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Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale - Thomas Creek Brewery

Thomas Creek River Falls Red AleThomas Creek River Falls Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

132 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.25%

Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.65% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
21 IBU

(Beer added by: John on 12-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerAdvocate


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Reddish brassy color, crystal clear with a decent amount of foam on top. A little toffeeish and hoppy in the nose with a more firm grip coming from the bready malt. Smooth, with a fluffy, moderate-sized body--exactly what you are looking for with Irish Reds. Maltiness bounces from caramel sweetness to biscuity graininess, and stays clean throughout. Hops are dialed in just enough to balance with the bitterness and add some character with a mild herbal/citric flavor. Maltiness lasts, which is nice to see, as many of the mass-produced Irish Reds seem to drop out with an immaculate aftertaste. A vague fruitiness is present middle to end; finishes with a light sweetness.

Right on target here, it's a style in which you don't want massive complexities clinging on the palate or flexed flavors bursting at the seams. Balanced and very drinkable--not a flaw showing.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 20:08:47 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a slight red glow. Not much of a head develops at all, there's pretty much just a crown. Carbonation is evident.

Not much in the nose, but if you try really hard you'll get some buckwheat honey and floral esters.

The taste reaffirms the above, but in a stronger fashion. This beer is honey sweet with some floral tones from the hops, but there is a metallic tang to it that is not pleasant and detracts from the overall taste. It pretty much tastes like Killian's.

Not much body and that metallic tang continues into the aftertaste averting you from trying another. I left five of the bottles from the six-pack in the hotel.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 01:43:27 | More by Naugros
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Thanks to thagr81us for this.

3.5 A: Clear orange amber color. One and a half fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention isn't so good and only a touch of lacing.

4.5 S: Smells more like a brown than a red...and I like it. Lots of nuttiness with sweet caramel close behind. Candy like sugary sweetness third. Simple, but really nice.

4.0 T: Again, simple but pleasant. Nuttiness is number one again. Caramel, toffee, and a moderate balancing bitterness.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Perhaps a bit too much carbontation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: After looking at the average for this, I'm not quite sure why everyone hates it. It's a solid red ale that tastes more like a brown ale. I'd happily drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 04:15:35 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of bigbluebeerguy


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, lighter red than I was expecting, frothy off white head, about 1", that receded fairly quickly to little lacing.

Smell was decent. A little malty sweetness, with a touch of hops.

Taste was better than the nose would indicate. Decent caramel-apple start, a little earthy, touch of hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel was lacking a little. Finishes a bit dry, nothing left on the tongue as far as taste. Very mild carbonation.

Drinkability overall is pretty good. I can't get this beer in KY (picked up in Asheville, NC), but would buy again if the price was right.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 23:21:28 | More by bigbluebeerguy
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

River Falls Red Ale pours clear, golden amber, with a fair amount of carbonation, and two fingers of creamy white head. Orange highlights and a slight lacing add some interest to the presentation.

The aroma tells is a sad story of poor handling, as this one is dominated by wet cardboard.

The bitterness is fairly balanced against caramel and apple, with a long sharp finish. All-in-all, the flavor is much better than the aroma suggested.

With a light body and slick texture, the fizzy carbonation and metallic notes are all too reminiscent of the standard fair.

My Sam Adams Perfect Pint is a little disappointed, but I suspect a fresher offering would be worthwhile as a tailgate beer. You know, something that quenches ones thirst while lowering inhibitions, without feeling like a waste.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 20:55:25 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden red, very deep in texture. 1-finger head gives way with faint retention. Laces well.

Surprisingly hoppy nose. EArthy, peaty malt rises and overcomes the slightly piney hops. Overall, quite pleasing.

Hits the tongue with a nice bite. Malt balances well, but the finish is really disappointing. Not much flavor in the end. Faint hops, slightly flowery, and dry.

Feel starts right, but fails to deliver.

Easy drinker, but just not worth the effort.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 02:30:59 | More by beer2day
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glorious reddish copper color with a very thin, creamy head. The aroma is largely a very fruity, berry-like malt sweetness. The flavor is more balanced with a nice hop bitterness, but the sweet caramel malts are still a bit dominant, but not quite as fruity as the nose would suggest. Medium bodied, but it feels a bit thin because of a fine carbonation that is almost reminiscent of an adjunct-lager. By no means am I comparing this to a Killian's, though, as this one has a nice malt sweetness but is also fairly balanced, making it a good (but not great) beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 03:37:37 | More by devilben02
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip.

Pours a see-thru reddish amber with a smallish head and a bit of drippy lacing.

Smells of very light malt sweetness, some husky grain notes and a bit of sour cherry?

Yup, sour cherry. More pronounced in the mouth, it's an unexpected, yet pleasant flavor in this brew. Hints of tart apple as well. Very little sweetness with a nip of hops preceding a rather crisp finish. Light body with plenty of carbonation that accentuates the dry and tart qualities of the beer.

