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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

600 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 600
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 21
Gots: 20 | 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: 600 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jarmby1711
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well first up Baltic Porters come with balls.
This is agreat drink.Cherry and plums dominate the malt flavours with just a suggestion of roastedness in there.
As you drink the beer the high alcohol content becomes apparent on the palate.This is not overpowering or unpleasant,but it suggests that you have a serious beer inyour hand.
Watch a blustery wind whipupsomewhite caps and enjoy this

jarmby1711, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a very thick head that dissipates into a soapy lacing that doesn't hang around for that long. Still looks like a classic porter. Note* 3 days after the serve before date.

Smell: Alcohol, licorice, caramel and perhaps a little bourbon.

Taste: Caramel and toasted malt. some alcohol, fairly masked ABV though.

Mouthfeel: perfect mediation in the carbonation however a bit bitter and almost a salty sort of aftertaste.

Drinkability: I had just drunken the taddy porter yesterday, so this was a bit underwhelming compared tot hat. The alcohol content is obviously much higher. Its a solid brew all round, but not as complex or overwhelming as the more $ craft brewers. However I will probably purchase this again the price is very reasonable. Perhaps it will become may new get drunk beer 9%abv tastes decent $1.75 per bottle.

MaxBrews, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of blackc5
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured at 53F into a tumbler.

A - Deep reddish black. Nice bit of foam, but faded fairly quickly. Decent lacing to the top of the glass.

S - Very mild notes here. Mostly caramel and malts.

T - A bit underwhelming overall. A touch of bitter licorice to start, quickly shifting to sweeter molasses and dark cherry. Somewhat burnt taste, but very little chocolate or coffee. A bit metallic in the aftertaste which kept me sipping quickly to help minimize.

M - Somewhat watery - not as thick as I like. Decent carbonation and fairly masked 9.5% abv.

D - Again, decent for the price point, but by no means near the best porters I have had. No real reason to revisit short of saving a few bucks over better, more widely available crafts.

blackc5, May 27, 2009
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 morebeergood
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single for $2.99 at the Allston Wine Shop in Star Market. Poured into a Ceres Brewery stemmed glass. Dark brown color. Immense tan head that never seemed to fade. Nice smell of molasses and roasted barley were there. A bit of a bitterness at first sip, then sweetness as it goes down. Dark chocolate and milky coffee are the flavors that stood out for me. Nice malt backbone. I really like the flavor of this beer. Hearty enough to be a nice porter, but smooth enough to be very drinkable. Definitely a steal at that price.

morebeergood, May 22, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very tasty and characterful, yet smooth Polish/Baltic porter.

Black red, it has a fairly large, light brown head that shrinks very slowly and leaves very nice lace.

The aroma is chocolate, coffee, wine, prunes, and brown sugar.

The taste is rich, with a lot of strong, complex flavour, but it is very smooth the elements integrated and balanced very nicely. It has a rich character of prune, chocolate, port, and burnt sugar with hints of licorice, black pepper, toast, and coffee. It's smooth and a little oily but less than one might expect for this richness. It has a warmth to it, but the high alcohol is not noticeable at all except in the silky body and warm sweetness. I find that this just edges out its fellow Polish porter, Okocim porter.

Offa, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of Jimmys
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep deep chestnut brown color, not remotely transparent. Coffee colored head only about 1 1/2 fingers high. Mostly sweet malty smells coming from this one. Dark, roasted coffee malt taste to it. Strong. Definitely on the sweet side more than bitter, but I am liking it and not a porter drinker! Pretty residual on the pallet, little chewy. Real easy to drink, great roasty dark malty flavors makes this really easy to enjoy! Definitely a great buy for the price!

Jimmys, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with burgundy edges at the base and a thick foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with hazelnut, chocolate, caramel, toffee, syrup and alcohol notes. Roasted chocolate malty flavor with hints of toffee, caramel, nut and oatmeal with a nice dry, bitter finish.

corby112, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of DIM
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: This was a dark chestnut brown, almost completely opaque. It poured with a large, sticky, tan colored head.

s: Rich chocolate syrup and some malty, coffee bitterness in the backround.

t: Wow, this is just spectacular! Starts off with a big hit of Hershey's syrup that is soon joined by acidic coffee. There is a lingering, bitter, roasty chocolate aftertaste.

m: Long lived creamy carbonation and a pretty decent body for a porter.

d: Split with my dad and we both loved this one! Definitely one we will revisit. Thanks Scott!

DIM, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of gford217
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown with healthy two inch tan head that recedes very slowly and leaves lots of lacing on the way down.

The aroma is very sweet for a porter with dark chocolate malts and plenty of sweet yeast aromas as well. There is very little roasted character in the nose until it begins to warm.

The taste is also a bit fruity for the style, with the yeast backbone supporting some lactose and dark chalky malts. The finish is slightly roasty and dry.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick considering the smell and taste. Slick with moderate soft carbonation.

