Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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Porter - Baltic
Ranked #121
Ranked #12,236
3.94 | pDev: 12.69%
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Very Good
Notes: Dark, porter-type beer was brewed in Żywiec as early as 1881. It owes its intense color and clear flavor to four types of malt.
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Reviews: 463 | Ratings: 925 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jonphisher
jonphisher from New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours how I always want a dark beer to. Black with a slow rising dense and creamy looking slightly brown head. Some nice lacing as it settles.

The initial smells to me are licorice and Dr Pepper, yes I’m not sure what gives Dr Pepper it’s smell but that’s what this beer gives off. There’s also plenty of bitter roasty chocolate and coffee notes.

The taste leans towards the licorice and chocolate from the aroma. There is also a strong raisin like quality in the after taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium but leaning close full. It has a low carbonation that gives a creamy like mouthfeel. This is followed up by a nice bitter bite on the back end. There isn’t really any heat but you can tell this has some ABV to it.

Overall a very enjoyable dark beer that will definitely find its way into my purchases from time to time. I like that they’re sold as singles and at a good price.

Jun 20, 2021
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours ebony with a 1 1/2 inch tan head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma of roast malt & coffee with a touch of toffee.

Taste is coffee, roast malt, black malt, toffee, chocolate, caramel.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Creamy, dry, astringent finish.

Good across the board. One to try before you die.

Jun 07, 2021
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thinner, off-white head.
Smell of molasses, caramel malt and black licorice.
Taste follows the nose with nice bitterness, roasted malt, licorice comes out nicely, coffee.
Not a huge mouthfeel.
Oily and slick mouthfeel.
Pleasant European porter with great balance and typical Euro hops and malt. Great buy.

Feb 05, 2021
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark enough so that no light escapes, with a large, light brown head and beautiful lacing. Molasses comes through first in the aroma, tangled in with the roasted malts and dark fruits. Flavors of caramel, toffee, molasses, licorice, some bitter coffee and a little bit of smoke. Respectably hopped with a good alcohol punch felt in the aftertaste. Full bodied mouthfeel with a dry, lingering finish.

Dec 09, 2020
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ML bottle poured into a large tulip glass at 55 degrees F. No idea of born on date, but bottle has a Best Before code that ends in 2017.....
L - Black with a nice toffee colored head that lingered
S - Roasted malt
T - roasted malt, coffee, toffee, fig, molasses. There is a slight metallic taste on the finish, which is indicative of a baltic porter, does not taste like a 9.5% beer
F - nice mouthfeel with medium carbonation but a bit of creaminess as well
O - a very nice porter with great flavor. Amazing bargain, 500 ML bottle for $1.99 at a local bottle shop (Kenny Road Market, one of the best). This beer is probably from 2016 at the earliest based on the Best Before date of 2017; and it stands up extremely well.

Nov 07, 2020
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LongIslandBrews from New York

3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Zywiec porter. If more alcoholics knew how cheap and potent this imported brew was, they'd be reaching for this instead of the Bud Ice and Natty Daddy tall boys. At 9.5% ABV, this will get you through the heaviest winter!

A rich robust ported with strong coffee and malt flavors. Smooth at first, with a strange alcohol/chemical after-burn. Dark black color. Head usually starts strong but fizzles out fairly quickly.

Overall--A very solid brew especially at it's low price point.

Nov 01, 2020
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a dark brown with a light brown head that lasts a while. In the nose, it is roasted malts and coffee. In the mouth, it is lots of roasted malt and coffee flavor. Nice Baltic Porter!

Sep 20, 2020
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle, I can't decipher the bottling code.

Pours a pitch black with a nice head of tan foam.

Smell is of coffee, chocolate, some roast, sweet notes.

Chocolate, both milk and dark, coffee, plenty of roasted malt, wonderful balance of flavours.

Medium close to full bodied, medium carbonation.

Wonderful beer that I am pleased as punch to revisit!

Sep 18, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown and borderline black on the color with frothy toffee colored foam and lacing on top. Very sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Chocolate malt with light roast and cocoa and some light alcohol surfacing on the very back end.

T - Light chocolate malt, light char, delicate spice on the very back end and finishes with a lingering delicate and balanced chocolate with some alcohol effervescence with light spice.

M - Thick, silky, and super dry ... probably the most dry of beers I've experienced to date. (That's not a bad thing at all.)

O - This is a fantastic Baltic Porter. Seek this one out.

Apr 13, 2020
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Qu3st from Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Part of preparing for a trip to Krakow. Good basic Porter. Not worth seaking out, but not a bad choice to go with a meaty meal in the right place. A good baseline for potter.

Mar 30, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-jet bottle pour with a 1 cm foam cap and and faint aroma of charred malt. The flavor is full with toasted malts dominating. There is a bit of brown sugar, molasses and an espresso note. The mouthfeel is smooth. The high abv is hidden. This is a rich, appreciated brew.

Mar 20, 2020
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Craft Beer Cellar Belmont.
Dark brown with deep garnet highlights and brilliant clarity. Frothy mocha head persists forever. Rich caramel and bits of cocoa and some wonderful dark dried fruity notes. Light coffee roast. Creamy mouthfeel with a hint of oxidation. Very nice old world porter. I just wish I could figure out how old this bottle is. Best before L9153616B0237

Mar 02, 2020
Photo of Scott_G_Fisher

4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I was impressed by this high ABV porter. Very comparable to Guinness Stout, only six more ounces and 4% higher ABV. The retail price I paid was $2.99 for the 22 oz. bottle, but high quality and I highly recommend.

