Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla PorterLeinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheSixthRing on 11-03-2012

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Reviews: 245 | Ratings: 1,756
Photo of JakeMegabyte
3.61/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is the perfect beer to introduce your friends to darker craft beer. It's easy to drink, it has a good mouth feel and an excellent taste, and it's usually dirt cheap. At $12.99/box where I come from it's a godsend.

It looks fine, it's a nice dark color with a small head. Smells really range per batch, some batches have really nice and sweet aromas while others I've had are mildly skunked, which can impact the taste. HOWEVER, this beer tastes delicious, it's got great notes of vanilla and maybe even some chocolate, mild maltiness, and it's not overly complex--it doesn't try to outdo itself. The mouth feel is filling but not too lasting, and it's easy to drink warm or cold. It's a perfectly 'good' entry beer. The reason I wouldn't rate it any higher than 3.75 is because I've had much more complex and interesting beers since I've had this one and the taste hasn't held up over time. This might be my own personal view but I think the overall rating reflects that. Though I've introduced this beer to many people who have never had craft beer and they've had reactions like "wow this is good!" and "this is my new favorite beer, I didn't know beer could taste this good." I don't often get that reaction with beer, so take that for what you will. I like this beer even today, it's too bad it's a winter batch.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Drank from the bottle, so I can't comment on looks.
Smelled of vanilla, maybe even malt characteristics.
Sweet, almost thick vanilla taste, overcoming any darker, chocolaty flavors that may be around.

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Photo of UPBrewer92
4.15/5  rDev +22.8%
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

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Photo of Jgoth34
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark, deep amber almost black. Decent head retention
Smell: Almost spicy, yet sweet and malty.
Taste: Vanilla cocoa taste with a hint of spice on the back end. Nice for a winter day
Feel: Warm and creamy but overall OK.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.46/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark, amber color. Not much head retention. Aroma is malty and sweet. I actually really like the aroma of this.

Taste is of toasted malts, maybe a bit overly toasted? Sweet, but balanced. I notice a slight vanilla flavor, but not nearly as much as you would expect after reading "Vanilla Porter" right in the name of it. (No qualms there, I'd rather leave vanilla out anyway).

The mouthfeel is relatively thin for a porter, but decent enough to keep me interested in drinking a few more. Carbonation is good.


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Photo of edificio5
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is good if you are into Vanilla. Since I am not that into Vanilla I can only say that the beer was ok. I am glad it was given to me in a mixed 6.

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Photo of JSBuckeye
4.07/5  rDev +20.4%
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

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Today is a snow day. Today is a snowdrift vanilla Porter day. Now listen, son.

It looks : fluffy, pillowy khaki colored head, 2 fingers and then 1; it "drifts" along the side of the glass like snow. The lacing is signature Leinie, always webby, generous, and beautiful. The body is like Pepsi, caramel colored and 60% opaque.

It smells : dark roasted cocoa and chocolate, musty earth, coffee bean, faint dark hop. Some spiced vanilla. There is a cancer of wet and musty smells permeating the aroma, it's slightly off-putting.

It tastes : Boy, I'm glad I didn't buy a sixer. This is about the most uninteresting Porter I've ever had. It's literally boring. Some roast coffee bean, a hint of cocoa, some cola, and at the end a nice jellybelly-like vanilla bean flavor comes in and settles at the back of the throat. The finish is easily the best part. But I'm really fishing, I mean fishing and trolling, for some kind of flavors. Very minimal.

Mouthfeel : flat, wet, minimally carbonated. Ends slightly roasted. Overall not a fan of the Mouthfeel.

Overall : I really wanted to like this beer. It's pretty much the most boring Porter and possibly the most boring beer I've had. Note - I didn't say "worst", I said boring. It's worth a try but don't expect much excitement.

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Photo of cougardraven
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/17/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light nuttiness, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and vanilla notes; with decent strength. Taste of milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light cocoa, light nuttiness, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Minimal roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, light cocoa/nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance, complexity, and solid robustness of dark/bready malt and vanilla flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is okay. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a solid vanilla porter. All around good balance, complexity, and solid robustness of dark/bready malt and vanilla flavors; and very smooth to drink. Definitely very toned down for a porter, but the flavors were quite nice and balanced. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SierraFlight
2.91/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into shaker. Pours clear deep red-brown with a finger of tan head that quickly collapses leaving minimal lacing. Aroma limps in with vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, and a touch of cocoa. Flavors follow the nose with medium vanilla sweetness and a light hop bitterness cutting through the maltiness. Medium-light bodied, with a thin texture, average carbonation, and a bit of an astringent finish.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Really dark brown, almost black with a creamy off-white head. Smells like a pretty average porter, it also tastes like a pretty average porter. Did not taste like a "Vanilla Porter" in my opinion

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.18/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a off white head
mouthfeel is sweet and heavy
flavor is very malty with a nice vanilla aftertaste
overall it is a great effort in Leiny's stable of flavored beers. It is a good representation of porter style. Not an everyday beer but it is something I make a point to have a few of every winter.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.69/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This nice porter pours a medium dark brown with red tinges, a nice frothy light tan head, and decent lacing. Nose is pretty light, but there are chocolate and vanilla notes in there blending with dark malts. Flavors follow the nose with chocolate to the front, vanilla and chocolate to the sides, and a light grain flavor rounding it out. Very reminiscent of Creamy Dark with a bit more emphasis on the chocolate and vanilla. Moderate carbonation and a sweet aftertaste makes this a good beginners brew to get them into the darker stuff. Solid.


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Photo of KYGunner
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown color pours a bubbly fleeting head. Light vanilla on the nose with some dry chocolate malt undertones.

