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly overcast sunflower gold with pale lemon trim. The head is the very definition of rich cream, both in terms of color and consistency. It's wonderfully thick and sticky and leaves an impressive amount of lace in amorphous hunks and chunks. This is a great look for a cream ale.

I love the smell of vanilla. Since the nose is bursting with the essence of crushed, sugared vanilla beans, I love it as well. It still smells like beer, but only just. In fact, it's pretty damn close to the line that seperates cream ale and cream soda. I'm pretty sure the aroma (and probably the flavor) won't be to everyone's liking. Purists will probably turn up their noses.

Vanilla Cream Ale doesn't translate to the palate as well as I had hoped. It isn't bad, but I'm a little let down. I've gone from no expectations to high expectations to moderated expectations in the course of the last few minutes. It's actually possible to set the vanilla extract aside and appreciate the flavors of the underlying ale. Unfortunately, the base beer is little better than average. Whatever complexity the combination of pale, pils and caramel malt was meant to impart isn't readily appreciated.

The hop bill consists of two Germans (Hallertauer and Tettnanger), two Brits (Fuggles and East Kent Goldings) and a lone American (Cascade). I wonder why the brewers decided to include such a wide range of hop varieties in a vanilla cream ale. The Germans are the only ones that can be appreciated by my palate. Hop flavor and hop bitterness are, rightfully so, on the low end. The amount of vanilla that has been used is neither too much nor too little. Like the final bowl of porridge, it's juuust right.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite reach medium, but it's far from thin or watery. I like a fair amount of sweetness in my cream ales and I think this one would benefit from a sweeter flavor and a bigger, stickier mouthfeel. If the nose is (arguably) too much like cream soda, the flavor and mouthfeel aren't enough like it.

Thomas Creek Vanilla Cream Ale smells like a dream. Each time I raise the glass to my lips, I get a blast of sweet vanilla that only makes the flavor that follows pale in comparison. This is still a good little drinker, but it could be amazing if the mysteries of the nose could be unlocked and applied to the palate. Thanks to WOLFGANG for an interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 15:28:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98

New York

3.16/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short but dense off white head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Light aromas of biscuit malts are present in the nose along with faint bits of vanilla.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has light flavors of biscuity malts along with hints of vanilla.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit creamy and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but isn't overly flavorful and seems a bit thin on the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 03:13:14 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden body with lots of bubbling activity; huge, fluffy head that created an alpine panorama as it settled down; tons of lacing left behind

Smell: A vague lemony odor, but nothing much to sniff at

Taste: Nicely balanced vanilla malty flavor quickly followed by a pilsner-like bitterness; subtle and well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and refreshingly carbonated; appropriate to the style

Drinkability: I wasn't expecting much when I bought this, thinking back to my college days with Genny Cream, but I was delightfully surprised at the uniquely approachable quality of this brew

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 21:00:43 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up one of the newly labeled bottles the other day and wanted to give it a try. I had this I think last year but did not really remember much about it so I figured I would give it one more shot. Poured into a pilsner glass it was a nice hazy, light yellow color with a good sized three inch high head of white foam. Very nice carbonation profile with rippling bubbles shooting skyward throughout the session. Decent head retention and some good side glass lace.

The aroma was nice and light, not really much of a hint of anything here with the faintest exception of some light vanilla just kissing the nose, mostly light grain and wheat though. The taste was just the same, very light, with a clean, crisp, and well carbonated light body to it. Light hints of malt mixed in with what seemed like an artificial vanilla flavor, not terrible, just not particularly impressive either. Easily session able, I was unsure if there was even alcohol in this one as it came off so light.