A very good and fairly sweet porter, this is not one of my favorites in the style, but a surprisingly good beer for the price.

gford217, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of wspscott
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle in Duvel tulip ($2.50 @ Dorn's)

A:Solid black, no light gets through when help up to a bright light. Thick tan 1 inch head leaves a bit of lace.
S: When first poured, a wave of yeast fruitiness hits the nose. As it warms, a little roastiness becomes apparent, but the fruitness never disappears.
T: Lots of roasted malts with a little of what might be brown malt, combined with dark chocolate and dried fruit (cherry).
M: A little on the watery side, with a medium level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is probably the biggest "flaw" in this beer.
D: This goes down very easy and is a very nice way to end the night. A solid porter and a good deal for the price. Recommended.

wspscott, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slighty ruddy brown-black. Big tan head. Smells like chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste is boozy, with chocolate, dark fruits, and a definite grain alcohol present. Almost like a porter mixed with malt liquor. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just very different. In fact, I found it dangerously drinkable. mmm

Err, what was I saying? Anyway, the fruit background is really surprising in such a cheap brew. I swear, sometimes it feels like porter, somtimes a doppelbock dunkel, and somethings a porter mixed with malt liquor. Will be revisiting, though the mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Overlord, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of walshclimb
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with thin tan head that immediately dissipates to a dissapointing nothing. The aroma comes to the rescue with a warm roasted malt, chocolate, and light alcohol aroma. Good flavor that is robust roasted malt initially and slowly transitions to a very long lived bitter malty aftertaste that has a burnt malt and licorice flavor. This flavor got to be a slight bit medicinal for me as the beer warmed, hurting its drinkability. This maybe an issue just for me, as I don't really like licorice that much. The mouthfeel is just what a big porter should be - full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated with an alcoholic finish. Nicely done here. This is a decent taster, maybe best split with a friend, unless you want the full flavor and effect of a 500 ml strong porter high alcohol content. Not a bad thing at all, but I am not always in the mood for that much of something this flavorfull.

walshclimb, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pour started off a bit sludgy but produced a nice inch of light tan head after a bit of coercion. Nice brown color to the beer with some red highlights. Head settles to offer light lacing for the style.

Smell is mostly of chocolate/brown malts yet has a thin lager like stillness to it. Bit of alcohol is notable as the beer warms. Some noble hops are picked up through the head but are otherwise overpowered by the malt structure.

Taste is sweet and malty and offers little nuance. Bit of spiciness on the close helps the finish however. A bit sweet and simple, pour a little at a time to enjoy the hops and the flavor/feel which improves through a bit of foam.

HalfFull, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of timmay41
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle with a 5.31.09 freshness date.

A: Pours a burnished black coffee color and with a coffee-esque consistency. Two-finger sort of chestnut colored head that begins with lively carbonation bubbles and settles into a creamy finish.

S: Lively malt bouquet. The first few sniffs are just a little smoky, then a richer, kind of dark chocolate scent becomes noticeable. The alcohol is well hidden.

T & M: Begins with some caramel smoothness followed by a more bitter bite. Smooth going down and the alcohol warmth lingers in the back of the throat. My taste buds are rolling in this long after the glass is empty.

D: That I'm Polish might have something to do with it, but I could pair with all sorts of cuisine: kielbasa, boiled dinners, smoked barbecue, and even something like a roast beef sandwich. It's filling but doesn't make you feel like you've surfeited.

timmay41, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of my Baltic Porter kick beers...gad, I am ignoring the word "Heineken" in parantheses next do to brewery name in the description. So sad.

Wow, pours a silky smooth super black velvet with a half finger of thick off-white head. The viscosity of this beer really tells its potency. A very nice looking pour.

Smell is sweet dark fruit, burnt sweet coffee, bubblegum? and some caramel/molasses/brown sugar. Its reminiscent of some of the other Eastern European Baltic Porters I've tried recently but somehow it seems to come across as a little cleaner in the nose.

Taste is very smooth, much smoother than expected. Some licorice and coffee bitterness comes out along with bitter chocolate, molasses and possibly a little hop bitterness?.

Mouthfeel is very sweet and carbonation is not all that high, which I find a good thing for a beer this strong. Very drinkable! A very solid Baltic Porter from Poland.

indiapaleale, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of albern
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer works well on a cold winter's day. It pours an inky black, thick, full bodied consistency with a dark creamy head with plenty of lacing and retention. The head is quite thick, creamy, and foamy. The nose on the beer is roasted malts and a boozy caramel and toffee aroma. There are some chocolate or maybe mocha notes in there as well. The ABV definitely comes through in the aroma.

