Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Black Boss Porter | BOSS Browar Witnica S.A.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
302 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Black Boss PorterBlack Boss Porter

Brewed by:
BOSS Browar Witnica S.A.

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bark on 04-10-2004

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 575
Photo of Smokey-Leathery-Books
5/5  rDev +31.6%

I spent summers on my grandmother's dairy, coffee, and sugarcane farm. This porter reminds me of what the giant pots we made "melcocha" in smelled like after boiling down the cane juice. I understand this smell now whereas I used to confuse it with soy sauce. This is by far my favorite porter.

 297 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sorry, Black Boss doesn't sound anything resembling Polish. But it's not about the name of a beer that matters, it's the liquid inside, right? There's 500 ml of Baltic Porter to come. On to the beer:

A beautiful obsidian black takes a glossy look to it. On top rests a short head which falls to a tanned lace. The aroma has a pleasant character. There's a unique smokiness to it, like burning wood. Notes of dark chocolate, kiss of marshmallow, and a sharp note of solvent alcohol.

This is a sweet beer, yet not quite cloying. Start preparing yourself a dessert, because this would go great with one. Sweet like caramel at first with a smoked wood note. More sweet notes come rushing in, which seems to add a roasted marshmallow and cola flavor. Much of the 9.4% alcohol content is cleverly hidden. It's nearly full bodied, with a bittersweet aftertaste.

Has the Baltic Porter become an overlooked style? Don't say that to the Black Boss, which is a more than fair representation of the style.

 998 characters

Photo of Jonbearr
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers of all time. These are usually relatively cheap in bottles ($2 for a pint), and are a fantastic value. Most 'craft' pint bottles are far more expensive. The alcohol content of this beer is very high (almost 10%), yet the beer retains a very smooth, dark taste. This is definitely a fuller and richer porter. Many porters I've tried recently have a sort of watery chocolate taste, but Black Boss has a wonderfully deep coffee flavor.

 457 characters

Photo of etoimazo
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Porter has never been my go-to beer, but I was given a bottle of Black Boss Porter a couple of months ago by someone who knows good beer. After pondering its label a few times (“since 1848”, ”Browar-Witnika”, “Alc. 9.4% by vol.”), I couldn’t help wondering what makes a Baltic Porter different from its un-Baltic style mates. After all, I’d already been impressed by a number of Polish beers and need to be open-minded about such things. A quick check at the BJCP guidelines made me realize I’d be missing something if I didn’t give it a try. I’m glad I did.

Appearance: as dark as stout, maybe not quite so black, with a thin, tan head. Very effervescent.

Smell: Sweet, dark malts, chocolate-covered raisins, coffee

Taste: Black malt comes through first, pulling with it some hop bitterness. The beer has a milk-stout-like sweetness and some coffee character. That dark fruit aroma sits patiently in the background and gives the porter a rich complexity. There is a balanced, black malt bitterness that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, yet with some effervescent bite. Slightly astringent but satisfying. That alcohol stays well-hidden under all the deep, dark flavor complexity.

Overall: I’m now a fan of Baltic Porters. This one, at least, is a porter for those who enjoy sweet stouts.

 1,322 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a dark brown, with some red tinges. Would like this to be a little closer to black. Half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, dark fruits, black cherries, molasses, and chocolate. Rich and really nice!

Tastes pretty rich, as well. A good amount of roasted malt bitterness, but with huge dark fruity sweetness. A good amount of molasses, some brown sugar, chocolate, with some peatiness as well. No alcohol is present. Tastes almost more like a brown porter or an old ale than a porter, but I guess it might be typical for the baltic porter style.

Medium bodied, sweet, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Fairly low carbonation, very drinkable.

My first beer from Poland, and a solid one at that. A tiny bit too sweet- I wish there was a bit more hop or roasted malt bitterness to balance the sweet dark fruit and cherry flavor.

 916 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown with an amber tinge, no visible carbonation, 2 fingers of beige head. Leaves a nice lacing.

S: Tar, black licorice, carob, dark toasted malts, soured milk, Norwegian reindeer cheese.

T: Light sweetness, very little tar only on the end breifly, black licorice, dark toasted malts, smooth. A little carob at times.

M: Thick smooth body, little carbonation.

O: Excellent brew. Not a fan of porters so much, but I do enjoy Russian imperial stouts on occasion. This is closer to that style than a porter in my opinion, and I will continue to try others in this style in the future when I can find them.

