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 Ryan011235
2.57/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter on 12/6/11

Thanks to PDXHops

Timid golden yellow that has a shine to it in the light. A one thumb head doesn't last long, surrendering to a patch of bubbles and some haphazard trails of lace.

The aroma is weird and kind of off putting. Notions off vanilla taffy, marshmallow and dust swim in a pool of syrupy corn. Something makes me think "burnt citrus," whatever that means. As it starts to warm the nose shifts in favor of the vanilla and marshmallow, so that's nice.

Flavor-wise, this is pretty uneventful. Grainy and resembling the use of adjuncts; some grassy hops are strewn about, too. Vanilla is very mild and artificial.

Easily on the light side of the feel spectrum with moderate carbonation biting here and there. The finish is dry and has a lingering dirty presence that I don't care for; it sticks to the palate.

Overall impression - not outright terrible, but this isn't all that impressive. Maybe a decent summer beer or something.

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Photo of Paincane
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden colored brew poured into pint glass produces a short-lived white head that has good retention and leaves moderate amount of lace.
S: Not much nose. Hint of vanilla with grain.
T: Grain, no cream. A little vanilla but it is there if you really try. Bitter, slightly tart finish that lingers for a bit.
M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: Disappointing and a bit of a misnomer. Lacked in vanilla or cream. I would not seek this one out again.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.56/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into a glass stein.

Appearance- The body is a pale golden yellow with a decent amount of carbonation columns. The head was about a half-finger in width before settling in at a slight, white film for a cap.

Smell- There is a big note of burnt grain on the nose, not subtle, and not appealing. I wish there was more to this head than that, but there is nothing.

Taste- Some bittering hops at the start, maybe some earthy note to it. Any vanilla or other biscuit quality I would have expected to really punch through in the middle to the finish, but no such luck!

There is some grain and roasted grain in the finish of the beer, maybe just a little bit of biscuit malt, but vanilla? I really, really wish there had been.

Mouth feel- The feel is pretty good to be honest. The body of the beer is balanced, not too light or heavy, and the creaminess is pretty good. It is not filling up the mouth, but it goes down pretty easily.

It is really that burnt grain that is taking away from the finish, not what has been done with the carbonation in the beer.

Overall- For as interesting as this one sounded, it did not deliver in the slightest. The nose had little to offer but burnt grain.

The taste was also a huge let down. Vanilla is virtually non-existent, and what is left, well, does not make for a very good drinking experience. No matter how tempted you are, this one can be avoided.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: vanilla, biscuit, malts

taste: vanilla, malts, bread

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin to medium body,

overall: not a bad brew if you like vanilla. glad I got to try it.


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Photo of iadler
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip

A- Clear light gold with a two finger head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

S- Vanilla cream and bready malt. Not overly complex but smells like cream soda.

T- Similar to the smell with vanilla being less noticeable, sweet bready malt and some faint citrus hop notes such as lemon zest.

M- Medium carbonation and light body. Mouthfeel is a little too watered down and was wishing it had a little creamier mouthfeel.

O- While the vanilla is noticeable, there really isn't anything else going on with this beer. The mouthfeel is too watered down which hurt this brew. Not bad, but nothing memorable.

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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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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 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.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.27/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes on this because I am one of vanilla's biggest fans. I was disappointed.

A- Hazy yellow gold wwith a creamy white head. Little lacing.

S- Sweet malts, Grassy. Slight skunk. Musty. Of course there is a hint of vanilla but not as strong as I wanted. Weak smell. Very faint.

T- Sweet, bready. Pilsner. Weak hops. Cream soda. Real vanilla, but barely taste it. Stronger smell than taste. Skunk on the end.

D- Goes down fairly easy. I keep looking for vanilla and coming up short. Skunk taste makes the drinkability suffer for me.

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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 biggred1
3.22/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow with a fluffy snow white head. Vanilla and pale malts in the nose. This beer tastes like cream soda with noble hop bittering. Light bodied and fizzy. This is my least favorite of the TCB beers I've tried so far and I'm not sure what beer drinker would enjoy this brew. Forgettable.

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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 Bung
3.14/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. Electric yellow pour with just a small layer of white head.

Herbal grassy aroma with just a faint hint of malt and vanilla. Not sure what this should smell like, but it is kind of macro-esque.

Taste is also kind of macro-esque. Very grassy, itty bitty bread and ittier bittier vanilla. I feel like I've got a little Bud breath after this.

Mouthfeel is light, but a lively almost creamy body.

Extreamely drinkable, just not all that enjoyable flavor wise.

The flavor does come out better as this warms.

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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 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 Cyberkedi
2.52/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is fairly strong and mainly of wilting lettuce - not too promising. It pours a clear straw yellow with a rather typical fluffy white head. Flavor is malty, a bit wan - not what I expect from Thomas Creek; I have enjoyed the other beers from this brewery that I have tried. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy, about average.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.67/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a hazy gold with a rather large fluffy, creamy head of uneven height. Excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very reminiscent of a cream soda, but with the addition of a vague graininess. The vanilla flavor is quite strong, threatening to drown out the crisp light grains and gentle hop bite toward the swallow.

Overall impression: Would prefer the vanilla to be toned down a bit, but a tasty, refreshing brew.

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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 MrStark
3.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance clear gold with a one-finger white foamy head. Lots of rising bubbles. The head sticks around pretty much till the end, with a little bit of lacing.

Smell seams pretty faint. Just a hint of vanilla and hops. Nothing too impressive.

Taste has a mild vanilla sweetness. A small amount of hops towards the end. It almost has the quality of a cream soda. The vanilla isn't as prominent as I had hoped though.

Mouthfeel is fairly light bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is not too bad. I could see this as a session beer if your in the mood for something a little sweet. Goes down pretty easy.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: poured into a tulip glass from a brown bottle as pictured.

A: Golden yellow with a thin white head and minimal lacing.

S: Faint vanilla and hop scent.

T&M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation. Nice light ale taste with mild vanilla flavor that is stronger up front and fades slowly in the background. Dry finish.

Decent beer.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass a pale yellow with a thin white head on top. Little retention and little lacing. Smells of grains and slight vanilla. Hints of grass in there as well.

The mouth is a little thin, but has a nice carbonation bite. This is a pretty mild, basic cream ale. Some grassy notes mixed with a slight vanilla sweetness. Finishes sweet. Not bad. Pretty refreshing, really.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.05/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a completely transparent yellow/straw color that produces a sparkly pure white, fully carbonated head that retains poorly, but leaves some spotty lacing along the glass. Honestly, it looks like a typical macro lager. Wasn't too impressed, but I like Thomas Creek, so I'll stay positive.

S: A whiff of soft vanilla right off the bat. Smells very much like a cream soda. Also, buttery notes follow a massive dose of lactose that provides that creamy nose. Some twangy, metallic-possibly citrusy notes that are pretty faint, but there. Very one dimensional. No hops present.

T: Pretty similar to the nose. A little lighter than I expected, also much more carbonated than I had hoped for. But still nice and easy to drink, session beer for sure if you like the style (I don't).

MF/D: Heavy carbonation, light body for the style, syrupy tasting/lactose finish that lasts a short while.

Not too bad, but not great, I just happened to pick it up because I was one short in my six-pack and wanted to try something different.

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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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