Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla PorterLeinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

232 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 232
Hads: 1,693
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 47.48%
Wants: 45
Gots: 477 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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.
View: Beers (53) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 232 | Hads: 1,693
Photo of Minkybut
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a dark amber color and poured a tan colored head. The beer had not much smell except for the vanilla. The beer also pretty much tasted like vanilla and thats it. really a little too sweet, but drinkable. This one barely passes the I will drink again test.

 318 characters

Photo of tronester
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany color with a creamy tan head. Aromas of light vanilla and some wood. Taste is initially some sugar and vanilla up front, followed by some lightly roasted flavor in the middle, and some chalky, earthy, spicy finish. Mouthfeel is average. Overall a good porter, probably the best Leinenkugel beer I've had. I got this as part as a mixed six pack, but I suspect a full six pack could be in the future for an inexpensive, sweet porter fix.

 458 characters

Photo of Jade
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this porter into an imperial pint glass.

A - Good maple brown color, ruby red in the light. Half a finger of cream color head albeit an easy pour.

S - Some burnt malts and vanilla. Not much going on here.

T - Similar to the smell. Okay, but nothing special. I admit I am a Stout fan.

M - A bit watery and overly carbonated for my palate...even for a porter.

O - Like a brown ale with slight burnt malts and vanilla. Not a drain pour for sure, but nothing special here. If new to dark ales, worth a try, but if a connoisseur of great dark ales, even the style of porter, I would pass for a more expensive and tastier beer.

 634 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought over a sixer of this for the Packer game on Sunday. Poured one into a pint glass for a proper review. Pours a ruby-tinted cola color. Thin off-white head on top. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate, dry grains. Pretty basic scent, but I didn't expect much. Nothing off-putting.

Moderate mouthfeel, with some carbonation bite. A little on the thin side, but in no way is this watery or slick. Again, pretty average feel. Good balance of vanilla sweetness, semi-sweet chocolate, and yeasty bread. Mild bitterness. This is an easy one to quaff. I was afraid this would be overpowering in its sweetness, but this was well balanced. A simple beer that was well-made. I'd have it again.

 692 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a nice cap of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint cofee and chocolate notes
Taste-light roasted coffee, white chocolate, vanilla note.
Creamy and pretty tasty, a good value that could be a good "gateway" brew for macro beer drinkers.

 306 characters

Photo of cet128
4.89/5  rDev +45.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This porter is one of my recent taste tests that really scored big. I usually don't like dark beers but have recently started to broaden my beer knowledge and tasting experience.

The beer has a dark cola like appearance when poured into a glass with a decent tan colored head. The smell has a coffee and chocolate blend. I don't smell the vanilla but it does come out in the taste.

I admit to not liking a beer with a hoppy taste. This is probably why I do like this beer, more flavor from malts and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. It is very smooth and easy to relax and drink.

 584 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Black with Dark Red on the bottom due to the light shining through. Head is around 2 fingers in width and is tan in color.

Smell - Chocolate, Vanilla, Roasted Malts, Caramel, & Coffee. The scent is slightly milder than Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter, which I had a few months earlier. It does however smell very sweet for a Porter

Taste - Chocolate, Roasted Malts, Caramel and Vanilla Bean. The Vanilla Flavor doesn't really show up until the very end on the back of the palate. When it does show up, it tastes pretty good. Not as "Vanilla" as Breckenridge's interpretation but for a porter it's pretty good.

Mouthfeel - Very light, a bit watery and mildly carbonated. It's got an odd texture, almost like the light body gives the impression there is something missing from the beer..

Overall - If you want a good vanilla porter and you have to choose, Breckenridge would be my first choice, because the flavor lacks the Vanilla kick which Breckenridge possessed. With that said, the flavor is still unique and at the most, worth looking into. My only major complaint is that the body needs some work.

 1,143 characters

Photo of tectactoe
2.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep brown, dark ruby red color. Thick tan head reduces to about a quarter-inch pretty quickly. Some slight vanilla on the nose, full of sweetness and handfuls of roasted, dark malts. Upon the first taste, the body is kind of a let down - very thin and highly carbonated, not something you'd expect from a porter. Oak and wood chips hit first; all-around, huge bouts of roasted malts cloud the palate. Vanilla bean plays an overcast role, not as prominent at first, but growing toward the end of the sip. I'm picking up some slight honey flavors in there as well. The sweetness grows and grows from the start to the finish. At first, it seems like a nice touch, but there isn't enough of a hop profile to offset it, and near the end of the beer, the sweetness is nearly cloying and a little over-the-top. It has a dense vanilla-coffee bean aftertaste, not bad.

For a porter, it's nothing to write home about, and the sweetness needs to be balanced better. However, it's not awful, and it's certainly one of the better offerings I've had from Lienenkugels. Just too sweet.

 1,080 characters

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

Pours nearly black with a finger of brown head. Not a lot of lacing going on.

Roasted barley and coffee with some dark chocolate and pine.

Roasted character dominates taste but fails to develop. Some smoke and light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is too thin for a porter. Almost soda-like feel.

Not a great porter but nothing offensive.

 332 characters

Photo of atone315
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a super dark amber/ brown. Looks like a super clear stout, near perfect porter. This beer's best quality. The nose is practically meaningless, adds almost nothing to this experience. Taste is artificial vanilla. I love vanilla so actually pretty tasty at first...subsequent sips make me like this beer less. Feel is on the thin side but not horrible. Definitely lacking though. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer. Just not my first choice. Guarantee I buy a 6 pk every year but that's about it.

 502 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown with ruby highlights and a smallish tan head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Smells of caramel and brown sugar with a bit of chocolate and vanilla. There's a light bit of roast in the aroma with little to no hop presence. The flavor is sweet with a vanilla and caramel playing the lead roles. A little brown sugar and roast come in to support but the vanilla really overpowers everything else in the flavor. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness is detected. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy mouthfeel. I bought some Big Eddy Imperial stout a few years back and I was blown away. Since that time I keep trying their regular beers hoping to revisit the magic, but it just doesn't seem to happen. There's nothing really wrong with this beer, but for my tastes its too much vanilla and not enough porter.

 863 characters

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #241
Served On: 12/07/2012
Glassware: Tumbler Pint
Labeled ABV: -6.0%
Date/ Code: Feb 11 - 2013

This was from a 12-pack of cans from Brewskies of New Oxford for around $13.00.

Look: The beer poured a semi-clear dark copper with a thin off-white film on top. Minimal carbonation bubbles were detected.

Smell: Sweet vanilla was at the forefront. A biscuity malt also made up a big part of the aroma. Also some faint brown sugar notes were present.

Taste: Carbonation ripped up the middle followed by sweet vanilla and some coffee bean. The vanilla did seem a little artificial. The middle was more of a biscuit quality with notes of cracker and yeast. The finish was rather dry. A candy sweetness did seem to linger into the aftertaste.

The use of vanilla in the profile and a nicely masked 6% ABV are just couple of reasons I would grab this one again.

 868 characters

Photo of tone77
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of vanilla, some coffee. Taste is good, lots of vanilla, some cocoa and coffee, lots of flavor. feels medoium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 258 characters

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.

 884 characters

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.

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

Nose
Cream soda, black licorice and artificial raspberry.

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

Mouthfeel
Light bodied and heavily carbonated.

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

 427 characters

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.

 909 characters

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.

 431 characters

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.

 850 characters

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.

 262 characters

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.

 1,116 characters

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.

 452 characters

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.

 698 characters

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!
Enjoy!

 596 characters

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.

 586 characters

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).

 1,368 characters

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.