Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXVII)

Another irregular edition of the no longer so aptly named Beer of the Week sponsored as always by hearty folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need to make it through the deepest drifts of winter.

Each year it seems that the cold weather of winter brings more and more “big” winter beers. These beers include imperial stouts and even imperial porters with high alcohol content and bold, rich flavors. Don’t get me wrong, these beers can be delicious and the perfect restorative after a frigid winter day. But sometimes they can also be a bit too much. Too rich. Too bold. Too big.

So it’s a nice change to have a new winter seasonal with more modest aspirations. Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter:

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

Six pack of twelve ounce bottles goes for $7.99. Label follows the usual Leinie design with a snowy winter scene in the background.

STYLE: Porter


COLOR (0-2): Dark ruby brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Sour malt with just a touch of vanilla. 2

HEAD (0-2): Tan color. Minimal volume that fades quickly with not much retention. 1

TASTE (0-5): Roasted malts accented with more noticeable flavors of vanilla and cocoa and lighter hints of coffee and caramel. The mouthfeel is smooth and watery. Medium bodied and very drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Cocoa and coffee flavors linger pleasantly. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a solid if unspectacular winter offering from Leinenkugel’s. It’s not big and it’s not bold, but it’s a good beer at a good price. And its drinkability makes it a good choice for a winter to have when you’re having more than one. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14