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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

603 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 603
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 22
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: 603 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merlin48
4.78/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle pours an essentially opaque, with some garnet fringes apparent when held to the light. A healthy tan head has good retention and leaves chains of sheet lacing all over the glass. Aroma is very robust, with lots of chocolate and fresh brewed coffee, on a background of dark fruits and a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, satiny and slightly creamy. Taste is as delicious as its complexity, with dark fruity raisins and figs complimenting the expected roast coffee, chocolate, and smoke. There is ample hops bitterness, as well as a vague spiciness that serves up an exotic sweet/sour bittering.

This is a benchmark Baltic Porter, and is exceptional in taste, aroma, and drinkability. Truly a classic.

merlin48, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of Jon
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour yields a nice, lasting tan head. Minor trails of lace remain.

Diverse nose of coffee, sherry, and chocolate aromas.

Aromas tend to resemble the flavors, with a big, roasted coffee accent lingering throughout. The chocolate flavor persists, as well, in addition to the faintest hint of bittering hops. Additional hints at dark fruit flavor (raisins) develop. Nicely done and focused, with well-integrated alcohol presence.

Super smooth mouthfeel, though it seems a touch thin to deserve perfect marks.

Drinks very easily for a beer of 9.5% abv. A real find with this beer's price and quality. Who cares if it's a Heineken-owned brewery? This is a very nice Baltic Porter from Poland.

Jon, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz (must be a European thing) bottle bought at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $2.50. Poured a very dark brown with reddish tinges when held up to light. Head was 1/2 inch thick and dark tan. Smell was of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, wrapped in a thin yet beguiling cloak of smokiness. There is also a warning scent of alcohol, foreshadowing the potency of this brew. Taste is of big roasted malt, with dark chocolate, coffee and cognac in the background. The mouthfeel of this is what I expected Baltika #6 to be like when I first had it in October: properly thick and oily. God, I love Baltic porters! I do have to grade down in drinkability, since I don't know anyone who can knock back repeated pints of Baltic porters, especially ones of 9.5%abv.
Incidently, the clerk at Jim's Homebrew said this was being discontinued. Sounds like more rumormongering along the lines of Okocim/Carnegie rumors I've heard earlier this fall. Zywiec IS owned by Heineken. Whenever a big conglomerate buys an old, established brewery, its possible they will do away with their range of beers if they feel they are competing with their products. I really hope this is still going to be around for a while.

woemad, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light leathery brown, settles deep dark brown, nearly black with deep ruby highlights, thin tan head fades quickly with drippy whispy lace. Aroma is all malt and all dark fruit, wafting plum, raisin, fig, dates, molasses, touches of dark cherry and dark toffee. Taste is more of the same, just a bit milder, but quite subtle and complex, starts thin of dark toffee and caramel, amounts of dark fruity sweetness builds nicely over the top, dragging raisins, plums, and dates through a stream of molasses ending with a light malty mouthfeel of sweetness and some light floral hop bitterness and light spice popping through in the finish. A nice mix of flowing subtle layers, a semi roasted quality and cocoa comes through underneath as it warms. Quite inticingly mild and mellow, smooth with a bit of a thin start but a good easy creamyness comes through throughout each sip. A pretty nice porter and worth a try.

tavernjef, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a light brown head. The aroma is malty, bready, chocolatey, with dark fruits, such as raisins and dates. It has a strong alcoholic aroma as well. The flavor is malty, with the dark fruits and raisin taste. It has a creamy mouthfeel that flows to an alcoholic, bitter finish. An excellent full bodied, warming beer. I am a big fan of Porters, and this one is toward the top, if not at the top of my list for Porters.

Sampled 10/7/03

BeerBuilder, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark as possible, ith a huge head, rich, cocoa-hued and creamy.
Aroma: intense, amazing, dark, twisted, dripping with espresso tinges, thick and redolent with flavors of molasses, dark rum, and hints of anise. This declares itself immediately, and as a dedicated fan of Baltic porter, I'm ready for some fun, here! I had to sit with this smell some, and put off the tasting while I revelled in it!
Taste, deep, heavy, dark, but still creamy and fully palatable. Fierce flavor, rich and cavernous, with a long, lasting finish. A bit soft in places, but never does it falter. Alcohol is felt prdigiously, too, at hefty 9.1% (that's what the label of this one says), and is enjoyed! Dark and bitter, nearly motor-oily in viscosity, with lush malt, toasty, roasty, and ever-so-good.
On my first sampling, this automatically goes to the top, to the utmost peak of the Porter Hall of Fame.
This was not the first beer of my evening, but it was the last! I shuffled off to Slumberland, and left some beer in the glass. Next morning, that aroma was still there, and I couldn't bear to pour the remnants out, even felt tempted to toss it in my coffee!

feloniousmonk, Oct 24, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This overly potent Porter pours a tar pitch with a thin beige head and very thin wisps of lace. The aroma is basically scorched malt and fumes of alcohol. Smoky wood, sweet crème brulee, and dark roasted coffee make up the body. A light grapefruit bitterness and mild metallic tang wonder aimlessly about, while the wild and potent alcohol is the almighty king of this brew. Towards the end of the glass, the essence camphor peeks through and some balance begins to take form, but again the jealous alcohol takes over, sharing center stage only with burnt and sweet.

