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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

618 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 618
Reviews: 367
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 21
Gots: 23 | 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: 618 | Reviews: 367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

full mouthfeel, not very thick , nice head, fresh bottle. In a sentence, an expresso winter warmer. Coffee, chocolate, roasted fabulously, cocoa and a tad graininess. Low in yeast and carbonation. Somewhat bitter towards finish then malty aftertaste. Second bottle, fresher, even less malt at room temperature .

Shared a bottle at room temp 1.5 years later and it was good, but clearly not up to the top stouts around.

Sammy, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, nearly opaque cola brown with a small mocha head of foam that leaves petit lacing on my glass. Aromas of deeply roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of harsh, edgy booze. Taste is similar to the aroma. Damn tasty and fine, with coffee, and roast up front, some hoppy chocolate in the middle, and some bready booze in the dryer finish. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, but still thick enough, and the drinkability is pretty nice as well..

francisweizen, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown, but clear body with a tan head that leaves considerable lacing

Smell: Solid aromas of bitter chocolate, prunes and hazelnuts

Taste: Opens with rum-soaked dark fruit and hazelnut flavors, adding a hint of bitter chocolate by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a fruity sweet undertone that that lingers

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation; some warmth in the gullet from the 9.5% ABV

Drinkability: A solid example of the Baltic Porter style, this brew is one to savor and drink slowly, being mindful of the high abv

brentk56, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of BrewMaven
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a heavy duty brew. Poured the darkest brown amber with a whopping beige head that lasted and left lacing all over.

Smell had smoky burnt coffee tones and that's what dominated the taste also. A bit of sweetness in there too. Smooth, warming semi-dry finish. Not alot of carbonation . Mouthfeel was full. If this was motor oil, it would NOT be energy conserving. Alcohol was much more noticeable when I got up from the dinner table ;^).

Highly recommended...And I'll remember it's Zhe-viets.

BrewMaven, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of Sixpoint
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. I just can't believe the strength of this beer; it's so drinkable.

My sample poured with a lovely head that lasted a long time. The aroma was of esters and chocolate and patent malts, not too much hops.

The flavor matched the aroma. Just in the aftertaste do I get the slightest twinge of alcohol.

I drank this beer at the table of my corner deli, and I plan on doing so again.

Sixpoint, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of edchicma
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...my tastebuds have grown. This offering was extremly dark with a pillowy head and great lacing. I wonder if my first review was an old bottle. The smell is burnt malt with a distinct hop uindertone...extremely inviting. Taste is malty on the front...smoothly moving to the back of the palate where the hop flavor dominates. Mouthfeel is smoooth and rich, the dry finsih keeps it from being oily. Extremely drinkable. This is 9.5 abv..but you don't know until the alcohol kicks in. The alcohol by the way is very understated...very nice.

edchicma, Jun 17, 2005
Photo of bruachan
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

billowy head that drops to a righ with some lacing. opaque with garnet at the edges
the two dominant features were a slightly vinuous palate and nose with alcohol spice (pseudo-barleywine-esque) and a smokiness that made me think of smoked meats (really. it seemed like i had taken a bite of sausage and then sipper my beer. except i hadn't). the smokiness reminded me of stone's smoked porter in the sense that it was almost more of a sensation than flavor

i prefer the ale baltic porters i've had; these lager versions are too smooth (thus the taste doesn't really linger). that being said, these things are truly a godsend in the land of pale lagers

bruachan, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of Globetrotter
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand-delivered from Warsaw to Moscow (thanks, Arlene!), this specimin comes in a brown 33cl bottle with a place and red label featuring what look like a couple of Cossack dancers holding a shield. The label is all in Polish, and while I found the ingredients list, I didn't understand enough to know about allegiance to the purity law. Best before 8/26/05 (although I'll bet it cellars quite well), I opened it on 4/17/05.

