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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

590 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 590
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 20
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken) visit their website
Poland

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: 590 | Reviews: 362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%

Thanks to ampzilla for the brew.

Pours a deep black color, nice carbonation, there's a nice small creamy tannish one-finger head, some nice islands and sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, but slightly roasted, lots of toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, creamy, slightly roasted, with a nice touch of toffee/caramel. There's a slight chewyness to this brew. Also, no trace of the ABV, amazing. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome Baltic Porter, would love to try again someday.

07-04-2007 18:20:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of sleazo
sleazo

New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

I just realized Zywiec is imported by a company in my neighbourhood, I must be getting the freshest stuff in the US. Purchased at C Town on Manhattan.

A-Popurs a rich dark brown, almost black and impossible to see through. The one finger cappaccino head quickly dissipates into a collection of bubbles in the middle of the brew. The lace however clings to the side of the chalice.

S-Chocolate, coffee, rum soaked raisins, a hint of smoked meat a some vague sweetness. Not overpowering in any way but intermingled very well. This is one hell of a good smelling beer.

T-deep rich roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate, espresso beans. There is a deep underlying bitterness but no outright hop flavour. The aftertaste is like mineral water, slightly metallic. The alcohol is not presnt at all nor is there really any sweetness to this. This is a deep robust and bitter porter.

M-low to medium body with a pleasant mid bubbled carbonation. There is a low level of chalkiness somewhat like I got from Black Boss. Perhaps that is a thing with Polish Baltic Porters, though it is not as prevelant as it is in the Boss.

D-The alcohol presence is very low here which makes this dangerous. This is a very good beer though that mineral quality might make more than a couple too much. Either way I am glad to have a few of these in the cupboard.

07-04-2007 01:34:01 | More by sleazo
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.47/5  rDev +14.6%

I found it (finally)! From the BevMo located in Brea, CA, on to the beer:

Poured into a hefeweizen glass, it features a billowy head with an opaque appearance. I felt a sense of pride when I saw how cool this looked. Nice aromic smell of molasses, sweet chocoalte, and fruit. The first rush of taste was very metallic, but it went away after a few sips. Coming from the ashes of the metallic flavor is a smooth and yummy porter that has no real overpowering bitterness, and flavors of coffee, fruit, roasted flavors, and a full bodied feel. It's a strong beer, so don't rush the experience.

No beer thermometors or "Prawie jak" campaigns for this one, this is the real deal. It's drinkable for a 9.5% beer with a great taste. Add in that it's only $1.99 for a half-liter bottle, and you have yourself a bargain. Now if the low metallic flavor could be fixed...

07-03-2007 20:41:06 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of mpyle
mpyle

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Big tan head, creamy and long lasting. Dark ruby brown color with great clarity. Very nice appearance.

Plum-like aroma, something metallic like rust or a penny. Chocolate and dark malt aroma as it warms. No hop aroma.

Flavor is fruity and plumlike. Malty sweet with enough dark malt character (and bittering hops) to dry out and balance. Well-disguised alcohol flavor. Finishes with a gentle sweetness.

Fairly full bodied, with low-to-moderate carbonation. Very gentle alcohol warming. No astringency - very smooth.

A big, slightly fruity porter. Sneaky alcohol - very smooth and drinkable. A bit disturbing for a 9.5% ABV beer to be highly drinkable. The Poles are onto something here.

06-24-2007 00:49:03 | More by mpyle
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Dear lord, this is good. Let's start off by saying my girlfriend is not a fan of porters and stouts, yet she loved this one.

Gorgeous dark black pour with a nice 1 finger tan head that both sticks around and leaves some nice lacing. Smell is intoxicating. Yeasty, chocolaty with some dark fruits.

Taste follows suit, and quite nicely. Sweet chocolate. Dark fruits. Slight roastiness. Touch of hops (barely). More sweet, dark, rich fruits. Some espresso. Amazing balance. Amazing. Some yeastiness. Some earthiness. Like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale crossed with a porter. Man. This is perfection here. I would not change a thing. In fact, doing so would be sacrilege.