 615 characters

Photo of VictorWisc
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at a beer shop in Queens. Was one of the cheaper choices of a mostly mediocre selection. Under $3/bottle it was either this, a mediocre German or a couple of green-bottle Czech beers I could get somewhere else. This one is not available around Boston, so I picked it.

Aside from minimalist design, no doubt left over from the Communist days, not a bad looking bottle, amber, with white print on black label. The beer itself is less appealing, although it does follow the same color scheme--very dark brown with thin, off-white fine head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The appearance would have been unremarkable had the beer not been translucent--unexpected in an import porter.

Smell, slightly fungal, but mostly of cheap stale coffee. No strong alcohol smell despite the rather high 9.4% ABV.

The taste is a bit shocking at first, as it is deathly sweet. When the initial sweetness dissipates, toasted malts come though, with very strong coffee and chocolate notes. In fact, this beer could be mistaken for a black ice coffee with a bit of Jameson if poured over ice. After a few sips the realization comes through that this beer is not so much sweet as it is UNbitter. Despite some obvious dark malts, there is no acrid afterburn usually associated with them. If pushed, I'd admit that there is a notion of dark fruit in that sweetness--more specifically, dried prunes. Yeasty pumpernickel flavor finally comes through in the aftertaste, although it does not linger too long.

Medium to heavy body with very fine but obviously present carbonation (mistaken by other reviewers as lack of carbonation). It's a body-builder of beers--somewhat disproportionately assembled from otherwise normal body parts and looks OK in context, but otherwise strikes as a mishapen lump. Alcohol is clear present, but not overwhelming.

I followed a Brooklyn Winter Ale with this. The striking thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance, but this is, by far, a better beer. The style may be unfamiliar to US drinkers who have a very different notion of Baltic Porter (and there is at least one Polish representative of the latter style), but this is precisely what an actual porter tastes like on the shores of the Baltic Sea, from the Oder to the Finnish border. Latvia and Estonia have similar heavy sweet porters that are, shockingly, their common summer brew. As I said, you have to recognize it for what it is--in context. If you are expecting a standard Baltic Porter style, you'll be disappointed. But, judging on its own merits, it's not bad. Worth another shot or two (which is more than I said about Brooklyn Winter Ale).

 2,661 characters

Photo of BeerIsland
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer, available at Bierkraft in Brooklyn for less than $3. Very dark brown, decent balance and well masked kick make for a nice quaff. Looks like this will be regularly on the shelf; bought mine in W-B. Although big in malty flavor, sweetness is very light.

 262 characters

Photo of Jackson2014
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very straightforward beer. One of the blandest yet most pleasant beers I have had in this alcohol content level.

Very low carbonation (as is to my liking). Dark brown.

Flavors: mostly chocolate, maybe some coffee. I appreciate that the aftertaste does not continue to build.

Overall I like this beer. It works. Definitely a beer I could get drunk on since it has a high alcohol content yet is not very filling. I would not be inclined to pair this with very many food options.

 481 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Almost black pour aside for some bronze nuances up in the light. Thin light brown head, fast to a sticky bubbly lace.
Smell of coffee, faint dark chocolate, sweet dark malts and roasted grains. Straightforward but strong enough.
Taste is sweet from start to finish, a tiny bit over the expected level. Sweet coffee with burnt sugar and chocolate at first, big juicy dark fruit, with lots of raisin, plums and berries afterwards. A nice red grape/red wine feel to it. Some dry wood, cocoa powder and nuts too. Roast mostly in the finish, low hop presence.
Low carbonation, close to flat, not entirely creamy, but not watery, somewhere in between. Nicely hidden high abv.
A nice decent porter if you like them sweet, if not it may gross you out, especially as it warms.

 767 characters

Photo of martyl1000
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've been eyeing this beer for years on beer-bar menus around town for around $5 or $6, but have been suspicious of it for the fact that I've never heard anyone say anything nice about it. Finally trying it out since seeing it in the walk-in cooler of Jenifer St. Market for just $2.29 for the 500 ml bottle.

The pour into a tulip glass is surprisingly not black -- the color of the stream is more like maple syrup. The slight khaki head dissipates quickly, though leaves pretty serious lacing.

Dark fruits, cherry, plum, and raisin greet the nose. Overlaying the dark fruits is a red-wine oak and vinous aroma. Pretty complex and promising.

