Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale | Thomas Creek Brewery

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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream AleThomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale

Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery
South Carolina, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
23 IBU

Added by aracauna on 04-26-2004

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 173
Photo of clemsonbrewer
4.07/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy lemon yellow appearance. HUGE white fluffy head that hangs around a long while. A thin head stays on the beer the whole time with good sticky lacing decorating the glass gracefully. Sweet grain smell. There's not a lot of vanilla in the smell like I had suspected but still a great smelling beer. Sweet grain taste with vanilla coming through in the end and hints of lemon shining through at random times. Such a creamy feel to it with a sweet citrus palate. This is a great brew from a brewery on the way up.

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Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden body with lots of bubbling activity; huge, fluffy head that created an alpine panorama as it settled down; tons of lacing left behind

Smell: A vague lemony odor, but nothing much to sniff at

Taste: Nicely balanced vanilla malty flavor quickly followed by a pilsner-like bitterness; subtle and well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and refreshingly carbonated; appropriate to the style

Drinkability: I wasn't expecting much when I bought this, thinking back to my college days with Genny Cream, but I was delightfully surprised at the uniquely approachable quality of this brew

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this while vacationing in South Carolina. Pours a nice light color with little head and no lacing. The taste was of vanilla mostly but subtle honey flavor was also present. Very light malt character with a slight hop bitterness. Well rounded for the most part. The mouthfeel is the one thing i would change. I prefer this flavor to be less carbonated. The one I had was almost fizzy. Other than that it's a pretty good brew and something I would buy again given the chance.

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Photo of aracauna
3.92/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Tasted this at the Border Beer Bust and was a bit surprised. It was one the beers in the experimental category and it was a bit like drinking a cream soda without most of the sweetness. I almost scored it in second place for the category, but the lightness of the beer let it fall behind. Excellent flavor, the vanilla is balanced with the light straw malt and the low hopping makes it extremely drinkable. I could see turning on non-beer drinkers pretty easily with this beer.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.92/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Blonde with a small to medium white head that sticks to the inside of my glass.

S - Smells sugary with hints of vanilla and honey

T - Crisp yet creamy, lots of vanilla and honey as the smell suggests.

M - Creamy but not thick, lingering in the mouth a bit after a sip.

D - Very drinkable if you're into a sweet beer. Not too heavy, but not overpoweringly sweet.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly overcast sunflower gold with pale lemon trim. The head is the very definition of rich cream, both in terms of color and consistency. It's wonderfully thick and sticky and leaves an impressive amount of lace in amorphous hunks and chunks. This is a great look for a cream ale.

I love the smell of vanilla. Since the nose is bursting with the essence of crushed, sugared vanilla beans, I love it as well. It still smells like beer, but only just. In fact, it's pretty damn close to the line that seperates cream ale and cream soda. I'm pretty sure the aroma (and probably the flavor) won't be to everyone's liking. Purists will probably turn up their noses.

Vanilla Cream Ale doesn't translate to the palate as well as I had hoped. It isn't bad, but I'm a little let down. I've gone from no expectations to high expectations to moderated expectations in the course of the last few minutes. It's actually possible to set the vanilla extract aside and appreciate the flavors of the underlying ale. Unfortunately, the base beer is little better than average. Whatever complexity the combination of pale, pils and caramel malt was meant to impart isn't readily appreciated.

The hop bill consists of two Germans (Hallertauer and Tettnanger), two Brits (Fuggles and East Kent Goldings) and a lone American (Cascade). I wonder why the brewers decided to include such a wide range of hop varieties in a vanilla cream ale. The Germans are the only ones that can be appreciated by my palate. Hop flavor and hop bitterness are, rightfully so, on the low end. The amount of vanilla that has been used is neither too much nor too little. Like the final bowl of porridge, it's juuust right.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite reach medium, but it's far from thin or watery. I like a fair amount of sweetness in my cream ales and I think this one would benefit from a sweeter flavor and a bigger, stickier mouthfeel. If the nose is (arguably) too much like cream soda, the flavor and mouthfeel aren't enough like it.

Thomas Creek Vanilla Cream Ale smells like a dream. Each time I raise the glass to my lips, I get a blast of sweet vanilla that only makes the flavor that follows pale in comparison. This is still a good little drinker, but it could be amazing if the mysteries of the nose could be unlocked and applied to the palate. Thanks to WOLFGANG for an interesting beer.

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Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a thin, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Below average lacing.

S: A sweet aroma, with vanilla, malt, and a little hops coming through.

T: Tasted of some malt, vanilla, cream, and light hops in the finish. This is a surprisingly tasty beer. Very light, refreshing, and vibrant.

M: A high amount of carbonation with a tingly, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: While this beer does have some flaws, it's still pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of ordybill
3.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. A golden yellow brew with a sweet vanilla aroma and taste. A nice mild bodied beer with moderate to heavy carbonation that was well balanced with the vanilla flavor. A good session beer.