Mouthfeel is excellent. A nice touch of carbonation to make it lively. Rich mouthfeel, without ever being syrupy. Stays both rich and light. Absolutely no alcohol is evident. None. Tastes like 7%, not 9.5%.

D: Insanely high.

Highly recommended. One of the top beers of the year, I must say.

06-05-2007 06:59:57 | More by rallison
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +20.5%

Tonight's beer is the one that opened my eyes to Baltic porters. There's always room in my fridge for one of these.

APPEARANCE: Pours out tremendously black with a 2-finger tan head. The head is tightly bubbled and has great staying power. Lacing comes in sheets all over the glass. Looks awesome!

SMELL: Underwhelming intensity but some nice aromas. Bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits are most prominent. Aromas become more intense as it warms, and some bitter roasted malts begin to come out. Overall, nice, but a bit empty.

TASTE: Absolutely perfect! Everything a Baltic porter should be and more! Chocolate, caramel, coffee, and a big presence of dark fruits. Even a slight hop bitterness shows itself. The finish lingers long and flavorful. It just what I'm looking for!

MOUTHFEEL: Another slam dunk! Thick, chewy, creamy, and soooo smooth. Carbonation is medium and right on.

DRINKABILITY: Can you tell I love this beer? I could drink this every single day. It's absolutely everything a Baltic porter should be.

It's very strange that the smell was underwhelming to me. Everything else about this beer is exactly what I would want. It's incredible. I'll be buying these as long as I can get them.

05-31-2007 23:58:35 | More by jmalex
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%

Pours very dark brown to black with a healthy initial head that fades to a thin cap. Some spotty lacing. Smells of chocolate, prunes,brandy, and some bitter hops. Very dry and bitter taste,with noticeable alcohol. Much dryer than most in the style and delicious. The fruit and semisweet chocolate come through here as well. The mouthfee could be a little bigger, and the carbonation is a little high. Very nice Baltic porter.

05-30-2007 01:42:03 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours to a coal black with good tan head that lingers through most of the glass and leaves lacing from top to bottom. A very unique arona, in that it was a pleasant mixture of chocolate, coffe, licorice and alcohol. The good nice thick body was slightly carbonated, and the mouthfeel somewaht tingly.

Flavor was mostly the chocolate-coffe to begin with, and as the beer warmed, the 9.5% alcohol became more noticeable, though never overwhelming.
Likewise, the finish, which was at first a little watery and short, became long and pleasant as the beer warmed at mid-glass.

This beer was a pleasant surprise and most enjoyable.

05-05-2007 10:01:16 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

3.28/5  rDev -15.9%

Black as the Baltic, but with a waaaayyy better head. The smell is of a rusty bumper, totally unbecoming of the fine taste of this beer. I was mystified by this at first, as the smell caused dread. The overwhelmingly metallic nose was not represented by the smooth, coffee/mocha flavor until the back end. Mouthfeel is smooth, not remarkable, but satisfying. The drinkability of an otherwise fine beer suffers considerably because of the fact that I breathe through my nose.

04-25-2007 05:57:26 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of SetarconeX
SetarconeX

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours black as night with a nicely lingering lace that doesn't foam too terribly. I think this is the sort of thing people used to dip their quills in before composing thousand page books. Smell is slightly sweet and quite malty. Can't beat it.

Tastes like nothing else. A bit of malt, a lot of hops (more than I would have expected off the nose,) and charcoal. This entire beer tastes like it was filtered through the remains of a forest fire.

Quite the beer, complex flavors, but not something you could drink in quantity (it's 9.5% ABV after all), but it's most definitely something you should try.

