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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

382 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 382
Hads: 687
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 56 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken) visit their website

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 382 | Hads: 687
Photo of ADZA
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark kola hue with a luscious two finger chocolate laced head and lacing here and there quite a looker,the smell is roasted malts,red berries and booze,the mouthfeel is full bodied and moderately carbonated with tastes of roasted malts,milk chocolate and finished with a soft bittersweetness and overall quite the suprise package would drink again cheers.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, back label says best before 09.13.2014. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, anise, and some brown sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted/charred malt, dark fruit (plums, prunes, raisins), molasses, dark chocolate, brown sugar, anise, and an earthy/mineral flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and smooth with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this, and at just $1.79 a bottle it's definitely worth picking up!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a very dark black, with a foamy, creamy one inch head, and lots of lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits, and lager yeast.

The taste is fairly similar. Pretty sweet and caramelly, with lots of dark fruit flavors. It does stop short of being cloying, thankfully. Some roasted malt and chocolate, lots of dark fruit flavor, almost tastes Belgian. Pretty sweet, not really bitter at all.

Medium bodied, incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Low carbonation.

A pretty bang on Baltic Porter. Cut down a little bit of the sweetness and dial up a little bit more of roasty malt, and it would be near perfect.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty much black. Lots of head formed. Laced as it fell.

Chocolatey malts, metallic notes, herbal notes, caramel malt, roasty dose, a bitbof lactose, and slight minerality. Solid.

Big chocolate malt opening with follow-ups of booze, metallic notes, malt bitterness, mineral tongue-pinch, and anise. Caramelized sugars and mint tea notes. Has an impy stout magnitude. A knockout punch of a Baltic Porter.

A little hot, but brewed to big strength. Swishy body with a sizzling carbonation. Good weight.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into goblet glass

A: One finger mocha head floating atop midnight blackness. Pour and glass play are indicative of a big body with solid viscosity. Retention is shy of medium and carries a light flakey silver color. No light can brave the depths of this brew – carbonation cannot be assessed.

S: Big milk chocolate and roasty chocolate malts fill the nose immediately. Sugary sweetness in the background accompanied by bitter cooking chocolate and notes of dried fig. Smokey character is present, but in a caramel light.

T: Chocolate malt, which is big and sweet, debuts quickly; dark chocolate and bitter hops are later on the scene. Some nutty notes play up a distant warm roast, tenuously boozy. Caramelized – burnt brown sugar, licorice-anise (without the tang) and powderized cocao nibs. In the finish the bitterness of the hops and dark chocolate balance the rich malt coco-profile. Overall the experience pushes a tantalizing interplay between savory and sweet.

M: Yes, finally a porter that has the body I’m looking for, thick and slick. Carbonation is very present and fine, but not overwhelming. Fills the mouth and leaves a pleasant lacquer on the tongue – sweet and a bit smoky.

O: This is the best porter I’ve had yet. It’s very reminiscent of an imperial stout, probably contributing to why I like it so much. Big body, sweet and malty, and at the same time easy drinking. I think the Baltic variant reigns supreme when it comes to porters. I’ve been looking for one like this I’m glad I picked it up.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a white head that leaves behind a lot of lacing. Aroma is malty, with a chocolate and coffee like essence. In the taste, coffee and cocoa, with a mineral, hard water aspect. Minimal hops but a small coarse bitterness. Medium bodied and lightly creamy. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown body; lasting, relatively decent head. Soft aroma of roasted grains and sweet chocolate. Bitter chocolate and moderately sweet roasted grain flavors. Medium bodied; semi-sweet finish.

A nice, basic porter that delivers flavor and body without overpowering alcohol or other relatively extreme flavor profiles. This has the depth, the sweetness, the body, and the flavors of a classic styled dark ale.

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Photo of FLima
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black color with a three finger light caramel head with good retention.
Aroma of chocolate, earthy hops, minerals, nuts, figs and a bit of Kahlua liquor.
Predominant flavor of mocha coffee, roasted grains, licorice, booze and herbal and earthy hops. Hints of molasses and ashes. Maybe I got some banana as well. Dry aftertaste with its lingering taste.
Medium body with medium carbonation. The 9.5% abv is definitely felt, but it is not necessarily a defect once it is somewhat expected by the style.
Good traditional Baltic Porter, it is an old recipe going back almost 150 years, so bear that on mind when comparing to today’s kick-ass American imperial Porters. I had to raise its grade after warming up.

