Zywiec Porter | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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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

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Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 781
Photo of VoxRationis
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Best before 23 November 2017.
A: Close to black with a more than half inch brass colored head and complex lacing.
S: Dark, sweet malts, molasses, licorice.
T: Dark, sweet malts, unsweetened chocolate, coffee grounds, pepper.
M: Full bodied with persistent effervescence.
O: A balanced, very well crafted porter. Kudos!

 319 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from Oki Doki Hostel, Warsaw, Poland (9.50PLN):
This one was definitely a strong beer, that much was clear from the start when a lot of toasted malts & some hints of alcohol start to come through but thankfully it wasn't as overpowering as I had feared it might be. There was a nice amount of chocolate coming through in the early going with plenty of sugars but the balance remained good &the beer was definitely drinkable. Towards the middle &end some caramel flavours along with some toffee start to make an appearance &turn this one into a beer that's not quite a classic but still well worth trying.

 617 characters

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

Poured from a 500 ml bottle, best before 11/23/17 into the test glass.
A - Molasses color, thin cap, great lacing.
S - Plum, brown sugar, roast malts, very nice nose, caramel, burnt pumpernickel toast.
T - Dark bread, charred brown sugar, a hint of tobacco, and sweet dark molasses
M - Medium in body, nicely carbonated. Washes across the palate, exiting with a sweet finish.
O - Wow, what a nice offering, just the right notes of roast, and sweet. all while treating the palate well.
A value at the $2.99 per bottle price point

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of my favorites. Poured from 500 ml bottle to tulip glass. Prodigious, fluffy mocha head sits on top of black ale. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. Thin feel. Flavors of roasted coffee, plum and fig, cocoa. Alcohol pretty well hidden,with bittersweet cocoa and fruit notes becoming more prominent as it warms.

 338 characters

Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: Black with a 2 finger tan head. Head retention is amazing, it never goes completely goes away.

Smell: Faint malts.

Taste: Rich, balanced, complex. Alcohol taste becomes less noticeable as beer warms.

Feel: Pretty thin and watery, light carbonation.

Overall: Pretty decent beer, feel seems too thin for the style.

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

Best before 04.09.2017

A: Nearly black pour with a very tall and frothy light brown head. Great head retention and pretty decent lacing.

S: Hmph. Some chocolate and berry-like dark fruits. A bit charry and some cherry to boot.

T: Very interesting. It's a fruit-forward porter like a lot of baltic porters are. Dark fruits abound, particularly cherry but lots of stonefruit in general. Background of dark, dark, dark bittersweet chocolate. Charry too, especially in the finish where it turns particularly bitter and acrid. Lingering charry aftertaste with just a hint of cocoa.

M: Medium-heavy, charry and just a touch of alcohol burn.

O: Not a bad baltic porter at all. On the fruity and charry side which again is fairly typical. Easy drinking with a nice balance between acrid/bitter char and chocolate and the sweet fruitiness.

 835 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark cola body, clear around the edges, with creamy foamy head that leaves a few specks of lace. Nose is mostly roasty malt and toasted bread crust. The dark malts give flavors of acidic coffee and chocolate, with all their bitterness. Stone. A bit of sweet caramel comes through on the finish, as well as occasional appearances of alcohol. Body is wonderfully full and silky, quite thick, and damn delicious.
The nose and flavor were direct and powerful, however, a tad harsh at times. The look and feel more than made up for this, making the final product a solid and enjoyable offering.

 589 characters

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

Pours matte black, opaque, and viscous for a porter. Thick frothy tan head dissipates somewhat but leaves a one finger tan head on the top of the beer.

Smell is rather subdued. Some roasted malts, mild chocolate, and an earthy nutty aroma with a touch of coffee.

Taste has notes of roasted malts, coffee, roasted nuts, and a hint of chocolate. A mild hoppy bitterness is noticeable on the finish. The flavors are much more pronounced and noticeable as the beer warms.

Feel is appropriate for the style. Mild carbonation, smooth, and silky.