04-23-2007 16:15:15 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%

Poured out a near black color with a luscious creamy tan head that slowly settled into a thin fiolm. The nose had soem light coffee and good malt character. The taste had some bitterness to it before giving way to bitter coffee, a tiny amount of dark chocolate, some tannin, and a bit o cherry. The mouthfeel is creamy, long finish settling into some coffee bitterness. Good and drinkable, but take it slow and enjoy.

04-18-2007 05:15:40 | More by dherling
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Sampled through the Secret Bunny 2007 BIF and sinstaineddemon.

This is a clear very deeply brown colored beer with a tall brown head. Nice ruby highlight when held up to strong light.

The smell sweet and chocolate with a fairly strong coffee aroma. There is an earth aroma here that I can best describe as mushroom. There is a bit too much patent malt added that gives this a bit of a scorch odor.

The taste starts sweet and very strongly tasting of chocolate with a minor amount of coffee in the finish. As I drink this the patent malt taste becomes stronger and over takes the chocolate flavor. There is a strong caramel and toffee flavor to this beer that is pleasant. This is not a bitter beer and I really can't taste any hops.

The mouthfeel is good and quite thick.

This is pretty drinkable but I have had better Baltic Porters though. This is OK don't get me wrong but I really have other beers in this style I like better and one of them is made by Baltika and is VERY affordable.

04-16-2007 00:07:15 | More by Zorro
Photo of gonzo138
gonzo138

Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

A- pours a deep black color with a coffee colored head that both laced nicely and retained well

S- not as strong of a smell as i would have thought, sweet malts, and a little bit of anise/liquorice aroma

T- very heavy malt sweetness, a little bit chocolatey, and a very a light hop bitterness at the end

M- thick, coats mouth, moderate carbonation

D- couldnt have more than one or two of these, a good beer, i should take advantage of my stores large eastern european beer selection more often, good price too

04-05-2007 06:53:49 | More by gonzo138
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%

Picked up on a whim as it was of some interest to me.

Pours a very dark brown, almost deep black except for the red tints at the bottom of the glass, with a one finger silky looking cream colored head. Nice thin retention on top. Sweet lacing. Roasted malt notes with a good backbone of sugary caramel and molasses sweetness--very subtle though as the roasted malt is the biggest player. Hops can also be detected.

Roasted malt flavors coupled with sweet caramel and molasses notes. Thick with a heavy body that sports a very smooth creaminess. Hop profile flexes its muscles with a pretty hefty bitterness that has legs into the finish. Molasses notes stick to the taste buds and can be picked up again in the aftertaste. Earthy with a nice full body. A very night porter from Poland. Spots a pretty high abv, which warms the body. It's cold in Poland...

03-18-2007 17:42:56 | More by bjohnson
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%

01/23/07- Purcahsed at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with some kind of code on the back label. Poured into my imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Off black color with some dark auburn highlights. Medium sized and creamy tiny bubbled brown head. Leaves behind light lace trails.

Smell- Not a huge scented brew which you would think when you saw the abv. Some mid range dark chocolate and some darker roasted malts. Overall pretty nice, but a sniffer.

Taste- The truth is in the nose. More milky or bittersweet chocolate than dark. Maybe a light touch of burnt coffee plus a good amount of licorice flavor.

Mouthfeel- Pretty smooth, lightly creamy with a medium carbonation level. A little more cask like and this baby would be dangerous.

Drinkability- Overall a really good top 10 baltic for me. Not quite up there with the big boys, but I can definitely see myself buying this again in the future.

03-13-2007 02:15:10 | More by GClarkage
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%

Darkest chestnut colored, with garnet highlights down the sides of the glass and a one-inch high head of light brown frothy foam that lingers very long.

Light aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and grassy hops.

Flavor is initially roasty and toasty, sweet and bitter all at once. Dark malts with hints of coffee and chocolate, with smokey charred bark and espresso and hops bitters. Notes of dark plum and ripe prune. Good balance all around. A piney bitter lingers, and the hops stick around for the whole ride.

ABV flies under the radar. Very drinkable, great after dinner with a dark maduro cigar.