Light vanilla sweetness with a dry chocolate malt, not much else but not offensive. I get some brownie batter later as the vanilla becomes more prominent. Typical Leinenkugels beer with significant weakness but decent taste.

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Photo of Brandon402
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Working on my second 12 oz bottle poured into a glass. The beer is more chocolate tasting than vanilla honestly, with hints of coffee. Has a malty sweetness that drowns out any alcohol taste. But at 6% it warms you up. I bought it because I have to scoop snow today, so I thought I'd buy this Snowdrift Vanilla Porter to help me out. :-)

I have never known Leinenkugel to make a bad beer, and this is no exception. However there are probably better options for porter/stout beer fans. So I gave it a 3.75 all around. If this was a beer someone homebrewed, it would be incredible, but I expect more from large breweries.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Some roasted malt, notes of dark bread, a little smoke, some caramel, but nowhere near as much vanilla as I was expecting. A little disappointing.

Taste: A little disappointing here too. Some nice roasted malt flavors, accented with just a touch of smoke, followed by some caramel-like sweetness and just a faint touch of vanilla, but not enough in my opinion, especially, as it’s billed as a vanilla porter. No presence of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and pretty smooth as it’s got very little carbonation. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: As I said above, this beer is a little disappointing, in that there is nowhere near the amount of vanilla present that I believe there should be. As a regular porter, it’s pretty decent, possessing some good roasted malt and slight smoke flavors balanced with some nice caramel-like sweetness, but as its advertised as a vanilla porter, and because it has very little vanilla in it, I find it to be very disappointing. If I’m in the mood for a vanilla porter, I’ll grab either the one made by Breckenridge or Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea, both of which are infinitely better beers.

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Photo of Reckage
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cleaning out the fridge, had one of these leftover. Poured in a pint glass,
Look; dark ruby, after head packed its bags looks like root beer
Smell: roasted vanilla, hints of chocolate and caramel
Taste: vanilla throughout and a roastiness after awhile, medium bodied and pretty smooth
Mouthfeel: thin, not as heavy as expected
Overall: great dessert beer in the colder months, lives up to its name. Would suggest to any vanilla fan

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Photo of sempifi99
4.19/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the better porters I have had at this price range. Definitely something I would buy again. That said there are better ones out there. The only complaint I would have is that it has a bit of an aftertaste.

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Photo of CycleDad
1.94/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at a pub that was out of stout. Think root beer; sweet, thin, limited cream- colored head that quickly dissipates with minimal lacing.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful color and I thought it smelled great with a very explicit vanilla flavor (duh). The taste was just fine, while not being particularly complex. The moderately high carbonation set me off however.

I could definitely see myself buying this beer for someone who might not be into porters at all as it is a nice segway beer.

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Photo of agreenman19
2.69/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

My buddy unwittingly ordered this after hearing the buzzwords "vanilla porter". I have to admit, my interest was piqued as well, but experience told me not to expect much from Leinenkugel's. I even told the poor bastard it would probably be fruity! After he ordered of course. I just had to see how this played out.

First words out of his mouth: "Wow, you're right, this does taste fruity. Almost orangey. Like good minute maid fruit punch. Not the cheap shit."

Understandably, I had to try it.

Look - 2.5/5: You call this a porter? My Long Trail IPA is darker than this! I can see through it! I didn't even order the damn beer and I feel duped already.

Smell - 3.5/5: Candy! This was a weird one. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's some kind of cheap vanilla-y sugar sweet candy aroma. Actually not that bad and the high point of this beer.

Taste - 2.5/5: More of the same. Except it's far less enjoyable on the tongue. Is this even beer? In a blind taste test, you would've had me fooled. Not about the style, but about the fact that this is a goddamn beer. Soda up front, soda though the middle, hints of beer on the finish. Bizarre. Fun to smell, questionable to drink.

Feel - 2.75/5: Thin. It had more of a beer mouthfeel than soda, but still nothing to write home about. Loses a quarter point because it didn't feel like the soda I was drinking.

Overall - 2.25/5: Disappointing, to say the least. But am I surprised? No, I was just curious how badly they'd screw up a porter, and they at least did that quite well. I have no problems with the beer you're making, just don't market it as something beer fans would enjoy. Because it's not beer.

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Photo of LouZ
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted from draft pour. The feel of this beer was water-like: thin, unsatisfying, and pretty much lifeless. I was supremely disappointed. Would never consider it again.

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Photo of 71ADub
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a chilled pint glass.

A - black, head was billowy, thick and tan, dissipated quickly.
S - vanilla hits you first, then as it warms, hints of roastiness and toffee emerge. The vanilla is not overpowering, very balanced.
T - You get the vanilla up front, then gives away to a roasty astringency. Everything is in balance. Nothing dominates.
F- medium carbonation. body is light, too thin in my opinion (as are most Leinie's beers).
O-a very sessionable beer, well balanced, unlike some of the other vanilla brews out there. If it had more body, and maybe a little more toffee in the flavor profile, this could be a winner.

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Photo of hreb
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz screw-cap Leinenkugel bottle served in pint glass. Low expectations from me here, tbh. Aroma is of vanilla candy -- not the good kind, the cheap stuff. Color is dark brown and opaque and supports a little brown head. Yeah, really this just smells like vanilla flavored beer. Flavor comes across a bit better. The vanilla note is significantly more palatable on the tongue. It's mild and complements the malt bill pretty well, actually. The carbonation is fine but sharp. Overall I'm more impressed with this than I expected, it's drinkable though neither a great example of vanilla flavored ale nor a great beer overall. But it's no Leinenkugel nut brown.

Update: I read online that Snowdift is in fact the *replacement* for Fireside Nut Brown -- a merciful coup!

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Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.38 out of 5 based on 1,756 ratings.
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