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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

607 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 607
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 21
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken) visit their website

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 607 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
Photo of falloutsnow
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Glen Ellyn, IL
Date: Best by 04/16/2013
Glass: Tulip

Zyweic's porter is dark and rich, heavy with roasted malt, molasses, and prune flavors, with some chocolate and coffee bean accents to widen the scope. A solid introduction to the style, since the beer seems to be fairly available wherever I've lived (and I've lived in many places). While perhaps a bit too full of ethanol and willing to showcase it, Zyweic's baltic porter is complex and enjoyable enough for the $1.79 I paid for it. Well worth trying, repeatedly.

Pours a 2cm tall head of tan to burnt tan foam, composed of small bubbles, with above average retention, lasting about two minutes. The head eventually fades to a thin cap atop the body, thicker and with some large bubbles remaining around the sides. The lacing the head leaves is excellent, coating all the sides of the glass with heavy residual foam in various interesting patterns. The beer's body is dark brown to black, opaque, holding this to a light changes nothing. Carbonation is not visible due to the beer's opacity. For the style, I really can't see how this could get any better.

Aromas are more reminiscent of molasses and dried fruit esters than of roasted malt and chocolate, but all are present. The scents begin with dried plum esters, which quickly turn into molasses, roasted malt, a bit of anise, ethanol, and hints of dark chocolate.

Front of palate is primarily full of fruit esters, with plum, prune, slight raspberry/blackberry, and a touch of molasses. This fades, fairly effortlessly, to a mid-palate of roasted malt, molasses, fruit esters akin to dried plums and dates, modestly noticeable ethanol, and faint coffee bean and cocoa nibs. Back of palate is of roasted malt, molasses, ethanol, and faint coffee bean/cocoa nibs, the fruit esters largely having faded except for some vague prune. Aftertaste is of roasted malt, modest coffee bean and dark chocolate, and ethanol.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation levels of mid-intensity, leading to a slightly fizzy mouthfeel that gradually becomes foamy and smooth across the palate. Ethanol can be felt across the tongue during sipping, and in the back of the throat and nostrils after each swallow. Closes quite dry, with substantial stickiness lingering across the palate. I would have liked to see lower, smoother carbonation to make this more sippable given its heaviness and ethanol content, and also "feel" less of the ethanol burning across the palate.

falloutsnow, Jan 27, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep deep dark brown with ruby hue thru out when held up to the sun with a big fluffy almond colored head that left copius amounts of lace behind as it settled slowly.Awesome aromas raisin,green apple which I found suprising but very appetizing with notes of star anice and wood as well,flavors start out sweet and rummy with raisin and prune notes a slight drying cedar,raw earthy profile shows thru keeping it in balance.Awesome beer a style I should seek out more often,I love to find some decent Polish offerings being of Polish stock myself.

oberon, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

beerhunter13, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Zakk, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of imperialstout27
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an extremely dark reddish brown. Light brown head that subsides to a foamy tan layer.

S: Rich, sweet malt. Candied figs. Roasty character supporting fruity esters. Notes of toffee and caramel overlayed with cocoa powder. Hints of bittersweet chocolate, lightly milked chocolate, and hot cocoa.

T: Opens very vinous with dark fruity flavors, then roasty/char notes coming on the midpalate. Rich, creamy, but not overly thick. Notes of burnt bittersweet chocolate. It's quite bitter, and the bitterness provides good balance with the sweetness never getting out of hand. The bitter and alcohol notes combine to add a nice mild bite to the flavor. Dark fruity esters. Finishes with a dark toasted flavor and lingering bitterness and char. Big, bold, tasty, and pretty badass.

M: Nice full-bodied feel. Good, relatively strong carbonation. Somehow pulls off the perception of being creamy and vinous simultaneously on my palate. That's a trick I haven't seen before.

D: It's 9.5% and a sipper so you're not likely to drink large amounts. But this is a very good Baltic Porter, and for the style it's at least average.

Overall, this is a badass beer. And the price is right, so I'll be buying this often. There are some definite treasures and bargains to be found among Eastern European beers.

imperialstout27, May 04, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle pours a deep dark brown that borders on black with a light tan head that slowly falls atop the brew. Aromas are dense, rich malts upfront with notes of fudge, dark fruits, raisins and molasses. Somewhat roasted and quite inviting.

First sip brings a wash of rich, creamy malt upfront with a mix of roast, molasses, raisins, dark fruit and an underlying fudge note. Smooth with a kiss of bitterness on the back end and a whiff of alcohol as it flows down. Solid brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and robust. Makes itself known while still being quite drinkable for the ABV. Overall, a top notch Polish brew. This and the Okocim porter make for a good one two punch!

orbitalr0x, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of gregmoscetti
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a porter, the Zywiec is not too shabby. As an imperial/Baltic... I was not at all impressed.
The taste was boring, the look was not in the least way impressive, and the very crux of the beer lacked complexity; the drinkability for a 9.5% beer was impressive.