Overall a solid baltic porter.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thoroughly enjoyed form the bomber in a snifter. This fine porter pours a deep muddled
blackish brown with a nice head of light tan foam that settles to a thin layer, thick ring, and nice
sudsy lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, brewers licorice, subtle coffee, and deeply roasted malts.
Flavors lightly exceed the nose with dark molasses and chocolate melding nicely with lightly
bitter malts and brewers licorice with a touch of bitter coffee on the rear of the taste with a
touch of cream and char. Nice mouth feel; slick, coating, lightly creamy, and full with a bitter
malt finish. Overall and excellent porter in the Baltic tradition. One of the better of the Polish
brews out there with some depth and tons of character. A classic that is always welcome.


 774 characters

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

$ 1.80 (Including tax)/16.9 oz bottle ($ 0.106/oz) at warehouse Wines and Liquor, Danbury, CT
BB 09.29.16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma roasted malt, chocolate, licorice
Head large (Maximum five cm, semi-aggressive pour), light brown, creamy with rocks, diminishing to a four mm ring and thin rocky layer
Lacing – fair. Partial wide rings of tiny to small bubbles and some large gaps
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – almost like slightly bitter chocolate-covered raisins; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate – medium, creamy, soft carbonation

An interesting taste at a good price. Even though this is a Heineken product, it’s still pretty good.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

 789 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma-faint barley and hops. Maybe beer is too cold, but aromas are faint. Dark black color, medium white head. Lasting with large bubbles. Taste us heavy toasted barley. Rye/ pumperknickel. Smooth sipping with a lot of flavor. Late sourness that is not unpleasant. Mouthfeel- low carbonation. Thin smooth feel. Would be great with a hearty beef stew with a lit of carrots, potatoes, dill and rosemary. This beer always satisfies....na zdorovie."

 463 characters

Photo of DJ-Hophead
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle Browarium Sklepy Piwne - Pours dark black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - roasted coffee to the fore, roasted malts, dark fruit notes. Taste - Sweet foretaste, dark fruits, roasted malts, cocoa, light warm alcoholic aftertaste with a slight bitter finish. Huge jump from their more UK available lager. Solid sipper.

 370 characters

Photo of ScioRevo
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm no expert but it was more like a stout than a porter. Very dark, malty, strong flavors and appealing bitterness. But it does have a metallic taste in the background. I like it, overall. In my own dictionary of evaluation I would call this "flavorful and interesting."

 274 characters

Photo of slung1
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My favorite porter . I'm a stout guy by nature , but the 1881 porter is a nice change of pace. Its a 9.5 ABV and a descent bitterness . A great evening beer for movie night. It has an earthy sweetness a hint of alcohol aftertaste if the temperature as above 50 degrees when opened .

 284 characters

Photo of BeerBobber
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out an impressive black with a creamy and bubbly head that pulls a great brown color.

Wow! The smell is so complex and beautiful. A mix of dark fruits, roasted malts, brown sugar and some background of licorice.

The taste is one of roasted malts and a whole lot of different dark fruits. I was also getting some raisin and background tastes of black licorice.

Mouth feel was fairly light and just maybe pushing towards medium with a smooth finish.

Overall I found this to be a complex and delicious porter. The alcohol hides very well and the taste is so dark and delicious. Really I found this to be a very complex porter/stout style. With all of the various smells and flavor profiles this is a big bang winner. And this coming from a brewery owned by one of the big boys! Well go figure.

 800 characters

Photo of dcscientist
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer, surely better than their other major export that I can find in my area (the pale lager). I had no idea that it was 9.5% ABV, almost making this an imperial rather than a straight porter, but I also didn't care because it was smooth and easy to drink. Goes great with Polish food on a cold night, that's for sure. Solid porter.

 358 characters

Photo of detgfrsh
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a half liter bottle marked best by 6/2/16. Pours a jet black color with two fingers of tan head. Smells of malt and a little bit of sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel, rich malt flavor, and a touch of bitterness at the end. Some alcohol warmth as well (it is 9.5%, after all). Very nice porter.

