Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

very good
411 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 411 | Ratings: 778
Photo of dfernandez77
1.62/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

First; rich malty caramel, big bananas up front. Next; solvent, metallic, unappealing oxidized metal machine shop smell.

All good; warm deep brown color, very clear, tan big bubble head. Good head retention - moderate lace. I'd estimate SRM at 24.

Malty, sweet balanced, with a bit of roastiness, initially pleasant until the back flavors come through. Then it's just strange; a strong dirty metallic flavor, plus a tinny sharp metallic flavor that just doesn't seem like something you should drink.

Medium body, slightly slick - but less substance than most porters I have sampled.

Overall Impression:
Completely breaks the promise of the appearance and the up front aroma. It just doesn't taste like something that should be consumed. I threw it out.

 795 characters

Photo of schellsbeer
2.32/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have to keep in mind that I am reviewing a Baltic Porter and they have a different flavor than American Porters....one that I am really not crazy for.

A - Very nice. Dark brown to almost black. Small head with intense lacing. Nice!

S/T - BALTIC Porter. Has a completely different smell and taste than American Porters. FUNK is what I call it. Fish. Nuts. European. Not American. Don't mean to be rude but just has a different all together smell and flavor. This being my second Baltic Porter, I have to say that American Micro Breweries have mastered and passed the art of brewing great porters and stouts. Nothing compares....Period.

M - Nice Average mouthfeel. Not too thin and not too thick. Very creamy. Nice texture. I do like this part of this brew.

D - NO. For something that has this aftertaste, I will never seek out a Baltic Porter again. Nothing will make me change my mind. Very high alcohol content for a beer that is subpar on taste and smell. However, very nice looking and mouthfeel. I do find these qualities very nice.

 1,044 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.36/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Super dark brown color with cola and ruby highlights. Pretty quick tn head and ver hard t see, if any, bubbling.

Light roasted malts mixed with molasses and sasparilla. When I say "light roasted malts" its because thisbeer is dark, the expected, abundant roasted aromas for a Baltic Porter aren't there.

Syrupy cola and coffee malts, with maybe a touch of brown sugar hit the palate first. The middle has cola nuts and some molasses. The finish is roastd blood and tin. The finish on this beers taste and palate kills any hopes of me buying this beer again. All metal and blood. Sounds like an 80's thrash metal album title.

 627 characters

Photo of brewcifix
2.39/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A- This pours red-brown, but is opaque black in the glass. This porter has a great head on it's shoulders with pretty decent lacing.

S- Roasted malts, notes of honey, hay, and some distant chocolate sum up the nose on this one.

T- Deep espresso and roasted malts are subdued by extremely subtle hops, some sweetness, and a heavy alcohol finish. You can taste every bit of that 9.5% ABV for sure! My inner "beer snob" comdemns this. But, my manliness is inflated. I feel like this is putting hair on my chest, and I should be accompanied by some vikings or something. There's a lingering espresso-malt thing happening in my mouth that I really can't complain about.

M- There's a medium amount of carbonation (medium to high for a porter), with medium weight. If not for the heavy alcohol finish, I'd say the tongue weight makes this more drinkable than most fine porters.

Overall, this is a porter for men that want to drink like manly men. It isn't notably complex, and I wouldn't consider it to be among the best I've tasted. As I often say about beers in this category, (out of respect for beers in ANY category): I "wouldn't kick this one out of bed". It's tasty, cheap, and unassuming. Although, I prefer sophisticated, intelligent, beautiful women- I can enjoy the "tasty-cheap-unassuming" type on occasion. If there are better porters on tap or in the store- by all means: buy them. However, if you're on a budget, and nothing else is up your alley- do not be ashamed to give Zywiec Porter a try.

