Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla PorterLeinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

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219 Reviews
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Reviews: 219
Hads: 1,572
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 47.48%
Wants: 44
Gots: 391 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheSixthRing on 11-03-2012

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 219 | Hads: 1,572
Photo of qthompso
2.46/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep reddish brown. A half finger of beige head that quickly dissipates. No lacing.

Weird smells coming from this one. I pick up the vanilla that gives it the name but I'm also getting sarsaparilla, chocolate, and an artificial sweetness nose.

The taste follows with vanilla, root beer, chocolate and and ginger snap. Generally I like all of these things but not mixed together and in beer form. It's a refreshing attempt at something new from Leinie's but there's a bit too much going on here.

Good, creamy mouthfeel with ample carbonation. If the taste hadn't ruined the beer, the mouthfeel would be the perfect way to finish off a solid porter.

Overall, nowhere near one of my favorite porters. I commend them for branching out of their normal offerings but there are too many flavors fighting each other in this beer and a lot of them have an artificial taste to them.

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Photo of justintcoons
1.93/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured into a shaker pint.

Transparent dark, dark brown with red highlights and a half finger of head.

Cream soda, black licorice and artificial raspberry.

Cream soda, artificial raspberry, black licorice and Splenda. Just the lightest dusting of cocoa. WTF is this? BLECH!

Light bodied and heavily carbonated.

This is bad. I don't think Leinenkugel's has any idea what a Porter is.

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Photo of FratyardVines
2.45/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Initially, it pours a very thin head of about half a finger, which dissipates quickly leaving moderate lacing. The look is a deep, dark, brownish-black with just a tint of red when it catches the light. The nose is deceptive and it doesn’t hold much of a smell when compared to its strong taste. A malty porter with a complicated palate but a lingering cocoa after taste that is reminiscent of a dark chocolate candy bar. I really like the way a vanilla-coffee flavor bursts at first taste followed by the overbearing cocoa finish to really add a varied taste experience. The Snowdrift holds a slight bitterness to it, almost like coffee and the mouthfeel is strongly carbonated but smooth. This is a bit more on the darker and bitterer side than most beers but pretty standard for a porter. It warms the drinker and is perfect for enjoying on a snowy winter night while cozied up in a ski chalet somewhere.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - See through black with a quickly receding one finger off white head. No lacing.

S. Weird malt, slight vanilla. Pretty lacking.

T - Now this is more like it. Massive vanilla up front, slight light coffee in the finish.

M - Medium body with heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, this wasn't too bad for a Leine. Not great by any means however. Completely average. I can think of better beers to drink on a cold snowy night however.

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Photo of RickS95
4.23/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's nice looking. A bit light for my liking, think dark cola. But the head is an attractive shade of dark beige and lasts a good while. A finger and a half thick at the beginning eventually winds down to a thin cover, leaving a decent lace.

Mostly malt in the nose. As the bottle suggests, there's a splash of vanilla and coffee, but both are fairly repressed and play backup roles. As it warms, the chocolate finally comes through.

The taste is pretty special. The vanilla and coffee both are more aggressive. A combination of chocolate and caramel malt round out the taste.

Sweet and creamy, a modicum of bitter for balance. Smooth. Only more alcohol and thickness would increase the score.

This is a really good beer, especially in the cooler months. Overall, a porter than can stand up with almost any other I've had, and generally cheaper.

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Photo of ToddL
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice smooth beer, It had a slight vanilla and a little coffee flavor both were very mild. It had a nice dark color a little cream colored, short lived head . Felt medium bodied in the mouth. very little aftertaste, no bitterness . A nice beer for cold weather.

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Photo of colts9016
2.45/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a nonic at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has poor retention. The head is ivory in color, foamy, and creamy. The color of the beer is dark brown, like used motor oil; however, dark reddish hues glisten from the light. The clarity of the beer is opaque with some carbonation bubble visible from the side of the glass.

Nose: Deep roasted malt with acrid aromas followed by toffee, kettle caramel, and grain. The vanilla is faint with a leather tone, faint sugar and grass.

