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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

626 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 368
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 21
Gots: 25 | 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: 626 | Reviews: 368 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having asked my Polish friend to bring it from Poland and he couldn't find it, I was surprised to see it on the shelf at the Nelson Wines, an excellent offie in SW London. At first I thought the date printed on the label was the production date, as it's 26/12/2004 and I bought it in March 2006, but my Polish flatmate proves I was wrong big time--it's the expiry date!! I've never tried any beer which says it'd expired 1.5 years ago... (quite a few of them say they'd last forever though) I only hope the beer's high alc. content could save the day... Served in a broad-rimmed goblet.

A: ebony colour with ruby hints; the tan beer head comes thick and frothy, sustaining pretty well and leaving tight lacing.
S: the nose has very thick and mixed aroma: caramel, licorice, thick aroma of longan-fruit jam, malt syrup, creamy dairy, and a profound note of chewy crushed beans, like sweet miso(!!)... overall, the nose is dense and rich, but not particularly cloying. Quite nice!
T: slightly sharp upfront on the palate, turning immediately oily rich and lubricatingly malty... followed closely by chewy dark-fruit jam, a faint taste of chocolate-flavoured toffee and treacles. The maltiness has reasonable input of roastiness and a mildly sour edge to it, thus balancing out the sugary palate from the rich maltiness. The aftertaste has a slightly sharp yet warming texture like fortified wine, e.g. Ruby Port or medium-sweet Madeira, with but a touch of roasted+herbal bitterness lingering down the throat.
M&D: not the smoothest Baltic Porter I've tried, but it's really well-made, maintaining its soothing texture apart from the initial bite on the tongue. At 9.5%abv, this full-bodied beer tastes rather like 7%abv. as the alcohol hides all too well. Given the fact that it's past its expiry date by 1.5 years, I'd say I really feel lucky to find it at such great condition and it's perhaps more mellow than it should've tasted before the BB date. A delicious and satisfying Baltic Porter, with a reasonable balance.

Photo of jwc215
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours pitch black with a brownish/off-white creamy head that lingers. It has a complex, rich smell of coffee with hints of chocolate. It has a great, complex taste that fills the mouth. The only down-side is that some of the alcohol taste does come through, but considering the high abv it is not predominate. This is an excellent example of a good porter. It would have a higher drinkability if not for its high abv. I highly recommend this beer for lovers of porter. There is not much to not like about it!

Photo of Naes
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This porter pours out black in color with a tall dark tan head.
The aroma is nothing spectacular, just hints of chocolate and sweet malts.
The flavor is mostly of coffee and chocolate malt with an alcohol warming near the finish. There is also a slight roasty characteristic as well.
Mouth feel is full bodied and on the verge of syrupy.

Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep dark brown to black color with a thick tan head from a 500ml brown bottle. Malty smell, touch of wine like smell too. Taste is very interesting, at times metallic, malty, sweet, wine like flavors, even bloodlike at times. Alcohol is definitely present in taste and warming effect. Definitely a very interesting porter, probably not my all time favorite, but well worth trying. Complex flavors for sure.

Photo of orfeu
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle. Translucent rubied dark brown with a humongous, thick, light beige froth. Nose is of noble hops (reminiscent of a Pilsner), but with roasty malts underneath. First sip is quite minerally, but with a smoky roasted chocolate finish. Subsequent tastes yield more noble hop flavor atop the persistent choco-caramel roast. Faint smokiness abides. No trace of 9.5% abv, save for the buzzing in my head. Body is lighter than expected, but still in the medium-range. Slick and smooth mouthfeel. This is my first Baltic Porter, and as of now, I think I prefer the more sessionable U.S. porters, but this is still a fine brew. Sneaky alcohol content and a bargain to boot -- around $2.50 for this half liter. I'm sure fans of this style would dig Zywiec, and probably have already tried it.

Photo of Jredner
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very aromatic. Lots of caramel and chocolate with fresh dark bread notes as well. Deep black color with a beautiful three finger thick mocha head. Very roasty...burnt pumpernickel and dark chocolate flavors pop out. Head never gives up it stays huge and fluffy...beautiful looking beer. Some herb and vegetal flavors come out in further sips.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with just a touch of ruby red around the edge. A tight, creamy tan head, 2 1/2" left no lace.
Smell is a bit weak with only some malt, smoke and peat notes.
Taste is better with malt, smoke, peat, alcohol, dark chocolate and dark fruits all coming to the party. A full-bodied brew, rich, almost stout-like. A definte must-drink beer Wow!

Photo of riversider76
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich dark brown in color.Nice tan head that did not disappear. Smell is of roasted coffee, and rich mocha. Mouth feel is thick and rich. Taste has quite a bite,the high alcohol content is very evident. Finish was a bit bitter for my taste,but still a beer well worth trying.

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.

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..

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.