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Thomas Creek Up The Creek - Thomas Creek Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

419 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 419
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 16.4%
Wants: 16
Gots: 31 | 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: 419 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +7.5%

bsuedekum, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of eddiechilton
4/5  rDev +7.5%

eddiechilton, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -19.4%

jophish17, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of prototypic
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

prototypic, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Briusin Ales today...

Pours copper with 2+ fingers of tan head. Average head retention & good lacing

Very bready & piney

T: Floows the nose, some leafy hops as well up front. Much bready sweetness with burnt brown sugar, toffee & booze notes as this warms along herbal & leafy bitterness. Finishes dry & boozey, with tanin & herbal bitterness

MF: Super chewy with slight carbonation, skews a tad malty to me, very warming

Drinks fairly easy for the heft, but this one is too malt forward for me, maybe it's aged, but since there's no dating on the bottle it's un solved mystery. Not really what I'm looking for in a DIPA, I would believed this was an English Barley Wine before I'd thought DIPA & would've scored it higher...

russpowell, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Another6Pack
5/5  rDev +34.4%

Another6Pack, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of corzocl
5/5  rDev +34.4%

corzocl, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of WillyMac
5/5  rDev +34.4%

WillyMac, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Rempo, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of evilkalla
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into an ale glass.

A: Pours an amber brown with a scant eighth inch of head on it. A fair amount of carbonation is visible. I've never seen an IPA this color. Very interesting.

S: Smells malty and sweet, with a slight resinous hop character to it. A little muted in the smell department honestly.

T: Has a slightly dark, amber malt taste, a little sweetness, with a fair bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Some caramel hints. More like a barleywine, like some other people mentioned. The bottle says 12.5% ABV but the booze is not really detectable at all. Very nice. This one could be dangerous.

M: Has a thicker, solid feel in the mouth. You definitely know you're drinking something with some backbone in this one.

O: Very interesting beer, haven't had an IPA like this one before. I A pretty smooth brew, I could see drinking a few of these in a sitting, before I fell off my chair, that is.

evilkalla, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Exiled, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +7.5%

DoctorB2B, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of rajendra82
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The burnt umber color, and the smallish head made me let known that this was not your typical DIPA. The aroma was very mild for something billed as an "extreme IPA". I could detect some chocolate, toffee, and a tinge of spruce via the nose. The taste was closer to a mild American Barleywine than a DIPA, with toasted malts, woody hops, and drying finish. There was none of the grapefruit and pine prevalent in most DIPAs. It was a pretty balanced Barleywine, but not at all like any extreme IPA. The alcohol content was jacked up to 12.5%, but there was not much burn. The finish was very dry, and somewhat medicinal. A pretty solid Barleywine.

rajendra82, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Viciousknishs
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep red garnet with a Lucious two fingers of khaki tan head. Very good retention. Pale ale?!?! Not exactly.

S- very malty aromas of toffee and burnt caramel. Slight oily nut aroma which reminds me of walnuts. Spicy phenonlic alchohol with a very rum like quality and a hint of sugar cane gives the nose a good kick. Aged dry pine aroma on the finish. The aroma is more akin to a high ABV barleywine then a IPA.

T- rich malt flavors of toffee and burnt caramel hit the palate at first. There is a definate alchohol presence yet it doesn't overpower the other flavors. It gives a great warming hint of rum. The finish is turbinado sugar and oily walnut with a doughy bready quality that flushes out in the aftertaste. A smidge of dry pine is barely percieved on the finish as well.

MF- syrupy chewy mouthfeel with a heavy body and soft carbonation.

D- one 12 oz and you are good. A really nice sipper that goes down at the appropriate rate!

Overall I would not place this in the realm of IPA. Barleywine seems to fit much better. Nice complexity with a good structure. Very good beer!

Viciousknishs, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of elgiacomo
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served at around 45F.

Pours dark red/copper with a good sized brown head, leaves good spotty lacing and recedes to a light cap.

Aroma starts with citrus and pine hops then a bunch of dark fruit, caramel, some bread and earth. Good strength.

Flavor is citrus hops up front, then moves to strong caramel and dark fruit with moderate sweetness, finishes with good pine bitterness. Some alcohol but really not bad at all considering it is 12.5%!

Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, sticky, good carbonation.

