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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.
BA SCORE
84
good

389 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.82%
Wants: 13
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: 389 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich clear deep copper color with a thumb sized tan head that falls to scum and leaves some sparse lace.

Aroma is nice rich caramel malts, molasses, ripe fruits mingled together. Hops seems mellow in comparison citrus and pine resin. Aroma is nice sweet smelling brew not an I2PA per say but very good.

Taste is big on malt caramel, molasses toffee even mingled with grapefruit rind not in your face but under neath it all. Rich full bodied malty treat with enough hops to balance the sweetness. While this brew is bitter its more malty not sure where the extreme ipa labeling comes from but its good beer none the less. Alcohol is 12.5 and very well hidden could be dangerous beer as its tasty and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is almost full nice chewy malty treat with good carbonation level.

Drinkability is good enjoyable goes down easy and is tasty wouldn't have more then two at 12.5%

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 23:12:57 | More by mntlover
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.
Poured really dark for an IPA categorized beer. Lots of sweetness, molasses, dark fruits. Lots of hops kick and oine aromas and falvors. Overal, a confusing beer, but since it was powerful and drinkable at the same time. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 01:41:29 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of vacax
vacax

California

4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for hooking me up with this bottle of Extreme IPA... or is it an American Barleywine? Hell, I could ask the same question about many East Coast IPAs though. Either way it is pretty tasty. Pours a brownish red with a jolly good length of tan head that was thick and made lovely lacing. Aromas of toffee, caramel, pineapple, pine, and honey. Tastes of brown sugar, toffee, cocoa, pineapple, has a nice full bitterness and spicy cookie finish. Full body and somewhat high carbonation seems more like a barleywine than an IPA. Overall this is really nice. Think of it is a Triple East Coast IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 23:59:54 | More by vacax
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
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Billed as an Extreme IPA, at 12.5% abv. I would agree. However because of how the beer tastes, I would group it in with the American Strong Ale catagory.

The beer starts out with a strong amber/copper hue with good clarity. A dense white head forms on the beer and slowly fades to a sheet across the beer, while lacing very well.

Aromas are strong with piney, resiny hops but are equalled by strong toasted malts, molassas, maple syrup and stone fruits.

Flavors of malts hit first and reluctantly allow the hops to rival them. The syrups, molassas, and nuttiness is woven into an estery mix of grapes, dates, figs, raisons, and grapes. Hop flavor of pine, grasses, and grapefruit has a strong impact in bitterness but lesser so in flavor. Alcohols give an ethynol flavor of paint thinner in the finish.

The alcohol warmth is evident, but the beer doesn't feel like a 12.5%-er, partly because of the heavy residual malt sweetness and weight that makes the beer seem more like an American Barleywine.

I want to make comparisons to Arrogant Bastard, only with less toast, more sweetness, more alcohol roughness, and more malt-focused. Thanks Ding, this was a wild ride!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 05:13:09 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Sayson
Sayson

North Carolina

2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber/brown pour into my pint glass. White head some lacing. Very clear. Certainly filtered.
S: Lots of malt very little hops. Really kicking myself for spending $12 on a four pack by now. If this said barlieywine and not DIPA, I'd be pleased.
T: Malt, malt and more malt. No hop flavor, some residual bitterness
M: Average
D: Too much alcohol for too little flavor. I'm going to steer clear of this beer and brewery until I hear something positive. If they're willing to slap a DIPA label on a beer without making it hoppy, they won't get my money again.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 01:41:11 | More by Sayson
Photo of Aaron420
Aaron420

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a very deep crimson color, with a small tan head that quickly dissipates. Has a very malty smell for an IPA, and not much alcohol for a 12 Plus beer. On first taste of this beer I would not believe it was an IPA, had very little hop flavor for an IPA. Very strong flavor of sweet malts, with a very very mild hop flavor. I would almost classify this as a strong ale, it just doesn't make me think IPA. Overall the beer is not bad though. It is not the most drinkable beer, but that is understandable being a 12 plus brew. Final thoughts, the beer is not going to my list of favorites but I would order one again.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 22:03:40 | More by Aaron420
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/4/09

Courtesy of PDXHops

A - Dense crimson in color with ruby highlights. ¼ inch head thins quickly, though swirling revives it some. Ok retention. Sparse streaks of lace.

S - Malt-bomb central: potent caramel, toffee & candied malts. Hints of toasted bread. Not picking out much in the way of distinct hops. Surprisingly little booze considering the 12.5% abv.