Overall impression: Not something I'd seek out necessarily, but a pretty solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 14:51:45 | More by PDXHops
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. It pours a light amber with a 2 finger white head. The aroma is a bit grainy. It has a bready flavor to it, not real sweet, the finish is crisp. A medium bodied quaffer. IMO this is more of an amber ale, but overall a decent beer that is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 01:22:26 | More by bonkers
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: reddish orange in color with a one finger head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: there are only some hints of caramel sweetness detectable by the nose.

Taste: caramel, sweet red apples, plums, and a very mild bitterness makes up a lighty malty beer than leans to the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth throughout but mildly dry late.

Drinkability: decent beer but it needed a bit more bitterness IMHO. The beer was easy to quaff.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2009 23:31:54 | More by Gavage
Photo of FtownThrowDown


2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark amber in color. Pretty big decent bubbly white head. Smell is malty and slightly ''off'' hops. Beer seems to be stale or old. Taste is uninviting and off putting. Some soapy notes as well.
Seems that this beer was mishandled by the distributor or the storekeep. It's a shame because this is my first encounter with this brewery. It's not their fault and I'll try to find some more of this beer and their other offerings again and revisit.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 01:21:11 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a solid head of cream colored head, pretty much runs down swiftly to a thin surface covering, lacing shows a bit more tenacity. Light copper red to orange color, complete transparency without seeming watery. The strength of the caramel and roasted coffee is out of balance with the whole, hence the nose is very dominated by the former, over time managing to offer honey oats, burning hay bales, stone moss and a thin slice of lemon. Medium-bodied, here the malts not as roasted, more so Nestle Quik powder, caramel and honey oat cereal. Carbonation fits the overall weight and flavor level. Hops akin to straw slowly lit by a match, one by one. No citrus notes. Finishes smoothly enough, doesn't lose much weight but didn't have much to begin with.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 00:27:53 | More by farrago
Photo of Damian


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to mikesgroove for including this as an extra in our trade

The beer poured a clear, copper-tinged amber color with a tight, creamy, light tan, one-finger head. Streaks of lacing trickled down the glass with every sip.

The aroma was malty and semi-sweet. Caramel malts were noticeable. As the beer warmed, the sweetness intensified and the caramel/toffee notes really came forth.

The taste was crisp, fruity and malty. Up front the beer seemed a bit bland, but as it moved along the palate the flavor came out. Some smooth, buttery, lager-like notes appeared in the center. As with the nose, the sweet caramel malts were quite strong. The finish was crisp yet a bit flat and bland flavor-wise, with some unpleasant metallic and bitter notes. A touch of hops appeared as well. Overall however, the beer was rather sweet for the style.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, moderate carbonation.

This was a tasty, light and crisp session ale. I was a bit disappointed that it lacked the toasted malt character found in most examples of this style. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 19:33:20 | More by Damian
Photo of merlin48


3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label on the bottle says "River Falls Red Ale". Pours a mostly clear, copper/orange body with a medium beige head. Good retention and plenty of patchy lacing on the glass. Restrained aroma has hints of toasted caramel and vague hops. Light medium body has medium carbonation. Taste is malty, mostly caramel, but not overly sweet. Hop bitterness is restrained but balances well. A nice red ale that goes down well. Unassuming, but nicely put together with no obvious flaws.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2008 23:34:39 | More by merlin48
Photo of MTNboy


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a great amber color with a red hue. The head was good but lace was a little less than average.

Smell: A lot of malt in the aroma.

Taste: It is mainly a sweet beer but there is a little bit of hops in the taste.

Mouthfeel: A little bit oily and not much for bite.

Drinkability: Not bad a bit better than average.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2008 14:46:11 | More by MTNboy
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review #960 for me and kind of special as it is review #1 for my almost-9-year old son. He got about 2 ounces in a small tasting glass. You never saw someone savor a quarter cup of 5% beer like this guy did, lol. He wrote down some comments for all five areas. I told him when he's old enough we'll get his notes entered online. Lots of chin rubbing and thoughtful expression from the cute little guy, trying his best.

Appearance - an orange amber pour, a finger of off-white head. Thin consistency, melts back to a partial cap. Doesn't lace much beyond a few stray dots.

Aroma - some toasty grain at first, not bad. As it sets up, it goes a little lifeless.

Taste - toasty grain, a light smack of acidic sourness, moving to weak grapefruit rind on the swallow. Finishes with a sour bitterness that I'm not much into.

Mouthfeel - very carbonated, interferes with the flavor to some degree. A touch of smoothness with an average body.

Drinkability - better with food than by itself, this could be sessionable (more likely on tap) but I'll need an appetite to work with.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 03:24:12 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

2.23/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: when poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this had a nice amber color and somewhat thick consistency. There was a quarter inch head and not much lacing.

