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Thomas Creek Up The Creek - Thomas Creek Brewery

Not Rated.
Thomas Creek Up The CreekThomas Creek Up The Creek

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BA SCORE
84
good

380 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.82%
Wants: 12
Gots: 20 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
111 IBU

(Beer added by: khiasmus on 06-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KevinGordon
KevinGordon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

02-26-2013 03:43:48 | More by KevinGordon
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to mntlover. Pours a clear copper body with a large creamy tan head. Good retention and an abundance of sticky lacing.

Aroma has malty toffee, molasses, and toasted caramel, complimented by huge notes of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.

Mouthfeel has an almost full body due to the chewy maltiness. Moderate carbonation.

Taste has big malt and big hops, but it's more on the malty side. Chewy caramel and toffee join with some syrupy molasses to provide a malt tour de force. Citrusy and earthy hops are equally aggressive but struggle to provide a balancing bitterness. Alcohol is hidden very well, quite a feat for a 12.5 % brew. A little warmth is noted as it reaches room temperature.

Definitely a sipper, but seems more like a barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 01:08:23 | More by merlin48
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Multiple samples on tap at BrewGrass 2009.

A-Hazy, dark copper with a small light tan head that held on tight and left decent lace.

S-Bright floral and grapefruit hop punch up front with a healthy backing of sweet caramel and toffee.

T-BAM! Big fat blast of ruby red grapefruit, floralness and touch of spicy hop bitterness in the finish. Backing caramel malt comes through after the HUGE wave of hops passes over your palate. Hard to believe that this one is 12+%

M-Medium bordering on medium-light...amazing considering it's ABV strength! Nice, long lingering bitterness.

D-Ok, broken record here...this is 12%? What? Certainly doesn't drink like it. A veritable hop bomb with full on aggressiveness. An excellent brew made to capture the glory of hops. I went back time and time again to grab a sample of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2010 14:22:16 | More by Deuane
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4/5  rDev +7.2%

11-15-2011 04:37:39 | More by Exiled
Photo of ShemRahBoo
ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

06-02-2013 15:38:14 | More by ShemRahBoo
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Up the Creek pours a dark, nut brown color. Looks mostly clear. When held to light, it has a strong reddish tint. Looks crimson. A tan head tops it off and stands about a finger tall. It’s relatively quick to recede. Perhaps too much abv? Lacing was a little sticky, but lighter in volume.

The nose is below average. It’s not all that aromatic to begin with. It does have a strong, sweet caramel malt scent. Eh. Not so great. Smells like there might be some dark fruit in there. Raisin and plum come through. Hops are not all that strong at all. There are hints of pine and citrus grapefruit, but they’re very subtle in the mix. Alcohol is quite prominent. No big shock there. All in all, not that great.

The flavor is a little better than the nose. It starts out with a sweet caramel malt flavor. It’s strong. Given a beer of its size, I guess it needs the malt base. It’s too much though. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and plum are noted. Is this an American Barleywine? Tastes like it to me. Hops are there, but aren’t all that strong. Light pine and citrus grapefruit flavors are most notable. Alcohol is definitely there in flavor. It’s a tad warm, but isn’t quite hot. Finishes sweet with a touch of dark fruit and hops.

Up the Creek has a medium body. It feels a little thin for its size. Carbonation is moderate, but doesn’t feel buzzy. It’s not quite smooth. Given its size, it’s definitely a sipper. It’s big. I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish of the bottle.

Up the Creek is not very impressive beer. I suppose it’s a bit of novelty. Frankly, it’s much more of an American Barleywine than it is any sort of IPA. Whatever it is, it’s not all that great. There are not enough hops and the alcohol is over the top. I’d suggest passing on this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 02:11:20 | More by prototypic
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks super dark for the style. Caramel brown in color. Not much head. Looks okay. 3.5

I smell roasted malts and earthy hops without much vigor. Caramel, grapefruit, and pine. 3.5

Total candy DIPA with rich toffee malts and notes of fig and orange and grapefruit. Sweet and very malty, like a barleywine. Not particularly hoppy. Light chocolate note. Heaps of alcohol. 3.5

Sticky with sweetness. Light-to-moderate carbonation. Pretty boozy. 3.0

Okay DIPA. Enjoying the strength more than the flavor, at this point. 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 13:11:04 | More by thecheapies
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VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A-Pours a dark ruby/brown color. Body is slightly hazy. Great head. Decent size and great retention. Strong lacing consistency.

S-Rich, deep candied citrus hops. Resinous oily hoppiness. Loads of sweet caramel. Booze is surprisingly not too evident here. The nose has strength but its a bit too subdued for a beer of its epic gravity.