 1,506 characters

Photo of curasowa
2.46/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark, dark red color with a thin cap of tan head. A strong medicinal/alcohol aroma dominates with notes of roasted malt and caramel. The taste is syrup-sweet, lots of caramel malt flavor and a LOT of alcohol. I know it's 9.5%, but I've had big beers that hide it better. The finish is lingering and astringent and kinda harsh. Drinkability is so-so. Looking at the other reviews, I think I'm in the minority here, but I really didn't care for this beer.

 461 characters

Photo of bs870621345
2.49/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours black with a ruby color around the edges. Thin tan head with no lacing down the side.

Smell is of coffee, chocolate, and a strange burnt scent.

Taste is chocolatey and burnt. nothing appealing, but not a drainpour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, little oily.

Drinkablility is moderate. Drank 500ml with a friend, and wasn't horrid.

Not an impressive brew at all, tastes burnt to a crisp.

 396 characters

Photo of PolarBear3
2.66/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours an a deep almost black colour with a tanned head that laces and retains well

S - Some burnt coffee, chocolate, some spice and a hint of vanilla

T - Roasted,charcoal woody coffee, chocolate with some liquorice and a slightly metallic bitter finish

M - Medium Bodied with medium to high carbonation

O - Fairly average flavourless porter. No complexity and the bitter metallic finish is very ordinary

 411 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
2.69/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was one of several brews farrardc and stopper and I split during a baltic porter blind tasting.
Pouring at cellar temp in a snifter.
The color is dark cocoa brown with some ruby highlights beige head that fades slowly to a surface layer leaving clingy tight lattice. Aroma is dark fruit and some diacetyl giving a bit of a toffee effect. Slightly roasty on the nose.
First sip reveals a fizzy tingly carbonation. Flavor starts with some sweet molasses but rolls to a harsh astringent flavor with some chemically flavors not overly pleasant. The finish is bitey and it could be from booze, this beer wasnt one of the better ones of the nite.

 646 characters

Photo of techfed87
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a steep black with moderate-sized head.

Smelled very strongly of caramel and dark dark malts.

First sip was very syrupy, with a strange combination of bitter and sickly sweet. I'm not saying it was bad, but it was unexpected.

An alright porter, but definitely not my favorite.

 288 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

 338 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

In my current quest of loving all things Polish, this seemed like the most logical widespread offering to try. I did not enjoy the ┼╗ywiec pilsner too much (although it was definitely refreshing for what it was), but I wanted to give this shot as I love Baltic porters. Poured out of a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. Freshness date is listed as "09/28/2013." Ha! A freshness date for a Baltic porter?

The appearance is pretty spot-on as I'd hope, pouring a nearly opaque black color with about 3 fingers of an off-khaki head that settles but leaves a bit of lacing in its path. Holds on pretty well, although I sense it will die soon... But at the high-ish ABV I would expect that. Not as inky as I want it to be, and there's definitely a brownish transparency that reveals itself when held against the light, but otherwise its definitely solid, especially for a mass produced beer.

The aroma is also very solid, with notes of sweet coffee extract, milk chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, light spices, and bit of roasted barley at the finish. Definitely coated with booziness, however, with light notes of acetate, almost verging on acetone (nail polish, rubbing alcohol). However, the sugars from the malts do their best here, and it holds together well without being too sweet or overwhelming. Smells like fresh chocolate cake batter, really. If it weren't for that slight acetone-like note, this would score much higher with me.

The flavor is truly bizarre, however. Completely takes a nosedive unlike any Baltic porter I've had. At first there's a good note of roasted cacao-like barley, with some sweetness that is creamy, vanilla-like, and filled with notes of brown sugar and coffee extract (maybe some nuttiness as well). Then, there's an unforgiving metallic flavor resembling copper or nickel, which goes straight to the head in an unpleasant, mineral-y manner. Gets progressively worse as it warms up, but it was also noticeable while it was cold. The finish is slightly boozy and sweet, with more notes of chocolate and coffee, but those metallic notes are so bad it's like swallowing pennies. Creamy and medium-bodied otherwise and not hard to drink. Warms you up quite well. Too bad it tastes like someone shoved rolls of nickels up my nose.

