Leinenkugel Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

We’re through a month and a half of a stay at home order. I’m still going to work every day, albeit taking a lot more precautions, like wearing a mask and washing my hands 10,000 times per day. I’m happy to be able to have a job that does help people, but I still want a beer when I get home. Let’s see how this one is.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Robust porter style beer aged on real vanilla. Drift into winter with Snowdrift Vanilla Porter®, back by popular demand as our Winter standalone. A fuller-bodied brew with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel brought out by roasted malts and aged on real vanilla, our Leinenkugel’s® Snowdrift Vanilla Porter® is smooth and creamy, making it perfect for warming up winter. Snowdrift Vanilla Porter® perfectly complements marshmallow sweet potato casserole, glazed ham with cherries and any combination of chocolate and cherry.”

Random: This beer comes in at 16 IBUs and is a seasonal that is available from November through February.

This beer poured with a half a finger of thick, light tan colored head. It dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with reddish hints and was clear. The nose started with some roasted malts and almond extract. I didn’t pick up much else. The taste had some musty roasted malts with a touch of instant coffee. I didn’t pick up a lot of vanilla or caramel and that would have improved the taste significant. The body was watery and the carbonation was light. The finish was quick with roasted malts. This beer just wasn’t my favorite. It was close to being a chore to drink. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Canoe Paddle Kolsch

Tonight’s beer is another selection from the Leinenkugel’s mixed pack. I don’t usually see their beer on shelves by me, except for the Summer. Then, I see their regular shandy and shandy mixed pack everywhere.

ABV: 5%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Leinenkugel’s® Canoe Paddle Kölsch® is a slightly spicy and smooth addition to Leinenkugel’s seasonal portfolio. This Kölsch-style beer is brewed with a touch of rye for a slightly spicy flavor and clean, dry finish. It’s our take on a German classic that’s perfect for winding down and relaxing. Pair Canoe Paddle Kölsch with Weisswurst, porcini mushroom ravioli with white wine sauce, delicate white fish with capers and arugula salads.”

Random: The beer comes in at 11 IBUs.

The beer poured wit a very loose, three finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and was the color of lemon juice. The nose was very much like a lager instead of a kolsch. I picked up some corn and grain and not much else. The taste had some lemon juice and the same corn note that I got in the nose. There was no rye to speak of, but it would have really helped the beer if it was there. The body was light and had high carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon juice and corn. I wasn’t into this beer at all. It didn’t have any of the features that a Kolsch should. I would avoid this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Northwoods Lager

It’s harder and harder to find mixed-packs of beer that have good selections. Awhile back, I found a mixed pack of Leinenkugel’s and grabbed it. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Leinenkugel’s® is the nation’s 7th oldest operating brewery. It has a rich history, which began when brewer Matthias Leinenkugel brought his family over to the United States from Germany in the 1840s. The family continued to travel west and finally settled in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Matthias taught his sons the art of brewing. It was his third son, Jacob, who traveled north to Chippewa Falls. Jacob felt sure the thirsty lumberjacks and lumber-booming economy of Northwestern Wisconsin made Chippewa the ideal location to begin his own brewery. In 1867 Jacob began brewing. For almost 150 years and six generations, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company® has survived and continues to prosper through commitment to their founder’s ideals of brewing and operating with excellence. Having survived Prohibition, the economic demands of World War II, and fierce competition, Leinenkugel’s® has remained a prominent brewer in the Upper Midwest. In addition to our year-round offerings such as Leinenkugel’s® Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss, Sunset Wheat, and Original, we also brew seasonal beers such as Oktoberfest and Summer Shandy.”

Random: This beer was first brewed in 1986.

The beer poured with a one finger, slightly off white head. It was thick and went away slowly, leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and an amber color with light carbonation visible. The nose was muted with some grain and corn and honey, without much else. The flavor started with some caramel sweetness and milled grain. There was some corn as well, but not much else. The body was light and the carbonation was present and plentiful. The finish was quick with caramel sweetness. This beer was simple and didn’t have much flavor. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer, but I could see this as a good beer to give someone who is a Bud/Miller/Coors fan.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Big Eddy Royal Nektar

Val picked up this beer for me a week or so ago. This is only the third braggot that I’ve had. I feel like the style is picking up some popularity and is more easily available than a few years ago. I had my first almost exactly a year ago when Rogue put one out (Rogue Marionberry Braggot). Let’s see how this one fared.