 292 characters

Photo of c014572
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my go-to buzz beers, this is a nice balanced ported when it's cold. It has an initial metallic bite to me when not chilled enough. Not sure what it looks like, never made it to a glass. Don't confuse this with the Euro-lager taste, not like it at all. A nice, not too sweet, baltic porter with a great kick for a great price.

 339 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, alcohol, hints of chocolate, hops are present as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer, but a bit on the boozy side for my liking.

 302 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.39/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This poured a dark brown in color with a modest head.

Smell – The rich coffee grounds form the backbone of the nose along with raw sugar and a slight aroma of plantains.

Taste – The coffee from the nose gives way to a more malty flavor with a bit of raw grain that exposes this bee’s macro ownership. It’s comfortable though with nothing offensive.

Mouthfeel – This is a big beer, medium-full in body, with just the right amount of mild carbonation.

Drinkability – The much-maligned “heiny-in-a-can” brewery did a respectable job leaving well enough alone. The long, proud history of this brewery continues to shine through even with new ownership and it is definitely worth a try.

 716 characters

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This robust Baltic Porter has the look of dark mahogany when you pour it, with a finger of light brown foam on the top that lasts for a little while but leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Ruby highlights shine through the beer as you hold it up to the light.

As one sniffs the beer after pouring the nose is filled with aromas of roasted malt and molasses and just a hint of coffee.

The taste is strongly roasted but not overpowering with hints of blackstrap molasses and just a little bit of coffee. Hops are insignificant in the flavor profile as they are in the smell.

This medium bodied brew packs a hidden wall up of 9 1/2% alcohol. This is not meant for tossing back with abandon. On the tongue it feelslike velvet low carbonation gentle warmth from the alcohol.

In summation Zywiec 1881 Porter is a delicious winter evening drink while watching football and eating a taco salad. Spicy food goes especially well with this beer. It can stand up to most any flavors. It is sweet without being cloying and roasty without tasting burnt.

 1,046 characters

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

I've enjoyed this one for some time now. The price can't be beat for those who likes thick and creamy porters/stouts (1.69 for the 1pt.09 bottle).
Pours thick and creamy with a tan/beige head.
Aromas of malt, touch of coffee, chocolate, fruit
Taste of malt, coffee, fruit with touch of the chocolate and a litte alcohol. Very smooth but a touch thin given how it pour.
A pleasant, but medium aftertaste.

Do be careful, as noted this comes in at a deceiving 9.5% abv so it can sneak up on you if you're not aware.

 514 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Binney's. This pours thick and velvety, with heavy body, thick lacing, black with creamy beige head. Aroma of dark chocolate, nuts, pumpernickel. Taste has smooth bitterness, roast grains, sharp aftertaste and lingering finish. This was a real treat.

 262 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml. bottle with an expiration date of 06.02.2016. Sampled on January 2, 2016. This is the 1881 edition but I did not see a listing on BA other than the original Porter listing.

Dark chocolate brown heady pour that is opaque and shows red hues in the light.

Big sweet and chocolate aroma, a little char and melted caramel.

The body is around medium and smooth.

The taste is quite sweet with a milk chocolate character and a ripe bitterness that brings itself out at the finish. This is supposedly the original 1881 recipe and if that is the case...they should continue brewing it that way. Delightful.

 622 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle.

Deep brown with a small tan head. Deep, rich, toasted malt in the aroma and fruity (think raisins). Complex malty and fruity flavor with a vinous-like character to it. Thick, full bodied and smooth. Lively carbonation keeps the beer lively and from becoming too heavy. Strong but surprisingly easy to drink.

Pronounced "Zhiv-ee-ets" as explained to me by my Polish coworker. However you want to say it, this is one hell of a delicious beer. And for $1.99/bottle it was an absolute steal. Highly recommended.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
3.94 out of 5 based on 781 ratings.
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