BeerResearcher, Oct 03, 2003
Photo of Brent
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A decent Baltic porter, but not the best example of the style. Aroma is very sweet and syrupy. Flavor has strong leanings toward lightly scorched maple syrup, with some almost-soy sauce notes at the end. An odd saltyness hovers on the edges. All of this sounds pretty bad, but actually the overall flavor is robust and drinkable. There are others I'd select first, however.

Brent, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of mydeadguy
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with ruby or rosewood notes thoughout. Nearly opaque black. Nice yellow tan head with old newspaper gold. Roasted malt, sweetly bitter nose, baker's chocolate and roasted coffee. Did I say roasted? Alcoholic flavor not too apparent for the ABV, under control and smooth.
Mouthfeel is very full, rich and smoky, this beers got real teeth. Drinkability is what you'd expect for a strong porter, I dont think I could have another tonight, and if I tried this beer would probably assert itself even more strongly, i.e. kick my *ss.
Overall, a very good porter, with a real kick. I'm glad I found this, as it is quite good and reasonably priced in Beantown. Cheers to Poland!!

mydeadguy, Sep 24, 2003
Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich roasted mouthfeel, with a long bittering finish, some caramel, chocolate and soy, warming finish, with some alcohol, but really well balanced, especially considering the high ABV. It's also intersting to note that the bottle i had was passed its use by date by about 3 months.

rastaman, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An imperial porter, nice concept.
Aroma is a little sweet, little alcohol, some esters, dark malt and good complexity. Big full head, slowly settling with some lacing, clear dark brown with mahogany hues. Quite bitter from the malt, yet smooths off through the drink leaving a long lingering. Bite is also from the alcohol. Dark roast, almost burnt quality. Fruitiness presents as warms. Dry finish. Less complexity in flavor than aroma. Medium feel with fullness from carbonation.
Real good beer overall. More bite than I expected, and that takes away from smoothness that I'd like, still a beer with high character and good drinkability.

garymuchow, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of slitherySOB
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first porter reviewed on this site. It's a good one. Poured a dark black colour, with few scarlet streaks dancing with the light. Above average, long lasting head that left good lace on my glass. Big coffee smell. It's as if Nabob was a major part of the mash. Some plums, cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla and pine are detected with the coffee. Very strong, sweet, dessert smell. Tastes like a coffee and chocolate cake. More coffee flavour than any stout I've had, and subdued chocolate. The mouth picks up more vanilla than the nose. More fruits, some of which I'm unsure of. Definite plums and cherries, but more fruit is tasted. Raisins? Figs? I don't know. The chocolate is dark and unsweetened. It's actually a little harsh. Despite the bitter chocolate, this porter is smoooth. The liquid coats the back of your throat like some sort of heavenly syrup. For a 9.5% ABV, this is smooth and drinkable. Great to have during a cold winter's night. Too bad it's August and my A/C is producing more voltage than an AC/DC concert.

slitherySOB, Aug 24, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 7 April 2003. This pours black, w/ roasted, dry notes in the nose. this beer has slightly oily feel on the tongue. It's very lightly carbonated & doesn't have much head. It's an interesting brew. It's definitely different, not sure if I'd have it again

jcalabre, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This baltic porter poured a medium tan head with small-medium bubbles. The lacing was sparse on the sides of my glass. The aroma was sweet, chocolate and licorice. The body was dark brown. I could taste the alcohol in this porter. The taste was smooth and it had a bit of a bitter taste to it.

hotstuff, Jun 10, 2003
Photo of TheDM
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This brew poured a small head of fine to medium sized light brown bubbles that lasted a fairly long time and left a fair lacing. It has a slightly carbonated dark opaque brown body and a very nice strong chocolate malt aroma. With an initial bite that later settles down in the aftertatse, this brew has an interesting complex flavor of mild coffee, bitter hops, caramel malt and sweet. There was something in the aftertaste, I think it was the alcohol, that I didn't care for. It was not smooth enough for my liking as a great porter so my palate is a bit off. But still, an interesting brew to rate.

TheDM, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a long time lover of the “Dark Side”, “Baltic Porters”, are a welcome addition to my “Stable”!

The color as it sets in the glass a deep brown to black, the head is portly in size, creamy in consistency, and the color a winsome light chocolate. Nose is deep roasted grains, malt sweet, fresh and appealing to the olfactory senses as well as the eye. Start is thickly malt, sweet, the top full and rich, finish has a delicate acidity, the hops purposeful in their spiciness, dry as the desert aftertaste. A tad alcohol bitter and the 9.5 percent ABV makes itself known with a nice “Belly Warming”, Ah another “Bad Ass” beer to add to my master list.