T - A little hop bitterness upfront with some resiny grit throughout. Bits of pine & murky floral undertones. This gives way to what is suggested with the nose - caramel, toffee & burnt/toasted malts. In abundance.

M - Heavier in body with low & somewhat smooth carbonation. As mentioned above, there is plenty of resinous grit. Some alcohol is noticeable, more so on the finish, lingering with sweetness & a faint bitterness.

D - Drinkability is good; it's rather tasty & the alcohol is well-hidden. To this end, it doesn't help salvage the fact that as a DIPA this mostly misses the mark. It's good beer, just not exactly a good representation of the style, in my opinion. As a barleywine, it would be an easy B or B+.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 21:46:10 | More by Ryan011235
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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 blackie
blackie

Virginia

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

a: tulip serving, deep mahogany brown in color with a light layering of khaki carbonation

s: thick caramel body with undertones of nearly burnt toffee and something of a dry, dark chocolate edge, steeped-pine hops with a big, bold scent that indicates the bite to come, lots of date and raisin, promising start

m: carbonation on the lighter side, body medium-full

t: big, almost sludgy caramel and toffee body holds a monstrous pine resin hop profile, imagine pulling a chunk of dried tree blood from a long-ago wounded longleaf and treating it as a piece of hard candy, additional flavors of dry chocolate, dates, molasses, and fresh soil precede the bitter, piney finish, heavy-handed on all fronts, not your typical dipa - this one has a rough, mean side and is definitely worth a try

d: limited by strength

single from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, reviewed awhile back before the internet hookup

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 15:08:28 | More by blackie
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into half pint on 1/4/09. Shared with FooFaa.

A - Hazy reddish copper-colored body with minimal carbonation and a thin off-white head that diminished, leaving behind only a sparse amount of lace.

S - Malty and floral with some perfumy notes and lots of toffee and caramel malt character. Given the ABV%, the alcohol presence is rather restrained.

T - Initial flavor is quite syrupy and sweet for a DIPA, although some floral and perfumy notes creep into the mix. However, flavor is dominated by caramel and toffee malt, as well as a burnt sugary sweetness. Finishes with minimal bitter notes and mild alcohol warmth.

M - Thick and syrupy texture with kind of chewy, sticky mouthfeel. Finishes quite sweet with minimal bitterness on the palate.

D - Big and malty for a DIPA, perhaps a bit too malty overall. Alcohol isn't too obtrusive, especially for a 12.5% brew, which helps with the drinkability factor.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 23:48:31 | More by ffejherb
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark ruby-amber/chestnut brown color with dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger frothy yellowish beige head that quickly fades into a lasting ring.

Earthy hop aroma with lots of soily pine needle and citrus character as well as a strong caramel malt and toffee presence. Kind of leathery as well. Hints of lemon peel and grapefruit. This smells more like a hoppy barleywine than a DIPA.

Very hop forward with a lot of dry pine character and a much more subtle citrus presence than I was expecting based on the aroma. The dry earthiness from the hops lingers throught into a dry finish but the malt presence is much stronger than I prefer. Lots of earthy, leathery malts with hints of toffee and caramel and a sweet alcohol presence. A decent amount of heat and warmth in the finish. Again, this is much more like a barleywine. Decent but way too strong of a malt presence and not really to style.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 07:02:39 | More by corby112
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle of "Extreme IPA", poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark amber with a finger of tan foam that threatens to disappear, but can be revived with a gentle swirl now and then. Even with the minimal head, nice lacing is left behind.

I've had UTC a handful of times. It's a challenging and interesting brew that sort of defies style restrictions, beginning with the powerfully sweet aromas of massive maltiness, dark brown sugar, a bit of sorghum, candied fruits, just loads of sweet stuff. Some charred wood and a pine character that becomes quite pronounced as it warms up.

A substantial pine punch to the tongue from the first sip. Stinging bitterness from start to finish, but also a powerful sweetness that almost tastes like a lot of dark brown sugar tossed in on top of the malts. Lots of woodiness, almost like there's a barrel aged portion added in. Cocoa, caramel, orange zest- man, there's a lot going on here. Medium-thick bodied with moderate carbonation and a long finish that alternates between sweet, citrusy, piney and woody. The sugary sweetness distracts from things a bit, but the overall flavor profile is quite complex and enjoyable.

Overall impression: A beer that doesn't fit neatly into style guidelines. Not a great DIPA, but really nice as a barleywine or strong ale, and an easy recommendation as such.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 03:12:17 | More by PDXHops
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 Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a regular pint glass.

