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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

618 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 618
Reviews: 367
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 21
Gots: 22 | 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: 618 | Reviews: 367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of firkinhophead
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into an ordinary pint glass.

Thick pour kicks up a decent 1-finger head of cocoa brown head. Beer is cloudy and more brown than black.

Deep, earthy malt aroma. A bit lacking here. Some fusels start to dominate.

Taste is big and robust, with lots of roasty toastiness. Molasses like sweetness gets slapped down before it can even raise its head. Burnt bread, coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, and licorice. Prune, fig preserves contribute a deep, dark fruitiness. Dark bread bordering on chocolate cookie keeps the strong flavors from overwhelming. Rum-soaked raisins and a bit too much licorice as it warms.

Smooth going in, with a firm bitterness in the finish that seems to come mostly from the roasted malts. Alcohol warmth rises up late and leaves a bit of burn in the throat, but not overly hot. Full-bodied and viscous, it clings to the palate like a big bear hug.

Drinkability is great at first, inviting big sips, not dainty ones. Starts kickin' like a Polish draft horse as it warms, though. I can imagine a bar full of Eastern European dockworkers getting pretty rowdy on this stuff on a winter night. Great stuff. Really like an imperial brown ale with its big body and earthy malts.

firkinhophead, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Mitchster
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I swear to god, I am not getting senile. My reviews are disappearing. At any rate, this beauty pours out to a clear dark brown, forming a tall light tan head with excellent retention and lacing. 9.5% ABV. $2.19 for a 500ml bottle. Medium carbonation. The aroma is heavenly with sorghum molasses, raisins, and prunes. The taste is wonderful. Full bodied, creamy, with a big molasses kick, followed by dark fruits, mild bitterness in the aftertaste, and a clean ferment.

Everything that a baltic porter should be,this is up near Okocim and Synebrychoff. Excellent buy, consistently excellent quality. Very highly recommended.

Mitchster, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with some ruby tints, nice creamy head with great retention leaving amazing lacing. Smells of mostly dark fruits, prunes and raisins, molasses, some chocolate. Tastes of dark fruity malt with a nice wave of chocolate. Fairly sweet with a nice backbone of chocolate and plums, hops almost non-existent. Roastiness comes through in the finish ending slightly sweet with some roastiness on a mostly clean palate. Alcohol very well hidden, nice creamy mouthfeel, fairly low carbonation.

A really nice baltic porter, not usually a fan, but this was a winner. Dark fruits weren't too overwhelming up front with the chocolate and roastiness taking the foreground near the finish. Very complex with every component working, fantastic!

bum732, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark with a dark ruby tinge when held up to the light. One-finger dark tan head with nice persistence.

Smell: nose is comprised mostly of fruity esters. Pretty nice.

Taste: coffee hits me right away, then the estery flavors take over. Coffee fades back in and the flavor finishes with a nice bitterness. Rich malt flavor pervades throughout. This is a damn delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with nice carbonation that yields a pretty good mouthfeel.

Drinkability: this would be a great session beer. At 9.5%, it would have to be a pretty short session. This stuff is great.

flagmantho, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Darkhorse09
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a goblet.

Dark brown, near black. slightly red when held to light. Smallish head bubbles to top, swirls down to a small cap. I mightve poured this a little too cold. Whoops. High abv cuts the head a bit, but a really nice looking brew.

Rich, semi sweet aroma. Obvious malt, chocolate and molasses are the most clear to me. Some dark fruits as well.

Surprisingly complex, especially as you drink it as it warms. Rich malt, some coffee and chcoclate mixed with molasses. I think this beer would pair nicely with sausages and cheese. Nice dark, crushed fruits on the finish, with emphasis from the alcohol.

Warming. Slightly lighter body than I expected. Coats the mouth nicely, but finishs crisp.

Drinkability isnt too high, as the abv is prominent. Not a sipper but FAR from a session brew. Nice example of a baltic porter however. I will buy this one again.

Darkhorse09, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Best before 6/28/2010.

Liquid is a ruddy seal brown/tarnished bronze, nearly opaque, with carmine and copper highlights. A large rocky fallow head builds quickly and then recedes to a thin collar and small island of foam. Adequate retention for the ABV; messy lacing and thin legs.

Very bready aroma, with prominent malt, mild dark fruit esters (raisins), and licorice. Simple, but nice. Maybe the slightest trace of diacetyl.

Fairly light on the palate - subtle yet deep roast, and rich malt - almost like a heavier version of a dark lager. Toasted brown bread crust, light roast coffee, becoming stronger and dryer in the finish. Coriander, pumpernickel, poppy seeds - a nice mix of flavors - would be great with havarti, perogis, etc.

Solid medium body, a little warming, decent carbonation.

Could go for a little more complexity, but a really satisfying baltic porter, and a very welcome alternative to the parade of lagers from the region.

augustgarage, Sep 24, 2009
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 WYVYRN527
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost black, as very little light shines through. Head is thin, but carbonation and decent lacing show.

S: Slight coffee tones and a bit of caramel are present, with almost no hop aromas. Smells sweet, yet balanced.

T: There is alot to this beer. Raisiny character with chocolate, coffee, and fig. The finish is somewhat dry, with subtle hop characters. The aroma is almost identical to the flavors of this brew.

M: Thin for the style, but it has enough to make it's mark on the palate.

D: Not a beer to have more than one in a given night. It's good, but the alcohol is definitely there on the palate. This is what I would call a Nightcap beer.