Maybe I was hoping for those chocolaty, coffee-ey notes in craft baltics, but this beer was worth not a cent more than its 1.99

gregmoscetti, May 26, 2009
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

DaftPatrick, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of JakerLou
2.75/5  rDev -29.5%

JakerLou, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.78/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle pours an essentially opaque, with some garnet fringes apparent when held to the light. A healthy tan head has good retention and leaves chains of sheet lacing all over the glass. Aroma is very robust, with lots of chocolate and fresh brewed coffee, on a background of dark fruits and a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, satiny and slightly creamy. Taste is as delicious as its complexity, with dark fruity raisins and figs complimenting the expected roast coffee, chocolate, and smoke. There is ample hops bitterness, as well as a vague spiciness that serves up an exotic sweet/sour bittering.

This is a benchmark Baltic Porter, and is exceptional in taste, aroma, and drinkability. Truly a classic.

merlin48, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, 1/4 inch head

Smell: burnt malt, sugar, and dark chocolate

Taste: chocolate syrup, burnt malt, and some cream on the finish

Mouthfeel: sweet start and end--semi bitter middle, full bodied, heavy

Drinkability: Very very good--perhaps my favorite in the style. I have not had this for a while and it is still a delicious favorite. The alcohol is fairly well masked, but because of the high ABV, two is my limit.

tigg924, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of BeerDrinkingDiver
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

BeerDrinkingDiver, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of magictrokini
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Brown, nearly black pour, with a squatty brown head that quickly dissipates. Rich aroma of coffee, roasted malt, licorice, and alcohol. Dense, roasted malt up front with cocoa and cognac flavors. Moves into cream, coffee and anise, which is swept up with an alcohol warmer.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkest chestnut colored, with garnet highlights down the sides of the glass and a one-inch high head of light brown frothy foam that lingers very long.

Light aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and grassy hops.

Flavor is initially roasty and toasty, sweet and bitter all at once. Dark malts with hints of coffee and chocolate, with smokey charred bark and espresso and hops bitters. Notes of dark plum and ripe prune. Good balance all around. A piney bitter lingers, and the hops stick around for the whole ride.

ABV flies under the radar. Very drinkable, great after dinner with a dark maduro cigar.

far333, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of Mikkiicky
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Mikkiicky, May 29, 2013
Photo of monkeybeer
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours bark brown with a slight red highlight, nice tan head and good lacing

S- Roasted malts and chocolate

T/M- Can really tatse the roasted malt almost to the point that they taste burnt(bitter). Chocolate is defiantly there also

D- Not bad as far as drink ability goes, defiantly got better the longer it sat and it warmed up a little. The burnt taste was somewhat distracting in it and for me caused it to not be super high on the drink ability scale.

monkeybeer, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of wo87810
4/5  rDev +2.6%

wo87810, May 29, 2012
Photo of ADR
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard pour releases a big brown creamy head with good retention. Almost black with ruby light transmission on the bottom. Nice aroma, a slight sense of berry, mostly sweetened blueberry. Excellent deep malt, stops short of java but with lots of unsweetened baking chocolate properties. Bitter quality on the roof of the mouth. As dense as a turkish coffee with considerable aftertaste. Powerful brew here, I'd love for more folks in the industry to do Baltic-style Porters...LOVE this stuff...

ADR, Oct 24, 2002
Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head. The head is not very durable, but does leave decent lacing.

Aroma: sweet; faintly boozy; prunes and other dark fruits with baked bread.

T: Plenty of dark fruits and light alcohol esters. Excellent finish and aftertaste, where the generous dose of dark malt comes out in a flush at the end and lingers nicely afterwards. High ABV is partly hidden. A bit sweet.

M: Medium body; smooth yet some liveliness from the moderate carbonation.

O: this beer has a boozy character I often notice in Eastern European beers, at least with higher ABVs; this is usually a weakness but it fits in well with the flavor profile in this nice Baltic Porter. Improved with warming. Well worth seeking out.

chinchill, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Decatur Wine and Spirits in Decatur, GA.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a two-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and dark chocolate with hints of dark fruits. As it warms the roasted malt aromas fade a bit leaving more dark chocolate and dark fruits.

Tastes simlar to how it smells. The roasted malt flavors that are present up front are quickly overtaken by dark chocolate flavors with dark fruit undertones - mostly raisins. The dark chocolate flavors are more intense than the smell would let on and the dark fruit flavors are right on par. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonoation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle quickly and could have another.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. Be sure to give it a chance to warm as the flavors really come into their own and the complexity mounts. Worth a shot.

glid02, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of Beer21
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Beer21, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich roasted mouthfeel, with a long bittering finish, some caramel, chocolate and soy, warming finish, with some alcohol, but really well balanced, especially considering the high ABV. It's also intersting to note that the bottle i had was passed its use by date by about 3 months.

rastaman, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)
Best before 2.15.2014
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thick creamy deep tan head that is pitted and sticks to the glass with some nice lace. There are a few random bubbles that pop out of the body toward the surface.

S- The mellow inky black malt aroma is some and seems somewhat lagered.

T- The slightly chalky yeast flavor has some hints of dry prunes as it opens up with some clean lagered taste to the soft chocolate black malt notes. There is an acrid burnt black malt flavor in the finish that grows a bit as it opens.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat to it.

O- There are hints of Baltic porter in there but it is very clean and light in flavor and aroma with mostly a bitter black char and iodine quality as it opens up, but it is probably the best Baltic porter for under $1.50 you can find. That doesn’t mean I will drink another one though.

rhoadsrage, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.1%

acurtis, Oct 26, 2013
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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
86 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.