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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

649 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 649
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 21
Gots: 39 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 649 | Reviews: 371
Photo of scottoale
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml. brown bottle with nice, fancy foil labels (3), and date code on rear label: 03.21.2009 L8081616B0959. It pours a very dark opaque mahogany brown with a huge three-finger, light tan head. The head is thick and creamy but settles to the surface, leaving a sticky coat of Brussels type lace. Fine looking Porter.

The nose is mildly sweet and roasty, of oak and chocolate. It smell's rather yummy.

The taste is no let-down...it delivers. Nice roast, oak and milk chocolate with a push of hops and a soothing alcohol. Very nicely balanced, rich and tasty.

Tame carbonation that takes this medium bodied brew too the fullest flavor possible, the alcohol is the icing on the cake here.

Way too drinkable and I am fully impressed with fine Porter that I just stumbled upon. And it's a rather hefty 9.5 ABV to boot...cheers!

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/15/08. Bottle. Pours a dark black with a pretty dark, creamy tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of chocolate and faint coffee and roast. Flavor strongly of coffee and roast, some chocolate. Rather boozy too, especially as it warmed. Good beer. 7/5/7/4/13 (3.6/5)

Photo of schellsbeer
2.32/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have to keep in mind that I am reviewing a Baltic Porter and they have a different flavor than American Porters....one that I am really not crazy for.

A - Very nice. Dark brown to almost black. Small head with intense lacing. Nice!

S/T - BALTIC Porter. Has a completely different smell and taste than American Porters. FUNK is what I call it. Fish. Nuts. European. Not American. Don't mean to be rude but just has a different all together smell and flavor. This being my second Baltic Porter, I have to say that American Micro Breweries have mastered and passed the art of brewing great porters and stouts. Nothing compares....Period.

M - Nice Average mouthfeel. Not too thin and not too thick. Very creamy. Nice texture. I do like this part of this brew.

D - NO. For something that has this aftertaste, I will never seek out a Baltic Porter again. Nothing will make me change my mind. Very high alcohol content for a beer that is subpar on taste and smell. However, very nice looking and mouthfeel. I do find these qualities very nice.

Photo of KeefD
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid black color with a huge tan head that leaves behind sheets of lacing as it slowly recedes. Dense and rocky foam, cap sticks around throughout. Perfect appearance for a Baltic. Aroma is of roasted grains and booze, with a slight hop aroma in the background. Taste is roasty and toasty, plenty of dark malt bitterness, some coffee and chocolate and only slight undertones of dark fruits and raisins. Very nice mouthfeel, thick and chewy, silky and smooth. Perfect amount of carbonation for the style. Alcohol is high and it can be felt quite early. This is a one and done sipper, but gosh darn it was good!

Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears an opaque, near black, with deep crimson notes. An off white head slowly fades into a mild cap and heavy collar. Scattered lacing and spots of webbing are left around the entire glass.
Smell is of smooth vanilla, cocoa, espresso, cream, and dark fruits.
Taste is fruity, with notes of cocoa, vanilla, dark chocolate, and caramel.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with bittersweet cocoa flavors clinging to the palate.

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 500 mL bottle into a glass.

A: pours motor oil brown/black, little hiss when the cap removed and only a film of head although it does lace. not much in the way of highlight and pretty opaque.

S: a lot like a belgian strong dark; molasses and dried fruit, grapes, figs, raisins. some malt aroma.

T: very complex with lots of dark fruit sweetness. molasses and malt dominate the profile, with grapes and fig making their way in later. ends on a rich roasty/coffee-like note, with some residual sweetness in the aftertaste. Picks up a smoky flavor as I get through the beer.

M: thick and chewy, sticky with sweetness, enhanced by the low carbonation.

D: extremely impressive beer but also very filling and flavorful. Could not have many of these. My first Baltic porter and not a disappointment.

Photo of currysage1
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9 oz into Imperial Pint

Look is a very healthy deep brown center with mahogany edging, topped with a 3 finger creamy beige head, great lacing.

