Driven Snow | Leech Lake Brewing Company

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Driven SnowDriven Snow
28 Ratings
Driven SnowDriven Snow

Brewed by:
Leech Lake Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ZAP on 12-11-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of HoistinBrews
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of jwerner23
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of joh02034
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Kevin_Siqveland
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Drknight
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of WallE89
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of sweemzander
2.6/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a very very dark brown; almost black color. Minimal tan froth and lacing.

(S)- An almost spicy, clove driven raisin malt sweetness to it overall.

(T)- Light clove spice meets subtle vanilla. Quite robust with heavy raisin and cocoa.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Definitely some nice cocoa on this. Very xmas-like with all of the holiday spices in this.

(O)- An interesting porter. Has a very winter themed flavor profile to it, though a bit too heavy on the spices for me.

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Photo of King_KongDCO93
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of GeezLynn
2.57/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Haskell’s in Saint Paul. No “best by” dating.

A: Very dark shade of brown without much head.
S: Sweet and roasted with obvious black malt, and a prominent lactic smell.
T: Wooh. Sour. There are some dark malt flavors, and a bit of plastic, but beyond those it’s really too tart to discern much else. Guessing it was fairly well-hopped as some grapefruit bitterness shows around the finish.
M: Medium to light body with somewhat high carbonation and fairly dry feel.

After smelling this, I held off judgment as some traditional porters are often supposed to have an old beer/slight lactic component. The tartness in this bottle goes far beyond that. Not what I was expecting from beer labeled “Robust Porter”.

On the positive side, I really like the label artwork.

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Photo of jimmah120
2.53/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

22oz bomber with no date into pint glass

Look is a dark brown with a thick mocha head. Smell is dark roasted chocolate malt, barley, earthy hops, and yes, a slight molasses scent. Very pleasant smell but not very strong. Taste is a bitter roasted malt with chocolate/molasses undertones. As with the other LL beer I tried, the critical fault is a total lack of carbonation.

The feel and taste is great otherwise, but the lack of CO2 makes it near undrinkable. Not sure if it's the fault of the brewers, or where I purchased it (Four Firkins).

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Photo of optimator705
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of budgood1
2.25/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Next beer in the Leech Lake horizontal flight is Driven Snow, a robust porter according to the label. Fluffy dark tan head lingers for a bit. My wife was interested in it briefly, but the head looked too dark for her. She tell can from the color of the head for stouts and porters if it will have too much coffee, roast or astringent flavors for her. She was right, as usual, and this beer's flavor has significant roast, full bodied malt and a black strap molasses twang. From the bottle description, This beer is a porter brewed with molasses, so that makes sense. Also lists the IBUs at 60 from the house Fuggles, which appears a bit high for style (according to the BJCP guidelines). Pretty tasty and the earthy hoppiness blends well with the roast flavors of the porter. As it warms, the hops move forward in the taste. My only critique is the body seems a bit light for a stronger beer, but not a flaw--just makes it overly easy to drink. A very good beer that may not win any awards because it's out of style, but my favorite IPA (Town Hall Masala Mama) hasn't won an awards for the same reason and I don't care.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.6/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Minnesota is experiencing a flood of new breweries. This one's been around for over a year, but bottles have been hard to come by in the Twin Cities. Saw this at the Four Firkins, had to give it a try. The bottle looked like it had been hand-capped!

Pours very dark brown, almost black, and opaque except at the very edges. Despite a vigorous pour, I got only a thin layer of large bubbles, which quickly faded to a ring of foam. Lacing looks good in the small area where the head was.

Smell is nice, with a good balance of sweet and roasty malts. Also has a woody red wine aroma that reminds me of cabernet. A bit of old sock in the background. Despite that, smell turns out to be the highlight of the beer for me.

Taste is okay, I guess. Tastes like half porter and half I-don't-know-what (cheap red wine, maybe). Slight roasted flavors, with a hefty dose of smoke, fading into a bitter finish. In reality, with the mouthfeel as bad as it is (see below), it's hard for me to get much out of the flavor.

The mouthfeel on this is weird, and not in a good way. It's super slick, like drinking light oil, and there's almost no carbonation. It's among the worst I've encountered in any beer. Makes it very hard to drink.

Ouch. My first beer from Leech Lake, and so far I'm not impressed. Appearance and smell are decent, but it's downhill from there. It's flat, slippery, and not very tasty. I'm happy the bottle was cheap so I don't feel bad pouring it out.

