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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

627 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 627
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: 627 | Reviews: 368 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Zywiec Porter is brewed by Heineken, but it is nothing like a Heineken lager. This is a robust Porter, and one that I have aged in my cellar for a year.

Pours dark brown with a good tan head that thins a to a fine layer of foamy bubbles, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Delicious aromas of raisins/prunes, dark chocolate, brown sugar, overlaid on toasted malt.

This beer is tasting very smooth, and after a year, still has some tartness, giving it a little bite at the start, which resolves into a delicious long aftertaste of dark chocolate ice cream with a little extra hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with a nice amount of carbonation.

I am impressed by how it is presenting after a year. At only slightly over $2 for a 500 ml bottle, you can't go wrong with this--it is I think one of the best beer bargains around for the taste it delivers.

Photo of broken22
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of veganmaniu
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Appearance - Pours two quick fingers of creamy lite brown head, color is an almost opaque deep reddish brown, with garnet edges when held up to a light. Nice rings of thick lace left after each sip.

Smell - Dark roasted malt, dark fruits and fig, hints of rich sweet smoke and molasses, and a little bit of well done fruit cake.

Taste - Whoa... there is an initial explosion of dark roastiness and light smoke, molasses, and black licorice, dark roasted malt and unsweetened coffee gently enter the ppicture, with a nice slightly dry bite of toasty pumpernickel and lite caraway longer into the finish. Occasionally I get hints of burnt molasses and little bits of sour plumskin. No alcohol presence whatsoever at 9.5%!

Mouthfeel - Dangerously smooth, medium mouthfeel, carb is spot on and foams smoothly across the tongue, and surprises with a few nice edges at the back of the tongue.

Overall - A shockingly good porter. Full mouth flavors, great balance and complexity as this is more of a symphony vs. a few hard punches. What makes this really nice is the price of $1.99 a bottle at my local Garden Fresh. I will pick up a few of these every time I shop - pick up a few for yourself if you come across them, highly recommend! *Please note, I've updated this review, as my first bottle of this was 9 months past the best by date - it was pretty good, but was overwhelmed with astringent dark fruit flavors, and a slight balsamic-like vinegariness. A fresh bottle is a real treat, and an excellent representative of the style. I would even call it "imperial", as the flavors are bold and mouth filling.

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 3.31.2011.
Very dark brown, but with faint, clear, ruby edges. A soft pour produced 3/4 inch of thick, tan foam that stuck around for quite a while. Clumpy sheets of lace at first, followed by spottier stickage. Fruity nose, plums and raisins, backed up by grainy malt, chocolate and roast, slight alcohol, anise and a hint of mint. Full bodied, but not heavy, with soft carbonation and creamy texture. Very light astringency, plus some alcohol flavour and warmth. Nice flavour profile, with plenty of dried fruits (figs, raisins, and the like) along with dark, roasted grains that provide notes of chocolate, toffee, and a bit of coffee. Bitterness seemed to originate partially from the dark malts, providing some depth to this characteristic that isn't present when hops are the only source. It's balanced towards sweetness, but isn't cloying at all. Based on the mouthfeel and alcohol content, I'd be surprised if there weren't adjunct sugars present -- but this only makes the beer more drinkable, similar to some higher abv Belgians that retain some lightness of texture. Highly recommended.

Photo of goschool
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The pour is black with cola-brown highlights topped by a tan head that builds up and out through the lip of the glass and eventually fades to a ring of lace and a small peninsula in the middle.

Smell: The nose is wonderful. Imagine how a candy bar with semi-sweet chocolate, nuts, toffee, and a hint of caramel would smell like if you spilled a drop of coffee on it.

Taste: The flavor profile is much more focused on roasted malt than most Baltic porters. Anise, toffee and a slight hint of alcohol provide the sweet accents to go along with chocolate, coffee, and burnt caramel.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to full. The texture is oily and slightly sticky with soft carbonation.

Drinkability: This is probably my new favorite Baltic porter. I don't think it's sweet enough to be a textbook example of the style though. It's far more quaffable than a 9.5% beer should be.

Photo of boxer0029
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of sbe1
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent example of the Baltic Porter style.

Appearance: dark, muddy, near black, with a brown foamy head the color and consistency of cappuccino that lasts a good while.

Smell: Sweet caramel, roasted malt, coffee, fig.

Taste: Smooth and rich with sweet caramel, a hint of maple syrup, creamy with a light bitterness from the roasted malts at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Excellent, full bodied, light carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent, makes a great porter-lover's session beer.

Photo of brutalist
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of basica
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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 joecast
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lucked out here. still a few weeks before the bb date

seriously dark with minimal dark tan foam around the edge of the glass. mildly sinister to be honest. im sure its up to something, but i cant quite pick it yet. we venture on then...

just about the perfect mix of sweet appealing friendliness and big bad ass beer. interweaving chocolate and strong malt alcohol. sweet yet sharp. approachable yet foreboding. all at the same time. fantastic.

huge malt character with hints of chocolate again. dark bitter chocolate. the taste lingers for ages. dark stone fruits vie for attention against the big malt character. no hops that i can identify, but they arent missed at all. and thats coming from a serious hop head. this beer is all about the malt with an honorable mention to the yeast that did such a fine job getting through it cleanly.

a testing beer. so good, yet you have to work to drink it. well worth the effort i must say. at 9.5% this is a big beer, but there is no hesitation at finishing the bottle. the best beer ive had in a while.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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 yankeej13
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my all time favorite porters and figured it was about time I rated it.