Sadly, in the mouth it's immediately too sweet. Dark fruits, simple syrup, toffee, and wood barrel. I could really use some roasted grain or hop bitterness to balance all the dried fruits. How about some unsweetened cocoa or burnt coffee? No. It's all sweetness (I'm getting vanilla, now, too), plus an unwelcome leather. Wait, there's the roasted malt and coffee, faintly. It helps put the sweetness into perspective and raises the score a bit.

 1,092 characters

Photo of ISmith87
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - 4 - Dark brown-black beer with a nice tan head that sticks forever and leaves great lacing.
S - 4 - Cinnamon, dark roasted malts, toast, butter, caramel, molasses.
T - 4.25 - CInnamon sugar on toast, chocolate, caramel, vanilla
M - 4.25 - Mouthfeel is medium, alcohol is completely covered, leaves a sweet, cinnamon roasty aftertaste.
O - 4 - This is a great beer for the price. Almost taste like cinnamon toast crunch but with more dark malty, roasted notes. The cool thing is it doesn't really compare to any other porter or stout that I've had.

 555 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown, almost black brew, with hints of purple. Pours a large head from a turbulent pour, light tan or cream colored, with good retention and leaving nice lines of lacing down the glass.

Great smell on this beer! Just a huge amount of malts: roasted barley, chocolate, and some harder to pin down straw- or wheat-like aroma. Slight bit of cream, and some nice, dark fruits, slightly overripe.

Flavor is a mix of all the aromas, albeit a little over-sweet. Cream and roasted barley are up front, while figs, dates, and prunes figure heavily on the back-end. I prefer my porters much roastier; this is much more like a Belgian, or a Doppelbock.

Fairly thin - but oily - mouthfeel for the style. Long sticky finish. Very drinkable.

This is a tasty beer, but completely not what I want in a porter. Even if you're in the mood for something sweet, this is likely a bit much.

 883 characters

Photo of clm9
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Nice thick, creamy head that takes its time to fade and leaves a nice bit of lacing. Color is a very dark amber that is only evident when held up to the light.

S: The high abv is immediately apparent, but not in a necessarily off-putting way. The alcohol fragrance is followed by an enticing, rich, malty smell (oatmeal-esque).

T: The oatmeal, malt smell is the first taste to come through. The taste ends up being dominated by toasted malts. Although the alcohol is definitely noticeable, it is not nearly as overpowering as the smell would suggest.

O: $2.73 for a pint. This is one of the cheapest pints/single servings available at my local craft beer store, but it definitely is in the top half in terms of taste. I readily admit that I'm a sucker for beers that successfully pull off having a high abv. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys porters and happens to see this in a local store.

 906 characters

Photo of jdonley1180
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this 9.4 ABV 500ml bottle on a recommendation from a friend who happens to work at my local imported beer store. Rarely am I disappointed with his recommendations and this beer fits the bill. Previous reviews accentuate the estery l / fruit like finish, which is no doubt present in this porter. But don't allow those descriptions to scare you away from the roasty, chocolate backbone of this outstanding beer. Perhaps a different type of yeast and this would be a top notch imperial stout. At $2.39 a pint everyone should take a shot at this fantastic Polish Porter

 576 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle poured into a snifter
9.4% ABV,

A - Not quite black, this dark ruby mahogany beer remains clear, topped with a ivory head that leaves arches of gnarled lace across the glass as it sinks to a thin skim of foam.

S - Big maltiness like a boss! Toffee and caramel sweetness counteract bittersweet chocolate and dry mocha, resembling big, chewy chocolate covered raisins as this beer is loaded with dark fruit undercurrents including prune and notes of molasses and black licorice.

T - Sweet, sticky brown sugar and toffee meet bitter molasses and baker's chocolate for a smooth, balanced flavor that lingers with moist raisins and plums.

M - Creamy and smooth Black Boss has a medium-full body that finishes slightly roasted and bitter but balanced by sweetness for delicious and drinkability that subtly warms the tummy!

O - Black Boss' dark fruit esters add wonderful layers of complexity to this chocolaty beer as suggestions of licorice and molasses come in to seal the deal. Surprisingly drinkable, smooth, and deceptive, this Porter makes for a great cold weather treat!

 1,091 characters

Photo of pkalix
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a thin, almost transparent, nut brown ale-type of liquid with minimal to no head.
smell is a roasty, nut brown ale kind of smell....
taste is roasty, but thin, with lots of alcohol and a metallic twang. kind of nutty but with a twangy bitterness. one of the better Polish brews I've tasted.... not much else to say, however,,,,

 333 characters

Photo of SFNC
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours like Coke or Pepsi, but without the carbonation. Smells of slightly burnt caramel. Taste is a tad sweet on the front end, but overall very good and a satisfying drink. Not a lot of burn considering the 9.4% ABV. This Polish Baltic Porter is a very good beer for the cost (16 oz for $2.99).

