Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter + Week 3 Recap

Yet another week has passed, so it’s time for a little reflection:

  1. Northwoods Brewing Birch Wood Ale was either horrendous or mislabeled
  2. Founders Porter was dark, rich and sexy (as judged by pasty, cheap and awkward)
  3. Lake Louie Radio Free IBA was pretty good, though short on hops
  4. Vintage Derby Girl ESB was a good excuse for a journey to the west side
  5. Founders Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout was a nutritious breakfast substitute, albeit a little sweet for my taste
  6. Point Special Lager was best used for washing down a Plazaburger
  7. Sprecher Winter Brew was not nearly as good as Sprecher root beer

Best of the week: Founders Porter, without a doubt

Worst of the week: Northwoods Birch Wood Ale, with special honors for an extraordinarily tragic bungling of a pale ale.

Back in the summer of 2002, I worked hauling trash in a plastic packaging factory. While it was glamorous, it was also an exceptionally hot, sweaty job. That summer, my best friend and I, who worked in the same sweltering factory, made a habit of cooling off after the work day with  refreshing (and nutritious) beer floats.

A thoroughly chilled beer topped with vanilla ice cream seemed just the thing to mollify the mind-numbing tedium of carting around industrial trash all day, and to bolster our rapidly dwindling body mass. Though it might sound like an odd concoction, with the right beer as a base, beer floats are perfectly delicious. That brings me to today’s selection, Leinie’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter. While barely palatable on its own, I suspect that Snowdrift might just be an ideal beer float medium.

Beer float.

Beer float.

Like many of Leinenkugel’s most egregious abominations of fermentation (ahem, Berry Wiess, Summer Shandy, Sunset Wheat…), Snowdrift is frightfully sweet. Nonetheless, Snowdrift’s creamy vanilla flavors and hefty carbonation result in a fairly tasty experience, so long as you disregard any associations between this stuff and actual beer. In fact, it more closely resembles Titletown Sno-Cap Root Beer than it does any porter I’ve encountered.

Sadly, no ice cream was handy during the consumption of this beer (although, to be fair, I didn’t actually ask the bartender at Monkeyshines), but I think a beer that tastes like Sno-Cap quite obviously yearns to become involved in a beer float. If you’re in the mood for an actual porter, look elsewhere, but, if you’ve got some ice cream to spare, Snowdrift might be worth a try.

Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Style: Porter (sort of)
Availability: Seasonal (winter)
ABV: 6%
Hops: Cluster, Wilamette
Notes: Sweet and creamy with strong vanilla flavor; heavily carbonated
More Info: https://leinie.com/Beers.aspx#snowdrift
My Take: Would make for a might fine beer float.

Founders Porter


Founders Porter: This photo is abominable, but the beer is amazing.

Dark, rich, and sexy. Don’t get your knickers in a twist; we’re still talking about beer, here (although, you’d be correct in assuming that I’m often described similarly, except that the adjectives involved are more typically “pasty, cheap, and awkward”). That’s the tag line on the label of today’s selection, a Porter from the fine folks at Founders, which, as it turns out, is a pretty apt synopsis.

I enjoyed Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale so much that I couldn’t resist an opportunity to check out another another offering from this venerable Grand Rapids, MI brewery. As I alluded to in the Dirty Bastard post, Founders specializes in the brewing of relatively “big” beers – heady potions with high alcohol content, substantial body, and robust flavors – so I was fairly confident that this Porter would not disappoint.

Far from disappointing, Founders Porter might be made of magic. On the pour, heavy aromas of chocolate and coffee emanate from this alluringly dark, dense liquid. Rich roasted chocolate flavors, combined with a soft, velvety texture, and a hint of bitnerness at the finish result in a luxurious elixir that might best be described as voluptuous. In fact, just drinking it feels a little scandalous. Dark, rich and sexy, indeed.

Founders Porter

Style: Porter
Availability: Year-round
ABV: 6.5%
Hops: Not Specified
Notes: Strong chocolate aroma; bold roasted chocolate flavor; amazing velvety mouthfeel
More Info: http://foundersbrewing.com/our-beer/porter/
My Take: Pasty, cheap, and awkward agrees that this is dark, rich, and sexy.