Overall pretty good stuff, but ultimately comes across more as an Imperial Red or Barleywine than a Double IPA.

elgiacomo, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of emerge077
2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

"2021" julian date code on the bottom, june-july 2011 apparently.

Dark tawny copper, sticky cap of fluffy, creamy foam that leaves copious lacing inside the glass. Transparent, high clarity. Head retention is strong, as it's long lasting, maintaining a stiff meringue froth for the duration of the glass.

Sticky toffee and caramel aroma, more appropriate to an old ale or aged barleywine. Very sweet with a bit of pine resin and spun sugar notes.

Ugh. Sticky sweet, syrupy and very astringent. Cheesy smoked gouda notes? Wtf is going on in here >_> I like me some cheese, and toffee too, but not together getting friendly in my beer. Fusel alcohol, sickly sweet, reminds me of cheap schnapps or liqueur. Earthy herbal hop resin in the aftertaste that seems to build incrementally after each sip. Oh...there's the hops. Unfortunately they can't save this beer, especially this late in the game. A flash of an afterthought of hops and a ton of residual sugar does not equal a DIPA. This crosses the threshold into old ale/barleywine for sure. The sweetness and high level astringency are the dealbreakers here.

"Up the creek" generally means "you're screwed" and sadly, so is this beer. Glad it was only a single, i'd never buy this again.

emerge077, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of julian
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Near crystal clear, deep amber and crimson in color with a nice foamy light tan head. One of the darkest DIPAs I've seen.

S: Smell is a mix of toffee, syrup, alcohol and sweet raisin. This smells more like a Scotch ale or barleywine than a DIPA. I don't get any pronounced hop bitterness on the nose.

T&M: Sweet, and syrupy with the taste of raisin and toffee and some fruity bittering in the background which mostly takes a backseat to the malt and alcohol. Carbonation might be a bit high, and the finish leaves a sweet, almost cloying coating on your palate.

O: High ABV, very sweet, lack of hop aroma and overal just not very well balanced or representative of the style it claims to be.

julian, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of BeerBeatnik
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from a bottle. A deep brown red body with a medium khaki colored head. The nose has lots of caramel and some pine. There is also grapefruit. It smells good. The taste is malty and piney. As I drank more I got the grapefruit. The finish is strongly citrus. There are also tobacco hints. Pretty well done with a big ABV

BeerBeatnik, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of bramsdell
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to Imperial pint glass.

A: Dark brown with a deep ruby hue when held up to the light. A very small - maybe a finger - head of a tan color. Certainly not the light, fluffy head of an IPA. Head recedes to a thin line over the beer. Lacing is decent.

S: This is the least remarkable part of this beer. It's 12.5% and bills itself as an "Extreme IPA," I rather expected an aggressive aroma. Instead, there is a malty sweetness of no specific nature and a piney scent from the hops. Not a whole lot of smell, and really no indication of its ABV.

T: This beer is a huge surprise, and a pleasant one for this reviewer. The first flavor to hit the palate is a very manageable malty sweetness. It's all caramel, this one; its a thick, syrupy caramel. After the initial sweetness resides a bit, the hops come out. Honestly, this beer is really more malt than hops. Truly, this is a head-scratcher of a beer. The hops leave a bit of bitter on the tongue, but the malts come back to balance out the flavor for an overall sweetness. A quick sip will yield only a slight warm feeling, but to let this sit in the mouth for a moment brings out the warmth of the high ABV. Let it sit there long enough, and, sadly, the alcohol will overpower. However, in moderate sips/gulps, this beer really belies its 12.5%.

M: A great feel, but not the typical DIPA feel. No, the syrupy consistency and low-ish carbonation are more reminiscent of a stout. Again, let it sit too long and the only flavor left is booze. Just avoid that and this beer feels great.

O: Well, I'm giving it high marks for enjoyability and for being bold. Not due to the ABV, its boldness comes from its billing itself as an extreme IPA yet being a seriously malty beverage. Might incite some hardcore hop-heads, but I love it. Overall, this is a good beer, one that I would like to try fresh and on tap.

bramsdell, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown with red hues. The brown thick head sinks slowly into great lacings.

S: Sweet, sweet malt, roasted and syrupy. Dark dried fruits. This is the first DIPA (or perhaps TIPA) I've ever had, where the malt overpowers the hops.