S: I got a big whiff of hops here, but it was also vaguely skunky. Not a great sign.

T: While there was a trace of hops in the flavor, it was a bit on the thin side. Also, the alcohol wasn't masked well enough, giving it a nasty cough syrup quality.

M: Below average carbonation and a slick finish. Underwhelming mouthfeel.

D: I didn't find this one particularly drinkable. The taste wasn't complex and was fairly uninteresting.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 15:25:47 | More by avalon07
Photo of

2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle

Slight haze, amber in color. Medium sized, creamy, ivory colored head.

Smells very sweet, mainly caramel. Bit of bubblegum? Phenols and grass.

Taste is citrus/bitter more than sweet, very different than the aroma. Just a touch of biscuit in the middle. Floral/rosy and medicinal. Seems out of balance to me.

Medium in body. Medium - carbonation. Dry.

More bitter than usual for style. Not something I'll be going back to.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 17:23:35 | More by
Photo of Vancer


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice brew sent by brent56 in a good trade.

Surprise twist off cap, then she poured an amber / copper with a frothy ivory head – if poured aggressively.

Biscuity and doughy malts in the aroma, which morphs’ a bit into a woody and toasted nuts taste. Nice. Dry and crisp finish, if in South Carolina I’d say go for a sixer anytime. I was bumming I only had one.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 15:04:41 | More by Vancer
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazyorange, with no head and some decent lacing. Nice streams of carbonation coming from th botom of the glass. Smell was light, grainy with a hint of sweetness. The taste really caught me off guard. Came off vey sour. Hints of grapes and pears, more complex then I thought. Very light and well carbonated, and goes down very smooth. Overall tis wasalot more of a beer then I thought it was going to be. Seems like they have done a bit of exploring with this. Very complex and a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 23:58:32 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish orange with only a lacy head around the edges of the glass. Smell is sugary and dry malts, and marmalade, some hops in the background. It smells thicker than it tastes, not much of a hop presence outside of the smell though. The mouthfeel is sturdy at first, but not much after that. It doesn't hold up over time. A decent beer, but there are a lot better red ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 08:06:28 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single at the cooler at the Whole Foods in Raleigh. It's the first time I've seen Thomas Creek here in NC besides the vanilla cream ale, which was strange but not bad.

Pours a decent supply of off white head to top the classic orange amber color but it dooesn't last. Nose registers a strong malt backbone with hints of suugar and spice. Interesting.

Taste is big and bold up front with a malty, spicy body but things kind of goi wrong after the initial blast. Hops are present, not just real important. Mouthfeel is crisp enough but tails off into watery nothingness. The water seems not quite right due to the similar sour, brackish finish that I noticed in the vanilla cream.

Seems like they're on the right track but they need to change something somewhere in the process or ingredients to make this highly quaffable. Glad I only sprang for a single.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 01:41:52 | More by daliandragon
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fills my glass with an unfiltered autumn-orange. A fleeting white head hugs the rim of my glass. I note that the bottom of the bottle has a good bit of yeast inside.

Smell is good, sweet malt, some citrus hops, and a bit of an earthy yeastiness round this one off. Smells grainy.

Taste is fairly good, an upfront malt sweetness that fades into a dry, simple, mouth-filling mild bitterness. This is an easy drink. A bit of DMS in the aftertaste, and a definite yeast flavor. Mild sourness. Very unassuming, really.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. This has a nice crispness without being harsh, and is smooth enough to down in a hurry.

I get the feeling that Thomas Creek didn’t set out to redefine the style with this beer, but rather settled on something very average and safe. This isn’t a “bad” beer, but it’s got little to help it stand out from the pack, either. I do like the fact that it’s brewed in my state, folks in SC need all the help they can get.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2006 02:46:16 | More by kkipple
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was fairly average all the way around. It poured a cloudy red colour with a white foamy heaf that went away in less than 15 seconds. This was much cloudier than I was expecting, and even looked as though it had some sediment in it.
Smell was sweet malts. Period. In fact, this reminded me of a breakfast cereal. Taste was a bit bitter up front with some dry malt on the finish. Mouthfeel was very thin and lacked carbonation. Overall, this was a very, very average offering.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 20:41:07 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of jabocu


2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this on tap while waiting at the airport... Pours a medium amber color with orange tones. Had a one finger off white cap that dissipated to almost nothing, and leaving very slight lacings up sides of "airport plastic cup". Aroma is caramel, cloves, citrus, coriander, and hops. Flavor is a little watered down, but the light caramel malitness comes through with medium hop bitterness. Slight citrus undertones and a little spice and slight peppery-ness. Has a hoppy earthy aftertaste that doesn't quite agree. Body is light, with medium carbonation, and a little on the watery side.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2006 17:46:39 | More by jabocu
Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.