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Photo of Copernicandream
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500mL bottle (piecewise) into a 12 oz snifter.

A: Deep dark, nearly opaque brown. Initially one finger of thin foamy head, giving way to a trace ring enhanced by the moderate rising carbonation.

S: Several dark malts that oscillate quickly, reminds me of earthy moss, very subtle smoke.

T: Initially a little sweet, this is a heavy malted porter - almost stout (I like it, I'm sick of American porters that barely qualify as a brown ale). The complexity of the malts is intense, I get at least 3 or 4 different earthy flavors. The smoke on the nose shows back up on the rear end - one of these malts had to have been lightly smoked. Hops present but unidentifiable. There is some definite warmth throughout from the 9.5% alcohol.

M: LOVE. This is as previously described a little thick for your traditional porter, stout-like. It has a moderate carbonation with fine bubbles rising from the depths. The high alcohol content helps thin what would otherwise be a thick brew.

O: This was hyped by my local bottle shop, at $2/0.5L so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I didn't. This is in my opinion an excellent "Smoked Imperial Porter" with complex varieties of malt that after only one bottle I can't entirely place. The smokiness is omnipresent but not overpowering (be warned). I would buy it again and at 9.5% I think some age might mellow that smoke and bring out the earthy malts.

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Photo of ipa2014
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown, nearly black colour with quite impressive head. Chocolate and coffee aromas with a hint of roasted notes. Slightly metallic. As the beer warms up prune aroma starts to appear and a bit of alcohol can be noted. Medium sweet, but can be considered as dry in comparison to other baltic porters. Creamy, full bodied. Medium carbonation. Very good and complex beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
9.5% ABV, Best Before 03.29.2014

A - Dark, impenetrable black in color, Zywiec Porter mirrors it's molasses aroma in appearance, caked with a creamy mocha head while wispy lace sticks to the snifter with ease as the tight foam drops.

S - Distant notes of cold metallic cocoa underscore the mellow aroma of bitter molasses and heavy, sticky dark malt-derived raisins. Alcohol, nearing the double digits in percentage, remains fairly absent and the beer, due to it's lagered character remains clean and smooth.

T - Molasses and dark malt raisin make it into the flavor but are quickly washed away by cold metal and very dry cocoa, exponentially elevated from the aroma's suggestion. The first few sips are displeasing to drink to say the least but the molasses flavor that lingers on the tongue begs for another sip with the bothersome metallic taste mellowing out a bit.

M - This porter's rich and smooth entry is tarnished by brash dry metallic taste and feel on the finish of the beer with molasses bitterness leveling it out slightly, though not enough to keep it afloat.

O - Zywiec Porter starts nice with a dark pour that leads right into the subtle but forward aroma of molasses and raisins but it's hint at dry metallic cocoa in the nose explodes in flavor and feel, tarnishing the good thing this beer had going for it. It's high alcohol is surprisingly hidden well though. It's not awful and the "metallic" essence in beer seems to strike at my tongue more ruthlessly than most others so it could come down to more personal preference, but I'd pick most other Baltic Porters over this.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

this porter is world class, no bones about it. surprised and not surprised at all that this is now a Heineken brand, but whatever, that's business and this beer is outstanding regardless of corporate ties. matte black in color, thick and sturdy, not a pure white head, but light for a dark beer, and lasting with ring lacing as it sips. nose of cocoa powder, roasted barley, char, and lager yeast of all things. its dusty and European in origin, that classic old world malt vibe, and the chocolate is rich in the taste. drinkable, cold fermented (I have to imagine), and really heavy roast character, pushing burnt. its bitter and well hopped for the style too. the alcohol is invisible, which is maybe most impressive. super drinkable and it feels right at holiday time in cold weather. it also pairs wonderfully with a range of eastern European food, and can theoretically age fairly well. one of the better porters ive ever had really, distinct from the pack, and clean and simple. high quality brew right here.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Having never heard of Zywiec before, I snatched up this bottle pretty much based on its 9.5% ABV.

It's got a great black pour with a thick khaki head that dissipates relatively quickly, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given the ABV.

It's got a pretty mild aroma of roast malts.

The flavor is pretty smooth and not quite as strong as one might expect. The carbonation is pretty light.

Overall, this is a rather inoffensive Baltic Porter. I'm not sure if the high ABV moderates the flavor, but this is a very smooth, drinkable beer that I just wish had a bit more character.

