Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bottoms Up! Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Lenenkugel's

One of the things I like best about craft beers is the seasonal flavors that are offered. While I prefer Autumn's brews to everything else by far, winter brews are often quite good, too. This past winter I came across a beer from Leinenkugel's that caught my eye: Snowdrift Vanilla Porter. Leinenkugel's has this to say about their seasonal beer:

"Celebrate shorter days with a fuller body. Leinenkugel’s® Snowdrift Vanilla Porter™ is brewed with a select blend of seven malts revealing layers of caramel, chocolate and coffee notes. Aged on real vanilla, this brown and ruby-hued brew imparts a slightly spicy aroma from its creamy body that’s ideal for the season."

Here are my interpretations of this beer:

Appearance: Snowdrift Vanilla Porter pours a dark, rich golden brown. It offers up a large, fluffy tan head that fades to very little lacing. It reminded me a lot of a how a cola pours.

Smell: This beer smells yeasty and bread-like with an alcohol presence. There is a light malted smell and a whiff of molasses.

Flavor: The flavor of this beer is malty and sweet with a hint of vanilla. The light hoppy aftertaste quickly fades and there are some dark chocolate notes at the end. There is something reminiscent of a very mild whiskey and cola flavor to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Vanilla porter feels a little thin and watery to me, but not in a bad way. I was just expecting a heavier feeling drink. The light carbonation works well with the thin feel.

Overall: I was expecting a heavier beer based on the dark color, but it is a good all around offering. It offers a nice blend of flavors with nothing overpowering. I could see pairing this with rich, savory dishes such as stew or stroganoff, mild creamy cheeses and cheesecake. I can also see it working well with chocolate, cherry and coffee flavors.

For more information about Leinenkugel and their beers, please visit them online, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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