02-18-2007 03:33:59 | More by far333
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

Barely opaque charred pecan with highlights of red, orange and amber along the bottom edge of the glass. The cap is golden brown sugar in color and is nicely tight-bubbled. It looks as if it'll last forever, as does the thick band of lace that's being laid down just below the lip of the glass. Outstanding and classic for the style.

The nose is also right on the money, even though it could stand be more aromatic and more complex. I have a feeling that warming will improve things, as it almost always does with high ABV beer. What greets my nose is more roasted malty and less dark fruity than I remember for the style. Good, not great.

Like all good Baltic porters, Zywiec Porter is absolutely filled to the brim with flavor. My only complaint, and it isn't a trivial one, is that there isn't a great deal of depth and complexity to be had. It isn't a deal-breaker, though, because my taste buds are ecstatically happy... as is my rapidly blurring brain. The 9.5% ABV may be hard to appreciate on the palate, but it's definitely working its magic in more central locations.

I love how anise-like the flavor profile is. Another highlight is the contrast between sweet and bitter, such as one might experience when eating a high-quality bittersweet chocolate. The finishing, lingering bitterness is especially impressive and even scratches my ever-present hophead itch. I don't remember the other world-class Baltics being quite this aggressively bitter.

I had a feeling that warming would work its usual magic. At this point I wonder how I could have granted a flavor score other than the one I've ended up on. I don't care so much about a hundred and one contrasting flavors when the beer floods my mouth with such intense flavor and is this amazingly delicious.

The mouthfeel is a shade lighter than I would like. Once I remind myself that I'm drinking a big lager rather than a big ale, and that it shouldn't be comparable to a Russian Imperial stout, I'm fine. It's wonderfully silky smooth and has just enough carbonation to keep things moving smartly along.

Prior to cracking the crown, I doubted whether this beer could equal the brilliance of my favorite Baltic porters. Poland's own Okocim Porter and Finland's Sinebrychoff are some of the best beers of any style that I've ever had. I'm pleased to report that Zywiec is in their league and is an immensely enjoyable experience. Why can't all Polish beer be this good?

02-15-2007 15:46:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of auntfloyd
auntfloyd

New York

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%

Served from a 500 ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with ruby highlights, and about one finger of dark tan head.

The smell is of roast malts, coffee, hints of dark fruit and chocolate. Rather rich and inviting.

The taste is full of coffee and chocolate notes upfront, with a definite bitter espresso finish. Hops can be detected slightly, but all in all, very nice.

The mouthfeel is very full and rich, but quite creamy. Definitely stout-like, as Polish porters are. Drinkability is good, surprisingly so.

What more can I say? A great Baltic porter, and something all porter fans should try. It also tends be to very cheap, much more so than domestic offerings of similar quality.

01-09-2007 01:22:24 | More by auntfloyd
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +6.4%

Zywiec's Porter pours a crystal-clear deep-mahogany (almost black) body with gleeming dark-chestnut and 'burning-ember' orange highlights. It's topped by a full head of creamy, dark tan froth. Unfortunately, the head retention doesn't quite hold up to the bar set by it's color and clarity. The lacing is, however oddly, a bit better, and it leaves wide rings of thin lace at the outset of the glass, and then some pretty nice runs of spots and splashes. The nose is moderately roasty and chocolatey with some yeasty, berry-like fruit, and an edge of alcohol... perhaps even a touch of minty hops. In the mouth it's medium bodied and creamy smooth. The flavor is surprisingly rich, and it hits you immediately with dark malt acidity, low-notes of roastiness, and alcohol. Chocolate appears next, alongside some yeasty fruitiness; but as you progress through the tasting the darker flavors build and the fruitiness gets covered over. Deep, scorched caramel sneaks in here and there! A bold bitterness backs it, and it finishes dry and brash due to the acidity and alcohol. Some cereal grain maltiness, a touch of cocoa, and a wash of alcohol linger. It makes a great companion on a chilly night in front of the fire, with a book, or just settling in watching TV. Worth trying.