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Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 16.9 ounce bottle into a British ninick pint.

a: Clear black ruby, finger thick tan head receded slowly to dense even surface foam and heavy lacing.

s: Dark malt.

t: Creamy dark malt with some hop balance. Sweet and pleasing. Eventually a smoky aftertaste.

m: Light to moderate, silky smooth with good carbonation tingle on the tongue.

o; Deservedly well-ragarded porter. Perhaps the smoothest and sweetest I have ever had.

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Photo of droomyster
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an impenetrable black body with a small tan head with decent retention. Aromas are very malty, super sweet and chocolatey with a good amount of roastiness. Flavor is amazing. Sweet up front as the chocolate notes go from milky and sweet to darker, nuttier (I get pecans and vanilla beans) and more austere on the mid-palate before finishing with a with a lot of roastiness and warming oak barrel-like notes that linger long and luxuriously. What a great beer. Could use a fuller body to better accompany such intense flavors, but overall I love this beer.

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Photo of PolarBear3
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours an a deep almost black colour with a tanned head that laces and retains well

S - Some burnt coffee, chocolate, some spice and a hint of vanilla

T - Roasted,charcoal woody coffee, chocolate with some liquorice and a slightly metallic bitter finish

M - Medium Bodied with medium to high carbonation

O - Fairly average flavourless porter. No complexity and the bitter metallic finish is very ordinary

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Photo of YoDude
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Zywiec Porter, aged 2 years 8 months in my beer cellar, 9.5% ABV, 16.9oz bottle and poured into a Dogfish Head Chalice. Poured black with a thick brown head. Taste of bakers chocolate, roasted malt and a slightly sweet finish. The roasted malt lingers until the next taste. A medium bodied beer with a chocolate mousse like mouthfeel. It wears its age quite well and exceeded my expectations. It also goes great with s’mores. This is a wonderful example of a baltic style porter and highly recommended.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Zywiec Porter: 9.5%, thick, head slow to form and emaciated;

Appearance: very dark brown, nearly black;

Smell: chocolate malt, black licorice background;

Taste/Mouthfeel: immediate light powdery cocoa, then dark chocolate, finishes with a slight roasted coffee flavor, long finish (unobtrusive), smooth;


Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of magictacosinus
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

In my current quest of loving all things Polish, this seemed like the most logical widespread offering to try. I did not enjoy the Żywiec pilsner too much (although it was definitely refreshing for what it was), but I wanted to give this shot as I love Baltic porters. Poured out of a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. Freshness date is listed as "09/28/2013." Ha! A freshness date for a Baltic porter?

The appearance is pretty spot-on as I'd hope, pouring a nearly opaque black color with about 3 fingers of an off-khaki head that settles but leaves a bit of lacing in its path. Holds on pretty well, although I sense it will die soon... But at the high-ish ABV I would expect that. Not as inky as I want it to be, and there's definitely a brownish transparency that reveals itself when held against the light, but otherwise its definitely solid, especially for a mass produced beer.

The aroma is also very solid, with notes of sweet coffee extract, milk chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, light spices, and bit of roasted barley at the finish. Definitely coated with booziness, however, with light notes of acetate, almost verging on acetone (nail polish, rubbing alcohol). However, the sugars from the malts do their best here, and it holds together well without being too sweet or overwhelming. Smells like fresh chocolate cake batter, really. If it weren't for that slight acetone-like note, this would score much higher with me.

The flavor is truly bizarre, however. Completely takes a nosedive unlike any Baltic porter I've had. At first there's a good note of roasted cacao-like barley, with some sweetness that is creamy, vanilla-like, and filled with notes of brown sugar and coffee extract (maybe some nuttiness as well). Then, there's an unforgiving metallic flavor resembling copper or nickel, which goes straight to the head in an unpleasant, mineral-y manner. Gets progressively worse as it warms up, but it was also noticeable while it was cold. The finish is slightly boozy and sweet, with more notes of chocolate and coffee, but those metallic notes are so bad it's like swallowing pennies. Creamy and medium-bodied otherwise and not hard to drink. Warms you up quite well. Too bad it tastes like someone shoved rolls of nickels up my nose.

Oh man, there must be something wrong with this batch, because no recent reviews mention anything about any off-metallic flavors. This was an otherwise solid Baltic porter offering in every respect that is completely tainted by an off, unpleasant flavor. This is the first time where I've had a beer that is solid in every respect EXCEPT for the flavor. What a disappointment. I'll revisit this maybe when I'm in Poland or something, but unless someone hands this to me for free, never again.

