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: 173 |  Reviews: 73
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 metter98
3.16/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short but dense off white head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Light aromas of biscuit malts are present in the nose along with faint bits of vanilla.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has light flavors of biscuity malts along with hints of vanilla.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit creamy and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but isn't overly flavorful and seems a bit thin on the mouthfeel.

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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 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 WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -6%

Photo of superspak
3.48/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 4/15/2013. A moderate gusher upon opening. Pours slightly hazy bright golden color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light vanilla notes; with decent strength. Taste of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, vanilla, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, vanilla, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and vanilla flavors; with a solid malt/bitterness balance and some slightly cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and slightly creamy mouthfeel that is okay. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected for 4.5%. Overall this is a solid cream ale. Good robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and vanilla flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasant and enjoyable offering.

 1,361 characters

Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Vintage 301 last night,poured a very ;ight lemony yellow with a tight formed 1/2 finger white that was gone quickly.Faint toasted aromas along with a whiff of vanilla but its quite faint.The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and went down smooth,flavors are pretty heavy handed vanilla and some light toastiness almost like a vanilla wafer.Eh it isnt bad for what it is but its not my thing.

 397 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured clear light golden in color with what looks like a high amount of carbonation. Large, sudsy white head is durable. The ho-hum aroma and flavor are weak and too much like a macro lager... albeit with vanilla
M: As indicated visually, this does have high carbonation but sit seems suitable; light body.

O: refreshing but timid.

 348 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale yellow body with a small-sized, white head.

Smell: Sweet-scented vanilla additive amongst light pilsner malt notes and some spicy-minded hop accents.

Taste: Sweetish pale malts and lightly grainy pils come together with a taste of vanilla flavoring. Spicy hop character with a medium amount of bitterness. Small hint of citrus. Light bitterness and final taste of vanilla in the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: An acceptable, generally easy-drinking beer, but, for me, the gimmick wears a bit thin halfway through the bottle.

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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 mdaschaf
3.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: Pours a light golden color with a small foamy head on top. Decent retention, but not much lacing at all.

S: Rather light, with a but of bready malt and a definite vanilla presence.

T: Similar to the nose, except that the vanilla is more pronounced. It reminds me of cream soda actually. Some bready malt, a bit of spice, and maybe a touch of honey.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks smooth.

O: Not a bad beer. The vanilla gives it a nice flavor profile, even though I am not a huge cream soda fan. Probably wouldn't have it again though.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up one of the newly labeled bottles the other day and wanted to give it a try. I had this I think last year but did not really remember much about it so I figured I would give it one more shot. Poured into a pilsner glass it was a nice hazy, light yellow color with a good sized three inch high head of white foam. Very nice carbonation profile with rippling bubbles shooting skyward throughout the session. Decent head retention and some good side glass lace.

The aroma was nice and light, not really much of a hint of anything here with the faintest exception of some light vanilla just kissing the nose, mostly light grain and wheat though. The taste was just the same, very light, with a clean, crisp, and well carbonated light body to it. Light hints of malt mixed in with what seemed like an artificial vanilla flavor, not terrible, just not particularly impressive either. Easily session able, I was unsure if there was even alcohol in this one as it came off so light.

Overall not a bad light, outdoor on a hot day type of beer, but to be honest I have had better. Still though not a bad effort and I would not be terribly opposed to trying it again. Decent effort for sure.

 1,191 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -6%

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.

 452 characters

Photo of 22Blue
3.4/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 406 characters

Photo of malfunxion
2.5/5  rDev -21.6%

Photo of sendbeer
2.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of aasher
2.86/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I grabbed this one soley because it sounds delicious and sounds refreshing. I haven't had a really light beer in forever. So here goes poured a very light and extremely clear golden yellow with a two finger frothy bright white head. It smells of a light lager with the slightest hint of vanilla. The lack of vanilla is actually surprising, despite being an extremely light style in the first place. As it warms it starts to open up a little bit. The vanilla is a little more apparent. The flavor too is disappointing. There is maybe one drop of vanilla per bottle. As it warms, the vanilla is actually apparent in the taste and aftertaste but it is very subtle. This is a cream ale, yes. Is it average? Maybe, maybe. It drinks light but is there really a reason to go back for another sip? Probably not.

 816 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 a77cj7
3/5  rDev -6%

Photo of AngusOg
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a relatively thin white head. Smells like frosted breakfast ceral with milk and a splash of vanilla. Tastes like diet vanilla cream soda. I think the light hops here emulate the bitterness of the artificial sweetner. As bad as that sounds, it's not terrible. Extremely creamy and the vanilla is restrained. Crackery malt makes this lighter and dryer than it could easily be. Interesting enough and several of my house guests liked it, but I probably won't buy it again.

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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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