WYVYRN527, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of tatoodkelt
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 8/15/2009- from notes.

Brown dated bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Almost pitch black, little tiny ruby hints along the edges. About a two and a half finger brown head that settled quickly to a thin skim. Fantastic lacing throughout.

S- Dark fuit, strong coffee, some chocolate hints. Smelled a little sweeter than I expected.

T- Caramel, chocolate, dark fuits again, some smoky hints. The alchohol starts to sneak in a little at the end.

M- Medium bodied, a little sticky but still pretty smooth, the carbination isnt really noticable.

D- Surprisingly easy to drink, not as much of a sipper as I had thought. My favorite baltic porter so far.

tatoodkelt, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of joecast
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lucked out here. still a few weeks before the bb date

seriously dark with minimal dark tan foam around the edge of the glass. mildly sinister to be honest. im sure its up to something, but i cant quite pick it yet. we venture on then...

just about the perfect mix of sweet appealing friendliness and big bad ass beer. interweaving chocolate and strong malt alcohol. sweet yet sharp. approachable yet foreboding. all at the same time. fantastic.

huge malt character with hints of chocolate again. dark bitter chocolate. the taste lingers for ages. dark stone fruits vie for attention against the big malt character. no hops that i can identify, but they arent missed at all. and thats coming from a serious hop head. this beer is all about the malt with an honorable mention to the yeast that did such a fine job getting through it cleanly.

a testing beer. so good, yet you have to work to drink it. well worth the effort i must say. at 9.5% this is a big beer, but there is no hesitation at finishing the bottle. the best beer ive had in a while.

joecast, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

didn't write down the bottle size, but i think it was around 500ml. best by date on the back label states 05.31.2009. tasted in mid-may 2009.

very dark, ruby-tinted brown. no sediment or haze. huge 3 to 4-finger tan/beige head, slowly recedes to thin, almost creamy layer. wonderful lacing, with rings at first, then a curtain towards the second half.

big fruity plum and dark caramel nose, w gentle but noticeable coffee tones underneath. faint earthy hop, maybe even a bit leafy. melds w trace roast and more coffee. well-hidden alcohol.

taste: caramel and molasses come out even more, but still some plum and prune fruitiness. coffee note matches w faint roast hint, into earthy/leafy, hop bitterness, near-moderate in intensity. nice coffee note in the finish and aftertaste. some boozy alcohol peeks in towards the back, just to remind you that this whopping 9.5% ABV brew is still a sipper, not a quaffer.

medium body, lightly syrupy, but quite astringent with tannic notes and coffee-like acidity. mild to moderate carbonation is mildly tingly upfront, and helps a tiny bit with providing body. alcohol does come in momentarily and cut through everything, but never too harshly.

surprisingly drinkable despite the alcohol

tai4ji2x, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque black with a huge muddy brown head. So many lace rings the glass almost ran out of room.

Smells of espresso, chocolate, and dark fruity alcohol.

Roast malt, dark fruit and Hershey's chocolate syrup. A little thin and lacks depth hinted at in the aroma.

donkeyrunner, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Macca
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok so this is my first Baltic porter so not really sure what to expect.

It pours a very dark brown almost black. Solid head which drops away completely. Lots of visible carbonation.

The nose is dominated by stewed dark fruits which is sort of what I was expecting from something with an ABV this high. A little bit of dark chocolate as well.

The dark chocolate comes through a lot more on the palate. A little bit of alcohol warmth right at the end but well integrated. Very nice.

Nice big mouthfeel.

Macca, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a very dark brown with a small tan head.
Aroma first of all is banana! Crazy! Then espresso and toasted + roasted malts. There's some soft alcohol as well as oatmeal in the background. For a porter there a fair bit of sweetness (banana and caramel).
Flavours are quite different, with cocoa, roasted grains (almost charred) and ash. Quite soft though. Delicate alcohol. Quite a lot of sweet caramel notes still.
Thick, rich body. Great creamy carbonation. Warming alcohol on the back of the palate.

CrazyDavros, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of LeeinVA
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a die hard heavy beer fan, and I think this is a good one for the money. Not cheap on the alcohol percent, or look.

The appearance is a very dark brown almost black color with a pleasant aroma with a subtle fruit smell? Prune? The head was about a knuckle high that did dissipate rather quick, and the lacing abundant and sticky. The taste had a bit of Caramel and a little bit of tin for added goodness : ) It is very drinkable and for the AC 9.5 to feel smooth as you drink? Excellent. I am buying this one again.. Bet on that!!

LeeinVA, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of OtisinAZ
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a black body with a brown creamy head.

strong smell of malt and toffee with some biscuit notes. no noticeable aroma.

taste was dark malt with very little hop bitterness.

good chewy body with small alcohol burn.

good beer would drink more if i had them.

OtisinAZ, Jun 28, 2009
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 Lexluthor33
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color with a medium sized head and a quick fading lace.
The aroma of alcohol,malts,caramel,prunes and chocolate.
The taste starts sweet then hints of caramel are surrounded by a chocolate-cherry taste. Nutty tones with medium carbonation and a full body. A syrup feel with a mild creamy finish.

Notes: A good Porter with a good mouth feel and a well masked ABV. I don't over pay for this here,so I will pick it up when ever I get the chance. I know it is not as complex as others yet still a fine Porter.

Lexluthor33, Jun 15, 2009
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
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.