Taste: The malt is roasted with a burnt acrid overtone with some toffee, and kettle caramel. The vanilla once again is faint with a a leather tone, faint sugar, grass, and herbal note.

The mouth feel of the beer is slightly astringent. thin, and carbonated.

The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium. I really hate to say this but this porter is below average. The flavors are not uniformed, the vanilla is playing peek a boo with the taste bud. I have had some better porter. I wish Leinenkugel would try to put more effort in making higher quality beer instead of a Henry Ford assembly line.

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Photo of shand
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Snowdrift Vanilla Porter pours out brown with a small head. Coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts come through on the nose. The taste hits with the sweet vanilla right out the gate, which then backs up a bit to let more of the roast characteristics out the gate. Pretty simple, but tasty. The mouthfeel is a bit too light and prickly, but the drinkability is good. Overall, not too much to write about this one. It's a tasty porter with a very light body.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer pours a dark, dark brown with a lot of ruby coming through the light. An oatmeal colored head slowly recedes, and light sticky lacing makes random spots on the glass initially.

The aroma is a very generic vanilla note, like a watered down vanilla. Also a chalky cocoa note in there.

The taste is very porterish, if that's a word. Faint bitter coffee notes, some vanilla (again, read my aroma description), a cinnamon and cocoa finish.

The mouthfeel is watery, carbonated, and medium-to-light in body.

Overall, I just bought a single bottle of this, and it served it's purpose. I think it could be a lot better if the vanilla didn't taste watered down.

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Photo of Tuey13
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby brown with a finger of a dark tan creamy head.
The smell is roasted malt and chocolate with a definite vanilla bean scent.
The taste is similar to the nose... Bittersweet chocolate and Roasty malt with a sweet vanilla taste with a slight bitterness on the finish.
It's a fairly creamy porter that I enjoyed.... I thought the taste intensified as it warmed. Of course, it should be drank at 50deg or higher! Some will drink this right out of the fridge which is so wrong for a porter.
To me.. This is a great release for the season from Leinenkugel that I will get again!

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Photo of tigg924
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the BBC Cedarville--served into a pint glass

Appearance: dark brown in color, opaque, minimal head, medium carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and vanilla--very light smell

Taste: big vanilla taste followed by roasted malt with more vanilla on the finish

Mouthfeel: medium/light body, medium carbonation, sweet with roastiness

Drinkability: This one is typical Leinie's. If you typically like their beers, you will like this one. If not, I suspect you will not like this one as well. Nice vanilla taste over a decent porter. A bit sweet, but still one I will get again.

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Photo of jdaugh23
1.8/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Tastes a little bit like cough syrup.
You might wonder about the math that resulted in an overall score of 1.0, even though 3 of 4 scores were 3.0 and one was 1.0... This is because taste is more important than the other characteristics. And also because I don't know enough to accurately rate this beer's mouthfeel, and I didn't study it's appearance. How can you study a beer's appearance when it's in a brown bottle? Why pour the beer into a glass to review it, when the beer will be drank from a bottle almost all of time? I mean, who would make the extra effort to pour this disgusting beverage into a glass anyway? And even though other beers from this brewer are tolerable, I still don't think that the majority of them warrant the dirtying of a clean glass.
Well, there's my two cents. I just got home from Kroger and this was the first one that I tried from the seasonal variety pack. Moments later I was googling furiously to find out how I could share my disgust with the world, and just moments ago I created my first Beer Advocate account.
I kinda doubt that my impression is different from what your own would be, because I enjoy a wide range of beers from Coors Light to Sam Adams Boston Lager, and every draft stout or IPA that I've tried.

Bottom line: Avoid this beer (unless you have a cough, because something tells me it would work well for that).

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Photo of punky796
3.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours dark reddish-brown, with a finger and a half of cream-white head. Not a lot of lacing.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, vanilla.

T - Same as smell. Lots of vanilla and chocolate malt.

