THE JACOB LEINENKUGEL BREWING COMPANY
The brewery was founded in Wisconsin by Jacob Leinenkugel in 1867. They produce four seasonal beers and have a nice selection of year-round beers as well. They suggest pouring their beer into glasses before drinking to really bring out the aroma and taste of their beers. Leinenkugel’s has a brewing legacy of over 140 years and is now owned by Miller Coors.
- Berry Weiss (72 Points)
- Honey Weiss (73 Points)
- Oktoberfest (86 Points)
- Snowdrift Vanilla Porter (79 Points)
- Summer Shandy (87 Points)
- Sunset Wheat (88 Points)
BERRY WEISS: 72 Points
This wheat ale has an IBU of 13.5 and 207 Calories. It is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Beer brewed with honey and flavored with blackberry juice and other natural berry flavors.”
My Description: You have to really enjoy a sweet, sugary beer to get any satisfaction out of this ale. To me, it felt like a wine cooler with a hint of beer. It has a bright white head that is bubbly but doesn’t last for very long and produces minimal lacing. It has a big berry aroma with strawberry really standing out with a hint of honey. Once you sip it you will get a strawberry juice flavor with other berries in there as well that are slightly difficult to pick out because everything tastes like berry concentrate. It has a higher carbonation level and fairly smooth but it is really sweet and sugary. I could barely finish this beer because there was just too much sugar. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with salty foods, burgers, or light salads.
ABV: 4.7% Color: Hazy Rose Sweetness: 8/10 Bitterness: 1/10
HONEY WEISS: 73 Points
This Weiss Beer has an IBU of 13.5 and 149 Calories. It is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.
Brewer’s Description: “Wheat beer brewed with real Wisconsin Honey.”
My Description: This beer was just so-so, the quality didn’t impress me and the flavors seemed thin and watery. I just feel that there are so many other beers of this style I would rather drink. The head was good but it dissipated rather quickly leaving little to no lacing. The aroma was okay, it was on the sweeter side with a hint of honey that got me a little excited about tasting it. However, when I did taste the beer, it tasted like a higher quality bud light with a hint of honey. I was also unimpressed with the honey they used, it tasted like $2 honey you buy at the supermarket. Give me something better than that if you are going to market it as “real Wisconsin honey.” There was also some malt notes up front with a slightly dry aftertaste. Overall, this beer could have been more. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with nothing.
ABV: 4.8% Color: Pale Gold Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1/10
OKTOBERFEST: 86 Points
The is a German style Märzen that is available seasonally in September and October. It has 170 Calories and an IBU of 20. This is available in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: A German style Märzen with Munich, Pale, and Caramel Malts.
My Description: This is an above average Octoberfest, I enjoyed it. As you can see from the picture, this beer produces really nice laces and a dense, super foamy head that hangs around the whole time. The aroma holds this beer back a bit; it is sweet with notes of hops but it isn’t very pleasant or welcoming. The taste makes up for the aroma though. It is crisp and smooth, really easy drinking which is important for Oktoberfests. It starts off with a malty flavor that ends with a nice bitter kick in the aftertaste. It feels a little fuller than other Oktoberfests which isn’t necessarily a negative. I would serve this at around 40°F and pair it with sausages, pretzels, or breaded pork.
ABV: 5.1% Color: Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
SNOWDRIFT VANILLA PORTER: 79 Points
This Porter is released seasonally in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a robust and velvety addition to Leinenkugel’s seasonal selection. This porter-style beer is aged on real vanilla to reveal rich layers of caramel, coffee and chocolate that is ideal for the season.”
My Description: With so many delicious porters out there, this Leinenkugel falls short. It is rather bland, too thin, and not memorable. It begins with a large, beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is straight-forward with notes of roasted malt, coffee, and a touch of vanilla. Snowdrift is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Chocolate notes dominate the flavor profile with a touch of vanilla and roasted malts. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and there isn’t much else going on. This beer gets old real quick. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, chocolate desserts, or ribs.
ABV: 6% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
SUMMER SHANDY: 87 Points
This is a weiss beer with summer tastes in mind. It is available between April and August in 12 oz. bottles. It has 130 Calories, an IBU of 13.5, and is best served around 40°F.
Brewer’s Description: This beer is brewed with a blend of pale malt and wheat. It has a natural lemon flavor.
My Description: This is a refreshing beer to have on a warm summer night. It has a decent sparse head the lingers for a little bit of time with minimal lacing. The aroma is almost like smelling lemon juice which is welcoming compared to other lemon beers that I’ve come across. It has a lighter body that produces a smooth and crisp beer. The flavor is strong with lemon and it actually tastes like natural lemon, not that processed garbage. That is what makes this beer really refreshing and enjoyable. I recommend this beer for anyone who enjoys a crisp beer with lemon notes. It pairs well with salads, barbecue’s, and sandwiches. This goes for around $7 a six pack.
ABV: 4.2% Color: Hazy Blond Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
SUNSET WHEAT: 88 Points
The Wheat Ale has an IBU of 13.5 and 165 Calories. It is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Beer with natural flavors.”
My Description: Sunset Wheat is definitely a thirst quencher on a hot summer day. I would consider it a cousin of a Hefeweizen because it tastes similar with some slight differences. It has an average white colored head that dissipates rather quickly leaving a film on top that holds for a while and delivers some decent lacing. The aroma is pleasant and fresh with the scent of banana, spice, and a hint of berries and lemon. The taste mimics the aroma nicely. In the front you will taste some citrus and bubblegum notes that leads into an aftertaste with minor notes of lemon and berries. It has a high carbonation level and drinks smoothly. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with salads, grilled fish, or pizza.
ABV: 4.9% Color: Hazy Pale Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1/10
ROYAL NEKTAR: 91 Points
This Braggot is released in late Spring in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “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.”
My Description: This Braggot is beautifully executed by Leinenkugel. It begins with a large, white colored head that fades to a thin film before disappearing leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming and has a strong herbal character to it. There are notes of honey, berries, white grapes, herbs, and some floral notes. Royal Nektar is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. This beer boasts sweet honey notes but it never becomes cloying, this beer has great balance. There are also notes of pears, pale malts, earthy hops, and some floral notes. The alcohol is nicely hidden making this beer very smooth. The aftertaste has a hint of bitterness with lingering herbal notes. All the pieces fit nicely together and this Braggot left me very satisfied. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, blue cheese, or a fruit tart.
ABV: 9.5% Color: Golden/Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT: 87 Points
This Imperial Stout is available in limited supply in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description:This brew boasts a selection of 11 malts and grains balanced by three different and distinct hops. Dark and complex, with chocolate tones and notes of dark fruits, it is daring yet delicious.”
My Description: This Stout is good and satisfying but lacks that little something to make this beer memorable. It has an average, dark beige head with minimal retention but good lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with notes of cherries, vanilla, and a touch of roastiness. It has a medium body with a moderate carbonation level and a remarkably smooth texture. When you start drinking this ale, you will notice that it is sweeter than other Imperial stouts with flavor notes of roasted malt, a touch of licorice, and a hint of vanilla. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a nicely hidden alcohol flavor. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, burgers, and beef brisket.
ABV: 9.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10