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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

633 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 633
Reviews: 369
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 21
Gots: 35 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 633 | Reviews: 369 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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!!

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.

Photo of tigg924
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of jarmby1711
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Photo of Jimmys
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

Photo of corby112
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of DIM
4.8/5  rDev +23.1%
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!

Photo of gford217
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of wspscott
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of Overlord
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of walshclimb
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of timmay41
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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.

Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev -9%
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.

Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.