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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.

400 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 400
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 14
Gots: 24 | 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: 400 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev 0%

Bottle courtesy of 67couple, poured into a tulip. Bottled on date printed in Julian on the neck, day 111 (April 21st).

Pours a deep red/mahoghany with a few fingers of beige head. Filtered, but I've never seen a DIPA this dark before. Interesting. Thick walls of lace too. Nose is still huge on the hops, lots of pine, grapefruit and citrus attack the nostrils but I sense a bit of alcohol in there too. Lots of toffee coming off from the malt. Taste is heavily weighted on the malt and alcohol, both which strike simultaneously, with the hops taking a backseat only to leave a bitter finish of medium length when its all said and done. A ton of toffee and sweetness here, this has developed into more of an American Barleywine here over the time its been left in my fridge, and its not bad. Alcohol is not at all disguised and it hits you in the face after only a few sips. A mandatory sipper, but wouldn't have expected otherwise given the ABV. Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Really improves as it warms

09-24-2010 03:15:57 | More by liamt07
Photo of rootbeerman


3.6/5  rDev -3.5%

A: id have to agree with another comment on color, it pours dark reddish amber, with finger of light brown head. which fell to a thin layer.
S: very sweet roasted/caramel malt. more piny than citrus hops.
T/M: oddly smooth and very little alcohol bite for 12.5%. this is very malty, obvious east-coaster, hops are piny and bitter. the carbo is low to medium and is lightly syrupy and smooth.
D: high ABV aside this is very drinkable, and price wise its affordable as well.

08-30-2010 08:02:48 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of mkitlbog


4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Unusual color (to me) for an Imperial IPA - Amber color. Very Hoppy but balanced nicely with good malts. Sweet-ish if you can say that about an IPA. Labeled "extreme" i'm sure because of the 12.5% ABV, but I find the beer itself very drinkable. Maybe too drinkable for that ABV!

08-28-2010 22:31:05 | More by mkitlbog
Photo of womencantsail


3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

An extra from Brandon. Thanks a bunch!

A: The pour is a dark, dark amber color with a finger's worth of khaki colored foam.

S: There are some slight pine hop notes to the nose along with a dominant toffee, caramel, and molasses malt base.

T: A slightly burnt sugar flavor along with lots of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. The hop character is present here too and is somewhat bitter with a resinous pine flavor.

M: The body is on the full side with a lively and moderate level of carbonation.

D: More like a barleywine than anything, but pretty good. The alcohol was not really all that noticeable on the flavor or aroma, but this one could be a chore to drink too much of.

08-21-2010 21:28:58 | More by womencantsail
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%

I got this brew from kirkpjr. Thanks John!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear mahogony color with a creamy beige head that left some lacing.
S - quite a bit of citrus and floral hops with a malty backbone.
T - taste of hops sort of blast their way through, which is not so bad, the malts are there but subtley so.
F - full bodied, creamy smooth.
D - at 12.5% one is good.

08-16-2010 00:33:01 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a dark red amber with a two finger off-white head that settles to one slowly. Maintain excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of big malt and hops. The flavor was of big malt, hops, and a spicy note. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was very nice. There was no sign of the alcohol flavor anywhere in this one (minus just the spicy hint) as it was masked quite well with the big malt. It was not overly drinkable however. This one could sneak up on your easily if you aren't careful weighing in as a heavy hitter.

08-06-2010 19:42:36 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Wilson27


4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Bottle into snifter

1.5 in head (snifter)

Smell - Could smell it as I was pouring - very nice. Taste - Chocolate, smokey, a bit of caramel sweetness, nutty. Flavor and body carry the alcohol well.
Very full mouthfull.

Overall - Great beer. I really like beers like this. Very earthy flavor, body and flavor carry the alcohol content well. I probably wouldn't have more than one due to the intense flavor and high alcohol content. I have not been "wowed" in awhile, this is a great beer.

07-17-2010 02:45:52 | More by Wilson27
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +14.7%

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'.

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


3.9/5  rDev +4.6%

pours a cloudy copper color with nice off-white head. lacing hangs around the glass all the way down.

Aromas of pine, resin hops teetering with toasted malts, molasses and fruits.

taste is heavy on the malts: caramel, molasses & toffee... with a twinge of hoppy fruitiness. finishes with alcohol notes on the end which is expected at 12.5% abv

medium to full body with average amount of carbonation

this beer doesn't seem like a DIPA to me. more along the lines of a strong ale or barleywine. good beer but found myself ready to move on to something else by the time I hit the end of the pint.

06-02-2010 01:00:28 | More by haddon
Photo of merlin48


4.05/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

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


4.58/5  rDev +22.8%

One of the best beers I have tried in a very long time. Extremely smooth for an IPA and is definitely worth a try for any IPA fan. Its expensive at least for my budget especially for a 4-pack but proved to be deserving of every penny. Just an all around extremely enjoyable beer

05-29-2010 05:18:43 | More by AlCzerik
Photo of mntlover


4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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%

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


3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +16.1%

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.

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

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -26.8%

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

03-19-2010 23:01:40 | More by koopa
Photo of BEERchitect


3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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!

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

North Carolina

2.55/5  rDev -31.6%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

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


3.18/5  rDev -14.7%

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+.

01-30-2010 21:46:10 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of Deuane


4.3/5  rDev +15.3%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +7.2%

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

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


3.18/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

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


3.3/5  rDev -11.5%

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.

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

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

12-12-2009 03:12:17 | More by PDXHops
Photo of Bung


4/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

11-20-2009 05:43:07 | More by Bung
Thomas Creek Up The Creek from Thomas Creek Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.