Snowdrift Vanilla Porter
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Snowdrift Vanilla PorterSnowdrift Vanilla Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #1,118
Ranked #47,839
3.46 | pDev: 17.05%
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Snowdrift Vanilla PorterSnowdrift Vanilla Porter
Notes: Drift into winter with Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, back by popular demand as our Winter standalone. A fuller-bodied brew with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel brought out by roasted malts and aged on real vanilla, our Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is smooth and creamy, making it perfect for warming up winter.
Reviews: 313 | Ratings: 1,969 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Bierwolf:
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Bierwolf from Missouri

3.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium to dark brown; 1 finger of tan foam; translucent with some nice carbonation and light lacing.

Smell: A little malty with a trace of vanilla.

Taste: chocolate, vanilla, coffee.

Feel: Medium, smooth and creamy.

Overall: Not a bad beer but a little disappointing as porters go.

Feb 25, 2013
More User Reviews:
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Villiam from Georgia

2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Little to no head on this brew. Smells of vanilla and coffee. The first taste had a solid vanilla flavor and a slight bitterness. I tries to cleanse the palate with Cheetoes but wiped my hands on the drapes and caught them on fire. Would not burn down my house again for. 2.75/5

Nov 22, 2014
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craigsp from Wisconsin

4.06/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very smooth beer for being so dark,good vanilla flavors

Mar 14, 2015
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Caveworm from Ohio

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a glass, this brew's head is 1/2 finger thick and lumpier soapy carbonation , minimal lacing, and a very dark blackish brown body. I wish this had more depth of lacing.

I smell very richly roasted and caramelized malts. Not very much vanilla in the scent category. None, really.

The taste is mostly more of a traditional porter, with the vanilla taste simply making a guest appearance towards the end. And, yes, I can taste the orange flavor. This would be great without all of these other unnecessary tastes in the mix.

This particular mouthfeel is not thick or chewy by any standards. I like that, along with not having a lingering aftertaste.

Overall, I'll give a 4 for Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. This,again, would have been just fine, if not, better with the basic techniques. I probably won't get this again

Dec 05, 2014
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UPBrewer92 from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smooth and rich in flavor. Distinct chocolate and roasted nature with a tinge of vanilla undertone. Very good balance in incorporating vanilla without overdoing it

Mar 29, 2015
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EmberDawn from Florida

4.53/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark color creamy texture with just a hint of vanilla to balance out the roasted chocolate flavors. Flavor notes are complex and distinctive while not being overpowering. Also if wonderful balance of aged and fresh brewed flavors. Nice and crisp with with an enjoyable warm bitterness at the end. This is a great brew for someone starting out into darker brews.

Dec 07, 2015
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter
12 oz. brown bottle, dated "APR1414 B20010852"

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter pours a clear, very deep mahogany brown body beneath a two-finger thick head of pillowy dark tan foam. The head retention is good, and it slowly dwindles to a wide collar. Streaks and spots of lacing are left behind with each sip.

In the nose the vanilla component is quite clear. It's sugary, but soft, and not nearly as artificial as it can sometimes be in other examples that take it perhaps a bit too far. Beyond that there's some dark chocolate and fudge-like maltiness.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with a general chocolate cake type character. It's not overdone, or overtly sweet though. A subtle bitterness keeps it in check, as does some dark malt acidity, although it does finish a touch sweet with a note of chocolate and some underlying fruitiness as well as a lingering note of vanilla. No hop flavors are to be found, leaving the lightly sweet dark malts as the focus.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

In the end it's a fairly charming beer. I don't see it as having a lot of drinkability, but it's not cloying. It should make a great holiday beer, or as a special dessert beer.

Feb 04, 2014
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Pnotuner from Texas

5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This porter is one I would drink every day. Or maybe just when I was especially good. Not too heavy on the malt, a little spice with the effervescent vanilla finish. Not too sweet, Not too bitter, Just Right! I can't stand not having it when it is not in season. I buy as much as I can and hide it in various places and act surprised when I find some. I think I have about 2 left. I just opened one and haven't taken a draw on it yet. I will wait till I finish this piece of pizza so not to spoil my precious.

Dec 12, 2017
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into glass. 'FEB1918' is stamped at the neck of the bottle.
Dark brown and ruby colored body, tan head settles to thin cap, a few spots of lacing.
Aroma is roasted malt, sweeter chocolate, and a hint of vanilla.
Taste is roasted malt (with a tail end almost like malted milk balls), darker chocolate, and a fleeting mention of vanilla.
Somewhat creamy mouthfeel but a little chalky too.
Middle of the road for its type, but too bland to be distinctive.

Nov 18, 2017
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JSBuckeye from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good winter porter, has lots of flavor, and you smell the vanilla without it overpowering the rest of the beer. This beer is definitely not for everyone

Mar 05, 2015
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cougardraven from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the chance to try this on tap a few nights ago, and it was excellent. The combination of sweetness and just the faintest bitter taste was worth every drop.

