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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

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very good

650 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 650
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.37%
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: 650 | Reviews: 371
Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Impressive four-finger head with superior lace on the glass. Dark, nearly mahogany brown--slight light shines through the edge of the glass.

Oily, chocolate porter aromas; warm alcohol smell

Tastes like a porter should: lots of cocoa and slight bittering hop. The alcohol content is obvious. Long aftertaste of cocoa. Relatively thin body with ample amount of carbonation.

This is a surprisingly good porter...from an unlikely source.

Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, thick it was purchased in Buffalo.

Pours an opaque black, some red around the edges, huge thick off white head, tons of lacing, great retention, forms a solid layer, looks pretty nice. Smell is a bit metallic, some iron, roast, chocolate milk, vanilla, caramel, lacto sourness. Taste is toffee and chocolate milk, light floral, roast, touch of coffee, well integrated flavours, lacto sour finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, super smooth and alcohol is well hidden. Nicely done beer, very enjoyable.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very dark, coffee-brown, with a medium-tan head, fair lacing down the glass.

S: Very dark malt and burnt sugar, heavy molasses.

T: Big tasty malt and molasses flavour, a little bit of mission fig, and plum, raisin in there as well, though they are light. A very big, boisterous flavour.

M: Robust, silky smooth, alcoholic, powerful.

D: A very tasty Baltic Porter, true to style, a steal at $1.99 a bottle, price/alcohol ratio is about the same as your average malt liquor but with a ton more flavour.

Photo of Folderol
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My search for a replacement for the late, great Perkuno's Hammer (pending widespread release of Victory's Baltic Thunder) continues.

The bottle alone merits mention, as it's shiny and a has a nice classy label. Poured a deep dark reddish-brown into my Guinness pint glass, and the tan head reached the top. Beautiful. Smell was nothing special, a typical dark malt aroma. Mouthfeel is good, thick and nice carbonated, with alcoholic kick apparent especially as the beer warms. Taste is mainly of caramel, molasses and some charry dark chocolate, but turns too far to the bitter roasty end for my taste. Alcohol becomes a bit overpowering after a while, and really detracts from this beer's drinkability. So far I've tried Southampton Imp Porter, which was too sweet, and this one, which is too bitter-dry. If I could find Okocim, that might be a happy medium. I still miss the Hammer.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My friends, Marla and William Vogel, spent two weeks in Eastern Europe and brought this brew back for me to try out. William's member name is WJVII.

Appearance - Black body with about 2 inches of medium tan head that offers a very nice lacing.

Smell - Chocolate scent with a coffee overtone.

Taste - The chocolate flavor is very subtle. The taste is quite complex offering 3 or 4 different sweet flavors on each sip.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth. Goes down easily and the flavor migrates throughout finishing on the back outside edges of my tongue.

~ This beer is one created in my mind for after dinner. I will certainly recommend it to my friends.

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

500ml bottle.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with a huge cascading mocha head. the head drops quite slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. light baltic sourness. bit of alcohol. big bread and cracker malts. touch of grain. light roast. bit of caramel.

taste is nice. tons of milk and dark chocolate. light roast. bread and crackers. touch of sourness. light alcohol.

mouthfeel is great. medium-big body. nice well integrated low carbonation level. silky smooth mouthfeel.

drinkability is great. you hardly notice the 9.5% abv. well balanced and very enjoyable. thanks eric!

Photo of livingregret
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Serving Type: 1 Pint .9fl oz

Appearance: Pours a dark brown w/ a dark tan head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing

Smell: Smells of dark rum...molasses...coffee...

Taste: Dark chocolate w/ light molasses, toffee added in perhaps....a touch bitter toward the end. The one disappointing thing about this taste is the metallic(copper?)aftertaste that takes a way from the flavour

Mouthfeel: carbonated, and a touch thick. Goes down somewhat easy and leaves a warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: There are better porters out there w/ out the metallic taste. I enjoy the warmth of this drink but not the thickness nor copper taste

Photo of henrysunset
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big 500ml bottle of foamy brown headed beer. very dark and seemingly clear. best before 11/10/2007.

Smell is typical of a porter... dark malty scent with a bit of hoppy goodness.. Very sweet smelling.

taste is a little strange, but good. sweet and malty. not midblowingly good but very normal.

smooth and drinkable, a little light for a porter makign it a bit easier to drink than average.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It rained last week, & my apartment was flooded. It is satisfying to sit at my desk once again. Who cares if it's a little warped. Too heavy to lift, too tired to care. :)

BB: 11:10:2007

Black & proud. Tall, cookie dough colored head. It floats away post haste for some easy access. Some thin, scant lacing left.

I feel fumes funnel up my nose. They don't burn much, but are potent. A big helping of dark rum, sambuca, anise, swampy, sticky molasses, peppermint.

Seriously frothy mouthfeel. Cola, vanilla, sugar syrup(extra stale Jazz Pepsi?), dead & forgotten coffee grounds, charcoal, disappointment. The alcohol sits still, but it plays footsies with my skull after two. Dry mouth at the absolute end of it all.

There is a big helping of pocket change in the finish. Need change for the bridge toll? Not a problem. I'll take The Post & a bag of Goobers too. It lessens as it knocks on the door of my 88 degree hotbox.

I can suck on a spoon with the best of them, but not this time. It's eighty-eight degrees in here, & I'll suck on the ice from my frosted-over fridge if it'll help at this point.


Photo of basica
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one's polish and I got it as I heard quite a bit about it. BA reviews are also looking
pretty promising on this one. This Polish Porter is my first ever porter which I bought from
Brauhaus, to go, after I had my German Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock on site. The Zywiec Porter
pours out almost coffee black with a very minimal head which slowly becomes a coffee like lacing.
This beer gives out a strong smell which is clearly coffee and caramelized malts which resembled
the German doppelbocks and eisbocks to some extent but still not quite. I think there is also
some similarity to a stout. The taste was somewhat an exemplification of the caramel and malt
as well as a very subtle dash of dark fruits. The taste was rich, mellow, robust, strong and has
a slightly metal finish which makes it not as good as the Eisbock I had at Brauhaus. Also evident
in the taste was a slight bitterness which was not at all overwhelming; it is not sweet though
it could do with a little maple sweetness to balance things out. Almost nothing alcoholic in the
taste at all which was great, considering that this porter goes at about 9.5 ABV. In terms of
mouthfeel, this porter is close to full-body and felt silky smooth in the mouth and as I drink
it. Although this one's a sipper, I Would say that it boasts of a high level of drinkability
due to its smoothness and slight creaminess mouthfeel. An impressive go to start my adventure
into the world of Porters.

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

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.

Photo of sleazo
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of mpyle
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rallison
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jmalex
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of kimcgolf
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of SetarconeX
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Zorro
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of gonzo138
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of bjohnson
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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

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.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
87 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.