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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 174 |  Reviews: 73
Photo of Dclynch79
4.5/5  rDev +41.1%

Photo of Calculat0r
4.5/5  rDev +41.1%

Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +33.2%

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.

 514 characters

Photo of iamsolidsnake
4/5  rDev +25.4%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +25.4%

Photo of Lob
4/5  rDev +25.4%

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

 621 characters

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.

 477 characters

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.

 2,378 characters

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.

 531 characters

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.

 235 characters

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.

 1,001 characters

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.

 849 characters

Photo of ColSanders123
3.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Chevelle66
3.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of RobertColianni
3.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of GTB
3.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of wulfie85
3.69/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

 1,101 characters

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.

 461 characters

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.

 389 characters

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.

 1,054 characters

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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
3.19 out of 5 based on 174 ratings.
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