A: A dark brown with a hint of reddish tint. Nice half finger tight head that leaves full glass lacing.

S: Huh? Wow. Smells of sweet dark fruit with caramel and a hint of hops.

T: Again, heavy malt flavors at first with flavors of dark ripe fruits, raisin, some wood, pine, some chocolate flavor and a hefty dose of sweet caramel and toffee malts. Very sweet and heavy flavors going on here. A nice earthy piney hops bitterness comes in near the end but gets a beat down from the malt. Finish leaves a sweet smooth coating with some residual hop bite.

M: Full, coating, bruising, prickly but sweet. Alcohol is there, but not what I expected for the 12.5%.

D: Not great. Really after one I was pretty beat up and not sure I could have had another.

Overall I'll agree with everyone else's assessment. On a blind taste I would have all day long said it's squarely a barleywine, as I really think that's what it is. Still, it's a fairly complex beer that was enjoyable, but it does not fit into this style clearly. Glad I tried it though.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 14:19:14 | More by Kadonny
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a recent shipment from hopsleeroy. Thanks Lee!

Poured into an 8oz. snifter.

Appearance: Most definitely dark and syrupy-looking. A small, sticky, tan head immediately forms on top, and then decays to a creamy halo. Body is a dark cedar color that shows brilliant shades of crimson when held to light. Lots of web-like lacing.

Smell: Caramel, maple syrup, moist pine, sweet red berries, and candied orange. Lots of residual sugars in here. I can certainly pick out the hop presence, but this smells like the making of a malt bomb. Oh yeah, alcohol is completely masked.

Taste: Sweet wood and toasted malt start things off, caramel and piney hops follow. Finishes prickly, dry, and bitter; however none of those aspects are overly pronounced. Caramel throughout.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, prickly, very lightly carbonated, and dry. Not too heavy though, and the alcohol is hidden well. For what it is (a 12.5% Imperial IPA), it's quite smooth.

Drinkability: I expected this one to be a very slow sipper. However, it was actually a pretty easy drink. Not that hot, not that dry, and not very bitter. While I would have preferred a citrusy hop-bomb, this definitely got the job done.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 00:43:37 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me begin by saying this beer is perplexing, to say the least. This is not an American Double/Imperial IPA by any stretch of the imagination. Were I to review it as such, it would probably be in the low C or D range. However, it's an enjoyable beer, no matter what classification, so I won't rate this to style.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a dark brown color, with burgundy highlights. The tannish head grows to about 2 fingers, and retains pretty well before dropping and leaving behind some decent lacing. At this point, I had to look this beer up and read other reviews to make sure this was the beer I was supposed to have, and it hadn't gone horribly wrong to the point of being undrinkable. Well, it looks like I have the right one.

As I smell the beer, I can kind of see where this could be a DIPA, but it would be a serious stretch. There a certainly a lot of dark, sweet smells...Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, maybe even some bittersweet chocolate. But, there is a hint of some resinous hops, it just happens to be hiding behind what smells like an English Barleywine.

The taste pretty much follows what I'm smelling, but I want to use this space to say how ridiculously drinkable this beer is if it's 12.5% like advertised. There's no real boozy harshness or heat. It's a delight to drink.

Thick body, almost syrupy, but the carbonation cuts it nicely. It's actually pretty smooth, and, like I said earlier, a much easier drinker than anything I've had before with this ABV.

This was a pretty pleasant drinking experience, and it's exciting to know that a brewery like Thomas Creek, who I haven't heard many good things about, can brew a beer as, well, thought-provoking as this one. Good stuff, and I hope to see more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 02:45:35 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of beernerd81 (Ben). Thanks a bunch for a great first trade experience!

Pours a very unexpected brown with ruby hints when held into the light. Thick tan head is produced from even a careful pour, and it has ok retention. Some lacing, but not a lot.

The nose suggests something strange. This isn't an IPA at all...it's way too sweet and way too malty. I'm not even sure I pick up much bitterness. This is a barleywine for sure, and a good smelling one at that.

I get a fairly complex sweet malt backbone, with underlying tones of wood and alcohol. Smells to me like an English Barleywine, which is even farther from an IPA. Never the mind, it's still a great smelling beer.