A- The color is dark as night with a small about of chocolate colored foam. Pretty mild carbonation.

S- Has a fantastic smell, extremely potent, a nice chocolate smell, bold in flavor just from the smell.

T- A bold fantastic chocolate taste. Pretty heavy malt flavor with mild hints of caramel.

M- Great drinkablility for a higher alcohol content beer, Great creamy mouthfeel leaves you with a pretty sweet finish.

Overall- A great success this is such a great beer. Cheers!

Photo of 86sportster883
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine left me a bottle of the Zywiec Porter a few weeks back, and I'll have to remember to thank him once again. This is a truly enjoyable Baltic porter that is easy to get excited about. I've always been a fan of the darker brews, but this big dark lager seems to excel at everything I like about the Baltic porter style. It looks great, leaves a distinct lacing, has a top end abv, and a superior complex blending of smells and tastes. The aroma itself is sweetly intoxicating, while the flavor melds a rich caramel malt base with alcohol and aggressive bitterness that really leaves you wanting for more. Incredibly smooth, with low carbonation this dark amber ale will give you both a kick in the taste buds, as well as, a kick in the head. I'm going to have to find a case of this to use as the perfect, erase the rest of the day, elixer .

Photo of MarkBlackout
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer. I can't believe its from a company now run by Heineken! Must have had different ppl boiling the wort with this stuff. or whatever. ;)

Pours dark brown, but fairly transparent. I was a little disappointed by this at first, but was rewarded for my patience with an awesome rocky fluffy pocked head. Things are looking up!

Doesn't smell that much, at least at this fairly cool temperature.

First sip is pleasantly *firm* alcoholic mouthfeel that is great, because there is an element of creaminess that is pretty undeniable. Roasty! There's a similarity with this to something else I had.. hmmm.. tastes like grilled fruit in a way. Can't place the other beer I had that was similar. NOT a baltic porter.. kinda has a barleywine edge to it. Rich malts.

A total steal, I will get these every single time I go to the store I got these. I want a case.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a basically opaque black with a tan head. Nose is distinct with chocolate. I like! Flavor is just as good. Mature and robust with a smooth and not too harsh profile. Chocolate and mature malt tomes. Feel is thick with carbonation and smooth with ingredients. Extremely drinkable. After sampling several porters from the region over the past few weeks, this is by far one of the top ones...if not THE top one. Very worth trying,

Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice find from the Russian market!

This pours a midnight black slash ruby in color with cocoa colored creamy foam atop it. The aroma has notes of coffee/espresso dominant with some smooth dark chocolate and a light roast. I pick up some vanilla hints as well, lending this beer almost an affogato (ice cream + shot of espresso) characteristic.
This has a great flavor. Really, a smooth, full-bodied porter, full of those fantastic flavors.

Photo of Gear54
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Dark black with 1/2 inch of thick head. It failed down the glass without and lace.

S: Faint licorice aroma

T: Wonderful full coffee and chocolate noted. Long lasting and no bitterness

M: Does well to coat the mouth

O: This is a good porter. I was surprised for the price how well it performed.

Photo of lehows
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

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 DaveHS
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 09/12/10

A-Pours deep dark brown, almost black, with almost 2 inches of milk chocolate colored pillowy head. Leaves thin rings of lacing.

S-This bottle is a little over a year old
(I think) and smells really different from fresh bottles. Aromas of toffee, caramel, lactic sweetness, like condensed milk.

T/M-Pretty different with some time in the bottle. Very smooth and silky body, medium to full bodied. The roasty dark malts are still present, but subdued. What stands out is a pleasant, condensed milk sweetness, and some subtle toffee notes. A great version of the style! I wonder how old this one is, and how long a bottle of this would continue to improve with cellaring...

D-At $2.99 a bottle, this is a steal.

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 jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark dark brown, almost black with a head that quickly becomes little more than a crown.

S- very dark and roasted with some hints of toffee and caramel.

T- very similar to how it smells with an added hint of alcohol. mild considering its near 9% ABV. more toffee than i could smell, very nice.

M- full bodied, thick, creamy, and smooth.

D- very drinkable for how potent it is. they did a great job of hiding it. also, very cheap. definitely something ill be picking up again, probably not untill it gets a little colder

Photo of rajendra82
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For some reason we've had the Zywiec lager beer available around here for quite a while, but even after the ABV limit was lifter the Porter was nowhere to be found. But today I found it at Windward Beverage Mart of all places. When poured the body looked dark brown to black in color, and the carbonation did a nice cascading trick until settling into a head that was tw fingers thick. The smell was nice and mellow with mostly a dark fruit character showing up with very little chocolate. The taste followed the lead of the smell with berries, cherries, prunes, and a little hint of chocolate and coffee. Astringency and roast was notable in their absence. Very Baltic in overall presentation, which made it an easy drinking beer. The alcohol was completely hidden, and this drank more like a 5% beer than something nearly twice as strong. Perhaps a little thin in the mouth, but that is forgivable considering all its other virtues. Well done.

Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.