T-Supremely sweet. Hops are sweet and candied in flavor. Loads of caramel. Doesn't taste like a DIPA to me. Sweeter than anything else. Reminds me of a Double Crooked Tree with a less pronounced hoppiness.

M-Full, full, full. Chewy and resiny. Softer carbonation. A real sipper.

O/D-As expected, the girth of this beer makes it a slow-sipping Barleywine or Strong Ale in my opinion. Its worth a try but I am incredibly thankful that most DIPAs don't taste like this.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 23:40:00 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not docking for style. I am rating for experience.

A - Brown, cola like, off white head. Sticky lacing. Liking the look, but an IPA?

S - Big sweet malt. Cooked fruits, booze.

T - Oh, taste follows smell in a big way. Nice hop twang at end to balance it out too.

M - Good on all fronts. Nice balance, creamy but carbed, I like this one.

D - A little muted considering the ABV....

GOOD STUFF though!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 05:46:24 | More by srandycarter
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Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Toasty tan head, which is big and fluffy and firm, sitting on top of a burnt red liquid. Looks more barleywine or American strong ale than double IPA (the brewery labels this an "extreme IPA"). Beautiful beer.

Nose is burnt sugar, heavily roasted grain, cherry taffy, and solvent alchohol. It appeals to the barleywine/strong ale fan in me, but again, I'm not thinking "IPA" here at all.

You know that candy Boston Baked Beans? This tastes just like that, in liquid form. Nicely burnt, sweet and a little nutty. There's a laid back spice character, like cinnamon or allspice, and an earthy/grassy bitterness. Caramel/toffee in abundance, edging the hops out as the dominant force--Up The Creek is a malty monster. Alcohol is nicely incorporated, underlining everything and making it glow yet not jabbing out too strongly on its own. Grassy astringency spreads out in the finish, but so does robust malt, sweetness and the spice. However, it's broken record time: this is nothing like an IPA of any sort!

Chewy and creamy, firm and round, just a smidgen of carbonation for some vibrancy. Very, very nice.

The only two Thomas Creek brews I had previous to this were not impressive. That was four years ago. Apparently this brewery has changed its tune, and are brewing behemoth 12+ percenters to boot. And this is a good one, achieving the careful balance any beer this big demands. But it's definitely something they should be selling as what this site calls an "American strong ale," because that's what it is. Not docking them points for this, just sayin'.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 21:24:21 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. A much deeper red pour than expected, just a ring of white bubbles around the glass. Aroma also more malt than expected. Some deep red fruits, malt and limited citrus/pine. Some light booziness. Malty taste, toffee and some vinuous fruits. Some prune and raisin. Solid medium body, good stickiness to it. Very little IPA characteristics, but very nice. Finish is more caramel and malt, not much hop presence. Warming but very drinkable, alcohol not strong at all. I'd put this somewhere between an American and English barleywine. Drink it as a winter warmer rather than an DIPA.
As long as you're not expecting a typical DIPA, this could be considered a nice little southern brewery gem.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 05:43:07 | More by Bung
Photo of BMart
BMart

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

06-24-2013 20:01:49 | More by BMart
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep and dark amber color with a thinner tan head. Has to be the darkest DIPA I've ever seen.

Very barleywine like smell. Very sweet and very hoppy. The hops smell juicy and fruity with pineapple and citrus notes.

The taste is very barleywine like as well. Huge malty sweetness with an equally huge hop presence that adds some solid bitterness and juicy citrus and pineapple hop notes. A bit boozy and piney as well. Tons of flavor going on here.

Full bodied, soft and smooth. Quite nice feeling.

Really digging this huge DIPA. I guess it's more of a barleywine, but sometimes, who cares. Really quite drinkable and goes down easier than it should. Could be trouble. I recommend giving this one a serious try, I was impressed.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 01:26:21 | More by jera1350
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle received as an extra in a trade a month or two ago.

Appearance: This is the first IPA I've seen that pours crimson to burgundy red. The body is fairly clear and the crown is a light khaki. At 2 fingers deep, it shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Much more malt presence than hops. Light caramel malt, hints of stone fruit, some floral hops.

Taste: Caramel covered garbage. Seriously it's not terrible, just not an IPA. Deep caramel notes, stone fruits, and a slightly bitter hop finish that is fairly enjoyable. This is more like a strong ale to me. I'm marking it low because it's a poor representation of the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a touch of heft, moderate carbonation, and a touch creamy.

Drinkability: Tastes bad and has a really strong abv

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 23:01:40 | More by koopa
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buckyp

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

03-04-2012 02:39:08 | More by buckyp
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a Meantime snifter; courtesy of Ryan's Ghetto Fab BIF.