12-14-2006 22:39:57 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of macster
macster

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +7.2%

Pours thick and opaque black producing a dense, tight, long lasting tan head. Luscious aromas of dark chocolate, figs, raisins, molasses, roasted malts, along with some faint espresso coffee beans and smokiness. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and full yet shows a moderate level of crisp carbonation which allows the flavors to explode on the tongue. Initial flavor leans toward the sweet side showing off notes of dried dark fruits, licorice, molasses, dark rum and burnt caramel. Mid to late palate transcends into a moderate roasted malt/charcoal, dark chocolate, espresso bean bitterness with just the slightest hint of alcohol. It’ll sneak up on you quick since it is well hidden. Probably the best Baltic Porter on the market here in the U.S.

12-09-2006 05:17:52 | More by macster
Photo of lehows
lehows

New York

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

Brought some bottles back from Poland over the summer, just finished the last one. I was hoarding them because this is so good! Pours a nearly black body with a small attractive tan head with unbelievable retention. Strong nose of roasted barley and malt. Some light licorice and coffee scents too. Taste is simply divine. Its so rich and complex, there is a lot going on in this brew. Strong alcohol flavor as well. Creamy and very full mouthfeel, very stout-like. Because of its complexity and fullness, I didnt find its drinkabilty too high. But that certainly isnt a bad thing, some beers should be like that. If you can get your hands on this at your local distro, go for it.

11-30-2006 20:26:04 | More by lehows
Photo of dhilltop2000
dhilltop2000

Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +16.7%

Pours syrupy black with ruby undertones. Head forms nicely and continues to grow for an unusually long time. Smells of alcohol, fig, toffee, coffee beans and chocolate. Smell is nicely complex. Taste is nice and warming. Moderately strong alcohol warm and nicely balanced. Taste is more reminiscent of an Imperial Stout but none the less a great beer.

10-31-2006 00:45:54 | More by dhilltop2000
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured from a 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brownish black color, with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell contains dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a little smokiness.

T: The taste has elements of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits. Although it’s quite malty, it’s not overly sweet. There’s a little bit of alcohol sting, but at 9.50% ABV, it’s not as strong as you would expect.

M: Very smooth with some crispness to it, medium carbonation, medium-to-heavy carbonation, clean finish without the stickiness that the style usually shades toward.

D: Tasty, easy-to-drink, not as filling as most beers in the style, I found this one to be more of a sipper, but on the right night, I could see myself knocking back a few of these pretty quickly.

10-22-2006 04:00:51 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of pgenius
pgenius

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%

This is a damn good porter! My Polish friend introduced me to this marvelous beverage the other day. This stuff has a really creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation, nice malt flavor, and you can barely tell that its a 9.5% ABV. Awesome beer, picking some up real soon, you should too.

10-12-2006 06:42:16 | More by pgenius
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

This looked absolutely beautiful. Poured black with a big light brown foamy cap, much like Coca-Cola. Thick webs of sticky lacing pasted themselves to the sides of the glass. Even held directly to a light bulb, while light passed through, it was very very little.
Smell was burnt coffee beans and roasted malt. Not bad, but about what I was expecting. Taste was burnt coffee, as well, with bitter chocolate and some bourbon whiskey-like alcohol notes on the finish. The coffee and malt notes, while there, are a bit muted, and not as robust as I think they should be, which is why I gave this a 3,5. The finish is quite lovely with the whiskey alcohol thing going on, and yet the alcohol is still not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is god-like. Very, very heavy. Almost oily. Definately chewy. This is the best mouthfeel I have experienced in a brew in a very long time.
Overall, I enjoyed this quite alot, but the lightness in flavours disappointed me a bit. This is still an amazing brew. Many, many thanks to Mark (TheManiacalOne) for sending me this on a trade.

09-16-2006 00:30:11 | More by SilentSabre
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.