River Falls Red Ale | Thomas Creek Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
River Falls Red AleRiver Falls Red Ale
226 Ratings
River Falls Red AleRiver 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 226 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.59/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of farrago
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a solid head of cream colored head, pretty much runs down swiftly to a thin surface covering, lacing shows a bit more tenacity. Light copper red to orange color, complete transparency without seeming watery. The strength of the caramel and roasted coffee is out of balance with the whole, hence the nose is very dominated by the former, over time managing to offer honey oats, burning hay bales, stone moss and a thin slice of lemon. Medium-bodied, here the malts not as roasted, more so Nestle Quik powder, caramel and honey oat cereal. Carbonation fits the overall weight and flavor level. Hops akin to straw slowly lit by a match, one by one. No citrus notes. Finishes smoothly enough, doesn't lose much weight but didn't have much to begin with.

 760 characters

Photo of Damian
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to mikesgroove for including this as an extra in our trade

The beer poured a clear, copper-tinged amber color with a tight, creamy, light tan, one-finger head. Streaks of lacing trickled down the glass with every sip.

The aroma was malty and semi-sweet. Caramel malts were noticeable. As the beer warmed, the sweetness intensified and the caramel/toffee notes really came forth.

The taste was crisp, fruity and malty. Up front the beer seemed a bit bland, but as it moved along the palate the flavor came out. Some smooth, buttery, lager-like notes appeared in the center. As with the nose, the sweet caramel malts were quite strong. The finish was crisp yet a bit flat and bland flavor-wise, with some unpleasant metallic and bitter notes. A touch of hops appeared as well. Overall however, the beer was rather sweet for the style.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, moderate carbonation.

This was a tasty, light and crisp session ale. I was a bit disappointed that it lacked the toasted malt character found in most examples of this style. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth a try.

 1,162 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a great amber color with a red hue. The head was good but lace was a little less than average.

Smell: A lot of malt in the aroma.

Taste: It is mainly a sweet beer but there is a little bit of hops in the taste.

Mouthfeel: A little bit oily and not much for bite.

Drinkability: Not bad a bit better than average.

 337 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

 1,073 characters

Photo of avalon07
2.26/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

 589 characters

Photo of
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice brew sent by brent56 in a good trade.

Surprise twist off cap, then she poured an amber / copper with a frothy ivory head – if poured aggressively.

Biscuity and doughy malts in the aroma, which morphs’ a bit into a woody and toasted nuts taste. Nice. Dry and crisp finish, if in South Carolina I’d say go for a sixer anytime. I was bumming I only had one.

 368 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazyorange, with no head and some decent lacing. Nice streams of carbonation coming from th botom of the glass. Smell was light, grainy with a hint of sweetness. The taste really caught me off guard. Came off vey sour. Hints of grapes and pears, more complex then I thought. Very light and well carbonated, and goes down very smooth. Overall tis wasalot more of a beer then I thought it was going to be. Seems like they have done a bit of exploring with this. Very complex and a good drinker.

 506 characters

Photo of saintwarrick
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

 391 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 877 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fills my glass with an unfiltered autumn-orange. A fleeting white head hugs the rim of my glass. I note that the bottom of the bottle has a good bit of yeast inside.

Smell is good, sweet malt, some citrus hops, and a bit of an earthy yeastiness round this one off. Smells grainy.

Taste is fairly good, an upfront malt sweetness that fades into a dry, simple, mouth-filling mild bitterness. This is an easy drink. A bit of DMS in the aftertaste, and a definite yeast flavor. Mild sourness. Very unassuming, really.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. This has a nice crispness without being harsh, and is smooth enough to down in a hurry.

I get the feeling that Thomas Creek didn’t set out to redefine the style with this beer, but rather settled on something very average and safe. This isn’t a “bad” beer, but it’s got little to help it stand out from the pack, either. I do like the fact that it’s brewed in my state, folks in SC need all the help they can get.