T: Tastes just like the smell. Molasses and dark dried fruits. The hops are, if possible, even more anonymous.

M: Body is full and creamy while carbonation is held back. Aftertaste is long and sweet. Lots of alcohol-precense.

O: Wow, how I loved this beer. But to review it as a DIPA is so wrong. If it was classified as a Barleywine - top grade, but as a DIPA, way too much sweet malt, and way too little hops.

Evil_Pidde, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of azdback
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark caramel color. Cloudy, large three finger head that is tan in color. Retention is long and lace is very sticky and a patchy pattern.

Smell is very sweet malts. Much like a Barleywine. There are some citrus smells and some burnt sugar. Alcohol is also present.

Taste is very sweet, and malty. There is some citrus bitterness of a yellow grapefruit mixed with the sweetness of a pink grapefruit. There is some burnt or caramelized sugar I detect too. The alcohol is very noticeable as this warms.

Mouth is extremely rich and velvety. I once again point to a Barleywine. The maltiness stays rich and full all the way to the end. There is quite a bit of alcohol warmness all the way to the belly.

Overall I really enjoyed this. Like many high ABV Double or Triple IPA’s, as they age they turn into a Barleywine. IMO. Not at all a bad thing and I won’t grade against this for it. A very aggressive beer that must be sipped and enjoyed over...like.... an entire half of a football game.

azdback, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of dcloeren
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark, yet transparent, mahogany brown with two fingers of frothy tan head

I could smell this beer as soon as I poured it but it mellowed slightly shortly after. Toffee notes dominate with possibly some molasses and brown sugar. Some pine hops make their presence known, but are over shadowed by the malt characteristics and the booze.

taste follows the nose. Not alot of hops presence at all... Great brown sugar, roasted malt and molasses notes. Definitely gives off some heat. Probably one of the least hoppy IPA's i've ever had....

Medium to full body. Thick and slightly syrupy. Drying aftertaste with some boozy heat.

Over all, this was not a bad beer by any means but I just dont think that this needs to be classified as an IPA based on what I tasted... more like a strong ale. Would have liked to have seen more hops. Pretty disappointed and having a hard time letting the hops problem go...

dcloeren, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this is a complex brew, lots of flavors and smells. The dark ruby color denotes some depth, The aroma almost knocks your socks off. The hops are present but are overshadowed by plum and what seems like aging in wine barrels. A bit woody with notes of grape and cherry. The body is hella thick, a bit hard to swallow, this beer lets you know who's in charge. After about 1/4 of the bottle I was feeling the alcohol.

DesMoinesMike, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of LiquidBread219
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A= Dark in color like a dark auburn color, nice head and lots of lacing.

S= The smell is what threw me off because it's listed as a Imperial IPA but has a barleywine nose to it huge carmel notes, maybe some chocolate, or other dark fruits almost not what a Imperial would smell like really.

T= In the taste you get a strong carmel backbone the alchol is hidden pretty good with a abv of 12.5% I don't really pick that up but again when I'm thinking Imperial Ipa I'm thinking hops and this just doesn't have it at all.

M= Thick and chewy has the feeling of a barleywine.

O= Overall a good beer I just feel that it's labeled wrong I would consider this almost a barleywine instead of a Imperial Ipa. That's why it got a lower ranking for me because I don't really think this is a Imperial IPA would have been higher if it was labeled a barleywine.

LiquidBread219, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An abundance of off-white head out of the tap, with a yellow gold liquid underneath. The head leaves polenty of sticky lacing. The generous carbonation also influenced the mouthfeel making feel, I think, lighter than it would otherwise.

This is one boozy beer, and the high ABV is evident but not objectionable in the nose, but too overpowering in the taste. It also lends some burn and harshness to the mouthfeel, in addition to some warming. The beer also may be mis-classified as a DIPA ... it is more like a barleywine and a bit like a Belgian tripel. There is a definite hop contribution, but also a substantial balance from sweet caramel malts. Neither the high IBU (111) nor the high ABV (12.5%) seem quite so high.

O - you want a super high ABV beer? ... usually sacrifices need to be made in mouthfeel and taste. Such is the case here although the negative effects are not as pronounced as a 12.5% reading would often produce.

chinchill, Aug 20, 2011
Thomas Creek Up The Creek from Thomas Creek Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.