 299 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and sugary chocolate syrup aromas. Taste is much the same with extremely sweet cocoa powder, char, and vegetal grain flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is fairly tasty when cold but as it warms up, there is an acrid burnt vegetal and grain flavor that is pretty off-putting.

 669 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a dark brown almost black pour with 2 fingers of creme colored head, slow dissipation and nice lacing left behind. there is a heavy booze aroma at first, which leads to sweet raisin, brown sugar, and chocolate. a very easy drinking porter, sweet up front, with raisin and chocolate notes, then a nice charred roasted bitterness hits you and leads way to a fig flavor that leads to a sweet finish. for the amount of malt needed to make such a high percentage beer, i'm surprised at how thin of a pour this is. medium in body with enough carbonation to make this beer go down nice and easy. this bottle is a few years old and has developed VERY nicely over time, so i suggest picking up a few since they're cheap-ish.

 715 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very deep brown practically just a shade or two lighter than black in the glass with a huge frothy khaki colored head that sticks around a while and laces nicely. There isnt too much in the smell. I do get just a touch of the chocolate and caramel that you'd expect in a porter but more yeast character and alcohol than is normal. The taste is pretty sweet with some of the alcohol flavors carried over. In the end some of the more typical porter flavors of roast malt and coffee come through. Overall the bitterness is quite low or perhaps that is just my perception which could be skewed by the near cloying sweetness. The body and carbonation level are both in the middle of the range, as mentioned previously the finish is a touch sweet but that gives way to a drying roasty character after a minute or two. Overall I can't get by the sweetness of this, it will appeal to some but I've just never been a big fan of big dark beers that dont bring the malt flavors that their color suggests.

 995 characters

Photo of katybee
4.74/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours clear dark cola brown, 3/4" tan head which quickly dissipates but leaves lasting sticky lace tracings

very malty; minimal hops smell if any, but carmel/molasses sweetness can be detected already in the nose. nothing metallic or unnatural here; lightly biscuit, perhaps subtle raisin.

I immediately loved the thick chewy sweetness which is well-balanced by light bitterness. Molassess overtones; nothing really coffee or chocolate or citrus or grassy, but more towards figgy fruit... Perhaps a little one-dimensional, but wholesome; the alcohol is well-hidden. Very long-lasting, sippable...

medium-light bodied. lightly creamy. not as thick as some barleywines, but definitely chewier than a pilsner. no harsh aftertastes or hop smells at all; the flavor lingered well on the tongue.

I'd compare this to Spaten Optimizer, an imperial stout. It's also sweeter and more palatable to me, than Obsidian Stout, and packs a little more punch than Black Butte Porter, and it's sweetness was more to my liking. I found it at a great price in a grocery store, and will definitely try it again!

 1,094 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle served in a snifter.
Pours with a frothy, tan colored head that dies to a partial coat and ring rather soon. The body is mahogany: clear but very dark and not black

Aroma: Sweet medium malts with obvious alcohol esters. Hints of prunes, figs, raisins and allspice.

Taste: Fairly sweet, even in the finish. A bit too sweet. Quite fruity tasting, as the aroma suggested. The alcohol contributes to a suggestion of sherry. The dark malt is subtle for this style. Hints of nutmeg and allspice. No burnt malt flavors.

Feel: medium body and carbonation. Smooth. Well hidden alcohol.

O: An odd porter with an unusual aroma and some unexpected flavors. Interesting and worth trying, even though it is a bit too sweet.

 729 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a red black with an off white head. Smells of raisins and chocolate and coffee. Tastes of raisins and coffee, very nice, balanced and full. Beer is full bodied and goes down smooth. Overall a very good beer.

 268 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a cleary dark amber with some bright ruby highlights and a nice creamy and thick tan head.

The Smell is very sweet and grainy with just a touch of milk chocolate and sweet plum.

The flavor is rich and full with a nice heavy level of smoke that isn't at all apparent in the nose. This smoke and burnt malt flavor mixes nicely with the deep dark fruits and mild malty sweetness.

The mouthfeel is light and creamy.

Very nice Baltic Porter.

 447 characters

Black Boss Porter from BOSS Browar Witnica S.A.
3.8 out of 5 based on 575 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!