 972 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of jabocu
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

 586 characters

Photo of bditty187
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

 1,272 characters

Photo of clemtig76
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of MSchae1017
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a amber burnt-orange with an extreamly frothy offwhite head that leaves a bit of lacing and a little film all the way down. The smell is mostly malty with sweet aromas and the chararacteric malt smell that seems to come along with all thomas creek beers. The taste exhibits the same characteristics as the smell. This is mostly sweet malts with a bit of bitterness. The mouthfeel is well carbonated with a nice thickness. There is also a slight dryness associated with it. Overall, average on drinkability. That characteristic maltiness that seems to be consistent throughout all Thomas Creek beers just isn't to my liking

 695 characters

Photo of UncleFlip
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-honey colour, slight reddish overtone. Two finger off white head, somewhat quickly falls to one finger, leaving sparse lace behind before slowly falling more.

Fresh smell of malt and yeast, with just a bit of orange and nuttiness. Not a strong smell, but subtle and sweet.

Woody and a bit ashy right up front, then a bland sweetness with just a hint of peach follows. There's a watery element to the flavour as well.

It's a little watery right up front, then the carbonation (a little higher than mild) pops out at the same time as an average body makes itself apparent. The body holds well to the finish.

It would be a decent session beer if it had a little more going on. As it is, the flavour profile can be a little bland. I'd get just a touch bored with this one after a while.

Be well

 817 characters

Photo of babydoc
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ouncer kindly sent by dano 123 during Blue&Gray 2005. Pours a hazy iced-tea color, with a creamy ecru head that slowly fades. Leaves a bit of lace on the glass.

Nose is sweet malts, caramel. Tastes of sweet malt and caramel throughout, with hops pushing back to balance and leave just a bit of bitternes in the sweet finish. Mouth is full and modertately carbonated. Drinks rather easily, would be nice to have another tonight!

 447 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This slightly hazy, deep-amber ale has a wonderful, creamy, off-white head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace about the glass. It's malty and sweet in the nose with a hint of yeasty fruitiness. Thin streams of steadily rising bubbles reveal its moderate carbonation; and it's smooth and creamy in the mouth with a dextrinous, medium body. Sweetish, caramel and toffee-like malt dominates the flavor, which is laced with floral and delicately citrusy hops, and backed by a firm bitterness. A basic, approachable and drinkable beer!

 548 characters

Photo of Southernbrew
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-brown with a decent head.

Aroma is mostly malt, a hint of caramel and fruits.

Light-medium body. Big malt flavors, lots of caramel, though not overpowering. A very faint bitterness comes through. Some biscuit flavors show up in the finish.

Not a bad amber, certainly there are better out there, but I could drink a few of these pretty easily.

 366 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an amber/orange color with a two finger head that dissipates to islands of foam; some lacing on the sides

Smell: Caramel with hints of dried fruit on the nose; raisins and dates, mostly; slightly chalky

Taste: Lays down a malt backbone that provides a toffee character throughout the flavor profile; relatively low hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Pleasant drinker; a decent example of a style that I rarely seek out

 485 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured amber brown with an ever so slight haze. The head was white and lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with dark caramel and a mild fruitiness.

The flavor was malty with caramel leading the charge. The flavor begins sweet on the palate and that flavor is pretty even all the way through the aftertaste. The bitterness is just present enough to keep the sweet caramel malts in check so the beer stays well balanced.

The finish was off dry with caramel maltiness into the aftertaste. The body was medium and well done.

12 ounce bottle. Purchased at Total Wine in Charleston, SC. Add some additional bittering to the flavor to tip the balance toward bitter and this could be a real winner.

 726 characters

Photo of Loki
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber red in color. The head was hard to judge as I tasted this at a festival in a 2.5 oz shot glass. Immediately pick up sweet malt on the nose that dominates any other scent. The taste was clean, sweet malt with a very robust, lingering finish with average carbonation. I agree with the other reviewers in that this is much better that other American Reds. A great improvement over their Pilsner.

 405 characters

River Falls Red Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 226 ratings