Mar 02, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

lots of mass appeal attempt porters coming out this year that look to pale to even be considered a brown ale in appearance. not sure why thats a trend, but calling this a porter is a bit misleading. thin and as amber as it is brown in color, good head tough and lots of bubbles, fizzy even. it lacks the depth of a good porter in nose and taste. none of the roasted barley or specialty dark malts are there at all, and that earthy bitter base is really missing for me. as a brown ale type, it works better. some chocolate malt in here for sure, and it plays nicely with the vanilla, which while sweet, seems to be rather genuine, true to the bean. the vanilla is perhaps a tad over dosed in my opinion, covers up an already thin and absentee grain profile, so it seems like a flaw, but thats probably what they were going for with this one. on the bright side, its still kind of strong for what it is, and probably works for their idea of a winter warmer brew. this is fringe craft at best, but i dont hate this one as much as some of the new shandy gimmicks. could have no more than two, but i would recommend this to a vanilla lover that doesnt quite get in to the real dark ones. personally i wished for more grain layers here, more from the dark side. not enough body either for something called a porter.

Dec 01, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken 05/23/16:

This is a couple months past “expiration” but with the roastiness and fairly high ABV, I am not worried. As likely as not it has improved with age. On the other hand, much longer and it would start to go bad, since it is still less than the 7-8% threshold. Very dark brown but quite clear with reddish hues. Head is foamy, fine, a toasty, golden tannish-brown, and retains well after settling. Scattered legs. Dark fruit, mild roastiness, woodiness, alcohol on the nose, not so much vanilla. Roastiness is a little more overt on palate, with more dark fruit (plums, cherries), a little distinct alcohol, and then vanilla, but more in the background than other flavors. Just barely full-bodied, quite smooth with medium, fine, sudsy carbonation, slightly warming sides of tongues and mid-cheeks, chewy, mouth-coating, somewhat astringent. Underrated beer. To be sure, I am biased in the extreme toward dark beers, but I think faux-micro brewers like Leinie, and beers that defy style guidelines are biased against. Plus, mine was slightly aged.

Jun 07, 2016
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u2carew from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a finger thick tan head. Settles slowly leaving a tight lacing at the edge of the glass. Nearly opaque, dark mahogany colored body.
S) Roasted coffee. Vanilla beans.
T) Roasted grains. Coffee. Hints of chocolate. Bready.
M) Full body. Fizzy. Slightly dry a bit chalky.
O) A tasty porter. I'd have another.

Mar 20, 2014
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DerekP from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Jan 26, 2014
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FrankShirley from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Nov 15, 2014
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hoppyhelena from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Nov 30, 2012
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Waveoff from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 03, 2015
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Sqwizmiester1329 from Connecticut

3/5  rDev -13.3%

Feb 16, 2014
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LennyBound from Illinois

4/5  rDev +15.6%

Nov 11, 2014
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kelseyr713 from New York

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 25, 2018
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

"A perfect beer to celebrate the winter season. Complex malt character reveals layers of coffee and cocoa. Brewed with pride by the Leinenkugel Family since 1867." Brewed in the style of an American Porter brewed with Vanilla.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Leinenkugel pint glass. Served north of 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a tannish brown crisp frothy head with average at best staying power. Body color is a deep brown with cherry red accents, mild spritely carbonation and high clarity despite the depth of the beer. Appearance isn't a real winner in this beer, it's a bit light and poor on head quality. 3

(Smell) Clean, crisp roasted grains, toasted caramel candy, mild hints of vanilla extract. Overall the sweetness and potency is relatively minute, although balance is slightly sweet, the overall flavor profile is mild. Not all that interesting, honestly, but it has a high accessibility going for it. 3.25

(Taste) Vanilla bean, roasted biscuity caramel malt, hints of toffee, some mild grain alcohol. Hop presence is mild, earthy and the yeast character is clean. At warmer temperatures this has actually quite the enjoyable flavor, a bit simple but drinkable and pronounced flavors, nothing concealed, everything to offer is out in the open. Mildly moist finish with a mild creamy caramel candy sweetness and a warm puff of smoke. A bit sweet in flavor but enjoyable overall. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy with a bit of mild airy carbonation in the back. Body is a little shy of medium for the style, light/medium overall. Alcohol presence is low, very well hidden despite some mild grain alcohol peeking through. Carbonation is nearly perfect, just a touch too busy in the wrong direction, substituting that airiness for a touch more cream would have perfected the texture and complimented the flavors better. 3.5

(Overall) Compared to last year's Leinenkugel abysmally bad winter seasonal (which shall forever remain nameless), Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a step in the right direction. The vanilla is very forward in warmer temperatures and the flavors are sweet but not cloying for the style. Enjoyable but nothing groundbreaking. 3.25

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's
Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Feb 21, 2013
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rderedin from Maine

3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Oct 12, 2014
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Eaglefan344 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Mar 30, 2014
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kaelahann from Texas

4/5  rDev +15.6%

May 09, 2014
Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 1969 ratings