Smell is deep dark fruits, chocolate vodka, alcohol shiver from a deep nose full. Very medicinal, some herbal qualities.

Taste is coffee, good and strong, brown bread with molasses, raisins, baking chocolate.

Very silky smooth, awesome all around. Honestly this may be my new favorite beer for this price. Hopefully I can get a case price.

Photo of Proteus93
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly froze this one... oops!

A: Pretty much black... a deep coloured brown, with a lighter tannish head. It's a little on the slushy side, but that's my own fault.

S: Nice maltiness, some anise aromas. A hint of chocolate or toffee.

T: A rich malt flavour, some anise noted, and molasses. Pretty good stuff.

M + D: A nice, soft creaminess to it which does it justice. Not as much of a 'thin' feeling. The alcohol is very well hidden, and it's hard to believe it could possible by 9.5%.

Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep cocoa-amber and sits near-black in the glass with just a slight dark mahogany around the edges of the glass. Large, frothy tan head with good staying power. Good amounts of lacings around the glass.

Aromas of raw cane sugar and molasses are supported by a light base of chocolaty roasted malts and hints of floral and grassy hops.

Mildly sweet and malty up front. Huge doses of roasted, cocoa-centric malts with just the slightest hints of charred woods. Alcoholic twang in the background, producing just the slightest amount of heat which is entwined with a moderate hop bitterness near the finish.

Ever so smooth, rich and creamy right down to the bone. Light and fine carbonation provides a good reminder that this is not liquid candy, though it feels and tasted like it is just so. This is absolutely silky.

Very appealing. One of the best I've had of this type. Affordability is also a huge plus, as this runs only about $2 a bottle. Score.

Photo of kosmoraios
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, opaque black with a 1-finger brown head that lasts and lasts, lacing the entirety of the glass with thick sheets and gobs.

Banana bread is strong in the nose, with caramel and dark fruit underneath. Enticing.

Hot, dark banana bread. Dark fruit: overripe plum, fig, raisin. Anise and coriander on top of an herbal/pine hop character. Very nice. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel while still managing to tingle and finish spicy. Well done BP. Dangerously sessionable.

Photo of mgp80
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a thin very lightly tanned head. I have to sniff at this thing like a bloodhound to get much aroma out of it, and this is even after allowing it to warm up a bit. What I do get is a hint of the rum raisiny quality that I was hoping for with this.

Taste is a very smooth progression from sweet, alcohol-soaked fruit to roasted malt. Sweetness and bitterness are balanced pretty well throughout. Unfortunately there is also some sort of stale, medicinal component to the bitterness - possibly related to fusel flavors combining with the rest of what's going on. I get this in homebrew when I ferment too hot, and I'm not a fan. It's very muted here, though.

Overall my impression is positive. I enjoy drinking this beer and the alcohol is generally hidden well. If you can't find Okocim porter, this is definitely an acceptable substitute.

Photo of biggmike
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer provided courtesy of my brother (pojo41). Poured almost completely black with small off-white head/tan that dissipated quickly. Aroma was of roasted malt and coffee. Flavor was also of roasted malt, coffee, and also chocolate. Nice mouthfeel. Coudnt believe this was 9.5% abv as it was hidden well. Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of drpimento
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now here we have a remarkable beer. Abundance of character. all of the clasic baltic porter hallmarks coupled with individualistics such as roastiness, darker grains and perhaps a special yeastoid. Poured with a tan head, lots of lace and pitch black color. Opaque. perfect balance between bitter and sweet, with enough body to compliment the works. Bravo. almost robust enough to be too much of a beer for the session lablel. tough it out bro.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque and very near to black, some highlighting around the bottom that ruby-red and even a bit lighter into the orange range. Fairly brown color foam that recedes rather quickly and leaves that classically spotty porter scum on top. Tight ring of bubbles that I'm sure will leave some good lacing.