The taste confirms my beleif, this is in fact (in my opinion that is) a barleywine. It almost tastes aged, which in barleywine terms is a good thing. Sweet malt backbone with subtle hints of wood aged qualities. Our friend ethanol makes his presense known early and often, this one will warm your belly for sure. After I've swallowed and allowed the flavours to duke it out for a bit, I get a nice earthy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very thick yet creamy and smooth. No carbonation or bitter bite to speak of. The drinkability is dangerous, while the alcohol is fairly obvious, the flavours make is very drinkable. I would limit myself to one of these in a sitting, this could be bad news.

Overall, a solid brew from a brewery I had never heard of before but glad I'm getting a chance to try one of their offerings. Again, thanks a million Ben for the chance to try this unique and great beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 23:38:02 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of jbhuxley
jbhuxley

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours unexpectidly dark brown in color, similar to cola. Holding it to light exposes deep ruby tones. Pour yeilds over 2" of dark reddish-tan head, with decent retention.

Smell is very malty, with a strong dose of molasses and a hint of chocolate. Nice presence of sweet fruit, mostly plum. Light floral hop smell, with a moderate presence of alcohol.

If I had not seen the bottle, I would never call this a DIPA. It definitely resembles a barleywine. It has a very complex maltiness, mostly cocoa and some wood, with a hint of pine hops. It finishes sweet and very smooth with little bitterness. Hop presence becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is quite thick, with very little carbonation, yet it is not sticky or chewy. The 12% abv remains well hidden, but definitely impacts the drinkibility.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 23:41:03 | More by jbhuxley
Photo of hargettf
hargettf

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not your everyday DIPA. Had it just recently in a blind DIPA tasting and everyone agreed it was near the top. It was going up against Pliny and Hopslam among others. With that being said, it tastes nothering like a DIPA. Blind, it could have been a barleywine. All agreed it was very good, but not representative of the style. Pours and looks a good bit like Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot barleywine. Big surprise, thoroughly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 20:26:57 | More by hargettf
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOTE: They do bottle this bad boy, picked this up at Tiger Qwik Mart in Clemson for $2.XX for a 12oz. with a bright yellow label

A: Pours a brown color with large garnet highlight when held to light. Very fizzly looking eggshell colored head that retains pretty well and leaves a coating of fluffy foam all over the glass. Gorgeous looking pour and coloration.

S: Surprisingly malty nose. Lots of caramel, molasses (dominant note), wood, chocolate, and cocoa. The hops are very present and quite powerful, but the malts do a very nice of keeping the nose balanced. Very floral and aromatic hops as well as the bitter variety make up a grand-slam of hop character. A whiff of alcohol is apparent, but only when the beer warms up.

T: Very sweet, perhaps brown sugary. Surprisingly viscous! Malty as well, with caramel, molasses, cocoa, chocolate, and a wonderful woody note that really spruces up the flavor profile. A bit spicy and peppery as well. (I feel like I'm reviewing a wine after saying that!). The hops are really not as strong as the typical DIPA, but I think that is amazing!! This is one of the easiest and least bitter DIPA's I've ever had. I think this brew is amazingly interesting because the hops are providing the base for the malts! Role reversal in this style, but it is quite refreshing. Alcohol is very well hidden.

MF/D: Perfect carbonation, loong syrupy molasses finish with a slight wood twang, full in body, highly drinkable and highly recommended, just watch that ABV!

EDIT: So I just looked through a couple reviews to see what other people found in the flavor profile, and I must say I missed coconut, which is pretty easy to identify, but just not necessarily expected! Nice touch!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 18:46:27 | More by scottyshades
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 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
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Charleston at the Charleston Beer Exchange.

This is a thick looking beer. Not even to the lips yet and you can see how thick it pours. The head was creamy light tan and had great structure. Even got above the glass by a ¼ inch. This did settle to a creamy cap that remained. The beer itself is very dark ruby red/amber and a very very deep color. Looks lime some barleywines.

Aroma is of dark fruits, malty sweet and of slight alcohol. Some bright pine as well.

Wait, is this a barley wine.? It's really good, but doesn't exactly remind me of a DPA. Really deep and layered malt flavor. Big pine hop presence. Slight coconut. Really big and wonderfully balanced. Almost a black cherry or chocolate covered cherry note to it.

Almost syrup thick. Very bold yet smooth and inviting.

I really enjoy this beer. There is something about it that just warms the heart.

** I had to read some other reviews after I wrote this and see I am not alone in thinking this is like a barley wine. Strange, but this is a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 23:27:06 | More by Reagan1984
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
Thomas Creek Up The Creek from Thomas Creek Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.