M - Maybe the best part of the beer. If you don't slug it down too fast it gathers some fuzzy, cozy froth and goes down pretty fully.

O - Reminds me a lot of Sam Adams' Hazel Brown or Founder's Porter. While not quite up to par with those, still enjoyable. Also nice to see a new seasonal from Leinie's.

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Photo of budgood1
3.19/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out a dark brown colour with strong ruby hues. little tannish head and just alittle lace. cocoa, vanilla and nougat aromas abound. the vanilla comes through in the taste profile, melding well with the chocolate and nougat undertones. tastes fine enough. surprising enough is the slight bitterness from some noticeable hopping seemingly of the noble variety...it does come across as a bit spicy and compliments the slightly higher than average ABV. i'm drinking this a bit colder than i should and am curious as to where this might head at a more appropriate temperature. for now it seems to be heading in the right direction...it doesn't come across as too artificial or too forced. medium bodied at best with a semi crisp mouthfeel and lagerish feel. this has a decent drinkability for a leinies concoction...i could see having a few of these during the winter months.

overall...an above average offering from the gateway beer kings of the northland. if, as it warms and i drink a few more, doesn't become cloying, artificial or too boring...i might revisit this.

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Photo of weonfire
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Dark amber. Almost a dark purple held up to the light. A bit of light does shine thru. head is gone immediately. lacing is none. very small amount of carbonation rising. very thin.

S - A low roast. Chocolate and vanilla are present. mild amount of carmel. not a lot happening.

T - Better than it smells. But again just mild amounts of chocolate, vanilla and carmel. I personally don't like the deep roast- which this certainly does not have.

M - Thin and mildly frothy. Alcohol give a nice heat on the tongue.

O - Thin. Not as sweet as it should be. Doesn't resemble a porter at all actually. Hoped for bold - received pretty mild. Vanilla presence was descent. Avg beer drinker will probably find this very good. but it doesn't meet the style very well and all flavors are average at best.

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Photo of Moose90
2.51/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass, allowed to warm for a few minutes.

Decent looking beer, nice dark brown with a present but thin and fading creamy head, some lacing.
Aroma hints at the coming vanilla bomb, but does have nice chocolate malt underlinings.
Taste was a bit to sweet for my liking, but I can see many liking this brew.
Light mouthfeel lead to an overall easy drinking and enjoyable beer.

Not bad, not great, pretty much standard Leinenkugel fare.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finger of tan head, low retention. Dark brown body.
Smells of vanilla and roasted malt.
Initial light taste of sweetness, then chocolate and finally vanilla to end.
Thin body, low carbonation.
A fair porter. A fuller body would help and it's a bit sweet for my taste.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Thunder Bay Grill. Served in an imperial style pint glass, and was pretty well chilled.

A) Very dark brown with not quite a finger of light tan head. The head quickly fades to nothing. There was no lacing noted.

S) Caramel malt, some roast, and definitely some vanilla bean.

T) Light chocolate, hint of caramel, vanilla sweetener. This is a little bitter-sweet. I would have actually liked a little more of the vanilla to come out in the flavor. The flavor gets quite earthy/roasty as this finishes up. That was the aftertaste for me as well.

M) A lighter medium body, with the same from a carbonation standpoint. This was pretty smooth, and relatively creamy.

O) I have to say, this exceeded my expectations. While I won't be running out today to grab a six pack, this was a decent seasonal. Give it a try....

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack of Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter last week for $8.99 at Krogers. I find most Leinenkugel beers to be pretty average, but i'm always down to try their new beers so I thought I would give their new winter seasonal a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty typical for the brewery with a winter themed background. It poured a very dark brown color that took on a deep ruby color when held to the light with two fingers worth of tan head that quickly faded to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it left hardly any lacing behind. This beer is pretty average looking, it's not that impressive to look at.

S- The aroma starts off with a big presence of vanilla that's pretty dominating and is almost artificial smelling after that comes some nicely roasted malts that impart some roasty, chocolate, coffee, and slight caramel aromas. I also pick up a good amount of sweetness in the aroma that gives it almost a candy like aroma. The aroma isn't that bad, I would say it's above average with some nice roasted aromas to help balance out all that vanilla.