Post-script: This seems to taste better the longer time I consume it over, but I'm going to blame the tipsiness dulling my senses overall.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of rushing head that quickly settles and shows good head retention. The head is a creamy beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown that shows garnet notes when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Notes of smoke are the prominent aromas from both the bottle and the glass. Roasted malts wait in the background. A little subdued but it may need a little more time to open up. Mostly sweet roasted malts with hints of chocolate and raisin. Subdued but still promising.

Taste- Roasted malt notes are the first which appear followed by some of the raisin of the nose. This is a very sweet porter at this moment. Some chocolate notes. The roasted malts try to contend with the dominance of the sweet malts but I do not feel that they fully balance them out. The sweetness dominates the finish so much that I get some citrus that seems out of place. There is some woodiness and (finally) that bitterness is coming out more- as well as some much needed coffee notes. Nevertheless, there is something off about this beer. This could use much more of the smoke and possible acidity suggested in the style description. Right now, it is your average porter- sweet but a little too cloying. That being said, I am starting to notice a tartness around the edges which is giving this beer more character and structure. This is showing so much more integration than it had before. After some time, this is resolving itself into a decent porter. Not a great beer but good.

Mouthfeel- I wonder if there is oatmeal in the recipe because this has some creaminess and smoothness but also some grit. I like it. The mouthfeel is quite unique. Very heavy.

Drinkability- Given that no heat is present in a 9.5% and this had a decent flavor profile plus a heavy but manageable mouthfeel makes this a very approachable beer. Not a bad grab at around 5 bucks.

Overall- It seems as if this may stray from the style but it is enjoyable nevertheless. It has flaws but somehow, most of these flaws add to its character.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.34/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This has that distinct licorice flavor I haven't had in a long time. Very dark velvety red brown in the tall Pilsner glass. The off-white foam is long lasting. Nicely carbonated and bubbles up with every pour.

An interesting woody, bitter edge creeps in. There is definitely some charred grain and burnt sugar in the flavors. Malty and a little winey.

Strong but without any unpleasant alcohol taste. The fruity, licorice taste is a little weird, so I guess it won't take over Green Flash Double Stout among my favorite darks. From the 500 ml bottle bought at AJ's Fine Foods in Phoenix.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown; medium tan head, long lasting

Aroma: Malty; dried fruit; slight molasses and honey; alcohol smell

Taste: Chewy mouthfeel; very warm alcohol flavor; bitter throughout with sweet undertones; maybe chocolatey

Remarks: Bad sample, but I could tell it would be a great beer

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark cola color, revealing hints of ruby-red translucence when held up to a light. A two-finger mocha head is formed with a beautiful creaminess and very strong retention. As it slowly recedes, it leaves behind large sheets of lacing down the glass.

S: It's very forward in dark fruits, chocolate, and molasses. Distant notes of roast, coffee, and mild hops are hidden behind the sweet maltiness. My only real problem is how mild the aroma is - which is a shame, because it's good otherwise.

T: Sweetness opens the flavor profile strongly, with strong caramel, dark fruit, and chocolate qualities. This will transition to a very roasty, mildly hoppy finish. Hints of earth and booze pop up on the back end, as well. While it's a bit boozy, it doesn't really hinder its drinkability, thanks to the mildness of flavor. It even has a bit of depth to it. The booze note gets stronger as it warms up, so drink cold.

M: A bit on the thin side, with a typical crisp lager bite on the finish and strong carbonation. It's almost as if this is designed for drinkability over richness; in regards to the former, it's pretty successful.

O: This is a very dangerous brew. It's inexpensive and drinkable, with only mild hints to suggest its actual strength. While not fantastic, it's a great way to get drunk on the cheap(ish) - I know I'd much rather drink this over some crappy Euro malt liquor.

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Photo of silverking
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- A-Dark cola color with a rocky tan head. head Retention is moderate and there are well defined rings of lace.

S- Dark fruit, Dark roasted malt, almost Smokey.

T- Less dark fruit than the aroma. Flavors lean more towards dark coffee and burnt malt. A small trace of alcohol is also detectable. The finish is long, with a pleasant cocao bitterness on the back of the palate.

M- Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. There is a definite warming sensation from the alcohol.

O- Very nice, I would refinement this and I will buy it again.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.