It is, apparently, impossible to mention Jacob Leinenkugel without pointing out they're owned by Miller, and that they somewhat ironically were co-founded by a different Miller. So with that out of the way...
Their Snowdrift Vanilla Porter has something going for it. Having tried it both on tap and from a bottle, it is definitely an inoffensive beer, with a nice flavor to it. Not perfect, sort of average, but it could be a whole lot worse.
It pours somewhere on the lighter side of black, which might not be the best indication as far as a porter goes. It still looks nice though, and with a decent, tan head, about a finger or so of it.
The nose is dominated by a mix of malts and chocolate; the vanilla is there in a restrained kind of way.
Really, the latter is kind of surprising when you taste it. Here the vanilla establishes dominance, but not in an overpowering way. The flavor is pleasant, and the relatively low 6% ABV makes it a decent sipper. The malts are here, but, again, in a surprisingly mild manner. It flanks the vanilla just fine, and I'd assume those just getting into porters would enjoy the flavor. That's fair, as it's quite good.
Sadly, though, the body is too thin. This kind of bugs me, as a porter should at least be somewhere on the medium scale, as far as I'm concerned. The flavor, in other words, is let down by the body.
Not to say the Snowdrift is scandalously bad. It's just kind of a bummer that it could have been so much better with a proper body. Give it a try, though. You might just enjoy it all the same.
Vote for Jacob Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter: It’s your civic duty!