Vanilla Porter Review
Beer Reviewed: Snowdrift Vanilla Porter
Brewery: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
This one I had to look up. The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is located in Chippewa Falls, WI, which you may know is a bit west of my current location. It may be as much as 100 miles away from here, as such I’ve never been there and I’m a little suspicious if it’s a real place.
Also, when I see such an obviously Irish name for a brewery, I look forward to pairing that beer with the traditional Irish foods, like colcannon, soda bread, and cottage pie. Yummy!
See what I did there? Yes, I know it’s not Irish, but my first thought after I learned the name and location of the brewery is to think of the pairing with cheeses, sausages and breads. When I think Wisconsin and German heritage, my heart starts to palpitate in anticipation of heavy, fatty foods, and that’s just breakfast!
I certainly don’t mean this part of the review to be interpreted as a negative. Although this isn’t a food blog, I love heavy foods and I think they generally go very well with certain types of beers. Having a nice flavorful beer with some aged cheeses and other charcuterie is a great way to spend an afternoon in front of a fire.
One other thing. Their website says:
The beer pairs well with marshmallow sweet potato casserole, glazed ham with cherries, long roasted meats with mole, bananas foster and almost any combination of chocolate and cherry.
That’s quite a light pairing, and probably a little sweeter than I would typically have with beer, but to each his/her own.
Enough about the food, let’s get on to...
Quantitative parameters of beer character
- I have mentioned previously that I wanted to compare the global phenomenon know as The Hitchens Taste Scale against the IBU rating, but their website has a different measure. They put the hoppiness at a 3, and the maltiness at a 7. These are out of ten. On the Hitchens scale, I would put this at a -2. To compare the two scores, my opinion is less sweet than theirs, but not too far off.
- This has a respectable alcohol content of 6% alc/vol.
- The color is a predictable dark brown that you should expect from a porter.
Qualitative parameters of beer character
- Considering the name, you might imagine the aroma has a slight vanilla tone, and you’d be right. The odd thing to me is that’s the only aroma my nose is picking up.
- The vanilla flavor is more noticeable than the aroma, and it’s quite enjoyable. I’m a fan of real vanilla and this is hitting me just right.
- The vanilla aftertaste lingers for a while, and it stays in the back of the throat. If I take a breath through my nose, I can pick up the faint flavor long after I drank the beer.
- The mouthfeel is not what I would call bright, but the toasted flavor coats your mouth and tingles on the tongue for a 5 count.
- These darker beers seem to have less carbonation, and the head leaves quickly.
- The temperature can be a bit warmer than other winter brews, and by giving it a few minutes to open up, the vanilla gets brighter and brighter.
This beer is fantastic, and although I’m not drinking it with food, I am curious how it would marry with sweet potato casserole, but I probably wouldn’t wait until the dessert cart came around.