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Photo of dasmusik
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of lurpy1
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another trip to the cabin, another trip to Leech Lake. First time up Driven Snow was gone. Not so this time, strike while the iron is hot.

Pours brown (duh) tilting a bit towards the amber. Not much head. Burbles indolently out of the growler. Not the most beautiful porter I've seen. However, makes up ground on taste. While I would like a bigger malt and roast presence, the beer was appealingly more bitter than most porters, and threw in an excellent, understated smoky curl. A little undercarbonated in my opinion, but in a way that improves the drinkability. A friend threw down 3 glasses in record time.

Definitely not a game changer, but a beer I'll happily drink (and pay for) and one I'm delighted to find in the wastes of Northern MN. In fact I've had 5 different Leech Lake beers and with the possible exception of Blindside (seemed too tame) they all fit that definition. Definitely check their offerings out if you make it north of Brainerd.

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Photo of jera1350
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep and dark colored body with a thin ring of light brown foam around the glass. Some nice lace left clinging to the sides.

The smell is malty with a sour character to it along with a light smoked malt presence. There is some noticeable alcohol in the nose as well.

The taste has this light, but lingering sourness to it. Not sure if it's just a light infection, or if it is supposed to be in there. Behind the sourness is a light smoke and alcohol presence. The smokey charred wood lingers in the aftertaste. I can't be 100% sure, but I think this has a little bug in it. The sour character just covers the whole flavor spectrum.

The body is way thinner than what I expected from a six and a half percent porter. Quite dry.

Not real impressed with this one. Hoping this was a bad bottle, otherwise there are greater problems at hand.

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Photo of CPeterson
4.23/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- A deep black, faintly opaque blackness pours into my glass, creating a two finger deep tan head that settles to a thick skim and leaves gradient lacing.

S -- Coffee and roasted grain, fig, and smoke. Earth tones are dominant.

T -- Rich roasted grain character with a big smoke presence. Coffee, burnt sugar / toffee, anise, and clove are few of the flavors I can pick up. A light sweetness nicely balanced by the bitter qualities of the aforementioned flavors.

M -- Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, a residual sweetness linger on the tongue, as well as a mild dryness to balance.

D -- A very nice offering from the hinterlands of my state. I think that any self-respecting drinker would appreciate this brew.

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Photo of PokerGod
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark, cola colored with thin light head, which dissipates quickly. It does however leave a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell- Coffee up front mostly.. roasted coffee.

Taste- Anise, Coffee, roasted, typical Porter flavors, but not as strong with the flavors as a usual porter. drinkable.

Overall- I'm not a huge fan of Porters in general, but this is a pretty mild tasting porter. I like the opportunity to support a local brewery, but I feel they have better products than this.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First review below. As noted they had a lactic problem. I stopped by the brewery and they gave me another bottle (Very nice of them). Here is second review. I won't repeat the first parts since they were the same.
Flavor was a nice roasted smoothness with a fresh hop character. Nicely complex. No hint of the lactic. Big enough to nip the chill of a cool June night, but light enough to not make it a chore. In fact it drinks quite nicely.
I had e-mail contact with the brewery who indicated he knew the source of the infection but wasn't able to locate all bottles distributed. Man, the chores of a start-up. I admire the courage and effort.
Go get 'em boys. :)

First bottle -
Ar – Mild roast with coffee primary (4)

Ap – Very dark nearly black, Smallish head but it’s dark color. Very little light getting through (4)

Fl – Oh we gotta’ problem here. A goofy sweetness with sour/tartness. Seems like it’s pushing towards a lactic infection. It’s pretty strong and it overwhelms what seems like would be nice roast and coffee flavors (2)

Mf mildly moderate feel, carbonated reasonable soft and on flatter side (3.5)

T – Unfortunately a drain pour. The lactic is too great (2)

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Photo of shadow1961
2.97/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Leech Lake's Driven Snow Porter pours a disk of tan foam over a black brew. Carbonation seems moderate, and I'm picking up aromas of mocha, dark fruit, and a funky vinous note. I'm tasting a bit of molasses and that mocha from the nose again, but unfortunately everything is overshadowed by a fairly assertive lactic tartness. Mouthfeel is light and very very dry. That sourness was a big problem for me inasmuch as that flavor really doesn't have a place in this style- I'm wondering if there wasn't a production issue- like maybe a bug loose somewhere in the brewhouse. A bit of a disappointment for a new brewery which has, so far, had some pretty solid offerings

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Driven Snow from Leech Lake Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 28 ratings