Pours dark, too dark for an IIPA, with a rusty amber hue that looks like cola once the glass is filled. More like an Imperial Amber in color, with a thin, wispy head of small khaki bubbles. [EDIT: bumped appearance rating from 3.0 to 3.5 after reading other reviewers that suggest this beer may be a barleywine] Thankfully, the aroma is on point, although I'm still getting the Imperial Amber/Red vibe. Candied amber malts and sticky-sweet caramel & brown sugar provide the breadth of the malt profile, and the hops are green and resinous. This is what a hoppy candy bar would smell like...in some ways it smells like an aged barleywine (think SN Bigfoot).

Aggressive in all ways, the flavor blasts the front of the tongue with a raw hoppiness that quickly gives way to hot rubbing alcohol. Hop cones and harsh bittering alpha acids nip at the front and sides of the tongue like a high grit sandpaper. Sweet caramel malts in the background, but most maltiness gets overwhelmed by the rawness of the booze. Way too alcoholic and medicinal to be anywhere close to drinkable. Body is syrupy and overly carbonated, exaggerating the rough edges of this monster of a beer. Thomas Creek took a risk with Up The Creek, but sometimes risks do not pay off in the beer world. This is one example. Too big, too boozy, too unrestrained, and nowhere near an IIPA for me. I'd have to pass on this one next time...

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 03:05:31 | More by wagenvolks
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aztraz

Sweden

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

12-19-2013 08:35:28 | More by aztraz
Photo of WDJersey
WDJersey

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

01-12-2013 08:25:08 | More by WDJersey
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH snifter pours a crisp dark brown with a decent tan head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is burnt caramel malts in front of citrus and pine hops. The taste is a decent amount of caramel and brown malts balanced nicely with pine hops. The beer somewhat heavy, but a bitter dryness and decent carbonation smooth things out nicely. As I said when I reviewed it on-tap a few weeks ago, this one is borderline DIPA/Barleywine, but this one is closer to DIPA than the draft version.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 09:37:29 | More by atsprings
Photo of twenty5
twenty5

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

05-17-2013 15:50:39 | More by twenty5
Photo of Gatordaddy
Gatordaddy

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

04-10-2012 03:44:50 | More by Gatordaddy
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra in a trade with funkydelic. Thanks, Cameron!

A: Pours a porter brown in my tulip with ruby highlights near the edges of the glass. The head is an inch of off-white foam that recedes into a scattered film on the brew and the dreaded donut around the glass. Leaves some ivy lacing at the start of the drink, but the second half of the glass is clean. Why is this brew so dark?

S: Ah. It's dark because it's really a barleywine. Full-on malt aromas of caramel, brown sugar, nuts, and an earthy / dark fruit character that I can only conclude is an inseparable blend of hops and plums.

T: Strong element of roasted malt when the beer is cold, which I really don't like as the hops start coming into play. Makes for a weird clash. But as the beer approaches serving temp, the clash is muted and the beer comes into a solid barleywine blend of malt and hops. Caramel, brown sugar, plums, dates, and possibly some toffee or nuts underneath it all: these set the initial taste. But they fade gradually into a hoppy finish, mostly earthy with a progressively stronger pine presence in there. The chocolate is noticeable again at times, but it works very well with the dark fruits.

M: Full-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Some astringency that I really don't enjoy.

D: I am honestly very impressed. I thought this would just be a random local extra that would turn out to be middle-of-the-road. My expectations were far exceeded. Someone hook me up with another...

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 08:22:13 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$3.25 single from Abe's.

Ruby colored body, good clarity when backlit. This is definitely more Imperial red/amber than IIPA. Two fingers of off white foam decays quickly but laces well.

Aroma is huge malty sweet, with some candy sugar, and very sweet cherry. A bit boozy.

Big sweet slathering malt incapacitates the tongue. Big hops manage to balance it by the swallow. Some warming alcohol.

Full mouthfeel.

It's a good beer. It's exactly like an IIPA except for the color, aroma, and taste. Call it a barleywine, or a strong ale, but it is not what is advertised.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 03:52:48 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of jheezee
jheezee

Texas

3/5  rDev -19.6%

07-10-2012 15:49:50 | More by jheezee
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a dark, ruby tinted chestnut brown. It poured small, short lived creamy head.

s: Not hop forward, this was very balanced. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of hops, there was just plenty of caramel, brown sugar, and hints of chocolate cake batter to provide balance. The hops were resiny and earthy.

t: Citrus, then sweet brown sugar/chocolate and caramel. The finish is bitter grapefruit rind and moderate warmth. 12.5% is hard to believe, it is so well incorporated.

m: Heavy and chewy.

o: I asked about local barleywines at GBX and they didn't have any. This was one they suggested as an alternative. Great suggestion, not only was this a great beer, but is definitely more b-wine than pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 23:41:10 | More by DIM
Thomas Creek Up The Creek from Thomas Creek Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.