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Photo of beeragent
3.78/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally, I am able to try this brew. While on vacation in Tennessee, I was able to find a store that carried this. As a fan of vanilla beers, I have been waiting a few years to try this and it finally happened. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a glass. The beer pours a light clear straw, forming a good 1 inch head that slowly faded. The aroma is an interesting mix of vanilla and what smells like grain. The taste further brings out a grainy character, but also plenty of vanilla flavoring, along with a balanced hop and malt presence. Not complex, but still tasty. The mouthfeel is smooth and light. Low abv. and decent flavor make for a very drinkable beer. While not as sweet as some other flavored beers, this is still not something that I would want to drink continuously all night, but a great beer to start the night with or in between the heavy-bodied brews. Overall, well worth the wait IMO. I just wish this was available in Texas. Definitely worth seeking out on future out-of-state trips.

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Photo of kagent777
3.76/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one from Another6Pack! Poured into a curvey pint glass.

Appearance: An almost crystal clear dark yellow/ light gold beer with nice fluffy white head that has some staying power and great lacing.

Smell: The vanilla is in the nose but subtle. Maybe a faint earthy hop note with a very light malt smell.

Taste: The vanilla is also in the taste. This is a light summer refreshing beer. There is a very slight hops bitterness that goes along with the sweetness of the vanilla. The finish is short and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is prickly and works with the overall refreshing them of this beer. The body is medium for a low ABV beer as this one.

Overall: The addition of vanilla is a nice touch. I am not sure that this one would stand out without the vanilla. I would love to try this on nitrogen. A decent beer.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.69/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Always nice to try out some SC beers. Thomas Creek's Class Five wasn't spectacular, but Up the Creek showed some real potential. I thought this sounded like a tasty beer the first time I heard its name.

Pours a golden yellow with about a finger and a half of rich, creamy head. The foam is thick and retains very well, and leaves behind some impressive lacing. Lots of bubbly activity in the glass. You can't ask for a better looking cream ale.

Not really pulling much from the nose at all. It's got a bit of a pilsener vibe, thanks in part to what smells like lemony hops, but with a touch of vanilla.

The flavor basically follows the aroma. Lightly sweet up front from the vanilla, with a touch of hop bitterness in the finish. It's got the malt sweetness and grainy kind of flavor that gives off the pilsener vibe again. I don't know the ingredients, and I'm no hop expert, but these taste German.

Medium light body. Feels maybe a tad over carbonated. Not much to contemplate with this one. Just an easy drinker. I'm pretty pleased with this one.

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Photo of
3.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of bobbyc881

Hazy, pale yellow in color. Large, creamy, off-white head.

Aroma had vanilla (surprise!), but not too heavy handed. Spicy and citrusy. Bit of sweet character, kinda like honey.

Taste was very citrusy, mainly lemon. Taste was not really sweet at all. Aftertase showed some of the vanilla (faint) and grass.

Light in body. Almost too carbonated. Pretty dry.

Overall, a good summer beer. Simple, but easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to slcbrewer for this one.

Pours a cloudy darker yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little off-white head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, hoppy, some hint of vanilla, some caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, some hint of vanilla, the finish is pretty dry. Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad of a brew, would be great for the hot days of summer.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.6/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light sunflower golden color. Average sized, foamy, creamy, smooth, pearl white head. So-so retention leaving just a little ring of lace.

S - A little faint, but sweet corn and malt are strong along with a definite hit of vanilla. A faint spiciness with pretty much no hops present.

T - Similar to the nose but a little stronger. Sweet corn and malt provide the backbone and there is a strong kick of vanilla. The vanilla doesn't taste artificial either (not the best vanilla flavor I've had, but not bad/artificial). Again a very faint hint of spice as well as a touch of breadiness. Somewhat reminiscent of a cream soda.

M - Light body with average carbonation. Thin but slightly smooth.

D - Goes down very easy and not too sweet, in a cloying way at least. Would be able and willing to put down a couple in a sitting.

Notes: Not a bad beer and what you would expect in a vanilla cream ale. Definitely sweet and reminds me of cream soda. Not a lot else going for it though. I enjoyed it, but I don't really know when I would want to drink it.

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Photo of veech
3.6/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a solid beer but the flavors were a little too strong for me personally. The appearance and smell were both good with vanilla dominating the nose. The taste was strong vanilla bean that trumped everything else. Mouthfeel was fine, but drinkability was hampered by the over the top vanilla flavor. This beer when blended with their doppelbock was much smoother and balanced. I would recommend blending it as the brewer's wife suggested when I sampled it.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a golden orange with a little bit of white lace for a head, dissipates away to nothing.

Mildly biscuity malt aroma with some citrusy hop and a noted vanilla character.

Mild vanilla flavor with some citrus and floral hop and bready malts.

Medium to light body with soft carbonation.

Not too bad actually, very light with minimal impact, but highly sessionable and unoffensive. Good thirst-quencher.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.55/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: very thin white head on a clear pale gold body. not very exciting. some lacing.