Oh man, there must be something wrong with this batch, because no recent reviews mention anything about any off-metallic flavors. This was an otherwise solid Baltic porter offering in every respect that is completely tainted by an off, unpleasant flavor. This is the first time where I've had a beer that is solid in every respect EXCEPT for the flavor. What a disappointment. I'll revisit this maybe when I'm in Poland or something, but unless someone hands this to me for free, never again.

Post-script: This seems to taste better the longer time I consume it over, but I'm going to blame the tipsiness dulling my senses overall.

 2,896 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.79/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours nearly black. When held up to the light, there is a slight glimmer of brown that bores through the center of the glass. Big tan head than retains. Head is about 1 1/2 inches high. Leaves consistent sheets of lacing.
S-Hard to really get a good whiff past the giant head. Not a very intense head. Roasty and chocolatey. Slightly smoky.

T-Not a big fan of the flavor. Boozy. Something off in the flavor. The flavors are pretty bland and lead into a gross finish. Makes me wince after a big gulp.

M-Thick. Stout porter hybrid in the feel. Low carbonation. Slick. Don't mind the feel. Don't like the flavor.

O/D-$2.19 for a 500 ml is a deal but I think this beer is pretty poor. Not enough of the roasted coffee and chocolate. Booze too evident and too involved in the flavor. Flavor finishes poorly as well. Don't regret trying it but would not buy or even drink this again.

 883 characters

Photo of emsroth
2.8/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pint bottle

App: deep black with a frothy tan head with great lace

Smell: chocolate and raisins balanced by herbal hops. Exactly what the style should smell like.

Taste: here the beer fails. The body is really thin. The flavor strongly bitter and rough from dark roasted malt and.hops. ends with strong mineral flavored hops. As it warms it gets better, but never good.

 372 characters

Photo of livingregret
2.8/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Serving Type: 1 Pint .9fl oz

Appearance: Pours a dark brown w/ a dark tan head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing

Smell: Smells of dark rum...molasses...coffee...

Taste: Dark chocolate w/ light molasses, toffee added in perhaps....a touch bitter toward the end. The one disappointing thing about this taste is the metallic(copper?)aftertaste that takes a way from the flavour

Mouthfeel: carbonated, and a touch thick. Goes down somewhat easy and leaves a warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: There are better porters out there w/ out the metallic taste. I enjoy the warmth of this drink but not the thickness nor copper taste

 643 characters

Photo of biglite351
2.84/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - considerable red around the edges. Tall creamy off-white head.

S - heavy malts, a touch of chocolate and fruit and I seem to get some Belgian yeast.

T - strong Belgian flavor. Some dark fruit and chocolate. Alcohol all through the after taste.

M - solid coating and tingle on sides of tongue. Alcohol burn in the throat.

D - pass, don't care for the Belgian flavor or the strong alcohol front.

 401 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes on 7/19/09

A - dark brown, almost black, with tan head of 2". Garnet hues in the light. Lacks lacing. 3.0

S - Sweet caramel, hint of coffee, touch of fruity esters, bubblegum, and alcohol. Not very complex and maybe a bit too fruit IMO. 3.0

T - Lots of sweet malt, hint of roasted barley, lots of fruitiness and a bit of sourness as well. Very hot finish. 3.0

M - Medium bodied, doesn't coat the palate but isn't exactly thin either. A bit slick. Well carbonated, prickles the tongue. Very hot. 2.5

D - Not bad but the alcohol is so intense that I'll have to knock it back a point. 2.5

Overall - No wonder it was only $0.97 for a bottle. Won't get this again.

 683 characters

Photo of maskaggs
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty typical for porter. Generic roasted / nutty scent and flavor. For those who like enormous amounts of foam, you won't find a lot going on here. It wasn't a problem for me, but some look down on that kind of beer. Not a game changer, but worth it if you can get it for $8 or $9 per sixer.

