Nov 28, 2012

Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Any time I see “vanilla” in the name of a brew, I get a little shiver of fear running down my spine. It’s not that I hate vanilla, I don’t. I’ve just run across too many beers that throw so much of it into their product that it’s been too overwhelming for me to fully enjoy. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter.

This new seasonal release is crafted with a blend of seven malts including two- and six-row Pale Malt, Caramel 60, Carapils, Special B, Dark Chocolate and Roasted Barley. Toss in a little Wilamette and and Cluster hop varieties for a light bittering and you’ve got yourself a smooth drinking porter. At 6% ABV the beer is certainly not sessionable, but, man, does it go down easy.


Snowdrift pours with a dense stack of light tan foam that faded slowly atop the cola brown liquid.


Roasted malt, subtle spice notes, a hint of vanilla, a touch of cream and light cocoa fill the nose with a rather subdued, yet pleasant aroma.


The vanilla shows a bit more here than it did on the nose, but even then it’s still pretty mellow. The creamy mouthfeel allows the beer’s flavors to glide smoothly over the tongue even though the beer isn’t as full as I personally like it my porters. Lightly roasted malt with hints of cocoa, caramel and coffee dominate as a touch of hop bitterness arrives in the semi-dry finish. There are also subtle spice notes in the background and not a bit of alcohol is to be found.


All in all, this is a pretty solid beer. Thankfully, it wasn’t overpowering in the vanilla end of the flavor spectrum, instead presenting just enough in conjunction with distant spices to give the beer a festive, holiday-like character. I found the beer easy drinking and smooth, though I’d like a touch more body to it.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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