S: honey, vanilla, wheat, light biscuit notes. light on the nose.

T: where the appearance and nose lack, the flavor makes up for it. the vanilla really brings out the creaminess. wheat, honey and some sour lemon notes round this one out.

M: light body and high carbonation. crisp and refreshing.

Overall: this beer is incomplete. Ups and downs but I guess the flavor matters most and it is decent for the style.

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Photo of branimal9
3.53/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass & consumed with Ronzonie. Light straw gold in color, with a fluffy white head. Lightly malty-sweet on the nose; smells pilsner-y. No real vanilla aroma to speak of. Taste is light & crisp, with a bit of vanilla flavor mid-palate. Slightly dry and refreshing. A good, easy drinking ale for the summer season.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours a nice golden pale yellow with a one-finger white head that quickly subsides to a minimal amount. There was no apparent lacing evident. The aroma was comprised of a slight hop hint and vanilla. The flavor of this beer actually came in three stages in the same succession: First you would get a very light hop flavor that was followed by a note of vanilla, that was then followed by a note of cream upon swallowing. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very interesting brew with multiple flavors coming in as the sip goes along. This is a nice seasonal from Thomas Creek and is very smooth to drink and enjoyable. Worth a try for any cream ale lover.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.52/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a mostly clear gold color with a frothy white head. Nice retention and leaves a sheet of foam all around the glass. An impressive looking beer at least.

Nose is honeyed grains, with a hint of vanilla. Pretty standard Cream Ale aromas and is a little on the sweeter side than average. Im surprised the vanilla does not make more of a presence.

Taste is right in line with most cream ales I have had - the malts are light and grainy at best. There is something about cream ales that give it a unique taste - apart from blonde ales...they seem a little sweeter with a fuller body. The vanilla is pleasant, if a little on the light side. It a fairly well done beer, but being a little better than average in a rather uninspiring style category isnt going to garner the highest rankings unfortunately. I would drink this again for sure and if I was looking for a tasty, light-ish beer - this would do nicely.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta' say, this was a fun beer to drink. Not that the quality was all that great, but I appreciate the creativity. I enjoyed the light ale flavors with the mild addition of vanilla. The beer takes on a confectionate-like sweetness (cotton candy-ish). The source of the sweetness is questionable until the vanilla aromas enter the ofactories. The a light buttery note accompanies the light fruity, estery maltiness. Tastes much the same as expected from the aromas. A soft sweetness up front, then increasing vanilla flavors toward the finish. The beer weakens into the finish with a light bitterness (not hop diriven). With the higher carbonation, the beer gets very cream-soda-like. A good thing, but it just doesn't mean it's a quality beer. I've got to give them cool points though.

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the few Thomas Creek bottles at my store I haven't tried yet. Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale pours a light wheat color with plenty of carbonation running up from the etching in my glass into a finger of white head that hangs around for a minute before falling away. Moderate lacing left around the glass, not too thick, but nice and lacy.

The smell is probably the least impressive part of the beer, simply because it doesn't provide much in the way of strength. I can smell pale malts with a little bit of vanilla in the background, and that's about it. Even though it's not bad, I need a little more complexity and intensity.

The flavor and mouthfeel are both pretty respectable. On the tongue, the beer starts out light and creamy with some mild buttery pale malts and a little bit of light hoppiness, followed by a nearly perfect amount of vanilla flavoring. All this sits atop a medium-light body with a good amount of carbonation that helps the creamy feeling of the beer.

Overall, this is a pretty tasty beer, even if it is a little far-flung from the typical barley-hops-water traditional beers being brewed out there. It's like the cream soda version of a beer. While I like it, some people definitely won't. Still, it's definitely worth a try as it is a neat little field trip away from some more typical beers.

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Photo of Tone
3.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, slight hops, hint of vanilla, and a hint of tea. Fits the style of a Cream Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of vanilla, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of caramel malt, and slight hops. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, and body.

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Photo of TheDinger
3.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to pint glass. a pretty unassuming pour with mild golden tones and a quickly disappearing 1 finger head. Smell was a bit timid, but did include some nice vanilla notes and some root beer. Taste was up front vanilla with some background of biscuit malt and soda. Didn't pick up much on the hop end. Feel was lightly carbed and a bit on the weak/watery side. Overall- A little bit of a let down. It had potential with the vanilla, it just got lost in the shuffle. It's pretty refreshing and sessionable. I would consider it a bit above average. Was wanting something more distinguished and bold. I would try another if offered-

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Photo of tdm168
3.49/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - gold with a thin lacing of white head

S - cereal grains, faint creaminess

T - vanilla, creamy, cereal grains, sweet graininess

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This idea had promise. I like the underlying cream ale. I would probably like this a lot more if the vanilla didn't come across as artificial. Ultimately, this is a nice, flavorful-for-the-style, refreshing, lighter offering that will help you through some of the warmer days ahead.

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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
3.19 out of 5 based on 173 ratings.
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