Luscious pour: dark but clear burgundy under a two finger beige head that lingers forever and leaves very nice lacing. This is what a porter should look like. The nose is a bit faint, but the feature tone is sweet malt on top of an underlying floral hops aroma. The mouth is exquisite, well but not excessively carbonated, with enough body to coat the mouth without being sticky. The taste? There's lots of it. Sweet caramel, a touch of chocolate, significant espresso tones, a bit of plum. The alcohol is also noticeable, but in a smooth, pleasant way that warms the stomach and mellows the rest of the senses. The finish is significantly dry and bitter, leading into a good crisp aftertaste of coffee beans and fruit. Very, very nice experience.

Globetrotter, Apr 17, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice light brown head thrones the deep brown hue. Very balanced aroma: delicate coffee and chocolate maltiness complemented by a profound and expressive roastiness. Hints at hay or straw which I love. Light alcohol presence. Very potent maltiness in mouth. Anise suggestions shine in the middle of that choco, coffee and vanilla desert. Slowly establishing roastiness provides a terrific flavor evolution. Very pleasant, very rich. Soft mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Yeah, this is a killer, baltic porter at its peak. Greatness, thanks a ton Per.

Rastacouere, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of clvand0
2.73/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a medium head that falls quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma reminds me of soy sauce. Some coffee in there. The flavor is oily and has a coffee flavor with possibly some chocolate as well. This one doesn't drink as smoothly as I'd like and the mouthfeel is not desirable to me.

clvand0, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of Sigmund
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Very dark ruby colour, large thick tan head. Malty aroma with smoked notes, elements of espresso coffee, tar and old woodwork. Flavour is initially a tad sweeter than I appreciate, roasted malts with tar, coffee and prunes. A distinct bitterness from the hops and roasted malts takes over, and lasts through the long aftertaste. The high ABV is well hidden. A solid Baltic porter, but not as good as Sinebrychoff.

Sigmund, Nov 05, 2004
Photo of tjd25
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head was fine and dense, I expected it to be a bit more prominent. The very dark body shows nice mahogany notes. The smell is an exuberant mix of wood, fresh and sweet red fruits, citrus and chocolate. The taste basically shows the same features, with a deep and chewy hoppiness that has a dark chocolate bitterness and a dry roasted coffee character. Notes of porto (or the idea I have of porto). A warming brew in which the alcohol gets clearly noticeable. Mouthfeel is good, not thick but not too thin either, maybe the alcohol is a bit too warming for my mouth though. Enjoyable, thus drinkable, but a few bottles of this would bring you to hell quickly...

tjd25, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown, almost black. decent sized coffee colored head. Aroma is soy sauce, (salty, sweet, vinegar) malt, coffee, oak.
Flavor is roasted coffee, chocolate with a sugary sweetness. hops kick in a little in the finish. .Very tasty!

Padron4KM, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/black with a three finger light brown head, laced in webs.
Strong alcohol, caramel, anise notes ride atop a dark heavily roasted malt base.
Dark chocolate, black patent?, sweet taste, Similar in taste and aroma, with the caramel, anise and malt showing here as well. Alcohol is more prevalent in the aroma than the taste.
For some reason I wasn't expecting a Baltic Porter, so I was happily surprised. Of course it is from a Baltic country, and is a good example of the style.
I couldn't put down more than one at a time, but I'd definitely go back to this one. Much better as it warms up.

mschofield, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of ColForbin
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Being half-Irish and half-Polish, I've had many different Irish beers, but this is my first Polish beer. And what a beer! Zywiec Porter pours a dark brown with a slight tan head that fades quickly. Nose is full of roasted malt. Taste is of dark roasted coffee and malt with a strong alcohol bite; a silky mouthfeel leaves a slightly bitter finish on the toungue. This beer does not even try to hide its alcohol, making it more of a sipping beer than a drinking beer, but a delicious one nevertheless.

ColForbin, Mar 15, 2004
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
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.