ABV: 9.5%

Style: Braggot

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Much like beer, honey has played a role in culture throughout history. It was only a matter of time before someone would combine two ancient libations, beer and mead, into a style known as a Braggot. Introducing Big Eddy Royal Nektar. Brewed with pale two-row barley and malted rye with local cranberry blossom honey, this beer will make anyone feel like royalty. ”

Random: I think that Leine’s Big Eddy series is pretty solid and a nice change from their shandies.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. The body was a light orange with little carbonation. The nose had syrupy, honey sweetness, alcohol and green apple. The taste had a lot of honey and rye. Apricot and green apple came through with booze and white pepper. The body was medium thickness and low carbonation. It had a long finish with hot booze and honey sweetness. This was $2.50 for the bottle, which broke down to $.21 cents per ounce, which is expensive for a Leinenkugel’s beer, no doubt. But it was still a nice beer that had some good flavor, but you definitely can’t have more than one in a sitting.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Orange Shandy

This is the last of the shandy pack. I can’t say that I’m sad to be done with them. They’re not bad to get people further out of their macro light-lager comfort zone, but I’m just not a big fan of these. I do give them credit, because a lot of people like them and took their original shandy and expanded the line. So, let’s get on with this.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: This is another beer that is also only available in the shandy mixed-pack.

Random: We’re watching “Flip or Flop” and the house they are working on has been broken into twice already. Someone came in and stole their water heater. I didn’t know that they were that easy to steal.

This beer poured with a two finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left slight lacing on the glass and a crown. The body was a cloudy orange with no visible carbonation. The nose reminded me of an orange soda or a creamsicle. It had orange and vanilla notes. The taste is more orange soda than creamsicle. It has orange and then a sweet note, but it doesn’t taste like fresh-squeezed orange juice. There wasn’t any tartness to it. The body is medium thick with high carbonation. It had a long finish with the same orange soda. This was $1.83 for the can (.15 per ounce), which again, isn’t a bad price. But, this is a beer that I couldn’t have much of and the flavor was just too artificial for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy

This is the second selection out of the mixed-pack of shandies. I like grapefruit a lot, so I had higher hopes for this one. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A traditional shandy is beer mixed with a little something extra, like lemonade, soda or ginger ale. Leinenkugel’s® Grapefruit Shandy is our take on this tradition. Each batch begins with our traditional Weiss beer. We then combine it with natural white grapefruit flavor that adds a note of fresh-cut citrus to brighten a great day by the lake.”

Random: I really do prefer cans to bottles. They’re so much nicer to have at the pool.

This poured with a two finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. A slight crown was left on top of the hazy, lemon yellow body. It had high carbonation that I could see through the cloudiness. The nose reminded me of ruby-red juice cocktail. It was like you knew there was grapefruit juice in there, but it had this weird, sugary scent to it. The taste also had a lot of grapefruit, but again, it was very sugary and there wasn’t much lemon to it. It was mildly tart. It had a medium body with high carbonation. The finish wasn’t that long with the same grapefruit note. This was also $1.83 for the can ($.15 per ounce). It was one-note and was alright, but nothing great. I won’t be having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Leinenkugel Ginger Shandy

When my parents were away, they asked Val and I to watch their pool. We ended spending a weekend there when it was insanely hot. I grabbed some mix packs of beers that I knew she would like, which is why there was a “shandy sampler pack” in my possession. I wanted beers in cans, so we didn’t have to worry about leaving them by the pool. We also had a very nice snack spread and I ended up with a nasty sunburn all over my back and chest.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: This is part of the Shandy Sampler Pack.

Random: I don’t have a problem with shandies if they’re well done, just for the record.

This poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark yellow-orange with high carbonation visible despite the cloudiness. The nose was filled with artificial ginger. If it had any other odors, I couldn’t find them because the ginger was so powerful, and not in a good way. The taste was exactly like the nose. It was filled with the same artificial ginger and nothing else. It was like drinking cheap, alcoholic, artificial ginger ale. The body was on the light side with high carbonation. It had a long finish with the same ginger notes that I complained about throughout the review. This was $1.83 a bottle, which breaks down to $.15 per ounce. It wouldn’t be a bad price if it was marginally enjoyable, but I will be avoiding this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy

The other half and I are home after being away for Christmas. I’ll give lots more detail in the posts to come, but we had a great time spending time with everyone. Anyways, this was a shandy that the other half picked up to try. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Did you know the great state of Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any state in America? Our hometown pride inspired us to brew Leinenkugel’s® Cranberry Ginger Shandy. The combination of traditional wheat beer with natural cranberry flavor and a note of ginger is as refreshing as a toboggan ride Out Here.”