 293 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson brown with a 2 inch khaki head that stays at a 1 inch puffy cap. Thick foamy rings of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, caramel, and some chocolate aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, cocoa powder, and an off metallic taste. The metallic taste pretty much kills this one for me. Mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. A low level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Ovearall, this would be a pretty good baltic porter if the metallic taste wasn't so overwhelming. As it is, I couldn't even finish a bottle of this one.

 671 characters

Photo of xxxxxxxxxxxxx
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Zywiec Porter has low foam.
Smell: Zywiec Porter smells like molasses.
Taste: Zywiec Porter has a grainy taste of both brown bread and kvass.
Feel: Zywiec Porter has good alcohol content.
Overall: Zywiec Porter is a drink for people who enjoy both beer and kvass.

I purchased a bottle of Zywiec Porter for $2.69 USD in Burbank, CA/USA.

 342 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.02/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had a lot of variance in drinking this beer, so much so that I eventually stopped buying it. The first few times, I thought it was pretty outstanding, a great value for the price-point. The latter few times, I was less than impressed, in fact somewhat averse to the flavors I was experiencing.

 302 characters

Photo of MNJR
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown, medium head that really sticks around for a while. Lacing is thin, but it clings OK. The smell is somewhat bitter roasted coffee, malt, prune and raisin. Taste is powerful and I wasn't too sold on it at first. Bitter tannin flavors are very sharp behind the wallop of roasted malt. The overall effect is, well, bitter. Bitter and then dry. There is also a "burnt" taste. Not smoky, burnt. But it has redeeming qualities. There are good flavors lurking around: cocoa, coffee, caramelized dark brown sugar and the dark fruits mentioned above. This is not an easy drinking brew for the timid drinker. This would have to be an acquired taste, much drier and more bitter than countless other porters I've guzzled over the years. The ABV is obviously staggering, though the booze is almost completely hidden in the powerful flavor.

 837 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an extremely dark brown; a shade from being black. Very tall fluffy head.

N: Whoppers, cookie dough, milk chocolate and coffee.

T: Milk chocolate, ripe plums and bitter dark roast coffee which is immediately covered up by a metal/copper taste.

M: Medium bodied, creamy and smooth. Low carbonation.

D: Alcohol is well hidden but can't get over the metal/copper taste.

 379 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours black with a dark tan head which receds to a creamy ring. No real lacing.

S - From the bottle I'm getting chocolate and toffee and am getting excited about this. Into the tulip and the base aromas are joined by a weirdly metallic vegetative smell (and no, it's not a dirty glass).

T - Roasted malt, chocolate, grassy hops, coffee and that same vegetative character I'm not crazy about, asparagus? parsley?

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry and chalky.

O - Perhaps I got a bad bottle, it came from Dan Murphy's so it's entirely possible. Actually got worse as it warmed and the offensiveness came to the fore.

 631 characters

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a porter, the Zywiec is not too shabby. As an imperial/Baltic... I was not at all impressed.
The taste was boring, the look was not in the least way impressive, and the very crux of the beer lacked complexity; the drinkability for a 9.5% beer was impressive.

Maybe I was hoping for those chocolaty, coffee-ey notes in craft baltics, but this beer was worth not a cent more than its 1.99

 391 characters

Photo of monkeybeer
3.11/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours bark brown with a slight red highlight, nice tan head and good lacing

S- Roasted malts and chocolate

T/M- Can really tatse the roasted malt almost to the point that they taste burnt(bitter). Chocolate is defiantly there also

D- Not bad as far as drink ability goes, defiantly got better the longer it sat and it warmed up a little. The burnt taste was somewhat distracting in it and for me caused it to not be super high on the drink ability scale.

 460 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
3.94 out of 5 based on 778 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.