Review: Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, Leinenkugel Brewing

Snowdrift Vanilla Porter
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. — Chippewa Falls, WI

  • Style:  Porter
  • Bitterness: Not specified
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • Malts:  Two- and Six-row Pale, Caramel 60, Carapils, Special B, Dark Chocolate, and Roasted Barley
  • Hops:   Cluster & Willamette
  • Special Ingredient:  Real Vanilla
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Celebrate shorter days with a fuller body. Leinenkugel’s® Snowdrift Vanilla Porter™ is brewed with a select blend of seven malts revealing layers of caramel, chocolate and coffee notes. Aged on real vanilla, this brown and ruby-hued brew imparts a slightly spicy aroma from its creamy body that’s ideal for the season." — Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.

Random thoughts: I'm tasting Snowdrift Vanilla Porter as part of my winter seasonal beer series.  Leinenkugel is owned by SAB Miller. In the craft beer world, there has been a debate about whether or not Leinenkugel should be allowed to called this a "craft" beer. It's an irrelevant point, in my opinion. Here's my view on the Craft vs. Crafty debate.

The tasting:   Very dark brown, near black in color with an off-white head that dissipates very quickly. When held up to the light, it's translucent and has a ruby hue. Aroma of vanilla and roasted malt. Both elements are also prominent in flavor with the addition of light coffee and chocolate. The vanilla is very strong in both aroma and flavor. I'm guessing they used a vanilla extract. Overall hop bitterness is low and the alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor. Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is light bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes with sweet malt and long lingering vanilla.
Rating: 2 star. Drinkable, but I don't want to drink it.   I love Vanilla Porters and I really enjoyed the first few sips of Snowdrift. However, by the middle of the drink, I thought differently. This is not a balanced beer. It's quite sweet and the vanilla is overdone. When it comes to added flavors, sometimes less is more. That said, if you like your beer sweet, give this one a try.

Have you tasted Leinenkugel Snowdrift Vanilla Porter? What's your favorite winter seasonal beer?

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  1. Ed, thanks for catching my mistake! I have updated the post. Cheers!


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