Random: The cat seriously missed us. He’s sleeping in the other half’s lap right now.

This poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly, but it didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. It did leave a quarter of an inch of a white crown on top of a hazy, light orange body with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with sweetened cranberry juice that was quite off-putting. There wasn’t much ginger on the nose. The taste was freaking awful. I got nasty sweetened cranberry juice combined with old ginger ale. At the end, this weird tart note came through that was the total opposite of the beginning of the sip. The body was on the thick side with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with the same nasty ginger ale taste and tart note. For $1.59, this was on the cheap side, but I wouldn’t have it again even if someone handed it to me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Leinenkugel Lemon Berry Shandy

Happy Tuesday everyone! It was back to work for me after a weekend that was definitely too short. Work was busy today, but I got home at a decent time. The other half and I have spent most of the night watching Jeopardy since we’re two months behind on the DVR. Anyways, let’s see how this one went.


ABV: 4.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A tasty spin on a classic shandy, Leinenkugel’s® Lemon Berry Shandy is a traditional wheat beer with a refreshing blend of blackberry juice and natural lemonade flavor. It’s crisp and delicious, and available all year long.”

Random: I managed to find a lederhosen costume for dogs. I see this in the meow’s future…

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated almost instantly and left very little lacing on the glass. It left a small, white crown on top of the body. The body itself was a very cloudy warm orange color with heavy carbonation visible. The nose was really fragrant with lemonade and sweet raspberry. The lemonade definitely dominated over the fruit. The taste was like fruity alcoholic soda. I got lemonade up front and then some raspberry and blueberry. It wasn’t abrasively sweet, but definitely had significant sweetness. The body was really fizzy on the tongue and on the thinner side. It had a quick fruity finish with lemonade. Although I wasn’t a fan, when I handed this to the lawyer to try and told her it tasted like beer soda, she said that she really liked this “beer soda.” Final verdict was that I wouldn’t have it again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I bring it home for the lawyer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Leinenkugel Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

As you probably know if you follow the blog at all, I love documentaries. About 70% of everything on my queue on Netflix is some sort of historical movie, documentary or something from the History Channel. My current disc is the second disc of “The Men That Killed Kennedy.” It’s a really interesting documentary that shows all of the different conspiracy theories regarding the assassination. Even my sister enjoyed it. Hopefully I have something decent in the next queue spot.


ABV: 9.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to beerpulse.com, “Inspired by the Big Eddy Spring, the lifeline of the Leinenkugel’s brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis. since 1867, Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout is a deep mahogany brew featuring 11 different malts, espresso and mocha character. The brew finishes with nutty toffee and molasses notes. First introduced in 2010, Russian Imperial Stout is one of four brews in the Big Eddy craft series, including Big Eddy Baltic Porter, Big Eddy Imperial India Pale Ale and Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. ‘Over the years, our Russian Imperial Stout has attracted a loyal following from beer enthusiasts,’ said Jake Leinenkugel, fifth generation brewer and president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. ‘It’s a robust, flavorful beer, yet Russian Imperial Stout pairs well with a variety of meats as well as chocolate desserts.’ Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout ages well and is reminiscent of the 18th century Russian Imperial Stout style that contained extra malts and hops to act as preservatives during long voyages from England to Russia, where it was served in the royal court. Brewed with 11 different malts including Munich, Carmel, Chocolate, classic Pale and Pale Ale, this Russian Imperial Stout provides a rich, dry character, perfectly balancing Big Eddy’s hoppy assertiveness. Warrior, Summit and Glacier hops create a bold tribute to the characteristic intensity of the flavor.”

Random: I had a really bad dream after watching the first disc of the documentary. I woke up wondering where the Secret Service was…

This brew poured with a full finger of tan head that dissipated quicker than expected with no lacing left on the glass. Instead, it had a crown that hung around forever. The body is almost black with no visible carbonation in it due to the color. The nose had the obvious notes of chocolate and coffee. It also had some vanilla and licorice. On the taste, the first thing that I got was bitter baker’s chocolate with espresso. Then, licorice came up as well. I got some char as well. This brew was really bitter to me, but sweetened up a pretty substantial amount as I let it warm. The body was on the thinner side of the style with very light carbonation. The finish lasted for about a week with roasted malts, char and baker’s chocolate. There was also a slight booze warming on the end. This was only okay to me, it wasn’t anything outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0