Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale | Thomas Creek Brewery

66 Reviews
Thomas Creek River Falls Red AleThomas Creek River Falls Red Ale

Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery
South Carolina, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.65%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
21 IBU

Added by John on 12-18-2002

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 215
Photo of Ryan011235
2.02/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 9/23/11

Clear, burnt amber with just a slight chill haze. Two finger head rises quickly and recedes slowly to a thin, bubbly layer of foam. Good lace; half walled, half wispy.

Smells strange for a red ale; mostly adjuncts, a bit of grain and a very minute floral hop notion. Buried in the back is a note of artificial sweetener. Seriously lacking hop presence and caramel. Come to think of it, this smells like an adjunct amber lager.

Huh. Tastes a bit better than I was expecting but still not where it should be. The hops are ramped-up a smidgen and offer a reasonable and consistent bitterness. Hints of bread and caramel are appreciable in the middle, which is good for the style, but the follows suit with the nose toward the finish where notes of adjuncts emerge, as does a metallic twinge. The finish is not pleasant.

Medium body. Carbonation is way out of control at first but simmers towards the end of the glass. Slightly grainy feel, which I like; coating on the finish, which I don't.

This is kind of baffling. The aroma is weak and powerless. Tastes good at the start of each sip but totally falls apart by the finish. I wish that weren't the case; this beer is trying to be decent. As is, there's no need for me to finish the bottle.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.12/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Frosted shaker of draft at Longhorn Steak House in Greenville, SC
Aroma - can't detect any
Head - decapitated by bartender; what remains is an off-white 2 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing poor - rare island of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor - some malt detected; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, aggressive carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 1, Flavor 2.5, Palate 2.5, Overall 2.25

Not very good but who knows how well the restaurant maintains its tap lines. I do give the Longhorn in Greenville credit for serving a local brew.

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Photo of avalon07
2.26/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

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Photo of Veristic
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale served @ 45* into a Dos Equis tulip pint glass, consumed on 6/15/12. Can't read date code.

A- Red-orange amber body. Very good clarity, possibly filtered. Small white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a very thin crown that hangs around to the end. No lacing.

S- Out the neck: Doesn't smell very appealing, much like a macro, maybe a hint of caramel malt. Once poured, smell is slightly better, still a very light aroma. Slightly grainy with some crystal malt.

T- Man, not very impressive at all. Watery with some malt sweetness up front. Finish is pretty dry. Bland.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation. Slightly slick on the lips. Sadly, the mouthfeel is one of the better qualities of this beer.

O- This beer needs MORE specialty grains. More crystal malt, more toasted and/or roasted grains. Not a horrible beer by any means but definitely one of the poorer examples of the style.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.59/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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Photo of Buggabeer
2.66/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. Nice orangish red in color with a thin off white head. Not much lacing going on here.

S. Not much in the smell....very lack luster. I pick up bread and grass with some old bar rag.

T Taste thin to me with zero hops. More like a Killian's. Would be better on a hot day after mowing the grass.

M. This is where the macro over carbination comes in. As stated above this is like a Killian's Irish Red. To much carbination for my liking or this style

O If you a relatives that have no idea what a good beer is and you want to fool them into thinking you do then give them this. This should have a Coor's lable on it

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

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Photo of jabocu
2.83/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of bditty187
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy, red-coppery in hue with a peachy influence; I like the color. Fizzy off-white head, at the apex the foam was only one finger tall. The head retention was fair, the bubbles slowly faded to a slender cap. There some subsequent spotty lacing. In general, this is a respectable looking beer.

The nose is a soft mix of caramel malts and citrus with hints of biscuit. The hops and malts are well balanced but I do wish there was more complexity. It is oddly airy and empty; simple and soft spoken… not all that inviting but it’s not offensive.

The palate has a tickle more life than the nose indicated but that is not saying much. Upfront is biting citrus and metal, juicy malts in the middle, some caramel and biscuit. It suffers from dull sweetness at the end; minimal bitterness throughout. Even for an “Irish Red” this beer is pretty darn dull. Yawn.

Medium-light in body, light carbonation, the mouthfeel suffers because the lack of effervesces makes the flavor profile seem sluggish.

In some ways this beer, while average, is fairly decent and yet run-of-the-mill with warts… this doesn’t cut it with me. This isn’t something I’d want to drink again as there are much better similar products. Nevertheless, thanks timtheenchanta for the bottle.

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Photo of saintwarrick
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of Boto
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle: This one pours a clear, somewhat lighter amber color. There was a bit of a fizzy head on it that dropped off rather quickly. It leaves a little lacing. Lighter but decent nose. Some floral and toffee notes. The taste is OK. A little lighter in the body. Mildly bitter, with just a bit of caramel malt sweetness. Very faint roastiness. Decent enough, but nothing special.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of John
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking slightly hazy amber/red. Decent tan head. Aroma is similar to sweet wort with some faint, leafy hops. Flavor is predominately malt as it should be for the style, sweetish and biscuity. An easy going hop finish makes for a decent red. A good crossover brew for someone discovering better beer.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.07/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of clemtig76
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce brown bottle from a local brewer in Greenville, SC. Pours a hazy dark orange/amber color with a good sized head that quickly dissipates. Minimual lacing. Nice malty aroma with some spiceness (cinnamon?) in the background. Taste is sweet malt with a little spicy flavor and very little ho bitterness. Not a bad brew, just not one I would seek out. I prefer their amber ale over this one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected."

--Red Buttons

Bonfire orange with Sunkist highlights and two fingers of sandstone colored cream that looks pretty good. Plenty of bubbles keep the cap from falling too quickly, and spots of suds begin to appear when it eventually starts to shrink.

The aroma is more malty than hoppy... but isn't impressive in either direction. A whiff of muskiness and some toasted grains is about it. It's interesting that the brewery uses the words 'roasted malt character' for a beer than contains nothing darker than caramel.

In my somewhat limited experience, beer from TCB ranges from average to solidly good. Unfortunately, River Falls Red Ale is closer to the former. Like the nose, malt has the biggest say on the palate, which is how it should be for the style.

Specific flavors include toasted bread, baked nuts, hints of caramel, and a nonspecific earthiness that is probably coming from a hop bill that includes Perle, East Kent Goldings, Tettnanger and Willamette. Maybe something more citrus zest-like would have been the way to go. Inoffensive... and unimpressive.

There's nothing wrong with the body/mouthfeel. It's on the generous side for the ABV and becomes nicely creamy by the bottom half the bottle. Sometimes a barely audible 'pffft' on crown cracking works out just fine.

Even though Thomas Creek considers River Falls Red Ale to be their 'flagship beer', it's more of a sturdy little tugboat. It would also be best if they took the tagline 'Sink The Status Quo' off the label, because this stuff is the very definition of the status quo.

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Photo of merlin48
3.21/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-light sepia color with about a 2 finger head that faded fairly quick but left a little lacing

S-a little sweet carmel malts but not much else

T-the carmel malts again with some dried dark fruits like raisins and prunes

M-good carbonation

O-easy to drink not much to think about can use it to convert some friends definitely better from a glass rather than the bottle

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Photo of devilben02
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%

No idea how old this is, but it's a gusher. Took 5 minutes to see what color it was. It's amber with a billowing cream head. Aroma is metallic, with nutty notes and specialty malt fruitiness. Flavor is also metallic and nutty, with herbal hop notes. That metallic character dominates, though. Becomes phenolic as it warms.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.24/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Naugros
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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