The taste is quite pronounced, strong, and characteristic of the style. There are some charred notes, lots of roasted grains, chocolate and caramels, lots of toffee, an assertive bittering hop presence, and a boozy metallic and toffee taste. The beer has a strong fermented brown sugar character as well, and it comes through noticeably because the beer doesn't mask its ABV at all. The beer is strong, it is a sipping type beer, but it is warming and creamy. The metallic qualities fade a bit as the beer warms. The aftertaste has a definite throaty ABV burn, and you will know that you were drinking a beer with a high alcohol content. Not bad, but not for all occasions either.

albern, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 330ml bottle, best before 28 Jun 09, drank 23 Jan 09.

Poured into a Gordons Thistle shapped glass.

Cracking looking beer, really deep dark ruby red. The true colour can only be seen when the beer is held up to a good light source, otherwise it is just jet black. A deep rich foaming head, tan in colour, covers the body.

The aroma is mostly toasted malts but with coffee and dark chocolate making an effort to join in.

The taste follows the aroma but with more bite and depth, creamy and rich, this is a very good Porter. The chocolate takes over in the mouthfeel and the richness lasts well into the aftertaste.

Well worth finding, this one came from Hammersmith (London).

BlackHaddock, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of showell
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost jet black, with just a touch of a head. I love how black it is and the smell was very nice and chocolate. At first taste it was a very nice porter... chocolate and coffee, but then it got a bit different. It had a touch of a fruity taste, and I'm still not sure exactly how to describe it. Once the fruit flavor passes, unfortunately the finish is a bit metallic. I think it's the 9.5% that I was finally tasting. All in all it's not bad, but there are other porters I like much better, and have a much better price, and at 9.5, I really wouldn't have more than just the one.

showell, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of popery
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Zywiec Porter is a great porter. It's full and chocolatey. The malt flavor borders on perfection. The relatively high alcohol is superbly hidden in sweetness and an extremely creamy mouthfeel. It's not heavily carbonated. The beer just tastes wonderfully rich. It's the sort of beer that I could drink all the time. I believe this is my first Polish beer, and I'm extremely happy with it. It's dark and sticky, like a Porter should be. The flavor has big chocolate and caramel with a dry bittering hop finish. It certainly leaves a coating in your mouth, but it's an enjoyable coating. The feel is really wonderful. I would love for this beer to grow in popularity and distribution.

popery, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of daliandragon
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured fifteen minutes past the new year and still sporting decent foam and lace on top of a pure black body. The nose is bakers chocolate, coffee and alcohol. This is a fine example of a Polish porter, which typically have plenty of alcohol and smooth coffee tones.

The coffee tones here are powerful and numerous. There is also the obvious dark malt and dry chocolate notes followed by a slightly chalky and metallic finish. The texture is molasses thick and silky smooth. Alcohol for days. This is not everyday drinking stuff and more than a couple will put you six feet under pretty quickly. Quality stuff though, and the price cannot be beaten.

daliandragon, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of BasementDweller
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good beer, great for the style, but there's one major flaw that consumes me when I drink it. Pours a wonderful black with a smallish off-white head. Aroma of coffee and smoldering firewood. Palate is thick and inviting, full, and leaves a nice film on the tongue. Flavor is of dark wood, floral hops, bitter chocolate, and then, out of nowhere, I get the unmistakable flavor of oxidized metal. That metallic finish ruined the whole experience. I wish I could shut off my taste buds just before the end of the flavor experience. Maybe it was a bad bottle; if so, I'll rerate.

BasementDweller, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of tan-colored, long-lasting head and very good lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, alcohol and a little coffee.

T: Flavor consisted of roasted malt, coffee, licorice and an slightly out of character (for a porter) burnt quality. Alcohol content was ever present.

M: A pretty well-carbonated beer with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a drinkable beer. It has some slightly strange characteristics, but remains likable.

avalon07, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark ruby red with an off white head, that was slight, fizzy with a fair retention.

S: sweet with dark malts, plums and cherries.

T: The initial flavor was rich, roasted barley with fresh ripe fruit (plums, cherries), and a dark semi-bitter chocolate. A touch of coffee bitterness and roasted character finishes things out.

M: smooth, kinda light in body and carbonation. Was ok but nothing spectacular.

D: Good drinkability considering the 9.5% which is non-detectable and considering the price makes it that much better.

beerthulhu, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of Brandegee
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As with many Polish beers, the first feature I note is the smell, which is laced with strong alcohol overtones. I've begun to appreciate its assertiveness, but it's still a little bit jarring. The porter gets more fun quickly, however, as strong smells of coffee and chocolate waft up along with the boozy tell-tale.

The taste is strong and assertive in a classic Porter style. I'm tempted to call it unrefined, but fortunately it's a bit more subtle than that with a slight anise undertone as you get deeper in the bottle. With an ABV of 9.5 and a silky luxurious mouthfeel this is veering into Imperial Stout territory (and would not rate as highly there), but as a Porter it's an out-loud eye-brow raiser.

Brandegee, Dec 07, 2008
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.