Jan 17, 2020
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MrGraybeard from Wisconsin

4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 50 degrees into a boomba schooner. The color of strong coffee, nearly opaque with a modest but lingering head. Aroma blends malt, chocolate and raisins. Rich malts and bitter chocolate hit the tongue, turning astringent, peppery and slightly metallic at the finish, 100% true to a Baltic porter. Medium body with a potent alcohol punch. This is the way a Baltic porter should taste.

Dec 06, 2019
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml undated bottle poured into a pint glass boasts a dark brown, orange- tinged body floating a proud 1" head of tan colored medium bubbles.

Roasted malt, leaning on coffee, aroma wafts into the room immediately while the the elixir oozes into the glass. A slight mix of metal and fresh air joins the roastiness and the flavor matches.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy.

Overall a very nice porter with only a slight hint of booze.

Nov 08, 2019
Photo of BigGuyDontCry
BigGuyDontCry from New York

4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big guy. I like big flavors and a big ABV to match. Being a sort of yeoman farmer I also appreciate a value. This beer wins on all counts. The flavor is a perfect balance of bittersweet malt. Chocolatey with a little coffee. Full bodied but not cloying. Carbonation level is just right. Really a perfect Porter. When our family cow died I whacked down a whole six-pack of this stuff while burying the poor creature. If I wasn't such a big guy I would have had a very big hangover. So seriously approach this one with caution very smooth ,very drinkable and the ABV is well hidden under all of that rich malt flavor it will sneak up on you.

Sep 23, 2019
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Color is near black with a frothy 2 finger tan head that dissipates slowly to a film. Moderate lacing is present. Aroma of malt, caramel, wood and slight smoke is noticeable although this beer is not supposed to be barrel aged or smoked. Taste follows the nose with a hop finish and lingering warming from the high ABV. Medium-heavy body is surprising.

Sep 01, 2019
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured a solid black color with over an inch of brown head that had great retention and very light lacing.

The aroma had a lot of malt scents, with a notable cocoa aspect. On the tongue though, the cocoa was replaced by coffee, and especially on the finish, licorice.

The body was smooth and even, but there was a notable alcohol bite on the finish. Drinkability was fine, even though I don't particularly care for coffee and licorice. Overall, very nice brew.

Jun 16, 2019
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NJBarstool from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is the biggest bargain beer in the world. It is a premium class 9.5 abv Porter in a 500ml bottle, for about $2. Craftheads and drunks on a budget both can agree.

Jun 11, 2019
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BB1313 from Ohio

4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a creamy khaki head that falls slowly leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have some caramel and toffee leading the way. Some cocoa powder and chocolate. Mild hints of vanilla. Lots of malts. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. More caramel and toffee. More chocolate. Moderate to low bitterness. Solid malt backbone. Mild warmth, but the alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's very fluffy, slightly creamy, sharp, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a pretty nice Baltic Porter. Nice aromas and flavors. The craftsmanship is on point. Well done. I really like this one.

Jun 10, 2019
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chitoryu12 from Florida

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Pitch black, with a finger of foamy tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Bread, dark chocolate, moss, and noticeable alcohol.

Taste: Mildly bitter chocolate malt. Fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and creamy. Mild carbonation.

Overall: A great showing from Poland!

Dec 30, 2018
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WayneRooneyFan from New Jersey

3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very pleasant surprise. Poured from a 500ml bottle with a Best By date of 12/26/2018. The initial aroma from the bottle was somewhat boozy (not unexpected from 9.5% ABV). Once poured into a typical pint glass, the khaki-colored, half-finger head quickly dissipated. Although the consistency was that of a typical Porter, the caramel flavor stood out, creating a very pleasant mouthfeel foundation. The combination of sweetness, roasted malts and high alcohol content make this a Baltic Porter, one which fans of this style must try. Great job...well-made beer.

Dec 19, 2018
Photo of C-Stockwell
C-Stockwell from Rhode Island

4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Solid black body, totally opaque. Khaki-colored head that starts off large and quickly becomes a line over the body. This is a textbook example of a black beer.
S: Not very strong roasted smell, more like caramel or a very dark grade of maple syrup. Slight smell of barbecued meat and barbecue sauce.
T: Surprisingly smooth and light for a black beer at 9.5% ABV. Hard to place flavor - not quite coffee, not quite oats, faint roasted malt flavor. Very bitter and decently dry.
F: Lacking in carbonation and a touch watery.

Caveat emptor: where I live, this beer is $2.46 p/500mL bottle. Is the beer worth it? Yes, but not for every day drinking, at least for me. This porter is a very nice, very well made beer. Look forward to buying more.

Edit: I managed to get a pair of Zywiec Porter "pokal" glasses. The glasses improve the experience. Aroma of very rich dark chocolate and smoked or barbecued meat. Rich flavor. No issues with carbonation. And the head is an extremely impressive brown.

Nov 23, 2018
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Trailboss76 from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark beyond cola color. Medium head foamy & tan in color. Fabulous malty-coffee-caramel aroma! Mid to high range carbonation. Full malty flavor & body. More so than most beers the aroma really stays around and marries nicely with the flavors. I would definitely buy and drink this again. Thumbs up to these Polish beer makers.

Nov 22, 2018
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Azdirtmover from Arizona

4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice for the price.A good bargain in the world of overpriced porters.While not the best,it’s a great compromise.As stated earlier,drink slow or the high alcohol content wil sneek up on you.

Nov 18, 2018
Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 925 ratings