Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale

Continuing on my theme of beers from the Carolina’s, I decided to pour a bottle of Thomas Creek’s Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale, brewed in Greenville, SC.  The brewery was suggested by friend, and fellow You Tube Pipe (and cigar, and beer) Presenter, Joffre The Giant (find his links in my side bar).  The Style though was picked by my desire for a novelty to break up the standards I have been drinking recently.

Appearance is an ultra clear, pale golden yellow. There is very active carbonation, with the head starting off strong, however it quickly dissipates into about a nickel’s thickness.

The nose is very much like a generic “beer” smell up front, but mingled with the welcoming, sweet wisp of vanilla.

The first sip is mild, and suggests a malt forward beverage; however the beverage turns sharply bitter, that i suspect is coming from the vanilla itself. On the back end though, the flavor rounds out with a nice, warm vanilla cream ending.  The more that I drink the less bitterness becomes apparent and mellows out significantly. By the completion of the drink, the bitterness and sweetness are both relatively mild and well balanced, albeit somewhat boring.

The vanilla is nice and somewhat unique, but the beer doesn’t offer much else to keep this drinker interested. A little more flavor in the beer or vanilla direction would perhaps make this more interesting, but as it stands, it is lacking trying to negotiate both equally.  

I am glad I took the time to try this beer, but it will likely not be one that I purchase again.


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