The aroma is just a hair weak. That's the bad side. The good is that what's there is spot-on and very enticing. It should open up as it warms; what's here is a prick of alcohol, lots of roasted malt, some dark fruit, and a little star anise.

Massive flavor, that's a plus. There's a lot of roasted character here, with a hint of a metallic finish, which is a bummer, but everything else is so spot on. The licorice takes a star spot which I love, and the alcohol is a strong component as well. Pretty good dollops of bittersweet chocolate, even a hint of coffee-like darkness and strength.

The back end is quite bitter - another personal taste Plus for me. The mouthfeel is just a little shy of perfect - call it medium for style. It's just one of those Lager v. Ale questions, and I tend to prefer the creaminess and depth of the ales, but hell yes to Zywiec Porter.

Photo of JEdmund
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with brown-tinted edges; big creamy tan head; thick rings of lace left

Molasses, anise--pretty strong, much like an RIS

Taste & Mouthfeel
Huge flavor with an assertive character; a bit boozy with its warming after effect; somewhat cola sweet, notes of tobacco; creamy mouth feel and a medium body

I was about halfway through this Polish beer before I realized it had 9.5% ABV...I kept wondering why it was so robust! Overall it was a big, full flavored beer with little to knock.

Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark ruby brown color with a creamy tan head. The nose is very roasty with soem chocolate and dried fruits. The taste also has roasted malts, chocolate and figs. Nice full body goes down well. A nice example of a Baltric Porter. Drinks well for a 9.5% beer.

Photo of jwinship83
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark dark brown, almost black with a head that quickly becomes little more than a crown.

S- very dark and roasted with some hints of toffee and caramel.

T- very similar to how it smells with an added hint of alcohol. mild considering its near 9% ABV. more toffee than i could smell, very nice.

M- full bodied, thick, creamy, and smooth.

D- very drinkable for how potent it is. they did a great job of hiding it. also, very cheap. definitely something ill be picking up again, probably not untill it gets a little colder

Photo of roadhouse
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears nearly black, with some red highlights. Tan one finger head sinks to a thin coating and leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

Aroma is actually pretty faint but with some vigorous sniffing I am detecting dark fruit and roasted malts.

Taste is intitally sweet with notes of dark fruit and chocolate. After the swallow some earthy hops make an appearance and the roasted malt flavors favor coffee over chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and creamy.

This is definitely one of the better Baltic Porters I have tasted. Not quite as good as Okocim, but its up there.

Photo of spointon
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This beer poured a very dark brownish-black color. Seriously, only the faintest bit of light penetrated this brew! The head poured two fingers of deep tan goodness. Tons of sticky lace down the glass.

S= This ale gave a alot of dark, roasted and sweet caramel malty aromas. Alcohol scent when swirled.

T= This is one of those "wow" porters, showing flavors of heavy malts, mild earthy hop notes, and alcohol in the long finish.

MF= Medium-heavy body with a chewy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

D= This is another great Polish baltic porter that I might consider the best if it were not for the Okocim Baltic Porter. Definitely worth your time!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of secret santa: Poured a deep red color ale with a light pink color head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of syrupy cherry with too much of sweet cloying notes. Taste is also dominated by the extremely sweet cherry syrup with some very light malt notes. Full cloying sweet body with some average carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Too sweet for my taste buds and too much of the fake cherry syrup comes out for me to enjoy this beer.

Photo of jamiejohnson
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The great Michael Jackson's teachings steered me towards this special brew way back, but it took me several years to sample it. I finally found it one late evening in Poland, but regretably I was in an unreviewable state. Back in the US I've found it again. It's one of a kind - a boozy (nearly 10%) Eastern European Porter that's chocked-full of quality ingrediants. I've always liked Zywiec's lager, this Porter just adds to the brewery's respectability. I like the touch of harshness done smooth - if that makes any sense.

Drink'n Polish,
This one's black.
Sends me there
Sends me back.

Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD: 03.21.2009

Dark chestnut color, black in the Duvel tulip glass. Three fingers of puffy, creamy foam. A convex dome rises over the rim, with an egg cream surface texture. There's a slight cascade as the head forms itself.

Earthy chicory, roasty with a hint of caramel sweetness. Once it warms up, the aroma opens up more.

Big roast malt flavor, bordering on char but not quite. Bittersweet bakers chocolate, earthy tobacco, dry on the finish with a hint of apple. Wow. This really seems like the quintessential Baltic Porter to me. The body is moderate, not super huge, but appropriate for the style. Extremely tasty and drinkable. Balanced and not too sweet as some can be.

The only contender to this one is Killer Kowalski from Flossmoor Station. Bottle from Sal's Elmhurst.

Photo of Black7Blue
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed the color of this porter. It had a heavy black with a light head after the pour that resembled a coffee with cream only. The high ABV overwhelms teh nose, bearing the scent of a pure porter overa light proter. The mouthfeel is a little tingly, but still heavy on the pallet and leaves very cleanly. Chocolate tones emaerge over the tounge. It's a heavier porter than normal. If tasting your porters, this is a nice beer to throw into the mix. For an all night affair, like most porters, this may not bee your choice. It's a great beer for a rookie taster's "want" list.

Photo of ommegoose
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Found this 500 ml bottle at a local 7 Eleven for $1.99. Looked like it was worth a try even though late June is not exactly Baltic Porter season.

Pours out a very dark brown, basically black in the glass. Some reddish hues around the edges. Pretty good sized head initially, at about 2 inches, and a fair amount of retention. Another reviewer described the head color as cookie dough - yes. Lacing is nice too, leaving a thick tan ring. Surprising considering the high abv. Well done.

It doesn't smell too boozy, which is good start. Dark burnt malts start things off, before giving way to some molasses sweetness. Some hints of sherry, maybe from a little oxidation. Sugary alcohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms, and molasses dominates. Chocolate, coffee, or caramel are far less present than in a typical porter or Baltic porter. I wish this was close to as nice as the Okocim Porter. Smells a little rummy if you want to get creative. There's room for a lot more complexity in this style, but this is not bad.

Not so sure what to make of the flavor. It has the elements I'd expect to find, mostly, but it's just not all that tasty. It's pretty hot going down, and it tastes pretty boozy. I served this around cellar temperature to bring out the nose more, but this would probably taste better at fridge temperature. The malt has some smoky character, but mostly on the finish. I don't find this excessively sweet, but it almost made my teeth hurt. Molasses sweetness plays a big role though. I would have liked some more complexity. I'm not getting much coffee, caramel or chocolate. It's vaguely fruity, but only if the fruits were candied and stewed to the point that you could barely tell which ones they are. The smoky malt is probably the best thing going on here, with some charcoal hints. Not much bitterness to be found. Does deserve credit for being very potent.

I was worried this would be too slick or syrupy, but the carbonation breaks it up and gives it some creaminess. Not bad. Unfortunately the alcohol is hard on the tongue. At around halfway through I feel like I've been drinking bourbon for the last half hour. Finishes sticky.

Not an easily drinkable beer for me. Just does not mask the alcohol well enough, and I'm not finding a ton of things to like about the flavor. In addition, the sweetness becomes increasingly grating. Okocim Porter was a sweet beer too, but there were some great chocolate and liquor flavors that I really enjoyed. I liked the smoky malt here, but if that was going to be the focus, the beer should have been drier and less boozy.

I kind of liked the last few ounces better. Maybe this is a enjoyed a little more after greasing the wheels with a lager or two. If the problems I had with the boozy qualities went away, this would score better for sure. Still a beer worth trying, but not tops in this style in my book.

Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ML bottle in to goblet.

Black with a tan head slow to dissapear. The roasted malts create a smell that is a balance between chocolate and coffee (with a little plum in the back). Tastes like roasted malts, and mysteriously some banana. Very good beer- my first baltic/ polish. I am glad I found this.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
87 out of 100 based on 649 ratings.