Overall not a bad light, outdoor on a hot day type of beer, but to be honest I have had better. Still though not a bad effort and I would not be terribly opposed to trying it again. Decent effort for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2008 01:17:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


3.53/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta' say, this was a fun beer to drink. Not that the quality was all that great, but I appreciate the creativity. I enjoyed the light ale flavors with the mild addition of vanilla. The beer takes on a confectionate-like sweetness (cotton candy-ish). The source of the sweetness is questionable until the vanilla aromas enter the ofactories. The a light buttery note accompanies the light fruity, estery maltiness. Tastes much the same as expected from the aromas. A soft sweetness up front, then increasing vanilla flavors toward the finish. The beer weakens into the finish with a light bitterness (not hop diriven). With the higher carbonation, the beer gets very cream-soda-like. A good thing, but it just doesn't mean it's a quality beer. I've got to give them cool points though.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2006 15:49:23 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale yellow body with a small-sized, white head.

Smell: Sweet-scented vanilla additive amongst light pilsner malt notes and some spicy-minded hop accents.

Taste: Sweetish pale malts and lightly grainy pils come together with a taste of vanilla flavoring. Spicy hop character with a medium amount of bitterness. Small hint of citrus. Light bitterness and final taste of vanilla in the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: An acceptable, generally easy-drinking beer, but, for me, the gimmick wears a bit thin halfway through the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 03:48:51 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Vintage 301 last night,poured a very ;ight lemony yellow with a tight formed 1/2 finger white that was gone quickly.Faint toasted aromas along with a whiff of vanilla but its quite faint.The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and went down smooth,flavors are pretty heavy handed vanilla and some light toastiness almost like a vanilla wafer.Eh it isnt bad for what it is but its not my thing.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2009 12:18:46 | More by oberon
Photo of kylehay2004


3.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: very thin white head on a clear pale gold body. not very exciting. some lacing.

S: honey, vanilla, wheat, light biscuit notes. light on the nose.

T: where the appearance and nose lack, the flavor makes up for it. the vanilla really brings out the creaminess. wheat, honey and some sour lemon notes round this one out.

M: light body and high carbonation. crisp and refreshing.

Overall: this beer is incomplete. Ups and downs but I guess the flavor matters most and it is decent for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 23:31:53 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.28/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a relatively thin white head. Smells like frosted breakfast ceral with milk and a splash of vanilla. Tastes like diet vanilla cream soda. I think the light hops here emulate the bitterness of the artificial sweetner. As bad as that sounds, it's not terrible. Extremely creamy and the vanilla is restrained. Crackery malt makes this lighter and dryer than it could easily be. Interesting enough and several of my house guests liked it, but I probably won't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 22:47:02 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DrunkinYogi


3.25/5  rDev +2.5%

08-06-2012 17:10:47 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Wasatch


3.63/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to slcbrewer for this one.

Pours a cloudy darker yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little off-white head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, hoppy, some hint of vanilla, some caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, some hint of vanilla, the finish is pretty dry. Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad of a brew, would be great for the hot days of summer.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 00:51:12 | More by Wasatch
Photo of mdaschaf


3.33/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: Pours a light golden color with a small foamy head on top. Decent retention, but not much lacing at all.

S: Rather light, with a but of bready malt and a definite vanilla presence.

T: Similar to the nose, except that the vanilla is more pronounced. It reminds me of cream soda actually. Some bready malt, a bit of spice, and maybe a touch of honey.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks smooth.

O: Not a bad beer. The vanilla gives it a nice flavor profile, even though I am not a huge cream soda fan. Probably wouldn't have it again though.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 18:17:29 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of DrJay


3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a recent trade from mikesgroove. Thanks!
Very close to clear with just a faint haze, the beer was a straw yellow with a thin, coarse cap of white bubbles. A little bit of stickage, but not much in the way of lacing. Light aroma overall with vanilla front and center, some cereal grain and sugary caramel notes were in the background. Taste was more of the same with mild bitterness. Vanilla and sweetness lingered. Light bodied, crisp carbonation, decent texture. A drinkable beer, fairly refreshing, but the vanilla didn't have much to play with. Even though the vanilla was fairly light, it completely dominated the flavour and aroma. Not bad though and sort of interesting.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 22:56:22 | More by DrJay
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - gold with a thin lacing of white head

S - cereal grains, faint creaminess

T - vanilla, creamy, cereal grains, sweet graininess

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This idea had promise. I like the underlying cream ale. I would probably like this a lot more if the vanilla didn't come across as artificial. Ultimately, this is a nice, flavorful-for-the-style, refreshing, lighter offering that will help you through some of the warmer days ahead.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 01:03:05 | More by tdm168
Photo of sendbeer


2.75/5  rDev -13.2%

01-05-2013 05:48:47 | More by sendbeer
Photo of THECPJ


3.33/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: vanilla, biscuit, malts

taste: vanilla, malts, bread

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin to medium body,

overall: not a bad brew if you like vanilla. glad I got to try it.


Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 03:34:18 | More by THECPJ
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured clear light golden in color with what looks like a high amount of carbonation. Large, sudsy white head is durable. The ho-hum aroma and flavor are weak and too much like a macro lager... albeit with vanilla
M: As indicated visually, this does have high carbonation but sit seems suitable; light body.

O: refreshing but timid.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 23:33:34 | More by chinchill
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a thin, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Below average lacing.

S: A sweet aroma, with vanilla, malt, and a little hops coming through.

T: Tasted of some malt, vanilla, cream, and light hops in the finish. This is a surprisingly tasty beer. Very light, refreshing, and vibrant.

M: A high amount of carbonation with a tingly, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: While this beer does have some flaws, it's still pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 12:10:30 | More by avalon07
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours a nice golden pale yellow with a one-finger white head that quickly subsides to a minimal amount. There was no apparent lacing evident. The aroma was comprised of a slight hop hint and vanilla. The flavor of this beer actually came in three stages in the same succession: First you would get a very light hop flavor that was followed by a note of vanilla, that was then followed by a note of cream upon swallowing. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very interesting brew with multiple flavors coming in as the sip goes along. This is a nice seasonal from Thomas Creek and is very smooth to drink and enjoyable. Worth a try for any cream ale lover.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 12:21:37 | More by thagr81us
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.5/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clean pale yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, vanilla and somewhat creme soda like. In the taste, a small sweetness and a small vanilla presence. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry vanilla cream soda like aftertaste. Looks like a pils, tastes like a cream soda poured into a lighter ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 16:04:42 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Cyberkedi


2.53/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is fairly strong and mainly of wilting lettuce - not too promising. It pours a clear straw yellow with a rather typical fluffy white head. Flavor is malty, a bit wan - not what I expect from Thomas Creek; I have enjoyed the other beers from this brewery that I have tried. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy, about average.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 00:27:57 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.51/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a mostly clear gold color with a frothy white head. Nice retention and leaves a sheet of foam all around the glass. An impressive looking beer at least.

Nose is honeyed grains, with a hint of vanilla. Pretty standard Cream Ale aromas and is a little on the sweeter side than average. Im surprised the vanilla does not make more of a presence.

Taste is right in line with most cream ales I have had - the malts are light and grainy at best. There is something about cream ales that give it a unique taste - apart from blonde ales...they seem a little sweeter with a fuller body. The vanilla is pleasant, if a little on the light side. It a fairly well done beer, but being a little better than average in a rather uninspiring style category isnt going to garner the highest rankings unfortunately. I would drink this again for sure and if I was looking for a tasty, light-ish beer - this would do nicely.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 23:25:25 | More by twiggamortis420

South Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -21.1%

07-26-2013 01:01:50 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of aasher


2.85/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I grabbed this one soley because it sounds delicious and sounds refreshing. I haven't had a really light beer in forever. So here goes nothing...it poured a very light and extremely clear golden yellow with a two finger frothy bright white head. It smells of a light lager with the slightest hint of vanilla. The lack of vanilla is actually surprising, despite being an extremely light style in the first place. As it warms it starts to open up a little bit. The vanilla is a little more apparent. The flavor too is disappointing. There is maybe one drop of vanilla per bottle. As it warms, the vanilla is actually apparent in the taste and aftertaste but it is very subtle. This is a cream ale, yes. Is it average? Maybe, maybe. It drinks light but is there really a reason to go back for another sip? Probably not.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 23:40:24 | More by aasher
Photo of jophish17


3/5  rDev -5.4%

12-04-2011 18:48:23 | More by jophish17
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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.