Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1226) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 26, 2014
There are certain brewing techniques I always thought could be used to make any beer taste good (for example: adding a ton of hops, or adding a lot of sweet flavors). Though once in a great while I encounter one that shows that it’s still possible to screw up what should be an idiot-proof recipe. Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a good example of this. What should be a standard porter with vanilla added, it drinks like an amateurish homebrew. It’s not horrible, but it’s nowhere near as good as it should be.

I poured a 64oz growler into a nonic pint glass. My girlfriend picked this up for $12.99 ($0.20 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black hue. Pours to a small, tan, foamy head which dissipates quickly and leaves only a little lacing.

Smell: Quite faint aroma of mineral water and a hint of chocolate.

Taste: There’s a certain quality of faux craft (or “crafty”) beers like Leinenkugel’s that’s noticeable right away. I’m not sure how to describe it other than it’s simply not an authentic taste. Right away, I notice there’s a porter-like composition to this palate, but it’s not as genuine-tasting at it should be. There’s an essence of dark malt, but it’s not especially roasty or toasty. It actually kind of reminds me of a cola gone flat. There’s a consistent sweetness here, but it’s almost as though it’s from aspartame. There is a vanilla taste on the back end, though it’s mild and short-lived. All these complaints aside I have to admit there is nothing particularly off about this brew as far as brewing flaws. There is a noticeable mineral taste, but it’s tolerable.

Drinkability: Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is most definitely not a fizzy yellow beer, yet the mouthfeel feels like that of one, only less carbonated. It’s definitely thin, but not slick; and at least there’s no cloying aftertaste (or any aftertaste for that matter). For a 6% ABV brew, it’s amazing easy to gulp down, but it should have more body and be the kind of beer that’s savored, not chugged. 
Grade: 5/10

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