T- The taste is similar to the aroma, but it's much thinner. It starts off with some vanilla that's much lighter then it was in the aroma and it's quickly followed by some roasted malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness and impart some light roasty, coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavor with a slight nutty flavor, the roasted flavors quickly fade to a sweet grainy flavor that goes into the aftertaste with a slightly nutty and roasted flavor. The taste is pretty average, it's not bad, but it's not good either, the flavors that are suppose to be highlighted come off thin and watery.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, a little prickly, and medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty average, it would be nice if this beer was a little thicker and the carbonation was toned down.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of this beer, it wasn't impressive and I thought it was a pretty average example of a vanilla Porter, the flavor and body seemed a little watered down and I didn't deliver what I wanted from this beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability it was smooth, but the flavors didn't hold my attention so one would be enough for me, there's no need to drink two in a row. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't the greatest but it turned out to be the highlight of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the watered down flavor and mouthfeel, it needed to be bolder, richer, and less carbonated. I won't be buying this beer again, I would much rather have a Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater the flavors come through much better in that beer, I wouldn't recommend this beer. All in all I was let down with this beer, it seemed to lack those robust flavors that a good Porter should have and the mouthfeel also held this beer back, I'm chalking this one up as another average at best Leinenkugel's beer, I thought Fireside Nut Brown was a much better winter seasonal.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a light brown with red highlights, plenty of light brown foam. Nose is roasty with a minimal hint of vanilla at the back. The taste is very sweet with chocolate caramel and lots of vanilla. The roast doesn't white balance out the sweetness, things taste nearly artificial. Mouthfeel is light with moderate to high carbonation. Overall, pretty lackluster. Meh.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a small-sized, very short-lived, beige head.

Smell: Slight chocolate, modest roasted malt, and the namesake vanilla.

Taste: As with the smell, it's more of the same -- some chocolate, caramel, mild roast, and the vanilla. Sufficiently sweet. Slight earthy, not quire bitterish tone midway. More of the same through to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation. Reasonably smooth, slick mouthfeel overall.

Overall: Snowdrift comes across as the Creamy Dark but with some vanilla additive added.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Colour of cola, small head of foam, goodly amount of lacing.

I smell some vanilla, fruity notes, sweet malt.

I taste vanilla, sweet malt, light notes of cocoa, coffee in and around the other flavours. It finishes lightly bitter.

An easy drinking brew that I find tasty enough to keep me interested..I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the vanilla as it could have dominated the flavours and made this more one dimensional. I like.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.11/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Looks good. Dark, nice creamy head that doesn't dissipate.

S: malty, light, hint of smokiness. An odd bitter note. No vanilla despite the name.

T: Pretty weak. A bit of smokiness a bit of vanilla a bit of malt and a lot of water. The lightness of the beer really means the flavors need to be on the money but here they were rather dull.

M: Very light but carbonation was not overly agressive.

Overall this was a pretty average beer. The taste had no real standout notes and the lightness of it really took a lot away.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, stamped with FEB1113 on it, I assume that's the best by date. Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass, when held up to the light the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells like vanilla, roasted malt, milk chocolate and some coffee. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, except that the chocolate flavor is both bittersweet and milk chocolate. Also, I think the flavors are a little stronger in comparison to the aroma. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit smooth and creamy. I think it's a solid brew. Got a single bottle from a friend of mine for free, so I'm not sure about the price of this beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark brown in color with some amber highlights and a very light amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to an even layer of thick film covering the entire surface of the beer. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla (though a slightly artificial vanilla aroma).Some very light notes of cocoa.

T: Light flavors of roasted malts with some hints of bittersweet chocolate but the dominant flavor is that of vanilla - and lots of it. Light amounts of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy yet still a little thin/watery.

O: Enjoyable but not really anything special - I would not go out of my way to try this one again... Pretty easy to drink.

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Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.