Gusler, May 19, 2003
Photo of stoutman
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a surprisingly huge beer and quite drinkable. The flavor evokes hints of caramel, toffee, a hint of coffee, and a little smokiness. Finish is rather quick, without much in the way of hops, and I find myself drinking this too quickly. I think this is a great beer to break yourself into the world of dark, malty beers. Something about the quality of baltic porters makes them easy to drink and refine your palate for heavy beers. Great effort.

stoutman, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok last beer of the night ..bought this in then11.2 oz brown bottle..nice label with two Poles , male and female in the traditional costume...says same recipe since 1881.
Good pour..nice deep dark brown almost black ( this looks like a stout)..small head which lingers long,.
ahhhhhh i love the aroma of this beer very very malty sweet fruity berry scents assault my nasal passages..great
This beer has a great creamy taste ..lots of flavours up front i get coconut then sweet chocolate..black coffee..hoppy bitterness at the end.
Feels good on the tongue very smooth
drinkable for a beere this damned strong..cant really feel the alcohol until it reaches the belly then it's a delicious warmth..this is truelly a great beer, nice just before retiring to a crisp clean and warm bed.
Never knew a Polish beer would be so great!

Reidrover, Mar 02, 2003
Photo of zerk
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a touch of ruby red showing through if you hold it to the light. Tan head dissipates quickly and leaves just a little bit of lace. Aroma of raisins, roasted malt, and chocolate. Flavor begins fruity... like a chocolate covered raisin, then becomes somewhat bittersweet and finishes with an aftertase of espresso. Be careful with this one because the 9.3% alcohol is deceptively hidden. Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with low carbonation. A very nice beer for the winter months to sip by the fire.

zerk, Jan 20, 2003
Photo of inebrius
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Profound nose of chocolate, ripe cherries, mild gingerbread and myriad other fruits and spices. Absolutely no hint of over 9% ABV other than a finish warming. Awesome! A draught is simultaneously subdued and complex, fruity, roasty, a crafted blend of flavors. Better than a Packzi on Fat Tuesday, this brew makes me want to learn the pronunciation of the brewery's name. Choice!

inebrius, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of ADR
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard pour releases a big brown creamy head with good retention. Almost black with ruby light transmission on the bottom. Nice aroma, a slight sense of berry, mostly sweetened blueberry. Excellent deep malt, stops short of java but with lots of unsweetened baking chocolate properties. Bitter quality on the roof of the mouth. As dense as a turkish coffee with considerable aftertaste. Powerful brew here, I'd love for more folks in the industry to do Baltic-style Porters...LOVE this stuff...

ADR, Oct 24, 2002
Photo of ZAP
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent sipping porter (in contrast to those Porters you slam in beer bongs..lol...)...heavy mouthfeel...black with a little tan head...smell is of sweet dark fruits....the taste is loaded with burnt malts and sweet dark fruits...a nice little semi-bitter hop finish....a real dandy..alcohol emerges only slightly....on the sweeter side, but some real nice hopping nicely balances things out...My first true big porter and a great one to start with...also noted some true vanilla bean notes in this one.

ZAP, Aug 09, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark clear ruby and is topped by a thin brown head that lasts. Some nice caramel tones and sweet toffee on the nose. This beer is incredibly smooth for one that is close to 10% a/v. I only get the faintest hint of alcohol. There are some nice burnt tones here. Black Patent I'm thinking. Good roasted character. Nice bitterness. But also an underlying sweet malt characteristic. Long lasting bitter aftertaste. Reminiscent of a good Imperial Stout. (The taste itself isn't quite as thick and heavy as a good IS.) This is impressive. Probably the best "Imperial Porter" I've had so far. I am proud to say I'm Polish after drinking this great Polish brew.

Many thanks to cokes for the fine brew.

Bighuge, Jul 23, 2002
Photo of proc
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. This is a porter? I kept thinking full-blown stout. Color is extremely dark. with an aroma that invites you to take that first sip. Taste is outstanding. Coffee, molasses, and a tartness that I can't quite describe. The 9+% abv gets you going pretty quick. This would be a fine, sitting by the fire on a cold night type of beer. I paired it up with a medium-rare New York strip steak hot off the grill.

I would recommend this beer highly.

proc, Jun 07, 2002
Photo of John
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my. Um...OK, need to compose myself. Where to start...this is a beer that requires your full attention. Color is black as night. Remarkable dark tan head. Fabulous cascading effect after pouring from the 11.2oz. bottle. Big dark roasted malt, espresso aroma. Alcohol smell is pronounced. More big burnt, dark roasty complex flavors. Full body. Satisfying alcohol warming. Amazing brew. Looking forward to my next. This is one to savour for sure.

John, May 16, 2002
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 603 ratings.